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Sekiro boss guide: Demon of Hatred

Extinguish the Flames of Hatred

Sekiro Demon of Hatred boss fight guide FromSoftware/Activision via Polygon

Sekiro’s Demon of Hatred boss fight is an optional late-game fight.

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 Demon of Hatred with the most effective Shinobi Prosthetic, items you should bring with you, and strategies for reacting to his attacks in all three phases.

The best Prosthetic Tools and items for the Demon of Hatred


There are always items and attacks that work well against Sekiro bosses. These are our recommendations for the best items to bring when you fight the Demon of Hatred.

  • Suzaku’s Lotus Umbrella. We try to avoid recommending tools or items that are rare or require a lot of work, but this final upgrade to the Loaded Umbrella is invaluable. (Besides, this is one of the last bosses you’ll face, so it’s time to stop hoarding those upgrade materials.) Then Suzaku’s Lotus Umbrella Prosthetic Tool creates a shield that protects you against nearly all of the burning and Burn-inflicting attacks the Demon of Hatred has.

It’s possible to defeat the Demon of Hatred using only the Suzaku’s Lotus Umbrella — that’s how we (finally) did it. The items below will help you and give you additional options. The caveat here, though, is: Your primary focus should be on surviving, not flipping through your Quick Items.

  • Malcontent. This final upgrade to the Finger Whistle Prosthetic Tool will let you stun the Demon of Hatred a few times, opening him up to a few extra attacks. Use it sparingly, though, since it’ll eat through your Spirit Emblems quickly, and the Umbrella is, in our opinion, more useful.
  • Lazulite Shuriken. This Prosthetic Tool does a respectable amount of damage to the Demon of Hatred and, if used correctly, can chip down the last bit of health you need to score before finishing a phase with a Deathblow.
  • Divine Confetti. This will add a little extra damage to your attacks. (And now that you have the Dragon’s Tally Board, you can buy it in bulk from merchants.)
  • Withered Red Gourd, Dousing Powder, and Ministry Dousing Powder. All three of these items will give you a temporary boost to your Burn resistance — which is helpful when you’re fighting a giant, fiery monster. The Dousing Powders will cure the Burn Abnormality, but the gourd will not. The powders are drops from enemies or you can buy them from merchants. The Withered Red Gourd is available from Pot Noble Harunaga.

Demon of Hatred location


After you’ve returned from Fountainhead Palace, you’ll learn that things have only gotten worse in Ashina Castle and the Outskirts. After you fight your way backward through the Outskirts, you’ll eventually be transported to the battlefield where you faced Gyoubu Oniwa. This time, the Demon of Hatred is waiting for you.

Demon of Hatred Phase 1


General strategies

This is not an easy fight. You won’t be dealing much Posture Damage or deflecting. Your job is to avoid his attacks and chip away at his health slowly until it’s depleted.

The Demon of Hatred uses the bulk of his attacks in the first phase, so if you can slice his health bar down and forge into the second phase, you’ve pretty much got a handle on the fight.

There are four pieces of advice that will apply throughout all three phases of this fight:

  • Stay close. You should always be within a few steps of his legs or directly beneath him. He’ll jump away a lot and create distance, though. When he does, your first goal is to get back to him.
  • Run to the right. It sounds silly, but it works. When you’re locked on and strafing, running right will let you avoid (almost) all of his melee attacks. Sprinting to the right will work as well as (or better than) dodging.
  • Always stay locked on. This is a long, frantic fight where every hit counts, and you don’t have much room for error. Some of his moves and your dodging will unlock your target. Immediately lock back on.
  • Avoid the walls and keep the fight in the middle. With all of your sprinting to the right, the camera will collide with the wall if you’re too close and that’s never helpful.

Starting the fight

If you’re quick, you can sprint to the Demon of Hatred from the nearby Sculptor’s Idol and land a few hits before he’s ready to fight. This is the only phase where you’ll have this opportunity, and every hit helps you here, so grab those free hits where you can.

Demon of Hatred’s attacks

Let’s talk about Demon of Hatred’s attacks, how to identify them, and what you should do about them.

Stomp

The Demon of Hatred’s most basic attack is a single stomp with his right leg. He’ll rear back and pause before he brings his foot down, so you’ll have time to react. Stay close and sprint to the right, and you’ll be fine. When his foot hits the ground, you’ll have time to hit him three times.

If you’re ever caught by a stomp, make sure you’re blocking. You can absorb the Posture Damage a stomp deals, but an unblocked hit will send you sprawling.

Headbutt

Another simple attack is the Demon’s head-butt. He’ll rear back and smash his head into you.

If you’re running to the right already, you’ll avoid his head and end up behind him. While he’s recovering, you’ll have time to land at least three attacks on his backside.

Shove

The Demon of Hatred has a one-handed shove attack. He’ll step forward with his right foot and thrust his right hand forward.

Again, since you’re always sprinting to the right, you’ll be able to avoid it easily and land a hit or two before he repositions.

Combo

The Demon’s combo attack starts with him raising his fiery left arm. He’ll sweep it across, then back, then follow that with a stomp of his right foot.

Since you’re already close and moving to the right, you should avoid both arm attacks easily. Watch for his foot, though — you might need to add an extra dodge to make sure you’re out of the way. Once his foot lands, you’ll have time for one hit.

Perilous Attack: Rush

The Demon of Hatred’s Perilous Attack in the first round is a charging rush. It’s, frankly, one of the most annoying attacks in Sekiro.

