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Shang Tsung Guide ver.2

Belial

Noob
Guide by Belial



Pros and Cons

I strongly believe, that Shang Tsung is one of the, if not the, best characters in the game.
If you love MK and are willing to spend at least half a year of hard effort to learn him, you will reap good rewards.

Pros:
+ Top 2 pressure in the game, only second to Jhonny Cage
+ Best wallgame in the game
+ Best 50/50 in the game
+ Good Wake up game
+ Good Zoning
+ Very good pokes
+ Almost every combo is unbreakerable

Cons:
- Vulnerable when opponent is waking him up
- Unmorphed damage is rather average
- Very high learning curve, compared to the rest of the cast.


Normals

1/1,2/1,21/1,2,2 series
1 (H) - The best ST move for countering jumps. It is also a great fast poke, that has followups

122(HHM) - Is mainly used in juggles. Safe, advantage on hit.

1,2,1 (HHO) - basic pressure sting, last move is an overhead that knocks enemy down. It is possible to interrupt between second and third hit by an armored atack, though its pretty difficult. ST recovers fast after first two hits so its a good opportunity to mix up last overhead with a d+4 or poke with d+3 for extended pressure.

2,2,1 (H,M,M) - The most damaging juggle-strater ST has. Only use if opponent has no energy to break and you are absolutely certain its not going to get blocked (punishing wiffs or unsafe moves). Last hit can be canceled into GS that cannot be jumped or interrupted (such situation will be refered as the GS-trap from this point on).

f4,3,4 (MMM) - Is slighly less damaing than 221, but first move hits mid, which makes this string more useful than 221. Last hit leads to GS-trap, but your normals cannot prevent opponent from jumping in or out, unless its in the corner (in which case, 1 will hit jumps) You can anticipate a jump and punish it, once your opponent is afraid to jump or poke - mix up.

f+4 (M) - best ST normal, allows tfor GS-trap and unbreakerable damage. Leaves opponent so close he cannot jump another f+4. To beat f+4~GS,f+4~GS... etc opponent must either armor, or use d+1/d+3 pokes. If that happens you can crossup jump him and get a free mixup (they can still jump to eat fjp, in which case you can juggle them if you expect it). But even better, you can use your own pokes, which leave you in a perfect position to continue pressure.
Both d+3 and d+1 cannot be interrupted, where d+1 cannot also be jumped. After f+4~GS is blocked both d+1 and d+3 will hit opponent at close range, which allow you to continue the pressure (see more in d+1 and d+3 moves description)

f+3,4 (LM) - Low juggle strarter, which can be hitconfirmed into combo on hit or Soul Steal on block, making that a pretty awesome move.

f+3 (L) - if you mix that up a little with f+3,4 your opponent will never jump after blocking this, which means f+3~GS is a free trap and unbreakerable juggle starter. On block it is almost the same as f+4 except you cannot crossup your opponent for you are left too close and fjp will wiff on ducking opponent. You can still use kicks however.

d+3 (L) - An awesome low poke, that is both very fast and lowers ST hit box so much he can only be hit by jump kicks. On mid to close hit f+4 cannot be jumped , which allows you to reset your traps. It recovers so fast that even when opponent anticipates it it is very hard for hit to interrupt or jump your f+4, even on guard.

d+1 (m) - Another awesome poke, that's very fast and has great hitbox. Like most d+1's leaves you at an awkward position on hit, where both yours and opponents d+1's(fast d+1's) cannot be jumped. However if you buffer Soul Steal after d+1 on hit it cannot be neither jumped nor interrupted, which makes it one of the best d+1's in entire game. Even more, on close hit link into f+4 cannot be jumped.

b+2 (O) - Safe overhead that can be comboed into Soul Steal or X-ray and leads to unbreakerable combos. This move combined with f+3 create the best mixup in the game, since both moves have great range, very good position on block and unbreakerable combos on hit.

f+2 (H) - The only application of this move is an AA, however it is in every respect worse than 1. It may be useful in a very rare situations where you do not want to extend your hit box (which 1 does), even there, however, it can be hit by opponents jump punches (unlike 1) before f+2 even comes out, since ST is vulnerable on top of his head while doing that move.

d+2 (H) - A very slow uppercut (possible - the slowest in entire game), that has a lot of TC frames and is nearly invinsible in the later frames. If you manage to hit your opponent jump in zenith, you can combo into Soul Steal or X-ray.

d+4 (L) - A very good safe low with advantage on hit. On block leads ot GS-trap, on hit f+4 cannot be interrupted or jumped even if you have to dash first. Also lowers ST hitbox, however not as much as d+3.


