Lady Butterfly is one of the first major bosses that you’ll encounter in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Located at the end of the Hirata Estate, she waits for you in a large, open room that has numerous pillars located around the outside.
As with most enemies in Sekiro, the key to defeating Lady Butterfly is to fill her Posture bar until it breaks and then hit her with a Deathblow. The fight is slightly deceitful, as her Vitality bar indicates that she will only take one Deathblow to be defeated, but you’ll soon find that she actually takes two Deathblows. Breaking her Posture isn’t easy as it recovers very quickly, but it will refill at a slower pace as her Vitality bar lowers, so picking away at her Vitality is key in getting to a stage where you can break her Posture and take her down.
As you would expect, to break her Posture you’re going to have to stay up close and personal with her, so keep as close to her as possible. When you’re at range she’ll throw knives at you that pick away at your health pretty quickly if they hit you, so make use of your Guard to stop yourself taking damage while you get close to her.
When you do get close to her, it’s simply a matter of letting her attack first, Deflecting her attacks, and then getting a quick hit or two of your own in. Lady Butterfly generally chains together three strikes, so Deflect all of these and you’ll have a brief opening to get a couple of strikes in yourself, picking away at her Vitality and slowing down the recovery of her Posture gauge. You’ll notice that one of her attacks ends with a downward kick; when she does this simply use your Step Dodge to step out of the way and then attack. Don’t be greedy – if you try to chain together more than a couple of attacks at any point she will start to Deflect your attacks and get hits in on you, and it doesn’t take many to kill you.
On occasion, Lady Butterfly will jump in the air and attempt to attack you from above, and at times she’ll throw knives at you from up there too before attempting to drop into an attack. When she does this you have two options; if you’re quick enough you can hit her with a Loaded Shuriken and knock her to the ground and then get a couple of hits in, but I’ve had much more success simply using my Step Dodge to avoid her attacks and then get a couple of hits in when she lands.
It’s also important to watch out for her red kanji moves, powerful moves that can’t be Deflected and will drain a lot—if not all—of your health bar. Lady Butterfly has two of these moves; the first is an attack from above, and you simply need to Step Dodge out of the way before she lands on you and you’ll be able to get a hit in. The second is a swinging attack which Lady Butterfly will use when on the ground in close quarters with you – when you see the red kanji symbol appear, jump straight up in the air to avoid the attack and then jump again when directly above Lady Butterfly to do some significant damage to her Posture.
Keep repeating these steps and eventually you’ll open Lady Butterfly up for the first Deathblow. Remember, keep close to her, Step Dodge or Deflect depending on the attack, and only go for a couple of your own hits at a time. Be patient and don’t get greedy, going for more than a couple of hits or attacking at the wrong time will make you drop quickly.
Once you hit that first Deathblow, Lady Butterfly will reappear at the top of the statue at the end of the room, revealing that you have to beat her all over again. What a pain in the arse. Thankfully, the second part of the battle plays out pretty much the same as the first part, but Lady Butterfly does have a couple of extra tricks up her sleeve that make it a little bit tougher the second time around.
As soon as she drops off the statue to the floor get a couple of cheap hits in to get some early drain on her Vitality bar. Then, follow the same tactics of dodging, deflecting, and attacking as before – her attacks don’t change for the second part. What does change, however, is the fact that Lady Butterfly will summon illusions at various points throughout the second part of the battle.
When she does so, you have three options; the first is to avoid them by simply running around the room like a little girl until she clicks her fingers to get rid of them (which takes about 15 seconds), the second is to use a Snap Seed to make them disappear (you should have been given one by an injured NPC just outside the room), or the third is to attack them. If you opt for the latter option then the illusions only take one hit to kill, and you can even take them out with a Loaded Shuriken if you want to keep your distance.
The safest option, however, is to just run around the room like a wuss until Lady Butterfly dismisses them. When she does so, the illusions that dissipate will turn into balls of light that home in on you and do considerable damage if you get hit by too many. To avoid them, simply keep running around the room to avoid them or hide behind one of the wooden pillars and use it as cover, letting them smash into the other side.
Lady Butterfly can also summon a small number of these balls of light during her normal attacks, giving you an extra thing to try and dodge while you’re also trying to deflect or dodge her attacks. When she does this, I’ve found simply Step Dodging out of the way of both her attacks and the balls of light to be the best option.
Other than avoiding the illusions and the balls of light, completing the second phase plays out exactly the same as the first; keep close to her, Step Dodge or Deflect depending on the attack, run away from her illusions and avoid the balls of light, and only go for a couple of your own hits at a time.
Follow these steps and keep patient and you’ll eventually wear Lady Butterfly down and break her Posture for a second time, allowing you to go in for that second, deadly Deathblow.
Got any better tips or simply disagree with any of the tips listed above? Let me know in the comments below.