Out of all five main characters, Shiryu is known as the calmest and most collected. His sheer physical strength is the greatest of the Bronze Saints, with the possible exception of Phoenix Ikki. This is reflected in his ability to win numerous battles without his Dragon Cloth. Shiryu trained at the Five Old Peaks in China to obtain the Bronze Cloth of the Dragon constellation, and his mentor was none other than the senior Gold Saint, Libra Dohko.
Shiryu sports a large tattoo-like image of a green and white dragon on his back. However, it is said in the manga and the anime that it is not a tattoo but is connected to his guardian dragon star and only appears as his Cosmo is rising. Whenever his life is in danger, the tattoo-like image begins to fade away—once it completely vanishes, it is a sign that Shiryu's Cosmo is nearing zero, and Shiryu himself is nearing death.
During his training in Rozan, Shiryu awoke his Cosmo and learned many fighting styles, as well as fundamental wisdom for life, from Libra Dohko. During the Sanctuary Arc, Shiryu awakens the 7th sense in his fight against Cancer Deathmask. He awoke the 8th sense during the Hades Arc.
His signature technique is Rozan Rising Dragon Force . It is a blow that usually knocks the opponent soaring into the air as an image of a dragon devours him. The power of the Rozan Rising Dragon Force can vary from capable to explosively powerful, depending on Shiryu's Cosmo level at the time of execution. Unlike the favorite techniques of the other Bronze Saints, however, Shiryu's Rozan Rising Dragon Force does have one weakness—while performing the move, his heart will be left open for a millisecond. Only three people in the series have noted this: his master Libra Dohko, Bronze Saint Pegasus Seiya, and Gold Saint Capricorn Shura.
Other attacks in his arsenal include Rozan Dragon Flight , a straight-to-the-point, jumping attack where Shiryu charges through his opponents with a single fist and Dragon's Kick , that Shiryu has used only few times: against the skeletons at Jamir, against Chrysaor Krishna, and also against Basilisk Sylphid. For this attack, Shiryu leaps high into the air and dives toward his opponent with a sharp kick to the head. Also, although he has only used it once to date, among his defensive techniques, Shiryu counts the fabled Catch of a real sword's blade ; the traditional technique used in Japanese Kenjutsu to repel an opponent's sword when unarmed. Shiryu used it to stop Capricorn Shura's attacks as the Gold Saint's fists and legs were similar to a razor-sharp blade.
During the Hades Arc, Shiryu learns the Rozan One Hundred Dragons Force . Shiryu learned it from watching his master's battle, even though he was blind at that moment. It is a technique that appears to be a 100 times the Rozan Rising Dragon Force or the Rozan Dragon Flight—Shiryu's Cosmo erupts at its maximum, and he plows through the enemy with both arms and palms extended. 100 dragons march in the sky as the enemies are destroyed by this energy-based offensive attack.
The final move that Shiryu uses when all else fails is Rozan Enraged Dragon Force . It is a kamikaze technique similar to Seiya's "Pegasus Rolling Crush," except while Seiya normally intends to send both himself and his opponent back to the ground, Shiryu will continue to soar into the air and eventually into space—killing both himself and his enemy. The Rozan Enraged Dragon Force is something that Dohko had strongly discouraged Shiryu from using, even going as far as putting a ban on its use.
After defeating Capricorn Shura, Shiryu is entrusted with the Gold Saint's legendary technique Excalibur . It is not a physical sword, but a deadly Cosmo focused with precision on Shiryu's right arm. Although Shiryu's version of the sword was not as defined as Shura's (Shiryu's Excalibur lies only in his right arm, while Shura's can be unleashed from any of his limbs), the Dragon later refined it enough to rival Shura's and used it to cut the unbreakable golden spear of Chrysaor Krishna, the powerful Mariner General, during the Poseidon Chapter.
The Bronze Cloth of Dragon is legendary for the large shield on its left arm guard. Its reputation is unmatched by any other Cloth among Athena's Saints, and only very few have ever shattered it. The Dragon Cloth itself is noted for its ultimate durability, as it spent the last 200 years bathed under the mineral-rich waterfall of the Rozan mountains, which made it harder than diamonds. This is the origin of its nickname "The strongest Fist and Shield".
Seiya manages to destroy the Shield by tricking Shiryu into hitting his own shield. Shiryu's Cloth has suffered various damages throughout the series, and, of course, required repairing. With each revision its shape gained a new form. In the anime, along with the same repairs from the manga, the Cloth went through three different designs.
Due to having reformed from using a Gold Saint's blood, the third version of the Dragon Cloth (second in the anime) can suddenly become golden with power whenever Shiryu uses his Cosmo to the maximum. At that point, Shiryu has awoken his 7th sense, and is as powerful as a Gold Saint momentarily. However, in the battle with Chrysaor Krishna, Krishna comments that, even with the golden Dragon Cloth, Shiryu's power level is still that of a Bronze Saint, and continues to overpower Shiryu with his attacks.Libra Gold Cloth when he, Seiya, and Shun needed help in freeing Hyoga from the Aquarius Saint's ice coffin. This was the first time Shiryu was allowed to make use of the Libra Cloth, but certainly not the last. In the respective battles against Poseidon, the Lord of the Seas and Thanatos, God of Death, Shiryu is given the Libra Cloth to aid his friends.