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Liu Kang's Variations

Flame Fist - In the Flame Fist Variation, Liu Kang loses his ability to perform his Bicycle Kick, but in exchange, gains access to his Windmill Punch attack. He can also activate the "Flame Fists," which increases block and hit damage on all punch-based attacks, and increases block damage on his fireballs. Liu Kang is also given a parry special move that stops oncoming attacks and counters with a two-hit attack. This Variation is best for players that enjoy applying high offensive pressure to their opponents.
Dragon's Fire - The Dragon's Fire Variation is sure to please loyal Liu Kang fans as it most closely resembles the character's playstyle from past iterations of Mortal Kombat. While the Flying Kick can be performed in another one of his Variations, this special moves gains an additional hit in the Dragon's Fire Variation. Liu Kang's trademark Bicycle Kick can also be enhanced whilst in this Variation, resulting in a ground bounce that allows for kombo extension. Lastly, the Dragon's Fire Variation grants Liu Kang the ability to charge his fireball and/or dash cancel out of it.
Dualist - In the Dualist Variation, Liu Kang can switch stances; using his Metamorphosis special move, Liu Kang is able to change between the Light and Dark stances. While in his Light stance, his fireballs become a bit faster, which helps better his zoning game. The Dark stance changes Liu Kang's fireballs into small plasma orbs that can be stopped anytime during their flight across screen and explode after a short period of time after becoming stationary. Dark stance also allows Liu Kang to perform a "damage charge" and Light stance grants Liu Kang the ability to regenerate health.
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ragingkarma posted April 26, 2015

General tip for liu kang combos are a necessity. If you drop them like hot potatoes then you're gonna have a bad time.

wingliger posted April 24, 2015

Bread and Butter combos:(Please note these are the combos I use and have found most reliable but use whatever you believe is best for you)

For all Bicycle Kick MB combos, make sure to MB at the end of the Bicycle kick to get the most damage possible.

-113 B34 F44 xx Flying Kick 29% Damage (Can replace F44 with F213 for 1% more damage but the timing for F213 is trickier)

-F44 xx Bicycle Kick Meterburn B34 F44 xx Flying Kick 36% Damage (Can also replace F44 with F213 here)

-F3 xx Dragon's Roar(DB2) 12% Damage Safe on Block Good Poking tool.

-Corner: 113 B34 F213 xx Bicycle Kick F4(2Hits) xx BF1. 34% Damage
Instead of doing Low Fireball(BF1), you can do Forward Throw, Back Throw or D2. D2 and Back Throw will throw you opponent out of the corner and both of the throws can be tech'd. D2 with do 1% more damage and throws will do same damage.
F213 can be replaced by F44 but loses 1% damage. F213 isn't that hard to do in the corner as compared to midscreen.
The F4 in the end can also be 1 hit if you prefer but it may lose a very small amount of damage although it wouldn't even add up to 1% so it doesn't matter that much.

- F44 xx Bicycle Kick Meter Burn, Jump 1, B34, F213 xx Bicycle Kick,F4(2hits) xx BF1. 40% Damage
The notes for above can also be applied here.

TheZum posted April 22, 2015

For The Shaolin (X-Ray)

Liu Kang's X-Ray doesn't cover a lot of distance but it's relatively easy to combo into. You can use something as simple as the Hidden Lotus combo (1,1) and go right into the X-Ray for an easy 35 percent damage combo. This also makes it easy to punish opponents with the X-Ray. If you block any attack that can be punished by Liu Kang's Strong Fist (1), you can go right into the Hidden Lotus combo and end with the X-Ray for good damage.

TheZum posted April 22, 2015

Bicycle Kick
Notation: Forward, Back, Forward+4
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

The main use for the Bicycle Kick is to end combos with significant advantage and leaving the opponent standing. Liu Kang's combos are long enough to make it fairly easy to cancel into the Bicycle Kick once you confirm the combo hits. After you end a combo with the Bicycle Kick you have enough advantage to start an overhead/low mix-up to force your opponent into guessing how they're supposed to block. If your combo is blocked, do not cancel into the Bicycle Kick as it's not safe when blocked. The enhanced version (Bicycle Flurry) inflicts more damage, lasts longer and has armor.

Flying Dragon Kick
Notation: Back, Forward+2
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

End combos with the Flying Dragon Kick if you're going for damage instead of a setup. It covers a lot of ground and travels very fast, but if the opponent blocks it Liu Kang can be punished. The speed and range of the Flying Dragon Kick allow Liu Kang to punish certain attacks that would normally be difficult to punish. Attacks that are generally not safe but push Liu Kang back far enough to be out of reach of his normal attacks. In many cases the Flying Dragon Kick can punish opponents in this situation. The enhanced version travels even further and has armor.

Dragon's Roar
Notation: Down, Back+2
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

Dragon's Roar is safe if the opponent blocks and it has deceptive range. You can land this attack from roughly mid-screen. It can definitely catch an opponent off-guard, but it doesn't lead to any additional damage. If the opponent doesn't have any meter, use this attack to score a knockdown, then run up and apply pressure as the opponent attempts to get off the ground. This works especially well in the corner, but can work in open space if you can get to the opponent fast enough. The enhanced version also has armor making it one of Liu Kang's best options after he's knocked down.

TheZum posted April 22, 2015

Dragon's Fire Variant

If the Flame Fist is Liu Kang's traditional style, Dragon's Fire is a beefed up version of that. Liu Kang's fireballs execute slower and can be delayed and even canceled with Forward, Forward or Back, Back. His The enhanced version of his Bicycle Kick launches the opponent into the air so Liu Kang can follow with a juggle for additional damage, and the Flying Dragon Kick is replaced with the Double Dragon Kick. This new special move hits twice and can be enhanced to turn into a Bicycle Kick. It can even be enhanced a second time to launch the opponent into the air for a juggle.

The damage output of the Double Dragon Kick is the same as the normal Bicycle Kick. The advantage is that it executes faster and travels farther at the cost of using a meter (or two meters if you want the launch at the end). If you don't need the extra speed or range, stick to the normal Bicycle Kick and save your meter for the launcher at the end.


Sore Throat - Down, Down, Back, Forward, Forward (Close)
Splitter - Back, Forward, Down, Up (Close)


Hot Head - Use at least three stage interactions during the match, then kill the opponent by hitting them in the head with an Air Fireball (Back, Forward+1 in the air).

TheZum posted April 22, 2015

Dualist Variant

The Dualist variant changes Liu Kang's fireballs and gives him some unique setup options. You can switch between the Light Metamorphosis and Dark Metamorphosis with Down, Down+1. By default you start in the Light Metamorphosis stance which has large fireballs that act like normal projectiles. You can shot a Solar Flare (Back, Forward+1) that hits high and can be ducked under, or a Low Solar Flare (Back, Forward+3) which hits low. You can also use the Air Solar Flare (Back, Forward+1 in the air) as an aerial attack.

Liu Kang also has the Yin (Down, Back+3) ability which allows him to slowly regain health by holding 3 when you execute the technique. Liu Kang can't block while doing this, but you can cancel it by releasing 3 or pressing Forward, Forward or Back, Back. If you release 3 you will get additional health replenished, but if you cancel it you will be able to block faster.

In the Dark Metamorphosis stance Liu Kang's fireballs do not directly inflict damage. Soul Sphere (Back, Forward+1) travels high, Low Soul Sphere (Back, Forward+3) travels low and Air Soul Sphere (Back, Forward+1 in the air) can be done in the air. You can use Stop Sphere (Forward, Down, Back+1) to stop these projectiles. After a short time the stopped projectile will explode, inflicting damage to the opponent if they're nearby. Like Yin in the Light Metamorphosis stance, Liu Kang can use Yang (Down, Back+3) in Dark Metamorphosis stance. Holding 3 charges up the Spheres so they explode much faster after you stop them.

The basic strategy of this variant is to land a knockdown by ending combos with the Flying Dragon Kick or Dragon's Roar so you can setup your Spheres and then attack the opponent again with the Sphere to protect you. However, this goes against Liu Kang's general strategy of keeping the opponent on their feet with the Bicycle Kick. If you want to play a more setup-heavy Liu Kang, this is the variant for you.

TheZum posted April 22, 2015

Basic Strategy

While Liu Kang's various fighting styles offer him a variety of play styles, all three have access to the Bicycle Kick or some variation of it. Therefore you go-to strategy for all three variants should be to land a combo and end it with the Bicycle Kick in order to leave the opponent standing and allow you to start another mix-up. Showdown (Forward+4,4) should be your bread and butter combo. It starts with a fast low attack and if it hits you can end with the Bicycle Kick. If it's blocked you can transition right into the Launching Fury combo (Forward+4,4,3) to stay safe from punishment.

Once you connect the Bicycle Kick you want to go for a low or an overhead. The low should be the Showdown combo again, but you have some options when it comes to the overhead. Ideally you want to hit the opponent with the Dragon Seeks Path combo (1,1,3), but the first two attacks can be interrupted by a crouching jab if the opponent is skilled. You can use the Tiger Backfist (Back+2) overhead, but if the opponent guesses right and blocks it, Liu Kang is not safe. You can also go with a throw to further mix things up. The best course of action is to use the Showdown combo enough to make your opponent block low after a Bicycle Kick. If they're scared enough you can land either overhead option.

Flame Fist Variant

The Flame Fist variant is essentially classic Liu Kang. He has a normal Fireball (Back, Forward+1), Low Fireball (Back, Forward+3) and Air Fireball (Back, Forward+1 in the air). The Bicycle Kick is replaced by the Windmill Punch (Forward, Back, Forward+4) but is essentially the same in terms of how you should use it. He also has the Dragon Parry (Down, Back+3) which counters high and mid attacks and the Shaolin Flame (Down, Down+1) which lights Liu Kang's fists on fire and increases his damage for a short time.

This is traditional Liu Kang and the variant you should choose if you just want to play an aggressive style using the Windmill Punch to end combos and going for an overhead/low mix-up. The Dragon Parry just helps to keep Liu Kang on the offensive by shutting down an opponent who tries to attack at the wrong time, and the Shaolin Flame just gives Liu Kang more damage to end the match faster. He also gains two new combos that are just extensions of his combos in other variations.

MEETHEGROUCH posted March 18, 2016

Liu Kang

Dualist Kombos

Moanski posted July 22, 2015

What to do with Liu Kang

Liu Kang is lacking an essential piece to his game and that is a high damage overhead that makes his mix ups more rewarding. His one competent overhead is B2, but it only does 7% damage and a hard knockdown. Dragon Seeks Path (1,1,3) is another overhead, but almost useless against those with experience fighting Liu Kang unless used as a punish. The overhead kick is slow and predictable, and the two punches are extremely inconsistent across different characters (see Dragon Seeks Path move page).
People with experience fighting against Liu Kang instinctively block low. Look at it this way: block low, you take a mere 7% damage from B2 or uppercut out of his 1,1,3 string. Block high, you get hit with Showdown (F4,4) into a bicycle kick reset or 38% Dragon’s Fire combo. The discrepancy is clear here, and I think the solution to this problem is to make major adjustments to Liu Kang’s Shaolin Spirit (2,2).
Liu Kang would be greatly improved if Shaolin Spirit’s first hit was mid (or at least connect with crouch blocking opponents) and its second hit caused a ground bounce for a follow up combo. This string is currently useless as it is now. The first hit whiffs crouching opponents and leaves Liu Kang wide open for an uppercut. Making the first hit mid would allow Liu Kang to attempt the overhead without the threat of an interruption.
The second hit of Shaolin Spirit is an overhead but only does 7% and a hard knockdown, much like his B2. However, Tiger Backfist (B2) has better range and thereby renders Shaolin Spirit obsolete. Replace Shaolin Spirit’s hard knockdown with a ground bounce, however, and opponents will have a reason to block high when fighting Liu Kang. This could set up pressure, mix up the opponent when alternated with Showdown (F4,4), and lead into some good combo damage.
If someone thinks this may cause Liu Kang to become overpowered, keep in mind that Quan Chi’s overhead is unblockable when used with Zubat and leads into a Trance vortex. Tanya’s Kobu Jutsu overhead (B1) has a mere 9 frame startup, is plus on block, and can be special cancelled. Kung Lao’s Butterfly Kick (4,4) is an overhead with a ground bounce and plus on block. There are so many crazy strings in Mortal Kombat X that patching Dragon Seeks Path (1,1,3) and buffing Shaolin Spirit (2,2) will potentially level the playing field for Liu Kang, not make him overpowered.

Moanski posted May 12, 2015

Note: My general comments on Liu Kang are below. Please see the individual pages above for specifics on some basic attacks, kombos, and each of his special moves. Thank you.

Liu Kang is a close range powerhouse. His pressure, mix ups, and corner dominance make him a great character. He benefits immensely from the addition of running in Mortal Kombat X, as he is now better equipped to close in on zoning characters without having to burn meter. Liu Kang is very effective at keeping opponents guessing. Switch up long strings and hit confirm into Dragon’s Roar (on block) for safety and Bicycle Kick (on hit) to keep the pressure going. His crouching pokes are a bit slow, but he has a great mix up game due to his overheads and low fireballs. Take advantage of Liu Kang’s low fireballs to set up pressure from a distance and make zoning characters hesitate. His defense can be quite solid if you become comfortable using Dragon Parry (Flame Fist Variation), and his Dragon Dance (B1,2) can break armor with the first two hits. Use these tools to always stay on offense and build a momentum with Liu Kang that is extremely difficult to stop.

Flame Fist Variation:
I prefer to use Flame Fist as a defensive variation. This variation is great against characters with an aggressive offense but slow normals and specials that are easy to parry (especially Mileena and Takeda). The quick standing and low fireballs give Liu Kang a decent spacing game. and Shaolin Fist is good for increasing fireball damage. The extended combos Lotus Fury and Fierce Tiger can catch opponents off guard and offer good knockback to continue spacing. Use Flame Fist to the maximum potential and you can shut down an opponent’s offense.

Dragon’s Fire
Dragon’s Fire is my offensive variation. The ability to dash cancel the Dragon Fire projectile opens up many different options for pressure, and delaying Dragon Fire is a good way to trick your opponent into getting hit.The Double Dragon Kick can be meter-burn cancelled into Bicycle Kick and allows Liu Kang to begin pressure from mid range. The enhanced flip kick that follows Bicycle Kick greatly increases combo potential. Make heavy use of Liu Kang’s low fireballs up close, hold on to a bar of meter to keep the threat of Flip Kick alive, and you have a variation that can truly bring stress to the opponent.

Dualist can be used effectively as a damage dealer. Unless I am at a distance and need to throw fireballs in Light Mode, I stay in Dark Mode and use Yang (D,B3) upon knockdown to increase Liu Kang’s attack power. Throwing a Soul Sphere is a good alternative to Yang upon knockdown to control space. If the Soul Sphere hits upon its explosion, follow up with a combo (Lotus Fury is good for catching enemies in the air) to get some solid damage.

wingliger posted April 23, 2015

This goes all characters and not just Liu Kang. When trying to punish attacks, if you use a normal move it will come out 1 frame later because recovery from blocking is 1 frame. So trying to punish a move that is -6 will mean you needan atrack with 5 frame startup unless its a special attack. Special attacks start up normally because they are reversals.

wingliger posted April 22, 2015

Dragon's Fire Variation has very strong pressure and high damaging combos.

These are the pros of Dragon's Fire:

- Able to Meterburn flying kick into Bicycle to make it safe and be +14 on block to pressure opponent.

- Able to Meterburn Bicycle Kick to make it safe or ground bounce your opponent for good amount of damage.

- Able to Delay Fire Ball and cancel them to dash out.

- F213 cancel into Fireball dash cancel gives a lot of plus frames on block to pressure opponent and mix up with high or low.

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