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The Shield is a Minecraft defense tool that has replaced blocking with swords as of the 1.9 update. Only one type of shield currently exists. However, it is possible to customize a shield using a banner. Banner patterns are not proportionate to the shield, however, so the design will display on the shield differently than on the banner.
Shields are commonly placed in the off-hand slot. Once equipped, a player can right-click to raise the shield and block incoming attacks from enemy mobs or players. Attacks coming from within a 180° radius in front of a player will be entirely negated, with an exception being redstone-activated TNT. It is possible to deflect arrows with a shield, directing them back at the enemy who fired said arrow, making it both a defensive and offensive tool in these situations. A player's movement speed is decreased while the shield is raised. When a shield is being used and is attacked by an axe, there is a 25% chance that the shield will be deactivated for five seconds (as seen by a white overlay, similar to ender pearls and chorus fruit), plus 5% for every level of efficiency on the axe, plus 75% if the axe wielder is sprinting.
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