Tanya has plenty of options for overhead/low mix-ups, but many of her options are not safe if the opponent blocks or simply don't lead to very much damage. It's important to focus on Tanya's safe attacks to condition your opponent to block a certain way, then mix in the punishable attacks in hopes that the opponent guesses wrong. Each of Tanya's variations is viable, with the Pyromancer variant offering good zoning tools, Kobu Jutsu featuring Teleport cancels and Dragon Naginata offering a slew of aerial options.

Notation Key

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

Low Spin Kick
Notation: Back, Forward+4
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

Tanya is a high risk, high reward character, and the Low Spin Kick is one of her many tools that fits into this play style. It covers almost the entire length of the screen and hits low. The enhanced version (Low Drill Kick) has armor and launches an opponent into the air so you can follow with a juggle combo. Unfortunately, both versions are not safe if the opponent blocks, meaning Tanya can be punished heavily. You can mix this up with the Flip Kick special move that hits overhead and switch between them during blocked combos to keep your opponent guessing. Just hope they don't guess correctly.

Flip Kick
Notation: Down, Back +4
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

Think of Tanya's Flip Kick the same way you would her Low Spin Kick. It covers almost the entire length of the screen and hits as an overhead attack. The enhanced version (Split Flip Kick) has armor and adds an extra hit to the end of the attack for more damage. Like the Low Spin Kick, both versions of the Flip Kick are unsafe if the opponent blocks, meaning Tanya can be punished severely. Use the Flip Kick in conjunction with the Low Spin Kick at the end of block combos to keep your opponent guessing between blocking the overhead Flip Kick or the Low Spin Kick.

Teleport
Notation: Down, Back +3
Enhanced: Yes, with armor.

Tanya's Teleport options give her excellent movement and the ability to cancel her combos to apply a considerable amount of pressure to an opponent. There are two Teleport options available, both with aerial variants for four total options. The default Teleport moves Tanya backward and into the air. If you press Down, Forward+3 Tanya moves forward and into the air. These two Teleports can also be done in the air to move horizontally forward or back, remaining airborne. The enhanced versions of the Teleport (Quick Teleport) can only be performed on the ground but give Tanya armor, making this the best option when an opponent is pressuring Tanya after knocking her to the ground.

While Tanya's ground-based Teleports send her into the air, you can't follow them with an aerial Teleport. However, if you use the Quick Teleport to get into the air you can then use a Teleport while airborne. This gives Tanya one of the best wake-up options in the game if you're just trying to get away from an opponent. You can Quick Teleport, then use an aerial Teleport away from the opponent to escape, or toward the opponent for additional mix-ups.

Air Spin Kick and Air Split Drop
Notation: Down, Forward+4 (in the air) and Down, Back+4 (in the air)
Enhanced: No

Tanya has an overhead/low mix-up during any blocked combo thanks to her Low Spin Kick and overhead Flip Kick. She also has a similar mix-up in the air with the Air Spin Kick (Down, Forward+4 in the air) and Air Split Drop (Down, Back+4 in the air). Neither option is safe if the opponent blocks, and they don't lead to a combo if they connect. However, both work very well in conjunction with Tanya's various Teleport options. Tanya has great aerial movement which keeps opponents on their toes, but they also have to worry about an overhead/low mix-up with the Air Spin Kick and Air Split Drop. Mix these up to keep your opponent guessing.

Air Up and Over (X-Ray)

Tanya's X-Ray attack is one of the few in the game that must be performed in the air. It covers a downward angle that reaches almost the entire length of the screen.  You can combo into it after most attacks that knock the opponent into the air, but for the most part it's best to save your meter for Quick Teleports when an opponent is pressuring you after knocking Tanya to the ground. The Low Drill Kick is also a good use of meter for Tanya. With that said, if it will finish the match and an opponent over-commits while Tanya is airborne (during her various Teleport options most likely) toss out the X-Ray if it looks like a guaranteed hit.

Basic Strategy

Tanya is all about being in the air and going for constant overhead/low mix-ups. Unfortunately, she doesn't have any overhead attacks that lead into combos. This means you'll need to focus on her safe overhead attacks to condition your opponent to block them, then mix in her low combo starter and the Low Drill Kick (Back, Forward+4+Block) to keep them guessing.

You can end almost any blocked combo with the Low Drill Kick (Back, Forward+4) or Flip Kick (Down, Back+4) for an overhead/low mix-up. However, both options can be punished severely if the opponent blocks. Unfortunately, even if they connect, you don't get much damage from them. You need to connect with the Low Drill Kick (enhanced version) to launch the opponent into the air for a juggle combo and some decent damage.

