In this section, Kombat highlights the moves Nightwolf mainly uses in MK11 matches.
- D3 is the main poke of Nightwolf. It’s a great way to get in. If it’s blocked, Nightwolf is safe thanks to pushback.
- D4 is also a good poke, it’s -5.
- D1 is -6 on block.
These buttons in combination with Nightwolf’s generally good movement speed become very effective neutral tools.
- Axe Blast, 111. It’s -6 and has no follow-up gaps. It allows Nightwolf to shimmy the opponent.
- Blade and Edge, 112. It’s another shimmy option. The string is +1, but it has a follow-up gap. It’s a bread-and-butter string for the character.
- Tomahawk Smash, F12. It’s Nightwolf’s main mid-string. It’s safe on block, but the ender is unsafe — F1212, Deadly Dance.
- Boar’s Tusks, F21. It’s another B’n’B string, overhead. The attack is reactable, but Nightwolf can cancel it safely — F214.
- Deadly Talon, 312. It’s high-high-overhead, and the last hit is KB. The string is safe on block, a really good stagger.
- Wing Clipper, B34D4. It’s the main reversal mid. The range is not the best, but the ender is safe.
- Rising Tomahawk, DF2. It’s a Variation move that gives Ngihtwolf access to a launcher.
- Spirit Arrow, BF1. This projectile gives Nightwolf a decent zoning, and he can cancel it.
- Reflector, DB1. It’s an effective move to reflect projectiles. You have to be proactive with it.
The whole gameplan of Nightwolf is based on quick movements, annoying pokes, and attempts to grab. After back and forward grabs, the character can perform a Krushing Blow.
Also, Nightwolf has a command grab in his Variations — Tomahawk Swing, DBF3. It’s high, so you can duck to avoid the grab. But Nightwolf has tricks to open opponents for Tomahawk Swing.
Jumps of Nightwolf are very good — for example, Jump 2 and Jump 3. Stand 1 is a decent anti-air.
- Rhino Charge, BF4, is a 12-frame move that reaches far. It’s good for punishing projectiles, but the move is unsafe on block.
Kombat recommends using this Kustom Variation for Nightwolf:
- Rising Tomahawk, DF2
- Tomahawk Swing, DBF3
Kombat mentions this one as interesting: Rising Tomahawk, DF2 + Hana’s Wrath, DB4.
Rising Tomahawk, DF2 + Lightning Arrow, BF1 — it’s also a decent Variation.
Using additional two Variations is matchup-dependent.
For more information on the character, check out this dedicated guide on DashFight that explains How to Play Nightwolf in MK11 — by A F0xy Grampa.
With the first Variation (Rising Tomahawk and Tomahawk Swing), the gameplan for Nightwolf is to poke you, and when he gets an opening, he launches you and starts his combo. He tries to put you into a corner and use the command grab, which is an armor breaker.
Notice that with the command grab, Nightwolf puts himself in the corner. He has to use an oki to get out of this situation.
There are ways to deal with this strategy. You can react to his grabs. His auto-shimmy is not real, and his overhead is too slow. It is better to react against the character.
Nightwolf’s pokes are very annoying, but if you block them, you can have your turn.
You have to play patiently against Nightwolf and wait for situations when he is minus on block — check out such opportunities on video.
With the second Variation (Rising Tomahawk and Hana’s Wrath), Nightwolf often uses his bird projectile. You can use your bar against that to react with your own projectiles. The attack is unblockable, but you can flawless-block it. In some situations, it might be hard to react to Hana’s Wrath.
With the third Variation (Rising Tomahawk and Lightning Arrow), Nightwolf plays his zoning game. Kombat says this option is very matchup dependent, so he doesn’t see many Nightwolf players choosing Lightning Arrow over the command grab Tomahawk Swing.
In general, playing against Nightwolf is not as complicated as against other characters due to his lack of ways to open you up.
These characters do well against Nightwolf: