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UMK3 Match Based Tier Chart

9.95

Noob
@nwo Lao isn't the same threat he was back in old school UMK3. New school UMK3 is mainly kara/block jabbing, and if you play any of the best kara/block jabbers like @R.E.O. @AK Juggs , Marvirrasta, NoDoubt or @AC1984 you realize that Lao's spin becomes a non-factor because they NEVER jump! It's only against jumping opponents (opponents that are making mistakes) that Lao's spin becomes a factor for an infinite. Even Kabal's spin is less of a factor in new school UMK3. It's an ever present danger, yes, but only if you leave the ground or don't kara/block jab correctly(like me, LOL).

Regardless, I don't think an elite kara/block jabbing Lao playing against an equally skilled elite kara/block jabbing Kitana or Kabal will win. The main factor in this is making making mistakes. The only way the Lao player wins is if the Kitana/Kabal player kara/block jabs incorrectly and gets caught with a spin (which, in itself is risky because the Lao player has to GUESS that the Kitana/Kabal player is jabbing incorrectly and has to do a risky, unsafe spin) or if they jump in a way that the spin can touch them. If a Kitana/Kabal player does that, then they are NOT elite.
 

nwo

Noob
@nwo Lao isn't the same threat he was back in old school UMK3. New school UMK3 is mainly kara/block jabbing, and if you play any of the best kara/block jabbers like @R.E.O. @AK Juggs , Marvirrasta, NoDoubt or @AC1984 you realize that Lao's spin becomes a non-factor because they NEVER jump! It's only against jumping opponents (opponents that are making mistakes) that Lao's spin becomes a factor for an infinite. Even Kabal's spin is less of a factor in new school UMK3. It's an ever present danger, yes, but only if you leave the ground or don't kara/block jab correctly(like me, LOL).
I've played all of the players you've mentioned here, minus Reo and Juggernaut, I've also played against Igotbass for 3+ months last year.

Saying that high level players NEVER jump is a myth, if you don't believe that just watch some UMK3 Grand Finals on YouTube, and start counting how many times 1 or both players jump per round. It's rare to find a single round where one of the players didn't jump at least once, let alone an entire fight (this includes the players you mentioned above). I did see Reo vs Igotbass, where Reo didn't jump once for a couple fights in a row, he also wasn't winning at that time.

It's probably safe to say high level players jump LESS, but I wouldn't say never.

As far as Kung Lao goes, I'll try to explain why (later, I'll be back home tonight) he doesn't need anyone to leave the ground (or jumping into his spin) to be effective, on any level. Also why the Kitana vs Lao match-up is not that bad.
 

9.95

Noob
I've played all of the players you've mentioned here, minus Reo and Juggernaut, I've also played against Igotbass for 3+ months last year.

Saying that high level players NEVER jump is a myth, if you don't believe that just watch some UMK3 Grand Finals on YouTube, and start counting how many times 1 or both players jump per round. It's rare to find a single round where one of the players didn't jump at least once, let alone an entire fight (this includes the players you mentioned above). I did see Reo vs Igotbass, where Reo didn't jump once for a couple fights in a row, he also wasn't winning at that time.

It's probably safe to say high level players jump LESS, but I wouldn't say never.

As far as Kung Lao goes, I'll try to explain why (later, I'll be back home tonight) he doesn't need anyone to leave the ground (or jumping into his spin) to be effective, on any level. Also why the Kitana vs Lao match-up is not that bad.
Those IGB vs. REO matches are OLD... as in before @R.E.O. and @AK Juggs learned how to properly kara/block jab, and when EVERYONE got basically steamrolled by Marvirrasta at NEC 2010 by this tactic. The man virtually NEVER left the ground unless it was safe.

While I'll say it's true that even elite players do jump, they are rarely mistake jumps, meaning they are calculated, almost always safe, jumps. Kabal jump back gas blasts or instant air gas blasts, Kitana instant air fans, etc.

The videos you're referencing are almost 3 1/2 years old and the game has evolved IMMENSELY since then. It's not the same, and the players like REO and Juggs don't play nearly the same way now as they played at NEC 2010.

