This is the second time you face off against Genichiro Ashina. The first time he completes wrecks you, but this time the fight is one you can win.
Be sure to check out our other Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Boss Counter guides here.
For the most part, this fight is mostly you playing defensively. Attack once and he’ll counter you, so you’ll need to be quick to block or parry. As with most of the bosses in the game, you’ll need to take him down by accomplishing two Deathblows.
I found that two shinobi prosthetics and a specific make this fight a bit more trivial. If you have the Sabimaru, which provides you with a quicker attack that you can combo, the fight is much easier. Having the Shinobi Firecracker is a must have, as it can interrupt him. The Ashina Arts Skill, Ichimonji or Double Ichimonji, is also very useful. This attack is a bit slower, but it can hit him out of just about any attack, it adds a lot of posture damage and you can repeat it over and over. This skill can allow you to cheese this fight if you’re careful.
You should also have at least 5 Gourd Seeds, as you need to heal up as much as possible during this fight. Eel’s liver is also useful for the second phase. Using both Ungo’s Sugar and Gokan’s Sugars also wouldn’t hurt. But do this before you enter the platform.
Genichiro Ashina Phase 1
What makes his encounter challenging is that he’s really quick, and can output a ton of damage. He also has a ranged attack that not only damages you but can stagger you as well. Whenever he draws his bow, it is easier to just dodge. Blocking it just adds undeeded posture damage, so avoid this.
Most of his attacks are easy to see coming, so try to parry when possible.
If Genichiro holds his sword to the side, he’s setting up for a long string of combos. During this, you can interrupt him using the Shinobi Firecrackers, parry to add some posture damage or dodge/jump to get out of the way.
Be aware of his quick and powerful attacks, indicated by the red kanji symbol. These moves can easily drain half of your life or one-shot you. He can pull this off really fast and you’ll have a few options to avoid this. You can either sidestep him or jump, parry it or move out of the way. He can also be interrupted during this, but it’s fairly risky.
Genichiro Ashina Phase 2
Once you do manage to land the two Deathblows, the fight isn’t over. You’ll be shown a cut scene and then he’ll show you his final form (?). This time you’ll need to finish him off with just one Deathblow.
He gains a bit more speed, does more damage and now has a lightning attack that can stun you. You’ll be able to redirect the lightning using the reversal technique that the game informs you of prior to the fight and during. However, I found that attempting this wasn’t worth the hassle. Using the same method as phase 1 will help you move on. Just be sure to avoid the lightning attacks.
You can also bait him by keeping some distance between you and him. This will cause him to do a thrusting attack, where you can deflect it or perform the Mikiri Counter.
Once you down him, you’ll be rewarded with a memory and the Bloodsmoke Ninjutsu.
Be sure to check out our other Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Boss Encounter guides here.