Owl (Father) ( 義父, Foster Father, Gifu) is a Boss in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. This Complete Owl (Father) Boss Guide gives you strategies on how to beat Owl easily, as well as tips, tricks and lore notes. Bosses like Owl are special, dangerous Enemies that feature their own arena, a large and prominent health bar, and a variety of unique moves and abilities. You will need to perform multiple Deathblows on them in order to defeat them, and filling their Posture Gauge is the only way to accomplish this. However, decreasing their health will make it so their Posture Gauge depletes more slowly, assisting you in accomplishing this feat.

 

Owl (Father) Location

Where to find Owl (Father) in Sekiro?

  • In the Hidden Temple, where you fought Lady Butterfly, in Hirata Estate. This is only accessible after doing the steps for the Purification Ending.
  • See Endings for more information
  • See The Owl for NPC version.
  • See Great Shinobi Owl for the version fought at the top of Ashina Castle during the main game.
  • This boss is optional.

 

 

Owl (Father) Rewards

What do you get from defeating Owl (Father) in Sekiro?

 

Dialogue

  • Talk (must be a certain distance behind Owl to initiate dialogue).
    • "That day... I pulled you from the battlefield, a starving cub... I had no idea what you'd become."
  •  If attacked prior to initiating dialogue.
    • "Very well!"

  • First time player uses a prosthetic tool.
    • "Hmm... The shinobi prosthetic... this was once... Curious device you have there..."

  • Upon killing the player.
    • "Good riddance... starving wolf."
  • After first deathblow.
    • "What a fine specimen you've become, Wolf. Allow me to honor your efforts-- and show you this old Owl's true power!" 
  • When killed.
    • "Defeated by my own son? The feeling is not entirely unpleasant..."

Owl (Father) Boss Guide Strategies

Sekiro Owl (Father) Video Strategies

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Sekiro Owl (Father) Strategy Writeup

WARNING: Just as in the Great Shinobi Owl Bossfight atop Ashina Castle, this boss has access to an extremely powerful Mikiri Counter that can be used against thrust attacks by the player. This counter deals extremely high damage and will likely kill the player if they are already slightly hurt.

He uses many of the same attacks and styles as his earlier battle, but now he's faster and more aggressive. Fortunately for you, he doesn't use poison or the healing block. As always, you should make arrangements--spend money, get a new skill point--and then dedicate some attempts to learning to defend against his attacks. He will usually take one hit then deflect the second. Sometimes he'll merely guard the first hit before he deflects, but it's all posture damage.

He has a short recovery after many of his attacks--use them to punish him once you're comfortable deflecting. When he does his long attack sequence that ends with his gunpowder slash, dodge towards him as he tosses the gunpowder and get behind him to injure him. Sometimes he'll wind up a heavy overhead chop and it's possible to dodge it and punish--but if you get too far away from him while he raises his sword, he'll feint and leap into the air. If you get him with his back to a wall or a corner, you can attack relentlessly and you'll damage him outright or interrupt many of his attacks and movements for a short spell, enough to wear down his health and damage his posture.

Once his health is about half-way down, you can stop actively trying to bait attacks and switch into defense--deflecting all of his attack sequences and the occasional hit will wear his Posture away quickly. When he's on his second phase, run when he turns invisible until he drops out of it, and use Mikiri Counter to defend against his Shadowrush attacks--he most often does one after he throws a larger sweep of gunpowder and after he launches his blazing owl.

In the second phase, use firecrackers to interrupt his attacks and hurt him while he shields his eyes. Otherwise maintain the same principles as the first phase, just be ready for his owl-based attacks and don't be afraid to run from him to make some space for yourself to heal and douse your flames.

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

 

Alternate strategy:

If you're having difficulty mastering deflections against this boss, a fairly reliable way to make the fight more manageable is to equip the Mortal Draw (or its enhancement) combat art, & during the fight, keep dash/sprinting away to keep most the length of the arena between you and Owl so he has to run after you. When he starts running from far away, he usually limits his attacks upon reaching you to 1. a simple running slash, 2. a shuriken throw quickly followed by a strong slash from his left side, or 3. two side dashes followed by his Shadowstep piercing charge. These three abilities can be avoided fairly reliably. The simple slash can be dodged forward & left (passing Owls right shoulder) & quickly followed up by the Mortal Draw two uses as long as you stay within range after your dodge (if you moved too far, simply use a single dash attack to close & deal damage) then quickly run back to the other length of the arena & repeat. The shuriken slice must be dodged forward & left TWICE QUICKLY (past Owl's right shoulder again - if you dash directly at him, or to your right instead, you run the risk of dashing into his outstretched blade & trigger a massively damaging slash that can instantly kill you from full vitality in NG) & again attack with the Mortal Draw 2X. The Mortal Draw combat art will always connect on the first attack (provided you stayed close enough) & the second will usually either land directly, or force him to block & prevent his quickest counter attacks. Finally, for his Shadowstep rush, Mikiri counter & follow up with a quick single slash (he recovers more quickly & can usually escape the Mortal Draw following a Mikiri Counter).

If Owl starts running towards you when at medium range, he is more apt to use one of his other move sets, including an off time (slightly delayed relative to his other animations), multi hit slash that can pivot & follow your dash to hit you in the back & flow into a multi hit combo including a sweep attack.

