“Originating from Prague, Tomas Vrbada was recruited by the Lin Kuei for his impressive ability to escape capture. Able to transform into a wisp of smoke, his talent has proved useful on countless missions. Smoke has no memory of his childhood. His only family is the Lin Kuei, more specifically the younger Sub-Zero, who is like a brother to him. It has been Smoke’s hope that through the Lin Kuei he will discover his past - and the origin of his power.”
B = Back
F = Front
D = Down
U = Up
1 = Front Punch
2 = Back Punch
3 = Front Kick
4 = Back Kick
xx = Cancel
–> = Link
j. = Jump or Jumping
nj = Neutral Jump
cr. = Crouching
AA = Anti Air
Unlike some other members of the cast, there is no one particular playstyle for Smoke that is noticeably more advantageous than everything else. Unlike Cyrax, who relentlessly searches for an opportunity to use his command throw reset, or Ermac, who plays careful footsies with his opponent to best use his long-range special moves, Smoke can work well at a variety of ranges, but he does not excel in any particular category. Playing Smoke requires the player to be clever, versatile, and knowledgeable about what situations his opponent is weakest in.
- Excellent anti-zoning toolset
- Great Mobility
- High Abare (damage off of random hits)
- Odd style causes opponents to play differently and be more susceptible to mind games
- Mostly slow normals with little high/low mixup opportunity
- Smoke bomb whiffs on moving opponents and does not cause chip damage, making his full-screen pressure game lacking
Shake (B, F+1) - Smoke vibrates in place. If he is hit by a projectile, Smoke teleports above the enemy and strikes straight down. The retaliation is unblockable and unavoidable by any means. Startup and recovery is fairly small, making this an excellent move to use on reaction to projectiles to shut down enemy zoning attempts.
Enhanced Version: Smoke counters everything except for low attacks and x-rays. A good move to get out of pressure or to use when you’re waking up.
Smoke Cloud (D, B+2) - Smoke throws a ball of smoke at the feet of the opponent, which teleports the opponent in the air in front of you to be juggled. This move tracks, but it will whiff if the opponent is moving quickly enough, and it will always miss an airborne opponent. It causes no chip damage, but you still gain meter for the enemy blocking it. Fairly fast and decent enough damage to usually come out ahead in trades with other projectiles (if you don’t combo after it, the fall causes an extra 6% damage, for a total of 12%). Doesn’t actually count as a projectile, so projectile counters such as Jade’s Shadow Flash, Nightwolf’s Reflect, or Smoke’s Shake won’t protect against it. Colloquially referred to as Smoke Bomb.
Enhanced Version: It deals more damage and has a larger hitbox. Not too useful.
Air Throw (Throw in air) - Smoke tosses the opponent behind him. Takes priority over other air attacks and can combo into Smoke Bomb if done low enough to the ground. Can be combo’d from j.3 or j.4.
Teleport (D, B+4) - Colloquially referred to as Teleport Punch. Smoke appears on the other side of the screen and punches the opponent then appears on the other side of the opponent and punches him again. Smoke’s TP is the fastest of its kind, beating Ermac’s and Scorpion’s by miles. It’s much more viable than either of the other two as an anti-air or full screen punish attack due to it having much more priority, and you can punish some projectiles on reaction with it (but be careful, against some opponents your enemy can block in time). Also, unlike the other two, Smoke’s TP causes knockdown. Blocking this attack leaves you in a vulnerable aerial roll state, so be careful using it.
Enhanced Version: Adds a third hit that’s an overhead. Decent for getting a bit of extra damage on your punishes, and the extra hit and overhead can sometimes surprise your opponent, but like the non-enhanced version, it is very punishable so be careful.
Invisibility (D, U+3) - Makes Smoke translucent, but you can still see vaguely where he is. Causes a small period of projectile invincibility. Useful for masking your approach patterns and mixups, but it’s hard to buy the time necessary to perform the move.
Enhanced Version: Smoke is completely invisible. The only way to tell where he is is by camera movement. Not really worth spending meter on IMO, but your mileage may vary.
Smoke Away (F, B+3) - Smoke turns into a cloud of smoke that travels backwards a short distance. Has some startup, so not particularly useful for getting out of pressure situations, but it can be useful for spacing. It is completely invincible and you can block as soon as the invincibility ends, so it is quite safe.
Enhanced Version: Lower startup and travels farther. Useful if you need to make a major retreat and know the enemy isn’t going to attack you in the next couple of frames.
Smoke Towards (B, F+3) - Smoke turns into a cloud of smoke that travels forwards a short distance. Again, the teleport is completely invincible and you can block or attack as soon as it ends, so it is a safe and effective approach tool so long as you don’t get so close to the enemy that he can beat your slow normals with his quicker ones. A good tool for approaching through projectiles without jumping, which can throw off enemies’ zoning routines. Many people get scared when you use the move, not knowing what to expect, so throwing immediately after the move can be an effective offensive pattern. If the enemy performs a move while you are in front of them and you travel behind them, their move will whiff and give you a free mixup opportunity, but the distance that you must do the teleport from to get the cross-up isn’t particularly safe.
Enhanced Version: Has much quicker startup and travels much farther, making it much easier to approach with this move. It can also cross-up from a much safer distance. Leads to good mixups if you perform it after you land a throw.
Smoked Out (Sweep) - B, F, B, F+1
Tremor (Sweep) - B, B, D, F+2
Stage Fatality (Touching) - F, U, U+1
Babality (Jump) - D, B, D, F, D (you cannot block during the winning round to perform a babality)