MK9 | The Liu Kang Matchup Thread


Cyber Sub Zero





Johnny Cage






Kung Lao




This is one of Liu Kang’s worst matchups.
Fullscreen, Noob will keep you away by throwing clones. Simply jump over them to close distance. You can trade projectiles if you have the lead in an attempt to bait his teleport.
EX Flying Kick can go through Noob’s projectiles and score a knockdown. However, it knocks Noob away. It’s most useful when you are both fullscreen and Noob is next to the corner so you can stay in his face

Just outside of jump distance is where it is no longer safe for Noob to throw projectiles. If you manage to jump over one here, you can quickly dash forward and land a combo.

At jump in attack range, Noob has a few options:
He can keep throwing clones. It’s risky for him, but if you blocks it you get pushed back, eat chip, and give Noob more meter. It can be hard to react to with a jump, although Liu Kang’s X-Ray can catch him easily here.
If he walks back and tries to throw clones, neutral jump and try to work him into the corner without risking being hit by an up-clone.
He may try to anticipate your jump in. If he throws an up-clone before you jump, throw a low fireball to punish.
Noob might jump at you. Reacting with an uppercut is your best option. If he tries to fake the jump in and cancels into teleport, the teleport will whiff due to the uppercut’s hitbox. (or something)

On his wake up, his up-clone has invincibility. Standing just out of it’s range and throwing a low fireball is the safest way for Liu Kang to apply pressure.

(Will continue this later today)

Quan Chi






Shang Tsung





Sonya Blade


Sub Zero

In this matchup, Liu Kang’s fireball is especially useful. Whenever Sub Zero is outside of jump distance, you can throw a no risk low fireball, which will stuff any of his options other than blocking/jumping, as long as you throw it before his Iceball startup.
You can throw a no risk fireball on reaction to a raw Ice Clone at any range.
Sub Zero has strong anti air options. Jumping in at your max jump distance can easily be caught by his Ice Clone. However, jumping over his head will cause the Ice Clone to not come out, allowing you to punish him. Even so, the second hit of his 2,2 string will catch you even if you are jumping behind him.
On your wakeup, blocking high is your best option. All of Sub Zero’s strings start high and he has an overhead that cancels into his Iceball for a full combo. During his strings, he can cancel almost any hit into his slide, hitting low and scoring a knockdown. It’s a risk for Sub Zero and he knows it, so try to read the player and find out what he likes to do.
When you score a knockdown, the usual Liu Kang mixups apply, although Sub Zeros wakeup slide is always a threat. You can attempt to bait it, as blocking it will give you a combo and give you another knockdown. If you want to pressure him on his wakeup, f+1 is a good choice. It’s low damage, but players that know the Liu Kang matchup will always block low on wakeup to avoid b+3,1,2 and change to stand block on reaction if they see 2,1,3.

im new here on the srk forums

anyways ive been playing mk for a while now and although my main is liu kang there really isnt much to the character himself
so in an attempt to liven things up here im making this thread for his matchups

post any information and ill post it up with proper capitalization and punctuation and whatnot
im going for a paragraph style with bulletpoints so ill take your post and fit it into my format
i might have to reword it but ill be sure to give credit to whoever helps out

lets make this happen

what exactly are you looking for? Strategies and tips verses each character or just how well he does against them?

im looking for strategies and tips against each character
everything up there is subject to change so discuss whats written and ill edit it accordingly

ive done a bit about sub zero check it out

underlined in brackets are things that definetly need changing or confirming and chances are plenty of other things do too so lets put our heads together and make something beautiful

I posted this about the Noob match up in the main discussion thread a while back. Suggestions would be very helpful. I wrote this just from my own experience of playing Noob players. :

The Sub-Zero info is pretty good. You do get a safe fireball off of his raw ice clone. Sub is very easy to out zone with Liu Kang. For me,that match up is just a lot of zoning and baiting. I find Sub’s wake up hard to react to unless you make a good read. So,I just go with a safely spaced low fireball to keep pressure on him. I usually like to go ahead with a late ex-bike kick on my own wake up sometimes because Liu can earn the meter back fairly easily. Liu’s x-ray is great to punish raw ice clones along with raw ice balls and puddles at the right distance (only is sub is low on health).
The best thing to do with sub imo is not knock him down as much as possible. I feel like Sub always has the upper hand when knocked down. Liu Kang has the upper hand by keeping Sub standing and in the corner by using b+3,1,2 and 2,1,3 mix ups along with f+3 thrown in sometimes. If sub tries to do anything after he blocks your B+2,1,2 he will immediately take the 2,1,3 for free because Liu has frame advantage.

All in all. I think it’s an even match up,but slightly in Liu’s favor.

I’m glad somebody finally made a match up thread. I never hear that much about Liu Kang even on TYM. I feel like he’s a very underused character. The few matches on streams that I have seem him used it was like the players didn’t know what they were doing with him. He has a lot of good match ups though imo.

I agree @ the Sub post.

