Shang Tsung Thread - "Your soul Is Mine!!"


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"Your Soul Is Mine!!"

When Tsung committed the atrocity of taking a soul, Shang Tsung was cursed by the Elder Gods not only to kill his enemies, but to take their souls as well. Only in this way would he hold off his grim fate: to age rapidly and die prematurely. As a side effect of his consuming the souls of others, Tsung was able to access their memories and knowledge, a happenstance which would greatly benefit him years later...


Bad Omen: 1, 2, 1
Soul Stain: 1, 2, 2
Soul Torment: 1, 3
Reserved Pain: B+1, 2, 1, 4
Death Walker: 2, 2, 1
Restored Youth: 2, 2, B+4
Play Time: F+3, 4
Deadly Truth: F+4, 3, 4


I'll be posting the longest combos I can get, since you can shorten the longer ones to be easier or more practical for you. An important thing to remember is that you can throw out an up skull(above) and jp before most of these combos for a good bit of extra damage, I'm not including them for these combos but definitely try it!

2, 2, 1 starter - Easy, high damage starter...

[7 hits, 31% damage] 2, 2, 1, DU4, DB4, soul steal Video

[6 hits, 31% damage] 2, 2, 1, DB4, DF4, DF4
(This is the go to combo for Shang! make it a habit to use this combo. the last far ground skull can be tricky, but without it the combo is only 26% so go for it.)

one bar[8 hits, 33% damage] 2, 2, 1, DB4, DF4, XDF4
(this is where the real combos start! after the enhanced ground skull you can begin another combo. you can either end with an uppercut for an extra 4% damage, or soul steal for an extra 5% damage)

one bar[10 hits, 35% damage] 2, 2, 1, DB4, DF4, XDF4, *F+3, 4
*(had some trouble with this so here's a tip, begin the F+3, 4 combo as the victim begins their last downward arc towards you)

one bar[12 hits, 38% damage] 2, 2, 1, DB4, DF4, XDF4, DU4, 1, 2, 1

one bar[12 hits 38% damage] 2, 2, 1, DB4, DF4, XDF4, 1, 2, soul steal

For the above combos: 2, 2, 1 combo starters can be replaced with a F+3, 4 starter for low mix-ups.

B+1, 2, 1 starter - difficult starter and doesn't scale well, but good against down blockers...

one bar[10 hits, 31% damage] B+1, 2, 1, 4, DF4, XDF4, soul steal

one bar[10 hits, 32% damage] B+1, 2, 1, DU4, DB4, XDB4, BB, soul steal

two bars[16 hits 36% damage] B+1, 2, 1, 4, DF4, XDF4, F+4, 3, 4, XDF4, soul steal

F+4, 3, 4 starter - A bit harder than (2, 2, 1) for stringing longer combos(for me at least) I prefer to use this as a keep away combo.

[5 hits, 25% damage]F+4, 3, 4, DB4, DF4

one bar[9 hits, 34% damage] F+4, 3, 4, DB4, DF4, XDF4, soul steal
For every combo above a soul steal can be used instead of a juggle. This adds 5%-7% damage to the basic combo and allows for immediate character specific tactics, and in some cases more meter to use for the longer combos.

Corner combos:

(combo into corner) [14 hits, 41% damage] 2, 2, 1, DB4, *F+4, 3, 4, DU4, B+1, 2, 1, 4, soul steal. Props to poptdp for the combo. * should be in the corner
X-RAY Combos:

[7 hits, 42% danage] 1, 1, 2, DB4, XRAY

[8 hits, 44% damage] 1, 1, 2, DB4, DF4, DASH, XRAY Video


VS Spam, Zoners, and Keepaways: Countering with Ex ground skull will work majority of the time, and it opens up a good amount of high damage combos. A good Shang Tsung is a master of projectiles and zoning, VS another zoner, or spammer/keepaway shouldn't be difficult.

VS Teleports: stand block and punish with soul steal. Almost all teleports have a move set which allows them to be setup for repeated Soul Steals, once this is done, they will rarely teleport again. Afterward, it's back to zoning as usual.

Anti-Air: DB2 works well, followed by BB1 nets good damage, and keeps them at a distance for ground skulls. Soul Steal works as well as long as they're not too close.

Mix-up Game: summoning up skulls and fire skulls is good way to make opponents feel trapped(before I started using Shang, I got the same treatment from sektor. I started using skulls like his rockets.) B+1, 2, 1 is a good combo starter for low mix-up and leads to juggling or finish the combo with 4 to keep them at a distance. Soul Steal will obviously unbalance your opponent since they're facing a new character altogether.


Fire skull: BB1 - I'll occasionally add this after a basic combo to up the damage, but I generally try to stick with the ground skulls. The EX version can be used in some combos before an EX Ground skull for extra damage.

Up Skull: (Above) DU2 - this can be added before a jump punch to start a combo, and it's also good for wake-up pressure.
(Behind) DF2 - If an opponent is playing keep away this is useful, however I've found most players try to rush Shang because his strength lies in distance.
(In Front) DB2 - front skull is a good tool against opponents that jump often. I tend to throw one out after a combo, and follow it up with a fire skull. Another flashy tactic is to send one out right after an EX ground skull, this extends the combo for a bit but there are some easier alternatives.
EX Up Skull - I have never used it but I believe it can be done after EX Ground Skull for more juggling, still testing it out...

Ground Skull: (Close) DU4 - I've started using this much more often. It works very well against rushers and teleporters. what's nice about close skull is that when it's summoned it will appear on whatever side the opponent is, so if you have a player that's trying to jump over you it will catch them majority of the time. Adding it right after an EX ground skull is a great way to extend long combos!
(Medium) DB4 - It catches jumpers from far away and if you can get one off clean you can guarantee yourself a nice little combo. It's probably the best ground skull to use after a combo.
(Far) DF4 - good tool for corner campers, I've won matches by spamming it against these types of players since you can get two of them to connect before they hit the ground. The golden rule is use after you connect with a medium skull always.
EX Ground Skull - A must for extended juggle combos. connected after a medium or far ground skull will send the victim back to Shang for more combos.

Soul Steal: FDB3 - This is an amazing tool. Steals opponents move set, and gains a small damage boost. I'll be adding another section dedicated to this special.


Bang Bang!: BDF3 (sweep) Video

Identity Theft: DDBD2 (jump) Video

Stage: UUB1 (touching)

Babality: DBD3 (jump) Video
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Re: Shang Tsung Thread-"Your soul Is Mine!!"


Whether initiating a Soul steal from a combo or as a punish, there are a few key points to watch for:
1. Spacing - depending on the situation, you may come off the steal at far, medium, or close range. optimally you're going to want to be close, in order to take advantage of the damage boost. It also helps for setups.

2. Tools - Once you get a steal it should be like Christmas! you get a new move set and damage boost, so just use what is most effective and most damaging. Generally two or three basic combos and two specials, that's all you're really going to need to be effective.

3. Time - Remember the clock! normal soul steal lasts a little less than 5 seconds(EX version last a little more than 8 but I keep my bars for juggling, and I've internalized the time to reform as less than 5 seconds). Anticipating the reform is crucial to using Soul Steal to the fullest, it will allow you to recognize when you should rush, attack, setup, or flee. Work the clock, don't fight it!

Note on Reforming: The animation for reforming can be canceled simply by moving or performing a special move, akin to wake-ups(without invincibility frames I assume, not sure).

Personally I try not to go for a Steal unless it's a punish or the end to a long combo. This helps me use it effectively because I can start 'the clock' when I know it sticks. There are situations when I'll use small combos that end with soul steal if I know my opponents character well.


Is it cold in here, or is it just me?

Shang Tsung=green

VS Sub-Zero: Playing against sub zero doesn't require extensive soul stealing. Because his style is very defensive and reactionary, a good Shang Tsung can zone the crap out of him. Using ground skulls to start a juggle is the best way to deal with him, sending an up-skull followed by a fire skull if that fails will usually work. However, mixing in some soul stealing can allow extended combos, and of course some boosted damage. Repeated soul stealing can be performed easily if an ice-ball connects before reforming, an option you ought to use if you're proficient with him. Watch out for sub-zero's baits with ice-clones, for this reason I tend not to jump around against Sub-Zero unless I'm close enough for the ice clone not to work. A good solution for when the opponent uses an ice-clone is to immediately send the appropriate ground skull and start a juggle on him. His ice-slide can catch you off guard if you don't pay attention, so down block often or up block to bait an ice-slide. When you down block an ice slide it's a good idea to either soul steal or use this combo, F+3, 4, DB4, DF4, XDF4, Soul steal (you can always soul steal off of the first ground skull).

Starters: The only real starter for getting in close is the Ice Slide(BF4). For this reason, when I decide to soul steal(FDB3) him I will either do a 2, 2, 1, FDB3 or add the FDB3 after an EXground skull since they set the characters close to one another. An Ice Ball(DF3) can also give you some time to close the gap, but leaves no room for error with any advanced combos or set-ups, it's a better idea to use this before you reform.

After the Steal: Here's what you should be using on Sub when you want to get some boosted combo damage on him. Or replace the last button with DF3 for a setup...

[3 hits, 26% damage]B+1, 2, 1(DF3)
This is the basic combo for higher damaging set-ups, it's not the easiest to pull off with the time allowed so I use sparingly.

