We break down each of FFXIV’s four tanking jobs: PLD, WAR, DRK and GNB.
So, you want to be the shield of the party? Stepping up to the Tanking Job Role in FFXIV is a whole lot of fun, with four unique Jobs to choose from there is a style for any kind of front-line fighter.
We take you through each Tank Job, explain what makes them unique and offer some basic tips to maximize your effectiveness and enjoyability for each Job.
Your traditional sword and board fighters, Paladin’s can make an excellent introduction to tanking thanks to their wide array of heals and damage mitigation. Of all the Tank jobs, Paladin’s offer the most utility to the player – making them a solid choice for off-tank. Their damage mitigation extends to fellow party members, and they can also throw out an instant-cast heal on themselves or someone else if things are starting to look a bit hairy for the healers.
Once you hit level 30 and have completed all the GLD class quests, you can take the "Paladin's Pledge" Quest to receive your PLD job stone. Find it in Ul'dah at the Steps of Thal (x:9, y:11).
- Iron Will is the ability that generates your enmity (keeps the aggro), the only time it shouldn’t be up is if you’re the Off-Tank
- The PLD rotations aren’t situational, so master them early.
Basic Combo: Fast Blade > Riot Blade > Rage of Halone/Royal Authority
DoT Combo: Fast Blade > Riot Blade > Goring Blade
- The PLD Self-Heal (Clemency) does interrupt your rotations, so save it for emergencies. You can also use it to slap a healer if necessary and keep them on their feet.
- PLD have more situational party savers than any of the other Tank classes, so get familiar with Cover, Divine Veil, Intervention and Passage of Arms as these skills become available to you so that you can react quickly to save a fight in the nick of time
- Materia Melding priority; Critical Hit > Direct Hit > Determination > Tenacity
If you’re looking for a tanking role that packs plenty of damage without sacrificing crowd control, Warrior is a good fit. With plenty of self-heals up their sleeves, they’re perfect if you prefer a fast, aggressive style of tanking. Although while it’s easy to pick up the Great Axe, Warrior is a difficult tanking class to master with their build/spend resource rotation that relies on you choosing a finisher which will either buff your damage or heal you.
The Warrior class quest, “Pride and Duty (Will Take You…)” unlocks once you’ve completed the MRD quest line and reached level 30. You can pick it up at Limsa Lominsa on the Upper Decks (x:11, y:6).
- Defiance is the ability that generates your enmity (keeps the aggro), the only time it shouldn’t be up is if you’re the Off-Tank
- Spam your Overpower ability in the early levels before you get access to Mythril Tempest
- Time your Beserk/Inner Release ability so you can slam out five attacks, save up your Infuriate stacks and Beast Gauge to make them pack as much of a punch as possible
- Once you hit level 80, don’t use Infuriate during inner release as it wastes one of your free Fell Cleaves
- Tomahawk is your ranged attack and can interrupt combos. Use it for pulling or when you have to pull back from a boss
- Materia Melding priority; Critical Hit > Skill Speed > Determination > Tenacity
Dark Knight (DRK)
Added in the Heavensward expansion, Dark Knights are an interesting albeit niche addition to the tanking roles. They boast one of the most powerful damage mitigations in the game, however unlike WAR and PLD their self-healing abilities leave a little to be desired. Living Dead does provide staying power in a pinch, but it also requires your healer to be ready to boost you back up to full, making it a little less useful. However, the DRK’s Job quest lines are some of the most enjoyable in the game, and this alone make it worth picking up.
To unlock DRK you’ll need to have hit level 50 in any DoW or DoM class. Then you can pick up the quest “Our End” from The Pillars in Ishgard (x:13, y:8).
Dark Knight Tips
- Grit is the ability that generates your enmity (keeps the aggro), the only time it shouldn’t be up is if you’re the Off-Tank
- Blood Weapon and The Blackest Night are important prepull mechanics for DRK as balancing their blood & mana gauge is one of their main priorities for damage output
- Unmend is your ranged attack, and works well for positioning mobs or the boss where you want them
- Remember DRK is the most flexible when it comes to using their burst cooldowns and resources within the raid’s buff window. Learning to pool resources for those 60s or 120s windows can increase your potency massively
- Materia Melding priority; Critical Hit > Skill Speed > Direct Hit > Determination
The newest Tank Job, Gunbreaker, dropped with Shadowbringers, and almost leans toward DPS with it’s playstyle. Highly focused on offense, the GNB lacks a lot when it comes to health-sustain and will rely more heavily on the healers in the party. (And Superbolide will certainly keep them on their toes!) That said, they pack a massive punch with a range of defensive moves that will help keep you on your feet. Despite the lack of big self-heals, GNB is still a well-rounded choice in the tanking role.
Before you can grab yourself a gunblade, you’ll need to have reached level 60 with any DoW or DoM class. Once you’ve ticked that box, you’ll find “The Makings of a Gunbreaker” in New Gridania (x:11, y:11).
- Royal Guard is the ability that generates your enmity (keeps the aggro), the only time it shouldn’t be up is if you’re the Off-Tank
- Wrap your head around “Cartridge Neutrality”. What this means is your net gain or loss of cartridge changes within your rotation is zero. Your aim is to burn those bullets as part of your rotations, not save them up for a rainy day
- No Mercy is your most important buff, it lasts 20s. Aim to smash it when you have 2 cartridges ready, and you have still not performed your Solid Barrel move. This will give you 3 cartridges to use before the ability ends
- GNBs gap closer, Rough Divide, comes with a charge system, you can stack up to two uses of it.
- Materia Melding priority; Skill Speed (1) > Critical Hit > Direct Hit > Determination > Tenacity > Skill Speed (2)
Due to GNBs need for cartridge-neutral rotations, Skill Speed occupies a higher priority in itemization than other Tanks, so you may need to boost it a bit after melding your other priorities.