Shang Tsung

Move List


INPUT COMMANDS
Spear Jab
1
Thigh Tear
Back+1
Serpent Stab
Down+1
Tiger Fist Crush
2
Spiritual Eruption
Back+2
Skull Collapse
Forward+2
Soaring Fist
Down+2
Sternum Breaker
3
Deception Sweep
Back+3
Rushing Spike
Forward+3
Ankle Snap
Down+3
Throat Kick
4
Dragon's Claw Gouge
Back+4
Rising Chest Kick
Forward+4
Stance Breaker
Down+4
JUMPING ATTACKS
Raining Spear
1
Crushing Palm
2
Hawk Kick
3or4
HOP ATTACKS
Soul Barrier
Up,1orUp,2
Hawk Spike
Up,3orUp,4
GETUP ATTACKS
Cinder Swipe
Up+2
Ash Flare
Up+3
FLAWLESS BLOCK ATTACKS
Cinder Swipe
Up+2
Ash Flare
Up+3
THROWS
Toward Throw
Throw+ForwardorForward+1+3
Back Throw
Throwor1+3
ROLL ESCAPES
Forward Getup Roll
Forward+Stance
Backward Getup Roll
Back+Stance
AIR ESCAPE
(Air) Breakaway
Down+Block
MOVE DATA
DAMAGE BLOCK DAMAGE F/BLOCK DAMAGE
N/A N/A N/A
MOVE TYPE
N/A
PROPERTIES
N/A N/A
DESCRIPTION
N/A
FRAME DATA
START-UP ACTIVE RECOVERY
N/A N/A N/A
CANCEL
N/A
HIT ADVANTAGE BLOCK ADVANTAGE F/BLOCK ADVANTAGE
N/A N/A N/A


Version 1.27
Last Updated: December 18, 2020

Strategy


Pokes

Shang Tsung has very good pokes with his Down+1 and Down+3 both being -2 on block. He is also one of the few characters with a 7 frame Down+3. Since his pokes have very low disadvantage on block, a lot of times you will be able to Down+3 again if your poke is blocked. It can be very difficult for opponents to counterpoke on reaction because of this.

To beat counterpokes, you can cancel Down+1 or Down+3 into Ground Eruption, or DownBack1 in Shang Tsung’s Warlock variation. The Ground Eruption will launch the opponent for a full combo, but is unsafe on block. Even if your poke hits, this can be difficult to react to because of how quick Ground Eruption is. Down+1 into Ground Eruption can be interrupted by 7 frame attacks, but your opponent must be on point to interrupt this.

Footsies

Shang Tsung’s primary footsie tool is his Forward+2,4 string. While slow at 17 frames, Forward+2,4 is an advancing mid-to-low attack that reaches very far. Forward+2,4 can be hit confirmed into a combo. On block, you will want to finish the string by either doing Forward+2,4,2 or Forward+2,4,3. Shang Tsung’s Forward+2,4,2 is +4 on block but can be Flawless Blocked. If you want to play safe and counter opponents trying to Flawless Block, use Forward+2,4,3.

Back+1,1,2 is a 14 frame hit confirmable mid attack. Use Back+1,1,2 if you need a faster mid up-close. Although Back+1,1,2 is safe on block, it can be Flawless Blocked. To prevent being Flawless Blocked, do not finish the string and only do Back+1,1. This is also unsafe because Back+1,1 is -11 on block, but if your opponent is looking to Flawless Block Back+1,1,2, then Back+1,1 will go unpunished.

In Shang Tsung’s Warlock variation, Ground Eruption can be used in footsies. This is a quick projectile that fires from below and reaches half-screen. With Ground Eruption being able to launch for a combo, your opponent will be afraid to move when near Shang Tsung.

Pressure

Up-close, Shang Tsung can pressure with his 1,1,2 string. 1 and 1,1 can be staggered because 1 is +1 on block and 1,1 is only -1 on block. You will want to hit confirm 1,1 into 1,1,4 Ground Eruption for a combo, and use 1,1,2 if it’s blocked.

1,1,2 is +6 on block and has great pushback. After 1,1,2, this will create a frame trap with Ground Eruption and Soul Steal. Your opponent will not be able to escape the Ground Eruption or Soul Steal. Due to the pushback on 1,1,2, these moves will become safe unless your opponent dashes forward and performs a Flawless Block or has a quick, advancing reversal that can punish Shang Tsung.

Forward+2,4,2 is +4 on block. After Forward+2,4,2, you will be able to check your opponent with a B3 or D4 depending on the spacing and character. Because of the pushback on Forward+2,4,2, you can also walk back and whiff punish your opponent’s poke with Back+1,1. Once your opponent respects your Back+3 or Down+4, you can then apply other forms of offense.

Mixups

Shang Tsung has multiple low-hitting attacks within his strings. Between Forward+2,4, Back+3, Back+3,Down+4 and Down+3, your opponent will be conditioned to block low. You can mix this up with Shang Tsung’s Back+1,Down+2 which is an overhead attack. Back+1,Down+2 becomes a Krushing Blow if the overhead chop hits by itself. This will launch the opponent for a combo.

Forward+2,4,2 can be hit confirmed into Far Ground Eruption if the opponent is hit by the low.

Another mixup Shang Tsung has is his Back+3,Down+4 and Back+3,Up+4 mixup. Back+3,Down+4 is a low attack and Back+3,Up+4 is an overhead attack. While the overhead is rather slow, your opponent will be conditioned to block low because of Back+3,Down+4 and Forward+2,4. After Back+3,Up+4 you can use Ground Eruption to launch the opponent for a combo.

Soul Steal

Soul Steal is a quick mid attack that reaches half-screen. This move has a large hurtbox and can catch opponents if they try to move or jump. When using Soul Steal, you will want to space it out so that it becomes less punishable on block. Outside of using Soul Steal in the neutral, you will usually want to use it at the end of combos.

After using Soul Steal, Shang Tsung will temporarily transform into his opponent and receive a damage boost. Make sure that you know how to use your opponent’s character and combos to effectively use Soul Steal. Once Shang Tsung turns back, he will be able to get a Krushing Blow off of his Back Throw if done afterwards.

Rushing Spike and Rising Chest Kick

Shang Tsung’s Rising Chest Kick, or Forward+4 is +5 on block. Forward+4 is a great way to approach opponents and start offense. After Forward+4, you will be able to check opponents with a poke such as Down+1, Down+3 or Down+4. You can also use Back+3 because Back+3 has a startup of 10 frames. Back+3,Up+4 will launch the opponent for a combo, but can be interrupted or Flawless Blocked. To prevent this, you can cancel Back+3 into Ground Eruption instead. Once your opponent respects your poke or Back+3, you can then apply other forms of offense such as throw.

Forward+4 is a high attack which means your opponent can punish it by crouching. You can mix this up by doing Rushing Spike, or Forward+3, instead. Forward+3 is an overhead attack that will hit crouching opponents. Additionally, you can use Forward+2,4 if you think your opponent will try to crouch Forward+4.

Zoning

Shang Tsung has very strong zoning tools to keep opponents away. At fullscreen, you will want to use Corpse Drop, or DownForward3. Because you can direct it, your opponent must guess where you will use it. Corpse Drop deals huge damage if it hits, and knocks the opponent down when Amplified so it’s great to use when trading with other projectiles.

At midscreen, you can either use Corpse Drop or Ground Eruption. Ground Eruption is quick, has great pushback and launches the opponent for a combo. Make sure to pay attention to the spacing between you and your opponent so you know where the Ground Eruption will hit because if spaced incorrectly, the Ground Eruption can whiff leaving you vulnerable.

If you need a quick projectile that travels across the screen, use Fire Skull, or BackForward1. This is a high projectile, but can be difficult to react the closer up it’s used.

