[Top 5] Best Sekiro Combat Arts and Why They’re So Good

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Use your best combat arts and make this take-down even sweeter!

For Sekiro to succeed in his mission, he needs to use all of the tools available to him. While prosthetics and consumable items certainly help, one tool in his arsenal stands out above the rest - the Combat Art. A Combat Art is a special skill that Sekiro unlocks as he levels up and progresses through the game, and it can be truly deadly when used wisely! Take a look at GamersDecide’s guide to the best Combat Arts available, including everything from early-game to end-game.

# 5. The Mikiri Counter (Great for Early-Game!)

sekiro shadows die twice 5 best combat arts

The Mikiri Counter in-game

What Makes It Awesome: This is easily the best combat art in the beginning of the game. I recommend that you get this move as soon as possible!

Basically, this move lets you perform a well-timed and powerful counter for otherwise unblockable thrust attacks. When you see the red kanji appear right before the enemy attacks and the accompanying flash of light from their weapon, press the dodge button. If it’s timed correctly and you have this skill unlocked, Sekiro will stomp on the enemy weapon. This hurts the bad guy’s posture meter, prevents you from taking any damage, and briefly opens up the baddie to a quick attack.

Even though this is one of the earliest Combat Arts that you will unlock, it remains very useful all the way through the game’s end and into New Game +! 

Extra Info

This skill is found in the Shinobi Arts Skill Tree, where it requires 2 skill-points to unlock. 

In-Game Description: “Enables one to counter an enemy's thrust attack by stomping down on an enemy's weapon, dealing a large amount of damage to Posture. It is nearly impossible to perceive the speed of a thrust, but not for the sharp eyes of a Shinobi.”

For more about the Mikiri Counter Combat Art, you can check out this link to Fextralife’s Sekiro wiki here. 

# 4. The Ichimonji (and Ichimonji Double)

sekiro shadows die twice 5 best combat arts

The Ichimonji Combat Art in the Combat Arts menu

What Makes It Awesome: This move is slow but powerful. Don’t underestimate it! It’s worth learning the timing for the Ichimonji, and then it’s even more worth it to unlock and use the Double Ichimonji. 

This heavy vertical slash can absolutely destroy an enemy’s posture. If you time it right to compensate for the move’s long and interruptible wind-up, you can use this move to get a great opening for attacks and gain an advantage over even the beefiest enemies. 

Using Ichimonji actually helps you regain your own posture, so it’s a great way to reset your posture meter during a long and intense fight. 

Getting the Ichimonji Double improves this move by adding a quick second slash that often prevents enemies from counter-attacking you. 

Extra Info

You can unlock this ability in the Ashina Arts Skill Tree for 2 skill-points. You will need to already have Ichimonji and then provide another 3 skill-points to unlock Ichimonji: Double.

In-Game Description (Ichimonji): “Ichimonji delivers a heavy, one-hit overhead sword strike. Deals high Posture damage and also recovers one's own posture with a strong forward step. Single-minded mastery of this technique is the heart of the Ashina style's strength. Once mastered, it can likely be improved.”

In-Game Description (Ichimonji Double): “Acquires Combat Art "Ichimonji: Double." Adds a follow-up overhead sword strike to Ichimonji. Deals high Posture damage and also recovers one's own posture with a strong forward step. The follow-up attack is especially useful for preventing enemy counterattacks. Ashina's Ichimonji is perfected with this follow-up strike.”

To learn a bit more about the two Ichimonji Combat Arts, check out their respective pages on Fextralife’s Sekiro wiki here (Ichimonji) and here (Ichimonji Double). 

To see the Ichimonji in action, watch this video from Shakybeeves’ YouTube Channel. 

# 3. The Floating Passage

sekiro shadows die twice 5 best combat arts

The Floating Passage Combat Art shown in the Combat Arts menu

sekiro shadows die twice 5 best combat arts

Floating Passage being used in-game

What Makes It Awesome: Floating Passage is a move that can work fairly well in many situations - regular fights, boss battles, and mini-boss encounters against both animal and human bad guys. 

