Isshin, The Sword Saint

sword saint
Location Ashina Reservoir
Weakness

Shinobi Firecracker
Loaded Umbrella (First & Second Phase)

Mist Raven (Final Phase)

Burn

Sakura Dance (Final Phase)

Reward

Memory: Saint Isshin
Dragon Flash
20,000 Exp (NG)

25,000 Exp (NG+)

30,000 Exp (NG+ with Kuro’s Charm) 

   

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: He will start as Genichiro, Way of Tomoe. The fight will be pretty standard as the 3rd phase near Kuro’s room on the rooftops. Aside from the big, black Mortal blade swings he starts with. 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 double slash. Deflecting both attacks is an option however, 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]

 

 

Bosses
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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    • 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

                                              vs

                                              Malenia, Blade of Miquella

                                              who wins?

                                              Isshin

                                              Why?

                                              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.

                                                          • Anonymous

                                                            I like to imagine for lore reasons, instead of a glock, isshin has like 50 already loaded flintlock pistols and just cycles through them very fast.

                                                            • Anonymous

                                                              This guy...
                                                              Kicked my ass for many many many attempts...
                                                              I'm a pretty chill and calm dude but this guy had me cursing and half shouting at my tv! X'D
                                                              After a long time of trying I had to refill my resurrection bars and went to the Fountainhead Palace to kill a bunch of Okami warriors.
                                                              Jumped into the bigger groups and fought as many at once as I could for a solid 20 - 30 minutes.
                                                              It will warm you up and you'll get into the zone when it comes to focus.
                                                              After I started easily dominating the larger groups without too much trouble/healing and my resurrection bars were full I went back to the final boss and somehow I completely dominated him without needing a single resurrection...
                                                              I guess my tip for those that are struggling here: Go fight groups of Okami warriors and get your focus going, than go back to the final boss and try him again.
                                                              I think you'll find him a lot easier this time around ;)
                                                              Good luck and kick ass!

                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                Petition to change this article into "welp ur ****ed kid, idk memorize some patterns, throw some bombs or some **** but keep trying"

                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                  This guy kicked my butt for a good 90 minutes until I finally got him. Thank goodness he uses lightning in his third phase... I don't think I could've handled another phase like the second.

                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                    Finally beat him after countless tries. I was moaning and complaining the entire time about how it was way too hard, but it's doable if you can just grit your teeth and keep going. Try it out for 20 minutes, come back the next day, try again for 20 minutes, then the next day, etc. You don't need items except healing and the metal shield umbrella.

                                                                    For people having difficulty:
                                                                    Phase 1 (Genichiro): Constantly attack, parry only when you need to. Don't let up at all, you'll beat him fairly quickly if you're hyper aggressive.
                                                                    Phase 2 (Isshin): He seems insanely fast with his attacks, but it's all timing. This phase is the hardest to break through imo and feels impossible, you just have to die a lot and memorize his animations and it'll eventually click when to parry his attacks. Attack sparingly. For the attacks that seem impossible to dodge (the ones with the white trails), use metal umbrella.
                                                                    Phase 3: Don't attack much. Just parry the whole time and bide your time. You should use parrying to beat this phase imo and only attack/be aggressive in order to keep his posture from depleting. Use metal umbrella again when he does the attacks with the white trails that are hard to dodge.
                                                                    Phase 4: Same as phase 3 but for lightning reversal - when you see it coming, hold L1 to block, then jump while still holding L1 and spam R1 to deflect. It takes time to feel comfortable doing it but after a while it's not so bad.

                                                                    In the end even after beating him I still think the boss is too hard, it's exponentially more difficult than anything else in the game imo. It's one thing if they gradually ramped up the difficulty, but this boss is just crazy compared to everything else to me. It wasn't fun to learn to me the way guardian ape was fun to learn, but I guess that's just preference.

