hollow knight nailsage sly guide

Hollow Knight Nailsage Sly Guide

Sly deceived me. Though I originally took the little merchant as little more than a greedy weakling, I utterly regretted those thoughts as Sly rendered me to a buggy pulp in Godhome.

bowing back to sly
Image by JT Hussey

While most of our interactions with the tiny bug involve trading, we can gradually piece together Sly’s legendary backstory from his pupils Oro, Mato, and Sheo and learn to fear our little friend. And if we dare to challenge Sly to battle, we’ll have to endure one of the most brutal battles throughout Hollow Knight.

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In this Hollow Knight Nailsage Sly Guide, I’ll review how to save Sly and gain access to his expanded inventory with the Shopkeeper’s Key. As a bonus, I’ll detail how to find and defeat Sly in Godhome for the Embrace the Void and Delicate Flower endings.

Bottom Line Up Front

  • Save Sly in the Forgotten Crossroad’s ruined village to the right of the Stag Station and past the Gruz Mother.
  • Collect Sly’s Shopkeeper Key on the upper left of Crystal Peak for his expanded selection and free the Godseeker with a Simple Key
  • Dream nail her to fight Sly in the 3rd trial, the Patheon of the Sage.

Sly: Hallownest’s Deadliest Merchant

Don’t be fooled; Sly is far more dangerous than he seems! Image by JT Hussey

A former Master Nailsage turned greedy merchant, Sly is a Dirtmouth trader we can save in the Forgotten Crossroads who sells us mask shards, charms, and key items at outrageous prices.

While Sly may not boast an intimidating stature, talking to his pupils Oro, Mato, and Sheo, reveal he was a Nailsage: a legendary fighter of staggering renown.

Though he has forsaken his warrior lifestyle for the greedy life of a merchant, entering Godhome and reaching the end of the Pantheon of the Sage allows us to fight Sly in his Prime in one of the most stressful, harrowing fights throughout the game. If you thought Sly was a greedy little pushover, think again.

Sly’s Salacious Stock

hollow knight sly
Image by JT Hussey

After saving Sly in the Forgotten Crossroads, we can purchase items from the little bug in Dirtmouth. While Sly’s selection is mediocre compared to merchants like Leg Eater and Salubra, it offers an excellent way to increase our health if we’re one mask shard short or gather enough charms to purchase a new charm slot from Salubra.

*Note: Shopkeeper’s Key: Some of Sly’s more valuable items (i.e. the Elegant Key for obtaining the Shade Soul) require us to find and return Sly’s Shopkeeper’s Key in Crystal Peak. Though his initial selection is somewhat meager, we can work toward expanding it once we earn the Desolate Dive ability from the Soul Master in the City of Tears.


Collectible items we can use to enhance the knight; charms are fantastic for increasing our ability to fight through and explore Hallownest. Though Sly doesn’t sell very useful charms (I recommend going to Salubra and Leg Eater for a better selection), purchasing them allows us to buy more charm slots from Salubra.

  • Stalwart Shell (950 Geo, 2 Notches) – A protective charm that increases the amount of time we’re invulnerable after taking a hit, Stalwart Shell is mediocre at best. Given its high price and limited utility, I don’t advise utilizing Stalwart Shell.
  • Heavy Blow (350 Geo, 2 Notches) – Great for sending our foes flying, Heavy Blow increases our Nail’s knockback. While I recommend increasing our Nail’s range (with Long Nail and Mark of Pride) over its knockback, Heavy Blow is fantastic for the Colosseum of Fools for knocking foes into spiked pits and exploiting the environment. I highly advise employing in the Colosseum of Fools or the Abyss to fend off siblings while climbing up to the lighthouse.
  • Gathering Swarm (300 Geo, 1 Notch) – A charm for the lazy, more meticulous gather, Gathering Swarm sends a swarm of insects to gather the Geo dropped by enemies, geo veins, and chests. While this charm is less useful for combat, Gathering Swarm is great for collecting stray pieces of Geo that fall into spike pits. I recommend using this charm with Fragile Greed if we intend to farm Geo.
  • Sprintmaster (400 Geo, 1 Notch, Shopkeeper’s Key) – A charm that drastically increases our running speed, Sprintmaster is fantastic for evading enemy attacks in boss fights and speedrunning Hollow Knight. I highly recommend this charm against fast-paced bosses like Nightmare King Grim or the Radiance.
  • Nailmaster’s Glory (Nailmaster Quest, 1 Notch) – A fantastic charm for fans of Nail Arts, Nailmaster’s Glory greatly reduces the time it takes to perform Dash Slash, Cyclone Slash, and Great Slash. Though this charm is only useful if we can find the time to perform nail arts mid-battle, it’ll greatly increase our damage and range if we can manage it. Sly gives this charm for free if you learned all three nail arts from his pupils, then return to Dirtmouth for a small ceremony.

