Shields in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

In the adventurous realm of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Shields serve as integral defensive equipment for our protagonist, Link. Whether it’s a sudden onslaught from a ferocious enemy or an intense boss fight, the protective virtue of Shields is irreplaceable. Unlike other pieces of equipment, Shields have a distinctive place in the game mechanics. They can be held when Link is either empty-handed or armed with a one-handed weapon.

The protection of a Shield relies heavily on its durability. When Link faces an attack, his shield, if durable enough, saves him from incurring damage. However, it’s essential to remember that Shields, akin to weapons, possess limited durability and will shatter upon extensive usage. This article delves into the Shields found in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, their unique traits, mechanics, and other insightful details.

The Fusion Ability – The Game Changer

An exciting feature added in the Tears of the Kingdom is the magic of Fusion. This novel ability allows Link to merge almost any object he stumbles upon with his weapon. Whether it’s a sword, a spear, or a bow and arrow, the Fusion ability augments the weapon’s damage and durability. Moreover, it can alter the weapon’s traits, depending on the fusion items. An ordinary bat fused with a boulder transforms into a potent hammer, while a large piece of plywood, when fused, can create a fan that emits robust gusts of wind.

Intriguingly, this Fusion ability isn’t just limited to weapons but extends to Shields as well. It opens up a wide array of tactics for Link to employ against his foes.

The Art of Shield Fusion

Link can adorn his Shields with just about anything he encounters, thanks to the Fusion ability. These objects, once fused, can trigger additional effects when the shield repels an attack. For instance, combining a Puffshroom with a shield creates an unconventional yet practical mushroom shield.

When Link blocks with this peculiar shield, it results in a large puff of spore clouds, blinding the enemies in the vicinity. This not only allows Link to escape when outnumbered but also provides a chance to eliminate groups of foes stealthily amidst the obscurity.

Shield Fusion further enhances Link’s shield-oriented skills like Perfect Guard and Shield Surfing, adding to the game’s complexity and enjoyment.

Mastering Equipment Fusion

Upon unlocking the Fusion ability, Link can access it at any point. Essentially, there are two primary methods to achieve equipment fusion:

  1. Direct Fusion: This involves activating the Fusion ability, selecting the object, and pressing the corresponding button of the equipment to be fused (ZL for Shields).
  2. Menu-Based Fusion: This method allows fusion via the materials menu, offering a chance to attach collected materials, like monster parts, to your equipment.

From fusing Shields to weapons, these techniques equip Link with a significant advantage over his enemies, transforming his journey in the Kingdom.

Fusion Materials – The Possibilities are Limitless

The scope of materials suitable for Fusion in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is truly limitless. From the tangible rocks and boulders strewn across the landscape to the leaves swaying on trees, and the farm-fresh fruits and vegetables to the eerie Monster Parts – anything can be employed for Fusion. The sheer variety of items, such as Chuchu Jelly, can bestow elemental characteristics on weapons, while the inclusion of Keese Eyeballs can transform arrows into homing projectiles.

Indeed, even weapons can be fused with other weapons! While spears inherently boast longer range than most melee weapons, fusing an additional spear or any long object can double the striking distance, keeping foes at bay. Though it remains uncertain if Shields can fuse with other shields or weapons, the expansive flexibility of Fusion suggests promising possibilities.

Detaching Fused Items – Reverting to Original

Objects fused onto Weapons & Shields can be detached with relative ease. A simple visit to the equipment menu, selecting the fused weapon or shield, and choosing the ‘Destroy Fused Material’ option effectively undoes the fusion. This action eliminates the fused object but reverts the weapon or shield to its pre-fusion state. Note that only a single object can be fused onto a weapon or shield at any given time, and the ability to detach fused items extends the usability of equipment significantly.

Fusion and Durability – A Balanced Approach

Among the controversies surrounding Breath of the Wild was the easily breakable equipment. While the Durability mechanic has made a comeback in Tears of the Kingdom, it has been deftly balanced with the Fusion ability.

