Ranking Breath of the Wild’s Top 10 Best Shields

Self-defense is important, you know?

As far as Zelda goes, defending yourself from enemy attacks is key to victory. And Breath of the Wild shakes that up with extra variety: there are a whopping 32 possible shields in the game that you can obtain! However, that doesn’t mean every one is worth keeping in your inventory. Here are the top 10 best shields you should definitely keep an eye out for.

10. Kite Shield

Base Protection Amount14
Base Durability16
Common Locations– Selmie’s Spot
– Hebra Mountains

The Kite Shield may not be the most durable, but it’s a collector’s item for those who want to take the effort to find it. Only available in two hidden chests (excluding the DLC) and Selmie’s shield-surfing minigame in the Hebra Mountains, this shield is officially BOTW’s rarest one. It also excels in shield surfing. You can surf faster with this smooth shield equipped — thank you, Rito craftsmen.

9. Radiant Shield

Base Protection Amount35
Base Durability26
Common Locations– Shrines in the Gerudo province

The Radiant Shield really shines in the shield-surfing area, on top of having a guard of 35. It is also quite durable. Its durability is a high 26, ensuring it is perfect even for those who hate BOTW’s annoying durability mechanic — you won’t be seeing “Your Radiant Shield is badly damaged” anytime soon. The only downside is how rare it is. You can find them in a few shrines in the Gerudo province, but that’s mostly all. Make sure to hang one on a shield mount in Link’s house, you know, just for safekeeping.

8. Steel Lizal Shield

Base Protection Amount35
Base Durability15
Common Locations– Hebra Mountains
– Akkala Highlands

This shield is purely barbarian, and as a result, extra strong. It’s the strongest Lizal shield variant obtainable in BOTW, and for good reason. Even though the attached spikes don’t really do anything to tear down your enemies or any of that stuff, it still looks pretty intimidating to those who dare to come close. And if they do, ignoring the warning that the superpowered shield already gave them, they’ll be in for unusually high damage protection of 35.

7. Dragonbone Boko Shield

Base Protection Amount25
Base Durability8
Common Locations– Tabantha Tower Region
– Ridgeland Tower Region

Don’t let the Dragonbone Boko Shield’s crudely-crafted appearance fool you. It’s the best Boko shield available in the game with a protection amount of 25. Unlike other shields with this protection range, however, it has an added effect that will continue to prove itself helpful. As a wooden shield, normal arrows that your enemies shoot at you will be embedded in the shield for you to collect when you stow it. You’re protected from attacks and get arrows at the same time; that’s just great.

6. Royal Shield

Base Protection Amount55
Base Durability29
Common Locations– Hyrule Castle
– Hyrule Field

There’s a reason why the Hyrule Royal Family’s immediate guard held Royal Shields as their shield of choice. All of its fancy ornamentation and shining gold isn’t only for pomp: it really excels in the fields of defense and shield-surfing. Selmie even has this shield as the top prize for her advanced course, meaning she holds it in high esteem. With overwhelming protection of 55 and tough durability of 29, the Royal Shield does not disappoint at all.

5. Guardian Shield++

Base Protection Amount42
55 (against Guardians)
76 (while wearing ★★ Ancient Set)
Base Durability20
Common LocationsMajor Test of Strength shrines

The Guardian Shield++ just keeps getting better. As an ancient equipment piece, you can up its already stunning 42 protection to 55 against Guardians. And that’s not all. With a double-enhanced (via Great Fairies) Ancient Set from the Akkala Ancient Tech Lab, it can further increase to 76, making it one of the most protective shields in all of BOTW. The only downside is that Guardian Shield++’s can’t actually reflect Guardian beams unless you parry, and they can be destroyed in one hit if struck by one, like most other shields.

4. Savage Lynel Shield

Base Protection Amount62
Base Durability20
Common LocationsCarried by White-Maned & Silver-Maned Lynels

The Savage Lynel Shield is not to be messed with. It’s the highest rank of Lynel shield, and that means a lot more than Bokoblin or Lizalfos shield rankings. This shield is in a class of its own. It can auto-deflect Guardian lasers, an ability only three shields in the entire game have, and also inflicts 21 damage to your enemy when swung. Not even the heavily spiked Steel Lizal Shield can damage and protect at the same time. Without any added Shield Guard Up upgrades, the shield already has 62 protection and 20 durability. It’s strange Lynels don’t even use this shield when they automatically have it in their inventory.

3. Daybreaker

Base Protection Amount48
Base Durability60
Common LocationsRiju’s palace in Gerudo Town

The Daybreaker was the Gerudo Champion Urbosa’s cherished shield, and let’s just say she has really good taste. The vibrant Gerudo shield stands out among the rest in both its radiant colors, durability, shape, and most of all, its protection level. It can withstand a beating of 48, with an outstanding durability of 60 – more than both the Savage Lynel Shield and Guardian Shield++ combined. However, like the other Champion weapons, it will break sometime. You can read my article here on how to repair it.

The Daybreaker also lacks in the shield-surfing area. It has high friction, preventing it from excelling in surfing speed. It takes damage at twice BOTW’s usual surfing damage rate, which is why you should save this shield for battle, not shield surfing. The Kite Shield, Royal Shield, and Radiant Shield are superior to it in this area.

2. Ancient Shield

Base Protection Amount70
105 (against Guardians)
126 (while wearing ★★ Ancient Set)
Base Durability32
Common LocationsAkkala Ancient Tech Lab

What really makes the Ancient Shield stand out is its special ability. It auto-parries Guardian beams straight back to sender without even manually activating perfect guard. It only stands in this category with the Savage Lynel Shield and Hylian Shield, but even the Hylian Shield doesn’t deflect it directly back to the Guardian. It instead reflects it in a random different direction if you don’t manually parry. This fine piece of ancient technology is definitely well worth the cost! And remember how it can flick lasers back at Guardians? Well, it can do that six whole times before breaking. Even against enemies that aren’t Guardians, it boasts 70 protection and 32 durability.

1. Hylian Shield

Base Protection Amount90
Base Durability800
Common Locations– Stalnox cell in Hyrule Castle’s Lockup
– Grante in Tarrey Town

Six lasers deflected? Throw that out the window when the Hylian Shield struts in. It can deflect a truly magnificent 27 Guardian lasers, so all you have to do is hold it up and boom — Guardians can’t touch you now. I would even go so far to say it doesn’t deserve to be protected by only a lowly Stalnox in Hyrule Castle’s Lockup, but more a Lynel. There’s a perfectly excellent reason why it is Link’s signature shield throughout most Zelda games, and BOTW only confirms that further. It’s the most durable shield in the entire game, with a durability of 800, and a protection amount of 90. No other shield even comes close to the superiority of the Hylian Shield.

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