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

Mortal Kombat X – How to Play Kotal Kahn: Combos and Strategies

by Bryan Dawson

Kotal Kahn can be played a couple of different ways. In the Blood God variant he is very offensive with two damage buffs that give him huge combo damage potential. With the War God variant he plays much safer with the ability to end almost all of his combos with a safe special move, and he still has access to one damage buff. Sun God is a more defensive variant, but Kotal Kahn’s options in Sun God are somewhat limited.

Notation Key

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

Blood Offering
Notation: Forward, Down, Back+4
Enhanced: No.

Blood Offering gives Kotal Kahn a damage increase that lasts until three physical attacks connect (block or hit). That includes the Sunstone projectile, but not the God Ray special moves. It only requires two Air Takedown special moves to lose the damage buff, and the second will not have the full damage increase. Using Blood Offering takes 10 percent of Kotal Kahn’s health, but the damage increase is worth it if you can start a combo with the next attack.

Notation: Down, Forward+3
Enhanced: Yes, but no armor.

Sunstone is Kotal Kahn’s main projectile attack. It’s a little slower than some of the other projectiles in Mortal Kombat X, but it cannot be ducked. The enhanced version (Burning Sunstone) increases up to 16 percent, making it one of the hardest hitting projectile attacks in the game. If you have Blood Offering active the damage on the normal version is just over 16 percent, while the enhanced damage jumps up to 24 percent (dealing almost 5 percent damage in chip alone).

God Ray
Notation: Down, Forward+4
Enhanced: Yes, but no armor.

God Ray has two functions. It creates a ray of light on the stage that heals Kotal Kahn for up to 10 percent if he stands in it, and damages an opponent for up to 10 percent if they stand in it. There can only be one God Ray on the stage at a time, but you can place it in one of three spots depending on the notation used. Press Back after the initial input to place the God Ray directly over Kotal Kahn, or press Forward to place it on the far side of the screen. The normal notation places the God Ray one jump distance away from Kotal Kahn.

You can end combos with God Ray to either heal yourself or damage your opponent as they’re getting up off the ground. This is especially effective in the corner to damage your opponent, or after knocking an opponent down with a Sunstone if you’re trying to heal Kotal Kahn. The enhanced version doubles the amount of healing or damage.

Air Takedown
Notation: Down, Forward+1
Enhanced: Yes, but no armor.

Kotal Kahn’s Air Takedown is best used to end or extend combos after launching an opponent into the air. The normal version is a good way to end combos, while the enhanced version (Anti-Air Throw) bounces the opponent off the ground and allows Kotal Kahn to continue with a juggle combo. While both versions technically work as an anti-air attack, they get beat out by a lot of other attacks and aren’t nearly as reliable as most other anti-air attacks.

Mace Parry
Notation: Down, Forward+2
Enhanced: Yes, but no armor.

The Mace Parry stops any grounded physical attack. If the opponent uses a projectile or jumping attack the Mace Parry will not be effective. The enhanced version (Master Mace Parry) executes faster and lasts a little longer. This will not stop an opponent in their tracks, but it will stop Kotal Kahn from taking damage from the attack absorbed by the Mace Parry. This works well after getting knocked to the ground if an opponent is pressuring you, or after the opponent blocks a safe combo string.

Sunburn (X-Ray)

What makes the Sunburn X-Ray one of the more unique attacks in the game is that it tracks the opponent. Kotal Kahn summons a ray of light (similar to God Ray) that lands on top of the opponent at whatever position they were at when the X-Ray was used. You can combo into it and it also has armor allowing it to go through attacks. This is a great way to punish projectile attacks or special moves used from across the screen.

Basic Strategy

Most of Kotal Kahn’s game plan is going to come from whichever variation you’re using. He doesn’t have a lot to work off of that’s universal across all three variations. He has some basic overhead/low mix-ups, but they lead to knockdowns more than anything else. This does allow you to go for another mix-up as the opponent is getting up off the ground, but if they have meter watch out for an enhanced special move with armor to blow through your mix-up.

The Elbow Drop (Back+2) is an overhead that covers about half the screen and is safe if the opponent blocks. It doesn’t lead to any guaranteed follow-ups, but it knocks the opponent to the ground so you can follow with a God Ray or an overhead/low mix-up as the opponent is getting up. You can use the Osh-Tekk Stomp (Forward+3) as a low mix-up for the Elbow Drop overhead. If it’s blocked Kotal Kahn is safe from punishment.

Kotal’s Coatl Strikes combo (2,1,2) ends with an overhead attack and is safe if the opponent blocks. This knocks the opponent down and allows for a mix-up as they’re getting up. He also has some basic combos such as Melahuac (1,1,4), Mahuizitiquez (2,1) and Tlaneltocaz (Back+3,2) which are safe if the opponent blocks.

Technically Kotal Kahn can cancel most of his blocked combos into the Sunstone to gain a slight advantage and continue offensive pressure, but a skilled opponent with fast reactions will be able to interrupt between the combo and Sunstone most of the time.

