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. She made her debut in Mortal Kombat 4.

Originally a non-playable character exclusive to the Story Mode of Mortal Kombat X, she eventually returned as a DLC character, the second character released with 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 (Kitana, Mileena and Jade), 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 is called Low Spin Kick, and her feet won't be on fire. (MK4, MKG, MKD, MKA, MKX)
    • The enhanced version is called Low Drill Kick, which has armor, hits more times and trips the opponent into the air, allowing for a juggle.
  • Surging Blast: Tanya sends a blast of fire from her hand at her opponent. In MKX, this is called 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 Surging Blast has Tanya shoot a straight, larger and much faster Fireball at the opponent. The Surging Blast will also destroy opposing projectiles in its path.
  • 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 has close and far versions and can only be performed in mid-air, no longer causing Tanya to jump when performed. (MK4, MKG, MKD, MKA, MKX - Pyromancer Variation)
    • The enhanced version Air Surging Blast makes her fire both the close and the far versions at once.
  • Split Flip Kick: Tanya somersaults forwards with a flaming kick directed at her opponent. In MKX, this is called Flip Kick, and her feet won't be on fire. (MK4, MKG, MKD, MKA, MKX)
    • The enhanced version Split Flip Kick has armor. Tanya performs another somersault leap to stomp on the opponent's abdomen while they're still on the ground.
  • Find Me: Tanya surrounds herself with a flaming haze and becomes invisible. (MKD, MKA)
  • Air Spin Kick: Tanya performs a Low Spin Kick in mid-air, which is directed downward at her opponent. (MKX)
  • Air Split Drop: Tanya drops down from the air and does a leg split on the floor as she lands down, tripping the opponent with her outstretched leg. (MKX)
  • Teleport: Tanya dashes upward, leaving a golden trail, hitting the opponent. This can be directed diagonally forward or backward and also be performed in mid-air, which will make her dash forward or backward. Despite the fact that the default Teleport leaves Tanya in the air, she can't follow it up with an aerial one. In the Kobu Jutsu variation, the ground Teleport can also be delayed and canceled. (MKX)
    • The enhanced version Quick Teleport has armor (only the default versions can be enhanced, not the aerial ones) and also allows Tanya to follow it up with an Air Teleport.
  • Dark Shroud: Tanya covers her opponent with a purple and seemingly magical substance. If the opponent is hit by any Fireball while covered by the Shroud, it will have its damage considerably increased and knock them back. Even if the projectile is blocked, its chip damage will still be much greater, but it won't knock the enemy back. (MKX - Pyromancer Variation)
    • The enhanced version is called Devil's Dust, which armors Tanya as she throws the Shroud.
  • Tonfa Toss: Tanya tosses one of her tonfas at the opponent, slicing them with it. (MKX - Kobu Jutsu Variation)
    • The enhanced version Tonfa Throw makes the tonfa return to Tanya after going all the way through the screen, slashing the opponent a second time on their back.
  • Tonfa Swipe: Tanya slashes the opponent with both tonfas in a series of three hits: after the Swipe, she can perform a Tonfa Slash and then a Tonfa Push to knock the opponent back. (MKX - Kobu Jutsu Variation)
    • The enhanced version increases the damage of all three attacks. It can also be enhanced after Tonfa Swipe or Tonfa Slash hits, which is called Rising Tonfa and makes Tanya uppercut the opponent with both tonfas, allowing for a juggle.
  • Blade Dive: From the air, Tanya dives forward with her tonfas ahead of her to slash and knock the opponent down. (MKX - Kobu Jutsu Variation)
  • Air Staff Stance: In mid-air, Tanya uses her naginata as a pole, making it stand perfectly upright and landing on its bladeless tip. Simply stabbing the weapon on the ground to initiate the stance will hit the opponent if they're below her. From up there, she can perform multiple attacks, or exit the stance by jumping again. (MKX - Dragon Naginata Variation)
    • Staff Slam: Tanya pulls the naginata to slam it over the opponent's head as she lands back down.
    • Staff Slide: Tanya pushes the naginata down to make its blade hit the opponent's legs and trip them.
    • Swing Kick: Tanya swings around the naginata (which remains in the upright position) to deliver a powerful kick with both of her legs, knocking the opponent away. This can also be done from the ground as a separate special move.
      • The enhanced version of the Swing Kick (performed on the ground) is called Spinning Kick. Tanya will stab the naginata in the upright position and use it to swing upwards, kicking and uppercutting the opponent while doing so. This will also leave her in the Air Staff Stance.
  • X-Ray Move - 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)