Following this strategy, you can quickly remove Owl's vitality in chunks & end the fight more quickly. In phase 2, continue to use the same strategy as his base move set remains the same; the only change necessary is to keep running when he enters the invisible owl teleport to avoid his drop attack & dash behind a pillar for easy protection from his fire owl projectile + Shadowstep as neither attack will move past the pillar (this also provides a safe window for using healing items or combat buffs before he resumes his offensive). The most frustrating problem I encountered during this strategy was fighting the camera as it can be easy to run into a pillar or wall while running to long range & occasionally the target lock may be lost after a dash, & if that happens, your initial attack may miss & leave you open for Owls close range offensive.

 

Another strategy to brute force this fight is to use a combination of Ako's Sugar, Divine Confetti, Rice, & Red Lumps to stay on the offensive, & force Owl back toward a wall to keep interrupting Owl's heavier combos & end the first phase very quickly. The second phase is a little harder due to the invisibility/teleport but the saving spirit emblems & Mortal Draw for phase 2 can keep Owl off balance long enough to quickly end this phase as well.

 

Sekiro Owl (Father) Attacks & Counters

Attack Description Counter
Phase 1
Zig-Zag Many of Owl's attacks initiate after a zig-zag motion designed to confuse you. After this, he can do any of the following 5 moves:  
Shuriken Throw Owl throws a single shuriken Block, deflect or dodge to the side
Double Shuriken + flip Owl will throw 2 shuriken then flip towards you in the air and then perform a single downward strike with his sword.  Deflect/block the shuriken and dodge sideways to avoid the flip and counter.
Shadowfall Just like your Mushin Shadowfall Combat Art. Owl will charge up for an unblockable thrust, and if it hits, he will jump off and come down with 2 huge slashes.  Mikiri the thrust.
Shuriken Slash Owl throws a shuriken at the player immediately followed by a running slash. Similar to the Chasing Slice Shinobi Martial Art Block/Deflect both. If well timed you can also dodge his slash to the right for a counter opportunitybut it's difficult.
Perilous Sweep Owl will move from the side and perform an unblockable sweep. Jump over it. He can perform the following after this: Jump over it and stay close to him to bait out his overhead slash. Alternatively, jump back so you can jump kick his head and inflict posture damage
Large Overhead Slash Owl will load up for a very powerful overhead slash. If you dodge to the side he will switch to a turning slash. If you dodge backwards he will perform a flip towards you and slash. 

Dodge the overhead slash at the last moment and counter. 

Circling him may be safer than performing a  dodge, as dodging too early prompts him to switch to a quick horizontal attack instead. 

You have time to get one or two hits in while he is charging up.

Backflip Owl leaps off of you. It deals no vitality damage but much posture damage. Deflect to minimize posture damage
Firecrackers Owl throws blinding firecrackers in your face, then makes them explode. He can follow up with either Shuriken Throw, Shadowfall or Shuriken Slash  Dodge backwards to avoid
Running Slash Owl runs towards you and performs a single strong slash. He can perform the following 2 moves after this: Block/Deflect. You can also dodge to the left but you might get hit by the followups.
5-slash Firecracker Combo Owl performs 3 consecutive slashes with his sword, followed by an elbow, followed by firecrackers, which he will slash through.

Deflect/block his slashes, then dodge to the right when he throws his firecrackers for a counter opportunity.

Dodging too quickly after the firecrackers are thrown will cause you to get hit by the follow-up slash, so a momentary pause is needed.  

Double Slash into Perilous Sweep Owl performs 2 consecutive slashes with his sword and ends with a Perilous Sweep. He can perform his Large Overhead Slash after this Jump over it and stay close to him to bait out his overhead slash. Alternatively, jump back so you can jump kick his head and inflict posture damage
Shuriken Slash Owl throws a shuriken at the player immediately followed by a running slash. Similar to the Chasing Slice Shinobi Martial Art Block/Deflect both. If well timed you can also dodge his slash to the right for a counter opportunity, but it's difficult.
Stomp (deathblow)

Owl will raise his foot into the air then stomp down pinning the player to the ground and stabbing them through the chest. This attack does massive damage and cannot be blocked and does not have a Perilous indicator. 

Owl will likely use this after breaking the player's posture if he is close enough. 

Dodge backwards/safety roll in order to avoid it.
Phase 2
Backflip + Shuriken Same as in phase one but he throws shuriken after.  Block/Deflect both.
Owl Teleport Owl will use his summoned owl to teleport above you and drop down with a slash You can deflect his slash, or just run away/stay away from the owl to avoid
Fire Owl + Shadowfall Owl will summon his owl to his hand and throw an unblockable fire owl projectile towards you, then follow up with Shadowfall.  Jump over the fire owl and mikiri his thrust

 

 

Owl (Father) Lore

Lore theory: Owl is implied to be the one who originally killed Wolf during the events of the Hirata attack three years prior to the events of the game. 

The first time Sekiro uses a shinobi prosthetic tool during the fight, Owl will comment on it, recognising it and implying he knew the previous owner, possibly from his time with the Sculptor and Dogan.

 

Owl (Father) Notes & Trivia

Resistant to poison, burn is effective though.

Unlike when fought in the present at the top of Ashina Castle, this version of Owl does not use the Shinobi Charm to prevent the player from healing.

There is an archer close to the idol who can be backstabbed (jump through the window-like gap in the wall to get behind him), allowing the player to start the boss fight with the Bestowal Ninjutsu. Because Owl will frequently try jumping away from you to escape damage, the extra reach from bestowal lets you keep striking him while he's attempting to evade you. Can be combined with buffs such as Ako's Sugar for additional damage. 

