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Elden Ring's new Thrusting Shields make Shadow of the Erdtree difficulty trivial, players say


Elden Ring player character lifts spiked Thrusting Shield over their head
Image credit: FromSoftware

Elden Ring DLC Shadow of the Erdtree introduced Thrusting Shields as a new weapon type, but some players believe they're overpowered to the point of being "absolutely busted".

You may have spotted in the DLC's gameplay trailer the player character leaping through the air with a spiked shield. This is one of many new weapon types, with two shields to choose from: the Dueling Shield and Carian Thrusting Shield.

Both shields have the Shield Strike skill that uses the shield to attack. And if attacking and blocking at the same time seems overpowered, well it is.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree | Official Gameplay Reveal TrailerWatch on YouTube

"New Thrusting shields are the strongest weapons in the entire game and it's not even close," wrote DamnHare on the Elden Ring subreddit. "NG+ DLC was absolutely obliterated. Thrusting shields can be enchanted with any affinity/damage type that makes them extremely versatile. And it's just so much fun to slap the grace out of every single boss!"

Many others agree. As PC Gamer points out, the shields can be modified with any damage type and scaling and work particularly well with certain talismans like the Spear Talisman for extra counterattack damage, and the Two-Handed Sword Talisman for a two-handed damage boost.

You can also throw in the Sekiro-esque Deflecting Hardtear too to strengthen guard counters and voila, the ultimate tank build!

One response to DamnHare's post claimed the Thrusting Shields are "absolutely busted" and how that player beat the final boss. "Being able to guard counter to break poise while not worrying about timing and only taking chip damage is insane. Being able to just spam attacks and tank through everything only taking chip damage is insane," said Drstrangelove899. "The stamina drain from attacking through attack seems really minimal even against massive boss attacks. And its damage is really good as well, especially as its attacks are considered thrust and benefit from the spear talisman."

Here's Japanese X user pirochanbanzai showing just how effective this build can be.

YouTuber Larry Puss has also put together a video of the build, explaining how it just requires players to spam two buttons (beware of boss spoilers in the video).

Of course, some players will prefer a different fighting style and may consider these tactics as cheap. But if you're struggling with bosses, you could consider changing your build to this. At the least, it's amusing how Soulsborne games have slowly moved away from tank builds only to find shields might just be the strongest weapons in Elden Ring after all.

It's also your cue to change up your weapon tactics from the base game and try one of the new weapon types. I, for one, have slapped bleed on the Dryleaf Arts to pummel dragons in the face - it's a lot of fun.

Many Shadow of the Erdtree players criticised the DLC for being too difficult and the game received a negative rating on Steam for this and performance issues. However, it's since turned this around and now has a "Mostly Positive" response.

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