Jason is a very pressure-heavy character. Many of his attacks allow you to stay in an opponent's face and even some of his special moves give him unlimited armor so you can continuously attack. He has a few overhead/low mix-ups that work well, but depending on the variation you're playing, they may not inflict much damage, or they may be unsafe if the opponent blocks correctly. There's definitely some risk and reward involved in playing as Jason, but the payout is generally worth it if the opponent guesses wrong or doesn't react correctly to your offensive pressure.

Notation Key

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

Back Breaker / Tight Squeeze
Notation: Down, Back, Forward+1 or 2
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

There are two command throws in Jason's arsenal, Back Breaker (Down, Back, Forward+1) and Tight Squeeze (Down, Back, Forward+2). The enhanced versions of both have armor, and there isn't a big difference between the two on the surface. Back Breaker executes a bit faster and the normal version inflicts a bit more damage than Tight Squeeze, but the enhanced versions of both inflict the same amount of damage. You can end combos with either throw, but if you're not using meter, go for Back Breaker to get the most damage.

Jason has a number of tick throws with Tight Squeeze. A tick throw is when you cancel into a throw right after a basic attack or combo to the point where it's very difficult for your opponent to interrupt between the two attacks. Ideally you want a tick throw setup that works when an attack is blocked, or when it hits. For Tight Squeeze you can use the throw after the Killer combo (2,4), or the Skull Slam (Forward+2) whether the attacks are blocked or not.

If you are playing someone who blocks a lot, you can use Tight Squeeze after these blocked attacks: Straight Jab (1), Fist Lunge (Back+1), Low Poke (Down+1), Boot Flick (Down+3), Sweep (Down+4) or Double Fist (Back+2). However, the command throw will not hit if any of these attacks connect instead of being blocked. You can also use the Back Breaker after a blocked Low Poke (Down+1) or Boot Flick (Down+3).

Choke
Notation: Down, Forward+1
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

Choke covers about three characters lengths (roughly one jump distance) in front of Jason and hits mid, meaning your opponent can't duck under it. The enhanced version (Choke Slam) inflicts more damage and has armor. If either version is blocked, Jason can be punished, so use this as another way to end combos.

Temple Punch
Notation: Back, Forward +3
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

Jason's Temple Punch covers the entire length of the screen and it's safe if the opponent blocks. The enhanced version (Temple Slam) has armor which makes this one of Jason's best wakeup attacks to use after an opponent knocks him to the ground. Unfortunately, the one big drawback is that the attack hits high, which means an opponent can duck under it without having to block. If you use them to end a blocked combo to keep Jason safe you won't have much to worry about. If the rest of the combo was blocked, your opponent won't be able to duck under the Temple Punch. However, if your opponent anticipates you're going to use the Temple Slam as Jason gets off the ground, they can simply duck under it and punish you. It's still a good special move, just be careful when you use it.

Corpse Grab
Notation: Down, Back +1
Enhanced: Yes, but no armor.

The Corpse Grab is Jason's anti-air throw. It works well if you're far enough away from the opponent, but if they're too close when they jump the Corpse Grab will miss. The enhanced version inflicts more damage and gives Jason more time to setup his next attack after knocking the opponent down. In addition to using this as an anti-air grab, you can also use it to end combos after knocking an opponent into the air. However, it's not his most damaging option to end a combo when compared to Tight Squeeze, Back Breaker or even Choke.

Killing Machine
Notation: Down, Down+4
Enhanced: No

Killing Machine gives Jason unlimited armor for a short time. This means he can go through almost any attack (everything aside from X-Rays) and continue with his own attack. Jason will still take damage from any attacks he goes through, but while Killing Machine is active Jason is virtually unstoppable. The main drawbacks of Killing Machine are that Jason can't jump while it's active, and once it wears off Jason cannot do anything for about two seconds. He is completely open to an attack during this time so you have to be very careful about how you use Killing Machine.

The best course of action is to end a combo with the Killing Blow (2,3), Awakens (Back+1,2,2), Shattering Slam or Stalker (Forward+4,4) combos, or the Temple Punch special move. All of these attacks give Jason enough time to activate Killing Machine before the opponent can retaliate. Once it's active it's up to you to use another similar combo so the opponent it knocked down just as Killing Machine wears off. This will prevent your opponent from attacking Jason while he can't block or move. Ideally, you want to use Jason's X-Ray before Killing Machine wears off. This completely nullifies the downtime Jason gets when the effect wears off.

The Horror (X-Ray)

Jason's X-Ray travels about 75 percent of the screen and gives him a fair amount of advantage if the opponent blocks it. You can combo into it like you can most other X-Ray attacks, but this is probably most useful when Killing Machine (Down, Down+4) is active. If you hit the X-Ray before the effect of Killing Machine expires, Jason will not have the normal down time he receives when the effect wears off. You'll be using all of your meter to do this, but if you need to mount a comeback or finish off an opponent, this is a pretty good way to do so and still keep Jason safe.

Basic Strategy

Jason's variations give him quite a few options, but his universal attacks and combos aren't bad. He has a very basic overhead/low mix-up between the Brutal Boot (Forward+3) and the Shin Shatter (Forward+4). Brutal Boot is a little slow, but is safe if the opponent blocks. The Sweep (Down+4) is Jason's only safe low attack, but the Shin Shatter leads into the Stalker combo (Forward+4,4) which is safe if the opponent blocks. In the corner you can follow this combo with most of Jason's special moves for additional damage. The Temple Punch is the safest option since it's also safe if the opponent happens to block the combo.

The Killing Blow combo (2,3) ends with an overhead attack that's safe if the opponent blocks. While you should use this often, be aware that a very skilled opponent can use an enhanced special move with armor to hit Jason between the attacks in the combo. It's not easy to do, but it can be done.

The Run Away (3,2, Up+1) and Shattering Slam (3,2, Down+1) combos are both safe if the opponents blocks, and the Run Away combo launches the opponent into the air so you can follow with a juggle combo. This should be your most used combo as it leads to decent damage and it's safe if the opponent blocks.

Use Skull Slam (Forward+2) often because it places your opponent is a short stun that allows you to follow with a combo if you're quick. It's high, which means the opponent can duck under it, but if it's blocked Jason is safe from punishment.

Jason's Shoulder Smash (1,1,1) and Bad Omen (Back+1,2) combos are safe if the opponent blocks, so you can use them whenever you like without having to worry about being punished. Use the Bad Omen combo as a well to lead into the Awakens combo (Back+1,2,2) if it connects. You won't have a lot of time to determine if it hit, but if you practice your reaction time will improve. Awakens is not safe if the opponent blocks, but it knocks the opponent into the air and allows Jason to run in order to follow with a juggle combo for additional damage.

The Crown Crusher combo (1,1,2) can be punished, but the last hit is an overhead which can catch opponents off guard if you don't use it often. The Final Friday combo (Back+3,1+3) is similar in that it's not safe (although moderately difficult to punish), but you can still use it here and there. It also works well to end combos with.

Slasher Variant

The Slasher variations is almost like an entirely new character. Jason gains the use of his machete and that replaces most of his combos and basic attacks with brand new attacks. Unfortunately, he loses his safe overhead/low mix-up between Brutal Boot (Forward+3) and Shin Shatter. Brutal Boot remains, but Shin Shatter is replaced with Heel Stomp (Forward+4). While Heel Stomp is unsafe just like Shin Shatter was, Shin Shatter led into a safe combo (Stalker) which is now replaced by the Brooding combo (Forward+4,2) which is not safe if the opponent blocks.

The difference with the Brooding combo is that it ends with an overhead attack that bounces the opponent off the ground so you can follow with a juggle combo. You lose a bit of safety, but gain the ability to inflict more damage in the process. You can still mix this up with the Brutal Boot in an effort to convince your opponent to block the overhead attack, but if they block the Heel Stomp you can be punished.

Many of the new combos act very similar to the combos Jason lost, but there are some advantages here. The No Hiding combo (1,2,2) is safe if the opponent blocks and you can end it with the Shoulder Push (Back, Forward+3) or Bloodshed (Down, Forward+1). Both special moves are safe if the opponent blocks, making the entire combo safe.

The Machete Launch combo (Back+1,2,2) is a great way to punish an opponent after you block an attack that isn't safe. The last hit launches the opponent into the air so you can follow with a juggle combo. It's not safe if the opponent blocks, which is why this should be limited to use only when you know it will connect (such as after blocking an unsafe attack).

The Never Dies combo (2,3) ends with a safe overhead attack, while Momma's Boy (2,4) launches the opponent into the air for a combo. It's not safe if the opponent blocks, but it's moderately difficult to punish. You can use it here and there, especially if you just blocked an attack that isn't safe, but don't abuse it too much or you will likely get punished for it.

Use the Drowning (3,2, Up+1) and Payback (3,2, Down+1) combos frequently as they are both safe if the opponent blocks. You can combo after Drowning, but it's a bit more difficult compared to the combo it replaced (Run Away). Payback ends in an overhead attack that can catch an opponent off guard, but it's safe even if the opponent blocks.

For Jason's new special moves in the Slasher variation, Shoulder Push (Back, Forward+3) replaces the Temple Punch, but serves the same purpose (with the enhanced version having armor). Bloodshed (Down, Forward+1) replaces Choke, but doesn't have the same reach. To make up for this, the attack is safe if the opponent blocks (unlike Choke) and the enhanced version has armor. Most of your combos should end with the Shoulder Push or Bloodshed.

Slasher is the only variation in whish Jason has a projectile attack. Machete Toss (Down, Back+2) is exactly what it sounds like. Jason throws his machete across the screen. The attack hits mid which means your opponent won't be able to duck under it without blocking. The enhanced version (Machete Throw) has armor, which makes it one of the few projectile attacks in the game with armor, and it inflicts more damage if you're trying to finish off an opponent when their health is low.