The moment you see the red kanji appear or if you hear the alert sound, jump — don’t dodge. (Sometimes it’s extra hard to spot the kanji against the fiery backgrounds in this fight.) The timing is very rough, and it hits you for over half of your health, so it’s important that you avoid it and save your healing items for tougher parts of the confrontation.

It doesn’t matter which way you jump — you have to jump. Even if you feel like you’re out of the way, jump anyway. There’s an odd area of effect for his charge that will catch you even when you’re certain you’re safe.

Ranged fireballs

When there’s too much distance between you and the Demon of Hatred — like after his Perilous rush attack — he’ll toss a line of fireballs at you as he closes the gap. You have a few options here, though.

Use the Suzaku’s Lotus Umbrella to absorb the hit, then pop up and get next to him again.

If you’re confident in your speed and dodging, you can instead sprint and dodge directly toward him to avoid the line of fireballs.

Finally, you can turn and run away from him — the fireballs will hit the ground behind you.

Leap and bellyflop

While this final attack in his arsenal isn’t a Perilous Attack, it’s just as elaborate and devastating as one.

The Demon of Hatred will flare a little brighter, then leap into the air. He’ll crash back down and create a ring of fire followed by a massive shockwave. The fire will burn and damage you, and the shockwave will send you flying.

There are two ways to deal with this attack.

As soon as you see him leap, trigger your Suzaku’s Lotus Umbrella Prosthetic Tool. It’ll completely block the slam and, if you keep holding it for a second after he lands, it’ll even block the aftershock. You’ll then have time to sneak in roughly four hits.

If you don’t want to stay that close, start by sprinting directly away from him as soon as he leaps. When he hits the top of his jump, jump as well. The moment he hits the ground, a grapple point will appear at his neck. Grapple to it, and you’ll sail over the fire and through the shockwave. That’ll let you follow up with a Grappling Hook Attack and a few extra hits.

Sekiro’s attacks

This is where we usually point out what to do when you’re on offense, but this fight doesn’t really allow you to ever be on offense. Focus instead on our three pieces of advice from the beginning — stay close, run right, and stay locked on. You’re only going to land one or two hits following each of his attacks. It makes for a long fight, but if you don’t get greedy, it’s manageable.

The only exception is each time your remove about a third of the Demon of Hatred’s Vitality bar, he’ll stagger for a moment. When you see him take his rest, you’ll have time to unleash a Combat Art or just a few extra attacks. It doesn’t last long, but you’ll have time to swing freely before going back on defense.

Demon of Hatred Phase 2


Before we talk about The Demon of Hatred’s new phase two attacks, it’s important to note that, after the first Deathblow, he kneels down for a long time. Don’t bother trying to deal free damage, though — you can’t hurt him yet, and his transition will end with a small explosion. Instead, get some distance and heal up. This is also a good chance to use any sugars or items you’d like. (As we said up above, we tried to avoid sugars because cycling through your Quick Items can get distracting, but, if you really want to, we like Ako’s Sugar to give you a boost to your attacks or Ungo’s Sugar to take the edge off of the damage you receive.)

Phase 2 of the fight is very similar to Phase 1, but he adds two new attacks that we’ll talk about below. Besides those two, you’ve seen every one of his moves already. Keep the same tactics — stay close, run right, and stay locked on — and keep slowly chipping his health down again.

Line of flames

The Demon of Hatred’s first new attack is to conjure a long line of flames. This will be the first attack he does in the second phase.

He always starts this attack from a distance. He’ll lean way over to his right (your left) on one foot and slam his left arm down to the ground.

When you see him lean over, start strafing to the side (it doesn’t matter which side, but we always went right for consistency). Just as he slams his hand down, jump. A grapple point will appear at his head that you can almost always reach. Grapple in and deal a few hits while he’s recovering.

Homing fireballs

His other new attack also starts from a distance. Instead of leaning to one side, though, he does a back and forth, swaying dance (like a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man or a Bailey entrance).

He’ll conjure a series of eight homing fireballs. If you’re lucky enough to have something nearby to hide behind, do so. Otherwise, start strafing to one side and slowly spiral your way in toward the Demon of Hatred. You’ll have time at the end to land a few hits before he resets.

If you get hit and die during this attack, don’t resurrect right away — stay down and wait for all the fireballs to go out first.

Demon of Hatred Phase 3


The Demon of Hatred only gains one new move in Phase 3. The good news is that he does it immediately, so you’ll know what to look out for from that point on.

Perilous Attack: Ring of fire

This attack is a series of three wide swings with his flaming arm-whip followed by a flourish that encircles the Demon in a wall of flames.

You can avoid this with one of two methods: jump over the rope, or run far away. When he recovers at the start of phase three, it’s easiest to just sprint in the opposite direction to completely avoid the attack.

If he does it again and the kanji symbol comes up, you can jump over the first swing, then duck the second and third as you sprint toward him. After that, you’ll have to fight him inside the ring of flames, but his attacks will be familiar ones from the earlier phases.

Demon of Hatred drops, items, and rewards

Defeat the Demon of Hatred, and you’ll receive the Memory: Hatred Demon (and the Demon of Hatred Achievement/trophy) and two Lapis Lazuli for top-tier Prosthetic Tool upgrades. You’ll also be able to reopen the Ashina Castle Gate Sculptor’s Idol.