Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate contains many characters, each with its own frame data, strengths, weakness, and quirks or techs. Professional players have to learn these to the best of their abilities. Not just for their main characters, but those of their opponents too. In truth, you might not be looking to top the brackets at Evo or NRS this year, but learning the basics and working your way through the roster can pave the way to a more enjoyable competitive experience.
For this reason, DashFight partnered with Accomplished MK pro player Curtis "Rewind" McCall to bring you the ultimate Liu Kang guide. You can watch the full video right above, but if you want to look back at any section of the guide, feel free to use our Table of Content and follow along with the text version here.
Liu Kang's Best Buttons
The Best Buttons are the key moves for the character. Either as players or opponents, you are likely to want to use or see these in play since they offer the best neutral, anti-air, and pressure value.
- 1 - Fastest punisher in the game, great stagger, but is a High!
- B1 - Great pressure, Liu Kang's fastest Mid, good Damage.
- D1 - Poke, few startup frames, good to stop pressure.
- D3 - Best Anti-air alongside 1, keeps a low profile and good reach.
- B3 - Only low starter, but great at staggers and hard to punish.
- B4 - The best neutral with excellent reach.
- F4 - Eleven frames Mid with great utility, a classic.
- D4 - A tool for neutral control.
Liu Kang's Gameplan
Gone is the time of smashing buttons and spamming that one combo we learned five years ago. If you want to compete or impress your mates, you have to go into each match with a Gameplan to carry through to victory. Here are your key principles:
- Be aggressive! You have Hit Confirms and Krushing Blows galore, allowing you to overwhelm your opponent.
- Use your Throws. Since you are aggressive, they will want to favor Blocking, that is when you spicy things up with the Throws.
- Use your Projectiles. Your fireball is another tool under your belt that can be used to keep your damage up if your opponent refuses to commit to a close fight.
Liu Kang's Best Variations
Since players can now use their custom Variations in tournament settings, there is no excuse not to learn what goes well together. Here is Rewind's ranking for Liu Kang best variations:
- DB1 - Low Fireball
- DBF2 - Kusari Slam
- DB4 - Dragon Fire
Liu Kang's Best Strings
No one wins on the back of single punches. Having a memorized list of the Best Strings you can use and change throughout the match will vastly improve your chances of coming out ahead.
- 1, 2
- 1, 2, 3
- You can either stagger the first two hits (1, 2) or let the whole string complete to keep your opponent guessing.
- B1, 2, 4
- B1 is great for staggering, allowing you to either commit to the full string or just the stagger while safe.
- 2, 1, 2, 1
- Another great opportunity to split the string in two and keep them guessing if you will complete it or not.
- F4, 3
- F4, 3, U3
- One of the best, you can either drop with F4, 3 if you hit and follow up with a bicycle kick or finish with U3 putting the opponent Plus on Block, locking them for a few frames.
Liu Kang's Bread & Butter Combos
Knowing how to adapt to the changing landscape of a fight is important. That is why Combos play a crucial role in letting you shape it and extract the most out of your inputs. Here are the combos you should be looking to pull off:
Forwards 3 starts:
- F3, 3, 3, 3, DASH, 2, 1, 2, S3, 4, BF4, AMP, AMP
- F3, 3, 3, 3, DASH, 2, 1, 2, S3, 4, BF3, AMP
- F3, 3, 3, 3, S3, 4, DB 1, AMP, 1, 2, 3, BF3, AMP
- F3, 3, 3, 3, S3, 4, 1, 2, 3, BF4, AMP, AMP
Forwards 4 starts:
- F4, 3, BF4, AMP, AMP
- F4, 3, BF3, AMP
- F4, 3, U3 KB, BF3, AMP
- F4, 3, BF4 KB
- F4, 3, U3 KB, 3, 4, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, BF3, AMP
- F4, 3, U3 KB, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, BF4 KB
- F4, 3, U3 KB, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, BF4, AMP, AMP
- F4, 3, U3 KB, 3, 4, DB 1, AMP, 1, 2, 3, BF3, AMP
- F4, 3, U3 KB, 3, 4, DB 1, AMP, 1, 2, BF4 KB
Backwards 1 starts:
- B1, 2, 4, BF4, AMP, AMP
- B1, 2, 4, BF3, AMP
- B1, 2, 4, BF4 KB
Backwards 3 starts:
- B3, 4, BF4, AMP, AMP
- B3, 4, BF3, AMP
- B3, 4, BF4 KB
- B3, 4, DB 1, AMP, 1, 2, 3, BF4, AMP
- B3, 4, DB 1, AMP, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, BF3, AMP
Standing 1 & 2 starts:
- 1, 2, 3, BF4, AMP, AMP
- 1, 2, 3, BF3, AMP
- 1, 2, 3, BF4 KB
- 1, 2, 3, DB 1, AMP, 1, 2, 3, BF4, AMP, AMP
- 1, 2, 3, DB 1, AMP, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, BF3
- 1, 2, 3, DB 1, AMP, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, BF3, AMP
- 2, 1, 2, BF4, AMP, AMP
Liu Kang's Guide Conclusion
Overall, Liu Kang is a very powerful character with an aggressive and overwhelming playstyle that benefits from putting your opponent on the very edge of their seat and forcing them to make tough choices. Knowing when to strike and which tools best fit the spacing on the stage will hand over victory to you.