What's new

Perfect Balance Doesn't Exist: It's OK if Your Character is Mid-Tier


When's Syzoth?
I just care about playing Reptile. FUCK THE REST. #Reptile4DLC

But really, tiers matter way moreso at the highest levels of play, where every advantage and disadvantage matters, and even then, a mid tier or even low tier can have their place because they have that one advantage matchup vs a common strong character. But at the end of the day, have fun. If fun for you is winning, and you don't care how, top tier is for you. If you wanna play your favorites, do so.

Syd Barrett Lives

Italian Psychopath
Well, usually when I get a new game I play around finding my main and when I've finally made a decision and start going online it's when I look on the net and it's a bottom tier character. Happens every time.

Then, after months of using him when I change character or drop the game it's usually when they buff him to hell with a patch and he becames god tier.


MK11 Pocket Guide: Koming Soon to the App Store
Premium Supporter
Mileena and Harley are really good though
Are they? I dunno I don’t pay any attention whatsoever to tier lists. But I don’t think I saw any top players use them. I believe Mileena was super unsafe wasn’t she? I used Piercing exclusively. Maybe she got better through patches after I stopped playing?

Apex Kano

Kano Commando main MKX
I played Mileena and Harley Quinn. And Jade in the beta.

I don’t care about tiers. I just like having fun when I play.
Jade is good in this game. She was my main on the beta. Stop all of Kabal tricks and force him to fight and not throw blades.
Ill start by playing a character that i like for aesthetics, but mk9 taught me to never try to main a low tier again, no matter how cool they may be. Mkx was decently balanced and Id hope Mk11 is the same. I have a bias towards kabal though and think he is probably going to be bullshit just like he was in mk9 when all is said and done.


EFL Founder
Royal Contributor
I typically would start with one character and slowly add one or two more each week. Whether you play casual or high level, it's fun to be able to mix your matches up.


FGC Since '97
just another reason to push my Kitana harder so people can get salty when they get beat by my "low tier" character lmao
I am not even asking for my character to be top tier, I am just asking to balance the top tier characters. There’s no reason for a character to do a 40% combo with only one meter burn while he also has the fastest teleport in the game. Or for a character to have a full screen projectile counter that also makes him invulnerable and has a 30% dmg krushing blow

Yes, it’s early in the game but some characters have too many tools for no reason.


I think perfect balance is a trap.

I also think balancing around tiers is a trap.

The only thing that matters is the distance between the worst performers and the best. If you squish that, you end up with a "perfectly" balanced game. A game like UNIst has a definitive tier list, but all characters are represented and perform well at all levels of play.

tl;dr Squish the tier gap, don't worry about where someone is on a tier list.
Yeah, I never got this. Like when Deathstroke was nerfed from broken to mid-tier in IGAU, everyone just complained that he was ruined and gave up on him. It's like, if you really love a character, mid tier should be good enough. And if you specifically need a high tier char because you're focused on winning money (which is a valid approach for the top % of tourney players) then you can't expect every character you like to fit that bill.

Especially now, since 'mid-tier' doesn't mean what it meant back in the MK9 days, where the top characters were left 7-3'ing (or worse) much of the cast.
Very well put.
Balance in fighting games is complex.

Some characters are just inevitably going to be better than others and there is no getting around that.
While these higher tier characters might have more winning matchups, some developers focus more on making sure these strong fighters have a few bad matchups so they can have similar win-rates compared to the players who play mid-tier characters in a given community.

The way they do this is to buff characters that counter these top tiers enough that the amount of these counter characters in a playerbase increases. This evens things out for other characters in the long run because the top tiers will run into bad matchups as often as mid-tiers would.

The point is, in a community over time, mid tiers and high tiers end up having very similar levels of success. As long as a character doesn't lose the majority of it's matchups, it should be viable.

You could see this kind of "buffing the counters instead of nerfing the strong" balancing--around-the-community in games like League of Legends and Overwatch too and it's based on the algorithm called "Fictitious Play".

Knowing this, will you still use a character if they might be mid-tier?
Will you pick up a character that fills in your character's bad matchups?
I will always stand by the claim that Noob Saibot is mid tier because he's pretty easy to counter. He's still a great character, just that a lot of his tools are only "outstanding" on paper and not in execution.

That being said, I will always main him because he is fun as fuck to play as.


Going on record to say that Shao Kahn has ZERO winning matchups and struggles against a good portion of the cast.


MD| Soberless (Terminator-Final Judgment)
I generally only play characters that are:

Have the tools I need for my playstyle
And pockets for the bad MU's

Reasons I'll pick another Main:
  1. If the characters are nerfed and I feel like its not worth maining them after Patch or they are not fun I'll pick another main.
  2. A better character that fits my style most likely a character that was changed in a new patch or a DLC.
My mains are:

  1. The Terminator (Final Judgment)
  2. Cassie Quinn (Digital/YQ/Sups OD)
  3. Kotal (Ascension)
Definitely checking out Sindel and will most likely be co-maining Joker/Spawn if they are half as good as Terminator is.
Last edited: