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Sekiro boss guide: Snake Eyes Shirafuji

Guns and Deathblows in the Sunken Valley

Snake Eyes Shirafuji guide FromSoftware/Activision via Polygon

Sekiro’s Snake Eyes Shirafuji boss fight in the Sunken Valley doesn’t leave much room for error, but in this guide, we’ll show you how to defeat her.

The worst mistake you can make in Sekiro is attacking without a plan. Bosses are happy to disrupt your attacks and cause major damage. You can beat Snake Eyes Shirafuji with a few items and a handful of strategies that react to her attacks.

The best items and moves for Snake Eyes Shirafuji


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 Snake Eyes Shirafuji.

  • Sabimaru. If you have this Prosthetic Tool, you can end this fight very, very quickly. It’s not often we get to suggest a magic bullet-type solution for boss fights, so if you don’t have this Prosthetic Tool, go get it now (below).
  • Shinobi Firecracker. We make this recommendation in pretty much every boss guide for good reason: It’s a safe and reliable way to throw bosses off their game and score a few hits.
  • Fistful of Ash. This is a consumable version of the Shinobi Firecracker. It has the same effect: disrupting Snake Eyes Shirafuji and leaving her open to attacks.

Finding the Sabimaru Prosthetic Tool


The Sabimaru Prosthetic Tool is hidden in an area you could pass through countless times and never search — we missed it for hours.

Head to the Ashina Castle > Upper Tower Antechamber Sculptor’s Idol. Go up the stairs and handle the samurai behind the screen. The next room has two samurai and an old woman patrolling. Handle or ignore them however you’d like. Your goal is below you.

Jump the railing and grapple to the beam as you fall. Look below you to spot a samurai and three grunts. Target the samurai and take him out with a plunging Deathblow, then deal with his backup.

Head into the adjoining room and pick up the Eel Liver, then open the nearby chest to find the Sabimaru. Take that back to the Sculptor at the Dilapidated Temple, and he’ll turn it into the Sabimaru Prosthetic Tool for you.

Part 1: Approaching Snake Eyes Shirafuji for a free Deathblow


Your first goal is to sneak up on Snake Eyes Shirafuji, but your approach isn’t obvious.

We begin at the Sunken Valley > Sunken Valley Sculptor’s Idol. Grapple onto the nearest branch, then again to the next-nearest branch. Do this quickly to avoid the gunners in the distance. Finally, grapple up to the area where Snake Eyes Shirafuji is waiting.

Run to your left, jump up on the ledge, and hug the wall. Your goal now is to make everyone forget about you.

You could just wait it out, but that seems to take a long time (so long that we’re not honestly sure that it works). The most reliable way we’ve found to disappear from everyone’s radar is to run down the bridge — and seriously, run, because you’re going to get shot at — stop just before the hole in the bridge, turn around, and then run back up to the place where you hugged the wall.

Not long after, the gunners and Sekiro’s Snake Eyes Shirafuji will forget about you. When the music dies down and the triangle disappears from above her head, creep up for a Deathblow.

Phase 2: Sekiro Snake Eyes Shirafuji


General strategies

Snake Eyes Shirafuji relies on combos. There are generally two she uses: a two-hit and a three-hit combo. It may look like she has more combos, but we’re comfortable saying that she’s just stringing single moves and combos together. Turns out that most moves in her combos can also be a single attack.

Snake Eyes Shirafuji’s attacks

Let’s talk about Snake Eyes Shirafuji’s attacks, how to identify them, and what you should do about them.

Perilous Attack: Grab and gunshot

Whenever you see the red kanji symbol appear above Wolf’s head, get away. We prefer jumping away, because it seems to work better than dodging — though, to be fair, dodging a few times around her works, too.

Swipe attacks

Snake Eyes Shirafuji swings her gun like a sword — once. This is rare. It’s far more common for her to tie that attack into a combo. And she loves her combos.

Gunshot

Snake Eyes Shirafuji jumps back and fires her gun. Block it. Strafe to either side if you have the time to avoid it. It’s a slow tactic, but she can’t keep up with you. You could also Step Dodge right as she pulls the trigger and even Deflect the attack, but these are more dangerous strategies.

Two-attack combos

Snake Eyes Shirafuji has a pair of two-attack combos. In the first, she swings her gun and then fires it. In the other, she swipes with her gun twice.

The former is far more common than the latter, but she can chain her two-swipe combo or just insert another single swipe, which makes it seem like a four- or five-swipe combo. (These numbers are getting out of hand.)

Three-attack combos

Just like her shorter combos, Snake Eyes Shirafuji does some combination of swinging her gun, kicking, and firing her weapon. Sometimes, it’s two swipes and a kick. Other times, it’s three swipes. Or it could be a swipe, a kick, and a gunshot.

Focus on surviving the onslaught with blocks, and then attack.

Wolf’s attacks and healing

As with every boss fight, it’s best to learn Snake Eyes Shirafuji’s moves and attack as a reaction to them. You’ll mostly be chipping away at her Vitality, which eventually means chipping away at her Posture. Don’t get greedy.

Shinobi Firecrackers and Fistful of Ash

Both of these have the same effect: They make Snake Eyes Shirafuji pause for a second. You could use them to disrupt her attacks. Or you could just use them to create a (small) window and attack her.

Healing

The platform where you fight her affords you several places to heal. And because she has ranged gun attacks, healing out in the open just sets you up for failure. When you need to heal, get behind something.

Sabimaru

With all of the above in mind, let’s talk about ending this fight quickly. Equip the Sabimaru Prosthetic Tool. Instead of counterattacking or attacking with your sword, hit Shirafuji with the Sabimaru Prosthetic Tool. The Sabimaru allows for a series of attacks, so just keep pressing the Prosthetic Art attack button until the combo finishes — after one of two of these, she’ll be poisoned, and her Posture will be nearly broken. Between opportunities to use the Sabirmaru, block and avoid attacks like normal.

The Sabimaru is expensive — each swing in the combo costs a Spirit Emblem, so try not to waste it. It’s OK if she blocks, but make sure you’re making contact. If you’re unrelenting (but also smart) about your attacks, you can finish this fight very quickly. The video above shows our entire process for the second Deathblow in 32 seconds.

Snake Eyes Shirafuji drops, items, and rewards


Defeat Snake Eyes Shirafuji, and you’ll receive a Prayer Bead.