Mortal Kombat 11 tier list: Our best character choices, including Sheeva, Fujin and Robocop, ranked
Mortal Kombat 11 has seen several significant updates since its release in April 2019, and since then its intricacies have been uncovered and each character has been picked apart and generally figured out by the game's dedicated community.
The latest is the Aftermath DLC, which introduce three new characters - Sheeva, Fujin and Robocop. But how good are these new ferocious fighters? Are they good enough to overthrow the game's top tiers, such as Sonya and Geras?
Therefore, we've updated our Mortal Kombat 11 Tier List so that you new and experienced players alike can discern which are the best characters worth learning.
On this page:
If you're looking for more guides, our Mortal Kombat 11 Fatalities list and Friendships list can help.
Mortal Kombat 11 Tier List: Our recommendations for the best Mortal Kombat 11 characters
We've ranked every Mortal Kombat 11 fighter - including every DLC addition - into a single tier list. We looked at a range of factors such as a character's special moves, the range and speed of their normal moves, how easy their high damage combos were to perform, and so on.
There are two things to bear in mind. One, that this list is subjective, and is based on our own opinion of how good a character is. Two, it's worth noting is all characters are viable. If you like playing Kung Lao, then play Kung Lao! Just because a character is average in our eyes does not make them unplayable.
When ranking characters, we used two tournament variations as they were specifically balanced for competitive play, and act as a universal point of comparison for all of the characters. If you aren't a fan of a specific tournament variation, you can make you own - there are an extensive number of special moves for you to try out that can make a character better suit your style of play.
Mortal Kombat 11 has changed a fair amount since launch, and will continue to do so as more characters and patches are introduced.
Mortal Kombat 11 Tier List (Fighters ranked by Tier)
|Best||Cetrion, Geras, Sonya, Liu Kang, Cassie Cage|
|Great||Johnny Cage, Nightwolf, Shang Tsung, Jax, Erron Black. Baraka, Jacqui Briggs,The Joker, Skarlet, Sheeva, Robocop|
|Good||Terminator, Scorpion, Sub Zero, Kabal, Kung Lao, Kitana, Noob Saibot, Frost, Jade, Shao Kahn, Raiden, Fujin|
|Mediocre||Kano, Kollector, D'vorah, Kotal Kahn|
Between new characters and patches, here's how our Mortal Kombat 11 tier list changed following the Aftermath DLC update in May 2020:
- Fujin (NEW - Good)
- Sheeva (NEW - Great)
- Robocop (NEW - Great)
- D'vorah - (Bad to Mediocre)
- Jade - (Mediocre to Good)
- Kotal Kahn - (Bad to Mediocre)
- Shao Kahn - (Mediocre to Good)
- Skarlet - (Good to Great)
Mortal Kombat 11 Tier List (Characters ranked alphabetically)
|Mortal Kombat 11 Character||Tier Ranking|
How we settled on our Mortal Kombat 11 tier list
Mortal Kombat 11 gives players a plethora of ways to get up close and personal. With the time players have had to figure out the characters, this is even more true now than it was previously.
Zoning characters must be played with even greater care given to how safe you are from your opponent's aggression.
Rushdown characters like Johnny Cage and the recently released Spawn remain generally strong in Mortal Kombat 11, maintaining their dominance over the higher tiers since it's not too hard for them to close the gap on opponents attempt to stay far away.
At this point, skilled players are well-practiced in ducking, dashing, and leaping over anything you can throw at them.
One thing lacking from Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath is the addition of a new rushdown character, and as such the archetype as a whole has seen very little change on the list. They are still largely dominant as a whole, despite how good the three new characters are. So stop worrying, Sonya players!
Now we're at the end of the DLC season, Rushdown characters as a whole have solidified themselves as being the best category overall. While not all of them are particularly great, the more exceptional rushdown characters are among the best in the game if they're able to stay up close and personal.
At the polar opposite of the playstyle spectrum, Zoners like Cetrion and Erron Black are still doing their thing up in the higher echelons of the Mortal Kombat 11 cast. Players still subscribed to the long-distance fighting style at this point are excelling at keeping everyone else at a far distance.
Zoners got a big surge of representation on the higher section of the tier list thanks to the addition of Robocop and Fujin. Both of these characters are serious threats to the pre-existing cast, and has caused the iron grip rushdown has had on the game to seem less dominant.
Zoners have finished this DLC season in a pretty good place, with several characters remaining in the Best and Great sections of our tier list. While some of the cast are exceptionally good at breaching a zoners' oppressive long range attacks, overall they can hold their own quite well.
Grapplers, being typically slower and having a harder time getting close, have found themselves in a tough spot. What has happened over time is the grapplers able to overcome this struggle have landed high up in the tier list, while the rest have found a home near the bottom.
Grapplers can spend a lot of time struggling to get an opportunity. Once they do, they fair as well as any other character, just make sure that once you get a chance to slap 'em around a bit you make the most of it.
The major change that Grapplers have had with Aftermath is Sheeva, who is a fantastic addition to the most modest of the three fighter archetypes. With her placing high up in our tier list, grapplers are starting to look a little better, but overall they still fall short compared to zoners and those pesky rushdown characters.
