Reduces damage inflicted by attacks from foes 2 spaces away by 30%
- Restricted to melee units.
There are currently three types of ranged damage reduction skills in the game: Aegis, Holy Vestments and Sacred Cowl. Each reduces damage from two spaces away by a certain amount. The two final skills are Aegis, which soaks 50% damage and Sacred Cowl, which soaks 30% but with a reduced cooldown. These skills are rarely seen due to the power of offensive specials, but can allow a unit to survive key hits from ranged units.
As these skills have relatively low cooldowns, special-reducing items such as Quickened Pulse or Killer/Slaying weapons can help to trigger them much more quickly. Sacred Cowl can be triggered every other turn with such a weapon. Shield Pulse is a skill that is specifically designed to be run alongside defensive specials, forming a powerful combination. Shield Pulse reduces the damage received when the special triggers by a further five, and reduces the initial cooldown by two. With a Killer or Slaying weapon the special can be activated every time they are hit, provided the unit strikes back at least once.
Nearly every type of unit prefers to run a different special. Faster offensive units aren’t concerned about their defenses, and would rather opt for a defense-reducing or attack-increasing special, such as Moonbow, Luna or Dragon Fang. Tanks would rather run specials which deal damage off their huge defense stats, such as Ignis and Bonfire. This leaves little room for these skills to be viable. Shield Pulse builds can be effective, but require a lot of investment and are usually better when run with melee damage reduction skills such as Pavise and Escutcheon. Unfortunately, many ranged attackers are based around hitting twice (Such as Brave Bow users or fast Blade tome mages). As both Aegis and Sacred Cowl only block one hit, they are often ineffective in practice.