Corrupted Monk

sekiro corrupted monk concept art header compressed
Location Ashina Depths, Fountainhead Palace
Deathblow Markers 1 (Illusion Version); 3 (True Version)
Weakness(es) Lazulite Axe; Fistful of AshSnap Seed (Mibu Village Version)
Shinobi Firecracker (Fountainhead Palace Version)
Reward(s) Memory: Corrupted Monk (Mibu Village)
Mibu Breathing Technique (Mibu Village)
Memory: True Monk (Fountainhead Palace)
Dragon's Tally Board (Fountainhead Palace)

Corrupted Monk (real name Yao) (破戒僧, Depraved Monk)  is a Boss in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. This Complete Corrupted Monk Boss Guide gives you strategies on how to beat the Corrupted Monk easily, as well as tips, tricks and lore notes. Bosses like the Corrupted Monk are special, dangerous Enemies that feature a special display on-screen when defeated, such as "Immortality Severed" or "Shinobi Execution".

The Corrupted Monk can be fought twice throughout the game: once with just one health bar and then again with three depending on the chosen ending. 

Corrupted Monk Location

Where to find the Corrupted Monk in Sekiro?

  • Ashina Depths - Water Mill: At the very end of Mibu Village, guarding the entrance to the Wedding Cave. Defeating this boss is required to collect the Shelter Stone.
  • Fountainhead Palace: She will be faced at the start of this area. Defeating this boss is required to proceed further into the palace.
  • Depending on the player's choices throughout the game (i.e. what ending the player is pursuing), the fight against the True Corrupted Monk at Fountainhead Palace may be automatically skipped entirely and inaccessible, making the boss optional. The Ghost Version found in Ashina Depths is required regardless of the ending desired. 
  • Featured boss in the Gauntlet of Strength: Severance.


Corrupted Monk Rewards

What do you get from defeating the Corrupted Monk in Sekiro?

Mibu Village (Corrupted Monk Illusion)

Fountainhead Palace (True Corrupted Monk)



Corrupted Monk Boss Guide Strategies

Sekiro Corrupted Monk Video Strategies






Sekiro Corrupted Monk At Mibu Village (Illusion Monk)

The player must fight the single health bar illusion version in Mibu Village of the Ashina Depths to collect the Shelter Stone in order to proceed through the story. She is not an Apparition type enemy, so Divine Confetti will not deal extra damage to her however she is an illusion so, Snap Seed, Fistful of Ash and/or Lazulite Axe can be used to briefly stun her; with that in mind, it is possible to perform stunlocks and prevent any counter attack. If the player has the Phantom Kunai with swarming upgrade, this does a lot of damage. With the tanto to provide another 15 emblems, the Monk can be brought to about 25% health with Phantom Kunai alone. It may still be worth trying without the swarming upgrade. The Snap Seeds can also be used to significantly lower the Monk's health.

In this fight, the Corrupted Monk has a lot of health and takes very little Posture damage. Because of this, the only effective way to defeat her is to chip away her health by attacking when she is wide open, usually after her many swipe attacks. She has two perilous attacks, the sweep can be jumped, and a thrust that can be Mikiri Countered. Also, the Monk tends to use single big moves when Wolf is at mid range, jumping in for one air hit and two ground hits (let the landing cancel the air attack lag), then jumping away to mid range works well.

Many of her attacks have high ending lag, meaning the player can use this to their advantage and deal direct damage as she recovers. She has two jumping attacks one with a sweep and another with an overhead slash, which the player can run below and attack her exposed back; for the overhead slash, the player can also sidestep and strike as she lands.

One of her most dangerous attacks is a upwards slash that goes through Sekiro's defenses, meaning it cannot be blocked; however it can be deflected, though the timing is very precise. Another attack that should be avoided is a continuous spinning attack with the Naginata, which can quickly exhaust Sekiro's Posture gauge; since the area where she is fought is wide open, the player can run away when she performs this attack. She tends to perform this attack when away from the player, and has a higher tendency to do so if the player uses any consumable (such as the Healing Gourd).

The player will receive the Memory: Corrupted Monk and Mibu Breathing Technique Latent Skill upon defeating this boss.


