Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls, Bloodborne, and now Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice all have one thing in common aside from being developed by From Software and that’s incredible boss fights. The battles are often a test of patience, timing, and especially in Sekiro’s case, learning their patterns before you even come close to victory.
Even the mini-bosses in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are challenging, sometimes more so than the main. The fights are a true test of skill that needs to be deciphered in a similar manner to puzzle games and it is only when you have cracked their code that you’ll be victorious.
However, not all of From Software’s bosses and mini-bosses will cause you endless frustration. For every Nameless King, there’s a Pinwheel. Sekiro is similar in this regard and just like the Soulsborne games they can either function as environmental hazards or are there to simply lead you into a false sense of security.
Just keep in mind that the majority of Sekiro’s so-called easy battles still put most games to shame when it comes to boss battles. Most of the mini and main bosses will put you down at least once when you stand against them and even the weakest fights will test your skill. So with that in mind, let's take a look at ten of the weakest and ten of the toughest bosses in the game.
20 Easy: The Great Serpent
The Great Serpent is a huge fearsome looking snake that you will encounter several times in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. In terms of sheer size and scale, it’s an intimidating sight and you’d expect your final encounter with it to be one of the most difficult in the game.
Other than simply hiding, avoiding and stabbing the giant snake’s eye during the earlier stages of the game you only need to land two deathblows to defeat it. The opportunity to do this comes later in the game after you’ve figured out how to raise the kite and keep it in place.
19 Hard: Genichiro: Way Of Tomoe
Genichiro: Way of the Tomoe is the third and final time you will encounter the boss in the game. He's far from easy but you’d expect this battle to be incredibly difficult especially after how much trouble you’re likely to have with his Ashina incarnation.
However, his third and final form is the same Lightening God form he used during the second boss battle’s third phase. So he's less troublesome this time around for two reasons. Not only should you be well practiced in reading his tells and deflecting by now but without his armor, his posture is easy to break with deflects and the lightning counter move. Don’t get too comfortable though because this leads straight into one of the hardest boss fights you’ll face in the entire Soulsborne series.
18 Easy: The Mist Noble
The Mist Noble is a mini-boss that you’ll encounter in the Sunken Depths area of Sekiro. It’s also one of the easiest encounters that you’ll experience in the entire game. Once you’ve managed to figure out how to reach him in his broken down temple you can simply hit him with a deathblow from above to get rid of one of his health phases.
Finally, you can just keep your distance and repeatedly hit him with the Loaded Spear for posture and vitality damage without taking a single hit yourself. The Mist Noble is considered by fans to be the Pinwheel of Sekiro.
17 Hard: True Corrupted Monk
You will technically encounter the Corrupted Monk twice in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice but it’s the true form of this boss that will cause quite a bit of trouble. The one big factor in this fight is that you will remember how to deflect and parry a lot of her physical attacks from the first battle.
Unfortunately, she has three phases that you will have to deal with. The first phase shouldn’t cause you too much trouble as the monk can be defeated with a demise from the trees. The second is tricky because you have to avoid his illusions/decoys before you can land another attack/
However, the third phase is where you’ll find the most challenge as you will need to time your strikes and Fire Crackers to lower her posture.
16 Easy: The Folding Screen Monkeys
The Folding Screen Monkeys boss battle is very different when compared to all of the mini-bosses and main bosses throughout Sekiro. This encounter is very simple but it can be time-consuming until you figure out where to find all four of the monkeys.
The only thing that you need to be careful of are the respawning illusion monkeys which can end you with their attacks. This battle is more of a puzzle to be solved rather than outright fight and in typical Sekiro fashion once you work out their patterns you’ll finish this fight very easily.
15 Hard: Lady Butterfly
Lady Butterfly will be your first true challenge in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and it’s an encounter that you will likely need to return to at a later stage. Unfortunately, even after you’ve farmed all those skill points, Gourd Seeds, and Prayer Beads you will still need to learn Lady Butterfly’s attack patterns and deal with her speed.
