Ganon: You went through nine dungeons?
Ganon: Hundreds of my minions?
Link: Uh huh.
Ganon: All without a weapon?!
Link: Well, uh, I have my smashing board.
Ganon: That's a shield.
Link: Nah, smashing board.
Ganon: A smashing b...It's a shield! It's a shield! It's for defense!
Link: (pummels Ganon to death with the shield) Works okay for me.
Your shield can always protect you, if you so choose
. However, it can be useful for more than just defending. Shields are relatively large, heavy, and hard to counter because you are attacking and defending at the same time. So why not go on and hit your opponent with it?
As shields are less suitable for that than weapons, they do less damage but sometimes cause Standard Status Effects
, stunning is the most popular result. Using shields that way is a staple characteristic of shield-wielding type of Stone Wall
. Also, shields can have spikes on them (often a single one in the center).
Note that in real life, this was actually a fairly practical technique before the days of gun powder turned shields obsolete, and is still practical in scenarios that don't involve being shot at. A shield is large, sturdy, and oftentimes heavy, and by its very nature, bashing with it leaves one less open for counter attack than plenty of other techniques. Many historical shields were even designed with some sort metal protrusion for just this purpose. It's still not as damaging as say, stabbing someone with a sword, but is also harder to block, less expected, and doesn't mean that one can't bash a target with a shield and then stab before the target can recover. Particularly dangerous are a number of fellows forming a wall of shields and charging forward like a mobile wall, especially while carrying something sharp in their other hand, ready to thrust through the gaps between the shields.
If reality is really
out smoking and your battles aren't supposed to be realistic, the shield can be thrown like a boomerang.
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- In To Aru Majutsu no Index II episode 24, Touma swings a riot shield at Hamazura, and rips out his nose-ring in the process.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Wing also features this technique, specifically, that used by the TV series' Wing Zero, which owns a shield purpose built for the job, featuring a hydraulic piledriver mounted behind the sharp end.
- In Sword Art Online, it's part of Heathcliff's Unique Ability "Holy Sword", and he puts it to use against Kirito in their first battle. For bonus points, Kirito himself is surprised by this tactic, expecting that Heathcliff would only attack with his sword.
- In Episode 33 of Doki Doki Pretty Cure, Cure Rosetta bashes with her in two halves broken Rosetta Reflection on the Monster of the Week.
- Captain America uses his shield as a melee weapon in addition to throwing it. It's also a staple of his video game incarnations (Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Marvel vs. Capcom, etc.).
- Captain America's expies, US Agent and his replacemen standin during the Vietnam War obviously fit in as well.
- The Taskmaster uses his shield in a similar fashion, which is not surprising insomuch as he learned the skill from Captain America. In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, he even shouts "Just like Cap!" when attacking with his shield.
- In DC Comics, the Guardian and related character the Manhattan Guardian use an "indestructible" shield for both defense and attack.
- In Mortal Kombat, Johnny Cage uses a shield picked up from a dead warrior in Scorpion's lair to not only withstand the undead Scorpion's fiery Breath Weapon (which is a Fatality in the games the movie is based upon), but also as a melee weapon, using the saw-bladed edge of the shield to nasty effect against him.
- The Spartans do this in 300, during the roughly thirty seconds of film time they spend actually fighting in a Phalanx like they claim to. They follow the bash up with a quick spear thrust before bashing again.
- The more chaotic scenes also show several characters bashing with their shields, as well as swinging them edge-on as weapons.
- Achilles uses his shield this way in Troy, in his duel with Hector, as does Paris against Menelaus.
- In the film version of Prince Caspian from The Chronicles of Narnia, Miraz uses this move during his duel with Peter.
- Captain America does this of course in Captain America: The First Avenger and sends Hydra soldiers sailing ten feet into the air.
- In The Fellowship of the Rings, the Uruk-Hai captain tried to use his shield against Aragorn in the final battle.
- Éomer also seems rather fond of bashing enemies in the face with his shield in the later films.
