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BDO Combat, Skills, and CC Guide (Black Desert Online 2019)

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This BDO Combat, Skills, and Crowd Control (CC) guide will help you understand the rules of engagement in PVP and PVE. Black Desert Online is filled with a complex variety of combat mechanics, with a long list of Blocks, Special Attacks, and Combat States.

Action combat with key combos is BDO's most loved feature, but the skill details can make your head spin. If you don't agree, come CC the Block-bee-bop and Forward-woopdeedoo out of me in game.

Can't wait to see your expert combat mechanics in action. :)

Basic Combat Primer

BDO Combat Skill showing colors

Example Combat Skill Colors

Combat Skills in BDO have an amazing amount of info. It's easy to glance at a skill's Hit Damage and think it might be weak, but damage percent alone doesn't tell the whole story. Skills with damage modifiers, like 100% Critical with 100% Accuracy, Floating, and Air Attack could potentially be your strongest skill, even if it has the lowest damage percent.

So let's determine what secrets our combat skill descriptions hold...

Combat Skill Properties are Color Coded

BDO categorizes Combat Descriptions by color:

Combat Skill Stats

Combat States

  • Skills can cause up to 5 Combat States.
  • CC incapacitates, preventing movement and skills.
  • CC'd players can only use elixirs, potions, and foods.
  • Each CC Combat State is usually very short.
  • Some CC's will fail if attempted on characters in certain states.
  • Each class’s CC's last for a slightly different amount of time.

1 Skill can cause multiple combat states. For example, a Knockdown causes an immediate Air State, followed by a Grounded State, and then a Recovering State.

Combat States & Attack Damage Modifiers

If there are two Combat States occurring at the same time, then the highest Damage Modifier will occur. For example, if a player has his back turned to you, while in the air, the Air State takes priority because 170% is more than 120%

Critical attacks will stack with any other Special Attack. (Example: Crit + Down or Crit + Air)

  • Air and Down Attack take priority over Back Attack.
  • A Critical Air Attack deals 270%.
  • A Critical Down Attack deals 220%.

  • Special Attack PVE PVP Air State Standing State Grounded State Casting State Speed State
    Critical Attack 200% 200% All Skills
    +5% per Critical Hit Rank
    stacks with other Special Attacks
    Air Attack 200% 170% Some Skills
    Back Attack 150% 120% Most Skills
    Down Attack 150% 120% Some Skills
    Counter Attack 150% - PVE Only
    Speed Attack 150% - PVE Only

    Crowd Control

    When one fails to move, blink, or whimper... drink a pot.
    — GrumpyG

    Crowd Control skills immobilize the enemy and give you freedom to attack. They can also put others in a Grounded or Air State for increased damage.

    The names for CC Skills are a gold/yellow color in the Skill description.

    HINT: There is a 45% recovery bonus if an HP Pot is used during a CC state.

    Expect your opponent to use a consumable (HP pot) during a CC.

    Crowd Control 5 Second Immunity

    Each CC Skill has a hidden value of 1 except for Stiffness, which is given 0.7. Each time you succeed at CC, your opponent gains the value of the CC. When their CC counter reaches 2, your opponent is given a 5 second CC immunity.

    If your opponent runs away and isn't CC'd for 5 seconds, his CC counter resets to 0, even if it was at 1.7 when he ran away.

    NOTE: Air Smash and Down Smash have counts of 0 and were not considered normal CC.

    CC List with Requirements & Combat State Effects

    Crowd Control CC Count Enemy's Required State Standing State Air State Grounded State Recovering State
    Stiffness 0.7 Standing/Recovering
    Stun 1 Standing/Recovering
    Knockback 1 Standing/Recovering
    Floating 1 any but Grappled
    Bound 1 any but Grappled
    Knockdown 1 any but Grappled
    Freezing 1 any but Grappled
    Grab/Grapple 1 any but Grappled
    Air Smash 0 Air State
    Down Smash 0 Grounded State

    Crowd Control Animations: Video Examples

    When someone is under the influence of Crowd Control, you can visually see it. It helps to study and know their animations so that you can push your advantage if you happen upon some hapless CC'd individual.

    Freezing CC

    Example Freezing Skill

    Wizard/Witch: Freeze I

    • Freezing encases your opponent in ice for 1 second.
    • Followed by a 1 second Grounded State.
    • 2 to 5 targets (5 at highest rank. 10 at Absolute rank.)
    • Frozen opponents receive 20% damage.
    • Stun/Stiffness/Freezing Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Agerian Helmet 15%)

    View this skill on

    Grapple/Grab CC

    Players use the terms grapple or grab, meaning the same thing. Official BDO term is "Grapple". Think of a player grappling onto another player and not letting them go.

