clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Sekiro boss guide: Genichiro Ashina

Master the hardest fight (so far)

Genichiro Ashina makes the other Sekiro bosses seem like pushovers. In this guide, we’ll show you his moves and teach you how to react and beat him.

The worst mistake you can make in any Sekiro boss fight is attacking without a plan. You can avoid this mistake.

The best Prosthetic Tools, items and skills for Genichiro Ashina

There are always items and attacks that work well against Sekiro bosses. These are our recommendations for the best items to bring to your fight with Genichiro Ashina.

  • Loaded Axe Prosthetic. You probably won't be able to use this much because he’s relentless, but it’s a great way to deal Posture damage and even interrupt his attacks.
  • Eel Liver Quick Item. You can find these super rare items as you explore the castle on your way to fight Genichiro. They reduce the amount of damage from lightning attacks, which is a bonus in the last stage of this fight. But again, they’re super rare, which makes them ultimately unreliable.
  • Ichimonji Skill. This is the first skill you unlock win the Ashina Arts tree. The drawback: It takes a long time to execute. The benefit: Ichimonji shreds enemy Posture. On bosses like Genichiro, it’s a reliable way to add chunks to their absurdly large Posture meters.

Phases 1 and 2: Genichiro Ashina in armor

The trick to defeating Sekiro bosses is identifying and responding to their attacks. Then the fight becomes an if-then statement: If they do this, then I do that. In this section, we’ll show you Genichiro Ashina’s attacks (the if part) and how to respond (the then part).

The beginning

The beginning of this boss fight is always the same. As soon as you gain control, block. He’ll shoot an arrow, roll, and then attack with his sword. Just block. Know what’s coming, react, and take no Vitality damage.

You do have the opportunity to attack, but it’s easy to get carried away, and he can counterattack. It’s safer to play the first moments of this fight defensively and save your health.

Basic attacks

Genichiro Ashina has several not terribly difficult to read or block attacks. They’re smaller and less damaging than his others. Focus on blocking — though you can disrupt his attacks with attacks of your own, too — and watch for him to pause at the end of his attacks. This is your opportunity to close the distance between you and attack.

Jump attack

Genichiro Ashina will jump into the air, hover for a fraction of a second, and then land with an overhand sword attack.

When he jumps, Step Dodge away. Then press the attack button for a counterattack.

Perilous Attacks: thrusts and elbows and swipes

Genichiro Ashina has a couple of Perilous Attacks — the ones that make the red kanji symbol appear above Wolf’s head.

The first is a sword thrust. When you see this coming (he pulls his sword back and pauses for a moment), you can Step Dodge to the side (not away from him, or he’ll hit you) to avoid the attack.

If you’re confident in your ability to pull off the Mikiri Counter (blocking, moving toward Genichiro Ashina, and pressing the dodge button), you can catch his thrust and deal a good chunk of Posture damage.

His second Perilous Attack is an elbow to the face or a swipe with his sword. (They may technically be two different moves, but they're so similar that we’re treating them as the same). It looks a lot like his thrust. Just get away.


Genichiro unleashes a flurry of powerful and fast attacks. Block them all. Never try to interrupt the flurry. Your only goal is to survive it.

Feel free to repeatedly press the block button. You’re likely to get in a couple of perfect Deflects in there and deal some Posture damage. If you’re not confident in your ability to do that, just focus on surviving.

The important thing here is that he’s vulnerable after the attack. It takes a lot out of him. And that’s an opportunity to counterattack. He ends his flurry with a powerful upward attack. Look for that. It’s your signal that it’s safe to respond.

Sometimes, what looks like a flurry ends after a couple of attacks. That seems good, but he sure likes to follow those up with other attacks, like a jump. Don’t immediately attack when he’s done. Wait to see if he’s transitioning into another move.

Bow and arrow attacks (and healing)

Genichiro Ashina’s bow and arrow attacks deal absurd amounts of damage. You could Deflect them. Or, if you have excellent timing, you could Step Dodge it. But if you miss the timing, you’ll kiss half of your health (or more) goodbye. Let’s talk about dealing with the varieties.

His first bow and arrow attack is a single shot. He likes to use this especially when you’re taking a drink from your Healing Gourd at a distance. Great news: You almost always have enough time to drink (once) and block before the arrow strikes you, as you can see above.

Whenever you heal and you see him draw his bow, hold block while the drinking animation is active. You’ll get your sword up in time to block the arrow.

His second bow and arrow attack is a replay of his first attack. He fires an arrow (or two), rolls, and rises with a sword attack. It’s possible to interrupt the attack, but it’s safer to block through it and attack when it’s over.

His final bow attack is the most dangerous. He unleashes a volley of arrows — sometimes from the ground, sometimes from the air. Block. Block. Block. And then get away to recharge your Posture.

Phase 3: Genichiro, Way of Tomoe (now with lightning)

The last phase of the fight is the worst. Or at least it feels like that. Turns out, it’s not that bad — as long as you know what to do. Don’t panic. Let’s break it down.

The beginning of the fight

Genichiro, Way of Tomoe wastes no time in beginning the fight, and he can cause severe damage super quickly. But he’ll always do the same thing, which means you can always do the same thing to avoid him.

He begins with a Perilous Attack that involves an improbably long dash and ends with a twirling sword swing.

  1. Lock on. You have time to heal immediately if you need to.
  2. At about the moment that the red kanji fades from your screen, he’ll start his sword attack.
  3. Jump to the right. You’ll soar over his attack.

Lightning attacks

When he jumps into the air, he’ll call down lightning from the sky and into his bow. You have a few options:

  1. Perform a Lightning Reversal. Jump. Hit the attack button after you get struck but before you hit the found, and you’ll pull off the reversal.
  2. Step Dodge to get out of the way.
  3. Attack him to interrupt his attack.

You can see us do the second and third options above.

If you’re having tons of trouble with this part, feel free to use an Eel Liver Quick Item.

More of the same

The rest of his attacks are either direct copies or minor variations on what you saw before he took his shirt off.

If you see him jump, for example, do what you did in the first phase(s) — get out of the way to avoid his plunging attack and follow up with an attack of your own. If you see a kanji symbol, watch out for his swinging sword attack. If he pulls back his bow, block. Or, if you’re up close and he’s trying to be clever, attack to disrupt his attacks.

Speaking of attacking, we suggest ruthless aggression for defeating Genichiro, Way of Tomoe. His Posture bar fills up much faster in this phase of the fight, and if you keep whaling on him, it’ll keep filling up. Your axe Shinobi Prosthetic is pretty good at keeping him on the defensive — and when he’s on the defensive, he’s taking Posture damage.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon