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Sekiro boss guide: Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi

Battle at the Moon Tower

Sekiro Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi boss guide FromSoftware/Activision via Polygon

Sekiro’s Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi optional mini-boss fight returns Wolf to the Moon Tower from the game’s prologue. It’s a difficult fight, too, since he can obliterate your Posture and Vitality with just a couple attacks.

The worst mistake you can make in Sekiro is attacking without a plan. Bosses are happy to disrupt your attacks and cause major damage. In this guide, we’ll show you how to defeat Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi with the most effective skill, Shinobi Prosthetics, our favorite Combat Art, and a handful of strategies to react to his attacks in both phases.

Approaching the Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi boss fight

There are nine enemies (well, 13, but you can skip the first four) between the Ashina Castle > Ashina Resevoir Sculptor’s Idol and the Moon Tower where you fight Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi. Some of them might take notice and join the boss fight if you’re not careful, so it’s best to clear them out first. You have to be clever to get through it without wasting a lot of time, energy, and swigs from your Healing Gourd, though.

  1. Starting from the Sculptor’s Idol, turn left immediately and walk to the cliff. (This is before the vantage point of the image above — we needed to be here for visibility.) Grapple to the branch below you and a little to your right, then grapple again to the branch coming out of the wall. Climb over the wall and do a plunging Deathblow on the pot-banging enemy.
  2. Sneak up behind the gunman and take him out.
  3. Turn left and head for the house. (If you haven’t yet, grab the Gyoubu’s Broken Horn inside the house.) Just like you did in the prologue, sneak under the house. On the far side, backstab the next gunman.
  4. Turn left and use the tall grass to stay out of sight as you head downhill. There’s one more bandit at the cliff edge to kill.
  5. Turn around and retrace your steps back under the house. Head down one terrace level and take out the next gunman.
  6. Turn around to you left and take out the spear-wielding bandit behind the tree.
  7. Hide behind the tree until you can drop down and take out the giant patrolling the lowest level. Immediately hide behind something to avoid getting spotted.
  8. When the other giant turns his back, sneak up and Deathblow him.
  9. There’s one final bandit hiding in the corner — he’s easy to miss. Sneak up and Deathblow him as well.

The best items and moves for Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi

Since this is a spear-based boss, the skill that will be most useful is the Mikiri Counter. If you haven’t bought this yet, do it now — it only costs one Skill Point. Spend some time with Hanbei the Undying back at the Dilapidated Temple to get comfortable with the timing. Opportunities to use this move are going to come up a lot.

Beyond that, equip your favorite Combat Art — like Ichimonji — and Prosthetic Tool. They’re not necessary, but anything that can deal some extra Vitality or Posture Damage helps.

Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi Stealth Deathblow

After you clear out the other enemies, you’re welcome to just run straight up the stairs and take on Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi. But that’s not the smartest way to do it. Instead, let’s start with a Stealth Deathblow to cut this fight in half.

Retrace the path you took to the Moon Tower in the prologue. Back where you killed the lone bandit overlooking the cliff (#4 above), drop to the landing below you. Grab onto the ledge and shimmy to your left. Climb up on the other side, jump the gap, then climb to the next ledge. Work your way a little to the left, then climb up and through the hole in the wall of the tower.

Inside, turn right and head out through the door. Sneak down the stairs behind Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi and get in your Deathblow before he notices you. We included a 40-second video of the process above.

Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi second Deathblow

Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi’s attacks

Let’s talk about Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi’ attacks, how to identify them, and what you should do about them.

Perilous Attack 1: Spear thrust

Unsurprisingly, Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi’s main Perilous attack is a thrust with is spear. It’s not particularly fast, and you’ll have the warning of the red kanji, so it’s easy to avoid. Just watch for him to draw the spear back on his left side.

You have two options to deal with it. First, you can Step Dodge to the side — never away since his spear has a huge reach. Or you can use a Mikiri Counter. We prefer the Counter since it deals some Posture Damage, but if you’re not extremely comfortable and confident, it could cost you.

Perilous Attack 2: Sweep

Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi has a second Perilous Attack that he uses rarely (so rarely, you might not even see or notice it). If he draws his spear back on his right side and a red kanji appears, he’ll be sweeping.

Dodging to your right a couple times (in the same direction as the sweep) should keep you ahead of it. The sweep actually stays pretty close to him, so you can also dodge backward a couple times to get out of range. Jumping will put you above his sweep and give you the opportunity for a Jump Kick and some Posture Damage.

Jumping overhead slash

Another attack to watch for is his huge, jumping, overhand slash. This is the only time he’ll take to the air, so it’s hard to miss. You have to be prepared for this one since it’s so strong, but luckily you can Step Dodge it easily. Follow your dodge with a counterattack to chip at his Posture.

Drag and pause

Right after a series of attacks, Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi will drag his spear along the ground on his right side, then lunge at you. You can avoid it by blocking, dodging to your right, or just jumping out of the way.

After this attack, he’ll take a knee for a second. As soon as you hit him, he’ll pop back up, so make your hit count. Try something like a Loaded Axe attack with a Fang and Blade followup.

Other attacks

The rest of Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi’s attacks are big, powerful attacks with that giant spear. No matter what attack he does, he’ll do a lot of damage to your Posture, so your best approach is to get out of the way. Deflect if you can, block what you can’t, and keep moving.

Wolf’s attacks

Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi is hard to do any real damage to. For the most part, you’re not going to be doing much attacking, only counterattacking. Your best approach in this fight is to wait for openings to deal Posture Damage. Use the Mikiri Counter whenever you can. Step Dodge a lot and follow up with counterattacks and Prosthetic Tool attacks (with Fang and Blade followups).

As you can see in the video above, we never just attack. All of the Posture Damage we deal is the result of a countered or dodged move. Let Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi do the work and react accordingly.

Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi drops, items, and rewards

Defeat Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi, and you’ll receive a Prayer Bead. Before you leave, head up to the roof surrounding the second floor of the Moon Tower to find a Bundled Jizo Statue.

The next level of puzzles.

Take a break from your day by playing a puzzle or two! We’ve got SpellTower, Typeshift, crosswords, and more.