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The Zoning Academy (Mortal Kombat 11 Edition)

M2Dave

Zoning Master
Royal Contributor
Possibly the best zoner in the game. Better than even Cetrion. Definitely better up close than her, with probably equal zoning capabilities. Appears to have lesser hard counter picks on first impression too. Shang might be The One.
Time will tell whether he is as good as Cetrion. I think he is played most effectively at the tip of the mid ground eruption, where the second hit is safe when flawless blocked against the vast majority of characters. f+4, the second hit of b+1, d+2, the f+2 string from a micro dash, and throw from a forward dash also complement the mid ground eruption at this range. I do have a couple of concerns, though, such as players flawless blocking and punishing the ground eruption as the game develops. He has limited range on his low pokes too, which could be a major defensive liability.

Has anyone messed with Shang’s b2112 combo? It takes up the entire screen. Lol
Unfortunately, the last hit can be neutral crouched and whiff punished.
 

ismael4790

Stay focused or get Caged
I do have a couple of concerns, though, such as players flawless blocking and punishing the ground eruption as the game develops. He has limited range on his low pokes too, which could be a major defensive liability.
You can add to the list of concerns the fact that having a good forward dash allows to block first hit of ground eruption and dash while dodging the second hit.
 

M2Dave

Zoning Master
Royal Contributor
You can add to the list of concerns the fact that having a good forward dash allows to block first hit of ground eruption and dash while dodging the second hit.
Which character(s) can dash through the second hit?
 

M2Dave

Zoning Master
Royal Contributor
I am bumping this old ass thread to offer my opinion on the current top five zoning characters in this game...

1. Johnny Cage (Outtake) - albeit slightly reduced in speed, he still has one of the fastest projectiles in the game at 11 frames of start up. EX rising star is the best EX special move in the game because of the push back created on block, which makes d+1 xx EX rising star a very powerful keep away tool. He can neutral crouch and punish many projectiles with shadow kick, which is one of the best advancing special moves in the game. While playing footsies, he whiff punishes very well with b+3,4 xx nut punch, but he lacks comeback potential unlike Showstopper.

2. Cetrion (Spring Cleaning) - she does not fit the description of a traditional zoning character so lots of people thought she was low tier when the game was released. In most match ups, Cetrion is best played between max wall range and max instant aerial far beam range. If opponents attempt to back out of this range, geyser checks their movement. If opponents attempt to advance forward, she has the best backdash in the game. She has excellent jab strings as the elements extend her active hitboxes. She also has a teleport for mobility, including an aerial teleport, but the far away teleport now costs two defensive bars. She does fairly low damage so she can have issues making a comeback. The fatal blow is decent, though.

3. Kitana (Highborn) - fan toss, amplified fan toss, aerial fan toss, sais, and dive kick control the pace of the match against most characters so she has an excellent balance of zoning and anti-zoning. Razors are the best special move in this game because of their multifaceted functionality. They can be used as a chip tool, a pressure tool, a combo tool, a preemptive anti-aerial tool, as a meaty attack, and as a teleport-baiting tool because they also have an active hitbox behind Kitana. She has the slowest mid attacks and the most difficult time escaping corners out of all the characters on this list.

4. Geras (Eternal) - sand trap is a zoning, anti-zoning, and whiff-punishing tool that wrecks many characters in this game. If I had to make a comparison, I would say sand trap functions similar to Aquaman's FTD except that the vertical hitbox is much, much lower, but the hit range is low. So you told d/b a lot against Geras while he maneuvers around the screen doing whatever he likes. Sand trap is punishable on block, but not by every character and not at every range. Eternal gives him access to the "sand simulacrum", an original teleport that he can use to run away. The EX version explodes and launches and can be used to "freeze" your opponent in place while you spam more sand traps. He also has a mid command grab, but his up close game has taken a critical hit as the f+2,1,2 / d+1 / splash / flawless block u+2 meta has been entirely removed. His fatal blow remains of the best ones.