 

 

 

Owl (Father) Image Gallery

 [images go here]

 

 




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    • Anonymous

      he is a true master shinobi, he conceal his presence not just by using shinobi firecracker, strafing super fast left and right or being invisible itself by becoming the spirit owl... but his real weapon is the spirit owl that blocks your f*****g view when the camera angled just right enough to center the spirit owl and block the whole fight on locked target while you're being punished.

      • Anonymous

        I just beat this boss for the first time, I'm on NG+2 and I'm not sure if it matters but I had attack on 26

        This boss isn't THAT hard, you just have to get used to his attack patterns and be EXTREMELY agressive and you will beat him in no time. There are some very dangerous attacks that can easily one or two shot you that are great moments to attack him since they're easily avoidable if you know what you're doing, for example. In fact, I even accidentally beat phase 1 barely having used anything but unga bunga attack and parry, maybe some heals and buffs and nothing else, and I managed to beat phase 2 first try.

        In short, very tough boss that requires you to git gud and once you do is quite """easy""". The best strategy is to be VERY agressive, as in literally run towards him and unga bunga attack. Don't let him breathe, just strike him until he dies. If you repeat enough times you will get used to him parrying you and how to parry him or what attacks to dodge, like the firecracker attacks. Just don't get frustrated and you'll eventually succeed

        • Anonymous

          This man's posture is ridiculous. For that reason I usually buff with Divine Confetti in the beginning and use Ashina Cross to reduce his health bar. Ashina Cross is a good pick because you can delay it in the second phase when he sometimes teleports away from you during punish windows. My primariy shinobi tool is Great Feather Mist Raven to dodge his Firecracker cheese consistently while also dealng some fire damage of my own. Damn, Sekiro without Kuro's Charm is so fun. It really forces you to use all your tools.

          • Anonymous

            huge fan of the part where he combos me at the end of the 8 minute fight for my entire healthbar despite having max prayer beads

            • Anonymous

              awesome fight just for the fact that it takes the already very fun mikiri counter and makes it even cooler with the fire owl -> shadowrush

              • Anonymous

                I discovered that living force with the fire arm really messes him up, just need to do the combo when he is open after one of his long attacks.

                • Anonymous

                  I struggled a lot woth him. To the point where I came here to check if there was some gimmick. The big problem I was having was that his posture recovers absurdly fast. The trick to figure this out is sword clashing. Basically, close the distance, hit as much as you can until he deflects. He'll usually either do a single sideways or diagonal hit, or two quick spinning swipes. Any of those, you can easily deflect after he deflects you. Then, just go back to hitting him. If he kicks you and jumps back, close the distance and start again. Make the fight feel like it's just you two clashing swords. That'll let you chip away at his posture. All the advice here about how to counter his firecrackers or owl stuff is also great.

                  • Anonymous

                    Is this boss even beatable in 2022? The guides I find are not up to date and it feels that the AI is way different from what it was when the game first release. He 2 shots me constantly even if I have 18 vitality and I can barely do any damage to him with attack power 9. I need to miss 2 parries and he breaks my posture. Holy moly. People were complaining how hard the game was on release and FS decided to buff everything. o.0 I really enjoy the game and the fights but after 100 tries to the same boss, things get a bit stale.

                    • Anonymous

                      idk why people whine about the owl fights... has the easiest deflects in the game imo, and very frequent windows to punish. took me like 4 tries on each of his fights and im a huge noob. legit died to chained ogre more than i did to this guy.

                      • Anonymous

                        I was scared about this fight coz i heard he's even harder than sword saint so i left him for the very end, u can only imagine how shocked i was when i destroyed him in second try like wtf. Isshin took me 5 hours btw. Mortal blade works very well on him, combine it with ako + confetti and u can get to phase 2 in less than a minute. It almost felt like cheese but tbh this guy is a dirty cheese master himself so i guess he got what he deserved lmao

                        • Anonymous

                          This boss might seem as a hard one because he has a lot of health and it's not exactly clear when to punish him. However, after several tries I realized that he has pretty dull moveset if you continue to push him. Continue pushing after bright sparks and boss counter attack. I apologize for also stealing some hints from comments below. USE THE FOCUS on the boss (fixed camera following the boss).
                          When to punish him:
                          - Bright sparks (your hit into his deflect), his 2 hits and jump back with fireworks - dodge through fireworks and to the right of him, then get 2 hits (sometimes 3)
                          - When he tries to zig zag with perlious attack (which can be overhead slash, sweep, lunge forward - based on player's position) - if you were staying close - hit him once and he'll forget about that attack
                          - Sometimes you can fit a hit right after bright sparks, his counter hit, and then instantly yours
                          - He throws shuriken and then jumps with a slash - dodge the jump and get 2 hits in. Super easy.
                          - When he throws fireworks without 2 hit combo and then dashes forward with perlious thrust - use Mikuri. He will use this trick with the owl on the second phase - jump the owl, mikuri the boss and punish.
                          - If he disappears - run from that place and wait for the landing sound somewhere. Nothing to benefit from here.
                          Because dodging is not used here as much as Ashina Castle fight - this boss fight gets rather boring when you learn all the moves you need to stay close and push.

                          • Anonymous

                            It took me one hour and 15-20 attempts but I finally beat him yesterday. Easily the toughest boss I have faced so far, and much more difficult than the fight with him atop Ashina Castle, which only took me two attempts. The biggest challenge for me was figuring out how to deal with his firecracker tosses, as dodging through them does not work half the time.

                            • Anonymous

                              i mean. the image that is shown is the owl from ashina castle, not hirata, so when i saw that, it made me laugh

                              • Anonymous

                                Is this boss even beatable in 2022? The guides I find are not up to date and it feels that the AI is way different from what it was when the game first release. He 2 shots me constantly even if I have 18 vitality and I can barely do any damage to him with attack power 9. I need to miss 2 parries and he breaks my posture. Holy moly. People were complaining how hard the game was on release and FS decided to buff everything. o.0 I really enjoy the game and the fights but after 100 tries to the same boss, things get a bit stale.

                                • Anonymous

                                  forgive me if i missed some lore or dialogue to explain this, but does this guy have 2 boss fights and an npc encounter where he is dying on the floor? how many times does he die?

                                  • Anonymous

                                    much easier that great shinobi fight, he does much less posture damage to player and gives more oportunities to deal vital damage to him.
                                    overall better design than great shinobi fight, one of most enjoyable fights in the game

                                    • Anonymous

                                      This guide is wrong, thrust attack works wonders in this fight. It demolishes vitality and posture bars and causes a guaranteed "stagger" animation. This poor guide is very much unexpected from a consistently great site like fextralife

                                      • Anonymous

                                        The 1st phase can be easily studied and DL'd like any other fight. Dodge through the close firecrackers to the right. Don't dash too much, especially at close range.

                                        For the 2nd phase, it really helps to know: *Ignore* the bird unless he calls it to his arm or he disappears.
                                        He calls bird: jump over firebird, then mikiri (twd where it came from)
                                        He disappears: run from bird

                                        • Anonymous

                                          Most of his sweep attacks go in the same direction, once you can reliably jump backwards and a little to the left you can just bait those moves and bring his posture down faster

                                          • Anonymous

                                            Owl's Mikiri only covers the distance of normal sword thrusts. If you thrust with the spear outside this range, he will 'miss' his mikiri, leaving him vulnerable long enough for a chasing slice.

                                            • Anonymous

                                              Been fighting Owl since I finished the game. The guantlets & Inner Father only help me indulge in his fight & awesome music even more, and it's practically what I do in my spare time. I do Inner Genichiro & Demon of Hatred from time to time. But I've died to Owl at least a few thousand times now. Fighting him over and over, I kept raising the bar for myself. I eventually ditched the gourd, finished the game, then came back with Demon Bell and Charmless. I just want to say this fight is unforgiving and brutally precise. It will punish you for a single mistake. But when you learn his moves inside out, fighting Owl feels like you're the guy in the DS3 Master's set description.

                                              • Anonymous

                                                What's the point of breaking his posture bar when he already has 30% or less health left by the time it is actually broken?

                                                • Anonymous

                                                  I used the vanishing feather to counter his firecrackers. Worked really well, even though I ran out of emblems near the end of the fight on NG+. You can use Suzaku’s umbrella as well, but if your posture is damaged enough he can break through and deal some massive damage. Feather is way safer in my experience.

                                                  • Anonymous

                                                    If you have projected force and suzaku's umbrella you can shield yourself from the firecrackers after the shoulder bash, and then hit him with a fire charged umbrella + kusabimaru.

                                                    • Anonymous

                                                      Watching videos of how to beat this boss, all of them from two years ago, I started to think: FS patched the game to be harder. In the videos, players spams attack button, Owl (Father) does nothing. Try to do the same, he jumps, he evades, he kicks your face and says you’re starving. Nine necklaces, he kills me in two hits. YouTube guy, life bar by the half, takes 3 hits in a row, not blocking or deflecting, still alive - no use of any candies or spiritfall. And sometimes Owl stops attacking, he just walks in circles for a while. Never happens on this side: he doesn’t get off me.

                                                      It seems like FS noticed gamers were finding different strategies to progress, identifying AI weaknesses and taking some advantages. And then they took it off. If playing aggressively was fun to players at first, now they made Owl more aggressive, breaking their own logic. He has smaller safe windows to hit him and almost all of his attacks can't be evaded - they track you.

                                                      Evading and deflecting - basic mechanics of the game - don’t work here, and when I beat him, I don't felt like I "git gud", as you say, I felt it was pure luck.

                                                      Don’t get me wrong: Sekiro is a great game, and has some bosses that were very fun to beat, but when the devs fix things just because players are finding it easier than it was planned to be, this is just dishonest.

                                                      • Anonymous

                                                        Initially I tried to keep away and punish openings like the Greas Shinobi fight. This doesn't work nearly as well because the arena is tighter and the columns get in your way when you try to dodge. It also takes forever.

                                                        So instead I learned how to dodge the firecrakers (rotate counterclockwise when it's after the combo or just dash through when he's jumping backwards) and just kept charging him. Almost everything can be deflected fairly easily and if you have a lot of prayer beads the posture damage can be handled (unlike the first fight). Took a few attempts to get a good read on when I should be punishing but when I got past the first phase I also got to the end because the second phase is very similar.

                                                        • Anonymous

                                                          On his regular slash combos, don't counterattack unless he does the double-slash. Instead wait for him to finish the combo, which is usually either the firecrackers which you can run around counterclockwise to hit him in the back, or a sweeping attack which you can jump back-left to land on his head. The extra easy deflects help build up his posture a little faster

                                                          • Anonymous

                                                            I'm not sure if this is helpful for anyone, but I found that you can get his first phase down instantly using a yashikura's sugar and mid air mortal draw twice. He sometimes survives but when he does he has one or two hits left before he's down. This leaves you with one phase to deal with and only down one gourd (for the healing once the sugar wears off).

