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Seriously... Something needs to be done about the pokes


uh. nut punch is hella punishable bro. Your just hitting d1 (why the hell you would punish nut punch with d1 I have no idea) too slowly. Turn on the thing that simulates online lag and go to practice mode.

If you are too slow even scorpions teleport is "safe" by this definition lol.
I'd used D1 probably because at some point in the past I might have tried a high string and got D2ed comboed heh. D1 is fastest move. So online I see what D1 will hit.

Speaking of Scorpion's teleport have been times in the past where I blocked it and hit uppercut and it was safe. Other times it was fine.

But sure practicing with lag input on is a thing...I used that some back when I played Tekken and found some of the heavier lag input felt similar to some things i experienced online. Tekken players swore the online was perfect tho. :D

Just MK11 could just be better designed punishment-wise.


Administrator and Community Engineer
Offline his Nut Punch is punishable by at least a D1. Online...it's safe. And it's -14. That sets a tempo for how the game works.

A string one will commonly see from a Cage is b3, 4. May not see the rest of the string that it starts, but just that. Safe by itself. If anywhere near him one needs to hug the ground to not get hit since one likely won't block it on reaction.

Anyways experience online was either Cage being safe, or Cage seeming plus. And that's after getting thru the annoying zoning.
The "matchup" was a 7f D1 on block against whatever he would do.

So either D1 hits, gets blocked, or never arrives.

And a D1 that is blocked is at least something that got there, but nothing to celebrate.

And if a D1 does hit...that's not really something to celebrate either. It's not as bad...it's just you aren't gonna do much with that. You may end up comboed yourself.
This basically tells us that you don’t know how to play the game.

I don’t mean this in a mean way, but if you’re getting comboed after landing pokes, you need to stop mashing and take a serious look at how you’re playing the game/your understanding of frame data.


This basically tells us that you don’t know how to play the game.

I don’t mean this in a mean way, but if you’re getting comboed after landing pokes, you need to stop mashing and take a serious look at how you’re playing the game/your understanding of frame data.
It can happen. My point has been when you go online things are not guaranteed, and part of that is online quality and part of it is just how the game is made.

And when you land a D1 you don't wanna "mash" I didn't say mash, you can go for jail or throw...that's your options. It just isn't a great system there. My advice if someone is online and something seems off when you blocked something punishable, just use throw when you block it again.

It is funny when I've seen in tournament stuff people get away even offline hitting poke twice on someone, because it's not expected there.

Cage’s turn is over when you block something. of his kit is either high or slow, so his strength isn’t continuous pressure, it’s baiting you into making a mistake in the neutral that he can whiff punish with his generous footsie tools.

It sounds like you didn’t lab the MU, and just decided that he gets to press buttons again after you block something.

He’s a good character, but that’s not at all how he plays.

Also, what does ‘landed a blocked d1’ even mean? :coffee:
I don’t know what’s more hilarious, the fact that I agree with you on something or the fact that if a Cage main had posted this exact paragraph they would be called a downplayer.


So it's never your fault?
For that sort of interaction, nope...and it should never be the player's fault unless they doing a very generous delay. Like sitting there 2-3 seconds or something heh.

If you block it and hit your fastest move, it should always hit. But even that whole sequence itself...the person on offense has a better deal really since the game is not based around reacting to things. That's how they made the game, but it's pretty eh at the end of the day.

I stopped playing online a while back, I just give my observations really. People can expect complaints from folks about the poke system for a long time really, while others will like it still i guess.


Royal Contributor
It really is a simple fix. You don’t even have to make them more negative. Just increase recovery frames of pokes on block. But I would add 2-3 recovery frames and make them all at least -4 to - 6
Its not just the pokes, the frames are too godamn fast in this game, its pure broken online. Not only the frames, recovery is just too quick for most of the cast. People can just throw out stuff willy nilly and be free to follow up before you can even react. You cant properly punish anything. Everything seems to be free into d1 special when on block u should be able to punish. Its too fast, everything across the board needs a frame nerf. Staggers are almost unreactable. It really is ridiculous. It doesn't deserve to be at evo at all the way it is. Its a damn great game with the usual suspects of NRS janky bullshit. Why cant they ever get it right?


Solidly Mediocre
I wouldn't mind seeing how things play with common block stun so you don't have to know different timings for everyone you fight. I don't know the full range, but it's at least -3 to -5. I think I've seen -6 (SZ?)

It sounds nice in theory, but I think they may have to take the round trip into consideration, and likely would have to adjust a few startups as well. I don't really care if there are differing startups, but in a game with no input buffer on normals, it's hard to nail your variably timed counter poke against someone who knows their rhythm for back 2 back pokes, or poke into whatever. (I'm assuming throws are buffered seeing as how it's so much easier to consistently counter throw than counter poke even though throws take longer.) I don't really know if it's as easy as just changing that one dimension, or if it affects something on the other side of the poke game, but I'd be curious to see.

I don't really don't mind the d1 into special stuff. I think it has mind game layers to it that are interesting enough, and you are already dealing with everything else they do being special cancelable. Killing it for d1's alone seems kind of arbitrary and pointless, and as Frost player, I'm not going to want to fight forward only characters without d4 into auger.


You will BOW to me!
Premium Supporter
We are Just discussing MK11 poke system in this thread, M2Dave just spoke about MK9 frames for comparison on the topic at hand.

No need to derail this thread by rambling about How superior MK9 is, make a new thread If need be.
If thats all you understood from my post then i really dont know what to say.


You will BOW to me!
Premium Supporter
Even if you reduced the speed of these 8 or 9 frame mid attacks to 11 or 12, you could still get punished, especially if NRS ever overhauls the blocking mechanics.