Mask Shards

Governing our health in Hallownest, 4 Mask shards earn us an entire mask of health, allowing us to endure one more hit before death. While I recommend gathering Sly’s first two mask shard’s earlier on, we should put off purchasing the last two for late game when we have enough Geo to spare.

  • Mask Shard 1 (150 Geo) Given its low price, I recommend purchasing the first shard immediately upon saving Sly in Dirtmouth.
  • Mask Shard 2 (500 Geo) – I advise waiting until midgame (after reaching the City of Tears) when we have a set of 3 mask shards to earn us another mask of health.
  • Mask Shard 3 (800 Geo, Shopkeeper’s Key) – Wait far into the late game to purchase once we tackle our last dreamer, likely Herrah in Deepnest, and have a surplus of Geo.
  • Mask Shard 4 (1500 Geo, Shopkeeper’s Key) – I’d advise delaying our purchase of this last shard until far into the late game, once we’re ready to fight the Radiance or are about to head into Godhome to fight revamped versions of the original bosses.

Vessel Fragments

Used to increase our max amount of Soul, we can collect three vessel fragments to make a small vessel. We can use Soul to focus, spell cast, or spawn hatchlings if Glowing Womb is equipped.

  • Vessel Fragment 1 (550 Geo) – Buy after reaching the rightmost section of the City of Tears when we have enough fragments to obtain our first Vessel.
  • Vessel Fragment 2 (900 Geo, Shoppkeeper’s Key) – Purchase far into the late game, ideally when we’re tracking down the last dreamer in Deepnest and have two other fragments at our disposal.

Keys and Misc

Besides the assortment of shards, fragments, and charms, Sly sells a few unique items that allow us to access new areas. I highly recommend these few oddities:

  • Simple Key (950 Geo) – One of four rare keys used to open simple locks, we can use Simple Keys to access the Royal Waterways for Isma’s tear, the Pleasure House for getting our Geo back from the Millibele, freeing the Godseeker, or accessing Confessor Jiji (Jinn on Steel Soul mode). I only advise purchasing this item if we’re interested in these side areas; we can find a Simple Key by the City of Tear’s city Storerooms for free for the Royal Waterways.
  • Elegant Key (800 Geo, Shoppkeeper’s Key) – Used to unlock the door in the Soul Sanctum for the Shade Soul spell, the Elegant Key is fantastic for spell casters. While it’s somewhat expensive, Shade drastically increases Vengeful Spirit’s size and damage, allowing us to demolish foes in combat. Be warned that we must fight an upgraded version of Soul Warrior that spawns ghosts, so focus and charm up before entering this secret room.
  • Lumafly Lantern (1800 Geo) – A collection of glowing moths used to light up the darkness, I’d argue that the Lumafly Lantern is the single most necessary item in Sly’s stock. While it doesn’t enhance our combat ability, it’s vital for traversing a few dark areas, like the intersection between Crystal Peaks and the Resting Grounds and the Path to Distant Village in Deepnest. I recommend saving up our Geo for this valuable item after defeating Soul Master and selling our relics to Relic Seeker Lemm to afford it more easily.
  • Rancid Egg (60 Geo) – A rotten yellow egg usually dropped by Bluggsacs; we can redeem Rancid eggs with Confessor Jiji to summon our Shade on normal mode (so we can avoid backtracking) or with Jinn on Steel Soul mode for approximately 290-449 Geo. I only advise gathering with Rancid Eggs if we’re in steel soul mode and starved for Geo.

