The BEST Parrying Shield Dark Souls 3 [Expert Picks]

I have played more than 100+ hours in Dark Souls 3 and these are the best parrying shields in my opinion!

About The Author

Ehtishaam is a hard-core Dark Souls 3 fan, having spent 100+ hours in the game. You can trust his information related to the armors in Dark Souls 3!

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.

In Dark Souls 3, shields play a crucial role in a player’s defense and combat strategy. They can block attacks, protect vulnerable areas, and some can even parry enemy attacks.

Frame Data Courtesy: Dark Souls 3 Wiki

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.

Key Takeaways

  • Parrying is a technique in Dark Souls 3 that enables players to deflect enemy attacks and create an opportunity for a critical strike.
  • The success rate of parrying is influenced by the parry frames, which determine the timing for a successful parry.
  • The most effective tools for parrying are designated parry shields,  designed specifically for parrying, which have the highest number of parry frames.
  • There are three distinct shield classes, and small shields are the best for parrying due to their lightweight and extended parry frames.
  • The three best small parrying shields in Dark Souls 3 are the Buckler Shield, Target Shield, and Small Leather Shield.
  • The Buckler Shield is the lightest option and has the lowest stamina cost, while the Target Shield offers a balanced approach, and the Small Leather Shield has the shortest parry animation time.
  • These parrying shields can be obtained from specific locations, purchased from vendors, or obtained as starting equipment.

Best Parrying Shields Stats 

Here is a comparison table of my best Parrying Shields in Dark Souls 3 . Each stat can be sorted to view the highest and lowest values, which has been done for your convenience:

NoShieldsAwarded forPhysical AttackPhysical DefenceMagical AttackMagical DefenceFire AttackFire DefenceLight AttackLight DefenceDark AttackDark DefenceCritical AttackCritical DefenceFocus CostDurability
1Buckler ShieldBest Low-Stamina Parrying Shield.6749-35-30-11-28100--30
2Target ShieldBest Parrying Shield for Physical Blocking.6961.0-36.0-31.0-12.0-29.0100--40
3Small Leather ShieldBest Low-Strength Parrying Shield.7042.0-42.0-50.0-38.0-35.0100--55
4Iron Round ShieldBest Parrying Shield for Quick Recovery.7167.0-44.0-38.0-19.0-36.0100--55

Related Article: How to Parry in Dark Souls 3

Here are some key points about shields in Dark Souls 3:

  1. Variety of Shields: Dark Souls 3 offers a wide variety of shields with different attributes and abilities. Some are better suited for blocking, while others excel at parrying or even offensive maneuvers.
  2. Finding Shields: Shields can be found at specific locations in the game world, often inside chests or dropped as loot by enemies. Players can also start the game with a shield as part of their initial equipment.
  3. Shield Classes: Shields are categorized into three main classes: small shields, medium shields, and great shields. Each class has its own strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Parrying Shields: Some small shields in Dark Souls 3 are particularly suitable for parrying due to their lightweight and extended parry frames. Parrying is a skillful technique that can be used to deflect enemy attacks and create opportunities for counter-attacks.
  5. Shield Durability: Shields have durability, and they can break if they endure too much damage. It’s important to manage the durability of your shield and repair it when necessary.
  6. Offensive Use: Some shields in Dark Souls 3 can be used offensively, with swing attacks or counter moves. These shields can provide versatility in combat.
Parrying Shield
Parrying Shield in Action

1. Buckler Shield

Best Low-Stamina Parrying Shield.
dark souls 3 best shield for parry
“A very small round metal shield. It features a large central protrusion designed for parrying attacks.” – Dark Souls 3
Weapon TypeSmall Shield
Wgt. 1.5
Attack typeStrike
Focus Cost-

Buckler Sheild Stats Table.

Why Did I Choose Buckler Shield?

The Buckler Shield is a small and lightweight parrying shield, and it also has the lowest stamina cost for parrying among the various shields.

Bucker Shield 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.

Moreover, the 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 Strength and 13 Dexterity to wield making it a bit harder for some classes to wield.

  • Lightweight and infusable.
  • Has the lowest stamina cost for parrying.
  • Suitable for players who are experienced in parrying.

