If you re-add sword blocking (which you should), make it axes disable a sword blocking (but not attacking) ability like with a shield. A player could not block with a sword if they have a shield in their offhand, even if that shield is disabled. If a player blocks with a sword in each hand, they cross to from an "x" shape and block two thirds of damage rather than one third if you block with one sword. Shields still block all damage, and axes with chopping still disable a swords blocking ability longer.
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