Follow TV Tropes


Shield Bash

Go To

Ganon: You went through nine dungeons?
Link: Yep.
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.
Link Didn't Get Sword, Dorkly Bits

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 perceived as less suitable for straight attacking than traditional weapons, they do less damage but have a decent chance to cause effects like Knock Back or stunning. 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 proliferation of gunpowder weapons made them unfeasibly heavy and expensive, 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 of metal protrusion for exactly this purpose. It's still not as damaging as stabbing someone with a sword, but it is harder to block, unpredictable, 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 for lunch and your battles aren't supposed to be realistic, the shield can be thrown like a boomerang.

If a force field or Deflector Shield is used like this, then it's a variation of Deadly Force Field.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Bofuri: I Don't Want to Get Hurt, so I'll Max Out My Defense., the main character Maple uses her large shield to defeat enemies by... falling with the shield above these. She does have a short sword too, but she prefers to use her shield as her primary "weapon".
  • In A Certain Magical Index II episode 24, Touma swings a riot shield at Hamazura, and rips out his nose-ring in the process.
  • 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.
  • Gamaran: Arimaru mostly uses her colossal shield to charge at her opponents and ram them with enough force to make them fall to the ground and cough blood. As a bonus, the shield also features a slit for her blade, though the blade rarely if even hits the intended target.
  • Goblin Slayer is fully adept at using his small shield as a deadly weapon against Goblins, especially when it's shown that he has the edges serrated to make certain they're just as lethal as his actual weapons. His very first kill in the main series involves him smashing a goblin into the wall with it before burning its face off with his torch.
  • Gundam: 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.
  • One Piece: during the Baratie arc, minor villain Pearl "The Iron Wall" covers his body with massive shields, which are also present on his knees, elbows and hands: the hand-held ones have large pearl-shaped domes he uses to attack by violently punching people with them. He refers to the attack as "Pearl's Present".
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero: It takes a while, but Naofumi soon gets a skill explicitly called Shield Bash. It doesn't do much damage because of his inherently low strength, but it still allows him to stun enemies.
  • 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.
  • World Trigger:
    • The built-in Thruster allows Raygust, in either blade or shield mode, to propel itself and its wielder onto the opponent as an offensive dash. In Osamu’s training match with Kazama, Osamu uses Raygust's Thruster plus shield mode to thrust-and-pin Kazama to the wall, lock him up by reversing the shield into an outward cup form, and open a small hole in the shield to fire an unavoidable Asteroid shot at Kazama.
    • Hyuse’s debut as a Tamakoma-2 member presents his opponents with Border’s first ever offensive usage of Escudo, a defensive trigger that summons heavy barricades from any surface.
      • In his debut battle with Suzunari-1, Hyuse applies the Escudo to Murakami’s avatar to push Captain Kuruma away from Murakami’s protection range and let Osamu make a hit on Kuruma.
      • During the final match of the B-Rank Wars, Hyuse makes use of his simulation environment by summoning Escudo to launch a parked car at Obishima, sending her flying.

    Card Games 
  • This is the gimmick of the "Superheavy Samurai" monsters in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Though they generally have a low ATK stat, their DEF stat makes up for it. And the monster "Superheavy Samurai Big Benkei" allows them all to attack while they are in Defense Position, by using their DEF as their ATK.

    Comic Books 
  • This happens from time to time in Asterix, usually with Roman scutum shields. Not because the Romans are doing this on purpose, but because one of the indomitable Gauls has seized the shield from a legionary and is now pursuing its previous owner while trying to hit them over the head with it.
  • The Boys has Soldier Boy, who carries around a kite shield. He can use it as a blunt weapon, but it only does so much against fellow superhumans.
  • Guardian and related character the Manhattan Guardian use an "indestructible" shield for both defense and attack. The clone version of Guardian also throws his shield for attacks, but unlike the rest of those who carry the legacy he is a Super Soldier rather than a Badass Normal.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • 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, U.S. Agent and his replacement 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.
    • Secret Wars (1984): During a raid on the villains' lair, Captain America confronts the Enchantress. She tries hitting Cap with zap bolts from her hands, but these all miss. "By Surtur's teeth, he moves like a cat!" she observes. When Cap gets within striking distance, Enchatress tries the old "You Wouldn't Hit a Girl" ploy, to which Cap responds with "With anyone else, Enchantress." Cap then knocks her out with his shield against her jaw.
  • In Paperinik New Adventures Paperinik has occasionally used his Extransformer Shield like this, though rarely as very few enemies manage to get through the various offensive gadgets of the shield and come close enough for the bash.

