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about blocking

Chance to Block

A character wearing a shield is able to block physical attacks which already have broken his defense. This ability depends on character class, character level, kind of shield and in dexterity invested status points. Some items as well as Paladin Skill Holy Shield will increase the chance for successful blocking.
The Chance in LoD calculates:

ChanceBlock = (BlockShield + BlockBonus) * (dex - 15) / (cLvl * 2)

ChanceBlock: resulting Blockchance BlockShield: base block of used shield BlockBonus: Bonus of items and Holy Shield dex: dexterity cLvl: Character's level

There is a german calculator at d2wissen.

If you want to know how much points in dexterity you need for your maximum blocking chance, use following formula:

dex = 150% * cLvl / ∑Block + 15

dex: needed dexterity cLvl: Charakter's level ∑Block = BlockShield + BlockBonus

D2C Marke For Diablo II without expansion ('Classic') dexterity is omitted.

the Shield

ingame display of blockchance on shield Base block rate of used shield differs by class. Paladins are best, 5% inferior are Amazons, Assassins and Barbarians, and again 5% worse are Druid, Necromancer and Sorceress. The block chance displayed on your shield reflects that.

ingame display of blockchance in character screen The actual blocking chance is capped at 75%, you won't see it on your shield, but in your character screen while hovering your mouse cursor over displayed defense value.
If your character runs, blocking chance is only a third of that figure. Not sure if the math is done before or after 75% total cap. The Arreat Summit lists as 'after'.
If you hold some item at your cursor with open inventory, your character can't block.

Assassin's Claw Block skill doesn't benefit from increased blocking chance via items. Only skill level counts here.

base blocking of different shields
pal: Paladin; ama: Amazon; asn: Assassin; bar: Barbarian; dru: Druid; nec: Necromancer; sor: Sorceress
Small Shield/Round Shield/LunaSmall Shield35%30%25%
Round Shield42%37%32%
Large Shield/Scutum/HyperionLarge Shield42%37%32%
Kite Shield/Dragon Shield/MonarchKite Shield38%33%28%
Dragon Shield48%43%38%
Spike Shield/Barbed Shield/Blade BarrierSpike Shield40%35%30%
Barbed Shield47%42%37%
Blade Barrier50%45%40%
Tower Shield/Pavise/AegisTower Shield54%49%44%
Bone Shield/Grim Shield/Troll NestBone Shield50%45%40%
Grim Shield
Troll Nest
Gothic Shield/Ancient Shield/WardGothic Shield46%41%36%
Ancient Shield
paladin specific shields 
Targe/Akaran Targe/Sacred TargeTarge40% 
Akaran Targe
Sacred Targe60%
Rondache/Akaran Rondache/Sacred RondacheRondache45% 
Akaran Rondache
Sacred Rondache58%
Heraldic Shield/Protector Shield/Kurast ShieldHeraldic Shield50% 
Protector Shield
Kurast Shield55%
Aerin Shield/Gilded Shield/Zakarum ShieldAerin Shield52% 
Gilded Shield
Zakarum Shield
Crown Shield/Royal Shield/Vortex ShieldCrown Shield55% 
Royal Shield
Vortex Shield51%
necromancer specific shields (Totems) 
Preserved Head/Mummified Trophy/Minion SkullPreserved Head 23% 
Mummified Trophy
Minion Skull
Zombie Head/Fetish Trophy/Hellspawn SkullZombie Head 25% 
Fetish Trophy
Hellspawn Skull
Unraveller Head/Sexton Trophy/Overseer SkullUnraveller Head 28% 
Fetish Trophy
Overseer Skull
Gargoyle Head/Cantor Trophy/Succubus SkullGargoyle Head 30% 
Cantor Trophy
Succubus Skull
Demon Head/Heirophant Trophy/Bloodlord SkullDemon Head 33% 
Heirophant Trophy
Bloodlord Skull

Faster Block Rate

Blocking itself is an animation of its own. During this animation your character can't do anything else. In patch 1.09 you even could get stuck in 'blocklock', if the chance for block was triggered too often in too short time. A bit of irony, boni to 'Faster Block Rate (FBR)' couldn't prevent this.
Since 1.10 there is noticeably some change in game code referring to animation priorities. The patchlog is clearly foggy about this, but it seems only the first blocking animation is actually displayed, and dependent on FBR for some duration blocking animations are skipped.

