Sekiro will sorely test every player’s reflexes and tactics — again and again and again. And nowhere is that more obvious than during one of the game’s many boss fights (or mini-boss fights, as the case may be). One such example is the deceptively powerful enemy called Ashina Elite – Jinsuke Saze. This mini-boss can kill even some of the most heavily upgraded players in a single blow. Which is why we’ve created this useful guide, with tips on how to beat Jinsuke Saze in Sekiro. Let’s take a look!
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Where is Jinsuke Saze in Sekiro?
Odds are you won’t actually encounter Ashina Elite – Jinsuke Saze until well into your first playthrough of Sekiro. This prestigious pain in the ass is located (as his name implies) in the Ashina Castle region. You can even see him standing in your way just after reaching the “Upper Tower – Ashina Dojo” location. He’s kneeling at the end of the room and just waiting for you to walk into his trap.
Jinsuke Saze is technically optional. He blocks the path to another, very much non-optional boss higher up the tower. However, you can circumvent him altogether by taking a circuitous route across rooftops — starting from the Antechamber Sculptor’s Idol — and fighting through a menagerie of blue samurai.
You really shouldn’t skip this fight, though. Not only does defeating Jinsuke Saze unlock a useful skill for your next boss fight, as well as offer you a lovely Prayer Bead for your trouble, but it’s also just about the easiest boss fight in all of Sekiro. That’s assuming you have the right tools, at least…
What You Need Before You fight Jinsuke Saze in Sekiro
Namely, you need the Shinobi Firecracker and an a combat art called Whirlwind Slash. And you should have access to both long before you fight Jinsuke Saze. In fact, you might already have them by the time you reach the Sekiro mini-boss.
But maybe you don’t! That’s okay. They’re both easy enough to acquire.
You can find Whirlwind Slash in the Shinobi Arts skill tree. It’s even one of the very first abilities you can learn in the whole game. Just go to any Sculptor’s Idol, take a knee, and select “Acquire Skills.” Whirlwind Slash is the higher of the two starting unlocks — circled in red — on the first skill tree. Purchase it and make sure to equip it to Wolf before proceeding.
As for the Firecrackers, they’re found on the path between “Ashina Outskirts – Gate Path” and “Ashina Outskirts – Stairway.” Check out our Shinobi Firecracker location guide for Sekiro for the exact location. And, just like the Whirlwind Slash, make sure you equip this Prosthetic Tool. Then make sure it’s at the ready for the Jinsuke Saze fight.
Tips for How to Beat Jinsuke Saze in Sekiro
From here on the battle is really quite simple. Yes, Saze can, in fact, kill you in a single blow — even worse, blocking his attacks won’t completely stop their damage. And unlike other mini-bosses, he even locks you into his combat arena, making escape impossible once you start. It’s… extremely discouraging the first time you meet him.
But Jinsuke Saze makes up for his insane attack power with hilariously low Posture and a penchant for getting staggered. So you can pretty much permanently stun-lock him (using the two tools mentioned above) for a quick victory. Just start by rushing into the room (beginning at the Upper Tower idol) and sprinting up to the boss. Then throw down your Shinobi Firecracker and start spamming Whirlwind Slash (L1+R1 on PlayStation 4 and LB+RB on Xbox One).
Assuming you time it right, which is pretty easy, Jinsuke Saze will be permanently unable to react. He’ll just keep taking strike after strike until you finally open him up for a deathblow. After you enact this first killing strike, the mini-boss will gain a brief period of invulnerability and find his footing again. Which means you need to wait just a split second before throwing another handful of firecrackers in his face. From there, though, you can start spamming Whirlwind Slash again — until you open up the second deathblow and end the fight.
Jinsuke Saze Boss Fight Rewards
That’s… pretty much all there is to it! All you really need to worry about is letting Saze land a blow before you reach him. You also don’t want to let him back away from your Whirlwind Slash before his Posture is completely broken. Should that happen, you always have your free resurrection to try again. Not to mention the Sculptor’s Idol nearest to Jinsuke Saze is like 15 feet away. If you completely whiff your timing, and need to try again, it only takes a few seconds.
There’s a handsome reward for taking the boss down, too. He was guarding a secret technique for how to deal with lightning attacks (which might come in handy shortly). He’ll also drop an easy Prayer Bead you might be able to use to upgrade your Vitality and Posture. Finally, beating this lieutenant opens up the path to the next boss. And it’s remarkably shorter than if you decided to go around.
Have fun clearing that next hurdle, and thanks for reading our Sekiro tips for how to beat Jinsuke Saze. We wish you the best of luck on your next obstacle.