The Mortal Kombat 11 1.07 update patch notes are now available, bringing the first big balance update to the game since its release in April with some significant adjustments that should shake up the meta of fighters we see played both online and among the top competitors in the world.
As could be seen at tournaments since the game first launched, a small group of characters remains top tier, including Sonya Blade, Cassie Cage, Jacqui Briggs, Erron Black, Geras, and others to a lesser extent. So, with the changes made, which characters come out as winners, and which as losers in this upcoming update?
Winner – D’Vorah
D’Vorah has been in a bit of a bad spot since the launch of the game, and the developers seem to agree as she has the longest list of changes, most of which are buffs to ability activation and recovery in terms of frame, corrections to how Fireflies interact with an opponent, and a few general bug fixes. If you have been underwhelmed by D’Vorah before, now is the perfect time to learn the fighter in her newfound strength, as she should be far more powerful in ranked play, and maybe even in tournament settings.
Loser – Scorpion
For a complete rundown of the biggest change to Scorpion, namely the nerf to his Hell Portal ability, click here. As of now, players who stick with Scorpion will need to be far more careful with the use of the ability or be severely punished. Scorpion is also having the recovery frames increased on both his low job and his Quick Kick, which were easy to abuse before.
Winner – Cetrion
The changes made to Cetrion are likely to see her dominate in the upcoming competitive scene. We already saw her used well at Evo 2019, and competitive player Dragon used her almost exclusively throughout the weekend, coming in second place overall to SonicFox.
The main changes see some abilities have reduced frames in activation or recovery, her Earthquake second attack can not be cancelled, and Shattering Boulder now has a Krushing Blow. If you enjoy a character who can range an opponent, and now more effectively, check out Cetrion.
Loser – Erron Black
A number of Erron’s abilities have had frames added to both startup and recovery, which makes it more dangerous to spam some previous attacks. Boot Drop Amplified can no longer hit airborne opponents, which is a useful change, though some were expecting more from the nerf to that ability, as it still feels too safe to spam, similar to Scorpion’s Hell Portal pre-nerf.
Winner – Frost
Similar to D’Vorah, Frost has received a complete buff to many of her abilities, such as Headbutt, Freezer Burn, Blizzard, Frigid Palm, Chest Cold, and others now starting up and recovering faster. Many players loved Frost at launch, but felt that she was subpar, and these changes might see a massive shift in how often Frost is used. Without a doubt, we should see Frost more often and far deadlier than before.
Loser – Geras
Geras has been one of the most popular picks at tournaments, leading many to joke about how events are only Geras mirror matches all the way through. His changes now make him far more difficult to use. His Quick Sand Krushing bow now requires the attack to first miss twice in a row, which means we are not likely to see it at any competitive events. Other abilities are slower now with more frames of startup and recovery.
Loser – Jacqui Briggs
For the first time, we are now seeing health totals adjusted for different characters. Jacqui will now be down to 950 from 1000, and some like Shao Khan will be up to 1050.
Otherwise, Jacqui has been nerfed harder than most, with many abilities slower in their startup and recovery, but also in their damage. Grease Kick, normal and amplified, Lethal Clinch abilities, and both “Arm Break” and “Leg Break” now hit for less.
These nerfs may not be too detrimental to Jacqui, since she was and likely will remain the best rush character to keep constant pressure on an opponent. The changes seem to allow for an opponent to have more opportunity to respond, and Jacqui has less health, meaning she will need to play more precisely.
Winner – Jade
Jade has had only slight improvements made to her abilities, and since she is already great at range, there is no reason not to try her out now.
Winner – Kano
Kano is seeing some damage increases to certain abilities, as well as startup frame reduction for Molotov Cocktail, which can be used in conjunction with Chemical burn when a player is near the corner for a significant amount of damage. This is because Chemical born can now be amplified for more damage, is faster on startup, and can now be done as a close version. The Cocktail flame will act as a Damage Over Time ability (DoT) as a result.
Winner – Kollector
Similarly to D’Vorah, Kollector has a long list of adjustments, with both buffs and nerfs, but overall looking far stronger than before with harder hitting abilities and faster startup and recovery periods. This is another excellent character to begin using now, as many of his launch issues have been corrected.
Loser – Cassie Cage
We use the term “loser” here lightly, because although Cassie has had her health reduced to 950 from 1000, and has had frames added to certain abilities both in their execution and recovery, she is still an outstanding overall character. Shortly after the patch notes were released, SonicFox tweeted:
Cassie still probably number 1
— FOX | SonicFox @ Megaplex (@SonicFox5000) August 7, 2019
The statement should surprise few who follow the best fighter in the world, and you can read more about how SonicFox took Cassie Cage all the way at Evo 2019 this past weekend by clicking here.
Winner – Kotal Kahn and Shao Kahn
The Kahns have received similar buffs that might push him up into competitive territory now, which works since they are so similar in theme. Kotal Kahn now has 1100 hit points, and Shao Khan has 1050. Both have had many abilities now starting up and recovering far quicker than before. This was a significant issue in the past, as Kotal Kahn was simply too slow to compete with almost any other character. Combined with his lack of mobility, it was difficult to find a good Kahn player, as most would select another fighter who was quick and could move around easily.
Hopefully, these buffs help, as right now it is far too easy to keep either of the Khans at range.
Winners – Kunk Lao, Liu Kang, Noob Saibot
All three of these characters have received a few buffs that are similar in theme, focusing on increased amplified damage or general damage to certain abilities, as well as faster startup and recovery. These slight buffs might be enough to see the characters used more effectively in the competitive scene.
Winner – Raiden (sort of)
Overall, Raiden has received buffs to a number of abilities, but they all fall within only one of his tournament variations. We often see this kind of balance when developers are happy with one variation but would like to see the other used more. As a result, not everyone is happy with the buff, but it is an improvement.
Loser – Sonya Blade (sort of)
Given how dominant Sonya Blade has been at tournaments since release, it is surprising to see that the only real nerfs are to her hit points, which are now down to 950. She otherwise has received a damage buff to her amplified air control attack.
Loser – Shang Tsung
The newest character to the game has received a small damage nerf to his Ground Eruption, both the normal and amplified version. This may be to encourage alternate playstyle, because right now in the hands of a competent player that ability can be quite powerful.