Sekiro Corrupted Monk At Mibu Village (deathblow strat)

(Works in earlier versions, need to confirm on v1.03) On top of the stairs on the boss stage, right besides the stone door, there are 2 monoliths (one on each side). Get the monk close to one of the monoliths with her back facing it. Use a firecracker to stun/Bait her into a jump attack and run towards the monolith. Jump towards the monolith and use the monolith to double jump backwards towards the monk. Lock on mid air and the aerial deathblow red circle should appear. If done right, you can instantly down her from full health to 0.

(Works with v1.04) Using the same strategy above, but instead jump on the monolith approaches very close to the monk from behind and using Aged Feather Mist Raven combined with Contact Medicine to teleport upwards, the deathblow red circle should then appear.

Sekiro Corrupted Monk At Fountainhead Palace (True Monk)

The True Corrupted Monk will be fought at the entrance to the Fountainhead Palace. She must be defeated in order to proceed further into the palace. The boss will have 3 health bars that must be removed to be defeated.

Phase 1

This phase is very similar to her illusion fight at Mibu Village, however, she takes significantly more Posture damage, which makes deflecting far more effective. She also has less health, considering there are 3 health bars. The same strategy of  the Mibu Village fight can be employed here, as she has the same attacks. She tends to use her perilous attacks more often, though; additionally, she doesn't use her whirlwind attack until the third phase.

In this phase and all subsequent ones, she is susceptible to the Shinobi Firecracker, which can be used to briefly stun her; however, this is best used on the third phase.

Phase 2

At the start of this phase, the Corrupted Monk will disappear, and the area will be enveloped by mist. She then proceeds to summon three shadow illusions of herself to each attack the player three times. The shadows disappear in between attacks, making lock-on difficult. The shadows do not need to be defeated in order to the illusion to be dispelled; the Monk will eventually end the illusion  and return to fight the player. However, she may cast the illusion again if the player is unable to deal the second Deathblow swiftly. If you are having trouble avoiding the shadows, killing yourself with a Bite Down pill will instantly dispel them.

It is possible to perform an aerial Deathblow on the Corrupted Monk as she casts or dispels the illusion by positioning Sekiro on the tallest tree near the temple and jumping down when the Corrupted Monk appears in a squatted over position. Doing this will immediately end second phase. This is best done the moment after the player Deathblows her in the first phase, by grappling the nearest tree branch and proceed to grapple to highest branch, located on the left side of the bridge (with your back to the Idol). From there, look down to see the true Monk and standing in the middle of the bridge; if so, plunge attack her from here. This branch is also extremely useful for dodging the spirits she summons during her second phase, as only the first one seems to be able to hit you there, and not often.

The rest of her moveset remains the same as the first phase; so employ the same tactics.

Phase 3

In this phase, a demon centipede will erupt from her body through her neck. She retains most of the moveset from the first phase, but is far more aggressive than before; on the other hand some of her attacks are a bit more telegraphed and predictable. In this phase she tends to use overhead attacks as a finishing move.

Notably, she gains a new perilous attack where the demon centipede spews toxic goo in front of her, which can inflict Terror. It is advised to sidestep or use the jump kick when she uses this and retaliate, as this attack has a quite lengthy ending lag. Another attack involving the centipede is a toxic cloud; however this is not a perilous attack.

In this phase she uses the whirlwind attack seen in her fight at Mibu Village. Simply run away when she starts spinning.

She is very susceptible to the Shinobi Firecracker in this phase. Simply use the Firecracker, hit the Corrupted Monk 3 to 4 times, and use the Firecracker again, essentially stunlocking her.

Living Force with the flamethrower also works very well; the burning state procs easily and does significant posture damage.

After depleting her third bar, make sure to perform both Deathblows when prompted to finish her for good. The player will receive the Memory: True Monk and the Dragon's Tally Board Key Item upon defeating this boss.

"Cheesing" at Fountainhead Place

As of update 1.03 you cannot deathblow the Corrupted Monk at the beginning of the fight. While the fight against Corrupted Monk in Fountainhead Palace isn't particularly difficult, there's an extremely easy way to deal with the boss by exploiting its AI. If the player grapples the high tree behind the Corrupted Monk, a Deathblow can be used on her, essentially allowing to skip the second phase. This can be done as soon as the second phase starts, as she will disappear to summon her shadow illusions and return to the same starting point when dispelling it.

