Hello there! Immolated here, with another spiffy guide for those of you who are of the Tanking class in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. This guide is meant to help those who are new to tanking in an MMO and is also to help those who have tanked in the past in other MMO's but not in a Final Fantasy game. There will be a lot of information, so if you have any questions, feel free to PM me on ZAM or even in game if you're on my server. You can check which server I am on from my stat card which is in my signature. Without further ado in the word's of Mario...LETS-A-GO!"
What is a tank?
A tank is the front line of any party in most MMOs. He/She is your shield and at the same time your sword. In Final Fantasy's case,they're just a shield to be beat on. In DND a meat puppet! But moving on, a tank is essentially your top priority in a party, they control the incoming damage to the party and mitigate it as the ebb and flow of battle progresses. Keep in mind however no tank is immortal. (Wouldn't that be cool?) Most tanks in any MMO have a high defensive stat which in exchange gives them low melee capability. They however make up for this with in-game utility, such as being able to pull aggro from far away or steal aggro from a monster that is attacking one of your party members. Some tanks in some games also are provided with some form of healing magic to keep themselves alive along with a their own stock of protective buffs which increases their tankiness...if that's even a word, but moving forward.
How to be a tank!
Simple. Run in, let guys smack you. Yeah that's how it works, but in Final Fantasy XIV it's a lot different. In Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn you'll have 2 different types of tanking. You'll have your full tank this is the person who does nothing but tank and contributes little to the DPS factor of the fight. They focus on keeping hate and manage the flow of it through out the fight. Then there is your off-tank, your off-tank is the person who can partially tank but leans more towards the DPS factor of the fight. They are more or less the 2nd line of defense in case your primary tank doesn't do a good job...and we all don't want that! This is why I'm writing this guide! So you can be a a pro tank in that shining armor! In Final Fantasy: ARR (Got tired of typing the whole damn name.) You have two different tanks, like I mentioned before,but this guide is for Gladiator/Paladin. I have yet to find a bad WAR Tank, so keep at it you sexy people you! Also I'm not discouraging anyone, this guide is meant to help you become a better tank. Yes I've had my bad share of GLD tanks, but I've also had my share of very good ones. This is to help those people who THINK they're not doing so good as a tank and could perform better.
Gladiator/Paladin - These guys are your main tanks, no matter how you slice it, this is also the starting class which branches off to becoming a Paladin later on down the line. Which is your front of the line tank. Paladin/Gladiator's specialize in semi-crowd control to single-target aggro pulling. These guys can take a beating, but their drawback is a low DPS rate compared to a Pug or any other of the other DPS classes in the game. They also have a lower strength index than their counter-part tanking class the Marauder. Let's break this class down by their skill chart and go over the bread and butter of what makes this class really shine.
Going down the Gladiator skill chart, there is a few skills you'll need to know about in order to maximize your tanking ability as a Gladiator/Paladin. Most importantly are the skills that generate Enmity. What is Enmity? Enmity or Hate in Final Fantasy XIV: ARR is the small meter under your class icon. When you engage a monster it shows how much hate it has for you and then when it gets full you'll hear a chime indicating that well, the monster wants to kill you and doesn't like you very much. (Go figure?) It is your job as a tank to keep this on you at all times or else you risk wiping your entire party. The skills you will see below will help in keeping Hate on you as much as possible.
(Level 1) Fast Blade - Your pick up skill as a Gladiator, pretty basic, but this skill will be your starter for increasing hate. It has a Recast of 2.5 seconds and should be the skill you constantly are using when picking a one on one fight. This skill combos in later with the next skill described below.
(Level 2) Rampart - Your first real tanking skill you get, it reduces incoming damage by 20% and last 20 seconds. A very good skill to use in a do or die situation or if you don't feel like taking damage at the first 20 seconds of a fight, later on down the line you get Enhanced Rampart which increases the amount of damage reduced by 10% and keeps you alive longer! Only drawback? A 90 second recast timer.
(Level 4) Savage Blade - This skill is going to be your top notch skill for creating Hate on yourself. This skill also Combos with Fast Blade so it should be used as a follow up with every chance you have to use it. This skill increases Hate on you from use of it alone and is great for keeping the attention of a mob that is non-boss.
