Sekiro’s Lady Butterfly boss fight will test your patience. You’ll need to to learn her moves and react accordingly. In this guide, we’ll show you how to defeat Lady Butterfly with the most effective Shinobi Prosthetic, our favorite Combat Art, and a handful of strategies to disrupt her relentless attacks.
Lady Butterfly Phase 1: Floating attacks, shurikens, and attacking defensively
When you run into the arena, block. Lady Butterfly will always run to you and throw her projectiles. Block them.
Knock Lady Butterfly down with the Loaded Shuriken
Your Loaded Shuriken is the best Prosthetic Tool for this fight. Using it at the right moment disrupts Lady Butterfly’s attacks and opens her up for damage.
Whenever Lady Butterfly jumps and stays in the air, it’s time to throw a shuriken — but only when she’s moving. You’ll have to wait a second or two before she does that.
If a shuriken lands when she’s hovering, she’ll block it. If a shuriken lands while she’s moving, she’ll fall to the ground. Close the gap between you, and attack. You can even disrupt her unblockable Perilous Attack with this technique.
You can see an example of this above. Here’s how it plays out:
- Lady Butterfly jumps into the air.
- We get jumpy and throw a shuriken.
- She blocks it.
- She starts to move, and we throw another shuriken.
- The shuriken knocks her to the ground, and we attack.
This is a reliable way to prevent her from causing damage and open her up to taking damage. You’ll have tons of opportunities to use it. Just be patient. It’s supremely useful in both phases of this fight. Don’t be jumpy. Don’t waste many Spirit Emblems on shurikens that she’ll block.
Attack after she attacks
The worst mistake you can make in pretty much every boss fight is attacking without a plan. Pretty much every enemy (and particularly bosses) are happy to disrupt your attacks and cause major damage. So our advice for Lady Butterfly is about attacking only after she attacks. It’s defense followed by offense.
Attack Lady Butterfly after she finishes a flurry on the ground. Block her attacks, maybe Deflect if you’re feeling confident, and when she’s done, attack her back.
Your first hit is likely to land, dealing Vitality (health) damage. She’ll block for a while afterward, but that’s fine. You’ll still deal Posture damage.
Above, she follows our flurry with her ground-based Perilous Attack. As soon as you see the red kanji appear over Wolf’s head, Step Dodge away. Every Perilous Attack in the game is designed to obliterate your health, and this is no exception.
The best Combat Art for Lady Butterfly
We love the Nightjar Slash Combat Art for disrupting her attacks and closing the distance between you and Lady Butterfly. Don't worry so much about causing big Vitality (health) damage. Just chip away. And every time she blocks, she loses a little more Posture. (Just to make it super clear, you’ll see this same advice in the next section.)
Lady Butterfly’s attacks to watch for
Your fight with Lady Butterfly is about slowly chipping away at her Vitality until you can do some meaningful Posture Damage. That means using every chance you have to deal damage — even if it’s only a little bit at a time.
Lady Butterfly’s most basic attack is a swipe with each hand, followed by a downward kick. She’ll use it a lot. Whenever you see her wind up the kick with her foot in the air, Step Dodge and immediately hit the attack button to Dodge Counterattack.
She also has a sweeping Perilous Attack. If you’re lucky, she’ll do it as a standalone move. More often, though, she’ll do it at the end of a long string of attacks. If she’s on the ground and the red kanji appears, she’s going to sweep. Jump and press jump again to Jump Kick her and deal some extra Posture Damage. (You can see above that we panic-dodged first, then hopped back in for the Jump Kick, so you’ve got a little wiggle room here.)
Next, watch for her to do a darting, three jump hover accompanied by a yell. She’s trying to jump on your head here. When she’s right above you, she’ll pause for a moment. Step Dodge out of the way, and Counterattack as soon as she lands.
Finally, she’ll follow an attack by jumping back and floating. While she’s hovering, she’ll do an elaborate windup, then dive straight at you. While she’s winding up, Step Dodge to the side. If you’re quick, you can even get in two hits like we did above.
Use the wooden posts for protection
If you need to heal, run away and hide behind one of the wooden posts. Put it between you and Lady Butterfly, and they’ll block her projectile attacks. You’re safe to pop a Pellet or drink from your Healing Gourd.
Lady Butterfly Phase 2: Summons and Snap Seeds
The second phase of the Lady Butterfly boss fight adds minions to the battlefield. When they appear, you have a few options:
- Use a Snap Seed Quick Item to make them all disappear. This is perfectly reasonable, but Snap Seeds are an exceptionally rare item, which makes them precious. Don’t waste them.
- Run away from Lady Butterfly so that you’re not fighting her and them at the same time. At that point, you can either avoid or kill a few minions. Killing them has the chance of generating Spirit Emblems — keep this in mind if you’re running low. They’ll disappear eventually, and your main goal should be minimizing the damage they could cause.
- Prevent Lady Butterfly from spawning her minions.
You can prevent her from ever spawning her minions with the shuriken tactic we used above. It’s possible, but it’s not easy.
- As soon as you finish Phase 1, refill your health, and run to the spot where she reappears near the giant statue opposite where you entered.
- As soon as she lands on the ground, attack. Causing damage is good, but the real focus here is preventing her from summoning her minions.
- Attack relentlessly to keep disrupting her.
- Whenever she hovers in the air, use your shurikens to bring her back down to solid ground.
- Attack relentlessly.
As you can see above, we used the Nightjar Slash Combat Art, which is an excellent way to disrupt her attacks and keep her blocking. Every block means a little more Posture damage. It also closes the gap between Wolf and Lady Butterfly, which means you’re effectively guaranteed to connect every time you use it.
Lady Butterfly drops, items, and rewards
Defeat Lady Butterfly, and you’ll receive the Memory: Lady Butterfly. Use that at a Sculptor’s Idol to level up your attack power. You’ll also receive the Sakura Droplet, which gives you an additional Resurrection opportunity.