Best Greatshields in Dark Souls 3 (All Ranked)

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For the shield-lovers, greatshields are the complete package.

They block damage the best, have the highest stability, and can sometimes even have offensive applications!

But which board do you pair with your sword? Look no further – right here I’m going to rank every greatshield!


16. Twin Dragon Greatshield

Twin Dragon Greatshield in Dark Souls 3

Why use a greatshield that doesn’t even have 100% physical block?

The twin dragon is one of the very few greatshields to have this drawback, and the only thing it offers in return is weighing less.

Let’s be honest: we don’t expect a greatshield to be lightweight! And with this many drawbacks in return?

I’ll just level vitality, thanks.

How to get: Looted from a corpse just after the halfway fortress bonfire.


15. Ancient Dragon Greatshield

Ancient Dragon Greatshield in DS3

The other ‘imperfect’ physical defense shield, the ancient dragon sports many of the same drawbacks as the twin dragons.

In return for lower weight, it has bad defenses – not even hitting 50% on any element!

But it at least has a nice passive to make up for it, as it regenerates HP slowly over time.

However, emphasis on slow. At 2 HP per second it’s impossible to justify using over any other choice.

How to get: Looted from a corpse on an arch after the first bonfire in archdragon peak.


14. Greatshield of Glory

Greatshield of Glory from Dark Souls 3

Stamina is nice. Being able to dodge is swell. Not being guard-broken feels good.

If you agree, don’t use this shield.

The glory reduces stamina regen by an insane -20!

In return, it’s the highest stability shield, so you do lose less stamina when blocking.

But when dodging, swinging, or running, the slow regen is still there, and it sucks.

How to get: Dropped by a mimic in the profaned capital.


13. Curse Ward Greatshield

Curse Ward Greatshield Dark Souls 3

It may be surprising to see this shield so low, as it is quite commonly used.

However it has the issue of being a jack-of-all-trades shield that gets trumped out by other general-use options.

It could be a swap-in thanks to possessing the ‘weapon skill’ skill, but outside of this niche there are stronger options.

It also bothers me how the ‘curse ward’ greatshield… doesn’t increase curse resistance?

How to get: Found on an altar near the first short-cut at the cathedral of the deep.


12. Wolf Knight’s Greatshield

Wolf Knight’s Greatshield in DS3

Fanboys rejoice – more Artorias gear!

While the wolf knight shield may not have great average defenses, it looks awesome, and that’s the real end-game.

And unlike the curse ward, it actually improves resistances, granting an extra 50 points of res to every ailment: curse, poison, toxic, and bleed!

But all DS1-loving and fashion-soulsing aside, the shields not good, and should only be used in the very rare scenarios where you want more resistances.

How to get: Rank 2 reward from the watchdogs of Farron covenant.


11. Bonewheel Shield

Bonewheel Shield from Dark Souls 3

So I might get laughed at for putting this shield so far up…

But truth be told, I want to put it higher!

Let me just set the record straight – the bonewheel has bad defenses and sub-par stability for how rare of a drop it is.

But it has great bleed build-up, can be infused with further bleed, and has a blender-mode weapon skill that will proc said bleed on any foe.

You know how I love my luck builds, and there are precious few sights as glorious as watching someone die to a bonewheel shield.

How to get: Dropped by bonewheel skeletons.


10. Cathedral Knight Greatshield

Cathedral Knight Greatshield in DS3

Just like regular shields, greatshields have best-in-slot options against specific elements.

The cathedral knight is one of them- boasting the highest dark defence possible!

It is a niche element to come up against but is the cream-of-the-drop against foes utilizing it.

It’ll see the most application in the DLC’s, such as against sister Friede or in the ringed city’s dreg heap.

How to get: Dropped by hammer-wielding cathedral knights.


9. Black Iron Greatshield

Black Iron Greatshield Dark Souls 3

Next up in the best-against-X line-up, we have the black iron.

This shield possesses the highest fire defense, and should be a go-to against all your pyromancy-using opponents.

In PvE, it’ll be especially good in areas such as the Smouldering Lake and against fiery bosses like the old demon king and demon prince!

Which is convenient, considering where you get it.

How to get: Dropped by knight slayer Tsorig underneath the Smouldering Lake.


8. Lothric Knight Greatshield

Lothric Knight Greatshield from Dark Souls 3

And, finally, we have the Lothric greatshield, with its high magic defense.

Magic damage is likely the most common element you’ll come across, and this shield excels at deflecting it!

It can be acquired nice and early in the game, too, making the crystal sage a cakewalk and helping out against magic-wielding hollows or invaders!

