A parry is a move that negates an attack and temporarily incapacitates an enemy, giving an opportunity for a riposte critical attack.
To parry, you must have a suitable weapon or shield in hand and face an incoming attack. Performing a "strong attack" with the shield or weapon (button for Left hand: L2/LT/Double Left Click, Right hand: R2/RT/Double Right Click) will begin the parry animation, which must be timed carefully as the successful window is very small. This usually involves predicting or baiting your enemy, especially in PvP.
If successful, the enemy will fall onto their back for a short time. Stand in front of them and perform a light attack with your right-hand weapon, this will execute the riposte critical attack, similarly to a backstab.
Most physical attacks can be parried, except jumping attacks.
- All attacks can't be parried
- Standing two-handed light attacks can't be parried
- Standing two-handed light and heavy attacks can't be parried
- Reapers must be parried at the "sweet spot" (tip of the weapon).
- Some weapons have the moveset of a different class:
- The broken Santier's Spear behaves like a Halberd, but the two-handed light attack is the same as a Twinblade, and thus can be parried.
- The Syan's Halberd's two-handed heavy attack can't be parried.
- The Crescent Axe is a Greataxe, but all of its attacks except the jumping attack can be parried.
- Both the Drakekeeper's Warpick and the Archdrake Mace are Great Hammers but behave like a Halberd, thus their two-handed heavy attack can be parried.
Projectile spells can be parried by shields with the "spell parry" ability, which doesn't result in a riposte opportunity; instead, it nullifies the effect of the spell. If wearing Yorgh's Ring, any parry-capable tool will be able to parry spells.
List of Parryable Spells
These are 3 videos showing most (if not all) of the parryable enemies in Dark Souls 2.
Credit goes to the owner of the videos.
All arrows, bolts and greatarrows[needs verification] can be parried by any parry capable weapon or shield. Similarly to spell parrying, it negates their effect but doesn't result in a riposte opportunity.
All bows can't parry.
All spell tools can't parry except:
which can parry while two-handed.
All weapons can parry while two-handed except:
which simply block instead.
Some weapons can parry in the left hand:
Some weapons can parry in either hand:
All shields can parry in either hand except:
- Sanctum Shield (a Small Shield) which casts spells
- Disc Chime (a Sacred Chime) which casts spells
Some shields can parry both spells and physical attacks while in either hand:
- Cleric's Small Shield
- Magic Shield
- Cursed Bone Shield
- Spirit Tree Shield
- Golden Wing Shield
- Grand Spirit Tree Shield
- Shield of the Insolent
- King's Mirror (a Greatshield, can only parry spells and not other attacks)
This information is for Scholar of the First Sin Patch 1.02 / Regulation 2.02.
The testing is not exhaustive; some categories may need to be split if they have different timing even though they use the same animation, and no testing has been done to see whether or not two-handing shields change the parry frames.
Startup and recovery time are extended when you don't meet the requirements for wielding a weapon.
Chart with visual comparison of the parry data: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1X3D2v27mAmXp4Pzmu9lfMzOIppeulHkFZpKqFezfB5A/pubchart?oid=1680025796&format=interactive
|Parry Small Shield1||11||16||52||79|
|Slow Small Shield2||15||12||52||79|
|Fast Small Shield||11||12||37||60|
1 A "parry" small shield is designed specifically for parrying:
2 A "slow" small shield is worse than other small shields for parrying:
4 A "hilt parry" animation is used by many weapons when two-handed:
- Daggers and Thrusting Swords have a different two-handed parry animation but perhaps the same 'hilt parry' frames.
- Claws have the Fists' parry animation, which resembles the slow small shield parry.
- Some weapons have the parry animation of a different class:
A parry is considered a non-damaging hit, but is capable of destroying all breakable objects, e.g. poison shooting statues and doors. This is better than rolling, but still worse than normal attacks (which damage NPCs and enemies). This can be used to identify Mimics, as non-Mimic chests will get hit by a parry but Mimics won't.