What's new

Guide So you want to be president? Intro to Lex Luthor by PTH Rev0lver


Come On Die Young


Lex is not a typical character in Injustice, and to be successful with him you can't play him like one. Lex is what people call a "meta-breaker", in that his strategy surrounds tactics unique to his character that prevents you from playing the game by normal fundamental mechanics. Lex is also heavily a setup-based character. Because his base damage is relatively low, Lex gets a lot his damage off resets and mine setups. Due to his large hitbox and poor mobility, he's relatively weak against heavy zoning characters, but shines against characters he can outzone and characters whose mobility he can control.

Basic Strategy:

Lex's strategy surrounds getting his trait and finding ways to damage your opponent with it. Otherwise, against most of the cast he's best around mid-range, where he can threaten with his j3, whiff punishes with corp charge, trait cancels, and regular footsie tools. Your goal is to get knockdowns, which you can be used to reset your opponent and limit their options, allowing you opportunities to mix them up or throw more traps on the screen.

Technical Terms
I know most of you don't need this, but for the newer players who might be too afraid to ask -

1 2 3 4 - X Y A B (default on xbox) Square Triangle X Circle (default on ps3)

mb - meter burn, rt/r2 on default

hit confirm/block confirm - recognizing that the move you used hit or was blocked and reacting appropriately to follow up with a combo. in block confirming, you cancel into something that will put you in the most advantageous situation

~ - indicates a cancel, in which you use a special as if it were part of a string rather than inputting it after the string ends

There's probably a lot more. Don't hesitate to comment or PM me if you have any questions.

Strings and normals
112 - This is Lex's basic string. It's a good, quick punishment tool. It's super easy to hit confirm into a full combo, you don't even need to cancel the 2 to get a mb vacuum after. 11 has a phantom hitbox and hits a lot further than it looks, making it actually a decent footsie tool against other standing options like Superman's f2. It's listed as a mid in game (except for the overhead 2), but normally works as a high, there's no easy way of explaining when or how it will sometimes hit mid, but it's normally a high. The string is safe but negative after, but (unconfirmed) in some situations will act as plus and let you beat out pokes.

113 - Lex swings his axe horizontally. The 3 hits mid and is very unsafe but has very long range. It can be used as a gimmick to throw out in mid-range (113~corp charge), but normally is used to whiff punish or confirm anti-air 11's where 112 won't reach. It can also be used when far enough away to abuse poorly-ranged punishment tools to set up trait or traps, rather than canceling into corp charge.

22d1 - The overhead option of a mixup with 22b3, however this isn't a true 50/50 as you can react to the low option. Despite how it looks, it is not interruptible and is +2 on block, giving great corner options and the option of a free corp charge on block (which is best with trait, of course). On hit, you can get a free corp charge. However, this is only best if you need the damage, because corp charges with this string wake them up too fast for you to safely set things up. Your best option is normally to trait dash or throw out traps. In the corner 22d1 can be converted into a full combo like his other normal starters.

22b3 - The low option of the mixup. Unlike the overhead it is negative (but safe), and you cannot convert it into a combo. However, it does slightly bounce them and can be used as an option to put them into mines. It also has a "stomp move" property, where the low does not need to be touching your opponent to hit. It has an absurd amount of range, and the low can hit them from almost halfscreen away.

f2 - The overhead option of Lex's real 50/50. 15f and unreactable with the low, however is slightly unsafe on block (-7) and not hit-confirmable into a full combo midscreen. Midscreen, it can only be confirmed with a corp charge when you see it hit, otherwise you need to risk with a f2~vacuum. If you have a probe up midscreen, you can confirm it into a mb vacuum if the timing is right. In the corner, it can be converted like his other launchers. However one of the best uses for f2 is for unblockable setups, using it with mines to make hard-to-block and virtually impossible to block situations.

b13 - The low option of the 50/50. 14f and unreactable, hit-confirmable into a mb vacuum for a full combo. The b1 by itself is +6 on block, which is great for mixing things up and throwing. However, the b1 is -1 on hit.

3 - This doesn't really do anything for you other than put them fullscreen. It has great pushback on block and is somewhat useful in footsie range, but doesn't give you much. Not special cancelable.

d1 - Great range and pretty fast, one of the longest reaching d1's in the game. However, it cannot be cancelled into anything safe on block. Your best option when not being yolo is to follow up d1's on hit with a blockstring.

d2 - Has very deceptive range, but does not anti-air as well as his standing 2. You will mostly use this situationally due to the move's scaling and lack of regular utility.

d3 - Great footsie tool. Negative on block like most d3's, but it's range is what makes it so great. Gives a free setup or free trait dash on hit against most characters (excluding long-range multihitting wakeups like Flash mb torpedo or Doomsday mb venom). With a probe up, you can actually confirm d3 into a full combo, but the timing of it needs to be pretty tight.

