Mortal Kombat X - How to Play Kitana: Combos and Strategies - Prima Games

Mortal Kombat X – How to Play Kitana: Combos and Strategies

by Bryan Dawson

Kitana is one of the more unique characters in the game because her Mournful variant gives her many of Jade’s special moves from previous Mortal Kombat games. Her Fan Throw has been adjusted a bit from Mortal Kombat 9, but she still retains quite a bit of damage, especially in her Assassin variant. She is a zoning character at heart, but she can play offensively or defensively depending on which variant you choose to go with.

Notation Key

1 – Square/X
2 – Triangle/Y
3 – X/A
4 – Circle/B

Rising Fan
Notation: Down, Back+2
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

Kitana’s Rising Fan can be used as a way to end combos or as an anti-air attack. It executes fast enough to work well as a reactionary tactic when an opponent jumps toward you. If also inflicts decent damage making it a worthwhile way to end your combos. Unfortunately, even in the corner you can’t follow this with a combo or juggle. The enhanced version has armor, but both options are easy to punish if the opponent blocks.

Throat Slice
Notation: Back, Forward+3
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

Throat Slice is another way to end combos. The advantage of using Throat Slice over the Rising Fan is that Throat Slice covers more distance and therefore can be used in more situations. The enhanced version has armor, but both are not safe if the opponent blocks so they should generally be restricted to ending combos.

Fan Throw
Notation: Down, Forward+1
Enhanced: Yes, but no armor.

The Fan Throw and Air Fan Throw (Down, Forward+1 in the air) work well if you’re trying to zone out an opponent from the far side of the screen. They can also extend combos after knocking an opponent into the air. The Air Fan Throw holds an opponent in place long enough for Kitana to run up for additional attacks in most situations. While it’s harder than it was in MK9, you can throw Air Fans very close to the ground which is faster than throwing normal fans and works better for zoning purposes.

You can use the enhanced version of the Fan Throw (Fan Toss) in corner combos to extend the combo and follow with additional attacks. Depending on the circumstances, you can use it in open space (mid-screen), but usually the opponent will be too far away to follow with anything, even if you Run Cancel to get closer.

Notation: Down, Back+2
Enhanced: Yes, but no armor.

Kitana’s old Fan Lift has a new name in Upraise, but it works exactly the same. It lifts an opponent into the air and allows Kitana to follow with a juggle combo. If an opponent blocks the attack Kitana will very likely get punished so it’s best to use this in the middle of a combo when you can guarantee it will connect. In most cases you want to follow it with a neutral jump 1 or 2 and then combo from there. The enhanced version leaves the opponent in the air for a longer time.

Air Float
Notation: Down, Back+2
Enhanced: No

Kitana’s Air Float allows her to briefly stop her descent while in the air. This is useful if you time a jump incorrectly and need to avoid an anti-air attack or projectile. Kitana can still perform aerial actions after the Air Float, meaning you can use the Air Float then use the Air Fan Throw or a neutral jump punch or jump kick.

Slice and Dice (X-Ray)

The main advantage of Kitana’s X-Ray is that it hits as an overhead attack. This gives you a powerful overhead/low mix-up. It works especially well after Royal Hand (Back+1) or the Majestic combo (Back+1,4). Normally Royal Hand leads into a low attack with the Majestic combo and eventually into a second low attack with the Cunning Sting combo (Back+1,4,3), but if you cancel Royal Hand or the Majestic combo right into the X-Ray, you’ll get an overhead instead of the low and really throw your opponent off.

Basic Strategy

The main issue with Kitana is that she lacks a good way to open up an opponent. She has very few low attacks, and her only overheads come into the form of Fan Out (Back+2), a single attack that doesn’t lead to anything or her X-Ray. She is a character designed to zone with fans and wait for the opponent to make a mistake. Fighting against anyone with good defense is a very difficult battle for Kitana.

Royal Storm Variant

Kitana’s Royal Storm variant continues the defensive structure of her basic strategy. She adds the Edenian Dance combo (2,4) which is not safe if the opponent blocks and works best to extend a combo in the corner, as well as the Square Boost (Down, Back+3), Fan-Nado (Down, Back+1) and Bounce Back (Down, Back+4) special moves.

Square Boost is one of Kitana’s trademark special moves and can be done on the ground or in the air. The enhanced version has armor, but both can be punished easily if the opponent blocks. The aerial version does beat out most other aerial attacks, but you need to use it as a reactionary measure. If you miss with it Kitana will be in trouble.