  • It isn’t easy to wield for certain classes.

2. Target Shield

Best Parrying Shield for Physical Blocking.
dark souls 3 best parry shield
“A small, round metal shield. The four distinctive protrusions are designed to brush attacks aside, making it ideal for parrying.” – Dark Souls 3
Weapon TypeSmall Shield
Wgt. 2.0
Attack typeStrike
Focus Cost-

Target Shield Stats Table.

Why Did I Choose Target Shield?

The Target Shield is an extension of the Buckler Shield, not in terms of design but also attributes. It possesses the highest stability and physical blocking capabilities among the parrying shields.

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.

  • Has the highest stability.
  • Considerably better attributes than the Buckler Shield.
  • Also possesses physical blocking capabilities.

  • Can be difficult to wield, as it requires both Strength and Dexterity attributes.

3. Small Leather Shield

Best Low-Strength Parrying Shield.
best shield for parrying dark souls 3
“A small, leather-covered round shield. It features a large central protrusion designed for parrying attacks.” – Dark Souls 3
Weapon TypeSmall Shield
Wgt. 2.0
Attack typeStrike
Focus Cost-

Small Leather Shield Stats Table.

Why Did I Choose Small Leather Shield?

The Small Leather Shield isn’t as strong or effective as the other shields in my guide, but it is ideal for players with a sorcerer build and low strength, since it requires only a small amount of Strength.

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 except 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.

  • Has an extended parry window.
  • Best for players with low strength.
  • Can be easily obtained.

  • Consumes a high amount of stamina.

Similar Article: Dark Souls 3 Best Classes

4. Iron Round Shield

Best Parrying Shield for Quick Recovery.
dark souls 3 best shield for parry
“An orthodox, round small shield made from metal.” -Dark Souls 3
Weapon TypeSmall Shield
Wgt. 2.0
Attack typeStrike
Focus Cost-

Iron Round Shield Stats Table. 

Why Did I Choose Iron Round Shield?

The Iron Round Shield requires a very small amount of Strength stats, and it is easily obtainable when you start playing Dark Souls 3. Plus, it enables you to go on the offensive after recovering quickly.

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 Thief class or it can be dropped by enemies in Lothric Castle.

  • Obtained at the start of the game.
  • Best for players with low strength.
  • Allows for faster recovery times.

  • Less effective against elemental damage.

Related Reads: Dark Souls 3 Best Strength Weapons

Why Others Were Not Chosen

Small Shields

  • Red and White Shield: Not suitable for blocking and has low stability.
  • Elkhorn Round Shield: Offers poor stability and low absorption.
  • Hawkwood’s Shield: It can be quite difficult to wield, and doesn’t have remarkable attributes.
  • Caduceus Round Shield: Has a low block rate and low stability.
  • Crimson Parma: Not very effective against block attacks.
  • Leather Shield: Has low stability and is ineffective against block attacks.
  • Sacred Bloom Shield (can parry spells): Cannot be infused and has terrible stability.
  • Llewellyn Shield: Not suitable for deflecting lightning attacks.
  • Golden Falcon Shield: Possesses average damage block and low stability.

Standard Shields

  • Sunset Shield: Average block capabilities and unimpressive attributes.
  • Kite Shield: Quite expensive and has low stability.
  • Crest Shield: Provides normal deflection and a normal parry speed.
  • Grass Crest Shield: Cannot be infused, and has poor damage blocking.
  • Dragon Crest Shield: Has less impressive attributes as compared to Black Knight Shield.
  • East-West Shield: Possesses low stability and low attributes.
  • Blue Wooden Shield: Has poor physical damage absorption.
  • Knight Shield: It has moderate attributes, but is a temporary choice until better shields come along.
  • Silver Knight Shield: Can’t be infused, and has low stability.

What Would I Recommend?

Now that I’ve highlighted some of the best parrying shields and their strengths and weaknesses, you’d be waiting for my recommendation. While the choice of parrying shield varies according to your preference, as well as your starting class, weapons, etc., you can never go wrong with the Small Leather Shield, which is easiest to equip among all the shields.


Which is the best parrying shield out of the three mentioned?

When it comes to the best parrying shield – 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 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.

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