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There are four forms of physical damage: Regular (absent from Dark Souls II), Strike, Slash and Thrust. Each have a corresponding defense stat that they are measured against. Because of this, certain physical damage may be ineffective against certain enemies, while other forms will be very effective.
What damage type a particular weapon deals varies and can be determined by toggling a weapon's display and looking under "Attack Type". Many weapons will display two types of physical damage. Which one is dealt is dependent on which attack of its moveset is used.
All shields reduce a high percentage of physical damage, many of them 100%.
Heavy Armor Sets provide the most protection from physical damage.
- There are a limited number of weapons that do not inflict any kind of physical damage, the Moonlight Greatsword, Moonlight Butterfly Horn, Crystal Ring Shield and Moonlight Arrows, which all deal only Magic Damage, and the Pyromancy Flame, which deals only Fire Damage when used as a striking weapon.