In the third phase, since Corrupted Monk doesn't gain resistance to "stun" effects like the Shinobi Firecracker and the Fistful of Ash after being hit, you can cheese the boss by stunlocking her with these items and hitting her between them (firecracker, 2 hits, firecracker, 2 hits, firecracker, 2 hits, etc.) until you deplete her posture or health bar.

Another way of  "cheese" her is to attract her to the last tree of the right side of the stage (near to wall) in the start of the battle, basically when she appears in the stage, go back to the tree on your left (on your right if looking where you came from) and walk in the corner in the right side of the tree as if you were going to fall off the cliff (but you dont fall unless you jump). Do this until she starts attacking you, then jump to the cliff aiming the wall where you jumped, after that, wall-jump the wall to force her to perform the third hit of the combo and let the wolf fall. If done correctly, after you respawn it will be buggy at the edge of the precipice, and you can safely attack her.

Another of achieve the same result is jumping to the cliff and land on the another side of the tree, but in the most of the time the bug will not happen.

Immediately when the phase 2 starts, Fistful of Ash or Shinobi Firecracker and always don't let her teleport (recommended to use Ako's Sugar and/or Divine Confetti).

In the third phase, most of the time she will fall from the cliff and die. But he can also bug and can't die, and it can also happen to she still be bugged on the corner. 

Sekiro Corrupted Monk Attacks & Counters

Attack Counter
Phase 1
Thrust Attack Mikiri counter
Example Attack Example Counter
Phase 2
Illusion attack Deathblow when revealing herself
Example Attack Example Counter


















Corrupted Monk Lore

Corrupted Monk Notes & Trivia

  • The illusion version of this boss is one of two bosses that doesn't end with a special execution.
  • Upon confronting the Memory: True Monk in order to increase Sekiro's attack power, it is revealed that she was the guardian of the Fountainhead Palace before being possessed, and that her name was Priestess Yao.
  • She is based on a Japanese folk story of Yao Bikuni (八百比丘尼, "eight-hundred (years) Buddhist priestess"). The story begins with a fisherman who once caught a strange fish with a human face (Japanese mermaid-like creature called Ningyo, who's flesh is said to grant a long life). He served its meat to guests, but the guests were wise and hid the meat in their robes to avoid eating it. One man was drunk on sake, and returning home he thoughtlessly gave the meat to his daughter and she ate it. The daughter would later marry, but she stayed young as her husband grew old and died. After marrying and widowing again and again she eventually became a Buddhist nun and wandered various countries. But everyone she knew always died, she came to hate her immortality and her life was filled with emptiness and suffering. At the age of 800 years she finally died despite her immortality, having simply lost the will to live. The story is know as a cautionary tale for those who fear death and wish for eternal life.
  • The Corrupted Monk is depicted as wearing a Hannya (般若) mask, often characterized by two sharp horns, metallic eyes, and a leering mouth. The Hannya mask is used in noh and kyōgen Japanese theater, as well as Shinto ritual kagura dances. It portrays the souls of women who have become demons due to obsession or jealousy.
  • The Corrupted Monk is found during the beta version of the game, which was playable at E3, Gamescom and TGS.

Corrupted Monk Image Gallery

corrupted monk apparition gallery 1 wiki guide 300px corrupted monk apparition gallery 2 wiki guide 300px corrupted monk apparition gallery 3 wiki guide 300px

corrupted monk apparition gallery 4 wiki guide 300px corrupted monk apparition gallery 5 wiki guide 300px corrupted monk apparition gallery 6 wiki guide 300px

true corrupted monk face thumb

corrupted monk gallery 8 wiki guide 300px



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    • Anonymous

      As of 10/16/2021, there exists a bug that can occur that will skip her 2nd and 3rd phase if you get her locked in the cheese spot by the tree on the right after the entrance. I don't know if anyone else has ever experienced this, but once I cheesed her into the tree spot and did the first deathblow, she eventually disappeared about 3/4 into her second health bar. I have no idea why this happened, I initially thought it was the start of the second phase as described in this article, but she didn't come back and I was rewarded with her memory and the Dragon's Tally Board. Has anyone else had this happen?