Beyond that, you’ll want to be throwing this on for areas such as the grand archives, and against magic-using bosses like Pontiff Sulyvahn and Aldrich.

How to get: Dropped by Lothric knights wielding it (such as spear knights).


7. Stone Greatshield

Stone Greatshield from Dark Souls 3

The stone greatshield is an unassuming jack-of-all-trades entry which can actually be the best greatshield out there in some situations!

For its comparatively low weight, it possesses an extremely high block average at 78%, and is great against any damage you’ll come across.

For general-use, it’s hard to go wrong here! It is, however, very hard to work into a fashion setup…

How to get: Dropped by elder Ghru in the swamps of Farron.


6. Moaning Shield

Moaning Shield Dark Souls 3

Similar to the stone greatshield, the moaning shield is a general-use entry that just barely beats it out with a 0.2% higher block average.

When compared, it does have slightly less fire and dark resistance, but more magic and lightning.

The real stand-out is the whopping 10 points of extra stability – making it the second highest greatshield in the game – only 3 points behind the glory!

And it doesn’t debuff your stamina regen, either!

How to get: Dropped by Eygon of Carim- who accompanies Irina.


5. Dragonslayer Greatshield

Dragonslayer Greatshield in DS3

One of the two fan-dubbed ‘ultra greatshields’, the dragonslayer is a heavy number.

This massive shield boasts the second highest block average of all the greatshields – particularly excelling at lightning resistance, with a crazy 95%!

It also has a stand-out weapon skill, as its shield bash has block frames and can knock foes down!

Weirdly, despite being literally made to fight dragons, its lowest elemental resistance is fire! So maybe stick to the black iron shield against fire-breathers.

How to get: Transposition with the soul of the dragonslayer armor.


4. Dragonhead Greatshield

Dragonhead Greatshield Dark Souls 3

The dragonhead greatshield is an interesting addition from the ringed city DLC, which possesses insane fire blocking and a unique weapon skill!

Using its weapon skill causes the mounted visage to unleash a faith-scaling roar, which knocks weaker foes off their feet and staggers most other opponents, leaving them open to attack!

It enables fun builds and is effective in close-combat, but its low stability and poor elemental resistances (apart from fire) make it more of a weapon than a shield.

For just blocking, maybe pick a different option.

How to get: Under the bridge where Midir flies overhead breathing fire, just after the swamp in the ringed city.


3. Yhorm’s Greatshield

Yhorm’s Greatshield from Dark Souls 3

Back to basics, Yhorm’s is a great option for high strength builds.

It has great stability and general defenses – only lacking lightning – and has a fantastic passive of +15 poise while equipped!

Wielding this, you’ll be able to trade much more efficiently and block a nice chunk of incoming attacks without sacrificing too much stamina!

How to get: Transposition with the soul of Yhorm.


2. Havel’s Greatshield

Havel’s Greatshield Dark Souls 3

Now the big guns.

Havel’s is the heaviest of all greatshields at a massive 28 units – heavier than a fume UGS!

In return, though, it laughs in the face of every element – with the highest average block of 86%!

If you have the strength and the vitality to use this tank of a shield, you’ll need nothing else.

What’s more, it can be buffed with great magic shield, making it the ultimate blocking machine.

Enemies would have more luck hitting a wall!

How to get: Dropped by Havel, found in archdragon peak.


1. Giant Door Shield

Giant Door Shield from Dark Souls 3

Finally, another surprise addition from the ringed city, the giant door.

The apex predator of greatshields.

I’m sure you’ve seen all the montages and compilation videos of these things utterly destroying people in PvP.

Yep, that’s right – destroying people.

These things are actually a powerhouse of a weapon, with more block frames and hyperarmor than you’ll know what to do with!

This is thanks to the weapon skill ‘lockout’, which has you assume a defensive stance and enable a new moveset of bashes and heaves that’ll make you nigh on invincible and stagger opponents like crazy!

Just… be careful against pyromancers. These wooden doors surprisingly have bad fire resistance.

How to get: Past the earthen peak ruins bonfire, down a path on the cliff ahead. Be careful for the angel!

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Tom ‘Cyresto’ Humphries

A game animator by trade, Tom’s insight into the game development world gives him a strong appreciation for the art form that is video games. Kicking off at the age of 3 with Spyro: Year of the Dragon on the PS1, Tom’s tastes in games has hardened over the 19 years he’s spent playing them. He now lives for the challenge that titles such as Monster Hunter, Dark Souls, Dead Cells, and many more offer him. Enjoying nothing more than a session of number-crunching game data and another platinum trophy on his PlayStation account, Tom is dedicated to leaving no stone unturned in even the most brutal of gaming content.