What are Shields and the Village Guard?

What are Shields?

Shields protect your village from enemy attacks when you aren’t online. As you lose resources from a successful attack against your village, a shield protects your base from attack for a temporary period of time so that you have an opportunity to recover.

Every time you attack another player’s village with an active shield, some of your shield time is reduced. This reduction increases with each subsequent attack under the same shield, starting at 3 hours then increasing to 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20 and then a maximum of 24 hours.

This reduction only applies to multiplayer attacks (found via the ‘Find a Match’ button or revenge attacks) where a troop, spell or hero is deployed. If you press ‘Next’ or cancel and return to your village then there is no reduction. The same applies to attacks against the single player goblin maps, war attacks (CWL or classic) and friendly battles, so they also don’t reduce your shield duration.

More details and some history about the original shield system can be found on the first shield change announcement post on the Clash of Clans Forums - From the Dev's Desk: Shields - Part I: Attacking and Defending

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How do you get a shield?

There are two ways to get a shield for your village; automatically or by purchasing one with gems.

Automatic Shields

An automatic shield is given to you after a successful attack against your village. The criteria for a successful attack is at least 30% destruction (even if the attack doesn’t get a star) and by deploying at least a third of your army camp space (heroes count as an additional 25 troop space each). There are 3 automatic shield durations available depending on the amount of destruction done to your base:

  • 12 hour shield for 30% destruction
  • 14 hour shield for 60% destruction
  • 16 hour shield for 90% destruction

When attacking another village, you will see messages on screen at these damage thresholds notifying you of the shield the defender will receive.

Purchased Shields/Guard

Shields/Guard can also be purchased from the in game store. There are different options available:

  • Two Hour Guard - 10 Gems with 23 hour cooldown
  • One Day Shield - 100 Gems with 5 day cooldown
  • Two Day Shield - 150 Gems with 10 day cooldown
  • One Week Shield - 250 Gems with 35 day cooldown
Guard and Shield in the shop
The Guard and Shields available in the shop

The two hour guard can only be purchased if you don’t have an active shield and will extend any existing guard time you have. Shields can be purchased at any point (as long as the cooldown requirement has been met) and will also extend any existing shield time you have. If you purchased multiple shields (such as the one week and two day shields), your shield time will be extended by the total time purchased.

The one week shield is not available for players above 4700 trophies in Titan I or Legend League. This is to minimise the length of time those players can not be attacked for to help resolve matchmaking times within those leagues or “Clouding”.

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What is Village Guard?

The Village Guard occurs after your shield has ended and is similar to the shield in that it also protects your village from attacks from other players, however there are some differences:

  • It has a shorter duration than the shield, ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours depending on the league you are in.
  • Attacking other players will not reduce your remaining Guard time
  • It is possible to receive a village guard without receiving a shield

It is intended to provide you a protected period of play time, allowing you to carry out multiple attacks without risk of being attacked.

Shield and Guard Order
The stages of Shield and Guard before you are vulnerable to attack

The default Guard length is 30 minutes but can be increased by progressing to a higher league:

League Guard Time
Master I and lower30 minutes
Champion League (I, II & III)1 hour
Titan III2 hours
Titan II3 hours
Titan I and Legend League4 hours

At lower leagues, it can be quite common to not be attacked for a number of hours allowing you to continue to attack without being raided yourself. If you remain online without a shield for an extended period, the Personal Break will force you to go offline for a short period to give other players an opportunity to attack your village.

Further details on the Guard can be found on the second shield change announcement post on the Clash of Clans Forums - From the Dev's Desk: Shields - Part II: Village Guard and Personal Breaks

Please note: Since this forum post, some of the durations have been adjusted however the underlying mechanics remain the same.

Can you end the Shield or Village Guard prematurely?

Yes, the Shield and Guard can be dismissed separately by tapping on the Shield/Guard at the top of the screen and selecting “Remove”. Removing the Shield will start the Village Guard and repeating the process to remove the Guard will result in your village being unprotected.

Removing Shield and Guard
The 'Remove' option for Shield and Village Guard

Why would you do this?

Although this may seem like a feature no one would make use of, there are a couple of scenarios where you may make use of it:

  1. You are at the end of your play session and won’t be playing for a number of hours (such as going to bed or work/school) and want to be attacked when you have freshly emptied your resource collectors to minimise loot losses.
  2. You want to be attacked more frequently either to reduce your number of trophies (there are more effective solutions to this) or you want to increase your number of defences for the “Unbreakable” achievement.
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What is the Personal Break?

The Personal Break is a system designed to prevent players from being online permanently to avoid them being attacked by other players (only offline players can be attacked). The Personal Break timer is 4 hours long and counts down from the moment the player is online and pauses when the player goes offline.

Personal Break timer
The Personal Break timer

Once the timer reaches 0, the player cannot attack and will be forced offline for 6 minutes to allow other players an opportunity to attack their village. This will only happen when the village is unprotected (no Shield or Guard). If during this 6 minutes the player isn’t attacked, they will receive an additional 15 minutes to attack before the 6 minute break is required again. If after a second time they aren’t attacked or are only attacked with a “weak attack” (<30% destruction or less than a third of troop space deployed) they will receive a fresh Personal Break timer.

Further details on the Personal Break can be found on the second shield change announcement post on the Clash of Clans Forums - From the Dev's Desk: Shields - Part II: Village Guard and Personal Breaks

Please note: Since this forum post, some of the durations have been adjusted however the underlying mechanics remain the same.