Isshin, The Sword Saint

sword saint
Location Ashina Reservoir

Shinobi Firecracker
Loaded Umbrella (First & Second Phase)

Mist Raven (Final Phase)


Sakura Dance (Final Phase)


Memory: Saint Isshin
Dragon Flash 

 XP NG: 20000
NG+: 25000
NG++: 37500

Isshin, The Sword Saint (剣聖、葦名一心; Kensei Ashina Isshin; Sword Saint, Isshin Ashina) is the final Boss in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. This Complete Isshin, The Sword Saint Boss Guide gives you strategies on how to beat Isshin easily, as well as tips, tricks and lore notes. Bosses like The Sword Saint are special, dangerous 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 fastest way to accomplish this. However, decreasing their health will make it so their Posture Gauge depletes more slowly, assisting you in accomplishing this feat.

See Isshin Ashina for the NPC version. This page contains endgame spoilers


Isshin, The Sword Saint Location

Where to find Isshin, The Sword Saint in Sekiro?

  • Endgame Ashina Reservoir: Found down the tunnel at the Near the Secret Passage Sculptor's Idol.
  • You have to fight Genichiro, Way of Tomoe first. If killed by either Genichiro or Isshin you have to fight Genichiro again.
  • This boss is not optional if you choose to serve Kuro when talking to Owl. See Endings for details
  • See Isshin Ashina for the NPC version and Isshin Ashina (Boss) for another ending fight.



Isshin, The Sword Saint Rewards

What do you get from defeating Isshin, The Sword Saint in Sekiro?





Isshin, The Sword Saint Boss Guide Strategies

Isshin, The Sword Saint Video Strategies



Isshin, The Sword Saint Strategy Writeup

Phase 1: At the start, you instead face Genichiro, Way of Tomoe. The fight will be very similar to the 3rd phase near Kuro’s room on the rooftops, if not for the big, black Mortal Blade swings he starts with and repeats occasionally. You can dodge behind him during the first swing and get easy hits in, staggering his second set of swings. He will lunge, and with enough distance, Mikiri counter makes this fight simple. He only has one Vitality bar, and once you deathblow him, a cutscene will play as Isshin steps out of him.

Isshin Phase 1: He will start a decent distance away from you. His main attacks will be a rather quick. One of his main ones being a double slash with considerable distance. He will sheath his sword and it will flash white, then he will dash and slash twice. Deflecting both attacks is an option, as you can run backwards and sprint to the side. Once he slashes, he is open for a quick two hits. His main slashes are a three-to-four hit combo, delaying between each hit. A thrust for an easy Mikiri counter, which will be telegraphed as he will end up in the thrust position before committing. Along with these attacks, he will do a long range wind attack, which can be dodge by running sideways as you can get a couple free hits on him this way as well. And a close range, full screen sweep, giving you just enough time to sprint backwards before it goes off. Once you get the deathblow in phase 1, he may continue to attack for a second before stomping the ground to begin phase 2.

Isshin Phase 2: Phase 2 is a massive difficulty increase from phase 1.Once he stomps the ground, he will do knockback damage, but not Vitality damage. Pulling a spear and swiping it in a tight circle around himself. If timed correctly, you maybe be able to get a hit or two in before he begins his assault. Along with the spear, he will have a short sword with him, along with a matchlock pistol he will use this to fire several rapaid fire shots. During this phase, he will keep the wind sweep attack, using it randomly throughout the fight. He will be consistently more aggressive, moving towards you if you make too large of a gap, firing the pistol if the gap gets too large. Making a large gap, you may be able to bait him into using a thrust that can easily be Mikiri countered. He will do large, heavy hitting overheads, usually one after another that can be deflected at the cost of heavy posture damage. Dodging sideways as he descends from the overhead, you can easily dodge the hit and get a few hits in yourself. After Isshin deflects one of your blows, sometimes he will jump backwards and make a sweep at you with his spear. Right as he does this, dodging into the attack (towards him) will allow you to get several hits on him as well. Be careful doing this, as he may do another overhead directly after. Dodging can keep distance, as much as he may spam the gun, is the easiest way to bait him into thrusting, easy overhead dodges, and breaking his posture overall. NOTE: Using the Loaded Umbrella will save you from taking ANY vitality or posture damage if you are struggling to dodge/deflect some of the perilous attacks (unless he is using lightning, which doesn't come until phase 3) AND Isshin will take considerable posture damage if you are using the umbrella to deflect!! You can use the umbrella to help cheese your way through if other means are not working for you. Deathblow on this phase will move him into phase 3.

Isshin Phase 3: Almost the same as phase 2, except he has three new attacks. One being a large swing, in which he covers his spear in lightening and swings it at you. You will want to get close when he does this and jump, as to deflect it directly back at him for big Vitality and posture damage, along with a flurry of free hits. His second attack will be similar to his phase 1 long range wind attack, the main difference is instead of it being vertical, it will be more of a distance slash attack. Third new attack will be adding lightning damage to his large overhead attacks. You can deflect the lightning, although the timing can be difficult. Strategy will be the same as his phase 2 fight. Bait out the Mikiri counter along with his lightning attack, and this phase should go smoother than phase 2. Upon giving him the final deathblow, do not miss the Mortal Blade deathblow, or you will have to go at his third phase again.

