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Sekiro boss guide: Lone Shadow Vilehand

A familiar but complicated fight

Sekiro boss guide: Lone Shadow Vilehand FromSoftware/Activision via Polygon

Sekiro’s Lone Shadow Vilehand boss fight near the Ashina Castle > Upper Tower – Ashina Dojo Sculptor’s Idol takes place in the same arena where you faced the Ashina Elite – Jinsuke Saze. It’s a familiar but more complicated fight.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to beat Lone Shadow Vilehand with the most effective Shinobi Prosthetic, our favorite ninjutsu, and strategies for responding to his attacks.

The best Prosthetic Tools, items, and skills for Lone Shadow Vilehand

There are always items and attacks that work well against Sekiro bosses. These are our recommendations for the best items for Lone Shadow Vilehand.

  • Puppeteer Ninjutsu. This is optional but super helpful. Press the attack button after a Backstab Deathblow, and you’ll turn your enemy into an ally.
  • Shinobi Firecracker. This Prosthetic Tool is always helpful, but it’s especially good on fast enemies like Lone Shadow Vilehand. Pepper your attacks with this, and you’ll disrupt him and give yourself opportunities to attack.
  • Antidote Powder. Lone Shadow Vilehand has a flurry of attacks that deal Poison damage. Use this Quick Item if you get poisoned.

Approaching the Lone Shadow Vilehand boss fight

The most important part of this boss fight happens before it begins. Crouch before you enter the door to the room with the boss, and turn left. (If you have the Puppeteer Ninjutsu, make sure it’s equipped.) Your target is the ninja dressed in purple, standing next to a nearby wall.

Backstab the ninja (not the boss) standing there. Press the attack button during your Deathblow animation to activate the Puppeteer Ninjutsu, and he’ll fight Lone Shadow Vilehand alongside you.

If you don’t have (or don’t want to use) the Puppeteer Ninjutsu, that’s fine. You should still deal with the enemy in purple. Don’t ever fight more than one enemy at once. Just give him a Deathblow and then begin your fight with Lone Shadow Vilehand.

Lone Shadow Vilehand boss fight

General strategies

Blocking is your best bet in this fight, since Lone Shadow Vilehand loves to attack quickly. He has several sword attacks to use individually or chain into combos. Your best bet: block, and respond when he’s done.

It’s better to block and sacrifice an attack than to stop blocking and get hit.

Lone Shadow Vilehand’s attacks

Let’s talk about Lone Shadow Vilehand’s attacks, how to identify them, and what you should do about them.

Perilous Attack 1: Kick

Lone Shadow Vilehand typically attacks with his sword before his most frequent Perilous Attack. He raises his leg, the red kanji appears above Sekiro’s head, and Lone Shadow Vilehand covers an absurd amount of ground with a kick.

Run or Step Dodge around him when you see the kanji, and follow up with an attack of your own.

Perilous Attack 2: Twirl

Typically after a jump attack, he follows up with a twirling leg sweep. Attack when he lands to disrupt it.

Jump attacks

Lone Shadow Vilehand jumps into the air and lands with a kick. The jump is harmless. The kick, not so much.

Good news: The jump is such a long, unambiguous windup for this attack that you’ve got time to respond — even if he tries to follow up with a Perilous Attack, which you can disrupt.

Poison attacks

Lone Shadow Vilehand has multiple attacks that deal Poison damage. You can tell they’re coming because of the poisonous green trail that appears when he uses these attacks.

Don’t get hit. Don’t block. Step Dodge to the side, jump away if you have to, and follow up with a counterattack.

Sekiro’s attacks

Most of this fight is about responding to Lone Shadow Vilehand’s attacks, but we should also point out what to do when you’re on offense.

Mostly that’s about taking a swing or two when he’s done attacking. Not always, though.

Shinobi Firecracker

This is best as a followup attack. Hit Lone Shadow Vilehand once (maybe twice), and then sacrifice your next hit for this Prosthetic Tool. That’ll stun him and open him up for more damage.

It’s also good for disrupting every attack he has, though that’s not exactly easy to time. Consider that a bonus.

Lone Shadow Vilehand drops, items, and rewards

Defeat Lone Shadow Vilehand, and you’ll receive a Lump of Fat Wax, and a Prayer Bead.

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