General Information

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.

Parriable Attacks


Most physical attacks can be parried, except jumping attacks.


  • 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

Parryable Enemies

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.

Parry-Capable Weapons

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:

Some shields can parry both spells and physical attacks while in either hand:

Exact Frames

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:
Back-up visual parry data obtained from


Type Startup Active Recovery Total
Parry Small Shield1 11 16 52 79
Slow Small Shield2 15 12 52 79
Fast Small Shield 11 12 37 60
Medium Shields 15 8 41 64

One-handed Weapons

Type Startup Active Recovery Total
Fist 18 5 58 81
Caestus 16 7 58 81
Parrying Dagger 9 10 43 62
Curved Swords 14 4 51 69
Monastery Scimitar 8 10 51 69
Thrusting Swords3 13 14 45 72

Two-handed Weapons

Parry Type Startup Active Recovery Total
Hilt Parry4 17 6 37 60
Dagger 11 8 41 60
Greatswords 31 8 40 79
Curved Greatswords 25 11 40 76
Ultra Greatswords 39 9 49 97
Great Hammers 39 9 49 97

1 A "parry" small shield is designed specifically for parrying:

2 A "slow" small shield is worse than other small shields for parrying:

3 Specifically:

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.


Other Uses

  • 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.
  • The "parried" animation counts as a Counter Damage opening, as such some weapons with special attacks can get a better riposte output by not riposting but simply attacking, this is especially useful with projectile weapons and/or while Dual Wielding.
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