What's new

Looking for Feedback to Help Improve my Game

Hey all,

I've mostly played Mortal Kombat 11 casually through its life, but decided a little bit ago to give the game's competitive side another fair go, and I've been playing seriously the last two Kombat League Seasons.

I am learning and more importantly I am improving, which I'm pleased with, though I still consider myself at the "beginner" level of the game. Just to start off with some quick stats:

  • My overall Kombat League win percentage is around 55%. It's 48% this Season so far.
  • I currently play three characters. Jade is my best with an online win percentage of 56%, it's not uncommon for players to rage quit on me at the end of Sets. I'm very, very pleased with my improvements to Kitana, as I was around a 25% win rate before, I'm now up to 48% with her. My Mileena game needs a lot of work, but I love the character and want to keep with her. I'm currently rocking a 35% win rate with her, but that's mostly from winning against players who are below my own skill level.
  • According to the in-game stats, my best match ups are against The Joker, Liu Kang, Kabal, and Sonya. My worst match ups are against Robocop (especially as Kitana, I have no idea how to get in on him) and Erron Black (I just don't know the match up and fall for simple mixes). I'm having trouble with Scorpion as well (not the yolo Teleport every five seconds kind).
  • I find my most common opponents are Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Liu Kang.
I'm playing on PC, and I suspect most of my opponents are in Europe, CIS, and South America, as it's common for me to have a ping of 175 to 225 in my matches. Would I be correct in assuming this will naturally cause additional input delay? I'm in Canada.

Watching my replays, especially my losses, I've identified areas that I overall need to improve on, such as:

  • Stronger punishes. Under pressure, I'll typically go for a simple D2, when I could be doing more damaging ones.
  • I go for D4 with Kitana and Mileena far too often as opposed to D1.
  • Lately I'm often failing to convert of successful jump kicks.
  • For the life of me I suck at teching Throws in this game (ironically I'm really good at it in Killer Instinct).
  • Under pressure I tend to revert to certain tendencies that get way too predictable, and I oft forget to go for any kind of staggers.
  • Under pressure, my old man reactions can really show.
  • I don't have a lot of match up knowledge, but this will simply come with time, play, and experience. Sometimes I can adapt quickly, sometimes not so much. I do often just try things to see what works, and what doesn't, even if it'll potentially cost me since I am more looking to learn right now than win.
  • With Mileena, I often don't end a String that's blocked with Sai Blast. I'll just let the string end and, of course, get blown up for it.
Before I post some videos of some Sets for review, here's a couple of things I'm really struggling with and specifically looking for feedback on:

- As I mentioned, I suck at teching Throws, but of course I know trying to throw a crouching opponent will whiff. Often my opponents will go for a Poke into a Throw, very predictable, so I Crouch Block the Poke and then release Block to dodge the Throw. Except it doesn't. I still get Thrown. This happens all the time, so either I'm misunderstanding something or doing something blatantly wrong. I'm hoping you all can help clarify this.

- Opening people up as Mileena. Her stubby range I find problematic, and she generally doesn't have a strong mix. I run three Variations with her, all have Stabbyscotch and Play Time. One has Air Tele-Kick, one has Low Sai Blast, the other has Sai Slide. She has a 7 frame D1, and I find this gets blown up constantly, and I can't understand why. I've stopped going in for Stabbyscotches as it always gets blown up, B1 whiffs a lot and gets blown up, B2 gets blown up a lot, B3,4, 1,1 (her fastest string), it so oft seems when I try to start an offensive, I pay for it. Her Tele-Kick also seems like a horrible projectile punish in this game with long start up, very different than Mortal Kombat XL. I know the character is considered low tier, but I'm confident I'm simply not playing right with her, and again, hoping to get some feedback there.


