You are probably asking: WHY PUT OUT A GUIDE FOR A CHARACTER WE ALL KNOW? HE IS OLD NEWS. The truth is, you don’t know him anymore, even though PerfectLegend arguably created and most definatly made famous the Original Kung Lao, I could say currently (March 28th 2012) that only Tom Brady and Foxy Gramps have an understanding of the way KL has to be played currently, and tons of opponents still fight against him completely wrong, fear all the wrong things and just freeze up or mash out. I can name a million more reasons, but I will just post a few short ones that come to mind immediately, that have given me the motivation to post what I know. --- “Kung Lao isn’t good anymore bro” Kung Lao is in fact better since the patch, as his only punishable rush down tool, (low hat) was fully punishable up close and now when we look back at it, it was to be expected almost everytime, and considering the overhead option - ( + ) was unsafe at the time, you now have a footsie game on block from it that never existed before, (which the opponent absolutely cannot jump in as an option afterwards) Now that Low hats SHOULD BE eradicated from your KL game play, in favor of the overhead or stumbling the opponent on hit ( ), you have nothing to be punished for in that regard. “Lao’s Footsies are ass dude” Kung Lao has always had good tools for rushdown, getting in, and staying, but they were always overlooked because of the need to land his ridiculous damage from unsafe teleports or jump ins, and Low Hat Pressure/Rushdown which granted serious advantage on hit (Around 15-20 Frames). Now since these two factors have been taken away from him, players were faced with two options: 1. Relearn the character completely. 2. Drop him. We all know what the majority out come was, sadly. ‘”I Can’t get in homes, he doesn’t have anything” I will go over how easy it is to get in later, but for now I will just say Roll (Completely overlooked and massively mis-understood), and Teleport early , which is again, no one appears to understand what it does on block or hit, and further more, what exactly your options are once it lands. “I get uppercutted out of all my shit brah” This is the most fundamental misunderstanding of how Kung Lao works up close, you can’t go on Auto Pilot and expect a series of pressure to work (especially when you don’t even know the frame advantage of it on block, or what his start frames of the same strings are), considering the first hit ( ) of his 11,112 and 1121 pressure can be neutral ducked, and therefore uppercutted or poked out of easily if read. So, with all these reasons combined, I feel its necessary to release some information on Kung Lao, that I don’t feel has been brought up or answered before, and I hope to do it without insulting your intelligence. Also, Kung Lao works even better on opponents who understand exactly how he works, and its not that difficult to grasp even if don’t intend on playing him, but instead you want to understand how to fight against him. BACK TO BASICS: Do not skip over, this is vitally important, and is key to making KL work. – 10 Frame high attack, 0 on Block – can be neutral ducked (without blocking) all variations of this are also 0 on block, 11, 112, 1121, although the second hit of these strings will hit a crouching opponent, none of these will jail the opponent in there block stance, even if hit. If this is blocked, and you attempt another string, throw, or d3, and the opponent reads it from (for example) you will be beaten out with a d1 or d3 and put on disadvantage, or even worse, Sonya and Sektor full combo punishes. You will jail the opponent in their standing block from a JIP on 1121, you cannot be poked or frustratingly uppercutted out after . - This string is best used from a JIP, and if the hits, you can hit confirm into Spin, but it is good on block, because the expected motion is, , so on block this might open a , a grab, or or - but don't get too obvious with this. – Should be hit confirmed into spins for full combos, and if you ever fully hit the opponent with a and you don’t confirm into a spin, consider it a full combo missed. – is +6 on hit, so you can quickly check the opponent with a string if you think they will press buttons or jump away, but most likely, the opponent will be mashing uppercuts or pokes because I guess they have got away with it against random Kung Lao players online. So if this is the case, hold back and press B1, this will wiff their d3 or d1 and uppercut. on Block - Is slightly different, opponents love to poke after this, I don't know why, but they can resist, block the poke, blow it up, or put the shits up them with a spin after your own block string. Opponent that know they are -6 on hit, may respect this and you will be granted another block string, but be warned, it will not