Mortal Kombat 11 – In-Depth Sub-Zero Guide
Sub-Zero is a character with swift mix-ups, slow projectiles, and great setups that will baffle any opponent. We’re here to show you the basics and some good Kombos you can perform as Sub-Zero. Due to the amount of variations and moves you can make for each character, we will only focus on moves and combos using Sub-Zero’s tournament variations: Dead of Winter and Thin Ice.
Front Punch = FP
Back Punch = BP
Front Kick = BP
Back Kick = BK
Important Basic Attacks
Axe Bash (Back, FP) – Axe Bash is a High Attack with a nice amount of range. This move also leads to the Frozen Over or the shorter Icy Grave Kombo attack. You can even cancel right after the first hit for either an Ice Ball, or a Slide. While it’s safe on block, the move can be ducked right under.
Double Axe Slam (Forward+BP) – Double Axe Slam is an Overhead Attack that has a fairly fast Start-Up, great range, and is safe on block. You can also Special Cancel afterwards to an Ice Ball or Slide to continue a Kombo.
Rising Axe (Back+BP) – Rising Axe allows Sub Zero to swing his axe upwards in a wide arc, launching the opponent in the air. It’s safe on block and can lead into a Juggle Kombo, especially if using an Ice Ball afterwards.
Brutal Kick (Forward+BK) – With Brutal Kick, Sub-Zero does a quick run and kicks the opponent back. This move is great for closing in, and the heavy damage is decent for 1 hit.
Important Kombo Attacks
Frozen Over (Back+FP, BK, FK) – Frozen Over’s start up has great range due to the first hit and can also cancel out of the second hit. It’s also a perfect move to use Sub-Zero’s Slide or Cold Shoulder with afterwards.
Final Draw (Forward+BP, BK) – After a Double Axe Slam, you follow up with two quick kicks that are unsafe on block. The move also triggers a Krushing Blow if you Kounter or Punish your opponent’s attack.
Frosty (Back+FK, BP, FP) – Frosty is a quick-hitting Kombo that starts with a Low Hit. All of the moves are safe on block and you can Special Cancel out of the second hit for a fast Ice Ball or Slide.
Unchained (Back+BP, FP) – After Rising Axe, an additional Axe Swing is added to deal more damage. This is a great move for a quick juggle Kombo and it’s guaranteed to hit after Rising axe.
New Threat (BP, FP, BP) – A normal 3-hit kombo that knocks the opponent backwards. Under normal circumstances this can be a good move to use after a Rising Axe or an Ice Ball. You can also Special Cancel out of the second hit.
Cold Encounter (FP, BP, BK) Another quick-hitting kombo that also knocks the opponent backwards. While also being able to Special Cancel out of the second hit, you can also turn this move into a Krushing Blow if the move is used in an 8-hit Kombo. So ideally, use this at the end of a combo string.
Slide (Back, Forward, FK) – Slide has a fast start-up that can go under High Attacks while knocking the opponent back. If an opponent is throwing a projectile, Sub-Zero can slide right under and punish the opponent. If you’re blocked however, then the opponent can easily punish you. Ideally hit confirm with a short Kombo or freeze the opponent first in this case.
Amplifying the hit will let Sub-Zero switch sides with the opponent while doing more damage. You can also trigger the Krushing Blow here if it hits three times in a match. It unfortunately won’t let you Kombo after, so use this at the end of a Kombo.
Cold Shoulder (Back, Forward, FK) – Cold Shoulder replaces Slide when using the Dead of Winter variation. It effectively pushes you forward to the opponent doing a Mid Hit that pushes the opponent back. This works as a great Kombo-ender as the damage done is decent.
When Amplified, the move will become a grab with a 4-hit Kombo, so ideally you can use this move at the end of a Kombo for extra damage.
Ice Ball (Down, Forward, FP) – Ice Ball is a slow-starting projectile that can freeze opponents in place, allowing Sub-Zero to follow-up with a Kombo. Unfortunately freezing the opponent will give you a little less damage for the Kombo right after. It doesn’t take away too much damage as long as you do an efficiently long Kombo. Also you can’t Kombo from an Ice Ball to another Kombo that ends with Ice Ball as they get blown back after the second projectile. Under normal situations, opponents can punish you with the slow start-up. After two-hit moves like Chinese Ninja Warrior (FP, BP) or Frozen Tundra (BP, FP)you can then freeze them and continue the Kombo.
With the Dead of Winter variation, you can amplify Ice Ball to not only absorb projectiles while it shoots, but can also activate after attacks that have too much recovery time such as Double Axe Slam (Forward+BP).
(Air) Polar Axe (Down, Back, BP) – Starting off from the Thin Ice variation is (Air) Polar Axe. Air Polar Axe is an Air Projectile that does a decent amount of damage at medium range. It can be used as a great keepaway attack and will allow you to dodge projectiles if you jump accordingly. Also, you can cancel out of a jumping back punch to Kombo into it.
Frigid Storm (Down, Forward, BP) – Frigid Storm is a slow start-up projectile that shoots a large ice structure while doing a Mid-Hit on the opponent. Fighters won’t be able to do a low-hit under this, so it forces them to either get hit, or block it. At normal circumstances, the move becomes a nice keepaway if you want to simply zone people out.
Death-Cicle Barrage (Down, Back, BP) – Death-Cicle Barrage is a slow-starting 5-hit series projectiles that has a limited range. Any hit projectiles will stick onto the opponent and will deal a bit of damage when they disappear, doing additional freeze damage. Sub-Zero steps back while doing this so it makes for a quick retreat in neutral situations. The only downside is that you can’t do this move at Full Screen, so you can’t use it as a far keepaway.
Sub-Zero is extremely versatile with his Kombos as during several of his kombo strings, you can easily Special Cancel into an Ice Ball. Unfortunately this can make Kombos do less damage, but hopefully you can make for that up with the amount of mix-ups you can pull.
One of the most basic combos you can do as Sub-Zero is to use an Icy Grave (Back+FP, BK), Ice Ball (Down, Forward, FP), Frozen Over (Back+FP, BK, FK) and end with a Slide or Cold Shoulder (Back, Forward, FK), depending on your variation. The range of Icy Grave and Cold Shoulder should generally guarantee you a decent hit, if they block then just stop the Kombo and move on.
If you want to end a Kombo with a Fatal Blow, do Permafrost (Back+FK, BP), then Ice Ball (Down, Forward, FP), to another Permafrost (Back+FK,BP), then end with a Fatal Blow. While the Ice Ball does take away some damage, it won’t affect the entire Fatal Blow as a whole.
A simple 8-hit Krushing Blow Kombo you can perform starts with a Jump FP, to Chinese Ninja Warrior (FP,BP), to Ice Ball (Down, Forward, FP), another Jump FP, then end with a quick Cold Encounter (FP, BP, BK). This will do a lot of damage to your opponent while knocking them back. You can easily do this Kombo with both variations and the Cold Encounter in the end can be replaced with an Amplified Slide, or an Amplified Cold Shoulder.
Basically after doing a short Kombo that leads to an Ice Ball, you can continue the Kombo afterwards with any Kombo attack or Special. Be warned however that an additional ice ball in the middle of a Kombo will won’t freeze them, but knock the opponent back.