                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                      you suck at this game if you can't beat him before even entering the arena first try using a dance dance revolution pad with your eyes stapled shut and being permanently deafened using braille to predict his attacks.

                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                        Just beat him and I have some tips for anyone who was stuck like me.

                                                                        For Edgy teen and Isshin's first phase, you must stay close to them and attack.
                                                                        Edgy teen will have 3 types of counterattacks when he deflects you :

                                                                        - jump : parry the jump. If there is no perilous attack, parry the next one as well. If you see a perilous attack, look at his position. If you can see his head turning, that means it is a sweep and you need to jump and kick. Otherwise, he will thrust and you need to mikiri.
                                                                        - sword combo : deflect them all it is the same combo as before. If you deflect it all, he will automatically thrust afterwards. Free mikiri.
                                                                        - simple sword : deflect it

                                                                        Sometime he will also put out his bow. If you can hit him first, that's okay. Otherwise deflect the arrows and he will thrust.

                                                                        To counter his mortal blade attacks, go behind him and unleash an ishimonji, it will cancel it.

                                                                        Isshin first phase

                                                                        Same thing. Attack isshin and watch it when he deflects you.
                                                                        - seething his sword : prepare to deflect and then immediately jump as he will do a sweep attack. Punish him with a kick
                                                                        - ishimonji : deflect it then run to the left around isshin and dodge. Punish him with a few hits in the back
                                                                        - small thrust : isshin will attack you with a deflectable thrust and then unleash a perilous attack which is also a thrust and therefore free mikiri
                                                                        - simple sword counter : he will attack 3 times. Deflect them all and then attack.

                                                                        2nd and 3rd phase
                                                                        Stay globally at mid-ranfe from him and equip the fire umbrella if you have it. If he jumps at you, deflect with the umbrella and unleash a follow-up attack. This will make his posture go way up.
                                                                        If you need to heal, run away and wait for him to unleash a combo on his own to heal safely.
                                                                        If he swings his halberd around, stay at mid range and wait for the perilous attack to mikiri.
                                                                        Try to deflect all other combos and don't forget to guard as much as you can to avoid posture break
                                                                        2nd phase will be definitely longer than the third because the third gives you lightning attacks which will destroy his health and posture. So do the same tricks and just counter the lightning properly and you should get phase 3 easily. Good luck :)

                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                          I love it when I try to mikiri counter but instead of countering my guy just dashes straight into his sword. I still can't tell if it's a glitch or not

                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                            So, after dying, Isshin kicks back in the underworld and watches Raiders of the Lost Ark, and realizes there are better ways of fighting swordsmen.

                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                              I really wanted to like this fight but in the end I am really sorry to say that I didn't. It speaks volumes that most guides to this boss basically consist of "in the 2nd and 3rd phase just bait the leaping slam attack, hit him once, repeat"

                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                Finally beat this boss, I truly had a blast at being the best at running in circles and hitting like a wet noodle, time to uninstall, good luck all !

                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                  New Inner Isshin Moves:
                                                                                  1st Phase
                                                                                  Mortal Draw Wave: Use Pheonix Lilac Umbrella to completely block, no exceptions, THIS WILL OHKO! The first move he performs, charges attack and has three strikes. First two seems to have the same timing as his Ashina Cross. If hit, will be knocked back and hit by the third strike/second wave. May have replaced vertical force wave/dragon slash.
                                                                                  2nd Phase
                                                                                  Can now cancel 5-hit spear combo to bum-shot you.
                                                                                  New Perilous BS: He raises his sword and you will get a perilous warning. While it's possible to jump this, the timing is far to tight and can leave you vulnerable to his follow-up. Use Mist Raven to dodge left or right. This allows you to dodge the vertical slash or mikiri a spear thrust. After raising his sword, he charges forward with two strikes and an uppercut into the air, followed by the slash or the thrust. This can also OHKO. Will use it in 3rd phase so try to trigger more lightning strikes. If you don't have his rhythms down, you will run out of spirit crests!