Again, if you're getting caught by a random, unsafe Lao spin, it's because you're not kara/block jabbing properly, or you made a mistake jump. Otherwise, if you're doing it right, the spin is a virtual non-factor.
 

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
I've played all of the players you've mentioned here, minus Reo and Juggernaut, I've also played against Igotbass for 3+ months last year.

Saying that high level players NEVER jump is a myth, if you don't believe that just watch some UMK3 Grand Finals on YouTube, and start counting how many times 1 or both players jump per round. It's rare to find a single round where one of the players didn't jump at least once, let alone an entire fight (this includes the players you mentioned above). I did see Reo vs Igotbass, where Reo didn't jump once for a couple fights in a row, he also wasn't winning at that time.

It's probably safe to say high level players jump LESS, but I wouldn't say never.
It's very different when someone jumps against Human Smoke than when someone jumps against Kung Lao. And even jumping at H.Smoke is incredibly risky. No high level player is going to jump at Kung Lao, there's no reason to and it can lead to your death. This doesn't mean that occasional in casual matches that you will never see someone jump at Kung Lao, but casual matches should be taken with a grain of salt.

As far as Kung Lao goes, I'll try to explain why (later, I'll be back home tonight) he doesn't need anyone to leave the ground (or jumping into his spin) to be effective, on any level. Also why the Kitana vs Lao match-up is not that bad.
This is true, and why he's still a decent character. But nowhere near as good as he used to be or how some people think he is. He still has great mobility and high damage. Most of the time, his teleport is useless. His dive kick is his saving grace, but it's only really good for mobility. It's risky though, one misplaced divekick will be easily punished.

The main point is, Kung Lao can be deadly but not without being incredibly risky. In a game like UMK3, you want to make as few mistakes as possible or you will be dead.

He also has some horrid match-ups. H.Smoke, Ermac, Kabal, Nightwolf, Sonya, R.Smoke, Sindel, U.Sub and more are really tough for Lao. Not to mention that Lao is the easiest character in the game to relaunch. You might think that the robots or sheeva are easier, but Lao is the easiest to actually get unblockable.

I'm not sure where I'd place him on the tier list, but he certainly wouldn't make top 5. Top 10 at the absolute best imo.
 

MKK hanzo

Moderator
Premium Supporter
I always, and I mean ALWAYS listed the Lao weakness before Gjabs were an issue:

-Unable to Jp starter on female ninjas

-Random hat Throw when runjabbing if you dont play holding RUN

-Suceptible to very easy relaunchers and almost the most damaging combos in the game

-No real answer to run jabs and less to Gjabs (@ded argued me that he could spin through jabs but that was using a PC keyboard where you can hold back and still do a DP motion without being throwed)

-Scoutable tlpt

-"baitable" dive kicks

-Unsfae Spin as a reliable AA cause its starting frames, NO ONE will spin correctly and at all times an opponent jumps.

If you add gjabs and karajabs to this then its mid tier at best. maybe a point up or two if you play VERY carefully and scouting ninja teleports etc. I will put more money on Striker if ou ask me (my 2 cents)
 

nwo

Noob
Those IGB vs. REO matches are OLD... as in before @R.E.O. and @AK Juggs learned how to properly kara/block jab, and when EVERYONE got basically steamrolled by Marvirrasta at NEC 2010 by this tactic. The man virtually NEVER left the ground unless it was safe.

While I'll say it's true that even elite players do jump, they are rarely mistake jumps, meaning they are calculated, almost always safe, jumps. Kabal jump back gas blasts or instant air gas blasts, Kitana instant air fans, etc.

The videos you're referencing are almost 3 1/2 years old and the game has evolved IMMENSELY since then. It's not the same, and the players like REO and Juggs don't play nearly the same way now as they played at NEC 2010.

Again, if you're getting caught by a random, unsafe Lao spin, it's because you're not kara/block jabbing properly, or you made a mistake jump. Otherwise, if you're doing it right, the spin is a virtual non-factor.
I don't even know where to begin.

