[Top 10] D&D Best Shields To Use

Although shields will sometimes take a backseat to swords regarding flash or fun, they are important to have on-hand (literally!) to defend and protect against attacks during encounters.

Through research and gameplay, I have discovered ten of the best shields to use in your next D&D 5e encounter! Keep reading to find out more about them and why they are the best!

10. Adamantine Shield

Starting this list is the Adamantine Shield. (Can you say that three times in a row?) Adamantine literally means “unbreakable”. Made from adamant, electrum, and silver, the Adamantine Shield is black in color, although it can glow bright green in candlelight.  Read more to find out why Adamantine Shields are great to use in battle!

Why Adamantine Shield Is Great

  • Because of the durability and hardness of the material, Adamantine is as effective as a magical shield. 
  • Drow elves favor Adamantine, and in the Forgotten Realms campaign, this substance is commonly mined in the Greypeak Mountains. 
  • This shield would make an excellent backstory for a campaign. 

Adamantine Shield details

  • The cost of Adamantine is 100 gp per pound, although pricing per armor is up to the Dungeon Master’s (DM) discretion. 
  • An Adamantine Shield has an advantage because of its durability; it would be virtually unbreakable in battle. (Again, this is up to the DM.) 

9. Animated Shield

Next on the list is an Animated Shield! This is a terrific one to possess! It is a very rare shield that is hands free for up to a minute or if the Player Character (PC) is incapacitated. Basically, the shield moves in front of the PC while they are battling. Read on to find out more about this shield!

Why Animated Shield Is Great

  • Having a hands-free shield to use in combat is like having a third arm! This is effective if you are defending against several opponents. 
  • Wielding the Animated Shield automatically increases your Armor Class (AC) by 2. 

Animated Shield details:

  • Both an attunement and command word are required to activate the Animated Shield. 
  • The Animated Shield is valuable, as the price commands 6,000 gp! 
  • Animated Shields are created out of wood or metal.

8. Arrow-Catching Shield

The Arrow-Catching Shield is another wonderful magical shield to have! According to the Dungeon Master’s Guide, “whenever an attacker makes a ranged attack against a target within five feet of you, you can use your reaction to become the target of the attack instead.”  Read on to find out more about the awesome Arrow-Catching Shield!

Why Arrow-Catching Shield Is Great 

  • This shield provides a lot of protection against ranged attacks!
  • There are two bonuses: the normal Armor Class (AC) protection, and then +2 against ranged attacks. 
  • Unlike other shields that provide protection from close range and hand to hand encounters, this is a good one to have in long-range combat. 

Arrow-Catching Shield details: 

  • Considered as a rare item, the Arrow-Catching Shield requires an attunement. 
  • A command word is used to activate or deactivate the shield. 
  • Like other magical shields, this one is valuable and is worth 5,000 gp. 

7. Sentinel Shield

The Sentinel Shield literally has its eye on you! The Dungeon Master’s Guide states that “the shield is emblazoned with a symbol of an eye.” When wielding the Sentinel Shield, the PC will have an added +2 to AC, which is always helpful in battle, especially in close range combat. Read on to learn more about the Sentinel Shield!

Why Sentinel Shield Is Great

  • Whoever wields the shield will have an advantage when rolling for initiative. 
  • Due to its value, this is a great shield for DMs to use as a plot device. 
  • Also, there is an advantage with Wisdom (Perception) checks. This is useful when entering a venue and preparing for an encounter. 

Sentinel Shield details:

  • The Sentinel Shield is quite valuable, as it is worth 20,000 gp! 
  • The shield is lightweight, as it weighs only six pounds.
  • This item is considered Uncommon. 

6. Shield +3

This shield is considered  Very Rare. Magical shields are made from wood or metal, and PCs can only use one shield at a time to reap the benefits. Shields are particularly helpful to players who play spellcasters, because spellcasters cannot wear heavy armor, and can use one hand to hold the shield and the other hand to cast spells. Read on to find out more about why the Shield +3 is great to use in battle!

Why Shield +3 is Great

  • This shield will give the wielder +3 to AC in addition to the normal protection a shield provides. 
  • The Shield +3 can be great for the DM to reward the party after a difficult encounter, or to have it planted somewhere for the party to find before facing the end of an adventure.

Shield +3 details:

  • This shield is quite valuable as it can be worth anywhere from 9,000 gp to 20,000 gp.
  • Shields, including magical shields, are typically made out of metal or wood. 
  • The Shield +3 is lightweight, weighing only 6 pounds. 