Specials:

Ground Skull - Has three versions - normal, medium and far, that I will refer to as GS, mGS and fGS. Each version has advantage on block and allows for a juggle at any point on the screen. EX version sends 3 skulls coming from the furthest point on the screen towards you.

Straight Skull - Is pretty much of a generic projectile, very unsafe on block and can be punished from at least 1/4 screen. Has a massive adv on hit, but no guarantees. At almost every distance but full screen its role is superseeded by Soul Steal. At full screen, straight skull has enough adv on block so that fGS must be jumped or armored.
EX version sends three skulls flying one after another and will hit opponents trying to jump over single skull.

UP Skull - Has three versions close, above and behind. That I will refer to as cUS, US and bUS respectively. Provides massive advantage on block and combos into almost every possible move on hit, not on reaction though. Ex versions sends three skulls raining at the same time.

Soul Steal - Best ST special, safe on block, unbreakerable, huge range, huge hitbox (will hit jumpers alot), reaches over 3/4 the screen and pushes back on guard. Will hit for 10-16% damage on hit and morph you into opponents character.
EX version has super armor right after startup and extends your morph time. If used as Wakeup atack is completely invulnerable.


Strategy

Unbreakerable:

ST juggles mainly consist of skulls or soul steal which not only generate mana but also cannot be broken. Combos starting with b+2, f+4, f+3 as a starters as well as every launch with GS/US cannot be broken. If you opponent doesnt have enough meter to break right away - use more damaging punishment, such as 221 , f434 etc.


Frame Traps:

Almost every ST normals can be cancelled into GS, I've already gone through situations which it is most effective in "normals" section. If you end certain juggles with US (see in juggles) , the only way for opponent to get out is Wake Up Atack or Recovery Roll. More will be covered in "wake up" section.

US on block - GS must be blocked, cannot be even escaped by moves with armor. If your opponent expect US and reacts to animation, use US variations such as cUS and bUS (ok, cUS mainly) to pin him into place.

Straight Skull on full screen block - GS can only be escaped by jumping forward or using fast advancing special, both of which can be punished by placing a mGS. (Even reptile elbow dash can be catched this way!)

Straight Skull on hit - GS must be blocked.


Pressure

Use GS-traps to pin your opponent, i've covered uninterruptible setups in "normals" section.
After d+4 hits , dash f+4 cannot be countered at all, even armored atacks are hard to buffer. After your opponent is afraid, you can mix up for free with b+2/f+3.
Every jump punch should be used for mixup. Forget about trying to 221 your opponent unless you are 100% certain it will hit AND he doesnt have breaker. (Which is, well, never?)
after d+3 hits upclose, f+4 cannot be jumped and will reset the mixup, if your opponent is poke-happy, use anohter d+3 or even better - crossup jump him for a free mixup.
If d+1 hits close, f+4 cannot be jumped. But you cannot jump opponents d+1 as well, so what you do is d+1~SS (that will take some time to master, especially from crouch) that will shut down every option your opponent can do. After he is afraid - f4 or mixup.

After 221 and f434 into GS opponent is often too far to contain him with pokes, which means he can jump your pressure attempts.

If soul steal is blocked after b+2 you are left at a perfect situation for jumping over your opponent and frames are nearly neutral on block. If your opponents tries to advance poke hit out with d+4 or crossup. If he tries to jump wait and punish him for being reckless. Another interesting setup here is slight step back d+2, uppercut will stuff almost every pressure attempt here and hit jumps in zenith, allowing to combo. Use with caution, though. Overall, situation after b+2~SS on guard is pretty good and can be used for both defence and offence.


Mixups

b+2 b f+3 is a 100% 50/50 mixup, opponent must guess. After fjp a mixup is free, cannot be interrupted, jumped etc. Both options will lead to unbreakerable damage with an advantage on guard from low and good position on overhead on guard. You will be very surprised just how much reach both b+2 and f+3 have, after testing that in practice mode.