The Fusion ability primarily aids in extending the durability of Weapons & Shields. When an object is fused with a piece of equipment, it essentially adds a separate durability meter, permitting extended usage. However, this doesn’t render the equipment invincible, and your fused items will eventually succumb to wear and tear.

But worry not, as the ability to detach fused items and fuse a new one onto the same piece of equipment before it shatters, theoretically allows prolonged use of the same equipment. This requires maintaining a healthy inventory of fusion materials and effectively addresses the problem of limited inventory space, a returning mechanic in Tears of the Kingdom.

Shields in Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom – An Overview

Shields have consistently formed a crucial part of Link’s arsenal since the inception of the Zelda series. Their significance grew manifold in Breath of the Wild, introducing diverse functionalities that allowed Link to navigate combat and exploration in unique ways. These features persist in Tears of the Kingdom, with more possibly waiting to be uncovered.

Shield Properties – Understanding the Mechanics

Typically, Shields in Tears of the Kingdom exhibit a standard Shield Guard rating that is displayed at the bottom-right corner of the item’s icon in the equipment menu. This Shield Guard attribute measures the Durability Damage that the shield endures in relation to the damage inflicted by a blocked attack.

Shield Dynamics – The Influence of Shield Guard Ratings

The Shield Guard rating of a shield significantly affects its effectiveness in absorbing damage. A higher Shield Guard rating on a shield than the damage rating of an enemy’s weapon substantially reduces the damage sustained by the shield and vice versa. This holds true irrespective of the shield’s Durability rating. In Breath of the Wild, certain shields were equipped with special random modifiers such as ‘Shield Guard Up,’ enhancing their efficacy in combat scenarios. Some even possessed distinctive special effects, like the Ancient Shield, renowned for deflecting Guardian Beam attacks with a mere block. The anticipation is high for these modifiers and special effects to make a comeback in Tears of the Kingdom.

Furthermore, Shields bear a Durability Property – an invisible statistic that applies to all Weapons & Shields that Link possesses. This property influences the life expectancy of these items. In the case of Shields, durability diminishes with each blocked attack and while Shield Surfing on terrain excluding snow or sand. Although tracking a shield’s integrity can be challenging, a pop-up alert appears when your currently equipped shield is nearing its breaking point. This gives you ample time to scout for replacements or extend its life via fusion. Equipment in mint condition also bears a sparkle at the top-right corner of their icon in the equipment menu.

Shield Abilities – Your Guide to Mastering Defense

Shields not only serve as defensive armor but also bestow Link with some special abilities:

Shield Block: The fundamental defensive ability provided by Shields is blocking. With a shield equipped, hold ZL to position Link’s shield upfront, blocking any incoming attacks. However, bear in mind that Link cannot draw his shield if both hands are engaged, like when wielding a two-handed weapon. Nevertheless, a shield can still be raised when Link is equipped with a two-handed weapon, provided it’s sheathed.

Perfect Guard: This advanced technique involves the tactical use of shields to parry attacks. By raising Link’s shield with ZL and pressing the A button at the exact moment of an attack, you can execute a Perfect Guard. This move not only deflects the incoming attack but can also stagger the opponent. Shields with a high enough Shield Guard rating can even disarm an attacker. Particularly useful against beam-type attacks, a perfectly timed guard can reflect the beam back to the attacker.

Additionally, the Perfect Guard tactic helps preserve the durability of a shield by negating the durability damage for the parried attack. This move is high risk, high reward, proving indispensable when mastered.

Shield Surfing: This unique ability allows Link to use his shield like a snowboard, swiftly descending hills and slopes. Activate it by holding ZL and pressing the A button anytime Link is airborne. Shield Surfing requires downward momentum and will cease once Link slows down excessively. During surfing, Link can aim and shoot with his Bow or perform a spin attack by pressing the Y Button.

Though Shield Surfing is possible on any terrain, it inflicts durability damage on the shield, except when performed on snow or sand.

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