Sekiro: Best Tips to Fighting Isshin The Sword Saint, Final Boss
For those who chose to walk away from Owl's teachings and go on their path to honor Lord Kuro's request in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, your final task forces you to save Lord Kuro from the ultimate foe. You return to a location Sekiro knows all too well, where he lost his hand, and he faces down the man who made all of this happen. Here you are, at the final fight against Genichiro, and if you think it's going to be straightforward, you're in a for a surprise. We break down this last fight and detail the best way to take down this fearsome, relentless foe.
You start the fight off facing against Genichiro, who now wields the second mortal blade. Since you've made it this far, you're likely weary of your opponent's ability to use lightning attacks. However, you do not need to worry about those. But you do need to watch out for the second mortal blade. You'll see it charging up by the dark aura building up at the hilt. When you see this, rush behind Genichiro, and attack him from behind as many times as you can.
Like previous fights against Genichiro, you're going to notice the boss using several of the same attacks, which you can successfully parry and burn his stance down. That'll be the main focus of this first phase. You want to parry his sword and arrow attacks as frequently as possible. When he starts to charge up his immortal blade, dash around him and unleash your strikes, before becoming more defensive.
Thankfully, this portion of the fight is reasonably quick. You'll want to avoid having to take any sips from your healing gourd if you can help it, as the real battle starts as soon as you take Genichiro down.
Isshin, the Sword Saint
As soon as you take down Genichiro, you enter a cutscene where he cuts himself and out pops his uncle with a brand new body. If you'll remember, before you left the castle to rush after Lord Kuro, you found Isshin laying on the floor, dead. By using the second mortal blade on himself, Genichiro was able to conjure his uncle to return. This drastic action was an attempt to ensure an Ashina would finish the work he started, but not if Sekiro has anything to say about it.
One of the significant attacks Isshin uses during this portion of the battle is a two-handed overhead strike. He rushes forward at you, doing a considerable amount of damage to your health posture. It would be best if you dodged out of the way, right before he sends the attack on you. He'll need a moment to recover after he misses, giving you the perfect opportunity to get in a few strikes of your own.
The next major attack you need to be mindful of during this section is a powerful wind-based attack. You'll know Isshin is about to perform by the charging aura he gathers around himself. Immediately before the strike goes off, dodge to the left or the right to avoid it and then dash towards Isshin. There are two strikes with this attack, so he's going to be preparing to send out the second one. However, it'll be in the direction you were when you first dodged it. Because Isshin is slow to follow up, you have ample opportunity to rush in, slash him a few times, and then duck out before he can react.
The first portion serves as a warm-up, so make sure you're getting to follow Isshin's movements and watching how he fights.
Isshin becomes a different sparring partner during this phase. Instead of relying on his sword, he's going to take out a huge spear to hold in his left hand and continue to use his sword with the other. It's encouraged to remain as defensive in this portion of the battle as possible, as his attacks are far more aggressive and he's not going to stop chasing you.
As you'd imagine with him now wielding a spear, Isshin's attacks are going to become much larger, and he'll be able to attack at a longer distance. The best strategy for this fight is to remain as far away from him as possible and force him to rush after you. You're looking for him to perform a specific attack, which involves him jumping into the air, doing a quick spin, and slamming his spear into the ground where you were. He's going to take a few seconds to recover after the attack, granting the perfect timing to rush in and hit him in the back. Once he's recovered from the attack, run away from him again and make him do it again.
Every so often you'll see Isshin using a gun to fire at you when you're a distance away, and he's chasing you. However, you don't need to worry about these attacks too much. You can block the bullets much like you would an arrow, and you should be fine. He fires the gun three or four times in quick succession.
There's a particular combo you'll want to watch for, and that involves Isshin attacking you several times before he finishes it with a charged wind attack. Blocking the first series of attacks are pretty straightforward and is encouraged as you take away more of his health. However, the wind attack is what's going to hurt you. It does not matter if you correctly block it or not, because it'll cut through you and do a considerable amount of damage to your posture. I am speaking from experience, as this attack has devastated several runs I attempted, and ended up with me having to straight-up run away from him when I see it happening.
The final part of this battle with Isshin becomes genuinely epic as the lightning storm you've seen in the distance is now upon you, and lightning strikes are diving into the ground, making the final battle feel tremendously fitting.
You'll notice Isshin is going to use these lightning strikes to your advantage. He performs an attack much as he did during the first phase, but this time there's lightning attached to the spear tip. Thankfully, as long as you dodge these attacks much as you did previously, you shouldn't have to worry about him doing too much harm to you. All you need to think about is jumping behind him right before the strike finishes, and get in as many strikes as you can.
Don't wait to move to see if he has the lightning attached to the spear. He'll still use the leap attack without the electricity on his spear, so don't get too hung up waiting for the visual.
You'll also notice he's going to use the charged wind attack, much like the first phase. He's going to charge up for a quick second, and the let out two slashes with his blade in your direction. Again, you can quickly get out of the way of these attacks, and go in behind him for a few quick hits.
You'll need to bide your time and stay away from Isshin. Make sure to force him to come to you, and avoid the lightning strikes as they slam into the ground. As long as you're patient, careful, and mindful of his devastating combos, you will conquer Isshin and complete Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and you will have completed the Immortal Severance ending.