1. Lone Shadow Masanaga the Spear-Bearer 

    lone shadow masanaga the spear bearer2
    Location Ashina Castle - Serpent Shrine; Hirata Estate (Owl Memory)
    Weakness  
    Reward Yellow Gunpowder
    Prayer Bead

Lone Shadow Masanaga the Spear-Bearer (槍足の正長, Spearleg Masanaga) is a Mini-Boss in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. This Complete Lone Shadow Masanaga the Spear-Bearer Mini-Boss Guide gives you strategies on how to beat Masanaga easily, as well as tips, tricks and lore notes. Mini-Bosses are special Enemies that are uniquely named, and have 2 or more health bars. This means they require at least 2 Deathblows in order to kill, they are generally much more difficult than normal enemies, and they drop some of the best loot in the game.

 

Lone Shadow Masanaga the Spear-Bearer Location

Where to find Lone Shadow Masanaga the Spear-Bearer in Sekiro?

 

 

Lone Shadow Masanaga the Spear-Bearer Rewards

What do you get from defeating Lone Shadow Masanage the Spear-Bearer in Sekiro?

 

Lone Shadow Masanaga the Spear-Bearer Dialogue:

If the player manages to achieve an "Eavesdrop":

"Masanari...
I never would have believed a man of your ability could be slain...
It appears as though a demon lurks within Ashina..."

 

Lone Shadow Masanaga the Spear-Bearer Mini-Boss Guide Strategies

Sekiro Lone Shadow Masanaga the Spear-Bearer Video Strategies

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Sekiro Lone Shadow Masanaga the Spear-Bearer Strategy Writeup

Note: You can perform a deathblow by sneaking through the outer corridors of the shrine instead of entering directly to it. By taking this route you are able to silently backstab him.

Note: For the Hirata Estate version it is possible to perform a stealth death blow and remove a health bar, to do this, you must ignore him when entering for the first time, then take a left out of the room and head straight for the Hirata Estate - Main Hall idol and rest. From there head back towards Lone Shadow Masanaga, and just before entering the room look for a grapple spot on a branch, if you grapple on to the branch and look up you should then be able to grapple on top of the large pagoda next to you, from there simply take a run and jump and you will be able to perform the death blow (grappling on the branch nor the Pagoda alert him in anyway)
This does not work any more in version 1.03.

For the Hirata Estate version of this enemy, you'll want to equip two Shinobi Tools - Loaded Shuriken and Finger Whistle (Whistle has zero effect on dogs in this fight). Masanaga has the ability to summon a pack of dogs to his aid by whistling, but you can interrupt this move with a quick shuriken, and if you fail to do so, the Finger Whistle will make dealing with the dogs much easier. Aside from this, it is best to constantly be on the offensive, building up their posture rather than whittling down their health.

While most interior ministry ninjas use their left hand only to throw shuriken if you are unreachable, this one uses it to perform a poison attack combo. The combo includes up to 3 "phases", the second and third one being made of double attacks. After the second motion he will pause for a second, but if you are close enough he will go through with the last part. While clearly punishable and fairly well telegrphed this attack routine is still pretty dangerous because blocking it will result in a lot of posture demage and poison buildup and the attack themselves have deceptively long reach.

Though circumstantial consistency has yet to be tested, Masanaga's AI (and possibly all Lone Shadows) seems to be vulnerable to being animation-locked with constant, slightly-delayed attacks. Pressing the attack button with about 0.2-0.4 seconds of delay before the next press will provoke a standard block, but leave no room for a counterattack, nor will the attacks be fast enough to trigger a deflection. This allows the player to repeatedly damage his posture with no threat to themselves, and can take Masanaga from full health and posture to deathblow in about 30 seconds.