If you defeat the boss you will see the writing "IMMORTALITY SEVERED" upon the screen.


Isshin, The Sword Saint Attacks & Counters

Attack Indicator Counter
Phase 1
Charged Attack, Vertical Force Wave Isshin puts his sword back into the sheath and readies a stance. A glint will show on the hilt. After a delay he will strike downward with his sword, launching a wave of force infront of him. After another short delay a second wave of force will be launched forward following the same path. Deflect, then dodge second force wave.  Waves can be deflected fully but will leak damage if blocked. It can be interrupted by a full charged strike of praying strikes exorcism.
Ashina Cross Isshin puts his sword into its sheath and after a short delay steps forward towards the player and makes two very quick slashes with his sword. Press deflect twice without pause as soon as you see a flash of light at his hand. If trying to avoid this attack entirely, be sure to run as far as possible.
Ashina Cross Cancel If the player is very close to Isshin when he is readying "Ashina Cross" he will cancel the attack by quickly smacking the player with his sword, then following up with a perilous sweeping attack. He will also do this after the player repeatedly deflects his attacks.  Deflect the initial hit then jump and stomp. Block or attack when coming down as he will counterattack immediately unless forced to defend.
Ichimonji Double Isshin will raise his blade in a ready stance and perform an Ichimonni double. If the player deflects the first hit Isshin will stagger, then immediately transition into "Charged Attack, Vertical Force Wave". Since "Charged Attack,  Vertical Force Wave" is far more difficult to deal with, it is best to simply dodge or block this attack. The attack can be sidestepped, by doging to one side of Isshin.
Distance Slash If the player is far away from Isshin and/or uses an item Isshin quickly dash at the player and slash them. Make sure that you are far enough away that you have time to react or that it simply cannot reach you.
Phase 2
Charged Attack, Horizontal Force Wave Isshin will sheath his sword and charge an attack. After a short delay he will quickly swing his sword in a spinning motion causing a large force wave in a circle around him. Wait for a moment, then deflect as soon as Isshin begins to move his arm. Alternatively, you can instead sprint and then jump toward him, then jump again on his head. This will allow you to get 2-4 free hits on him as you descend from the jump and after landing, and his slash will not hit you since you're in the air. Alternatively if you are close, it can be interrupted by a full charged praying strikes exorcism.
Charge Attack, Double Projected Force. Isshin will sheath his sword and charge an attack, After a short delay he will make two slashes in the player direction launching discs of force with each slash. The discs will deal damage through your block in not deflected properly. The attack is easy to dodge and it is recommended you do so as deflecting the discs will not affect Isshin's posture.
Leaping Slam When far away from Isshin and/or using an item Isshin will leap into the air and slam down with his spear. He will then follow up this attack with either a sword strike or he will pull out his gun and shoot at you. Deflect the slam then counter attack. Regardless of what he does after the slam he will either get hit or block your attack.
Retreating Sweep Isshin will leap backwards into the air and sweep in front of him with his spear. He usually does this after blocking/deflecting several of the player's attacks. This attack comes out very quickly and is difficult to deflect. Deflect, or quickly dodge forward for a free hit.
Quad Shot

When at distance Isshin will pull out a pistol and shoot at the player several times, he will often then follow up with a large thrust from his spear.

If simply blocked, the bullets can damage your posture very heavily. It is recommended that you learn how to deflect them (it should be noted that the last bullet is slightly delayed so caution should be made not to get your posture broken). Mikiri counter the following thrust, or jump attack if it's a sweep.
 Phase 3

All attacks from phase 2

Same description

Same counter

Lightning Slash

He will jump into the air and lightning will converge on him. He will then launch the lighting at the player with a sword swing.

Jump into the air and use lighting reversal, mist raven, or Sakura Dance to redirect the attack at Isshin, this will stun him.



Isshin, The Sword Saint Lore

  • The reason why this younger version of Isshin appears is due to Genichiro using the Black Mortal Blade on himself, as a sacrifice, to bring his grandfather back from the underworld. As described by the Black Scroll key item, the Black Mortal Blade: "is said to hold the power to open a gate to the underworld. It is through this power that it creates life."


Isshin, The Sword Saint Notes & Trivia

  • Voice Actor: Andre Sogliuzzo (English), Tetsuo Kanao (Japanese)
  • The Japanese honorary title of Kensei (剣聖) is only given to a warrior of legendary skill in swordsmanship. The literal translation of kensei is "sword saint", which implies a higher degree of perfection and moral dimension than the more commonly used "sword master" (剣豪, kengo). The title is not to be confused with the term "swordsman" (剣士, kenshi).



