Mortal Kombat 11's Aftermath update comes out next week, and brings big content updates like Friendships, stage fatalities, and more of its story mode. Netherrealm has teased one major change to the game's mechanics, though, and revealed it today. Here's what you need to know about armor-breaking moves in MK11: Aftermath.

Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath New Armor-Breaking Changes

In fighting game terms, "armor" means a character can absorb a hit or two before being knocked out of their current animation. In Mortal Kombat X, most of the enhanced moves in the game had at least one hit of armor, so you could burn meter to punch through an enemy attack and continue with your own. You'd still take damage, but it'd often be worth it to gain an offensive advantage.

Netherrealm made a deliberate decision to pare that back in MK11. Now, armored moves are surprisingly rare, with a few big exceptions, the most notable of which is your defensive breakaway. While a couple of moves can knock you out of breakaway, such as the first hit of a Fatal Blow, it has full armor until your character hits the ground.

With the Aftermath DLC, in addition to a number of other balance changes, MK11 is planning to introduce a new mechanic called armor-breaking moves. Nobody is actually getting a new move out of this; instead, every character in MK11 except Spawn will have an armor-breaking bonus assigned to one of their normal or special attacks. (Spawn already has his, for some reason. His B,F+3 War Club breaks armor.)

Armor-breaking was explained by Netherrealm's Stephanie Brownback during today's Kombat Kast livestream, starting around 39:46 in the video below. The examples shown in the Kombat Kast were Scorpion's B+3 front kick, Sub-Zero's F+4 thrust kick, and Shao Kahn's amplified shoulder tackle. In each case, if you successfully break an armored move with one of these attacks, you gain an additional advantage such as a combo opportunity. In Sub-Zero's case, successfully breaking an opponent's armor will activate a new Krushing Blow that's now attached to his F+4:

The general idea behind this, according to Brownback, is to add an element of risk-reward to using your breakaway or other armored moves in a fight. In the current state of MK11, your breakaway is a guaranteed escape unless your opponent's in Fatal Blow range. Now, depending on who you're fighting, your breakaway could land you in more trouble than you were in before you used it. This also lets you anticipate and punish other armored moves, such as amplified stage interactions.

It's a reasonably technical detail, and casual players probably won't even notice the difference, but armor breaks are going to shake things up in mid- to high-end Kombat League and on the professional tournament circuit. Now, instead of reflexively hitting a breakaway move on reaction, you're going to have to run the odds on whether it'll cause more problems for you than it's currently solving.

We're covering everything we can find about MK11's Aftermath DLC. Check out our other articles at our MK11 game hub, such as:

Armor-breakers could change up Mortal Kombat 11's character balance in a big way, based on which moves get the break and what can be done afterward. Scorpion's already got the potential for a ground bounce off of his, which is unpleasantly reminiscent of those MKvDCU Green Lantern breaker combos. This could be interesting, or very bad. Check in with your opinion on this via our official Twitter, @PrimaGames.