213 - The full string is pretty useless on its own, gives the pseudo-wallbounce property that doesn't set anything up for Lex any better than his other tools. However, 21 has the best cancel advantage on block of any of his strings (and is similarly good on hit). 21~trait is a free trait dash against all (most? need confirmation) characters on block and hit.

b2u3d3 - This is Lex's most damaging string, and even though it looks like it's just being used for swag, it maximizes his damage as an ender and a starter to combo into mines. b2u3 by itself is safe, and on hit gives you an otg 50/50 when the opponent doesn't tech roll (works best in the corner due to spacing). b2u3d3 can also be used for crossup setups and will almost always crossup Superman on block. The d3 will correct with movement and can be used to escape or stuff situations where the opponent tries to whiff punish it.

u3 - Practically useless by itself due to poor range. Super fast (6f) and used to extend combos or send your opponent fullscreen while canceling into a trait/setup

j1 - Pretty standard j1, definitely not Lex's go-to air attack. Other than it being slightly faster than his other jump normals, there is little reason to use this in most situations.

j2 - Good j2, go-to air attack when jumping in. Will jail strings like 112 on block.

j3 - One of Lex's best tools, the furthest reaching j3 in the game. Great for locking down opponents with trait up. Can be hit confirmed best with a corp charge, d1~vacuum, or 11~vacuum.

Lance blast (df1)- average projectile, 7% which trades in Lex's favor against a lot of better projectiles. Can be charged 3 levels, level 2 reaches to about halfscreen and launches slightly, while level 3 only hits near Lex and is an unblockable that sends them fullscreen. Level 2 can be difficult to confirm into a combo with anything other than corp charge, but can be combo'd with d1~mb vacuum.

Up lance blast (db1)- The same properties as regular lance blast but hits diagonally upward. Not normally good as a normal anti-air other than to stuff interactables and hawkgirl's flight. However, level 2 uplance is much easier to confirm into a combo and doesn't need to anti-air to do so. Charge mixups best used up close as opposed to regular lance blast.

Corp charge (bf2)- One of the fastest specials in the game (6f), great for whiff punishing and tiger kneeing jumps with an instant air corp charge. Can be used for movement in the air, but this is mostly situational. It only becomes a good normal mobility tool with probes up to stuff punishes. It is however fully punishable on block (but safer on whiff). The use for this doesn't come from its damage, but from its knockdown properties. Corp charge gives a hard knockdown with lots of advantage to trait up or set things up. Unclashable.

Gravity pull (vacuum) (db2)- Used mainly in combos with the mb version. Not best used by itself as it's super unsafe on block. However, it can be used as a whiff punishing tool, but you have to be VERY careful as even many jump ins will be able to punish it on block. The regular version does a good amount of damage for certain combo enders, but it doesn't give enough advantage on hit to do much against most characters.

Lex Probe (db3)- Throws a probe on the screen that has a delayed shot on the opponent. Can help hit confirm normals into a combo when you normally can't, and punish strings/specials when you normally can't. Limits their movement and options, giving you opportunities to charge trait or throw something else, or mix them up. Has weird properties if you're in the air - if it hits while you're airborne (for example, air corp charging in) they will be able to block your followup. Otherwise you get a free combo on hit. Can be used to counterpunish in some situations (probe, corp charge, their punish, probe hit, your punish). Slow startup, best used with trait up or with a combo ender. The mb probes have faster startup and can be used between projectiles ( example - Cyborg IANB, Superman lasers) to help you get in or charge your trait. Each hit is +20 on block, giving you options for free 50/50's or other traps.

Mine (dd3, b (close) f (far))- Has close, medium, and far options. Mine hits low, granting you opportunities for overhead+low unblockable setups with Lex's various overhead options. Can also be mixed up with lows (d3, b13) to combo into the mine. Because you don't have to start with a vacuum, mines can give you great damage opportunities, even meterless. Other than being used plainly for resets, mines can be used to restrict movement. Keeping a mine between yourself and your opponent can be just as good as having it behind them for combo opportunities. Close mines can prevent some teleport options. Setting a mine right outside the corner while they're in it can trap them in the corner and prevent them from being able to combo out of it. Mb version doesn't have many uses except to extend damage when you can afford meter or if you're going for swag, as you can't b3 off it. Mine has slow startup, and is best used at the end of a combo, with trait, or combined with a probe. However, it has deceptively fast recovery, recovering very quickly after the mine is placed. Like probes, it is +20 on block, giving you advantage even when you know they will likely block it.

