All the bosses of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice are pretty tough, but Lady Butterfly represents a significant change of pace when you encounter her in Hirata Estate. She’s a brutally fast boss who deploys ranged attacks against you, and who has some illusion-based tricks up her sleeve that are tough to deal with.
You’ll find Lady Butterfly at the end of the Hirata Estates level. The fight is broken into two parts, so note that while you might pull off a deathblow on her, she’s not down for the count. The second part of the fight sees Lady Butterfly up the ante significantly with new moves and faster attacks, so you’ll need to be on your game with your deflections to survive. But the most effective way to take her down is with consistent attacks that get under her guard.
Read on to find everything you need to know to defeat Lady Butterfly below and in the video above, including where to find some items that’ll give you an edge against her and her illusions. We’ve got lots more Sekiro guides for your perusal as well, including ones on where to find key early-game prosthetics, and how to beat Juzou the Drunkard, the Chained Ogre, and the Blazing Bull.
Whittle Down Her Vitality
Lady Butterfly is made of heartier stuff than the enemies you’ve faced before her. You can’t break her Posture just by outfighting her—at least, not at first. You’ll need to damage her Vitality some or she’ll keep quickly recovering Posture, and you’ll never be able to break her guard. To do that, you need to get some attacks through her defenses. The best way is to parry some of her close-range attacks, then follow up with a quick counter of your own. You can also watch for her to jump into the air on her wires and come down with a Perilous attack. You should be able to easily retreat from the attack or dodge backward to get clear of it, and it leaves her open to a few blows before she goes back on the offensive.
Pack Your Shuriken
When Lady Butterfly hops up into the air, she’ll usually come at you with some deadly kicks or knife-throws. This is actually a solid opportunity to deal some damage to her Vitality and Posture and get in close for a few quick blows as well. Throwing a Shuriken while Lady Butterfly is jumping through the air (and not standing on a wire, specifically) can knock her back to the ground, leaving her very vulnerable to a follow-up attack. You might want to let her try to pull her Perilous air attack, since you can generally dodge it easily and get some strikes in afterward, but knocking her out of the air with Shuriken is highly effective. We’ve got all the prosthetics and where to find them in our guide.
Block Her Ranged Attacks
Lady Butterfly is different from most other bosses you’ve seen so far, in that she’ll stand back and throw blades at you from time to time. These can be blocked and deflected, but only if you see them coming, so keep your guard up. She’ll often throw blades before coming in for a close-range attack, too, so keep an eye out for deadly patterns that start with incoming knives.
Dodge Close And Strike
You’ll find that Lady Butterfly is sometimes a bit slow on realigning to catch you if you dodge to the sides of some of her attacks, especially her kicks. That means you can stay close and get in extra attacks, especially in the first phase of her fight. Be careful not to overextend yourself in attacks, but if you can get in a few deft slices, dodge again, and slice a few more times, you can do a lot of damage very quickly and make the fight a lot easier on yourself.
Fight The Apparitions
Once you’ve dealt a deathblow to Lady Butterfly, you’ll enter the second phase of the fight, in which she brings ghostly apparitions out to battle you. These guys aren’t especially deadly, but there are a lot of them, and they can be very distracting as Lady Butterfly goes running around, attempting to hit you. The good news is, you can drop ghosts immediately with Shuriken at range or with one hit from your sword, and they’ll usually drop Spirit Emblems if you need some.
The trouble is, eventually Lady Butterfly will turn the apparitions into spectral butterflies, which can track you and deal damage even through your block. The more apparitions on the screen when she summons the butterflies, the more you’ll have to deal with. You have a few options for dealing with these. The first is to let the butterflies come, and stand close behind a wooden beam to let them slam into that, instead of you. You can also sprint, since the butterflies have a harder time tracking you if you run around the room.
You can also clear the apparitions with Snapseeds. You’ll get one of these from a samurai just outside of Lady Butterfly’s room; more can be found in Underbridge Valley (our guide can show you where). Stand close to the apparitions and use the Snapseeds to make them disappear, without forming any butterflies. Note that you’ll need to be close, since the Snapseeds produce a wave around your body, and it won’t be effective when you’re farther away.
Learn The Butterfly Attacks
In the second half of the fight, Lady Butterfly will sometimes summon spectral butterflies to attack you in the middle of her own attacks. You’ll want to incorporate more dodging into your repertoire to avoid them. If you see her summon four butterflies—first a group of two, then two more—know that she’s about to come at you hard with a series of attacks that ends with an unblockable Perilous onslaught. It’s not too tough to deal with once you’ve seen it once or twice, but the best way to handle this is to dodge back away from Lady Butterfly early to avoid the butterflies, then get your guard up for the rest of the blows. Finish by jumping over the Perilous attack and bouncing off Lady Butterfly’s head to do some Posture damage.