At this point in the Mortal Kombat 11's life cycle, we don't believe any character is 'bad'. Sure, some characters are certainly better than others, but even the worst character in the game has the tools required to come out on top in matches.
How good is Aftermath character Fujin and where do they fit in our Mortal Kombat tier list?
Fujin is a zoner that likes to keep opponents at roughly a full jump's distance away. Fujin's throws push the other fighter at the other end of the screen from him, where he can safely apply pressure with a variety of long distance attacks.
Fujin has a selection of devastating Kombos like Tailwind,Whirlwind, and Whisked Away that are available regardless of what variation you use, and act as the backbone to Fujins playstyle as tools to punish opponents whiffing attacks at a distance.
Fujin also comes equipped with a handful of special moves that further improve his ranged capabilities. His Krossbow Blast compliments his zoning playstyle excellently, as it's fast speed and different firing arcs allow him to oppress opponents and punish attempts to jump in.
This paired with his Wind Kicks, a combo ender that sends the other player flying across the screen, makes Fujin a tyrannical force from a distance. That's not to say he has no close range tools either, as Tornado acts as an excellent vertical anti-air that stops jumping attacks and cross-up attempts.
Variation one, Downburst, allows Fujin to perform some tricky to pull off offensive mix ups that force opponents to guess how to block your next attack. With this variation comes improvements to Tornado - allowing him to travel further around with the tornado.
This paired with the ability to use Tornado mid air makes it more than just a situational answer to jumping, but an offensive tool in the hands of crafty players.
Divine Winds is quite peculiar. Performing the move has Fujin hover in the air, where he can perform his hopping attacks. While not necessarily an offensive special move, you can cancel multiple kombos into Divine Winds which allows Fujin players to surprise blocking opponents with a quick overhead attack if used correctly.
Variation two, Kloud Walker, transforms Fujin into a close range rushdown character with a variety of new offensive options. Warped Needle is the first of this new special moves, replacing Wind Kicks as a close range combo ender that can be amplified for safe pressure.
Wind Barrier also comes with this variation, and acts as an offensive air parry that can neutralize opponent air attacks and allows Fujin to punish them with a powerful attack of his own.
Finally, variation two gives Fujin Sky Wakka, a fast moving air run in which Fujin sprints towards the opponent through from high up in the stage. This move can cancel into a downward kick,an aerial sword strike, or a safe drop back onto the ground at the cost of one defensive meter.
This move is an excellent tool when you want to close the distance at an angle an opponent might not be ready for.
Variation three, Cyclone, which further boosts his zoning potential with some truly frustrating new special moves. Wind Push is an excellent zoning tool in which Fujin pushes opponents away with an air punch that can be used at short, mid, and long distances depending on input.
This move comes out quickly, and therefore can be a safe move to throw out at long distances, but when used at close range you're susceptible to jumping attacks so Fujin players must be careful not to overuse it.
Thankfully, variation three also comes with Air Slam which catches jumping opponents mid air and slams them back onto the ground. For opponents not experienced at getting close to zoners, Air Slam and Wind Push will make them tear their hair out.
How good is Aftermath character Sheeva and where do they fit in our Mortal Kombat tier list?
Sheeva is a fantastic addition to the roster of Mortal Kombat 11 grapplers. The close range pressure is hard to handle - with the threat of her grabs supported by a foundation of fantastic kombo strings.
These kombos, such as Shokan Stomp, are moves you can throw out freely without fear of punishment even if blocked. Combine these strings with her excellent back throw and Sheeva becomes a pain to get away from.
In addition, the special moves available to all of Sheeva's variations help her remain a threat from a variety of distances. Shokan Flame is your standard horizontal projectile that hits high when performed normally, but packs a major punch when enhanced.
While her projectile keeps her dangerous at range, her command grab Untamed Fury makes her a menace up close. A mid hitting attack, Untamed Fury is best used as a combo ender and doesn't typically do a huge amount of damage, but does a huge 30% if you trigger its Krushing blow.
Finally, Sheeva gets Dragon Drop, a Sheeva classic. This move has Sheeva fly up into the air off screen, only to slam down on top of your opponent. This move is unblockable, and is a good way to close the distance on zoning characters or players who are playing overly defensive.
Variation one, Smash and Grab, cements Sheeva as a fantastic grappler with added moves. Shokan Snag is the first special move Sheeva gets and as an anti-air grab it makes Sheeva's close range capabilities even better. Once you've used this move, you drop the opponent right next to Sheeva meaning you the pressure doesn't stop even if you use Shokan Snag as a combo ender.
Next comes Tremor, a fullscreen unblockable attack that sends opponents falling backwards away from Sheeva if it hits. The start up for this move is quite long, so players paying attention can always jump over it if they see it coming, but occasionally could catch them out as long as you don't rely on it too much.
Finally, Sheeva's Dragon Drop gets an additional feature in this variation. While the standard Dragon Drop is scary enough, players on their toes can dodge it by moving quickly. With variation one, you can direct Sheeva's landing spot manually.
What this means is that if you notice the other player backdashing to dodge the attack, you can adjust according to catch them when they don't expect it!
Variation two, Deadly Dragon, turns Sheeva into a better all-rounder with improvements to her ranged and combo game. Shield toss is her first new special move and replaces her Shokan Flame projectile.
