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Animated Shield 5E Item [How To Defend Yourself Hands-Free]

Animated Shield 5E Item Explained
  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 12/28/2023
Est. Reading: 5 minutes

If you happen to be an ardent Dungeons and Dragons player, you’re undoubtedly familiar with a host of magical items that can elevate the gaming experience.

From healing potions to flying broomsticks, the game is packed with an array of artifacts that make it utterly thrilling. In this vast treasure trove, one item that perhaps stands out is the Animated Shield 5E.

Are you engaging in a dangerous battle where things are not leaning in your favor? The Animated Shield 5E comes to your rescue. Now picture this: With just a word, your shield springs into action, swirling around you all by itself – isn’t that something?

This arcane shield brings more than just defense capabilities into play. It’s a fellow combatant fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with you.

What is the Animated Shield in D&D 5E?

Simply put, the Animated Shield, as featured in Dungeons & Dragons 5E, is a special kind of defensive gear. It’s not your everyday shield. With this in your armory, you get a boost to defend yourself during intense battles.

What is the Animated Shield in D&D 5E?

While holding this magnificent item in your hands, you can utter its command word. This causes the shield to animate or come alive. When animated, it doesn’t just provide static defense – it gives active protection all around you from potential harm.

What sets this apart is its ability to animate independently without constant physical handling. In most situations, a player must utilize an action to activate typical magical items.

Note that your utterance of the command word is crucial here. Figuring out this secret word itself requires attuning to the item, which could be an adventure in itself.

But once you’ve got it memorized and get your pronunciation right (remember, this isn’t Harry Potter!), you have control over an artifact that can be an ultimate game-changer.

Just remember that while it’s floating and protecting, your hands are free for other actions like casting spells or wielding another weapon.

The magic wears off after one minute (or ten rounds of combat), but until then, imagine the advantages it could offer.

Power of Animated Shield

Perhaps you’ve heard your fellow D&D enthusiasts speak in awe of the “Animated Shield 5E,” or perhaps you’ve battled against it on the field of fantasy combat.

Power of Animated Shield

Either way, you want to know what makes this item so coveted and so vital for any campaign. Let’s delve into the power this artifact holds and reveal how it can change the course of any game.

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Wielder can make shield float, protect

Imagine a piece of armor that doesn’t just serve as a barrier but also fights alongside you like an otherworldly companion. That’s precisely what the Animated Shield does.

Once its command is spoken as a bonus action, it acts independently. You speak, and it comes alive.

Reacting to enemies’ swings or arrows shot in your direction while allowing both of your hands to remain free – to wield two-handed weapons or use spell components. It’s like having an additional party member focused solely on protecting you.

The shield can float for up to one minute

Now, here’s where things get even more exciting! Once animated, the shield floats around for not just a few seconds but for an entire minute (which translates to 10 rounds in combat time).

During that cherished timespan, your defense gets majorly fortified with minimal effort on your part. Under many circumstances, those critical 60 seconds can mean the difference between survival and peril.

Shield defends like carried in combat

Do you worry about sacrificing moves or reactive ability once the Animated Shield is active? Well, think again! This brilliant piece of magic doesn’t impair your defensive capabilities when activated; instead, it enhances them phenomenally.

While floating around autonomously in battlefield scenarios, it judiciously replicates our movements as if we were carrying it, parrying strikes and obstructing arrows directed towards us with elegant precision.

Falls to the floor if the wielder is incapacitated

Alas! Even an item as impressive as the Animated Shield isn’t without its limitations. When you, dear wielder, are incapacitated or knocked unconscious, the shield loses its enchantment and falls inert to the ground.

It remains powerless until you regain consciousness and command it to animate again. It’s an important factor to consider in high-risk combat situations where loss of consciousness is a likelihood.

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How Good is the Animated Shield?

There’s no doubt that the Animated Shield holds an appeal. Not only does it have defensive capabilities, but it also comes alive! Still, is it as good as its rarity might suggest? Well, let’s break it down.

How Good is the Animated Shield?

The Animated Shield can be likened to +2 armor. There’s a catch. With +2 armor, you get a passive defense bonus all the time. You wear it and forget about it – allowing you to focus on your attacks and strategies in combat.

With the Animated Shield, though, it’s not so simple. While undoubtedly impressive when animated and orbiting around you independently, this magical item requires carrying and necessitates that you use your bonus action to command its activation.

Now, here’s where things might get sticky for some adventure-buff veterans out there. Using a bonus action for merely activating a shield seems rather excessive. This isn’t completely unwarranted, given that this is essentially a slight step down from +2 armor in terms of value.

So, should you totally write off getting one in your next campaign? Not so fast! It may not surpass +2 armor on paper for some of us seasoned campaigners.

New players might still appreciate its uniqueness. The reality is that few magical items offer the spectacle of a self-flying shield after all.

While not hailing as the ultimate go-to defensive item in 5E for all (especially experienced) players due to its demand on bonus actions and carrying obligation, newer players or those who value style alongside substance might find getting their hands on an Animated Shield adds an unmatchable thrill to their gameplay.

FAQs About Animated Shield 5E

What is an Animated Shield in D&D 5E?

An Animated Shield is a magical item with the ability to float around and protect its wielder for up to a minute when its command word is spoken.

How does an Animated Shield work?

By speaking the command word as a bonus action, you can have the shield hover around you for protection, enabling you to use your hands for combat or other actions.

Does an Animated Shield require any maintenance?

No, it doesn’t need any maintenance. It does require carrying and a bonus action to animate.

Is an animated shield better than +2 armor in D&D 5E?

While both are valuable defensive items, +2 armor offers constant passive protection without requiring a bonus action or carrying, which some players may prefer over the Animated Shield.

Can I use an Animated Shield if my character is incapacitated in D&D 5E?

No, one downside of this magical shield is that it falls dormant if its wielder becomes incapacitated during battle.


  • Ashish Arya

    I'm a tech enthusiast and lifelong gamer, hailing from the beautiful city of Chandigarh. My passions range from immersing myself in worlds like GTA V, COD, SIMS, Roblox and Minecraft to exploring the latest innovations in laptops and technology. Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Application, I love sharing my insights through writing and engaging with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on my journey through the ever-evolving realms of gaming and tech!