    Fan Works 
  • In Discworld fic It Happened on Hogswatch Eve, the Assassins' Guild instructor in swordcraft, Madame Deux-Epées, practically demonstrates how a large heavy shield can get the better of a sword - specifically that it is a large item with a lot of mass and a big metal boss in the middle, with what might well be an unexpected offensive shock to the over-confident.
  • The Mountain and the Wolf:
    • The Wolf carries a massive runeshield that block magic, but he isn't averse to slamming it into enemies either.
    • Akkarulf wins a fight against a Dark Elf slaver by slamming his shield into her chin, then hooking her ankle as she stumbles backwards in order to trip her.
    • While Tyrion doesn't do it in the fic, that fact that it happened once (well, beating a downed man to death with a shield) so impresses the Wolf that he only ever refers to Tyrion as Shield-slayer after he learns of it, where other characters get various levels of disrespect or insults.
  • The Rigel Black Chronicles: Harry discovers that a Fortis shield spell will travel with the caster, allowing her to charge forward and knock opponents over like bowling pins. She calls it her Bubble of Doom.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 300:
    • The Spartans do this 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.
  • The Avenging Eagle, a 90s kung-fu film, have the two heroes facing a legion of deadly enemy fighters, the last two being the Gold and Silver Eagles - two Giant Mook brutes armed with bladed shields, which they use to whack the heroes with.
  • In the film version of Prince Caspian from The Chronicles of Narnia, Miraz uses this move during his duel with Peter.
  • DC Extended Universe: Wonder Woman wields a shield and one-handed swords, and can use the former to attack.
    • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, she uses her shield to make Doomsday trip, with Superman slamming him on the ground.
    • In Wonder Woman, she kicks some German soldiers' ass with her shield when she decides to liberate the town of Veld. She also breaks a Maxim machine gun with it after successfully crossing the No Man's Land under a rain of bullets.
  • In Kick-Ass 2, Battle Guy wields a riot shield and hits a few bad guys with it.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • In The Fellowship of the Ring, 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.
    • Extra material mentions that the Elven leaf shields have a sharp point at the base so that it can serve as an emergency stabbing weapon.
  • During the epic 100-on-1 fight in Magadheera, the warrior Kala Bhairava uses a his shield to knock out a Shere Khan soldier, with the subsequent shot showing the shield's surface having caved in from the impact.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Captain America's signature combat style, of course.
      • In Captain America: The First Avenger, he sends Hydra soldiers sailing ten feet into the air.
      • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the directors took the opportunity to explore all the combat possibilities with an indestructible shield that is also a returning thrown weapon.
      • And they did it again in Captain America: Civil War. He notably nails Spider-Man in the face during their fight, a blow that would have certainly concussed an ordinary human. In the final fight, Cap delivers the coup de grâce to Iron Man by destroying his chest Arc reactor with his shield, disabling his powered armor.
    • In Thor: The Dark World, Lady Sif uses her shield to hit at least one opponent in the battle of Vanaheim.
  • In Mortal Kombat: The Movie, 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.
  • In Prey (2022), one of the Predator's weapons is a buckler shield with a rim sharp enough to decapitate an enemy.
  • Achilles uses his shield this way in Troy, in his duel with Hector, as does Paris against Menelaus.

  • In Dragonlance, Tika Waylan, a barmaid who joins the heroes after her home is destroyed in the war, panics in her first fight and bashes a foe to death with her shield after dropping her sword. Later novels note that she never truly mastered the sword, but had turned shield-bashing into an art.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire. Bronn nearly gets killed when Ser Vardis Egen does this during their Trial by Combat fight in A Game of Thrones. Bronn loses a tooth but stays on his feet and wins the battle.

