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Mortal Kombat Wiki

I have lived for thousands of years because I make the right decisions.


—Tanya's Mortal Kombat: Deception Biography

Tanya is a character in the Mortal Kombat fighting game series. A treacherous and deceiving Edenian, Tanya has served as a minor antagonist in the series, siding with many of the major villains in the series. She serves as a major ally to the half-Tarkatan Mileena.

Tanya made her playable debut in Mortal Kombat 4 and appeared in a few games after until being one of the many characters in Mortal Kombat: Armageddon.

Tanya returned in Mortal Kombat X as a non-playable fightable character while also serving as a minor antagonist in the game's Story Mode. She later appeared as a DLC character, being the second available through DLC as part of the Kombat Pack.

About Tanya

Tanya is a slender, gloomy woman from Edenia. Originally introduced as an ostensible innocent, she was quickly revealed to be corrupted by evil, a worshiper of Shinnok and an ally to the Brotherhood of Shadow. After Shinnok's defeat, she later served Shao Kahn, the Deadly Alliance, and Onaga. Tanya seems to view herself as a survivor more than anything else, justifying her choices as being the "right decisions". She is one of the few henchwomen from the Mortal Kombat series, and prides herself on her superior knowledge of magic and diplomacy. Because of her frequent betrayal of the Edenian cause, she has earned the rivalry and bitter hatred of Jade.


In her first appearance in Mortal Kombat 4, Tanya wore the standard female 'ninja' leotard, in yellow and black. Unlike the other female ninja characters like Kitana, Mileena, Jade and Skarlet, she did not wear a mask. She kept her hair back in a single braid. In MK4, her signature weapon was the boomerang.

Upon her return in Deception, now revealed to be a villain, Tanya maintained her yellow and black color scheme, but now had longer hair with blunt cut bangs and sinister glowing white eyes. Her primary outfit consisted of a revealing yellow and black bustier with matching skirt. As an alternate costume, she wore a version of her MK4 costume without exposed cleavage. The boomerang weapon from MK4 was replaced by the kobu-jutsu tonfas.

In Mortal Kombat X, Tanya has her hair cut in a graduated angled bob with blunt bangs, but retains her general color scheme and glowing eyes from Deception. Her clothing is styled in a more ornate fashion similar to Ancient Egyptian clothing, with a midriff-baring top, a menat necklace, and several bracelets. Like the other returning female characters, she shows less skin than before, now wearing black tights with gold paneling, low heeled tall boots, and a gold skirt. Her kobu-jutsu weapon style from Deception returns, along with a new weapon: the naginata. While in her Pyromancer variation, she has markings on her back, shoulders and torso that glow when she activates her power.

Combat Characteristics

Powers and Abilities

Tanya is an adept fighter, relying on her agility and favoring powerful kicks coupled with her pyrokinetic abilities. She shows skill with her tonfas, using them to block her opponents weapons and even unorthodox manners such as rebounding projectiles. Mortal Kombat X also depicts Tanya using a naginata in an equally unusual way, such as a standing pole before following up with an actual attack. MKX also shows that Tanya is able to enhance her fireballs using a dark substance to act as an accelerant to increase its potency. Tanya has also gained a teleport as a of MKX, using it as a means of moving closer towards her opponent or to escape from oncoming attacks.

