Kung Lao

Move List

Shaolin Fist
Step Punch
Low Palm
Straight Poke
Hat Slice
Rising Rim
High Kick
Dragon Step
Side Kick
Spin Kick
Sweeping Razor
Twin Kicks
Back Kick
Razor Edge
Shaolin Strike
Light Kick
Vicious Slice
Shaolin Shalhoub
Rising Hat
Flip Kick
Rising Hat
Flip Kick
Toward Throw
Back Throw
Forward Getup Roll
Backward Getup Roll
(Air) Breakaway

Version 1.27
Last Updated: December 18, 2020


Kung Lao is a well-rounded character with great offensive pressure and high damaging combos. Kung Lao can use his hat both offensively and defensively, giving him strong pressure and setups. He also has high damaging combos, making Kung Lao a very deadly character to be hit by.

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Fast normals
  • High damage
  • Strong counterzoning
  • Short-ranged normals

Key Moves

Name Input Description
Monk Dunk Forward+1,2 Fast 10 frame mid, staggerable
Lost Soul Forward+1,3 Fast 10 frame mid, hit confirmable, -19 on block
Flowing Water Forward+2,1,4 Mid, triggers a Krushing Blow if it is a Kounter or Punish
Twin Kicks Forward+4 Mid, hit confirmable, -3 on block
Spin DownForward1 Mid, combo starter and extender
Hat Toss BackForward2 High projectile
(Air) Shaolin Drop Down+4 Mid, Armor Break, Amplified version triggers a Krushing Blow if opponent was hit by Amplified (Air) Shaolin Drop or (Air) Shaolin Drop twice in a row or breaks armor
Teleport DownUp Teleport, leads into 4 different attacks

Combo Starters

  • Spin

All of Kung Lao’s combos can be started by using any move and linking it into Spin (DownForward1). Kung Lao’s Spin is incredibly strong because it does not require meter to combo. If Amplified, Spin will travel farther and yield more damage in combos. Spin must be Amplified in order to combo after attacks such as Forward+1,3.

Combo Enders

  • Forward+1,2
  • Forward+4
  • Shaolin Drop

Kung Lao’s combos can be ended with Forward+1,2 or Forward+4 for knockdown advantage. Combos ending with a jump kick into Shaolin Drop (Down+4) will yield maximum damage. Combos can also be ended with Forward+4 into Orbiting Hat (DownBack1) or Z Hat (DownBack1) for a setup.

Step Punch

Kung Lao’s primary move to use in footsies is his Step Punch (Forward+1) attack. Forward+1 is a 10 frame advancing mid attack that can be staggered for pressure. Forward+1 can lead into 2 different strings. For safety, Kung Lao can use Forward+1,2 which will knock the opponent down and leave Kung Lao at -7 on block. Alternatively, Kung Lao can use Forward+1,3 which can net higher damage as it can combo into Amplified Spin. If Forward+1,3 is blocked however, Kung Lao will be punishable at -19.

There are multiple ways to counter opponents trying to punish Forward+1,3. If Kung Lao uses Forward+1,3,Up+2, the final hit can interrupt the opponent out of their attack. Be wary as the last hit can also be interrupted or Flawless Blocked. Another option is to use a Special Move such as Hat Toss (BackForward2) or Spin (DownForward1) after Forward+1,3 and Amplifying it. While unsafe, the opponent must predict the Special Move to be used in order to punish. If the Orbiting Hat (DownBack1) ability is equipped, using it after Forward+1,3 will allow Kung Lao to remain safe. If done at maximum range, the Orbiting Hat will whiff and surround Kung Lao, which can then be used for offense.

Order of Light

Kung Lao’s Order of Light (1,2,1) string is a multi-hitting attack that is mainly used up-close. An interesting note about this string is that it does not come out on block. This means that Kung Lao will only use the entire string if it hits, and only use 1,2 if it’s blocked. On block, 1,2 will leave Kung Lao safe at -5 and can be staggered when combined with the Orbiting Hat ability. It’s important to always input 1,2,1 in case the string hits. 1,2,1 is best used when mixed with throws as it can be difficult for opponents to both defend against this string and prevent being thrown. Additionally, 1,2,1 will allow Kung Lao to switch positions with the opponent. This is useful when done during a combo to reverse positions and put the opponent into the corner.

Straight Poke

Kung Lao’s Straight Poke (2) is a high attack. 2 is 0 on block and can be staggered. Since Kung Lao’s 2 has a similar animation to his 1, it can be mixed with 1,2,1.