Orbital strike (df3)- Unblockable, good damage, and grants a hard knockdown. Best used in conjunction with traps like mb probes. Comes out very slow and is clashable, practically useless without something to help set it up. Mb version comes out much faster and is also unblockable, HOWEVER only the first hit is truly unblcokable, the others can be blocked situationally, but also puts Lex at a +20 advantage. Can be very difficult to escape without good mobility tools, especially when used with a probe or on a knockdown. Mb orbital strike can be used between projectiles when being outzoned for a favorable trade and to set up trait. MB version is unclashable.

Super - Lex's super starts out with 3 hits before the full animation, which can create problems in juggles or using it to anti-air. However, if you activate super in a juggle when gravity is relatively high and they are low to the ground, the super will re-stand the opponent and the damage will re-scale. You can get high-damage guaranteed super resets by something like (corner - 112, b2, 11, 11, d1~super).

Lex's trait gives him one hit of armor that absorbs damage and chip depending on the level it's on. Trait has three levels. Level 1 lasts a short period of time and takes 25% more damage and chip. Level 2 lasts slightly longer and takes 50% less damage and chip. Level 3 lasts the longest and absorbs 100% damage and chip. The different levels are obtained by holding the trait button down until you see it charged next to your meter. Trait can be dash cancelled, where you hold it down while dashing (and then even attacking) to charge it. Lex's game surrounds the use of this trait, and getting trait should be your primary goal to open up your opponent. Once it's gone, even level 3 trait comes back VERY quickly (5 seconds? need confirmation). It can be the case where you trait through something for a full combo, and can end the combo in another trait. Although trait can be stuffed with multi-hitting moves, you can block and release block at any time to armor through anything where it could work. Against armor-breaking moves (Bane on venom, Superman on trait, any supers), you still absorb the damage of the first hit even if it armor breaks. For example, if you get caught by Aquaman's super with trait on, it will only do 20-some percent, as the initial hit's damage is absorbed. Also, using another armored move like mb bounces or super with trait activated will give you an additional hit of armor.

Getting Trait
This is the most important thing you have to learn as a Lex player. Traitless Lex isn't a very good character, traited Lex is a VERY good character. Because his level 3 trait lasts for a long time and recovers relatively quickly, there is no reason not to abuse this and get trait whenever you can. This can be done in a variety of ways -

In open space - Trait does have startup, and you need to account for Lex's poor dashes when going over your opponent's options to punish it. It cannot be used by itself up close, but can definitely be used as an option in footsie range. When you can threaten with your footsie tools or j3's, it gives you opportunities to mix it up with trait dash. Further away, some characters can do little about a trait backdash, and there's no reason not to go for it when you can.

Punishes - Sometimes the best punish is trait. If you're not certain on getting a punish, like corp charging mb trident rushes or MMH oh teleport, a trait backdash can help you start your offense and open them up more. Some moves, like fullscreen aquaman FTD's, can be trait forward dashed to let you punish the next one for free or let you go in.

Traps - MB probe is probably his best universal option for setting up trait in open space. Even if they time neutral jumps to try and avoid the hits, it gives you time to freely pop trait. Regular probe works as well, but is less universally favorable for those who can just trade with it. Mines hit too far away to combo are good opportunities for trait, and mb orbital strike (missiles) gives you plenty of advantage to use it.

Corp charge - This is the general go-to way for getting trait. However, corp charge has different knockdown properties depending on what it's used with. Most corp charges will give you a free trait dash. However, some, like 22d1, corp charge, will wake them up too quickly to get it safely. Others, like corner combos into u3~corp charge, will give you a free trait dash with lvl 3 before they can move.

Normals - The only string to cancel into trait safely on block, as far as we can tell (because we don't have cancel frame data), is 21. This is a good option after hitting a d1 rather than going to a 50/50 or other pressure options. Other strings can get you punished. However, against some characters with less range, strings like 112 and 113 can be cancelled into trait on block and prevent them from punishing you when spaced properly.

Ending a combo - There is nothing wrong with ending a combo with trait, especially in the corner. It removes wakeup options and lets you get in again for free, but doesn't give you the same reset capabilities of some of his other tools.

Using trait
The worst, but most tempting thing for an opponent to do when you have trait is to rush you down. This lets you play your game and gives you free combo opportunities.

