For my money, on your first playthrough Saika Magoichi is one of the toughest bosses in the whole of Nioh 2 – if not the most aggravating.
While this fight seems simple at first, because of his bullet spam you need to play a little differently to what you’ve come up against before. The challenge isn’t insurmountable, but you might need a bit of luck on your side.
Your best response to the sustained, spammy pressure is to return in kind. Your Ki Pulses will need to be on point, and you’ll have to be brave – but it’s the only way.
Nioh 2 – How to beat Saika Magoichi
Below is a video of me beating Saika Magoichi after many failed attempts. It’s not a perfect no-hit run, but it shows how you can exhaust his stamina by playing aggressively and avoid his most potent attacks with diligent use of your sprint.
Like Azai Nagamasa, Magoichi has such a varied roster of attacks to pick from that you’ll need to be constantly on your toes.
There are a few basic combos he leans on most often.
The first is a four-hit combo with two slashes, a shot, then another slash. You can dodge diagonally backwards out of range of this attack, then punish him at the end with a quick combo of your own.
Next up, Saika Magoichi spams a 3-shot gun combo, which you side step or sprint sideways to avoid all of the shots. This is also possible to punish at the end, but you have to be close or he’ll follow-up with another shot where he dodges to the side.
This roll shot dodge is one of his most annoying weapons and can be chained onto the end of most of his combos. If you’re slower than a couple of seconds at punishing one of his attacks, then expect him to roll sideways and shoot as you approach. You can block this extra shot with your primary weapon.
One of his more frustrating techniques is where he’ll teleport over your head and shoot down at you. When he does his it’ll break your lock-on, so you need to dodge or sprint backwards to get behind him and make sure you’re sighted with lock-on to defend against the incoming shots with a block.
When he throws bombs, step or dodge roll out of the way. This is usually performed before he starts shooting at you from the air. Step or block these shots, then punish him with a slash as he pauses when he lands.
Also in the air, he can do an unblockable black-and-white swoop with his talons. You must dodge backwards out of the way of this, but it is punishable as he lands. Be very careful though, he can chain two of them together without warning so don’t go too early.
Seemingly later in the fight he starts to pull out a different melee combo where he does a spinning back kick in combination with some slashes.
He can mix up the order and position of the moves in this combo, so don’t get attached to the order. It can include between one and four hits, but is vulnerable to interrupting. Step to the side and retaliate to break the flow.
Magoichi also has a flashing melee strike where he lunges forwards. Get ready to dodge backwards when he leans over and his hand starts glowing.
As for Burst Counters, he has two varieties. The first has two forms, where he whistles his Guardian Spirit Bird. This can either send out a blast in four straight directions, which is more straightforward to dodge.
When it summons a load of fireballs, sprint in an arc around the edge of the arena and you should run most of them into the ground and dodge the follow-up shots.
The second kind is where he leans down and generates a fire shockwave in his sword. You want to Burst Counter the original slash, rather than the resulting shockwave. This is easier to meet head on, but don’t go too early.
In the fight more generally, if you get into trouble use the pillars in the room as cover from his shots. This gives you a clear space to heal when you need it.
Unlike Yokai bosses, you can interrupt his attacks with your own most of the time – except when he’s in the air. If you get caught out up close by the dodge roll, then it pays to flail about and catch him mid-move.
For the more dead-eyed of you, it is possible to turn this fight into a bit of a sniper duel. Headshots from your own ranged weapons will drop him to the ground for a grapple, or knock Magoichi out of the air.
It’s very difficult to time this because of his dodge roll shot attack, but if you catch him close between animations, it’s possible and satisfying.