Jason's final new special move in the Slasher variation is the Psycho Slash (Back, Forward+2). This is another good way to end combo, but only if you can confirm the combo hit before you cancel into the Psycho Slash. It's not safe if the opponent blocks it, so be careful when you use it. The enhanced version (Hack 'n' Slash) is safe, has armor and inflicts considerably more damage. If you're trying to get the most damage out of a combo, end it with Hack 'n' Slash.

Relentless Variant

Jason gains three special moves in the Relentless variation. Lake Mist (Down, Back+2) is a teleport that moves Jason behind the opponent. It starts up very quickly and works well if you cancel an attack into it. Even attacks that are not normally safe can sometimes be made safe by canceling into Lake Mist. This depends on how unsafe the attack is and what your opponent tries to punish with, but it can work in some instances.

The normal version of Lake Mist is fairly easy to punish if you just use it by itself. It's especially easy to knock Jason out of it once he appears behind the opponent. However, the enhanced version (Blood Mist) has armor and recovers much faster. Most opponents will have great difficulty punishing Jason for using Blood Mist.

Pursuit (Down, Down+3) is Jason's other special move in the Relentless variation. It turns the screen red for a short time. Once this happens your opponent's controls will be completely mixed up. Their directional inputs will be backwards and their attack buttons will also be changed around. Unfortunately, this attack requires a decent amount of activation time so you would need to use it in similar instances that you would use the Killing Machine special move.

End a combo with Killing Blow (2,3), Awakens (Back+1,2,2), Shattering Slam or Stalker (Forward+4,4) combos, or the Temple Punch special move to give yourself enough time to activate Pursuit. While technically an opponent can use a special move with a bit of reach to knock Jason out of the attack, their controls will be messed up making it very difficult for them to do so. However, if Jason is hit while Pursuit is active, the effect will end.

The final addition in Jason's Relentless variation is the Damned special move. This is a passive ability that's always active. As Jason's health gets lower, his damage increases. When he's almost dead the damage boost will peak at approximately a 33 percent increase.

Unstoppable Variant

The Unstoppable variation gives Jason three new special moves. Punishment (Down, Down+3) gives Jason a temporary damage increase. This works well if you use it at the end of a combo, then follow with the enhanced version of one of Jason's command throws (Spine Shatter or Crippler). You'll have armor to go through most attacks and if the throw connects you'll gain the benefit of the damage increase. The increase doesn't last very long, but it's also fairly quick to activate, so try to attack quickly but if you don't get to use it don't worry too much about that. The enhanced version (Rampant) recovers a bit faster, making it harder to punish.

Rise (Down, Down+4) replaces Killing Machine and gives Jason a small amount of health. Use this in similar situations to Punishment but then stay back in order to gain as much health as possible. It takes about 10 seconds for the health to recover so the longer you can hold off your opponent the better. The enhanced version (Corpse Walk) recovers a bit faster, making it more difficult to punish.

Use Rise and Punishment in the same situations you would use Killing Machine. End your combos with Killing Blow (2,3), Awakens (Back+1,2,2), Shattering Slam or Stalker (Forward+4,4) combos, or the Temple Punch special move to give Jason enough time to activate Rise or Punishment without having to worry about getting attacked in the process.

Jason's final special move in the Unstoppable variation is Resurrection. This is a passive ability that is always active. When Jason loses a round, he will come back to life. The amount of life he has after this occurs is based on how much super meter you had available when the round ended. The more super meter available, the more health Jason will have when he resurrects. For this reason it's best to save your meter if you're close to dying, especially in the first round. You won't get a lot of health back, even with a full super meter, but ever little bit can be helpful in winning the round after a resurrection.

Sample Combos

Slasher
38 percent - Forward+4,2, Forward+4,2, Forward+4,2, 1,1,1, Bloodshed

Relentless or Unstoppable
26 percent - Back+2, Back+1,2,2, 1,1,1, Choke
27 percent - Back+1,2,2. Run Cancel, Back+1,2,2, 1,1,1, Choke
34 percent - Forward+2, 3,2, Up+1, Back+1,2,2, 1,1,1, Choke

Fatalities

Kill For Mother - Down, Forward, Down, Forward, 2 (Mid-Screen)
Sleeping Bag Killer - Down, Back, Forward, 4+Block (Mid-Screen)

Brutalities

Blunt Trauma - Do not lose a round, then end the match with a Shoulder Charge (Back, Forward+3) or Temple Slam (Back, Forward+3) depending on the variation.

Go to Hell - From at least one jump distance away from the opponent, end the match with The Horror (X-Ray).

Blood Bath - In the Slasher variation, end the match with Bloodlust (Down, Forward+1+Block) and hold Up during the attack.

Head Spin - In the Relentless variation, with Pursuit active (Down, Down+3), end the match with the Crippler (Down, Back, Forward, 2+Block).

Spinal Tap - In the Unstoppable variation, get resurrected in the final round, then finish the match with the Back Breaker (Down, Back, Forward+1) or Spine Shatter (Down, Back, Forward+1+Block).

For more information on Mortal Kombat X, head over to Prima's free guide, or directly to Goro or Scorpion tips!