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?



  • 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

      29 Aug 2021 05:22  

      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

        11 Aug 2021 17:24  

        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

          05 Aug 2021 14:56  

          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

            19 Jun 2021 05:33  

            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

              16 Jun 2021 07:59  

              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

                12 Jun 2021 13:44  

                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

                  18 Apr 2021 04:58  

                  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

                    23 Mar 2021 21:35  

                    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

                      14 Mar 2021 15:10  

                      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

                        08 Mar 2021 20:15  

                        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

                          26 Feb 2021 18:50  

                          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

                            15 Feb 2021 23:47  

                            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

                              20 Jan 2021 06:24  

                              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

                                11 Jan 2021 00:07  

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

                                • Anonymous

                                  09 Jan 2021 07:38  

                                  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

                                    20 Dec 2020 17:16  

                                    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

                                      15 Dec 2020 17:46  

                                      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

                                        14 Dec 2020 23:02  

                                        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

                                          24 Nov 2020 14:56  

                                          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

                                            09 Nov 2020 18:40  

                                            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

                                              28 Oct 2020 08:00  

                                              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”?

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