While this move is also largely standard like her fireball, when you hold down the input to this move the shield will destroy enemy projectiles it collided with. In essence, this move is Sheeva's way of beating zoners at their own game.
Dragon's Charge is a grounded charge that travels quickly across the ground. The distance this move travels might surprise you, and it's a good way of punishing whiffed attacks when your opponent is at around jumping range.
Finally, Spinning Dragon is a standard combo ender that hits for a decent 14%. It's important that you don't throw this move out haphazardly, as it is easily punished if blocked.
That being said, if you amplify this attack it deals extra damage on hit and pushes back your opponent significantly if blocked, acting as a safety net if you accidentally throw it out at the wrong time.
Variation three, Mean Queen, supercharges Sheeva's mixup potential with new attacks and grabs which keep your opponent guessing what kind of attack will be coming next. In this variation Sheeva gains Death March, a forward walk that can be cancelled into a variety of moves.
Attacks you can cancel into include a huge kick, and overhead stomp, an upwards kick that launches, and nothing at all if you want to grab them!
Then comes Battle Scars, which is an overhead command grab (meaning it can only hit crouching opponents). If you manage to pull off this attack it can be amplified which allows for further combo opportunities. This move is a fantastic way to punish players who are scared of your low-hitting attacks.
Finally, Queen's Punishment is a low-hitting grab that can be used as a combo ender if the other player is comfortable blocking while standing. When used alongside the previously mentioned Battle Scars, opponents won't know what to do whilst they're stuck up close to Sheeva.
How good is Aftermath character Robocop and where do they fit in our Mortal Kombat tier list?
Robocop is Mortal Kombat 11's latest quest character and just like the prior quest characters the game has seen he is a force to be reckoned with. In terms of archetypes he's closest to a zoner, but different variations mix things up a little.
Kombo strings like Hand of the Law and I'll Call You An Ambulance grant Robocop some much needed space to apply ranged pressure, although he also has a selection of other strings that are close range and safe on block which is a must if he wants a space high up on the tier list.
As for universal special moves available to all variations, there's Cobra Assault Cannon, which is a horizontal projectile which has Robocop use a gigantic rifle to deal serious damage.
Rather than using it as a primary source of ranged pressure, this move is best used as a combo ender, although due to its slow start up only certain strings can accommodate this.
Robocop always gets a horizontal attack with his auto nine pistol, albeit with some changes to the move occurring in different variations. Even without adding bells and whistles, this simple gun shot with Robocop's trusty sidearm is quick and deals a fair amount of damage for how safe it is, but can be ducked. Treat it like any fireball style special, use it occasionally and look out for jump ins.
The last universal move Robocop gets is the Shoulder Crowd Control Cannon. This move drops a grenade in front of Robocop, dealing a decent amount of damage and opening opponents up to combos.
Since it has a slow start up, this special move excels when used upon knocking down the other fighter, that way you can apply extra distance or gain more distance while they're locked down by the grenade.
Robocop's first variation, OCP's Finest, takes Robocop's zoning game to a whole other level, drastically improving the pressure he can create at long range.
Active Patrol and Reactive Patrol are horizontal projectile attacks that have Robocop either walk towards or away from the opponent.
This replaces his Straight Auto Nine projectile, but the addition of movement to this otherwise standard move is a huge advantage, as clever use can potentially avoid jumping attacks if space correctly.
Then Robocop has Terminal Strip, a mid hitting command grab that deals a small amount of damage but throws the opponent fullscreen. This is a good option when someone is too close for your firearms to handle, and allows you to reset the fight at a range Robocop is comfortable in.
Finally, this variation allows Robocop to enhance his Shoulder Cannon to shoot out a stun grenade. When this hits, Robocop can confirm this special move into a full combo, making it far more dangerous than the standard projectile.
His second variation, Prime Directive, adds a larger variety of ranged attacks to his arsenal for a more "traditional" style of zoning.
Low Auto Nine is exactly what it sounds like, a low-hitting shot with Robocop's pistol that will keep opponents watching their legs. Interchange this with the standard Auto Nine special move to apply a solid amount of safe pressure.
There's also the Arm Control Cannon, which is a fast flying rocket that deals great damage for how safe it is. When amplified, you can hold it down, increasing its damage and delaying its travel. Be careful not to overuse it though, as it can be ducked quite easily.
Finally Robocop gets Flamethrower, a high damaging attack that hits multiple times directly in front of him. This move is unsafe on block and doesn't lead to many combo opportunities, but it's a handy tool for punishing whiffed attacks from your opponent if they're too close for any of Robocop's guns. The Final Variation, Prime Control, flips Robocop's usual playstyle on its head by giving him excellent rushdown tools. This variation is all about using his technology to get in quick and fast, and stick around one you're close.
Robocop gets OCP Charge in this variation, an aerial gap closer in which he dashes across the air and slams into the opponent. Despite what you might assume, this move is a mid-hitting attack rather than an overhead.
What makes this move so special is that its largely safe on block, meaning you can rely on it as your method of attack (granted you aren't uppercut out of the air).
Electrical Shield is also included and acts as a sort of insurance for offensive Robocop players.
When used at the cost of one bar of defensive meter, charges himself with electricity so that when he is hit the shield reflects a portion of that damage back at the attacker. In a sense, with Electric Shield an opponent is punished for fending you off.
Finally Robocop gets Cheval Trap, a projectile move which sets a spike trap on the ground that opponents take damage while standing on. When amplified, this turns into a gas grenade that initially does a small amount of damage before erupting and taking a larger chunk of health.
With this variation focused on offence, this special is brilliant to use after knocking someone down, as they are forced to get away or take extra damage standing on the Cheval Trap.
If you want to play a specific type of character, refer to the following sections:
Best Rushdown Characters in Mortal Kombat 11
Rushdown characters are those who are in their element in the opponent's face, forcing their opponent to guess where you're going to strike from next - with disastrous consequences if they guess wrong.
Both Liu Kang and Sonya claim the top two spots as king and queen of Mortal Kombat 11's range of Rushdown fighters, as they excel above their peers at getting in and dealing loads of damage.
The champion of Earthrealm is a real menace right now - with strings and special moves that are brilliant at opening up an opponent's block. His normal moves are especially oppressive - with Dragon's Breath acting as a safe method of pressuring a defending player due to the ability to cancel the move two kicks in. If they don't block it - you can follow up Dragon's Breath into a full combo.
For special attacks, Liu Kang has a selection of really handy ones with a range of uses. His Flying Dragon Kick is a great tool for getting opponents into the corner from as far as mid screen if you invest two bars of attack meter into it.
Fireball / low fireball are both fast and allow Liu Kang to beat some zoners at their own game. Also allows you to keep the other player dodging your projectiles if you have a health lead or want to wait out the clock. A bit a versatility in a character's move set goes a long way.
Sonya's damage is crazy good. She's easily able to dish out 300 damage off her Overwatch combo with just a single bar of offensive meter. Not only does the first hit come out fast - catching any slow attacks your opponent throws out - the second hit is an overhead meaning you'll catch them if they're blocking low.
She's also able to mix up her offense, switching between overhead and low attacks to force a reaction to some incredibly fast attacks. If they mess up? Sonya's basic combos can do a hefty amount of damage, even without using meter!
Not only is Sonya the best aggressive character in the game, but she also has a superb selection of long-range special moves. Her grounded and aerial Energy Rings allow her to beat some Zoners at their own game. Sonya is busted, and if winning's all you care about she is too good to pass up.
Best Grappler Characters in Mortal Kombat 11
Grappler characters who are at their best mixing up standard offense with grabs.
Despite his share of nerfs, Geras is still arguably the best grappler in the game despite the multiple nerfs and adjustments aimed at him in balance patches. Alongside him, Jax retains his silver medal spot on our list as he's established himself as a viable grappler in Geras' shadow.
Geras' entire kit is outstanding. He's arguably the #1 character in the game with his high damage output, his ability to apply intense pressure, and his excellent special moves.
His throws are particularly scary, with both the forward and backward throws allowing Geras to set up his next attack while the other player is getting up. There's also his Titan Tackle that carries the opponent across the stage, allowing Geras to easily get them in the corner.
One of the major weaknesses grapplers often have is long ranged attacks, as it can make getting close for grabs difficult. Luckily for Geras, his Sand Trap allows him to catch fighters at lall distances when they aren't blocking low and teleport behind them for a devastating neck breaker at the cost of a single bar of meter.
When in comes to Jax it's all about momentum. For every punch Jax hits his arms get hotter, increasing the damage of all of his punches and adds krushing blows that deal massive damage. He's equipped with a variety of tools such as a dashing attack called Stiff Armed, which can help close the distance if an opponent lets their guard down.
For players who love grabs, Jax has a bunch of fun ones you can mess around with. There's his default Gotcha Grab that allows you to build up heat on your arms as well as position the other player wherever you please.
If you use Gotcha Grab to throw them into the corner, they are left in a standing position, which means you can immediately start threatening additional attacks without having to worry about a wake-up strike.
Then there's the Hunker Down variation that adds the Quad Grab and Burning Hammer moves, providing more ways to get your hands on whoever you run into online. Jax may not be quite as good as Geras, but once he gets his hands on you, he's as strong as any other fighter.
Jax has been holding down the 2nd place spot for grapplers for a while now, but with the release of Sheeva it's clear that four arms are better than two. Sheeva's ability to get right in the face of the opponent is frankly fantastic, thanks to special moves like Dragon Drop.
Once she's in your face, Sheeva is able to cause havoc despite her variation. Whether it's command grabs that hit crouching or jumping opponents, or attacks like Death March that make your next strike ambiguous, she's a nightmare for zoners who think they're safe at full screen.
With not a single lacklustre variation and a great basic kit that acts as a strong foundation for the crazy additions they provide, anyone can become a monster using Sheeva with just a little bit of practice.
Best Zoning Characters in Mortal Kombat 11
Zoners excel at keeping opponents at a distance with a variety of special moves and long-ranged normal attacks. When played right, Zoners make it feel like they're the only ones playing, as opponents are trapped under a relentless assault.
