This is the third installment of the dark fantasy action-adventure RPG video game series by FromSoftware. Dark Souls 3 is a role-playing video game developed by FromSoftware and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The player takes on the role of an undead warrior tasked with relighting the fire by defeating the lords of cinder who refuse to do their duty. The game has been praised for its gameplay design, level design, story, and atmosphere. Due to its RPG nature, the game has many different mechanics and systems with varying depths of complexity. The one system we will discuss in this guide is parrying—specifically the best parrying shield Dark Souls 3.
If you wish to know more about the parrying mechanic in Drak Souls 3, then be sure to check out our guide on the parry mechanic, which goes in-depth and explains the concept very clearly.
Parrying is a technique in Dark Souls III that allows players to divert attacks from enemies. Parrying also can potentially interrupt enemy attack animations and make them vulnerable for a short period allowing you to land a critical strike against them. This skill can be used against most enemy attacks, but it is more effective against fast, lower-damage opponents.
Parrying is dependent on parry frames. These are the frames of animation that allow for a successful parry to take place.
As we can see from this image, the best items to parry with are designated parry shields made with the exclusive purpose of parrying rather than blocking. They contain the highest number of parry shield frames with 12 frames, starting from the 9th frame and lasting till the 20th frame. These allow you much more leniency in timing for parrying enemy strikes. However, some shields are better at this than others, and they are described below in this guide.
Best Parry Shields
Dark Souls 3 best shields are essential pieces of equipment for players to use. They’re a personal item and indicate one’s status and skill. Shield are some of the most challenging things to find in Dark Souls 3 as they come in many different variations and are scattered throughout the world map. Shields can be used to block attacks and protect vulnerable areas, but they can also be used offensively with powerful swing attacks or counter moves. A shield can be broken if you manage to hit it with your weapon or if it is knocked off your back or arms by an enemy attack.
Shields can be found at specific locations by breaking open a chest or slain enemies carrying them or dropping them as loot on their death. The player will also receive a shield as part of their starting equipment if they decide to play without one at first. There are many different types of shields in Dark Souls 3, and some of them can parry enemy attacks. There are three different types of distinct shield classes, and the ones with the ability to parry will be listed in this guide on the best parrying shield Dark Souls 3.
Small shields are not recommended for blocking hits but rather for parrying. This is due to their lightweight and often extended parry frames. Some of these special shields with extended parry frames are shown below.
Bucker Sheild is the most standard-looking type of shield, something quite common in the small shields category. The Buckler Shield weighs only 1.5 making it remarkably light. This shield, in particular, can be bought from Greirat for 2000 souls after he appears in the Shrine. This shield also has the lowest stamina cost for parrying out of all the extended parrying frame shields. It is usually preferred by those who are confident in their parrying ability and want to preserve stamina. This shield requires 7 Strenght and 13 Dexterity to wield making it a bit harder for some classes to wield.
Next up, we have the Target Shield. The design of this shield can be described as ‘the Buckler shield with extra steps.’ It is the same shield but with slightly higher values in all categories. You can acquire this shield by buying it from Greirat for 2500 souls after sending him on an expedition to the Undead Settlement, or you could choose the Assassin Class to begin the game with this shield. However, this shield has the highest stability and physical blocking of among all the three shields with extended parrying frames. Wielding this shield requires 8 Strength and 11 Dexterity however, it could be said that this is the best shield for parrying in Dark Souls 3.
Small Leather Shield
Another shield that can be identified as a parrying shield is the Small Leather Shield which also has the extended parry window. The design of this Parrying shield is the same as the previous two with the exception of the leather-bound on the outside. The way to acquire this shield is to either loot it from a corpse as an item in the Undead Settlement or from the enemies at Archdragon Peak. This is arguably the worst shield among the three light shields to parry with as it consumes the most stamina and does not offer the same physical damage protection as the target shield mentioned previously. This shield also requires the user to have at least 7 Strength which makes it good for anyone going with a sorcerer build with very low strength.
The Iron Round Shield is different from the parry shields discussed beforehand. This Parrying shield in particular has fewer parry frames but faster recovery frames. Let’s say that you miss a parry chance from the enemy and you parry too early. Now normally you would get hit by the enemy attack because you are still in the recovery animation but with this shield, the recovery animation is smaller hence allowing you to go on the offensive again much faster or block the oncoming enemy strike if you react fast enough. This shield has minimal stat requirements with only 5 Strength required to wield. This Parrying shield can be obtained at the start of the game if the player chooses the Theif class or it can be dropped by enemies in Lothric Castle.
Which is the best parrying shield out of the three mentioned?
When it comes to the best parrying shield in Dark Souls 3 – the answer becomes quite subjective and dependent on personal preference. With that being said though the most common answer to this question is the Small Leather Shield. This is because this shield has the lowest requirements out of all the other shields to be equipped hence it is more appealing for players as they will not have to make a point investment to equip a shield.
Which is the best PvP parrying shield?
When talking about PvP we have to take into account the fact that parrying is a telegraphed movement and can be picked up on so we have to work around this and we would want to try to have a shield that can parry but doesn’t have a very obvious sign of initiating the parry animation. In that case, any of the parry shields will work (target, buckler, small leather shield) since they have the best parry frames. However, if you want to block with it occasionally, the Llewellyn shield (small shield) has decent protection, stability, and parry frames although they are worse than the parry shields in terms of frames as described in the guide.