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MK11 Guide: How To Play Against Shao Kahn Featuring VideoGamezYo

MK11 Guide: How To Play Against Shao Kahn Featuring VideoGamezYo

4 min
Guide by VideoGamesYo

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Don’t be afraid of his impressive strength! VGY shares some tips for your successful matches vs Shao Kahn.

You never know who will be your opponent in the wild and dangerous dimensions of MK11 matchmaking. And it’s a very good idea to get prepared for various (all) matchups. How often do you face Shao Kahn?

The evil Emperor of Outworld is such a great fighting game character! You can feel the true power when he’s on your side — yep, smashing opponents with that hammer is pretty satisfying. But it might not be so comforting to know that the might of Shao Kahn is aimed to destroy you in a Mortal Kombat 11 match.

Fear not! DashFight and VideoGamezYo have you covered. Check out this new video guide and learn how to play against Shao Kahn!

Mortal Kombat 11 | How to Play Against Shao Kahn Guide by VideoGamezYo

Shao Kahn in MK11

VGY starts his guide with some general info on the character.

The archetype of Shao Kahn is footsie/neutral. Your game plan is to control neutral with long-range tools, like Sweep, D4, F2, F4, etc.

Trying to enforce this gameplan all the time can be quite taxing because most of it is based on waiting for your opponent to make a mistake.

The strongest options of Shao Kahn dictate his general style of neutral and space control with effective punish.

Among the possible Variations, VideoGamezYo recommends using Dark Priest (DD1) and Ground Shatter (BD4).

To delve into the topic, check out this video guide by VGY on How to Play Shao Kahn in Mortal Kombat 11.

Tips Against Shao Kahn

In a match vs Shao Kahn, you should abuse his strength and make it into a weakness.

Don’t jump unnecessarily! It’s Rule #1.

If the opponent jumps, Shao Kahn easily punishes them. Jumping is gonna get you killed, especially if you are in the corner.

Jumping over Shao Kahn is not going to benefit you. The risk/reward here is not in your favor. 

If you play a zoner (such as Robocop), stay full screen and avoid engaging. 

The only exception in the not-jumping rule is Jacqui — in this case, you can do whatever you like (yep, it’s Jacqui). Also, Kabal might feel safe jumping.

Rule #2 is based on the neutral-focused style of Shao Kahn. He doesn’t have decent mixup options. His main mix is Stand 1, D4 / Stand 1, Grab / Stand 1, Stand 1, 2, 1+3 / Stand 1, Short Hop. All of them are reactable. So, blocking is your best friend against Shao Kahn. It just alleviates all of that pressure. 

Just block! Those mixups are not really mixups. The only reason why people crumble there is that they don’t know how to handle plus frames, and as a result, they mash out of that. And it’s never a good thing to do. Or, people panic when they have to block. 

If you hold Down Back and then react to Short Hop, it would be a lot harder for Shao Kahn to open you up. His gameplan revolves around you making mistakes, and if you do none or a very few, it’s hard for him to get the health bar down. He has to take a risk.

Please, watch the video for practical explanations from VGY.


Shao Kahn doesn’t have many (if any) winning matchups. He does ok against a lot of the cast.

Shao Kahn can delete some of the opponents. For example, if he touches Joker twice, he’s dead. That feature helps Shao do alright in many matchups.

Characters who do well against Shao Kahn are:

Actually, any zoner who can shut down the neutral control is strong against Shao Kahn. Also, you can use characters with explosive air superiority. 

Apart from that, Shao Kahn goes even against the rest of the cast.

Being prepared for one MK character is good. But what about the others? With fighting esports professionals, we’ve prepared quite a few similar guides. For example, check out how to play against Sub-Zero by Conflictus or against Geras by Grr.

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