Dark Souls 3 Best Greatshields
Dark Souls 3 Best Greatshields

Top 16 Best Dark Souls 3 Greatshields With Locations

Dark Souls 3 surpasses its prequels in terms of weapon diversity and offers a much wider range of weapons, magic, and shields to work with. Furthermore, they have also refined their craft by adding more stats to each of their weapons, which not only helps in distinguishing between them but also aids in ascertaining which are the best in the lot. One such addition is that of their attribute system – each weapon comes with a certain wielding requirement that is split between four attributes: strength, dexterity, faith and intelligence. Moreover, depending on this requirement, each weapon is also innately disposed with an affinity for each of these four attributes, which defines how well the weapon’s damage/potency scales with it. One such principle that is seen across all three Dark Souls games is their vision of delivering their users the most diverse arsenal of weapons, such as the Best Greatshields in Dark Souls 3.

In layman terms, if a sword has a good scaling with strength, that means investing more points into your strength stat will directly affect your sword and grant it bonus damage. 

What are Greatshields In Dark Souls 3?

In a game where weapons are important, shields should be held in the same regard. Unlike most RPG titles, Dark Souls 3 offers over 50 different shields for players to play with. To complicate things by a little bit, these shields can be divided into three categories: small shields, standards and greatshields. Greatshields, as one can imagine, are the biggest shields in the game, which boast for their unparalleled stability and insanely high damage reduction. Therefore, while greatshields can shield you from all kinds of damage, even those that come from late-game bosses, it is important to understand their drawbacks.

Best Greatshields in Dark Souls 3

First and foremost, one should expect that wielding something as heavy and girthy as a greatshield would require immense strength and using it in combat would require plenty of stamina. Therefore, do not be alarmed when you see heavy strength, endurance and even vitality stat requirements later in my list of Dark Souls 3 Best Greatshields. Secondly, albeit this is quite obvious, you can not parry with a greatshield – although, instead, greatshields allow you to bash your foes instead of parrying them, a more realistic technique. Lastly, since you want to make the most of a greatshield, you must fully upgrade any greatshield you’re using so as to minimize stamina damage. In other words, while you don’t take physical damage upon blocking an incoming attack, your stamina is slowly chipped away at, and this is a drawback you want to prioritize minimizing! With all these important details in mind, let’s get on with ranking all the Greatshields in Dark Souls 3!

Twin Dragon Greatshield

Coming at you as the first entry in my list of Dark Souls 3 Best Greatshields, The Twin Dragon Greatshield is the second lightest Greatshield in the game, lagging behind only the Ancient Dragon Greatshield by a slight difference of 0.5 units. Furthermore, as one can infer, it also prides itself in having the lowest strength requirements to properly wield, making it your go-to greatshield if you’re unwilling to invest too much into strength. This, coupled with the fact that it can be obtained very early in the game makes it a very beginner-friendly greatshield to work with. However, that is as far as its advantages go – it suffers as a greatshield for not being able to achieve 100% physical damage absorption, meaning that blocking incoming attacks will cost you both stamina and a little bit of your HP. Therefore, due to its decent overall elemental defense, I only see it as a useful greatshield for sorcerers who can frequently buff it with Magic Shield.

Upgrade

In Dark Souls 3, the Twin Dragon Greatshield requires 16 strength to wield, a pretty easy requirement to meet early game. Furthermore, it comes with a natural scaling of D in strength which can be improved due to the fact that it has the capability of undergoing infusions and buffs. Apart from your standard +10 titanite reinforcement, I would recommend having it undergo either a heavy infusion (via heavy gem) or a sharp infusion (via sharp gem). At these two infusions, it achieves a physical attack of 196 as well as a scaling of C in both strength and dexterity respectively.

Dark Souls 3 Twin Dragon Greatshield
Presenting, the lightest Greatshield in the game!

Weapon Art

The Twin Dragon Greatshield comes with the Shield Bash weapon art instead of parry since this is a greatshield – you can’t really swing it like a small shield. Regardless, upon activation, your player will bash this shield into your enemy, knocking them back and throwing them into a staggering animation. However, it’s not invincible as using this weapon art while confronting a flurry of attacks will only get you stunlocked, so good timing is crucial.

Location

Found in the Road of Sacrifices, on a corpse in the swampy area past the halfway Fortress bonfire.

Ancient Dragon Greatshield

The Ancient Dragon Greatshield boasts about the fact that it is the lightest greatshield in my list of Dark Souls 3 Greatshields and can be wielded by just about anyone due to its significantly low and affordable stat requirements, particularly in strength. However, much like the Twin Dragon Greatshield, it suffers from being unable to provide its wielder with 100% physical damage absorption, draining you of both your stamina and HP the moment you block an incoming attack. While its overall defense is the poorest in the lot (providing only an average block of 52%), its only redeeming quality, which puts it above the Twin Dragon Greatshield on my list of Dark Souls 3 Best Greatshields, is that it grants the wielder a passive regeneration buff of 2 HP per second; almost as if you have the Sun Princess Ring equipped. What’s more is that this passive regeneration, even in its base form, rivals that of a fully reinforced, blessed gem infused weapon – so if you’re the kind of player looking to make a regen build with decent defensive capability, the Ancient Dragn Greatshield would suit you.

Upgrade

The Ancient Dragon Greatshield comes with a stat requirement equal to that of the foregoing Twin Dragon Greatshield .i.e 16 strength. Furthermore, it similarly has a natural strength scaling of D-tier, which unfortunately can’t be improved through reinforcement, save for infusions since this is one of the few weapons in the game that can be buffed but not infused. Regardless, as far as the upgrade path for this greatshield is concerned, simply reinforcing it to +5 with Twinkling Titanite is the most you can do. Other than that, I would recommend running Magic Shield or Great Magic Shield with it to make the most of its capabilities.

Dark Souls 3 Ancient Dragon Greatshield
Could this shield be referring to the Ancient Dragon from Dark Souls 2?

Weapon Art

The Ancient Dragon Greatshield is one of those few shields that don’t come with a unique weapon art of their own but allow the wielder to use other weapon arts. In other words, having equipped this greatshield in your left hand allows you to activate the weapon art of your right hand weapon, regardless of what it is. Do keep in mind that you will activate your right hand weapon’s weapon art regardless of whether or you’re in a blocking/guarding stance or not.

Location

Found in the menacing area of Archdragon Peak – make your way to the entrance fog gate of the Ancient Wyvern’s boss battle, but don’t go in. You’ll see a series of Giant Man Serpents in the area beforehand; the Ancient Dragon Greatshield will be found behind the first one standing on top of an archway.

Greatshield of Glory

The Greatshield of Glory, if you pay close attention, is a reference to the Drakekeepers from Dark Souls 3. Easter egg aside, this greatshield has a lot of great defensive qualities to it. First and foremost, it brags about having the highest stability stat (85 when fully upgraded) on my list of Dark Souls 3 Greatshields, to the point where buffing it with Magic Shield raises its stability to a whopping 100, where stamina reduction literally goes to zero. Keeping this mind, players in PvP usually tank all sorts of incoming attacks with this shield until their opponent exhausts their stamina, after which they are free to punish them in whatever way they like. However, the biggest downside of this shield, which is why it doesn’t rank that high in list of Dark Souls 3 Greatshields, is the cost of using it – not only does it require 40 strength to use, but equipping it brings down your stamina regeneration by 20%. What this means is that, unless you have 100 stability, opponents can exploit your low stamina regeneration by buffing theirs and winning the inevitable battle of attrition.

Upgrade

The Greatshield of Glory comes with a heavy stat investment of 40 strength, blowing the Ancient Dragon Greatshield out of the water. Furthermore, much like the Ancient Dragon Greatshield, it comes with a natural scaling of D in strength, which also unfortunately can’t be improved through either reinforcement or infusions. Apart from being unable to undergo infusions, unlike its predecessor on this list, it also can not be buffed. Therefore, the most upgradability you can do on this weapon is simply fully reinforcing it with Twinkling Titanite and rocking Magic Shield or Great Magic Shield wherever you go to keep its stability at bay.

Weapon Art

In Dark Souls 3, the Greatshield of Glory comes with the Shield Bash weapon art instead of parry since this is a greatshield – you can’t really swing it like a small shield. Regardless, upon activation, your player will bash this shield into your enemy, knocking them back and throwing them into a staggering animation. However, it’s not invincible as using this weapon art while confronting a flurry of attacks will only get you stunlocked, so good timing is crucial.

Dark Souls 3 Greatshield of Glory
The Greatshield of Glory stats in full view!

Location

Obtained in the Profaned Capital area by killing a mimic – make your way to the entrance fog gate of the Yhorm the Giant’s boss battle, but don’t go in. Instead, turn right into the treasury room where you’ll find a chest, which in reality is actually the mimic you need to kill.

Curse Ward Greatshield

The Curse Ward Greatshield has quite a bit of history behind – anyone who’s played Dark Souls 2 will find it to look similar, if not congruent, to the Pursuer’s Greatshield, which was also identically described as a curse-resisting shield. Dark Souls lore aside, the Curse Ward Greatshield, chronologically, is actually the first greatshield you will obtain (without farming, might I add) in your playthrough that is capable of providing 100% physical damage absorption.

Furthermore, what really puts it above the preceding three greatshields on my list of Dark Souls 3 Best Greatshields is that it excels in terms of overall elemental resistance, particularly Dark (as implied in its name). However, where it pales in comparison to all the greatshields that follow is its weight to stability ratio – despite weighing a whopping 17.0 units, the Curse Ward Greatshield only peaks at 70 stability (from its base stability of 66), which is even lower than the foregoing Greatshield of Glory. Therefore, if you’re looking for an entry-level greatshield that provides decent elemental resistance and 100% physical damage absorption, you sort of can equip the Curse Ward Greatshield, but do swap it out for something better later down the line.

Upgrade

In Dark Souls 3, the Curse Ward Greatshield’s stat requirements are a little more forgiving than the preceding Greatshield of Glory, demanding only 34 strength off your character and rewarding you with only a D scaling in strength. Much like the Greatshield of Glory, its scaling can not be improved as it is devoid of any capability of undergoing buffs or infusions, and can only be reinforced with titanite. Hence, the most you can do on this weapon is simply fully reinforcing it with Titanite and have Magic Shield or Great Magic Shield equipped wherever you go.

