Owl (Father)

Location Hirata Estate Revisited
Deathblow Markers 2

Bestowal Ninjutsu
Mikiri Counter,

Fistful of Ash,

Empowered Mortal Draw

Reward Memory: Foster Father
Aromatic Flower

Owl (Father) ( 義父, foster father) is a Boss in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Bosses are special 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

  • 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



  • 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) Strategies

Video Strategies


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 it's 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.


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]



    • Anonymous

      31 Mar 2020 02:41  

      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.

      • 23 Mar 2020 03:49  

        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

          13 Mar 2020 20:54  

          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

            29 Feb 2020 09:12  

            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

              22 Feb 2020 02:01  

              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

                03 Feb 2020 10:35  

                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

                  24 Jan 2020 02:40  

                  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

                    21 Jan 2020 16:08  

                    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

                      07 Jan 2020 19:46  

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

                      • 07 Jan 2020 02:59  

                        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

                          28 Dec 2019 04:03  

                          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

                            24 Nov 2019 07:22  

                            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

                              28 Oct 2019 21:40  

                              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

                                28 Oct 2019 21:37  

                                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

                                  27 Oct 2019 20:10  

                                  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

                                    16 Oct 2019 16:16  

                                    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

                                      15 Oct 2019 13:02  

                                      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

                                        14 Oct 2019 07:48  

                                        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

                                          10 Sep 2019 07:15  

                                          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!

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