Isshin, The Sword Saint Image Gallery

[images go here]



Corrupted Monk  ♦  Demon of Hatred  ♦  Divine Dragon  ♦  Emma, the Gentle Blade  ♦  Folding Screen Monkeys  ♦  Genichiro Ashina  ♦  Genichiro, Way of Tomoe  ♦  Great Colored Carp  ♦  Great Serpent  ♦  Great Shinobi Owl  ♦  Guardian Ape  ♦  Gyoubu Oniwa  ♦  Headless Ape  ♦  Inner Father  ♦  Inner Genichiro  ♦  Inner Isshin  ♦  Isshin Ashina (Boss)  ♦  Lady Butterfly  ♦  Owl (Father)


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    • Anonymous

      i find it so funny that everyone who has played sekiro calls isshin the glock saint. im not even gonna lie, this is the best boss fight in video game history. every single aspect of this is divine, like miyazaki literally called upon jesus christ himself to make this boss. my favorite part is the third phase, with the lightning. my whole strat it basically:
      when he does lightning: sakura dance reversal, then throw two phantom kunai after for more damage. rinse and repeat until death or victory :3

      • Anonymous

        What an excellent boss. I love fighting Genichiro, and Isshin is like an even better version of Genichiro. Honestly, I think this fight is better than Gael for me. I had a lot of fun with Gael to be sure (didn't enjoy his phase 1 much though), but I'm pretty sure I had a massive grin on my face the whole time I was doing this fight.

        Genichiro gets you in the mood and takes 30 seconds to beat if you're doing it right. After that, Isshin phase 1 was the hardest part of the fight for me, honestly. Attack 1-2 times, deflect, punish special moves. I preferred letting Ashina cross trigger or running away, never learnt to counter the cancel sweep. I dunno why the guide recommends avoiding his ichimonji double, given that deflecting it is easy, deals great posture damage to him, and avoiding the dragon flash shockwave is as simple as dodging to the right.

        For phase 2, the glaive combo into mikiri is easy to deflect, and the quad-shot also is, but my problem was the massive horizontal slash. Jumping on his head, as this article recommends, did the trick. Thanks anons.

        For phase 3, all I can suggest is watch out for elevation. First time I got to phase 3, I did two lightning reversals which whiffed because isshin was closer to the edge of the cliff and on higher elevation than me, then he killed me. After that, I always conducted the fight closer to the edge of the cliff, and had no further trouble with lightning.

        • Anonymous

          Gwyn was like: parry to cheese. This mf is like: parry or you die in 1 second. Best final boss in From games (if we don't count Gael), really feels powerful

          • Anonymous

            Everyone:man this guy is so honorable he didn’t even have to look and let Sekiro kill him in the end
            Me:yeah who wouldn’t hear that crazy loud deathblow noise

            • Anonymous

              every time i try and fight him i just end up thinking "damn dude i would rather be fighting inner genichro right now this sucks"
              he feels very spammy, cant get a whole lot of hits in and i end up just standing there deflecting which is exceptionally boring to me

              • Anonymous

                All these memes about Isshin the Glock Saint but that pistol salvo into piercing attack is probably the most punishable sequence in phase 2, and he does it very often if you're being aggressive and forcing him to jump back.

                The first time he pulled the pistol on me tho? That was a very, very loud "WHOA WHAT THE HELL MAN"

                • Anonymous

                  Genichiro was like “Grandpa! I choose you!”
                  *insert Genichiro throwing a pokeball with Isshin popping out of it*

                  • Anonymous

                    Learn the tells for his fast perilous attacks and find a way to deal with his chip damage attacks. Horizontal shockwaves can be goomba stomped(wish i knew this the first time, I was using mist raven to dodge them), or you can run away if you react quickly. Vertical shockwaves in phase 1 are the most troublesome, if you are far away you can run to the side, but if you are close i recommend you use umbrella/mist raven to deal with them.
                    Ashina cross can be avoided by tactically retreating when he sheathes his sword. This lets you get a clean hit in afterwards. Alternatively you can move in close when he sheathes his sword and block immediately(he will bash you, make sure you at least block it), then goomba stomp the following sweep immediately. The wiki tells you to deflect the ashina cross, but if you do that you won't get a clean hit nor a goomba stomp on him afterwards, so why risk it?

                    • Anonymous

                      This man can cut so quickly that his sword breaks the sound barrier to send shockwaves, can predict where lightning will land and intercept it with his spear, and time travel to snatch a glock-19. No wonder the central forces refused to invade Ashina until he died.

                      • Anonymous

                        Phase 1 bait him to attack then use combat art mortal draw can deal vitality damage even if he block. After 2 hit eva back and hold block button ~~

                        • Anonymous

                          Got lucky and killed him in 7-8 tries. With maxed out beads and damage obv. I will replay the **** out of this fight

                          • Anonymous

                            I think I died to Genichiro here more than I died to this dude lol. That doesn't mean I didn't die to him like 10 times, but I keep ****ing up with Genichiro, so I just let myself die.

                            His first phrase was surprisingly easy. Get close to him and just let him hit you with his basic attacks. Deflecting does a lot of posture damage. Use umbrella for his whirlwind attack.

