Seven Ashina Spears – Shikibu Toshikatsu Yamauchi—or simply Seven Ashina Spears for sort-of-short—is a ridiculously-long-named and optional mini-boss found in the Ashina Reservoir in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Located at the top of the steps outside the Moon Tower from the start of the game, he is a very powerful foe who will reward you with Prayer Beads and a great sense of pride if you defeat him, so why not take him on?
Preparation is key, and a vital part of defeating Seven Ashina Spears lies in your abilities. You’ll find it much easier to defeat Seven Ashina Spears if you have the ‘Shinobi Eyes’ skill activated, as it increases the damage inflicted to Posture upon executing a Mikiri counter. Your Mikiri counter will be your best friend during the boss battle, so having this skill active will make things much easier. Head to a Sculptor’s Idol and navigate to ‘Acquire Skills’ – Shinobi Eyes is in the third part of the Mikiri Counter tree under the ‘Shinobi Arts’ tab. If you haven’t already got it, acquire the skill if possible.
The first problem with Seven Ashina Spears is that from the nearest Sculptor’s Idol there are a whopping 13 enemies to get through before we even get to the boss, which is really frustrating when you consider that it’s probably going to take you a few goes before you manage to fell him. Normally, I’d tell you how to bypass most of these enemies, and bypassing most of them is possible, but such is the close proximity of them to the boss and the need for space during the boss battle that it is a much safer option to take them all down first. This takes a little bit of patience, but it’s possible to get rid of them fairly quickly without taking any damage or alerting anybody.
From the Ashina Reservoir Sculptor’s Idol, you’ll see two guards and two wolves at the bottom of the steps in front of you. Stay where you are and kill both wolves with a shuriken each, this will alert the guards and cause them to head over to the wolves to investigate. Creep up and deathblow one, then kill the other. From here, don’t run through the gate. Instead, grapple on to the branch to the left and then grapple again to the branch above. Then jump and grab on to the tiled roof and shimmy along to the left a bit, this will allow you to climb up and drop down behind the pot banging enemy so that we can take him out with a deathblow first. If you don’t do this he will alert all of the enemies to your position, which is never good.
Deathblow the pot banger and then do the same to the guard that’s standing directly in front of you, then turn left and creep under the house that you crept under earlier in the game and deathblow the guard on the other side. Continue down bank in the long grass and kill the guard standing at the cliff edge. Now turn back and head back from where you came, retracing your steps back underneath the house. Head down the steps and take out the guard facing the two patrolling giants, but make sure that you do it when the nearest giant is facing away from you or he may spot you. Now turn around and you’ll see a spear-wielding guard hiding behind a tree – creep up and deathblow him.
Now we need to go backwards again, this time all the way back across the two branches to the area where we killed the wolves. From here, look through the gate and wait for an opportunity when both giants are facing away from you to position yourself behind the two boulders. Here, wait for the same opportunity and then creep up and deathblow the first giant, making sure that the other giant isn’t going to clock you. Then, creep back behind the boulders and wait for the second giant to walk towards you. As soon as he turns back around, head on over and deathblow him before he turns back, and then take down the final guard that is standing just next to the wall.
Look up the steps and you’ll see Seven Ashina Spears stood at the top of them – it’s time to take him on.
Seven Ashina Spears takes two deathblows to kill, but luckily we can creep behind him and take one down with a stealth deathblow. Drop down to the lower ledge to the left of the steps (as you’re facing them) and jump across to the next cliff. Now, jump up to the ledge and shimmy along and then climb up into the tower through the hole in the wall.
Turn right and head out of the door and you’ll be positioned behind Seven Ashina Spears, allowing you to get in the first deathblow and cut the fight in half immediately.
After all of that, the hard work is about to start. Seven Ashina Spears comes at you with a lot of big attacks and a flurry of Perilous/Red kanji attacks, and you’ll be dead in seconds if you don’t deal with them accordingly. Let’s start with his normal attacks. He’ll unleash a number of swings of his spear at you, all of which can be deflected for some Posture damage. Don’t go for any of your own hits at this point, just deflect his attacks and wait for the next one. On occasion, he’ll drag his spear along his right hand side and then lunge at you with it, and deflecting this attack will stun him and make him fall to his knee for a second – this is an opportunity to get a quick strike of your own in, but only go for one, as Seven Ashina Spears will come straight back at you and you’ll have to block again. The other normal move to look out for is his overhead attack, where he jumps forward and tries to bring the spear down directly on your head, when he does this—and it’s impossible to mistake—step dodge to the side and get another single hit in for some quick damage.
The real work, however, is done when Seven Ashina Spears tries to hit you with a Perilous/Red kanji attack. He has two of these; the first is a sweep, where he pulls his spear back and then swings it around in a circular motion. If you see him doing this, jump in the air when the red kanji symbol appears and jump again when you’re above his head to perform a Jump Kick and cause some posture damage.
His second Perilous attack, and your gateway to defeating him, is a thrust attack. This is where the ‘Shinobi Eyes’ skill that we acquired earlier comes in useful, because we’re going to use the Mikiri Counter every time he does this thrust attack. You’ll know he’s doing it because he’ll charge forward with his spear, which will glimmer in the sun just as the red kanji symbol appears. When he uses this attack, press the Dodge button at the precise moment that he attacks and you’ll stomp down on his weapon, dealing a large amount of Posture damage. I know that I’m saying that like it’s easy, but the Mikiri Counter takes some practice to perfect, so don’t be disheartened if it takes you a few goes to get it right. Just keep trying and it will soon become second nature.
When you use the Mikiri Counter on Seven Ashina Spears’ thrust attack, he’ll quite often go straight into his attack where he drags his spear along his right hand side, giving you a great opportunity to stun him and follow up the significant Posture damage that you’ve just done with some hits of your own.
That’s really all there is to it – deflect all his normal attacks, step dodge his overhead attack, Jump Kick his sweeping Perilous attack, and Mikiri Counter his thrusting Perilous attack. Keep repeating these steps until you eventually break Seven Ashina Spears Posture, allowing you to hit that second, deadly deathblow.