Zoning

ST Zoning is pretty powerful, even though his skulls have fairly slow startup, they can be comboed from anywhere on the screen. After any juggle, that ends with a fGS, you can do another fGS and your opponent MUST guard it or WKA, which isnt very scary at full screen usually. Depending on WKA your opponent is using there are different ways to punish his desperate attempts to escape the trap.
Once your opponent decides its safer to guard fGS on wakeup, use US instead to trap him in place. Then use another fGS as a guaranteed trap or more US to force a reaction from your opponent. If he tries to react to US he cannot escape cUS by jumping and if he dashes he must guard normal US. Depending on your opponent's habits you can repeat the trap or just spam US,US,US, cUS etc until he guesses correctly at least once. Even then, you will still be safe at aproximately 1/2 screen away from your opponent.
If your opponent has fast advancing specials like Kabal run, use straight skull instead to stop it, most of the time, however, if you used fGS and not US you can guard advancing specials before they punish you.
Once at 3/4 screen, abuse Soul Steal and I mean it. Its huge hitbox will not allow your opponent to use advancing specials and pushback will prevent dash-blocking which is effective vs other zoners, forcing to jump on anticipation.
On closer distances, like after mGS blocked or straight skull blocked, use EX-Soul Steal - your opponent must jump it, if he blocks he is pushed far enough to consider a cUS threat.
Overall I do not recomend using GS, mGS and bUS for zoning at all, unless its a guaranteed setups. Your strongest zoning are cUS, Soul Steal, fGS, with a limited use of Straight Skull and normal US. Once your opponent has passed the 1/2 screen point its wiser to either advance or retreat.


Anti-Zoning

Thanks to down-input of your GS, you can duck some projectiles as a part of doing ground skull. Even if you trade with opponents projectile, he is forced into GS wakeup described above in "zoning". If your opponent is teleport-happy use either timed US or just anticipate and punish. Overall every anti-zoning attempts from your opponent except teleports usually lose to Soul Steal. Soul Steal will also duck under air fireballs after startup. If you cannot zone your opponent (like Kitana for ex, which takes quite some practice to get a hold of timings) use Ex-SS to get a damage boost advantage.


Movement

ST backdash is very slow, and it is important to just walk back and never backdash. Also b/c your best AA 1 cannot be input from backdash. Your forward dash if very fast.


Wakeups

I am using two juggles that reset the wakeup.
f+3_4~GS,mGS,exGS, dash, US, US_bUS. in f+3 case the dash is quite big, and the f+4 very small.
It is vital that US hits your opponent in highest point possible - it grants the best position which is
1) Your US cannot be punished even by reptile dash wka
2) Your bUS against Recovery Roll provides a safe jump unless opp uses WKA

If your opponent doesnt WKA he is left right next to you, in which case you can wait a second and see if he uses WKA, if no WKA happens - use mixup.
If he uses recovery roll, use fGS instead and immediately jump. This ends in a safe jump and a free mixup. And you will evade at least some wake up atacks in this manner.
Also even if you guessed incorrectly and opponent didnt Recovery Rolled, you still get a crossup, as he cannot truly react to what kind of upskull you are using before its too late.
If he is WKA happy just wait and punish. Punishment may vary between characters, but this wakeup situation is still as good as you can ever get in MK9. Your opponent options are severly limited here, and if you cannot profit from it - you are clearly being outguessed.


Wallgame

Ending wallcombos with f434~US you get the best wakeup in the entire game. Wait for a second and if no WKA is coming - atack. Different characters try to escape this trap differently, best options are obviously safe WKA's and teleports, but lack of options will eventually make them too predictable and easily punishable.


Wake up atacks

You dont have a lot of options here. GS will work as WKA but mainly viable if your opponent is throwing his own projectiles as you are getting off the ground, since startup is usually too slow if he is close. That leaves you mainly with EX-Soul Steal to punish pressure and either RR~NJP to stop crossups or stay grounded/roll to get away and get up "safely".


Anti Air

Uppercut, timed GS/US, ex-straight skull, ex -soul steal - all must be used with a lot of caution. Your best AA is 1, the you can use b+4 and d+4 as a generic AA.
If you hit your opponent with bjp you can sometimes combo into Soul Steal. If you hit them with fjp, you get a slightly better combos.
Against crossups timed 1 is also best option, along with d+3 to lower hitbox and ex-soul steal.
If you use d+3 when your opponent is in zenith, you have advantage as they land, meaining d+1 cannot be jumped/interrupted. If you hit it later, you will still escape the punch, but will be disadvantaged.