Dark Souls 3 Curse Ward Greatshield
Could the Curse Ward Greatshield’s unique geometry be what grants it curse resistance?

Weapon Art

The Curse Ward Greatshield is one of those few shields that don’t come with a unique weapon art of their own but allow the wielder to use other weapon arts. In other words, having equipped this greatshield in your left hand allows you to activate the weapon art of your right hand weapon, regardless of what it is. Do keep in mind that you will activate your right hand weapon’s weapon art regardless of whether or you’re in a blocking/guarding stance or not.

Location

The Curse Ward Greatshield is found in the Cathedral of the Deep. Make your way to the graveyard outside the second bonfire, and follow along until you come across two doors, in the front of which you will spot a body deceased in a mausoleum. The Curse Ward Greatshield is on this very corpse.

Bonewheel Shield

The Bonewheel Shield, from the looks of it, is a giant wheel crafted from wood instead of bones as one may expect from its nomenclature. Furthermore, its exterior is lined with spikes and the shield itself is found half-melded to certain skeletons, known as Bonewheel Skeletons, in the catacombs. It is one of the most unique greatshields in the game, as it defines the laws of nature and brags about its offensive aptitude in comparison to its defensive capabilities for a number of reasons – is this even a shield?

Yes, it is, not even trolling. Coming at you as one of the best greatshields in Dark Souls 3, the Bonewheel Shield, albeit having 100% physical damage absorption, lacks some serious stability. As such, it proves to be much useful on the offensive as not only does bashing with it inflicts considerably damage, but its unique weapon art is also capable of damaging several enemies in quick succession. You’ll learn to appreciate it more once you encounter those annoying Bonewheel Skeletons.

Upgrade

The Bonewheel Shield requires 30 strength and 10 dexterity to wield, not that different from those 40 strength demanding greatshields, right? Moreover, despite its relatively lighter dexterity requirements, it only comes with a natural strength scaling of D. On the bright side though, while it cannot be buffed, it can most certainly be infused on top of titanite reinforcement. So after fully reinforcing it to +10, you should either infuse it with a heavy gem for a heavy infusion (bumps strength scaling to B-tier) or go for a quality build and infuse it with a refined gem for achieving a B-tier scaling in dexterity as well. Whatever you do, don’t do any sharp infusions as it doesn’t affect any kind of scaling at all!

Dark Souls 3 Bonewheel Shield
Maybe now you can appreciate the Bonewheel Shield’s unique design!

Weapon Art

The Bonewheel Shield comes with its own unique weapon art (which you have probably seen enemies using it bring out) called Wheel of Fate. It is exactly what you think it’s like – you thrust the wheel out and spin it vigorously, where its dangerous geometry does the work for you and shreds opposing enemies. Do bear in mind that the full combo counts as 3 strikes, where the damage of each strike scales with weapon damage as well as infusions – now imagine using this deadly weapon art with a bleed build! Lastly, you can still use this weapon art even with no FP, except that it’ll require 33% more stamina and do 33% less damage – use it only when necessary!

Location

The Bonewheel Shield is seen equipped by Bonewheel Skeletons, meaning killing them drops you this shield. Bonewheel Skeletons are found in the Catacombs of Carthus and Smouldering Lake, where you’ll have to farm them – just be wary of their rolling attackings as they are very, very annoying!

Wolf Knight’s Greatshield

The Wolf Knight’s Greatshield (also recognized as the Artorias Greatshield in Dark Souls 3 by fans) is similar to the Curse Ward Greatshield in a sense that it provides 100% physical damage absorption on top of allowing the wielder to use the weapon art of any other weapon equipped. However, where it excels the Curse Ward Greatshield and ranks higher than it on my list of the Best Greatshields in Dark Souls 3, is its weight to stability ratio, making it the best greatshield per weight in Dark Souls 3 as well. The Wolf Knight’s Greatshield is not only 6.0 units lighter (being the third lightest greatshield in its category), but comes with a base stability of 67 that peaks at 71 if fully reinforced.

Additionally, this greatshield comes with a unique property that sets it apart from its brethren – and that is that it increases the wielders resistance to status effects (bleed, poison, frost, and curse) by a whopping 50. However, while it provides plenty of auxiliary resistance, it lacks viable elemental defense, especially against Lightning. So, on that note, if you’re fighting bosses like the Nameless King, Dragonslayer Armour, Soul of Cinder, Slave Knight Gael or Halflight, Spear of the Church, you’re better off swapping out for another greatshield.

Upgrade

The Wolf Knight’s Greatshield requires you to invest 30 strength so that you may use it properly, even wielding it in one hand. Additionally, it comes with a natural scaling of D in strength, not a surprise. What’s more is that while it can be buffed and reinforced with Twinkling Titanite, it sadly can not be infused. Therefore, as far as upgradability is concerned, simply reinforced it to +5 and carry Magic Shield or Great Magic Shield around with you to make the most of this greatshield.