                            Second phrase just deflect his spear, use umbrella sometimes, and mikiri counter his thrusts.

                            Third phrase you can honestly just run and lighting reversal.

                            I think I used like 5 spirit emblems the whole fight.

                            I found Owl (Father) way more annoying and tedious than this fight.

                            • My L1 button broke and I had to face him without deflection.
                              Phase 1 was easy,attack and dodge back and thrust and dodge left.
                              Phase 2 was tricky with those big combos, tried to bait thrusts and then mikiri. Also spammed the flame vent to proc burn and then whack him with axe.
                              Phase 3 was over with reversals.

                              Truly my best experience from this game. I should thank my L1 button for breaking right before the battle and giving me this great fight.

                              • Anonymous

                                Saving enough spirit emblems for the spear phase and then lightning phase to keep swinging that lazulite axe helped allot for me first time beating this guy

                                • Anonymous

                                  This was the one tough boss in the game who I was actually able to roll fairly quickly - as others have said, the key is to be hyper aggressive. Do not let him relax at all. His posture is surprisingly low so if you retreat and let him recover you're only making things harder. If you're in his face he'll do his basic combos more often which are slow and easy to counter. Just be wary of his gunfire and the quick thrust attack (which fortunately doesn't do too much damage). And in the third phase abuse the lightning counter.

                                  • Anonymous

                                    One of the most, if not number 1, fun bosses in the game. The fight is so well made and you really feel like you have to give it all in order to beat him. Then cutting him down after he admits defeat is just a cherry on top.

                                    • Anonymous

                                      Phase 2, all his jump slams and sweep attacks, plus the thunder and lightning, gives me flashbacks to fighting the Orphan of Kos, but where’s MY pistol this time??

                                      • Anonymous

                                        Mechanically the fight is sound, apart from the high grass obscuring some attacks, but story-wise it felt rather shoe-horned in and felt more like a standard solution of "well, it's a video game so we need to have a final boss" instead of something more thematically fitting that I've come expect from FS games. Good game overall, but this final encounter just wasn't flashy or unique enough to leave a lasting impression on me.

                                        • Anonymous

                                          Max out your prayer beads/ attack, I personally defeated him on my 2nd attempt which I attribute to my max hp and attack allowing me to last longer, learn, make more mistakes, and punish better. I really hope this can translate to inner isshin.

                                          • Anonymous

                                            PRAYER BEADS, FOOL
                                            The amount of health you have has to be the biggest factor in the difficulty of this fight. I've done loads of runs where I collect everything and I gan get him in one try. Now I'm trying a "boss rush" run, just ignoring anything that's not necessary and out-of-the way. I'm trying him with 3 necklaces, seven heals, and minimal strength (skipped headless ape, lady butterfly, Owl Father, and DoH). It's wayyy harder than my charmless run where I maxed health and strength. You stumble once during one of those long combos and that's a life.

                                            With this much of a difference, I believe both those who say it's not bad and those who say it's near-impossible. If you're really struggling and don't have those beads, go back and get what you can.

                                            • Anonymous

                                              if you've truly internalized every lesson the game teaches you he doesn't come off as difficult as some people make him out to be (still pretty damn hard), if not he feels crushingly brutal. I had more attempts vs the lone shadow long swordsman's than Isshin, I refused to learn to cheese the lone shadow or any of the other early game bosses I struggled with and the feeling of becoming so much exponentially better at the game was extremely satisfying. the entire game builds to him, he is the skill check of all time.

                                              • Anonymous

                                                Isshin the Sword Saint is unquestionably the epitome of a boss fight. Given it comes from the Magnum Opus that is Sekiro is no surprise.

                                                However he is also the most difficult boss fight in any FromSoft game likewise Sekiro being the most difficult of all of their games.

                                                All in all this man is a force to be reckoned with make no mistake of that

                                                • Anonymous

                                                  My first and only playthrough so far, I got all the way up to this boss when Elden Ring was released. Sadly, I couldn't resist the temptation of a new game. Several playthroughs later, I'm tired of Elden Ring and now I have to start at Isshin to finally complete this game. I've also completely forgotten how to play Sekiro. Wish me luck - I'll need it.

                                                  • Anonymous

                                                    The 2 biggest tips I can give:

                                                    1: be super agressive, always attack him when you can, and stand your ground and deflect his attacks. If he creates distance, run after him immiediatly

                                                    2: Lazulite axe

                                                    • Anonymous

                                                      Just beat this guy for the first time, such a good fight.

                                                      Although, I almost regret using the lazulite axe on him, it obliterated his posture and honestly made the fight kinda easy, he was down on my second try

                                                      • Anonymous

                                                        Best skill-check boss in the game. Died to him 30 over times before i finally beat him with only basic skills, no cheat engines. Simply over the top satisfaction. Timing and patience are keys to victory.

