Old School RuneScape (OSRS) – Best Shields to Use

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Regarding combat, having the best defense in the game is just as important as offense, regardless of which side of the combat triangle you are going for.

In Old School RuneScape, there are dozens of different shields and off-hand items to help maximize your defensive bonuses and ensure you stay alive.

Recommended Read: Old School RuneScape – Level 1-99 Mining Guide

But which shields are the best ones? The answer can get a little tricky since it depends on the situation. In this article, I will give the rundown on the best shields in the game and which situations you would use them in Old School RuneScape!

In Old School RuneScape, the best shields by far include the different sigil shields (Elysian, Arcane, Spectral), dragonfire shields (DFS, Ancient Wyvern Shield, Dragonfire Ward), magic books (mage’s book, tome of fire, tome of water), and the Avernic and Dragon defenders.

Table of Contents

Best Shields in Old School RuneScape

There are a lot of shields for you to pick and choose from in the game, so much so that some of them even fall within their own subcategories.

That being said, some entries will not just be a single shield but instead all of the off-hand items that would fall into that category of equipment.

Sigil Shields (Elysian, Arcane, & Spectral Spirit Shields)

By far, the most powerful shields in the entire game are the spirit shields that can be obtained from the Corporeal Beast.

Not only does each of them have incredible defensive bonuses (52+ and higher across all combat styles besides magic), but each of them has a passive effect to keep you standing longer.

  • Elysian Spirit Shield: Has a 70% chance of reducing 25% damage for the wearer.
  • Arcane Spirit Shield: In addition to the other defensive bonuses, also has a +20 Magic Attack bonus. Can also be combined with the Elidinis’ Ward to make the Elidinis’ Ward (f).
  • Spectral Spirit Shield: In addition to the other defensive bonuses, also has a +30 Magic Defense bonus. This shield also reduces all Prayer-draining attacks by 50%.

Being as the materials to make them only come from the Corporeal Beast, these shields aren’t cheap by any means, with the Spectral Spirit Shield currently going for around 42m, the Arcane Spirit Shield for around 125m, and the Elysian Spirit Shield going for around a whopping 665m.

Dragonfire Shields (Dragonfire Shield, Dragonfire Ward, & Ancient Wyvern Shield)

My personal favorite category in this list, protection from dragonfire is essential not just for fighting against dragons but other PKers using Dragonstone bolts (e) in the Wilderness.

Each of these shields not only provides dragonfire protection but also has fantastic defensive bonuses on its own.

Note: Stats in the picture are inaccurate due to these shields being uncharged when bought from the Grand Exchange.

Once they are fully charged with Dragonfire, they will have their full defensive bonuses.

Dragonfire Shield:

  • When fully charged, has a minimum of +70 Defense bonuses for all combat styles (besides Magic at a +10). You may have noticed this even surpasses the Sigil Shields.
  • Can use a charge to dispense a ball of dragonfire to a target to damage them.

Ancient Wyvern Shield:

  • When fully charged, has a +72 Stab, +80 Slash, +75 Crush, and +15 Magic Defensive bonus. This shield also has a +15 Magic Attack bonus, one of the few shields in the game to have a positive Magic attack.
  • Can use a charge to fire an attack similar to a Wyvern’s ice attack, freezing and damaging the target.

Dragonfire Ward:

  • When fully charged, has moderate defensive bonuses for all combat styles, on top of a +68 Range Defensive and +15 Range Attack bonus.
  • Can use a charge to dispense a ball of dragonfire to a target to damage them.

Magic Books (Mage’s Book, Tome of Fire & Tome of Water)

For those looking to better their magic gear, the different magic books in Old School RuneScape are worth looking into.

Not only are they relatively cheap, but they provide unique and powerful effects for your spell casting.

  • Mage’s Book: 3rd highest Magic Attack in the game at +15. Only costs around 2.8m.
  • Tome of Fire: Charged with Burnt Pages to act as a source of infinite fire runes. If you are casting fire spells, the damage will be increased by 50%.
  • Tome of Water: Charged with Soaked Pages to act as a source of infinite water runes. Also increases the effectiveness of water spells and all curse spells (Vulnerability, Entangle, etc.).

Defenders (Avernic & Dragon)

Not all of the best off-hand items in OSRS are shields!

Defenders are a melee-based off-hand item that provides the best offensive bonuses in the game.

Players can earn defenders by killing the Cyclopes in the Warrior’s Guild, starting with a bronze one and slowly working to the Dragon Defender (which is earned by the Cyclopes’ stronger variant).

The Dragon Defender provides +25 Stab, +24 Slash, +23 Crush, and +6 Strength bonus.

If you are able to obtain an Avernic Defender Hilt from the Grand Exchange or the Theatre of Blood, you can combine it with the Dragon Defender to make the Avernic Defender.

The Avernic Defender provides +30 Stab, +29 Slash, +28 Crush, and +8 Strength bonus.

Those are the best shields in Old School RuneScape!

Do you have any input or suggestions for this guide? Let us know in the comment section below.


Kadence is an Old School RuneScape veteran with over 15 years of experience. They have been writing across various genres (in and outside of gaming) for years now, becoming a master of their craft at providing in-depth guides and explanations.

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