Mortal Kombat: How to Dominate With Kratos

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Mortal Kombat: How to Dominate With Kratos

If you watched our recent video Q&A with Ed Boon and Stig Asmussen, then you know that NetherRealm Studios and Sony Santa Monica Studios collaborated closely to ensure that God of War’s ultra-violent antihero was faithfully recreated for his highly anticipated (and PS3-exclusive) Mortal Kombat debut. Now that the shrink wrap is off the game, my hands-on play sessions have yielded some powerful tactics. First, a few observations:

Mortal Kombat: Kratos Highlights

Kratos is a tactician, not a brawler. Kratos’ style combos aren’t particularly fast or powerful, so wading into combat while mashing buttons won’t get you results worthy of the God of War. An effective Kratos player must demonstrate equal parts finesse and animal cunning.

The Helios Head gets results. Like Scorpion’s spear or Sub-Zero’s ice blast, the Helios Head is Kratos’ go-to special attack. You’ll learn to love it for several reasons: the blast boasts impressive range, stuns on impact, and shuts down jumping attackers. More importantly, it can chain a fast, weaker opening combo into a mortal monstrosity, especially when followed with the Olympic Ascension (below).

It helps to rise to the occasion. The key to unlocking Kratos’ highest damage potential is the Olympic Ascension (Back + hold Triangle), a powerful juggle that launches both fighters into the air. Follow up with the Olympic Toss (Circle) for a crushing finale and upwards of 30% damage.

Kratos: turtle killer. Torment a defensive foe by alternating between the Hades Pain (Back + Square, Back + Circle) and the Hades Edge (Back + Square, Triangle). The former ends with a low attack; the latter will defeat a crouching block. Mix them up to keep your opponent off balance in close-quarters brawls.

Don’t get overwhelmed. When confronted with a speedy, teleporting opponent such as Scorpion or Smoke, stay at a distance and blast away with Apollo’s Bow while fending off incoming attacks using the Golden Fleece (Down, Back, Square).

Kratos eats fireballs for breakfast. Just like in the games, the Golden Fleece will even reflect incoming fireballs back at your attacker. Take that, Shang Tsung!

Mortal Kombat: Kratos Highlights


Head of Helios: Down, Back, Triangle

  • Notes: Stuns enemies, easily chained into combos, Enhanced version adds extra damage
  • Apollo’s Bow: Down, Forward, Triangle

  • Notes: Fires two projectiles, Enhanced version fires three
  • Zeus Rage: Down, Forward, X

  • Notes: Follow the button prompts to complete, Enhanced version adds third hit
  • Golden Fleece: Down, Back, Square

  • Notes: Parries incoming attacks, triggers counterattack, redirects projectiles
  • Hermes Dash: Back, Forward, Circle

  • Notes: Can be charged up for extra damage, will hit airborne enemies
  • Mortal Kombat: Kratos Highlights


    Blade of Olympus: Down, Down, Back, Forward, Triangle (sweep distance)

    Medusa’s Gaze: Down, Back, Down, Forward, Square (jump distance)

    Killer Kratos Combos

    Kratos’ most damaging strings tend to open with a basic style combo, transition to the Helios Head, and conclude with an ultra-damaging Olympic Ascension juggle. With a little experimentation and a lot of hands-on time, I crafted the heavy hitting combos below. But this is just the beginning. Be sure to share your favorite Kratos combos (include a sweet name!) in the comments below, and I’ll update the list with the best community picks.

    Mortal Kombat: Kratos HighlightsMortal Kombat: Kratos Highlights

    Forward + Triangle, Helios Head, Pandora’s Soul (Forward + Circle, Back + hold Triangle), Olympic Toss (Circle in mid-air)
    6 hits, 39% Damage

  • Note: Many of Kratos’s basic blade combos can linked into the Helios Head and even more follow-up attacks. Experiment!
  • “Zeus Pounce”
    Jump kick, Enhanced Zeus Wrath (Down, Forward, X + R2)
    5 hits, 23% Damage

  • Note: Kick just before you hit ground to get the best positioning.
  • “This is Sparta!”
    Circle, Helios Head, Enhanced Hermes Dash (Back, Forward, Circle + R2)
    3 hits, 23% Damage

  • Note: Kratos’ Circle kick leaves a perfect opening for several follow-up special attacks, including his Cestus X-ray attack.
  • “Sun and Moon”
    Jump punch, Athena’s Fury (Triangle, Square, Triangle), Apollo’s Bow
    6 hits, 20% Damage

  • Note: Enter the command for Apollo’s Bow quickly, before Kratos lands the last hit of Athena’s Fury.
  • Mortal Kombat: Kratos Highlights

    Destroy Shao Kahn in the Ladder mode with Kratos and you’ll earn the Blades of Exile item. Cash it in at the Nekropolis to unlock Kratos’ alternate “Fear” costume — the same outfit you earn by completing God of War III.

