Snack time, boys!
Harley Quinn is a mid-range character in Injustice 2 with enough balance to make her capable of holding her own when the game’s zoners try to keep her out. To properly utilize Ms. Quinn, it’s important to study the spacing of her moves to ensure that your setups execute properly. Take her into practice mode, and give her a go to fully master all her combos.
Use these moves with a quick startup time to segue into special moves and maximize as many high damage strings as you can. If you’re playing defensively, it can be hard to get your moves in, but thankfully once Harley gets a combo started, she is an unstoppable machine when used correctly.
This guide uses 1, 2, 3, 4 numbers to denote the moves. These translate on Xbox/PS4 to: 1 (X/Square,) 2 (Y/Triangle,) 3 (A/X,) and 4 (B/Circle.) It’s worth noting that 4 is also the button for your player’s unique character power.
- 1 – A simple, 6 frame startup move that’s very fast. Use it in the string 123 for a side-switching startup, or use 12–Tantrum Stance (Down, Away 3)-1 to use a riskier set up with a potentially higher payoff.
- Back 2,2 – Harley’s Back 2 hits low, which is perfect for mixups and getting opponents who are blocking back. Using the Back 2,2 is also a great move when you have your opponent in the corner. It also can perfectly segue into Tantrum Stance 1.
- Forward 2 – Harley’s Forward 2 hits overhead, great for opponents who block low. A higher than average startup makes this one harder to land. If your opponent is blocking low, it might be wiser to punish this with a Forward 1, Down 3 (the second hit is an overhead.) Then, when they begin to block back, you can switch it up with the low guns.
Harley Quinn’s special moves are designed to control her space with the opponent. The best and most vital of her special moves to learn is Tantrum Stance. You can use your combo starters to string a move into Tantrum Stance. Read below for the best of her special moves and when to use them.
- Pistol Fury (Down, Toward 1) – These low-damage inducing guns are good at closing distance when you have an opponent who is trying to zone you.
- Air Pistol Fury (Air, Down, Away 1) – Harley shoots her guns from the air, hitting ducking characters overhead. This is a good jump attack that can keep Harley in the air long enough to duck some projectiles. If you have a character who is mid-range from you and trying to keep their distance, this move can be of great annoyance to them as it will hit them if they block low and chip damage them if they try to block back.
- Up Pistol Fury (Down, Away 1) – Good for an opponent who jumps around or is in the air a lot.
- Play Doctor (Down, Away, Toward 1) – A command grab with limited reach that can be meter burned to inject damage over time. This is good for a wakeup if you can get it input quickly enough. It can also end combo strings if done properly.
- Cupcake Bomb (Away, Toward 2) – A long-range move, where Harley tosses a cupcake. This can hit the opponent while they’re in the air or towards the edge of the map. It has limited use, though otherwise.
- Pop Pop (Down, Away 2) – Like Pistol Fury but larger. This will at least offer some chip damage on an opponent that is blocking down (Pistol Fury can be blocked completely down.) It can malfunction, and like Cupcake Bomb has its limited uses. It can be delayed by holding 2, as well as cancelled or meter burned. Delaying Pop Pop long enough will make the attack unblockable.
- Tantrum Stance (Down, Away 3) – Harley’s best special move is her Tantrum stance. Either use it after a combo starter or master the amount of distance it needs to hit, and prepare to inflict lots of damage on your opponent. Read below for the variations of Tantrum Stance
- Cartwheel (Tantrum Stance, 1) – Harley cartwheels and hits the opponent mid. The cartwheel can easily be strung with a Back 3 to bounce the opponent and string more combos while they’re in the air.
- Boom Boom (Tantrum Stance, 2) – Harley launches an explosive at the opponent hitting them low. This can be a great way to get your damage in if the initial Tantrum Stance fails to knock your opponent back. It will hit them as long as they are not blocking low. You can hold off on pressing the 2 after doing tantrum stance to bait your opponent into moving to punish you and then hitting them with the explosive low.