    Example Grapple Skill

    Warrior: Take Down I

    • Grapple with Bound.

    View this skill on

    Example Grapple Skill

    Striker: Massive Suppression I

    • Grapple with Knockdown.

    View this skill on

    Example Grapple Skill

    Tamer: Soaring Kick I

    • Grapple with Floating.

    View this skill on

    Stun CC

    Example Stun Skill

    Striker: Adamantine I

    • Stun requires a Standing or Recovering State.
    • Lasts about 2 seconds.
    • Causes a dramatic staggering animation.
    • Stun/Stiffness/Freezing Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Agerian Helmet 15%)

    View this skill on

    Knockback CC

    Example Knockback Skill

    Archer: Volant Kick I

    • Knockback requires a Standing or Recovering State.
    • Lasts about 1 second
    • Causes a dramatic staggering backward animation.
    • Knockback/Floating Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Taritas Helmet 15%)

    View this skill on

    Stiffness CC

    Example Stiffness Skill

    Mystic: Adamantine I

    • Stiffness requires a Standing or Recovering State.
    • Lasts about 1 second.
    • Causes a small stagger animation.
    • Stun/Stiffness/Freezing Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Agerian Helmet 15%)
    • CC Count: 0.7 (The only CC that is less than 1.)

    View this skill on

    Floating CC

    Example Floating Skill

    Archer: Flow: Verdure Clout I

    • Floating is possible with any state but Grappled State.
    • Floating gives the longest Air State attack opportunity.
    • 1 second Air State, 1 second Grounded State, 1 second Recovery State
    • Lifts your opponent up and away from you and then Grounds them.
    • Knockback/Floating Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Taritas Helmet 15%)

    View this skill on

    Bound CC

    Example Bound Skill

    Archer: Earth Kick I

    • Bound is possible with any state but Grappled State.
    • Bound produces an immediate Grounded State.
    • 1 second Grounded State with a 1 second Recovery State
    • Knockdown/Bound Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Zereth Helmet 15%)

    View this skill on

    Knockdown CC

    Example Knockdown Skill

    Archer: Ascending Spirit I

    • Knockdown is possible with any state but Grappled State.
    • extremely short Air State, 1 second Grounded State, then 1 second Recovery State
    • Knockdown/Bound Resistance can be used against it. (Ex. Zereth Helmet 15%)
    • Press WW, AA, SS, or DD to choose what direction to roll towards during Recovery State. (If you don't do this, you will remain grounded longer.)

    View this skill on

    Resistance Chance

    One way to avoid a CC is to stack Resistance Gear. Resistance can be found in a variety of items: armor, crystals, food, accessories, alchemy stones, etc. To get the most Resistance, it seems like you have to pick 1 from a group of four.

    5 Resistance Categories:

    Resistance Chance is calculated by taking your total Resistance and subtracting any Ignore Resistance your opponent might be wearing.

    Resistance Chance = Total Resist (Max 100) - Ignore Resist

    BDO CC Resistance Necklace: Manos

    Manos Diamond Necklace: +13% All Resistance

    Example Resistance Gear

    Resistance %  Ignore Resistance  %
    Base Resistance 20 Base Ignore Resist 0
    Manos Necklace 30 Hidden Class Ignore Resists
    Ex. Warrior/Zerker ignore grapple res.
    Green Grade Helmet 15 2x Magic Crystal of Infinity 20
    Griffon Helmet 5 2x Black Magic Crystal - Precision 20
    Nouver (sub-weapon) 10 4x HAN Magic Crystal - Macalod 7
    2x Magic Crystal - Sturdiness 20 Cron Meal 4
    4x HAN Magic Crystal - Hoom 7 Villa Buff 5
    Villa Buff 10 Vell's Heart
    Sharp Alchemy Stone Destruction
    Cron Meal 4 Kutum (sub-weapon) 10
    Class Skills
    Ex. Witch's Q Skill
    20 Rosar (main-weapon) 10
    Sharp Alchemy Stone - Protection 5    
    TOTAL (can't exceed 100) 141 TOTAL 111

    NOTE: Arsha gear and Valk's gear have high resistances as well as Ignore Resistance. These have limited availability, though. (Trial Characters, Events, etc.)


    Example Shield Guard

    Block is a general term used for BDO skills that prevent CC and damage by using a block meter. These blocks absorb hits, but can break after a certain amount of damage is done. Superarmor is considered different because even though it counters CC, it has no such block meter, and allows damage to get through. Both Superarmor and Block are vulnerable to Grab/Grapple. Invincibility is the only blocking skill property that isn't vulnerable to grab/grapple.

    Grab/Grapple can reach through Blocks and Superarmor, but not Invincibility.

    Damage Reduction increases a Block's Meter.

    The block meter appears left of the blocking character.

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