To those who did not heed the cryptic warning near the Underbridge Valley of the Ashina Outskirts in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, you probably found yourself in for quite the surprise. The notorious and enigmatic mini-boss known as the Headless makes its home in a nearby cave and the first time you clash swords with him might have left you feeling dejected and possibly outright confused.
If you’re eager to test your mettle against this mini-boss, we’ve got all the tips you need in this handy guide. We’ve also got plenty more guides for Sekiro, including a rundown of where to find every Shinobi Prosthetic, 14 tips to stop dying so much, and how to beat the Chained Ogre, Jozou the Drunkard, and the Blazing Bull.
How To Beat A Headless
The hardest yet most satisfying way to defeat a Headless is to parry all his attacks. However, he’s a bit more tricky because some of his moves are slower than most enemies, and it’s difficult to dodge or maneuver to run around with the fog that manifests around him.
The best way to defeat a Headless is to use Divine Confetti, which greatly stacks their posture. It can even break the fog spell if you hit him enough times; though, it will recast fog after a time. Of course, Divine Confetti is somewhat of a limited commodity, so make sure to use them wisely. We recommend taking out the Headless’ first life bar normally and then using Divine Confetti to easily destroy their second life bar.
Understanding a Headless’ various attacks is key to dispatching them, but its surprise attack after performing a big sweeping attack can be a nuisance. The best advice we can give is to try not to get trapped in a corner after the Headless performs a sweep or it’ll be tough to escape its devastating rear attack; as long as you’re facing in the direction it’s coming from, it won’t be able to grab you. Another method to deal with this is jumping away after its sweep in order to give yourself some distance and time to reorient and prepare.
One final tip would be to have Pacifying Agents on hand or to make sure to buy the Mottled Purple Gourd, which helps reduce terror build up and also helps remove terror—a status ailment that likely killed you the first time you tried doing this all by yourself. These items can be purchased from the merchant near the Mibu Village Sculptor’s Idol.
How To Defeat Underwater Headless
This might sound ridiculous, but there are Headless you can fight underwater too. Don’t be intimidated by them, as they’re actually quite easy to defeat compared to their landlocked brethren. Simply watch out for its two ranged attacks—one being a wave projectile and the other homing missile-like projectiles. When you see these coming at you, sprint swim to get in close to do some damage. Again, Mottled Purple Gourd or Pacifying Agents are helpful in preventing Terror.
Watch out for the one big sweeping attack it does, which is followed up by a big vacuum vortex it charges up that can wreck you pretty bad. But won’t worry, this attack is pretty easy to avoid and it’s actually a great opening for you to inflict a good three to four swings. With only one life bar to deplete, the underwater Headless should be no problem for you, especially if you’ve already mastered defeating normal Headless.