I checked the manual!
For reference this would be my suggested best wording for the reworked counter to avoid weird edge cases with Gloria’s J* and to explicitly codify our desired interaction of counters and special blocks:
10* Crash and Flow [Reaction]
Once per turn, counter an ability. It was a During Combat ability, that opponent draws a card. Otherwise knock that opponent down and put it on the bottom of their deck. (Prevent and undo the ability. You can’t counter Aces, Jokers or character cards. Countered special blocks revert to normal blocks.)
So I’ve read over the relevant sections of the rulebook, and as far as I can tell the timing for setting KD status appears to be just before or during the “End of Combat” step.
The combat phase is broken down on pages 6-10 into the following steps:
- Play combat cards face down, then reveal
- Determine combat winner
- Normal draw rule
- Joker (rewind time) or bluff
- Play combos
- End of combat
The important sentences on KD are on page 14:
To knock the opponent down, end your combo with a knockdown move …
When you knockdown the opponent, give them the knockdown token to help them remember that their defense are weakened next combat (next turn).
Although the precise timing of the KD/standing trigger is not exactly specified, it’s clear that it happens during the current combat phase *and* that the winning player has to finish their combo before KD can be set. Therefore the KD status of both combatants can only be set either right at the end of the Play Combos step or during the End of Combat step. Of the two I find more credible the idea that it’s part of Play Combos, since the text explicitly links the ending of the combo and setting KD. For v3 I think it would be best to add an explicit Set Knockdown step to the list between Play Combos and End of Combat.
In summary, it seems credible to me that countering an “End of Combat” ability would result in knockdown that remains until the following turn. Even if it isn’t exactly clear how it would work in v2, it seems simple enough to make it explicitly work like this for v3.
This would make countering Gloria’s J* really good for Argagarg. I think this probably makes it worth continuing to explore with idea in his other match-ups.