Parry shields in Elden Ring are ideal pairing for aggressive players with quick reflexes who want to counter foes at any opening. Unlike most other in-game shields, parry shields offer a much stronger chance to parry and riposte enemies, but at the cost of weaker Guard protection. However, since Elden Ring allows you to apply Ashes of War on different weapons, you can make your parry shield by combining a light or medium shield with a parry-oriented Ash of War.
Best Parry Shields And Ashes Of War In Elden Ring
Here’s a quick breakdown of the best parry shields and their respective Ashes of War that you can get in Elden Ring:
|RANK||SHIELD NAME||ASH OF WAR||ATTRIBUTE SCALING||ATTRIBUTE REQUIREMENTS|
|1||Inverted Hawk Heater Shield||Golden Parry||Str: D | Fai: D||Str: 10|
|2||Carian Knight's Magic Shield||Carian Retaliation||Str: E | Int: C||Str: 10 | Int: 15 | Dex: 10|
|3||Buckler||Buckler Parry||Str: E | Dex: D||Str: 8 | Dex: 13|
|4||Heater Shield||Storm Wall||Str: C||Str: 10|
|5||Albinauric Shield||Thops' Barrier||Str: E | Int: D||Str: 11|
1. Golden Parry + Inverted Hawk Heater Shield
Although an Ash of War can turn regular small and medium shields into parry shields, the Golden Parry is easily the top choice for parrying all sorts of attacks. It’s got little to no startup time and a generous amount of parry frames, making it suitable for veterans and newcomers alike.
Here’s the procedure for getting the Golden Parry in the Altus Plateau:
- Follow the road directly northeast from the Outer Wall Phantom Tree Site of Grace.
- Once you reach the second phantom tree, turn east again and proceed straight.
- On a terrace to the left side of the road, there will be a White Scarab you can either hunt or shoot down to obtain the Golden Parry Ash of War.
- Best active, recovery, and startup parry frames out of any parry shield or parry-based Ash of War attack.
- Incredible range, deliberately and indirectly giving you enough range to dodge some enemies’ attacks.
- The parry animation has a clear golden visual indicator, making it easier to memorize.
- Low FP consumption for each parry swipe.
- Faith-oriented Ash of War and mostly suited to Faith builds.
- Lowers Physical Guarded Damage Negation.
2. Carian Retaliation + Carian Knight’s Magic Shield
Although the Carian Knight’s Shield isn’t a parry shield by itself, it has the potential to become undoubtedly the best parry shield thanks to its optimal pairing with the Carian Retaliation Ash of War. It’s got the best parrying frame data in Elden Ring, and with the Magic Shield, it can become even more lethal.
You can find the Carian Retaliation Ash of War from Liurnia using the steps below:
- Starting from the Royal Moongazing Grounds Site of Grace located in northwestern Liurnia, head outside Caria Manor using the exit door to reach the Three Sisters.
- Follow the road on your left and stay close to the Manor’s wall to avoid the dragon scouring the area.
- Eventually, you’ll spot a crest on your left, from which you can drop down to one of the Manor’s rooftops.
- From the rooftop, continue dropping down to lower levels using the wooden planks until you see an opening on one of the platforms.
- Drop down from this opening and interact with Pidia on your left to access his shop, after which you can purchase the Carian Retaliation for 3000 Runes.
- After parrying Magic Spells, the Carian Retaliation can convert them into glintblades, which you can use offensively.
- Tied in first place for the best startup and active parry frames in Elden Ring.
- Lowers your Physical Guarded Damage Negation from 100.0 to 95.0.
- Only usable on small and medium shields.
- Higher FP-cost than the Golden Parry.
For parrying enthusiasts, the Buckler is undoubtedly the strongest choice for a parrying Small Shield in Elden Ring. Thanks to its unique Ash of War, Buckler Parry, this shield has the largest parry window out of any in-game small shield. As such, it’s the ideal addition for lightweight builds.
Here’s the procedure for getting the Buckler during the early-game phase in Elden Ring:
- Starting from the Stormveil Main Gate Site of Grace, head through the doorway next to the gate to meet Gostoc.
- Exhaust his dialogue, then select the “No, I’ll use the main gate” dialogue option to access Stormveil Castle.
- After accessing the Castle, proceed through it and defeat Godrick the Grafted at the end.
