Blocking and Shield Guide for Champions Online

Blocking and Shield Guide for Champions Online
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What is Blocking?

Similar to blocking in fighting games, the block mechanic is Champions Online is a single key press (shift by default) that puts you in block mode when held. While in block mode, you absorb significant amounts of damage, can avoid status effects, and (depending on your stance) regenerate additional energy when attacked.

Every character can use standard block by default. It is shown in the first button in the first hotkey bar. There are a number of shield type powers you can learn that replace your standard block, and enhance your blocking ability both in defensiveness and by adding some nifty special effects.

What Are the Basic Benefits of Blocking

To put it in terms of hard numbers, here is some basic analysis. These numbers come from using the high damage blue laser in the PowerHouse. A “Slotted” block refers to one of the block enhancing shields.


Regular Block: 238 (66.67% dmg resistance)

Slotted Rank 1: 204 (71.43% dmg resistance) +4.76%

Slotted Rank 2: 178 (75.07% dmg resistance) +3.64%

Slotted Rank 3: 155 (78.29% dmg resistance) +3.22%

In addition to the damage resistance, if you have block mode up while hit with a big knockback, hold, root, or other status effect power, the block will completely diffuse it most of the time.

How Do I Know When to Block?

when to block - villain charge up

The most important time to block is when you see a villain charging up a major attack. This is signified by a large shaped icon appearing over the mob’s head. When you see that icon, you may want to get block mode going as soon as possible. Once the attack lands, you can go back to attacking. You will learn that some villain types have worse special attacks than others, and some you might not be too worried about.

Another good time to block is while you are landing right in the middle of a pack of bad guys. This is especially true if you are low on energy or have a lingering shield. The first few hits will charge your energy bar while leaving you mostly unscathed. Then you can unleash your own pain back at them.

Block Enhancing Shield Powers


The rest of this guide will look at the specific block enhancing powers - sometimes called shields. Some are better than others depending on your needs, preferences, and character build concept. None of the block enhancing shields depend on a specific stat, so you are free to pick your favorite.

Electric Shield - Electricity Framework (1 out of 5)

The main benefit of the Electric Shield is the fact that it deals damage to opponents in melee range (or up to 50 feet with the advantage). The damage is quite small, however, and this is one of the more common complaints about this shield. Most believe it should be increased a bit to make this shield more attractive. Considering the fact that you are giving up physical damage resistance for this damage, this is a pretty reasonable request.

+167% physical damage resistance.

+250% non-physical damage resistance.

Standard hold and knockback protection.

Deals 34 electrical damage to foes (at level 40).

Force Shield - Force Framework (4 out of 5)

The claim to fame of this shield is increased energy generation while blocking (approximately double). It also has an advantage (Force Sheathe) that makes the shield “linger” after you exit block mode. This gives you a few seconds of 10% damage resistance, and the increased energy generation.

+250 damage resistance.

Applies absorption to self when hit (this is the extra energy).

Standard hold and knockback protection.

Ice Shield - Ice Framework (4 out of 5)

The primary benefit of the Ice Shield is that it applies the “chill” effect to attacks. This slows their movement rate and helps powers that benefit from attacking foes with the chill effect on them.

+250 damage resistance.

Standard hold and knockback protection.

When receiving damage, applies chill to damage source.

This shield is particularly useful and popular in PvP due to the movement rate snare.

Energy Shield - Power Armor Framework (2 out of 5)

Strangely, there is nothing special about this shield by default except for the standard, slightly higher damage resistance that all shields possess. What makes this shield special is the Laser Knight advantage. Laser Knight provides additional damage resistance every time you make a melee attack. In this regard, it is the only shield that buffs you without even having the shield up at all. Laser Knight is popular with tank type characters.

+250 damage resistance.

Standard hold and knockback protection.

Telekinetic Shield - Telekinesis Framework (5 out of 5)

telekinetic shield

What makes this shield special is the fact that it lingers for a while after you exit block mode. It has this effect without spending any advantage points. The in game description says the linger only protects against frontal attacks, but it currently blocks from all directions. There are rumors that the developers have said the lingering is a bug, but that seems unlikely since removing this feature would mean this shield had NOTHING special about it and thus no reason to take it over any of the other shields. If there is a bug with this shield, it is probably the simple fact that the linger effect protects against non-frontal attacks as well. I mention all of this as a warning should you pick this shield for your character. It might get nerfed in some indeterminate way.

It should be noted that the lingering damage resistance of this shield actually improves at higher ranks. The Force Shield + Force Sheath linger effect never improves beyond the 10%.

+250 damage resistance.

Applies Telekinetic Shield upon expiration (this is the lingering shield).

Standard hold and knockback protection.

Retaliation - Might Framework (3 out of 5)

While attacked with this shield up, you gain the Retaliation buff. This buff increases your damage for a bit after you drop the shield. This shield also has an advantage that can reflect damage and even knock back enemies 20% of the time (no more than once per 10 seconds). This ability seems to be designed somewhat at cross purposes. It is in a melee set, thus you do not want foes to be knocked away from you once you drop the shield to benefit from your damage buff.

+250 damage resistance.

When receiving damage, applies Retaliation Buff to player.

Standard hold and knockback protection.

Ebon Void - Darkness (2 out of 5)

By default, there is nothing special about this shield (similar to energy shield). The Voracious Darkness advantage causes the shield to get stronger the longer you keep it up and the more attacks you are hit with. Player feedback seems to indicate that the benefit of this is small, making this shield somewhat disappointing. Other players swear by it, so you may want to test this out yourself.

+250 damage resistance.

Standard hold and knockback protection.

Eldritch Shield - Arcane, Primal, Ebon, and Radiant Sorcery (1 out of 5)

This is another shield that has nothing special about it other than standard shield level damage resistance. It does not even have special advantages to add something to it. One wonders if the design of this shield was completed. The only reason to take this shield over any other would be to more quickly unlock higher tier powers in this branch of sorcery.

+250 damage resistance.

Standard hold and knockback protection.

Conclusions and What Are Your Favorite Block Powers?

If you are already mid or high level and have not picked up a block enhancing shield, you might want to retcon (if you can afford it) and grab one. They are very useful and powerful.

There are a few negatives to the blocking system in Champions Online.

  1. It feels very much like a console game mechanic.

  2. Mid and high level combat rely on blocking to an incredible degree which makes things rough on casual players.

  3. It hurts the run-and-gun style of combat that lures people in early on. Many people spend a significant amount of their time in block mode, which hurts the fast paced, fun feel of combat.

  4. It also tends to make all characters play very similarly - hold block, unleash a few attacks, hold block again.

I hope that in the future they will reduce our reliance on block and provide other means of attaining status protection.

Please share your own opinions about the various block powers and shields in the comments. Thank you for reading!