The block system in SWR is similar to that of IaMP's. Instead of having move blocked wrong hit an opponent, orbs of spirit will be drained according to the attack. When all 5 orbs are drained, one of the unbroken orbs will "break" and not be usable for a set amount of time. Additionally, the remaining unbroken orbs will completely recover. As more orbs break, the broken orbs will recover faster. When an orb is broken, there is a brief moment of vulnerability where the player who broke the orb may attack.
When airblocking, spirit is drained for each melee attack blocked. When a player runs out of spirit, the character is guard crushed and will be vulnerable while falling. Note, many ground attacks have the property of being air unblockable.
Unlike most fighting games, SWR is a game where blocking wrong is sometimes ( a lot of the time ) beneficial to the person who is blocking. Wrongblocking pushes the aggressor AWAY from the blocker ( think Guilty Gear faultless defense ) at the cost of a bit of spirit. Since spirit recovers fast, often times wrongblocking is trivial in terms of spirit damage. Wrongblocking may be used to escape many pressure strings that would otherwise be unescapable.
However, there are aspects of wrongblocking that are negative. If a player wrongblocks, he/she will suffer additional block time and may not use border escape or hangeki(guard counter)
- Chip Damage A defending player suffers 'Chip Damage' when blocking damage from a skillcard/special move such as Reimu's Hakurei Amulet or a spellcard such as Remilia's Scarlet Sign "Red the Nightless Castle". In these cases a fraction of the damage that would have been suffered should the move have landed successfully will still be inflicted on the guarding opponent. This damage occurs in addition to spirit damage. A player can not be knocked out by chip damage, but can be pushed to an empty life bar.
Chip damage appears to vary from 1/5th total damage of a move to as much as 1/3rd of the total damage of the move compared to a clean hit. Weather and health proration both impact chip damage, however combo proration can not impact chip damage due to the requirement of the opponent blocking. In some cases where the chip damage is very small the effect appears to be 'rounded up' per hit in order to have a visual impact on the defender's life bar.
Large single strike moves tend to cause 1/6th of their damage in chip damage on block, whereas multi-hit maneuvers which are typically reduced by their own combo proration on a clean hit can achieve almost 1/3rd of their maximum damage in chip damage, such as Marisa's Master Spark.
While chip damage can not win a round for you it can provide an edge. Some characters are able to put out strong chip damage during normal gameplay, such as Yukari or Reisen, while others may find it very difficult such as Komachi.