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Rain Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate review: The Edenian half-god gets a complete reboot to his toolkit

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • November 21, 2020 at 8:10 p.m. PST • Comments: 5

Rain is among the three new fighters to join Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate's 37-character roster thanks to the Kombat Pack 2. Notably, this is the second time that Rain has become playable via purchasable DLC and the fourth time overall. The Edenian half-god was previously part of the base roster for Mortal Kombat Trilogy and Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. While he wasn't initially playable in Mortal Kombat 9, he could later be acquired as a DLC fighter.

Although Rain is quite the veteran in the Mortal Kombat series, his moveset has seen numerous revisions in Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate. He feels completely different from his past selves. Of course, this isn't necessarily a bad thing for Rain.

Looking back at Rain's debut appearance, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, the Edenian prince had three special attacks at his disposal — Lightning, the Mind Control Orb and the Super Roundhouse. All three of these specials worked as combo starters or combo enders.

Rain's gameplan back then was fairly simple: execute his infinite for a touch of death combo. Since Rain had the tools to do this fairly consistently, he was notably a top tier in Mortal Kombat Trilogy.

When Rain returned as a DLC character in Mortal Kombat 9, so too did his three combo extender specials. He also gained the ability to teleport and perform an awkward looking geyser kick.

Although his damage was nowhere near as extreme as it was in Mortal Kombat Trilogy, Rain's specialty was juggling opponents. As he didn't really have access to exceptional zoning or grappler tools, he was basically considered to be a rushdown character.

Still, Rain didn't really have much to really identify him apart from other rushdown characters in Mortal Kombat 9. He could now perform Super Roundhouse dash cancels, but these were strictly inferior to Kabal's Nomad Dash cancels.

Of the four DLC characters released in Mortal Kombat 9, Rain was often cited as being the weakest when compared to Scarlet's jack-of-all-trade identity, Kenshi's heavy emphasis on armored specials and zoning tools, and Freddy Krueger's full screen traps. Rain would ultimately become a mid tier in Mortal Kombat 9.

Being that Rain is now completely different in Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, it feels like NetherRealm Studios is rebooting Rain so that his identity shines better with his gameplan.

For starters, Rain is no longer just about achieving juggles with the Lightning (now called Purple Pain), the Mind Control Orb (now called the Water Ball) and the Super Roundhouse. In fact, it's now impossible to pair all three of these specials together.

By default, Rain always has access to his Super Roundhouse as it's part of his base moveset. The Water Ball and Purple Pain specials are part of the variation system. Because they both cost two slots, they can't be used together in a single moveset.

In addition, all three of these specials work differently than before. Super Roundhouse has been slowed down so it can be tricky to combo into. Purple Lightning will have a delayed effect that makes it ideal for Okizeme rather than combo extensions. Water Ball will also only be able to force the opponent to move in one of four directions.

Rain will no longer get a combo with any of these specials unless he burns a bar of offensive meter to amplify their traits. Of course, Rain can also get combos by using the amplified versions of Hydro Boost and Geyser Palm as well.

While Rain's ability to juggle has been diminished somewhat, he gained a new slippery playstyle. It seems that Rain might have the fastest dash in the game. If a player was really good at cancelling dashes into blocking (which I'm not), then they can move across the stage very quickly.

This gives Rain a newfound ability to play neutral in a way that he was never able to before. As such, Rain has become a powerful whiff punisher in Mortal Kombat 11.

The Edenian half-god is also armed with a very fast projectile that seems very good for interrupting amplified versions of projectile specials that has the character throwing a second projectile. While the recovery feels very long, Rain can reduce his idle time by amplifying this special.

Rain's normals and combo strings can be used for a variety of different things. One of his main combo starters starts up in 7 frames, which makes it one of the fastest punishers in the game. Having said that, I found his 1, 3, 3 string (fast punisher) to be more stubby when compared to something like Baraka's 1, 1, 2 combo.

Many of Rain's normals and strings offer a lot of reach and most of them feel very safe to use against a blocking opponent. The Edenian half-god is also armed with a decent selection of lows and overheads to keep opponents guessing.

Much to my annoyance, I often found there were situations where the first attack of Rain's strings would hit, but the second would whiff. I also found that it was sometimes difficult to hit confirm with Rain since the second part of certain combos won't come out until the third button of the combination was pressed before the first attack was finished.

It really seems like Rain's Hydro Boost is intended to be his go-to special since it can extend combos and pressure. However, it only recently saw a fix to its hitbox on the player 2 side, but some players are still reporting that it still has issues connecting against the hurtboxes of blocking characters in specific situations.

As such, Rain's Hydro Boost feels like it's behaving inconsistently to what's intended for it.

Closing thoughts: Overall, I really do appreciate how NetherRealm Studios has attempted to make Rain into a character with an identity that goes beyond "fighter with three combo extender specials." Rain's slippery movement and fast projectile allows him to identify as something unique in Mortal Kombat 11. In the right hands, this character can become a difficult to catch hit-and-run fighter. Rain's attacks also now have a greater emphasis on his theme of controlling water.

Rain really seems to benefit from the custom variation system as he has plenty of combo extender options and specials that offer utility. The Edenian half-god can be made into an annoying zoner, a 50/50 mix up character, a bait-and-punisher or whatever.

Unfortunately, I feel like Rain gets held back from weird issues with his Hydro Boost, hitbox stubbiness for certain attacks and other oddities that seem like they should be fixed by NetherRealm Studios.

Still, I get the sense that there's a strong character in Rain. While I don't really plan to play him much more over Baraka, I do look forward to seeing what the pros can do during future tournaments.

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