Mortal Kombat 1 (1992) Strategy Guide: Liu Kang
Liu Kang - Rank: 3
Liu Kang is #3 in the Tier List, but if played right he could EASY destroy Cage. This is my favorite MK1 Character because of his endless juggle options. His rushes and strats mostly contains "whiff" flying kicks which i will explain later. He has very very good Uppercut, with close to Kano's hitting area but a lot faster. I've seen punishing Kano's sweep with Uppercut from about 3 steps distance. His Uppercut is also oe of the best to escape Jab Pressure. Its perfect for anti air because you can punish everything with it, but you can use it with the Block cancel trick too. The only bad thing about it is the recovery time, if its blocked you can easy be punished with another uppercut, mostly from cage and Raiden.
His and Sonya's c.lks are the best in the game after Kano's. It could give you troubles sometimes because some characters can hit you through c.lk with LP and make you stand up, but if its timed right there is a very little chance to happen. You can use it as an anti air too but better go for uppercut because his fast startup animation. Very good HK, can be used for punishers or anti air, his LK is very fast and good too, and can punish even Sonya's sweep if its timed right. Use HP for retaliations or cancel it with block for eventually aa flying kick after it. Good and long LPs. His RH is very fast but with a short hitting area, you can use it for a close punisher if there is no time for uppercut or the flying kick will miss. Good and long JP but this basic move is not used much, you can counter easy flying kick/roll will it if you just jump back and you are on danger and add aa flying kick for a neat combo but that's it. His JK is awesome! You can literally not touch the ground if you mix jks and flying kick right, it also has a very long hitting area and you can almost always add flying kick after it. His sweep is not so bad too but easy punishable, use it only on safe.
The Flying Kick is amazing move. It is perfect for wake ups for such a slow game. Think of it like Kabal's Spin in UMK3, of course there is no run here but if you learn your opponent strats you can even get it when you see opponent's fireball starting animation. Against some characters if the flying kick hits them in the air in corner you can get so much fun juggles for revision 5.0 - LP, LK then Fireball or Flying Kick and etc. The "No Landing" trick in corner in UMk3 works here too and its very good choice sometimes in corner pressure because it can open the opponent for a Knee, Throw and etc. Because his weird Jump Kick, Liu Kang can do neat stuff mixing it with the Flying Kick. Jump from not so far distance with an early aa JK, they usually will try to uppercut or counter your JK because Liu's JK overall is easy punishable but cancel it with the Flying Kick when you land and the opponent will miss, the early aa JK can open the opponent also for a free throw using this trick, then you can try to throw a fireball or jk/flying kick again. Another whiff strat with this move is in jab pressure. Perform some jab pressure then do a whiff Flying Kick, sometimes another Flying Kick right after the whiff one will work too but you can try a lot more variations like fireball, jk/jp, block and turtleing for a wake up flying kick and etc. The Flying Kick is easy punishable move if its blocked. You will always get an uppercut but sometimes even blocked the opponent can juggle you with aaLP as a punisher, then combo you, so don't spam too much with it. Often you can escape jab pressure with it too. I will not advice to use this move as a transport move especially against jump backers. Its very easy to counter it in this situation, sometimes even with combo.
The Fireball is another great move. You can try to zoning with it from full screen distance because Liu has weird collision boxes while performing and recovering from the fireball and its hard (but not impossible of course) to JK over it and hit. Aa Fireballs will open another neat situations for good combos. You can get even from full screen sometimes two aa Fireballs then Flying Kick, and if you get one near the corner you can get against some characters about 85% aa combo! Putting some in jab pressure is not a good idea except if its done at the same time when the opponent try to c.lk you, in this situation they often will miss with the crouch kick but still will try to punish you, Liu will recover faster from his fireball animation and almost always you could block cancel and retaliation them. Some characters can be hit in ducked block pose from the fireball so i will suggest to always perform some after throw, you can get unblockable fireball if the throw is one of the unblockable ones and if its not you will recover quick enough for not being punished, don't throw fireballs only when its vs another Liu because he can punish you with the flying kick. In revision 3.0 Liu Kang had an infinite in corner using fireballs but it is removed in Revision 5.0.
1. JK, Flying Kick
2. aaHPx2, Flying Kick
3. aaHP, Fireball, Flying Kick
1. JK, JK, (aaLP if its near the corner) Flying Kick
2. aaFirball, aaFireball, Flying Kick
3. aaHP, JK, Flying Kick
4. aaHP, RH, Flying Kick
5. (corner) JK, aaHP, Fireball, aaLP, Flying Kick
6. (near corner) aaHP, Fireball, JK, Flying Kick
7. (opponent in corner and Liu is about outside sweep) aaFireball, Flying Kick, aaLP, Fireball, aaLP, FLying Kick (!)