                                                                                  For a proper challenge; face Inner Genichiro before Inner Isshin to make up for the clown Genichro fight.

                                                                                  • Ok, seriously, what is the lore reason for Isshin to be packing a Glock??? It bugs me every time I fight him. I keep trying to find a still where you can see the gun fully but haven't had any luck so far. I just wanna see how the devs animated this thing

                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                      parry the overhead spear attack, attack twice and run
                                                                                      bait his thrust and mikuru it, attack once and run

                                                                                      genichiro is a joke and first phase is easy, these are for the 2nd and 3rd phases

                                                                                      • I fully thought they'd pull the good old "easy final boss" trick again with Genichiro. Nice way to end like it started and all.. So I didn't take this fight seriously at all.

                                                                                        I was quickly shown why this was a mistake

                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                          i dont get the majority of things in this comment section, anyone who says they didnt have that hard of a time gets dislike bombed and if u say genichiro bad u get free likes, i had a stupid amount of trouble on isshin mind you (he took me like 3 months of on and off play lmao-) however starting with genichiro each time feels like a good way to get you warmed up for the fight. after too long of trying at isshin i would end up frying my brain and dying to geni, once that happened i knew it was time to stop. he's a good way to judge if you're doing better or worse, atleast he was for me.

                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                            You should be able to absolutely annihilate Genichiro by now, although if you're having trouble with his Mortal Blade attacks just run behind him. You'll never be hit.

                                                                                            That or turn into a turtle...

                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                              I finished sekiro for the first time now. I was hating the fact that I had to fight Genichiro every time I died to the old man, but I ended up enjoying it, give you a moment to breathe and think as you beat this miserable sexy man.

                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                It took me 18 tries to beat Isshin and I just want to thank the Mist-Noble for forcing me to git-gud and learn how to play the game.

                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                  This fight is made way more frustrating than it could have been by Genichiro. Having to skip two cutscenes and kill Genichiro while making no mistakes (otherwise you start the rest of the fight at a disadvantage) gets very old very quickly.

                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                    High Monk is recommended against him. On P1, you can do the whole combo after a sweep or the wide 360 slash, even the slow kick. On P2, stop after the 2 sword attacks and isshin's response to your offense shrinks down to only 1 attack, that if deflected can follow up with the one that he charges for a little bit then runs to your left. From there, you have time to pop a sugar or heal. From far away, he can either jump attack, which can be deflected, do a sword-spear-thrust combo, and in P3 he can do the dragonflashes

                                                                                                    If the response attack is not deflected, it's followed up with a spear attack

                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                      Things I hate about this fight:

                                                                                                      - Genichiro
                                                                                                      - Idol too far from the boss arena
                                                                                                      - Loading screen too long if you die
                                                                                                      - Cutscene EVERY TIME
                                                                                                      - Genichiro

                                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                                        Remember he's your enemy now. "Hesitation is defeat" is how you die by recklessly running into everything.

                                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                                          Healing tips: In phase 1, you can heal any time you want by backing off - Isshin is happy to keep strolling. In phase 2 and 3, he will follow you relentlessly and occasionally shoot at you, but it's still possible to heal safely. 1 - always run at an angle so that his bullets miss, and 2 - block his attacks with terrain. If he's following close, drag him through one of the rocks. He'll usually attack the rock in frustration, letting you add distance and/or heal. If he's far away, you can even hide on the other side of the hill in the middle of the arena. Once you learn how to shake him, you can apply healing/sugars/confetti whenever you want without issue. Just don't run off a cliff.

                                                                                                          Hunting for help on the internet, I found two decent tips if you plan to fight him up close. 1 - Hit twice, parry thrice. Aggressively attacking him establishes the rhythm, and you can almost always attack twice safely (with the exception of when he jumps away, swinging his spear in an arc, during phase 2/3). He usually counters in sets of three, often using a delayed third attack that is nasty if you're not waiting for it. After parrying thrice, you can usually resume attacking. 2 - If he charges up his windy bits, pull out the loaded umbrella and follow with projected force. He does this infrequently enough that you can use the umbrella every time without running out of emblems, and it is a very safe response.