Dark Souls 3 Wolf Knight’s Greatshield
No Artorias cosplay is complete without the Wolf Knight’s Greatshield!

Weapon Art

The Wolf Knight’s Greatshield is one of those few shields that don’t come with a unique weapon art of their own but allow the wielder to use other weapon arts. In other words, having equipped this greatshield in your left hand allows you to activate the weapon art of your right hand weapon, regardless of what it is. Do keep in mind that you will activate your right hand weapon’s weapon art regardless of whether or you’re in a blocking/guarding stance or not.

Location

Obtaining this greatshield is slightly more tedious and unique in nature in comparison to other greatshields on this list. First, you’ll need to join the Watchdogs of Farron covenant located in Farron Keep. Then, you’ll need to reach rank 2 in order to be awarded the Wolf Knight’s Greatshield – this is done by giving the Old Wolf obtained Wolf’s Blood Swordgrass, acquired from beating enemies you have been summoned via the Covenant Emblem. To reach rank 2 specifically, you need to reach rank 1 with 10 Wolf’s Blood Swordgrass, and then rank 2 with 30 Wolf’s Blood Swordgrass.

Black Iron Greatshield

The Black Iron Greatshield makes its appearance yet again in Dark Souls 3, initially being wielded by Black Iron Tarkus from Dark Souls 1. Furthermore, it is the first greatshield on this list that highly specialized and can be upgraded to outperform everything else in particular situations. In this case specifically, the Black Iron Greatshield can be fully reinforced and infused with a fire gem to achieve a whopping 99.6% fire defense, makes it one of the Best Greatshields in Dark Souls 3.

Other than that, this, coupled with its respectable weight to stability ratio and ability to absorb 100% of incoming physical damage, makes it very ideal for dealing with a wide range of enemies. These include ads ranging from those annoying hollows who like to throw firebombs and exploding bolts to bosses such as the Old Demon King, Demon Prince and Lorian, Elder Prince that thrive off fire damage. Lastly, the only major setback with this greatshield is that similar to the preceding Wolf Knight’s Greatshield, it is very weak to Lightning and should be swapped out in certain boss fights.

Upgrade

The Black Iron Greatshield requires only 32 strength to properly wield and comes with a natural D scaling in it. Furthermore, unlike a few greatshields on this list, it is capable of undergoing both infusions and buffs, apart from titanite reinforcement. While there are a wide array of options as far as infusions are concerned, I would recommend a fire infusion with a fire gem as it achieves 99.6% fire defense this way. While there are other somewhat viable options, I believe a fire infusion does wonders in bringing out this greatshield’s true potential – don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself!

Dark Souls 3 Black Iron Greatshield
If you found this shield familiar – yes, it’s from Dark Souls 1!

Weapon Art

The Black Iron Greatshield comes with the Shield Bash weapon art instead of parry since this is a greatshield – you can’t really swing it like a small shield. Regardless, upon activation, your player will bash this shield into your enemy, knocking them back and throwing them into a staggering animation. However, it’s not invincible as using this weapon art while confronting a flurry of attacks will only get you stunlocked, so good timing is crucial.

Location

In Dark Souls 3, the Black Iron Greatshield is dropped from Knight Slayer Tsorig, not astonishing. To find him, go to plains below the Smouldering Lake. Go past the area with those annoying rats and frog-like creatures and you should encounter him right before the exit that goes up to the ballista.

Cathedral Knight Greatshield

The Cathedral Knight Greatshield is very similar to the foregoing Black Iron Greatshield in a sense that it is highly specialized in warding off a particular form of elemental damage i.e dark. At +10 reinforcement along with an infusion with a deep gem, the Cathedral Knight Greatshield accomplished 99.6% dark defence.

Furthermore, what puts it above the Black Iron Greatshield in my list of Dark Souls 3 Greatshields is the fact that it possess some of the best weight to stability ratios in the game, peaking at 75 with just 15.5 units of weight. Moreover, apart from possessing 100% physical damage absorption, this awesome greatshield is obtained very early in the game, making it the best entry level greatshield for players looking to protect themselves from physical attacks.

Also, let’s not forget its high dark defense, which makes it the ideal pick for going up against bosses like the Deacons of the Deep, High Lord Wolnir, Sister Friede and of course, the menacing Darkeater Midir. Lastly, it’s only drawback, as is the case with most specialized shields, is its poor non-Dark elemental absorption, meaning you’ll have to swap it out for other greatshields at certain occasions.

Upgrade

In Dark Souls 3, the Cathedral Knight Greatshield, much like the preceding farBlack Iron Greatshield, requires 32 strength to proper wield in one hand. Other than that, it naturally comes with a similar strength scaling of D-tier. Yet another similarity with the foregoing Black Iron Greatshield is its capability to undergo buffs and infusions apart from titanite reinforcement. However, while the former specializes in fire defense, this bad boy excels in dark defense, which is why I would highly recommend either having it go through a dark infusion via dark gem (achieving 91 dark defense) or a deep infusion via deep gem (achieving 99 defense). Anything else and you would be underutilizing this greatshield – mark my words!

Dark Souls 3 Cathedral Knight Greatshield
What could the phoenix emblem imprinted on the front of the shield mean?