jail them standing, and if they mash an uppercut or , they will beat your next . When the last hit of hits, I like to check the opponent with a or If I notice that they panic and mash uppercuts or , then this will beat our that mash attempt, and give me advantage again instead of getting mashed out. Its important that you understand why your pressure didn’t work, or was poked out of. And if it was poked out, why? It's important that you know why your rush down fell apart. It could simply be down to the fact that the opponent read that you would attempt another after 1121, and therefor, poked you out of your next , BUT you could have beaten your opponents uppercut if you used D3 instead. This is how it works. – Unfortunately a 9 frame attack, but it does lower hit box considerably, with +3 on hit, and a whopping +10 on a crouched opponent, (which will happen more often than not as the opponent will most likely be in crouch position waiting to d1 or d3), but it is -7 on block, so you have to hit confirm your d3’s, which most people do not, and if you advance from a blocked d3, and you do not get punished, especially if you try pressure (which is 10 frames, now turned 17 frames), then consider yourself lucky, as that should never work, and if the opponent hit confirmed for you, you would have ate a whole combo by almost anyone. If the opponent is stand blocking after your , check them with a , to gain +3 advantage, and then hit them up with a , which will be unavoidable at 4 frames. – A 12 frame move, that grants +12 advantage, so the opponent has to tech the throw, or take a block string. It is 0 on block, so you cannot be punished for this, and even check the opponent with a if you think they will attempt it, you will even beat out opponents trying to counter with a d4, except that silly sub zero chap. – 7 Frame attack, will wiff on a neutral crouch opponent, but will hit a crouch block. – A super sweet mid hitting 7 frame attack, that is 0 on block. Now that you know your is faster than your and , you should start using this string after your pressure on block, to check the opponent, and hit confirm into spins for full combos. The great thing about this string is that it can be adjusted into his six hit string which is safe on block (Character specific special move punishes) and can be hit confirmed after 5 hits into spin on hit, or teleport (if you wish) on block. This string builds mad meter, and takes 7% chip. The 3rd,4th, and 5th hits will combo the opponent if they try to poke out after 21 on block, that’s why this string should be implemented allot more. Because is 7 Frames on start up, you can opt not to do on block after 21, but instead check the opponent again with 21 or my favourite string . You can also opt to cross the opponent over once they respect that you could do 21 again after a blocked 21. – This string is completely un-used as a string on hit or block on its own. It is +4 on hit, and can be just framed into another string, making your a silly 3 frames when framed perfectly. It is -1 on block... The beauty about that is, no opponent expects this string as an attack on its own, and will hesitate, opponents are conditioned even before the fight starts to expect the overhead ( + ) after 24, and if they opt to poke in a panic for some reason, and you are blocking, they will now be on disadvantage. It has to be the most underused string KL has, and in my onion, never thought to be used by anyone else besides me and F0xy. If they even hesitate for a single frame, your standing 2 will be still be 7 frames. + – Starts at 7 frames, hits mid, low, then overhead. On block, this string is -11, most players think they can punish this, but it is only special punishable by Raiden Reptile, and Smoke. There is a major footsie game at hand after this is blocked, and right after this string, this is where KL excels. Any self respecting opponent, will not jump at KL at all, never mind after this string and it is perfectly at jump distance. Because of the -11 disadvantage, opponents may try to rush you down, but you always have the fear of the spin, and your 7 frame if you suspect anything, and try to keep them in check. Once the opponent respects this, your options are anything you wish, you are within jump distance for a JIP if you wish, you can opt for a roll, or , you can back away and throw a low hat, you can dash right in and apply pressure if the opponent hesitates, you never know, it’s a total read, and you may get it right. If you dial in the command grab from , you are only at -1, and cannot be punished, nor will a wiffed grab come out, so the same rules apply after a blocked . But the key is too always try land a regular leg trip up command grab, to keep the opponent right in front of you. You have a footsie game after this, and it