"I'm So Pretty" - Johnny Cage Thread



Johnny is obviously the coolest character in MK so let’s discuss some of his pros, cons, match-ups, setups, and all that jazz!


Excellent pressure with safe launchers. Shadow Kick is extremely fast and can punish whiffed moves mid-screen (EX can punish full screen). Wake-up with Shadow Flip Kick beats nearly everything and hits crouching opponents. Arguably one of the best X-Ray moves in the game that can make the opponent not want to press a button.


Has issues against characters that zone effectively. Fairly weak zoning game. Only threat from past mid-screen is Force Balls and EX Shadow Kick.



7 8 9
4 5 6
1 2 3

66 = Dash Forward
44 = Dash Back

FP = Front Punch
BP = Back Punch
FK = Front Kick
BK = Back Kick
BLK= Block
FP+BP = Throw

JP = Forward/Backward Jumping Punch
NJP = Neutral Jump Punch

EX = Enhanced Move

XR = X-Ray

JC = Johnny Cage (or Jesus Christ? Coincidence or blasphemy?)



BP, FP, 6+BP, 66, BK, BK, 214+FK (29%)

Note: Solid damage off a fast, safe string. BP is really fast so you can will find yourself using this in lots of situations. Also works off of 6+BK or 4+FK launchers for more damage.


6+BK, [BP x5], FP, FP, BK, 412+FP (38%, JP or NJP adds makes it 41%)

Note: You can do 1% more damage by doing another BP and ending with Shadow Flip Kick, but doing Nut Punch sets up some great stuff for you. Johnny’s corner pressure is amazing because of this. Aside from a few EX moves nothing as far as I know has invincibility except wake up attacks. Ending with nut punch does not knock your and lets you move a good 20 frames or so (unsure about specifics) before they recover allowing you to set up some meaty attacks without fear of a wake up hitting you.

Jump in (punish):

JP, 6+BK, 66, BP, FP, 6+BP, 66, BK, BK, 214+FK (38%)

Note: This is great to use as a punish when jumping in on someone who whiffed an attack. JP into 6+BK will all ways combo if the JP hits even though 6+BK takes forever to start up. If JP is blocked 6+BK is not a true block string, which means you can be beat out by some fast specials/jabs/fast uppercuts in between the JP and 6+BK if they are expecting it. If you are unsure if the JP is going to hit or be block or not its best to go into BP, FP, 6+BP as that is a true block string from JP.

Jump in (standard):

JP, BP, FP, 6+BP, 66, BK, BK, 214+FK (32%)

Note: Go for this when you are unsure if the JP will hit.


This move needs it’s own section. It is absolutely amazing. If you are in melee range and the opponent tries any attack while your XR animation is active, they will trigger the cinematic. I have tried this against regular projectiles, EX projectiles, throws, both “hit” XR and “throw” XR and it beats them all. You can also combo after it! The best combos I have found are:


XR, 66, 4+FK, 66, BP, FP, 6+BP, 66, BK, BK, 214+FK (53%)


XR, 66, 4+FK, 66, [BP x5], FP, FP, BK, 412+FP (55%)

—Random Info—

Johnny’s sweep is fast and safe on block. You can also combo into it if you land a JP.

—Useful Links—

Tom Brady’s Johnny Cage Guide - Lots of info
[GUIDE] Johnny Cage

TYM Johnny Cage Sub Forum - Other Johnny discussion
Johnny Cage

—To Be Added—

More detailed info on specials/normals/strings.

Match-up info.

Possible frame traps.

Mid-screen nut punch combos for better pressure versus zoners. Current mid-screen combos knock opponents far away with Shadow Flip Kick which can be not ideal against heavy zoning characters.

—Credit To—

Tom Brady - Guide was a starting point for lots of info.

Leave comments below with your thoughts on his match-up info, some JC strategies, frame info, improvements to the guide, more combos, or whatever!


Reserved for match-up info.


What are your opinions on his EX moves? Should I use EX shadow kick to punish full screen or just save meter only for his amazing xray?


Depends on the matchup/playstyle of the opponent. If they are just rushing you down there doesn’t seem to be much reason to do anything but X-ray (or maybe combo break).

Against someone who is completely running away from you, the X-Ray will lose usefulness as they won’t want to press buttons close range against you. EX Shadow Kick will be good in this situation for sure. When being zoned there can be some usefulness in using EX shadow kick to help you push them toward the corner as well. Cornering an opponent seems to be very useful at any point in the match as it persists through to the round.

All EX moves aside from shadow kick seem not very good. EX shadow flip kick is only good inside combos as it ridiculiously unsafe on block. It only adds about 3% in combos so I don’t think its even good to use in combos unless it will give you the KO. EX nut punch has some invincibility I believe, but haven’t tested its usefulness in beating things out much and seems like it requires you to be psychic to use it well. EX Force balls could be alright if it gets you the KO, but can’t imagine in being good enough for regular usage.