Sly’s Quests

While Sly doesn’t give us quests, we can perform tasks to gain his respect, increase his inventory, or even fight him for a challenge. Though these quests are optional, I highly recommend them if we have extra Geo to spend or are interested in befriending the ancient warrior.

Quest: Saving Sly

  • Time: 10 Minutes
  • Required Abilities: N/A
  • Location: Forgotten Crossroads
  • Rewards: Dirtmouth Merchant
  • Difficulty: Very Easy
sly's location
We can find Sly’s house in the bottom right of the Forgotten Crossroads. Image by JT Hussey

One of the easiest NPCs we can rescue, Sly resides in a plague-ridden state in the village ruins of the forgotten crossroads. If we free him from the grips of the Radiance, he relocates to Dirthmouth, allowing us to employ his merchant services.

Step 1 Mad Momma

Starting from the Stag Station in the Forgotten Crossroads, head right and downwards to find a sleeping Gruz Mother in a small enclosed room. While this is not a challenging boss by any standard, ensure we focus beforehand to enter the fight with full mask shards and hit the Gruz Mother to begin the battle.

Fight: Gruz Mother

gruz mother
I almost feel bad waking her up. Image by JT Hussey

Luckily, Gruz Mother is one of the most straightforward bosses in all of Hollow Knight. With two simple attack moves and a horde of baby grub at the fight’s end, Gruz Mother can take less than a minute to beat. Still, this boss can kill us if we’re not careful, so adhere to the tips below:


gruz mother hop
A quick dash under or a hop over is all it takes to avoid Gruz Mother’s charges. Image by JT Hussey

After a few seconds of her hovering in the arena, Gruz Mother quickly dashes towards our general direction to crush us to a buggy pulp. I recommend giving her a wide berth, trying to anticipate her attacks, then jumping over or dashing out of the way.

Wild Slam

As long as we follow her path, we’re completely safe. Image by JT Hussey

An attack that sends her hurtling up and down the arena in a vertical zig-zag, we can anticipate Gruz mother’s Wild Slam by standing just to the side and following her direction. Even if it looks intimidating, this attack is a breeze to dodge and gives us plenty of room to deal damage.

Baby Burst

gruz mother babies
Image by JT Hussey

After finishing the fight, look out for Gruz Mother’s pulsating chest. Following a brief lull, several baby gruzzers burst forth, aiming to finish us off if we were near death. Frankly, this fight is generally a breeze, so we won’t have to worry about these little buggers unless we have a mask or two of health remaining.

Step 2 Raving Ruin

We can find Sly inside this open house. Be sure to great the neighbors first! Image by JT Hussey

After beating Gruz Mother, we can head right to the ledge holding Salubra’s shop. Instead of dashing up to greet the overbearing shopkeeper, follow the lower lefthand road to find several infected bugs skulking around a ruined village.

Time to make a greedy friend! Image by JT Hussey

Past those few bugs, we can enter an open doorway to interact with Sly in a plagued state, hallucinating his students Oro, Mato, and Sheo. After talking with Sly and freeing him from the Radiance’s grasp, we can head back to Dirtmouth to find Sly running his shop.

Quest: Sly’s Shopkeeper’s Key

Image by JT Hussey

If we want to access Sly’s expanded selection, we must return him his Shopkeeper’s Key. Though we’re given zero clues for where we might find it, we can reach by two paths.

