Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath brings Fujin back to the fray for the first time in 14 years and two full console generations. Ahead of his release next week, here's what you need to know about how to play Earthrealm's god of wind.
Mortal Kombat 11: Fujin Breakdown Guide
Fujin was the focus of today's Kombat Kast, the latest episode of a semi-regular streaming presentation by Netherrealm Studios' Tyler Lansdown, Stephanie Brownback, and Derek Kirtzic. Starting with the run-up to Mortal Kombat X's release in 2015, the Kombat Kasts feature deep dives into new and current MK characters, as well as news, teasers, guest stars, and the occasional debut. Thanks to COVID-19, today's Kast was a socially-distant version of its typical programming, featuring pre-recorded match footage instead of live play.
While we saw some of Fujin's moves in the Aftermath introduction trailer, his own debut yesterday wasn't much, unless you really enjoy it when Johnny Cage goes full hypeman for somebody. (Which makes it kind of twisted that Johnny was Fujin's Fatality dummy during today's Kast, but I digress.) Brownback provided a full breakdown of Fujin's three variations today, however, which makes Fujin seem... well, honestly, like he's in the wrong game. You don't usually see characters with this much aerial maneuverability unless you're playing Guilty Gear.
Fujin was last playable in 2006's Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, and last seen making a cameo early on in Mortal Kombat X's story mode. Like Raiden, he's one of the gods who fights in defense of Earthrealm; unlike Raiden, Fujin seems to be content to stay in the background most of the time. A couple of match intros in the launch edition of MK11 made it sound like Cetrion and Frost had killed Fujin offscreen, but he's back and playable in Aftermath. He's equipped with a short sword, his trusty crossbow from his debut in Mortal Kombat 4, and a full assortment of wind-based moves. Naturally, the term "anti-air" got brought up a lot, because it turns out that leaving the ground when you're fighting the actual god of wind is kind of a dumb idea.
Actually, he wasn't that different in Armageddon. Huh.
Like all MK11 characters, Fujin has three pre-set variations that change his moveset and basic strategies. While he's got a few common attack strings and specials that carry over between variations, his moveset is different enough in each one that he plays entirely differently. You can also equip custom skills for Fujin, as with the other characters in MK11, to create a personalized loadout for unranked play.
Fujin's basic moves include throwing his sword with gusts of wind to use as an ersatz projectile or short-ranged combo extender, a simple hop kick, a personal tornado that's reminiscent of Kung Lao's spin, and a standard throw where he draws the air from his opponent's lungs before blowing it back at them for a knockdown. One of his MK4 fatalities makes a cameo as a standard throw here, where he knocks an enemy into the air with a mini-tornado before shooting them down with his crossbow.
Fujin's Fatal Blow, like Erron Black's, starts with a full-screen projectile, where he riddles an enemy with crossbow bolts before impaling them on his sword. The Kast also saw the official debut of Fujin's second Fatality, where he... well, creatively disembowels the other guy. It's pretty gross!
In his Wind God variation, which Brownback describes as simple and "combo-based," Fujin gains the ability to amplify his tornado spin, which makes it last longer and potentially hit multiple times on an airborne opponent, and a four-hit spinning kick that carries its target almost halfway to the corner. Both moves can be done in the air. Fujin's standard hop kick can also be delayed by pressing down and up, which makes him hover in place to mess with an opponent's timing; he can also come out of the hover with a sword attack that has a Krushing Blow attached to it.
In Wind Walker, Fujin is all about aerial mobility and rushdown. He gains a new pressure tool, where he suddenly thrusts his sword forward with a burst of wind, but the big ability is Air Walk (nicknamed the "Skywalka" by Netherrealm). While Air Walking, Fujin runs forward or back at the top of the screen, with multiple options for coming out of the move. Not only does it let him cover a lot of ground quickly, at an angle which many characters can't do much about, but Fujin can simply drop down, cancel it into a sudden sword thrust, or come out swinging with a dive kick. It makes Fujin easily the most manueverable character in MK11 to date, and it's going to be hell dealing with a Wind Walker Fujin as zoning characters like O-Negative Skarlet. Wind Walker also has what I think might be the first and only aerial parry in MK11, where Fujin deflects and counters an incoming attack with a gust of wind.
Fujin's third variation, F5 (as in the tornado category), is more about a strong ground game and space control. The tornado throw from the Aftermath trailer is an F5 move, and has an attached Krushing Blow if you use it to punish an enemy's backdash. For zoning purposes, F5 Fujin also gains a burst of wind as a sort of projectile, which can be used at multiple ranges to keep an enemy out. As a tradeoff, however, the wind burst doesn't deal chip damage on block. It's meant to force an opponent to make mistakes, rather than chip them out. A different version of the same move is only usable on an opponent who's in mid-air, as a countermove, where Fujin slams his opponent to the ground with wind; the amplified version makes them bounce back up for a combo opportunity.
Brownback was sure to point out that Fujin looks more complicated than he is. While his combos look flashy, his execution requirement isn't as high as you'd think, and Netherrealm expects every MK11 player ought to find something to like in at least one of Fujin's variations. If I had to guess, you can expect to see a lot of Air Walker in pro tournaments and F5 in online play.
We're six days out from MK11: Aftermath and the hype's getting extremely real. Check out some of our other coverage here at Prima, such as:
- Did you see the Robocop Brutality reveal this weekend?
- The Friendships trailer might be all the Mileena you're getting in MK11
- Ellen Ripley's not in MK11 yet, but Jacqui's stolen her outfit
Mortal Kombat 11's been surprisingly good at taking some of the less exciting members of MK's roster, like Sheeva or Frost, and making them genuinely cool. If they can turn Fujin into a dorky but likable counterpart to Raiden, I'd love to see what they could do with other past space-fillers like Kai or Nitara. Tell us about your favorite obscure Mortal Kombat characters (I always kinda liked Bo from the old Malibu comics) via our official Twitter, @PrimaGames.