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.


On block, Superkick (DownBack4) 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 a much more consistent punish.

At the cost of 1 bar of Defensive Meter, Superkick can be cancelled out of. If Superkick is cancelled after Back+1, Shang Tsung will be at -7. This is a safe cancel that cannot be punished. If your opponent starts to attack after the cancel, they will be susceptible to being hit by the Superkick.

This will allow Shang Tsung to pressure with Superkick. You will want to mix up Back+1 Superkick and Back+1 Superkick Cancel so that your opponent won’t know when you will release the Superkick or cancel out of it.

The following lists the block advantage for Shang Tsung’s Superkick Cancel:

1 = -16
1,1 = -19
Back+1 = -7
Back+1,1 = -15
Down+1 = -23
2 = -17
2,1 = -8
Back+2 = -10
Forward+2 = -9
Forward+2,4 = -12
3 = -8
3,Up+2 = -13
Back+3 = -13
Back+3,Up+4 = -14
Down+3 = -21
4 = -10
Down+4 = -18

Up-close, Back+1 can be hit confirmed into Superkick. In order to hit confirm Back+1, you must slightly delay the Superkick. If you see that Back+1 is blocked, immediately cancel out of the Superkick. Otherwise, release the Superkick to combo off of Back+1. This works because Superkick still combos even if it is delayed, which gives you enough time to hit confirm any single hit with it.

Superkick can also be used within other strings for pressure. For example, after Forward+2 your opponent will want to block low because of Forward+2,4. If your opponent is not ready, then you will be able to use Superkick after Forward+2. Although Superkick cancels are punishable outside of when it’s used after Back+1, they can be difficult to react to when mixed well enough. If your opponent reacts too late and tries to interrupt the cancel, they can be hit by the Superkick.


Another option to counter opponents trying to interrupt Superkick is to use Shake (DownBack3). When Amplified, Shake will parry any attack that isn’t a low. If your opponent thinks that you will use Superkick after Forward+2, then using Amplified Shake after Forward+2 will parry their attack. While risky, this can be a good option if Shake becomes a Krushing Blow.


Slide (BackForward4) is an advancing low attack. After Back+1, Shang Tsung has a 50/50 mixup between Back+1,Down+2 and Back+1 Slide. Since the overhead in Back+1,Down+2 has a start-up of 18 frames, and Slide has a start-up of 20 frames, this can be very difficult to defend against. Your opponent must guess whether to block high or low after Back+1. This is especially strong because Back+1,Down+2 becomes a Krushing Blow if the overhead chop hits by itself.

Back+1,Down+2 will also counter opponents attempting to Flawless Block after Back+1 if they think you will use Superkick.

Force Lift

Other forms of pressure include Shang Tsung’s 1,1,2 and Forward+2,4,2. On block, 1,1,2 leaves Shang Tsung at +6. After 1,1,2, you can use Force Lift (DownBack1) to catch opponents trying to move. This will stop everything besides backward jumps, backdashes, and armored attacks. Against characters with little range on their attacks, this can be pretty safe due to the pushback on 1,1,2. Once your opponent respects the Force Lift, you can then approach with Forward+2.

Shang Tsung’s Forward+2,4,2 is +4 on block, but can be Flawless Blocked on the last hit. Although you can use Forward+2,4,3 to counter Flawless Block attempts, it does not yield much damage. For a bigger punish, you can opt to use Force Lift. Not only will this punish your opponent for a full combo, it will also become a Krushing Blow because the timing to Flawless Block Shang Tsung’s Forward+2,4,2 occurs after the Force Lift. Your opponent will automatically block late causing the Krushing Blow requirement to be met.

Between Superkick cancels and Slide mixups, as well as using Shake and Force Lift to counter your opponent’s attempts at defending, you will want to mix up all of these options in order to successfully pressure opponents with Shang Tsung.

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3 months ago

All the worst people in the game use this character. It’s shocking. For his pressure, you could just write “nonstop jump kick” for how many plus frames it gives him and how awkward his hitbox is.

1 year ago

Can you show us how to calculate block adv of cancelling out of super kick from the various basic moves using frame data numbers

1 year ago

How do you calculate the b.a for cancelling out of super kick using frame date, using b1 as the example

1 year ago
Reply to  Scott

you don’t need to, training mode has a frame data calculator

1 year ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Thanks, I would just like to know the formula of how it is arrived, I like frame data calculations, do you know how to calculate it on paper, thanks scott