Tank Tier List for FFXIV (Patch 6.5)
This page contains Tank specific information regarding what you should expect from the role, as well as what others may expect from you in FFXIV. We've also ranked each job within the role, dependent on what type of content you're aiming to complete.
Tank Tier List
Tier lists in Final Fantasy XIV should be taken with a grain of salt, as the better player will almost always out-perform the worse player, regardless of the chosen job.
As of patch 6.4, all four tanks are quite well balanced, each bringing adequate utility and similar damage into raids. Some types of content may slightly prefer certain tanks. For example:
- Early Savage Prog: While player comfort on a chosen job is the most important factor to how well it performs in progression environments, Paladin has undeniably powerful tools in prog scenarios, with an extra raid mitigation and and allowing you to continue otherwise lost pulls.
- Dungeons: All tanks are viable in dungeons when the other three party members are performing well, but Warrior to operate without any healer assistance, even in a party where trash mobs die slowly due to low DPS. uniquely allows
- Speedkills: Coordinated speedkills are where the ability to burst into buffs and the capacity for higher highs (rather than consistent damage) are valued more, so Gunbreaker and Dark Knight are more favored.
Each Tank plays differently, so difficulty can be a bit subjective. This list aims to give you a general idea of what you can expect when playing each job and some things to look out for.
- Warrior: Widely considered to be the easiest tank job, Warrior players need to track only a few things for their rotation — a self-buff, one gauge, and only two abilities that should be kept on strict cooldown. The burst window every minute requires no setup, so there is little worry about losing damage from mistakes.
- Paladin: The Paladin rotation is fairly simple, with one long filler combo, no real gauge to keep track of, but a few off-global abilities that need to be kept on cooldown. Burst phases do not look identical from minute to minute, but are flexible enough that they are difficult to mess up disastrously.
- Dark Knight: Dark Knights have a number of things to keep track of — their MP, a gauge, and a plethora of abilities with different cooldowns (60 seconds, 90 seconds, 120 seconds) that should all be used on cooldown. MP is spent on one of their burst abilities as well as one of their main defensive options, so care must also be taken to have enough MP available for tankbusters. Keeping track of everything can be daunting at first, but is something easily gotten used to.
- Gunbreaker: Gunbreaker has a few abilities to keep on cooldown, and the burst windows are fairly straightforward, but do not look identical every minute. Mistakes and/or downtime can result in not having enough resources for burst windows and the misaligning of your damage cooldowns. Burst windows are also heavy on off-global abilities, so the job rewards planning your mitigation ahead of time.
Tanks in a Nutshell
Each tank job has similar defensive abilities to the other three, meaning flexing between different tanks is quite simple, the main difference being in the DPS rotation. Flexing outside of the tank role may be unnecessary but being able to play a second tank job can be a boon to you.
Whether recruiting for a dedicated static or raiding mainly through party finder, having a secondary tank job to flex to can increase the number of available parties, since duplicate jobs are undesirable.
This page is not just aimed at high end raiders. If you are new to the game and need help deciding on which job to pick, this should hopefully give you some insight on how to make that decision.
Expectations of the Role
Tanks are responsible for holding aggro on enemies and using their strong mitigation abilities to survive hard-hitting tankbusters, in addition to dealing respectable damage themselves. Since the boss is targeting a tank, that tank is also responsible for making sure the boss is in a good position for the other melee jobs to keep uptime during mechanics, as well as keeping the boss pointed in a consistent direction for melee rear and flank positional attacks.
Unlike ranged jobs (physical ranged, casters, and healers), tanks and melees usually need to be within melee range of the boss to be doing much damage at all. Thus, one of the most important aspects of playing a tank is to stay within melee range of the boss as much as possible. The proportion of time you are able to keep your rotation going without pausing due to a disengagement is referred to as "uptime."
Keeping melee uptime during boss mechanics can be difficult to get used to, but most mechanics can be resolved without losing much uptime, if any at all. For example, many mechanics can be resolved by:
- Standing at max melee range (back up until you are almost out of range for your melee abilities).
- Disengaging for the mechanic between GCDs — hit your GCD, run out for the mechanic, then run or use a gapclose ability to get back into melee range before your next GCD.