Also with a Combo Potency of 200, this is a must have for any Paladin/Gladiator on your hotbar.
(Level 6) Fight or Flight - A self buff that Increases Physical Damage by 30%! That is AWESOME! This is a pretty good buff if you lose Hate, but also is good if you want to keep it. Since not only will you be hitting harder, but you'll generate more Enmity on yourself and keep your friends safe and not dead on the ground. The more damage you do to a mob, the more it's going to hate you, so SMACK AWAY! The only downside is the cooldown which is 90 seconds, so keep in mind when you use this skill you'll be using it more or less on an emergency notice if maybe a mage of yours pulls hate on accident and you need to get it back quickly.
(Level 8) Flash - In my god honest opinion, I hate this skill the way it is in XIV. In XI it used to be a single target. But moving on! Flash is going to be your skill to gain hatred from the moment a fight starts. It's good for pulling groups of enemies in towards you, thus giving you the ability to crowd control where you want your targets to converge on you at. The only real issue with this skill is you must factor in the resistance on enemies. Use this skill too much and not only will the enemy resist it, you'll be wasting MP. (Not that it matters, but waste not want not!) The more advanced version of the skill is Enhanced Flash which blinds your enemies for 12 seconds, reducing their ability to hit you. Like I said before this skill is good, but not great. I personally prefer Shield Lob over this skill. But it is a core skill so keep it on your hotbar at all times.
(Level 15) Shield Lob - Captain America anyone? Stars and Stripes? No? Okay then. Shield Lob is just spectacular for Paladin, it gives you a ranged utility move that they didn't have in XI. Shield Lob not only damages for 120 Potency but increase Enmity as well and keeps you as the life of the party for your tanking needs. This skill is good for single-target pulling. It is not good for trying to pull mobs off someone once you lose hate, or else you will literally look like Captain America throwing your shield all over the place. A good combo to do is to Shield Lob one enemy, and if they're linked and move in, follow up with a Flash to make sure hate stays on you. Because remember you only increased Hate on a single target, not the ones that are around them until you use Flash.
(Level 18) Shield Bash - Ah, the sweet sound of metal hitting a monster upside their head. I could sleep to that sound ya know. WA-PING! Shield Bash is very good for interrupting an enemy weapon skill. (Red Hitbox Indicator). This skill however doesn't by itself increase Hate like Flash or Savage Blade does but it is good for knocking the enemy out of a potentially dangerous skill which can wipe you out or take a bite out of your HP like Scruff McGruff takes a bite out of crime. The skill procs a 3 second stun which is useful and it also works on bosses. But keep in mind, like any skill in the game the Stun proc on this can be fully resisted which will render the skill near useless, also factor in the 2.5 Cooldown on this skill, which means you might want to space out your shield bashes in a fight and it also cost 150 TP per use, so that's 300 per 2 out of a 1k Bar, that's a lot of TP being drained off you. Let some weaponskills go and dodge them when you can but if you're in the "Oh sh*t." moment, don't hesitate to crack them upside the head with the shield.
(Level 22) Provoke - In the words of Hank Hill. "I'm gonna kick your ***." This is essentially what provoke says to an enemy. It is your single-target engagement move. This skill is very good in catching stray enemies that happen to either slip by your Flash or end up resisting your Flash completely. It will draw them back to you, however...this skill will NOT pull enemies off a target that has full hate on someone else. I've seen countless times in a party where myself (Healer) has been heal bombing my tank, the enemy slips past them, they go to provoke and they shrug it off. I'm not sure if this is a in-game error, but if it is, it needs to be fixed. The point however of this skill is to get the attention of an enemy who usually sneaks past you while you're controlling other enemies. Another cool thing, it is like a ranged version of Shield Lob, but one that increases Hate right off the bat. Like I said before, use this on a single target, and if they're linked, follow up with a Flash to keep hate, your party will love you for it.
(Level 26) Rage of Halone - A very cool weaponskill you may see often being used by most Paladins. This is the bigger brother to Savage Blade. Not only does it increase Enmity in your target but when you combo it with it's little brother Savage Blade it creates a damn good proc of Reduce target's strength by 5%, and when you factor that into end-game that number will make the difference. Also you get a cool bonus of 260 Potency and 20 more seconds from the Combo itself, so always keep that flow going when possible. At 60 TP, it's not that bad of a skill to use frequently.
