The Low Down on Scorpion
BEST OF PRIMA GAMES – 2021
If you’re a new Mortal Kombat X player, or even an experienced one, this great guide tells you everything you need to know about Scorpion. Every special move, every variant, combo, fatalities… you name it!
You find everything else about Mortal Kombat X in our extensive collection of articles.
Scorpion is a heavy vortex character, but one of the easiest characters to play in Mortal Kombat X. He has great mobility with his Teleport and multiple ways to open up an opponent using a mixture of overhead and low attacks. He also has multiple ways to stun opponents depending on the fighting style variant you choose to go with. If you’re just getting started in Mortal Kombat X, Scorpion is a pretty good first character.
Note: We updated this article to give you even more strategies and combos for the fan-favorite character!
1 – Square/X
2 – Triangle/Y
3 – X/A
4 – Circle/B
Notation: Down, Back+3
Enhanced: Yes, but no armor.
Scorpion’s Teleport has been one of his trademark attacks since the first Mortal Kombat. This time around he can cancel it in order to gain additional mobility and stay somewhat safe from punishment. The normal Teleport is not safe if the opponent blocks the attack, but if used when the opponent throws a projectile or is simply not expecting an attack from behind, it can be very effective.
The Enhanced Teleport (Flameport) allows Scorpion to start a combo after the attack connects. Both can be done in the air or on the ground, and both can be canceled by holding Back or Down immediately after starting the Teleport. Holding Back causes Scorpion to simply teleport back to the far side of the screen, while Down will still cause Scorpion to move behind the opponent, but he will not attack. If the opponent anticipates either cancel, you can be punished for it.
Notation: Back, Forward+1
Enhanced: Yes, but no armor.
Scorpion’s second trademark special move is his Spear. It grabs the opponent and pulls them toward Scorpion, allowing you to follow with a combo. If the Spear is blocked or the opponent ducks under it, you can be punished severely. However, the enhanced version of the Spear (Double Spear) is safe if the opponent blocks, although it can still avoided and punished by simply ducking under it. If the Double Spear connects, you can spend one more bar of meter to get a second enhancement to add more damage and stun the opponent in place instead of pulling them toward you. You can then follow with a jumping punch to start a combo.
Most of Scorpion’s combos can be canceled into the Spear, making it an easy way to extend combos for additional damage. You can even follow a Flameport with a Spear for a relatively easy combo without having to worry too much about timing the attack. Just keep in mind it’s very easy to punish Scorpion if the Spear is blocked or the opponent ducks under it.
Notation: Back, Forward+4
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.
The Takedown has been in Scorpion’s arsenal since the days of Mortal Kombat 2. It’s the only special move Scorpion has across all three variants that hits low. You can use it to end combos or use the enhanced version (Takeout) to get extra damage and give Scorpion one hit of armor. As the only special move that has armor this is also your best option to avoid being pressured when attempting to get up off the ground. Just be careful because it is not safe if the opponent blocks it, which means they may be looking for it as you’re getting up off the ground.
From Hell (X-Ray)
Scorpion’s X-Ray travels the entire length of the screen and executes fairly quickly. It’s also safe from punishment if the opponent blocks, so you can use it freely without having to worry too much about being attacks afterward. If the opponent blocks the X-Ray, it gives Scorpion advantage so you can continue attacking as long as you use a faster attack to avoid getting interrupted. While the X-Ray can be difficult to avoid, it is possible to jump over it and punish Scorpion if the opponent is fast enough. It’s also very easy to combo into Scorpion’s X-Ray after a Spear.
Scorpion is what’s known as a vortex character. That means he only needs to hit the opponent one time to possibly end the match. A single hit from Scorpion can easily lead into a combo that transitions into a Spear to stun the opponent, then into another combo that can be ended abruptly to start a new combo with a low or overhead attack into another Spear to start the combo all over again. The opponent must constantly be on their toes, hoping to block the next mix-up and escape the vortex.
While most vortex characters can be extremely dangerous (Scorpion included), there’s a lot of risk involved. Scorpion is not a particularly safe character, which means that if the opponent blocks a Spear or your overhead/low mix-up, there’s a very good chance they will punish you. It’s imperative to continually mix up your attacks to make it harder for your opponent to block.