Blood God Variant

The Blood God variation is a popular choice for Kotal Kahn players solely because it has huge damage potential. Kotal Kahn can summon one of three totems throughout the match. You can never have more than one totem active at a time and there’s no way to remove a totem once it has been summoned. You have to wait until it times out or the opponent hits the totem and destroys it.

The three totems that can be summoned are the Crystal Totem (Down, Back+1), Obsidian Totem (Down, Back+2) or Blood Totem (Down, Back+3). The Crystal Totem gives Kotal Kahn a 33 percent damage increase while it’s active, Obsidian Totem reduces the damage Kotal Kahn takes by 33 percent and the Blood Totem slowly drains an opponent’s super meter when hit by Kotal Kahn, and if it times out normally (doesn’t get hit by the opponent) Kahn receives a small amount of health and super meter as soon as it disappears.

You can end most of his safe combos and basic attacks with any of the totems and the opponent will not be able to punish Kotal Kahn. The Crystal Totem should be your focus throughout most of the match since it provides such a significant damage boost. When this is coupled with the Blood Offering, Kotal Kahn can dish out astronomical amounts of damage with basic combos. For example, Forward+2, Forward+2, Forward+1, Back+2, Air Takedown is normally 28 percent damage. With Blood Offering and the Crystal Totem that jumps up to 50 percent damage.

If you need a defensive boost you can opt for the Obsidian Totem, but there e few situations when that would be more beneficial than the Crystal Totem. Even if you’re almost dead, unless the opponent is also near death cutting 33 percent of the damage from your opponent for a short time won’t make a huge difference. The Blood Totem is really only effective if you want to stop your opponent from getting enough meter to use a breaker, but even then a 33 percent damage increase will have a more significant impact on the match.

War God Variant

The War God variant gives Kotal Kahn access to a sword with the following special moves: Saw Blade (Down, Forward+2), Overhead Sword Strike (Down, Back+1), Sword Sweep (Down, Back+2), Sword Toss (Down, Forward+3) and Sword Shake (Down, Back+3). The enhanced versions of every attack except the Sword Toss has armor as well, with the Overhead Sword Strike and Sword Sweep being the only two attacks that are not safe if the opponent blocks.

The addition of the sword essentially gives Kotal Kahn free reign to use any combo or basic attack that can be canceled into the Saw Blade or Sword Shake. Canceling into either of these special moves will make the combo safe. The Saw Blade should be your go-to special cancel in almost every situation when an combo is blocked. While the Sword Shake is safe if the opponent blocks and the second part of the attack is unblockable, a skilled opponent will block the first hit of the attack, then jump to avoid the unblockable portion. In this situation you can be punished.

The Sunstone projectile is replaced by the Sword Toss, but serves the same purpose. What changes is the enhanced version (Spinning Sword Toss). Like Kotal Kahn’s other projectile attacks, it cannot be ducked, but if it catches an airborne opponent it will hit up to three times inflicting 17 percent damage without any additional damage buffs active. This is slightly more than the Burning Sunstone, but unfortunately it only inflicts six percent damage on a grounded opponent.

Finally, if you use the Sword Toss or Spinning Sword Toss, Kotal will not be able to use any sword techniques for a short time. When you see the sword appear on his back again, you can use sword techniques.

Use the War God variation if you want to remain as safe as possible while playing Kotal Kahn. The Blood God variant gives you a damage increase, but War God is all about playing it safe.

Sun God Variant

The Sun God variant adds two special moves to Kotal Kahn’s arsenal that are linked together. Soul Scorch (Forward, Down, Back+1) replenishes a small amount of Kotal Kahn’s super meter, while the enhanced version (Soul Burn) replenishes five percent of Kotal Kahn’s health. The Sun God Choke (Down, Back+2) is a command throw that cannot be blocked. Each time you perform it the throw and Soul Scorch power up. When you use the command throw three times it will be at full power.

You cannot use Soul Scorch until you have powered up at least once from the Sun God Choke. Every time you use Soul Scorch you will lose your power up completely and have to start over. The enhanced version of the Sun God Choke (Moon God Choke) has armor, but still only offers a single power-up.

Use the Sun God Choke to end combos as it inflicts more damage than the Air Takedown after it has been powered up one time. If you’re a very defensive player, the Sun God variation offers a way to replenish your super meter and health so long as you can land the Sun God Choke. Otherwise, Blood God and War God have more options and offer more variety.

Sample Combos

28 percent – Forward+2, Forward+2, Forward+1, Back+2, Air Takedown
32 percent – Forward+2, Forward+2, Forward+2, Down+2


Be Mine! – Down, Back, Forward, 1 (Close)
Tight Squeeze – Forward, Back, Forward, Back, 2 (Close)


Kotally Awesome – Stand at sweep distance (one character length away) and kill the opponent with Sun Beam (Down, Forward+4) or God Ray (Down, Forward+4+Block).

Sawed Off – In the War God variation, kill the opponent with a three-hit combo that ends with Saw Blade (Down, Forward+2).

For more information on Mortal Kombat X check out Prima’s free guide or head directly to our Ferra/Torr and Sub-Zero guides!

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