The first boss you’ll face, Fajar the Botanist, can be an intimidating introduction to Sifu’s end-of-level foes. In this guide, we’ll go over Fajar’s moveset in both phases, and provide both specific strategies and general tips and tricks for defeating him.
- It’s better to hold guard until you’ve seen his first move, as he has a very quick leg sweep that is difficult to reaction-avoid. Once you’ve blocked the leg sweep, you can try to avoid the rest of the combo — parries are risky because he has a guardbreak that he throws into his combo often.
- Attack only after sucesfully avoiding or parrying the end of a combo, or you risk eating the start of his next combo. You can sometimes catch him with light attacks while he’s charging you, but this isn’t reccomended.
- Use the hedges in phase 1, and Focus Attacks in Phase 2, to buy time and regain structure.
- If you sucessfully stumble the Botanist, sprint after him and attempt a leg sweep (,+ ) — he often blocks it, but if he doesn’t you get some time to recover structure as well as free hits while he’s on the ground (hold ).
When considering the following moves, it’s important to note that the guardbreak roundhouse kick (see Triple Kick) can be thrown at the end of almost any combo. This list doesn’t include all of the various moves he does over the hedges, because you shouldn’t try to learn them: instead, you should back way away from the hedge if he’s on the other side of it, let him hop over, and then resume fighting in open ground.
The fight will always begin the same way, with Fajar leaping off of a hedge and doing a downward guardbreak kick (he will sometimes do this attack later in the fight as well). As soon as the cinematic ends, you should start holding guard — right before his foot reaches you, avoid downward. If you evade successfully, this is a chance to attack with your favorite combo, ideally one that ends with a shove; you can sprint at him for some follow-up damage, and if he hits a wall, so much the better!
Three kicks, the last one being his guardbreak roundhouse. Once you see the first 1-2 kicks, try to avoid the third, then get some follow-up damage in.
Punch + Roundhouse Kick
A fairly weak combo. You can block both, but the second attack is fairly easy to avoid once you’ve got the rhythm of the fight down.
Frequently followed up by a high kick, and sometimes the roundhouse guardbreak as well. This move is the reason we hold guard in phase 1. Theoretically, you can avoid up and dodge it, but it’s difficult to do on reaction.
High Low High
This combo has a tricky-to-avoid second attack, since it’s a low attack — unfortunately, sometimes the second attack is a guardbreak, so do your best to avoid instead of blocking. The finisher is almost always the guardbreak roundhouse. You can identify it by the spinning back-elbow that starts the combo.
Cheesing Phase 1
This isn’t really recommended, because you’ll need to learn fundamentals in order to beat the rest of the bosses. That being said, you can exploit the hedges in phase 1 to make this fight very easy (if slow and boring). By continuously vaulting the hedges, you are untargetable, and if you vault and land near Fajar, he’ll be staggered. You can attack him after staggering him, then vault away to avoid his counterattack.
In this phase, you want to (attempt to) avoid every attack, because blocking a bladed weapon (like his sword) still causes you to take chip damage — although there are a few sticks scattered around this part of the level that you can grab to help you defend against his machete. You’ll probably eat a few leg sweeps if you’re constantly avoiding down, but it’s better than eating sword hits. You can also parry the sword attacks if you’re very confident in your timings, but if you mess up the timing you’ll take a ton of damage.
You can try to catch him as he comes in with light attacks, but this is not without risk — some of his moves are very fast, and he can also dodge your attacks with the sweep attack, knocking you to the ground.
Phase 1 moves that remain in Phase 2: Leg Sweep (with an added attack while you’re on the ground that can be blocked or rolled away from), Triple Kick, Punch + Roundhouse Kick.
This move starts the Phase 2 fight, and is used throughout — it’s your best opportunity to do damage, since it’s easy to avoid once you’ve seen it a few times. The botanist hides in the bamboo, and the camera will pan to his exit point. Position yourself so that you’re in a straight line with where he’ll exit the wall, and hold guard. Right when his sword will reach you, avoid down and attack him into the wall — the light light heavy combo is a good choice. Sprint after him once you push kick him — if he impacts the wall, follow up with more damage and/or a leg sweep.
Jumping Slice and Dice
This move is very telegraphed as he jumps in the air and you can see a little trail left by his sword — feel free to try and parry this one once you get the timing for it. The final move is his signature roundhouse guardbreak, which should be avoided.
Punch + Guardbreak
Comes in two varieties, you can see both in the gif below. Fortunately, the guardbreak doesn’t do a lot of structure damage, so feel free to guard this whole combo.
As with the previous move, this combo isn’t very dangerous. However, the second attack is fairly easy to avoid, so take advantage of that.
Slices + Roundhouse
Eating these attacks can be very painful, so it’s probably better to just guard or dodge backwards away from them until you’re used to the timing — if you screw up your avoid, say goodbye to your health. As usual, he finishes with the guardbreak roundhouse.
Perhaps the highest-damage attack he does. As with the Slices + Roundhouse, you may want to dodge or even just eat the chip damage until you’re comfortable with the timing of this combo. On the bright side, there’s no follow-up to the two slices. Easy to see coming thanks to the little spark as he charges, but be careful — the second attack comes very quickly after the first.
Once you defeat the Botanist, you’ll find yourself back in the Wuguan. You can use the (literal) Skill Tree to spend the points you earned from defeating the boss, then use the window next to the Detective Board to start the next level — The Club.