Erron Black has a little bit of everything depending on which variant you favor. He has the ability to zone opponents with repeated gunshots, has multiple overhead/low mix-ups (although most aren't safe if the opponent blocks) and even has a safe launching attacks he can tack on to almost any combo. You will have to take some risks, but overall he's a very solid character.

Notation Key

PlayStation/Xbox
1 - Square/X
2 - Triangle/Y
3 - X/A
4 - Circle/B

Sand Grenade
Notation: Back, Forward+3
Enhanced: Yes, but no armor.

The Sand Grenade is a low attack that you can use to end most of Erron Black's combos. If you're using the normal version, make sure the combo hits before you end it with the Sand Grenade. If the opponent blocks, Erron can be punished. However, the enhanced version (Sand Shot) actually gives Erron advantage if it's blocked, and knocks the opponent into the air for a juggle combo if it hits. This is a great way to spend meter once you confirm the combo hits.

When used outside of a combo, the Sand Shot can explode close to Erron, about mid-screen, or a little further out. The default version is about mid-screen. If you press Back right after the notation you'll get the close version, and pressing Forward gives you the far version. Keep in mind, even the far version doesn't go full screen, but all three versions can be used as anti-air attacks or to go under other character's projectiles. Still, using the enhanced version to extend combos if the best option here.

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

Erron Black's Caltrops have two very specific uses. The first is to stop an opponent from running. The Run function in Mortal Kombat X is very important to close the distance between you and your opponent. When Caltrops are on the ground, the opponent stops as soon as they hit them. The second function of the Caltrops is to cause damage over time if the opponent is standing over them. The enhanced version (Double Trops) doubles the damage of the attack when an opponent is standing on them.

Both versions are great for corner pressure. End your combos with either to get additional damage while the opponent is on the ground. You can also press Forward or Back right after executing the special move to leave them right next to Erron Black, or about mid-screen. The default distance is about one character length away from Erron.

Sand Slide
Notation: Back, Forward+4
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

The Sand Slide is a low attack that almost covers the length of the screen. It's moderately fast, but skilled opponents will be able to block it from maximum range. When used up close it's a little harder to block, but if the opponent does block the Sand Slide, Erron can be punished. The enhanced version (Slide Shots) is a little bit safer, but still punishable if it's blocked.

If you want to end a combo with a low attack, the Sand Slide offers more damage than the Sand Grenade, but if you have meter to burn the Sand Shot is a better option because it extends the combo for more damage and it gives Erron advantage if it's blocked. However, once you've knocked an opponent into the air, the Sand Slide is a decent way to end a combo.

Sand Gust
Notation: Down, Back+4
Enhanced: Yes, but no armor.

The main purpose of the Sand Gust is to knock an opponent out of the air. If you have good reactions you can use this as soon as you see your opponent jump into the air. After it hits you can Run Cancel to get close enough to start a combo before they hit the ground, or simply follow with the Sand Slide for a small combo. Unfortunately you can't combo into the Sand Gust because it completely misses the opponent in almost every combo situation, but keep this in mind against opponents who like to jump.

Sand Trap
Notation: Down, Back+4
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

Erron Black's command throw works like most other command throws in the game. It cannot be blocked, but it will not connect after most combos, whether they hit or the opponent blocks. The enhanced version (Quick Sand) has armor, which makes it moderately useful if you're getting pressured while on the ground, but if the opponent jumps or moves out of the way to avoid it, Erron can be punished. You can also enhance the last few gun shots toward the end of the animation to get an extra gunshot for additional damage.

Trick Shot (X-Ray)

While the Trick Shot may look like a low attack, it actually hits mid which means it can be blocked high or low. It tracks the opponent to connect anywhere on-screen and is fairly easy to combo into. You can cancel most of Erron Black's combo strings directly into the X-Ray. While you can technically connect the X-Ray on an airborne opponent, the timing is far more strict.

Basic Strategy

Erron Black can be played in a variety of ways depending on the variant you decide to go with. He has a basic overhead/low mix-up that can be used in any variant, but it's not entirely safe if the opponent blocks correctly. The Shin Kicker (Back+3) hits low and leads into multiple combos, but all of them can be punished if the opponent blocks. The Deal In Lead combo (Back+3,2, Up+1) is the hardest to punish and launches the opponent into the air for a juggle combo follow-up.

The overhead option the Pistol Whip (Forward+1) which is safe if used alone, but leads into multiple combos as well. the Jawing combo (Forward+1, 2, 2) is the safest of his combo options, but it can be punished by some characters, so be careful when using it. Above Snakes (Forward+1,3,2)) is also a very good option that you should be using often because it starts with an overhead, goes low, then ends with an attack that's not safe if the opponent blocks, but pushes back far enough that it's difficult to punish.

Once again, you can always cancel into the Sand Shot if you have meter to burn, and that makes everything safe. In addition, with most of Erron Black's combos you can cancel into the Sand Gust, which is safe if the opponent blocks. The catch is that it's fairly easy to duck under Sand Gust and punish Erron Black. However, you can sometimes catch an opponent off-guard by stopping your combo short and going right into another Pistol Whip. Most opponents should be blocking low against Erron Black, which makes this a viable option in many cases.

Put 'em Up (2,1,1,2,2) is another good combo that leaves Erron Black safe if the opponent blocks and can be canceled into the Sand Slide for additional damage if it connects. You have to input the last few inputs very quickly, but once you get the hang of it you shouldn't have too many issues. The first part of the combo is Packing Heat (2,1,1) which gives you plenty of time to confirm if the combo is going to hit or if the opponent is blocking. Once you get the timing down it works well for canceling into specials that are not safe if the opponent blocks.

