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Nioh 2: How to beat Matsunaga Hisahide

Here's how to defeat this bomb-flinging swordsman.

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Matsunaga Hisahide is a boss in Nioh 2 who you must beat to obtain the Itokuri Possession. In this guide, we will provide tip, tricks and strategy advice on how to beat him.

Matsunaga Hisahide has his very own dedicated mission, and it’s one in which you’ll face off in a one-on-one duel for a prized possession of his. It’s the Itokuri, a spider Guardian Spirit which he’ll have no qualms using against you - but that’s not his only trick.

Fiery bombs. A flaming sword. Poison bombs. Paralysing Bombs. Oh yes, Matsunaga Hisahide is a wiley boss who’ll use all manner of annoying tools to make your life more difficult. At first he seems overwhelmingly fast, but settle into his rhythm, get your counter attack on, and you’ll take him down eventually.

Below we’ve put together a guide to help you overcome this boss and claim his special Guardian Spirit.

How to beat Matsunaga Hisahide in Nioh 2

Without further ado, here’s how to deal with this pesky samurai:

- At the start of every encounter, you’ll have a moment to breathe. He’ll be standing directly opposite you, but won’t aggro unless you step past a certain threshold. Take this safe time to buff yourself with magic, prepare any poisons or equip the right gear.

- Of course it’s personal preference, but we found great success with a Mid Stance throughout this fight. It doesn’t use too much Ki per attack, and allowed us to reposition with ease. As he’s such a nimble fighter, it made all the difference in being able to match his speed.

- His first attack will always be his signature charge move. He’ll hurl himself at you, grapple you to the floor, and explode the both of you in one hit. To safely avoid it, sidestep it at the last second, or Burst Counter just before he connects with you. The timing can be tricky on the counter, but it’s just as he enters your hitbox and ‘glues’ to you in his frustrating grapple-like way.

Here’s what happens if you pull off either move:

  • 1. Sidestep: He’ll drop the floor, pull out a bomb after a short delay and blast himself. It’s very important to wait this out! He’ll fly into the air and drop back down. Once he’s hit the floor, lay into him as much as possible.
  • 2. After Burst Counter: He’ll fly backwards and hit the floor, but he won’t pull out a bomb. There’s a small window where you can press [Triangle] to grapple him for a large chunk of damage, so don’t miss the opportunity!

- Sometimes if you’re at a - let’s say - ‘medium’ distance away from him, he’ll rifle around in his pocket for a second and whip out an enormous bomb. After an initial big explosion, it’ll then shower you in a succession of smaller explosions in a surprisingly large radius. To avoid this, AND, deliver some chip damage, dive under the bomb as it floats through the air and get up in his face.

- If he thrusts his sword outwards and points in a direction, this is a clear sign he’s going to perform his Itokuri special. His spider Guardian Spirit will drop down from its web and spray webbing all over the floor in a large radius. Stepping in it doesn’t deal any damage, but it will significantly sap your stamina, so land a couple of hits before quickly backing out to reset.

- Very occasionally, he’ll drop to the floor, feign death, and disappear in a puff of smoke. If this happens, back away and get ready for him to run at you with his dual swords. Dodge his attacks and counterattack as fast as possible to reduce the chance of him whipping out a bomb.

- Sometimes he’ll put some distance between both of you and begin chucking green poison bombs, and pink paralysis bombs at you. Depending on the situation, either sidestep and heal, or dash forwards and attempt to hit him to disrupt his rhythm.

- If you manage to take down his health bar enough, he’ll begin performing a devastating burst move. He’ll stop for a split second, the red burst will appear, his Guardian Spirit will dangle down beside him, and he’ll perform a fire slash which will travel in a straight line across the ground. Instead of attempting a Burst Counter, we’d simply recommend backing away quickly and re-engaging when he’s finished.

- Be wary of another red burst move which will trigger when you’re up close and personal. It’s one where he’ll wind up his dual swords (they’ll flash white), take a step back, and perform a crazy strafe-slicing maneuver. Wait for the flash, then just as he’s about to strike, Burst Counter! If you don’t want to take the risk (we don’t blame you), sprint backwards straight away and wait out his advances.

- When he’s really low on health, he’ll start getting a bit frantic. One of his favourite surprises is to repeatedly whip out a cluster of bombs and chuck them at you. If this happens, back away and wait for him to stop. Going out of his line of sight usually makes him reset, so sprint away if he doesn’t snap out of it.

What do I get for beating Matsunaga Hisahide?

Beat Matsunaga Hisahide and you'll have a chance to chat with him. Do so, and he'll grant you his Itokuri Guardian Spirit via spirit division.

Stay tuned for our Guardian Spirit guide where we'll go into detail on how it all works, and what advantages the Itokuri spirit will confer!

That's it for this boss guide, but if our How to beat Ryomen Sukuna page has you covered if you're struggling to get hold of his Soul Core and progress through the game. Otherwise, make sure you have a look through our Soul Cores explainer for the lowdown on how this confusing new feature works!

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