Punishing

Also not a lot of variation here. f+4 or dash f+4 is your most useful punish (of course when I say f+4 I mean f+4~GS), and is unbreakerable damage. If you cannot reach your opponent with f+4 (on wiffed string, for ex) you can still catch him with mGS or SS usually. Air stun animation (like mileena roll) can be punished with GS, though hard, or wait for them to land, then f+4 where possible.
If your opponent is out of energy - use 221 or f434 for added damage.
Fast recovering moves such as Kano up ball or Reptile elbow dash you can easier punish with b1214, which is breakerable though.


X-Ray

ST is very mana-dependant, so I wouldnt recommend X-raying. Yet, you can combo it from b+2 for 38% overhead unbreakerable damage and if your d+2 happen to work as an AA, you can also X-ray for 38%. Also you can use other characters X-ray's which is cool, if you're, say, Jhonny Cage. Keep in mind though, that right after X-ray you are morphed into ST, so folloups will differ.
ST X ray is a high moves, meaning its use for armor purpose can be hindered by TC moves such as d+4, d+3, d+1 etc. But what its good at is anti-zoning, since it reaches over 3/4 screen and you can punish slow-startup projectiles on anticipation with it.


Soul Steal

Normal SS lasts 5 secs, EX-version 8 seconds. It is crucial to get a "feel" of when you are going to morph back. Curious fact is, you cannot guard right after you morph back, but can move and atack. Some combos cannot be continued after you morph, for example if you morph after connecting a scorpion's spear, you cannot combo. As of now there is also a bug, that considers your next hit after you Soul Steal your opponent as a combo,given you strike frist.

After SS hits you have same position as after d+1 on hit - both yours and your opponents d+1's cannot be jumped, your d+1 cannot be interrupted though.

After b+2~SS hits, you are left within jump range. When learning other characters, this situation must be considered before all others.

At first, use short combos or combos that leave you with advantage onhit, like JC nutpunches, Scorpion spear or teleport, Kabal f+4, KL hat etc, so you dont fail combos at an important point. After you get a hold of ST morph timings, you can start to use advanced combos.

Unfortunately as your opponents level grow, your matchup knowledge gets more and more demanding. Except complications with morphing in and out (often at an improper moments) you also will need to lear twice as much matchups as another players will. This fact might prevent Shang Tsung from ever representing at a major tournament.


Damage Boost

You get a 30% boost after landing a soulsteal. In fact you get a buffed version of your opponents character.
Three things to know about Damage Boost.
1) Carried over the rounds
2) Any projectile trade is automatically in your favor. 9% projectiles will deal 12% when morphed!
3) Few know this, but damage boost is also applied to block damage! meaning 1% chip deals 2% and some 2% deal 3%! Even better - your guard damage build more meter when you're morphed.


Mana pool management

You must pay close attention to your mana and opponents energy bar , since some critical desicions depend on it.
- GS/US will build 1 bar in 27 uses. It means that your average juggle (involving ~5 uses of special) will gain you aprox 1/5 bar.
- If GS/US is blocked it will build a bar in 7-8 uses
- Soul Steal builds bar in 12 uses, if blocked in 5-6 uses.

Fun facts:
f+4~GS builds bar in 5 uses, 3% chip
f4,3,4~GS bilds bar in 3 uses, 7% chip
b1214~SS builds bar in 2 uses 8% chip
b1,21,4~exUS, dash b1,2,1,4~SS will build you almost full bar given you dont have an X-ray before starting the string and deals 15% chip.


