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Sekiro boss guide: Corrupted Monk (Fountainhead Palace)

Fighting your way into the Fountainhead Palace

FromSoftware/Activision via Polygon

This is the second time you’ll face Sekiro’s Corrupted Monk boss, but the first time was really just a preview. She’s in corporeal form now, and you’ve got some work ahead of you.

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 the Corrupted Monk with the most effective Shinobi Prosthetic and strategies for reacting to her attacks in all three phases.

The best Prosthetic Tools, items, and skills for the Corrupted Monk


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 the Corrupted Monk.

  • Shinobi Firecracker. As always, we recommend the Shinobi Firecracker. It’s our favorite tool, and it works in almost any situation. It works especially well against the Corrupted Monk, though.
  • Fistful of Ash. Think of this as the Quick Item version of the Shinobi Firecracker.

Corrupted Monk Phase 1


Starting the fight

If you’re careful, you can get in the first of three Deathblows before the fight even starts.

As soon as you walk through the gate and onto the bridge, grapple to the branch on your right. Grapple forward again, then grapple to the branch on the other side of the bridge. Your goal here is to get to the high branch overlooking the far end of the bridge.

While you’re grappling, the Corrupted Monk will arrive. Spin the camera around to look back the way you came. Look down to spot her and lock on. Wait a moment for her to finish a power up animation — you’ll know it’s done when a ring of leaves blows away from her.

Then, jump down and steal your first Deathblow with a plunging attack. You can see the entire process in the video above.

General strategies

Let’s say you don’t manage to pull off that first Deathblow sneakily. We didn’t always have luck with it — especially when we attacked too early. Luckily, the head-on approach isn’t overly difficult.

The Corrupted Monk only has a few attacks to worry about during this phase, so you’re only going to be focusing on blocking and dodging. Keep close to her, and chip away at her Posture and health until you open up that first Deathblow.

Corrupted Monk’s attacks

Let’s talk about Corrupted Monk’s attacks, how to identify them, and what you should do about them.

Basic attack: Swing on right side

If you stick close to her, the Corrupted Monk will use this attack nearly constantly. Instead of blocking it, Step Dodge to the left — the same side as the attack — and counter with Dodge Counterattack and one or two more swings. Make sure you’re close to her when you do this — you’re dodging inside of her swing.

Just keep repeating this for as long as she’ll let you.

Other attacks: Underhand attack, leap back, and overhand swing

We’re going to lump her other attacks together here because they’re really just a result of her getting frustrated with your constant dodging left and beating her up.

The first is an underhand sweep of her spear (halberd?). It’s got a big windup, but you can dodge it just like her basic attack above — step to the left and counter.

The second is a spinning attack that she uses to create some distance. She’ll spin away from you and follow it with a sweep from right to left as she jumps backward. If you see her pirouette, start blocking and just let her back off. (If you miss the block like we did in the video above, it’s not devastating.)

The final attack is a leaping overhand. It’s pretty easy to see coming, so all you have to do is step to the side before she lands.

The video in this section shows all three of these attacks (in order). At the end of the video, you can also see that she goes right back to her basic attack.

Sekiro’s attacks

You can handle the entire first phase of this fight with just Dodge Counterattacks. The two videos above happen one right after the other. Just using dodges and counters, the fight to the first Deathblow took less than a minute. Don’t worry about getting fancy. Stick to the plan, and you’ll wear her down quickly.

Corrupted Monk Phase 2


For the second phase of this fight, the Corrupted Monk will (attempt to) call in a handful of ghostly doubles. You don’t have to worry about them, though.

You only have one goal in this phase: Get to the high branch above the far end of the bridge. (This is the same branch you launched your first Deathblow attempt from.) Depending on where the first phase of the fight ended, you may have to use the other branches to navigate your way there — that’s a good thing, because it keeps you moving and out of reach of the apparitions.

At the start of this phase, the Corrupted Monk will disappear in a swirl of black leaves and reappear right below the branch. Jump down with a plunging Deathblow.

If you miss the Deathblow, the fight will continue much like the first phase. Just wait for her to disappear to conjure the ghosts again. Return to the branch and try again.

Corrupted Monk Phase 3


The third phase is where the real fight with the Corrupted Monk begins. There are new attacks to worry about, and it’s just harder.

Spinning attack

This is the Corrupted Monk’s flashiest attack. And her deadliest. She’ll wind up and come at you with a series of big, far-reaching sweeps of her halberd.

Your easiest option here is to just run away like we did in the video above. If you run out of room or get caught too close, keep blocking and work your way behind her. Time your dodges for immediately after the spear would hit you. If you do get behind her, take the opportunity to sneak in a few extra hits.

Perilous Attack: Sweep

The first new Perilous Attack to worry about combines two swings with a Perilous sweep. When (if) you see it coming, block the swings and jump the sweep to land a Jump Kick counter.

This Perilous Attack isn’t always accompanied by the leading swings. Sometimes the Corrupted Monk will use this sweeping attack to close a gap.

Perilous Attack: Terror

The Corrupted Monk’s second Perilous Attack sees the centipede spit some Terror-inducing poison in an arc ahead of it. It’s easy to avoid, though. When the red kanji appears and she rears back, just dodge to the side and loop around to land a few hits before she recovers.

Sekiro’s attacks

The rest of the Corrupted Monk’s third phase attacks are similar to the first phase. Step Dodge to the left of any overhand swings or swings from her side and land a couple hits. It’s possible to wear her down again with just that approach, but there’s an even better way.

Shinobi Firecracker and Fistful of Ash

The Shinobi Firecracker (or whatever upgrade you have installed) is particularly useful against the Corrupted Monk. She’ll reel back and give you plenty of time to land a few hits. The firecrackers will even interrupt her Perilous Attacks.

When you run out of Spirit Emblems to power your firecrackers, switch over to the Fistful of Ash Quick Item for the same effect. (If you’re like us, you probably have dozens of them that you never remember to use.) It’s possible, with careful timing, to get into a loop here of stunning, attacking three times, re-stunning, and so on until she’s dead.

Corrupt Monk drops, items, and rewards

Defeat Corrupted Monk, and you’ll receive the Memory: True Monk and a Dragon’s Tally Board.

Confront the memory at a Sculptor’s Ido to increase your attack power. Possessing the Dragon’s Tally Board means that most merchants will now carry limitless supplies of consumables like Divine Confetti and Snap Seeds for purchase.