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FextraBot

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Why does the buckler have a different parry animation from the other small shields? Does anyone know?
Not just buckler. Target shield, small leather shield also provide different animation.
Seems to have a larger parry window, I have nothing save the 1st dark souls to back up my assumption though
A bit late but the different animation on those 3 basically means,

It has a slightly longer wind up, has slightly more active parry frames and a slightly longer recovery time untill you can act in comparison to other small shields. It doesn't make those three the best just different

KawaiiInbou

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I clipped out a piece of incorrect information from the initial paragraph, and removed a sentence that constituted nothing more than ill-informed editorialisation. There're many reasons somebody might want to choose a different small shield than the 2 the sentence suggested were the only ones worth using, for example:
- Higher stability
- Different absorption ratings
- Weapon skill rather than parry
- Different parry frames/windows
Mate, no one cares.

Darkwraith_Sama

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I care
I also care!
That means there's at least two people in the world that cares, and one who does not. Others may be undecided, but if the ratio holds true there's 66% of people who care about this, and 33% who do not, amongst the people.
3 persons is a rather small sample however, so no conclusion can be made, but as a frequenter of this and other wikis I would like to believe that the quality of those wikis matter to more than just myself and therefore make the assumption that there's plenty of caring people out there.
A wiki should always hold the correct information, and should be corrected if that information is wrong. While your edit may have been small, it is much appreciated.
The small shields as listed in game have two different parry animations because they have different start up and active parry frames. The "Parry Shields", the ones that have the animation of performing a rotating wrist flick up and to the left, start active parry frames sooner. However, they still end the active parry frames the same time as other small shields, and come out with just a few more active frames. They start active parry frames on par with fist weapons though fists and claws end their active frames much sooner with less recovery frames. The "Small Shields", the ones thats parry animation is a left to right swipe, start up slower. But they share the same end of active parry frames and recovery frames. Medium shields have the slowest start up frames, and lowest active parry frames. Either way, if you want the quickest start up, longest active parry frames, and highest physical defences, use the Target Shield. The Llewelyn Shield has the most balanced attributes, roughly 60% average defences across the board (highest physical with a lot of 2nd and 3rd bests in elemental defences) with the second highest stability, at the cost of slightly slower start up. Really the start up frames are negligible, the only weapon class that can be reaction parried by the parry shield and not the small shields, is the Straight Swords. And even that requires a perfect connection and a hair trigger, as you must parry IMMEDIATELY as the weapon moves. All other weapon classes can be parried by starting a parry when their weapon reaches the highest point of it's swing, before it starts traveling towards you (I.e, fraction of a second delay). One handed great axes, hammers, and ultra weapons can be reaction parry but have an unintuitive slight delay before you parry, as the weapon has to have already started moving about 1/3-1/2 of the way towards you. When two handed Great Axes, Great hammers, and Ultra Great swords as a general rule, the R1 and weapon arts cannot be parried. However, Rolling attacks can (Except the Twin Knight Paired Great Swords rolling L1 attack), as can the entirety of the Farron Great swords moves.
The info on parry frames of shields is slightly out of date. Parry small shields and their regular counterparts actually have the same active window, it just starts earlier on parry small shields but they have a longer cooldown. Regular small shields also get an additional parry frame when held in the main hand, putting them above parry small shields, although this is gimmicky and not useful in most scenarios.
Just a rant, ignore if you want.

Small shields get the short end of the stick in a game where shields are nerfed in general.

To start, they have low stability, & block values are ok at best, but you can't really use them as shields like you do with medium shields. Instead, they are 'good' for parrying. Alright, that seems like a fair tade. Can't expect a frisbee or street sign to block a sword large enough to barbecue a guy with. But when once you get into infusions, you see where things get worse for small shields real fast.

For shields in general, upgrades only affect stability. Ok, still fair so far--BUT--infusions on shields are incredibly unimaginative and mostly pointless. Shield infusion paths will trade off a bit of block values & a lot of stability for better elemental protection that special medium shields, bug pellets & moss can already easily provide. Offensive gems such as sharp, crystal, fire infusions, etc., do nothing for defense while shaving off block values & stability anyway. Blood & posion add no defensive value to shields, aside from the Ghru & Spiked shields, which aren't even good at building up bleed and are easily negated by moss. For shields in general, it's stupid that FromSoft left infusions like this, which make them worse at what shields are supposed to do.

So, the best infusions must be simple & blessed, yeah? Well, yes, but actually, no. These two infusions not only reduce block values, but also cripple all the stability you get from upgrades (simple resets to base stability, while blessed makes it worse) for paltry regeneration. 'Good for utility,' you say, but it's not a shield anymore, is it? So it just stays on your back, & does jack **** to protect you from backstabs, unlike a tiny ring. That's real funny. But wait! Magic shield is a good buff with easy requirements to reach--BUT--again, medium shields, pellets, & moss are still accessible, and you easily buff medium shields too. On the other hand, GMS is the just outright less optimal because its cost and duration stymies the OP performance. Only INT & INT hybrids can use them, and even those builds are rare these days.

So what use are small shields? Not much apart from fashion. There is only really one WA shield, because the Eastern Iron shield is effectively a medium shield in all but category. Parrying is still hard, because you have to fight the timing of the parry, latency, AND your opponent who can switch their timing, or use to attacks that can't be parried, at which point, it's pointless unless simple or blessed. On top of that, small shields are a dead give away that you want to parry, since they aren't good at anything else. It doesn't help that quality builds saturate the meta. They use weapons that easily break the guard of small shields, especially with the Knightslayer ring. So, infusions don't do you any favors.

You can still buff small shields, but on top of pellets & moss (which is a defense option available to everyone), even optimized mages can equip medium shields with the right rings and buff those instead. You could block the 1st attack and then parry, but again, they might switch up timing, or settle for the chip damage you already took. On the other hand, you can parry with a fist weapon AND still use it for off-hand attacks on top of the infusion for utility. You don't even have to adjust timing because all fist weapons parry the same. Even with short range, it is still effective for attacking, and even can be used for roll catches in a pinch. Most of all, caestus also has perseverance, which is a great defensive WA already.

So yeah, after all that, I don't want to say small shield users are wrong. But it's hard to make good arguments for an item class that doesn't do much apart from taking up a slot 95% of the time. Medium shields are just the better defensive option and are just as easily accessible with little effort. Fist weapons are easier to parry with since there is no timing difference between them, can still be used to attack, and aren't dead give away's that you want to parry. You can still use small shields if you want, but apart from fashion, there are better choices for everything they can and are supposed to do.