all follows the exact same as your regular throw on hit, except you have one more frame of advantage at +8, where the throw is +7. (See the throw) & - This is one of the more obscure strings from KL, but none the less, defiantly a brilliant string. This has two places in your rushdown, one absolute obvious place, is from a JIP, from here, you can hit confirm into Spin - which will give you the same damage scaling as On block you have two options, follow through on to put some distance between you and the opponent (You cannot chain specials once all hits have made contact), and because its 0 on block you can either back away and anticipate a jump in, rush with , or get tricky with . Other options are to only do on its own, as its 0 on block, and continue into a throw, , strings, etc. You can even special cancel into teleport for example, or even the regular teleport if you must. On hit you can also and again, same damage scaling applies as . There is one more way that can be used, but it's hard to hit confirm if your not very good at it: If the last of hits, you can back off and do which will wiff an opponents uppercut or poke, you will have +6 advantage also, so the risk is not that high. THROW: A 10 frame move that can be neutral ducked with +7 advantage on either side, any time that you bagged a throw, you could have bagged a string. But it is always good to mix the opponent up, example, , Throw. If you attempt the throw after , , and the opponent attempts the poke, you will be beaten out of your throw (10 frames), again it is good to understand why your throw attempt didn’t land. When you land a throw, you have slight advantage, you have some footsie options (same as the regular command grab), you can roll in with , go overhead with , bait the wake up, bait the jump, look for advantage with d4, press for another combo, jump in etc… Kung Lao constantly on hit and block keeps the opponent on their toes, or at least should. BLOWING UP COUNTER POKES: It's very simple. By now you should understand that your pressure can be poked out if read correctly, and if the opponent is constantly pressing buttons after every block string, then (for example) try doing 1121 on block, and baiting the poke from the opponent, and countering with your own d3, and advancing for your pressure again (on hit). SPIN PUNISH: The spin has it's place, it is not random & it's MU specific. It's obviously best to use your spin as an AA, but the point of it is to use it anytime you think the opponent will poke, as you have no other way to beat out the opponent with any other normal or poke. The four most pinnacle times that you can threat a spin and force the opponent to hold block, is: 1. After an early teleport on block 2. After a on hit 3. After on block 4. Wake up. Anytime after these strings and normals, you will beat anything the opponent does with the spin ( With the exception of armour and ), once the opponent respects this, it will force the block, and open up your pressure afterwards, but most opponents won't respect this until they get stung at least once from each of these scenarios. The spin on wake up threat is great, and simple, all you have to do is, is notice the block standing over your head, get up, and attack. In some MU's you will have to spin the opponent, and these 3 occasions (not the 4th) will occur allot, and KL won't come out on top unless you make the opponent afraid to poke, as he can't win unless the opponent blocks, his pokes will always lose. These MU's are: Sub Zero Kitana Mileena Reptile Sonya Johnny C BEST SPIN COMBOS: Spin - Jump Kick + Dive kick, Dive kick, Plum Flower - 30% (Can also be done as AA) Optional AA Spin - Spin, NJP, Spin, Plum Flower - 28% From the optional AA Spin, you can opt for the late ghetto reset, by doing Teleport. EXPLOITING THE :X TO ALLOW PRESSURE: Kung Lao has the best in the game, a short list of reasons for this are: 1. The single best Anti Air in the game 2. Armoured 6 Frame start up 3. Can be combo'd into and out of 4. Can lead to 50% combos used as a starter 5. Safe on block with slight pushback 6. Has decent scaling But the single best reason as why it is something you should try to accrue during the fight is because, the threat of it alone is enough to add to completely change his rush down. When you have , you can be more carefree with your rush down on block, as the opponent will (or at least should) respect the fact that you can blow up anything they attempt to counter you with, if they poke at the wrong time, wiff a normal, perform an unsafe block string or attempt to cross you over and/or jump out of any of your block strings as you can easily them for it, its one of the most basic punishes Kung Lao has. Bottom line is, you can basically land a few block strings that normally wouldn't work without the :X at hand, such as 11, 1121, D3, 112, crossover 1121. The fear of the is enough to put the opponent in the ''fettle position'' so to speak. Even if you get punished for being careless with your rush down while exploiting this by a full combo, don't be in a rush to break, because if you land the , you will force 50+ and level out the health. NO MORE LOW HAT UPCLOSE: Especially D4 into Low Hat It should go without saying (but il say it anyway) that KL players should no longer do Low Hats as part of their pressure game, but a new craze has been struck up among KL players, and that is to do D4 into Low Hat. Sure, it might sometimes hit the opponent and piss them off, but the fact is, the Low Hat is -12 on block, D4 does not combo into anything, nor does it jail the opponent in their stance. So if you Hit a D4 or have it blocked, it will make no difference to the hat, the opponent can always block it, and then you will be at -12 regardless of what happened with the D4 and fully punished. D4 is not hit confirmable into Low Hat. You are +12 when a D4 hits, so you have enough advantage to dash in for a block string, or make the opponent tech the throw, if you just strung in a Low Hat, you would have lost that advantage, and even if the low hat hits, you just push the opponent away with no real gain, except very slight damage. D4 is 0 on block, so if you throw out a D4 and its blocked, its no big deal, you cannot be punished or counter poked on hit, as long as you are blocking after the D4, so you run no real risk, however if you were to chain in Low hat from a blocked D4 would you be at -12 and fully punished, instead of 0 on block from the D4. Makes sense. No more D4 Low Hat. FOOTSIE OPTIONS & GETTING IN BRAH!: – The Roll Allot of people think this move is completely useless, but that is because people don’t understand how it works. The fact is, it is 0 on hit and -4 on block, but it is that way for a reason, it was made for the sole purpose of getting in. Your options: On hit, you are granted the same exact situation that you would have from strings, and on block as it is 0. (if they hesitate, press with a Crossover, , throw, or d3 etc) On block or hit, if the opponent try’s to use a D1 and you are blocking, they will put themselves at disadvantage, and at worst, can be full combo punished with a spin. On hit, if you think the opponent will try to do anything to you other than a d1, you can blow them up with a or string, you can abuse your at 7 frames after a roll on hit against opponents with slower mids and highs than yours. Yes, the smart opponents will not poke you on block and put themselves at disadvantage, they will attempt a full block string, but the threat of a special cancel into spin still exists, and it will beat their advance, but it is a risk on KL’s part, and the threat of that spin is great enough to have them respect it, you don’t have to throw it out for it to be an option for the opponent to consider, but its always an option, if they have attempted a block string or grab every single time. The roll is a greater tool than people give it credit for, all it takes is a good read for it to be effective. KL’s roll on block should be treated the same way that Sonya’s cartwheel is, if you make the wrong read, your eating a dive kick, or in KL’s world, a spin. - Hat Swipe – 22 Frame start up, Hits overhead, -11 on block and +1 on hit. I made a post about KL’s Hat Swipe being +1 on hit, and allot of people flipped out on me about making an entire post for it, and I think they failed the see why +1 was such a big deal, especially to KL. This makes his 6 frames. Its unavoidable on hit, BUT, you can be hit by your opponents D1 if they are small hit box characters...and Kitana You can also be armoured moved out of your next attack when the overhead hits. But again, its up to the opponent to make that call, if Jax players want to act like paranoid wrecks just because it +1 on hit and Dive Punch you everytime, then let them, same with Cage Nut Punches etc. Being -11 on block does not mean the move is fully punishable, for a start, you will not be using this move when you are right up in the opponents face, you will be at a slight distance considering it has range, and there is a good push back on block, so it can only be Character specific special punished, and framed correctly. This is a great option after command grab, after throw and footsie game, especially if you have checked the opponent with low hats, throwing out an overhead really keeps the opponent on their toes. And in my opinion this move wouldn’t be so good, but for the exception that you shouldn’t be jumping at Kung Lao, so it makes landing this normal much less difficult than it has to be. Lastly:- TELEPORT EARLY : This is such a misunderstood thing by opponents, and even worse, by