Most smart players are going to play extremely defensively against your trait with backdashes and using their mobility tools. You can nullify these by setting up probes to get in, throwing far mines to keep them close to you, or pushing them to corner and locking them down with j3's. When you're in, especially in the corner, you can do 50/50's for days. When in the corner with trait they basically have to guess right 4-5 times in a row or more.

Some characters will try and find ways out of it, but what you have to remember is to be patient and not go crazy. Many Lex players get antsy and forget that you can block while you have trait. You need to adjust accordingly depending on your opponent's character and know when to block and when to pressure, because if you're patient enough you can deal with pretty much anything. Any quick multi-hitting moves, whether it's Aquaman trident rush, Nightwing staff spin, Batgirl cartwheel, Doomsday mb venom, Zatanna kicks, etc can be blocked until the last hit which gives you a free punish. With some of these moves, like Zatanna's kicks, you can release block any time during the animation and go for a 112.

Lex doesn't have basic bnb's like most characters. It's hard to create a true combo list that's practical for how the character is played. Almost everything he does is situational to the opponent's lifebar, the position on the screen, whether or not you have trait, how much gravity there is, how your opponent is reacting to your setups, etc. Your main combos will go like this -

Starter (b13, f2, 112, 22) ~ mb vacuum, b3, j3, ender into setup (u3, 22, b2, 11, 113 ~ probe/mine/trait/OS). For damage, it's best to end with b2u3d3. For position reversal (to put them back in the corner), replace the j3 with a dash up u3 into a setup or a regular vacuum for damage.

With background bounces and mine starters, you can get a little bit more creative with what you're doing. But it's impossible to just tell you what you should do without a situation present. You need to understand the characters' tools and figure out what's optimal relative to your situation.

In the corner, it's a little bit different. With a regular launcher, you can start your combo without using meter -

example - 112, b2, 11, 11, or 112, f2, d1, 11.

Here, you can go into u3~mb vacuum, from which you can use a normal ender for damage/setups or set up Lex's corner vortex with neutral jump 2, 11. This grants you a free 50/50, which you can continuously loop with the overhead option.

Alternatively, without meter you can end with an u3~corp charge, which gives you a ton of advantage, enough for a free lvl 3 trait dash or a probe before they can get up.

With a b13 starter, things work a little bit differently. You can go for damage with b2u3d3 enders or any other setup enders, but because it needs to start with a vacuum you can't go for the vortex. Instead, for a reset situation, you can use -

b13~mb vacuum, f3, j2, d2~mb orbital strike.

This will punish and trade favorable with almost all standing wakeups. If timed correctly, you should be able to block wakeups and follow up with a full combo. Without a teleport or other kind of mobile move, this reset is inescapable, and their only option is to not tech roll and just block. In this situation, they get ground invincibility on the first missile and will block the next two, which puts you at +20 and gives you a free 50/50 (walk forward during the animation to get close enough).

There are a lot of setups you can use that are unique to the corner. For example, ending in probe, f2~uplance charge (level 2), 11 conversion. Or if they block it, charge to level 3.

One of his unblockable setups - ending in mb probes, uplance charge to level 3 (release BEFORE it does automatically), 11 conversion. The second probe should hit after the unblockable lance and give you a full combo.

Lex's zoning isn't your standard zoning style with projectiles. Your main goals in zoning are to

1. Limit mobility
2. Safely get trait to prevent punishment
3. Setup unblockables

Limiting their mobility has to do with strategic mine placement and use of probes. This prevents them from getting closer to you and gets them stuck in certain spots so you can use your unblockables.

Zoning with trait can give you options against almost anyone, even with teleports. Setting up a close mine in front of you lets you effectively zone characters like Martian and Batgirl, thus limiting their ability to hit you with your trait up and from trying to teleport in. Setting up a close mine and dashing in front of it lets you effectively zone characters like Ares and Zatanna who will normally avoid things by teleporting behind you.

Your unblockables are your main source of damage in zoning, which is much stronger than standard projectile zoning. It's only evened out by how long it can last, for example with trait up you may only get one unblockable hit before they take your trait away. But, when Lex can use it for extended periods, his zoning is VERY strong. Some setups -

When they're fullscreen - far mine, regular orbital strike. If they move forward they run into the mine, for characters that can jump/airdash over it you can instead delay a lance blast to put them on the mine.

probe, mb orbital strike - If a character has bad mobility, this is practically guaranteed. Using the missiles immediately can let them forward dash, however, so use it so that it will hit when the probe can catch them to give you enough advantage.

mb probes, regular orbital strike. This is practically guaranteed. If they move, the probe hits will get them and it will combo. If they block, mb probes give you enough advantage to prevent them from avoiding the unblockable.