Weapon Art

The Cathedral Knight Greatshield comes with the Shield Bash weapon art instead of parry since this is a greatshield – you can’t really swing it like a small shield. Regardless, upon activation, your player will bash this shield into your enemy, knocking them back and throwing them into a staggering animation. However, it’s not invincible as using this weapon art while confronting a flurry of attacks will only get you stunlocked, so impeccable timing is crucial.

Location

The Cathedral Knight Greatshield is dropped from Cathedral Knights, which although have two different variations, all share the same shield in their off-hand. You can find crossbow and mace-wielding Cathedral Knights in the Cathedral of the Deep as well as just mace-wielding Consumed King’s Knights (just Cathedral Knights under Oceiros’s spell) in the Consumed King’s Garden.

Moaning Shield

The Moaning Shield is similar to the Greatshield of Glory in a sense that it is the second best greatshield on my list of Dark Souls 3 Best Greatshields in terms of stability. The Moaning Shield provides you with a base stability of 77 which can be upped to a whopping 82 through reinforcement – moreover, with a buff like Magic Shield, the greatshield achieves its highest possible stability, to the point that no amount of incoming melee attacks can affect your stamina.

It is said that at this point, it can take on the full impact of Ledo’s Great Hammer, and that’s a feat very few greatshields are able to achieve. Additionally, while the Moaning shield has high magic and lightning resistance, it all comes at a cost of 50 strength, which is actually the highest strength requirement posed by any greatshield on this list of Dark Souls 3 Best Greatshields. Last but not least, it comes with a very unique weapon that can attract nearby enemies and enable you to crush them in a single blow with a decent crowd-controlling weapon, but more on that shortly!

Upgrade

The Moaning Shield sets itself apart by having the highest stat requirements out of every other greatshield – 50 strength, yet its natural scaling with strength is only a D-tier. Additionally, it can not be infused, but does allow being buffed with Magic Shield or Great Magic Shield. However, while it can not be infused, it does uniquely achieve a C-tier scaling in strength upon being max reinforced to +5 with Twinkling Titanite, where it also accomplishes a stability of 82!

Dark Souls 3 Moaning Shield
The Moaning Shield in all its glory!

Weapon Art

The Moaning Shield, much like its unique name and design, also harbors a unique weapon art, moan. Upon activation, your player will actually offer a prayer to the woman imprinted on the shield, after which the woman will give out a low moan. What’s special about this moan is that not only does it increase enemy aggro for the next half a minute, but also draws enemy’s focus away from others – this is particularly useful in multiplayer. Lastly, the weapon art itself has hyper armor so don’t expect to be staggered during its animation that easily.

Location

The Moaning Shield is dropped from killing the Eygon of Carim, an NPC you encounter in the Undead Settlement. However, if you don’t want to kill him, the game eventually will – if you complete Irina of Carim’s questline, you will find the Moaning Shield on his deceased body in Irina’s cell located in the Undead Settlement.

Lothric Knight Greatshield

The Lothric Knight Greatshield is actually the first available greatshield you can get in the game, either through a reasonable purchase or heavy farming, but more on that alter. However, despite its early availability, it requires a relatively high strength investment, making it tedious to use early game, even if you try to outsmart the requirement by solely two-handing the shield.

Regardless, as far as its stats are concerned, the Lothric Knight Greatshield is quite formidable and easily ranks pretty high up in my list. It has everything you generally need – 100% physical damage absorption, solid weight to stability ratio and an average block of 73.2%. Lastly, while its elemental defenses are decent, it stands out by having the highest magic absorption out of all shields, not just greatshields, in Dark Souls 3, rivalling the likes of the Havel’s Greatshield.

Therefore, you should use this when fighting bosses such as the Crystal Sage, Pontiff Sulyvahn, Lothric, Younger Prince, Soul of Cinder, Oceiros the Consumed King, Sister Friede and Aldrich Devourer of Gods. Other than that, you should swap it out against enemy lightning damage sources as lightning is the only area of resistance it falls short in.

Upgrade

The Lothric Knight Greatshield, unlike the Moaning Shield, comes with a relatively light stat requirement of 36 strenght (which is a lot in its own right by all means) on top of a natural D scaling in strength. Moreover, it has the fortunate capability of being infused or buffed whenever, as well as titanite reinforcement. As far as build fitting is concerned, I would recommend infusing it with a heavy gem to achieve a heavy infusion, as it allows it to reach a B-scaling on top 77 stability.

Dark Souls 3 Lothric Knight Greatshield
The holy emblem imprinted on the front of the shield really goes to show that it belongs to Lothric Knights.

Weapon Art

The Lothric Knight Greatshield comes with the Shield Bash weapon art instead of parry since this is a greatshield – you can’t really swing it like a small shield. Regardless, upon activation, your player will bash this shield into your enemy, knocking them back and throwing them into a staggering animation. However, it’s not invincible as using this weapon art while confronting a flurry of attacks will only get you stunlocked, so good timing is crucial.

Location

The Lothric Knight Greatshield is dropped from Lothric Knights found wielding this shield all across the world Dark Souls 3. But if you’re not up for the grind, you can also buy this off Greirat after he returns from scavenging Irithyll of the Boreal Valley, or off the Shrine Handmaid if given Greirat’s Ashes if he dies after pillaging the Undead Settlement.

