Corrupted Monk

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. Bosses are special 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

  • 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. 

Corrupted Monk Rewards

Mibu Village (Corrupted Monk Illusion)

Fountainhead Palace (True Corrupted Monk)



Corrupted Monk Strategies

Video Strategies




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.


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.

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 three shadow illusions of herself to attack the player in rapid succession. 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 a 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.

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

  • Yao Bikuni evolved into this current form by eating a man-faced fish Man-Faced Carp. She is one of the degenerates that lured children to the mountain under the guise of performing "virtuous deeds". Her cloning abilities plausibly stem from the Nirvana like Hall of Illusions, resulting in her appearing nebulous, as if in a dream. Her demonic Hannya mask alludes to her being a “hungry ghost”, a possible result of her obsessions and jealousy. Behind her mask, the woman is utterly black. Priestess Yao is conceivably linked to various forerunning, dark characters from the Souls franchise Mergo's Wet Nurse Pontiff Sulyvahn Agents Of Dark. The actions of the boss mimic a Noh play: a form of classic, Japanese theatre, in which ancient characters are reenacted.

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 it's 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 thoughlessly 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 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

Monk Face Revealed - Credit To The Embraced One corrupted-monk-gallery-8-wiki-guide-300px



    • Anonymous

      02 Apr 2020 10:34  

      It's honestly a pretty easy fight once you figure it out: Phase 1: just keep deflecting everything, jump over and kick her sweeping perilous attack, mikiri counter the thrust, I didn't even bother fightning her, her posture just went up and I used deathblow Phase 2: still the same concept, when she summons those shadows just stand near either wall of the arena and keep holding block, don't do anything, after that just keep deflecting and letting her kill herself.. Phase 3: you should have saved all your spirit emblems for now, just keep using firecrackers and hitting her 4 times, repeat.. I did this like 8 times and it got her down to 0 HP.. Just like with most bosses.. go there and just try to keep deflecting everything so you learn the patterns, most of the time that's all that's required (there are of course exceptions where deflecting doesn't do anything).

      • Anonymous

        04 Mar 2020 15:49  

        You can ichimonji the***** out of her :D the leap attack leaves her stunned for a longer time than it does you, and blocking it doesn’t damage your posture too much. In the third phase, it’s even easier while she’s terror puking :D you can even get in some double ichimonjis if you’re fast enough

        • Anonymous

          01 Feb 2020 03:24  

          Hugging the wall at either end and holding your guard will prevent all damage during 2nd phase illusion move. Divine Confetti, Akos Sugar, and Firecrackers for 3rd phase. In my experience, Monk only throws the unlockable back swing if you attack after the monk guards you, so be mindful not to spam attack when the Monk has their guard. Other than that, learn the moveset and rely on deflections for tons of posture damage in those first two phases. Defense wins the fight.

          • Anonymous

            26 Jan 2020 22:33  

            I figured out an easier way to beat the illusion fight that doesn't involve cheese (at least easier than whittling down the health). While she does recover posture pretty fast, its only REALLY fast if you use Mikiri counter on her thrusts. If you instead dodge to the side for those and attack, you can eventually get her posture down enough to deathblow, assuming you deflect a lot in a row for a while. Her health was just over half full when I did the deathblow, so it should save a lot of time.

            • Anonymous

              19 Jan 2020 00:40  

              Made me uninstall (the illusion one). It was kinda the breaking point after hours and hours of witnessing what is essentially not difficulty, but bad game design. Camera problems, unblockable attacks that aren't signified with the red kanji, bosses (this one specifically) pulling off chains of attacks without breathing room for getting in hits, one-hit-wrecker damage-sponges, forcing aggression but punishing it at the same time, ridiculous death penalty... Shame. I loved the setting, the environment, and the way combat felt when it worked (humanoid enemies, mini-bosses and bosses). Uninstalled, never looked back. Got better things to do than git gud at bad game design marketed as a 'hardcore experience'. But hey, at least now y'all get another comment to stroke your 'git gud' d*ck on.

              • Anonymous

                11 Jan 2020 19:21  

                snap seeds don't do anything, what a*****pile of a game, full of half assed ideas and everything boiling down to the same boring mechanic, reaction based deflections

                • Anonymous

                  09 Jan 2020 04:56  

                  It's amazing and super thoughtful of From to implement the 2nd phase cheese. If you could compare this boss fight to any other in the Soulsborne games, it would be Ludwig. Awesome AF 1st phase, but you're likely to get wrecked in the 2nd phase because it's so different. So for the Corrupted monk, they split the 1st phase into 2, made the 1st half a total cake walk, kept the 2nd half largely identical, and added a cheese method to skip it, all so people can get to the proper 2nd phase easier and have time to practice with that. Take that stupid journos, how's that for accessibility?

                  • Anonymous

                    08 Jan 2020 16:22  

                    For anyone who chooses not to cheese phase 2 and has trouble deflecting her shadow strikes, here's some advice. Settle on either end of the bridge and point the camera to the other side while also having Sekiro face the camera. When you see her 1st shadow, turn around and immediately deflect. Either your timing will be dead on or close enough for you to get the hang of it with a few more tries. The 2nd shadow attacks a second after, and the last shadow's attack lands in about 1.5-2 seconds. She also often uses the 3rd attack in her normal mode too, so using the silhouette as a tell makes it easier to see it coming. The timing is tight but you should be able to get the rhythm after a few tries. Also I often see her use those specific jump attacks to swipe at the branches, even though I don't actually grapple over there. Has this happened to anyone else?

                    • Anonymous

                      04 Jan 2020 10:36  

                      I'm sorry, but this website makes no sense to me. Where are you getting this information from for the "Corrupted Monk Lore" section? None of that stuff sounds accurate fails to properly explain anything about the character or the ACTUAL lore in the game. All this is going to do is further confuse people on the game. What is the deal with this?

                      • 16 Dec 2019 16:19  

                        the moveset in third phase doesn't really differ from the other ones? did you actually fight her without cheesing? the moves differ A LOT not just the speed of them... don't know who writes all that wiki stuff but it's full of bull*****for nearly every game

                        • Anonymous

                          04 Dec 2019 06:16  

                          Plunge attack at the beginning of phase 2 no longer works! It must have been patched, I tried several times and it wouldn't give me a deathblow marker when she reappeared and I leapt off the branch. I even tried sneaking up behind her. Thankfully the firecrackers and fistful of ash stunlock still works, I was not having fun with this corrupted gal

                          • Anonymous

                            11 Oct 2019 23:45  

                            I had a great result with the following technique. You might want to add it to your guide. 1: Buff yourself with Akos Sugar (Or Yasharikus Sugar if youre brave enough) and Divine Confetti (Its not required but still grants a damage buff). You can do the buffing right in front of the stairs as she will be triggered by reaching the highest level of the arena 2: Equip a fistful of ash as item and Shinobi Firecracker 3: - run towards her - hit her 3 times - throw ash - run behind her (She will be able to block / parry attacks from the front) - hit her 3 times - repeat You can do this 10 times without taking any damage. After you depleted the ash just use the Firecracker with the same pattern just replacing the ash. Youll get her almost dead, if not fully dead. You might want to rebuff yourself with Akos Sugar. I managed to defeat her with just 1 Sugar and 1 Confetti.

                            • Anonymous

                              09 Sep 2019 03:32  

                              The Japanese version of the True Corrupted Monk memory straight up says she's Yaobikuni ("真の名は八百比丘尼という" ), there's no ambiguity there. Kinda confused why the translator(s) chose to translate it into "Priestess Yao" - did they not know about the Yaobikuni story, or did they figure the non-Japanese players wouldn't know about it?

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