                                                            • Anonymous

                                                              Under no circumstances do you dodge towards him when he uses his gunpowder. Seriously this is the worst advice for this boss. You dodge right into his swing, going backwards if you have room or to the sides are the only play. Towards him a restart 9/10 times.

                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                I just beat the Owl (father) and I found him a lot easier than Great Shinobi Owl. I'm not sure if its because I've gotten better at the game, got lucky, or just because I wasn't stressing out about this fight.

                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                  Oddly, the shuriken he tosses will count toward his posture if you deflect them. There's even a slight chance you might posture break him, which automatically zips Sekiro forward to be positioned right in front of him, lol.

                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                    When you face Masanaga the spear bearer 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 hapened? 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

                                                                      I guess hitting him on his left and right sides helped the most to damage vitality. I saved some spirit emblems for phase 2 using the Mortal Draw to interrupt some of his attacks.

                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                        After i deflect a couple of his attacks he just jumps 10 feet away and regains all of his posture. **** boss.

                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                          Somehow I found this version to be much easier than the original one. I recently spent maybe 2+ hours on the Great Shinobi, while Father went down on what felt like 10th attempt. I think that Father has way more openings for punishing (like that long combo with crackers and diagonal slash that he uses very often), and it also felt like he leaves more time to regenerate Posture, which is something I suffered from a lot with the Shinobi version.

                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                            Been stuck on him since 2 weeks after the game came out, after about 500 tries i've only gotten him to his second phase twice.

                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                              Stay on his face and don't give any room for him to recover. Immediate beginning of the fight is probably the hardest, because it's still him setting the pace, and not you. Once you get into the rhythm just keep pressuring him. Passive play is very risky, because he has so many ways to punish from distance.
                                                                              Mortal draw does damage him a lot, but it's costly, and also risky due to its slowness. Owl is very fast and covers a lot of distance. Bestowal is a waste of emblems, it won't amount to a substantial damage bonus in the beginning. Worst case is that you get completely creamed immediately, because you're trying to get in all the damage you can before it runs out.
                                                                              Utilise shuriken followed by chasing slash to close gaps fast and possibly get in a hit. Staying too far for too long leaves you open and allows him to recover. Don't give him breathers. You can get a deathblow when he has about 50% vitality, if you're relentless. Constantly trade hits and deflections. He blocks three times and switches to his own combo which typically ends up in firecrackers, which you dodge and punish. It's IMPERATIVE you avoid firecrackers by dodging to his left (your right). The big slash that follows when he does the close proximity crackers won't reach far enough to connect if you dodge, and leaves a window for you to hit. Fumbling this means massive damage to you.
                                                                              Ichimonji can do decent posture damage, but the timing is tricky. It's generally safer to just get in a couple of sword hits, because with enough vitality damage inflicting posture damage becomes easy by just deflecting him.
                                                                              Second phase is completely the same, save for the owl shenanigans. Just run away when he changes location.
                                                                              If you keep on his face you probably won't even have to worry about his shadowfall except when he does it after the fire owl. Every perilous attack in close distance is avoided with jumping

                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                This fight was the second "wall" for me in sekiro (after lady butterfly) where I had to actually hone my skill beyond what I could rest on prior to it. I was able to breeze through the owl Ashina Castle fight with relative ease, but this one was a whole other beast.

                                                                                Aggression is key. Don't give him time to breathe except when you gotta heal or regain posture. Once his hp is sufficiently low, don't give him time to breathe ever.

                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                  Made it to phase 2 in first 3 attempts. The only two of his attacks took most of my heals and killed me were the gunpowder slash and red owl dive with shadowfall followup. Saw the countering tip provided here and boom won on 4th attempt. First time when fextra provided some legit useful info.

                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                    No Lie, been stuck on this lad since August. Managed to beat Demon's Souls in that time, but this fella keeps grinding my nose to the dust. I finally managed to bring him to second phase this week, and I consider that an accomplishment in itself.

                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                      How old is Owl? The event in Hirata Estate happened 3 years ago. Is 3 years really enough to make someone going from his prime to “a shadow of his former self”?

                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                        I find that if you use Mortal Draw during some of his slower moves, you can interrupt them and do a lot of vitality damage. Then, once you get him around half health, you can go on the defense and try to build up posture deflecting his combos. I ended up eking out a victory this way.

                                                                                        Even without emblems, Mortal Draw staggers him out of his overhead swing and his perilous sweep that leads into it. Additionally, side-stepping his fire sweep after the fire crackers gives you ample opportunity. Ashina Cross and Ichimonji Double also work, but Mortal Draw’s heavy vitality damage helps a lot.

                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                          Honestly, I was just able to beat him (after quite a few tries) by continually using the High Monk skill. The frequent attacks in rapid succession kept pressure on him to where he would either guard, or start a move, but be interrupted, or sash backward to be hit by the next attack. Keeping up a relentless pace was the key, especially in his second stage, when he did the double shuriken to sword jump much less often. I also had the Mist Raven equipped to quickly counter his more devastating combos, then begin the High Monk combo again.

                                                                                          • It’s crucial to hold the fight in the center of the arena. The boss uses each opportunity to catch your inability to dodge near the walls or the columns! During the second phase holding the centre becomes harder but the boss’s cheating ability to punish you near the walls or columns stays. The moment he vanishes to teleport, I dashed or dodged and sometimes it was **** luck to be hit because of inability to keep the boss auto lock. In the first phase I used Empowered Mortal Draw when he used his stunning attack after using dodge counter attack and his long combo which ended with fire crackers after dodging right just before he used his fireworks (keep in mind while dodging right push immediately block in case your dodging won’t work and then your mortal strike. I didn’t have any spirit emblems but Empowered Mortal Draw still hit him hard. Seldom the boss used his jumping spinning slow attack and I punished him. If you doubt whether you have enough time to use your skill, just strike him two or three common R1. During the second phase I mostly punished his stunning attack and jumping spinning attack (he attacks with one forward powerful hit while jumping or after small combo). When he tried to hit me with his fire owl I moved behind the closest column and then to the center. Sometimes I tried to punish him while he was casting his fire owl and each of these times I was killed. Honestly this boss fight was for me more about fighting the arena and camera than actually fighting the boss himself. Moreover, use healing during your openings for attacking the boss because the boss tries to catch your while healing. Do not hold block, try to deflect or run backwards. Use jumps carefully because most times the boss will hit you in the air! I really hope my tips will help someone. As for me, I beat this boss once and it’s enough for me, f.ck this arena and columns! Good luck

                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                              I feel like this is another one of those fights where phase two feels easier than phase one (Along with Guardian Ape and Genechiro). Keeping in mind the location of the owl helped a lot and simply running nullifies some of his attacks.
                                                                                              Knowing that how one fights varies from person to person here are some tips for people who may need help with the fight. I use prosthetic tools a lot in combat and swap combat arts frequently so proceed with this in the back of your head.
                                                                                              Try Leaping Kicks to deal posture damage during the sweep attack (this took a lot of practice to get the timing down and you lose the damage from dodging the over head swing if he uses it so this may not be the best thing to do at the start of the fight).
                                                                                              Using shuriken + chasing slice when he jumps away can help chip him down in phase one (This doesn't work in phase two due to the addition of him throwing his own shurikens, at least in my experience). Nightjar Slash Reversal can work to similar effectiveness however I find this is more likely to get blocked and, if poorly timed, can be punished severely.
                                                                                              Oil + flame vent is nice at the start of the fight but landing it without getting hit can be difficult. Doing this can do a decent chunk of damage and prevents him from regenerating posture for a time. For the same purpose at a smaller risk and effective throughout the fight, Living Force works wonders as well.
                                                                                              Firecrackers are nice but I find that the Fistful of ash can serve the same function without the spirit emblem cost but you won't be able to use Chasing slice.
                                                                                              Suzaku's Lotus Umbrella + Projected Force is an easy way to deal damage while being safe and only costs one spirit emblem if timed well.
                                                                                              Using the Ceremonial Tonto before the fight will allow more uses of your prosthetic tools at the cost of a gourd charge.
                                                                                              Whirlwind Slash is nice after dodging an attack, same with Mortal draw but that costs spirit emblems
                                                                                              Do not use the spear. Sorry to all the people who like range but Owl will Mikiri Counter you with the might of the Heavenly Buddha.
                                                                                              If you have been going at this boss for a while, I find that stepping away and drinking some water and detilting helps a lot. When I first fought this boss (on my first playthrough after beating Isshin, Sword Saint) it took me 6 or so hours to beat it, It was only after stepping away to clear my head did I come out on top.
                                                                                              That's all that I can think of off the top of my head. This fight is my second favorite and (I feel) has a lot of interesting ways to approach it.

                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                I did this fight after defeating Isshin, the Sword Saint (but before entering ng+), let me tell you the unlocked Dragon Slash combat art is amazing in this fight. Right as you enter the room, when owl draws his sword you can get two charged uses of the ability in, which will chunk his health down quite a bit. After that its just a game of deflecting his combos, getting a hit in here or there, and countering his sweep and thrust. With his health lowered so much from those first hits his posture will build up incredibly fast. If he's especially far away you can Dragon Flash again to speed it up considerably. At the start of phase two you can do the same, and this guys dead before you know it.

                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                  Died to him many times until I realize it's much better to dodge than deflect.. Killed this old man by only using 2 gouging shuriken(at the start of the fight) and normal attacks.

                                                                                                  Tip: Hit him until he block, stop hitting to dodge his slash and hold onto your block until you confirm that there is no more follow up attacks. Might be able to use mortal blow but I didn't try as I was a wuss.

                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                    This was a frustrating fight... at first. I learned to just read his attacks and punish his heavy overhead slash by dodging to the side and hitting him twice w the Empowered Mortal Blade. it's easier to react to him than to be aggressive, build up his posture bar, and deathblow him.

                                                                                                    Also never, ever EVER use a thrust on this boss, he will kill you outright, even at 10 prayer beads.
                                                                                                    He must be the original inventor of the Mikiri counter or something.

                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                      Just killed the MOTHERF&$)(;:R!!! Finally!!! Must have had over a hundred cracks at the bstd and victory is finally mine!!! Now, onto the Demon Of Hatred.

                                                                                                      S#!7....

                                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                                        This fight went from 'impossible' to 'doable' just by maxing out all of the available attack upgrades. Tried fighting him at AP 8 and got absolutely nowhere - couldn't even beat the first phase, the most I got him down to was half HP. Fought him again at AP 10 and killed him first try. I wasn't expecting two measly attack power upgrades to make such a huge difference, but they really did. (I also got an extra prayer bead or two, I forgot how many)

                                                                                                        If you're frustrated and struggling like me, remember that every little upgrade does make a huge difference.