Signature Moves

  • Human Cannon Drill: Tanya lunges forward, spinning in a cork-screw manner with her flaming feet leading towards her opponent. In MKX, this attack is called Low Spin Kick, and her feet won't be on fire. Additionally, the opponent will be knocked into the air, away from Tanya in the opposite direction if this is successful. (MK4, MKG, MKD, MKA, MKX)
    • The enhanced version is called Low Drill Kick, which has Tanya recover faster after knocking the opponent into the air, allowing for a juggle. The attack deals no extra damage.
  • Surging Blast: Tanya sends a blast of fire from her hand at her opponent. In MKX, this attack is called High/Low Fireball, which is now an orb of golden fire that can be fired at either a high or a low arc. (MK4, MKG, MKD, MKA, MKX - Pyromancer Variation)
    • The enhanced version is called Surging Blast which activates much faster, deals increased damage and sends the fireball straight at the opponent rather than in an arc. The fireball is capable of canceling/destroying incoming projectiles that make contact with it.
  • Air Fire Blast: Tanya jumps into the air and sends a blast of fire at a 45 degree angle towards her opponent. In MKX, this attack can be performed at different ranges, called Air Close/Far Fire Blast, respectively. (MK4, MKG, MKD, MKA, MKX - Pyromancer Variation)
    • The enhanced version is called Air Surging Blast and has Tanya send two fireballs at the opponent for double the original damage. Only one of the fireballs can be affected by Dark Shroud or Devil's Dust.
  • Split Flip Kick: Tanya somersaults forwards with a flaming kick directed at her opponent. In MKX, this attack is called Flip Kick, and her feet won't be on fire. Additionally, Tanya knocks the opponent down with the kick. (MK4, MKG, MKD, MKA, MKX)
    • The enhanced version is called Split Flip Kick, which has armor and has Tanya perform a front flip and land right onto of her opponent's chest, dealing increased damage.
  • Find Me: Tanya surrounds herself with a flaming haze and becomes invisible. (MKD, MKA)
  • Air Spin Kick: Tanya performs a Spin Kick while in the air, torpedoing herself at the opponent's head, knocking them down. (MKX)
  • Air Split Drop: Tanya drops down from the air and does a leg split on the floor as she lands down, knocking the opponent off their feet. (MKX)
  • Teleport Away/Forward: Tanya crouches in place and teleports through a golden aura, leaving behind a brief golden afterimage of herself and reappearing in the air. Tanya can either teleport towards or away from her opponent. Tanya can delay when she teleports and can cancel the attack before teleporting. Canceling the attack requires and spends a bar of stamina. The attack can also be used in the air, called Air Teleport Away/Forward, respectively.
    • The enhanced version is called Quick Teleport Away/Forward, where when Tanya teleports, if she makes contact with the opponent, they take damage. Additionally, Tanya can use airborne attacks after teleporting. These versions of the attack can not be delayed, can not be canceled nor can they be performed in the air.
  • Tonfa Toss: Tanya throws her Tonfa at the opponent to deal damage. (MKX - Kobu Jutsu Variation)
    • The enhanced version is called Tonfa Throw. Upon successfully hitting the opponent, the Tonfa will come back, stunning the opponent and setting them up for a free hit. The returning Tonfa does not have an increased hitbox, where it can miss ducking opponents. If the opponent is only struck by the second strike, they will still be stunned however the damage will be reduced. The Tonfa will still return to Tanya even if she is struck by an attack.
  • Blade Drive: While in the air, Tanya dives at the opponent and stabs them with her Tonfas, knocking the opponent away. (MKX - Kobu Jutsu Variation)
  • Tonfa Swipe: Tanya lunges forward, slashing her opponent with her Tonfas. Tanya can perform follow-up special attacks after using this attack; (MKX - Kobu Jutsu Variation)
    • Tonfa Slash: After performing Tonfa Swipe, Tanya slashes her opponent a second time, dealing increased damage.
    • Tonfa Push: After performing Tonfa Slash, Tanya stabs her opponent with her Tonfas, knocking them away.
      • Tonfa Push can be enhanced to perform Rising Tonfa, where Tanya slashes the opponent into the air for a juggle and deals increased damage.
    • The enhanced version is called Tonfa Strike, which has armor and deals increased damage. Tanya can also delay each additional strike after performing Tonfa Strike or alternatively, she can perform each strike in a much faster sequence than before.
  • Air Staff Stance: Tanya jumps onto her Naginata, stabbing it into the ground and sits on top. If the opponent underneath the Naginata when Tanya does this, they will take damage. Tanya can perform various special attacks after performing this attack, however she can only perform two of these additional attacks before being force to jump off her Naginata; (MKX - Dragon Naginata Variation)
    • Jump Towards/Away: After entering Air Staff Stance, Tanya can either advance or retreat in a manner identical to performing Air Staff Stance.
      • Exit Stance: Tanya simply jumps off her Naginata and hops back onto the fightline.
      • Staff Slam: Tanya jumps off her Naginata and performs an overhead slam, bouncing the opponent off the ground. When used in the corner of an arena, Tanya is offered combo extensions; otherwise, the opponent is knocked away. Tanya is vulnerable before delivering the slam, however this window is very short.
      • Staff Slide: While on top of her Naginata, Tanya jumps onto it to quickly slide it into the opponent's feet, knocking them off their feet in the process.
      • Swing Kick: Tanya slides down to the middle of her Naginata and performs a double-legged swing kick that knocks her opponent away full-screen distance.
  • Swing Kick: Tanya plants her Naginata into the ground, swinging onto the midsection of the Naginata's handle and performs a double-legged swing kick that knocks her opponent away full-screen distance. (MKX - Dragon Naginata Variation)
    • The enhanced version is called Spinning Kick, which has armor, deals increased damage and has Tanya kick the opponent into the air. Upon doing this, she will immediately enter into an Air Staff Stance and gains access to all the stance's attacks in the process.
  • Dark Shroud: Tanya spins and casts a purple aura onto the opponent, increasing the damage dealt by Tanya's Fireball attacks by 25%. If the opponent is hit by one of her fireballs, the effect ends immediately. Connecting or being struck by an X-Ray attack ends this effect prematurely. (MKX - Pyromancer Variation)
    • The enhanced version is called Devil's Dust, which has armor and deals increased damage. The damage increase towards Fireball attacks remains the same.