Fan-Nado is the replacement for Kitana’s Upraise special move. The normal version works almost exactly like Upraise, but the enhanced version (Fan Vortex) covers the entire length of the screen and can be used to punish some projectiles and other attacks that would normally be safe to use. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to follow a full-screen Fan Vortex with a combo of decent damage. The easiest way to combo in that situation is to use an Air Fan Throw to keep the opponent in the air, then Run Cancel to get over in time to combo.

Finally, Kitana gains the Bounce Back special move, which reflects projectile attacks. If you hold 4 the attack will remain active for a longer time, but be careful because the attack is not instant. You almost have to anticipate a projectile attack is coming in order to use this properly, especially against faster projectile attacks such as Kano’s knives.

Assassin Variant

The Assassin variant tries to take the generally defensive style Kitana has in Mortal Kombat X and add some offensive firepower to it. Kitana gains Assassin Strike (Down, Back+3), which is essentially a full-screen version of Throat Slice. She also gets the Princess Parry (Down, Back+4), which parries high and low attacks, as well as Sharpen (Down, Forward+4), which temporarily increases the damage for any fan attacks and causes Assassin Strike to change into Assassin Impale (the enhanced version of Assassin Strike) without the need to burn meter on it.

Assassin Strike should be used in place of Throat Slice to end combos, especially when the Sharpen damage buff is active. The enhanced version has armor, but neither version is safe if the opponent blocks so make sure you primarily use it in a combo when you know it will connect.

The Princess Parry is not immediately active, which means you have to anticipate an attack is coming in most cases. In addition, it will only parry high, mid and overhead attacks. Jumping, aerial or projectile attacks and low attacks will go right through the parry and still hit Kitana. This should be used after an opponent blocks a safe combo or attack when they would normally think it’s their turn to attack.

Sharpen should be used as often as possible to increase Kitana’s damage. It activates immediately, but you can be punished if an opponent anticipates it or is close enough to react to the animation. The enhanced version (Razor Blade) increases the length of the damage buff considerably.

Unless you need the full-screen punishment ability of the enhanced Fan-Nado in the Royal Storm variant, this should be your go-to variant for Kitana players.

Mournful Variant

While every other character in Mortal Kombat X has three variants that complement their traditional play style, Kitana’s Mournful variant is essentially Jade from previous MK games. Kitana loses her Fan Throw in favor of a Glaive Throw, and gains the Shadow Kick and Staff Grab from Jade’s arsenal. However, all of Kitana’s other special moves and combos remain.

The Glaive Throw is slower than Kitana’s Fan Throw, but it can be angled up or down after throwing it to serves as a preemptive anti-air attack or hit a crouching opponent (although the low version can still be blocked by a standing opponent). Like the Fan Throw it can be done in the air, and the enhanced versions act like a boomerang with the glaive returning to Kitana, preventing an opponent to attacking. The aerial version is even considered an overhead attack, which can catch an opponent off-guard if you don’t use it too much.

The Shadow Kick should be used to punish attacks from a distance. It’s relatively fast and covers about half the screen. The enhanced version (Eclipse Kick) nearly covers the entire length of the screen and has armor. While neither version is safe if the opponent blocks, there’s a little bit of push back that can make it harder to punish in many cases.

Kitana’s Staff Grab should be used to end combos. It doesn’t have a lot of range and it’s not safe if the opponent blocks, but it inflicts a decent amount of damage. The enhanced version (Staff Smash) has armor and increases the damage even more.

If you were a Jade player in previous Mortal Kombat games, this is the variant for you. Otherwise, the Assassin variant has better options for Kitana players.

Sample Combos

Royal Storm
34 percent – 1,1,1, Fan Throw, Run Cancel, Forward+4,3, Forward+4,3, 2,1, Fan Throw, Jump Forward,3, Air Fan Throw, Jump Forward,3, Air Square Boost

37 percent – Jump Forward Punch, Forward+1,1,2, Fan Throw, Run Cancel, Forward+4,3, Jump Forward Kick, Air Fan Throw, Run Cancel, Forward+1,1, Assassin Strike

29 percent – 1,1, Upraise, Neutral Jump Punch, Forward+4,3, Forward+4,3, 2,1, Staff Grab


Dark Fan-Tasy – Down, Forward, Back, Forward, 2 (Mid-Screen)
Splitting Hairs – Back, Forward, Down, Down (Mid-Screen)


Off The Top – Kill the opponent with a Throat Slice (Back, Forward+3) or Throat Slash (Back, Forward+3+Block).

For more information on Mortal Kombat X head over to Prima’s free guide or directly to Liu Kang or D’Vorah strategies!

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