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  Hand 3

Hand 3
In hand 3 are the all-important shields. Good players use shields and rack up kills. Novice players ignore them and die. It is impossible to over-emphasize their importance. You need to learn which TAs each shield will counter to use them properly. It takes a little bit of work to memorize them all but it is worth the effort.

Personal Shield:
This shield differs from the elemental shields. It will last until it is beaten down or unraveled while the elementals have a set time limit. Also, a Personal Shield’s protection is not limited to specific TAs but is effective against all attacks. Personal Shield does not offer complete protection, however. It only blunts attacks, so damage will be divided between you and the shield. Use them whenever you can find them.

Fire Shield:
A Fire Shield will protect you from:

  • Dart
  • Fireball
  • Seeker
  • Chain Lightning
  • Taint
  • Explosive Ward

Air Shield:
An Air Shield will protect you from:

  • Air Pulse
  • Dart
  • Seeker
  • Chain Lightning
  • Taint
  • Find Target
  • Whirlwind

Earth Shield:
An Earth Shield will protect you from:

  • Earth Tremor
  • Taint
  • Explosive Ward

Water Shield:
A Water Shield will protect you from:

  • Chain Lightning
  • Decay
  • Freeze
  • Taint

Spirit Shield:
A Spirit Shield will protect you from:

  • Soul Barb
  • Decay
  • Swap Places
  • Taint
  • Find Target

All five of the elemental shields will last for twenty seconds. Once activated, they provide complete protection from TAs they are effective against. You will take no damage and the shield cannot be battered down, no matter how many times it is hit. The defensive value of elemental shields is incalculable. A good way to look at them is as twenty-second Unravels that work against specific TAs. Anything that can be done with Unravel can be done with the appropriate elemental shield. (Technically, this is not an accurate statement. The effects of Unravel and shields are not identical. A Fire Shield will detonate Explosive Wards harmlessly rather than dissipate them. You can walk through a tremor unharmed with an Earth Shield but you won’t dissipate a path through it. Strategically, though, there is no real difference and that is what is important.) It might be a good idea for you to look at the Unravel list and figure out which elemental shield will accomplish which task. I know all that memorization is a pain but it is something you have to do. Many maps offer few hand 4 and 5 TAs but are generous with shields. If you don’t know your shields on that kind of map you are toast.

Whenever you pick up an elemental shield you should look for an opportunity to use it in a combo attack. Shield combos can be as deadly as Freeze combos, especially Fire Shield. When you have a Fire Shield up you can attack with little concern for your own health because Decay and Balefire are the only commonly used weapons that can reach you. I like to think of it as God Mode Lite. Activate the shield and mow down opponents with Fireball and Seeker at close range. Standing in water and attacking with Chain Lightning while you have a Fire, Air, or Water shield up is a great combo too.

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