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Kano performing a Flawless Block against Skarlet

Flawless Blowing is a gameplay mechanic introduced in Mortal Kombat 11. Flawless Blocking is a new type of blocking system in which when someone blocks an attack at the correct and precise moment, it allows for additional properties for attacks, combos and other abilities.

Overview

With standard blocking, based on specific attacks, both players are affected by the move, combo or special attack's frame data, which can determine whether or not the person performing the attack or blocking can go or perform another action after. Flawless Blocking, however, can change this, as it can completely open a player up for additional attacks, regardless of the frame data of the attack or special. Additionally, with some combos or special attacks, the frame data from the resulting Flawless Block can change its block data entirely, resulting in entirely different outcomes for the combo's original data.

When blocking an attack in the standard way, players experience Chip Damage. Chip Damage is a small percentage of the attack's original damage due to blocking. A perfect example of this is a standard Back Kick attack that primarily will do 7% damage when unblocked, however blocking the attack reduces it to only 1.05% damage, protecting the blocking player from sustaining heavy damage. When the attack is blocked with a Flawless Block, however, the Chip Damage is significantly reduced, dealing only 0.001% damage, essentially negating the damage as a whole. Flawless Blocking also allows the blocking player much more options compared to their opponent.

Abilities of Flawless Blocking

Kano launching Skarlet into the air for a juggle with a Flawless Block Attack

Flawless Block Attacks

Every attack can be Flawless Blocked, with the exception of unblockable attacks. When close enough to the opponent, the player that Flawless Blocked the attack can perform two attacks called a Flawless Block Attack. These attacks are identical to Getup Attacks, featuring an invulnerable attack that deals high damage, or a launching attack that deals less damage and does not make the player invulnerable at the expense of launching the opponent for a juggle at the cost of a bar of Offensive and Defensive meter. Getup Attacks can be Flawless Blocked, and if timed correctly, even a Flawless Block Attack can be Flawless Blocked into a Flawless Block Attack, however this depends on what attack was originally blocked to trigger the first Flawless Block Attack and the spacing, as delayed attacks can allow for this to happen, such as Kitana's Seeking Sai attack.

Flawless Blocks can also be performed on combos. This is primarily used on combos with Gaps, or Openings. Combos with Gaps or Openings have been present in previous Mortal Kombat games, however characters would have to perform different actions to strike the opponent through these Gaps, such as poking, armoring an enhanced special attack or simply backdashing away to avoid the attack. In Mortal Kombat 11, however, this is very different. Combos with Gaps that allow Flawless Blocks can allow the blocking player to use a non-launching Flawless Block Attack similar to an armored special attack as previously stated or allow a launching Flawless Block Attack to inflict much more damage with a juggle. With some combos, the combo cannot be completed if a specific attack during said combo is Flawless Blocked, leaving the player performing the combo completely open. Additionally, the start-up of combos can be Flawless Blocked, and if a Flawless Block Attack is performed, it completely ignores the incoming combo being performed by the opponent due to being interrupted by the Flawless Block Attack.

Flawless Block Punishing

As stated above, some abilities or combos experience a change in their frame data when Flawless Blocked. While attacks usually retain their original data when blocked by the opponent, whether amplified for not, some attacks will actually experience a drastic change in their data from the attack being Flawless Blocked by the opponent. Additionally, some characters are unable to complete a combo from the resulting part of a combo being Flawless Blocked.

Every character is prevented from cancelling a Poke Attack into a special, so long as the Poke Attack is Flawless Blocked. Pokes and special attacks can not be comboed together unless in a juggle. Some characters are prevented from performing or finishing specific combos if a certain attack during the combo is Flawless Blocked, also mentioned above. This can happen with some characters like Shao Kahn, where he cannot complete his Last Breath combo if the second hit of his You Will Never Win combo is Flawless Blocked, which in turn leaves Shao Kahn completely vulnerable to his opponent for Punishing effects. However, with some characters, there is a significant different in the frame data and overall effect of the combo when the combo is Flawless Blocked. This is not present on every character but with some characters.

Although Flawless Blocking can open the opponent up for a Flawless Block Attack, sometimes this is not needed depending on the combo. An example of this is Spawn's Heaven And Hell combo. When the combo is blocked, Spawn creates a massive pushback effect with his opponent and is +4 on block, basically preventing the opponent from doing anything after if they try to attack Spawn. However, if the final hit of this combo is Flawless Blocked, there is no longer a pushback effect and Spawn becomes -11 on block, effectively leaving him open for attack by the opponent without the need of utilizing a Flawless Block Attack.

Despite this drastic change in frame data and effects of the combo from being Flawless Blocked, this outcome is not entirely the same with every character. Some characters receive a reduced effect but no real change in frame data or no change at all if the attack or combo is Flawless Blocked. An example of this is Baraka where this effect is present with two of his combos. If Barak performs his Bloody Mess combo, he is +1 on block with pushback, however Flawless Blocking the changes it to -4 with no pushback effect. In this instance, Baraka can still block attacks if the opponent chooses not to utilize a Flawless Block Attack. When he uses his Mangled combo, he again is +1 on block with pushback, however Flawless Blocking the combo does not change anything as a result, where Baraka remains +1 with the pushback. Some characters with low frame data combos also experience no change in the combo being Flawless Blocked, such as Shao Kahn's You Will Never Win combo or even RoboCop's I'd Buy That For A Dollar! combo, remaining -9 and -7 on block, respectively.

Drawbacks of Flawless Blocking

Despite the mechanic being a unique counter to blocking attacks, there are some drawbacks to Flawless Blocking and performing Flawless Blocking Attacks.

Performing a Flawless Block Attack has some of the same requirements of a Getup Attack, requiring a bar of Offensive and Defensive Meter to perform. Not having the available Meter will not allow the player to perform the attack, which in some instances can lead to mistakes that will open them up for the opponent to attack. If during the last stages of a round in which a player loses their Defensive Meter due to triggering a Last Breath, they permanently lose their Defensive Meter until they lose all their health, disabling their ability to perform any Flawless Block Attack. When playing as guest character Spawn, it is important to remember that he will only be allowed to perform one Flawless Block Attack when utilizing his Soul Forfeit ability due to permanently losing a bar of Offensive Meter.

All Flawless Block Attacks vary in range based on the character performing them, leading to some characters successfully performing a Flawless Block Attack with no actual effect to the opponent. This again can lead to the opponent taking advantage of this mistake and opening the player up to attack.

As stated above, not all attacks or combos change in frame data or effects when Flawless Blocked, therefore it is important to identify which of these combos change and which do not in order to prevent a misuse of Flawless Blocking or a Flawless Block Attack.

Trivia

  • When Cassie Cage performs her Flawless Block Attacks, she performs her father's Nut Punch attack and her Getaway Flip from Mortal Kombat X, respectively.
  • Erron Black's launching Flawless Block Attack is the only projectile-based Flawless Block/Getup Attack. However, the attack itself is not considered a projectile despite it being used as such.
    • Additionally, the attack can reach the opponent full-screen distance, making it the longest ranged Flawless Block/Getup Attack.
      • It is also the only Flawless Block/Getup Attack that cannot be counterattacked with parries, however RoboCop's Riot Shield ignores the attack in its entirety.
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