Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – How To Beat Every Boss | Mini-Bosses & Bosses Tips Guide

There are two types of bosses in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. There are major bosses, and mini-bosses. Mini-bosses are often completely optional. Both boss types are special, named enemies that are much harder challenges than standard enemies. Defeating them will drop useful items like Prayer Beads or Memories which will increase your health or attack damage respectively.

Bosses are the main enemies you’ll have to defeat to progress in the game. Some bosses will lock you into an arena, while others allow you to retreat at any given time. All bosses have two ‘Deathblow’ health bars. You’ll need to hit them with two Deathblows to defeat them. This is standard, but some bosses can be defeated with a single deathblow — or can’t be defeated with a deathblow at all.

  • NOTE ON DEATHBLOWS: Many bosses can be attacked from stealth, allowing you to initiate a stealth Deathblow and cut down their health by 50%. You can only do this once. If you retreat and attempt to hide, the boss will fully recover. Initiate the battle after your stealth deathblow and finish the boss in combat.

Table Of Contents


Mini-Boss: Blazing Bull

  • Optional?: No
  • Stealthblow?: No
  • Location: Ashina Castle
  • Loot: Prayer Bead

Like all animals, Robert’s Firecrackers will terrify the bull and stun it, allowing you to attack. Dodge to his back and keep attacking. You can jump over his charges or sidestep, then follow up with attacks on its back. Not too challenging.


Mini-Boss: Ashina Elite – Jinsuke Saze

  • Optional?: Yes
  • Stealthblow?: No
  • Location: Ashina Castle, Upper Tower – Ashina Dojo
  • Loot: Prayer Bead

This difficult fight will take some practice. It’s all about timing your Parries. The master samurai strikes with lightning speed. To beat him, you’ll need to learn to time your Parries perfectly — deflecting his attacks will fill his Posture meter very, very quickly. Play defensively, and this tricky fight will be over in a few minutes.


Boss: Genichiro Ashina [Two Forms]

  • Optional?: No
  • Stealthblow?: No
  • Location: Ashina Castle
  • Loot: Prayer Bead, Memory: Genichiro, Bloodsmoke Ninjitsu

The final boss of Ashina Castle, and a difficult battle in it’s own right. You’ll have to learn how to deflect and dodge if you want to master this battle. When fighting Genichiro, the trick is that you’ll want to constantly press the attack. He’ll often retreat to shoot arrows — that’s your chance to earn an easy strike. If you attack Genichiro while he’s preparing his bow, you’ll interrupt his attack.

In all forms of the fight, Genichiro will attack with a five-hit combo. Guard and try to parry his attacks. If you miss your timing, you’ll take serious damage in the exchange.

Later, you’ll want to learn all three different types of unblockable attacks. Counter his piercing thrust with Mikiri Counter to severely weaken his Posture. Be prepared to jump to dodge his sweep, and dodge backwards to avoid his grab attacks.

Second Form: In his second form, Genichiro will only have one deathblow mark. You only need to take down his one health bar. He gains the power of lightning, and fights even more fiercely than before. When you see his sword spark with lightning, dodge and get away — one hit with lightning will stun and kill you while you’re grounded.

It is possible to parry a lightning attack. Jump and parry mid-air to deflect lightning. If you’re grounded, a perfectly timed parry will still kill you. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth it. Just retreat and learn to avoid his lightning attacks completely.

If you press the attack, parry, and strike when he tries to flee for a bow attack, you’ll be able to bring this tough enemy to his knees.


Boss: Great Shinobi – Owl

  • Optional?: No
  • Stealthblow?: No
  • Location: Ashina Castle
  • Loot: Memory: Great Shinobi Owl, Aromatic Branch

The Great Shinobi – Owl appears after you’ve begun your quest to sever the Dragon’s Heritage for Lord Kuro/ the Divine Heir. Eventually, you’ll return to Ashina Castle and find the place invaded. At the top of the tower, you’ll encounter the Great Shinobi – Owl. This is your father, and depending on how you answer his questions, you’ll either fight him or a different set of characters.

If you stay loyal to Lord Kuro, you’ll have to fight the Owl. He’s a deadly Shinobi with a deep bag of tricks he’ll use against you. He can perform his own Mikiri Counter, and will beg for his life — try to avoid thrusting attacks, and obviously don’t fall for his begging routine.

  • NOTE: In both phases, the Great Shinobi is weak to Shinobi Firecrackers. Use them to interrupt his attacks and get in a few easy hits. 

He’ll perform combos, ending with thrusts and sweep perilous attacks. Practice countering these moves, and you’ll be able to take down his posture fast. You can also leave him stunned for a long time if you can perfectly parry his combo onslaught — this includes parrying his shuriken ranged attacks.

He’ll also bust out deadly smoke that will prevent you from using healing items. Sidestep away from the smoke and attack his back for a quick hit. In Phase 2, he’ll release a larger gas cloud with the Shinobi Charm, so be prepared to retreat before you’re poisoned.