Should I upgrade shields in Elden Ring?

In patch 1.03 Elden Ring, the Shielding effect of the Ashes of War was reduced. It now lasts five seconds and costs 12 Mana, making it harder to maintain 100 Defense Up for long periods of time when using the scheme below.

For many players, shields in Elden Ring are only used for blocking, and such fans may wonder if it’s worth spending hard-earned runes and blacksmithing stones on strengthening these weapons. Indeed, while it is clear that improving the shield increases its offensive capabilities, some players may not understand how its defensive properties change. This guide will shed some light on this and help fans decide if they should upgrade their shields in Elden Ring.

What will the shield upgrade in Elden Ring give

Simply put, shields are worth upgrading even if an Elden Ring player never plans to use them offensively. This is due to the fact that shields gain defense boost points by strengthening them, although this does not increase by one point with each upgrade. For the uninitiated, Defense Boost determines how much stamina is consumed when blocking an attack, with the stamina cost being reduced to zero when the stat reaches 100.

For those shield users who want to achieve 100 defense boost with minimal investment, Copper Shield is the best option. Because this powerful shield can be equipped for as little as 16 points of strength, and its base defense boost is 56 points. This can be increased to 65 by upgrading Brass Shield to +18, and the additional 35 points needed to reach 100 buffs can be obtained by players using the Barricade Shield skill.

In order to collect this gear, players must travel to the Raya Lukaria South Gate, located in the southeast corner of the Raya Lukaria Academy. To the southeast of this place of grace are several Raya Lukaria soldiers, and those of them who carry a Brass Shield with them have a small chance to drop this item. With the Brass Shield in hand, players simply need to defeat Bloodhound Knight Darryvil in the Prison of the Lonely Bloodhound to obtain Ashes of War: Barrier and then attach the skill to the weapon in any Place of Grace.

Notably, Barrier lasts for 15 seconds, which means players may need to cast it multiple times to maintain 100% Defense Up for the duration of the Elden Ring Boss fight. However, it shouldn’t be very difficult, as Barrier only costs 8 mana to activate. However, if the mana requirement prevents the player from using Barrier multiple times during a long fight, they can always drink a Flask of Azure Tear.

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