The Shin Strike (Back+3) is a low attack that's safe if the opponent blocks and  leads into the Bitter Hatred (Back+3,1,2) and Betrayal (Back+3,1,3) combos. Bitter Hatred leaves Tanya at a slight advantage when blocked while Betrayal is safe if the opponent blocks. Both combos start with the Simple Betrayal combo (Back+3,1) which you can use to confirm if the combo hit or the opponent blocked.

If it hits, quickly shift into the Low Drill Kick and follow with a juggle combo. If it was blocked, you can still go for an overhead/low mix-up with the Low Drill Kick (or the Low Spin Kick) or Flip Kick, but keep in mind, neither option is safe. If you finish the combo with Bitter Hatred or Betrayal, Tanya remains safe if the opponent blocks.

Tanya's High Heel (Forward+3) is an overhead attack that's safe if the opponent blocks. It can be delayed or canceled by holding 3 and pressing Forward, Forward or Back, Back to cancel. The Low Kick (Down+3) and Side Kick (Down+4) are both decent low poking attacks, while the Side Strike (4) is relatively fast and leaves Tanya at a slight advantage which can be used to continue pressuring the opponent.

The Dark Worship combo (3,4) also leaves Tanya at a slight advantage so she can continue to apply pressure. Meanwhile, the Wanted For Treason combo (2, Up+3) is not safe if the opponent blocks, but it works well as a punishment tool. It launches the opponent into the air so you can follow with a juggle combo. You can also use the Natural Palm combo (1,1,2) as a safe poking tool.

The Ambassador combo (2,4,3) ends with an overhead attack and leaves Tanya at a slight advantage if it's blocked, but your opponent can use an armored attack between the second and third attacks in the combo. However, if you anticipate this will happen you can end the combo early or cancel the second hit into the Low Spin Kick (Back, Forward+4) to get a mix-up between the normal overhead attack that ends the combo and the low-hitting Low Spin Kick.

Kobu Jutsu Variant

One of the biggest benefits of the Kobu Jutsu variation is the fact that Tanya can delay and cancel her Teleport. She also gains a projectile attack with the Tonfa Toss (Down, Forward+1) and a three attack special move combo with the Tonfa Swipe (Down, Forward+2). In the air she also gains the Blade Dive (Down, Forward+2 in the air) which adds to her already dominant aerial abilities. Finally, Tanya gets a few new basic attacks and combos to help flesh out her offensive arsenal.

The normal Teleport options on the ground can be delayed by holding 3 during the command. While holding 3 you can press Down, Down to cancel the Teleport. This only works with the normal Teleport and not the enhanced Quick Teleport. If you're quick, you can cancel a Teleport at the end of a blocked combo and continue pressure by going right into another fast attack or combo. Tanya has a slight advantage when canceling a Teleport during most of her blocked combos. Keep in mind, canceling a Teleport costs half of your stamina meter. If you have less than half of your stamina meter available, you won't be able to use a Teleport cancel.

The Tonfa Toss is a fairly basic projectile attack at first glance. It covers the entire length of the screen, moves slower than some other projectiles and hits high (which means the opponent can duck under it). However, the enhanced version (Tonfa Throw) acts like a boomerang, calling back to Tanya's Mortal Kombat 4 days. If it's blocked, Tanya can continue offensive pressure because she's at a slight advantage. If it hits it acts like a combo extension and Tanya can follow with more attacks.

While in the air, the Blade Dive should be used more as a mobility tool than anything else. It's very easy to punish if the opponent blocks and doesn't lead to a combo if it hits. What it does do is move Tanya halfway across the screen. When mixed in with Tanya's various Teleport options, this works well to keep her out of harm's way or even punish an opponent if they try to attack thinking Tanya is too far away to hit them.

The Tonfa Swipe series of three attacks that are all punishable if the opponent blocks. You can follow the Tonfa Swipe with the Tonfa Slash (Down, Forward+1), then the Tonfa Push (Down, Forward+2) or the Rising Tonfa (Down, Forward+2+Block) if you have meter. The Rising Tonfa launches the opponent into the air for a juggle combo and should be used if the first or second attacks connect.

What makes them useful is the fact that you can stop at any point in time throughout the combo and even delay each attack slightly. This allows you to mix in throws or other attacks to keep your opponent on their toes. The one concern is that if you delay the attacks your opponent can use certain armored special moves to interrupt the combo series. This is similar to Tanya's overhead/low strategy except that the mix-up is whether or not Tanya will continue the combo normally, delay the next attack or stop and use a throw or any other attack.

The enhanced version of the Tonfa Swiper (Tonfa Strike) has armor and leads into the same three-attack combo. While the enhanced Teleport is still the best option to use if your opponent is pressuring Tanya after knocking her to the ground, this actually leads directly into a combo even though it's a riskier option.

The normal move additions to Tanya arsenal are the Double Tonfa Snap (Back+1) and Spinning Spikes (Back+2). The Double Tonfa is a two-hit attack that starts with a mid attack and ends with an overhead. It's also safe from punishment if the opponent blocks it. This is a great tool to use to safely condition your opponent to block an overhead attack. You can then mix in a Low Drill Kick to not only hit the opponent low, but start a combo. Spinning Spikes is a three-hit attack that also ends with an overhead, offering a similar mix-up if you cancel it early into the Low Drill Kick.

The Double Tonfa Snap leads into the Dragon Teeth (Back+1, Down+2), Gut Rip (Back+1, 2+4) and Back Stab (Back+1, 2+4, 1+3) combos. Dragon Teeth ends with a low attack, which makes it an idea mix-up if you cancel into the overhead Flip Kick instead of the last attack. While Tanya can be punished if either option is blocked, the low is much more difficult to punish for most characters.

Use the Gut Rip combo as an easy way to confirm into a Low Drill Kick. You have plenty of time to determine if the Gut Rip combo connected before you have to cancel into the Low Drill Kick. If it's blocked, the combo is safe, if it hits, cancel into the Low Drill Kick for a juggle combo. Back Stab should be used to end combos that launch the opponent into the air. It's not safe if the opponent blocks, so don't use it unless you know it's going to hit.

Tanya also gains the use of the Light Concussion (3,2) and Dark Edenian (3,2,1) combos. Light Concussion is safe if the opponent blocks, while Dark Edenian gives Tanya a slight advantage. However, a smart opponent can interrupt Dark Edenian between the second and third hits if they used an armored special move. If Dark Edenian hits, it launches the opponent into the air so you can follow with a juggle combo.

Dragon Naginata Variant

Tanya's Dragon Naginata variation gives her considerably more range than her other variations, and even more air mobility than she already had. She gains several basic attacks, a few combos and three very important special moves.

Her basic attack additions consist of the High Slash (Back+1), Lunging Stab (Back+2) and High Poke (Diagonally Down-Back+2). High Slash hits from about half a screen-length away, but is a high attack and moderately slow. If it's blocked Tanya has a slight advantage. Lunging Stab covers a little more than half the screen, hits mid and can be punished by some characters if it's blocked from a distance. At close range it's fairly easy to punish the attack if it's blocked. High Poke is a high attack that's moderately safe against most characters if they block, but hits high.

All three basic attacks can be useful at the very start of a match because they all reach the opponent without moving. However, they aren't particularly fast and if the opponent anticipates the attack it could mean trouble for Tanya. The High Poke is probably the best of these attacks to use because it's moderately safe, but the Lunging Stab is the fastest of the three attacks.

Tanya gains the Ankle Kutter (Back+1,2), Spin Cycle (Back+3,2) and Slicing Wind (Forward+4,2) combos in the Dragon Naginata variation. The Ankle Kutter is a natural extension of the High Slash basic attack that ends with a low attack. It can be punished by some characters, but it's much harder to punish from a distance. Because the combo ends with a low attack you can cancel the first hit into the Flip Kick (Down, Back+4) as an overhead mix-up.

Spin Cycle starts with the Shin Strike low attack and ends with an overhead. This once again gives Tanya an overhead/low mix-up by canceling into the Low Spin Kick (Back, Forward+4) or Low Drill Kick (Back, Foeard+2+Block) before the last hit. The normal Spin Cycle combo is safe if the opponent blocks, so use it to condition them to block the overhead before you mix it up with the Low Spin Kick or Low Drill Kick.

The Slicing Wind combo ends with an overhead attack and gives Tanya a built-in overhead/low mix-up with the Evil Lurking combo (Forward+4,3). Evil Lurking ends with a low, while Slicing Wind ends with an overhead.  You can't follow either combo with any kind of extension, but if you need a hit to finish the round this is a decent mix-up with the Evil Lurking offering a safe low attack and Slicing Wind offering a punishable overhead.

Tanya's new special moves are the biggest addition to this variation. She gains the Air Staff Stance and Swing Kick, as well as the enhanced version of the Swing Kick (Spinning Kick). The Air Staff Stance and Spinning Kick both leave Tanya sitting on her weapon. From this stance she can use the Staff Slam (1), Staff Slide (3), Swing Kick (4), exit the stance with 2, jump forward with Forward+2 or jump back with Back+2.

The Staff Slam is the only safe option if the opponent is blocking. It's an overhead attack that has considerable range and can be follow with a juggle combo if you're close enough. From a moderate distance you can follow with the Flip Kick or Low Spin Kick, and in the corner you can follow with a full combo of your choice.

The Staff Slide is a low attack that can't be followed by any other attacks, but serves as a mix-up for the Staff Slam overhead. It's not safe if the opponent blocks, but some characters have difficulty blocking from maximum range (about three character-lengths away). The Swing Kick is also difficult to punish unless Tanya is trapped in the corner when it's used, but doesn't serve much of a purpose other than to act as the fastest attack from the Air Staff Stance.

One of the biggest advantages of the Air Staff Stance is the fact that it works very well on conjunction with Tanya's Teleport. You can exit the stance with 2, then immediately use an air Teleport and go right back into the stance before Tanya hits the ground. You can even mix in the forward and backward jumps from the Air Staff Stance, then use a Teleport or go right back into the stance. Mix up all of these options to keep an opponent constantly guessing where you'll move next. In addition, anytime you're in the air and not in the stance, you still have access to all of Tanya's other aerial attacks. You can even use a blocked jumping kick, then go right into the stance or Teleport. The mix-ups are near endless if you're creative enough.

Finally, the Swing Kick covers a little more than half the screen, and while not safe if blocked, it's difficult for characters without a teleport to punish Tanya. The enhanced version (Spinning Kick) leads directly into the Air Staff Stance, making it much safer to use (although still punishable by some characters) if it's blocked.

Pyromancer Variant

Tanya's Pyromancer variation gives her multiple projectile attacks if you prefer zoning characters. She also gains one new combo in the process. The combo is Dark Burst (Back+3,1,2) which starts with a low attack and ends with a fireball-charged fist that leaves Tanya at a slight advantage if it's blocked.

When it comes to Tanya's fireball options, she has a High Fireball (Down, Back+1), Low Fireball (Down, Forward+1), Air Close Fire Blast (Down, Back+1 in the air) and Air Far Fire Blast (Down, Forward+1 in the air). The High Fireball knocks opponents out of the air, but will sail over the head of an opponent unless they're all the way across the screen. The Low Fireball covers a more tradition trajectory, but can be ducked under if the opponent is about half a screen-length away. The aerial fireball options shoot a little farther than half a screen-length or go full screen depending on which version you use.

All four projectiles have enhanced versions, but there's only one ground enhanced fireball (Surging Blast) and one air enhanced fireball (Air Surging Blast). The ground version fires in a straight line while the aerial version fires two projectiles that hit mid-screen and full-screen simultaneously. Use the Air Surging Blast to make it very difficult for an opponent to approach Tanya if you need to keep them at bay.

Finally, Tanya gains the Dark Shroud (Down, Forward+2). When this attack connects it covers the opponent in a purple dust. While this dust is on the opponent all fireball attacks inflict more damage (even if they're blocked). This includes the final hit of the Dark Burst combo. The enhanced version (Devil's Dust) has armor and is one of Tanya's best wake up options if an opponent is pressuring you after knocking Tanya down.

Sample Combos

Kobu Jutsu
35 percent - 1,1,2, Tonfa Swipe, Tonfa Slash, Rising Tonfa, Jump Forward 3, Teleport Forward, Down+ 1, 3,4, Flip Kick

Dragon Naginata
35 percent - 1,1,2, Teleport Forward, Air Staff Stance, Forward+2, Air Staff Stance, Forward+2, 2 (in the air), 2, Up+3, Run Forward (quickly), 3,4, Flip Kick

Pyromancer
22 percent - 2, Up+3,Run Forward,3,4, Dark Shroud

Fatalities

Bloody Boots (Fatality 1) - Forward, Down, Down, Back, Down (Close)
Edenian Drill (Fatality 2) - Back, Back, Forward, Forward, 4 (Close)

Brutalities

Top Off (Brutality 1) - End the match with a throw and hold Up during the throw animation.

Romp Stomp (Brutality 2) - End the match with the Split Flip Kick (Down, Back+4+Block) and hold Down during the attack animation.

Backstabbed (Brutality 3) - In the Kobu Jutsu variation, from one jump distance away from your opponent, end the match with a Tonfa Throw (Down, Forward+1+Block).

Watch This (Brutality 4) - In the Dragon Naginata variation, while in the Staff Stance (Down+2 in the air), end the match with a Swing Kick (4 in Staff Stance).

Pop Pop (Brutality 5) - In the Pyromancer variation, with Dark Shroud (Down, Forward+2) active on the opponent, end the match with a Surging Blast (Down, Forward+1+Block).

For more Mortal Kombat X goodness, check out Prima's free guide or jump right to our Jason Voorhees or Scorpion guides!