      • Anonymous

        if you struggle against illusion version you might try what helped me:get corrupted blade and tanto as well as try to stack all of the soul perks,before the fight use tanto and pallet to refil hp,when the fight starts swing cursed blade two times,then depending on the patten you might wanna dodge before 5th spin and repeat two cursed strikes,this way you will both build its vitality damage and her posture gage,when you run out of souls use tanto again and refil your HP with flasks,if you did this with all the cursed swings hitting it should be in about 25% hp,then all you have to do is fill the posture bar and win or use confetti and kill it
        and i wasted on this thing more tries then the final boss before even thinking about using CB

        • Anonymous

          am i the only one who thinks the illusion monk was easier than the true monk? i beat the illusion monk my second try but the the true monk had me fighting her for at least an hour
          maybe i’m just missing something

          • Anonymous

            just bought the game last week
            at the true corrupted monk
            my strat is to jump from point to point with the grapple during the illusions in the second phase. you do occasionally get hit but I can also say I saw the red-kill dot appear (but was unable to use it)k, so fyi as of the date of this post it appears 2nd-stage cheese is possible...

            • with an umbrella, projected force, and dragon blood tanto, this boss is 100% trivialized. just tank all atacks with the umbrella, project force attack when she's done, and then run away to bring down your posture, rinse, repeat.

              • Anonymous

                That was amazing fight. If you really get into it, the back and forth becomes rhythmic. Haven't finished the game yet but this fight might be my favorite as of now.

                • Anonymous

                  I love this boss but I wish it wasn't three phases long. Just the second phase and third phase would've been enough imo

                  • Anonymous

                    this boss is pretty much trivialized by spamming the handful of ash and following up with the mortal blade

                    • Anonymous

                      I really enjoyed "True Monk" battle. I defeated her with acceptable style.
                      With "Corrupted Monk" I had a bad time.

                      • Anonymous

                        The Infested still confuse me a bit... So unlike Dragon Heritage, it doesn't appear that the Infested drain life from mortals upon reviving, do they? Otherwise, "killing" them without the Mortal Blade would spread something like Dragonrot.

                        Instead, the centipedes continuously revive the host until removed and are slain with the Mortal Blade. So are the hosts technically still "mortal," but merely puppeteered by the centipedes? Similar to those afflicted by Dragonrot, the infested mummies of Senpou vomit a sap-like fluid, which makes me think it contains the rot within the host, whom continuously degrade to the point of losing their minds, but are never permitted to "die." Except in rare instances, some monks pass on as if suddenly aware of their corruption, like the two high priests that give you the holy texts...

                        I would have posted this under one of those items, but their pages don't get trafficked as much. Anyone else got any insights/interpretations?

                        • Anonymous

                          In Mahayana Buddhism, there's the concept of Arhat monks who achieve nirvana to become Buddha, but are actually slightly corrupted because they fail to help elevate the rest of the world into enlightenment.

                          A lot of Sekiro's story seems inspired by the transition of Mahayana ideology into Zen Buddhism, with Buddha being affiliated with Dragon Heritage. Like the Dragon Heritage, Buddhism emerged far to the west of Japan, but the warring periods transformed Buddhist practice into a political tool, exhalting lords as spiritual figures. I suppose this is similar to the reasons for the Divine Child wishing to restore the Dragon Heritage to west.

                          The Fountainhead Palace perfectly illustrates Arhat, belonging to those graced with immortality, but who have become so engrossed in their purity that they become paradoxically impure. Senpou Temple suffers a similar corruption, having bastardized the Divine Heritage even further, even going so far to regard their enlightenment as a science, hunting down candidates for their experiments.

                          If the Corrupted Monk is like Arhat, then the Divine Child is Bodhisattva, which is a person on the verge of nirvana, but refrains from it in order to help others achieve the same enlightenment. Oddly, once you achieve nirvana, you can no longer communicate your wisdom with others, which also makes sense regarding how isolated Fountainhead Palace is.

                          (I hope I made it clear enough that I'm not saying Sekiro is 1:1 with Mahayana Buddhism, but that it kind of helps to understand the world it presents. Unlike a certain SOMEONE *cough Rakuyo cough*)

                          • Anonymous

                            Ok I just beat her, pretty easy for a main boss, just climb the trees and stealth deathblow her in the second phase and throw fireworks at her in the third.

                            • Anonymous

                              If anyone’s having trouble with the illusion one, just use snap peas until about half health were they stop working the use the phantom Kunai with tanto finish her off no need to worry about her posture

                              • Anonymous

                                I wonder what it was like to be one of the first people to fight a boss before there’s anything that can give you advice

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