Shields in Dark Souls II are an integral part of survival as players begin to understand enemy mechanics. As they are more than just a barrier used to distance yourself from imminent attacks, shields are widely avaiable in various sizes which allow a player to mesh their main-hand weapons into a personalized playstyle. With offensive applications in addition to their apparent defensive application, strategic use of the shield allows for more than simple damage reduction.
How to choose the right shield
- Shields grant the ability to parry attacks, block incoming damage (Physical , etc.), and depending upon the type, may have Unique abilities during their strong attacks.
- Damage reduction depends upon the shield's stats against each element. Resistances may increase slightly as the shield is upgraded.
- The value of stability: stability seems to work as % decrease of a hidden "stability dmg" modifier tied to enemy attacks. [It may be directly tied to dmg , but further testing needed] So if an enemy attack would deplete 20 points of stamina, shield with 50 stability means it will only deplete 10 points. This means that 75 stability shield is 2x better then 50 stability shield just as 60 and 20 stability respectively. Highest value is 2 handing[+5 stability on great shields/+10 on smaller ones?] +5 havel shield/+10 gyrm shield with 2nd dlc ring that adds 5 points more. That caps the stability at 90/90%. Probably the reason of nerfing havel from 88 to 80 [without nerf we would have 98/98% stability which would mean almost infinite blocking. [Any further data with exact testing results are welcomed here.]
- The offensive properties of a shield have no effect on its defensive abilities. When looking at a shield, one of the most important stats is Stability - the higher the stability, the more efficient a shield is at blocking attacks, staggering enemies and using stamina. While two-handing a shield, its stability will be raised by 10 unless it is a greatshield, in which case, stability will increase by 5. (this actually shows up on the shields properties on the equipment screen)
- Magic shield spells do not increase stability. Otherwise, stability could reach levels beyond 100%, allowing for a complete lack of stamina depletion.
- Unlike DS and DS3, in DS2, the Attribute-Scaling of shields also affect their defensive values (needs confirmation). Note that the higher the initial defense value of the shield, the smaller the bonus.
- For a sortable spreadsheet of all the shields please visit Shields (Sortable)
- Read more about shields, their properties and usage
Small Shields in Dark Souls 2 are a type of Shield that usually weigh very little and have the least form of protection from attacks. They are often used by players who prefer Parrying rather than Blocking. Players cannot use their Weapon's Skill without first putting a Small Shield away or without two-handing their Weapon
These types of Shields usually weigh very little and offer a mediocre amount of protection. They are often employed by players who need a shield, but don't have a lot of points into the Strength stat.
These types of Shields usually weigh a decent amount and provide the best protection in the game. They are often used by players who have high Strength, as they require a good amount to use. You also cannot parry but you can do a shield bash.
Crown of the Sunken King Shields