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Sekiro boss guide: Juzou the Drunkard

One fight, three stages.

Juzou the Drunkard is an early Sekiro boss, blocking your progress in Hirata Estate. In this guide, we’ll show you how to beat him to death.

Juzou the Drunkard boss fight

There are tons of enemies between the closest Sculptor’s Idol and Juzou. Ignore everyone who isn’t close to the boss. From the bonfire, sprint past the enemies and turn left to enter the water.

Save your health. They won’t follow you.

There are three distinct phases to this fight. First, we’ll show you a great path for taking out the low-level enemies. Then we’ll get a free Deathblow on Juzou. Finally, we’ll recruit an ally and finish the fight.

Part 1: The little guys

Your first order of business is to eliminate the weak enemies in the area before you start fighting Juzou.

Juzou the Drunkard boss guide
These guys are your first two targets
FromSoftware/Activision via Polygon
  1. From the safety of the pond, face the building that Juzou guards. Go all the way to your left, and sneak into the house. Kill the first enemy you see with a Deathblow from behind, and kill the enemy in the hall, too.
  2. Follow the hallway through the house. The path will end near an enemy with a shield (right by Juzou). This is where the real fight begins. Your goal will be to eliminate the low-level enemies, and there’s a reliable way to do that.
  3. Hop down, and kill the shielded guard near Juzou with a Deathblow.
  4. Sprint to the archer, and kill him.
  5. Run away from the house toward the water, and the rest of the enemies will follow you.
  6. For as long as it takes, kill them all. Run in and through the hallway again to create space between you, your enemies and Juzou. Single them out. Never fight more than one enemy at once.

There are two distinct phases to beating Juzou the Drunkard. We’ll break them out here.

Part 2: A free Deathblow

Juzou the Drunkard Deathblow FromSoftware/Activision via Polygon
  1. When Juzou’s henchmen are all dead, run into the water and hide from Juzou. Head to the top of the rock if you need to find him.
  2. Sneak up behind Juzou and perform a Deathblow.

That’s half of your job done with one hit. Now it’s time for the real fight.

Part 3: Nogami Gensai and the real boss fight

Speak to Nogami Gensai, and he’ll join the fight. FromSoftware/Activision via Polygon
  1. Sprint to Nogami Gensai, who’s standing near the water’s edge. Speak to the NPC, and he’ll join the fight. He’s not terribly helpful, except in one way: He distracts Juzou. And while the boss is distracted, you have the advantage.
  2. Stay behind Juzou, and attack as Nogami Gensai distracts him. Watch for his big windups, which are a signal of an incoming attack. Block. Dodge, and then hit the attack button for a powerful counterattack. Back away to refill your health and posture. Use the Flame Barrel Prosthetic Tool to disrupt his attacks. Attack relentlessly.
  3. When he’s focused on you, watch for opportunities for a Step Dodge and Dodge Counterattack. He’s got a big overhead swing and a flat-palmed punch that are both easy to dodge.

Perilous Attacks

Jozou has two heavy attacks to watch out for. The first is a sweeping Perilous Attack. Luckily, he’s got a long windup before he delivers it. You can see the windup and watch us utterly botch the Jump Kick in the video above. This is a great opportunity to deal substantial Posture Damage (that we wasted).

His other Perilous Attack is a grab. Watch for his right hand to draw back and the red kanji to appear. This is your prompt to dodge sideways and get behind him. You can see this at the beginning of the video below.

Putting it all together

You can see pretty much all one of the above strategies at play in the 18-second video below.

Nogami Gensai should stay alive long enough for you to put a serious dent into Juzou’s enormous yellow Posture bar, though he probably won’t stay alive long enough to distract him for very long. It is possible to defeat Juzou while keeping Nogami Gensai alive, though.

Juzou the Drunkard rewards and drops

Defeat Juzou, and you’ll receive Unrefined Sake and a Prayer Bead. You’ll also gain access to the building he was blocking.