Path A – Zooming Zotes

  • Time: 5 Minutes
  • Required Abilities: Mantis Claw, Mothwing Cloak, Crystal Dash
  • Location(s): Crystal Peak, Dirthmouth
  • Rewards: Shopkeeper’s Key
  • Difficulty: Easy
shopkeeper's key path a
Image by JT Hussey

If we’ve already been to Crystal Peaks and opened up the shortcut back to Dirtmouth, we can double back the same route we reached to get to the Crystal Peak’s bench. Starting from the right end of Dirtmouth, trigger the elevator to head to the entrance of Crystal Peaks.

zooming to shopkeeper's key
Image by JT Hussey

Once we reach the top, super dash across the vast corridor until we crash into a small wall dividing the crystal field. Quickly climb up the wall before we slide into the pink abyss and perform another super dash to make our way to the other end of the corridor.

Image by JT Hussey

After reaching the next room, we can head one room upwards to find a sign pointing to a bench with a sleeping Crystal Guardian. Instead of heading to the bench room, move up the narrow passage with a small shardmite discouraging our way up.

Image by JT Hussey

After destroying the vile pink critter or squeezing past, we find Sly’s Shopkeeper’s Key on a ruined workbench. Upon returning to Dirtmouth and giving Sly back his Key, the merchant thanks us, allowing us to purchase more of his special stock of items.

Path B – Crawling Climb

  • Time: 20 Minutes
  • Required Abilities: Mantis Claw, Mothwing Cloak, Desolate Dive
  • Location: Crystal Peak
  • Rewards: Shopkeeper’s Key
  • Difficulty: Medium
path b
Image by JT Hussey

If we have yet to open up the Dirtmouth Shortcut to the Crystal Peaks, we’ll have to traverse a slightly longer path to recover the Shopkeeper’s Key.

hollow knight alternate shopkeeper's path
Image by JT Hussey

Starting from some breakable rocks to the upper right of the Forgotten Crossroads, near where Myla’s mining rocks, perform a desolate dive to grant us access to the mining region. After the ground crumbles, we can head rightwards and up through several rooms infested with crystal crawler enemies shooting beams from their backs.

Image by JT Hussey

After reaching the top, we’ll arrive at the same end of Path B, with the room leading to the Crystal Guardian’s bench on the right. Perform the same maneuver to bypass the shardmite, and we’ll have access to the Shopkeeper’s Key.

Quest: Nailmaster’s Glory

Yes, there is a terrifying altar beneath Sly’s shop. Image by JT Hussey
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Required Abilities: Mothwing Cloak, Mantis Claw Desolate Dive, Super Dash
  • Locations: Howling Cliffs, Greenpath, Kingdom’s Edge, Dirthmouth
  • Rewards: Nailmaster’s Glory
  • Difficulty: Hard

Besides opening up Sly’s selection, we can also earn his unique charm, Nailmaster’s Glory, which drastically increases the speed at which we can perform Nail Arts. Though I generally avoid nail arts, the technique requires too much thought in fast-paced boss battles; they’re an excellent way to deal more damage and extend our Nail’s reach.

Step 1: Getting Adopted

Image by JT Hussey

Mato, the closest Nailmaster, resides in the Howling Cliffs in a slight alcove. Though we begin the game in the Howling Cliffs, we’ll need the mantis claw ability to explore this area further.

With the Mantis Claw at our fingertips, we can explore the Howling Cliffs to our heart’s content! Image by JT Hussey

Starting from the hidden room just left of the game’s start, climb up and left into the upper area of the Howlings Cliffs. Keep heading left past several Crawlids until we reach a drop down into a room with the corpse of a leaping husk by a spike pit.

path to mato top of howling cliffs
Image by JT Hussey

Instead of throwing ourselves into the prickly embrace of the spikes, proceed rightwards through a short corridor to reach Mato’s distinguished room. After entering, we can interact with Mato, who thanks us for coming all this way and offers to train us.

path to mato spikes and dead bug
Image by JT Hussey

After a gorgeous animation, Mato teaches us Cyclone Dash and promptly states that we are now his child. While we’ll have to bid farewell to our giant bug father, we can head back anytime to meditate with dear old Dad.

hollow knight getting adopted
I love that Mato adopts us out of sheer pride; I feel honored. Image by JT Hussey

Step 2: Getting Extorted

hollow knight path to oro
Image by JT Hussey

While Mato might have been more lenient with teaching us his art, Oro forces us to work harder and charges 800 Geo for his services, so make sure you have enough Geo before we begin. Starting from the King’s Station, head down and right into a flooded stag station with two vengeflies hovering above.

kingdoms edge path 1
Image by JT Hussey

Though the area looks like a dead end, we can head into the water and proceed rightwards through an invisible wall and into the preliminary area to Kingdom’s Edge.

After continuing right, looking out for some screaming belfies, we’ll reach the central area of Kingdom’s Edge, with several leftover bodies from the Colosseum of Fools dotting the nearby ledges.

kingdom edge downwards
Image by JT Hussey

Instead of proceeding upwards, descend towards the acid lake, then take a sharp right into a long corridor. While it may seem harmless to run through, the sheer length of the room and the primal aspids and great hoppers at the room’s end can be fatal, so take caution if we’re working with six or fewer masks of health.

Image by JT Hussey

After traversing the room and reaching its end, we’ll find Oro’s house dotted among the ash, with the large bug meditating in his room.While he hesitantly agrees to teach us Dash Slash, Oro demands we pay him 800 Geo before treating us to the terrific cutscene identical to Mato.

hollow knight oro demands money
I hope you brought enough Geo! Image by JT Hussey

Though he was less happy to see us than Mato, Oro begrudgingly admits that he’s proud of us and sends us on our merry way.

Step 3: Getting an Art Degree

Image by JT Hussey

For our last Nailmaster, we’ll have to conquer a tricky platforming section before sitting down and painting with Sheo. Starting from the Greenpath Stag Station, head downwards until we cross into a new thorny area.

path to sheo
Image by JT Hussey

After taking another left turn, we’ll find ourselves in a tricky platforming region, forcing us to Super Dash leftwards across several spike-topped ledges over a pool of acid. Before starting, ensure we have Super Dash unlocked, then proceed to the first ledge.

hollow knight sheo super dash
Image by JT Hussey

To clear it, we’ll have to climb up the mossy wall, jump over the spikes at the top, then quickly reattach ourselves to the mossy wall’s left side for another super dash. For the next obstacle, we’ll have to perform the same jump while super dashing between two Durandoos.

hollow knight sheo super dash through
Image by JT Hussey

Once we arrive, make a tight dash between some spikes, and pogo over some more Durandoos to reach the other side.

Perform another super dash amongst a sea of Durandoos cheering us on, then navigate a tricky section of thorns. Upon climbing up to the upper left of the thorny brambles with Sheo’s house in sight, perform another super dash, but cancel before we hit the spikes.

hollow knight sheo pogo
Image by JT Hussey

After all that platforming horror, we can walk inside to find Sheo painting art and welcoming us into his humble abode. Though Sheo has put aside his Nail, he still offers to teach us Great Slash if we like.

hollow knight sheo's art
If we spared the Nailsmith, we’ll find them posing for Sheo! Image by JT Hussey

Following a gorgeous art slash, we’ve learned Great Slash, the last of the Nail Arts, and can promptly return home to Dirtmouth for our reward.

Step 4: Basement Ceremony

sly basement ladder
Well, this is new. Image by JT Hussey

After we’ve visited each Nailmaster, we can return to Sly to find his shop empty with a new room leading to the basement. Upon descending, we’ll discover Sly by a thorny altar, telling us that we’ve proven ourselves as a worthy fighter and that he is to adorn us as the last Nailmaster.

sly gifting us
Image by JT Hussey

Upon a brief ceremony, where Sly ditches his greedy mannerisms for a more somber, respectful tone, we earn the Nailmaster’s Glory charm that drastically reduces the time needed to perform Nail Art.

After a brief bow with the surprisingly humbled Sly, we can head back out of his shop and test our empowered nail arts against the corrupted denizens of Hallownest!

