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If you cast shield (E) or any combination of shield and another element on yourself, you gain some type of shield or protective aura.

The shield combination I have found so far:

  • E : basic shield
  • any element + E: aura with different color based on used element
  • 1-4 * element + E: same as above, but wider circle around you
  • stone + E: forms a rock around you

What do these different shield types protect you from exactly?

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Middle Click Shields

Basic Shields: The basic Shield spell, cast with a single 'E', absorbs damage, weakens as it takes damage, in addition to decaying over time. They can be restored with Life magic, just like normal healing, but prevent normal direct heals from having any effect. In addition, you are immune to status effects such as wet or frozen. However, you'll be knocked down when hit by melee attacks, and attacks that cause you to be knocked back or go flying will knock you back much much further.

Wards: The Ward spells, cast with the combination of E + any number of elements, provide you, and those in your immediate vicinity with elemental resistance. These last for a fixed duration of 12 seconds, and affect both friendly and hostile targets within their radius. Using additional elements increases the radius of the spell. Wards can also be combined. For instance, an Arcane+Lightning+Fire+Shield ward spell would protect against most elemental damage you'll see.

Barriers: Barriers are cast by combining either Stone or Ice with a self cast Shield spell. Unlike other shield spells, while in a barrier, you are unable to move or cast. However, you will also take no damage at all until the barrier falls. Barriers fall after withstanding a fixed amount of damage (increased by adding more Earth or Ice elements), or when the Wizard within attempts to perform an action not possible within the barrier - moving or casting. Additionally, Ice Barriers do some damage to surrounding targets.

Right Click Shields

All the following spells can be laid out in a semicircle in front of you, or a ring around you, depending on whether shift is held when you right click.

Walls: Walls are formed by any combination involving either Earth or Ice, and a Shield element. As with Barriers, Ice walls do some damage, Stone walls normally do not. Additional elements can be added to walls for a variety of other, generally damaging effects. (For instance, Earth + Fire walls result in volcanos!)

Storms: Combining most other elements with a shield spell and right clicking, results in a storm that does damage to anyone standing within it, and applies the usual element specific debuffs. Adding additional elements increases duration rather than damage.

Mines: Adding Arcane to a shield spell produces Mines. Mines sit on the ground until triggered by a target moving onto one, at which point they explode for decent AoE damage, and also cause a large knockback effect to all targets in range.

Bubble: Triggered with a shield spell on it's own, the Bubble functions similarly to walls, save that it reflects Arcane beams.

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Tangentially related, if you have a staff of life, you don't have to worry about refilling your self shield, as the healing from the staff will do that for you. –  nimbus57 Feb 5 '11 at 21:43
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The barriers no longer work as written here -- instead they give you a sort of stony (or icy) armor, and you are able to move while in them. I'm unsure of the benefits gained with the new earth/ice self-casts, although earth seemed to give me physical resistance (I was able to survive the boulders thrown by the priests before fafnir, barely). –  PeterL Jul 6 '11 at 1:01
    
Well i was playing on multiplayer and some guy had a shield that was neither ice or earth but pure E and he was deflecting spells off of him, it was weird? I dont know what it could have been but it was interesting. –  user11258 Jul 26 '11 at 16:06
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If you use 'E', then Shift+Left Click. You can use your weapon to throw a shield wall perpendicular to how you're standing.

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Ice shields no longer prevent you from moving or casting spells. It now works like a normal shield (pure E) but I'm assuming it protects against physical damage instead of magic(k)al damage.

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Earth shield works like the new ice shield as well, coating you in a stony armor. –  PeterL Jul 6 '11 at 0:59
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