Cetrion is still the queen of Zoners,in a league of her own in regards to her ability to keep fighters at bay with her oppressive combination of special moves. However, Spawn has knocked Erron Black off his horse and snatched the runners up spot, as his mid-ranged normal attacks and amazing special moves combined just fall short of Cetrion.
There's nothing quite as frustrating as fighting a Cetrion player who knows what they're doing. The extraordinary effort required to get close is a massive struggle on its own - made only worse by Cetrion's multiple options that push you far away.
Boulder Bash and Hell's Wrath are fantastic when trying to keep the other player as far away from you as possible. The combination of both is incredibly hard to move through safely without taking a few hits in the attempt.
She also has tools like the Tendril Pull that can be used at multiple ranges. This move is a great way to keep opponents on their toes, forcing them to always look out for a low hitting grab. This paired with all the other long-ranged moves Cetrion has just adds to how obnoxious she can be.
Bursting in from hell, Spawn emerges and knocks Erron Black off our top two spot for Zoners in MK 11. From what we've played, Spawns tools for keeping opponents off him are superb, regardless of his variation.
Many of his normal attacks hit at a surprisingly long range, allowing Spawn to throw out moves without fear of getting punished for the attempt. If these hit, Spawn can often convert his normal moves into significant damage at the cost of a bar of offensive meter, meaning you've got to stay on your toes if you want to survive his pressure.
His special moves, especially in his From Hell variation, allow Spawn to keep up this pressure even when further away. Moves like Guns Blazing and Blaze of Glory can make opponents scared of jumping or attacking low - limiting their options when trying to get in close.
Zoners as an archetype in Mortal Kombat 11 is saturated with great characters, all with fantastic move sets that excel at keeping opponents at bay. So it speaks to just how good Robocop is that he's able to take a top two spot on his release.
Robocop has above-average normal attacks and kombos that allow him to hold his own up close. With certain attacks and throws pushing across the screen at a distance where he can really shine.
Whether it's using his pistol, rifle, or variety of explosives, Robocop's special moves are excellent at applying pressure at a variety of ranges. His first variation OCP's Finest takes his aptitude and supercharges it, making him a ferocious threat with tools such as Active and Reactive Patrol.
In the hands of a new player, Robocop is a brilliant character able to hold his own at all times. In the hand of a seasoned player, Robocop is terrifying. Absolutely give him a go.
If you're looking for more guides, our Mortal Kombat 11 Fatalities list and Friendships list can help.
Mortal Kombat 11: 10 Best New Variations, Ranked
Mortal Kombat has become a household name over the years, giving us almost 30 years of entertainment from movies and video games; even an awesome soundtrack. Most people have heard the phrase ''Finish Him!'' by now and the bloody fatalities have made their way around even if you've never played the games.
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In Mortal Kombat X we were introduced to the variations feature. A specific version of any character that usually focused and boosted an aspect of the game. This gave the game a feeling of control over the characters more than ever. Now the players are left to sort through the options and choose what path to take, with a few shining options that stand out among the rest.
10 Erron Black - 52 Kard Pickup
Who didn't want to be a cowboy at one point in their life? You get to ride a horse, shoot a gun, and look good doing it. Now, most of us will never make it there in the real world, that's why we have Erron Black.
The 52 kard pickup variation of the gunslinger has been tried and tested the best option you have. Especially when you have arguably the best Mortal Kombat competitor in the world using the very same variation.
9 Baraka - Marauder
The Tarkatan general has been with us since Mortal Kombat 2. One of the few characters that have managed to stand the tests of time, mostly because of his horrifying look and extremely brutal style of play that Mortal Kombat has become known for. His moves aren't the most complex of the bunch but if raw, unfiltered attacks are what you're looking for then you've come to the right place.
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The Marauder variation contains Baraka's most entertaining and damage-dealing moves. Marauder opens you up to taking half of your opponent's health with a single combo.
8 Scorpion - Searing Rage
Scorpion is one of the most recognizable characters to come from the franchise. Sub-Zero's vengeful rival since the series began. Scorpion is the hot-headed warrior we've been chaining opponents up with since 1992.
The searing rage variation allows you to create some serious confusion with the fundamentals of the game. The moves you have with Searing Rage also increase the attack potential of combos. The range of attack and defense makes it the most complete build in the game.
7 Sonya - Ring Master
The general of earth's outer world forces, Sonya Blade is the first gritty female warrior the franchise ever had. The most agile fighter on the roster, she has unique abilities due to her special weapons and lethal training. This combination makes her not only a range threat but a close distance danger as well, all while being a regular ol' human.
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Ring Master gives the ability to call forward a turret gun and keep the opponent at bay. The power to corner your opponent and deal massive damage while they are pinned against the wall is a pretty good perk as well. Controlling the distance is key when you don't have much room per stage as it is and this variation is one of the best in the game at that.
6 Sub-Zero - Thin Ice
The other half to the dynamic duo of fire and ice. The coolest character the game in every meaning of the word, Sub-Zero has been a fan favourite for decades. With the range of abilities, he's able to pull off its easy to see why a seemingly invincible ice ninja? it doesn't get much better.
Thin ice allows you to deal with a good amount of damage at range with his Ice Axe attack. Once your opponent figures out an answer for this you can close the distance incredibly fast with his slide. This opens you up to a variety of close-quarters combos.
