Skip to main content
If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Sekiro Bosses Ranked - The Hardest Bosses in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Our not definitive but still controversial boss rankings for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, plus boss guides for each enemy.

Sekiro is an absolutely brutal game, and the various boss encounters are no different. In this complete Sekiro boss rankings page, we'll be delving into detail on every boss in the entire game, listing them out in order of difficulty.

Watch on YouTube

Sekiro Boss Ranking

The bosses in FromSoftware games are always unique, and the cheery bunch in Sekiro are no different. The bosses were styled around warriors in Dark Souls, deformed beasts in Bloodborne, and in Sekiro they're largely a mixture between the two.

Genichiro Ashina in Sekiro. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Activision/FromSoftware

This is a ranking of all the Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice bosses that we've beaten so far. It's a ranking in order of difficulty, based on our own personal experience with Shadows Die Twice. Over the coming days, as we progress further and further into Shadows Die Twice, we'll be updating this guide with new bosses. It's just the opinion of one person! If your experiences differ, let us (politely) know in the comments.

Keep in mind that because we're roughly 90 percent through Shadows Die Twice, we will be spoiling the game to a degree. While we won't be divulging information about the ending(s) of the game, we will be detailing bosses that are story-related characters.

Here there be spoilers for the late stages of Sekiro.

20: Chained Ogre

Can be Found at: Ashina Outskirts

Well someone had to come last. I'm nominating the Chained Ogre for the last position on this list mainly because he's only difficult given the little time you've spent in Sekiro up until this point.

Watch on YouTube

A hulking, ten foot tall madman with glowing red eyes that you find chained to a fence to restrain him is enough to make anyone back off. But if you've already done the Hirata Estate section and worked out that you can easily jump over the lunge attacks from enemies, the Chained Ogre is absolutely no trouble at all.

19: Divine Dragon

Can be Found at: The Divine Realm

The Divine Dragon comes right near the end of the story of Sekiro, and although it eventually takes the gigantic form shown below, it starts out as a horde of mini dragons, swarming you with poison clouds. You need to hack through all of them for the true Divine Dragon to appear, which is more of a hassle than it is actually challenging.

Now that is a Divine Dragon. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Activision/FromSoftware

When the Divine Dragon does actually appear, the fight is again something more of a hassle than challenging. You need to jump from platform to platform with the grappling hook, absorbing lightning and then throwing it back at the Dragon with your sword. Again, not a tough boss fight by any means, and a little underwhelming considering how late in the game the fight occurs.

Throw that lightning back at the long boy. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Activision/FromSoftware

For a complete walkthrough on how to take down this boss at the end of the Fountainhead Palace area of the game, head over to our Sekiro Divine Dragon guide.

18: Blazing Bull

Can be Found at: Ashina Castle

This bull sucks. Putting a huge flaming tree trunk on the head of a bull and tasking it to charge around the battlefield is at the very best animal cruelty, at the very worst just plain mean to the poor bull.

Watch on YouTube

If you eavesdrop on soldiers before encountering the bull, you'll hear them remarking how uncertain they are about employing a bull on the battlefield. "It doesn't differentiate between friend and foe," mutters one of them. It's a great line before you see two additional soldiers get run over by the stampeding bull let loose from its pen.

Mainly though, the bull sucks because of how little space there is to work with in this fight. If you were to get that bull in an open field like Gyoubu Oniwa, and you're having a great time beating it to death.

For our full walkthrough detailing how you can parry and counter this boss, head over to our Sekiro Blazing Bull guide.

17: Armored Warrior

Can be Found at: Senpou Temple

The Armored Warrior was a bit of a pain for a time. He's just extraordinarily tough, with a huge sword that I'm sure isn't compensating for anything. We're never given any backstory or explanation for the enigmatic soldier, just that he's one hulking brute atop a large bridge in Sekiro. And he really wants to beat the hell out of you.

The Armored Warrior. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Activision/FromSoftware

The boss fight with the Armored Warrior on the bridge is basically a huge battle of attrition, which is actually quite easy if you've really got your dodge timings down. Also, you can boot him off the bridge at the end of the fight, and he hangs there for a split second, arms flailing around, before plummeting to his death.

For a detailed breakdown of how you can beat this elite and powerful warrior, check out our complete Sekiro Armored Warrior guide.

16: Juzou the Drunkard

Can be Found at: Hirata Estate

At the time, I hated this guy. Who takes a boss that has the ability to projectile vomit at you, and then surrounds them by a bunch of followers with shields, bows, and torches? FromSoftware, that's who.