Quest: Nailing the Great Nailsage

  • Time: 2 hours
  • Required Abilities: All of them
  • Locations: Junk Pit, Godhome
  • Rewards: Embrace the Void/Delicate Flower endings
  • Difficulty: Very Hard
hollow knight path to godseeker
Image by JT Hussey

If we’re still curious about whether Sly holds up to his legendary reputation (spoiler: he does), we can fight him in the Godmaster DLC!

While this DLC requires us to have collected every ability and defeated every boss, we can repeatedly challenge Sly and other new bosses and revamped versions of the bosses to our heart’s content.

To access Godhome, head to the Royal Waterways and look for a breakable wall at the area’s far left end. We’ll have to hurry past several large worm bugs to reach the Junk Pit, a giant collection of lost and forgotten possessions, including a chained Godseeker and a dead Nailmaster if we killed him earlier.

unlocking godseeker
Image by JT Hussey

Upon freeing the Godseeker with a Simple Key, dream nail her to transport to Godhome, a legendary dream where we can fight previous bosses and get two new endings. As for Sly, they are now the Great Nailsage, a legendary warrior that acts as the final boss of the third trial, the Pantheon of the Sage.

Image by JT Hussey

Though we’ll have to first fight through the initial two pantheons and battle Oro, Mato, and Sheo in tough battles, if we persevere, we’ll have the option to fight Sly in one of the toughest battles of Hollow Knight.

Fight: Great Nailsage Sly

If we’re having trouble, we can practice fighting Sly in the Godhome Hall of Gods practice area. Image by JT Hussey

Sly is a brutal boss. Boating a massive nail over twice his length, a rapid speed that punishes attempts to dodge or focus, I can easily call Sly the 3rd hardest boss of Hollow Knight after Nightmare King Grim and Absolute Radiance.

Even still, we can exploit a few strategies to one-up Sly. I recommend the tips below if we’re struggling to defeat the little menace.

Never Dash Through

While our first instinct may be to shade dash through Sly and deliver a clever hit, doing so causes the small bug to send a backswing attack, preventing us from dealing damage and incurring one mask of damage.

I recommend putting a small distance between Sly and us and hurrying across at the end of his three-hit combo when he performs a spinning attack.

Avoid Nail Arts

sly great slash
Great slash is scarier in Sly’s hands. Image by JT Hussey

Given his stature as the legendary Nailsage, Sly can quickly perform every kind of nail art and deal two masks of damage. Once Sly beings to focus, ensure we Shade Dash through him during his Great Slash or prepare to hop over him to avoid his Dash Slash.

hoping over dash slash
Hoping over Sly makes for an easier way to avoid his Dash Slash. Image by JT Hussey

For his Cyclone Dash, we’ll have to pogo Sly’s head, so leverage charms that increase our nail’s range, like Mark of Pride, to make Sly easier and safer to hit.

Aside from the Path of Pain, I’ve never been so scared pogoing in Hollow Knight. Image by JT Hussey

Second Phase Retreat

Even if it’s a bit more hectic, we can make Sly’s second stage safer if we bait him and dash away. Image by JT Hussey

Once we trigger Sly’s second phase, we’ll fight him while he zips around the arena. As he heads toward us, dash in the opposite direction and perform a quick nail slash before he gets away. This move can take time, but I promise you it’s the safest way to survive the fight with health to spare.

A Respectful Victory

Make sure to give Sly a little bow! Image by JT Hussey

After we’ve dealt our final blow in his second phase, Sly approaches us, giving us a respectful bow to wrap up the fight. Even if he fights us again on future attempts, we can hold our heads up high, knowing we’ve finally earned his respect complete and utter respect.

Memorable Quotes

  • Introducing Himself:  “I’m Sly. Usually, I live an uneventful life up in Dirtmouth.”
  • Advertising Himself: “I’ve made myself pretty comfortable here, selling old trinkets to travellers like yourself.”
  • Being Financially Prudent: “…Geo. Geo. All the world is Geo. No nail can withstand its might…”
  • Thoughts During Battle: “Dreams of glory…”
  • Remembering his Pupils: “…Wherever you are… Whatever it is you do now… I hope you three are looking after yourselves…”
  • Kicking Us Out: “Get out of here and let me spend some quality time with all the Geo you’ve gifted me.”
  • Purchasing Everything: “Were you hoping to sneak a peek at my mountain of Geo? Well it’s mine now! And fairly traded.”