5 Liu Kang - Luohan Quan
The series favourite and Mortal Kombat champion. Liu Kang is the winner of the first 4 Mortal Kombat tournaments and earth greatest warrior. His only downfall is he looks like a half-price Bruce Lee, and there's too many of those as is.
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The main advantage of using Liu Kang is the stagger heavy strategy he uses. Luohan compliments this style of play letting you string together combos off the stagger and dealing big damage with it.
4 Geras - Infinite Warden
When thinking about powerful abilities for a fighter, usually fire or super strength comes to mind, not the ability to control time itself. That's right, he's a regular old Marty Mcfly.
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There are not many things more satisfying than a throw in a fighting game. They hit hard, do big damage, and will most likely have your opponent throwing fits. This is what Infinite Warden gives you, that and the ability to hit through blocks makes this a powerful variation.
3 Skarlet - Blood Drive
A character born from a glitch, or so the rumour goes. The witch with a taste for blood magic, Skarlet is a powerful assassin that uses her magic in an array of ways. From turning it into projectiles to using the opponent's own blood to form a weapon.
A higher land rate draws people to Blood Drive but the real fun is in becoming a vampire. You can launch bloody projectiles and once they start to dodge this, you can catch them in mid-air with Cell Siphon turning the tables in the health gauge.
2 Noob Saibot - Dark Sabbath
This is a tricky one to explain. Noob is the original Sub-Zero brought back from the dead. killed by Scorpion in Mortal Kombat 2 Sub-Zero was stripped of his humanity and returned, instead of ice he now controls the shadows. Leaving his younger brother to take on the name Sub-Zero. Phew, now that's out of the way.
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Dark Sabbath lends itself better to Noobs base play style. With much a much higher damage output and long string combinations, Noob becomes a nightmare for most players, especially if you're an attack-oriented player.
1 Raiden - Thunder Wave
Mortal Kombats answer to Thor, the god of thunder. Raiden now joins the very short list of characters that have been in the franchise since day 1. Raiden is considered in the top tier of characters to have fought in the game. With powers of teleportation and lightning strikes its hard to handle when you're standing across the stage from him.
Now Raiden has never been a character for the uninitiated. He takes skill and patience to put him to use at a high level. Thunder Wave gives you great mobility around the screen along with a quick long-range strike that's hard to evade. This basically allows you to chip away at your opponent while taking away your opponent's ability to land.
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Here's how to use Mortal Kombat 11's tournament standard variations in Training Mode, 'kompetitive variations' guide
Training with tournament legal variations is a little tedious right now
The Custom Variation system for Mortal Kombat 11 is very unique, but was apparently never intended for tournament rules. Despite this, professional player FOX|SonicFox believes that they should be allowed, which may have prompted NetherRealm Studios to mention that they'll look into what can be done in the future during a Kombat Kast.
For now, there are only two "kompetitive variations" for each of the 25 Mortal Kombat 11 characters. Oddly, these are not necessarily the starting variations that can be found in normal play for each character. Instead, you have to access them through the game's tournament section in the menus.
What's very odd about this is that you can't access the training mode with tournament mode turned on. You essentially have to recreate the variations with the appropriate moves before diving in.
MBA Banemobius took the time to collect information on all the tournament legal variations for every fighter. Following this, Rize Gaming constructed a "kompetitive variations' graphic to display how to recreate these.
For example, Cassie Cage's Digital Soldier variation uses the Air Bullet Barrage, Knee Cappin', and Flippin' Out options. Meanwhile her other legal variation, Yaas Queen, uses the Shoulder Charge and Energy Burst moves.
To expedite the process of getting tournament standard variations into Training Mode, you can hit Square/X in the Abilities section of the character customization screen and choose a preset for your custom load out. Both tournament variations are available there, so choose which one you want, save the variation, and you can access them in Training Mode.
Hopefully features are expanded upon in the future in order to make this process easier for competitors. In the meantime, we'll have to make due with this.