- Rest at the Godrick the Grafted Site of Grace, and Gostoc will spawn near you, after which you can talk to him to access his shop and purchase the Buckler for 1500 Runes.
- The Buckler Parry’s Ash of War cannot be applied to other weapons or shields, making the Buckler a unique item in Elden Ring.
- Quickest startup animation, active Parry Frames, and post-action recovery out of any Small Shield.
- Most lightweight shield on this list and is tied for the 2nd lightest shield in Elden Ring.
- With only 61.0 Physical Guard Damage Negation, the Buckler is absurdly weak when blocking in Elden Ring.
- Relatively weak frame recovery after an item use or a left-hand attack.
4. The Storm Wall + Heater Shield
The Storm Wall is likely one of the first parry-based Ash of War you’ll find in Elden Ring. Fortunately, its stats make it a noteworthy addition, and since it’s the earliest Ash of War you get, you can upgrade it to its maximum potential the quickest as well.
Here’s how you can get the Storm Wall in Limgrave:
- Start from the Stormhill Shack Site of Grace in Stormhill and progress northwest, following the road up till the start of the broken bridge.
- At the far end of the bridge, continue following the segment straight ahead until you spot a White Scarab.
- You’ll receive the Storm Wall Ash of War upon killing the scarab.
- One of the best early-game Ash of War attacks.
- Extremely low FP cost, making it a viable option for most early-game builds.
- Great parry recovery frames overall.
- Weak startup and active parry frames.
- No hugely distinguishing qualities from other parry-focused small shields.
5. Thops’ Barrier + Albinauric Shield
Like the Storm Wall, Thops’ Barrier is another great parry-focused Ash of War that you can find in Elden Ring’s early-game phase. However, the major difference of this specific skill is its incredible Magic and Holy resistance, which comes in handy against tougher Faith and Intelligence bosses and hostile NPCs.
While you can use any reliable Medium shield with Thops’ Barrier, I generally use and prefer the Albinauric Shield since it gives me a significantly higher Magic resistance in Magic-based areas like the underground cities of Nokron and Nokstella.
Here’s the optimal route to getting Thops’ Barrier in Liurnia of the Lakes:
- Starting from the Revenger’s Shack Site of Grace, head east towards the lake and reach the small island just before the debris.
- Here, you need to kill the White Scarab sitting atop the island, after which you’ll receive the Thops’ Barrier Ash of War.
- Significantly raises Magic and Holy Guarded Damage Negation.
- No FP cost whatsoever.
- As good as the Golden Parry and Carian Retaliation Ashes of War in terms of recovery frames to rolls, dodges, blocks, quick-item usage, and after doing a parry animation.
- Unreliable visual indication when parrying, which might often confuse players.
- Noticeably weaker startup and active parry frames compared to previous entries.
- Lowers Physical Guarded Damage Negation.
My Experience With Parry Shields
While parry shields encourage an aggressive play style and are considered lethal during PvP, I would advise sticking with a Medium or Heavy shield with the Parry Ash of War applied to them in Elden Ring. Personally, I used small shields throughout the mid-game phase of my first playthrough to learn to parry. Once I got good at countering opponents with minimal parry windows, I applied the Parry Ash of War to my medium shield and started using that for the rest of my playthrough.
That initial 75-hour experience was much more efficient since I could effectively block opponents to learn their attack patterns and then start parrying after understanding their moveset. As such, I would consider this the optimal approach since you’ll achieve a perfect balance between an offensive and defensive playstyle. You can use the Buckler for your learning phase and then transition into a decent Medium shield like the Twinbird Kite or Brass Shield.
That wraps up my guide on the best parry shield and ash of war options in Elden Ring, covering their pros and cons, strategies, and locations. As seen, every parry shield has its preferred build and playstyle, and their Ashes of War usually determine how good they are. For more insight, here’s a spreadsheet you can use to extract noteworthy frame data regarding these items.
Pair up your favorite shield with some of the best Remembrance Weapons in Elden Ring to truly make an overpowered build, courtesy of Huzaifa Durrani. If you prefer using incantations, eXputer’s talented writer Irfan Ansari has a detailed guide on the Frenzied Burst. And if you’re strictly looking to dominate the online arena, be sure to check out the best PvP Weapons in Elden Ring.
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