Watch on YouTube

Juzou the Drunkard is relatively easy once you've taken down his comrades. Alternatively, you can even leave one of the shield bearers alive, and Deathblow kill them with the Loaded Axe for some precious healing power if you've got the corresponding ability unlocked.

15: O'Rin of the Water

Can be Found at: Mibu Village

This boss is very fast and very furious. Spurned by a former master, O'Rin is now in a state of open paranoia, believing everyone and everything that she lays eyes on is hiding her master from her.

O'Rin of the Water. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Activision/FromSoftware

O'Rin is only really a handful if you get put on the back foot. She demands that you deflect, deflect, and deflect about five more times. But once you have the timing down of your parries, raising her Posture meter and delivering a Deathblow is relatively little trouble.

If it's a detailed breakdown of this boss that you're after, you can head over to our Sekiro O'Rin guide.

14: Folding Screen Monkeys

Can be Found at: Illusory Halls

Screw these monkeys. There's four of them, and they're all camped out in this illusory villa, which basically acts as their gigantic playground for when they want to play hide and seek and throw their own s**t at each other.

One of the four Folding Screen Monkeys. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Activision/FromSoftware

The Folding Screen Monkeys aren't difficult, they're just annoying. What's really annoying is how you have to chase that one in the green kimono around the entire map, trying to corner him in a single tower with the pouring water so that he can't hear you.

For our detailed walkthrough of how you can go about taking down all four monkeys in this area of Shadows Die Twice, you can check out our Sekiro Folding Screen Monkeys guide.

13: Long-Arm Centipede Giraffe

Can be Found at: Sunken Valley

This boss is a little challenging if you aren't good with deflecting. Long-Arm Centipede Giraffe (don't get excited, it's nothing to do with an actual giraffe) comes at you full throttle, barraging you with repeated attacks which you'll need to parry perfectly if you want to make it out alive.

The Long-Arm Centipede Giraffe. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Activision/FromSoftware

Long-Arm makes you think that you're doing something wrong. "Am I meant to stand my ground and take all these hits?" I asked myself, and the answer was yes, you're meant to stand there and take repeated punishment if you want even a glimpse at striking back.

There's no doubting this ferocious boss as a handful at the very least. For a full guide on how to deal with it quickly, check out our Sekiro Long-Arm Centipede Giraffe guide.

12: Gyoubu Oniwa

Can be Found at: Ashina Outskirts

Arguably the first "main" boss of Sekiro is Gyoubu Oniwa. When you perish in Sekiro, it's like time resets from the previous Sculptor's Idol. So every time you die to Gyoubu Oniwa and have another stab at him, he always announces himself as he enters the arena, like a visiting dignitary.

Gyoubu Oniwa. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Activision/FromSoftware

Gyoubu Oniwa is a great boss because he flies in the face of everything you've tried to teach yourself. Most of the bosses you've faced at this point teach you to back away and wait for an opening, but Oniwa demands that you get in close quarters and create your own openings through deflections and a clever use of the grappling hook.

If you need a more detailed breakdown of how to successfully counter every attack that this boss on horseback can throw your way, you can head over to our Sekiro Gyoubu Oniwa guide.

11: Ashina Elite - Jinsuke Saze

Can be Found at: Ashina Castle

This dude kind of sucks. While he's not a mandatory boss in the plot of Sekiro, you will want to defeat him if you want a shortcut to where Genichiro Ashina is waiting to kick your ass at the top of Ashina Castle.

The Ashina Elite - Jinsuke Saze. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Activision/FromSoftware

Jinsuke Saze is just a bit of a pain after you've conquered Ashina Castle. You've made it through tons of blue samurai by now, battling your way up the large tower, only to be faced with a super buffed version of the blue samurai in Jinsuke Saze. Saze has some lightning quick attacks in his arsenal, which can definitely catch you out if you're not rapid on the deflect button.

Watch on YouTube

If you're stuck at all on getting rid of this boss to make your ascent to Genichiro Ashina easier, then check out our full Sekiro Jinsuke Saze guide.

10: Lady Butterfly

Can be Found at: Hirata Estate

Now this was one hell of a fight. Lady Butterfly pirouettes through the air with grace and flexibility, which is a lot more than I can say about my style of fighting in Sekiro.

Watch on YouTube

The showdown with Lady Butterfly is one of the most rapid boss fights I've ever played, and it's fantastic. There's anime-style jumping into the air and slamming on the ground, deadly spinning attacks with multiple blades, and even illusionary allies in the latter stages of the fight. It's a great note to end the Hirate Estate section of Shadows Die Twice on, and it's a genuinely thrilling battle.