Use the Shin Strike (Back+3) as your primary low attack of choice. This should be immediately canceled into a Spear. Once again, if the opponent blocks the low and the Spear (or just ducks under the Spear), you can be punished, but that’s the risk involved in Scorpion’s vortex.
The Flame Heel (Forward+4) should be your overhead of choice when you’re trying to start a combo. Just like the Shin Strike, you should immediately cancel into the Spear for a combo, but if the opponent blocks, Scorpion can and likely will be punished.
You can also use the Crushing Blow (Forward+2) overhead attack. It’s safe if the opponent blocks, but it does not lead to a combo. It knocks the opponent down right next to Scorpion so you can go for another mix-up as they’re getting off the ground. If they have meter watch out for an enhanced special move with armor as they’re getting up. Use the Crushing Blow to condition your opponent to block the overhead, making them susceptible to the Shin Strike low attack.
Scorpion’s basic Inferno variation combo is 2,1,4, Teleport, 2,1, Spear, Jump Forward 2, Forward+4, Minion Grab, Jump Over 2, Forward+4, Takedown. You can end the combo just before the Takedown and follow the Forward+4 (Flame Heel) with either another Flame Heel or the Shin Strike to reset the combo and start all over again. Most opponents will be expecting the Takedown which they can’t block since it’s part of the combo. When you stop the combo abruptly and go right into another overhead/low mix-up, it will catch people by surprise.
Depending on the variation you opt to go with you can mix in other low attacks for mix-ups, but Scorpion’s base strategy is to use a constant overhead/low mix-up to start combos or condition opponents to block a certain way.
Scorpion’s Inferno variant is exceptional at keeping opponents locked down. He gains the use of the Minion Grab (Down, Back+4), Minion Charge (Down, Back+1) and Minion Drop (Down, Back+2). These three special moves give Scorpion a wide variety of offensive options. The Minion Grab hits low and stuns an opponent in a similar fashion to Scorpion’s Spear. You can cancel into it from almost any combo and use both the Minion Grab and Spear to extend your combo multiple times. It should essentially replace the Takedown as your low special move of choice.
The Minion Charge attacks an opponent from behind and pushes them toward Scorpion. This is best used to catch an opponent off-guard or to punish an opponent from a distance when you don’t want to risk a Teleport. Meanwhile, the Minion Drop is an overhead attack giving Scorpion a full screen mix-up game between Minion Drop (overhead) and Minion Grab (low). It also prevents opponents from ducking in anticipation of a Spear.
In most cases you should be going with the Inferno or Hellfire variations when playing Scorpion. Both offer ways to extend Scorpion’s combos, but Inferno is a little easier to play. Some of the Hellfire combos require strict timing and Run Cancels to perform them well, but overall both variations offer similar play styles.
In the Hellfire variant Scorpion gains three new fire-based attacks. The Fire Ball (Down, Back+1) is a projectile attack that can be delayed by holding the attack button. While delaying the attack you can cancel it by pressing Forward or Back twice which can be used to extend combos as well. This works well against characters trying to zone from a distance with projectiles. Scorpion can cancel his projectile and quickly jump over the opponent’s projectile to punish them. You can also cancel it and use a Teleport for punishment if you’re too far away. In addition, the enhanced Fire Ball gives Scorpion significant advantage when it’s blocked.
Once you understand how Run Cancels work you can use the Fire Ball to apply pressure to your opponents or extend combos. You Run Cancel the Fire Ball by pressing Down, Back, Hold 1, Forward, Forward, tap Block. When you do this fast enough you barely see the Fire Ball animation before Scorpion starts to run. The Fire Ball doesn’t come out, but Scorpion gains significant advantage when doing this.
If the opponent blocks 2,1 you can Fire Ball cancel and then do another 2,1 before the opponent can interrupt. The input would be 2,1, Down, Back, Hold 1, Forward, Forward, tap Block, 2,1. Program the computer to do this to you in practice mode and see if you can interrupt between the Fire Ball Run Cancel and the next 2,1. If you can’t you’ve got the timing down. If you can interrupt you need to execute the Run Cancel faster or input the second 2,1 faster.
