Isshin Ashina

Location Ashina Castle
Weakness ??
Reward Memory: Isshin Ashina
Combat Art: One Mind

Isshin Ashina (葦名一心, Ashina Isshin) 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". You will need to perform multiple Deathblows on them in order to defeat them, and filling their Posture Gauge is the only way to accomplish this. However, decreasing their health will make it so their Posture Gauge depletes more slowly, assisting you in accomplishing this feat.


Isshin Ashina Location



Isshin Ashina Rewards



Isshin Ashina Strategies

Video Strategies


Strategy Writeup

Phase 1: Deflect Isshin's standard attacks and follow up with attack of yours. Most of his attacks are slower than Emma's so be sure to adjust to the slower pace of this fight. He likes to use Ichimonji and Ichimonji Double often so be ready to deflect it to gain a window to counter attack him or run away asap so he never uses it. Do not approach him until he changes his stance as he will delay the Ichimonji to get you off guard. When Isshin puts away his sword and it gleams he will do Ashina Cross, so run away and counter attack him near the end of the attack. Theres a loop players can get Isshin in by swinging at him once, he will avoid and spin slash you. Players should swing watch for his counter then dodge backwards and counter attack. He will follow up with a dash swing and players can repeat this semi regularly. Be careful as he likes to grab and thrust often. Occasionally, Isshin may do a sweeping attack after a slash dodge backwards or jump over it and attack his posture.

Phase 2: In this phase the same tactics of Phase 1 will work but we must adapt to the new fire attacks and the onslaught of slashes. After the deathblow to enter phase 2, players have a moment which they can use Ichimonji double to damage Isshin's posture. When Isshin brings his sword up vertically with a raised leg he will step creat fire and slash sending a firewave outwards. Pick a direction and rotate around him rushing to get a counter attack in once the attack is over. At times, if you are early you may get nipped by the sword. When Isshin sword is parallel to the floor he will engulf the whole room in fire. There are a few safe spots scattered about. Usually run to a corner and avoid the glowing spots. Prepare yourself to deflect a 1 swing, series of slashes, and a final slash. They all can be deflected which will grant players a window to attack if done right. Players can prevent his attack by using Shinobi Firecrackers as he starting the attack. If you see Isshin stomp the ground quickly pick a direction and run as he will send a vertical firewave to your location. Players can circle back and attack him once safely.

If you defeat the boss you will see the writing "SHINOBI EXECUTION" upon the screen.


Strategy 2 (Mist Raven)

Phase 1: Treat it like a normal sword fight, similar to Emma. There's a few moves in particular to watch out for

  1. If you start an attack and he dodges it, get ready to deflect, otherwise he will immediately hit you. Because of this, it's unwise to start a skirmish with him with a combo, stick with a single attack.
  2. When his sword gleams preparing for the Ashina Cross attack, sprint far away from him in a wide arc. The moment it finishes, continue your sprint towards him and punish him. This move is very difficult to deflect correctly.
  3. When he prepares to do the Ichimonji chop, wait a moment and then use the Mist Raven to teleport behind him for 1-3 free hits. Because of it's delayed onset, this might be tricky. Running directly away from it is also an option.
  4. If you need to heal, run around him until he opens a combo or the Ashina Cross. When it finishes, you have time to heal without being punished.
  5. His grab is similar to Emma's and can be difficult. It has a slow onset but a huge range. You could jump over it and slash him, but the timing is tricky. It's much safer to run/jump away from it as soon as you can. If it does hit you, roll towards him when you get up so you can punish him from behind if he follows up with a slice (this also applies to Emma)

Phase 2: Just like phase one only now you have to counter the fire moves

  1. When he does the vertical chop that sends flames outwards, immedately sprint/jump to the right or left. This attack has unlimited horizontal range so never run directly away from it.
  2. When he fills the whole arena up with fire, run to a spot with no fire. He will then send flames upwards and prepare to attack you. Wait until the moment before he dashes towards you and use the Mist Raven to teleport near him (try to teleport to a spot without fire). Wait for him to finish his ball of swords move, then punish him.

If you use Mist Raven correctly, phase 2 is actually easier because many of the fire attacks can be easily punished.




Attacks & Counters

Attack Counter
Phase 1
Example Attack Example Counter
Example Attack Example Counter
Phase 2
Example Attack Example Counter
Example Attack Example Counter



Isshin Ashina Dialogue

“Sekiro... You were a most unkind and inauspicious man... but for some reason I could not bring myself to hate you. It seems... I must cut you down before you fall to Shura.” Upon defeating Emma, the Gentle Blade.

”Shura... I never did think... I’d have to kill your kind again!” At the beginning of the fight.

”......... Sekiro... It was not... to be...” Upon his defeat.