    Live Action TV 
  • Deadliest Warrior: Used frequently: William Wallace's spiked Targe shield (in conjunction with the long-bladed Dirk dagger) was made for this purpose, and the (lone) Spartan Hoplite uses it against his Ninja opponent, and later on against the Samurai in the "Back For Blood" Special. Also, they measured it: getting a Shield Bash from a Spartan means the same amount of force as a car crash. Usually directed at the chest or neck. Ouch. In both fights, the Spartan's shield was noted as being a crucial factor in his victory; besides the aforementioned impact force from direct blows, the Ninja had no way to directly penetrate it, and the Samurai would've needed more blows from his kanabo than would've made a difference in the outcome.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The dwarf Tyrion Lannister kills his first man this way, using a kite shield.
    • Brienne hits Loras' helm-covered head with her shield in the melee, but he recovers from the blow.
    • One of Grey Worm's fighting techniques.
  • House of the Dragon: The fighters of The Tourney (even Daemon and Criston) in the pilot have taken to doing this either in one-on-one combat, or in the melee. As noted in the main trope page, this is actually Truth in Television for war—although the usage of it in this tourney actually helps highlight the degeneration, bloodlust and meat-headedness of the participants (as per Princess Rhaenys).
  • Rome. Titus Pullo takes a man's head off with what appears to be a sharpened shield edge in the arena fight. Less gorily, he uses a round shield to take out another gladiator by bashing the man in the face till he's unconscious.
  • James Olsen in Supergirl once he becomes Guardian to fight crime and protect people has a retractable shield he uses as his main weapon.
  • Used in some Super Sentai/Power Rangers weapons, notably by the Blue Ranger in Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger/Power Rangers: Dino Thunder.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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 isn't a popular option). Third edition officially introduced the idea of shields being specially enchanted to make them better for bashing. 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.
    • The early Dungeons & Dragons boxed sets (which got amalgamated into the D&D Cyclopedia) actually made heavy use of the shield weapons - there was the horned shield, knife shield, sword shield and the tusk shield (this one was a massive shield with a pair of tusk-like blades that allowed a user to attack twice). As with other weapons, one can get weapon grandmastery in these.
  • The ability to attack with one's shield is part and parcel of the Shield Skill in GURPS. In addition to their primary purpose (allowing one to Block in addition to bestowing a general Defense Bonus that also aids Dodge and Parry along with Block), shields can be used to feint, bash *and* boost the damage in a slam. You can even add a spike for further damage or sharpen the rim of the shield for a surprisingly effective cutting attack. Finally, there are quite a few options - including the Shoves and Tackles Perk in addition to the Weapon Master Advantage (which *can* be applied to shields) - for those who want to properly represent a warrior that is scarily competent with a shield in an offensive capacity.
  • Necromunda: House Van Saar's unique 'Hystrar' pattern energy shieldsnote , can be used to batter an enemy as well as protect the wielder and, while its stats only make it as powerful as a knife, it can be used to an enemy back from the wielder or off high scenery.
  • Pathfinder takes this and runs with it. The feat, Shield Mastery, removes all penalties incurred by Shields when used as a weapon for the purposes of Two-Weapon Fighting. This lead to several players using two shields, thus suffering no penalties at all and proving the most-effective means of two-weapon fighting in the game, which appropriately seemed absolutely absurd... until it was pointed out by several players on Paizo's forums that not only was this tactic very real and very effective, it was actually employed by several different cultures and schools of martial arts.
  • In Stormbringer, shields weren't treated as pieces of armor. They are actually weapons with a high parrying rate and surprisingly good damage — for example, the tower shield hits about as hard as a broadsword.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The suppression shield wielded by some Imperial warriors such as the Adeptus Arbites and, in some editions, the Crusaders of the Ecclesiarchy, incorporates an electro-shock generator designed to stun any enemy that is struck by, or strikes, the shield. How this is represented depends on the edition with 2nd Edition giving the wielder a Dash Attack, while 3rd Edition counts them as both an additional close combat weapon (similarly to a knife held in the model's off-hand) as well as giving them a special invulnerable save.

    Video Games 
  • In the campaign mode of Age of Mythology, Ajax's special attack is a shield whack that sends enemy soldiers flying.
  • Batman: Arkham City:
    • Riot shield mooks 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, unless you use the Special Combo Disarm and Destroy technique which permanently prevents its use from mooks.
    • Robin's staff also folds out to make a bullet proof shield, which can also be used to ram into enemies.
  • 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.
  • SWAT zombies from Bloody Zombies still carry their riot shields around after zombification, and will repeatedly use their shields to smash your head in.
  • Bound by Blades has the third hero of The Bound, Kota, a bovine brawler who Dual Wield shields. The smaller, round buckler shield have spikes protruding from it's sides, while the larger pavise shield functions more like a conventional defense item. Kota can use both to smash his enemies, with the former expectedly dealing more damage.
  • Bravely Default and Bravely Second's Knight class possess a Shield Strike attack. It doesn't do as much damage (and still uses your Attack stat, which means not having a weapon in your other hand makes it ineffective), but raises the user's defense in the process.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dark Devotion: You can obtain a spiked shield called the Rose Targe, which damages any enemy that attacks you while you block. There are also enemies in the Alabaster Citadel who can use their shields to attack you: one will shove you back after blocking an attack, while the other fires a laser from the face of its shield.
  • In Darkest Dungeon, the Bone Defender enemy and the Man-at-Arms hero have shields that they can bash enemies with, for both knockback and stun effects.
  • In the Dark Souls trilogy, shields can be used as bashing weapons, either by two-handing standard shields, bashing with spiked shields or slamming with greatshields. Then there are the shields that are primarily intended for parrying; of all weapons, they tend to keep opponents stunned longer, leaving them open for a riposte.
    • In the first game, the damage isn't that spectacular, turning shield bashes into a form of Cherry Tapping, though if the shield impacts it knocks an opponent back, making it startlingly effective on ledges.
    • In the second game, shields do substantial damage, especially when upgraded or infused, making a shield-bashing build difficult but viable. There's even a pair of shields specifically designed for Dual Wielding together; the enemies that wield them, the Imperious Knights, tend to set up blocking corridors and doorways in the Undead Crypt, where they resemble nothing so much as bad-tempered walls that try to crush you as you try to get past.
    • Dark Souls III makes the bash even better by letting you hit with the shield without lowering your guard—you can even wield it in the right hand to getting a ramming Dash Attack. The results in player-versus-player are rather astounding. The Ashes of Ariandel DLC takes this trope even further with the Valorheart, a paired set of a gladius and a shield. It incorporates shield bashing into its moveset, such as the spinning bash in the standard attack, and the weapon skill "Lion's Roar", which knocks down enemies by a strong bash with a lion's roar. The Ringed City DLC also brings back the paired greatshields designed for Dual Wielding.
  • The final boss of Dead to Rights wields an electrified riot shield as a weapon.
  • Destiny 2 has the Sentinel Shield for Titan players, which the player can either use to block enemy attacks or as a weapon, the third attack of which is a charge forwards (or the player can throw it, causing it to ricochet between enemies).
  • Diablo series:
    • In Diablo, shields do the same damage as a punch or kick, but give you the chance to block enemy melee strikes.
    • Diablo II has the Smite skill for the Paladin in which he bashes the enemy with the shield to stun them. There's even an independent damage value for shields meaning spikier and heavier shields will deal more damage. The biggest draw of this skill is that it's an Always Accurate Attack, one of the very few in the whole game.
    • Diablo III gives shield-bash skills to the Crusader, who is able to use both regular and tower shields.
  • 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. It's one of the few attacks that can break an Ogre's grab attack.
    • 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 Area of 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 again an ability for any character that uses a sword and shield. In combat, it can knock armor off enemies. Outside combat, warriors can use it to demolish obstacles. Cassandra and Blackwall will likely have this ability due to using shields by default.
  • In Dragon Nest, one of the Cleric's first two skills is this.
  • In Dragon Project, the Burst Sword and Shield allows the player to parry Behemoth attacks with a shield before landing a powerful dash stab called Sonic Thrust. The Burst Sword and Shield is also so tanky that it nullifies all Status Effects in the game, even death itself.
  • Dragon Quest IX: The Shield Bash doesn't do huge damage, but it leaves the user in a defensive stance for a few turns. Unfortunately, it can be cancelled out by the dreaded Disruptive Wave.
  • The Bash skill in Dragon's Crown allows the Fighter to do this as a counter-attack after blocking, dealing damage with a chance to stun. He also performs charging tackles with his shield for his dash attacks.
  • 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.
  • The Knight class in the MMORPG Dungeon Fighter Online uses her Shield for every attack prior to her class change, and her first subclass, the Elven Knight, can use it in MANY more ways than the Zanbato she uses.
  • 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).
  • The Dynasty Warriors franchise has several shield-toting characters, most of whom have this technique as part of their moveset somewhere.
    • In the main series, Xingcai wields a traditional sword and shield moveset. Several of her attacks have her whacking the enemy units with her shield. In the 9th main iteration, Lu Linqi joins her in doing this, with a sword and shield moveset of her own.
    • Muneshige Tachibana from Samurai Warriors does this in several of his attacks.
    • Link from Hyrule Warriors has a move where he charges forward with his shield, bulldozing any enemies in his way.
    • 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.
  • The Elder Scrolls features Shield Bashing in a few different titles:
    • 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.
    • 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. There are even special shields that provide bonuses from a shield bash, from causing damage over time to 'literally' blowing an opponent away.
    • While any weapon (including sword & board) can block and bash in The Elder Scrolls Online, the One-Handed Weapon and Shield skill tree has specific Shield Bash skills: Shield Charge, which is a charging bash that closes distance between you and your target; and Power Bash, a full force shield slam.
  • In Etrian Odyssey, shields are normally used for their defensive stats and for defense-based skills, but some shield skills are attack skills that inflict bash-type damage. They are notable in Etrian Odyssey Nexus for using the shield's defense stat with a rather large multiplier to calculate damage, allowing the otherwise-Stone Wall Protector class to inflict massive damage with the correct build.
  • Fate/Grand Order: Mash Kyrielight, as a unique "Shielder"-class Servant, carries around a massive cross-shaped shield as her only armament. Naturally, when she has to attack, she does so by smashing things with said shield. This leads to some amusing lines in the Orleans chapter of the story, where the protagonists decide to practice Non-Lethal Warfare against innocents who attack them due to a misunderstanding, and Mash replies "Got it, I'll use the back of the blade." The other characters ask how exactly that phrase can be applied to a shield. Other Servants who use shields are also not above using it to bash enemies as part of their attack animations.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • 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 if the attacked blocked was physical, or a barrage of spells if magical). 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 prequel Dissidia 012: Duodecim gives him a new HP attack in 'Ultimate Shield', which, well, consists solely of a series of bludgeonings with his shield.
    • 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.
    • The Paladin job in Final Fantasy XIV has two variations of shield bashing; Shield Bash smacks enemies with the shield and stuns them. Shield Lob has the Paladin throw their shield at the enemy to attack from a distance and build up aggro from them. Both skills can't be used if a shield isn't equipped.
    • Final Fantasy XV has shields classed as weapons, useable by Noctis and Gladiolus. Noctis plays the trope the straightest by having his combos almost exclusively use the shield; Gladio primarily uses them for defending, but has a few moves to strike with the edge.
  • For Honor: Warlord and Conqueror very like to do this. The former has the ability to push enemies an extremely long distance with guard breaks and shield charges. But Conqueror's bash seems to be more memetic because it is unblockable which leads to spam of this attack.
  • Front Mission:
    • 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.
  • Genshin Impact:
    • Shieldwall Mitachurls primarily attack by charging into you with their shields, but will also bludgeon you with them if you come into melee range. If their shields are destroyed, their attacks don't really change, they just start attacking with their heads and fists instead.
    • Candace's Elemental Skill allows her to smash enemies with her shield, dealing hydro damage to them.
  • Kratos has a collapsible shield in God of War (PS4). Sometimes he bashes people with the broad side, others he punches them with the edge of it.
  • GoldenEye: Rogue Agent has the high-tech variant in the "Magnetic Shield Bash," which overloads Goldeneye's force-field into the bad-guy right in front of him. It's also pretty useful for neutralizing enemy forcefields... Just be sure they're not also carrying the OMEN X-R.
  • Grim Dawn: While the Soldier's Force Wave skill can be used with a shield, the Oathkeeper class is especially focused on bludgeoning their enemies to death with their heavy shield, and keeping it blessed the whole time for extra protection and extra pummeling; it's just proper for a Paladin-esque class in a Diablo-inspired game. More amusingly there's a Lethal Joke Item family in the form of the Totally Normal Shields, which are fairly powerful weapons rather than actual shields used like maces. As the description says, "Southpaws will understand."
  • Warriors, Guardians and Engineers in Guild Wars 2 are used for protective purposes, but each one also has some form of attack that either physically attacks opponents, or generates magic to bump them back. With the Heart of Thorns expansion, the Mesmer's Chronomancer specialization can also use a shield to do damage. Only the Revenant's Herald specialization uses shields purely for defense.
  • Hades has the Shield of Chaos as one of the weapons you can use. Aside from just swiping with it, Zagreus can toss it like a boomerang as well as a perform a shield charge as a Charged Attack, where you're protected from all frontal damage while charging.
    Chaos: You come to my domain bearing an all-seeing artifact that sprang from me after the dawn of time. It is considered a defensive instrument, I do believe. Though, I suspect you have discovered, or soon shall discover, it is nothing of the sort.
  • Halo:
    • Hunters will do this if you get too close, and since these shields are massive and composed of warship-grade material, this can and will more often than not result in a one-hit kill, especially on Heroic/Legendary difficulty.
    • Halo 5: Guardians gives the relatively frail Jackals the ability to do this with their energy shields.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic V has this as a creature ability.
  • In Infinity Blade, starting with III, Siris (if wielding a light weapon) can slash titans with his shield during a super move.
  • In Killer Instinct, Spinal can stab and electrocute opponents with his shield.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Goofy and Vexen. Goofy typically uses bashing attacks with the broad side of his shield. Vexen, on the other hand, uses the sharp edges of his shield when he attacks, making his shield almost like a sword at times.
    • In the first game, Sora can dabble in this by selecting the Dream Shield in the tutorial. Goofy can also wield said shield in the same game and in 358/2 Days.
    • The Counter Shield formchange in III is designed for, well, counterattacking, but Sora can smack enemies around with it just fine as well.
  • 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 Kirby: Revenge of Dream Land, the Mini-Boss Gigant Edge can perform a lightning-fast attack where he slides across the ground with his shield outstretched. It's one of the fastest moves in his arsenal, and dodging it requires some practice.
  • 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. Leona's "Shield of Daybreak" ability turns her next autoattack into a stunning shield attack. Taric, who usually uses his shield to send out a ranged Stun, bashes enemies with it in some autoattacks (when he's not Dropping the Hammer). And Braum, who explicitly says "My shield is my sword!", attacks turrets by swinging his massive shield in both hands like a battering ram.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • 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 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Link has to shield bash just when an enemy attacks him, negating damage to his shield and opening up an opportunity for a sword combo. In the latter case, it can even reflect Guardian laser beams. Lynel shields, which have blades built into their rims, will also damage foes when parrying blows.
