My question is an extension of this question.

Does the animated shield count as being armored for the mage armor spell?

Based on mage armor's description (emphasis mine):

You touch a willing creature who isn’t wearing armor, and a protective magical force surrounds it until the spell ends. The target’s base AC becomes 13 + its Dexterity modifier. The spell ends if the target dons armor or if you dismiss the spell as an action.

I'd assume you would have to cast mage armor after activating the shield and when you retrieve the shield you lose the mage armor, effectively reducing mage armor's time durability to a single combat.

To counter the possible duplicate: I am asking about the animated shield magic item, not the 1st-level shield spell.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Possible duplicate of Does Mage Armor stack with Shield? \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:08
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Marq Not the same at all, added an edit to question to elaborate. \$\endgroup\$
    – Clarus_Nox
    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:11
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Oops, misread that as ".. stack with a shield". \$\endgroup\$
    – Marq
    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm Correct me if I am wrong but a Warlock with Armour of Shadows, Shield and Animated shield could have potentially 20+Dex AC right? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 7, 2017 at 13:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Related, possible partial duplicate: Can a mundane shield be used with Mage Armor? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    May 26, 2020 at 6:11

2 Answers 2


A shield is not armor

The player handbook mentions several times, distinctly, wearing armor and carrying a shield.

Some AC calculations, such as Unarmored Defense, specifically point out that you cannot carry a shield to apply its calculation, where no such stipulation exists in Mage Armor.

Here's a similar question for everyday, non-animated shields.


The animated shield will "protect you as if you were wielding it". This means that it works as though it was in your hand, without you having to use a hand to hold it.

As asked in 'Can a mundane shield be used with Mage Armor?', a shield does stack with mage armour.

Your AC will be 13 + Dex mod + 2 (from the shield).


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