How to safely/efficiently use Medium Shields in Dark Souls 3 PvP
I’ve recieved a surprising amount of requests to make a pvp guide for using shields, so I’ve decided to go through with it, outlining the basic philosophy behind shields in DkS3. For what it’s worth I think shields are pretty balanced in Dark Souls 3 when it comes to PvP and its one of those things that DkS3 does right. I guess now you’re wondering whats so special about it? The general problem with Dark Souls PvP in all Souls games is the fact that due to how rolls work – playing passive makes you super strong and having a shield on top of that – doesn’t help. Previous games had a notably worse balance when it comes to that, since in DkS2, for example, you can just block whatever and still have stamina to boot… however in DkS3 its not that simple. Those of you who watched my previous video on how to deal with shields in PvP should have the basic idea on how shields work.
The truth is, in DkS3 you can’t block all that much, especially if your opponent is using special items, like KS ring, so you have to play around that. Before we get into much detail, I think its the right moment to mention Magic Shield and GMS – those two allow you to pretty much block whatever you want and practically no cost, making openings like rapier shield poke a lot more safe and well, that’s the reason a lot of people hate on those two spells. While you can stall it in competitive environment, an average arena user will surely find it boring and cancer. Anyways. The basic premise of using shield in DkS3 is knowing when to roll and when to block. The easiest way to do that is just to see how much stamina damage you take while blocking and compare it to one or even two rolls.
It becomes pretty obvious that in 90% of the cases it is better to roll, since rolls are very cheap in DkS3. So, when do you block? Well, unless you’re using a MS or some big ass GS with a ton of stability – you should only block in very few, specific cases. First one is probably the most important – blocking to cover your rolls. I still see plenty of people, to this day roll sideways against fast weapons with good tracking – doing so will get you absolutely rekt.
However, this isn’t always intentional and sometimes there is just not enough room to roll back twice. In those instances, you can block. So, if you know you’re gonna get caught mid roll – you can block the hit and get out safely. Obviously you still have to manage your stamina and if you don’t have enough to block two hits – you’d better just take the damage… however, assuming that you do have stamina – blocking on wakeup to cover bad rolls is a good way to minimize the risk during disengagement. The next best thing you can use shield for is blocking all the annoying pressure shit like throwing knives, avelyn noscopes, farron darts, fire surge and even stuff like LA if you have the right shield.
It’s super important since stuff like throwing knives and avelyn noscopes are as safe as it gets when you want to apply the pressure and having a shield nullifies that, ensuring that you can’t be pressured pushing the match-up in your favor. In addition to all of that, there are certain match-ups that allow you to use shield however you want. Most of them are in your favour due to the fact that you take very little stamina damage when blocking against those weapons, so for example you can block plenty Estoc hits without wasting much stamina.
So weapon classes like rapiers and daggers, do very minimal stamina damage, even with KS ring on. In addition to that, shield can save you in other certain match-ups like for example against Katanas. Assuming people like to mindlessly spam the dashing attack – blocking it ensures safe reset to neutral, allowing you to apply the pressure. With all that being said, you can still try to block everything and walk up with shield trying to apply the pressure. However, if you meet someone who has watched my BS tutorial – they’d just strafe backstab you…
And if you’d face a person that has watched my ‘how to counter shields’ video or just did some basic research – they will likely use a KS ring and break your guard in couple of combos. At the end of the day its up to you, what shield you want to use and depending on stability you get to work with – you can decide if blocking is worth it. What I’ve described for ya in the past few minutes is the safest way to use shields and get away with it. Shields in DkS3 won’t solve all of your problems but if you know how to use them without trying to abuse them – they can serve you well.
As found on Youtube