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The cheapest attacks in Mortal Kombat

In some respects, Mortal Kombat is similar to almost every other fighting game on the market. Sure, it's more violent and bloodier than the French Revolution, but Mortal Kombat continues the proud tradition of sneaking in cheap attacks.

Since Mortal Kombat has been around for decades, the developers have had plenty of time to include broken moves that attract spammers and create rage quitters. Not all characters feature cheap attacks, but if you encounter a player who uses a character on this list, odds are you also will come face to fist with broken mechanics. After all, if the developers programmed an attack into Mortal Kombat, they must have intended for players to abuse the heck out of it for an easy win.

Scorpion's teleport makes him "get over here" too quickly

Scorpion is the face (or mask) of the Mortal Kombat franchise. His iconic Fatality and Spear ability are tattooed on the eyeballs of Mortal Kombat players everywhere. Nevertheless, all these attacks pale in comparison to his teleport ability, which is infamous for being unfair and raising the blood pressures of its victims.

Scorpion's teleport, also known as Hellfire Punch, has been with him since the very beginning and is one of the most annoying attacks in video game history. One second Scorpion stands on one side of the screen, the next he leaps offstage and introduces a fist to your unprotected spine. A Hellfire Punch is difficult to predict and even more difficult to guard against, and it has only become increasingly below the belt as the Mortal Kombat game engine has improved.

As combat sped up in Mortal Kombat games, so did Scorpion's Hellfire Punch. Players learned how to combo the attack into itself, and eventually the developers gave Scorpion the ability to "teleport cancel," which basically lets players use Hellfire Punch without the punch. This technique allows teleport-happy Scorpion players to bamf almost nonstop, and you never know if you need to punish a teleport or a teleport cancel.

Once someone masters the art of mixing up teleports and teleport cancels, they give you a one-way ticket to Spam City, population: you.

Sub-Zero can slide his way to victory

When spammers don't use Scorpion to teleport to victory, they use Sub-Zero to give opponents the cold shoulder. His signature Ice Blast freezes opponents in their tracks (even in midair), which opens them up to combos they can't avoid. While this ability seems unfair in its own right, Sub-Zero's truly underhanded attack is his slide.

Say, hypothetically, you approach Sub-Zero. You're not quite within striking distance, but suddenly he slides forward on the ground as if he took the "r" out of friction and slams into you. And then he does this move again. And again. And again.

Not only is Sub-Zero's slide one of the faster moves in the game, but its range is deceptively long. To make matters worse, a sliding Sub-Zero can limbo under many projectiles. It's difficult to get cheaper than a quick special move — but come on, a quick special move that is difficult to predict and lets players close the gap on projectile spammers by way of spamming?

It's true what they say: Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Jade just has too much range

Jade began life as a palette swap of Kitana, complete with war fans. As the Mortal Kombat series progressed, Jade switched from a femme fan-tale to a master of the staff. While she doesn't use the staff in all her moves, Jade has realized how to extend her staff's already unfair reach even further: by using it for her uppercut.

You might wonder what is cheap about using a staff for an uppercut. If so, then you've probably never seen a staff in action. Jade's staff gives her more range than other characters and doesn't slow her down one bit, which makes her uppercut downright broken. 

Not quite within melee range? She'll hit you with an uppercut. In the air? She'll hit you with an uppercut. Behind Jade? She'll hit you with an uppercut. Literally the only way to not get hit is to either duck or block, which isn't easy given Jade's speed.

Leave it to someone like Jade to transform a mundane attack into a monster of a cheap hit.

The Terminator Terminates targets

The problem with introducing new characters in fighting games is developers often never really know if the character is balanced until it's too late. And that's where Mortal Kombat 11's guest character The Terminator lies because of his special ability Terminate.

Technically, Terminate isn't an attack. Instead, it's a limited buff that makes him completely unflinchable and able to walk through any attack. He still receives damage, but he is free to use high-risk attacks with, well, no risk whatsoever. 

Terminate deactivates the Terminator's ability to block, duck, jump and dash; so some players might assume they will be safe at a distance. Mistakes like that caused the robot uprising in the first place. You see, Terminate does not conflict with Running Man, so anyone who activates Terminate can bulldoze through projectiles like an armored bullet train bent on exterminating humanity.

Unless you can pull off your character's specific armor-breaking attack, a Terminator who uses Terminate will just break through everything you throw at them and then break you.