[Top 10] Elden Ring Best Shields and How To Get Them (Ranked Early To Late Game)

Elden Ring best shields
Always equip shields; they always have your back

Are you a fan of shields? If so, which one do you think is the best for your playstyle?

Shields in Elden Ring offer a variety of ways to diversify your build in order to tackle the early game all the way to the endgame. However, even though there were tons of shields introduced in the game, only a handful of them can be truly considered viable throughout your journey in The Lands Between.

If you want to take on the game’s content with a shield in hand, then these top 10 shields are the best for you:


10. Great Turtle Shell

The Great Turtle Shell is exactly as its name implies: the shell of a great turtle. It’s a medium shield that can be grabbed early on in the game. What makes this shield special is that it has a passive effect which adds a slight boost to your stamina recovery by roughly 8%.

Stat-wise, it comes with a 100% physical damage negation when infused with a physical-based affinity, with the exception of Standard. This makes it actually amazing for an early game shield. As it’s a medium shield, it offers a decent balance between defense and weight, though it’s not ideal to use as a parrying shield if that’s what you’re after.

Great Turtle Shell Stats:

  • Physical Damage Negation: 87
  • Magical Damage Negation: 44
  • Fire Damage Negation: 39
  • Light Damage Negation: 43
  • Holy Damage Negation: 46
  • Guard Boost: 49

Why the Great Turtle Shell is Great

  • Offers a 100% damage reduction while blocking
  • Adds a passive bonus to your stamina recovery
  • Can be obtained early on

Great for Early Game: Yes

How to Get Great Turtle Shell:

Can be obtained instead of Castle Morne, near the Castle Morne Rampart site of grace.

See Great Turtle Shell in Action:


9. Brass Shield

If what you’re after is just a shield for good ol’ blocking without having to invest too many points into Endurance, then the Brass Shield could be your best option. It belongs to the same medium shield class as the Great Turtle Shell. However, it doesn’t have anything special going for it, except that it boasts of the highest base Guard Boost among medium shields.

At max upgrade level, it can go up to 69 Guard Boost at Standard affinity. However, you can even take it all the way up to 100 by applying the Barricade Shield ash of war on it activating it to apply a buff that increases its Guard Boost by 40%.

Essentially, you can have an effective Guard Boost of 100% and a 100% physical damage negation. The problem is that farming this one can be a bit of a struggle depending on your RNG.

Brass Shield Stats:

  • Physical Damage Negation: 100
  • Magical Damage Negation: 55
  • Fire Damage Negation: 59
  • Light Damage Negation: 393
  • Holy Damage Negation: 54
  • Guard Boost: 56

Why the Brass Shield is Great

  • Highest base Guard Boost among medium shields
  • Can effectively go up to 100% Guard Boost with the Barricade Shield skill
  • Solid defense without worrying about your weight load

Great for Early Game: Yes

How to Get Brass Shield:

Dropped by Godrick Soldiers and Raya Lucaria Soldiers who are carrying it.

See Brass Shield in Action:


8. Coil Shield

The Coil Shield is a small shield that resembles a snake coiling its body in a circular pattern to form a shield. Compared to the other shields in this list, this one is pretty mediocre in terms of damage negation, only sitting at 65% for physical damage negation. 

Its Guard Boost isn’t great either at only 29 which can go up to 33 at max upgrade level. In a sense, you’re better off using another shield if you’re looking for one with great physical damage negation and guard boost.

What makes it unique, however, is that its Ash of War which is called Viper Bite causes the coiled snake to lunge at your target, causing Poison buildup. In most cases, it can poison targets in a single bite, allowing you to whittle down their health over time.

Coil Shield Stats:

  • Physical Damage Negation: 65
  • Magical Damage Negation: 38
  • Fire Damage Negation: 29
  • Light Damage Negation: 35
  • Holy Damage Negation: 36
  • Guard Boost: 29

Why the Coil Shield is Great

  • Has a unique skill that poisons your targets

Great for Early Game: Yes, but not if you’re planning on carrying a shield for its defensive abilities

How to Get Coil Shield Shield:

Looted from a corpse in Mt. Gelmir, just northeast of the Ninth Mt. Gelmir campsite.

See Coil Shield in Action:


7. Buckler

Similar to the Coiled Shield, the Buckler is not meant to be used for blocking damage, otherwise, you’ll only end up taking a huge chunk of damage if you used it to do so. Instead, it’s more geared towards parrying enemy attacks to get a critical hit in.

Now, parrying enemy attacks is leaning more towards the no risk, no reward gameplay, but since you can obtain it pretty early on, it offers you the opportunity to practice parrying attacks as you progress through the game.

While there are plenty of small shields that can be used for parrying, we’re sticking to the Buckler since it has the largest parry window of all shields. Pair it with the Golden Parry ash of war, and you might just become the next parry god. However, even its default Buckler Parry ash of war will do just fine.

Buckler Stats:

  • Physical Damage Negation: 61
  • Magical Damage Negation: 30
  • Fire Damage Negation: 30
  • Light Damage Negation: 16
  • Holy Damage Negation: 30
  • Guard Boost: 37

Why the Buckler is Great

  • Ideal for practicing parries early on
  • Has the largest parry window of all shields

Great for Early Game: Yes, especially if you want to master the art of parrying

How to Get Buckler:

Purchased from Gatekeeper Gostoc for 1500 runes at the Stormveil Castle once the main gate has been opened.

See Buckler in Action:


6. JellyFish Shield

Personally, I find the Jellyfish shield to be one of the coolest shields in the game from the design alone. Mechanic-wise, however, it’s also one of the best shields but not for the purpose of blocking attacks but for its Ash of War which adds a bonus to your damage for a certain duration.

The shield’s ash of war called Contagious Fury basically grants you a 20% increase to ALL damage you deal for a generous duration of 30 seconds. It means not just a boost to your physical damage but to your sorceries and incantations as well.

Also, when performing the skill, the shield’s color changes from a translucent blue to a translucent red glow, adding a really cool effect to your character. 

Defense-wise, the Jellyfish shield can hold its own with a 100% physical damage negation and decent negation against magic and other elements. It can only go up to 57% Guard Boost at max upgrade level though.

JellyFish Shield Stats:

  • Physical Damage Negation: 100
  • Magical Damage Negation: 52
  • Fire Damage Negation: 52
  • Light Damage Negation: 40
  • Holy Damage Negation: 48
  • Guard Boost: 52

Why the JellyFish Shield is Great

  • Grants a massive buff to all of your damage for 30 seconds using its unique skill
  • Has a really cool glowing effect that persists while the buff is active

Great for Early Game: Yes and can even be used all the way to the endgame if you’re after its massive damage buff

How to Get JellyFish Shield:

Looted from a broken wagon where four jellyfish can be found encircling it near the Foot of the Four Belfries site of grace.

See JellyFish Shield in Action:


5. Spiked Palisade Shield

The Spiked Palisade is a pretty underrated shield, considering that it doesn’t even provide a 100% physical damage negation despite being a greatshield. However, what makes it a truly strong and powerful one is the fact that you don’t primarily use it as a defensive tool.

Instead, the Spiked Palisade Shield is best used as a weapon for a very simple reason: it has a pretty high blood loss buildup. This means that attacking your target using this shield will allow you to build up blood loss pretty quickly. And if you have been playing Elden Ring for a while, you already know how overpowered blood loss is.

Now, there are a few things you’ll want to obtain first before you can build around this shield. First off, you’ll want to obtain the Shield Crash ash of war by killing a scarab in Lux Ruins. Second, you’ll want to apply the Cold affinity to it to add a little bit of Frost buildup to go alongside its innate blood loss buildup.

Once you meet these two requirements, then you’re all set. All you have to do is basically spam the Ash of War on your enemies until they die. It’s that simple but stupidly overpowered. Also, the fact that Shield Crash got an increased cast speed buff from the recent patch makes it even stronger.

Spiked Palisade Shield Stats:

  • Physical Damage Negation: 95
  • Magical Damage Negation: 51
  • Fire Damage Negation: 45
  • Light Damage Negation: 54
  • Holy Damage Negation: 50
  • Guard Boost: 59

Why the Spiked Palisade Shield is Great

  • Deals massive damage using the Shield Crash ash of war
  • Can inflict both blood loss and frost at the same time

Great for Early Game: No since the shield and its other requirements can be obtained later in the game

How to Get Spiked Palisade Shield:

Looted from a corpse under a Golem west of the Deep Siofra Well in Caelid.

See Spiked Palisade Shield in Action:


4. Dragonclaw Shield

The Dragonclaw shield is a pretty cool-looking greatshield that has a bit of a unique feature than the other shields in its class. Specifically, it’s the only shield in the game that has innate lightning damage to it. This means that when you used it as a weapon using its Shield Bash ash of war, you can deal some decent damage to your enemies based on your Strength.

Defense-wise, it has relatively high damage negation values with 100% in physical damage and 76% in lightning damage – the second highest of all shields in the game. It also has a pretty high Guard Boost value of 67. 

While it’s not as good as the first shield in this list, the fact that it’s half as heavy as the best shield so far makes it really good if you don’t want to invest too much in Endurance or end up fatrolling.

Dragonclaw Shield Stats:

  • Physical Damage Negation: 100
  • Magical Damage Negation: 52
  • Fire Damage Negation: 52
  • Light Damage Negation: 76
  • Holy Damage Negation: 47
  • Guard Boost: 61

Why the Dragonclaw Shield is Great

  • Deals relatively high lightning damage which scales off your Strength stat
  • Has the second-highest lightning defense in the game
  • Offers a great weight-to-defense ratio compared to the Fingerprint Stone Shield

Great for Early Game: No since getting this shield requires beating the Draconic Tree Sentinel guarding the entrance to the Royal Capital.

How to Get Dragonclaw Shield:

Dropped by the Draconic Tree Sentinel miniboss who’s guarding the entrance to Leyndell at the Capital Outskirts

See Dragonclaw Shield in Action:


3. One-Eyed Shield

If you’re looking for a shield that also functions as a cannon, then this shield is what you’re looking for. It’s basically your average greatshield, but its ash of war called Flame Spit fires off a fireball that explodes on impact, dealing area damage on its point of impact. 

With the right setup, including the Flame, Grant Me Strength buff, and the Fire Scorpion Charm talisman, you can make quick work of your targets with just a single shot. Then, you’ll want to include the Shard of Alexander talisman for an extra bit of damage increase on its ash of war.

The downside is that it has a pretty long windup and the range isn’t so great either. But as soon as you can land that shot, you can rest assured it will deal a ton of damage. 

One-Eyed Shield Stats:

  • Physical Damage Negation: 100
  • Magical Damage Negation: 57
  • Fire Damage Negation: 69
  • Light Damage Negation: 59
  • Holy Damage Negation: 63
  • Guard Boost: 67

Why the One-Eyed Shield is Great

  • Capable of one-shotting most enemies, except for minibosses and bosses
  • Can deal an insane amount of area damage with a single shot
  • Can also knockback enemies when hit

Great for Early Game: No since the game can only be obtained pretty late in the game alongside the talismans you’ll need to make it work

How to Get One-Eyed Shield:

Dropped by the NPC Chief Guardian Arghanthy who can be found inside the Guardian’s Garrisons in Mountaintops of the Giants

See One-Eyed Shield in Action:


2. Erdtree Great Shield

This shield is by far the best shield as far as countering spells from enemies, both PVE and PVP. While we can argue that any shield with the Carian Retaliation ash of war is better, we’re talking purely about shields here.

There was a point in the game where people were running exploits using the shield’s interaction to the Fire’s Deadly Sin incantation, that has since been fixed. Still, the shield remains very powerful despite that.

