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The Shield is a Minecraft defensive tool that has replaced blocking with swords as of 1.9 for Java Edition and 1.10 for Bedrock Edition. Only one type of shield currently exists. However, it is possible to customize a shield using a banner. Banner patterns are not proportionate to the shield, however, so the design will display on the shield differently than on the banner. It does not affect the function of the shield.
Shields are commonly placed in the off-hand slot. Once equipped, a player can right-click (Java) or crouch (Bedrock) to raise the shield and block incoming attacks from enemy mobs or players. Attacks coming from within a 180° radius in front of a player will be entirely negated, with an exception being redstone-activated TNT. It is possible to deflect arrows with a shield, directing them back at the enemy who fired said arrow, making it both a defensive and offensive tool in these situations. A player's movement speed is decreased while the shield is raised. When a shield is being used and is attacked by an axe, there is a 25% chance that the shield will be deactivated for five seconds (as seen by a white overlay, similar to Ender pearls and chorus fruit), plus 5% for every level of efficiency on the axe, plus 75% if the axe wielder is sprinting.
Shields, being easily craftable early game, can be used to fight mobs and clear dungeons, raids or caves. Being able to negate all damage from common mobs, including creepers, without losing much durability, shields are almost overpowered. Keep in mind shields can be disabled by vindicators for a few seconds though.
Shields are useful in PvP too, especially when fighting someone with a ranged weapon (like a bow or crossbow). Just be aware that if a player has an axe equipped, they can disable the shield. Take note that shields will not protect players against some attacks like fire. In Bedrock Edition, the player might have a disadvantage in blocking because they have to crouch to block an attack, lowering their movement speed, so its best to use this for defensive purposes.
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- Since the implementation of shields, blocking projectile attacks such as arrows is significantly easier.
- There was an old crafting recipe for the shield that required wool.
- It is possible to kill a skeleton simply by blocking and redirecting the arrows with the shield. However, this will take up the durability of the shield due to low damage being reflected and using swords is a faster method for dispatching skeletons.
- If a player places a banner on the shield in crafting, it will be renamed to "(base color of the banner) shield".
- Since axes can disable shields, vindicators can also disable a player's shield with their axes.
- Players can block a ravager's headbutt using a shield, decreasing knockback while negating damage and temporarily stunning the ravager. Take note that ravagers will do their roar attack after they recover from the stun.
- In earlier versions of the Bedrock Edition of Minecraft, there was a bug where some projectiles can cause the app to crash when it is blocked by a shield.
- It was recently discovered in the Bedrock Edition of Minecraft that using commands to place a shield in a zombie's main hand would cause a zombie's arms to be down at their waists similar to the player as opposed to them being raised like normal. The shield is never actually seen however.