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Sekiro Bosses Ranked From Easiest to Hardest

FromSoftware is known for the legendary difficulty of their boss battles. From Demon Souls to Dark SoulsBloodborne to Sekiro — each game has its own unique challenges and massive monsters to overcome.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice follows a shinobi named Wolf on his quest for vengeance against a clan of Samurai. We placed it at number one on our list of the best story games for immersive campaigns, but we all know the real appeal of any FromSoftware game is its boss battles. That’s why we decided to make a list of Sekiro bosses ranked!

Sekiro Bosses Ranked From Easiest to Hardest

There are seventeen bosses and nineteen mini-bosses in Sekiro. The line is a little hazy between the two, but bosses generally award you memories while mini-bosses grant you either prayer beads or extraordinary rewards. You will also encounter different bosses based on the decisions you make in the game. This list will include all Sekiro bosses ranked, but none of the mini-bosses.

So, draw your sword and get ready to deflect — it’s time for our list of the Sekiro bosses ranked by difficulty!

17. The Great Serpent

Location: Sunken Valley

The Great Serpent
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

FromSoft likes to throw the occasional “gimmick” boss in their games. Those who’ve played Dark Souls 3 might remember the Ancient Wyvern. You don’t actually have to battle either of the two Great Serpents that appear in Sekiro. The first is a boss fight all about using stealth to navigate the field and get to the point where you can one-shot it. The second is more of an obstacle than a boss, as it can’t be killed.

16. Folding Screen Monkeys

Location: Senpou Temple

Folding Screen Monkeys
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

The Folding Screen Monkeys are a series of four monkeys that you need to corner and kill. Pinning them down can be tricky since they move incredibly fast, but there are notes pinned to the wall that give you hints, as well as an NPC who will tell you all the tricks you need to know to send these lesser apes to their graves.

The only time you can really get hurt is when you get attacked by the ghosts of the monkeys you’ve already killed when they return to attack you, but they’re easy to manage and don’t hold a candle to the other bosses on this list.

15. Genichiro, Way of Tomoe

Location: Ashina Castle

Genichiro, Way of Tomoe
Image: FromSoftware via HGG

This is the third time you’ll end up battling Genichiro in this game. Even though there’s a new trick up his sleeve each time, his patterns remain more-or-less the same, and you’ll have tons of practice memorizing his moves by the time you get to him here. His acquisition of a mortal blade doesn’t make him much more of a threat.

This should be the hardest version of the swordsman who took your arm, but it ends up being a lot easier — mainly because you have to fight another, much harder boss immediately after defeating him.

14. The Divine Dragon

Location: Fountainhead Palace

The Divine Dragon
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

The Divine Dragon is another one of those bosses that looks like it’s going to be incredibly difficult but turns out not to be all that hard.

The first couple phases are spent battling roots that are both slow and easy to take down. It’s only in the third phase that the Divine Dragon appears and the real battle begins. You’ll need to dodge blasts of air from the dragon’s sword while racing toward the roots to launch lightning at your foe.

13. Gyoubu Oniwa

Location: Ashina Outskirts

Gyoubu Oniwa
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

Gyoubu Oniwa, AKA Gyoubu the Demon, is a pretty good challenge in the early game. He comes charging at you on an armored horse across a village decimated by war, striking at you with his spear. You really have to have your parries down at this point, or this fight can be tricky.

Firecrackers can make things easier, but you don’t need them to beat him.

12. Corrupted Monk

Location: Ashina Depths

Corrupted Monk
Image: FromSoftware via HGG

The Corrupted Monk can be fought twice in Sekiro. The first time is in the Ashina Depths at the entrance to the Wedding Cave. This tall, robed warrior monk swings his glave round and round while spinning like the Dancer of the Boreal Valley from Dark Souls 3.

These attacks can be hard to deflect, but the monk only has one health bar and no additional battle phases, so this is as far as he goes.

11. Genichiro Ashina

Location: Ashina Castle

Genichiro Ashina
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

Fighting Genichiro Ashina the second time is easily the most difficult. The first time is part of the tutorial level and doesn’t really count, and as we’ve discussed, the third time is much easier. You have to get past the Ashina Elite Junsuke Saze mini-boss just to get to him, and then you have to face a Genichiro with more health than either of his other variants.

Lightning begins striking the field in the third phase, but this doesn’t affect the fight’s difficulty too much. You can even redirect it at him!

10. Emma, The Gentile Blade

Location: Ashina Castle

Emma, The Gentile Blade
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

If you want to see Sekiro’s hardest bosses ranked, the list starts here. You’ll only have to fight Emma if you forsake Kuro and side with Owl, and whoo boy — it isn’t easy. 

Fighting Emma is no mean feat. She zips around the castle rooftop, unleashing sweeping cuts that can be deflected but are difficult to predict. This makes her hard to block, and it also makes it hard to heal when you get hurt.