Starting at 20:00 or so, some JC match footage featuring R.E.L. It shows JC versus some zoning oriented characters which is pretty nice. R.E.L. takes in pretty dominate fashion, but the Noob match can show how dangerous cornering or getting someone near the corner with JC can be. The game is very new so it isn’t flawless gameplay as it has dropped combos and some errors, but the core JC gameplay is very solid.



Online trolling is sooo darn fun.


Some good JC play at PowerUp this weekend, i’ll link it here when it gets uploaded to youtube. The archived justin.tv footage is pretty low quality.


something interesing, “And the winner is” fatality does not work on Kratos. All Johnny does is chop his head in half but does not place the trophy.


mid screen bnbs:
j1 > f+4 > dash > 21 > dash > 44 > shadow kick (32%)

j1 > f+4 > dash > 2 > dash > 2 > dash > 2 > dash > shadow kick (36%)

j1 > f+4 > dash > 2 > dash > 2 > dash > 44 > nut punch (36%)

b+3 > dash > 2 > dash > 21 > dash > 44 > shadow kick (30%)

XR > dash > b+3 > dash > 21 > dash > 44 > shadow kick (50%)


also check this guy out hes got some good combos in here


Long live the Cage!


Please don’t use the number notation for directions. Use instead U, B, D, F, or simply dash. As the attacks, FP, BP, FK, BK are commonly abbreviated 1, 2, 3, 4.

An example cage combo: BP, FP, F+BP, dash, BK, BK, Shadow Flip … or … 2, 1, f2, dash, 4, 4, db3 … or 2, 1, 62, 44, 4, 4, 243

See its confusing.


Posted about it in the patch thread when it happened but Ill post here and some other random stuff I guess… Since the game came out…

the forward rapid kick overhead thingy you can no longer combo off of now. Also now on block the last hit pushes you away. So you can no longer get the fuzzy guard set up for guaranteed sorta damage with EX fireball anymore unless your in the corner. You can still do 3 hits of to it… but now since the overhead pushes you away its kinda “fake” in a way lol… I don’t think they patched it because of this as ive never seen anyone post about it… I assume its just because they didnt want him to keep the pressure on you so much… But then again as well… doesnt seem like this game is getting a of talk anyway… shrug

Also shadow kick does one percent less… And I cant say for sure but I know at least after the patch reversal shadow kicks green and red are invincible for awhile which off hand I don’t recall when the game first came out.

One interesting thing that I havn’t seen posted, is that he actually benefits from switching stances, as it makes his sweep combos easier or just totally possible period. Easy examples are just sweep to rapid kick or or stand palm strike sorta thing… Doesn’t work depending on which side you are on at the start… Of course granted its more just to stick the guy back up so they have to eat your next mix up, as even saying that the only thing guaranteed is duck jab Xn after words to something, duck kick to something or uppercut seem to be the only true combos.

I think combo wise most the combos are pretty pointless mid screen besides launcher to dash palm strikeX3 , to double kick then nut blow… Then of course jump over p, to string… When the game first came out if the guy didnt have a reversal you could basically instantly kill the opponent off one launch if you had meter if they didnt choose to eat the overhead to get out of it… still works a bit but not the same… then again maybe no one knows what im talking about… but yea anyway launch palm strike X3, double kick , nut blow actuality does more life then 4 palm strikes and does just one percent less then if you were to end with a big combo… plus you get the block damage in the end so you actaully end up doing more…

oh well done rambling I guess…


Not taking credit for this video. Nothing too special, just mute the volume if you don’t want to listen to the song. I just really like the double/triple jab dash setups to red backflips. :sunglasses: (J.Cage smilie FTW)

Here’s a nice juggle tutorial video.


Idk if this thread is still going but watever. I found that 1,3 to nut punch is pretty good reset combo. Short but the thing is the 1,3 on block seems safe on both crouching and standing. U can cancel in something else but it seems good to reset someone since its dangerious giving them an invincible wakeup. I’m not sure if its safe if u complete it on block.

Also, I saw reo do this alot. He does a forward 3 into the kicks where he stands up with one leg and sometimes spend meter for ex fireball bc it moves him forward.


seems cage can combo after a sweep it has strict timing for example you can do something very interesting and it could lead up to some every dangerous mixups/resets with the nut punch

example: sweep > crouching 1 > flash or shadow kick

or sweep > crouching 1 > nut punch <---- for mixup/resets


found this one
j1 > f+4 > dash > 2 > dash > 2 > 21 > 44 > flash kick (37%)

still trying to get 40% meterless >.>


-Off Topic

Why do people get so mad about the ball buster?


i never got any hate mail or anything about doing the nut punch must be doing the good mixups after the nut punch :wink:


For the comboing after the sweep, depending on which stance you are in you can get more actually. Although in general the only gaurenteed things are a quick hit to flip kick, or uppercut period. But yea one of the few time switching stances is actually useful, cuz you get hit f+ummm I forget the buttons in this game havnt played it since it came out. Whatever the knee to rapid kick is. And of course when the game came out he had that like 30% life blocked combo off it… Guess I shoulda made a video of it when it came out with the other stuff…

These were the videos I did shrug…

But yea sweep stuff is actually pretty easy. It just depends on what stance you are in to make it easier(or some are only possible at all)