This Set isn't a loss, but there are points where I release Block to try and dodge Throws, and no dice. I actually got pretty frustrated here:

I mentioned I'm having Scorpion troubles, and this Set shows it, along with some of my sorry Mileena play:

This here is a lack of match up knowledge, as I don't fight Kotal often at all. I actually tried hard zoning early on simply to try and understand how his Parry works, as I figured it absorbed projectiles and buffed his damage for a bit. I was very surprised that it blocked my tele-kick as well. On an aside, I'm quite suspicious of the lag spikes that started cropping up midway through the Set:

Another example of Scorpion overwhelming my Mileena, but here I just couldn't understand how my D1's were getting beaten out, and again I'm releasing Block to try and dodge Throws, but to no effect:

This was a really fun Set. What cost me here, from what I can tell, is in the first match I failed to convert some jump kicks into simple Square Waves. Just doing that once would have won the match for me. For the third match, I failed to use my Armour Breaker twice when he was very predictably going to break, which cost me the Set:

So yeah, I'm generally having fun, and want to continue improving my game. Looking forward to some honest feedback!
 

Metin

White Ramses
Just watched your Jade and definetely recognized that you are not using her amazing mid string which is starting with b3, that is a very good tool for pressure, you can also stagger with it. i know that Jade is not an execution heavy character in general but if you punish ppl by b3 string into amplified fireball you gonna be plus af to continue to pressure, also if you like to use her overhead string Try to end it with her low special for your sake, double overhead is punishable af, also it is a very slow string. Her low special delia's dance i mean is convertible with everything so you can do d4 into it, d1 into it, overhead into it, b3 string into it etc. These kind of pressures gonna make you safe everytime. Not an Jade expert but these are my overall thoughts. Good luck.
 
Just watched your Jade and definetely recognized that you are not using her amazing mid string which is starting with b3, that is a very good tool for pressure, you can also stagger with it. i know that Jade is not an execution heavy character in general but if you punish ppl by b3 string into amplified fireball you gonna be plus af to continue to pressure, also if you like to use her overhead string Try to end it with her low special for your sake, double overhead is punishable af, also it is a very slow string. Her low special delia's dance i mean is convertible with everything so you can do d4 into it, d1 into it, overhead into it, b3 string into it etc. These kind of pressures gonna make you safe everytime. Not an Jade expert but these are my overall thoughts. Good luck.
Thanks kindly for the feedback! I do need to use Delia's Dance more, that's definitely something I'm aware of. I also know that B3 is supposed to be fantastic, yet traditionally when I use it, it's oft gotten blown up, so I'm much more reserved with it as a result. But you're correct, I should work it in more.
 

Metin

White Ramses
Thanks kindly for the feedback! I do need to use Delia's Dance more, that's definitely something I'm aware of. I also know that B3 is supposed to be fantastic, yet traditionally when I use it, it's oft gotten blown up, so I'm much more reserved with it as a result. But you're correct, I should work it in more.
Jade goes mind blowing after b3 string into amp fireball punish, how? you can go for 50/50s she has overhead and low starter strings, you can make them safe by ending those strings with delia's dance. You can go for throw which very predictable btw. You can go for krushing Blow string, 1,4,3 if i remember correctly. Or you can go for another b3 pressure or stagger. i do recommend you to go practice and see how much freedom you have after b3 string into amp fireball, work on it and poke into delia's dance options. You gonna make progress be sure.
 

Metin

White Ramses
After understand better b3 string, try to be an expert on amp air razors, which is also plus af on block, you have many options there. So if you decide to jump, try this; jump3 into amp air razors than still your turn continue to pressure with something, depends on the space between you and the opponent. Or you can go for raw amp air razors, you are still plus. Also please check how much plus frames you have after hitting the opponent by delia's dance, considering you gonna hit the opponent by it somehow, that is gonna be important to continue your pressure.
 

RoboCop

The future of law enforcement.
Administrator
Premium Supporter
The poke-into-throw issue gets me as well. Same with poke-into-special. It seems almost like pokes actually do kombo into specials, as I don't think I've ever gotten hit by a poke and then successfully blocked the special it was canceled into, even though I'm 100% positive I pressed block as the poke was hitting, which should be more than enough time for it to block the special.

The advice from F0xy and other pros seems to be just take the throws. It's better to eat a few throws than to let yourself get opened up for a full kombo. A lot of the guys in the Arena League have mastered micro-ducks. I'm actually unsure of how to practice them, but basically they know when to stop blocking for a split second so that a throw attempt will whiff but they can still block a standard attack.
 

RoboCop

The future of law enforcement.
Administrator
Premium Supporter
I'm going to write feedback here as I watch and then post all at once.
  1. In the first video, right off the bat I notice you going in against Lao. As Jade, there's simply no need, and it's only advantageous for Lao if you do that. Your goal is to keep him out so he can't get his nonsense started.
  2. In fact, almost that entire set you are moving forward and taking unnecessary risk after unnecessary risk. This Lao isn't blowing you up after blocked f21, but any decent player will wreck you after blocking such unsafe strings.
  3. Sometimes you want to take a break from pressing buttons and make a read on your opponent. Around 1:13, Lao has already tried to teleport twice and you know the 3rd attempt is coming, but you still jump forward into an air glaive and miss the easy punish on his teleport.
  4. With the amount of unnecessary risks you're taking, any decent player can just turtle up and let you hang yourself. You seem hungry for that f21 damage, even when you have the life lead.
  5. In the 2nd set of the first video, you seem so afraid of getting grabbed that you're getting opened up a lot. Better to just take the grabs.
  6. For Mileena, my knowledge of her is pretty lacking. I'd recommend watching Huerism play in R1p's Arena League. Best Mileena I've seen by a pretty wide margin. He gets a lot of mileage out of her f2 (I think that's the input, her long-rage high palm strike) and her backdash.
  7. As Kitana, you got opened up several times trying to press buttons after a blocked fan. You've got to learn when to let the opponent take their turn.
  8. Near the end of the Kotal set there's a moment where you sit crouching full-screen for like 2 seconds. I think that was the longest break you took that entire set. Try to chill a bit on always trying to be doing something. Play some sets and just see how long you can turtle up and survive without attacking your opponent, only attacking with guaranteed punishes.
  9. Based on that footage, I can tell you spend most of the match thinking about what you want to do and then trying to do it. Try to spend more time thinking about what your opponent wants to do and reacting accordingly. If I know what you want to do, and I know that you're always going to try to do it, then that's just free punishes for me all day long. Such players are very easy to read. But, if I know what you want to do but you're not going for it, you become much more unpredictable. It also gives you more of an opportunity to observe your opponent's behaviors and playstyle, allowing you to make better predictions and decisions and to have better risk-assessment.
 
@Metin Thanks again for the feedback! I'll start toying with that stuff.

@RoboCop You're right, patience is not my strong suit in the game, and that's absolutely something I should work on. In fact, I'm going to start doing that when I play next, either today or tomorrow. See if I can get better spacing and whiff punishes, blocking more after I try an offence, etc.

Some excellent advice, from both of you.
 

Mandolore1123

Man of Science Who Wields the Living Lightning
For the Kotal set:
  • His parry absorbs pretty much everything except fatal blows (and maybe lows). And coming out of parry gives him the same frame data as he would have if he flawless blocked something. If he's just sitting there doing parry take the opportunity to move backwards since there's a lot of recovery for that move if it doesn't parry anything.
  • Try to break after F1 when he does launcher. It'll force him to do F1~command grab in order to stay safe. If he does F12~CG and you break you can punish him for free.
  • You're throwing a lot of projectile to try and keep him out but you're also not moving a lot. So he inched his way into his F2 range and you ate full combos for trying to contest that range with him. Be mindful of that button and always manoeuvre around it. Kotal players LOVE to forget about playing neutral because that button is so far reaching and good.
  • Punish the launcher with S1, it's -13 so don't leave damage on the table. If he does B22 you can interrupt B223 with a low poke or a jab. Or you can time a flawless block to catch if he cancels into kahn cut and still lets you block B223
  • Don't count on big reads such as those random fatal blows in the neutral for your comebacks. It's a valuable source of unbreakable damage that does even more if you break armour with it. Unless your fatal blow is something that has very good utility or range like Erron's or Kabal's or Frost's or Noob's it's generally not advisable to just do it raw unless you're reading that they will mash.
  • Do NOT jump on wakeup. Try to react to him doing the unblockable. If memory serves the latest nerfs to knockdowns have rendered pretty much ALL unblockable oki setups fake. I know in some instances you probably thought you could move in since you were knocked full screen, but you were also at a life deficit so any hit he gets will tilt the match severely in his favour.
  • Remember that disc KB is always a thing. You got him to waste it in the very first round which is GREAT, but in the later rounds you weren't very careful with those disc trades (which are often in his favour) so remember to duck those
 
For the Kotal set:
  • His parry absorbs pretty much everything except fatal blows (and maybe lows). And coming out of parry gives him the same frame data as he would have if he flawless blocked something. If he's just sitting there doing parry take the opportunity to move backwards since there's a lot of recovery for that move if it doesn't parry anything.
  • Try to break after F1 when he does launcher. It'll force him to do F1~command grab in order to stay safe. If he does F12~CG and you break you can punish him for free.
  • You're throwing a lot of projectile to try and keep him out but you're also not moving a lot. So he inched his way into his F2 range and you ate full combos for trying to contest that range with him. Be mindful of that button and always manoeuvre around it. Kotal players LOVE to forget about playing neutral because that button is so far reaching and good.
  • Punish the launcher with S1, it's -13 so don't leave damage on the table. If he does B22 you can interrupt B223 with a low poke or a jab. Or you can time a flawless block to catch if he cancels into kahn cut and still lets you block B223
  • Don't count on big reads such as those random fatal blows in the neutral for your comebacks. It's a valuable source of unbreakable damage that does even more if you break armour with it. Unless your fatal blow is something that has very good utility or range like Erron's or Kabal's or Frost's or Noob's it's generally not advisable to just do it raw unless you're reading that they will mash.
  • Do NOT jump on wakeup. Try to react to him doing the unblockable. If memory serves the latest nerfs to knockdowns have rendered pretty much ALL unblockable oki setups fake. I know in some instances you probably thought you could move in since you were knocked full screen, but you were also at a life deficit so any hit he gets will tilt the match severely in his favour.
  • Remember that disc KB is always a thing. You got him to waste it in the very first round which is GREAT, but in the later rounds you weren't very careful with those disc trades (which are often in his favour) so remember to duck those
Thanks very much, this is great advise since I'm clueless on this match up.

A few things I can say:

- His Parry was working on Low Fan Toss, which is a low, so looks like it works on those too.

- If you ever see me jump on get up, it's because my U3 or U2 didn't come out :(.
 

Cobainevermind87

Mid-match beer sipper
- His Parry was working on Low Fan Toss, which is a low, so looks like it works on those too.
Can confirm, even against non-projectiles. When I'm using subby, they always try to bait iceballs outta me. So I throw one or two, and once I've worked my way into slide range, I let it rip and then I remember it parries slide too. I think it's because in my head, I feel like it should be like Jade's glow and only work against projectiles. I'll never get used to it.
 

Arqwart

Resident "Subhuman Piece of Trash" Edenian Player
Gunna just speak on the two Kitana videos.

  1. Less B2 string in neutral. It's a dial-in that leaves you defenseless if they back away enough for it to whiff or if they jump. Try to replace with B14 instead.
  2. If opponents are mashing after pokes, start tossing in low fans after.
  3. If you're going in on the read for a breakaway during a combo, do jump kick instead of J2 so you get more damage out of it if they don't break.
  4. There's quite a few things in your matchup knowledge that's simply lacking, such as what all is punishable and by what. Perfect examples are Sub's overhead string and Kotal's launcher special. Both are 100% full combo death on block.
  5. B13 / B131 is a fantastic stagger tool, especially in the corner. Highly recommend utilizing it in matchups that don't have super fast, long range pokes (like Erron). Would also go for more B14 staggers, especially if you're using HBS since you can do cancels.
  6. Mindless zoning against Kotal is not the best idea as he can absorb them and heal. This Kotal had no idea what to do about it, but a good Kotal isn't gunna be phased.
  7. If you ARE exclusively zoning on someone, be sure to back away between projectiles as they advance to keep screen space.
  8. I'd recommend a little less jumping in. If either opponent were better at anti-airing, you'd have had a very rough time
  9. When someone commits to a string on you and it knocks you out of the air on a jump, be mindful of how far they commit into the string. You may have the opportunity to do a 12 fan lift on wakeup to punish.
 
Last edited:
Gunna just speak on the two Kitana videos.

