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Sekiro boss guide: Gyoubu Oniwa (the horse boss)

The best Shinobi Prosthetic Tool, a quick path from the nearest Sculptor’s Idol, and tips on facing Sekiro’s horse boss

Gyoubu Oniwa (and his horse Onikage) is the final boss you’ll encounter in the Ashina Outskirts region of Sekiro. When you first see him riding across a corpse-strewn battlefield on his towering horse, he’s more than a little intimidating. But with our help, you’ll be able to defeat him.

This guide will get you ready for the fight with advice for skills to have before you start, the best Shinobi Prosthetic Tool for the boss, a quick path from the nearest Sculptor’s Idol, and tips on facing Sekiro’s horse boss.

Best Shinobi Prosthetic Tool to use against Gyoubu Oniwa

Sekiro Gyoubu Oniwa eavesdropping hint
Eavesdropping gets you great advice.
FromSoftware/Activision via Polygon

You’ll get a hint on your way to face Gyoubu Oniwa about the best tool to use against him. The hint comes from a grieving man you can eavesdrop on not too far from the Ashina Outskirts > Ashina Castle Gate Fortress Sculptor’s Idol.

The Prosthetic Tool you’re after is called Robert’s Firecracker — which the Sculptor will turn into the Shinobi Firecracker. This isn’t one you can find, though. Instead, you’ll have to purchase it from a Memorial Mob vendor. Happily, there’s one earlier in the game that you probably missed (we sure did).

How to get Shinobi Firecracker early

You’re looking for the house where you speak to the old woman — Inosuke Nogami’s Mother — who gives you the Young Lord’s Bell Charm. It’s about halfway between the Ashina Outskirts > Ashina Outskirts and the Ashina Outskirts > Outskirts Wall – Gate Path Sculptor’s Idols — it’s not too far past where you fought General Naomori Kawarada.

From that house, head downhill a little more, past Inosuke Nogami (her son). Just before you reach the gate — where the guard with the mortar cannon will spot you, turn to the left and grapple up. At the ledge, turn left again and grapple up again. Follow the path you land on a little ways until you can grapple up one more time. If you’re quick and watch where you’re headed, you can hit all three grapple points without touching the ground like we did in the video above.

Sekiro Robert’s Firecracker for sale at a Memorial Mob
Robert’s Firecrackers will become the Shinobi Firecracker Prosthetic Tool.
FromSoftware/Activision via Polygon

At the top, you’ll meet the Memorial Mob. He’ll sell you an item called Robert’s Firecrackers for 500 sen. (If you need money, you’ll find three Light Coin Purses in the hidden room under the old woman — just watch out for the two roosters guarding it.) Take this back to the Sculptor and he’ll turn it into the Shinobi Firecracker.

Best skill to use against Gyoubu Oniwa

Sekiro Grappling Hook Attack Prosthetic Arts skill
The Grappling Hook Attack Prosthetic Arts skill adds an attack after you grapple. It’ll come in handy in the fight.
FromSoftware/Activision via Polygon

There’s one skill we recommend above all others for making your fight against Gyoubu easier, and it’s a cheap skill you can pick up early. The Grappling Hook Attack Prosthetic Art allows you to add an attack after using your Shinobi Prosthetic as a grappling hook.

You need to head into Hirata Estate and retrieve the Shinobi Prosthetic Tools hidden there — the Flame Barrel and Shinobi Axe of the Monkey — before the Sculptor will give you the Prosthetic Esoteric Text. We talked about picking up those prosthetics in our Shinobi Hunter Enshin of Misen boss guide. Luckily, Grappling Hook Attack is a first tier skill that only costs one Skill Point.

The opportunity to use it is going to come up pretty often during the fight. It’s not necessary, but without this skill, you’ll be wasting precious seconds when you could be dealing damage.

Approaching Gyoubu Oniwa

There are a lot of enemies in the area between the Ashina Outskirts > Ashina Castle Gate Fortress Sculptor’s Idol and the battlefield where you face Gyoubu Oniwa. You’re welcome to face as many of them as you like, but we’re going to recommend a path that takes you straight to him without having to deal with any enemies.

Sekiro Gyoubu Oniwa approach FromSoftware/Activision via Polygon

From the idol, look straight up and grapple to the roof of the wooden tower. Turn to your right and grapple over to the wall. It’s right above the guy that you can eavesdrop on (he’s mourning his horse and giving you a hint about the best Shinobi Prosthetic to use).

Turn left and run along the narrow wall. You’ll pass one patrolling guard — feel free to hop down and handle him if you’d like, or you can just keep running past him.

Sekiro Gyoubu Oniwa approach FromSoftware/Activision via Polygon

Finally, grapple to the tree behind that guard and up to the top of the gate overlooking the battlefield.

When you drop down to the ground, run a little way to the gate. Gyoubu Oniwa and Onikage will crash through the gate ahead of you and to your left.