Twin Kicks

Kung Lao’s Twin Kicks (Forward+4) is a 14 frame mid attack. Because Forward+4 consists of 2 hits, it can be hit confirmed into a Spin for a combo. If Forward+4 is blocked, it will leave Kung Lao at merely -3. Using a poke such as Down+3 after Forward+4 will beat any attack that is slower than 10 frames.


When throwing with Kung Lao, it’s best to use his Back Throw as it will leave the opponent close and can trigger a Krushing Blow if the opponent failed to Throw Escape the previous throw. To set up Kung Lao’s throw, use either the Orbiting Hat or Z Hat ability. If blocked, Kung Lao will be at a heavy advantage allowing for a free throw attempt.

Flowing Water

Flowing Water (Forward+2,1,4) is an advancing mid attack that is best used to punish attacks on whiff. This can usually be done after knocking the opponent down, then whiff punishing a Getup Attack. Forward+2,1,4 triggers a Krushing Blow if it hits as a Kounter or Punish. After the Krushing Blow, Kung Lao can then combo the opponent.

Hat Toss

Kung Lao’s Hat Toss (BackForward2) is a high projectile. Hat Toss can be used in zoning to stop the opponent’s movements. If the Guided Hat (BackForward2) ability is equipped, it will replace Kung Lao’s Hat Toss. Guided Hat allows Kung Lao to direct the hat upwards or downwards by inputting Up or Down. Use the upwards Guided Hat to hit opponents out of the air in anticipation to a jump. Most times however, it’s best to use the downwards Guided Hat as it will allow the Guided Hat to hit as a mid projectile instead of a high.

Shaolin Drop

(Air) Shaolin Drop (Down+4) is a divekick that allows Kung Lao to attack from the air. If jumping forward, Shaolin Drop can be used to counter opponents attempting to anti-air Kung Lao. If jumping backward, Shaolin Drop can be used to attack opponents trying to advance. When Amplified, Shaolin Drop will deal more damage and trigger a Krushing Blow if the opponent was hit by it twice in a row. If Shaolin Drop is blocked, it is extremely punishable and thus should only be used on occasion.


Kung Lao’s Teleport (DownUp) allows him to approach opponents from behind. This is a great counterzoning tool as it allows Kung Lao to avoid enemy projectiles. Teleport can be delayed by holding AMP, which can make it difficult for opponents to punish it. From the Teleport, Kung Lao can use 4 different attacks:

1 (Hat Swipe) – High attack that is +4 on block. Hat Swipe can combo when done on the way down.
2 (Heel Flip) – Overhead attack that is -5 on block. Heel Flip is Kung Lao’s safest option after a Teleport.
3 (Shaolin Slam) – Throw that will connect against blocking opponents. Shaolin Slam can be used as a mix-up with Kung Lao’s other Teleport attacks.
4 (Wutang) – Mid attack that is -4 on block. Wutang triggers a Krushing Blow if the opponent was just hit with Shaolin Slam.


Guided Hat
Modifies Hat Toss. Gain the ability to guide hat in flight.
Possessed Hat
Replaces Hat Toss. Hat weaves up and down in flight.
Z Hat
Adds Z Hat Special Move. Hat darts back and forth through the opponent.
Buzz Saw
Adds Buzz Saw Special Move. Throw hat and control it in one of four directions before it zips horizontally.
Replaces Spin. Spin rapidly, damaging the opponent.
(Air) Teleport
Modifies Teleport and Vortex. Gain the ability to Teleport or Vortex in mid-air.
Spiritual Guidance
Adds Spiritual Guidance Special Move. Summon Great Kung Lao to release a burst of power.
Orbiting Hat
Adds Orbiting Hat Special Move. Cause hat to orbit around you.
Omega Hat
Modifies Orbiting Hat and Hat Possession. Expends range of Orbiting Hat. Adds Amplify to Hat Possession.
Hat Possession
Adds Hat Possession Special Move. Hat orbits around the opponent.

Orbiting Hat

The Orbiting Hat (DownBack1) ability will surround Kung Lao with a hat that will protect him from enemy attacks as well as allow him to start his offense. Using Orbiting Hat is extremely resource-heavy as it will use up 1 bar of Defensive Meter and 1 bar of Offensive Meter. On hit, Kung Lao can combo after the Orbiting Hat with 1,2,1 or 2,1,2. If used up-close, Orbiting Hat will leave Kung Lao at -4 on block. This is very powerful since it gives Kung Lao a safe combo starter. Orbiting Hat is great when used after pokes as it will beat counterpokes. It will also allow Kung Lao to stay safe after attacks such as Forward+1,3 and Forward+2,1. If used from far away, Orbiting Hat will allow Kung Lao to approach opponents while shielding himself. If the Orbiting Hat is blocked this way, it will leave Kung Lao at a heavy advantage and allow Kung Lao to pressure the opponent.

