Nioh 2 – How to beat Ryomen Sukuna

By James Billcliffe
18 March 2020 17:35 GMT

Strap in for one of the toughest boss fights of Nioh 2: Ryomen Sukuna. Powered up with dark magic, Ryomen takes on the form of a four-armed, four-legged Yokai that’s dangerous at all ranges.

Taking him down will require patience, determination, and some manipulation of his attack patterns.

There are some absolutely nutty moves and combos that he can pull out of nowhere which will kill you in an instant. But there are a few tricks you can employ to even the odds.

Nioh 2 – How to beat Ryomen Sukuna

The trick to the Ryomen Sukuna fight is managing distance. You need to retreat to the edge of the arena where you can deal with the attacks he throws at you, closing in as you do, then get your hits in before retreating back out. The video below is a successful run from my first blind playthrough of Nioh 2 where you see the strategy.

Watch on YouTube

It’s actually quite safe at his feet – where you can block the sword and bow swipes – but many hits will quickly exhaust your Ki, especially the axe hits.

Generally, the blue archer side of Ryomen Sukuna is more dangerous. His ice arrows and spinning top shot can kill you very quickly and are tough to dodge. You can’t even really block them because of the AoE damage dealt through your guard.

To ease the pain a little, the red and blue crystals dotted around the arena, as well as the scenery, often drop extra Elixirs – so pick them up where you can.

When fighting the red melee form, sprint around the side of his fire circle attack because it will home in on you.

Step away from his sword combos, or block some of the hits with your primary weapon. Roll away from the axe hits to avoid getting staggered. With a lot of these melee combos, if you roll towards Ryomen’s feet, underneath the swipes, you come out unscathed and ready to strike back as he resets.

You end up either at his feet, or next to his hind legs. Watch for follow-up attacks, but you can generally score some hits here.

When he draws back his sword and leans down, he’s about to charge forwards at you. You need to roll sideways out of the way, or you can Burst Counter it in the Yokai Realm.

There’s an axe attack where he rears onto his hind legs and slams down. Dodge roll diagonally backwards out of the way.

Also, there’s a Burst Counter where he spins the sword and the axe around in a circle. Make sure you counter where he’s actually hitting with the sword or axe, rather than just his body if you’re using Phantom or Feral Yokai Shift – it’s easy to go too early.

With the blue archer side, you need to step dash away from his three-shot arrow combo, but can roll under his twirly bow swipe. Roll in towards his feet to retaliate.

When he conjures explosive birds, sprint around them in an arc, or roll underneath them to score some free hits.

Then when he leans back and shoots ice arrows into air, sprint away from the red circles.

For his Burst Counter where he shoots arrows out in a circle, I just back well off and dodge the hits. I have literally no idea what you’re actually meant to do about it other than that.

In the Yokai Realm you need to fight the blue archer side. Otherwise, he’ll spam ice arrows into the air which are near impossible to avoid and will kill you in one burst.

The tracking on these arrows is insane. Absolutely insane. And I’m not bitter about it at all.

To force the archer side to engage you, roll past his body so the blue side is facing you. This should trigger it to switch to be the main side.

For some extra chip damage, you can shoot the horns on their head as a weak point. Also, the blue side is weaker to fire, while the red side is weaker to water. Hit the crystals around the arena to imbue your weapons with those elements.

Summoning help is also pretty good in this fight, because it lets someone else tank a few hits while you get your bearings. Every little helps.

You unlock a couple more Guardian Spirits for your trouble after this fight, but the worst is yet to come.

Here’s our list of Nioh 2 boss guides!

For more on Nioh 2, here are the best weapons we’ve seen so far.

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