The only reason I mentioned the Reo Vs Igotbass matches is because it happened to be one of the rare examples I could find where 1 or both players didn't jump for an entire fight in a grand finals. Jumping occurs sometimes even on the highest levels, there's plenty more recent examples of this (and I'm not talking about Kabal air fireballs) I'm glad we agree on that.

To say that EVERY jump a high level player will make will always be safe is just not true. If an opponent jumps forward even from full screen, Kung Lao can jump forward to dive kick, to unblockable spin. This occurs more often than you would think. He can sometimes bait a forward jump by jumping back (backflip) then if the opponent jumps forward after, he can dive kick to spin. It's a natural reaction for a lot of people including high level players to jump forward to close the gap. Especially when using a player like Nightwolf because hes not mobile and he needs to fight in close. That's 1 low risk, or zero risk spin example. He has more.

I'm not saying my opponent was high level here, but here's an example of what I'm talking about, in Round 3 (I could also show you this tactic working vs higher level well known players).

Some zero risk spin examples VS high tier characters would be...A blocked Kabal spin, a blocked Male Ninja teleport (H. Smoke, Ermac, Scorpion), a blocked H. Smoke / Scorpion spear close range (it might even be possible to walk forward to an unblockable spin at sweep distance, I have not confirmed that). An out of range Kitana fan lift can be teleported, walk forward to unblockable spin. There are more examples of zero risk spins vs other characters.

His spin out prioritizes Kabal's spin in close to mid-range. If the timing is good he can spin Male Ninja teleports (unblocked), Female Ninja sweeps (this happens a lot more frequently than you might think even vs high level players).

I played offline vs Crazy Dominican last month at NEC for about an hour straight and about 90% of our matches were Lao vs Kitana. I'd say bare minimum he has one of the best if not the best Kitana in the country. Lao matches up with her just fine and our matches were extremely competitive for the most part. The key is to duck (not block) her fans so she cant walk in for chip damage or auto combo and try to turn the fight into a sweeping war. Lao has a good sweep, a fairly lengthy jab, large 7-hit auto combo. Female Ninjas are not hard at all (like some people think) for Lao to infinite juggle either.
 
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9.95

Noob
CD is absolutely one of the best old school UMK3 players you'll ever play. Shock, summoning, CD...all of em, AMAZING.

Play REO or Juggs and their kara/block jabbing craziness. I'm not saying old school UMK3 isn't fun, it's INCREDIBLY fun. New school UMK3 is a different animal FOR ME (pay attention to that part, it's important) because the best kara/block jabbers rule the roost.

Did you see the 2010 set of Marvirrasta vs. CD? I was there, I watched Marv STEAMROLL CD with this technique. Marv made a lot of mistakes too, and he's not even the BEST kara/block jabber out there. If he could steamroll CD, what do you think someone who makes LESS mistakes and is better at the technique could do?

My point here is that in old school UMK3, KL is a major factor and a major threat. In new school UMK3, that spin is a non factor, ESPECIALLY against the elite players. Their jumps are almost always safe, their ground game is nearly flawless, their kara/block jabbing is nearly flawless and their mistakes are virtually non-existent.


Also, if you're playing people who are getting swept by Lao like that, they're not good at kara/block jabbing. If you're telling yourself that there aren't any better players than the people you've played, you're fooling yourself. I was fooling myself at one point too. I'm nowhere near the best UMK3 player, but I was competent and competitive at one point, I could give almost anyone at least a run for their money. Not once I met the kara/block jabbers. I think you need to meet them too.

Also, I don't mean this in any nasty or bad way. I'm just having a conversation about things I've experienced. I would never mean to say that you're bad or not a good player. I just don't think you've played the best kara/block jabbers out there whereas I have.
 

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
Lao's definitely a lot better in N64 MKT at least. His spin is safer since you can move with it and the increased speed definitely helps him out.

And he's still not a bad character in UMK3, just nowhere near the top.
 

nwo

Noob
Lao's definitely a lot better in N64 MKT at least. His spin is safer since you can move with it and the increased speed definitely helps him out.

