The Dragon Shield is a mid-ranked shield in Final Fantasy XII that boosts the wearer's physical evade by 23 and makes them immune to Earth damage. It is the only form of Earth-protection in the game besides the Manufacted Nethicite that halves all elements, and the secret Gendarme, which are not available to equip the same time as the Dragon Shield.
In the updated Zodiac versions, the Dragon Shield can be bought for 5,600 gil in Mosphoran Highwaste after defeating Judge Bergan, and in Phon Coast. It is found in a treasure in Dalmasca Estersand's Broken Sands (80% chance to appear, 35% chance for gil, 50% chance the item treasure is Dragon Shield without the Diamond Armlet equipped), Mosphoran Highwaste's Northern Skirts (70% chance to appear, 40% chance for gil, 50% chance the item treasure is Dragon Shield without the Diamond Armlet equipped), Phon Coast's The Hakawea Shore (70% chance to appear, 50% chance for gil, 50% chance the item treasure is Dragon Shield without the Diamond Armlet equipped), and Tchita Uplands' Sundered Earth (30% chance to appear, 70% chance for gil, 50% chance the item treasure is Dragon Shield without the Diamond Armlet equipped), as well as in Trial Mode Stage 97 with the Diamond Armlet equipped.
The Dragon Shield is a mid-ranked shield that helps the wielder evade physical attacks and protects them from Earth attacks. The Crystal Shield that gives more Evasion is bought from Phon Coast onwards, but the Dragon Shield is unique as no other equipment piece protects against Earth (besides the Manufacted Nethicite, which is no longer available to equip by the time the player can get the Dragon Shield), and so the player may want to keep it in their inventory. However, Earth is a rare element to see. Hashmal, the Earth Esper, has some powerful Earth attacks, but the player can avoid them with Float. In the Zodiac versions, the Dragon Shield can be used by the jobs Red Battlemage, Knight, Foebreaker and Shikari.
The Dragon Shield can be equipped by characters with one-handed weapons or no weapon in their available hand. It adds to the wearer's physical evasion. Shield Block augments also add +5% to physical evasion per augment purchased. Equipping a shield negates the Brawler augment, even if the character is still attacking bare-handed. Some enemies, especially all the toughest bosses and marks, have Ignore Evasion as a passive ability, which causes their attacks to ignore all blocking and parrying.
The chance to block granted by gloves and shields and Shield Block licenses is checked separately to, and before, the evade from one-handed weapons. If the shield block fails, the game checks for the weapon block, and if that fails, the game checks for parry.
Dragon equipment is a recurring equipment type in the Final Fantasy series. A dragon is a legendary creature, typically with serpentine or reptilian traits, which is featured in the myths of many cultures.