Abilities


Inferno Skull
AMP
Modifies Fire Skull. Fire Skull can now be amplified twice.
Screaming Soul
BackForward1
Replaces Fire Skull. Launch a bolt of pure soul energy at the opponent.
Ground Eruption
DownBack1
Replaces Crashing Flames. Bolts of Hellfire erupt from the ground.
Force Lift
DownBack1
Replaces Crashing Flames. Transform into Ermac and lift the opponent into the air before slamming them down.
Inferno Barrier
DownBack2
Adds Inferno Barrier Special Move. Summon a pillar of flames behind the opponent.
Soul Well
DownBack2
Adds Soul Well Special Move. Create a lingering mass of soul energy that can be activated to heal Shang Tsung.
Explosive Corpses
AMP
Modifies Corpse Drop. Amplifying Corpse Drop now sends the opponent high into the air.
Scatter Souls
DownForward3
Replaces Corpse Drop. Unleash a point blank explosion of soul energy.
Shake
DownBack3
Adds Shake Special Move. Transform into Smoke and vibrate rapidly, parrying projectiles. When amplified, Shake also parries basic attacks.
Slide
BackForward4
Replaces Sorcery Rush. Transform into Reptile and rush towards the opponent.
Superkick
DownBack4
Adds Superkick Special Move. Transform into Rain and unleash a devastating kick. Can be delayed.
Soul Swap
DownUp
Adds Soul Swap Special Move. Instantly switch places with the opponent.
Vile Sorcery
DownBackStanceorDownForwardStance
Adds Malignant Sorcery and Vile Inscriptions Special Moves. Curse the opponent, reducing damage they deal and increasing damage they take respectively.
Shapeshifter’s Training
Adds Superkick, Force Lift, Slide, and Shake Special Moves. Removes Corpse Drop and Soul Steal Special Moves. Shang Tsung’s ages of practice allows him to utilize the power of several ninjas.

Combos


Beginner

Shang Tsung - Warlock - Beginner Combos

Shang Tsung – Warlock – Beginner Combos


Ground Eruption
Inferno Skull

Shang Tsung - Spellmaster - Beginner Combos

Shang Tsung – Spellmaster – Beginner Combos


Incomplete

Shang Tsung - Soul Eater - Beginner Combos

Shang Tsung – Soul Eater – Beginner Combos


Shapeshifter’s Training

Advanced

Shang Tsung - Warlock - Advanced Combos

Shang Tsung – Warlock – Advanced Combos


Ground Eruption
Inferno Skull

Shang Tsung - Spellmaster - Advanced Combos

Shang Tsung – Spellmaster – Advanced Combos


Incomplete

Shang Tsung - Soul Eater - Advanced Combos

Shang Tsung – Soul Eater – Advanced Combos


Shapeshifter’s Training

Extra Guides


Soul Steal Frame Trap

Soul Steal Frame Trap


Shang Tsung’s is +6 on block. This creates a frame trap for Shang Tsung’s Soul Steal. The opponent cannot escape the Soul Steal, it must be blocked. Because of the pushback created by , the Soul Steal is safe against most characters. In order to punish the Soul Steal, the opponent must dash forward and perform a Flawless Block. Similarly, Shang Tsung can frame trap with Far Ground Eruption. The Far Ground Eruption cannot be escaped ...
Fighting Shang Tsung

Fighting Shang Tsung


Gaps & Punishes This is a multi-hitting high attack that leaves Shang Tsung at +6 on block. The final hit of this string can be Flawless Blocked and punished with an . Be wary because if Shang Tsung uses his instead, you will be hit for trying to Flawless Block. While this string can be punished by Flawless Blocking the last hit, it isn’t necessary because it is -6 on block. If you do choose to ...
Ninja Mixups & Pressure

Ninja Mixups & Pressure


In Shang Tsung’s Soul Eater variation, he has the ability to morph into various ninjas. This gives him access to Ermac’s Force Lift, Smoke’s Shake, Rain’s Superkick and Reptile’s Slide. Superkick On block, Superkick () is -9. However, this can be difficult to punish for many characters due to its pushback. Some characters will need to block the Superkick either standing or crouching to reduce the pushback and punish. Superkick can also be Flawless Blocked, which is ...