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Strike Damage is one of four physical damage types. It is dealt by most Hammers, Great Hammers, Gauntlets, Catalysts and all Talismans. Strike as a damage type is unique from the other physical damage types in that no weapon that deals it has the potential to inflict an additional type with a different attack from its moveset.
To lower Strike Damage, it is necessary to raise the Strike Defense stat.
As a general rule, the heavier an armor piece is, the higher its defense against Physical damage it will be.
Light armor sets are not the best choice to reduce Strike Damage. However, the Xanthous Set has unusually high Strike Defense while its headpiece, Xanthous Crown, offers the highest Strike Defense of any headpiece. Alternative armor sets with lower weight are the fully upgraded Brigand Set and Big Hat's Set.
Heavy armor sets offer the best choices when raising Physical defenses. The fully upgraded Giant Set offers the highest Strike Defense of any armor set. Smough's Set and the Guardian Set offer good alternatives and do not require upgrading.
Unlike armor, shields modify damage based on a percentage and all forms of Physical Damage are affected by its single modifier. Many standard shields and greatshields protect against 100% of Physical Damage; the Crest Shield, Havel's Greatshield and Balder Shield are examples of these.
Asterisks ( * ) denote weapons that also inflict Elemental Damage.