I don’t really have anything to contribute. My general Liu Kang playstyle is the same against all characters, except Noob; I think that’s a bad match-up.

noob is indeed a horrible matchup
by the time you get in on him he normally has so much meter from using specials he can just breaker and start his keepaway again

i dont understand this
you cant do a safe jump without putting them in a stagger state which would mean youre already in there
i dont even think liu kang can do that either

unless youre jumping a running clone youre gonna get anti aired by any decent noob player unless he fails to react in time

upclones cant be punished by b3,1,2 or 2,1,3
im sure liu kang cant punish it on block at all
the only thing i can think of that has a chance is flying kick so ill try it later

i wrote some of it up
ill finish it tonight

Like I said. That’s only from my experience from playing against Noob players. Every Noob player I’ve ever played gets hit by that stuff. Although I’m sure that those players are probably horrible with Noob judging by what you’re saying. And by safe jump I mean jump within a safe range without pressing anything. You’ve really gotta play the player in the match up instead of the character.

When I block an up clone I dash in with b+3,1,2 and 2,1,3 mix ups. Noob has to guess which way to block. On paper it seems like a bad match up,but I honestly don’t have a lot of trouble with Noob.

you guys can use dragon stance sweep since it has a longer range, and you can sweep safely under the up clone… other than that, his wake up up clone does not have invulnerability… so u can b+312 all day… keep noob in corner and you wont have a problem, if he teleport big punish on this! dragon stance launch x2 into b+312 x2 into b+1 into bicycle kick… its really good…

I figured that would work in theory about the ds sweep. I’ve just never tried to do it because I’ve been fine just dashing in in applying pressure ^^;

Does anyone else besides me feel like Liu Kang is an under rated and under-utilized character? One mistake I see people do is that they play him too linear when he’s supposed to be a heavy mix up character that requires playing your opponent more than it does the character on screen. I see a lot of badly placed fireballs and just reckless b+3,1,2 when they get up close. Liu has quite a handful of great tools and I only see people barely use even half of them.

I entered a local tournament over here! check it out

Good shit,sir. That grand final was very fun to watch. That’s what I’m talking about. Hit’em high,hit’em low,where’s Liu gonna hit? No body knows!

That match up is definitely in Kitana’s favor,but you took that match from her. You were like “Pfft. What match up?”.

Everybody here watch that video NOW!

Alright, I think its my time to contribute some info and ask some questions.

First off Reptile, I think this is one of Liu Kang’s worse match up. The Acid balls and elbow dash forces Liu Kang to play defensively and bad trade off with fireballs. Liu Kang’s best option it to stay close, EX bike-cycle kick through constant acid balls in close range. EX flying kick on reaction will only make you fly over reptile giving him distance advantage. (free to add on)

Jax offense is deadly! Your mid-set should be combo, parry, combo, parry while constantly watching his meter. Anytime you knock him down you can pretty much guarantee he’s going to come out with a dash punch. Punish with parry and don’t get in his face as his wake up attacks are faster then his parry. Instead give him distance so he wants to use that punch to close space. If you know you can’t get the parry off in time simply duck and punish. Blocking will only give him advantage. The fireball trades are in Liu Kang’s favor as you can simple use his low fireball to avoid his and get free damage. Ground pounds are painfully slow, simply jump and instant fireball him. Even if the fireball misses you get free meter points. If he’s ground pound canceling every where then its probably safe to say you can fly kick him on reaction and get a safe hit as he probably wont be expecting it. If your in his face and he cancels he’s wide open for the low string. When your under pressure from Jax’s low string a EX Parry on wake up will shut that down and leave him open to your low string combo.If for some reason you can’t pull the parry out then duck block or roll back and go into a low block. His string moves forward and can possibly catch you even after with the third hit. If your caught in the corner I suggest reg or ex bike-cycle kick as its a good escape move plus leaves you in good range to make a comeback. If all else fails then out zone him with your fireballs! When you got him in the corner make sure your prepared for this Ex dash punch as he can quickly reverse your positions and easily set you up for a 50% or higher combo depending on his meter.

Kung Lao
Kung Lao is another opponent where your parry is a must. His air kick, wake up spin can be stopped with parry…two of Lao’s most annoying attacks. Low hat should be exchanged with flying kicks(maybe…think it has fast recovery too) or instant air fireballs. The moment he gets in its probably safer to rely on dragon stances and parries as Kung seems to be fast and has better priority then liu. Wait for him to whiff an attack and punish and make sure you use plenty of pokes and fireballs to keep him at bay. Once he’s open commit to the strings and end it with a special of your choice to push him towards the corner. once in the corner the fun begins. Get your corner string out end with a instant fireball to slow his landing and then get out the parry. A noob will keep trying to spin while a high level player will quickly try to switch it up. So you now got a dangerous mind game going and its up to you to control where the match goes from here. Low pokes into combos and parries are your best friends here (good luck)

Hope that helps, feel free to edit and add on.