Mortal Kombat 1 (1992) Strategy Guide: Johnny Cage
Johnny Cage - Rank: 2
Cage is ranked as #2 character in MK1. He has good wakeup setups, rushes and decent punishers. His uppercut is probably the fastest uppercut in the game but with weird collision boxes. For example after blocked Freeze you cant uppercut Sub-Zero even if you are close to him. Its still very useful for a Jump Kicks/Punches and if you got an uppercut in corner vs someone you can add massive combo damage even in revision 5.0. His uppercut is very useful also if someone jabs you, when the biggest chance to connect the uppercut through the jabs is against ninjas or Raiden. Cage is somehow vulnerable to aa grounded unblockable sweeps. Because of his falling animation some characters can get aaKnee, unblockable Sweep or JK, unblockable Sweep on him.
His duck LK is a standard, you can use it for jab escapes or countering jks if you have not enough energy to block - uppercut. Slow HK, better use his LK, it can counter even Sonya's sweep. Cage has also good jabs pressure, you can connect low jab and make ducked opponent standup through crouch kick if its vs Liu Kang and Raiden. Use his HP only for retaliation and you can try to mix low jabs with shadow kick or nut punch (not against Sonya obviously lol). Bad RH, not useful overall. Short sweep, use it only when its safe.
His JK has a long range but it can be easy countered by everyone, so you should use it for full screen fireballs or long distance jumps only. His JP is one of the best, you can use it as a wakeup close early JP followed by Shadow Kick, or countered JK followed with combo. Its also the best setup after uppercut in corner. Cage had infinite in revision 3.0 with JP in corner but it is removed in 5.0.
The Shadow Kick is his best move. It is the perfect weapon for retaliation, close or far blocked stuff, wakeups, countering crossover jumps (there is no crossover jump kicks in mk1). Depends on how the Shadow Kick hits you can add another just to be funky after a crossup jump. You should never use it vs Sonya since she can always punish it. You can add Shadow Kick after blocked JK too against some characters but better use his uppercut. It is also good wakeup after you being thrower from ninjas. The Shadow Kick has also weird properties and sometimes if you do it against ducked opponent they wouldn't be able to uppercut, crouch kick you or whatever for some reason. There is no way to predict when this will happen so don't count on it. Its possible sometimes for Shadow Kick to go and hit through a fireball, freeze and etc. It is also the best punisher for a short recovery time specials like slide, nut punch and etc.
The Nut Punch is not so bad move also. You can use it when you jab pressure someone instead of Knee or against crossover jumps and jabs after it. Sometimes its hard to punish it when it miss but moves like Slide, Harpoon, Leg Grab and etc can always punish it so watch out when you use it as a surprise. You can use it as a punisher also if you feel cocky against slide or counting scorpion's and Raiden's teleports. Against aggressive dumb jab pressure players you can try two nut punches one after another. Say they crossover jump you and try to throw or jab you, do a nut punch then immediately another if they hold forward and try to continue jab pressure, that sounds really dumb but it works ;]
The Fireball is not very useful move. It can be used somehow for full screen zoning, but most of the characters can jump kick over it. You can try to get unblockabe fireball after throw (i will explain that broken part later) but still it depends because the opponent can easy punish it. In corner if the fireball hits higher enough you can add Shadow Kick or JP, Shadow Kick for a decent juggle. Cage had infinite in revision 3.0 with the fireballs but its removed in Revision 5.0.
1. JK, Shadow Kick
2. aaHPx2, Shadow Kick
3. (in corner) Uppercut, JP/JK, Shadow Kick or RH
1. aaHP, JK, Shadow Kick
2. JK, JP, Shadow Kick
3. JK, Shadow Kick/JK, Shadow Kick (near the corner but it can be done mid-screen too)
4. Uppercut, JK/JP, aaLP, Shadow Kick
5. JP, JP, Shadow Kick (can be used as a punisher)
6. JK, Uppercut, JP, JP, Shadow Kick (about 95%)