Z Hat

Z Hat (DownBack2) is a projectile that is thrown in a Z-motion. Due to the slow start-up on the Z Hat, it should not be used up-close. Z Hat is best used when spaced out. If Amplified, Z Hat is at least +20 on block depending on the distance it’s used. Once the Z Hat is blocked, Kung Lao will be able to start his offense. Z Hat also deals a great amount of chip damage as it hits multiple times.

Hat Setups

By ending combos with Forward+4 into either Orbiting Hat or Z Hat, Kung Lao will create a setup where the opponent must block the hat. If the opponent does a Getup Attack, they will be hit by the hat. This means that the opponent will have no choice but to block the hat, giving Kung Lao nearly guaranteed pressure on knockdown. If in the corner and using Z Hat, another option is to cancel out of the Z Hat by inputting DownDown and going for a throw.

Note: Forward+4 into Orbiting Hat does not work in the corner.


The Vortex (DownForward1) ability allows Kung Lao to form a tornado that when Amplified, will be sent towards the opponent. The distance that Vortex travels is dependent on how long it’s delayed. If the opponent is hit by the tornado, they will be launched for a combo.

Spiritual Guidance

The Spiritual Guidance (DownBack4) ability puts Kung Lao into a stance that can lead into 4 different attacks.

1 (Soul Burst) – Mid attack that reaches 3/4th screen. It triggers a Krushing Blow after connecting only the final hit. Soul Burst is mainly used for zoning, spacing it out at maximum distance in order to trigger its Krushing Blow. If the opponent is hit by Soul Burst, they will be knocked down and immediately sent back to fullscreen.

2 (Upward Soul Burst) – High attack that is directed upwards hitting airborne opponents. Upward Soul Burst is used to hit opponents attempting to jump at Kung Lao while he is in the Spiritual Guidance stance. Upward Soul Burst can also be done on grounded opponents as a combo starter.

3 (Ground Burst) – Low attack that can be directed close, mid, far or very far. Ground Burst is mainly used in zoning to hit moving opponents. Opponents attempting to jump over Ground Burst will be susceptible to being hit by Soul Burst and Upward Soul Burst.

4 (End Spiritual Guidance) – Allows Kung Lao to exit out of the Spiritual Guidance stance at the cost of 1 bar of Defensive Meter.



Kung Lao - Lotus Fist - Beginner Combos

Kung Lao – Lotus Fist – Beginner Combos

Orbiting Hat
Omega Hat

Kung Lao - Hat Tricks - Beginner Combos

Kung Lao – Hat Tricks – Beginner Combos


Kung Lao - Order of Light - Beginner Combos

Kung Lao – Order of Light – Beginner Combos



Kung Lao - Lotus Fist - Advanced Combos

Kung Lao – Lotus Fist – Advanced Combos

Orbiting Hat
Omega Hat

Kung Lao - Hat Tricks - Advanced Combos

Kung Lao – Hat Tricks – Advanced Combos

Guided Hat
Z Hat
(Air) Teleport

Kung Lao - Order of Light - Advanced Combos

Kung Lao – Order of Light – Advanced Combos

Spiritual Guidance

Extra Guides

How to Fight Kung Lao

★ How to Fight Kung Lao

Punishing Double Yang Kung Lao’s Double Yang () is a multi-hitting string consisting of a series of punches that when blocked, leave him at +1. The first two hits of this string are high attacks that can be avoided by simply blocking low. In doing so, the 2nd hit will miss which can then be punished by quickly jabbing Kung Lao out of the string. Make sure to not try to punish too quickly otherwise you ...
Orbiting Hat Setup

Orbiting Hat Setup

In Kung Lao’s Lotus Fist variation, he gains access to Orbiting Hat, or . By ending combos with into Orbiting Hat, this will create a knockdown setup. If your opponent does a Getup Attack, it will whiff. If your opponent does a Roll Escape, you will recover in time to pressure them. Your opponent will have no choice but to block the Orbiting Hat. The Orbiting Hat is very advantageous on block and allows ...
Z Hat Setup

Z Hat Setup

In Kung Lao’s Hat Tricks variation, he gains access to Z Hat, or . By ending combos with into Z Hat, this will create a knockdown setup. If your opponent does a Getup Attack, it will trade with the Z Hat and your opponent will be knocked down. If your opponent does a Roll Escape, you will recover in time to pressure them. Your opponent will have no choice but to block the Z ...