Date: June 4, 2021
After the Chained Ogre, Ashina Spear Shikibu tends to be the enemy players struggle the most on in the early game. Fortunately, there’s only one other Ashina Spear in the game — the other 6 must be busy elsewhere. While Shikibu is an optional boss, he’s a great enemy to practice Mikiri Counters on, and he drop a prayer bead as well. In this guide, we’ll show you what you need to know and do in order to defeat Shikibu.
Before you begin the guide, make sure you have the Mikiri Counter unlocked. It only costs two skill points, and is one of the first skills available in the skill tree, so you may already have it available.
Part 1 – The Approach
If you aren’t already there, you’ll need to travel to the Ashina Castle: Ashina Reservoir Sculptor’s Idol. Then, head towards the tower where you found Kuro in the tutorial. Stay left to avoid the guards and the dog, and grapple up onto the arch. It’s OK if they see you, just keep going. Drop down to the right and run along the ledge until you can see the grapple point on the tree that hangs out over the valley. Try to wait to jump until you’re as close as possible, but it’s no biggie if you miss since it’ll just take a bit of health and spawn you back where you jumped. You’ll have to hit a second grapple, and then you’ll be up on the tower. You should see Mr. 7 Spears nearby; sneak up behind him and land a death blow to start the fight.
Note: If you get the attention of any enemies while approaching the tower, just hide and wait for them to lose interest before you go for the deathblow on Shikibu.
Part 2 – Fighting Shikibu
This fight can be intimidating at first, but Shikibu is a pushover once you know what to expect. He has two perilous (unblockable) attacks, and they are what we’ll use to defeat him, since they’re both easy to counter. You’ll also want to try to deflect or at least guard his regular attacks.
The first perilous attack is a thrusting attack he does with his lance:
You’ll know it’s coming when you see the perilous attack symbol and he has his spear in front of him. Use your Mikiri counter (by pressing Circle, B, or Left Shift, depending on your input method) as he thrusts the spear to do a large amount of posture damage. Note that he frequently does a slow and powerful follow-up attack after his thrust attack; get ready to deflect it, as he’ll stumble and give you a chance for some free hits if you time it right.
If you find you can’t time this properly, head to the Dilapidated Temple and find the zombie training guy — once you’ve learned Step Dodges from him, you’ll unlock Mikiri Counter training. Practice it until you can do it, then come back here.
The second perilous attack Shikibu has is a sweep attack:
This attack is countered by jumping. Don’t forget to jump again as you come down near him to kick him in the head and damage his posture, and get a few free attacks in once you’ve goomba stomped him.
General Strategy and Tips
- Shikibu has a lot of attacks where he spins his lance around dramatically, so pay close attention, and don’t try to block until you see that lance coming for you!
- Sekiro is a game that forces you to play the way the creators intended. What that means is you’ll need to learn to deflect attacks if you want the later stages of the game to be something other than a slog. 7 Spears Shikibu is the perfect guy to practice deflects on, as his attacks tend to be fairly slow, and he doesn’t have that many of them. If you’ve been coasting through the game by holding guard so far, take this opportunity to try to tap block when an attack is about to land, and watch how much easier this fight gets.
- That being said, Shikibu has a hard time with people jumping on him. If you’re struggling to time the deflects, you can try spamming jump on him (jump, then jump again to kick him), then attacking him while he’s momentarily stunned. He will sometimes raise his sword up to counter this — if you see him doing that, use a shuriken to interrupt him, then rinse and repeat.
You should now be ready to take on 7 Ashina Spears Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi, the video game boss with the longest name I’ve ever seen. Good luck! Please feel free to ask for help, or give your own tips or advice in the comments.