Live Action TV
- A Song of Ice and Fire. Bronn nearly gets killed when Ser Vardis Egen does this during their Trial by Combat fight in Game of Thrones. Bronn loses a tooth but stays on his feet and wins the battle.
- In Dungeons & Dragons, the shield bash was also referred to as a "shield punch" in earlier editions. It's more effective if a spiked shield (a shield with a spike sticking out the front) is used. From second edition onward, characters could choose to specialize in shield-bashing (though it generally wasn't a popular option). Third edition introduced the idea of shields being specially enchanted to make them better for bashing (though Dungeon Masters in earlier editions would sometimes allow the defensive bonus of a magical shield to be used offensively as well as a house rule). Fourth edition had several powers available to Fighters that could allow a character to create an entire fighting style around shield-bashing and with the reintroduction of the spiked shield in Adventures Vault even rangers and other classes who could fight with two weapons could join the list of shield bashers.
- Lost Planet 2 features a special folding shield that is virtually impenetrable from the fromt and covers an area about 3 riot shields wide. It also alows for a powerful ramming attack, complete with a taser function, zapping anyone unlucky enough to get rammed.
- Riot shield mooks in Batman: Arkham City are among the most annoying enemies. They are immune to standard attacks (so accidentally punching one breaks a combo), their attacks can't be countered, and when you finally take one down, the shield remains for another mook to pick up.
- Robin's staff also folds out to make a bullet proof shield, which can also be used to ram into enemies.
- Diablo II has some shield-bash skills for Paladin.
- In Diablo, it deals same damage as a punch or kick, but it gives you the chance to block enemy melee strikes.
- World of Warcraft Paladin's Shield of The Righteous (Avenger's Shield is another thing) and Warrior's Shield Slam and (former) Shield Bash abilities. The shield slam is a simple damaging attack, while the shield bash (when it existed in the game) interrupted spellcasting. In its last days, Shield Bash did no damage, despite working by smacking someone with a shield.
- In the Dragon Age series:
- Dragon Age: Origins: The warrior's "tank" skill branch has one skill involving a weapon. Others are passive skills, defensive stances or this.
- Dragon Age II: An ability for Aveline, and Sword-and-Shield wielding Player Characters, as well as a standard attack when they need to close the distance with a target (if not in a defensive stance at the time). The ability has an Areaof Effect, and can be upgraded to give the "exposed" status to enemies, readying them for a devastating Combination Attack from Magi or Rouges.
- The Genlock Alphas in the Dragon Age II DLC "Legacy" carry huge shields that render them all but immune to frontal assault and attack by charging you like a battering ram.
- In Dragon Age: Inquisition, this is one of warrior companion Cassandra's abilities. In combat, it can knock armor off enemies. Outside combat, it can make her a human battering ram to demolish obstacles.
- Crusaders/Paladins in Ragnarok Online have a move with this name that knocks back the target a considerable distance and can stun them. The latter also has Rapid Smiting, which is a multi-hitting variant purely for causing damage.
- Goofy and Vexen in Kingdom Hearts.
- The Vanguard bloodline of Bloodline Champions has an ability called Shield Slam, dashing a bit to swing with their shield, knocking back hit enemies and reducing their ability to damage or heal. This is also the logical conclusion as to why hitting them in melee when they are using their Reflect ability (in which they duck behind their shield for the duration) stuns the attacker.
- A key skill of the human knight and defender in Rohan Online, which has the ability to stun an enemy (either a mob in PVE or a human opponent in PVP), costing him several seconds worth of attacks.
- In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, you can ram with the shield as an attack.
- In Team Fortress 2, the Demoman can do this with the unlockable Chargin' Targe. Right clicking will send the Demoman into a high-speed charge, and attacking with a melee weapon at least halfway through the charge will result in a Critical Hit. The shield itself has a spike on it that will do damage if the Demoman himself collides with an enemy during the last quarter of the charge. The newer shield, the Splendid Screen, trades most of the fire/explosive resistance for a more damaging Shield Bash and no minimum distance required to hit the enemy from to do it.
