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Mortal Kombat 11 – Shang Tsung Starter Guide

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Mortal Kombat 11 – Shang Tsung Starter Guide

Shang Tsung is the evil Sorcerer who uses his wits and trickery to win the fight. We’re here to show you the basics and some good Kombos and moves you can perform as Shang Tsung. Due to the amount of variations and moves you can make for each character, we will only focus on moves and combos using Shang Tsung’s tournament variations: Fire and Brimstone and Soultaker.


Front Punch = FP

Back Punch = BP

Front Kick = BP

Back Kick = BK

Important Basic Attacks

Skull Collapse (Forward+BP) – An advancing Mid-Attack with a slower Start-Up, but has a long range.

Rising Chest Kick (Forward+BK)– An Advancing High Attack with a long start-up with a long range. The attack has frame advantage on block but an opponent can duck under this.

Rushing Spike (Forward+FK) – An advancing Overhead Attack with great range as well as being safe on block. It’s great for surprising opponents who want to duck under Rising Chest Kick.

Important Kombo Attacks

Death Walker (back+FP, FP) – Shang Tsung rushes forward dealing two mid-hits, this is one of the more basic ways of starting combos

Soul Torment (back+FP,FP,BP) – Starts with an advancing Death Walker and ends with another Mid attack.

Reserved Pain (Back+FP,Down+BP)- substitutes the second hit of Death Walker for an Overhead Attack that is safe on block and will knock the opponent down. The second hit of this attack string will trigger a Krushing Blow if  the second hit lands without the first hit.

Tipping the Scales (Forward+BP, BK, FK) – Skull Collapse continues into this Kombo String for a low attack that leads into a mid-attack. Additionally, this attack will initiate a Krushing blow if it interrupts an opponent’s attack.

Burning Evil (Forward+BP, BK, BP)– A Mid Attack that has a Frame Advantage on Block, but there is huge Gap after the second hit gets blocked. The Kombo attack will launch an opponent in the air and will be great for Corner Kombos.

Sorcerer Sweep (back+FK, down+BK) – Starts with a close-range low attack with the second hit doing a fast, Low Attack that’s Safe on Block and will knock back the opponent.

Deadly Truth (back+FK, up+BK, FK, BK) – adds a second hit to perform an overhead attack to mix-up the opponent. You are vulnerable if the second hit is blocked though.

Special Moves

Soul Steal – A good mid-to-long ranged attack that will grab the opponent while you transform into them. In theory, this would make for a great combo-ender and if you know the opponent’s moves, you can mix them up for a bit afterwards. Amplifying the move allows you to copy the opponent for longer while doing more damage.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to use an enemies’ moves against them.

Fire Skull – A quick high-projectile that is good for zoning your opponent from mid to long range. Amplifying the projectile fires an additional skull. If you have two amps, then you can throw a max of three skulls.

Shooting up to three skulls is a great move, but uses up all of your meter.

Ground Eruption – One of Shang Tsung’s main projectiles for Fire and Brimstone. He erupts the ground twice, bouncing the opponent on two ground erupts. Amplifying this move will add a third projectile that will launch the opponent higher, giving you an opportunity to Kombo off of it. Additionally, you can combo from a Ground Eruption to another one if the first one is amped and you dash cancel out of it.

Crashing Flames – Replaces Ground Eruption. Fire two mid projectiles at a downward angle, hitting the opponent at mid-range. The move can be harder to block the further the opponent is and Amplifying the ability allows you to throw another projectile.

It’s not as fun as shooting enemies up in the air, but the different projectile options are fun to use.

Corpse Drop – Drops a corpse above the opponent, doing an overhead hit and pressing forward or back will make the corpse drop further or closer, depending on where the opponent is at. Amplifying the move will cause the corpse to explode.

Sorcery Rush – Shang Tsung’s slide attack, it’s easily punishable when blocked, but it is one of Shang Tsung’s faster specials. It can be used as a Kombo-ender as it knocks the opponent back in the end.

Screaming Soul – Replaces Fire Skull with the Soultaker variation. Shang Tsung shoots one soul that can be delayed and cancelled due to it having a longer start up. Additionally, the amplified laser knocks the opponent up into the air, making for an interesting juggle combo startup.

Scatter Souls – Replaces Corpse Drop and allows Shang Tsung to take out his souls, and unleash their power in a close-range blast. When amplified, it does a quick cast that momentarily stuns the opponent, making way for a quick combo

Soul Well – Shang Tsung summons a soul well near himself. It will float nearby and after doing enough damage he can absorb the damage dealt into his own health by pressing the input again.

Shang Tsung Kombos

For the most part, Shang Tsung excels at zoning and poking his opponent, but that doesn’t stop his Kombo Potential. To talk about the Kombos, I will only tell you the button inputs without the Kombo String Names to make it easier for the viewers.

Ground Eruption will allow for big combo setups, one of the easier Kombos involves (Forward+BP,BK, Ground Eruption Amped, dash cancel, Ground Eruption Amped, Soul Steal. This will allow you to chain his ground eruption twice in one combo while stealing an opponent’s soul.

Additionally you can do (FP, FP, BK, Ground Eruption Amplified, BK, Soul Steal to do another simple combo ending with a Soul Steal.

Another simple combo you can do is a (FK, up BP, Ground Eruption Amped, Dash, Back Kick, and Ground Eruption Far).

If it looks like that many of these combos end in a Soul Steal, that’s because it’s one of Shang Tsung’s main forms of ending a combo, if not then you can get away with ending moves with a Sorcery Rush.

For Soulstealer, he’s basically a strong keepaway and his Ground Eruption will be gone but he’ll be able to use Crashing Flames which gives him some quick Kombos. Additionally, it’s a good idea to activate Soul Well at the end of these Kombos in order to gain some additional lifesteal.

For a quick Crashing Flames combo, you can do (FK, Up+BP, then Crashing Flames Amped).

For some combos with his main abilities, start with an (Scatter Souls Amped, Jump FP, Forward+BP, Sorcery Rush.

For an easy Kombo that leads into a Fatal Blow, do (Scatter Souls Amped, Jump BP, BK, Fatal Blow. With this Kombo, you can do a lot of damage while ending it was a hefty Fatal Blow.

Well that’s what you’ll generally need to know to play as Shang Tsung, now hopefully you can be the stealer of souls and win the fight with your cunning techniques.

For more guides on Mortal Kombat 11, check out here.

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