The canidates are Targe of the Blooded a unique sheild that causes 3 points of bleeding damage for 5 seconds and has a base armor rating of 20(upgraded with steel ingots). The next canidate is  the Shield of Ysgramor it gives you 20% magic resistance and 20 more health with a base armor rating of 30 (cannot be upgraded). The next  canidate is Spellbreaker a sheild that casts a magic ward that block up to 50 points of magic with a base armor rating of 38 (upgraded with dwarven metal ingots). The next canidate is Dawnguard's own Auriel's Shield a shield with the ability to absorb some of the power from the attacks it blocks and release that power next time you sheild bash and has a base armor rating of 41 (upgraded with either refined moonstone). The new contender for the discussion is the Aetherial Shield it is hard to get but it makes an enemy you shield bash with it turn ethereal (you cant hurt them they cant hurt you) for 15 seconds and has a base armor rating of 26(upgraded with dwarven metal ingots). now discuss.

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I think I'd have to go with dawnguards shield, haven't tried it yet but sounds bad ass

I've used the Shield of Ysgramor for a long time now but as I've advanced in level I've found the fact that it cannot be upgraded to be some bit of a hindrance and so have recently, yesterday infact, replaced it with Spellbreaker. Haven't really had much chance to use it's unique enchantment yet but it did seem to come in handy against a group of vampire who attacked me...also the first time I walked into town with it 5 guards commented on how beautiful it was hah.

The other's mentioned I've never heard of so I'm going to have to go with Shield of Ysgramor just because I used it for such a long time and it saved me in a fair few tough fights.

Was updating my Smiter build and came across this. Great info to share! I recently came across Auriel's Shield and I could not be happier to be a shield basher. Wow does that shield rule.

Using the Dawnguard shield against Vampires is also worth mentioning. Getting +10 on each bash is pretty significant combine with power bash.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfBg5uu-gCs&feature=g-upl

I am on xbox, and cannot record anything of good quality. Here is a video I found.

The shield has 3 "stages" of power, and as you can see, the third stage owns a giant in this video. Works on most enemies!

The spellbreaker can be used with ward absorb perk from what I know o.o so it's good for mages.

Last night I ran into a strong caster boss who used shock spells. At the first approach I got shattered in no time (ouch!). The second approach I downed her but had to use several Ultimate healing potions to keep myself up. That wasn't very satisfactory for me so I reload and tried again, to end up with the same result, so I reload again. This time dug  "Spellbreaker" out of my backpack. Keeping the Ward up I drove her in a corner while her spells shattered on the Shield. After a few bashes she was stone-dead, while my health still was above 50%

So for me there's no better shield than that ugly beauty.

Btw. My char is a barabarian style one, wearing light leather armour (Vampire stuff) and using a Greatsword (Skyforge) by default.

My top three shields are 3. Shield of  Ysgramor it' just so good. 2. Spellbreaker it's just an awesome shield the ward is good and it has good AC. But my #1 shield is the shield you get from the guest "Lost to the ages".

Well I have a character that uses shields and I think it might be a tie between spellbreaker and auriel's shield because they are the most useful but both have different purposes like spellbreaker would be of most use to paladins because they also put points into restoration so they would be able to get ward absorb but auriel's is great for anyone that shield bashes the shield of ysgramor is best for deflecting arrows because of its size and targe of the blooded is probably the least useful but it is still pretty good for lower levels and if you like stacking the bleeding effect (lol not the AC bleeding effect)

updated with new contender and fixed stats and links

I think the Aetherial shield is proably best for a warrior that uses healing magic because in the 15 seconds that the battle is stalled you could heal yourself or if you use conjuration summon or resurect an ally. Can anyone confirm if illusion still works on them if they are ethereal because if so I could see a build centered around this shield,restoration,conjuration, and illusion

honestly its all situational, all have their certain times and places

1. aetherial shield: oh no 7 angry bandit highwayman wanted to tear my face off with their giant battleaxes better bash a couple

2.spellbreaker: oh hi der wispmother

3.shield of ysgramor is nice but its probably the most general

4.auriel's shield: to be honest I just store some power in this for when I need a cheep fus ro dah substitute

5. targe of the blooded: probably has the highest bashing damage so if you bash a lot this could be more general purpose than the shield of ysgramor

honestly on characters that don't enchant I find myself using the shield of solitude quite a lot (not to mention its a red shield with a wolf insignia on it)

I rarely use shields (though I have in the past) but I'm surprised at the lack of love for the shield of Solitude.  The best levelled shield comes in at an amazing +30 resist magic and +35 fortify block, when combined with the block perks you're looking at a cumulative +65 magic resist (with elemental protection) and roughly +85% block (with shield wall, still unsure exactly how those perks stack).  You can quite literally use this shield while wearing robes and you'll just soak up the damage like a boss.

With a perked out block tree I found this shield to be an absolute monster.  A piddly few damage or a fancy ward spell have their places, but this shield is the perfect 'Jack of all trades' that is good in every situation.  The obvious downside is it can't be tempered but with the fortify block enchant it more than outshines in damage absorbtion.  The questline to get it is also pretty awesome.  Much more enjoyable than runnning around a ruin having arseholes throwing up on you.

P.S.

Spellbreaker is OP as hell against dragons, I'll give it that.

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