[3 hits, 21% damage]2, 2, 4(DF3)
This is my go-to combo, more often than not I'll hit 'em with this and send an ice-ball(but wait a half second or it will fly over them) and hope for a repeat soul steal.

[3 hits, 21% damage]2, 1, 2(DF3)
Good for setups and advanced combos.

[3 hits, 18% damage]2, 2, 2
Not a setup, I use this to follow up on the above combos.

Advanced Combos: These are some advanced combos to use after soul stealing sub-zero

non-flexible: the timing is strict! start the combo right after a soul steal.

1 BAR optional[7 hits, 41% damage] B+2, 1, DF3, 2, 1, 4, BF4 (use XBF4 to get 44% damage, and a nice launch to keep Subby at the other end of the screen)

Flexible: The timing will shape the combo. A later start will allow Shang to reform mid combo and net you more damage potential or a repeat soul steal. *indicates at what point Shang reforms.

1. 1 BAR[9 hits, 36%damage] 2, 1, 2, DF3, *DB4, XDB4, FDB3

1 BAR[6 hits , 32% damage]2, 1, 2, DF3, XBF4

2. 1 BAR[13 hits, 38% damage]2, 1, 2, DF3, *DASH, F+3, 4, DB4, XDF4, 1, 2, 1

[7 hits, 33% damage]2, 1, 2, DF3, DASH, 2, 2, 2

X-ray: If I have enough super bar I will perform the X-ray because of the damage boost.

[3 hit, 43% damage] Deep Freeze X-ray

[5hits, 54% damage] B+1, 2, XRAY

[6 hits, 55% damage] 2, 1, 2, XRAY


You have already lost.

Scorpion= yellow
Shang Tsung= green

VS. Scorpion: Scorpion is one of the most overplayed characters online, so it goes without saying that a Shang player must have a strong knowledge of this enemy. The yellow ninja represents the polar opposite of Shang Tsung; Scorpion is aggressive, fast, and with moves such as hellfire and teleport, is an excellent anti-zoner. Although he can tear the typical Shang zoning strategy apart, I LOVE playing against Scorpion! Playing with this enemy's mind can be easy and fun when you learn the tricks. First thing you're going to want to do is soul steal(FDB3) and do it often. If you can land a single combo as Scorpion per round, you're almost gauranteed a victory. Second, getting a combo off right after a steal isn't always the best option, the most effective method is to try and get a set-up started a second or so afterwards(which is usually easier anyway). Set-ups will always end with a spear(BB1), and after a repeat soul steal, landing an extended combo will make a Scorpion player think twice before rushing headfirst into the fight. At this point it becomes easy to zone, but rushing an aggressor like Scorpion can work well as long as you know your basics.

Punishing the teleport: Use this combo to punish a teleport, it's easy , nets good damage, and leads to a soul steal. (F+3, 4, DB4, DF4, XDF4, soul steal)

Starters: Getting close is easy, most opponents will try and spear you after a steal, I'll teleport(DB3) and do a set-up. If they teleport, stand block and start an extended combo. Or if you feel like your opponent will fall for it, spear them for a set-up.

After the steal: Scorpions combo's on their own don't get as much damage with the boost like other characters, but they are fast and easy for set-ups and extended combos. Always use a spear after the starter!

[3 hits, 21% damage]F+2, 1, 4(BB1)
my starter of choice, good for setups and extended combos.

[3 hits, 21%damage]2, 1, 2(BB1)
does the same amount of damage as a F+2, 1 starter but a harder hit confirm(for me).

[3 hits, 16% damage]1, 1, 1(BB1)
weakest starter, maybe the easiest although you might hit the third 1 instead of BB1.

Advanced combos: These are the combos I use, and they work great. I haven't tried to make any others but I'll work on it.

Flexible: The timing will shape the combo. A later start will allow Shang to reform mid combo and net you more damage potential or a repeat soul steal. *indicates at what point Shang reforms.

[6 hits, 32% damage]F+2, 1, BB1, F+2, 1, 4

[10 hits, 37% damage]F+2, 1, BB1, *2, 2, 1, DB4, DF4, XDF4, FDB3

[7 hits, 33% damage]F+2, 1, BB1, F+2, 1, DB4

X-Ray: I love using Scorpion's X-Ray when I get the chance, it's quick, good damage, and always gets a WTF response :)

[3 hits, 40% damage] Scorpion Sting X-Ray

[6 hits, 48% damage] F+2, 1, BB1, XRAY

[8 hits, 54% damage] F+2, 1, BB1, F+2, 1, XRAY

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Re: Shang Tsung Thread-"Your soul Is Mine!!"

Sorry for the incomplete shang thread but I was tight on time. I'll be adding more advanced combos, X-Ray combos, and Tactics. I'm going to be working on some character specific combos that use shang's soul steal, and can be continued after he reverts to normal. Again sorry for the incomplete thread, but I'll be working hard. If anyone can help, please do. I'm not the best, so some expert help would be appreciated.