The battle with Lady Butterfly is a lesson in using the dodge technique as much as possible. Parrying will also play a big role too but it’s moving out of the way at just the right time that grants you the most success. In addition, she has a second phase where she casts illusions and butterfly attacks that you’ll need to avoid at all costs.
14 Easy: The Divine Dragon
The Divine Dragon is certainly one of the prettiest battles you’ll experience in Sekiro. Thankfully, it is also one of the easiest if you have the lightning deflect move. Additionally, make sure you have the “Breath of Life Light Skill” unlocked through the Skill tree and the “Breath of Life: Shadow unlocked after defeating the mini-boss O’Rin of the Water.
Having both skills unlocked will grant you around 30% health regeneration after landing deathblows on the tree roots. The rest is a matter of timing and positioning in order to deflect the dragons lightning attacks.
13 Hard: Genichiro Ashina
Much like Lady Butterfly, Genichiro Ashina is going to cause you a lot of problems and is easily one of the most difficult encounters in the game. Where Lady Butterfly was a lesson in dodging and closing the distance, this Genichrio encounter will teach you the art of deflecting and parrying.
He has three phases that you will need to get through but its the first two that you will really need to learn his rhythmic-like attack patterns so you can deflect them and lower his posture for the deathblows. His third phase is easier to deal with as long as you stay close and avoid or counter his lightning attacks but can still very easily destroy you with one or two hits if you aren't careful.
12 Easy: The Chained Ogre
The Chained Ogre is one of the earliest mini-bosses that you’ll encounter and despite being on the “easy list” he’s certainly no pushover. Thankfully, if you’ve collected the Flame Vent from the Hirata Estate and unlocked the Mikiri counter this fight is much easier.
In addition, if you get the Ogre to chase you all the way back to the gate it will lose track of you and reset the battle. As he’s making his way back get in a sneaky deathblow attack, throw some oil at him, then use the grapple attack followed by the Flame Vent to get in some easy shots to finish the Bigfoot lookalike off.
11 Hard: Emma The Gentle Blade
Depending on what path you choose Emma The Gentle Blade who has been an ally throughout the majority of the game will become a boss battle. Don’t let her “gentle” moniker fool you, however, because she is one of the most difficult boss fights in the game.
Just like the second Genichiro fight, defeating Emma is a case of learning her attack patterns but this is easier said than done because she attacks you with such blistering speed. Her normal attacks will hurt you but she has a grab attack which can end the battle if you aren’t keeping an eye on your health.
10 Easy: The Corrupted Monk
The first time you’ll take on the ghostly version of the Corrupted Monk in Mibu Village will probably prove quite difficult. However, once you get your hands on the Mortal Blade this fight will become a lot easier.
All that’s required is to keep your distance from the boss, only closing the gap after she’s finished performing her lunging and spinning attacks. Finally hit her with the Mortal Blade twice for a significant amount of damage. It’s an easy fight with plenty of room to move and run in circles in order to keep out of the way.
9 Hard: Great Shinobi – Owl
Being the man that taught The Wolf everything he knows the battle with the Great Shinobi – Owl is exactly as difficult as you’d expect it to be. Sekiro’s own Vader Vs. Luke scenario is incredibly challenging because of the variety of ways the Owl can attack you.
He has Fire Crackers, Shurikens, and anti-recovery orbs that prevent you from using your Goard Seeds which can be a pain after he’s taken half of your health bar with one shot. Your best chance is to keep running anti-clockwise and avoiding his biggest attacks which is easier said than done. There is very little room for error in this fight because he’s very quick and explosive.
8 Easy: The Armored Warrior
While the Armored Warrior mini-boss isn’t exactly an easy fight at first it is definitely a lot of fun once you figure out what you need to do. You can’t really do any significant damage to his vitality but his posture, however, is his biggest weakness.
