Shields are items that can be equipped in a character's left hand (sometimes called the "offhand") to increase his or her armor. This Armor is applied regardless of hit location or direction the character is facing. The maximum base Armor for a shield is 16.
Any profession can equip shields, but most shields have requirements for a minimum rank in the warrior's Tactics or Strength or the paragon's Motivation or Command attributes ranging from 0 to 13. Without meeting that requirement, the Armor used is half of the normal Armor value. While shields with the maximum Armor have been observed with requirements as low as 7, maximum Armor shields with inscription slots have only been observed with attribute requirements as low as 8, and green shields, collector shields and crafted shields with the maximum Armor always have an attribute requirement of 9. Shields with a requirement of 0 and armor as high as 10 are available as loot.
There are four main types of modifiers for shields: damage reduction, health bonuses, Armor bonuses, and +1 attribute. A shield may have up to two modifiers. The available shield modifiers are listed in full in a separate article. Shields from the Nightfall campaign have salvageable inscriptions and upgrades instead of fixed modifiers.
Shields may have a received physical damage -x modifer. These always have specific preconditions, such as being enchanted. A shield can have up to -2 (while in a stance), -2 (while enchanted), -3 (while hexed), or -5 (Chance: up to 20%).
Shields may have a health +x modifier. These modifiers can be conditional, like the damage reduction modifiers, or unconditional. The maximum values are +45 (while in a Stance), +45 (while enchanted), +60 (while hexed), or +30 unconditional. There can be a maximum of one health modifier.
Shields may have a +1 attribute modifier. It has up to a 20% chance while using skills. The possible attributes that can have a +1 modifier on shields are most attributes of casters, Tactics, and Strength. A shield may have at most one +1 attribute modifier.
Warrior Shield types
The following types of Warrior shields can be found in Guild Wars:
- Some Aegis shields have recently been observed that require Tactics and not Strength. See Talk:Shield for details.
- Wooden Bucklers with a Strength requirement are only available from Canthan Collectors, all other Wooden Bucklers have Tactics requirements.
See also Category:Shields.
Note: unlike weapons such as Bows - the shield type has no influence on the stats of the shield, apart from the required attribute. Which visual appearance you prefer is merely a matter of taste: a Crude Shield with Armor +12 is just as good as an Eternal Shield with Armor +12. That said, certain shield types are more likely to come with higher AL; for example, a Shield of the Wing is usually Armor +8 or higher and will require Tactics, and Eternal Shields nearly always have Armor +15 or 16 and require Strength.
Paragon shield types
Some nice images of shields can be found here
These skills require shields to trigger: