What is it with your Nioh 2 character and picking fights with the wrong people? Next on the chopping block is the “Master of Spears”: Maeda Toshile.
Like most of the human bosses in Nioh 2, Maeda Toshile attacks intimidatingly quickly. However his guard isn’t great, and with patience you can chip away at his health bar little by little.
Nioh 2 - How to beat Maeda Toshile
The trick to this fight is knowing when to block and when to dodge, as well as pushing forwards when you have the advantage. Below is a successful attempt from my first blind run of Nioh 2. It's a pretty messy playthrough, but shows how you can block the majority of his hits and when you should dodge instead.
Maeda Toshile can parry your melee combos if you’re not careful, so don’t hit into his guard too much.
His Ki regeneration is lightning-fast, but it is possible to exhaust him for a grapple. You do this by using Active Skills or being aggressive just after he’s launched a chain of attacks and his Ki is down.
The most frustrating part of this battle is that Toshile can just pull random combos seemingly out of nowhere. Similar to Saika Magoichi, you can't be too passive or you'll get worn down by the spam.
My strategy was to block any regular attacks with my primary weapon, while dodging fire and Ki infused hits, including the big thrusts.
To do this, I made a mixed armor set with high dodge ki reduction to make it easier to dash in and punish the small windows at the end of his combos.
The naughty tricks you could rely on in other boss fights don’t really work here. His movement is such that arrows and Yokai Abilities aren’t that effective. You can parry his regular hits - none of the overhead shots - if you’re an absolute god, but the timing is tough.
Don’t get greedy and try to stagger him mid-combo like I do in the video - he’ll just tank the hits and stab you.
There are a couple of interesting Guardian Spirit Moves you need to watch out for. First is where he stamps and summons fireballs. This is easy enough to step back away from and dodge roll sideways to avoid.
Otherwise, he’ll stamp and bright white flashes envelop his weapon. You need to back well off when this happens to avoid the absolute stab spam coming your way.
After you’ve reduced him to half health his attacks seem to become more frantic, so this is the time to use Sloth Talismans if you use that skill.
Generally, continue the same strategy. You can block most of his hits - even when he runs across the area spinning his spear - so retaliate at the end of his combos. It’s not worth trying to nip in while he’s attacking you, the tracking on spear attacks is too strong, so be patient and wait for the openings.
Continue your pattern of block, counter, dodge, counter, until he’s down to 25% health. At this point, it’s possible to spam the rest of his life down with your Yokai Shift.