Best Shields in Dark Souls 2: The Ultimate Ranking

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Quite often in the Dark Souls franchise when you’re fighting an enemy, it’s considered a good idea to either dodge their attacks, or hide behind something.

While the tools that help you dodge are limited, there’s a vast sea of shields to choose and hide behind (depending on your situation)!

Shields are divided into the three categories: small, standard, and greatshields.

Small shields usually provide the least amount of defensive bonuses, but also have barely any requirements, are very light, and sometimes make your parries better.

Standard shields are the bread and butter of Dark Souls. They have great defenses, a higher stability, and any build can pick up even the best standard shield with minimal stat investment.

Greatshields are the big baddies of the shield family, rocking the best physical and elemental resistances, and the highest stability. You’ll often need a lot of points in strength to wield one, and their substantial weight might take a toll on your rolls.

Since there are a lot of shields (74 to be exact), and ranking all of them would make for a huge article, I’ve handpicked the top 10 worth using. And I’ll be trying to present a few from every category.


10. Transgressor’s Leather Shield

Dark Souls 2 Transgressor’s Leather Shield screenshot

First in our list we’ve got a small situational shield that may come in handy during your travels.

The Transgressor’s Leather Shield, when infused with dark, has 100% damage reduction against dark attacks, such as hexes.

It requires just 7 strength, and its weight is 3, which means it can be used by everyone that needs protection against the dark arts!

How to get: Sold by Chancellor Wellager.


9. Drangleic Shield

Dark Souls 2 Drangleic Shield screenshot

The Drangleic Shield might be the earliest and easiest shield to get, with 100% physical damage reduction.

It’s very useful at the start, when most of the enemies you’ll come across only use physical attacks

Later on it gets outclassed by a couple other standard shields, and most greatshields. But it’s strong enough to carry you through the better part of your first playthrough.

Originally I had the Defender’s Shield at this spot, but decided to showcase a shield for the early game instead.

How to get: Found on a corpse after the Pursuer bossfight (the one with the ballistas).


8. Blossom Kite Shield

Dark Souls 2 Blossom Kite Shield screenshot

There’s a couple of reasons to use the Blossom Kite Shield.

One reason is its relatively high poison and bleed resistances, which get 100% and close to it respectively after an infusion.

The other reason is its “stamina recovery” passive effect, which can be taken advantage of even while two-handing your weapon.

You can’t just equip it and swap it out for something else though – it has to either be on your hand or on your back!

How to get: Sinner’s Rise, found in the flooded area in the first room to your left.


7. Cleric’s Small Shield

Dark Souls 2 Cleric’s Small Shield screenshot

Hmm, why is a shield with average stats this high on our list?

Parry frames of course!

The Cleric’s Small Shield is an unconventional shield, used mostly for its extended animations, making it easier to catch a parry.

Other small shields such as the Buckler or the Target Shield share the shame animations, but the Cleric’s Small Shield has better stats and can parry spells too.

Quite handy!

How to get: Treasure, found in the same room as Cromwell the Pardoner.


6. Drakekeeper’s Shield

Dark Souls 2 Drakekeeper’s Shield screenshot

As a straight upgrade over the Drangleic Shield, the Drakekeeper’s shield has incredible resistances all across the board.

It’s a very versatile choice that can go up against any enemy in the game.

Players may prefer this over some of the heavier shields further up the rankings, since it only requires 17 strength.

The one bad aspect of it is getting it, because it only drops from a single enemy in the entire game.

How to get: Dropped by sword and shield wearing Drakekeepers.


5. Gyrm Greatshield

Dark Souls 2 Gyrm Greatshield screenshot

The first greatshield in our ranking here is the Gyrm Greatshield.

Without any infusions whatsoever, this dwarven greatshield reaches full protection against physical and fire attacks, making it very useful against a wide variety of enemies (such as dragons).

A greatshield is usually a synonym of high stability, big strength requirements, and a heavy weight, and this is the case with the Gyrm Greatshield as well.

How to get: Dropped by Gyrm Warriors.


4. Llewellyn Shield

Dark Souls 2 Llewellyn Shield screenshot

Part of the description of this shield reads “A masterpiece of the great blacksmith Llewellyn”.

And I agree with that.

The Llewellyn Shield triumphs over the competition in its category thanks to its amazing resistances, and lightweight properties!

It’s a very strong pick with minimal requirements that most starting classes achieve by just existing.

How to get: Dropped by Stone Soldiers.


3. Old Knight’s Shield

Dark Souls 2 Old Knight’s Shield screenshot

Another one in the series of “Drangleic Shield, but better” the Old Knight’s Shield is almost identical to the Drakekeeper’s Shield in many aspects.

But I chose to rank it higher for a few reasons.

Aside from the miniscule increase in defenses and stability, the Old Knight’s Shield reacts way better to infusions than its competitors, making it a solid option against any enemy.

The only problem you might face is durability related.

If your shield keeps breaking frequently, I’d suggest using the Drakekeeper’s one instead.

How to get: Dropped by sword and shield carrying Old Knights and the Aurous Knight dark spirit in No-Man’s Wharf (only spawns at 2+ bonfire intensity)


2. Rebel’s Greatshield

Dark Souls 2 Rebel’s Greatshield screenshot

Our semifinalist is a greatshield that’ll protect you against all attacks except physical.

Mathematically speaking, the Rebel’s Greatshield has the most amount of total resistances out of any shield, having over 90% reduction to any element (except dark which ends up at 88%, big whoop), with the ability to push them to 100% with any infusion!

Its one flaw is its physical protection, which only reaches 77% (still, not the worst!)

It can also be very useful in PvP battles, where you can never truly know what you’ll be up against.

How to get: Behind the iron key door before the Last Giant. Alternatively jump down the salamander pit from the Cardinal Tower bonfire.


1. Havel’s Greatshield

Dark Souls 2 Havel’s Greatshield screenshot

To no one’s surprise, the Havel’s Greatshield claims yet another victory.

It’s no coincidence that the name “Havel” became a synonym with “Tank” in the Dark Souls lingo.

For the low-low requirement of 45 strength, in return this greatshield will make sure that nothing scratches you ever again.

Infusion will barely impact the stats of this shield superstar, while boosting your defenses against anything that you may find challenging.

Against other players, having a magic-infused version will make any spellcaster cry.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again:

This truly is the “Easy Mode” of Dark Souls!

How to get: Found in the Gutter, behind the forgotten key door.

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