A Perfect Block activates when the [block] button (left bumper/L1) is depressed at the precise frame when an enemy attack connects with a character's Shield or Magick Shield.
The ability to Perfect Block is affected by the knockdown/stagger resistances of the equipped Shield or Magick Shield. This is particularly true of a Wooden Wall, Rusted Magick Shield or Magick Buckler, which do not have good resistances. A weak shield cannot Perfect Block a Cursed Dragon's tail swipe, for example, even when the block is timed correctly. No damage will be sustained, however, the character's guard will break, the character will stagger backwards a step, and stamina will drain accordingly.
If the player is having trouble executing this technique without having their guard broken, enhance or rarify the shield, or acquire a stronger shield.
Perfect Blocks can be repeated in sequence, but there is a small window of vulnerability between blocks, as can be observed at exactly the 1:00 time index here:
Success is signified by a white flash and a brief time-dilation effect ("slow-motion"), both of which differentiates a regular block from a Perfect Block.
Unlike regular blocks, Perfect Blocking expends no Stamina for the blocking character.
Perfect Blocking with the Fighter or Mystic Knight skills Defend or Repel causes the enemy to stagger and will break the defense of the enemy.
If the equipped shield has an elemental property, higher reinforcement not only affects the ability to Perfect Block more easily but increases the chance to proc the shield's inherent elemental damage upon successful execution. This animation is neither as dramatic nor is the effect as damaging for a Fighter or Assassin when compared to the Mystic Knight's perfect block-triggered elemental counters.
Perfect Blocking with the Fighter or Mystic Knight upgraded skills Deflect or Reflect will cause knockback to enemies in front of the shield and will break the defense of the enemy. Even with an un-enchanted shield a reflected melee blow causes significant damage to the assailant.
A Mystic Knight with the core skill Reflect and a shield enchanted with a Counter, Riposte, or Feint spell will trigger a powerful Elemental counter in addition to a very powerful knockback effect - see Mystic Knight Shield Counters.
For Fighters and Assassins with the core skill Deflect, a Perfect Block with an elementally enchanted shield such as a Scorched Pelta or Dragon's Roost has a less powerful and dramatic visual effect than that of a Mystic Knight's elemental riposte, but it still damages the enemy, causes knockback and can inflict elemental damage. The reinforcement level of the shield affects the likelihood of the elemental effect striking the enemy together with the perfect block's effect; the greater the reinforcement, the higher the success rate's percentage.
Elemental damage can be temporarily bestowed on Assassin- or Fighter-wielded shields via enchantment buffs. The existing element of an enchanted shield such as a Scorched Pelta or Lambent Shield can be temporarily overwritten with an elemental buff from a Mage, Sorcerer or Mystic Knight, however a Magick Shield's inherent elemental property, such as a Thunder Kite Shield or Lustrous Greatshield, cannot be overwritten except via a Mystic Knight's elemental Enchanter, Riposte or invocation.
Perfect Blocking is made easier (that is to say, the window of opportunity is increased by five frames) by the Fighter augment Prescience. It is beneficial to learn this technique and then remove Prescience, as there are any number of significantly more powerful augments that can take its place.
Pawns are capable of performing Perfect Blocks and will utilize them often. It can be very helpful to watch a good Fighter pawn in action to demonstrate the necessary timing to correctly perform a Perfect Block against different enemy attack animations.
Two Perfect Blocks destroy a Skeleton Brute and 8 Skeletons in 9 seconds.
A Mystic Knight demonstrates Blessed Riposte's effectiveness against Skeletons.
Perfect Block demonstration
Using Flame Riposte, 6 Greater Goblins are slain with only 3 Perfect Blocks. The Prescience augment is not equipped in this demonstration. Observe that the first block is a regular block which only stuns the first attacking Goblin, while the following 3 blocks are Perfect Blocks which separately slay the 6 Greater Goblins with Ingle fireballs. The technique employed here in this video is a "Pre-Blocking" technique for beginners in order to mitigate late blocking damage. Hold the block button prior to the enemy attack. Then just as the enemy strike is about to make contact with the Arisen's magic shield, VERY QUICKLY release and re-press the block button to execute a Perfect Block and activate the Riposte.
Perfect Block (practice session) vs Cursed Dragon
In this demonstration, observe the Arisen make 11 Perfect Blocks : 3 from its forward bite, 5 from its tail whips, and 3 from its rear foot (during the Cursed Dragon's forward dash), zero Perfect Blocks from its arm swipes. 5 mis-timed Perfect Blocks here result in damage, and the Arisen actually slays the Cursed Dragon with a regular block at the end. The Arisen is wielding a Goldforged Rusted Mace to inflict Torpor on the Cursed Dragon for practice and demonstration purposes. The Prescience augment is not equipped here.