If it's a more detailed breakdown of this entire boss battle with Lady Butterfly that you're after, you can head over to our complete Sekiro Lady Butterfly guide.

9: Shinobi Hunter Enshin of Misen

Can be Found at: Hirata Estate

I've seen and heard about this fight going plenty of different ways for many people. The Shinobi Hunter obviously has a bit of a score to settle with our own Shinobi because he comes at you with a vengeance, spinning and slicing at you with a giant spear.

This showdown is all about getting your timings perfect, and recognizing your Perilous sweep attacks from your Perilous thrust attacks. It's a really good battle, especially against the backdrop of the burning Hirata Estate, and it puts your dodging and deflecting abilities under a microscope.

8: Lone Shadow Longswordman

Can be Found at: Ashina Depths

Now this Longswordman is tough, and I can't quite work out why. I can't work out whether he's a genuinely tough boss, or whether he's difficult because you fight him in an underground pit with about five square feet in which to dodge.

Either way, he's a surprisingly tough opponent considering that he fights with only one arm. Lone Shadow Longswordman caused me great frustration because there are no hidden tricks in this boss fight. He's just very tough and hits with the power of a train.

7: Lady Emma

Can be Found at: Ashina Castle

Also known as the Gentle Blade, Lady Emma finally takes up arms against you near the end of Sekiro. But this is only if you've chosen the morally wrong end for the game, which makes the boss fight against your former ally a bit painful.

Lady Emma, the Gentle Blade. | Activision/FromSoftware

In the fight itself, Lady Emma is one skilled opponent. She can carve you up in the blink of an eye with various unstoppable attacks, and although she only has one Deathblow meter, Emma can take off chunks of your health with dashing attacks that stretch the length of the arena.

6: Great Shinobi Owl

Can be Found at: Ashina Castle

Whereas the fight with Lady Emma only happens if you choose the bad ending of Sekiro, the fight with Owl only happens if you choose to abandon the Iron Code and opt for a good ending.

The Great Shinobi Owl. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Activision/FromSoftware

The Great Shinobi is one tough opponent. Owl knows the ins and outs of how to fight like a Shinobi, with tricks up his sleeves the likes of which you've been using all game long. There's Firecrackers, a bomb that prevents you from healing, and it's Owl turning the tools of the Shinobi trade back on you that makes so difficult to beat.

There's no doubting the Great Shinobi Owl as a tough opponent to face off against. For a detailed breakdown of this boss encounter, you can check out our full Sekiro Owl guide.

5: Guardian Ape

Can be Found at: Ashina Depths/Sunken Valley

I hate this big dumb ape. Killed it once? It'll carry its head around the battlefield? Killed it twice? Now there's a big centipede sticking out of its head? Killed it three damn times? Now the Guardian Ape has a little ape pal that he fights alongside.

The fearsome Guardian Ape. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Activision/FromSoftware

The Guardian Ape only truly gets difficult when he's joined by the lesser ape. Keeping an eye on two oversized apes (one without a head) that want to pummel you into the ground is no easy feat. Especially when one of them is carrying a sword that has an incredibly long reach.

If you're struggling to put down the Guardian Ape for good, in either version of the brutal boss fight, then head over to our Sekiro Guardian Ape guide for more.

4: Corrupted Monk

Can be Found at: Fountainhead Palace

There's a reason the Corrupted Monk was the main boss of the Gamescom demo from 2018. It's undoubtedly one of the more difficult bosses in the entirety of Sekiro, especially when there are three full meters of health to get rid of.

The true Corrupted Monk. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Activision/FromSoftware

Mainly, the Corrupted Monk's attacks are deceptively quick. It can spin through the air, whacking you with a staff three quick times in succession, and if you should perish or lose a few Healing Gourds in the first section of the tough fight, there's relatively little point continuing on.

For a walkthrough of both the warm up Corrupted Monk boss, as well as the true boss in the Fountainhead Palace, check out our Sekiro Corrupted Monk guide.

3: The Demon of Hatred

Can be Found at: Ashina Outskirts

I hate the Demon of Hatred. A mass of tangled sinew and bones on a fiery body, the towering demonic figure looks like he's been plucked straight from Bloodborne, and dropped right into Shadows Die Twice.

The Demon of Hatred itself. | Hirun Cryer/USG, Activision/FromSoftware

The Demon of Hatred has three phases. Three phases, that are arguably some of the most complex and varied in the whole of Sekiro. The demon can beat you into the ground, send waves of fire after you across the battlefield, and race towards you, covering an entire field in the blink of an eye.