And he's still not a bad character in UMK3, just nowhere near the top.
In N64 MKT hes limited to 2 spins per combo, on PSX its only 1 spin, and they can't come at any point in time they must be back to back. So technically he doesn't have an infinite on either version, but he's still capable of huge devastating combos. His spin can move around in MKT so yeah, its definitely safer and easier to land.

He's fast in UMK3 too, he can fight inside like a maniac, I just don't see many people using him like that. I have a video of me vs Nodoubt, where I was fighting his Nightwolf inside constantly, he won the majority of the fights like 5 to 8. Its actually a good example because it was a little too laggy for infinities to really be a factor. Yes they were just casuals.


Edit: In MKT he probably still has his corner dive kick infinite vs Sheeva and possibly vs others, but I can't see that being very practical or useful. His corner combos are insane in MKT from what I've seen on YouTube.
 
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Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
In N64 MKT hes limited to 2 spins per combo, on PSX its only 1 spin, and they can't come at any point in time they must be back to back. So technically he doesn't have an infinite on either version, but he's still capable of huge devastating combos. His spin can move around in MKT so yeah, its definitely safer and easier to land.

He's fast in UMK3 too, he can fight inside like a maniac, I just don't see many people using him like that. I have a video of me vs Nodoubt, where I was fighting his Nightwolf inside constantly, he won the majority of the fights like 5 to 8. Its actually a good example because it was a little too laggy for infinities to really be a factor. Yes they were just casuals.


Edit: In MKT he probably still has his corner dive kick infinite vs Sheeva and possibly vs others, but I can't see that being very practical or useful. His corner combos are insane in MKT from what I've seen on YouTube.
His spin is safer in MKT and that alone makes him more of a threat. It's not completely safe, but being able to move with it even on block is huge an makes his spin a lot more useful. and the spin being limited to 2 in a combo doesn't hurt him at all since he can still do 100% incredibly easy. The only time it really hurts him is if he gets the spin in the corner but even then you can switch positions and carry him corner to corner.

another big reason he's better in MKT is the increased speed. His unsafe moves are safer and his quick moves and normals are quicker. Kubg Lao on crack definitely is a threat and not someone you shoul underestimate.

in UMK3 however, he's not really worth his weight. Keep in min though, every character can compete in UMK3 on some level at any given time. A lot of that has to do with kara/glitch jabs and also due to everyone having the same normals. But perhaps the bigest reason is the game is just well balanced. With that said, Lao is still a threat in UMK3 but just not a top 10 character imo.
 

nwo

Noob
His spin is safer in MKT and that alone makes him more of a threat. It's not completely safe, but being able to move with it even on block is huge an makes his spin a lot more useful. and the spin being limited to 2 in a combo doesn't hurt him at all since he can still do 100% incredibly easy. The only time it really hurts him is if he gets the spin in the corner but even then you can switch positions and carry him corner to corner.
I personally wouldn't trade unlimited spins per combo for a moveable spin, since he already has many safe spins (like I listed above + more). I tried to block while spinning on Project64 MKT, it didn't work. I was being hit with projectiles, my spin was also getting swept in the corner while holding down + back + block. I'd still want to confirm that on an actual N64 though.

another big reason he's better in MKT is the increased speed. His unsafe moves are safer and his quick moves and normals are quicker. Kubg Lao on crack definitely is a threat and not someone you shoul underestimate..
But every character has increased speed, and the PSX version is similar in speed to UMK3.

in UMK3 however, he's not really worth his weight. Keep in min though, every character can compete in UMK3 on some level at any given time. A lot of that has to do with kara/glitch jabs and also due to everyone having the same normals. But perhaps the bigest reason is the game is just well balanced. With that said, Lao is still a threat in UMK3 but just not a top 10 character imo.
Not a top 10 character? LOL, thats a pretty incredible statement.
 

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
I personally wouldn't trade unlimited spins per combo for a moveable spin, since he already has many safe spins (like I listed above + more). I tried to block while spinning on Project64 MKT, it didn't work. I was being hit with projectiles, my spin was also getting swept in the corner while holding down + back + block. I'd still want to confirm that on an actual N64 though.
Like I said, unlimited spins doesn't really help him, it just makes an easy infinite much easier. He can still carry you wall to wall with ease just with his divekick, and then corner combo you to finish you off. I don't think it's technically an infinite since you can't infinitely keep it going, but you can easily get 100% and in the end that's the same thing.

And I never said you could block while spinning, lol, that would be broken. I said you can keep moving on block, meaning when your opponent blocks the spin, you can still move with it and aren't frozen at the point when it's blocked. This makes it much safer since you can move out of range for easy punishers.

But every character has increased speed, and the PSX version is similar in speed to UMK3.
Yes, but it helps some characters more than others. And I'm talking about the N64 version, PSX version is too similar to UMK3.

Not a top 10 character? LOL, thats a pretty incredible statement.
There's just too many other good and better characters to place Kung Lao in the top 10. Of course it's arguable, but that's why tier lists are heavily opinionated. Him not being top 10 doesn't necessarily mean he's not good, it just means there's 10 other characters that are better than him.
 

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
I know it's a little old, but he's #3 here...
http://ultimatemk.com/cguide.php?game=umk3arcade
I mean, I know that list needs revising, but I can't think of 8 characters that could bump unkle kung broken out of the Top 10.
Kabal, H.Smoke, Ermac, Nightwolf, R.Smoke, Jax, Sonya, Kitana, Reptile, Kano, Stryker are all definitely better or just as good as Kung. I even have a harder time vs mid tier characters like Jade, Scorpion, uSub, etc than I do against Kung. The only character listed I think Kung may be better than is Stryker. All the others, and maybe even Sindel, imo are better characters and belong in the top 10 before Kung.

My top 10 would look something like this:

1.) Kabal
2.) Human Smoke
3.) Ermac
4.) Kitana
5.) Nightwolf
6.) Robot Smoke
7.) Jax
8.) Sonya
9.) Reptile
10.) Kano

And the rest:

11.) Kung Lao
12.) Sindel
13.) Stryker
14.) Unmasked Sub-Zero
15.) Jade
16.) Scorpion
17.) Sheeva
18.) Mileena
19.) Liu Kang
20.) Sektor
21.) Cyrax
22.) Classic Sub-Zero
23.) Shang Tsung

@nwo
 
I think @NobilityV3 would disagree with you ;)

I've begun to think that the issues we have with mid-tier characters is simply not playing against them enough. I've been playing Sindel for MAYBE 2 weeks and I've knocked off some pretty good players that I do not typically beat as my mains, Human Smoke and Ermac.
 

ZAQ

Banned
I'd put Kano right under U.Sub in a game with block jabs. I feel like he makes top 10 out of courtesy to high level arcade players have said alone.
The most overrated character in UMK3. He hasn't been up there since early 2000's imo.
I hope one day people get to play this game without blockjabs.
 

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
I'd put Kano right under U.Sub in a game with block jabs. I feel like he makes top 10 out of courtesy to high level arcade players have said alone.
The most overrated character in UMK3. He hasn't been up there since early 2000's imo.
I actually agree 100%
 
Reactions: ZAQ

nwo

Noob
Kabal, H.Smoke, Ermac, Nightwolf, R.Smoke, Jax, Sonya, Kitana, Reptile, Kano, Stryker are all definitely better or just as good as Kung. I even have a harder time vs mid tier characters like Jade, Scorpion, uSub, etc than I do against Kung. The only character listed I think Kung may be better than is Stryker. All the others, and maybe even Sindel, imo are better characters and belong in the top 10 before Kung.
[/USER]
When you said he wasn't even a top 10 character, I already figured you were putting every / any decent character above him. There's just no way I can agree with you on that. Out of your top 10, the characters I probably fear most would be an invisible R.Smoke, and maybe a Nightwolf or Kitana in a laggy online match (her fans can be impossible to dodge). He matches up with most high tier characters just fine.

Stryker is easily handled by Kung Lao. Stryker can't sweep Lao's spin, and hes an extremely easy character to juggle. Lao can spin his baton throw and even a blocked baton throw. If Stryker wants to start spamming grenades from long range, Lao can just teleport to auto-combo.

My second best character is Jax, I used to main him until I switched to arcade stick. I can tell you right now, Jax has far less potential. Although I did play against Phobaphobia a few days ago, and his Jax is insane, so I'm not really sure about the Lao / Jax match up right now, I'll have to play him more.

I could also do some damage with C.Sub, Cyrax, Sektor, and Liu Kang. I'm not saying any of them are close to top 10 though. I really just use these characters to mix things up and throw a curveball every now and then.

(btw, when I say they "can't" sweep his spin, what I mean is, it's extremely unlikely. Every now and then if the spacing is correct, female ninjas can sweep his spin with the tip of their toe. This mostly happens by accident.)
 
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Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
Stryker is easily handled by Kung Lao. Stryker can't sweep Lao's spin, and hes an extremely easy character to juggle. Lao can spin his baton throw and even a blocked baton throw. If Stryker wants to start spamming grenades from long range, Lao can just teleport to auto-combo. (btw, when I say they "can't" sweep his spin, what I mean is, it's extremely unlikely. Every now and then if the spacing is correct, female ninjas can sweep his spin with the tip of their toe. This mostly happens by accident.)
You shouldn't really ever be sweeping Kung Lao's spin. You're doing the least possible damage that way. You should be kara jabbing, and after you block the spin, go in for a free punish. And with someone like Stryker, that could mean Kung Lao is dead. Stryker can also relaunch Kung very easily, not that he needs to though with his infinite. You don't throw projectiles against characters with a teleport, and in the Stryker vs KL match-up, you don't need to. All Stryker really has to do is bait out a mistake, and it's almost GG at that point. One blocked spin or divekick can end the round, one knee starter combo could end the round, overall it's probably in Stryker's favor.

My second best character is Jax, I used to main him until I switched to arcade stick. I can tell you right now, Jax has far less potential. Although I did play against Phobaphobia a few days ago, and his Jax is insane, so I'm not really sure about the Lao / Jax match up right now, I'll have to play him more.
Jax is 100% better than KL. The match-up itself is pretty even, however. Maybe slightly in Jax's favor, but not by a huge margin at all.

I could also do some damage with C.Sub, Cyrax, Sektor, and Liu Kang. I'm not saying any of them are close to top 10 though. I really just use these characters to mix things up and throw a curveball every now and then.
Like I've said, every character can compete in some way. Just because these are low tier characters, that doesn't mean they can't win or are necessarily "bad".
 

nwo

Noob
You shouldn't really ever be sweeping Kung Lao's spin. You're doing the least possible damage that way. You should be kara jabbing, and after you block the spin, go in for a free punish.
Let me clear this up, I anticipate sweeps vs Female Ninjas and Stryker, its actually not hard to do. I buffer F,D,F and if they begin going down into the sweep motion I tap Run. I almost want to say that its possible to do F,D,F,RUN AFTER they are committed to the sweep. That isn't confirmed, but now that I think about it, that's what I might actually be doing at times.

I blow through Stryker on average. The high level Jax match-up is very iffy.
 

Juggs

Lose without excuses
Lead Moderator
Let me clear this up, I anticipate sweeps vs Female Ninjas and Stryker, its actually not hard to do. I buffer F,D,F and if they begin going down into the sweep motion I tap Run. I almost want to say that its possible to do F,D,F,RUN AFTER they are committed to the sweep. That isn't confirmed, but now that I think about it, that's what I might actually be doing at times.
That's just solid reads, but your reads aren't always on point. So if you're spinning sweep reads, a good player will adapt and then bait them, assuming your reads are accurate in the first place. Then you will get punished accordingly. And it's not like you can react to a start up sweep animation consistently or even often, it's mostly based entirely off reads/anticipation. Besides, often when you spin sweeps, they end up too far to finish his infinite. The risk/reward is there but the percentage that it will pay off is considerably lower than it backfiring.