BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle (BBTAG) is a 2D 2-on-2 tag team air dasher fighter featuring characters from BlazBlue, Persona 4 Arena, Under Night In-Birth, and RWBY. Team synergy is everything in this game as you have the ability to temporary control both characters on-screen with the flashy Cross Combo mechanic. Learning defense is a never ending journey because new team setups are always being created. You'll be spending a lot of time learning setups from other teams and testing them out on yourself in training mode. This is the game for people that like to make sandwiches.

Helpful Resources

The BBTAG wiki.
The BBTAG Discord server.
The BBTAG Master Tech Repository.
Several members of the community are creating fully voiced guides for ALL the characters in the game. This is just part 1 and it's over an hour long.

Notation

Attack Notation

A Attack A
B Attack B
C Clash
D Change
P Partner

Directional Notation

up-back up up-forward
back neutral forward
down-back down down-forward

Numpad Notation

7 8 9
4 5 6
1 2 3

High attacks are overhead attacks that must be stand blocked. Mid attacks are attacks that can be blocked with both stand block and crouch block.

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle uses Modern frame data notation. If an attack has 7 frames of startup, it hits on the 7th frame.

BlazBlue characters retain their Drive ability except it's no longer its own button.
Persona 4 Arena characters cannot have their Personas pushblocked.
Under Night In-Birth characters are able to Reverse Beat chain their normal attacks. Their airdash is replaced with Assault.
RWBY characters have Semblance which is a unique skill or powered up state from their TV show.

The rectangle gauge near the diamond is the Cross Gauge and it's spent on partner and team actions. Cross Gauge automatically regenerates with time. The zigzag gauge is the Skill Gauge and it's a traditional super meter. Extra Skills are enhanced versions of special attacks and cost 1 Skill Gauge. Perform them with the special input and the C button. Distortion Skills are super attacks and cost 2 Skill Gauges. Perform them with 236B+C or 214B+C.

Press P during Distortion Skill to perform Distortion Skill Duo. Your partner will perform their own Distortion Skill before tagging in. It's essentially this game's DHC. It costs an additional 2 Skill Gauges. Distortion Skill Duo is powered up during Cross Combo and Resonance.

The diamond gauge is the Resonance Gauge. It starts at level 1 and maxes out at level 4. The level goes up by using Distortion Skill Duo, Partner Skill, Clash Assault, Cross Combo, Cross Raid, and Cross Burst. The higher the level, the more amplified the effects of Resonance Blaze are.

After a character on the team dies press P to activate Resonance Blaze. For 15 seconds the remaining character's recoverable health and Skill Gauge regenerate. Chip damage increases on special attacks and normal attacks now inflict chip damage. Special attacks can now be canceled into Distortion Skill and Distortion Skill is more powerful. The opponent cannot Burst during Resonance Blaze. Resonance Blaze's activation is invincible and can be used as a defensive reversal.

Rampage Time activates when there's 80 seconds left in the round. Skill Gauge automatically regenerates and the less time there is on the timer the faster it regenerates. Nobody has ever complained about BBTAG rounds taking too long but for some reason the developers decided to add this in.

Backdashes are invincible at the start.

BBTAG has an auto combo system. By mashing 5A repeatedly the game automatically performs a combo and ends it with a tag attack. This is called Cross Raid and it uses all your Cross Gauge but it can be done even with no meter. After Cross Raid the character that was tagged in will be in a powered up state.

During the powered up state, recoverable health recovers twice as fast and Skill Gauge gain is boosted by 50%. Player 1 will glow red and Player 2 will glow blue. For this reason it's common to see professional players picking red or blue costumes for their characters to hide the effect.

Clash Assault is the universal overhead and is performed with 5C. It is a normal attack and can be chained into from other normal attacks on block for mixups.

There are two types of Clash Assaults: the first type has 22 frames of startup and is -10 on block while the second type has 26 frames of startup and is -4 on block which is safe. Those 4 frames make a difference because 24-25 frames of startup is when attacks become humanly possible to react to. Every character has an invincible attack to interrupt it.

Press A or B right before the word "Crash" appears on screen to add extra damage to Clash Assault. Depending on your timing it will say Good, Excellent, or Marvelous. Marvelous adds the most damage.

Rachel has the faster short range 5C and Yang has the slower longer ranged 5C.

Press C during Clash Assault to perform Extra Assault. It costs 1 Skill Gauge, adds extra damage to the attack, and increases Resonance level.

There is air blocking and it blocks both grounded and air attacks. You cannot air block during the pre-jump frames. 2 additional frames of blockstun are added to air blocking. Reversal Actions are the only air unblockable attacks.

After getting hit out of the air, hold 4, 5, or 6 and press an attack button to air recover. All air recoveries are fully invincible.

After a knockdown, press or hold 4, 5, or 6 to automatically quick recover. All recoveries are fully invincible.

Forward recovery is used for switching sides, evading attacks, and escaping the corner but it has its risks. If a player predicts a forward recovery, they can call their assist to sandwich their opponent.

High jump automatically turns the character around during a side switch. It can be used to cover multiple knockdown recoveries. This is called auto tech chase. After a knockdown, high jump then air dash to chase after the opponent.

Reversal Action is an invincible mechanic performed with A+D. For most characters it's an invincible DP and for other characters it's a parry. Reversal Actions are air unblockable and inflict recoverable damage. There's no way to make a blocked Reversal Action safe because performing it immediately after calling an assist removes invincibility and a punished Reversal Action locks the character out of Bursting.