Juggles:

221 starter:

221~GS,mGS,fGS,fGS = 35%
221~mGS,fGS,fGS,fGS = 31%
221~mGS,fGS,exGS, GS, 4~SS (might have to wak back a bit you can use 4~fGS instead of SS for a wake up trap with fGS. 4 is breakerable)
221~GS, mGS,fGS,fGS
221~mGS, fGS, exGS,cUS,GS, SS or 221~GS,fGS,exGS,cUS,mGS, SS
*wall* 221~GS, u/f+4, f434~SS = 39% (you can substitute SS for US for guaranteed wakeups)

---

f434 starter

f434~mGS, fGS,fGS
f434~mGS,fGS,exGS, GS, 4~SS (might have to wak back a bit you can use 4~fGS instead of SS for a wake up trap with fGS. 4 is breakerable)
f434~mGS, fGS, exGS,cUS,GS, SS
*wall* f434~Str.Skull, f434~GS,b1214~SS = 38% (you can substitute SS for US for guaranteed wakeups)

---

b1214 starter

b1214~fGS,fGS
b1214~fGS,exGS, GS, 4~SS (might have to wak back a bit you can use 4~fGS instead of SS for a wake up trap with fGS. 4 is breakerable)
b1214~fGS,exGS,cUS,mGS, SS
*wall* b1214~GS, f434~SS = 31% (you can substitute SS for US for guaranteed wakeups)

---

f34 starter

f34~mGS,fGS,fGS
f34~mGS,fGS,exGS, GS, 4~SS (might have to wak back a bit you can use 4~fGS instead of SS for a wake up trap with fGS. 4 is breakerable)
f34~mGS,fGS,exGS,cUS,GS,SS
*wall* f34~Str.Skull, f434~GS,b1214~SS = 38% (you can substitute SS for US for guaranteed wakeups)

hint: if you have trouble with connecting GS_SS after cUS, skip the GS/mGS part and SS after they are hit by cUS, might have to delay it slightly. will deal ~2% less dmg.

---

f3 starter

f+3~GS, mGs, fGS, fGS = 29%
f+3~GS, dash mGS, dash SS = 29%
f+3~GS, mGS, fGS, exGS, d+2 (flip over), dash~f43~SS = 38% (breakerable from d+2 point on)
f+3~GS,mGS,fGS,exGS, cUS, SS = 36%
*wall* f+3~GS, u/f+4, f434~SS = 31% (you can substitute SS for US for guaranteed wakeups)
---

f+4 starter

f+4~GS, mGS, SS = 28%
f+4~GS,mGS,fGS,fGS = 28% (hard)
f+4~GS, mGS, fGS, exGS, cUS, SS = 36%
f+4~GS, dash f3,4~mGS, fGS, exGS, dash b+2~SS = 38% (breakable at f3,4 and b+2)
*wall* f+4~GS, u/f+4, f434~SS = 31% (you can substitute SS for US for guaranteed wakeups)

---

b+2 starter
b+2~SS = 28%
b+2~Xray=38%

---

Anti Air moves
bjp SS = 14%
fjp, dash f+4~GS, SS = 17%
d+1~dash, 12~GS~dash, 12~SS = 23%
1~dash, 12~GS~dash, 12~SS = 24%
njp, mGS, walk back, fGS, fGS (will also work on grounded, but you wouldnt have to walk back)
njp, mGS, walk back, fGS, exGS,cUS, SS = 32% (will also work on grounded, but you wouldnt have to walk back)

---

Ground skulls

GS, mGS, fGS, fGS
GS, mGS, fGS, exGS, cUS, SS

mGS, fGS, fGS
mGS, fGS, exGS, cUS, GS

fGS, fGS
fGS, exGS, cUS, mGS, fGS

AA Str.skull, fGS, exGS, cUS, GS, mGS

All those deal around 29%.
 

Sigmar

Ex Mortis
why does most of the tourny ST players play the Ps3 ArrrgghgghghghrghrhgbqwilrgeqiurftqbeutqerbwertgeuifQEUBOIQEFUINWRFGTIUSRF, anyways good shit here.
 

eskuAdradit0

"Thanks" button abuser.
This is fookeen great. I didn't know about the meter gaining getting boosted when morphe. Nice work Belial.

Do you (or anybody else) have frame data on Shang? Fastest normal? I hate fighting Lao 'cause frametrap simply don't work on him. So I get scared and am on -1 tool.
 

Belial

Noob
eskuadradit0:

i6 d+1
i7 d+3

Depending on how game handles neutral advantage and hitboxes _and_ the fact that there is no "buffer", only links , _and_ since there is no "trade hits" its pretty hard to figure out advantage on hit or block.