                                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                                          On my charmless/demon bell run on NG+ he felt MUCH easier than the Great Shinobi Owl, it was a much faster fight and not drawn out as long as the Castle's version, just use the fire umbrella to attack him the moment you deflect and do good damage

                                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                                            Jesus Christ, this was a really annoying boss. I guess in the Sekiro world old people move faster than lighting. I know the strat says be aggressive but there were a lot of times I had to be passive in this battle and let him come to me. After what was probably 20+ deaths I finally beat this guy thanks to bestowal and ako's spiritually (including a couple Rez stones). Somehow I feel like there's going to be a more annoying boss than this.

                                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                                              New game plus, no charm, demon bell and like a month of fighting him for an hour or two each day... just beat him tonight with barely a thread of health and no resurrections left. I used up so many blooddrops, grass at moments when I thought I had it and was trying to push it through. I basically akos and confetti, used shuriken to close distance and luzilite flame to reapply confetti and do extra damage. I had to learn his moves pain stakingly until the right just flows and you can think through each attack, parry, dodgd and counter attack. I swear it's been a month of just fighting, dying, learning, grinding to regain orbs and spirit emblems and then taking lots of breaks between sessions. Every now and then I take the bell off to see how much easier it was and to help my morale. I really wanted to beat him with it on, and I did. The relief was so ecstatic. I was tense and slightly shaking afterwards. Felt like a one of those life changing moments. Persistence, inner calm, tenacity, repetition and building good habits until it feels integral...powerful lessons and insight in the heart of Miyazaki`s design. Thank you sir for creating such an amazing game. You and your team have out done yourselves once again!

                                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                                When I first played this game, I was like "pfff, deflections, real shinobi dodge attacks" I have never been more wrong, even "The Great Shinobi" attacks like a freaking samurai, you should do the same, just stay on his ass, be aggressive, and if you can't deflect perfectly, just spam the block button in his combos until their's and opening. This applies for many aspects of this game for single enemies, once you figure this out it gets simple. You can't Dark Souls 2 invincibility frame this*****, like your used to.

                                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                                  Y'all ever punched Midir to death? But seriously, Great Shinobi was much much harder at that point in the game than this guy. This guy is just a simple parry boss that makes you fight him aggressively, just like every other "difficult" boss. Don't be a puss, accept you're going to die a bit and learn how to counter his attacks. At least he doesn't throw random bull*****at you like he does at the meet on top of the castle.

                                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                                    The fight on top of the castle was one of the easiest fights in the game for me, but this one is probably the most difficult.

                                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                                      You can avoid most of his regular attacks by dodging front and to the left, under his sword. That gets you behind him and allows for 2 strikes before he attacks again. That will also bait him into following up with a single slash or kick, which you can avoid and counter in the same way. If he recoils, focus on closing the distance ASAP, rinse and repeat. It's a pretty agressive strategy but it worked the best for me, managed to beat him while receiving very little damage.

                                                                                                                      • Having beaten this boss twice on max difficulty, here are a few tips and tricks for all you struggling skeletons out there: 1. Minimize downtime above all else. Use shuriken -> chasing slice to quickly close the gap between you and him. This is crucial, as he regenerates posture ridiculously fast. 2. Owl, despite being giant and a dad has no hyper armour. Use this to your advantage and be aggressive. You can knock him out of an attack animation and into a deflect animation pretty consistently. 3. Back up a bit if you see him starting the Shadowfall animation. Mikiri Countering it at close range can be janky and inconsistent. (If you're extra ballsy and good at parrying you can actually deflect the initial thrust and the two follow-up slashes from his Shadowfall. Compared to a Mikiri Counter, you don't net much posture damage, but it looks cool as *****.) 4. When he does his own chasing slice attack, don't parry the slash. Instead, step-dodge to the right. This prevents you from having to go through the lengthy recovery animation. You can also get 1-2 free hits to his vitality instead of having to close the gap between you and him. 5. When he does his firecracker-slash combo, you can dodge under his right arm, in addition to being able to dodge around his left. If you're at an odd angle with a pillar or the wall, you have two ways of avoiding the attack. 6. When he does his perilous sweep -> roll attack, he will always roll 180 degrees counter-clockwise in an attempt to get behind you. If you jump backwards and to the left slightly, you can reliably jump-kick counter this sweep. This is especially useful in phase 2 since he always follows this attack up with a delayed overhead where he can warp into his spirit owl. By jump-kick countering the sweep, you prevent him from following up. Again, minimizing downtime. 7. Should he warp into his spirit owl, try parrying the slash he performs upon reappearing. It can be a bit tricky to pull off, but if you do, he'll always follow up with either a perilous sweep or a delayed overhead slash. Both are easy to punish. Misc: You can posture-break him by deflecting the shurikens from his backflip-shuriken combo in phase 2, resulting in you getting instantly teleported 4-5 meters ahead to perform the deathblow animation. Not necessarily useful, as the conditions under which this occurs are pretty specific. Still, it's pretty funny.

                                                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                                                          Mortal Draw. Run up to his face and MORTAL DRAW. Mortal draw your way to victory. Mortal draw let me beat him at 9 attack power. Mortal draw let me dwindle his health down cuz he blocks nearly everything. Mortal draw helped me punish his bigger moves after dodging or Mikiri counter. Mortal draw saved my sanity. Mortal draw saved my life.