KL players…infact maybe just as much as the Roll is. How the teleport works on hit and block – Firstly, it is 0 on both block, on hit it is +10. The teleport into early will NEVER hit an opponent that is neutral ducking (not holding block), even if you combo the opponent on hit with 11, 112, 1121 and chain a teleport into early 3, it will still not hit if the opponent is crouching without blocking. (A few exceptions, explained in the video attached) If you are in front of the opponent and perform a teleport anywhere on screen, the early 3 will wiff even on a crouch block, however, if you land a 112, or 1121 on block and chain in teleport early 3, it will hit the opponent if they continue to block, that is the only exception. Early 3 will always hit a stand blocking opponent. Late 3 will hit the opponent even in neutral duck if performed late enough. If you cross the opponent up, and teleport, your early 3 will hit a crouch blocking opponent. HOW TO USE THE TELEPORT PROPERLY & ADD ANOTHER MIX UP GAME: Allot of Kung Lao players throw out this move because of the fact that ''sometimes it hits the opponent and I get a cool combo'', but that is not good enough, at least for me it isn't, and once you become predictable with your choice of teleport, you literally remove it as an option altogether, but once you understand the teleport and start becoming more successful in landing it, then it will drastically improve your Kung Lao game. Only the best opponents in the world will have multiple ways to punish the teleport, and for each input on the teleport there is a different specific punish, other than Uppercuts, Armour and 's. The teleport attacks should be another mix up for the opponent to worry about on top of things, and you can exploit the opponent with this, as most opponents have a specific way of punishing the teleport and only seem to expect one particular way. NOTE: don't worry about being uppercutted out of Teleports, be thankful it wasn't a full combo punish, which requires the right read, you can be uppercutted 4 times, and it won't matter as, the opponent only needs to get it wrong once to eat 50% damage with 2 bars, and 47% with 1 bar, even 60% with - If opponents are always in the ''huddle position'' mashing out D1's to punish your teleport, and you notice this, then you can now start adding another layer to your game and throw out overhead's (bp), the d1 will wiff, and you stand a greater chance of getting your combo with the overhead. This is also very easy to adjust on the fly, as you should be doing your quite low on the way down, this means that you have enough time to see the crouch and opt for an overhead, and if they are standing you can attempt a late for a block string or full combo, of course, if they don't read the late , their full combo punish will not be possible at that point. Once the opponent starts to notice that the overhead is a threat, then you have an option to change to late 's or early 's as they may start standing in fear of the overhead, and if not, they might uppercut you, but still, thats a trade you should be willing to take, considering you are throwing out the teleport in the first place. 's from teleports work very well as a trade when you knock the opponent down, by ending your juggle combo with , it is 13% on hit, so if the opponent trades his/her armour move with your , they will still eat the 13%, a very good trade in my opinion, as they spent a bar, took the damage, and added 13% to your combo in total, it also recovers very fast if wiffed low to the ground, and is 0 on block, so you can apply your regular rush down game from it. Late grabs from Teleports are the only time outside of a combo that you should use this option, as the late will carry armour if wiffed, and if it does not wiff, it will always break a block, win win, situation, you also can not be armour moved from this as the opponent will have to armour move first and your armour will walk through it. Anytime that you can hit an opponent with a late , you can get your grab for 11%. An example would be, finish your combo with the ghetto knock down teleport (video below) and if timed right, the late and more importantly, the becomes very hard to escape, if you land this from a JIP combo scoring 44% without the command grab, then you will bag 55% in total for a grab. I will update with a video later. VIDEO ATTACHED: SPIN: Again another move completely misunderstood, and very misused. Once used properly, this can be a great move in your spacing and footsie game, its main use I believe was to punish wiffed specials and normals within 6 frames. You can bag 28% and finish with a command grab as a result of this: Spin, JK, Dive Kick, Roll, Spin or Spin, , , , Throw METER BUILDING & 21212 (Chained Fist String): I have been doing something that