  • 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.
  • Lost Planet 2 features a special folding shield that is virtually impenetrable from the front and covers an area about 3 riot shields wide. It also allows for a powerful ramming attack, complete with a taser function, zapping anyone unlucky enough to get rammed.
  • Mass Effect:
    • In Mass Effect 2, the Shadow Broker will resort to this during Shepard's fight against him with his omnishield.
    • 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 just like the Broker's, which can be upgraded with cryo or incendiary damage effects.
  • 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.
  • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Sundowner is able to bash Raiden around with the shields attached to his back. Since they're hi-tech shields that explode on contact, this hurts quite a bit more than it sounds.
  • Modern Warfare: In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, you can ram with the shield as an attack.
  • Mortal Kombat 11: When Past Johnny Cage's face gets grazed by a bullet, he picks up a riot shield and rams the gunmen. The game also gives Sheeva a spiked version that she brings into battle.
  • Brigitte of Overwatch carries a shield which she can use to protect herself and stun enemies by smashing them 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''. However, he does actually use the said chair to block during his guarding animations in Persona 4: Arena though.
  • 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.
  • Pokémon:
    • Shieldon and Bastiodon from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl have shields for heads and can learn the head-bashing moves Iron Head and Headbutt.
    • The legendary mascot Zamazenta from Pokémon Sword and Shield has Iron Head become Behemoth Bash while in its Crowned form, where it enlarges its shield armor and strikes the opponent while it's holding the Rusted Shield.
    • In Pokkén Tournament, Aegislash has several moves where it hits the opponent with its shield, such as its Up-X in Duel Phase.
  • Xeno Guardians in Prismata have shields with buzzsaw blades embedded in them. This lets them attack and block at the same time.
  • In Project M, Pit gained an upward shield attack for extra K.O. power.
  • Sprinting with the Shield Power active will effectively make Alex a battering ram in [PROTOTYPE].
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A key skill of the human knight and defender in R.O.H.A.N. 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.
  • 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.
  • Sophitia and Cassandra of the Soul Series have a few attacks using their shields. They can also equip spiked shields.
  • Spiral Knights gives us two variations: a "shield bump" done by simply bringing up the shield next to enemies that'll push them away, and a special Shield Bash ability that causes the user to charge forward with his shield and stun anything he comes in contact with. However, neither move does any real damage.
  • In Star Wars: The Old Republic Knights of the Fallen Empire you defeat Emperor Arcann through a powered-up version of this
  • Reflecting his status as a Barrier Warrior, Steven in Steven Universe: Save the Light uses a shield bash as his staple move. It does the least damage of any basic move in the game, but Steven is unharmed by incoming attacks and pointy things as he's charging forward, and it knocks enemies back the furthest.
  • Shieldy Blockerson of Super Time Force has a shield which he can bash enemies with.
  • Tales of Maj'Eyal has the Shield Offense skill group, shared by the Bulwark, Wyrmic, Sun Paladin, and Demonologist classes. The basic shield bash skill stuns an enemy, while the capstone Assault skill uses a shield-bash to knock the enemy off-balance and follows up with two guaranteed Critical Hit attacks from the mainhand weapon. Sun Paladins and Demonologists also have access to the Guardian and Doom Shield skill groups, which combine shield-bashing with their respective magics. Lastly, the Dwarf-only Stone Warden class specializes in dual-wielding shields along with arcane magic and wild-gifts.
  • Estelle and Flynn from Tales of Vesperia both utilize shield bashes in some of their artes.
  • 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. Another 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, and yet another one, the Tide Turner, is even better, allowing very sharp turning and recharging with a successful kill, allowing for rapid-fire rammings. Even if it is a ship's steering wheel rather than a shield.
  • Them's Fightin' Herds: One of the ice-made weapons Stronghoof can summon is a large shield which he uses to bash his opponent twice. His sidekick Vetr can perform a follow-up move where he picks up the discarded shield to protect Stronghoof from attacks.
  • In Urban Chaos: Riot Response, the riot shield was useful for knocking out enemies.
  • 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.
  • Vindictus: Fiona incorporates slamming her shield in half of all her attacks.
  • Warcraft:
    • Averted in Warcraft III: Footmen can switch to a defensive stance where they take reduced damage from piercing attacks, but move slower. The switching animation looks like this trope, however, so some custom maps give them the move.
    • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has this as an Epic spell for the Warrior class. It deals 1 damage to a minion for every point of armor your hero has (10 damage for 10 armor, for example).
  • 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. Shield Slam on the other hand hits like a truck and can easily be the most damaging attack low-level warriors have.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: Reyn, the resident Mighty Glacier party member, specializes in a shield/lance hybrid weapon counter-intuitively called a gunlance, 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 and it also executes the fastest out of other Daze arts which is useful for the fact that most enemies don't stay toppled for long.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles X, the Shield weapon used by the Shield Trooper and Bastion Warrior classes do this for all of their physical arts, they ever have an art where they hit the air so hard they can hit multiple enemies and slow them.
  • Tora from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 only really uses his shield to bash during auto-attacks, instead relying on gadgets inside the Shield to use his arts.
  • Players wearing shields in ZAngband have a chance of getting in a shield bash.