9. Lady Butterfly

Location: Hirata Estate

Lady Butterfly
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

Lady Butterfly is considered one of the first major jumps in difficulty in the game. You’ll find her in a burning temple on the grounds of the Hirata Estate. She’s incredibly fast, and her attacks are difficult to counter. Most players find her before they’re ready and would do well to get some more leveling in before trying to take her on.

Even then, beating Lady Butterfly requires a lot of patience combined with precise dodging and deflection.

8. Guardian Ape

Location: Sunken Valley Passage

Guardian Ape
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

Next up on our list of Sekiro bosses ranked is King Kong’s albino twin brother, Guardian Ape.

This is one gross primate. Not only does he poop in his hand and chuck it at you from a distance, but he’ll blast you with a noxious green cloud of gas if you try to implement the classic Souls-Borne strategy of getting close to large enemies and hitting them where the sun-don’t-shine.

Bottom-burps aside, this is a challenging fight. The ape’s grabs are hard to dodge, and his punches hurt when they land. Don’t relax when you finally cut the monkey’s head off, either. The headless ape will continue to pursue you, now wielding the giant sword you used to decapitate him.

7. True Corrupted Monk

Location: Fountainhead Palace

True Corrupted Monk
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

No longer an illusion, you must now face the True Corrupted Monk, eternal watcher of the Fountainhead Palace.

Things are a lot harder this time around, though you should hopefully have a lot more practice deflecting by the time you make it to this point. You can also use stealth to get through the first and potentially even the second health bar. Still, the True Corrupted Monk has three health bars, and the third phase is when the parasite manipulating the monk appears and starts using a spinning attack that builds terror. 

6. Headless Ape and Bride

Location: Ashina Depths

Headless Ape and Bride
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

Guess who’s back? The headless ape returns, and this time he brought a lady with him. The Bride acts a lot like the Guardian Ape did before losing his head, which effectively makes it feel like you’re fighting the first and second phase versions of the same boss at the same time. Fun.

5. Great Shinobi Owl

Location: Ashina Castle

Great Shinobi Owl
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

Great Shinobi Owl is Wolf’s father who trained him in the art of the shinobi and the boss you’ll face if you betray the Iron Code.

Owl is deceptive. He fights with a number of trap weapons such as firecrackers, smoke bombs, and poison. He’ll also throw shuriken and use plenty of leaping, sword attacks. Not only that, he also throws orbs of green smoke that can take away your ability to heal for the rest of the fight. Attack windows are small, so you have to strike carefully too.

4. Isshin Ashina

Location: Ashina Castle

Isshin Ashina
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

You wouldn’t fight a sickly old man, would you? Isshin Ashina may look frail, but he can definitely hold his own. Part of the reason fighting Isshin is so hard is because this fight comes directly after your battle with Emma, The Gentile Blade — losing means you have to get past her before you can even try to fight him again. He’d be a handful all on his own, though.

Isshin can strike leaping halfway across the rooftop, limiting your ability to heal. He also utilizes a series of combos that are incredibly difficult to deflect. On top of all that, he’ll start unleashing massive fire attacks in his next phase. Cool.

3. Owl (Father)

Location: Hirata Estate

Owl (Father)
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

Ready to fight Owl again? You should know how to get around a few familiar moves if you fought him the first time, but this version of Owl is much harder than the last, which is saying something.

In addition to his usual moves, he’ll also turn invisible, use large flame attacks and summon a spectral owl (the bird, not the man) that flies around the field and will crash into the ground, dealing massive AOE damage.

I guess that’s just how father and son communicate in the world of Sekiro.

2. Demon of Hatred

Location: Ashina Outskirts

Demon of Hatred
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

It wouldn’t be a FromSoftware game without a giant fire monster, and this is definitely one of their most challenging. The Demon of Hatred was the Sculptor who lost his arm to Lord Ashina but was transformed by the flames of hatred and his resentment at failing to become Shura.

Massive flame attacks, homing fireballs, oversized hit-boxes when you get in close, and three gigantic health bars that take forever to whittle down while he can basically one-shot you? What’s not to love?

1. Isshin, the Sword Saint

Location: Ashina Reservoir

Isshin, the Sword Saint
Image: FromSoftware via Fandom / CC

Now for the hardest battle on our list of Sekiro bosses ranked: Isshin the Sword Saint.

In this fight, Isshin will force you to use everything you’ve learned in the entire game. The beginning phase is like a more difficult version of his previous form — tough but manageable. Everything changes when you get to the second stage, though.

Isshin breaks out a spear in addition to his katana. He’s incredibly fast, his attack range is ridiculously far, and he batters you with attack combos that involve rapid sword strikes, which are nearly impossible to read. Get past all that, and Isshin rewards you with a series of lightning attacks on top of everything he was doing before.

The fight is incredibly long and has a minimal margin for error. Good luck.

The Way of the Shinobi Is Painted With Blood

Thanks for reading our list of Sekiro bosses ranked from easiest to hardest. If you enjoyed it, you might be interested in our list of Dark Souls games ranked or Cuphead bosses ranked. Be sure to follow High Ground Gaming for news, reviews, and more lists like this one.

Happy gaming!


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