The Hell Fire (Down, Back+2) special move is an unblockable attack that comes up from the ground to catch an opponent off-guard. It is possible to jump or run forward in order to avoid the attack as soon as an opponent sees it coming, but this is difficult for the average player to do. You can’t combo into the attack, but if it connects Scorpion has the advantage and can use it to start applying offensive pressure. This works well against opponents to like to stand around and block, and also hits opponents on the ground after a knock down. If you use it after knocking an opponent to the ground it will prevent them from tech rolling away.
Finally, the Hellfire variant gives Scorpion the Flame Aura (Down, Back+4) special move. As you may have guessed, this creates an aura of flames around Scorpion that slowly damages an opponent if they’re close to him. You can combo into the Flame Aura to gain additional damage from the attack. This is especially useful for corner pressure. If you have an opponent in the corner, combo into the Flame Aura to add a damage over time effect that is difficult to escape while cornered.
When used in the middle of a combo, Flame Aura acts like a Spear to extend your combo. For example, 2,1, Flame Aura stuns the opponent very briefly. With proper timing you can follow the Flame Aura with 2,1, Spear or into something else depending on how you want to continue your combo. The timing to connect an attack after the Flame Aura can be a bit tricky, but head to Practice Mode and you should have it down in no time.
Another use for Flame Aura is as an anti-air attack. If the opponent is right over Scorpion’s head this won’t work, but if they’re at a normal jump distance you can use Flame Aura to pull them down to the ground, then start a combo with proper timing.
To play the Hellfire variation properly, you need to be able to Run Cancel consistently and that can be difficult for newer players. Overall, Hellfire is Scorpion’s strongest variation, but only if you can apply block pressure and extend combos with Fire Ball Run Cancels, and combo after the Flame Aura. If you can’t do these things consistently, use the Inferno variation instead.
The main benefit of the Ninjitsu variant is that Scorpion gains some addition basic attacks and extends combos using his swords. The swords also give Scorpion more range on some of his attacks, which can be important in matches against Kung Jin, D’Vorah and other characters have long reach.
Most of Scorpion’s new attacks in the Ninjitsu variation are not safe if the opponent blocks, but he does gain some nice new combos. The Dead End combo (2,1,2) ends with an overhead and is safe if the opponent blocks. He can also extend his Flame Heel overhead with the Cataclysm combo (Forward+4,2). It’s a little safer than the Flame Heel alone, but it can catch an opponent off-guard from time to time.
Many of Scorpion’s attacks in Ninjitsu are meant to be used from a distance to give Scorpion more range. He loses some of the mix-up and combo extension opportunities from his other variations, but the increased range and attacks such as the Doom Blade (Forward+2) which launch opponents in a single hit work well to punish from a distance. If you don’t need the extended reach or damage boost, Ninjitsu probably isn’t the variant for you.
38 percent – 2,1,4, Teleport, 2,1, Minion Grab, Back Up Slightly, Jump Forward Punch (with 2), Forward+4, Spear, Jump Over Punch (with 2), Forward+4, Takedown
35 percent – 2,1,4, Teleport, 2,1, Spear, Jump Over Punch (with 2), Forward+4, Flame Aura, 2,1, Takedown
30 percent – Forward+2, 2,1,4, Teleport, 2,1, Spear, Jump Over Punch (with 2), Forward+4, Takedown
Stop Ahead – Down, Back, Forward, 2 (Mid-Screen)
Who’s Next – Down, Back, Forward, Up (Mid-Screen)
Get Over Here – With over 50 percent health remaining, kill the opponent with an enhanced Double Spear (Back, Forward+1+Block, then Block again once the attack connects).
Shirai Ryu Fire – Kil the opponent with an Air Flameport (Down, Back+3+Block in the air).
Just A Scratch – In the Ninjitsu varition, hit the oponentthree times with Downfall (Back+4) during the match, then kill the opponent with Doom Blade (Forward+2).
For more information on Mortal Kombat X, check out Prima’s free guide, complete with Krypt information and character breakdowns!