I'd love to see this. Good looking.
Re: Shang Tsung Thread-"Your soul Is Mine!!"

OK, I got tactics up and some more advanced combos. The advanced combos are what I use in a real fight, I know someone can build off of what I posted so far, please do so and I'll post up there!

I've also posted my basic strats for Soul Steal and a format for how the character strategies will be set up. I'll be posting a few very soon, almost done with Sub-zero, Scorpion, and Smoke. seems like a logical place to start. let me know what you think

Re: Shang Tsung Thread-"Your soul Is Mine!!"

I can't record anything which is why I hoped someone else would make this thread....but the tactics can and do work. Once I get a Character strategy up I hope someone will record themselves using it. but for now the advanced combos posted are very useful. I should have a sub-zero strategy up within the next two days(I got a job and it's not playing mortal kombat unfortunately). I'd appreciate any vids for Shang as well I'll post those asap!
Re: Shang Tsung Thread-"Your soul Is Mine!!"

Just posted my sub-zero strategies! it's still a work in progress, I will be hitting the lab for some more advanced combos. Not sure if I'm going with scorpion or smoke next. I'll think on it while I polish up the Sub-Zero section.
Re: Shang Tsung Thread-"Your soul Is Mine!!"

good thread. shang tsungs one of my mains, andi can tell you did a good job on the advanced combos, cause they are all exactly the ones i use as well lol. there is this one advanced combo that i LOVE doing which looks awesome and does about 41-43% damage, but they have to be in a very specific position...

about 1 or 2 "jump" distances away from the corner: 2, 2, 1, DB4, Forward Dash (they should be in the corner by now), F+4, 3, 4, DU4, B+1, 2, 1, 4, Soul Steal.

your probably thinking because of the setup required its not practical in a real match, but you'd be surprised how often i actually pull this off in an online match.
If you start with an up skull and a towards jump punch, it does 49% damage... no xray, and no meter ;)
Anyone have some strategies against fighters like Mileena, Quan Chi, Sindel, & Kung Lao or any other fighters with a good rushdown or mix-up?
hey i was wondering is it a good strategy to go for x-ray after soul steal because the damage boost is great for them
I just want to let you guys know that I won't be updating for a bit, but don't worry I'll have TONS of time in the very near future. In the meantime I'll be posting any combos or vids you put in here.

first post is changed a little, also has videos for a couple combos and finishers.

third post is now for videos and I found an online match with shang!

I wanted to clean up my posts some more and get some videos up before I continued on with the character strategies, I think I can get to work on them now. Let me know what you think.
I nailed his midscreen combos and his zoning. Now I need to start practicing his corner game and his 50/50 mix ups. I'm not confident in playing with him online yet though.

Question: What do you use for punishing unsafe moves? A blocked teleport for example? 221 and f434 are whiffing and I usually settle for soul steal.
I nailed his midscreen combos and his zoning. Now I need to start practicing his corner game and his 50/50 mix ups. I'm not confident in playing with him online yet though.

Question: What do you use for punishing unsafe moves? A blocked teleport for example? 221 and f434 are whiffing and I usually settle for soul steal.

I'll punish smoke and scorpion with soul steal because I'm confident with using them, but most of the time I summon a close ground skull and start juggling.
Haven't thought about the close ground skull.

Close skull, medium skull, far skull, EX skull 1,2 soul steal? does it work?

I can't just do a simple uppercut or a soul steal after blocking a teleport or a superman. I've been spoiled with 30-40% combos haha. Damn you Ermac :D
Close ground, medium ground, EX ground, close ground, 1, 2, 1, or 1, 2, soul steal works for me. I don't think a far ground skull works before the EX ground because it doesn't leave enough time for EX ground to connect but it might require perfect timing.
After training a bit here's what I found.

3,far skull, Ex Skull, (1,2)soul steal. 25-28% depending if you land the 1,2. It's a pain to land sometimes so I usually take the shortcut for less damage but guaranteed soul steal.

It's by far the most consistent I've found so far. Starting a juggle with close skull has not been successful for me.
After training a bit here's what I found.

3,far skull, Ex Skull, (1,2)soul steal. 25-28% depending if you land the 1,2. It's a pain to land sometimes so I usually take the shortcut for less damage but guaranteed soul steal.

It's by far the most consistent I've found so far. Starting a juggle with close skull has not been successful for me.

you can get a lot more damage than this for sure. If you're having trouble with the close ground skull as a punish try this, (F+3, 4, DB4, DF4, XDF4, 1, 2, 1, or soul steal) this will get 30%-33% damage depending on whether you do the 1, 2. This is very easy to pull off consistently as a punish and it nets a good % of damage as well.