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.



Small Shields

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




Standard Shields 

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.




DLC Shields

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.


Crown of the Sunken King Shields


Crown of the Ivory King Shields

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    • Anonymous

      While it is true that the buckler and target shield have the longest Parry frames (making parryin easier), they also have some of the longest wind up and recovery frames from the parry, the buckler will probably not allow you to execute the stronger guard break Riposte while the enemy is standing before they fall down, and parrying too early will leave you more vunerable than a faster shield. (example being, the enemy has just ran out of stamina but you expect another attack and parry the air, the faster shield will leave stood there like an idiot for less time than the buckler will, probably not enough time for them to attack you, or move behind you)
      its all down to personal preference, there's a very interesting page on parry frame data i encourage you to look at.
      there is No good answer as to the "best" parry shield, with enough practice, all shields and weapons will perform well. just. don't try parrying with the Zweihander to start with.

      • Anonymous

        Which of these shields do you think most resembles the Bonewheel Shield, I'm trying to create Jimmy Darksoul, the ds2 version of John Darksoul

        • Anonymous

          is it just me or there are a lot less 100% phisical shields in DS2?

          At least we have some shields with almost 100% thanks to defence scaling and a decent number of shields that can reach a 100% in other stats

          • Anonymous

            The resist number isn’t percent it’s just how much damage is resisted for example a shield with 90 fire resistance negates 90 damage from fire not 90% of fire because if that was the case then no one would ever ****ing die cuz every resistance would easily be 100% and you would take no damage

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