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Parrying is the act of deflecting an enemy's attack with a sword strike. Generally, most sword attacks can be parried, while most body attacks cannot. Any weapon in Infinity Blade I or II is capable of parrying.
To parry, the player must swipe in either the same or opposite direction of the enemy's strike. If you are successful, you will be notified with blue text saying "Parry" directly under the pause button. If you fail, you will be notified by red text under the pause button saying "Parry Failed."
Compared to other defense mechanicsEdit
Unlike blocking, parries can be performed indefinitely. Some attacks, such as a headbutt or arm swipe, cannot be parried unless if you possess the Parry All Attacks gem. However, unlike a dodge or block, a successful parry will sometimes reward the player with the chance to do multiple Stab/Slash attacks. This is the main reason why parrying is preferred over dodging and blocking most of the time. Stab attacks open up a small time frame where the enemy is stunned, and combos can be performed in rapid succession. Notice in the picture above the small yellow-ish circle with stars in it next to the left of the Magic button, or directly underneath the enemies health bar. This means they are stunned, and can be attacked repeatedly.
Parrying is preferred especially towards the end of enemy combo attacks, as attempting to parry slashes and swipes from enemies during the beginning or middle of a combo could result in the enemy recovering and attacking back.
The main reason why parrying is preferred over dodging and blocking most of the time is because a successful parry (even when followed by a Stab attack) guarantees a longer window of opportunity to attack the opponent, since parrying stuns the enemy for a much longer period of time than a block or dodge. When a Dodge Break or Block Break are performed, the enemy will recover much quickly from his stunned state compared to when a Parry Break is executed.
Parrying is the only type of deflecting an enemy Titans' attack that can not 'run out' or become depleted. Also, whenever you get a perfect parry at the end of a titan's attack chain, you will get stab points depending on how many perfect parries you accomplished (1 perfect parry=1 stab, 2 perfect parries =2 stabs, 3 perfect parries=3 stabs, etc).