Sonya's rushdown and mixup style combat can be a challenge to get through, but this guide will help you parse her language and strike her down.
Sonya is one of Mortal Kombat 11's notorious rushdown characters, but she also has the tools needed to exercise Zoning, thanks to her fast projectile speeds. Knowing how to best approach her and open her up for a combo is a challenge for any player.
Today, DashFight joined forces with one of the United Kingdom best MK11 players, AWP, to bring you the complete guide on how to counter Sonya Blade.
How to Play Against SONYA guide by [ AWP ] MK11 | DashFight
Mortal Kombat 11 | How to Play Against Sonya Guide by AWP
Sonya in MK11
This iconic character has been a mainstay of the franchise for decades. Coming from the original Mortal Kombat and through every reboot. Her gameplay has changed from days of all, but ultimately, the identity Sonya Balde exudes in every game is one of rushdown up-close combat with enough mixups to balance out her power.
Sonya's playstyle and tips to counter it
Sonya's speed and versatility will always be a problem with anyone matching up to her. However, it can be subverted.
To start, her projectile trade, using Energy Rings, is really bad unless both rings connect. This is because Sonya only has 950 Health to work with, meaning any character with 1000 or more and a standard damage projectile to throw at her will win a trade of projectiles every time.
Theoretically is a bit of a stretch to think of a full match with that playing out, but when the clocks start to go down, and you are up against a Sonya player who seems to want to avoid a direct confrontation, remember that you might be able to start trading projectiles to secure a life lead in the final seconds since Sonya players will be looking to close the gap and stop you from gaining that life lead, its a good idea to play heavy projectile characters that can also make a quick getaway.
Sonya common variations
One of the most common moves Sonya players will use against you is Energy Ring Charge; it allows her to cancel her amplified energy ring. She gains a considerable advantage in corner situations by charging up the second ring in fights. You can think of it more as a damage-enabling move that most players will want to have in their lineup instead of something that opens up a lot more possibilities on its own.
Following that, Sonya's arsenals open up a bit, with K.A.T Orbital Drop as an extra option to zone out opponents. Marching Orders changes the mechanics of Sonya's jump attack from the normal ones, in which opponents are thrown into the ground following a kick, to staying standing up, meaning it is a great way to kick start a combo. Krushing Kounters is a parry move that gives Sonya an opportunity for some damage without using an offensive bar after a flawless block.
Punishing Sonya's strings and techs
- B1, 4
- B1, 2
- It can be punished with most mid-jabs but be mindful of the full string.
- B1, 4 ,4
- B1, 2, 3
- Like the incomplete strings, it has enough disadvantages at the end to be punished, and good Sonya players will try to fake you into trying to punish the incomplete ones.
- B3, U4, 3
- After the first hit, there is a gap big enough for a 7 frame or better jab.
- You can flawless block the second hit and jab yourself.
- Or flawless block the third one, though for the third one, you will need to stand block the attack, as crouching for will push you too far.
- Finally, if you have some distance, you can block and backdash after the first hit to re-engage.
Something most Sonya players will do is use Energy Rings to end the incomplete strings, it allows them to put some space between them and you as well as potentially add in a bit more damage if you were not reading the move right. Bear in mind that the options you are going to give you can result in you getting punished, so it's a good idea to really practice them and put in the time to make sure you get the right if you want to pull them off live.
- Flawless Blocking the second Energy Ring. It cuts down the gap and most characters will be able to hit Sonya right after.
- There is a gap between the first and second ring, with a 7 frame or better move, you can cut in front and take your turn on.
- Finally, some characters are able to duck under the first ring and punish from there. It can be quite a timing challenge however.
Prime candidates for a good matchup are those with equal or better zoning capabilities, as well as tools to escape Sonya's attempts to close down on them. For this reason, AWP feels Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Cetrion, Kabal, and Jacqui.
Remember that you likely have the life lead, if it's a pretty big lead Sonya will try to close down the distance and bring you down. Either escape through any tools you have or use the gaps in her strings to punish her for getting close. Energy Rings might be scary but once you practice enough you will get used to their timing and exploit the gaps it creates.
Maybe it would also help complete your knowledge if you gave out Sonya Guide, by MK_Azerbaijan, a watch. There he breaks down all the fundamentals of the character.