Images courtesy of Zelda Dungeon
Skyward Sword offers a large variety of shields, but which is best? The obvious answer is the “insanely durable” shield from the boss trial offered by the earth dragon, since it will protect you from both fire/electricity, AND it will never break, but what if you’re early on in your quest, what offers better protection against physical attacks? An upgraded wooden shield, or a metal shield straight off the shelf? I wasn’t able to find specific information anywhere, so I did some testing. I bought a few of each shield, and got one of each upgrade level, and brought it out to a single Keese (the bat-type enemy). I chose a keese because it deals only a very small amount (half a heart) of non-elemental damage. Allowing the keese to hit my raised shield multiple times, I counted the number of hits until it broke, and repeated the process with each shield of each upgrade level, and figured out the number of hearts worth of damage each shield can take (you can find the information in the table to the left).
Now there are some other things to know about each shield, the metal shields won’t protect you from electric attacks, and the wooden shields not only won’t protect you from fire attacks, but will burn up if they come into contact with one. The sacred shields protect from both types of damage, as well as cursed enemies (the undead will cower in fear if you hold up your shield), and while they look much weaker, they actually repair themselves at a very quick rate (I have yet to break my Goddess Shield, despite heavy use). It won’t stand up to being spammed at an enemy, but through normal use it is very difficult to wear down.
The next thing I want to talk about is the shield bash. This is when you time raising your shield perfectly, so you raise it just moments before an enemy strikes it. Not only will this prevent your shield from taking damage, but it will also temporarily stun the enemy, or knock back projectiles. The shield bash is very useful for killing Deku Babas (the giant plant things), they will only take one hit to destroy while stunned, as your attack will hit their weak spot (the stem). The Hylian Shield can take an unlimited number of hits, and will protect you from everything, but lacks the effect the sacred shields have on the undead.
|Durability||4 Hearts||6 Hearts||8 Hearts||6 Hearts||9 Hearts||12 Hearts||3 Hearts||4.5 Hearts||6 Hearts||Infinite|