Gyoubu Oniwa boss fight

Gyoubu Oniwa is huge and he’s riding a huge horse, and that makes him very intimidating. The first thing to remember is that it’s possible to beat him — just don’t give up and fight smart. Here are a few other general tips before we get into specifics:

  • He’ll come to you. You don’t have to worry about staying close to Gyoubu. In fact, you can mostly stand still for a lot of this fight if you want to. He’ll even run away periodically and then come charging back. Don’t seek him out — let him come to you.
  • Treat Gyoubu and his horse as one entity. You don’t have to worry about hitting Gyoubu himself. Landing a hit against the horse is just as effective.
  • Block constantly. Gyoubu has a huge spear that he swings around wildly while riding a moving horse. Don’t try for Deflects. Instead, just block all the time. Any time he’s remotely close and you’re not attacking, block.
  • Don’t go behind the horse. Just like in real life, being directly behind the horse is dangerous. Onikage will kick you and deal a lot of damage if he catches you back there. You’ll be circling and dodging enough that this shouldn’t come up often, but if it does, get out of the way fast.
  • His left side is safer than his right. Gyoubu carries his spear (lance?) in his right hand — the left side if you’re facing him. That means his left — your right — is (marginally) safer for you. It’s harder for him to hit you on that side. When you have to option, dodge or run to your right.
  • Remove everything from your Inventory except what you’re using. We mentioned this in our 11 tips to get you started guide, but it bears repeating here: Empty everything out of your Quick Items and Prosthetic Tools except what you’ll be using. For us, that meant only equipping the Shinobi Firecracker Prosthetic Tool and only putting the Healing Gourd and some backup Pellets in our Quick Items. This will make it much easier and faster to find exactly what you need so you don’t accidentally use the wrong thing.

Gyoubu Oniwa boss fight: first Deathblow

Once Gyoubu crashes through the gate, run up and deal some damage while he delivers his arrival monologue — he won’t start attacking until he rides away and returns. (Or you could just wait until he comes to you, but then you’re sacrificing free hits.)

When he takes off, start blocking and wait for him to come back. His attacks will put a dent in your Posture bar, but you’ll survive it. One of his most common attacks is in the video above. It’s a three-swing attack that ends with an overhead swing and him taking a few breaths. Block the first two hits, then, while he yells, dodge to the right (or dodge twice to be safe). You’ll have a couple seconds to deal some damage — two or three swings of your sword.

This is also a great chance for you to use your new Prosthetic Tool as well. When you dodge one of these big attacks where he pauses afterward, fire off your Shinobi Firecracker. This will make Gyoubu’s horse rear back and open them up for a flurry of attacks and Posture Damage. Even better, he usually runs away right after.

The last thing to watch for is a Grapple Point to appear when he’s far away. This is where the Grappling Hook Attack skill becomes important. Whenever you see this (and you’re in range), grapple toward him. A moment before you get to him, attack. You’ll deal respectable damage by the time you land. In the video above, you can see all three of our tips in action, resulting in the first Deathblow.

Gyoubu Oniwa boss fight: second Deathblow

Not much changes after you deal the first Deathblow against Gyoubu Oniwa — all of the same tactics above will still work. But he does add some new attacks to watch out for.

The first will start when he’s a little ways away from you. A grapple point will appear above his head at the same time he starts spinning his spear in a wide arc — the tip will then pop off on a long chain and cover a lot of ground in a spinning sweep attack. If you can, jump and then grapple over to him. If you can’t jump first, still grapple as soon as you can — you’ll take a good bit of damage on your way. Once again, attack right before you reach him and you’ll stop his attack.

His second new attack is a red kanji Perilous Attack. He’ll throw his spear at you from a distance, then reel it back in. Once again, though, a grapple point will appear. When you see the red kanji, dodge to one side — it doesn’t matter which — and grapple over to him.

Finally, he’s got a day-ruining Perilous Attack where he’ll drag his spear and attempt to grab you with it. If you get caught, you’ll get drug along and tossed around, and it’ll cost you about half of your health bar. If you see him coming at you dragging his spear and a red kanji appears, start jumping out of the way.

Aside from these new twists, the fight remains very similar to the first half. Keep blocking more than you attack and dodging to the right. Use your Shinobi Firecracker as much as you can. Grapple and follow the grapples with Grappling Hook Attacks.

Gyoubu Oniwa boss fight: Shinobi Execution

Sekiro Gyoubu Oniwa Finisher Deathblow Shinobi Execution
Gyoubu Oniwa requires a third Deathblow called a Finisher Deathblow.
FromSoftware/Activision via Polygon

When you finally deal the second Deathblow, the fight isn’t quite over. A prompt will appear on your screen for you to attack one more time and deal a Finisher Deathblow. If you miss this prompt, you’ll have to go back to fighting a little more until you can land another Deathblow. At that point, you’ll get another shot at the Finisher. (It’s not out of the question to just button-mash attack while you’re dealing the second Deathblow. That way, you’ll almost definitely get the Finisher without any extra work.)

Gyoubu Oniwa rewards

Once you are victorious, you’ll receive a Memory: Gyoubu Oniwa and a Mechanical Barrel. At the Sculptor’s Idol near where Gyoubu crashed through the gate, choose Confront Memory to turn the memory you received into more Vitality and Posture. Take the Mechanical Barrel to the Sculptor to unlock the ability to upgrade your Prosthetic Tools.

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