DS2: The Best Parry Tools (And How To Get Them)

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Parry: to ward off a weapon or blow…and in the case of Dark Souls, get the chance to immediately counterattack/riposte for huge damage.

Still, even when parrying an enemy is highly beneficial, many players often go through entire playthroughs parrying only a few enemies – or in some cases none at all, choosing to go with their trusty shield instead.

That’s because most of the time, failing a parry rewards you with a nice sword to the face – promptly followed by the infamousYOU DIED” screen if your health was low enough.

I’ll admit it, parrying isn’t the easiest thing to get in the rhythm of. Especially since the game barely explains anything regarding parry-frames, animations, and all the stuff that matters.

But join me, little hollow, as we look at some of the best parrying tools to face your opponents and fumble their attacks with.

We’ll make a man out of you!


Brief Parry Overview

Let me preface this ranking by explaining things a bit further (briefly).

When your character performs a parrying animation, it’s actually broken down into 3 different phases called Startup, Active, and Recovery.

The startup phase is the time it takes for your character to perform the parry from the moment you press the button.

The active phase is the time frame that you’re eligible to ward off the opponent’s attack and open them up for a riposte.

Lastly, should you fail your parry, the recovery phase is the time your character takes to finish the animation.

Because each weapon and shield category has its own unique phases and timings, it really comes down to a personal preference on what the “best” parrying item is.

Regardless, I’m going to list some of what I consider to be the top tools for you to try out, starting with…


3. Monastery Scimitar

Monastery Scimitar from Dark Souls 2 screenshot

Yes, the Monastery Scimitar.

Fun fact: this used to be way stronger, but it got slightly nerfed because of its ubiquitous use.

The Monastery Scimitar’s noteworthy attribute is its startup phase, which is the fastest in the game (at least from what I can see).

So if you’re looking to catch a quick one, I definitely recommend giving this a shot.

How to get: Dropped by Painting Guardian Phantoms.


2. Parrying Dagger

Parrying Dagger from Dark Souls 2 screenshot

Wouldn’t it be funny if the “Parrying Dagger” was terrible at parrying?

This little blade is give-or-take the same thing as the aforementioned scimitar, though this one leaves you exposed for less time due to its shorter recovery frames.

In a pinch, you can even use it to give someone a papercut!

How to get: Treasure in Lost Bastille, dropped by Parasite Spiders.


1. Buckler

Buckler from Dark Souls 2 screenshot

Aaaand our number one spot goes out to the buckler – and basically every single small shield in existence as well.

Small shields have the largest active phase, making it far easier to catch a parry while using one of them, compared to anything else.

Even then, small shields are divided further into even more categories, with some of them having a bigger startup phase than others.

In our case, the Buckler and the Target Shield (which are essentially the same item) both come in first and share the crown for S tier parry equipment – all thanks to their very generous parrying window.

How to get: Treasure in the Forest of the Fallen Giants, found before the ladder to the Cardinal Tower.

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