Role and Mitigation Actions
Tank role actions are mostly focused around managing aggro and reducing damage taken. Damage reduction cooldowns that function similarly between all four jobs will also be covered here.
- Tank Stance (Warrior's , Paladin's , Dark Knight's , and Gunbreaker's ) increases enmity gain by 10x from all sources. Keep this turned on when you want to keep aggro.
- sets your enmity on the target to the current highest enmity plus a small bonus. This will instantly make you the main aggro target of whatever you used Provoke on. The small enmity bonus is affected by tank stance, so make sure tank stance is on before you Provoke.
- transfers 25% of your enmity from all enemies to your target. This is usually used to help your co-tank establish an enmity lead after they provoke during a tank swap.
- reduces damage taken by 20% for 20 seconds, with a 90 second cooldown.
- Each tank has a cooldown that reduces damage taken by 30% for 15 seconds, with a 120 second cooldown (Warrior's , Paladin's , Dark Knight's , and Gunbreaker's ).
- debuffs all surrounding enemies, causing them to deal 10% less damage for 10 seconds, with a 60 second cooldown.
- Each tank has a short cooldown for roughly 30% damage reduction that has a short (~25 second) cooldown but also a short duration. These are Warrior's , Paladin's , Dark Knight's and , and Gunbreaker's . Dark Knight's and Gunbreaker's short cooldowns can be used directly on other players, while Warrior and Paladin have targeted equivalents: and .
- Each tank has a raidwide mitigation with a 90 second cooldown. Warrior and Paladin apply a raidwide shield and heal with or . Dark Knight and Gunbreaker apply a raidwide buff that reduces only magic damage taken by 10%. Paladin has an additional raid mitigation in that applies 5 seconds of mitigation to allies behind the Paladin, but can be channeled for up to 18 seconds.
- Each tank also has an additional personal mitigation action. Warrior's can be thought of as a 20% HP refillable shield that also increases incoming healing. Paladin has which is essentially a 20% mitigation for 10 seconds. Dark Knight has which is 20% mitigation on magic damage for 10 seconds, but with only a 60 second cooldown. Gunbreaker has , reducing damage taken by 10% and increasing parry rate for 20 seconds — roughly equivalent to 17% damage reduction on physical attacks but only 10% on magical attacks.
- Each tank has an invulnerability cooldown, with their own quirks. Warrior's makes them unable to go below 1 HP, with the shortest cooldown of 4 minutes. Paladin's is a true invulnerability, but with the longest cooldown of 7 minutes. Dark Knight's is similar to Holmgang, but requires them to be healed before the duration expires or they die anyways — GCDs during the invulnerable period heal for a significant amount and are usually all that are needed. Gunbreaker has , which is a true invulnerability like Hallowed Ground, but also drops the Gunbreaker's HP to 1 at the start.
- Limit Break can be a powerful action that can save pulls. LB1 is a 20% mitigation, LB2 is a 40% mitigation, and LB3 is an 80% mitigation. This can be useful to make up mitigation during, for example, a stack mechanic where several party members are dead, allowing the party to survive the damage and continue recovering.
Healing and Other Utility
- Paladin has access to , a strong spammable heal at the cost of a significant amount of damage, as well as , which is niche and can be used to save runs (e.g. by covering the healer when a mechanic is about to fail and allowing them to use Healer Limit Break 3 to raise the entire party). is a repeatable stun but costs damage since it is a GCD — the main use is during Deep Dungeons like Palace of the Dead, Heaven on High, or Eureka Orthos to stun mobs on a No Abilities floor.
- Warrior's and Gunbreaker's are sizeable heals and good for reducing healer load. Aurora can also be used on another target.
- is a 6 second knockback immunity, and also applies an attack speed slow to most non-boss enemies that attack you. Usually used as a knockback immunity during Raids and as mitigation during Dungeon trash packs.
- is a short stun on your target. Most bosses are immune to crowd control effects, so this does not see much use.
- interrupts any glowing red castbars. These show up uncommonly from time to time during Raids or Trials.
- 04 Aug. 2023: Guide added.
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