  • 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. (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 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 grabs the opponent to do her Throw, with the last kick decapitating her opponent. (MKX)
  • Romp Stomp: Tanya does a Split Flip Kick, stomping on the opponent's stomach so hard that their head and sides detach from their body. (MKX)
  • Backstabbed: Tanya does her Tonfa Throw at the opponent. As the tonfa returns, it lodges itself in the opponent's back, killing them. (MKX - Kobu Jutsu Variation)
  • Watch This: After landing on her naginata with Air Staff Stance, Tanya hits the opponent with a Swing Kick. The strike is so strong that completely twists their torso 360 degrees, effectively bisecting the opponent. (MKX - Dragon Naginata Variation)
  • Pop Pop: Tanya covers the opponent in the Dark Shroud and hits them with a Surging Blast. The amplified damage completely immolates the opponent, reducing them to a 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.
  • 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.
  • Tanya is one of many characters who use the invisibility move in the Mortal Kombat series. Others include Reptile, Smoke, Chameleon (when in Reptile's form), Khameleon, Noob Saibot, Predator and Triborg (When imitating Smoke).
    • Tanya and Khameleon are the only females to use this ability.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • According to Ed Boon on Twitter, Tanya barely missed the cut for MK9.
  • In Mortal Kombat X's story mode, Tanya appeared sporting a short bob hairstyle and a light skin tone. However, weeks leading up to her DLC, promotional material revealed a new design for her, shocasing a darker skin tone, longer hair, and pupiless white eyes similar to her Deception design. This version of Tanya was the finished version that is playable in the game, although even after installing the DLC, the original version of Tanya is still seen in the MKX Story Mode.
    • The original version had movesets and a stance similar to Kitana in the game, with the final version receiving completely different versions once released as a DLC character.
  • In MKX, one 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.
  • Tanya is one of the few characters to receive an exclusive reskin in the mobile version of MKX not featured in the main game.
    • She is also one of three DLC characters to receive an exclusive reskin, the others being Jason Voorhees and Goro.
  • In MKX, Tanya is one of two characters whose X-Ray attack can only be performed while airbourn, the other being Takeda.
  • Tanya is one of two characters in MKX to become a DLC character after originally appearing in the Story Mode. The second was Bo' Rai Cho.
    • Interestingly, Tanya is a character the player fights against while Bo' Rai Cho was originally just a cameo during Raiden's chapter.
  • Tanya is one of three characters in MKX to stand up straight for her fighting stance. The first was Jason Voorhees and the third was Leatherface.
  • Tanya is one of two characters in the mobile game of MKX that deals Lethal Damage in Faction Wars, this being her Kobu Jutsu card. The other is Dark Emperor Liu Kang.


  • 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.
  • Tanya's Treacherous card has Power for her Special 2. However when she uses the attack during a match, she receives increased damage instead. This has yet to be corrected.
Ashrah | Baraka | Blaze | Bo' Rai Cho | Cassie Cage | Cetrion | Chameleon | Cyrax | D'Vorah | Daegon | Dairou | Darrius | Drahmin | Ermac | Erron Black | Ferra/Torr | Frost | Fujin | Geras | Goro | Havik | Hotaru | Hsu Hao | Jacqui Briggs | Jade | Jarek | Jax Briggs | Johnny Cage | Kabal | Kai | Kano | Kenshi | Khameleon | Kintaro | Kira | Kitana | Kobra | Kollector | Kotal Kahn | Kronika | Kung Jin | Kung Lao | Li Mei | Liu Kang | Mavado | Meat | Mileena | Mokap | Moloch | Motaro | Nightwolf | Nitara | Noob Saibot | Onaga | Quan Chi | Raiden | Rain | Reiko | Reptile | Sareena | Scorpion | Sektor | Shang Tsung | Shao Kahn | Sheeva | Shinnok | Shujinko | Sindel | Skarlet | Smoke | Sonya Blade | Stryker | Sub-Zero | Takeda | Tanya | Taven | Tremor | Triborg

Alien | Freddy Krueger | Jason Voorhees | Joker | Kratos | Leatherface | Predator | RoboCop | Rambo | Spawn | Terminator
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