My guesses are:

at certain advantages both you and your opponent cannot jump each others d+1 but it is possible to consistantly beat his d+1 with your d+1. It might be neutral with some kind of "priority" for one of the players. To simplify things I think of it as a +1 advantage
+2 is where you can jump your opponents d+1s and he cannot jump over yours.
So d+1 is +1 on hit
d+3 is +2 on hit

GS on block I assume is +3 , since elbow dash cannot interrupt d+3.

As for KL I think your problem comes from inability to link properly. KL is just as vulnerable to traps as anybody else. If he is spin-happy you can always just bait it. Frame traps really put too much restraint on your opponent if you cannot take advantage of it then its not really a matchup thing.
 

spongebob

ಠ__ಠ
I think in the corner it's slightly better to do b1214 up skull then f434. If you do a combo like 221 gs jk 12 f434 up skull the opponent can recovery roll then wakeup attack you before you recover. They can't if you do b1214. If you don't bother with the 12 before b12/f43 though which only adds about 2% then you can block any wakeups. Also it's easier to time after other laucnhes like f434 gs and f34 gs in the corner why sometimes doing f434 puts you infront of them.

Edit: After a JK in the corner you might as well do b1214 up skull each time, you can block all wakeups even if they roll into wakeup and doing 12 before it or f434 only adds 1%.

Great guide btw, i still find it really hard to get f4 Gs consistently on pad. I keep getting an unwanted version of gs.
 

Belial

Noob
Like I PM'ed you, try using negative edge on this

if you hold the "F" while inputting d,u you shouldnt get unwanted version.
so full notion is
F+4(hold F),d,u.

Also, before I realized I could use neg edge for this, I had it work by inputting d,u+4 the fastest possible way. Even though inputs on practice were fucked up (like d,f,u or d,b,u), I still got the normal GS, not fGS or mGS.
 

Shady

Noob
I play Shang, and he is really good, but I don't particularly agree with some stuff. Maybe top 5 pressure, definitely not top 2, we're forgetting Sonya, Kabal dash cancels etc. Wall game, same, maybe top 5, Sub, Baraka, Cage, Raiden all have amazing corner pressure and Shang gets stuffed by teleports more than those characters do. His only wake up is the EX Soul Steal... Un morphed damage is average tho? Really? When he has an unbreakable 40% with 1 EX? Let's not get greedy now...
 

Belial

Noob
It appears to me, you havent read the guide. If after reading it you still cannot believe ST frame traps are better than... Kabal and Sonya (which arent even true frametraps) I dont think any logical reasoning would help.

Generic juggles for many chars deal 33-35 unbarred and EX adds ~10% extra usually. For ex KL damage is nearly the same as ST, which is pretty low as of now.

Being unbreakerable doesnt make it deal more damage. 40% w bar is pretty common and Shangs only option to deal 40+ is 221, the rest is capped at 38% with 1 bar unless its from US or jp.
I didnt say his juggles deal low damage, I only pointed out its average, which is true.
 

Godking Nori

The Edenian Candidate
Premium Supporter
Stickying thread. Great post belial. Of course, it's all opinion based on how good he is at what, but the guide is very helpful to new players, well done
 

Belial

Noob
Sadly, I dont have a console at this apt. so I dont remember and cant double check the damage and some juggles might be off. Anyway I'm aiming to list most damaging versions.

221 starter:

221~mGS,fGS,fGS
221~mGS,fGS,exGS, GS, 4~SS (might have to wak back a bit you can use 4~fGS instead of SS for a wake up trap with fGS. 4 is breakerable)
221~GS, mGS,fGS,fGS
221~mGS, fGS, exGS,cUS,GS, SS or 221~GS,fGS,exGS,cUS,mGS, SS

---

f434 starter

f434~mGS, fGS,fGS
f434~mGS,fGS,exGS, GS, 4~SS (might have to wak back a bit you can use 4~fGS instead of SS for a wake up trap with fGS. 4 is breakerable)
f434~mGS, fGS, exGS,cUS,GS, SS

---

b1214

b1214~fGS,fGS
b1214~fGS,exGS, GS, 4~SS (might have to wak back a bit you can use 4~fGS instead of SS for a wake up trap with fGS. 4 is breakerable)
b1214~fGS,exGS,cUS,mGS, SS

---

f34
f34~mGS,fGS,fGS
f34~mGS,fGS,exGS, GS, 4~SS (might have to wak back a bit you can use 4~fGS instead of SS for a wake up trap with fGS. 4 is breakerable)
f34~mGS,fGS,exGS,cUS,GS,SS

hint: if you have trouble with connecting GS_SS after cUS, skip the GS/mGS part and SS after they are hit by cUS, might have to delay it slightly. will deal ~2% less dmg.

