Blocking

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Blocking is a means of preventing damage from enemy attacks by fending with a shield, staff or dual wielded weapons after Evasion and Dodge has failed. The base chance to block when using a shield (22-33%) or a staff (12-18%) is determined by the base item type. When dual wielding, the base chance to block is 15% no matter which weapons are used. Usually only attacks can be blocked, but there are passives and unique items that apply a percentage of block chance to spells. The chance to block attacks and spells are both capped at 75%.

Mechanics

Blocking an attack prevents all damage and harmful effects including status ailments. Reflected damage can be blocked[1]; however, blocking reflected damage will not trigger on-block effects.

Block has the following stats:

The maximum block chance cap applies to both attacks and spells. However items such as The AnvilThe Anvil
Amber Amulet
Requires Level 45
+(20 to 30) to Strength10% reduced Attack Speed
10% reduced Cast Speed
+(400 to 500) to Armour
+(34 to 48) Life gained when you Block
+(10 to 24) Mana gained when you Block
10% reduced Movement Speed
+3% to maximum Block Chance
8% Chance to Block
Reflects 240–300 Physical Damage to Attackers on Block
Forge your Perseverance on the Anvil of Faith.
can raise the maximum block cap.

Usually only attacks can be blocked, but there are passives and unique items that apply a percentage of block chance to spells. For example, the unique amulet Stone of LazhwarStone of Lazhwar
Lapis Amulet
Requires Level 5
+(20 to 30) to Intelligence50% of Block Chance applied to Spells
(10 to 15)% increased Cast Speed
+(30 to 50) to maximum Mana
You are slow, foolish and ignorant.
I am not.
grants 50% of Block Chance applied to Spells. A character with 40% block chance would have 40% (attack) block chance and 20% spell block chance with the unique equipped. This does not apply to block chance gained from skills like Tempest Shield.

Additional chance to block can be gained by taking certain passive skills, using Tempest Shield, equipping a shield with the modifier Local Additional Block Chance %, or equipping unique items such as The Bringer of RainThe Bringer of Rain
Nightmare Bascinet
Armour: (423 to 564)
Evasion: (609 to 812)
Requires Level 67, 62 Str, 85 Dex
Socketed Gems are Supported by level 18 Melee Physical Damage
Socketed Gems are Supported by level 12 Faster Attacks
Socketed Gems are Supported by level 6 Blind
Adds 20–30 Physical Damage
(200 to 300)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(120 to 160) to maximum Life
20% chance to gain an Endurance Charge when you Block
Extra gore
Can't use Chest armour
6% Chance to Block
"What lies beneath your feet?!"
"Sacred ground, watered with tears of blood!"
.

Block duration

When an attack is blocked, the game also calculates if the attack would have caused a stun were it not blocked. If it would have caused a stun, the blocking animation is played, stunning you briefly. If it would not have caused a stun, then you get a "free" block with no animation. Faster Block and Stun Recovery and Increased Block Recovery modifiers reduce the length of the blocking animation.

The following formula is the complete calculation for the duration of the blocking animation (in milliseconds). If you cannot be stunned, the block animation will never play.

Block Duration = 350 / ( 1 + Block and Stun Recovery + Block Recovery )

Status ailments have no affect on your block chance, but being frozen will prevent the block animation from playing if it otherwise would, and chilled will make it take longer to play (since those two work by decreasing the speed at which your character plays animations).

On hit effects from skills like Glacial Hammer and Viper Strike will still apply because block doesn't prevent a successful hit. However, skill effects based on damage like Puncture are essentially blocked.[2]

Reducing Block chance

Block chance can be reduced with modifiers such as #% Reduced enemy chance to block and the gem Block Chance Reduction.

Skills that can't be blocked

Some skills cannot be blocked. They can be a nasty surprise for players who rely on block or spell block. Damage Over Time effects such as from Righteous Fire, Desecrate, Fire Trap or Caustic Arrow can't be blocked. The explosion of Explosive Arrow can't be blocked either (the attacks can be blocked, but explosions can come from terrain obstacles or minions). The explosions from Bloodline mods Flame/Frost/Storm bearers produce explosions are also impossible to block.

Related Unique Items

A number of unique items give bonuses to block, either by directly granting additional block chance, or indirectly by enhancing it in various ways. Note: Only unique items with explicit block-related mods are listed here. Of course, all shields and staffs have implicit chance to block and they also apply on uniques, but they are not shown here.