                                                        • Anonymous

                                                          “FACE ME SEKIRO!”
                                                          I get chills every time he goes into second phase and busts that spear out and chambers his Glock.
                                                          When Isshin died, sword in hand, he was headed out to die fighting against the Central Forces. Probably expected to kill a few before being overwhelmed, but that didn’t happen. But when he’s brought back by his grandson and squares up with Sekiro, there’s no quarrel or bad blood. He’s honor bound, same as you, and what he’s hoping for is a true final battle. And that’s exactly what you give him. When you get the final death blow, he shows respect to a worthy adversary. This is without a doubt the best final boss experience I’ve ever had in 30 years of gaming. The perfect payoff.

                                                          • He deflects almost all of your attacks,so how to beat him? CHIP DAMAGE,using any flame vent+living force and then a combat art which deals damage through pick was floating passage and it wrecked him. Charged flame vent attack-->living force-->floating passage.

                                                            • Anonymous

                                                              If you lure him onto the paved path and then use the hidden tooth you can get a great angle on his feet ;)

                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                Why are there so many people on the Demon of Hatred page complaining that boss doesn't utilize the game's core mechanic (deflecting), but then everyone on this page recommends avoiding all of Isshin's attacks with the umbrella instead of...deflecting? Almost every single one of them can be deflected with no damage.

                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                  This was my 5th From Software experience, and it took me a while to warm up to the parrying mechanics. It's surprising to me how many commenters relied on cheap/evasive tactics to cheat themselves out of a great experience with this boss.

                                                                  My advice to ANYONE facing Isshin: Just do the hard work. Learn the moves. Train yourself to recognize the patterns. Every time he beat me with the sweep attack after the sword combo, I reminded myself OUT LOUD what I messed up. Every time he circled around me and I missed the Mikiri counter opportunity, I reminded myself OUT loud why I got confused.

                                                                  Do yourself a favor - don't cheese him, don't hide behind the umbrella, don't run away every time he charges up an attack. Do what the game taught you to do. Stand your ground, deflect everything, and truly earn your victory. This is how I took him down with zero items/prosthetics, and it was 100% worth it.

                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                    As somebody who's been downright terrible at the entire game's mechanics, but with a good supply of patience, I ended up whittling this geezer down with single pokes during only the safest openings I could read in each phase.

                                                                    During phase one, I waited for when he starts dashing and follows with a thrust and two slashes. Poked him just briefly after the second slash. Otherwise, I was constantly encircling him with a comfortable space buffer while sprinting. The danger move for me was when he looks like he's dipping. That was my queue to change sprint direction to away from him, as he'll gap close toward you with quick slashes.

                                                                    During phase two and three, whenever he leaps and slams his spear, he'll gap close toward you with a slash. I'd be sprinting in the opposite direction from him up until he's about to slash, in which case I turned and went in for a poke.

                                                                    Depending on how he reacts after a poke (e.g. sometimes he'd bust out an ichimonji), I'd occasionally fit in another poke before playing the move waiting game again.

                                                                    Now to try do the same for the flames of hatred...

                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                      After going through the game and fighting various foes, many of which were incredibly skilled with swords I was very excited to fight Isshin the sword saint.

                                                                      You can Imagine my surprise when he whipped out the UwUzi and cut me down in a hailstorm of 9mm.
                                                                      This is unironically the best souls game I have ever played.

                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                        Beware and behold the charged attack with horizontal force wave in the FIRST phase which he occasionally does instead of vertical force wave. You can barely see it coming due to the vegetation. It deals a ton of damage and can even one-shot you if your HP isn't at 100%. Be careful.

                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                          Literally just beat this guy 10 minutes ago. There are so many guides on the internet involving shinobi arts and prosthetic tools.

                                                                          You don't need any of that. I unequipped everything except my healing gourd. What you need to do goes against every instinct you've built up until this point.


                                                                          That's right. For all three of Isshin's phases, you are going to hold block and slowly walk toward him. Because the real killer in this fight is getting your posture broken, as long as you are holding blocking and moving toward Isshin, your posture will recover.

                                                                          In phase 1 of Isshin, he's so defensive that attacking is almost pointless. You're basically waiting for a thrust attack (mikiri counter) or his attack/sweep combo (jump on his head for posture damage). Also, if he winds up for an AOE attack, do NOT run away. Jump on his head for posture damage.

                                                                          In phase 2, you're blocking again, but you also have more opportunities to attack. Every single time he jumps into the air, you should be dodging to the side and punishing him with free hits. I've found dashing through his retreating sweep to be too much risk for too little reward. Just block it. It goes without saying that if you can't mikiri counter on command, this phase is going to be difficult. Posture will be your main way of damaging him. It may seem like his posture recovers too fast, but keep at it and his posture will eventually build and stay put.

                                                                          Phase 3 is the same as the previous one. but your goal here is lightning deflects — three is the magic number. If you can land three delfects, his posture will be so low that all you'll need to do is block and wait for an attack you can counter with a jump or mikiri.

                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                            A bloody nightmare of a fight, but much more fair than that stupid thing at the end of elden ring.

                                                                            I do find the last phase easier than the rest though, Just wait for him to lightning, fling it back in his face and enjoy the free hits.

                                                                            rather strange that the final boss of the hardest game I've ever played has a final phase that is more of a victory lap than anything.

