Sekiro Isshin, the Sword Saint boss guide: How to defeat the very final boss in the game

Sekiro Isshin, the Sword Saint boss guide
Image credit: Leviathan/YouTube (Image credit: Leviathan/YouTube)

You'll have to defeat the Sekiro Isshin the Sword Saint boss as a final battle in almost all the Sekiro endings, with the exception of the Shura option. There's no nice way of saying this: it's a tough fight. Isshin as a large variety of attacks, a lot of range and three separate phases to get though to finish him. And - big and - if you fail at any point you have to restart the whole thing. So you've got your work cut out for you. There is at least a decent cheese strategy you can make use of in the final two phases that will make life a little bit easier. Read on to find out more in our Sekiro Isshin, the Sword Saint boss guide.

How to beat the Sekiro Isshin, the Sword Saint boss

So, the first phase is a straight sword fight with the Sword Saint and he has some incredibly powerful attacks up his sleeves. There are plenty of attacks to watch for. The first of these is if he sheaths his sword, he follows this with a very fast dash and two strikes, you can either run away when he puts his sword away or attempt to deflect. Either way, he is vulnerable to a couple of hits immediately after this. 

He will occasionally do a very fast thrust, you can Mikiri counter it for good posture damage and a chance to get two attacks in. His main combo is a three to four-hit sword combo, this has incredibly strange timing and is tough to learn if you want to deflect properly. He uses the Ichimonji Double in this phase, you can punish this by dodging around him to get in some strikes. The other attacks to watch for are his wind sweep and wind slash attacks, these are both indicated by wind gathering around him, run away to avoid them. Eventually, you will defeat his first phase. 

His second and third phase are both similar to each other. In these phases, he uses a huge spear and also has access to a gun. If you want to fight him fairly you can. However, you can cheese him in these phases by running around in huge circles and waiting until he uses his leaping spear attack. If you run underneath him as he does this you can stab him once before running away. You can just repeat this until the fight ends. He doesn’t fight fair so neither should you. 

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Jason Coles is a freelance writer and editor, covering gaming, tech, and fitness. Jason has written guides for GamesRadar+ and PC Gamer, reviews for Play magazine, and a host of other content for the likes of Eurogamer, Dicebreaker, and PCGamesN. Jason also served as the editor of The Indie Game Website and is passionate about helping new writers break into the industry with his Word Count Mentoring initiative.