Mortal Kombat 9's low pokes are the worst I have ever seen. I cannot recall playing any fighting game in which a simple low poke is more unsafe than a launcher. Awful design decision.

Johnny had the identical design in Mortal Kombat X too, but he was heavily normalized. "Godlike rush down" is a hyperbole. He is a great zoning and footsies character in Outtake. He gives up the great zoning in favor of great comeback potential in Showstopper. I personally have no problem with this design.

Fortunately, nobody does. Characters like Kabal, Cyrax, Martian Manhunter, and Zod ruined games and caused players to quit because they are eventually mastered.

I agree that Mortal Kombat 11 has a lack of depth problem. The learning curve for most characters ought to be higher.

The game was fun for a year when the game was in its experimental stage. Then all of a sudden people became good and started mastering characters like Kabal, Cyrax, Kenshi, Sonya, Smoke, etc. I did not have fun fighting block infinite combos, 90% combos, meter drain glitches, P1 advantages, etc. If you did, more power to you. But this game sucks and is unplayable at a high level.

Yeah they took that mentality with JC and LK for example, since MKX and brought it to MK11. Thats a step backwards. Showstopper still has a really good projectile which is plus on block when meterburned, has plus frames strings which have no gaps AND on top of all that, he deals a shitload of unbreakable dmg. And before you tell me that he can only do it once per match, thats not the point. The point is how frequently he deals dmg in general and the answer is very frequently. And i m not even counting chip dmg at this point.

Ofc the top tiers in the previous games were aloooooot more broken than the current top tiers, but the thing is that in MK11 you have characters that dont play MK11 (upgraded Jacqui etc) and then you have characters that have received absolutely no buffs at all despite their obvious problems (Shao Kahn for example). If NRS is watching i would like to ask them what is their way of thinking regarding buffing or nerfing characters in their case.

Glad we agree on that one.

In how many EVO's was MK9 included? And again im not saying that the previous games were fine.

All in all, i really hope MK11 does well, cause despite its flaws, its a beautiful game with a lot of potential, but that doesnt change the fact that it has issues which must be addressed. Its been a year since its release.


I like to hold up/back.
So if geras does d1, d1 on block they best I can do is poke btw. You need a 10 frame or better mid to blow up this gap. Joker has an awesome 11 frame mid that, at best, trades!

Helter Skelter

D'Vorah has a 19 frame Mid and she can still play the game fine.

The pokes in this game are indeed ugly but they are not at all broken.

The game is a popularity contest when it comes to players opinions of how characters and their tools should work.

For instance, if we are technically speaking, if D1 xx Rising Star was so broken that same conversation would need to be extended to Frost's D1 xx Blade Spin or even worse Raiden's D1 xx Electric Burst (which is an actual broken move in my opinion) or any other move like it, but watch a Raiden player justify it because "He needs it"

I don't want to agree with Gaxkang in some ways because he's not being particularly accountable for what he can do within his matches, but I do agree that latency does heavily affect punishment in this game.

Pokes are not at all broken, though. They're just annoying (especially online) and they do need a bit of adjustment, but even if a Kitana Diva wants to mention 13 frame Mid starters (which Sooo many of the cast have (or slower)
they need to accept characters with slower starters will struggle to 'set up' their hits without this system.

The unfortunate thing about this system is that it allows players with no intention of actually try to jail to mash more than they should.

NRS need to find a middle ground.

Also, please do not give every character an 11f Mid. Homogenisation aside it will push certain characters over the edge.

Eddy Wang

Skarlet scientist
Every single character in the game has a 10 frame throw that will beat d1 mashing. There's nothing to "be done" here.

What's funny is people where complaining hard about pokes NOT having throw invulnerability when the game released. Remember that? Like it was legit making people angry that they could get thrown out of the active frames of a poke.

It's like no one wants to acknowledge throws are a good solution to beating poke mashing, because they're too pissed about getting thrown when they're mashing pokes themselves.
this is very true.

I for once think it's not pokes that needs nerfin, the game just need a different player to beat pokes which isn't exactly throw, short hops crushing d1 and d3 on startup would definitely be a pretty good choice


D1 mashing is the tactic when skill fails !
I think all that really needs to be done with pokes isw
Down poking is not equal to ducking. You can be thrown out of a down poke. Mashing d1 is easily punishable by a reversal throw

to give them a lot more pushback, so their real use is to get away and reset the neutral. You can't just sit there poking and throwing, everyone is forced to do something else. Something along those lines would solve most of the issues with them and with the meta which the current setup creates.
Everyone os a jedi in practise mode and offline ir when you playing at home Alone . Try thats online against lag and a good player lol


Premium Supporter
If you make a read on him taking a step back to counter with an advancing normal after you block his poke, if you're right you full combo him. And if you're wrong and he pokes again, then you eat a poke for tiny damage and can just block again
I think this is a good point to bring up when looking at the poke system, looking at the degree of risk/reward associated with the moves. Even if the current poke system results in more reads and less autopilot decisions, you can still counter play by taking account risk/reward into account. I actually think that creates more interesting gameplay in the long run.
When someone pokes me, I just block and walk back now. It will avoid follow up grabs and I have the opportunity to whiff punish.

It's not completely safe though if my opponent has a fast advancing mid to follow up on. But generally this is my go to move considering the state of the game.


Premium Supporter
This is the most annoying poke system I have played in maybe any fighting game ever.
Why is it annoying, and how is it different than other games? I'm legit asking, just trying to learn more on the subject. I haven't had any noticeable issues with the poke system, but I'm a fairly casual player.