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    9 Author Replies

    • getting it tomorrow!!!! anyone have any tips?

    • epic

    • Awesome!!! Can’t wait to get this game in my hands from Toys R’ US along with Kitana’s famous “Klassic” Costume!!! But sadly, I won’t be getting it and play it till NEXT MONDAY!!! But I know that the waiting itself is much more worth… :-p

    • I’ll be hitting you up for pointers next week, Sid ;) -Matt

    • I Didn’t Really Like Kratos :( He Was 2 Slow & was Missing All His Twirling Moves, But Imma Give Dis A Try To C What Happens

      • Kratos takes some skill :) Focus on working the Helios Head into his basic combos, then moving in for the kill with the Olympic Ascension (Back + Triangle, hold Triangle) combos. Devastating!

    • played a bit with kratos yesterday, he fits in perfectly….suits the game very well. love his fatality

    • oh and before olymic ascension i think…it helps starting out w forward circle after the blinding him 1st of coarse

    • I might pick MK up next week.

      Looking forward for a fatality .

    • Kratos was the first person I used in the ladder mode.
      He takes some getting used to but he’s awesome!

    • The only thing that pisses me off about Kratos is the sometime unresponsive fatality, and Medussa’s Gaze. Medussa’s Gaze seems to respond when it feels like it :(. Also, what’s with the final bosses… I mean seriously?

      • Do you have the range down correctly? For his Blade of Olympus, you need to stand a step or two away from your enemy. For Medusa’s Gaze, step back a few more steps. The final bosses are crushing! :) Use those X-rays…

    • I want to play but No cash flow right now… At least my cable bill is payed for lmaoo

    • I’m really going to have to pick this up. But man there are still quite a few games on my radar AND I still have a few to complete!!!

      But it’s a good problem to have and I used to have SKILLS in MKII. A bunch of my friends and I were going at it with only the demo.

      • Me too! I was a major MKII and MK3 player. I’ll be curious to see what you think about this new MK, because it’s got a lot in common with the klassic games!

    • God of War 4, September 2012! :D

    • I want Kratos to dominate me.

    • This is the best MK since MK2. I’m definitely enjoying it despite getting owned quite a bit online. I’m ok with Kratos and I certainly learned a few things I didn’t know thanks to this blog post.

    • Kratos is a stupid character and a dealbreaker for me.

      Even if I never used him myself, every other match I’d be bumping into some fan of lame mythology fanfic games using Kratos.

    • I thought Kratos sucked, with the tier list and his slow movements, seemed like he was once overpowered and they nerfed him.. I’ll give this a try and see how he really is, if he’s as good as I hoped.

    • Any chance MK comes to PSN? I’d like to have as a download at some point.

    • Great job with MORTAL KOMBAT !! Best fighting game i have ever played thank you for putting time into this game it is amazing =)

    • @ Hooligantuan

      Just wait man, he’s gonna be in the new Soul Caliber as well..

      / facepalm

    • Kratos is awesome! :)

    • Thanks Sid! Going to use your kombos. Kratos fits the Mortal Kombat world effortlessly.

    • wow. i thought having him in here was a cheap gimmick or a plug. but he really tears stuff up well in the world of MK. props to the MK team for tossing him in!
      i heard theres supposed to be some sort of quicktime related moves or finishers for him?
      i didnt see anything, am i missing something or was i misinformed?

      • The quick time events are for his Zeus Rage special attack (Down, Forward, X). If you use it while Enhanced (Down, Forward, X + Block), you’ll pull off a three-hit quick time event if you can follow the button prompts :)

    • If the devs are still reading this thread: You did an _awesome_ job with this game. You really raised the bar for fighting games in my opinion. The massive amount of SP content along with the incredibly solid and deep fighting system has made this my favorite fighter period. I play it in stereo-scopic 3D and while I was disappointed that the cut-scenes weren’t in 3D, the 3D is really good when you are fighting.

      I’m upset at the hackers for ruining my PSN experience because I really want to play King of the Hill. I wrote a design document for a game 10 years or so ago when the Xbox was out and I had that feature in mind where you’d represent avatars and cheer/jeer for the people playing until it’s your turn to meet the winner. Can’t wait.

      Kratos plays really, really well. I hope you do plenty of DLC as you got my money.

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