It’s a quick succession of attacks that can be used to overwhelm an enemy and help break down their posture. It can also be used to get in  extra attacks while an enemy is stunned. 

Extra Info 

This Combat Art is unlocked by purchasing the Floating Passage Text from Pot Noble Harunaga for five Treasure Carp Scales, so it doesn’t require skill-points. Pot Noble Harunaga may be found inside a pot in the waters of a river, located just past the first Sculptor’s Idol in Hirata Estates and under a bridge.

In-Game Description: “Combat art that unleashes repeated attacks, overwhelming enemies with flowing, dance-like movements. While an Ashina Combat Art, it was taught by an outsider, and as such is considered heretical. The master for this technique crossed the Floating Passage and descended to Ashina. Her name was Tomoe.” 

To get a better understanding of Floating Passage, feel free to look at Fextralife’s Sekiro wiki here. 

# 2. The Whirlwind Slash

sekiro shadows die twice 5 best combat arts

The Whirlwind Slash Combat Art in the Combat Arts menu

What Makes It Awesome: Now, generally speaking, I would not recommend taking on huge groups of enemies all at once in Sekiro. You probably won’t make it. The game’s combat system is meant more for one-on-one or small-group fights.

Of course, sometimes you might bite off a bit more than you can chew. If you do find yourself surrounded by enemies, this move can help push them away, giving you space to regroup. 

It’s best used against groups of weak bad guys. However, you can also use it against powerful enemies, or even during intense one-on-one battles. It can help you break down your opponent’s posture. 

Extra Info 

This move is found in the Shinobi Arts Skill Tree, and it unlocks for 1 skill-point. 

In-Game Description: “Acquires Combat Art "Whirlwind Slash." A spinning attack that can hit several enemies at once. The sharp cut combined with the force of the spin can strike multiple foes, and deal damage even when guarded. When surrounded by enemies, this shinobi technique can cut open a path to victory.”

You can use this page on Fextralife’s Sekiro wiki as a reference.  

To see The Whirlwind Slash in action, check out this YouTube video from The Video Games Source. 

# 1. The Empowered Mortal Draw

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The Empowered Mortal Draw, shown in the Combat Arts menu and in-action

What Makes It Awesome: Empowered Mortal Draw seriously kicks butt! This move is great right up through the final boss. It does significant damage, and it can be very helpful against bosses, mini-bosses, and other powerful enemies. 

Essentially, the Mortal Draw is a slash attack with the Mortal Blade. As shown in the image, this move has a bigger range than other slash attacks. 

A less powerful version of this combat art can still be used if you run out of the required Spirit Emblems.

Extra Info 

The Empowered Mortal Draw has a few prerequisites. First, you need to have the Mortal Blade, which you will get by progressing through the story. Then, you’ll need to get the ability Living Force in the Prosthetic Arts Skill Tree and the ability Ashina Cross in the Ashina Arts Skill Tree. At that point, Empowered Mortal Draw will become available as a Mushin Arts skill. 

This combat art requires 5 skill-points to unlock, and it consumes 3 Spirit Emblems each time you use it. 

In-Game Description: “Acquires Combat Art "Empowered Mortal Draw." A secret technique using the Mortal Blade. Costs Spirit Emblems to use. By focusing on one's mind before unsheathing the Mortal Blade, one can draw additional power, resulting in a long-ranged, more powerful slash attack. Draw the sword that cannot be drawn, and unleash its devastation.”

Feel free to check out Fextralife’s wiki page on this Combat Art to learn more. 

Sekiro is a pretty powerful and disciplined shinobi, but to leverage that as much as possible, you will need to draw on all of the tools available to him. With these Combat Arts, you’ll be a step closer to reaching his full potential and conquering every enemy in the game!

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