(Level 30) Shield Swipe - You don't really see this used too much, but it is a skill that will save your life on multiple counts of using it. when used in conjunction with Bulwark. (I will explain this later.) This skill puts the enemy in a Pacified state, what this means is the enemy cannot use weaponskills for the duration (6s) and will give you plenty of time to pull hate on something else, deal the killing blow or do whatever your party needs to do to get through the dungeon. The catch? Yes, there's a catch folks. Is it needs to be used immediately after a Parry indication (-20% Blocked). Also like any status effect in the game, it can be fully resisted, so don't rely too heavily on this. This skill is only good if your Shield Bash fails and you're under the effect of Bulwark.
(Level 38) Sentinel - No, not the X-Men eye-beam blasting robot! But your self-buff. This skill is a god-send for Gladiator/Paladin, because it reduces incoming damage by 30%. Now, combine that with both Rampart and then Rage of Halone Combo, your enemy will be scratching if not clawing at your armor. At later levels you get Enhanced Sentinel which increases the damage reduction from 30% to 40%! So combining that with Advanced Rampart that is a 60% reduction bonus. Which is going to be awesome for tanking right? RIGHT?! The only downside is....the skill only last 10 seconds. Bummer I know, but at least that 10 seconds will keep you alive long enough for a healer to drop heals on you!
(Level 42) Tempered Will - A very good skill versus any boss that likes to knockback. This skill immediately cures Bind and Heavy.while preventing Knockback and Draw In effects. The only thing I didn't like about this skill was the high level, it would've been better if we got it at 32 when it's needed the most. (Titan Fight @ Level 34.) Since he loves to knock people out of the arena. But in any case, this skill is utility and can be lazily used at your convenience if you're stuck. Come to think of it, this skill would've been useful in 1k Maws.....stupid mites.
(Level 46) Bulwark - I told you we'd come to this later on. This is a godly skill in terms of defensive ability. It increases your block rate by 60% and combined with Shield Swipe, you'll be actively pacifying your enemies one after the other due to your high block rate. Like I said however, keep in mind that enemies can resist status effects. This is only good if an enemy your fighting loves to spam weaponskills. Also it has a duration of 15 seconds which isn't too bad considering how long a fight usually last. But hands down this skill has a long cooldown of 180 seconds. Almost a 3:00 minute cooldown.
These are the core skills you need to be successful. Please note, I did not mention all the skills, only the ones made to keep you alive and kicking!
Now this next section covers the Paladin Skill set and the Cross Class abilities you should have to keep you tanking and looking cool in your spiffy armor. Also please note, all skills need to be quested, you can get to 50 without them, but that would just be dumb.
Paladin - Yaay! You made it to Paladin, now what? Now the real tanking begins, you are the shield of the party. Here is the skill list below of Paladin skills you'll be getting on your journey to 50.
(Level 30) Sword Oath - Your skill upon becoming a Paladin. This skill increases the potency of Auto Attacks by 50. A good thing if you want to keep Enmity on a single target, but not good for party play as you'll be engaging more than one enemy during the frenzy of party play in dungeons. You're going to want the other skill akin to this which is Shield Oath. At 266 MP a use, you better keep one of these two spells on at all times and don't be picky.
(Level 35) Cover - A very good skill to protect the squishy people in your party (DPS Mage/Healer). The only bad side is it only last 12 seconds and has a silly recast time of 120 seconds (Really Yoshi-P? REALLY?!) so this skill is to be used if someone is at very low health and needs protection right there and then. You take all physical (Not magical) damage intended for a party member and keeps them alive. Another downside of this skill is that the person needs to be within 6 Yalms of you. So essentially targeting distance people.
(Level 40) Shield Oath - The opposite and better skill to Sword Oath, not only do you Reduce Damage by 20% you also increase Enmity on yourself. It however comes at the heavy price of 366 MP on use. So don't go try and spamming this skill or you'll be out of MP.
This skill is a must if all you're doing is tanking and not really looking to hybridize into a DPS Paladin.