- Bullet Frenzy (Tantrum Stance, 3) – Harley rolls back and launches an array of gunshots at her opponent. They hit mid, so you’d be better off going for the cartwheel and launching into a combo.
An easy way to mix-up your opponent when rushing them is to use 2, followed by a directional 3.
- 2, Away 3 – Hits mid mid low.
- 2, Toward 3 – Hits mid, overhead. Can be followed up with a grab to hit multiple unlockable times if the overhead lands.
- 2, Down 3 – Hit mid, low.
- 2, Up 3 – Hits mid that launches the opponent, followed by another mid.
Harley calls her Hungry Hyenas when using her character power (4.) The hyenas can be used in multiple ways. Use them strategically, because they have a very high start up (55+ frames.) They are a great tool to use to rush your opponent if they are zoning you, because while the hyenas run out, you can close the distance while your opponent attempts to block. To switch up and confuse your opponent, utilize the varying strikes.
- Double Trouble – Holding 4 when both hyenas are available calls them both out to rush the opponent at once.
- Lou Strike – Tap 4, Hold Up – will send one hyena out to hit the opponent overhead.
- Pounding Puppies – Hold 4, Hold Up – sends both hyenas out to hit overhead at once.
- Like it Ruff – Hold 4, Hold Away – sends one hyena to hit mid, and one to hit overhead.
- Ruff Housing – Hold 4, Hold Toward – sends one hyena to hit overhead, and one to hit mid.
Harley has varying abilities that modify the way she plays in non-competitive mode.
- He Loves Me – Harley calls out a picture of the Joker, giving her increased damage output for a short time.
- Ivy’s Blessing – Harley tosses Poison Ivy’s rose into the air and is able to replenish some of her health. (This is a better ability to use than ‘He Loves Me.’ If you need a damage boost, it’d be easier to regenerate your gear for better stats.)
- Tick-Tock – Harley launches an unblockable short range bundle of dynamite at the opponent. This has a high startup and can be easily punished.
- Confetti Cannon – Replaces ‘Pop Pop’ and turns it into a short distanced confetti gun. Otherwise, it works similarly to the original move.
- Mollywhop – Harley swings her bat at her opponent, either high or low. A ridiculously high startup time makes this ability super easy for your opponent to punish. On a side note, some of Harley’s gear can be augmented to allow a Mollywhop to trigger an arena transition.
- Cherry Bomb – Harley’s Cupcake Bomb is replaced with a move that hits low.
- All-Purpose Frosting – Harley’s Cupcake Bombs are enhanced to inflict damage over time on impact. They also will leave a toxic pool on the ground that will prevent dashes and jumps for a short period of time.
Besides having arguably some of the game’s most diverse gear that allows her to transform from Harlequin Harley Quinn to a more Suicide Squad look, Harley has various gear sets that can give her even more of an edge on the opponent.
Harlequin Romance Set
- 2/5 – 5% chance to gain a Regen Token for a Perfect Match.
- 4/5 – 3% chance to gain a Shield that reduces damage by 10% when hit.
- 5/5 – Removes the chance for charged up Pop Pop or Confetti Cannon to malfunction.
- 2/3 Gain an additional 100 Ability.
- 3/3 Harley’s Cupcake Grenades inflict 10% more damage.
- 2/4 Inflict 25% extra damge to Males (Multiverse only.)
- 4/4 Decreases the cooldown of Hungry Hyenas by 2 seconds.
- 2/2 Increases damage to all pistol shots by 5%
Harley Quinn’s Shaders are unlockable through gameplay and gear drops. There are two shaders: Joker’s Moll and Joker’s Moll (Alternate) that are available for purchase with source crystals. These two shaders will not drop during normal gameplay or through multiverses.
Harley Quinn’s Tantrum Stance makes her a character that has unlimited potential to launch herself into a high-damage dealing Back 3 combo. As great as Tantrum Stance is, it’s also easily punished. Utilizing all the tools that the Injustice 2 developers gave Harley is key to keeping your opponent on their toes. Practice her mix-ups and setups to confuse your opponent into blocking the wrong way, and then use Harley’s high damage dealing moves to punish them into defeat. Good luck!