Incoming is called Down Entrance. It is invincible and 0 on block. Down Entrance can be delayed by holding any attack button that isn't D. It can be delayed from 0 frames to 60 frames.

Reject Guard is pushblock and it's performed with 4A+D in blockstun. It costs 1 Skill Gauge and locks the defender into 16 frames of blockstun, which is shorter than most games. Reject Guard lowers Skill Gauge gain for 5 seconds. Reject Guard into Distortion Skill is a great tool for punishing attacks that have a lot of recovery but it is expensive at 3 Skill Gauges.

Reject Guard's input is the same as Reversal Action's. If you expect your opponent to Reject Guard, leave gaps in your pressure to have them leave blockstun and perform a Reversal Action.

BBTAG is one of the few fighting games with pushblocking that also has jump cancelable normal attacks and air dashing. These can be used together to continue pressure after being pushblocked.

Only one character on a team can be pushblocked at a time.

Any A normal attack can be canceled into throw. Even if the A normal is pushblocked the character will not be pushed back. If the throw connects it cannot be teched as the defender is in Throw Reject Miss for pushblocking.

Throws are performed with B+C and are teched with the same input. There is a whiff animation if unsuccessful. If out of throw range, the character runs towards their opponent to get into range. This adds more startup to the throw. BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle uses the same Throw Reject Miss system as BlazBlue: Central Fiction just without purple throws.

Partner Skill is the assist call and is performed with 4P, 5P, and 6P. Each character has three different Partner Skills. Assists have a lot of utility in combos and mixups. For example Weiss' 4P is a great combo starter as it launches high and Weiss' 5P is great for extending combos as it's multi-hitting and causes a wall bounce.

Partner Skills have 18 frames of startup where the assist is invincible and additional startup frames on top of that depending on the attack. The character's portrait flashes on the screen when they're called which means players can react to Partner Skills.

Duo Change is the game's tag and is performed with D. The tag doesn't happen until the D button is released. The incoming character is invincible for 4 frames then vulnerable until the animation finishes. Duo Change during Partner Skill is an Active Change. Both characters enter the powered up state after Active Change.

Active Partner Skill costs 50% Cross Gauge and is performed by pressing P during any part of an attack. It is used for mixups, combos, and block pressure. Sometimes it looks like players are calling their assists for free during blockstrings but what's really happening is they're letting their opponent return to neutral to not trigger Active Partner Skill.

Cross Burst with D+P in hitstun or blockstun. It requires 100% Cross Gauge and for the partner to be available. The active character leaves immediately, the screen freezes for 21 frames, and the incoming character comes in with an attack with 8 startup frames and 3 active frames. Cross Burst is fully invincible for the startup and active frames.

Cross Burst can be performed again after 13 seconds. This is a very short cooldown for a Burst and as a result Bursts are much more frequent in BBTAG than in most games. Knowing when to Burst, when not to Burst, and anticipating Bursts is very important.

Try not to Burst when getting hit by an assist because the active character will get you. Try not to Burst when both characters are on the screen unless you can hit them both because your opponent will Duo Change to the character that didn't get hit and punish you. A good time to Burst is when your opponent is in the middle of a special attack and/or cannot Active Partner Skill.

Cross Burst can be reacted to because of the screen freeze and character portrait. There are a couple of ways to beat Cross Burst. Active Partner Skill can be called after the screen freeze to punish the Cross Burst but the timing can be tricky. Try to call the assist late. During a juggle this is more consistent but on the ground it can result in both of your characters getting hit.

On the ground you can jump cancel normal attacks to air block the Cross Burst and punish it.

Cross Burst counts as an air attack and loses to air-invulnerable and invincible attacks. Reversal Action can be canceled into if you're on the ground.

Cross Combo is activated with P+D during Partner Skill. It requires at least 50% Cross Gauge and slowly depletes the entire gauge. The assist stays on the screen until the gauge is empty. All damage during this time is permanent damage. The assist performs their Partner Skill when an attack button is pressed with a direction. For example pressing 4B makes the active character perform 4B and the assist perform 4P. Holding the P button prevents the assist from attacking until the button is released. The assist is invincible when they are not performing an action.

BBTAG's metagame revolves around the Cross Combo. Cross Combo provides the player an outlet for creativity. The synergy of teams really shine in Cross Combo mixups, setups, and combos. Since Cross Gauge regenerates automatically, learn to activate Cross Combo from situations outside of combos like approaching, positioning, and pressuring.

The combo structure for Cross Combo is generally: combo starter > Partner Skill > Cross Combo > combo extender > Distortion Skill (Duo)

The goal of every match is to sandwich your opponent between your two characters then activate Cross Combo for a deadly mixup or combo. One way of doing this is calling the assist then jumping over the opponent. A good time to do this is after a jump cancelable normal attack or after a knockdown.

Some characters are blessed with attacks that switch sides.

Partner Skills can switch sides as well.

Here are some general tips about defense:
-Blocking an assist can result in getting pressured with a Cross Combo setup. Try to avoid the assist with movement or interrupting it with an attack.
-Avoid getting sandwiched. Either jump out if you're between both characters or Reject Guard to create distance. If your opponent calls their assist and jumps at you, they are trying to jump over you for the side switch. Don't let that happen.
-Partner Skills are all mids so there's no high/low mixup from them. There are left/right mixups but this game has left-right protection to keep them from being overpowered. Look at the active character and react to what they're doing.
-Don't Reversal Action the assist. While it ends Cross Combo your opponent will wait for it to finish then punish you.