  1. Less B2 string in neutral. It's a dial-in that leaves you defenseless if they back away enough for it to whiff or if they jump. Try to replace with B14 instead.
  2. If opponent's are mashing after pokes, start tossing in low fans after.
  3. If you're going in on the read for a breakaway during a combo, do jump kick instead of J2 so you get more damage out of it if they don't break.
  4. There's quite a few things in your matchup knowledge that's simply lacking, such as what all is punishable and by what. Perfect examples are Sub's overhead string and Kotal's launcher special. Both are 100% full combo death on block.
  5. B13 / B131 is a fantastic stagger tool, especially in the corner. Highly recommend utilizing it in matchups that don't have super fast, long range pokes (like Erron). Would also go for more B14 staggers, especially if you're using HBS since you can do cancels.
  6. Mindless zoning against Kotal is not the best idea as he can absorb them and heal. This Kotal had no idea what to do about it, but a good Kotal isn't gunna be phased.
  7. If you ARE exclusively zoning on someone, be sure to back away between projectiles as they advance to keep screen space.
  8. I'd recommend a little less jumping in. If either opponent were better at anti-airing, you'd have had a very rough time
  9. When someone commits to a string on you and it knocks you out of the air on a jump, be mindful of how far they commit into the string. You may have the opportunity to do a 12 fan lift on wakeup to punish.
Thanks for the feedback, great advice. To comment on a few of your points:

  1. That's a great idea, never thought of that.
  2. Yes, absolutely I'm missing a lot of match up knowledge. Keep in mind I've only played about a hundred Sets spread between launch to now, and there's certain character I've never fought, or have only done so rarely. More knowledge will come in time. There are also points where I really do have old man reactions.
  3. Doesn't cancelling High Blood Stance leave you technically negative?
  4. Oh agreed. Since I had no match up knowledge here, when I saw he was starting off hanging back, I decided to do hard zoning just to see what would happen and, as I mentioned, to try and understand his Parry.
Thanks again!
 

Arqwart

Resident "Subhuman Piece of Trash" Edenian Player
Thanks for the feedback, great advice. To comment on a few of your points:

  1. That's a great idea, never thought of that.
  2. Yes, absolutely I'm missing a lot of match up knowledge. Keep in mind I've only played about a hundred Sets spread between launch to now, and there's certain character I've never fought, or have only done so rarely. More knowledge will come in time. There are also points where I really do have old man reactions.
  3. Doesn't cancelling High Blood Stance leave you technically negative?
  4. Oh agreed. Since I had no match up knowledge here, when I saw he was starting off hanging back, I decided to do hard zoning just to see what would happen and, as I mentioned, to try and understand his Parry.
Thanks again!
HBS cancel is definitely negative, but it's still a potential tool to utilize on a few occasions to catch the opponent off guard. It's a nice complement to regularly finishing strings on block because the opponent will be conditioned to wait until strings finish only to suddenly be eating a grab because you instead HBS canceled. I do NOT recommend doing it often, but having it available is still always nice. You can also rack up a good bit of chip doing it if they're low. B231 -> HBS Cancel -> F2222 does a non-ignorable amount of chip and can all but guarantee a chip kill if they're low.

As for the matchup knowledge thing, I hope that didn't come across too pointed. I understand that's something that can only come with play time experience.
 
@RoboCop I struggle against Robocop, as you know, and I'm super proud of these Sets. Just wanted to show them off:



Still lots of room for improvement (and feel free to point things out), but definitely progress.

I've also improved my Mileena game, and I now have a 41% win percentage with her. It was around 35% last week, I think.
 

RoboCop

The future of law enforcement.
Administrator
Premium Supporter
@RoboCop I struggle against Robocop, as you know, and I'm super proud of these Sets. Just wanted to show them off:



Still lots of room for improvement (and feel free to point things out), but definitely progress.

I've also improved my Mileena game, and I now have a 41% win percentage with her. It was around 35% last week, I think.
Nice, congrats! The only big thing I noticed was a lack of proper punishes. You're leaving a ton of damage on the able by not punishing blocked point-blank gunshots, flamethrower, and fatal blow. You might also want to practice hit-confirming into fan lift. He wasn't really blowing you up for it, but it's massively unsafe on block. Great job!
 
Nice, congrats! The only big thing I noticed was a lack of proper punishes. You're leaving a ton of damage on the able by not punishing blocked point-blank gunshots, flamethrower, and fatal blow. You might also want to practice hit-confirming into fan lift. He wasn't really blowing you up for it, but it's massively unsafe on block. Great job!
Thanks, and all great points that I am working on!

My punishes overall are weak across the board, no matter the character. That's absolutely something I need to address. For doing unsafe Fan Lifts on Block, that's a muscle memory thing I'm trying to get out of. I actually do it a lot less than I used to, but old habits...
 

Second Saint

A man with too many names.
I don't have time to watch your matches, but I can help with one of the points you brought up: hit confirming your jump kicks.

The jump kick OS is very simple. You do a jump kick cancel it into a grounded special. On hit the special comes out, on block it doesn't, and different characters get different levels of reward for this. It can't be a grounded special that shares an input with an air special because then you just get the air special no matter what.

I don't know what the best option is for your characters, though I'd imagine Jade's Glow Kick and Mileena's roll are good places to start.
 
I don't have time to watch your matches, but I can help with one of the points you brought up: hit confirming your jump kicks.

The jump kick OS is very simple. You do a jump kick cancel it into a grounded special. On hit the special comes out, on block it doesn't, and different characters get different levels of reward for this. It can't be a grounded special that shares an input with an air special because then you just get the air special no matter what.

I don't know what the best option is for your characters, though I'd imagine Jade's Glow Kick and Mileena's roll are good places to start.
Thanks man, Ball Roll would be an excellent example as it's one I'd oft like to convert to.

So to confirm, I do the jump kick and do the Ball Roll input before the kick connects, and if the kick does indeed hit, Mileena will immediately Ball Roll when she lands, and if the opponent Blocks, she'll do squat upon landing?

Am I understanding that right?
 

RoboCop

The future of law enforcement.
Administrator
Premium Supporter
Thanks man, Ball Roll would be an excellent example as it's one I'd oft like to convert to.

So to confirm, I do the jump kick and do the Ball Roll input before the kick connects, and if the kick does indeed hit, Mileena will immediately Ball Roll when she lands, and if the opponent Blocks, she'll do squat upon landing?

Am I understanding that right?
That's correct.
 

Second Saint

A man with too many names.
Thanks man, Ball Roll would be an excellent example as it's one I'd oft like to convert to.

So to confirm, I do the jump kick and do the Ball Roll input before the kick connects, and if the kick does indeed hit, Mileena will immediately Ball Roll when she lands, and if the opponent Blocks, she'll do squat upon landing?

Am I understanding that right?
Yes, that's right. You may have noticed some Kabal players confirming jump kick into nomad dash. They aren't secret hit confirm gods or even completely insane, just using an OS. Shang Tsung with Ermac Lift is another good example of that.
 
I mentioned in my status that I made Master Rank for the first time ever, and I just want to thank all of you above for the advice and tips you've given me as it has helped me improve my game.

I'm really pleased with my improvements to Kitana and Mileena especially, and I've boosted their win percentages nicely. My Jade game is slightly in decline at this level, but that's because gimmicks I was using in lower levels are understandably not cutting it here, so I'll need to tighten that up.

Overall, my neutral play and patience has improved nicely. My punishes however are still weak, and that's the next major thing I think I need to focus on as that would let me win more Sets.

For Kitana, her F2,3,4 Krushing Blow, when I do land it, what's the proper follow up? I ask because every time I land it, online or offline, after the animation is done Kitana will not respond, ever, to anything I press until my opponent is already nearly on the ground. I can never follow this up with anything and I don't know why. I assume it's something I'm doing wrong.

For Jade, her B3, I've been incorporating it more into my game, I know it's generally considered her best string, but I find it's range a bit stubby and with the gap between B3,4, I oft get blown up for it. Again, I'm sure I'm just applying it wrong. Any general tips on it?
 

RoboCop

The future of law enforcement.
Administrator
Premium Supporter
@Juxtapose With Jade's b3, you just want to keep them guessing with staggers and canceling into her specials. Be careful going for the full string if they have access to flawless block punishes, but if they don't, you can abuse it more freely. Congrats on the improvements!