God of War Ragnarok takes the core gameplay mechanics of its prequel and builds upon it beautifully. Kratos gets new skills, armor, and weapon options in this new entry. Unlike the original trilogy, however, reckless abandon and fully offensive playstyles are sure to be fatal. The game is quite challenging – especially if you crank up the difficulty – and a good defense is essential.
Luckily, Kratos also comes equipped with a shield to protect himself in this game as well. But this time, there are five shields, each with its own unique characteristics. While it’s ultimately up to personal preference and the way you prefer to play the game, there are some key things to consider. Here is a ranking of all five shields in God of War Ragnarok.
5/5 Shatter Star Shield
The Shatter Star Shield is described as being fit for mobility and charging up. That is accurate, as you move the fastest while blocking with this shield out of all. The shield bash for this one is also quite fast, as Kratos punches a shockwave through it. When you’re blocking with it, it will gather uo kinetic energy, giving more stun power to your bash. Unfortunately, that’s about all there is to Shatter Star.
The mobility bonus is quite nice, but it feels redundant. What a shield does in Ragnarok is it gives you protection and offer some counter-offensive measures. It’s a shame that there are other shields that do both of those things way better than the Shatter Star. Even if mobility is your priority, that’s what the dodge roll is for. Shatter Star’s movement speed is also rarely impactful, as you’ll regularly be swarmed by annoying enemies and put under heavy fire from ranged units at the same time.
The Shatter Shield is available for purchase in the shop. While the worst shield by far, due to how niche its usage is, it’s important for completionists. It has the added bonus stat for Runic, which is appreciated, but not enough to make this shield worth using.
4/5 Onslaught Shield
A similar shield to the Shatter Star is the Onslaught Shield. This shield gives mobility to Kratos in the form of its shield bash. When you double-tap L1, you will charge toward enemies to perform a shield bash, during which you will parry any attacks coming your way automatically. While that’s a great benefit, there’s not much else to this shield.
What keeps this shield from being higher on this ranking is the way the game operates. You’re more likely to be swarmed by enemies as opposed to being shot by ranged units. Even if that’s the situation you find yourself in, ranged attacks are usually easy to predict and are not as deadly as several enemies surrounding you. As such, the Onslaught Shield falls short in most encounters.
You can acquire this shield from a legendary chest after the Garm boss fight, or pay a ton of Hacksilver to the Brok and Sindri. The added stat for this shield is Runic, which is useful, but it takes more than a few stat buffs to make a shield great. Speaking of…
3/5 Guardian Shield
The Guardian Shield is the “default” shield given to Kratos at the beginning of the first game. The shield will be broken due to a less-than-friendly encounter with Thor but will be fixed shortly after by Brok. This is a shield of balance, not focusing entirely on tanking any hit or parrying with low durability. It doesn’t provide any additional stat buffs like other shields, which isn’t great, but does not hold the Guardian Shield back.
You can double-tap L1 to break an enemy’s guard, and the Guardian Shield does so quite quickly, which is always useful. There are two options with this shield after parrying, too, a shield punch and a ground pound. Both stun enemies and usually break their attack combos, which can mean the difference between life and death. It appears that when it comes to shields in God of War Ragnarok, going for the classic is not bad at all.
2/5 Stone Wall Shield
The Stone Wall Shield is likely the best option for newer players until they get used to the parry timings, and is also an excellent shield for higher-difficulty playthroughs. Normally, there are four types of attacks that the monsters can use against you. Regular attacks are always blockable, yellow attacks are supposed to be parried or will break your defense for a short time, red attacks are non-blockable and require dodging, and blue attacks require a shield bash to stun and interrupt.
Stone Wall Shield sets itself apart by being able to absorb two yellow attacks in quick succession before Kratos is stunned. One thing to keep in mind is that the Stone Wall Shield stores damage in four bars, either filled with four regular attacks or two yellow attacks, and will be stunnable when it’s at max capacity, so try to unleash it every chance you get.
This shield is obtainable through Brok and Sindri’s shop for Hacksilver. It also adds 26 points to your Vitality on top of the regular 130 Defense at max level. One big drawback of this shield is the lack of counter-offense, focusing entirely on tanking hits. Still, it’s an excellent shield, especially when enemies swarm you.
1/5 Dauntless Shield
On the flipside is the risky Dauntless Shield. This shield is the exact opposite of the Stone Wall, giving players more offensive options. Normally, when you parry a yellow attack, you have to press R1 or R2 to perform a counter-stun attack with your shield. With the Dauntless Shield, that’s entirely automatic, so you can focus on your next moves without worrying about a parry attack. This also allows faster and more parries in succession, which is amazing against swarms or fast enemies.
The shield truly encapsulates high-risk, high-reward mentality. When you parry an attack normally, it glows yellow and does decent stun damage, but if you manage to perform a “last-second parry” with it, it’ll glow red and deal substantially more stun to enemies. The Dauntless Shield almost feels like a weapon more than a shield, dishing out tons of stun meter if you manage to perfect your parry timing.
The Dauntless Shield is available for purchase at the blacksmith shop and provides a buff to Cooldown as a side benefit.