Click images for larger versions
• Digital Soldier
— Air Bullet Barrage
— Knee Cappin'
— Flippin' Out
• Yaas Queen
— Shoulder Charge
— Energy Burst
• Grinnin' Barret
— Duck and Weave
— Briggs Barricade
• Hunker Down
— Quad Grab
— Burning Hammer
— Expert Grappler
— Demon Slam
— Hell Port Cancel
• Searing Rage
— Death Spin
— Death Spear Kombo
— Burning Spear
• Seeing Double
— Air Tele-Slam
— Shadow Slide
• Dark Sabbath
— Spirit Ball
— Shadow Portals
— Air Sickle Port
— Baraka Barrage
• Bone Picker
— Blood Lunge
— Spine Burst
• Lotus Fist
— Orbiting Hat
— Omega Hat
• Hat Tricks
— Guided Hat
— Z Hat
— Air Teleport
• True Kahn
— Ground Shatter
— Wrath Hammer
• Risen Emperor
— Up Wraith Hammer
— Dark Priest
• Shock Jock
— Mime Time
— Brass Knuckles
— Caged Rage
• Show Stopper
— Throwing Shades
— Say Cheese
• No Holds Barred
— Air Ops Drop
— Krushing Kounters
— Air Marching Orders
• Ring Master
— Energy Rings Charge
— Downward Energy Rings
— KAT Turret Drop
• Thunder Wave
— Storm Cell
— Electric Burst
— Quick Charge
— Electric Current
• 1st Round KO
— Lethal Clinch
— Cybernetic Overdrive
— Robo Grappler
• Next Gen
— Grenade Launcher
— Air Dive Bomb
• Dead of Winter
— Cold Shoulder
— Deep Freeze
• Thin Ice
— Frigid Storm
— Death-Circle Barrage
— Air Polar Axe
— Lumber Check
— Rack Off
— Molotov Cocktail
— Chemical Burn
• Mean Streak
— Rolling Buzzsaw
— Air Straight Buzzin'
— Dash Cancel
• Clean Cut
— Low Hook Grab
— Nomad Spin
— Extended Hook
• Luohuan Quan
— Shaolin Stance
— Low Fireball
— Dragon Parry
• Wu Shi Legend
— Energy Parry
— Dragon Fire
— Dragon's Gifts
• Fan Fare
— Air Fan Flutter
— Ground War
— Royal Protection
— Half Blood Stance
— Edenian Razors
• Emerald Defender
— Air Razor Ring
— Upward Razor Ring
— Edenian Spark
— Pole Vault
— Pole Vault Cancel
— Amplify B. Nitro Kick
— Cryogenic Crown
— Arctic Barrage
• Ice Machine
— Auger Lunge
— Glacier Calving
• Heart Piece
— Dagger Dance
— Blood Port
— Blood Ritual
• Blood Drive
— Cell Siphon
— Blood Flow
— Air T. Time Bug
— Deadly Swarm
— Widow's Kiss
• 52 Card Pickup
— ENH Locked & Loaded
— Outworld Gunslinger
— Scud Shot
• Barking Irons
— Cattle Toss
— TNT Toss
— ENH R. Snake Slide
— God Ray
— Eztli Totem
— Tecuani Maul
— Air Tecuani Pounce
• Back in the Pack
— Up Demonic Mace
— Demonic Clutch
— Fade Out
• Spare Change
— Bag Bomb
— Vial of Sorrow
— Demonic Comet
• New Era
— Stepping it Back
— Sand Pillar
• Infinite Warden
— Quick Sand
— Gauntlet of the Ages
— Bed of Spikes
• Force of Nature
— Delay Boulder Bash
— Shattering Boulder
• Spring Cleaning
— H2 P0rt
List of Ability Names for the 3rd MK11 Variations
All MK11 Characters’ Third Variation Abilities
Shang Tsung: New Ability - Contains Force Lift (Ermac), Shake (Smoke), Slide (Reptile), and Super Kick (Rain).
Shao Kahn: Contains Skewered, Spear Charge, and
Frost: Contains Ice Auger, (Air) Icequake, and Core Overload.
Nightwolf: Contains Spirit Tracks, Ancestral Hunter, and Lightning Arrow.
Johnny Cage: Contains High Forceball (lower arc), Low Fireball (lower arc), and Rising Star.
Sonya Blade: Contains Summon K.A.T. Turret and Turret Trauma.
Cassie Cage: Contains BLB-118 Bullet Ricochet, Air BLB-118 Advanceb
Jax: Gains Lethal Clap (Now has a third level at max level which pops up for combos), Enhanced Outranked (Now has both a high and overhead ender), and Ground Shatter.
Scorpion: Contains Misery Blade and (Air) Sin Blade.
Noob Saibot: Contains Sickle Snag, (Air) Shadow Dive, and Sickle Toss.
Baraka: Contains Baraka-Serker, Leg Kabob, and Blade Charge.
Raiden: Contains Lightning Rod and Jo Push (Input Changed).
Jacqui Briggs: Contains Enhanced Air Blast, Bionic Bounce, and (Air) Ground Pound.
Sub-Zero: Contains Arctic Trap, Creeping Ice (faster startup), and a potentially unknown ability.
Kano: Contains Snake Bite and Optic Blast.
Kabal: Contains Gas Blast and Low Spinner, and Hook Grab.
Liu Kang: Contains Shaolin Vanish, Kusari Slam (Now can be executed from Nunchaku Stance), and Nunchaku Stance.
Kitana: Contains Low Fan Toss, Edenian Twist, and Fan-Nado.
Kung Lao: Contains Spiritual Guidance (faster startup on all moves and additional Krushing Blow on the Spiritual Guidance Stance move “”), Vortex (faster startup)
Jade: Contains Deadly Assassin, Vanishing Winds (increased damage), and Divine Forces
Skarlet: Contains Boiling Point, Krimson Shield, and Red Mist.
Erron Black: Contains Acid Pour (Faster animation and Krushing Blow is now on the non-enhanced version) and Netherbeast Trap.
D'Vorah: Fly, Bombardier Beetle, and Flipping Out
Kotal Kahn: Contains Directed Rays, and Flying Glow Kick, Amocualli Totem [Increased Damage Dealt], and Teoyohtica Totem [Decreased Damage Taken].
Geras: Reverse Time and Sand Simulacrum
Kollector: War-Guoit Toss and Relic Pull
Cetrion: Contains Conflux of Elements and Deadly Winds
Variations list mk11
Mortal Kombat 11provides plenty of customization for players. From cosmetics to abilities, the game gives you a ton of control over how you play. But to make things simpler for competitive play, the game restricts you to one of two variations per character. If you’re looking to play in Ranked Matches, you’ll want to practice with these variations.
The problem is that the default variations the game gives you for each character aren’t the tournament-legal ones. It’s also not obvious how to enable them. But don’t worry, because our guide to Mortal Kombat 11 tournament variations will show you how to do it.
How to Enable Tournament Variations in Mortal Kombat 11
Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple switch you can activate to restrict all characters to their tournament variations in Mortal Kombat 11. You’ll have to set up each character individually. To do this, first go to the Kustomize option from the main menu.
From the Kustomize menu, enter the Kharacters list and select your character of choice. Create a new variation and switch to the Abilities tab. From here, press the button indicated to use a preset. You’ll be presented with a list of premade ability sets. The two tournament variations are the ones with trophies next to their names, which are used in Ranked play.
After selecting a preset, you can name the variation and set the cosmetics and gear you want. Then this tournament variation will be easily selectable in game, and you can practice for Ranked online matches and competitive play. Just make sure to remove any augments from your gear that might be giving you bonuses, because these won’t apply in Ranked matches.
How to Use Custom Cosmetics With Tournament Variations in Mortal Kombat 11
By default, the tournament variations in Ranked play will use the standard look for each character. But there is a way to use your favorite skins and gear when playing online. Like everything else to do with tournament variations, it’s a little confusing.
To use your own custom look, first set up a tournament variation for your character of choice as described above. Then, in the “Choose Variations” menu, press the button indicated at the bottom of the screen to set it as your Default variation. The next time you go into a Ranked game, you’ll notice that the tournament variation you set as your default is using the cosmetics and gear you’ve chosen for it. Like we said, a little confusing, but there you go. Just keep in mind that the gear you’ve equipped will only be for cosmetic purposes, since equipment bonuses are disabled for Ranked matches!
And that’s everything there is to know about using tournament variations in Mortal Kombat 11! It certainly could be easier, and we’re not sure why the two defaults for each character aren’t the tournament ones. Maybe an upcoming patch will make everything a little more simple. For now, make sure to check out the rest of our Mortal Kombat 11 guides for more info on characters, fatalities, and strategies!
Here's a list of banned custom variation options and combinations for competitive Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate
The Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate update implemented the ability to use custom variation options during competitive play. One can easily imagine how this will have a major impact on the tournament meta.
However, some moves are still banned from competitive modes and tournaments. Moves like Terminator's Terminate, D'Vorah's Mother Bug and other "resurrection" variation options are among the banned moves.
Although Rain has very fast grounded movement, it's possible for him to become even faster with the Wave Dash variation special. For better or worse, this ability has been banned from competitive play.
In addition to individual moves being banned, there are also a few combinations that can't be paired together. These are not quite as obvious as the indicating icon doesn't appear until after you try to create the desired variation.
For players that wanted to make RoboCop into a grappler rather than a zoning character, it's quite unfortunate that the Flamethrower and the Terminal Strip command grab can't be paired together.
Check out the full list of banned variation options and combinations below:
• Rain: Wave Dash (DB4) - Replaces Evaporate. Increases the speed and distance of Rain's normal dash. Conflicts with Quantum Rift.
• Sindel: Enhanced Regal Presence (DB3) - Modifies Regal Presence. Allows Sindel's Regal Presence to be followed up with several attacks.
• Geras: Lost Time & Spare Time (DF4) - Adds Lost Time & Spare Time special moves. Add or remove time from the round timer.
• Geras: Reawakened (DD4) - Adds Reawakened special move. While active you will be resurrected.
• Terminator: Terminate (DB3) - Replaces Killing Machine. Activate a buff that grants The Terminator armor, but disables the ability to block, dash, and jump. Conflicts with T.D.E.
• Terminator: Endoskeleton - Adds Endoskeleton special move. When nearly defeated, The Terminator rises back up as only the T-800 Endoskeleton. His moves are restricted in the form.
• D'Vorah: Mother Bug - Modifies D'Vorah. Resurrect in final round as the Mother Bug.
• Skarlet: Killer Clot (DB3) - Replaces Blood Trail. A trap prevents opponents from cancelling into special moves or using offensive or defensive gauge.
• Sub-Zero: Ground Ice (DB1) - Adds Ground Ice special move. Create a hazardous zone that can freeze.
• Frost: Core Trap (DB2) - Replaces Core Discharge. Create a freezing trap.
• RoboCop: Trick Shot (DB1) - Replaces High Auto-9. RoboCop can ricochet gunshots off the screen. Conflicts with Active & Reactive Patrol.
• Fujin: Jet Stream (DD3) - Adds Jet Stream special move. Fujin harnesses wind around his body, extending the reach of some attacks.
• Kotal Kahn: Chicahtoc Totem and Eztli Totem can't be paired with any other totem variation special (Amocualli Totem, Teoyohtica Totem, Chicahtoc Totem or Eztli Totem).
• Geras: Bed of Spikes and Sand Simulacrum can't be paired together.
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