An important part of staying alive in the unforgiving Lands Between of Elden Ring is having a good defense. While armor is necessary, a solid shield can help slower builds mitigate damage from enemy attacks. Shields come in a variety of sizes, including small, medium, and greatshields. Depending on what kind of build you’re going for, the shields available to you will vary. Today, we’re breaking down the best shields in Elden Ring, looking at where to find them, and giving you some tips on how to use them on your build.
The Best Shields in Elden Ring
Let’s jump right into our list of the best shields in Elden Ring, ranked from sturdy to stalwart!
Kicking off our list of the best shields in Elden Ring is the Jellyfish Shield. While it may seem like a bizarre choice for defense, the Jellyfish Shield offers great protection at a lower cost than other greatshields.
The Jellyfish Shield has a base Physical attack stat of 123. However, since the primary purpose of the shield is defense, this stat is mostly irrelevant. It has a 100 Physical guard stat, as well as 52 against Magic and Fire, 40 against Lightning, and 48 against Holy. It requires 20 Strength and 14 Dexterity to wield, and has a weight value of 8. This makes it lighter than most greatshields and a suitable choice for Strength hybrid builds.
Where to Find It
This shield is found just north of the Foot of the Four Belfries site of grace, located in Liurnia of the Lakes. Just north of the site of grace, there will be a broken wagon with four jellyfish enemies surrounding it. Defeat or avoid these enemies and pick up the Jellyfish Shield off of the corpse near the broken wagon.
How to Use the Jellyfish Shield
The Jellyfish Shield works great for a build that incorporates spellcasting alongside Strength. Its relatively low weight and Strength requirements make it easy to wield without having to invest a lot of points into Strength. It has the unique Weapon Skill Contagious Fury, which allows the user to boost their attack by 20% for 30 seconds. This is a universally useful skill, making the Jellyfish Shield quite versatile.
Despite the game stating that it doesn’t protect against piercing attacks, the Jellyfish Shield does actually have a 100% block rate against piercing and thrusting attacks. If you’re struggling with the weight requirements of the shield, try using the Erdtree’s Favor or Great-Jar’s Arsenal Talismans to increase your maximum equipment load.
This medium shield is a great all-around shield due to its low requirements to wield and early-game accessibility.
The Brass Shield has a base Physical guard of 100 with a guard boost of 56, which reduces the amount of stamina lost when hit while guarding. It also has a 55 Magic guard, 59 Fire guard, 39 Lightning guard, and 54 Holy guard. This shield only needs 16 Strength to wield and has a weight of 7, making it a great shield to use for a variety of builds.
Where to Find It
This shield is dropped by both Godrick and Raya Lucaria Soldiers who wield it. One of the easiest and earliest locations it can be found is near the Gatefront Ruins. You can rest at the nearby site of grace to reset the enemy spawns and farm these soldiers until one drops the Brass Shield.
How to Use the Brass Shield
The beauty of the Brass Shield is its versatility, especially during the early game. Its relatively low stat requirements make it easy for most builds to wield. It can also be infused with ashes of war to give players a bonus defensive ability. One strategy that can be employed is to infuse the Brass Shield with the Vow of the Indomitable ash of war. This skill lets players gain a moment of invincibility by raising the shield above their head and cloaking themselves in a golden aura. Use this skill when facing down a tough enemy or boss who is about to use a devastating attack to render it useless.
Talismans that raise maximum equipment loads, like the Erdtree’s Favor and Great-Jar’s Arsenal, are once again recommended if needed. Otherwise, look at using the Dragoncrest Shield or Dragoncrest Greatshield Talismans for additional reduction in Physical damage. The Carian Filigreed Crest can also be useful for reducing the FP used by Vow of the Indomitable if you’re concerned about FP management.
Carian Knight’s Shield
The Carian Knight’s Shield is a great option for blocking Magic attacks thanks to its high Magic guard stat.
This medium shield has a base Physical guard of 100 with a guard boost of 49. It also has 71 Magic guard, 28 Fire guard, 19 Lightning guard, and 54 Holy guard. It requires 10 Strength, 10 Dexterity, and 15 Intelligence to wield, and has a weight of 4.5. This makes it easy to wield on builds with lower Strength.
Where to Find It
The Carian Knight’s Shield is dropped by Moongrum Carian Knight. This enemy guards the entrance to the Grand Library at Raya Lucaria Academy. To reach him, players will have to head north from the Debate Parlor site of grace through the courtyard and jump onto the eastern ramp with large balls rolling down it. Dodge these balls to reach where Moongrum Carian Knight is located.