- Vandal Hearts (2, at least) has shields as a weapon category. It does what it's supposed to do: attacks coming from the side of the shield has a significantly higher chance to be blocked. Of course, its attack power sucks. Two shields however, have spikes to increase damage. One of them gives you a movement handicap since it's too heavy, while the other is practically an Infinity Plus One Shield.
- In the campaign mode of Age of Mythology, Ajax's special attack is a shield whack that sends enemy soldiers flying.
- City of Heroes has the Shield Defence powerset. As the name implies, the set is almost entirely defensive; however, it includes the Shield Charge power, a cone attack which deals some hefty damage and has a high chance of Knock Back.
- In addition using the base attack 'Brawl' with a shield in hand will sometimes cause the player to backhand a foe with his shield.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Link can learn it as one of the Hidden Skill techniques, and involves slamming your shield into an opponent, stunning them. It can later be used in combination with another devastating move, the Helm Splitter, that allows you to jump up over your opponent and cleave their skull in half. In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Link has to shield bash just when an enemy attacks him, opening up an opportunity for a sword combo.
- Phantasy Star Zero features a class of Shield weapons that can be used for specifically guarding with the L button or otherwise your standard melee attacking.
- The Lord of the Rings Online: As the game's main tank classes, it comes as no real surprise that both the Guardian and Warden make extensive use of Shield Bash type moves.
- In Dissidia: Final Fantasy, one of Firion's HP attacks is called "Shield Bash", though it's actually not an example of this trope: it's a Beehive Barrier that, if it blocks an opponent's attack, triggers a counterattack consisting of a flurry of thrown knives. On the other hand, many of Warrior of Light's attacks play this straight, with the shield being thrown around and, apparently, controlled telekinetically to slam into enemies edge-first while charging or similar attacks. And then there's Shield of Light, his main HP attack, where he puts the shield in front of him, and it explodes in the opponent's face in a blast of holy magic.
- The Raptor class in Final Fantasy Tactics A2 can do this in the typical way, which can also inflict Disable. Hilariously, the weapon that teaches them this move is a two-handed sword. You can't actually use the move when wielding it, unless you took the time to learn Monkey Grip, to wield two-handed swords with one hand, leaving the other free for shields.
- Sophitia and Cassandra of the Soul Series have a few attacks using their shields. They can also equip spiked shields.
- Players wearing shields in Z Angband have a chance of getting in a shield bash.
- The Turtle Tamer class in Kingdom of Loathing has Shieldbutt as one of its skills, a never-miss attack based on the power of the player's shield.
- In Urban Chaos Riot Response, the riot shield was useful for knocking out enemies.
- Pantheon from League of Legends jumps to an enemy and bashes him with his shield, stunning him in the process. Singed holds his shield in right hand and autoattacks with it.
- Kanji from Persona 4 uses shields, and is the physically strongest and bulkiest party member. He starts off with a foldaway metal chair, though. Ironically, he never uses it to defend: when using the Guard command, he blocks incoming attacks with his ''bare hands''.
- Shields are awesome in Front Mission 3 anyway, and the Shield Bash ability is one of the most damaging melee attacks in the game. Of course, the bashing is being done by a Giant Mecha the size of a building.
- Front Mission 4 keeps it, as an extremely damaging counterattack skill.
- Perseus in God of War 2.
- Possible in Dwarf Fortress, though the shield is treated as an Improvised Weapon and thus uses the "Misc. Object User" skill instead of the "Shield User" skill (which is just for blocking).
- A bash is one of the combat moves added by the popular Deadly Reflex mod for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. You can do it with a weapon or bare-handed too, but using a shield is more effective.
- Puzzle Quest 2: Shield Bash is the first (and eventually most powerful) of the Templar class' offensive spells. It also has the bonus effect of removing all status effects from the player.
- In Killer Instinct, Spinal can stab and electrocute opponents with his shield.
