What's new

Guide - Warlock New Warlock inconsistencies and overview

STB Shujinkydink

Burning down in flames for kicks
Hey all!

I recently recorded a ranked match video for my channel but while recording ran across a plethora of problems for this variation. Heres a few that i've found.

  • Stab does not have three hits of armour. You see at 4:53 my armour gets broken after only one hit. I tested that string of reptiles in training and its three hits. I should have not even been hit by it. Y U LIE DOE ;_;
  • Stab is slow and does not track at all. 4:08 I try to counter zone with it and am laughably countered due to poor tracking and slow startup
  • 5:20 I get the stab and get full combo punished for guessing wrong. why do i have to guess to get offense? my damage output does not reflect the risks i have to take to get it
  • 6:10 I use this move as a wakeup and get cross overed into full combo. not salty about the read but more salty about the lack of active frames on the armour. We traded scoop for this?
So I ask this, Why pick Warlock over the other variations?

Forward 3

This variation is basically Variationless quan with F3. F3 is one of the best anti zoning tools in the game. hands down. I use this a lot vs Piercing Mileena, Full Auto Jacqui and Master of Souls Ermac to counter and control the neutral. with the nerfs to all three characters it makes both sorcerer and summoner able to compete more, and less of a reason to pick warlock. Summoner vs Warlock, the former does significantly less damage, no setups, strictly a counter character who now does not even have a decent wakeup option.

Wakeup Attack

As previously mentioned we get an attack that is free to crossovers, with one hit of armour that leads to an unsafe mixup. I can deal with the unsafe mixup, but theres still the problem of the crossup. its now a guess for us whether they will attack, or cross over. and some characters with advancing moves can just do that on our wakeup and completely negate the stab even if we decide to make the read. For example, sun god Kotal kahn who we probably need the wakeup the MOST against, can just do F1 on our wakeup. it will push us out of the stab tracking and we are more towards the corner where we dont want to be, and if we decide to do skydrop instead it will combo us. There is no longer a reason to use this variation in this manner.

The Solution?

Increase the tracking of portal stab, remove the armour from 3 hits to 1, make it 11 frames and make it +2 on block. We would not get a combo from it, we get a chance for an unsafe 50/50, its quick enough that it would not be able to be jumped(not sure about this, maybe adjust hitbox) and make the opponent have to guess on wakeup whether we do pressure, mixup, throw etc. This variation was made to counter his lack of defense in the other variations. At the current moment its useless, with my suggested buffs it would allow him to have a powerful reversal while having a fair chance in the current meta of MKX(No armoured launcher, unsafe 50/50s). The variation does not have strong offense. without bat or armour portal its all about getting that counter hit to do mediocre damage the rest of the cast can get off a strong starter even with nerfs. Bring it up to par and give us a reason to pick this variation over the others in certain MUs.


So with some mediocre counter zoning with no real buff to up close pressure warlock is pretty much a no go. The stamina changes allow summoner and sorcerer to zone more efficiently. Especially summoner. Sorcerer is not as good a zoner but he makes up for it by having the Armour circle corner game as well. Super strong. So without further ado here is the video of my first ranked run with Warlock Quan Chi. Thanks for reading.

EDIT: Should mention the timing is tough, but its good to know that the armour frames are gone before the active frames...a few characters had this patched in the hotfix.

@16 Bit
Last edited:


Shingo Kick!
I was actually really excited when these changes got announced to be slapped in the face the first time I played the variation and did a wake up ex stab and have goro's f3 make it whiff and literally hit me instead of getting armored. Even trying to armor trap with it is garbage. I wish they would have left armor on ex scoop and let us meter burn it like predator's ex lunge :(


You will serve me in The Netherrealm
I've been a huge Warlock up player for some time. However, in its current variation it is nearly useless.

I'm not saying we need the armor on Scoop back. That would be hypocritical. Rather, I would like the armor we do have to actually work correctly.

Warlock is supposed to be the counter-zoner variation with better defense. In its current incarnation, it doesn't fulfill this function. It used to be a complimentary pick for match ups that were harder for Sorcerer/Summoner, but it doesn't fulfill that role anymore. You're better off using an alt vs the match ups Quan struggles in.

I understand that we can't have armor on Scoop, but could they possibly make Stab function properly?


Soul Stealing Loyalist
I think that the armor time was over when Reptile "broke" it, still Warlock should have kept his armored launcher

STB Shujinkydink

Burning down in flames for kicks
I think that the armor time was over when Reptile "broke" it, still Warlock should have kept his armored launcher
He broke my armour before it even had a chance to touch him. We need full armour on the move until recovery frames. Or speed it up. What's the point if it can be broken so easily


Soul Stealing Loyalist
He broke my armour before it even had a chance to touch him. We need full armour on the move until recovery frames. Or speed it up. What's the point if it can be broken so easily
I'm pretty sure reptile low profiled it (b34 low profiles like a champ), and when the stab whiffed, the armor time was over.

Don't misunderstand me, I do think that the move has both tracking and whiffing issues, and it's mindblowing that NRS expects warlock players to use it as main reversal, but it probably does actually have 3 hits of armor. I hope so at least.


Are ya' ready for MK11 kids?!
When ya Boi who picked up Quan FOR Warlock doesn't get a tag

Anyway, just for clarity's sake, EX Stab's armour CAN take 3 hits during the startup:

But without throwing shade, it's obvious that NRS only did this to attempt to gloss over it's severe tracking/hitbox issues. Other armoured moves with similar startup were given 2 hits and seem to do their job fine.

Whether they fix this up or we get a compromised armoured Scoop back is fine with me, just as long as Warlock is able to do its job lol.
I'm not sure how they missed that but it definitely needs to be adjusted. I'd be down for it to have only one hit of armor but make it faster. However, considering the change to launchers, it should at least have to hits, along with Skydrop. That move still has not been fixed. It still has horrid tracking, slow start up and is almost useless. The move is designed to be a counter zoning tool. If they want to trade projectiles, that move is there to punish them for it. The trade-off is that It puts you directly in front of your opponent, a place Quan doesn't really want to be.

Safe Armor

Tier Whore. BS, GM, Mystic etc.
Summoner and Sorcerer players cry about no defense ? Use Warlock for armor they said, variations are in the game for a reason they said... lol @ Quan upplayers...


"One mind, one blade."
What do you think about the idea of Warlock getting armor back on EX scoop? Only this time, the EX stops at the splat, but if you spend an extra bar, then Quan sends them through the portal and gets a combo out of it. That or just fix EX stab like you said.

Johnny Based Cage

The Shangest of Tsungs
Premium Supporter
All they need to do is fix the tracking and extend the armor's active frames. Armored scoop doesn't need to return, the frame data on this doesn't need to change, nothing else needs to be done except that they fix this move to work as intended.
The 3 armor hits not working also applies to Jasons armor on ex mist. while I was playing yesterday I kept stuffing it even though it had 3 hits of armor , though sometimes it actually worked (as in the move did have 3 hits) so I'm guessing it's an overall bug not just for quan but for Jason aswell


Armor but no launch on EX Scoop, late meter for launch on both versions of the move (like it used to be when it was a string instead of a special move and like many characters have in this meta).

And of course fixing the tracking (instant hit increasing start up so the overal timing is the same and the move hits the same frame that it tracks could be an easy solution without touching the tracking code).