                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                              If you tired AF trying him as did i, you could download the cheat engine and turn the god mode on to train. I had problems with 2nd and 3rd stage attack patterns and goind through Genitiro each time is so annoying. But 30 mins of practice and it's a piece of cake, you can turn the cheat off and beat him fair and square with just parry.

                                                                              • i do randomizer and get him instead of father owl, ngl since everything was balanced it was a cakewalk, but still cant be ****ed to kill demon of hatred

                                                                                • Beat him first try very disappointment the boss was so easy i guess from soft fans are just trash at games because there was nothing hard about the boss and if you played the rest of the game you should be able to beat him first try

                                                                                  • Replayed Sekiro for the first time since about April 2019. I remember struggling hard on Isshin that each time I beat him, I had used up just about all my healing items and spirit emblems. I was prepared to spent hours and countless tries on him this time around like before. Instead, I was able to quite easily beat him after 4 attempts and in my final, only healed twice and didn't use any prosthetics (same situation with DoH whom I previously struggled with too). Amazing boss, although I lowkey wish he didn't spam lightning slash twice in a row which gave my free massive hp dmg on him.

                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                      It took me over 5 hours when this came out to beat this and I dreaded ever coming back to him on a replay of Sekiro. Fast forward to this year and I beat him first try. I don't know if my muscle memory from that battle at launch still stayed with me but I like to think so. Fantastic final boss.

                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                        One of the greatest but probably the hardest boss I've ever faced (hi malenia) , took me 30+ tries but that feeling when you finally beat it... I found the key of beating him is being agressive while also being cautious, don't let thim lower his posture as much as possible. Save your shurikens to close the gap between you and him so he won't be able to recover his posture. You may not want to waste your heals for the first two phases as their attack pattern can easily be learned by simply trying over and over again. I don't think running around like a headless chicken works really well for the last 2 phases, instead try to find an opening while deflecting and dodging his attacks, just don't be greedy cause you'll be punished.

                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                          I don’t know why but after activating the demon bell due to mindless frustration I was actually able to get to his 2nd phase a lot easier than I could without it.

                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                            i love how i watch video show dodge toward his slam will leave him open, and it does when it works more time then not the dodge towards him does not work

                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                              Malenia hit Defeat so hard, that he got isekai'd to the end of the Sengoku era of Japan. And now everyone keeps mistaking him for a guy named Hesitation! I don't know for sure but I've heard tell of an old man by the name of "Isshin" who's spreading rumors about Defeat. I think I heard him say "Hesitation is Defeat" so many times to that stoic shinobi-lookin fella.

                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                It may be just me but this was not that hard but SOOOO over the top and epic that i laughted almost every second, when he started to jump in the air chatching thunders and shoting with a 50 Cal Desert Eagle, i died.

                                                                                                10/10 true 2019 game of the year and 2019 level of gaming

                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                  How to beat Sword Saint via spacing (Dark Souls style):

                                                                                                  Are you a Dark Souls player who dislikes the Sekiro combat system, with its focus on blocking/deflect/posture break instead of just avoiding the blow entirely? Here's how you can beat the Sword Saint Isshin fight without ever touching the block button:

                                                                                                  Skills you will need:

                                                                                                  Jumping Combat Arts
                                                                                                  Ichimonji Double
                                                                                                  Mortal Draw
                                                                                                  Nightjar Reversal (optional but recommended)

                                                                                                  Genichiro phase: Lock on the moment the fight starts, take a single step towards him and perform a jumping Ichimonji double. Dodge back as soon as you're able, move back and sideways, dodge it he shoots his bow, wait three actions by Genichiro, jump back in and crack his skull again. You have to wait three strikes because one of his combos has a quick third strike with the bow that has perfect tracking, if you're mid-air you will be hit. If you see him charging Mortal Blade after your Ichimonji, back up quickly, wait till he's done, and jump in for a bonk.

                                                                                                  This phase is IMO the most difficult of the three using these strategies, but only because you really want to get through it without being hit more than once and his Mortal Blade strike can catch you out if he recovers from Ichimonji too fast. He's got low posture recovery though, so once you learn the pace he's easy.

                                                                                                  Isshin phase one:

                                                                                                  Switch to Nightjar Reversal if you have it, otherwise switch to Mortal Draw. His moveset during this phase is unique from the other two; he's more defensive, and faster on recovery. Nightjar Reversal is excellent because it gets you in and out of his range fast. Otherwise unpowered Mortal Draw will work, but you need to space it right at the edge of the attack range or he'll punish before you can get distance.

                                                                                                  This phase is all about running circles around him, trying to bait out two attacks: Ashina Cross and a variant of Distance Slash where he runs sideways for a time, then sprints towards you, slashes, pauses briefly, then two more quick cuts. You want to be sprinting in circles around him constantly, ranging close enough that he's moving slowly but not close enough that he'll begin his 'normal' attack sequence. Wait for him to either start running sideways or sheathe his sword, and start moving backwards until he's done, then jump in with the in/out Nightjar combo. With Ashina he's open longer so you can get two hits in w/ Nightjar, one on the jump in, one on the reversal. He recovers faster from the running sideways attack: If you start your Nightjar attack as the third strike is in the air, it's possible to land both hits, but timing has to be absolutely perfect and it's not worth it because if you jump too early you're getting hit.

