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The Patchwork Shield is a low tier shield made with rotten flesh and leather. This shield comes from the Hallowed Asgard Shield Addon.
Holding rightclick with a shield in hand will block with it, much in the same way blocking with swords in Vanilla MC works. While blocking, a 10 unit guard gauge will appear above your health and start depleting 1 unit per second. Once the guard gauge empties, you are not able to block any further until the meter recharges to at least 75%. Attempting to block with a sword while one or more shields are on the hotbar will autoswitch to the right-most shield to block with that, then autoswitch back to the left-most sword on the hotbar once you stop blocking.
Vanguard is a special ability provided by shields. When a shield is in the hotbar, the Vanguard gauge will appear above your level, and start charging. The ability can only be used once that gauge is completely full. The gauge for Vanguard recharges fairly slowly, so you'll likely only get to use it once per combat.
Once Vanguard is used by shift-rightclicking, the Vanguard gauge empties and several effects are inflicted in a 5 block radius around the player. Affected mobs/players will be knocked back, have their movement reduced by 20% for 5 seconds, be confused for 10 seconds, and have any enchantments on the shield applied to them. The amount of knockback is determined by the shield's knockback rating and Knockback enchants on the shield.