  • X-Ray - Air Up and Over: After stunning the opponent with a dive kick, Tanya does a somersault leap to strike the back of their head with her heel, crushing the back of their skull. She grabs their head and leaps over them, pulling their neck back, snapping it in half. Turning back around, she leaps onto the opponent's shoulders, holding their neck with her legs and delivers a powerful Frankensteiner throw that shatters the opponent's neck completely. (MKX)

Other Moves

  • Throw: Tanya lifts her foe by the ankles & slams them down. (MK4)
  • Neck Break: Tanya leaps onto her foe's shoulders, wraps her thighs around their head & swings around them 180 degrees. (MK4)
  • Throw: Tanya uses an axe kick to hit the opponent's head, making them look down, and then kicks them in the face with the other foot to knock them away. (MKX)
  • High Heel: Tanya performs a spin heel stomp that knocks the opponent to the ground. The attack can be delayed or run-canceled, however it can not be run-canceled to continue combos. Delaying the attack allows for the heel strike to deal increased damage and bounce the opponent off the ground for a juggle instead of knocking them to the ground. (MKX)
  • Dark Burst: Tanya kicks the opponent in the shin, jabs them in the face then delivers a double backhand empowered by her Fireball. This combo is susceptible to the effects of Dark Shroud and Devil's Dust, increasing the final hit of the combo. This replaces her Bitter Hatred combo in the Pyromancer Variation. (MKX - Pyromancer Variation)
  • Tonfas: While in the Kobu Jutsu Variation, Tanya gains unique combos utilizing her Tonfas. Additionally, some of her basic attacks and combos will be altered from their original to incorporate her Tonfas. (MKX - Kobu Jutsu Variation)
  • Naginata: While in the Dragon Naginata Variation, Tanya gains unique combos utilizing her Naginata. Additionally, some of her basic attacks will be altered from their original to incorporate her Naginata, greatly increasing her reach. (MKX - Dragon Naginata Variation)


  • Kiss of Deceit: Tanya gives her opponent a kiss on the cheek, which makes their limbs, torso and head twist and contort into impossible angles, before they explode. This Fatality is extremely similar to Kitana's Kiss of Death Fatality of UMK3. (MK4, MKG)
  • Neck Screw: Tanya performs her "Breaker" move three times in quick succession. (MK4, MKG)
  • Torture Rack: Using her Kobu Jutsu, Tanya slices her opponent's torso, slits their throat and then stabs them in their abdomen, allowing them to bleed to death as they sink to their knees. (MKD)
  • Kneebone Knife: Tanya rips out the opponent's thigh bone and stabs them in the neck with it. The opponent then coughs until falling down, dead. (MKD)
  • Bloody Boots: Tanya kicks the opponent on the ground and pins their hands down with her Kobu Jutsu blades. She then walks up to them and delivers a powerful stomp right through their chest. She proceeds to stomp on the opponent's head with her other foot, with such force powerful enough to create a gaping hole. She removes her blood-covered boots from the opponent's corpse and walks away. (MKX)
  • Edenian Drill: Tanya mounts the opponent's back by holding onto their shoulders and snapping their spine with her feet. She then launches her entire body through the opponent's chest, leaving a gaping hole. She brushes off a few tracts of intestines that cover her body as she lands and gives a satisfied look at their still-beating heart in her hand. The opponent's eviscerated body falls backwards to the ground. (MKX)

Other Finishers

  • Hara-Kiri - Eye Stab: Tanya rips out both of her thigh bones and stabs herself in the head through her eye sockets. (MKD)


Mortal Kombat X

  • Top Off: Tanya performs her Throw, only this time, she kicks the opponent's head clean off with the heel kick. (MKX)
    • A button must be held.
  • Romp Stomp: Tanya performs a Split Flip Kick with the flip stomp destroying the opponent's sides and causing their head to pop off. (MKX)
    • Can be performed on a juggled or airborne opponent.
    • A button must be held.
  • Backstabbed: Tanya performs a Tonfa Throw where the returning Tonfa lodges into the opponent's back, causing them to fall over and bleed to death. (MKX - Kobu Jutsu Variation)
    • Can not be performed on a juggled or airborne opponent.
    • Must be a certain distance from the opponent.
  • Watch This: Tanya performs an Air Staff Stance then performs a Swing Kick that causes the opponent's entire upper body at the waist to spin completely around before falling off their lower body shortly after. (MKX - Dragon Naginata Variation)
    • Can not be performed on a juggled or airborne opponent.
    • A button must be held.
  • Pop Pop: Tanya performs a Dark Shroud or Devil's Dust then performs a Surging Blast that causes the opponent's skin to melt off, leaving only a purple glowing skeleton. (MKX - Pyromancer Variation)


Mortal Kombat X

  • "The Tarkatans are in position. We await your order." (To Mileena)
  • "I'm pleased you remember me, Ko'atal." (To Kotal Kahn)
  • "She vowed to create a free Edenia. Something you refuse to do." (To Kotal Kahn)
  • "It will never be united under your rule." (To Kotal Kahn about Outworld)
  • "Leaving without your friend, D'Vorah?" (About Cassie Cage)
  • "Your people believe we avoided your island out of respect for your solitary nature; we just didn't like you." (To D'Vorah)



  • Tanya's name comes from one of Ed Boon's sisters, Tania.
  • Tanya was the only character introduced in Mortal Kombat 4 to appear as a playable character in the following games until Mortal Kombat Armageddon. Other characters such as Kai and Fujin were at times planned, but failed to make the final cut.
  • Tanya is one of many characters who has the ability to turn invisible in the Mortal Kombat series. Others include Reptile, Smoke, Chameleon when in Reptile's form, Khameleon, Noob Saibot, Predator, Mileena, Triborg when shapeshifting Smoke and Shang Tsung when morphed into Reptile in Mortal Kombat 11, however it is not used during gameplay.
    • Tanya, Khameleon and Mileena are the only females to use this ability.
  • Tanya's Human Cannon Drill move is very similar to Cammy's Spiral Arrow move from the Street Fighter universe in terms of functionality and appearance - the latter technique is informally nicknamed "Cannon Drill" by fans, giving even more resemblance between both.
  • In a Top 10 list hosted by, Tanya's Neck Snap Fatality was placed at #10 of the worst Fatalities in the Mortal Kombat series.
  • According to Ed Boon on Twitter, Tanya barely missed the cut for MK 2011.
  • Tanya is the second character in the series to appear in a game's Story Mode before appearing as a DLC character, this occuring in Mortal Kombat X. The first character to do this was Skarlet in Mortal Kombat (2011) while the third was Bo' Rai Cho, this again happening in Mortal Kombat X, with Sheeva being the fourth in Mortal Kombat 11.
  • An interaction between Tanya and Tremor, in addition to some interactions with Mileena in Mortal Kombat X, and Mileena's Arcade ending in Mortal Kombat 11 suggests that Tanya is one of three LGBT characters in the Mortal Kombat series, possibly being the second bisexual character, after Mileena. The first LGBT character was Kung Jin.
    • While it is confirmed that Kung Jin is indeed homosexual, it has yet to be confirmed whether or not Tanya is in fact bisexual.

Mortal Kombat 4

  • In the development stage of MK4, the development team intended for Kitana to be a playable character, but the decision was made to add a new character instead, thus modifying the in-progress model into Tanya.
    • Due to Kitana's planned appearance in Liu Kang's MK4 ending, the model that appears in said ending is simply a recolored Tanya model, changing the color of her dress completely black while leaving the dark skin tone intact.
    • Kitana would later be made into a playable character in the Dreamcast port of MK4, Mortal Kombat Gold, although her model in this game reuses her Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 design and contains no traces of Tanya.

