How do you beat Goro in mk9?

Welcome once again to a new episode of How To Counter! This time out, Ill be helping you take down the four-armed menace known as Goro.

As a pre-order exclusive, not everyone has access to Goro, which means not everyone knows him well enough to beat him. Thats ok. Im here for you.

Goros a handful, but he isnt unstoppable. Pick your favorite aggressive character with good mixups (like Dvorah for example), and lets get you up to speed on how to deal with this mountain of flesh and arms.

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Teleport Stomp

Online warriors love to spam the stomp, because it can be hard to deal with effectively in lag. Since he disappears up off screen and comes down right where you are with an unblockable attack, it feels really cheap at first. In truth though its a huge risk against a player that knows how to handle it. Lets make you such a player.

If someone is only doing the regular stomp, just forward dash or backdash as soon as you see Goro heading up off screen. If you have the stamina to spare, backdash is the better option. Since backdashes have some invincibility in Mortal Kombat, it gives you extra wiggle room if your timing is late. It also leaved you in perfect range to unleash your best punish combo on a very defenseless Goro. Forward dash works well too, and doesnt eat up stamina, but you may be out of punish range depending on who you use.

Have you played Mortal Kombat X?

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Things get a little tougher if your opponent uses the far and near stomps, as they might read which direction they think youll dodge and hit you anyway. If they guess wrong, you may still get to punish them. If you want an option that will keep you out of danger regardless of the choice they make though, just run forward as soon as you see them leaving the screen. If youre feeling lucky, press throw right after they would be coming down. If you timed it right, and they did either the standard or near stomp, youll actually avoid them and get a free thrown. If not, your throw will whiff, but theyll be too far away to do anything so its a wash.

Punch Walk

Perhaps the most poorly-named move in the history of fighting games (or the best depending on your perspective), Punch Walk is a constant thought in most beginning Goro players minds and for good reason. It covers a lot of ground, its completely safe on block, and the EX version has seemingly unlimited points of armor, and leads into Goros best combos.

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The important lesson here is that just because a move doesnt leave someone open to counter-attack, that doesnt mean there isnt an advantage to be pressed when you block it. After you block a Punch Walk, try busting out your fastest crouching attack, preferably something with a ten frame start-up or faster, that hits low. Dvorahs down+back kick is a good example. Dont worry if frame data is lost on you, just look through your characters basic move list for a crouching move besides your uppercut that has a ten or lower in the start-up column. Got it? Good!

Now whenever you block a Punch Walk (god that name is dumb!), bust this move of yours out. If your timing was right, the Goro player wont have time to mash out an attack to beat yours theyll either block or get hit. If you hit them, youve created a bigger window now for you to initiate some offense, if they blocked, then you have info. You know theyre holding block in anticipation of your counter-attack. That means next time you block a Punch Walk, you should throw. The benefit of using a crouching attack for this is that they cant duck to make it whiff, and if you are a little slow on the attack, and they are mashing uppercut (as online players so often are!) your attack will go safely under it anyway.

Be the Bully, Not the Bullied

The biggest mistake you can make against Goro is to play super-defensively and waiting for an opening to exploit. Almost every string and special move Goro has is completely safe, and in some cases, give HIM the upper hand if you block. He has good mixups that can lead into solid damage, especially in the corner, which he can get you into so easily with Punch Walk. Remember that offense is your best defense here.

Punch Walk is good, but a well-timed attack can hit him right out of it. Goro players love to Punch Walk on wake-up, but you can stuff it easily with any attack string after you knock them down. Pouring on the pressure, and keeping Goro guessing is so important, because then you force him to spend his meter on reversal EX Punch Walks, combo breakers, or at best, a desperation X-Ray. Without meter, Goro cant convert opportunities into big damage. This is why characters like Dvorah, with her constant pressure and mixups, are so well-equipped to deal with the big guy.

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So there you have it, some basic strategies for dealing with Goros strong aggression. Learn to avoid that silly stomp, and how to get on the offensive after blocking a Punch Walk, then just stay on the offensive to put him on his heels and make him waste meter trying to get out of trouble rather than using it to pummel your face in. Hope this helps! Theres more How To Counter on the way. Let us know whose giving you trouble in the comments and maybe well feature that character in the next episode.

Vince is an Associate Editor at IGN. You can follow him @vincogneato on Twitter.

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