I feel allot of Kung Lao players over rate, and that is using his (Chained Fist) string. For instance, any time that you hit confirm a , which is +12 on hit, and your is a 7 frame attack, you can bag 8% chip, and almost a full bar of meter from this string on block. This is incredibly important to KL's game, as his is a massive game changer. Also, you can hit confirm and special cancel his into Spin on the 5th hit (any special is an option besides dive kick, but none are safe on block), which obviously leads to his basic JK, Dive Kick, , Command Grab. From here, try not to finish his command grab with , as you want the un-techable knockdown, and from here, you can fish for your Chained Fist meter build string, or even work it from a . This string is -13 On block, with pushback, so it can only be punished by the fastest specials in the game on reaction: Raidens Dive Reptiles Dash Cages Shadow Kick Jax's Dive punch - 12 Frame, it needs to be well timed or Jax will miss his punish by 1 Frame. Nightwolfs Elbow charge Kenshi's Spirit Charge Baraka's Blade Charge It is incredibly effective on the rest of cast, and even against these characters, most players fail to recognise it as a punishable string. But, the main fact of this string is its massive meter building potential, 8% Chip, and building towards , game changing. EXPLOITING THE WAKE UP SYSTEM: Kung Lao only has two wake up options, the Spin and the Teleport, and even though it seems that they serve only obvious purposes, and that is punishing opponents with the spin who try to rush you down while you are on the ground, and the teleport for punishing opponents with a full combo if they try to check you with projectiles or any special move in anticipation of your tech roll. But, because both of these wake ups do not let Kung Lao just get up for free without being punished, and you will be punished if they are baited, this actually works as a major advantage for Kung Lao. This is how it works: If the opponent thinks you are going to wake up spin, and you know it, then don't delay your get up and roll back, and instead, just get up and attack the opponent while they are blocking in anticipation of the spin, I know it sounds stupid, but it really is that simple to take advantage of. Same with the teleport, once opponents finish a combo or put you at a distance, most opponents will expect a wake up teleport and await there chance to get a free punish, and if you suspect this, the opponent won't be throwing any projectiles, or pressing any buttons, they will waiting to punish you, and because of this, you can just get up off the ground for free. This works for every character with a teleport wake up, or armoured move for a wake up. Its simply exploiting the wake up system in the most basic form. FAVOURABLE STAGES: As Kung Lao is a rush down character, it is important that you do not let the opponent start zoning or get comfortable, as you must control the pace of the fight at all times to keep it in your favour. Choose the smallest stage possible, such as Deadpool, or The Pit or Courtyard, you don't want to chase. You can always choose the Courtyard because it's cool. BREAD AND BUTTER COMBOS: These can be from JIP's or Teleport high 's Spin, JK, Dive Kick, , Throw - Choice of finish Spin, JK, Dive Kick, Hat, , , Throw - Choice of finish Spin, JK, Dive Kick, Hat, JK, Dive Kick, Uppercut. You can start all his combos with , instead of . - Combos - All of the can be performed from a JIP or Teleport late , , , , , Throw - Choice of end Spin, JK, Dive Kick, , Throw - Choice of end , , , , Throw - Choice of end , , , , , Throw - Choice of end CORNER COMBOS: All of these can be performed from a JIP Spin, NJP, JK, Teleport , Hat, JK, Dive Kick, Throw - Choice of end. If you start the combo near the corner, and travel the opponent towards the corner you can do this combo: Spin, JK, Dive Kick, Straight Hat, JK Teleport , , Throw - Choice of end. If you perform a wake up teleport while in the corner and land a , you can do this combo: Teleport , Spin, JK, Teleport , Straight Hat, JK, Dive Kick, Throw - Choice of end. SHENANIGANS: I have attached a video for his Shenanigans and Mind fuckery, I feel it will translate better if you can see it. (UPLOADING VIDEOS ATM) Free Guess Dive Kick, Perfect Legend Cross Up, Wiffed Dive Kick & Corner Dive Kick threat: Grind Hat - Corner knockdowns: Stance Checks - Spin & Straight Hat Free Jump Pressure: Overhead Hat Knockdown into Roll: Why D4 into Low Hat is a shit idea: Ghetto Knockdown Teleport: Teleport - Punishing opponents who try to punish you & using the armour: Exploiting the wake up system: P.S: None of this would be possible without the help of Somberness. Without him sharing his Frame Data information, Kung Lao would be completely dead and worthless - post patch.