Isshin Ashina Notes & Trivia

  • The samurai facing the general with the spear in the opening cutscene of the game is actually Isshin twenty years earlier.
  • While the One Mind skill is not required for the "Height of Technique" trophy/achievement, Isshin Ashina must still be fought if you wish to acquire all trophies; namely for the "Shura" ending trophy and the "Man Without Equal" trophy for beating every boss in the game.   





Isshin Ashina Image Gallery

[images go here]




    • 11 May 2019 02:47  

      This is the proper first ending of a save tbh, it makes the subsequent playthrough seem like Sekiro was dreaming it all while dead and now he’s trying to avoid the Shura Path at any cost

      • 08 May 2019 19:10  

        I'm under the impression that the old Isshin Ashina could easily beat the shoot out of Genichiro if only he wanted to... He just doesn't, for some unknown reason. Genichiro is not that hard to beat. And Isshin (as The Tengu) has killed so many Interior Ministry Ninjas like it's nothing.

        • Anonymous

          07 May 2019 16:10  

          I feel like Emma's fight was deliberately designed to throw you into the short-term habit of being extremely aggressive and applying pressure, which is exactly the kind of thing that will get you killed very quickly with Isshin.

          • Anonymous

            03 May 2019 03:24  

            It’s crazy that FromSoftware was able to make 2 completely different fights with the Sam character. Also Shura ending best ending RIP Owl though.

            • 23 Apr 2019 13:32  

              I feel people misunderstand the move where he puts away his sword. I might misunderstand it too, but this is the way I think it works. If you're right in front of him when he sheaths his sword, he'll always go into a slash and then a sweep, both of which can be countered easily if you know the timing. If you're farther away and he charges for a bit, then you need to run further, since then he'll go into the dash swing. The difference between these attacks just depends on your proximity to him.

              • Anonymous

                20 Apr 2019 01:06  

                basically is Sword Saint phase 1 and Sword Saint phase 1 with some fire. If you can get down Sword Saint you can down this older version with little problem.

                • Anonymous

                  18 Apr 2019 01:57  

                  when he is about to attack with the ichimonji double you can dodge left on both attacks leaving him open for a heavy attack

                  • Anonymous

                    17 Apr 2019 17:52  

                    As usual, the last boss is the most intense and beatifull. But isshin is not the hardest boss. Hatred Demon is. Hatred is the one that dissonates the most from the hole game, making it the hardest to get the timing right. It is more dark souls boss style, but even if you're used to it, you'll still have a hard time adapting again, since you're so into the sekiro's game style.

                    • Anonymous

                      13 Apr 2019 00:09  

                      All the difficulty placed behind two tedious phases so you can't practice the actual fight, wow, great game design

                      • Anonymous

                        11 Apr 2019 09:28  

                        During phase 2 when he raises fire from the floor over the entire arena, use the Suzaku Umbrella and stand somewhere where no embers are flashing. Keep holding until his combo ends and then use Projected Force. This negates all of the damage during his attack and does quite a chunk to his vitality and posture.

                        • Anonymous

                          08 Apr 2019 06:48  

                          You dont need to run from him when he does ashina cross. Instead if you run towards him, he will hit you with the hilt then do a sweep. Parry the hilt and jump counter the sweep. More efficient than running away.

                          • Anonymous

                            05 Apr 2019 18:51  

                            At the start of the fight he said, "Shura, I never did think I would have to kill your kind AGAIN". Now how awesome it would be if they would release a DLC where we could get a chance to confront that previous Shura, with us fighting side by side with Isshin (as what he said implied he at least had a hand in the downfall of that Shura). Would be really epic imo.

                            • Anonymous

                              03 Apr 2019 18:47  

                              He has an unblockable where he swings his sword sideways at you. I can't mikiri counter it, jump over it and it's definitely not a grab. What gives?

                              • Anonymous

                                03 Apr 2019 08:14  

                                You can use Ichimonji: Double to punish almost all of his openings, and it completely wrecks him. Only took 7 or 8 to fill his posture each phase on NG+.

                                • Anonymous

                                  02 Apr 2019 21:39  

                         use the dagger to get plus 5 uses,throw oil on emma(not the sexy kind) give her a quick basic blast from your flame thrower and if you have living weapon you set her on fire only after two swings letting you get her to half health no prob..then beat phase 1 if isshin with just sword play...and then dragon slash his 2nd phase into the floor..give him a taste of his own medicine!!!

                                  • Anonymous

                                    27 Mar 2019 23:43  

                                    Tell me whatever you want,phase 2 isshin hardest boss in the game On any ng Sword saint,demon and owl are joke compared to him.

                                    • Anonymous

                                      26 Mar 2019 19:55  

                                      aww do you have to do betray Kuro questline to acquire One Mind? That skill reminded me of Vergil's swordplay

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