The Genji Shield is a mid to high-ranked shield in Final Fantasy XII that boosts the wearer's physical evade by 30 and their Magick Evade by 5. It is a missable piece of equipment, only obtained by stealing from Gilgamesh in the right time. The Genji Shield is metallic for the purposes of the magnetize debuff present during the Vinuskar (though Gilgamesh is only available after this boss) and Ultima boss battles.
In all versions, the Genji Shield is stolen from the elite mark Gilgamesh during the first encounter on the Lhusu Mines' bridge after he takes enough damage and switches his weapon twice. Whenever he draws out a new blade, there is a cut scene, and afterward, he has a new item to steal; if the player does not steal the equipment off him then, it will be missed in the main game.
In the Zodiac versions, the player gets another chance to procure a Genji Shield from the Trial Mode, and in The Zodiac Age Trial Mode spoils can be brought back to the main game, so the player can potentially have multiple pieces and wield them simultaneously. It can be uncommonly stolen from Deathgaze in Trial Mode Stage 65 and from Enkidu in Stage 94.
The Genji Shield is a mid to high-ranked shield that helps the wielder evade both physical and magickal attacks. Compared to the more readily available Crystal Shield with similar stats, the Genji Shield has more physical evade but less magickal evade. However, at this point in the game, two-handed weapons tend to be superior to one-handed ones, and most times it is not worthwhile to sacrifice the increased damage from a two-handed weapon to be able to equip a shield. In the Zodiac versions, the Genji Shield can be used by the jobs Knight, Foebreaker and Bushi, and is the only shield the Bushi may equip. The Bushi cab then use it with the one-handed Kumbha "katana", and the Foebreaker, with their axes and hammers, can also keep equipping shields until endgame, though in The Zodiac Age each character can unlock two License Boards, and so the Foebreaker may also have access to a better two-handed weapon by this point.
The Genji Shield can be equipped by characters with one-handed weapons or no weapon in their available hand. It adds to the wearer's physical and magickal evasion. Shield Block augments also add +5% to both physical and magickal evasion per augment purchased. Magick evasion does not block status effect spells (the player needs to use Shell to halve their chance unless they can get immunity from equipment). 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.
Genji equipment is a recurring type of equipment in the Final Fantasy series associated with Gilgamesh. The surname of Genji refers to the onyomi reading of the Minamoto Clan. Minamoto was a surname commonly bestowed on the children of the Emperor who were not eligible for the throne. According to history and legend, they were most active in the days of the late Heian era, and were samurai who became known as the fighters of evil and keepers of peace. The time was said to have been fraught with disorder and anarchy. Many future samurai claim lineage from the clan, including Miyamoto Musashi and Tokugawa Ieyasu who were subject of literary discourse from The Tale of Genji, which follows royal figures, to The Tale of the Heike, focusing on the major figures and the events of the Genpei War.
Genji is also a short period in Japanese history, lasting only a single year from 1864–1865.