For a complete walkthrough on where you can find the Demon of Hatred, as well as how you can beat the tough foe, check out our full Sekiro Demon of Hatred boss guide.

2: Isshin Ashina

Can be Found at: Ashina Castle

Thought Lady Emma was the final boss of the bad ending in Sekiro? Think again, because the ancient Isshin Ashina is taking up arms against you, and just because he looks like he should be in a retirement home doesn't mean he isn't going to brutalize you.

Isshin Ashina. | Activision/FromSoftware

Isshin Ashina is far and away one of the toughest bosses in all of Sekiro. While he has some rapid sword attacks in the first phase of the fight, he follows them up with area of effect fire attacks in the second phase. Just when you think a boss can't beat you with any new tricks, Ashina will literally set you on fire.

If you need a full breakdown of this tough fight with the former founder of the Ashina Clan, then you can check out our Sekiro Isshin Ashina guide.

1: Genichiro Ashina

Can be Found at: Ashina Castle

Not one Ashina, but two! The insane fight against Genichiro Ashina takes place roughly halfway through Sekiro, and it's this fight that basically opens up the game once you're done, with story and characters pouring forth to give further excellent depth to Sekiro.

Genichiro Ashina is a boss that will make you learn patterns. He will force you to understand and recognize an attack before it hits you, demanding that you learn and memorize exactly how you should counter each specific move in his entire arsenal.

Watch on YouTube

Mainly though, Genichiro Ashina is just really bloody tough. Overcome this brutal fight, and you'll feel like you're on top of the world. Even if it's only for a moment before the next boss fight beats you into the dirt.

For our full guide on how to recognise and deal with every single attack that the leader of the Ashina Clan can throw at you, head over to our Sekiro Genichiro Ashina guide.

Bosses really do come in all shapes and sizes in Sekiro. I've been brutally battered by warriors, spearmen, ogres, shadowy assailants, and much more. I will say though, I've absolutely adored my time with Sekiro thus far. I mentioned that Genichiro Ashina forces you to learn attack patterns, and the same can be said of other, less powerful bosses in the rest of the game too. I honestly enjoy learning everything I can about a new powerful foe, then going toe to toe with them in battle. It makes each encounter more memorable, and I've no doubt I'll be thinking about the bosses in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for the rest of 2019.

How to Beat Every Boss in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

After listing out every boss that we've beaten so far in Shadows Die Twice, you might be left wondering how to deal with each of their deadly attacks and multiple phases. If you are struggling with any one boss in Sekiro, just follow the corresponding link below for our full guide.

  • Sekiro Headless Boss Guide
  • Sekiro Gyoubu Oniwa Boss Guide
  • Sekiro Blazing Bull Boss Guide
  • Sekiro Ashina Elite - Jinsuke Saze Boss Guide
  • Sekiro Genichiro Ashina Boss Guide
  • Sekiro Lady Butterfly Boss Guide
  • Sekiro Snake Eyes Shirafuji/Shirahagi Boss Guide
  • Sekiro Long-Arm Centipede Giraffe Boss Guide
  • Sekiro Armored Warrior Boss Guide
  • Sekiro Folding Screen Monkeys Guide
  • Sekiro Guardian Ape Boss Guide
  • Sekiro O'Rin of the Water Boss Guide
  • Sekiro Isshin Ashina Boss Guide
  • Sekiro Great Shinobi Owl Boss Guide
  • Sekiro Corrupted Monk Boss Guide
  • Sekiro Divine Dragon Boss Guide
  • Sekiro Demon of Hatred Boss Guide

If it's more Shadows Die Twice coverage you're after here at USG, then we've got you sorted. You can check out our pages on Sekiro Prosthetic Attachments, Sekiro Dragonrot cure, how to parry in Sekiro, How to Save in Sekiro, Sekiro Terror Status, Sekiro Healing Gourd, Sekiro Skill Trees, and Sekiro Prayer Beads. We've also got boss guides for the Sekiro Snake, Sekiro Gyoubu Oniwa, Sekiro Armored Warrior, Sekiro Ashina Elite Jinsuke Saze, Sekiro Snake Eyes Shirafuji, Sekiro Long-Arm Centipede Giraffe, Sekiro Genichiro Ashina, Sekiro Lady Butterfly, Sekiro's Demon of Hatred, Sekiro Corrupted Monk Sekiro Headless bosses, and Sekiro Great Shinobi Owl. We've also got a look at if Sekiro is better on Xbox One or PS4, as well as our full Sekiro boss rankings.

Read this next