Kitana (updated 12-23-05)
Kitana is a mid tier character in UMK3, right around 15 give or take, which is still a far cry from her status of MKII combo queen possible top 3. Her damage was drastically reduced due to the fact her fan lift activates damage protection, and if you connect her fan in a combo any hits after it are also damage protected so you're best bet is to try and not use the fan lift unless it's use for drastic anti air prediction. In punisher combos you're better off try to go for the aaHP's without the fan to air juggle resulting in about 50%. Run jabs are her game, the female ninjas have really great placement on their run jabs, and remember to abuse the hell out of double run jabs with her. Remember to use the sneaky 3 hits of the kick combo, leaving off the last B HK, and lacing in a standing HK if they try and capitalize on what they think is a broken combo. On all characters except the female ninjas, Sindel, Sonya, Sheeva and Shang Tsung, you can stick an unblockable just frames sweep at the end of her fan combo, for example, JP starter, HP, HP, B LP, F HP, sweep as soon as you possibly can is 41%, and very easy. Her overall comboing ability is limited, low to average damage (25-50% at a time, yes at this point 50% damage is average since it's half a bar and 100%s and infinites are possible). Don't forget about the weird hit boxes the female ninjas have which can make certain juggles more difficult, and also a lot of characters cannot do their HP beginning to a combo if they get a starter, possibly lowering their overall damage effectiveness helping her slightly but not much. Kitana has some throwing tactics as well, along the lines of Cryax and Robot Smoke. Her throw ends early and your opponent is very close to you so can run in and attempt another free throw depending on if they are doing to try and jump over you or not, or go right into run jabs, or run behind them before they get up and attempt a cross up of sorts, try and stick her kick combo in there as well.
Female ninja basic moves:
The female ninja uppercut is average, nothing to write home about, their standing HK is great for far away jumpers trying to stay out of range for anti air HPs, it doesn't have as much height as some other characters, but the collision detection is a good distance from their body hit box, so it has good priority. Their LP jabs hit lower than most so they can run jab Stryker when he's ducking and blocking, and they good range. HP jabs have average range, sweeps are silent which is a plus, and they have some distance to them, however are slow on recovery compared to the fast sweepers leaving them potentially open. Ducking LK has some decent pointiness and distance, standing LK hits a bit lower than usual. Their roundhouse is very close range, better off going for a standing HK on jump ins, but the RH can often be used in run underneath jump in situations because the placement is perfect for that. Their jump punch has limited range and is close to their body, bad for cross ups on ducking blocking opponents.
The Fan Lift is a criminally pathetic waste of a containment. If you look at it from the perspective that "free damage is free damage" then fine, use it. But I would say avoid using it almost altogether unless you scout a jump in and lift them but the most damage you're going to see midscreen is about 28 - 30%. It would have been fair to not have damage protection on fan lifted moves but kept the damage protection on the post fan throw moves, or perhaps only damage protect post fan throw moves if you get a fan lift before it, but I'm getting off the point here. This would have brought her tier level up considerably. Whenever you might not be rushing down with her, always remember to buffer the fan lift so you can perform on command if you so wish to use it. It is possible to get an aaHP before a fan lift but it is not very practical, however the normal limit of hits before the fan lift is disable is 0, meaning you can't combo anything before it under normal circumstances. If someone is in the corner, watch for jump escapes, this is a good time to use a fan lift and if you connect it, you can set up moderate damage, around 40% on just about anyone.
The Fan Throw is still a great move and she can use it almost exactly like she did in MKII. Remember to throw them low to the ground so she lands quickly and can block or counter. A commonly over used tactic is fan throw from full screen, run in behind it and expect to get some free chip damage. Against experienced players this is not the case. You will most likely get swept or even take an uppercut, or counter containment during your labored journey to small amounts of damage. What you might want to do is try a fan throw followed by her wave punch from time to time. That will get her in close to them a lot quicker, putting the fan right over their heads as she lands and making it difficult to counter with an uppercut and standing up after the fan to HPs timing is critical, and from there run jab city to kick combos, or simply a throw to beat out their counter move, or mash out a ground combo as soon as you land as well. Don't over abuse this tactic because it is almost the exact same concept as running in after a fan throw, use both and mix it up, keep them guessing. If they jump to avoid the fan throw they will get hit by the wave punch, if you don't do the wave punch watch for the jump in and set them up for a fan lift. Remember to only use the fan in air, and never ever on the ground. Occasionally throw one high if you expect a jump in. Her style is almost hit and run but you can change it to hardcore offense anytime you get in close with those run jabs. You might want to try an early or deep jump kick, pausing to a late fan throw in order to bait someone's counter, this way you can nip them with a fan on a close quarters JK.
The Wave Punch is a pretty neat move that is great anti air for jumping forward, straight up, or back opponents. It's easy to scout and the D, B HP motion is easy to pull of instantly if you see someone so much as leave the ground. Battering someone down with Wave Punches can have the same psychological effect as air throwing someone on cross ups constantly, it forces the person to change their strategy, possibly to something they are unable to keep up with. You can use it for mobility to an extent, but expect to be punished for abusing it. You can sometimes juggle a LK or HK in the corner after her wave punch depending on the character and how high it connects. It is sometimes usefull against some poor priority crossover jump kicks.
Kitana has no known infinites.
1. punch starter, HP, HP, B LP, F HP, sweep 6 hits 41% 2. fan lift, JK, air fan throw, wave punch 4 hits 22% 3. JK, fan throw, uppercut 3 hits 33% 4. (in the corner) fan lift, JK, air fan, RH, run in HK 5 hits 30%
1. aaHP,HP, JK, air fan, run in, aaHP, wave punch 6 hits 53% (you can add an extra aaHP on Stryker Jax and Sub-zero for example, or aaLP,LP or some other characters adding a little more damage 55-56%) 2. (corner punisher would have to start about half screen distance from the corner) aaHP, HP, JK, air fan, aaHP, wave punch 7 hits 60% 3. (same set up as 2.) aaHP, HP, JK, air fan, RH, run in HK 7 hits 65% If closer to the corner, single aaHP is also possible and results in 6-7% less damage but more than acceptable damage for Kitana. She has many variations here and there on her juggles, these would be mostly ideal situations.