(Level 45) Spirits Within - Your only attack that grants Silence for a duration of 1s. (Not that great) but still it will keep you from getting nuked if need be. Although you have other skills that will easily put a mage's casting to shame at this point. Use it if you want to be cool looking, but other than that the skill isn't that great. The potency Decreases as your HP Decreases as well, and if you're tanking then that number is going to fluctuate rapidly between you taking damage from the enemy and you being healed by a White Mage/Scholar. Use it or lose it, up to you.
(Level 50) Hallowed Ground - Essentially this is your 2 Hour like in Final Fantasy XI (Invincible). I shouldn't need to explain what invincibility is do I? This skill last a full 10 seconds. (Awesomesauce) so pop it and get to work. But you best better believe that the recast timer on this is 420 seconds. A fair trade off for giving the only skill in the game that turns you into a godly being for 10 seconds.
Cross Class Abilities - These are the abilities you get from leveling your other jobs. These skills do NOT go to Paladin, but instead are set up on Gladiator and carry over when you go to Paladin. Let's take a look shall we? I will be ONLY listing the ones that I personally recommend you get. There is a full list on the wiki pages around here some where, so if you want to hybridize, be my guest.
Now at Level 50 you should have a total of 10 Cross Class Slots. (1 Every 5 Levels) Here is my top ten I highly recommend you get for pure tanking purposes only. Not hybrid.
(Level 2 MRD) Foresight - A good self-buff, topped with all your other buffs well I shouldn't need to tell you how much of a bad-*** you're going to be right? It increases you defense by 20% for 20 seconds and only at Level 2. You'll be shrugging off blows easily.
(Level 4 MRD) Skull Sunder - You won't be using this for it's actual damage, more than you will be using it for the utility gained from it, which is increased Enmity, which is what you're going to want in the long run, so go ahead and grab this skill.
(Level 8 CNJ) Protect - Helps you tank, need I say more? Well fine. It increases your physical defense. (Doesn't give a solid % of how much) but you will see a drastic increase in your defense. A must have if tanking.
(Level 8 MRD) Blood Bath - An excellent self-buff, this stacked with Fight or Flight will keep you alive for quite some time as you convert 25% of all damage back into HP. Which will keep your healer happy and reduce the amount of heals you'll need for a few, with a duration of 30 seconds, what is not to love about this skill?
(Level 8 PGL) Second Wind - This skill is purely optional for you, you can take it or leave it. It's very good for soloing, not much for party play as your healer should be taking care of you. You instantly restore your own HP with a Cure Potency of 650. So like I said, it's a skill you can grab or just leave it out of your build.
(Level 22 LNC) Invigorate - Think of this as the Aetherflow for DoW classes. A very good skill to pick up as it restores 300 TP on the spot and will get you out of a jam if you're ever fighting a mob that likes to drain TP from you.
(Level 34 CNJ) Stoneskin - Get it. Creates a barrier around target that prevents physical damage totaling 18% of target's maximum HP. (10% until 36). This will keep you ALIVE for a very good duration. Only thing is, the MP cost which is 399. So pretty much 400 MP per cast.
(Level 34 ACN) Eye for an Eye - Not a buff for yourself, but one to protect your party members with and keep them out of harms way. Stacked with protect this skill is helpful for keeping pressure off your squishy members. This skill gives a 20% chance to return 10% damage received back to the enemy. However the cooldown for it is rough.
(Level 42 PGL) Mantra - A utility skill that will help out your healer and other party members a lot and mostly yourself. Increases HP recovery via curing magic by 20% for self and nearby party members. Duration: 15s. (Effect 10% below level 48). This will help keep you going if your healer is heal bombing you. 20% is such a good thing and if they're critical heals, bless their souls.
(Level 12 CNJ) Raise - Good skill to keep around just in case your healer dies. The only problem is that this skill needs to be used OUTSIDE of battle until I believe it says 28 and if you're not done fighting then you won't be able to pick them up period.
And that just about wraps it up! If you have any questions, like I said feel free to shoot me a message. Also if I made any mistakes or errors, feel free to correct me. I want to guide people in the right direction as much as possible, so open criticism is accepted. That's about it.
Happy Adventuring - Immolated
Edited, Sep 8th 2013 9:57am by ImmolatedHope
Edited, Sep 8th 2013 12:55pm by ImmolatedHope
Edited, Sep 8th 2013 12:57pm by ImmolatedHope
Edited, Aug 26th 2017 6:15pm by Gidono