About the Skill:
“A wise warrior fights with both weapon and intellect.”
“An even wiser warrior fights with a shield as well.”
Parrying is used to completely block melee blows or archery shots from opponents. In usual practise you must equip a Shield in order to parry - Which type doesn't make a difference (unless the item has an additionally listed Defense Chance Increase bonus).
If you fail to parry, a shield offers no protection aside from any Item Properties it might have displayed (such as Resistances).
As a character gains in Parry as well as Bushido, the system changes somewhat: Your chance to block with a shield falls, and instead you gain the ability to parry with a sword. An additional bonus is granted if the weapon is double handed.
This skill also counts towards your ability to perform Special Moves. Parrying also benefits from a Mastery: Shield Bash, Bodyguard and Heightened Senses.
How to train:
Superior Training Method: 0 - 120 Skill
Naked Training of Parry is easy and inexpensive. The outdated guides below are not to be followed. 0 - 120 in a few hours:
Step 1 (Optional): Train Resist Magic to 100 at New Haven with Spectral Spell Binders. They cast nothing but debuff spells, and don't harm you from a distance. This step only sets your resists to 40/70 when naked. You can use a suit to achieve 40 or better, though it will be destroyed.
Step 2: Pay 400 gold in New Haven to the Ninjitsu trainer or Necromancy trainer, as you'll be using cat form or horrific beast form for hp regeneration.
Step 3: Buy 10 - 15 Shields.
Step 4: Go to the sheep pens in Yew and flag combat on all eight of the sheep, letting them surround you while you're in cat form and only holding a shield. They will gain wrestling as they attack you, so they will keep up with your parry skill, taking you all the way to 70 from 0 ( on Siege and Mugen ), or 120 from 40 on production shards. The sheep may begin to start hitting harder as they train. Don't be afraid to kill them all and reset the spawn to weaker sheep.
Note: If your main skill is wrestling, then you need to hold a weapon in your hands that you aren't trained with. This allows the sheep to hit you more often, and gives parry more chances to trigger.
Old Training Method 1:
While your Parrying ability can be improved during your day-to-day adventuring, it can takes months upon months to reach Grandmaster (let alone the higher levels). By dedicating time specifically to the skill it can reach its peak within a few hours. If you wish to also train Bushido it is advised to train Parry first.
Put on a suit of armor to get as much Physical Resistance as possible. As you'll be taking plenty of damage, Durability is a factor - either bring several sets of expendable items or items with the Self Repair property (three or above is excellent). The Virtue Armor Set is great for situations such as this, though it's quite possible to train wearing no armor at all. Reactive Armor can be used to gain a small bonus for "free". Be sure to arm a One-Handed Weaponweapon that you have 0 weapon skill in aswell as a Shield, that way more attacks get directed to the shield.
You'll require 80 Dexterity to parry to maximum effect.
Collect several shields of any type (keeping in mind these will also be taking a large hit to durability) and find some sparring partners.
The goal here is to receive incoming melee blows as fast as possible. Every time a creature would land a strike against you, you have a chance to parry (and therefore gain). The more Dexterity your creature of choice has the faster it'll be able to attack you - The more Wrestling ability the creature has, the more likely it'll land an accurate blow. You should, of course, avoid wearing armor with the Defense Chance Increase property, though you might find Hit Point Regeneration invaluable.
Sheep are a traditional choice (as they deal negligible damage), while Spectral Spellbinders will offer faster strikes (and impressive Resisting Spells gains). Hinds are again more powerful, though keep in mind you'll gain little skill while dead. Be sure to stay out of combat mode after engaging your targets to avoid killing them.
At the most you'll be able to have nine creatures attacking you at once (eight surrounding you and one in the same tile as your character). Be sure to have a sustainable method of keeping your Hit Points above zero; bring hundreds of Bandages or cast healing spells (remembering to prepare Protection first). Of course if you can find another player to stay with you for support, you'll find it far easier to stay alive (and sane). Or if you have Necromancy you can cast Horrific Beast and your heath will regenerate at 2hp/s.
Old Training Method 2:
0-85 Have access to your house or a friends house readily available and shield with at least 3 Self Repair. Now, find any low level animal (sheep, dogs, cats, etc. I prefer to use hinds) and aggro it towards you. This will mean going into war mode and double clicking said creature. Before the creature gets to attacking you, make sure of these things: 1) You are standing on the stairs of the house in front of the door. (this is so that you can move one tile away and heal if need be without the creature following you) 2) Have your shield equipped and NOT a weapon. 3) A full HP regen suit helps, but always makes sure you have a guaranteed method of healing. Note that this part is extremely important because it will keep you from dying and having to find a healer.
85-100 Use the exact same setup as above, however, switch out to an ogre or a troll in order to start getting gains. It is more important now to have a method of healing than it was before because these can hit much harder than a wolf can and often do. Remember that the doorway is there in the event that you need to step away for a few seconds and heal.