                                                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                                                            1 week and 100+ failed attempts later I finally beat him and learned some things about him. The golden rule is to always make sure, that there is a lot of space behind you when he's attacking you. He will push you back inch by inch. When you are with your back against the wall and the firecrackers come: Dead. When you are with your back against the wall and the fire owl comes: Dead. You can also use INV frames to evade the firecrackers and the owl if you are in a tight spot, but the window is extremely limited. Contrary to what others have reported about staying close to him, I found that the closer I was to him, the more dangerous it got. I kept a lot of space between us and this basically made the difference in the end, because I had space to move and plan and expect his attacks from further away. Other Notes: You cannot simply jump over the fire owl, you need to jump DIAGONALLY away from it AFTER it leaves is arm. The indicator for his firecracker slash is an elbow hit followed by a strike. To learn his moves, just stand and block. Don't move, don't jump, don't counterattack in the beginning, just stand and block. This will give you time to learn his moves. Once you got it down, THEN you can punish him with Mikiri and when he uses his overhead attack. Finally: Use Sugars. Ungo and Ako whenever you can. They make a big difference.

                                                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                                                              If you’re struggling with this boss, take it from someone who’s not very good at this game - stick with it. After what seemed like an eternity, I finally downed him with a combination of full blocking (very little deflections) and punishing specific moves with Mortal Blade. Hope this can help someone.

                                                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                He caught me off guard with that 5 hit combo firecracker, his first 2 hit usually can be interrupted when you fought him on Ashina. Compare to Isshin, I feel like he much challenger with hard to predict AI not just high dmg only.

                                                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                  Just beat him. The best advice based on my experience is you are Master Wolf. Stay on his old ass like glue. Hit or two then get ready to deflect the counterattacks. When he lifts his sword up often you can deflect it twice, RB Attack him, he’ll deflect it but it’ll “reset” him and put you on the offensive the entire fight. When he does the two wannabe Shinobe quickstep-attack-sweep(where he tries to disorient you) just press RB at the right time to cut a lil go off him. For second phase stay on the offensive, ignore the owl just watch if the owl goes up tap quickstep away until the old guy can’t swoopunish you. When he moves away for the fireball, run after him sprint attack, the fireball will trigger but it won’t hit you. Oh yeah sometimes when he throws gunpowder in the first phase I would jump thru the cloud and airattack him. Thx 4 reading

                                                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                    Im here to take a breath after 3h of fight… Im in NG+2 no kuro charm and demon Bell. First time I have to fight this boss, this is the last one for the trophy achievement… Isshin (old) was the most difficult one for me but his AI was so well done, such a pleasure to fight him. But the Owl is not only difficult, he is annoying as f**k. His first version is the same on this point, it's like fighting a straight sword R1-running player from Dark Souls 3 with a *****ing swing range, 99 strength, HP and a hell of posture, i dont really enjoy the fight so far...

                                                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                      I am just chipping his health with Mortal Draw. This guy have way too much posture and recover it really fast.

                                                                                                                                      • Just a heads up on when to fight him. He absolutely the LAST boss in the game with more total HP, more damage and counter threat than any other boss. There's no harm in getting the memories of the last boss and the other hidden boss first to up your attack as he is purpose built to fight dirty and counter all of Sekiros techniques and advantages outside the basics.

                                                                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                          I just beat this dude with 10 attack power, no spirit emblems...no cheese or prosthetics, only a good ol duel. Took me a couple of hours and was tough as hell but its one of the most satisfying things Ive ever done in a videogame.

                                                                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                            My favorite fight in the game by far. Peak Sekiro imo. Took me about 2 hours to finally bring this big bastard down, and I loved every second of it.

                                                                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                              I assume 30 Attack Power is too low to beat him in NG? Because i just can't even get into his 2nd phase after weeks and weeks of tries, i think i've wasted hundred of hours on this boss.. I'll just keep farming Attack Power..

                                                                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                                Easiest boss in the game, just took me hours to finally bug him into a corner then i just keep spamming R1 lmao, this *****ing game is so broken it's hilarious

                                                                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                                  When Sekiro meets Nioh. Gotta admit I never expected Owl to have his own guardian spirit. Just be careful with the camera as he tends to drop from the owl outside of view.

                                                                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                                    it says you can back dodge the firecracker/giant slash combo, but so far that has not worked. The backstep doesn't go far enough to get out of his reach.

                                                                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                                      Finally beat him! Mikiri counter on his shadowfall and on his large overhead slash I hit him once in the front when he raised his sword waited 1 second then circled round him and hit him again in the back. Also I used 10 ash to get hits in and used all my emblems for empowered mortal draw which i saved until phase two. Simples.

                                                                                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                                        Took several hours to get this bastard down. Much harder than the Great Shinobi version for me, but I pulled it off flawless in the end. This is definitely among the top 3 hardest fights.

                                                                                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                                          What worked for me (Ng no kuro's charm + demon bell) was being extremely agressive. Don't let him catch his breath and be the one to approach you. This doesn't let him use his annoying kunai and sidesweeps for the most part. Might not be the most effective but it was hella fun. Good luck!

                                                                                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                                            Yesterday I killed him using Dragon Flash. I used a mix of doging and punishing his openings. Used the ceremonial tanto twice to have enough "ammo".

                                                                                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                                              Deflecting? Waste of Time and mental Energy. I did it by dodging and using MORTAL BLADE. ONLY Adding some sugars.

                                                                                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                                                                                I am still fighting him (and the camera). I really like to use Dragon Flash, cause it is quite save to use. Worth a try ;-)

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