Stone Greatshield

The past couple entires on my list were mostly related to highly specialized greatshields that performed exceptionally in certain circumstances. Now, however, it is time to talk about something different: a well-rounded efficient greatshield that is often called a jack-of-all-trades. Moreover, the Stone Greatshield provides its wielder with an average block of almost 80%, a sight that is rarely seen in the case of averagely heavy greatshields – this greatshield weighs only 18.0 units mind you.

Being one of the Best Greatshields in Dark Souls 3, this bad boy makes a name for itself through its high defensive stats that are balanced all across the board. If you’re the kind of player who seeks a greatshield that is not high specialized like the Cathedral Knight Greatshield and its exceptional dark defense, the Lothric Knight Greatshield and its exceptional magic defense or the Black Iron Greatshield and its exceptional fire defense, the Stone Greatshield will gladly do just that for you!

Upgrade

The Stone Greatshield comes with a hefty stat investment of 38 strength, which is complimented simply by a natural scaling of D in said attribute. However, this scaling can be improved thanks to the fact that it can undergo infusions, apart buffs. Hence, after fully upgrading it to +10 with titanite, simply move onto either infusing it with a heavy gem for a heavy infusion which bumps its strength scaling to B, or go for a quality build with a refined infusion (via refined gem), which adds another layer of D-tier dexterity scaling. My personal recommendation would be to stick to a pure strength build because you’re already investing 38 strength just to wield the thing.

Dark Souls 3 Stone Greatshield
This is what Captain America would wield if he was a vegetarian, am I right?

Weapon Art

The Stone Greatshield comes with the Shield Bash weapon art instead of parry since this is a greatshield – you can’t really swing it like a small shield. Regardless, upon activation, your player will bash this shield into your enemy, knocking them back and throwing them into a staggering animation. However, it’s not invincible as using this weapon art while confronting a flurry of attacks will only get you stunlocked, so good timing is crucial.

Location

In Dark Souls 3, the Stone Greatshield drops from the Elder Ghru enemies found in Farron Keep. Here’s a protip: make your way to the Keep Ruins bonfire and solely farm the three Elder Ghru’s near the bridge before returning to the bonfire. Repetition leads to success!

Dragonslayer Greatshield

Moving into the top five, the Dragonslayer Greatshield is the fifth Best Greatshield in Dark Souls 3 in my opinion. It is exceptionally sturdy, as is evident from its weapon, and will never disappoint during the course of your playthrough. Furthermore, on top of having an average block of 82%, as far as elemental defense is concerned, it has the highest resistance to lightning out of all other greatshields. This is why it fares much better than a lot of highly specialized greatshields (that suffer from subpar lightning resistance), making it extremely useful is boss fights such as against the Nameless King, Dragonslayer Armour (obviously), Soul of Cinder, Slave Knight Gael and Halflight, Spear of the Church to name a few.

However, nothing amazing comes for free – the Dragonslayer Greatshield requires 38 strength to wield and weighs just 2.0 units less than the Havel Greatshield, the heaviest Greatshield in the game, which speaks for itself. Last but not least, it suffers from having a relatively poor weight to stability raito, peaking at only 79 stability while it weighs 26.0.

Upgrade

In Dark Souls 3, the Dragonslayer Greatshield, similar to the Stone Greatshield, requires 38 strength to properly wield in one hand. Furthermore, it comes with a natural scaling of D in strength, which can not be improved due to its inability to undergo infusions. However, apart from fully reinforcing it to +5 with Titanite Scales, don’t forget that this weapon does support buffing – so attune a Great Magic Shield or just a simple Magic Shield spell to make the most of this greatshield.

Dark Souls 3 Dragonslayer Greatshield
The Dragonslayer Armour is one of the coolest bosses in Dark Souls 3!

Weapon Art

The Dragonslayer Greatshield comes with the Shield Bash weapon art instead of parry since this is a greatshield – you can’t really swing it like a small shield. Regardless, upon activation, your player will bash this shield into your enemy, knocking them back and throwing them into a staggering animation. However, it’s not invincible as using this weapon art while confronting a flurry of attacks will only get you stunlocked, so good timing is crucial.

Location

Acquired by Soul Transposition of the Soul of Dragonslayer Armour at Ludleth of Courtland in Firelink Shrine. It is obtained after beating the Dragonslayer Armour boss in Lothric Castle, or more specifically after the Dragon Barracks bonfire. He is a very formidable boss that uses lightning attacks mostly, so prepare accordingly!

Yhorm’s Greatshield

In Dark Souls 3, Yhorm’s Greatshield is a well-rounded titan similar to the Stone Greatshield that exhibits exceptional stats all across the board. In particular, it provides an average block of almost 78%, which, coupled with its peak stability of 78, allows its wielder to face tank most attacks with little to no elemental chip damage.

On the other hand, however, what discourages players using this weapon is its massive strength requirement, which in my opinion, is more than made up for by its amazing stats. Let’s not also forget the quirky property that is harnessed by Yhorm’s Greatshield which makes it one of the Best Greatshields in Dark Souls 3 – it increases the player’s poise by 15% while wielded.