Additional Block Chance

NameBase ItemModifiers
Aegis Aurora
Champion Kite Shield
(10 to 20)% increased Elemental Damage with Weapons
(80 to 100)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
+10% to all Elemental Resistances
+5% to maximum Cold Resistance
+6% Chance to Block
Replenishes Energy Shield by 2% of Armour when you Block
Crest of Perandus
Pine Buckler
+(60 to 80) to maximum Life
(5 to 8) Life Regenerated per second
+30% to Lightning Resistance
0.6% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life
+5% Chance to Block
Hegemony's Era
Judgement Staff
12% Chance to Block6% Chance to Block
Adds (180–190 to 190–220) Physical Damage
(12 to 16)% increased Attack Speed
(20 to 30)% increased Critical Strike Chance
+1 maximum Power Charge
10% chance to gain a Power Charge if you Knock an enemy Back with Melee Damage
Kaltenhalt
Painted Buckler
(60 to 100)% increased Evasion Rating
+5% to maximum Cold Resistance
+50% to Cold Resistance
Reflects (25 to 50) Cold Damage to Melee Attackers
+5% Chance to Block
Lioneye's Remorse
Pinnacle Tower Shield
(200 to 250)% increased Armour
+(80 to 100) to maximum Life
5% reduced Movement Speed
20% increased Stun Recovery
−25 Physical Damage taken from Projectile Attacks
+5% Chance to Block
Rearguard
Broadhead Arrow Quiver
Adds 6–12 Physical Damage to Attacks with Bows+(400 to 450) to Armour
(20 to 30)% increased Projectile Speed
50% increased Stun Recovery
(15 to 20)% increased Projectile Damage
(20 to 24)% Chance to Block
(12 to 15)% Chance to Block Spells
The Bringer of Rain
Nightmare Bascinet
Socketed Gems are Supported by level 18 Melee Physical Damage
Socketed Gems are Supported by level 12 Faster Attacks
Socketed Gems are Supported by level 6 Blind
Adds 20–30 Physical Damage
(200 to 300)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(120 to 160) to maximum Life
20% chance to gain an Endurance Charge when you Block
Extra gore
Can't use Chest armour
6% Chance to Block
The Anvil
Amber Amulet
+(20 to 30) to Strength10% reduced Attack Speed
10% reduced Cast Speed
+(400 to 500) to Armour
+(34 to 48) Life gained when you Block
+(10 to 24) Mana gained when you Block
10% reduced Movement Speed
+3% to maximum Block Chance
8% Chance to Block
Reflects 240–300 Physical Damage to Attackers on Block
Thousand Teeth Temu
Vaal Buckler
(100 to 120)% increased Evasion Rating
+(70 to 90) to maximum Life
0.4% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Life
+5% Chance to Block
Reflects 1–1000 Physical Damage to Attackers on Block

Additional Block Chance while Dual Wielding

NameBase ItemModifiers
Essentia Sanguis
Eye Gouger
+31 Life gained for each enemy hit by Attacks8% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding Claws
(140 to 180)% increased Physical Damage
Adds 1–80 Lightning Damage
(20 to 30)% increased Attack Speed
+(30 to 40) to maximum Energy Shield
Ghost Reaver
Mark of the Doubting Knight
Platinum Kris
80% increased Global Critical Strike Chance5% Additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
(210 to 240)% increased Physical Damage
10% reduced Attack Speed
+(6 to 10)% to all Elemental Resistances
Melee Critical Strikes have 25% chance to cause Bleeding
Melee Critical Strikes have 25% chance to Poison the Enemy
Prismatic Eclipse
Twilight Blade
18% Increased Accuracy Rating8% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
Adds (20–31 to 30–40) Physical Damage
25% increased Physical Damage with Weapons per Red Socket
12% increased Global Attack Speed per Green Socket
0.4% of Physical Attack Damage Leeched as Mana per Blue Socket
+2 to Melee Weapon Range per White Socket
Rigwald's Command
Midnight Blade
18% increased Accuracy Rating10% additional Block Chance while Dual Wielding
Adds (60–150 to 80–180) Physical Damage
80% increased Physical Damage with Axes
+(350 to 400) to Accuracy Rating
15% chance to gain a Frenzy Charge on Kill
Ungil's Gauche
Boot Knife
40% increased Global Critical Strike Chance12% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
(80 to 100)% increased Physical Damage
+(10 to 20) to Dexterity
Adds 3–30 Lightning Damage
10% increased Attack Speed
50% increased Global Critical Strike Chance
Wings of Entropy
Sundering Axe
25% of Block Chance applied to Spells
8% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
(100 to 120)% increased Physical Damage
Adds (55–100 to 65–120) Fire Damage in Main Hand
Adds (55–100 to 65–120) Chaos Damage in Off Hand
Counts as Dual Wielding