Setting up mid mines is also useful in zoning against a lot of characters. This limits their mobility and keeps them stuck between that and fullscreen, allowing you to play your probe+os game, while being close enough for you to combo them into if they manage to use something to get in. For characters who can armor in, like Bane's charge, it takes away their armor hit on their way in, which gives you options to hit them (jb3, mb vacuum, normals, etc).

Stages and Interactables
Lex's best stages are those with background bounces (will get into why in the next section) and a decent amount of interactables for him to throw. His best stage is probably Fortress, where he gets a background bounce for those setups as well as the corner laser interactable for setup shenanigans and fullscreen conversions with missiles and mb probes. Lex's worst stages are probably Gotham Alley and Ferris Aircraft, but only against certain characters (gadget characters for Alley, characters who can outzone him and camp the corner for Ferris).

Lex has some of the best interactable control in the game. Not only is he good at using them, but also defending against them. Despite Lex's big hitbox making interactables harder to avoid, trait completely nullifies most interactable uses, which is especially good with characters who can trap you into them like with Zod's trait.

Lex can use interactables against characters that the majority of the cast cannot, like batgirl and martian manhunter. With trait up, interactables are completely safe against their counters, and will usually correct to where they teleport by the time they can use it to avoid it. Placing close mines is also a good option, where even if they can counter you, they may hit the mine and possibly even give you a combo if you're fast enough. Probes and mines can also trap characters in interactables, giving you advantage similar to how Zod's interactable control works.

As far as using interactable otg's, there's no solid answer on when it will always work. Ending a combo with u3~interactable will USUALLY work if there's less gravity in the combo. For ceiling interactables, like the hanging missile on Ferris, b3 to j3, j1/j2~interactable works.

Lex also has the advantage of being able to combo off interactables with mines. Interactables have weird properties, in which they can either keep them in place, send them a little ways backward, or send them fullscreen in the opposite direction. For most interactables, they can actually hold down and be able to block the mine. But for some interactables, a combo is guaranteed. This is especially good with the pig in Asylum Mess Hall. A mine behind the opponent followed up with a pig throw will almost always work, and you can (at worst) dash up and mb vacuum them for a full combo for very high damage. This makes Asylum Mess Hall one of Lex's best stages, despite its lack of a background bounce. If the spacing is right, you can also loop this against many characters by ending with them still in the Pig area with a mine behind them (example, pig into mine, dash up mb vacuum, crossover 2, f2~far mine, pig throw) which can usually at least give you free damage from the pig.

Background bounces
These are best when traited. Regardless, they give you the best setups in the game because they're untechable and keep them close. Against 90% of the cast you're always at very favorable positions to reset them, and there are setups that are useful against 100% of the cast.


bg bounce, close mine, immediate f2~vacuum. (this is virtually unblockable. some wakeups will get the invincibility for the f2 and mine but the vacuum will still punish almost every single-hitting wakeup with trait on).

bg bounce, mid mine, b2/b1~uplance charge. (you can do it naked, the b2/b1 is used to check them while keeping them in place on block and to stuff wakeups without trait. the lvl 3 unblockable uplance will combo them into the mine, straight lance won't)

bg bounce, mb rockets. (believe it or not, this works. however it seems to be safer depending on what you cancel the bg bounce from, it might give you different recovery times on the bounce. i've found that b2~bg bounce will give you enough time to throw missiles and block a 6f wakeup. can be good for an unclashable 12% with corp charge, or to mb vacuum for another background bounce combo if you're able to. for a lot of characters there's NOTHING they can do about this).

What to take away from this: If you have trait or meter, you have a guaranteed reset against most of the cast


bg bounce, mid mine, b13~probe, b2, (probe hit), b3, j2, ender (meterless)

mid mine, b13~probe, b2, (probe hit), b3, j2, 2~mb vacuum, j2~ender (metered)


bg bounce, mid mine, b13~probe, u3~corp charge, f2~mb vacuum, etc (swag)

bg bounce, mid mine, f2, dash, b3, etc

bg bounce, mid mine, b2u3d3, b3, etc (needs far mine on big hitbox chars)


bg bounce, mb probes, d2/2~mine. (Hit confirm the d2/s2 into far mine to combo into, block confirm into close/mid mine for block traps. This might be the best universal setup off bg bounce. MB probes make waking up risky for every character. Even with safe mb teleports like Ares and Zatanna, they have to respect the probes on block when they recover)

This guide is somewhat in progress, I'll add ideas to it as they come. If anybody has any additional suggestions to improve or add to this, feel free to comment.
Last edited: