D.C.'s Joker has historically been low tier in NetherRealm Studios fighting games, will he finally break the trend in Mortal Kombat 11?

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • January 18, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. PST

Joker from the D.C. Universe will be releasing as a DLC fighter for Mortal Kombat on January 28. Please note that if you don't own the Kombat Pack, then you'll have to wait an additional week before getting the opportunity to play as him.

Although DLC combatants for NetherRealm Studios games have usually been fairly strong, history has actually not been very kind to the Joker. Throughout Joker's fighting game career, he has often been regarded as low tier. As a result, he tends to see very little in terms of competitive play.

First off, we need to talk about the Joker's appearance in Mortal Kombat vs. D.C. Universe. Back then, the company behind the Mortal Kombat games was Midway before they became NetherRealm Studios.

Characters like Green Lantern, Flash, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Superman, and Raiden were often regarded as being very strong throughout the game's meta. In a "final tier list" created back in 2011, Joker was declared to be 16th out 22 fighters. As nearly three-quarters of the roster was considered to be a better choice than the Joker, he rarely saw competitive play.

Our community voted tier list section for the first Injustice game depicted Joker as being the worst in the game. Put simply, Joker ranked 30th out of 30. Once again, he ended up sitting out when it came to competitive matches throughout the game's lifespan.

Regardless of what had already transpired during Injustice's story line, the Joker ended up returning in the game's sequel. The EventHubs tier list for Injustice 2 placed Joker at 36 out of 41 combatants.

Surprisingly, the Joker did actually see some success in the competitive scene thanks to FOX|SonicFox. Against UYU|Rewind, SonicFox was able to secure a victory in the grand finals of the 2018 Injustice 2 Pro Series while using Joker. This could suggest that the Joker may have had some untapped potential that was never explored.

Joker tier history image #1 Joker tier history image #2
Click images for larger versions

Will the Joker be a low tier once more upon his release as a DLC fighter in Mortal Kombat 11? As of this moment, it's obviously unclear.

One thing that he does have going for him is the fact that his moveset appears to be largely different compared to how he was portrayed in the Injustice series. Regardless, Mortal Kombat 11 is currently experiencing a completely different meta than what we saw for Injustice and Injustice 2.

Of course, this is also the first time that the Joker will have his own separate price tag in order to obtain. Since he isn't being developed alongside 20 or so other characters at the same time, more time could be spent double checking his balance.

We'll just have to wait and see how he ultimately develops within the meta for Mortal Kombat 11 after his release.

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