Shard is one of the more mysterious Guardians of the Ancient Relics DLC. She fights similarly to the Ether Drake with a difference in the way of her appearance. What is the deal with this terrifyingly strong entity? And what do you need to deal with this beast of the Galaxy?
How to find Shard
Shard is as mentioned part of the Ancient Relics DLC. In order to to get her to appear, you are going to have to find the so-called Kleptomaniac Rats Archaeological Site. Going through the Event and digging through the whole site, you will eventually conclude the whole Excavation and awaken the Guardian.
This massive beast will then occupy this system. Any planet that is colonized will be destroyed within 2 years of Shard appearing. She will not leave but she will make using the system effectively impossible.
That means, if you want to plan ahead or prepare accordingly, you should not complete the Dig site. Only do so, when you feel that you are ready to face Shard.
How much fleet power do you need to defeat Shard?
As usual, there is no clear answer on this one, since it is also based on your own weapons and how well you counter Shard’s stats (see below). However, a good number would be between 20,000 – 30,000 fleet power. I would recommend 30,000 fleet power to minimize losses. You can lean towards the lower end of this estimation as you get more battleships.
Shard’s own power is at 46,670.
What are the ideal weapons for Shard?
Shard’s stats are pretty much similar to those of the Ether Drake. As such, she will have energy weapons that do -20% damage to shields. She will have high hull and high armor and no shield herself.
Therefore, the ideal fleet will have high shields equipped with energy weapons. Having a fleet that is tailored around defeating Shard will naturally make the necessary amount of fleet power smaller, even below 20,000 potentially.
If you follow this Fleet Composition Guide and keep in mind the extra rules of having high shields and energy weapons, you should be fine. If you just follow the guide’s principles, you should also be fine as it will advise you to go heavily into battleships which are pretty good against Guardians such as Shard.
Using a Starbase as help
Since you already know where and when Shard is going to appear (as you complete the excavation) and you will also already control the system (as it is necessary for the archeological site), you can plan ahead of her appearance.
You can upgrade your Starbase to the maximum level and have it aid you in your battle.
The Rubricator Relic reward
Defeating Shard will grant you the so-called Rubricator Relic.
The Rubricator grants you +20 Society research and +15% Archaeotech Weapon Damage as a passive effect and 500 Minor Artifacts as a Triumph (active) effect with a cooldown of 3600 days and an influence cost of 150.
This tiny cube fits snugly within your “Species Hand Name”, yet holds a digital treasure of innumerable scanned alien artifacts dating back to the youth of the universe. And it can replicate them infinitely. Never before has the unknown been so close.
I wouldn’t say that it is very much worth it in terms of Relic strength, particularly if you are strong enough to field a 20k fleet, but it’s certainly better than nothing. Additionally, defeating Shard is probably also a matter of personal prestige, since it is fun to defeat. Mind that the Rubricator’s effect got changed in the past as it used to give Unity once.
The real reward lies in the relic world that you find this whole event on. Guaranteed 8 researchers for no buildings or districts, and 6 exotic resource extraction buildings are very strong.
It can be questionable whether it is a good idea to read all the information of an entity like Shard beforehand. It’s good to know how much you need to kill it, but the spirit of Stellaris is to explore (and sometimes even succumb) to the wonders and dangers of the galaxy. Shard is one scary drake and losing a system to this encounter is a unique experience.