Easy Flame Vent/Living Force Strategy

I discovered this strategy on my NG+ playthrough as I did not have the necessary Living Force skill at the time during my new game.  The strategy simply calls for Sekiro to overwhelm this enemy with flaming attacks and the Burning abnormality.  Assuming you have already engaged with an easy to execute backstab deathblow, use Flame Vent or Okinaga's Flame Vent as soon as he applies the attack power buff.  Quickly follow up with an attack, activating Living Force and coating Kusabimaru with flames.  Keep attacking through his guard and you will apply Burning, staggering the enemy and allowing for 2-3 additional open hits.  This will build up his posture to roughly half and significantly damage his vitality.  Once you have another opening right away, repeat the same action and you will bring his posture almost completely full.  At this point, land or deflect a few hits to finish him, or simply rinse and repeat to burn his ass a third time for an easy finishing deathblow.

Lure Away Strategy

If you bait Lone Shadow Masanaga to travel far enough from where he is originally located; his AI will default into him walking back towards his spawn point. If he reaches this state, he will no longer counter attack and simply block and deflect while trying to walk past you slowly. This is an easy way to build posture damage and not have to deal with any of his tricks or attacks. For Hirata Estate, simply lure him 3/4 of the way toward the bridge where two guards and the Club Soldier are located. For the Serpent Shrine, lure him past the first Torii  and into the high grass and his AI should start walking.

With this strategy it's also possible to cheese Masanaga by luring him into the bamboo thicket, trapping him.

Sekiro Lone Shadow Masanaga (Hirata) Video Strategies

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Sekiro Lone Shadow Masanaga the Spear-Bearer Attacks & Counters

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

 

 

Lone Shadow Masanaga the Spear-Bearer Lore

Lone Shadows are the Interior Ministry's most trusted agents. Each Lone Shadow is said to have a specialty, and this one seems to be good at training, or at least summoning, shinobi hounds. 

 

Lone Shadow Masanaga the Spear-Bearer Notes & Trivia

  • If you do not kill him, he will have disappeared after coming back from the Divine Realm.

 




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    • Anonymous

      CHEESE: Hirata Estate (Owl Memory) lure him to the bridge (kill enemies here first), lose aggro. wait a bit and backstab him when he walks back. lure him again tot he bridge and keep facing the bridge and spam normal attack. He only defends and doesn't attack. He doesn't get damage but posture goes up slowly, keep at it and BAM deathblow!

      • Anonymous

        this is just the worst enemy in sekiro or even all soulsborne games.. I've defeated sword saint isshin, demon of hatred, inner isshin, inner genchiro and even inner father, yet cannot defeat this total POS miniboss in default new game!! I always skip him everytime because it's not even worth trying to get the two prayer beads.

        • "you'll want to equip two Shinobi Tools - Loaded Shuriken and Finger Whistle (Whistle has zero effect on dogs in this fight). Masanaga has the ability to summon a pack of dogs to his aid by whistling, but you can interrupt this move with a quick shuriken, and if you fail to do so, the Finger Whistle will make dealing with the dogs much easier."

          So, umm....use the whistle for the dogs that is has zero effect on? Got it...

          • Anonymous

            I baited him out with a shuriken like someone else suggested and he stilled called the wolves, but he got near the bamboo on the right a bit closer to the bridge and I could just hit him repeatedly without him blocking it. Did that until he was dead. I aggro'd the enemies on the bridge on accident, idk if that's why this worked.

            • Anonymous

              In Hirata, you can start him with a shuriken, and pull him outside to never have to deal with wolves or burning.

              • Anonymous

                I could kill the Ashina Castle one without much trouble, but I'm constantly getting my ass beaten by the Hirata Estate one for some reason

                • Anonymous

                  I can’t speak for the Hirata estate version yet, but his small arena was giving me a lot of trouble. I beat him very easily eventually. After a stealth deathblow, you have time to attack. He will then buff himself, giving you another opportunity. If you hit him with two double ichimonji right away, you begin the fight with his posture bar almost full. Anfew deflects and he will be done.

                  • Anonymous

                    I killed him afteere i finished the shura ending and when i engaged him he had a different dialogue. he calls you ddirectly demon (the translation was something like the demon shows himself) which i don t recall happening in my first playthrough.

                    • Anonymous

                      Love this game, but there is WAY to many of these Purple Ninja bosses, and there all mind numbingly easy once you kill the first one. Why are they so re-used? Does from really think they are that hard or something?