    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television, of course. Roman legionnaires often attacked with their scutum 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).
    • Note that the idea with using a large shield in this manner wasn't to directly attack someone, but to push them back and distract them in order to go for a stabbing attack (this is why Roman infantry preferred stabbing swords, and it also allowed them to remain in formation while still using swords effectively).
    • 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 (or right hand, if you are left handed) 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.
  • The hoplon was the centerpiece of the hoplitic phalanx, the preferred tactic used by the Greek city states.
    • One of the most popular examples happens to be the Spartans. Every piece of combat performed was with the hoplon (or aspis) shield (which, by the way, was a few FEET in diameter, and sturdy enough to carry a human body on), of bronze-plated wood, 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 (running away).
    • It was so effective that the Persians, having discovered the hard way just how effective the phalanx is once they manage to close range, would often hire Greek mercenaries to serve as heavy infantry, and the tactic would spread to peoples all around the Mediterranean, including the late Kingdom/early Republic incarnation of the Roman Army.
  • Riot Police are fond of using it to corral crowds when in formation or stun an individual into compliance.
  • This medieval reenactor gets an excellent demonstration of how the tactic works (along with a few seconds of Dramatic Irony).


Video Example(s):


Jailgoon shield bash

Jailgoons attempt to rush Bowser and hit him with their shields.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShieldBash

Media sources: