Cyrax is a low tier character, ranked around number 20 in UMK3. Overall he is the worst of the three Robot Ninjas, however like Sub-zero, with some effort he can be a beast. Your main strategy with him is going to revolve around zoning with his bombs and the net, which has a big collision area and leaves little room to punish him from full screen. Cyrax's problem isn't the damage he can deal, but it's the methods of doing it which generally require a lot of tactics surrounding them. Take advantage of his high damage 6 hit auto off a net for 42% with the jump kick starter, or go for tactics with a roundhouse, setting up bomb scenarios against non teleporters. Go for his 3 hit kick combo mixed in with run jabs. Some downsides overall to the the Robot Ninjas are: they have some juggle advantages and vulnerabilities in terms of taking hits, watch for them. They can be relaunched by just about anyone with a launcher combo, easier than most to time, and they are harder to juggle in certain situations, particularly for Ermac and Human Smoke. Kung Lao can spin them and I believe Nightwolf after his autocombo in the corner when it is performed on the "just frame" so not only will you take the 34% or more from the auto combo but you're stuck in the corner infinite. Anyone who can get a ducking LK after their autocombo in the corner on anybody can get a standing HK after their combo on them, for example: Liu Kang, HP starter, 7 hit combo is 38% standing damage protected HK is 46%. Also, watch for openings for the air throw, which is a very neat and under used move. Try mixing up bombs and nets in the corner with run jabs to keep your opponent locked down, and when they move go for the air throw. Cyrax can juggle many characters off his regular throw with a LP to net, the damage thereafter is limited but none-to-less it is still damage. His throw also has it's own tactics because it lands strangely. You can try to run to the other side of your opponent before they get up and go for another throw on the cross up, which if timed right is 50/50. If you are unsuccessful you can go into run jab tactics. Cyrax is a lot of fun, but overall far too much effort to be successful.
Robot Ninja Basic Moves:
Standing HK is topps, uppercuts are somewhat bad in the sense they tend to miss in crucial situations similarly to Kung Lao's, for instance you have to take a step in if you want to counter a punishable move sometimes to hit an uppercut. The robot Ninja roundhouse is late on the hit and has some funky corner issues, good range, low height, better on far away jump ins. LPs are really good for double run jabbing mid screen, they keep in tight on the opponent because you have to be closer to connect them. Sweeps have good range and recovery is the same as female ninjas. JK is good, jump punch is kinda tight and ball like, and is easily counterable. Ducking LK is quick and pointy, excellent to get out of runjabs or prevent them.
The Net is his primary containment move. You can often times trade a hit for it, like a jump kick or jump punch can be snuffed with a well timed net. If you do a net from full screen and your opponent jumps backwards to clear it, run forward with Cyrax right as he recovers and they will land in the net, setting up his 6 hit with a starter, or a roundhouse to bombs. You can buffer a net to escape run jab scenarios as well because it only needs a couple frames and doesn't even have to be on the screen yet to be active. Use the net in juggle combos to extend them a bit. The net has a limit of 2 hits before it is disabled, and can be broken to 3 with some timing, you also must pause briefly between connected usage. For example: aaNet, aaHP, net, aaHP, net (the nets do not count as part of the combo) and now finish it accordingly. An active net disables bombs, and his air throw, but not his teleport. Watch for when the net connects and the opponent is touching the ground. Generally a person will be holding block in this situation and the net will not connect, but there are many occassions where things are happening too quickly, but the point is, you should go for the 6 hit autocombo with a starter. The Net is also excellent against sweepers. You can trade a sweep for a net very easily and it's worth it.
The Bombs are a very unique containment move and are a big part of his zoning strategies. You can set bombs up in patterns to do big damage combos, as they remain dormant for a few seconds each. There are two types of bombs, normally referred to as "close" and "far" but a better terminology for them would be "midway" (no pun intended) and "tracking" because the B,B version makes the bomb land midway between Cyrax and his opponent, and the F,F version, always lands where the character was upon the command input for HK. They have a number of limitations. Two bombs can be on screen at once, they can be done instantly after one another, a third bomb can be out in a succession after the first one goes off, but not if another bomb/general hit connects after the first bomb, thus reconizing a limit of 1 hit before bombs are disabled. For example: aaHP, instant bomb drop, compared to aaHPHP, no bomb drop. A bomb cannot be done while a contained net is active, but can be dropped after one in the same manner as after an aaHP from a contained air net, because the net doesn't count as a hit in the combo. Your best bet with bombs would be to do something like: place a midway bomb from long distance which generally keeps the opponent at bay unless they are a teleporter and they will wait until it explodes, then a tracking bomb or a net to make them move around, particularly towards you so you can throw out a HK, RH or even aaHP, JK to snuff them, and make them land back on the bomb, setting up an easy 53-56% or upwards to 68% juggle depending on the character. If they jump backwards, try and use the net follow tactic by running towards them and making them land in the net. You can also try doing things like dropping a midway bomb, and running to it, stand over it so you can safely plant another bomb, your opponent will be hesitant to move near you because the other bomb is about to go off. From here you can start doing mix ups and mind games with the bombs and keep your opponent off their game. A good tactic is keeping someone locked down on a bomb, and letting off so they will jump, then HK them back down to set up a combo.
The teleport is a dangerous move. Cyrax is very vulnerable during it both in air, and briefly on the ground. It is useless for transit against someone like Kabal, as a spin will totally whipe him instantly, or a male ninja because of their containments. Use is sparringly for escapes but never over abuse it. It is rare that you can make use of it during juggle combos except to get out of the corner to the other side of someone when you want to exploit a corner juggle. For example: Cyrax in corner, aa net, aaHP, net, teleport, aaHP, net, aaHPHP, JK, aaHP, air throw -7 hits 63%. You can also use the teleport on projectiles with significant recovery to get close and counter, but it's not as fast as something like Kung Lao's teleport which works the same way but invertedly.
Cyrax's air throw is strange, as it is a command throw. The motion is D-F, BL, and then press LP while you are in the air and near your opponent. It has good priority when activated, but that leaves a lot of room for error as it has a specific route to travel towards the opponent and where he is under them depends on how well it will connect. If you do an air throw while someone has left the ground through the ground, like Sektor, or Kung Lao, it will cause some funny glitch scenarios. Use the air throw to extend juggle combos, and use it as transit moreso than the teleport because it is fast and hard to punish, not to mention overtly unexpected. The best way to use it to get close to your opponent would be as they are falling, this way it creates a very obtuse hyperbola, causing him to get close to the ground faster than it would be if they were high in the air and he has to float a bit. Use it after roundhouses and JKs to get in close very fast if you are not using bomb tactics. Making Cyrax fast, maneuverable, accurate, and vicious is the key to making him win.
Basic Juggles: 1. aa net, aa(HP,HP), net, aa(HP, HP) air throw 5 hits 41% 2. throw, aaLP, net, aaHPHP or JK, air throw 25-26%
Advanced Juggles (There are tons of bomb variations that require set ups): 1. Bomb, RH into bomb, aaHP,HP (another HP possible on many characters) air throw, 5 hits 56-63% 2. aaHP, net, aaHP, net, aaHP,HP air throw 5 hits 41% 3. aaHP, net, aaHP, net, JK, air throw 5 hits 41% 4. aaHP, aaHP, net, deep JK, aaHP, air throw 5 hits 50% 5. (corner) aaHP, aaHP, net, JK, RH, air throw, 61% 6. (corner) aaHP, net, JK, net, JK, RH, HK (or air throw) 5 hits 69%-70%, only works on some characters, situation generally does no present itself, but some position can be done in the corner while they are in the net, timing is crucial
Lucky Far Tracking-bomb with predropped Mid-bomb setup: 1. bomb(far away) connects with bomb(mid) dropped soon after, then a third bomb dropped instantly after the first (essentially juggling off each bomb towards you) RH onto third bomb, aaHPHP, aaHP, air throw 8 hits 84%