Hades – Shield Build Guide

Everyone has their own ideas when it comes to the ideal weapon build. Some players prefer a more defensive build or maybe a combination that provides better ranged or melee abilities. For those intrepid adventurers who are trekking out of the Underworld armed with Aegis, here are some ideas for putting together the perfect Shield of Chaos build in this beloved indie roguelike.

Guide to Shield Build

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Aegis, The Shield Of Chaos

Like so many other things in Hades, the dialogue with other characters changes depending on the circumstances. When Zagreus is armed with the shield and comes into contact with his thunderbolt-wielding uncle or his stoic warrior cousin, they comment on their personal connection with the shield.

The story of the shield, according to the Codex entry, is connected to both Zeus and Athena. It was used to battle the Titans, and although the original was shattered in that fight, a piece of it remained to be refitted for Zagreus.

Basic Moves

Initially, the shield’s powers are mainly defensive in nature. A basic attack swings in front of Zagreus and knocks numerous enemies back. Hold the attack button and release it to charge forwards, a move that can also be used to cross rivers of lava or slip through walls.

There’s also a block ability that’s combined with the special attack, Bull Rush, in which Zagreus can charge enemies with his shield for both damage and defense. Blocking doesn’t work against traps or AoE attacks, but works against literally everything else, making this the basis of all the best Hades shield builds.

Using The Keepsakes

Every Hades Aegis build depends on meeting a specific god every so often, so it helps to have some assurance they’ll appear. Deliver Nectar or Ambrosia to NPCs that Zagreus can talk to, and they’ll respond by giving him a Keepsake that he can use to help him escape.

The Keepsakes can be gifted by figures in the House of Hades along with the gods that Zagreus meets on his journey. Wearing a Keepsake from an Olympian ensures that Zagreus is more likely to meet the god that gave it to him, and therefore be able to build his weapon using their Boons.

Tip

Zagreus can use two kinds of Artifact currency, Nectar and Ambrosia, to earn the favor of certain gods and the other denizens of the Underworld. Ambrosia is an item that Zagreus will find as he progresses further in the game. It comes in a square bottle instead of a circular one and is more difficult to obtain. Nectar, an earlier version of Ambrosia, is sufficient for getting the keepsakes Zag needs.

The Mirror Of Night

The mirror in Zagreus’ quarters closely resembles the section of an RPG where the player decides on talent points for different skills. This is essentially the same thing, with the purple tending to be more offensive powers and the green ones as more defensive or passive abilities.

These abilities aren’t included in most Hades shield builds, but they can complement the build if players don’t mind going a little meta when it comes to their Zagreus build. These abilities can also be changed on a whim, so don’t be afraid to experiment with new combinations and change back later.

Daedalus Hammer Upgrades

Like most other things Zaegrus picks up while moving through the Underworld, these upgrades will last for the rest of a given run once applied to a weapon and will be reset when Zagreus dies. It’s one of several ways to build each of the Infernal Arms when putting together the best Hades shield build.

It’s hard to get a bad combination, but some of these abilities conflict with each other or cancel each other out when combined with certain Boons. This can throw a wrench into most builds, so be careful when choosing Daedalus Hammer upgrades.

The Fated List

The desk in Zagraeus’ room holds a scroll with a document called The Fated List. In other games, these might be called quests or achievements, and there is one for the Shield of Chaos. It depends on the specific Hades shield build when it comes to Boons, but the player can try all of them, so provided they use the Aegis enough, they can check off all the boxes eventually.

The reward for completing this is a generous helping of gemstones, the currency often used when buying new renovations from the house contractor. Players can also trade them at the Wretched Broker in the House of Hades for a variety of currency and useful items.

The Aspects

One of the many ways that Hades stays fresh is by allowing a high level of customization options with each weapon, and that starts even before stepping into the dungeon. The rare item Titan’s Blood can be used to buy and upgrade Aspects, and players often have to kill a boss to acquire it.

Unlike Boons, which are found and applied in dungeons, these are used to permanently upgrade weapons. However, Zag can still freely switch between aspects after unlocking them. Each of these Aspects is part of the best Shield of Chaos build in Hades.

Aspect of Zagreus: Adds +15 to Attack and Dash strike damage, which is a simple but effective improvement that players can build on.

Aspect of Chaos: After one Bull Rush, the special attack throws multiple shields.

Aspect of Zeus: The special attack becomes the ability Blitz Disc, which allows the player to continue attacking while the shield is being used as a ranged weapon.

Aspect of Beowulf: Every weapon has a hidden Aspect, and this is the one for the Shield of Chaos. It’s essential for most end-game builds and highly recommended. To access this, the player first must unlock the Aspect of Guan Yin for Varatha, the Eternal Spear, another weapon.

Advanced Attacks

After Zagreus has obtained the hidden Aspect of Beowulf, the shield gets some handy upgrades to its regular attacks. The player has to equip the shield in the house and interact with its information screen to activate the Aspect.

Heavy Bash: A more devastating version of Bash that includes +40 damage and the Knockback ability.

Bull Rush: The same as the regular Bull Rush, which is a charge combined with a defensive move, but with additional damage.

Dragon Rush: Zagreus needs a moment to charge and release this powerful attack, which deals 50 additional damage for each Bloodstone he possesses.

Heavy Throw: An upgraded version of the regular Throw, which deals 45 damage as opposed to the original 15.

Ideal Upgrades

Certain Upgrades are more useful for the best Hades shield builds than others. Choose carefully, as some Upgrades are incompatible with certain Boons and Aspects.

Charged Shot: This enables the Bull Rush power to fire a piercing shot that cannot be blocked and does 80 damage.

Dashing Wallop: Widens the range of this AoE ability and improves the damage it can deal by 50%.

Empowering Flight: The first two attacks after using the Special attack deal 80% more damage.

Explosive Return: When Zagreus catches his shield, it does 50 damage to all nearby enemies.

Sudden Rush: Charges the Bull Rush ability in less time than the original version.

The Perfect Shield Builds (Drunken Master Build)

In case the name hasn’t already given it away, this Hades shield build focuses on boons from Dionysus. Equip the Overflowing Cup Keepsake to ensure he stops partying long enough to show up with his Boons. This build depends mostly on the effect of Hangover, the God of Wine’s signature power, which stuns and slows enemies, so take Boons with Hangover as opposed to his less effective Festive Fog. Drunken Dash, Drunken Strike, and Dionysus’ Aid are some examples of ideal Boons for this build.

Other gods will appear in the dungeon to help Zag out regardless of the Keepsake. The boons of Ares, which tend to be more offensive, blend well with the Dionysian strategy of slowing enemies, so they can be evaded and destroyed.

Lord Of War Build

When it’s time to slay, let Ares lead the way. Don’t forget that his Keepsake is the Blood-Filled Vial. His signature ability is called Doom, and it inflicts extra damage with every attack, so it’s fairly obvious where this is going. However, once the player leaves Tartarus, he gets a bit of help from another god.

Although it’s fine to pick up any Boon that will provide some Doom, this build is more focused on the Blade Rift ability. Upgrade Zag’s Blade Rift as much as possible and try to grab any Doom-related ability before leaving Tartarus, then switch Keepsakes upon reaching Asphodel. Take the Frostbitten Horn, a gift from Demeter, who grants several Boons that can Chill enemies. Freeze them in place, a relief in steaming Asphodel, and shatter them with the power of Ares.

Love Bomb Build

Aphrodite doesn’t seem like the most threatening god at first, but don’t try to tell Achilles that. Her powers are defensive as opposed to offensive, and they’re more effective at dealing extra damage as they range from Common at early levels to Heroic later in the game.

Weak is the Love Goddess’s signature ability, and it lessens the damage opponents can do to Zagreus by 30%. Passion Flare, which combines damage with Weak, is only unlocked after Zagreus discovers the Aspect of Beowulf. Combine that with any of the offensive powers of Zeus, Ares, or Poseidon for a build that strikes a nice balance between reducing damage and dealing it out.

Tidal Power Build

Considering the power of the ocean, especially in relation to the amount of sea on the earth as opposed to dry land, shouldn’t Poseidon be the one in charge? His powers are a combination of damage and crowd control. His main ability is Ruptured, which deals more damage to enemies as they move. His Keepsake is the Conch Shell.

This build is similar to the Dionysian one in the sense that it starts with a lot of defensive powers in the form of knock-back abilities, but Poseidon deals more damage in less time. This build works nicely in combination with Demeter’s power of Chill, giving the build a more defensive edge. Mix it up with some Boons from Ares if the damage bonus is preferable to better defense.

The Vibranium Build

Also known as the Captain American Build or the Knockback Build, this is the shield build with the most defensive options, including crowd control and battlefield organization. Unlike the other builds, which tend to focus on Boons from a particular deity and support from only one or two others, this build is a diverse mix of several and is flexible depending on individual preference.

Choose a keepsake depending on which focus Zagreus wants and follow a natural progression to ranged damage from there for the best and most flexible shield builds in Hades.

Start with either Demeter, Aphrodite, or Poseidon, relying on either the power of ice to slow enemies, love to confuse them, or tidal power to push them back. Add the Aspect of Choas to enable Zagreus to throw multiple shields and combine this with Ares-related abilities like Doom to amp up the damage when he throws multiple shields.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 7657 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

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