---

f3

f+3~GS, mGs, fGS, fGS = 29%
f+3~GS, dash mGS, dash SS = 29%
f+3~GS, mGS, fGS, exGS, d+2 (flip over), dash~f43~SS = 38% (breakerable from d+2 point on)
f+3~GS,mGS,fGS,exGS, cUS, SS = 36%

---

f+4

f+4~GS, mGS, SS = 28%
f+4~GS,mGS,fGS,fGS = 28% (hard)
f+4~GS, mGS, fGS, exGS, dash b+2~SS = 38% (breakerable at b+2)

---

b+2
b+2~SS = 28%
b+2~Xray=38%

---

AA
bjp SS = 14%
fjp, dash f+4~GS, SS = 17%
d+1~dash, 12~GS~dash, 12~SS = 23%
1~dash, 12~GS~dash, 12~SS = 24%
njp, mGS, walk back, fGS, fGS (will also work on grounded, but you wouldnt have to walk back)
njp, mGS, walk back, fGS, exGS,cUS, SS = 32% (will also work on grounded, but you wouldnt have to walk back)

---

Ground skulls
GS, mGS, fGS, fGS
GS, mGS, fGS, exGS, cUS, SS

mGS, fGS, fGS
mGS, fGS, exGS, cUS, GS

fGS, fGS
fGS, exGS, cUS, mGS, fGS

AA Str.skull, fGS, exGS, cUS, GS, mGS

All those deal around 29%.

PS:I am not sure if its the best combos. With your help, hopefully, I can fix that.

I will now update the first post
 

Belial

Noob
ok. fixed the first post, hopefully it will be slightly easier to navigate now.

Added a cool picture and some better use of tags.

Also two small parts of additional info has been updated:



X-ray:
ST X ray is a high moves, meaning its use for armor purpose can be hindered by TC moves such as d+4, d+3, d+1 etc. But what its good at is anti-zoning, since it reaches over 3/4 screen and you can punish slow-startup projectiles on anticipation with it.
Punishing:
Fast recovering moves such as Kano up ball or Reptile elbow dash you can easier punish with b1214, which is breakerable though.
 

Belial

Noob
juggles updated, fixed one incorrect juggle and added wallcombos

fixed combo:
f+4~GS, dash f3,4~mGS, fGS, exGS, dash b+2~SS = 38% (breakable at f3,4 and b+2)

ALSO I found a mistake in description of d+1

d+1 (m) - Another awesome poke, that's very fast and has great hitbox. Like most d+1's leaves you at an awkward position on guard
shoud say ON HIT. Fixed the original post.
 

Belial

Noob
I had complaints about GS and US notations, so I highlighted this part in "special" section, for easier understanding of juggle notations.

Also fixed minor typos.
 
hi new here

No, this is pre-1.05. Last time I asked, Belial still hadn't updatet his PS3.

Last patch affected a lot Shang's game imo.
i want to get really good with shang tsung but dont know where to start also i dont know what these things mean in moves list guide like st juggle starter or HHM dooes someone have a guide explaining this how do i start with shang i dont know what to do someone please help my xbox live account is XxItSickxX:)
 

Belial

Noob
Sorry folks, seems I wont be playing anymore, so its up to DB to update this guide if he feels like it.

Judging from what I've read around the boards ST is not as vulnerable on wakeup anymore which is good, but he has lost his free mixup pressure from jump punches, which isnt such a big deal at high level imo. Just keep on using f+4~GS its really all you need to force a reaction. Use more soul steal and work on using that mixup upclose.

DB was doing a good job at devastation, I think you can learn from his videos. I hope my guide helped him (at least it looks like it). But I dislike some of his choices, especsially use of f434 but I guess that's up to the player to decide. If not for Kitanas which are a little difficult matchup imo, maybe we'd see ST in the finals.

Anyway ST is very hard on inputs and matchup knowledge, so I dont think its a good chracter choice for MK which isnt played very seriously by most people.
 