                      Would’ve loved to see those Straw-Hat Scythe Wielding dudes from Senpou as a mini-boss instead of re-using these guys 5 times.

                      • Anonymous

                        Even with all the enemies assassinated & Gachiins sugar he still sports you when you try grapple

                        Who moderates these pages because that’s just bullsh*t

                        • Anonymous

                          This fight becomes much easier once you learn that A) You can mikiri counter his heavily telegraphed unblockable kick, and B) if you smack him with a shuriken while he tries to blow his whistle, he can't summon dogs.

                          • Anonymous

                            God damn does that delayed attack tip work. Poor boy went down from the temple, across the bridge and back again being able to do nothing but block.

                            • Anonymous

                              When you face him in Ashina Castle, the first line of his dialogue is "Oh, it's you". He could be saying that "it's you the one who killed my boy Masanari", yeah, but also he could be remembering you for your chronologically first encounter at Hirata Estate. I didn't finish my first playthrough yet, just beated father, but this is driving me crazy. Could Owl's memory have actually happened? This slightly contradicts the memory of the battle, as it states something like "Owl's wish to fight with Wolf to death was granted, even if it was in an old memory", but we do know that the way that the Buddha statue works is ****ed up, since you carry your prosthetic tool the past and some more stuff like that. Maybe some of the things you did did happen and some didn't?

                              • Anonymous

                                How many lone sahdow bosses in this game?! They are easy af . From should have made senpou straw hat monk's a mini boss instead of this scrub.

                                • Mine glitched. I only got yellow gunpowder. Nothing showed up in my gift box. Doesn't respawn. Maybe i was punished for cheesing the fight dragging him to the bridge to face the big samurai and monk first... Maybe the game counts tics of health not taken by you?

                                  • Anonymous

                                    I kited Akinas finest to fight him. It's a bit hard cuz their hitboxes get stuck in the doorway. I have this boss fight Akina enemies. And just back stab him.

                                    • Anonymous

                                      I lead him out of the fire area and down to the bridge in Hirata Estate, his AI didn't fight back and i attacked him knocking him backwards as he parried and he fell in the water beside the bridge and insta killed him BUT i didn't get no prayer beads, i only needed the last 2 since this is my second playthrough, sigh.

                                      • Anonymous

                                        easy to kill. just remember to use mikiri when he is preparing the leg to kick you and you see the kanji. he has exactly the same moves as every other ninja in the game so you wont have to learn his moves

                                        • Anonymous

                                          Does he drop 1 prayer bead in the memory and in the shrine respectively? Trying to make sure if i missed his bead.

                                          • Anonymous

                                            So easy way,have 7 attack power,16 or so spirit emblems and mortal blade,as well as one Yashariku's Sugar (raises Attack and halves your HP) ,sneak attack him from behind after ingesting the sugar,than spam mortal blade,after you do it afew times ,his posture breaks

                                            • Anonymous

                                              the hirata estate one is a *****ing menace. a constant entourage of 3 annoying wolf body guards the he immediately refills once you kill them all. had to resort to some stinky cheese to get rid of this guy. still just a late game enemy with a more health and 2 death blows but with the added thing where he can tell the wolves to jump you while he also gets to do his thing it makes him really frustrating. one of the few weak points of this game. annoying cheesy difficulty that begs for a annoying cheesy method of destruction.

                                              • Anonymous

                                                It was an awesome rescue, but one time when he was to kill me again somehow the armoured samurai from up on the bridge came all the way down the forest path and started attacking him. I managed to heal and buff up while he was distracted and still won.

                                                • Anonymous

                                                  A particularly easy strategy for the one in Serpent Shrine for me was to use a Yashariku's sugar First get the butff, stealth deathblow him and then start slashing at him like no tomorrow After about 4 to 5 parries and/or hits, his posture is done

                                                  • Anonymous

                                                    I found that it was helpful to use the shuriken in Hirate Estate so I could stop his whistle if I wasn't in sword range

                                                    • Anonymous

                                                      Poor guy. You can cheese him in every encounter by luring him to the edge of his programmed area. Somehow, I pity him.

                                                      • Anonymous

                                                        normal mob in a tiny room with 3 dogs added because they knew just fighting the mob would be trivial? is this a dark souls 1 reference?