- Sprinting with the Shield Power active will effectively make Alex a battering ram in Prototype.
- GM series mobile suits can ram enemies with their large shields in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam. A few other units also use their shields to attack.
- In Dragon Nest, the one of the Cleric's first two skills are this.
- The shield bash is an incredibly useful move in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and some of the perks within the Shield tree allow it to be enhanced further, so it can actually deal reasonable damage, knock an enemy back, cause them to drop their weapon, or even perform a Foe-Tossing Charge. The main use of it, however, is to stun an enemy for a few moments, which if used at the right moment can interrupt their attacks and leave them vulnerable.
- Heroes of Might and Magic V has this as a creature ability.
- In Project M, Pit gained an upward shield attack for extra K.O. power.
- Reyn, the resident Mighty Glacier party member of Xenoblade Chronicles specializes in a shield/lance hybrid weapon called a driver, and can use it to stun toppled enemies with his Shield Bash art, notable for having the lowest cooldown of all moves capable of causing the effect.
- Estelle and Flynn from Tales of Vesperia both utilize shield bashes in some of their artes.
- The final boss of Dead to Rights wields an electrified riot shield as a weapon.
- Cerberus Guardians from Mass Effect 3 prefer to shoot with heavy pistols while using their riot shields in the conventional way, but are fully capable of swinging and bashing with them if the player closes in. N7 Paladin characters in multiplayer can get in on the action with an omniblade shield, which can be upgraded with cryo or incendiary damage effects.
- In Dragon's Dogma the standard bash-to-stun skill is one of the basic and best skills a fighter class can learn, on top of that the assassin class which also has access to the shield can use it even more creative ways.
- Chivalry Medieval Warfare allows players to perform a stunning shield bash when their shields are equipped (otherwise, they kick). Shield bashing (or kicking) allows a player to stun an enemy out of a block and leave them vulnerable for a second. Flails and Javelins require the player to use the small Buckler shield, which can used in a blunt overhead attack, which does not stun but strikes very quickly and is hard to predict.
- Designing a Combot in Metal Fatigue with two shields will have them fighting in this style. They will usually end up whacking enemies with the edge of the shield, but occasionally Combots will brace their shoulder to ram enemies using the face of the shield. As might be expected, these kind of Combots tend to be great defensively, but low-powered.
- Shield bashing can be used to break an enemy's guard and is also often performed as the Coup de Grâce to an Execution in Ryse: Son of Rome.
- Truth in Television, of course. Roman legionnaires often attacked with their tower shield first. One such move was to slam their shields down on their opponents' feet (very useful back in the day when most armies marched around in sandals).
- This tactic was widespread among Vikings and other Norse warriors; they would even sharpen the iron rims of their shields to make them more effective in this role.
- Theatrical stage combat as taught by the Society of American Fight Directors includes "sword & shield," where you are taught to bash shields together to make a nice "clang" sound without actually hurting each other. It's actually rather difficult, some never master this.
- Center-grip shields under various names are used offensively in martial arts from Turkey, Iran, the Indian sub-continent and the Malay archipelago including the Philippines. Uses include striking, trapping, distraction, unbalancing and levering the opponent's shield out of the way.
- This is the very purpose of small but heavy shields like the buckler and targe. They don't provide much protection but they basically turn the left hand into a Power Fist. Some models are made entirely of metal.
- European fighting manuals from the Middle Ages through the seventeenth century or so include similar techniques. How these were actually applied is a matter of reconstruction and speculation.
- One of the most popular examples happens to be the Spartans. Every piece of combat performed was with a shield (which, by the way, was a few FEET in diameter, and sturdy enough to carry a human body on), completely bronze, with a leather backing. This was, of course, excellent for bashing. Incidentally, as an indication of how important shields were to Spartans, they considered it better to come back from battle on their shields (i.e. dead) than without them.
- Riot Police are fond of using it to corral crowds when in formation or stun an individual into compliance.