Mortal Kombat: Deception

  • In Mortal Kombat Deception's Konquest mode, Tanya is one of two characters (the other being Kabal) who will attack Shujinko if she is bumped into. Normally, the aggressive characters must be punched by Shujinko before they react.
  • In MKD's Konquest mode, with the help of Shujinko, Tanya found a cave in Outworld to use to trap Liu Kang in. However, Shujinko can also find Liu Kang to warn him about it. This is a reference to her MK4 ending, where she succeeded in luring Liu Kang into a trap where he is soon killed by Shinnok.
  • In her Deception Bio Kard, it's mentioned that her boomerang from the 4/Gold era was initially planned to reappear. For unknown reasons, it was scrapped from the final product. In the Kard video, she is also seen wielding a Naginata as her weapon, but before the game's release, this weapon was reassigned to Hotaru.
    • Later on, in Mortal Kombat X, Tanya would use the Naginata in one of her variations.
  • Tanya's weapon in Deception and Armageddon, the Kobu Jutsu, was simply known as "Tonfas" in early stages of development.
    • The Kobu Jutsu will remain visible after Tanya has turned invisible. The only way to use them invisibly is during, or at the end of, a combo while invisible.

Mortal Kombat (2011)

  • Kitana can be seen chained up in Shao Kahn's Coliseum. However, if the player chooses Kitana, Tanya will be chained up in Kitana's place. Tanya's design is unchanged from her appearances in Deception and Armageddon.

Mortal Kombat X

  • Tanya reappears as one of five non-playable fightable characters in the game's Story Mode, the others being Baraka, Rain, Sindel and Shinnok's Corrupted Form.
    • She would later be added to the game as the second fighter available in the game's first Kombat Pack.
      • While originally advertised to appear identical to her Story Mode counterpart, Tanya received an entirely new moveset, special attacks and gained an X-Ray for her DLC appearance. Her original Story Mode appearance is only playable through hacking
  • An interaction between Tanya and Kung Lao is a reference to William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet's opening scene. However, instead of biting thumbs, Tanya asks if Kung Lao tosses his hat at her, which he responds with "I do toss my hat.", leading her to respond "If you do, I am for you." As Tanya and Kung Lao had no previous interactions, this is merely done for comedic effect.
  • An interaction between Tanya and Kung Jin would have Jin rejecting Tanya. This, followed by a scene in the Story Mode between Raiden and Kung Jin would lead to the speculation that Kung Jin was the first homosexual character in the Mortal Kombat series. This was later confirmed on Twitter by creator Dominic Cianciolo that Jin is indeed homosexual.
  • Tanya is one of two characters whose X-Ray attack can only be performed while airborne, the other being Takeda.
    • Kitana's X-Ray can be activated in the air, however this is not the required position to activate it like Tanya and Takeda.

Mortal Kombat Mobile

  • Tanya is one of the few characters to receive an exclusive reskin in the mobile version of MK not featured in the main game she is playable in.
    • She is also one of three DLC characters from Mortal Kombat X to receive an exclusive reskin, the others being Jason Voorhees and Goro.
  • Tanya was originally one of three characters to inflict Lethal Damage, this being her Kobu Jutsu Card. The other two were Circle of Shadow Liu Kang and Nightmare Freddy Krueger.
    • As of Update 2.0, many of the revamped character cards now gain passives that grant Lethal Damage, most notably MK11 Scorpion's Passive.
  • Tanya's Treacherous Card is the only card in the game that can cancel and/or destroy the opponent's Equipment Cards.

Mortal Kombat 11

  • Tanya cameos as one of the many non-physical tower modifiers in the Towers of Time.
  • Tanya later appears in Mileena's Arcade ending with their own daughter.


  • Tanya's boots are much bigger than the hole created in her opponent's head when performing her Bloody Boots Fatality, making her foot clip through the opponent's head when removing it.
  • Tanya's Treacherous Card can still destroy her opponent's equipment even if the opponent evades the attack and taking no damage whatsoever. This is similar to the Frostbite and Weaken debuff applying on characters that evade.


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