% of Block Chance applied to Spells

NameBase ItemModifiers
Daresso's Courage
Baroque Round Shield
120% increased Block Recovery20% increased Physical Damage
(100 to 120)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(10 to 20)% to Fire Resistance
+(10 to 20)% to Cold Resistance
+(10 to 20)% to Lightning Resistance
120% of Block Chance applied to Spells when on Low Life
+(3 to 6)% Chance to Block
Rainbowstride
Conjurer Boots
(20 to 25)% of Block Chance applied to Spells
+(40 to 60) to maximum Mana
(140 to 180)% increased Energy Shield
+20% to all Elemental Resistances
20% increased Movement Speed
Rathpith Globe
Titanium Spirit Shield
(40 to 60)% of Block Chance applied to Spells
(40 to 60)% increased Spell Damage
10% increased maximum Life
(120 to 160)% increased Energy Shield
+25% to Lightning Resistance
Rearguard
Broadhead Arrow Quiver
Adds 6–12 Physical Damage to Attacks with Bows+(400 to 450) to Armour
(20 to 30)% increased Projectile Speed
50% increased Stun Recovery
(15 to 20)% increased Projectile Damage
(20 to 24)% Chance to Block
(12 to 15)% Chance to Block Spells
Saffell's Frame
Branded Kite Shield
+4% to all Elemental Resistances(70 to 80)% of Block Chance applied to Spells
(20 to 30)% increased Spell Damage
+10% to all Elemental Resistances
+4% to all maximum Resistances
Cannot Block Attacks
Sentari's Answer
Brass Spirit Shield
25% of Block Chance applied to Spells
+(20 to 30) to Intelligence
(4 to 8)% increased Quantity of Items found
+5% Chance to Block
Applies level 15 Punishment on Blocking a Melee Attack
Applies level 15 Temporal Chains on Blocking a Projectile Attack
Applies level 15 Elemental Weakness on Blocking a Spell
Stone of Lazhwar
Lapis Amulet
+(20 to 30) to Intelligence50% of Block Chance applied to Spells
(10 to 15)% increased Cast Speed
+(30 to 50) to maximum Mana
Wings of Entropy
Sundering Axe
25% of Block Chance applied to Spells
8% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
(100 to 120)% increased Physical Damage
Adds (55–100 to 65–120) Fire Damage in Main Hand
Adds (55–100 to 65–120) Chaos Damage in Off Hand
Counts as Dual Wielding

Miscellaneous

NameBase ItemModifiers
Belt of the Deceiver
Heavy Belt
+(25 to 35) to Strength10% reduced Chance to Block Attacks and Spells
(15 to 25)% increased Physical Damage
You take 30% reduced Extra Damage from Critical Strikes
+(30 to 40) to maximum Life
+(6 to 10)% to all Elemental Resistances
Cybil's Paw
Thresher Claw
+21 Life gained for each enemy hit by your Attacks(8 to 12)% increased Cast Speed
+(30 to 40) to maximum Mana
+(5 to 8) Life gained for each Enemy hit by your Spells
8% increased Spell Damage per 5% Block Chance
Fortified Legion
Cobalt Jewel
Minions have (5 to 15)% increased maximum Life
Minions Recover 2% of their Maximum Life when they Block
Lightbane Raiment
Ornate Ringmail
(120 to 140)% increased Armour and Energy Shield
30% of Physical Damage Converted to Chaos Damage
Reflects 30 Chaos Damage to Melee Attackers
25% reduced Light Radius
100% chance on Block to create Desecrated Ground
Rumi's Concoction
Granite Flask
(20 to 30)% Chance to Block during flask effect
(10 to 15)% Chance to Block Spells during flask effect
Skullhead
Secutor Helm
(60 to 80)% increased Armour and Evasion
+(50 to 70) to maximum Life
+(50 to 70) to maximum Mana
Minions have 10% Chance to Block
Minions have +(300 to 350) to Armour
Minions Regenerate 2% Life per Second
Titucius' Span
Reinforced Tower Shield
(60 to 80)% increased Armour
+(30 to 50) to maximum Life
−10 Physical Damage taken from Projectile Attacks
200% increased Armour against Projectiles
+25% additional Block Chance against Projectiles
Zahndethus' Cassock
Sage's Robe
Adds 1–40 Lightning Damage
(75 to 100)% increased Energy Shield
+(40 to 50)% to Chaos Resistance
25% increased Light Radius
100% chance on Block to create Consecrated Ground

Passive skills

There are passive skills that grant blocking bonuses.

Chance to block with shields

These passive skills grant additional chance to block with a shield equipped.

Name Bonuses
Block
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding or holding a Shield
Shield Block
  • 2% additional Chance to Block with Shields
Shield Block and Block Recovery
  • 1% additional Chance to Block with Shields
  • 30% increased Block Recovery
Shield Block and Shield Defences
  • 2% additional Chance to Block with Shields
  • 25% increased Defences from equipped Shield
Command of Steel
  • 2% additional Chance to Block with Shields
  • 60% increased Defences from equipped Shield
Defiance
  • 3% additional Chance to Block with Shields
  • 20% increased Melee Physical Damage
  • 25% increased Defences from equipped Shield
Deflection
  • 4% additional Chance to Block with Shields
  • 40% increased Defences from equipped Shield
Iron Wall
  • 3% additional Chance to Block with Shields
  • 60% increased Block Recovery
  • 45% increased Defences from equipped Shield
Plated Defences
  • 4% additional Chance to Block with Shields
  • 50% increased Armour from equipped Shield
Precise Interception
  • 3% additional Chance to Block with Shields
  • 60% increased Defences from equipped Shield
Sanctuary
  • 3% additional Chance to Block with Shields
  • +12% Elemental Resistances while holding a Shield
Slashing Comeback
  • 4% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding or holding a Shield
  • 24% increased Physical Damage with Swords
  • 20% increased Accuracy Rating with Swords
Solidity
  • 3% additional Shield Block Chance
  • 10% increased Melee Physical Damage while holding a Shield
  • 25% increased Defenses from equipped Shield
Testudo
  • 4% additional Chance to Block with Shields
  • 60% increased Block Recovery
  • +8 Mana gained when you Block
Weapon Artistry
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding or holding a Shield
  • 16% increased Physical Damage with Attacks
  • 4% increased Attack Speed
  • +10 to Strength and Dexterity

Chance to block with staves

These passive skills grant additional chance to block with a staff equipped.

Name Bonuses
Staff Block
  • 2% additional Block Chance with Staves
Whirling Barrier
  • 10% chance to gain a Power Charge when you Block
  • 6% additional Block Chance with Staves

Chance to block while dual wielding

These passive skills grant additional chance to block while dual wielding.

Name Bonuses
Block
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding or holding a Shield
Dual Wield Block
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
Dual Wield Damage and Block
  • 1% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 8% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
Blade Barrier
  • 3% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 50% increased Block Recovery
  • 18% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
Dervish
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 24% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
  • 6% increased Attack Speed while Dual Wielding
Gemini
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 20% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
  • 15% increased Accuracy Rating while Dual Wielding
Slashing Comeback
  • 4% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding or holding a Shield
  • 24% increased Physical Damage with Swords
  • 20% increased Accuracy Rating with Swords
Swagger
  • 2% additional Block Chance while Dual Wielding
  • 24% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding
Weapon Artistry
  • 2% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding or holding a Shield
  • 16% increased Physical Damage with Attacks
  • 4% increased Attack Speed
  • +10 to Strength and Dexterity

Chance to block spells with shields

These passive skills grant additional chance to block spells with a shield equipped.

Name Bonuses
Shield Spell Block
  • 2% additional Chance to Block Spells with Shield
Mind Barrier
  • 5% additional Chance to Block Spells with Shield

Chance to block for minions

These passive skills grant additional chance to block for minions.

Name Bonuses
Decay Ward
  • Minions Recover 1% of their Maximum Life when the Block
  • Minions have 4% Chance to Block
Minion Block
  • Minions have 2% Chance to Block

Block recovery

These passive skills grant increased block recovery.

Name Bonuses
Block Recovery
  • 40% increased Block Recovery
Block and Block Recovery
  • 1% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding or holding a Shield
  • 30% increased Block Recovery
Shield Block and Block Recovery
  • 1% additional Chance to Block with Shields
  • 30% increased Block Recovery
Blade Barrier
  • 3% additional Chance to Block while Dual Wielding
  • 50% increased Block Recovery
  • 18% increased Physical Weapon Damage while Dual Wielding

Reduced enemy chance to block

Name Bonuses
Damage and Reduce Enemy Block With Swords
  • 6% increased Physical Damage with Swords
  • 8% reduced enemy Chance to Block Sword Attacks
Deft Blade
  • 22% increased Physical Damage with Swords
  • 15% reduced enemy Chance to Block Sword Attacks

References

  1. Mark_GGG (December 3, 2012). "Mechanics Thread". Path of Exile Forum. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
  2. Mark_GGG (November 5, 2012). "Viper Strike overriding block chance/dodge/evasion". Path of Exile Forum. Retrieved October 21, 2013.