Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Isshin, the Sword Saint Boss Guide

Information and strategy guide on how to defeat the Isshin, the Sword Saint, a boss enemy in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

Number of Deathblow Markers 3
Reward Memory: Saint Isshin, Dragon Flash Combat Art
Appearance Ashina Reservoir – Secret Passage

Strategy

First HP Bar

  • After defeating Genichiro Ashina one last time, Isshin Ashina will appear. As with Isshin, it is better to avoid most of his attacks and wait for openings.
  • The first chance you have to attack is after he does the cross slash. Attack him once he finishes the move.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

Get away when Isshin sheathes his blade. He may not be able to reach you if you are far away.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

Attack Genichiro after this motion. Perform a sidestep before attacking.

  • The second time you can attack is after he does his dangerous sword thrust.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

Perform a Mikiri counter once the red kanji appears. You can strike him after countering.

  • The third attack chance is after Isshin unleashes a shockwave from his blade. You can avoid it by sidestepping, then launch a counterattack.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

If Isshin sheathes his sword and gathers wind, continue dashing sideways to avoid the wave that appears.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

The moment you avoid the second wave is the perfect chance for you to attack.

Second HP Bar

  • During the second HP Bar phase, Isshin will use a spear and gun alongside his sword. His attack range is significantly wider thanks to the spear. He also gains several new attacks.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

His reach increases once he equips the spear. Getting close to him will be much more difficult.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

  • The first chance you’ll have to attack during this phase is after he performs a jumping attack. Sidestep to the left and attack once he is done with the move.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

Some of his moves have relatively slow recovery times. However, his attacks are quite speedy, so finding an opening can be difficult. He may hit you at any vulnerable moment as a result. Memorize his moves and find the openings in each.

  • The second chance for you to counter is after his dangerous spear thrust.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

Perform a Mikiri Counter once the red kanji appears. You can strike one time after a successful counter.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

After the counter, he may follow up with multiple strikes, try to avoid this and launch a counterattack once he is finished.

  • Once he gathers wind for his spear, he will launch a much more powerful wave attack. Run away from him and avoid the wave.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

It is dangerous to be near him once he gathers wind.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

Stay away from him until he finishes the wave attack.

Third HP Bar

  • Not only will there be random lightning strikes that can hit Sekiro during this phase, but Isshin will also use this force of nature to his advantage. Isshin now has, even more, moves from his arsenal, but new attacks also mean new ways to find openings. It is easier to deal with his lightning attacks since it can be deflected.
  • The lightning slash is the biggest opportunity to launch a counterattack. Jump and parry the attack in mid-air to deflect it and paralyze Isshin for a short period of time.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

Jump when you see this coming. Parry this attack in the air to deflect it.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

Isshin will receive damage and will be in a state of Shock once you deflect it. This deals a bit more damage than your usual sword strikes. Continue deflecting his lightning attacks to deal heavy damage.

  • Same with his move during the second phase, you have a chance to attack after you avoid the jumping slash. Avoid this by sidestepping to the left.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

He often uses this move when you are far away. Step forward and sidestep to the left before it hits you.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

Same as the previous phase, most of his attacks have a slow recovery. Be careful in landing hits as he may counter you after two or three strikes.

  • He will still perform the dangerous spear thrust. Use Mikiri Counter once again and hit him one to two times.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

Launch the Mikiri counter once the red symbol appears.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

He may still attack after being countered, so be careful.

  • Isshin will also do the wave attack again. The strategy is same as before: stay away from him until he finishes the attack.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

Continue dashing sideways as he gathers wind in the air.

Isshin, the Sword Saint

If you avoid the wave, you have a chance to attack if you are not too far away. However, it is best if you just avoid the attack rather than counter it.

Attacks

Attack Details
1st HP Bar
DANGER
Thrust
Isshin thrusts his blade toward Sekiro. Can be Mikiri countered.
Double Slash The boss sheathes his blade and performs two quick slashes.
Wave Slash The sword saint gathers wind for his blade. He then unleashes a stationary wave that can damage Sekiro. A few seconds after the first wave, Isshin unleashes another.
Slash Isshin strikes at Sekiro several times. Can be blocked.
2nd HP Bar
DANGER
Sweep
Performs a sweeping attack. Excellent power and range.
DANGER
Spear Thrust
The boss thrusts his spear at Sekiro. Can be countered by using Mikiri.
Jumping Slash Jumps and performs a slash downwards. Can be counterattacked after dodging.
Gunshot Isshin shoots Sekiro if he is far away. May use more than once.
Back Step Attack Steps back and attacks.
Slash Performs a few spear slashes.
3rd HP Bar
DANGER
Lightning Attack
The sword saint jumps and catches lightning mid-air, unleashing it at Sekiro after it accumulates. Can be deflected.
DANGER
Thrust
Another thrust attack. Can be countered by Mikiri.
DANGER
Sweep
A sweeping attack that has excellent range and power.
Wave Slash Isshin gathers wind and lets out a stationary wave. Avoid this attack, since it has a wide area of effect.

Other Boss Guides

▼Boss Guides
Gyoubu Masataka Oniwa Lady Butterfly Genichiro Ashina
Folding Screen Monkeys Guardian Ape Headless Guardian Ape
Corrupted Monk (Illusion) Corrupted Monk Demon of Hatred
Great Shinobi Owl Emma, The Gentle Blade Isshin Ashina
Owl (Father) Divine Dragon Genichiro, Way of Tomoe
 Isshin, The Sword Saint - -

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Recommended Article List

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Beginner's Guide Basic Information Game Database
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