Best Shields in Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

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Shields in FF12 are fantastic supplements to less offensive character builds.

And there are a few shields in particular that standout as suitable replacements to the two-handed fighting power that you’re giving up to use them.

So if you’re looking to add a shield into your more defensive character builds, here are the best ones in the game to help you decide which ones to use.


10. Venetian Shield

Venetian Shield render from FF12

The Venetian Shield has admittedly great stats (the most well-rounded of all but the two ultimate shields).

But its innate weakness to lightning damage makes it hard to justify using without the immunity of a Rubber Suit or the Diamond Armlet.

At the point you’re able to acquire this shield, you’ll really have to consider whether all you’re sacrificing to use it is worth it or not.

How to Get: Try to get it out of a treasure chest in Cerobi Steppe’s Northsward region with a Diamond Armlet equipped.


9. Dragon Shield

Dragon Shield FF12 render

The Dragon Shield gives immunity to the Earth element – which sounds way better than it is.

Very few enemies use Earth-based attacks. But those that do are countered heavily by this shield.

More than that, it doesn’t sacrifice any of its defensive ability to achieve this.

So it’s worth picking up for its stats alone.

How to Get: Find in the Broken Sands region of the Dalmasca Estersands, or buy it in the Mosphoran Highwaste.


8. Shell Shield

Shell Shield render from FF12

Now we’re getting into effect buffs. And more specifically, the Shell Shield gives a permanent Shell buff while equipped – which reduces magic damage taken by a third, and halves the success rate of status effects.

Best of all, the shield is acquirable early on when you’re not likely to have many reliable ways to cure those annoying statuses.

So its preventative nature will save you and your Gil at least a few times.

How to Get: It’s a guaranteed reward from the Wyvern Lord hunt, which will pop up on a board by the time you get to the Ogir-Yensa Sandsea if you’ve been keeping up with them.


7. Aegis Shield

Aegis Shield FF12 render preview

The Aegis Shield has the best magic evasion of any FF12 shield besides the Gendarme, while still being somewhat reasonable to acquire.

Paired with other evasion boosting gear, it’ll give you ample opportunities to attack, cast, or buff against any magically inclined foe.

How to Get: Another Cerobi Steppe treasure chest grind, this time at the Crossfield (with the Diamond Armlet equipped). Alternatively, it’s a reward from the Vyraal hunt, and is also available for purchase if you give Blok on the Phon Coast 15 Rare Game trophies.


6. Flame Shield

Flame Shield FF12 render

Unlike Earth attacks, Fire and Ice based attacks will be quite common throughout your adventures in Ivalice.

So the Flame Shield and Ice Shield are useful to hang onto through most of the game.

How to Get: Buy at Eruyt Village or Mt. Bur-Omisace. It’s also obtainable at Henne Mines on your first trip.


5. Ice Shield

Ice Shield render in FF12

Basically just as useful as the Flame Shield.

But the reason the Ice version wins out in ranking is because it’s available a bit earlier on.

And if we’re going to suggest specific gear here, the best stuff should be at least sorta practical to acquire.

How to Get: Treasure chest in Raithwall’s Tomb – Southfall Passage or buy it at Jahara.


4. Ensanguined Shield

Ensanguined Shield FF12 render

Easily one of the biggest losers in the FF12 remake, because it was by far the best shield in the original…

But the Ensanguined Shield is now vastly overshadowed by the Zodiac Escutcheon – which is more or less its counterpart – because of the status ailments it inflicts onto its wearer (at least in The Zodiac Age version of the game).

Much like the Venetian Shield, steps have to be taken to get any good use out of the Ensanguined at all.

However, it is possible to do so with the proper setup – and the Ensanguined Shield allows the user to dodge nearly every physical attack with its massive 90 base evasion. So it’s pretty good.

It’s also possible to acquire it somewhat early on compared to other endgame shields.

What this means is that you could easily build a super tank character before any truly difficult boss fights, utilizing the Ensanguined Shield against primarily physical attackers, and one of the elemental or Shell shields against magic.

Which in the end makes this worth getting if you’re a true connoisseur of the sword and board.

How to Get: Go ahead and pick it up once you’re able to access the Necrohol of Nabudis. It’s in the Cloister of the Highborn and has a low chance of spawning, but if you find the chest, the shield is guaranteed.


3. Demon Shield

Demon Shield FF12 render

The Demon Shield allows its wielder to absorb Dark elemental attacks.

This trivializes encounters with Dark-wielding creatures, and even allows you to heal by casting Dark spells of your own.

There’s also equipment that allows physical attackers to deal Dark damage. So if you usually rely on a healer in your party compositions, the Demon Shield could open up new strategies without sacrificing the ability to heal.

Its physical evasion is also pretty high, which makes it more than just a gimmick.

How to Get: Steal from Abysteels in Sochen Cave Palace or, if you’re planning on level grinding, you can easily farm the shield and experience from the Abysteels in Henne Mines later on.


2. Zodiac Escutcheon

Zodiac Escutcheon shield in FF12

Realistically, this is the best shield that you’ll be able to acquire in an average playthrough.

And even then, it’s not exactly easy to get.

However, it has incredible stats with no gimmicks – and gives immunity to lightning damage, which is a great bonus against certain bosses.

If you do manage to get your hands on this, you can feel good about your choice in opting to wear a shield.

How to Get: The convenient method is by giving the three bangaa from the Hunt Club quest 10 trophies each and buying it. If you’ve got other plans for that quest (or just don’t want to track down every Rare Game), prepare for a tough boss fight – because this shield only spawns in Sochen Cave Palace’s Hall of the Wroth God, an optional area where you’ll fight the Hell Wyrm.

If you’re able to best it, you can zone in and out of the room until you see a chest opposite the entrance. And that chest will yield the shield.


1. Gendarme

Gendarme chest in FF12 TZA screenshot

This invisible shield is absolutely broken.

With a ridiculous 90 evasion for both physical and magical attacks, you’ll hardly ever get hit.

On the off-chance that you do, it also absorbs every single element.

So instead of taking damage from magic attacks, you’ll be healed.

It trivializes nearly every encounter in the game. So it only makes sense that it’s not available until the very end – and even then, it could take hours upon hours of grinding to find the chest that spawns it.

Even so, if you have the drive and patience to obtain it, cleaning up any loose ends will be a breeze as you watch your party smack away damage with their bare hands…

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that you can obtain multiple Gendarme shields, and any job can use it too.

How to Get: At the top of the Great Crystal, at Crystal Peak, there’s approximately a 1 in 2,000 chance for the treasure chest to both spawn and contain the Gendarme. And make sure you’re wearing a Diamond Armlet.

But if you’re looking for a kinda more sure-fire way to get the shield, check out this tutorial video.

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