                                                        • Anonymous

                                                          Hirate Estate revisited Masanaga: 1. Port in to the main Hirata Idol. 2. Kill the 3 fat Taro and the 3 guards around the building. 3. Walk across the charred ground (where one of the fatties was facing) 4. Aggro Masanaga into following you back over the charred ground 5. Once there, his attacks are reduced significantly and he no longer calls the hounds on you

                                                          • The Lone Shadows might be a possible reference to the Inoue Clan of samurai even though they lived in the Tokugawa period (1603-1868) which comes right after the Sengoku period portrayed in the game.

                                                            • Anonymous

                                                              If you jump to tree branch and then to the top of the pagoda without triggering him, you can do a running jump and get a falling deathblow on him.

                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                Why do they always put these "Lone Shadow" bosses in locations where the camera has a seizure every 5 seconds?

                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                  So I ran past him (in Hirata Estate) and got to the idol. After resting there, I went through, killed the enemies between me and him, but couldn't sneak up on him. So, I went most of the way back to the idol. He followed me there, through a couple of kicks, I set him on fire, then I started attacking him, pushing him back towards the well entrance...and kept attacking...and he just never swung back. I mashed R1 on my way to victory, eventually pinning him in the back corner after my first deathblow. He blocked every hit but eventually his posture broke.

                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                    For those of you wondering why he's even called "Spear-Bearer"; apparently, his original Japanese name "槍足の正長" should actually be translated to something like "Spearfeet Masanaga" or "Masanaga the Spear-Footed", referencing how much his kicks hurt.

                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                      I was first able to get to him in NG+ and luckily after he followed me down the stairs a little and taking out a couple of packs of dogs, I was able to get him into the stun lock by continuously pressing attack as mentioned in the article above. It still works as of version 1.04.

                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                        Mortal blade jacks him up pretty good on NG once he's finished his perilous kick attack; not exactly the most honorable way of killing him, but it gets the job done

                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                          What's with his left hand? When he did his double poison jab attack, I swear I saw a snake under his cloak instead of his hand or a blade.

                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                            There's an eavesdrop opportunity at the Serpent Shrine where Masanaga is waiting if you can reach it without being detected. In it, it is implied that the dead Lone Shadow is Masanari; the lone shadow Juzou was talking to at the Hirata Estate(revisited). Masanaga comments that if Masanari was killed the way he was, then there truly is a demon in Ashina which of course refers to Lord Isshin or the Tengu of Ashina whom we encountered at the Serpent Shrine after killing Genichiro.

                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                              The camera is the hardest part of the Shrine fight. Every time I start to get in rhythm with him, the camera goes on a roller coaster and he kills me with poison or his kick combo

                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                If you're struggling in Hirata Estate, you can lure him out to around the bridge area and his AI will bug out. He'll attempt to slowly walk back to his start point, but if you just attack relentlessly, he will do nothing but block. Alternatively, if you do 4-5 hits, stop, and repeat, he will usually eat the hits without even blocking.

                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                  Does he only drop one prayer bead because I killed him in the memory then again in Ashina Castle and he only dropped a money bag

                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                    Get on top of him and fight him just like you did with Genichiro, if you have to back off to heal, throw a shuriken as fast as possible if you see that he's trying to summon the dogs

                                                                                    • I am near the end of the game and I am trying to get the last set of prayer beads but I can't find him for the life of me. I know he is at the Great Serpent Shrine but he is not there. Where do i go?

                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                        cheesed the hell out of the one in the hirata estate by luring him out of his territory and mashing r1 until his posture depleted. You're gonna wanna take out the guys behind where you first spawn in though.

                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                          It's bizarre he is able to be fought at the serpent shrine if he supposedly died in the memory (past). Then again, Owl is there as well... I'm really confused about how those memories effect the present.

                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                            This guy is not in my game I have completed the story but not started new game plus. Does he disappear after a certain trigger? There's mokeys fighting the dog down there now

                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                              He is weak to fire. Stealth killed the first life, then flame vent spammed him and it was highly effective. Okinaga's flame vent was pretty good along with the living force skill to imbue the katana on fire.