                                                                                                          Lastly, one tip of my own: if you are fighting him up close, but have to run away to heal, it can be hard to find an opening to get back in there. The best one I've seen is to bait his jump attack and try to dodge under it. You can then hit him in the back and resume pressuring him. If you miss the dodge, though, he follows up the jump attack with a sweep that has decent range... so I usually keep running and try again later. A better ninja could probably parry it or jump attack, but dashing sweeps are tough (for me).

                                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                                            Strangely enough, this guy isn't even FromSoft's first "old guy final boss who flies all over the place screeching and shooting a bad-ass gun at you" in their library. In fact, he's the third

                                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                                              Isshin in phase 1, like a lot of guys with swords in this game, can have his attacks severely limited if you stick to a pattern of attacking until he blocks. In his case, after blocking your attack he almost always retaliates with an easily parryable swing. Attack right after parrying, until he blocks again and the cycle can continue until his posture is gone.

                                                                                                              If he does retaliate, right away, pause for a brief moment, and then try attacking again, but the key is to stay on him, never letting him gain the distance he needs to launch a more deadly attack.

                                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                                I like how even though Isshin warns him against giving in to emotion, the start of this fight where he practically growls at Genichiro is the most emotional we see Sekiro throughout the whole game—fear, sorrow, and anger for Kuro all at once.

                                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                                  Phase 1: aggressive play
                                                                                                                  Phase 2: hit once and parry all to keep the posture building
                                                                                                                  Phase 3: sakura/mist raven for lightning reversal
                                                                                                                  This is is my no damage strat with bell demon and no Kuro's charm. Also interrupt the mortal draw with fire crackers. Donnot use ichimonji double in phase 2 & 3 as he will jump away.

                                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                                    If it wasn't for having to fight Genichiro every reset, this guy would be a near perfect fight in my eyes. The setting, progressive difficulty spikes, and the music really do the final boss justice.

                                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                                      This absolute chad of a legend was surprisingly not as terrifying as I had imagined. Fighting through Genichiro and that quick draw swordsman from the castle really felt like they prepared me for this one. Still by far one of the best bosses I've faced and if I wasn't so stunned by the atmosphere and music, I think I might've been able to beat him on my first try.

                                                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                                                        I adore this boss. I love how it fits the image of the samurai ending their battles swiftly and aggressively. If you stay in his face with constant attacks while parrying all his attacks, his posture bar fills up quickly, vanishing quickly if you don't keep up the pressure. And if you fail with the parries, you will die quickly. While most of the boss battles encourage constant in-your-face engagement, this one especially demands it. I hit his health bar maybe a total of five times.

                                                                                                                        I just don't like Genichiro the God damn speed bump for when I die. It like I die I go "I can't wait to face Isshin", then Genichiro shows up and I'm like "Oh yeah, you again. Alright, get out of my way."

                                                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                                                          This doesn't seem to be mentioned, but phase 2/3 is made much easier if you're always in his face. To keep up with him whenever he backs off, just throw your best shuriken then chasing slice. It's almost guaranteed he won't block, either, making his posture fill up in no time. Add lightning reversal and you'll have made the fight almost something resembling easy

                                                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                                                            This boss fight just screams "We can't stop remaking Bloodborne" Oh boy, the somewhat friendly, ex murdering old man is the hyper active, long/short ranged weapon, gun wielding final boss. Having to go through feudal Japan's most disappoining grandson, just to fight Gehrman, Orochimaru, and DMC Dante's love child is a bit excessive.

                                                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                                                              Its all fun until he unleashes the hiten mitsurugi on you and constantly reminding you “ hesitation is defeat”

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