In Breath of the Wild, a common enemy you’ll encounter is a guardian. Guardians are ancient machines built to fight off Calamity Ganon. There are different forms that guardians come in, but the method to defeat them remains the same.
Their main attack is a laser that will one-shot you at lower health levels. At early levels, shields won’t block the laser. Unless you have the guardian shield which will parry the laser automatically, you have to parry it manually. Fortunately, you can parry the laser with any shield in the game as long as the timing is right.
How to Parry the Laser
Parrying the guardian laser is all about timing. You don’t need to worry about aiming the laser, as it will go directly back to where it was fired from. You don’t want to stand too close or too far away. I stand fairly close to the guardians because it makes timing the parry a lot easier.
The guardian will telegraph its moves before it performs them. Hold the ZL button to ready your shield. There will be a slow beeping noise while it acquires a lock on and then the tone speeds up significantly. Once the faster beeping is over, it will have a very quick charge up and fire the laser. The laser has a firing noise. When you hear that firing noise, immediately hit A to parry the laser.
Over time, you’ll get a feeling of how far away you should be standing from the guardian and the timing of its attack. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t parry when the laser charges up, but when you see the laser firing out of the guardian’s eye and right as you hear the beginning of the firing noise.
The stationary guardians will take one hit to destroy while the mobile ones like the walkers and flyers will take three hits. You can practice on stationary guardians at Fort Hateno and on mobile guardians at the perimeter of Hyrule Castle. This method makes farming ancient materials significantly easier for endgame gear.