Key Relationships

Mato (Teacher’s Pet)

hollow knight mato teaching us
Image by JT Hussey

A hearty, overly affectionate warrior bug devoted to his craft, Mato was a student of Sly that trained alongside Oro and Sheo to become a Nailmaster.

Though Mato has since grown estranged from Sly and the rest of his fellows, he still holds Sly and Sheo in high regard and thinks very fondly of the knight, going so far as to adopt us after teaching Cyclone Dash.

We can find Mato in the Howling Cliffs and fight in Godhome at the end of the Pantheon of the Master.

Oro (Greedy Pupil)

Image by JT Hussey

A greedy, self-centered Nailmaster, Oro is a former pupil of Sly who has since grown bitter at Mato while meditating at Kingdom’s Edge. Though Oro still has respect for teaching nail arts and begrudgingly respects our skill, he demands we pay him 800 Geo to learn the Dash Slash.

While Oro’s feelings towards Sly are somewhat ambivalent, it’s clear he fell out with Mato over a mysterious issue and still expects an apology. We can find Oro in the bottom left of Kingdom’s Edge and fight him in the Pantheon of the Master beside Mato.

Sheo (Artistic Student)

sheo picture
Image by JT Hussey

Sly’s most artistically gifted pupil, Sheo has given up his pursuit of the blade in favor of the brush and taken to painting in his spare time. Though Sheo has put aside his previous warrior life, he has nothing but goodwill towards Sly and his fellow pupils and even offers to teach us the Great Slash if we ask him.

We can find Sheo resting in the bottom left of Greenpath, painting with the Nailsmith if we spared him after crafting the Pure Nail. We can also fight Sheo in the Pantheon of the Artist in the most wonderful, paint-filled battle of them all.

Discover the Enigmatic World of Hollow Knight | GOG

Immerse yourself in the hauntingly beautiful world of "Hollow Knight," where every step unveils secrets and challenges waiting to be conquered. With its captivating art style and intricate gameplay, embark on an epic journey filled with mystery, danger, and discovery unlike any other.

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Question: How Do I Save Sly?

Answer: You can save Sly by heading to the bottom right of the Forgotten Crossroads and entering a ruined building just past the Gruz Mother boss. Inside we’ll find a plague-ridden Sly we can interact with to free from the Radiance’s grip and send to Dirtmouth.

Question: Where is Sly’s Shopkeeper’s Key?

Answer: We can find the Shopkeeper’s Key in the upper left of Crystal Peaks, just to the left of the Crystal Guardian boss fight. After jumping past the annoying little shardmite, we find the Shopkeeper’s Key on a ruined bench.

Question: How Do I Defeat Sly In Godhome?

Answer: Keep a close enough distance to Sly, hitting him after he finishes his three-move combos and dodging out of the way of his nail arts. Once you begin the second phase, bait Sly into attacking you, dash out of the way, and whack him before he flees to end the fight safely.

Hollow Knight Nailsage Sly Guide: Conclusion

Image by JT Hussey

Well done my buggy friend! We saved Sly from the insidious grasp of the Radiance, gaining ourselves a useful merchant and the respect of a legendary warrior.

Though I still resent Sly for destroying me in Godhome, I appreciated his multifaceted warrior-merchant backstory and his esteemed bow at our fight’s end. Frankly, learning about his estranged connection to Oro, Mato, and Sheo was a touchingly tragic tale that made me think twice about our greedy friend.

So, whether we’re intent on burying Sly in a mountain of Geo or demolishing him in the Pantheon of Hallownest, we can end our time with our merchant friend and work towards saving the rest of our buggy companions. So let’s Dash Slash some primal aspids and show Hornet who’s the better sibling! The Radiance awaits!

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