This trait is found only on one other item in the game (Lothric Knight Long Spear), but regardless, giving bonus poise means that it complements really well with ultra-tier weapons that are known for their high hyper armor. Your opponents will regret wanting to exchange blows with you after you smash their skull in with that epic ultra greatsword in your back pocket.

Upgrade

Yhorm’s Greatshield demands 40 strength off anyone who seeks to wield it, but rewards them with a D scaling in strength. Additionally, similar to the Dragonslayer Greatshield, it can not be infused but can be buffed for some reason. Regardless, I’d give you similar advice and implore you to reinforce it fully to +5 with Titanite scales and generally rock the Great Magic Shield or Magic Shield sorcery at all times.

Dark Souls 3 Yhorm’s Greatshield
This is a lot bigger than it looks, considering a giant wielded it once…

Weapon Art

The Yhorm’s Greatshield comes with the Shield Bash weapon art instead of parry since this is a greatshield – you can’t really swing it like a small shield. Regardless, upon activation, your player will bash this shield into your enemy, knocking them back and throwing them into a staggering animation. However, it’s not invincible as using this weapon art while confronting a flurry of attacks will only get you stunlocked, so good timing is crucial.

Location

Acquired by Soul Transposition of the Soul of Yhorm the Giant at Ludleth of Courtland in Firelink Shrine. It is obtained after beating the Yhorm the Giant boss in the Profaned Capital – he is a very formidable opponent that hits like a truck.

Dragonhead Greatshield

The Dragonhead Greatshield, considered to be one of the best greatshields in Dark Souls 3 for PvE, is similar to the Bonewheel Shield in a sense that is very unique (I mean, just look at it) and is meant to be used in more offensive ways as opposed to defensive.

This is because its defensive capabilities are subpar, almost as if FromSoftware wants you to use it offensively – it has only 66% average block, terrible weight to stability ratio (64 peak stability whilst weighing 18.0 units) and very weak against lightning and mediocre at best against magic and dark damage.

The only defensive stat it can really boast about is its fire defense, sitting at a whopping 90%, but that’s naturally due to its strong ties with the Archdragon. However, what makes it trump the 13 other greatshields is its weapon art, Dragon Roar, which not only knocks back nearby enemies, but also grants the wielder effects similar to Perseverance. This increases the poise of your player and the hyper armour of your weapon – but more on that later!

Upgrade

The Dragonhead Greatshield comes with a solid stat requirement of 35 strength and offers a natural scaling of D in it. Furthermore, while it can not be infused, it can be buffed only with Magic Shield and Great Magic Shield conveniently. Keeping this in mind, I would recommend fully reinforcing it to +5 with titanite scale and using those two sorceries whenever you can to capitalize off the limited properties of this shield.

Dark Souls 3 Dragonhead Greatshield
The Dragon Roar weapon art in full swing!

Weapon Art

The Dragonhead Greatshield comes with a rather unique weapon art of its own, known as Dragon Roar. Upon activation, the greatshield will execute a powerful roar that will not only stagger nearby opponents but also give you Perseverance for the next 6 seconds. Do keep in mind that it is very important you meet the stat requirements of this shield as without it, you will trigger only the Perseverance and not the stagger effect.

Location

The Dragonhead Greatshield is located underneath the bridge where you first encounter the scary Darkeater Midir near the Ringed City Streets Bonfire. Don’t forget that this item will be guarded by a Ringed Knight, so getting it won’t be a piece of cake!

Havel’s Greatshield

In Dark Souls 3, Havel’s Greatshield is something any Dark Souls veteran would recognize – afterall, it has been the fact of the greatshield class all across the Dark Souls trilogy. It stands out as the second Best Greatshields in Dark Souls 3 due to its extreme defensive capabilities when it comes to both physical and elemental damage. Coming at you with 86% average block, the Havel Greatshield exhibits the highest average block in the game, to the point that one may even call it an “Ultra Shield”.

Additionally, a fully upgraded Havel’s Greatshield won’t yield to anything, being able to dismiss any flurry of attacks while losing negligible stamina per hit and “suffering” from little to no chip damage from elemental threats. However, as you may have expected, all of this comes at a cost of being the heaviest, most dense greatshield, weighing 28.0 units with a whopping 80 peak stability. Last but not least, the Havel’s Greatshield has not lost its special technique since Dark Souls 1, which now serves as its weapon art – Iron Flesh!

Upgrade

The Havel’s Greatshield, being the third heaviest greatshield, decently behind the Moaning Shield, unsurprisingly requires 40 strength to wield and much like the rest, greets its wielders with a natural scaling of D in strength. Furthermore, much like the Dragonhead Greatshield, it can not be infused but can be buffed, albeit with a lot more spells than just Great Magic Shield and Magic Shield. Regardless, as far as upgrading this icon is concerned, the most you can do is reinforce to +5 with Twinkling Titanite.

Dark Souls 3 Havel’s Greatshield
Can you imagine the equipment load on this sigma male?

Weapon Art

Havel’s Greatshield is known across the Dark Souls timeline for its special ability, Stone Flesh, which has been adapted as its weapon art in this game. Costing 16 FP per utilization, this weapon art literally turns your body into something as hard as stone – it’s like the Iron Flesh pyromancy steroids. Stone Flesh is most effective when you have no heavy armor on, where you achieve a bonus of 40% in physical damage absorption at the cost of 60% less lightning damage absorption.

Location

As Dark Souls veteran may have expected, the Havel’s Greatshield is dropped by none other than Havel the Rock himself. He is found in Archdragon Peak – make your way down the staircase from the Great Belfry bonfire, skipping past the large central courtyard until you reach a ladder. On top of the ladder will be Havel, standing menacingly next to a dead wyvern – so badass!

Giant Door Shield

Some players may be surprised that there exists a Greatshield that exists the infamous Havel’s Greatshielld – yes, the Giant Door Shield does, in my opinion, trump the fan-favorite titan as the best of the Best Greatshields in Dark Souls 3. As far as defensive capabilities go, the Giant Door Shield is a two-piece shield that features two towering shields, to the point that it would be reasonable to classify them as “paired greatshields”. Furthermore, what makes this greatshield the best for PvP in Dark Souls 3, is  it comes with its own offensive short-ranged moveset that enables the player to legitimately fight. Additionally, one can also expect the Giant Door Shield to utilize block frames and hyper armor during attacks, inflicting damage on your opponent in unexpected ways.

What’s more is that it cannot be parried – I mean, how are you going to parry a shield? Enemies should think twice when attacking you as its attack animations are nearly impossible to interrupt, and any attempt at making it a battle of attrition will be futile due to its remarkable stability. However, at the cost of using such an unconventional weapon, one must expend massive amounts of strength and vitality to keep up with its stamina consumption.

Upgrade

The Giant Shield comes with a heavy, yet fair stat requirement of 45 strength, more than the Havel’s Shield but less than the Moaning Shield. Furthermore, it is the one and only greatshield on this list which naturally comes with a C scaling in strength. Moreover, completely opposite to the Havel’s Shield, it supports infusions but not buffs, on top of titanite reinforcement.

This shield is very versatile when it comes to build fitting, as it achieves an A scaling in strength with a heavy infusion (via heavy gem), as well as in dexterity with a sharp infusion (via sharp gem). Although, as you may have expected, I recommend a pure strength build for this one as you’re already investing 45 strength just to use it….

Dark Souls 3 Giant Door Shield
The Giant Door Shield – nothing can get past these bad boys!

Weapon Art

The Giant Shield comes with its own unique weapon art known as Lockout, something only it can pull off on this list. Upon activated, the two “doors” are shut tight infront of the wielder, increasing stability, where all incoming attacks that come in contact with this barrier are effortlessly negated. From here, you can also either go for light attack where you unleash a multi-hit, stunlocking charge that does solid damage, or a heavy attack where you anchor your defensive position and become stationary. This weapon art, in particular, requires decent skill to properly utilize!

Location

The Giant Shield is found in the Dreg Heap, an area in The Ringed City. Make your way to the Earthen Peak Ruin bonfire and proceed to the next area – you’ll fight a couple thralls in this area while being rained down upon by Angels. Avoid them until you reach the bottom of the cliff, and you’ll be rewarded with this thing of beauty!

Dark Souls 3 Greatshields FAQ

What is the lightest greatshield in Dark Souls 3?

In Dark Souls 3, the Ancient Dragon Greatshield is the lightest greatshield, weighing in at 6.5 units, though the Twin Dragon Greatshield isn’t that heavy either, coming at you with 7.0 units of weight. If you’re looking for a lightweight greatshield that gets the job done, I’d recommend the Ancient Dragon Greatshield as I’ve ranked it just a little higher!

Can you kick greatshields in Dark Souls 3?

Yes, you can kick greatshields in Dark Souls 3, but should you? No, because a perfectly landed kick will hardly make a difference and trying to get enough perfect kicks in to stagger your opponent is nothing short of counter-intuitive. 

Can you parry with a greatshield in Dark Souls 3?

No, you can not parry with a greatshield – greatshields by nature are very heavy pieces of equipment and the thought of parrying with something that heavy is pretty unrealistic. 

How do you fight against a greatshield in Dark Souls 3?

First, you can use a pierce weapon like Heysel Pick, Warpick, Man serpent Hatchet, Great Corvian Scythe and Harpe amongst other to inflict free chip damage to anyone who tries to hug their greatshield a little too much.

What weapons should I use with a greatshield?

Generally, you should opt for light to medium weapons as they are not that heavy to wield and don’t make you fat roll. Greatshields are typically heavy, making weight-management very crucial – but if you want to make a full Havel Monster kind of build, you can go for some heavy weapons, but will need to invest into Vitality to increase your max equipment load stat.

Why does no one use Yhorm’s Greatshield?

Yhorm’s Greatshield is a very demanding greatshield which, despite its high requirements and weight, I still think is a very viable greatshield in Dark Souls 3. Albeit, at the same time, I can see why people would want to avoid using a shield such as this at the cost of soul transposing Yhorm’s Great Machete which is an amazing weapon in it of itself.

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