For punishing unsafe attacks, the Wrangler combo (1,1,2) is one of the best. It's safe if the opponent blocks, and launches if it hits. It can be interrupted by a crouching opponent if this isn't used to punish an unsafe attack, but the opponent has to be ready for it if they're going to interrupt. You have to Run Cancel to combo after it and the timing can be tricky, but once you get the hang of it you should hit it regularly. Quick Snap (Back+2) can be used in a similar manner, but it's not as fast as the Wrangler combo.

Finally, Erron Black has a decent overhead/low from half-screen. While skilled opponent can and will block both options, if you're playing online or you use these attacks sporadically, you can still find some success with them if you need to get one more hit in to finish off an opponent. Boot Drop (Forward+4) covers about half the screen and is an overhead. This goes very well with Sand Slide (Back, Forward+4), which has about the same reach and hits low. Once again, both attacks can be blocked by skilled players, but you may be able to get away with it here and there, especially online.

Gunslinger Variant

The Gunslinger variant gives Erron Black two new special moves, Money Shot (Down, Forward+1) and the Stand Off stance (Down, Back+1). Money Shot can be used as an anti-air attack or to just catch an opponent off-guard. Erron throws a coin into the air, then shoots it to ricochet the bullet off the coin. You can press Forward or Back after the notation to aim the shot closer to Erron or farther away. The far shot covers the length of the screen. While it isn't his best zoning option, it does work if the opponent is won't get close to you.

It's the Stand Off stance that adds a bit to Erron's style. From the stance Erron can shoot toward the air (2) for an anti-air attack, straight ahead (4) or low (3). You can cancel most combos into the stance, then immediately into one of the attacks and it will combo. However, the Low Shot can be interrupted before it comes out if the opponent is expecting it, and if it's blocked it's very easy to punish for most characters.

You should still use the Low Shot to mix-up between overheads during combos. For example, the Widow Maker combos (1,2,1) ends with an overhead. You can cancel the second attack into the Low Shot to end it with a low attack instead. It won't actually combo because the Low Shot comes out a bit too slow, but your opponent should be expecting an overhead and should therefore be blocking high anyway.

For most combos you'll want to cancel into the Spin Shot mid option (4). Technically it's not safe if the opponent blocks, but it's difficult for most characters to punish the attack. You can also zone with the attack from across the screen.

Outlaw Variant

In the Outlaw variant the Sand Gust is replaced by the Sand Toss (Down, Back+4), which is far more useful. You can end most of Erron's combos with the Sand Toss, which stuns the opponent and allows you to extend the combo. Think of it like Sub-Zero's Ice Ball. You have a limited amount of time to continue your combo before the opponent is able to block again. The attack is not safe if the opponent blocks, so it's best to combo into the attack to ensure it will connect. The enhance version (Sand Throw) has armor making it a decent tool to use when an opponent is pressuring you after knocking Erron to the ground.

The other special move Erron gains in Outlaw is the Tarkatan Stab. If this attack connects Erron stabs the opponent with the sword on his back. This causes damage over time for a short period, but Erron loses the handful of combos he gains in this variation. The combos don't add a ton of new abilities to Erron's general game plan, so losing them for a short time is worth the extra damage. The enhanced version of the attack also has armor, but given that neither version is safe if the opponent blocks, it's not the best wakeup attack.

This variant is more about damage than anything else. If you're looking to extend your combos and inflict as much damage as possible with every hit (without having to burn meter), this should be your variant of choice.

Marksman Variant

Marksman is Erron Black's zoning variant. He gains the Long Shot (Down, Forward+1), Swing Shot (Down, Back+2) and Unload (Down, Back+1). Long Shot covers the entire length of the screen and cannot be ducked, meaning an opponent has to jump over it or take the chip damage from blocking it. You can hold 1 to delay the shot, and even cancel it with Forward, Forward or Back, Back. The enhanced version (Sniper Shot) inflicts more damage if you're trying to end a round quickly.

Unload fires three shots that can be ducked as Erron walks backward. This is strictly a zoning tool as it shoots to slow to be used in most combos. The enhanced version (Barrage) fires three shots, one low, one mid and one high into the air. If the opponent is cornered you can combo after this, otherwise it's very difficult to follow with a combo.

This can be used during some of Erron's combos, most notably, Packing Heat (2,1,1). With the first shot hitting low, this works well to keep your opponent guessing. It doesn't combo after the High Noon string (1,2) which ends with an overhead (Widow Maker), but once again, your opponent should be blocking high in anticipation of the overhead and should still get hit.

Last, but certain not least is the Swing Shot. While it doesn't execute very quickly, it's a raw launcher that is safe if the opponent blocks. It should be used to end most combos because you can follow it with a Run Cancel into a juggle combo. If you enhance the attack after it connects, Erron shots the airborne opponent allowing you to combo without needing to Run Cancel and adding a bit more damage. Most Erron Black players should be choosing between the Marksman variant or Outlaw variant depending on whether they want damage or zoning respectively.

Sample Combos

19 percent - 1,1,2, Run Cancel, 2,1,1,2,2
25 percent - Back+3,2, Up+1, wait for the opponent to fall a bit, Forward+2, Sand Trap
39 percent - Back+2, X-Ray (done immediately after Back+2)

Note: For the Run Cancel combos you must tap Forward twice immediately after the 1,1,2 input to run far enough to connect the combo. The timing can be tricky.

Fatalities

Sand Storm - Down, Back, Forward, Down, 1 (Mid-Screen)
Six Shooter - Back, Forward, Back, Forward, 2 (Full Screen)

Brutalities

Tunnel Vision - Kill an opponent with a basic throw, then hold Forward during the animation.

For more on Mortal Kombat X, check out Prima's free guide or head directly to tips on how to use Goro or D'Vorah!