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Nioh 2: How to beat Ryomen Sukuna

Tips and tricks to help you finish off this spinny lad.

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About Ed Thorn

Ed will not rest until a new Wario Land is announced.

Ryomen Sukuna is a boss in a Nioh 2 who wields both a sword and bow, with two sides, one red and one blue. In this guide we will provide tips, tricks and strategy advice to help you beat him.

With most bosses, you’ll be able to gain a little respite, or even an advantage by strafing behind them for a little backstab. Not with Ryomen Sukuna. Definitely not with this guy. It’s like Team Ninja engineering him with this in mind.

At first you’ll be greeted by his giant red frame, stomping towards you with his enormous sword. Manage to get around him and you’ll quickly notice he’s got a blue side - one which isn’t friendly, and wields an icey bow designed to pick you off from afar.

Basically, you can’t catch a break with Ryomen Sukuna. When you first encounter him it can be pretty overwhelming as it might seem like there’s never really an opening when you can strike.

To help you out we’ve put together a guide which will hopefully give you the lowdown on how you finally fell this horrible Yokai.

How to beat Ryomen Sukuna in Nioh 2

Here’s a few tips to help you beat this horrible fella:

- Try and approach this fight without paying too much attention to his health bar. This boss fight is more of a lesson in destroying his Ki (purple bar) to deliver massive damage when he can’t retaliate.

- Notice how he’s got two sides, one blue, one red. His red side wields a big old sword and axe, while his blue side will attempt to hit your from long range with a bow. From what we’ve gathered, hitting his blue side will deplete his Ki bar far more significantly than the other.

- Openings to attack are few and far between, so we’d recommend waiting until after he’s attacked to get a hit in. When you spot an opportunity, hit him a couple of times, then back out - don’t get overzealous.

- If possible, face his red side as often as possible and wait for him to attack. As soon as he’s swung, dodge, then try and pivot round to his blue side for a quick hit. If you don’t have enough time, slicing him directly in the side will maximise damage dealt.

- It can be quite difficult to nail down the timings, but whenever you see a flash of red before he attacks attempt a Burst Counter. Even if it fails, keep at it. Landing these ripostes is crucial to landing some big Ki damage as he’ll be staggered for a lengthy period of time.

Look out for these two opportunities in particular:

  • 1. Big Axe Windup - This is the one you’ll want to look out for. He’ll perform this on his red side, often when you’re face to face with a little distance between you both.
  • 2. Spin to Win - This move will also begin from his red side and it’s a touch more difficult to land. Count “one, two” fairly quickly as he flashes, and time it just as he begins his spin. Even if you activate your counter just after his initial spin, you can still catch him.

- Manage to totally destroy his Ki bar and he’ll go into a downed state. At this point, note the red marker which’ll pop up in the centre of his body - you can grapple him! Make sure you press [Triangle] like you’d normally do for a grapple. Pull it off successfully and you’ll hit him where it hurts. It’s also worth quickly switching into High Stance to maximise your damage output if you accidentally miss the grapple.

- At certain intervals throughout the fight, he’ll take a second to turn the arena into a black/white Yokai realm. As soon as this happens, he’ll regain a large amount of his Ki bar, but don’t let this get to you. The fight’s complexion doesn’t really change, so keep on the lookout for the same moves and continue doing your thing. Just keep in mind one thing - your stamina will recharge a little slower than usual. Be extra cautious with your strikes.

- We’d recommend saving your Yokai form for Ryomen’s Yokai realm phases. This will increase your survivability and hopefully get you out of the phase a little quicker than usual.

- When Ryomen peppers you with icy arrows, sprint in a semi-circle or strafe from side to side if you’re a little more confident. If he flashes red from his blue side and looks as if he’s about to spin, run! He’s going to throw out a hail of arrows which’ll likely finish you off in one hit if you don’t.

The crystals around the arena will confer both Fire or Water buffs if you smash them. Despite sounding pretting enticing, we wouldn’t say they really added any benefits. We found these crystals more useful as arrow blockers.

What do I get for beating Ryomen Sukuna?

You'll obtain Ryomen Sukuna's Soul Core. Equip this and it'll enable you to pull off his devastating, spinning move to damage enemies in the way.

For more on everything to do with these items, head on over to our Nioh 2 Soul Cores page!

That's it for this boss guide, but if you're struggling with another one by the name of Matsunaga Hisahide, then head over to our How to beat Matsunaga Hisahide page!

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