5. Shang Tsung (Warlock) - ground eruption and corpse drop are excellent space-control tools. Corpse drop ignores projectile invulnerable moves such as Jade's purple glow and Nightwolf's reflect, which is really helpful in certain match ups. Straight skull is average because of the recovery frames. He has a couple of plus strings - 1,1,2 and f+2,4,2 - but as with all plus strings in Mortal Kombat 11 there is a flawless-blockable gap. f+4 is an advancing, high plus move, but the hit range is high. Shang Tsung is a solid zoning character, but he does low damage and he has the worst fatal blow in the game. So combo damage is low and comeback potential is weak.

Let me know whether you guys agree or disagree.
 

LaidbackOne

Scrubby nice guy
I am bumping this old ass thread to offer my opinion on the current top five zoning characters in this game...

1. Johnny Cage (Outtake) - albeit slightly reduced in speed, he still has one of the fastest projectiles in the game at 11 frames of start up. EX rising star is the best EX special move in the game because of the push back created on block, which makes d+1 xx EX rising star a very powerful keep away tool. He can neutral crouch and punish many projectiles with shadow kick, which is one of the best advancing special moves in the game. While playing footsies, he whiff punishes very well with b+3,4 xx nut punch, but he lacks comeback potential unlike Showstopper.

2. Cetrion (Spring Cleaning) - she does not fit the description of a traditional zoning character so lots of people thought she was low tier when the game was released. In most match ups, Cetrion is best played between max wall range and max instant aerial far beam range. If opponents attempt to back out of this range, geyser checks their movement. If opponents attempt to advance forward, she has the best backdash in the game. She has excellent jab strings as the elements extend her active hitboxes. She also has a teleport for mobility, including an aerial teleport, but the far away teleport now costs two defensive bars. She does fairly low damage so she can have issues making a comeback. The fatal blow is decent, though.

3. Kitana (Highborn) - fan toss, amplified fan toss, aerial fan toss, sais, and dive kick control the pace of the match against most characters so she has an excellent balance of zoning and anti-zoning. Razors are the best special move in this game because of their multifaceted functionality. They can be used as a chip tool, a pressure tool, a combo tool, a preemptive anti-aerial tool, as a meaty attack, and as a teleport-baiting tool because they also have an active hitbox behind Kitana. She has the slowest mid attacks and the most difficult time escaping corners out of all the characters on this list.

4. Geras (Eternal) - sand trap is a zoning, anti-zoning, and whiff-punishing tool that wrecks many characters in this game. If I had to make a comparison, I would say sand trap functions similar to Aquaman's FTD except that the vertical hitbox is much, much lower, but the hit range is low. So you told d/b a lot against Geras while he maneuvers around the screen doing whatever he likes. Sand trap is punishable on block, but not by every character and not at every range. Eternal gives him access to the "sand simulacrum", an original teleport that he can use to run away. The EX version explodes and launches and can be used to "freeze" your opponent in place while you spam more sand traps. He also has a mid command grab, but his up close game has taken a critical hit as the f+2,1,2 / d+1 / splash / flawless block u+2 meta has been entirely removed. His fatal blow remains of the best ones.

5. Shang Tsung (Warlock) - ground eruption and corpse drop are excellent space-control tools. Corpse drop ignores projectile invulnerable moves such as Jade's purple glow and Nightwolf's reflect, which is really helpful in certain match ups. Straight skull is average because of the recovery frames. He has a couple of plus strings - 1,1,2 and f+2,4,2 - but as with all plus strings in Mortal Kombat 11 there is a flawless-blockable gap. f+4 is an advancing, high plus move, but the hit range is high. Shang Tsung is a solid zoning character, but he does low damage and he has the worst fatal blow in the game. So combo damage is low and comeback potential is weak.

Let me know whether you guys agree or disagree.
What's your opinion on Kitaner placement Dave?
 
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ABACABB

End Of Humanity
Cetrion force of nature ? you forgot her lol This variation is sooo underrated , she outzones almost everyone and have great pressure with ground pound cancels . Combo dmg is super low .