After hundreds of thousands of millions of social media posts clamoring for her return, the sai-wielding savage Mileena returns in Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, and she’s ready to tear off a few faces. This Mileena is fast and furious as usual, but there’s a few hidden perks to her Variations that may give longtime Mileena fans and stans a new set of skills.

Take a look at these beginners’ tips for Mileena in MK11 Ultimate and learn how to take your Mileena to the next level. 

Mortal Kombat 11 | Mileena Guide

A quick note before we get started, in the interest of simplicity we will be using numbers in place of the buttons pressed for each move, so rather than this guide getting filled with Xs and Circles and As and Bs just follow this simple key:

Front Punch = 1 = Square (PlayStation 4) = X (Xbox One) = Y (Switch)

Back Punch = 2 = Triangle (PlayStation 4) = Y (Xbox One) = X (Switch)

Front Kick = 3 = X (PlayStation 4) = A (Xbox One) = B (Switch)

Back Kick = 4 = Circle (PlayStation 4) = B (Xbox One) = A (Switch)

Amplify = R1 (PlayStation 4) = RB (Xbox One) = R (Switch)

Got that? Good, let’s begin:

Back from the Flesh Pits

If Mileena’s been your main in previous Mortal Kombat games, the Flesh Pits variation is where you’re going to want to start. This variation has all the tools you’re used to, from throwing her sais (Back, Forward, 1) on the ground for Low Sai Blast or in the air for Soaring Sai), Tele-Drop (Down, Down, 3), and Ball Roll (Back, Down, 4). The only tool she’s missing in this variation is a standing sai throw, but we can work around that. 

The best moves to Amplify in this variation are Tele-Drop, which adds a second kick and a throw, and Ball Roll, where Mileena rolls a second time and knocks the opponent into the air for a follow-up. Amplifying the sai moves just adds another projectile, which is fine in certain situations but not what the meter should be used for if it can be helped. 

Beware the Standing 4!

Mileena’s Corkscrew Kick (4 while standing) is a powerful part of her arsenal. It’s also extremely slow to connect with and can be easily countered. At close range we highly recommend not bringing out the Corkscrew Kick, which is difficult to suggest because it’s extremely easy to just press 4 and perform it without thinking. 

Blender (Back + 4) or Poisonous Butterfly (Forward + 4) are much better options, as both come out faster and pack just as much of a punch. Blender even has the added bonus of being a low attack, allowing Mileena to go under certain attacks and quickly counter. Remember to hold forward or backward when pressing 4, otherwise you’re in for a bad time. 

Kahnum Interrupt ‘Em

Mileena’s second variation Merciless replaces the Ball Roll with a new move called Kahnum Dash (Back, Down, 4). Here Mileena dashes forward while hunched over (think Naruto Run), then slides under the opponent’s legs and trips them for damage, ending up on the other side of the screen. While this move won’t pass under projectiles as well as Ball Roll, it’s got a neat little side feature that opens up its versatility. 

See, the slide won’t happen for as long as you hold onto 4, giving you the ability to fake out an unsuspecting opponent whether they try to dodge or counterattack. You’ll then be able to keep the enemy guessing on when the slide will activate, sliding under potential counter moves that the slide can get under, then once you do connect you can Amplify for a few extra hits and big damage. It’s not the classic Mileena roll, but Kahnum Dash can get the job done. 

Mileena The Hidden Grappler

Two words we never expected to associate with Mileena are “command grab,” and yet her Merciless variation is chock full of grabby stabby fun. Play Time (1, 1, 1+3) adds an eye-gouging grab move to the end of a basic combo, while Stabyscotch (Forward, Down, Back, 2) sees Mileena knock her opponent down and stab their face ten times for decent damage. 

Longtime MK players won’t be used to Mileena having grab-focused moves in her arsenal, so use that to your advantage during a match. Rush in like you’re about to attack, then when the opponent blocks throw out Stabyscotch and take the free damage or use Play Time and get that extra boost at the end of the combo. Either way, your foe will never see it coming. 

Fast and Fatal Blow

Anyone playing Mortal Kombat 11 knows each character has a Fatal Blow, a powerful Hail Mary attack that only activates when a character’s health is low and, when it connects, can only be used once per match. Mileena is no different, hers being named Beauty and Beast, but she has a clear advantage with hers: she can combo into it. 

Beauty and Beast comes out lightning fast and can act as a combo ender, basically scoring an easy Fatal Blow. Sticking the Fatal Blow at the end of True Queen (1, 1), Bloodthirsty (Back+1, 1), or Sai-Onara (2, 3, 3) puts an exclamation mark on what were basic Mileena combos, which could steer the momentum in your favor when things look dire.