The first major arc of Nioh 2 ends with one righteous snake boss: Yatsu no Kami. The pale serpent doesn’t move quickly, but hits hard and loves to inflict you with poison. What’s a Yokai slayer to do? There are a few useful tips and strategies for this boss, in fact. That’s why we’ve compiled them here in our Yatsu no Kami boss guide for Nioh 2. Having trouble taking down the big beast and moving on to the next stage of the game? Our hints ought to help make the process as smooth as snakeskin. Let’s take a look!
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Things begin simply enough: you just need to dodge. Yatsu no Kami likes to rush toward you at the start of a battle. This can do surprisingly high damage (like a lot of the big reptile’s attacks). Just don’t let it happen!
After that, this becomes a battle of attrition. The snake boss doesn’t attack too quickly or aggressively. It does have quite a lot of reach, hit points, and environmental hazards to pin you between, though. The boss room is littered with poison pools like the ones you worked through outside — and they’ll drain your health dry if you get envenomed.
The anti-poison pill ninjutsu helps somewhat. You likely won’t have a ton to work with in the actual boss fight. Not to mention it’s hard to swallow them while getting attacked. At the very least you can take one to cut through the poison river outside the boss room. This makes subsequent runs to Yatsu no Kami quicker, and saves you the trouble of dodging enemies on the bridge. Antidotes are also useful, and luckily drop from most of the enemies in this level. And if you’re really thorough, there’s a Scampurr (one of those helpful cat minions) that you can summon right outside the boss room. It’s just behind some debris, far to the right of the door you enter the boss room from.
Yatsu no Kami Strategy & Preparation
You can also prepare by equipping a “Feral” spirit (e.g. the monkey you get as part of the story earlier in the game). Its Burst Counter is a dodge that works well on Yatsu no Kami when it charges. Only the bladed tip of its head seems to do damage during this attack, so letting it hit your afterimage while you sip to the side will land a counter and save you from getting hit. Even if you miss the Burst Counter, you can slap boss’s slides as it slithers past for some free damage.
From there, the best way to battle Yatsu no Kami is by taking it slow. This isn’t a some humanoid soldier you can go blow-for-blow with and hope to drain its stamina. The serpent spirit can turn to attack you on a dime. And when it does, it can hit you from literally anywhere in the room. That’s thanks to the smaller twin snakes that wiggle out of its sides. Yatsu no Kami will periodically rear back, stab its babies into the ground, and burst them up beneath your feet. These can be blocked. However, it’s much better to simply keep walking or running — preferably towards the main body. The snake sneak attacks aren’t very fast, but they do a lot of Ki damage, often leaving you winded if you block. They also leave a window of opportunity to attack the main body while its mitts are shoved in the dirt. Calmly moving past them gives you a chance to hit the big guy.
In fact, a lot of the boss’s attacks are more easily sidestepped than blocked. You have a ton of space to work with in the room (even more if your anti-poison pill is active, letting you step in the toxic pools). When it prepares a tail swipe, you can run outside its reach. When it spits poison at you, you can sprint under its guard and get a hit in. Blocking is often a last resort.
Yatsu no Kami – Nioh 2 Boss Guide
When the snake’s arms are up, any attacks you perform can hit the little snakes, too. They even have separate health bars. This is important to know once Yatsu no Kami summons its Darkness Realm. The minor snakes will pop out of its body completely at that point — becoming additional foes you need to contend with at the same time. They’re not huge threats on their own, and are easy to kill, but make it difficult to watch the boss for its otherwise highly telegraphed attacks (like its tail whip). Shurikens can help here. As ranged lock-on attacks, they let you keep your distance and strike quickly, unlike bows and guns.
Try to use weapons and stances with solid, one-hit heavy attacks. The kusarigama in high stance, for instance, tears chunks out of a Yokai’s maximum Ki at great distance. The spear’s strong attack in mid stance (a basic thrust) is also good. Basically you just don’t want to overcommit. Running out of stamina in this fight can easily be a death sentence, between the poison, perilous attacks, additional enemies, and getting wrapped up in a deadly hug.
Peck away at its maximum Ki; then back off. Your Burst Counter can help drain the Ki itself. Once it’s guard is broken, you can go whole hog. Just be wary of its entrance into the Darkness Realm and the ensuing adds. If you can’t break its guard again in the Darkness Realm, Yatsu no Kami will eventually heal its damaged stamina bar. But that isn’t the end of the world! The creature doesn’t gain any other powers throughout the fight. If you can repeat the same process a couple times, you should be able to take it down.