How to Use the Carian Knight’s Shield
While this shield offers little defense against Fire and Lightning attacks, it excels at blocking both Physical and Magic attacks. If upgraded along the Standard affinity, it gains excellent guard boosting capabilities, meaning that the user can block hits without using much stamina. It can also be infused with ashes of war to gain additional benefits. The best choice for this shield is Carian Retaliation, since its Weapon Skill allows the player to parry incoming enemy spells and turn them into friendly glintblade sorceries. This can render many magic-using foes essentially useless.
With a weight of only 4.5, the Carian Knight’s Shield should be able to be used without need for equip load-boosting talismans like the Erdtree’s Favor or Great-Jar’s Arsenal. However, its low rate of guard against Fire and Lightning may require the use of the Flamedrake or Boltdrake Talismans to boost the negation of their respective damage types should the user feel they need it. The Pearldrake Talisman can also be used to reduce all types of Elemental damage.
Beast Crest Heater Shield
This medium shield offers users a great balance between high Physical guard and ease of use, making it the best early-game shield available.
The Beast Crest Heater Shield has a Physical guard stat of 100 with a guard boost stat of 51. It also has 50 Magic guard, 43 Fire guard, 32 Lightning guard, and 42 Holy guard. It’s very easy to wield, needing only 10 Strength and having a weight of only 3.5. These requirements make it usable on most builds.
Where to Find It
One great aspect of this shield is how early in the game it can be found. It’s located in a chest near a camp just to the west of the Saintsbridge site of grace in Limgrave. Players can find it by heading to the eastern side of Stormhill, following the road past camps of Godrick Soldiers until just before the bridge. The chest containing the Beast Crest Heater Shield is among the soldiers in the nearby camp.
How to Use the Beast Crest Heater Shield
With its ease of use and early game location, the Beast Crest Heater Shield is the perfect early-game shield for most builds. It offers well-rounded protection from Elemental damage types, while boasting the best Physical guard rate among medium shields. Upgrading it along the Standard affinity gives it a great guard boost stat as well, making it worth your while to upgrade. By default, it comes with the Parry skill, but it can be infused with ashes of war to expand the skills available to it. Storm Wall is a great choice because it can be found early and allows players to deflect incoming projectiles with a wall of wind. This is a handy ability to have going into Stormveil Castle.
To boost its guard even further, the Greatshield Talisman is a solid option. It is unlikely that users will need the equip load-boosting effects of the Erdtree’s Favor or Great-Jar’s Arsenal for this shield either, but those options are still on the table. The Carian Filigreed Crest can be a good option for players worried about FP management while using Storm Wall.
Topping off our list of the best shields in Elden Ring is the Erdtree Greatshield. Although it is quite heavy, the Erdtree Greatshield offers some of the highest protection levels in the game and comes with an incredibly useful skill.
This greatshield has a Physical guard stat of 100 with 60 guard boost. It also has 66 Magic guard, 49 Fire guard, 45 Lightning guard, and 76 Holy guard. However, it requires 30 Strength and 12 Faith to wield. It also comes with a hefty weight of 13.5.
Where to Find It
While it’s quite a good shield, it can be tough to acquire. The Erdtree Greatshield is dropped by the Tree Sentinel duo field boss found in the Altus Plateau. Following the road from the Grand Lift of Dectus see players pass by the Altus Highway Junction site of grace. Continuing on from here, climb the large set of stairs towards Leyndell, Royal Capital. Near the top, the two Tree Sentinels will attack and will drop the Erdtree Greatshield upon defeat.
How to Use the Erdtree Greatshield
The Erdtree Greatshield not only offers great protections across the board, but it comes with one of the best skills on any shield, Golden Retaliation. This skill is essentially a stronger version of Carian Retaliation that allows players to dispel incoming spells and fire back with a powerful Holy projectile. It’s even possible to use an incantation like Fire’s Deadly Sin to damage yourself and activate Golden Retaliation, dealing damage from both attacks to enemies.
Talismans like the Sacred Scorpion Charm and Shard of Alexander are great for boosting the power of Golden Retaliation. The Erdtree’s Favor or Great-Jar’s Arsenal talismans are also good options if you need to raise your maximum equip load to handle the weight of this greatshield. Otherwise, the Greatshield Talisman can help increase your guard boost and further reduce the stamina consumed while blocking with this shield.
Join the High Ground
Do you agree with our list of the best shields in Elden Ring? Which shields do you prefer? Let us know in the comments down below. While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss any of our upcoming Elden Ring guides!