Death

Noob
Great post but I don't agree with a lot of it. He does not have a high learning curve and his pressure game isn't top 2.
 

eskuAdradit0

"Thanks" button abuser.
i want to get really good with shang tsung but dont know where to start also i dont know what these things mean in moves list guide like st juggle starter or HHM dooes someone have a guide explaining this how do i start with shang i dont know what to do someone please help my xbox live account is XxItSickxX:)
H = High - Can be crouched to avoid being hit.
M = Medium - Cannot be crouched at all. Some can be jumped if timed correctly.
O = Overhead - Must be blocked standing.
L = Low - Must be blocked ducking.

Juggle starter means that it's a command that leaves your opponent high enough to keep "juggling" him with different movements. In this particular case, ground fire balls. PM me all the stuff you don't understand. I'll try to look for a glosary I saw around a few days ago by Vulcan Hades.


Sorry folks, seems I wont be playing anymore, so its up to DB to update this guide if he feels like it.

Judging from what I've read around the boards ST is not as vulnerable on wakeup anymore which is good, but he has lost his free mixup pressure from jump punches, which isnt such a big deal at high level imo. Just keep on using f+4~GS its really all you need to force a reaction. Use more soul steal and work on using that mixup upclose.

DB was doing a good job at devastation, I think you can learn from his videos. I hope my guide helped him (at least it looks like it). But I dislike some of his choices, especsially use of f434 but I guess that's up to the player to decide. If not for Kitanas which are a little difficult matchup imo, maybe we'd see ST in the finals.

Anyway ST is very hard on inputs and matchup knowledge, so I dont think its a good chracter choice for MK which isnt played very seriously by most people.
Why is that?Quitting MK?
 
hey im new here do you know if theres a guide to teach me what HHM means And GS And juggle starter means and all of this because it is very confusing to me i want to also get good with shang but dont know where to start please help me lol
 
hey im new here do you know if theres a guide to teach me what HHM means And GS And juggle starter means and all of this because it is very confusing to me i want to also get good with shang but dont know where to start please help me lol
H = high, M = medium, L = low, O = overhead, HHM is a combo that hits 3 times, high, high, then medium.

GS (groundskull) is any of the skulls coming from the ground (du4, db4, df4) US (upskull) is any of the falling skulls (du2, db2, df2).

a juggle starter is a combo that pops your opponent up and allows you to combo (into a juggle). 221, f434, f34, b121(4), any GS are all juggle starters

wow i posted this then read the post above yours. read the post above yours!
 

Saltea Moonspell

"I'm a zoner, with ma boner"
Premium Supporter
This guide is really really good. I feel like every fight i go for i really need to work well in order to take it. He gives a lot of options. Thank you very much Belial. Cant wait to see some updates.
Btw, thanks to this i will be going with ST on my upcoming off line tourney in two days.

EDIT:
For some reason i find the b2/f3 unsuccessful mixup. I feel like these moves are to slow - specially b2. Somehow my opponent always jumpss out when i go for b2. And one more thing - maybe am doing wrong but f3 wont link after jip.
 

Belial

Noob
Hi MoonSpell, this guide was prior to patch 1.05, where jp gave way more advantage of block. IDK about on hit.
I'm not playing anymore so this guide isnt supported anymore. From what I can tell with the patch - wall game and some wake ups have changed - new juggles/combos are required now. You can check DetroitBallin's videos for some tips.

As for b+2/f+3 mixup its definitely very good, it is still a good idea to apply this after f+4~GS is blocked, if you can keep your opponent at bay with d+1~SS interrupt. Or you can try DB-style with a lot of f+434~GS/221~GS chip damage. There are certainly ways to apply this mixup but you will have to figure it out yourself though.
 

Saltea Moonspell

"I'm a zoner, with ma boner"
Premium Supporter
Thanks for replay. Am sad to hear you dont play this game anymore. I am working on Tsung slowly whenever i get the chance after work. After the f4~GS the b2 might be good. As far as f434, this move is almost burned out for me. My fellow opponents that i spar with on regular basis upercut me in-between lol, or with d1.

I developed a new AA that isnt much more powerful then you provided in this guide, but it dose some more damage.

1, 1,2, f43~db4, db4+blk, du4, SS =12Hits, 29%DMG.