Perfect Block vs Living Armor
Three Perfect Blocks, without the Prescience augment equipped. Living Armor possess 4 attacks which cannot be Perfect Blocked : Stone Forest, Antler Toss, Shield Storm, and the Takedown shoulder tackle. Their Broad Slash and Full Moon Slash skills are also difficult to time because these skills do not have obvious "tells", like all the other skills in their arsenal. Holy Riposte is ideal for Perfect Blocking Living Armor attacks, as other elemental Ripostes are less effective. In this demonstration, the second slash of a Full Moon Slash is Perfect Blocked, which slays the Living Armor.
Perfect Block vs 2 Condemned Gorecyclops
Hard mode. No curatives, buffs, or Wakestones used. Here, the Arisen completes 4 Perfect Blocks : 1 from a cudgel smash and 3 from foot stomps. Observe the timing of their feet in order to predict incoming attacks : right foot stomp, left foot forward, left foot back. ALL physical attacks from Condemned Gorecyclops can be Perfect Blocked, but not their "roar", "fart", and grab attacks. The Arisen must be facing the correct direction in order to block incoming cudgel smashes and swings, but not for foot stomps. Also, the Arisen must stand DIRECTLY underneath the point of contact during the Perfect Block, otherwise damage or stagger will occur. Remember that most Mystic Knight animations cannot be interrupted in order to block with the shield, so avoid committing to an attack or spell if timing is in doubt. Particularly when staggered, the Arisen is in danger of missing a block and getting hit. In this demonstration, the Arisen miscalculates two foot stomps and sustains damage. The Prescience augment is not equipped for this demonstration.
Perfect Blocking enemy spells. Mystic Knight vs Daimon.
In this demonstration the Arisen blocks Daimon's biggest spells, such as Grand Comestion and Grand Frigor spells in rapid succession. Hard mode. Arisen is undamaged. No curatives or Wakestones used. Read the original video description for more detailed strategy.
Perfect Block vs 3 Eliminators
13 Perfect Blocks, 12 from Eliminators (6 club swings, 3 bull charges, 3 club combos). 1 Perfect Blocked Elder Ogre uppercut, 1 missed block results in damage. Studying the Eliminator's attack patterns and physical "tells" will allow the Arisen to predict an Eliminator's attack. In particular, learn to recognize their 5-hit club swing combination and exploit it. Here, the Arisen completes 13 Perfect Blocks with Flame Riposte which breaks the Eliminator's guard and opens up offensive opportunities. Eliminators sustain far more damage while they are lying defenseless on the ground. ALL Eliminator attacks can be Perfect Blocked except for their Arc of Deliverance foot stomp attack. Hard mode. No curatives, buffs, or Wakestones used. The Prescience augment is not equipped for this demonstration.
Perfect Block vs 3 Elder Ogres (and 3 Eliminators, 3 Sirens) (L)
ALL Elder Ogre attacks can be Perfect Blocked except for their deceptive grab attack, which can be easily mistaken for an arm swing attack. Here, the Arisen executes 5 Perfect Blocks (1 Elder Ogre double fist, 1 Elder Ogre arm swing, 2 Eliminator bull charges, and 1 Eliminator club swing). Hard mode. No buffs, curatives or Wakestones used. Arisen is undamaged. The Prescience augment is not equipped for this demonstration.
Perfect Block vs 1 Drake, 1 Wyvern, 1 Wyrm (N)
All Dragons share common attacks which can all be Perfect Blocked except for breath attacks, grab attacks, High Exequy and High Bolide. In this video, the Arisen actually slays the Drake and Wyvern with Flame Ripostes. 14 Perfect Blocks (4 wing flap attacks, 4 bites, 2 tail swipes, 2 High Frigor spells, 1 arm swipe, and 1 forward charge). Hard mode. No curatives, buffs or Wakestones used. The Prescience augment is not equipped for this demonstration.
Perfect Block vs 5 Garm, 2 Hellhounds, 2 Wargs (B)-0
Garm pouncing attacks can be Perfect Blocked, but not their breath attacks, mouth grab attacks, and drag-and-maul attacks. Due to their speed, strength, and a general lack of physical "tells", Garm are dangerous and risky to Perfect Block. Thunder Riposte is effective against Garm, which can only attack while facing their target. Without Torpor to slow them down, create distance for more reaction time to Perfect Block their pouncing attacks. In this video, the Arisen executes 3 Perfect Blocks from jumping pounces. Hard mode demonstration, with no curatives or Wakestones used. The Prescience augment is not equipped.