This week saw the release of the first major balance patch to Mortal Kombat 11, and the meta has already been seeing some shifts with pro players tweeting their early thoughts on the changes. Jax Briggs is a character who stands out among the rest, both in terms of how little we have seen of him, and the almost complete lack of adjustments given to him in this patch. Could Jax be MK11’s sleeping giant?
In analyzing the official patch notes, we can see that many characters have received a number of changes, but Jax’s single note reads: “reduced the maximum time allowed between hits during Gotcha Grab”. This indicates that, from the developer’s perspective in terms of balance, Jax is sitting exactly where they want him. While numerous characters received buffs to health, their damage, and to their startup and recovery animations, Jax was considered to be fine. So, what are we not seeing?
Why Do We Not See Him More?
There is not likely just one reason why we do not see much Jax at a high-level play right now. Instead, it is likely the aggregate of a few points.
Jacqui Briggs is the queen of rushing players down and closing gaps. Cassie Cage was considered the best by some players for her pre-nerf ranging ability and toolkit. Erron Black was quick and had an all too safe Boot Drop. This is to say that if we wanted a balanced fighter or a rush down fighter, these characters were perhaps better suited than Jax prior to the nerf.
Now, however, the changes made to those characters leave the perfect opening for fighters like Jax to enter center stage.
SonicFox Tweets After EVO 2019 How Fun Jax Is, Might Be A Clue Of His New Fighter
With the release of the patch, pro players have been weighing in on who may be the top pick for the upcoming meta. SonicFox has tweeted even before the patch that Jax is fun to play, and with the patch, he and others may be looking for new mains outside of Jacqui, Cassie, Erron, and Geras.
Damn I played so much jax today hahaha hes way too much fun— FOX | SonicFox @ Megaplex (@SonicFox5000) August 5, 2019
In addition, these recent vods by SonicFox show not only that Jax is viable, but he is downright deadly in the hands of the best player in the world when using the Hunker Down variant of play.
One thing becomes pretty clear, and that is that Jax has one of the deadliest command grabs in all of Mortal Kombat 11. He also possesses enough 50/50s to get into position to use it often.
There is always the change the Jax is simply too fair of a character to stand out, and the buffs to other characters may see them rise in popularity instead. Still, there is no doubt that, in watching the above vods, Jax is a force to be reckoned with.
For now, we can only speculate who will become the newest meta fighters in the game, but we will not need to wait long to find out. The next tournament, with some of the best professional players in the world, takes place from August 31 and September 1 at the Celtic Throwdown. There, we should be seeing, at least in some early form, which characters are on top and which may have fallen from favor.
Players should note that, while the balance patch was released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, it has not yet been released for the Nintendo Switch, and currently there is no official date slated for its release. Patience is a virtue, or so we are told, so sit tight if you play the game on the Switch.