He’s very strong so you will need to use your speed to dodge his biggest attacks but they are quite easy to read because he's slow. Finally, once you have his posture broken you need to make sure he’s close to the edge of the bridge – one deathblow later and he falls to his doom.
7 Hard: Demon of Hatred
Reminiscent of Dark Souls and Bloodborne style bosses the Demon of Hatred is not only massive in stature but he’s a massive pain on the battlefield too. The demonic giant is every bit as dangerous as he looks and can hit with you fight ending attacks using earthquakes, fireballs, strikes, and a diving move.
Your only chance is to stay close and attack him between the legs. Of course, this will leave you vulnerable too if you’re not careful and if you aren’t quick enough the fight will be over very quickly.
6 Easy: Ashina Elite: Jinsuke Saze
Even though the Ashina Elite – Jinsuke Saze is a mini-boss he’s not really one that you should consider optional because he’s guarding the very important Lightning Deflect move which you will need to take on several main bosses in the game.
Jinsuke has very powerful attacks which can take you out within two hits but he’s not as tough as he sounds. All you need to do to beat him is look out for the glimpse of light flashing from his sword right before his attack and deflect for huge posture damage and easy finisher.
5 Hard: Headless Ape And Bride
The Headless Ape is one of the most unique bosses in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. You will first encounter it when you fight the Guardian Ape’s second phase. It’s the hardest part of the battle compared to the creature’s original form and has pretty erratic sword swings compared to the other battles in the game.
On its own, the Headless Ape isn’t too difficult to deal with once you figure out its tells and when to deflect but when it’s teamed up with another giant ape (the Bride) the fight becomes something else entirely.
4 Easy: Gyoubu Masataka Oniwa
Gyoubu Masataka Oniwa is the Sekiro’s first true boss encounter and if you aren’t used to game’s mechanics he can be a pretty tough fight. Yet, if you get out of the Dark Souls mindset and focus on deflecting and breaking his posture the fight is very easy.
This fight is all about timing your deflects, using the grapple hook to hit him from above and working the Fire Crackers to frighten the horse. Once you get this down you’ll be surprised how easily you can break Gyoubu’s posture for the finishing moves.
3 Hard: Owl Father
The second encounter with Wolf’s father is even more difficult and frustrating than the first. He’s faster this time around and trying to keep your distance will probably cost you too since his unblockables can close the distance in a blink of an eye.
Your best option is to fight him head-on using the deflect and sidestep as your best methods of defense. However, this will prove to be incredibly difficult considering how hard he is to counter and how easily he can break your posture with just a few hits. To top it off, in his second phase he will use his Owl illusion to attack you from above forcing you to fight defensively from two angles.
2 Easy: Guardian Ape
The Guardian is one of the most impressive looking and intimidating bosses in the game. He’s ferocious and can cause a variety of damage. His most damaging moves are his amusing looking “poison gas” and excrement flinging attacks.
Both are easily avoided, however, and the ape will frequently leave himself exposed when leaps into the air to throw his excrement at you. All you need to do is run toward him whilst he’s in the air so he leaps over you exposing his back to a combo and use firecrackers. His second phase, whilst tricky is just a case of deflecting and running away at the right time before using your Loaded Spear grab attack.
1 Hard: Ishin The Sword Saint
Ishin The Sword Saint is Sekiro’s most powerful boss fight and some players may find him to be one of the most difficult in all of From Software’s Soulsborne series. There’s no easy method or workaround for this fight and everything you have learned about deflecting, dodging, and timing Mirikiri’s will be tested to their limits against him.
He appears immediately after you’ve defeated Genichrio – Way of the Tomoe and will come at you with some huge area of attack moves, a spear, and even a gun. This is a fight that you’ll need to learn in a similar manner to the second Genichiro fight and only when it becomes second nature will you ha ave much easier time defeating him – until then, prepare to lose over and over again.