Shang Tsung is the newest addition to the MK11 roster and has been out for less than a month, but he caused quite a stir as many experts ranked him near the top of their rank list.
But Mortal’s boss Kombat’s OG is also one of the harder characters to master, with relatively slow attacks, complex fireball game, and signature shape-shifting abilities.
Before we get started if you’re new to Mortal Kombat, here’s the standard way of reading notation for the game:
- D = Down
- F = Forward
- B = Back
- U = Up
Since Mortal Kombat is a four-button game, we use 1, 2, 3, 4 for button inputs.
- 1 = Square
- 2 = Triangle
- 3 = X
- 4 = Circle
For Xbox One:
- 1 = X
- 2 = Y
- 3 = A
- 4 = B
Shang Tsung is an excellent zoning character, especially with his Warlock variant.
His standard ammunition is the Fire Skull (BF1) that shoots quickly and can be amplified twice.
The dual amp is a Krushing Strike that deals 23% damage if only the last bullet hits. This is especially effective if you are facing an opponent that has hit the first two rounds and are unaware that the skull last hit the middle.
His Ground Erupt (DB1) is probably his best special move. You can use it for zoning, but it also acts as a combination starter and air-proof.
Finally, his Corpse Drop (DF3) is an often forgotten but useful zoning tool. It is a cost that can be amplified for low gain and takedown.
That would be great against characters like Cassie whose low projectile was under Shang’s usual fireball. If she threw the full-screen low, instead of engaging in a fireball fight, you could just throw the corpse and amplify it to take it down.
Plus Block strings
Shang Tsung has several attack strings that lead to a block advantage.
Dark Arts (1,1,2) gives +6 when blocking, but puts you quite far from your opponent. You can track Ground Erupt to effectively detain an opponent. The only thing he can do is a block. If he backs up, jumps, or attacks, he gets hit.
Burning Evil (F2,4,2) gets +4 when blocking and gives you more tracking options. You can go down with the D4, or track with Ground Erupt, or even a jump in attack string.
Mixups and combo openers of Shang Tsung
Shang Tsung has a strong mixed game where a lot of the second attack in his hitstrings hits low or high.
You can start by throwing Shapeshifter (F2, 4), hit the middle then low, or Raise Hell (3, U2), touch high then low.
If your opponent starts to realize this, you can perform Exclusive Pain (B1, D2), which is a blow to the head.
Reserved Pain can also Krushing Blow if only the second attack is connected, you can continue with a large combo.
Combo enders of Shang Tsung
After landing any open device, there are several ways to end your combo. If you want to do maximum damage or you want to continue your staking game, you can combine into the amplified Ground Erupt, juggling with 4 then Ground Erupt. This will put the opponent in full-screen mode.
Alternatively, if you know how to play your opponent’s character, you can combine it with an amplified Ground Erupt and juggle with a Hell (3, U2) raise to a Soul Steal (BF2).