Best Greatshields in Dark Souls Remastered (All Ranked)This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Unlike the later installments of Dark Souls, DS1 is a very block-focused game, with shield use actually being a viable strategy.
So for the player that wants to go full turtle-mode, greatshields are your best bet.
As the name might suggest, greatshields are the beefiest shields capable of shirking off even the mightiest of blows – and keeping you healthy in the process.
But which ones are the best?
For this list we’ll be ranking them all – from bottom-of-the-barrel to top-tier.
9. Cleansing Greatshield
Don’t let the fact that it’s at the bottom of this list fool you.
This greatshield is actually pretty good.
In fact, there are basically no bad greatshields in DS1!
It is, however, outclassed in basically every scenario, and obtained pretty late-game.
With only 80% physical absorption and lower stability than most, the cleansing certainly isn’t the best choice if you know what to expect.
Where it shines, however, is going in blind – as its very high elemental blocks across the board makes it great at blocking any type of damage.
How to get: Rescue Sif from the chasm of the abyss.
8. Eagle Shield
Contrary to its DS3 variant, the Eagle Shield is a very serviceable choice for low strength/endurance characters.
With a near-perfect physical block of 95%, this shield is a great lightweight option for players that want a bit more blocking power.
It’s so low on the list because of its sub-par elemental defenses, however. So against some enemies it won’t help a ton.
How to get: Found in the rafters of Blighttown, near the first bonfire.
7. Tower Shield
The hulking tower shield isn’t a bad choice by any means.
But much like the cleansing greatshield, it’s outclassed in what it does.
And what it ‘does’ is block fire very well – reaching 75%!
As well as a perfect 100% on physical damage.
However its stability isn’t the best until +15, and it’s very hard to get early-game. So it sits quite far down our list here.
How to get: Dropped by tower knights and sold by the crestfallen merchant.
6. Bonewheel Shield
This meme weapon is actually incredibly strong in DS1.
While it may not be the best shield for blocking (90% physical, bad elemental), it’s an extremely effective weapon.
In fact, a lightning infused +5 bonewheel shield does crazy amounts of damage – and has heightened lightning block to go with it.
This can make it a pretty great choice against certain enemies or players, and a very viable choice for shield-only runs.
How to get: Very rare drop from the dreaded wheel skeletons.
5. Giant Shield
The aptly named giant shield is a rarely seen choice. But that’s likely because of its most glaring flaw:
It’s just a bit boring.
It has great blocking with 100% physical and 75% fire and lightning, but it’s a bit lacking in magic defense and stability.
And severely lacking in flair!
While it’s a bit plain Jane, it’s very serviceable, and will compliment any high-defense build well during the mid-game.
How to get: Sold by the giant blacksmith.
4. Black Iron Greatshield
The black iron is something of a Dark Souls staple, and is the fire-defense greatshield of the series.
With a whopping 90% fire block, this weapon makes a mockery of pyromancers, dragons, and any other flame-wielding foe!
Its stability is also great at +15, although like the tower shield, is slightly weak during early reinforcements.
But you won’t catch me saying anything else bad about it. Because I don’t want to insult my boy Tarkus.
How to get: Found on Tarkus’ corpse in the painting room of Anor Londo. RIP.
3. Stone Greatshield
It might be surprising seeing the Stone Greatshield so high, as it doesn’t seem to particularly excel at anything.
But because of how early you can get it, it’s actually one of my favorite greatshields.
Acquirable as early as darkroot garden, the Stone Greatshield has fantastic stability, 100% physical block, and huge magic block as well as decent fire defenses.
For the stage in the game that it’s available, this is likely one of the best, and will comfortably get you through to the top-tier choices.
How to get: Very rare drop from the stone knights in darkroot.
2. Greatshield of Artorias
The shield of Artorias is a totally unique shield unlike any other, capable of blocking status effect build-up.
And on top of this, it has the highest stability of any greatshield in the entire game!
I may not be the biggest fan of Artorias. But even I cannot deny the strength of this piece of gear.
Against purely physical foes it is 100% the best choice. But its low elemental percentages mean you might be better off switching against the more magically-inclined.
How to get: Ascend a +10 shield with the soul of Sif.
1. Havel’s Greatshield
Havel’s Greatshield is as much of a monster here as it is in DS3 – if not more so!
With sky-high defenses of 100% physical, 90% magical, and 80% fire/lightning, there’s precious little that will chip through this monolithic shields blocks.
And that’s not all it has. There’s a trick up its sleeve!
Pressing L2 (R2 in the main-hand) will trigger a stoneskin buff that lasts 30 seconds.
This buff heavily increases your poise and causes enemies to stagger when they hit you.
And unlike its DS3 counterpart or the pyromancy ‘iron flesh’, this buff doesn’t even make you slow!
Throw this bad boy on and tank to your heart’s content.
Once you have it you’ll need nothing else.
How to get: Found in one of the chests behind the illusory wall fireplace in Anor Londo.