The King of Fighters XIII/Defense
While standing, press A+B or f+A+B to roll forward, or press b+A+B to roll backward. Rolls are immediately invincible to attacks throughout their traveling animation. However, they are completely vulnerable to throws, and there is a short recovery animation at the end of a roll before any other action can be taken. Rolling can be used defensively (e.g. to avoid projectiles by rolling through them) or offensively (e.g. rolling to end up approximately at the same spot as an opponent rising from a knockdown to make it difficult for the opponent to see which way to block), but as with jumps and hops, they are vulnerable to punishment if used poorly. Distance traveled, duration, and recovery time vary by character, and can also be altered by canceling a run into a roll, which generally increases both distance traveled and duration.
Guard Cancel Roll (GCAB)
It is possible to cancel blockstun into a roll at the expense of 1 stock of super meter. To do this, simply press A+B or b+A+B after blocking an attack but before blockstun has finished. Unlike a normal roll, a Guard Cancel Roll is completely invincible, unthrowable, and has no recovery time. This can be used to punish attacks that would normally be safe if blocked, such as multiple hit attacks that knock the defender back a far distance if blocked normally (e.g. Andy’s hcf+K).
Guard Cancel CD (GCCD)
It is also possible to cancel blockstun into a CD attack at the expense of 1 stock of super meter. To do this, simply press C+D after blocking an attack but before blockstun has finished. Unlike a normal CD attack, this will have some invincibility during the startup but also does much less damage. If the opponent avoids getting hit (either by using a quick-recovering attack that would allow them to block before the Guard Cancel CD hits or by using an attack with enough invincibility to avoid the Guard Cancel CD hit), it is possible to be punished during the recovery time, although as with a normal standing CD, a Guard Cancel CD may be canceled into a special move. Guard Cancel CD attacks are also vulnerable to command counters, such as Elizabeth’s qcb+AC.
Recovery Roll (also known as Tech Roll)
Pressing A+B as the character is about to touch the ground for a soft knockdown allows the character to perform an immediate recovery roll. This makes the character recover faster than normal, and also moves them to a location further behind unless they are cornered. The rolling animation is completely invincible and has no recovery time, but the character is immediately throwable, unlike after taking the knockdown and waking. A recovery roll will also avoid attacks with OTG property. Note that certain attacks have the property “hard knockdown”, which prevents the use of a recovery roll.
Originally a bug, and now back in KOF XIII as a feature is a technique called Alternate Guard. If you are in block stance, you can extend your block stance by quickly alternating between low and high block. Since characters in KOFXIII cannot be thrown while in block stance, this extends the time that you are invulnerable to being thrown. Alternate Guard is a great way of avoiding tick throws and can even grant you a punish off the whiffed throw.
Q: "My opponent keeps hopping at me and pressuring me too much! What should I do?"
A: Stay calm and block any incoming attacks. If the opponent is hopping towards, use the character standing C (standing HP) or a good standing normal to beat the opponent out of the air. You can also roll out of the way while that are hopping towards you. Another way to stop incoming hop attacks is to utilize characters stand A or B normal as most characters have one or both options to stop them.
Q: "My opponent is crazily spamming projectiles! How do I counteract this?"
A: You should generally not be in a position for this to take place. The player should remain a mid range distance away from the opponent so that they can punish a projectile. Time your jump-ins so that you can capitalize on the opponents poorly timed projectiles. Also, blocking is also a good idea because when you block projectiles or any other special moves for that matter, your character is the one building meter. Some special moves can ignore the properties of a projectile as well. You can also roll through projectiles but be careful of meaty attacks and throws. Roll carefully through the projectile and cautiously advance towards your opponent.
Q: Are there any disadvantages to using Guard Cancel Rolls and Guard Cancel CD attacks? I feel like using those are the only way to escape offensive pressure.
A: Relying on them to always get you out of offensive pressure is certainly a disadvantage. Even if we ignore that they can be baited and punished, some characters can make better use of that meter with an EX/DM that can beat out an opponent's attack. GCAB/rolls or GCCD/blowbacks should be a last resort, when your character has no other solution, and usually trapped in the corner.
Q: "I can't use DP's on wake up because my opponent keeps hitting me during the input. How am I supposed to get out of offensive pressure properly on wake up?"
A: The reversal window this game is not very huge at all. Better options for escaping pressure on wake is to perform a well timed roll, use a standing normal, block, use a guard cancel roll, or utilize a guard cancel blowback. Recognize the situation so that you can get out of pressure safely and twist the match your favor. Also keep in mind that the majority of regular DP's/Flash Kick anti-airs or reversals have 4~5 frame start up. Most EX anti-airs and/or reversals will have 3 or less start up.
Q: "What are you supposed to do when you are being pressured after a knockdown?"
A: You can roll on wake-up to avoid mix ups, jump-ins, and cross-ups. If the opponent is going for a deep jump-in however or a meaty attack, it is best to block and wait to counter act. You can also use a anti-air (preferably a standing normal anti-air) to beat out jumping normal moves. (NOTE: Special moves/Super moves with invincibility or high priority are also acceptable but they usually not the safest options, sense the reversal windows in this game are not particularly huge).