5. Shield of Far Sight

The creation of the Shield of Far Sight is a bit macabre, but it is D&D after all! These rare shields are created by cunning mind flayers; they use an eye from an intelligent being and magically affixes it on a normal shield. There are benefits to both the wielder of the shield and the mind flayer who created it.  Read on to find out more about this unique shield!

Why Shield of Far Sight Is Great

  • The shield gives the wielder +2 to armor class. 
  • This shield is more beneficial to the mind flayer, as it can see psionically through the shield. The mind flayer will have darkvision and can use Mind Blast on targets. 
  • This would be great for the DM to have in the game as a plot device to see what happens to the PC who uses it. 

Shield of Far Sight details:

  • If the shield is destroyed, the mind flayer that created it will be blinded for a short time. 
  • Weighing only six pounds, the weight of the Shield of Far Sight is light and can be carried easily. 

4. Shield of the Hidden Lord

This legendary shield is both beautiful and frightening to behold, created from mithral, and designed with ornate gems to form the countenance of a beast. This shield may be found in the specific campaigns (Baldur’s Gate and Sword Coast). Read on to find out more about the Shield of the Hidden Lord!

Why Shield of the Hidden Lord Is Great

  • There is an association with the shield and a demigod named Gargauth. Apparently, Gargauth’s spirit is trapped in the shield like a prison. 
  • This shield would be great for the DM to use as a plot device! 
  • The shield is +4, protects against long range weapons, and allows the wielder to understand languages. 

Shield of the Hidden Lord details:

  • This is a cursed shield, so Gargauth may attempt to escape his prison and control the PC. (The wielder of this shield should have high Charisma to resist the charms of Gargauth.) 
  • The shield also provides fire resistance.

3. Shield of Missile Attraction

The Shield of Missile Attraction is a double-edged sword because it provides both a blessing and a curse to the lucky PC who wields it.  According to the Dungeon Master’s Guide, “removing the shield fails to end the curse on you. Whenever a ranged weapon attack is made against a target within 10 feet of you, the curse causes you to become the target instead.”  Read on to find out more about the benefits and the blights of this shield!

Why Shield of Missile Attraction Is Great

  • This would be great for the DM to use as a plot device and to see how the person who uses the shield deals with the curse! 
  • Although the PC would be the target of the attacks, there is resistance to damage caused by them. 

Shield of Missile Attraction details:

  • The curse can only be removed by magic; a remove curse or something similar should do the trick! 
  • An attunement is required to activate the shield; the attunement also activates the curse. 
  • This shield is valuable and costs 5,000 gp.

2. Shield of the Uven Rune  

This very rare shield, created from the scale of an ancient white dragon, contains a lot of magical benefits to the wielder. According to 5etools.html, “A character who examines the rune and succeeds on a DC 20 Intelligence (History) Check recognizes it as an “uven” (enemy in Giant) that confers great power.” Read more to find out the attributes of this magical shield!

Why Shield of Uven Rune Is Great

  • The wielder of the shield has immunity to cold damage (probably because it is made from a white dragon). 
  • The PC using the shield can inflict necrotic damage on opponents. 
  • This shield also allows the wielder to cast a Bane spell. 

Shield of Uven Rune details:

  • This shield is lightweight, only weighing 6 pounds. 
  • If the lucky PC who has the item wishes, they can transfer power from the shield to a non magical weapon. 
  • The Shield of Uven Rune requires an attunement before using.

1. Spellguard Shield

One of the absolute best magical shields is last on the list! The Spellguard Shield is great to use against differing types of spellcasters. The fortunate PC wielding this shield will gain an advantage on saving throws versus spells and other magical attacks. Read on to find out why the Spellguard Shield is among the best shields to have!

Why Spellguard Shield Is Great

  • When using this shield, casters will attack with a disadvantage, which is good if you are against a higher level spellcaster! 
  • This is a great shield to award a party at the end of an adventure or campaign! 
  • Using the Spellguard Shield will increase AC.

Spellguard Shield details: 

  • This shield is valuable; in fact, it is worth approximately 60,000 gp! 
  • The Spellguard Shield is considered as very rare. 
  • To use the shield, an attunement is required.


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As a Pokemon Trainer by day and a bard or cleric by night, I enjoy the spoken and written word by candlelight.
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