But main purpose of FBR is accelerating the actual animation. the amount of single pictures and the duration are class-specific. See german d2wissen for a list of items with FBR bonus.
The Assassin has the ability to block with her claw weapons, if she uses claws in both hands and has evolved her Weapon Block skill. She can block far more foeish attacks than possible while wearing a shield, but she can't do so while moving (both walking and running). The duration of her claw block animation is two frames, this could theoretically benefit from FBR, in practice there is no possibility to achieve this in unmodified game.


First we'll do the math for effective blocking speed. This is subject to a 'diminishing returns' formula, which means you'll need way larger FBR amounts the better block you want to achieve.

eFBR = [FBR * 120 / (FBR + 120)] + Bonusskill

eFBR: effective Blockrate FBR: Faster Blockrate via items Bonusskill: Paladin's Holy Shield skill counts 50 here;
rest equals 0
[ ]: Floor Function (integer)

Werebear with Holy Shield activated
%FBR: Faster Blockrate
fpa: Frames per Animation

The necessary figure for animation velocity is commonly 256. There are two exceptions:

Also we need a class-specific constant Blockbase.
Attention: this is not the number of frames needed for blocking without FBR!


So we throw this all in one term and get:

Blockf = { 256 * Blockbase / ([vanim * (50 + eFBR) / 100])} - 1

Blockf: Blocking Speed in Frames Blockbase: class-specific constant base Block vanim: Animation Velocity eFBR: effective Blocking Speed of above formula [ ]: Floor Function { }: Ceiling Function

also see:

Blocking while shape shifted

A player unit can transform into Werewolf, Werebear, Vampire or Undead Fetish. Vampire and Fetish shaped players will use Get Hit animation instead of Blocking Animation (those shapes lack blocking animations). Actually Faster Hit Recovery will accelerate blocking speed then.

see also:

non-player units

Buried in the game's configuration files are individual blocking chances for every unit, separated in Normal/Nightmare/Hell difficulties.
But to make use of this any unit needs a shield and a special blocking animation. An Iron Wolf hireling wears a shield, but lacks blocking animation, so he can't block.
But some units are able to block without a shield and without an assigned animation. This is controlled by NoShldBlock column in monstats.txt.
This applies to all Greater Mummies, all Oblivion Knights and all Act Bosses including their several clones. It is especially not activated for any Golem, the Valkyrie, both Assassin Shadows and other Pets.

units able to block without shield

  • HollowOne
  • Guardian
  • Unraveler
  • Horadrim Ancient
  • Baal Subject Mummy
  • Andariel
  • Duriel
  • Mephisto
  • Diablo
  • DoomKnight
  • Diablo
  • Baal Crab
  • Baal Crab Clone

units able to be generated with a shield equipped
and with blocking animations enabled

  • skeleton1*
  • skeleton2*
  • skeleton3*
  • skeleton4*
  • skeleton5*
  • fallen1*
  • fallen2*
  • fallen3*
  • fallen4*
  • fallen5*
  • corruptrogue1*
  • corruptrogue2*
  • corruptrogue3*
  • corruptrogue4*
  • corruptrogue5*
  • pantherwoman1
  • pantherwoman2
  • pantherwoman3
  • pantherwoman4
  • act3hire**
  • necroskeleton*
  • slinger1 (spear cats)
  • slinger2
  • slinger3
  • slinger4
  • slinger5
  • slinger6
  • Minionexp
  • Slayerexp
  • IceBoar
  • FireBoar
  • HellSpawn
  • IceSpawn
  • GreaterHellSpawn
  • GreaterIceSpawn

* not all of these will be equipped with a shield
** the Iron Wolf is able to wear a shield,
but lacks blocking animation

The mere graphical presence of a shield doesn't mean the unit is able to block. Necromancer's warrior Skeletons can only block when spawned with a Kite Shield,
not the more common Buckler or Large Shield. All Minion variants (Minionexp
and below) can't block.


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