                                                                                                  Keep circling, bait those two attacks, in/out at the end, don't be greedy. Be patient and he may never hit you during this phase. If you get hit and need to heal, go hide behind a rock.

                                                                                                  Isshin phase two and three (strategy is exactly the same, and renders all his unique phase three attacks moot):

                                                                                                  Switch to Mortal Draw. For the remaining two phases of this fight, we are still circling him at a sprint, which is more important now because he's got a 9mm suddenly, but can't lead his target. Always be moving at an angle to his approach, unless you're in the act of attacking. Do not stop moving if he does, he can shoot at you standing still. From now until the fight is over, you're focused on one thing: baiting out his Leaping Slam attack.

                                                                                                  Since he's more aggressive now you will sprint-circle at a moderately increased distance. He will always run directly towards you, so circling creates a sort of equilibrium with the distance given the arena. Prioritize the distance, not the circle. Better to get hit with a round or two from his gat than clubbed in the head by his spear.

                                                                                                  When he begins the slam attack, keep running in a circle. When he lands, start drifting more directly away from him to avoid the second part of this attack, a fast dash straight at you. The instant that dash is over, run in and perform a Mortal Draw. He will usually block it, but Mortal Draw don't give a damn. Try your best to be at the outside edge of Mortal Draw's range when you do this: If you're too close, he'll do the dash again and hit you. It isn't necessary to have Spirit Emblems to execute this strategy, unpowered Mortal Draw works fine.

                                                                                                  If you need to heal, wait till he's in the middle of the last phase of one of his attack combos. You should know them all by heart now, since you've been running circles around him for 15 minutes.

                                                                                                  Just keep running around him, you'll avoid all his nonsense in both second and third phase. Run in, Mortal Draw, run back out and circle. Turns the whole fight very one dimensional.

                                                                                                  That's what he gets for bringing a gun to a sword fight.

                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                    Consume Gokan's sugars in the beginning of his phase 1 and 2 , helps you a lot, everytime I died against him was because of posture break, so I beat him the first time I used Gokans

                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                      when isshin sheathes his sword in phase 1 is it better to deflect ashina cross or should i go near him and deflect and jump on him?

                                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                                        Use confetti, learn how to deflect the lightning attack on phase 3. With enough practice and confetti phase 1 is a breeze and after that is a matter of practice. Good luck.

                                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                                          after a 50 tries and almost wining the third phase but failed i realised i had demon bell activated, I was so much pissed on myself

                                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                                            Second best boss in the game, right behind Inner Isshin. Not actually that tough if you're good at deflecting, and the first phase is definitely the hardest of the three. It gets easier as you progress through the phases, the with the last phase being the easiest because it's literally identical to the second phase but you get huge free lightning damage. Just focus on landing those mikiri counters and he'll go down in no time at all. He only has like four main combos in phase 2 and 3 and they're all quite straightforward. What catches a lot of people out is his backwards jump swing with the spear - it's simply, just don't overcommit beyond the opening he gives you. Then you'll never be caught out by it

                                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                                              hard boss to beat fair & square, but shinobis aren’t about that..

                                                                                                              you beat genichiro and first phase very easy if you are subpar at deflecting, just give them no quarter

                                                                                                              2nd/3rd phase is DEF sugar, oil & flame axe

                                                                                                              pellet before going in

                                                                                                              replenish spirit emblems with dagger between phases

                                                                                                              all in all a lot easier than father owl and sculptor (which you’ll probably wont beat EVER w/o fire umbrella and upgraded finger)

                                                                                                              and a lot easier than Ludwig and dungeon amygdala from BB (orphan of kos is nothing)

                                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                                This is one of the worst FromSoftware games and possibly the worst game I've ever played.

                                                                                                                That said, yes, I too am stuck on the third phase of the Isshin Sword Saint fight. It's incredibly frustrating and doesn't work half the time. And even if I do manage to eventually "GIT GUD" and defeat him, I will never like this game. I think it was a mistake from the start. The game is full of a series of rock bottom, piss poor decisions by the game programmers.

                                                                                                                As a perfect example, that first fight where you lose your arm. Even if you would win, you still lose the arm. Well, isn't that special? That's about the dumbest game design feature I've ever seen in my entire life. Why not just make it a cutscene if the ending is predetermined? Why am I fighting this guy?

                                                                                                                The rewards for beating bosses are garbage, what am I supposed to do with one prayer bead? Nothing! Go get three more! Or maybe I will get lucky and get some weak prosthetic tool that is only useful for one particular enemy. Some of these enemies you fight for hours and hours and your reward? Not much.

                                                                                                                Need XP? Farm 70-,000-100,000 points to get 1 skill point. 5 of those and you can increase attack power by one point. WOOHOO! You can spend an entire weekend running the same loop over and over to get maybe 2 or 3 attack points. That's if you don't go hang yourself first. You think that should have maybe been scaled down a little?

                                                                                                                If I would have known it was a buttom masher game, I wouldn't have bought it, it's not my thing. A beta version would have been nice, but they thought they'd rip me off instead. They stripped out most of the best customization features of the Souls games series and you call it genius? I don't think so. I think the programmers just got lazy and then realized that when people would find out the best part of the series was cut, they wouldn't buy it.

                                                                                                                One of the few good things about this game, the Divine Dragon fight was a good fight. If more of the game were like that, it would have been my favorite in the series. But there's too much failure in making the game playable (and more importantly ENJOYABLE) it's trash and not GUD. If you think this game is a ten, check yourself into a mental hospital now.

                                                                                                                I don't mind a challenge, but I don't enjoy beating my head against a wall. This game easily crosses the line. What did I learn from this game? Mikori counters? How to use Divine Confetti? No, I learned that someone from at FromSoftware needs canned, ASAP.

                                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                                  Did not even manage to learn his 2nd phase... somehow beat him. I was dissociating so hard and now I can't do it in reflection of strength. :/

                                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                                    To anyone struggling with this fight: I was massively underleveled when i first engaged him and it seemed impossible. I had 10 attack power and 14 or so vitality. I went back and got my AP up to 15 and vit up to 19 and won the battle on my second try.

                                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                                      i thought either i was too good or he was too easy until he pulled out a Desert Eagle chambered in .50AE and domed me three times in the head before melting my entire upper body with lightning. i (unironically) love this game so much

                                                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                                                        I like how he's incredibly skilled, but his fighting style is basically just trying to kill you as fast and as hard as possible. His attacks aren't refined or elegant like Lady Butterfly's or Genichiro's. Instead he use high speed iaijutsu, sends shockwaves with his sword and beats you to death with a spear in his off-hand. His signature attack is literally crashing down his sword like a hammer and doing it again when the first hit doesn't connect. And all of this, of course, culminates in him pulling out a gun to waste you.

                                                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                                                          Great boss, tough but fair. Varied, no strange gimmicks, you can win just through posture damage. Although I actually had more trouble with Owl Father and regular Isshin. Maybe I was overleveled? Ok, now for the plat

                                                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                                                            Isshin, the sword saint


                                                                                                                            Malenia, Blade of Miquella

                                                                                                                            who wins?



                                                                                                                            cuz we in sekiro now fool!

                                                                                                                            shock damage and glock 19 for da win

                                                                                                                            long live Ashina!

                                                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                                                              After 30 min approx 3 attemps I came here to complain and saw someone finished the fight in 90 min and I was like bullshit lol. But after finishing it after another 30 min of trying I have some advice. Genichiro is easy. Phase 1 of isshin keep a medium distance and run away when he does the flashy sword dash double slash. If youre quick you can return and get a hit in. The wind slashes just run horizontally, dont bother trying to hit him after. When he closes the gap steadily tap the deflect button, you dont rly need to be a pro deflector. After a bit of these deflections he'll go down. This first phase was the most difficult for me because his perilous attacks were fairly quick so I would try to mikiri counter when it would be a slash : /.

                                                                                                                              The next phases were the easiest imo and when I got to them i beat them on my first try. When he takes the gun out repeatedly tap the deflect button, you shouldnt take much posture dmg. His perilous attacks are thrust only from what I experienced so just mikiri counter. Tap deflect when he gets close and he should go down.

                                                                                                                              Last phase same **** just take a sec to see what he does when you see perilous icon, jump when he jumps to thunder reversal otherwise just mikiri counter. Thise were the only perilous attacks I witnessed

                                                                                                                              Its more rhythm than actually eyeballing his attack animations when get gets close or uses gun, if hes not perilous attacking

                                                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                this might be the best boss fight I've ever had in a video game

                                                                                                                                I somehow managed to never get much more tilted than a strong exhalation and even enjoyed fighting Genichiro every time as a little warm up

                                                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                  Chad isshin: dosent run away, Fights like a man, compliments you when you kill him, taught emma how to fight, looks like a cool samurai, has a ****ing glock 19 and a cool spear, funny dialogue when you die by him.

                                                                                                                                  Virgin elden beast: runs away across the map, spams magic, fights like a coward, looks like a stupid fish, no cool phase 2 dialogue. No guns no cool lightning attacks, simps for marika and radagon.

                                                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                    4th try against this boss and i made it to the last phase with only 10% posture remaining. Then couldn't get to the last phase for the next 10 tries. What this means? Its a **** boss determined by luck

                                                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                      Tough boss, but not nearly as tough as people seem to think he is. Incredibly easy when you figure out how to parry.

                                                                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                        Damn this chad was the biggest gaming challenge i ever had, i died to his phase 2 so many times i learned to beat genichiro and the 1st phase without taking damage almost every time. Its crazy how much this boss is forcing u to git gut, other bosses compared to him now feels like common soldiers from beginning of the game.

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