Basically, it has the ash of war called Golden Retaliation which reflects incoming sorceries and incantations back at their caster. However, the damage will depend on the shield’s upgrade level, and when paired with the Sacred Scorpion Charm talisman, you’ll be able to deal a lot of Holy damage to your target.

If you’ve fought the very first Tree Sentinel using sorceries or incantations, then you most likely had a taste of how devastating this shield can be. The only caveat is that it only works as a counter to spells, so if your target doesn’t cast one, then you’ll only be using it as a normal greatshield.

Still, it has some decent damage negation values which should be more than enough to give you the protection you need.

Erdtree Great Shield Stats:

  • Physical Damage Negation: 100
  • Magical Damage Negation: 66
  • Fire Damage Negation: 49
  • Light Damage Negation: 45
  • Holy Damage Negation: 76
  • Guard Boost: 60

Why the Erdtree Great Shield is Great

  • Perfect for countering spellcasters
  • Deal a ton of damage with its ash of war as long as a spell is properly countered

Great for Early Game: No since you’ll have to kill the Tree Sentinel duo which is in the later parts of the game

How to Get Erdtree Great Shield:

Dropped after killing the Tree Sentinel duo located near the Outer Wall Phantom Tree site of grace 

See Erdtree Great Shield in Action:


1. Fingerprint Stone Shield

The absolute best shield in the game as far as defenses go, the Fingerprint Stone Shield basically lets you become a walking tank. 

It has the highest defenses you could ever find in a shield. It’s got 100% physical damage negation and roughly 70-80 on all other damage types. The icing on the cake is its insanely high Guard Boost value of 81 which can go up to 90 at max upgrade level.

As if that’s not enough, it even comes with an innate madness buildup which allows you to inflict Madness on your enemies if you choose to use it for attacking. Do take note, however, that Madness only works on Tarnished and other players.

What’s even crazier is that you can even obtain a 100% Guard Boost value by simply using the Greatshield talisman. This means that whenever enemies attack you using physical attacks, you’re virtually immune to damage and will suffer very little stamina drain. 

This used to be no stamina drain at all, but since it got nerfed from the latest 1.04 patch, you can only get around 95% Guard Boost which is still pretty high. Still, if you want to run a 100% Guard Boost, there’s a workaround but will involve speccing a bit into Intelligence.

What you want to do is use a sorcery called Scholar’s Spell which requires 12 intelligence and apply it to your shield. With the buff active for 60 seconds, you’ll be able to get a 20% increase in Guard Boost as well as a few increases in your resistances.

While this means you’ll have to recast the spell once it fades, it still means the shield remains as strong and overpowered as before.

Fingerprint Stone Shield Stats:

  • Physical Damage Negation: 100
  • Magical Damage Negation: 77
  • Fire Damage Negation: 81
  • Light Damage Negation: 79
  • Holy Damage Negation: 75
  • Guard Boost: 81

Why the Fingerprint Stone Shield is Great

  • Grants the best protection against physical attacks in the game
  • With the right setup, you’ll essentially take no physical damage and stamina drain while blocking
  • Allows you to poke enemies using spears while blocking at the same time
  • Can even inflict Madness when used to attack with its Shield Bash skill

Great for Early Game: No since it’s a pretty heavy shield that requires a lot of investment into the Endurance stat; also, it can only be obtained below the Royal Capital

How to Get Fingerprint Stone Shield:

Obtained beyond the secret passage after defeating Mogh, the Omen in the Cathedral of the Forsaken; will require a bit of platforming

See Fingerprint Stone Shield in Action:

There we have it. The 10 best shields you can use in Elden Ring. Let me know if I missed something or if some of these were heavily affected by changes in the latest 1.04 patch.

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An RPG enthusiast, I have been delving into the world of roleplaying games since 2 decades past. A mead in front of the fireplace or a game of Gwent are some of the things I fancy.
Gamer Since: 2002
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Elden Ring
Top 3 Favorite Games:Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine , Dark Souls 3 , The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn

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