                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                Cheese Strait (Do it proper tho) Lure him down the stairs past the archway and into the bush. He will start slowly backing up. Abuse the first dash portion of shadowrush and dart back, repeat two or three times then he will try and combo then start moving back again. Repeat until dead.

                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                  For whatever reason he gets bugged if you pull the fight down the stairs to the bridge and decides he no longer feels like attacking Sekiro. I've done this twice now. Not sure why it happens or what triggers it.

                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                    He won't become hostile by himself, says something about still not mastering the Ashina arts, i think there is something you have to do so he becomes hostile without attacking.

                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                      If you fight him at Hirata Estate on NG+ start at the Hirata Estate Main Hall idol. Kill the enemies around that idol. Equip the shuriken if u need if for the dogs. After you have the area cleared, lure him down the main hallway that leads to juzuo. He hits the edge of his boundary and will not attack you. You can keep swinging and your blows will be blocked for a while. But, eventually he stops blocking and lets you kill him. He will not deflect or attack. It works for both phases. Just spam R1 and he cannot attack you. At long as he is far enough away from his start position.

                                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                                        There is a 3rd version of him in Hirata Estate if you are doing the Purification ending. You can stealth hit him once if you kill the 3 enemies on the bridge then bait him down there and he loses sight. Then when he start walking back stab him in the back.

                                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                                          At the great serpent shrine location, the easiest strategy I found is to sneak attack him to get a deathblow, hug the left of the stairs and stealth creep along the left side of the building. Do not jump over the rail or he will notice you. Then use shinobi firecrackers and it lets you get in one hit each time. To finish him off cheese him with fist fulls of ash. Toss it in his face and it lets you get in 3-4 hits each time. I used this in new game plus and it worked very well.

                                                                                                          • Also, there is another one in the room where you fought Ashina Elite Jinsuke Saze, becarful, there is another "one arm" shinobi with him, but you can kill him first with stealth. Doing so will trigger the fight right away

                                                                                                            • or you can sneack behind him, use the candy of strength and interrupt his buff stance with Shadowrush and the upgrade which I don't rembember the name. Btw you can spam Shadowrush and he will fall easy (like must bosses).

                                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                                You can actually get a stealth attack to wipe out his first health bar. At the stairs, leading to his building just 1 meter before he notices you double jumb to the left or right on the fence and go round the building and enter the other side. His back will be turned on you.

                                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                                  You can actually bring him to the gate on his 2nd phase, get his attention and let him chase you, he wont go in and will try hitting you outside, a funny way of taking him out if you're having a hard time.

                                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                                    You can make his pet wolves attack him with the finger whistle. Good if you sneak up to him to take off a health bar then run back to whistle the wolves

                                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                                      He fell into the ravine for me, I didn't get the rewards for beating him. Bugged? Can I still get the prayer bead?

                                                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                                                        Bring him far enough into the forest (not that far) he slowly walk backward and you can just hit him for free and when you're back into his aggro zone, bait his leap => repeat. Also I tried what anon said, using flame vents charge prevent him from buffing, can confirm.

                                                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                                                          you can use the flame vents charged attack to stagger him at the start of phase 2 and prevent him from buffing, i only had to do it once and he never tried to buff after the fact.

                                                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                                                            Its possible to miss this guy and not fight him if you skip him and proceed with the questline. Monkeys take over the location but the bonfire room is empty where this guy should be.

                                                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                                                              Since I was tired of his bull*****combos I lead him to the entrance (after the bridge, before you enter the forest bit) and there was an invisible barrier for him making him unable to chase me past that, he was still aggro'd so I kept lowering his posture right at the entrance and whenever he leaped in the air I would just dodge back as his swept can't reach me, easy way to cheese him

                                                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                This guy got bugged as ***** for me. Started the fight with a stealth, I fell to the precipice, lead him to the woods and then he did nothing but defend and receive attacks.

                                                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                  dont punish his attack were he jumps up and drops down with his knee. He will follow up with an unblockable sweep attack. Jump and kick him for good posture damage. Same can be applied in the o rin fight

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