2013
09.13

Final Fantasy XIV has an…interesting history. The original 1.0 launch three years ago was…less than well received.

I think you mean it was the single worst thing to happen in the history of ever.

Err, I wouldn’t got just that far, but it was certainly disappointing. So much so that it was completely stripped down, rewritten, relaunched 3 years later and is likely poised to be the center of an amazing comeback story.

That’s a topic for another time though. The important thing to know is that the game (while not perfect) is pretty damn great right now and I’m going to teach you a little bit about tanking as a Paladin in the new Final Fantasy XIV.

Wait, you’re a tank now? When did that happen? I swear, I don’t even KNOW you anymore.

For a voice in my head, you really don’t pay a lot of attention to what’s going on in my life.

That I do not.

Right. So. Paladin Tanking.

I’ll start by saying that this post is focused mainly on tanking at level 50, but the methods described here are very applicable to lower level tanking, you’ll just be missing a few of the higher level abilities.

First things first: Shield Oath. If you have it, it should be on when you’re tanking. No brainer here, 20% reduced damage, increased enmity.

Enmity?

Ah yes, Enmity. Those of you coming from FFXI will know it as Hate. Those of you from WoW (and many others) will be more familiar with it as Threat. The words are interchangeable (and I will be interchanging them) and the concepts are exactly the same.

Now, let’s lay down some things that are a bit different in FFXIV. Namely Threat mechanics and the Global Cooldown (GCD from now on).

First, Threat: Threat in FFXIV is very, shall we say, old school, for lack of a better term. It requires a bit more effort on the tanks part to hold onto multiple mobs. Healing generates A LOT of threat. Getting hold (and keeping hold) of a run away mob is not as simple as just throwing a Provoke and forgetting about it. This is why your initial pull is so important (more on that in a second).

Second, Global Cooldown: The GCD in FFXIV is 2.5 seconds.

Are you KIDDING me? That’s an eternity! I could make a sandwich in between casts!

Hyperbole aside, 2.5 seconds is certainly longer than the “standard” 1.5. This means your choice of casts matters a lot more and your margin for error becomes much smaller. Don’t worry though, I’ve got you covered.

Before I give you my pull opener I want to lay out the Bread and Butter Tank Combo. AKA, the RoH combo (named for it’s finisher).

Fast Blade —> Savage Blade —> Rage of Halone

This is your big, steady combo that you’ll be working towards once you have everything nice and angry at you. It should be noted that RoH generates the most Threat, even without being combo’d, so remember that if you’re in a pinch.

The Moment of Truth: The opening pull.

The method I’m about to describe to you takes advantage of 2 concepts that I’m coining as GCD Weaving and Flash Weaving.

GCD weaving is the idea of using skills that are not affected by the global cooldown (we have two), while the GCD is in effect. The skills in question are Circle of Scorn and Spirits Within.

Side Note: Provoke is also not on the GCD but is something that should be used situationally, rather than whenever available, and thus doesn’t quite apply to what I’m talking about here.

Flash weaving is simply the idea of slipping casts of Flash in between the steps of your RoH combo.

And now, the pull.

Step 1: Mark the main target.

This is important, because it gives you a reason to yell at your DPS when they attack the wrong target.

Step 2: Pop Fight or Flight (the extra damage really helps with the initial threat) and use Shield Lob.

At this point hope your healer doesn’t put Regen on your right away. Because that’s going to get his face punched by the angry side mobs.

Step 3: Once they are gathered around you: Flash and follow it up with a GCD weaved CoS. Try and position yourself and the mobs so that they are all in front of you (not to the side or behind), so as to get the most from parry and block. Depending on how well you’ve been holding threat so far, you may wish to Flash again.

Step 4: Begin your RoH Combo using Flash Weaving: Which is:
Fast Blade —> Flash —> Savage Blade —> Flash —> Rage of Halone —> Flash (last flash optional).

Take note, you can GCD weave a Spirits Within at any point.

At this point, the mobs should be firmly attached to you and you can move to a more conservative use of Flash (about once per RoH combo). Make sure you continue to weave in CoS and Spirits Within when they are available.

Small tip: When the main target is about to die, feel free to switch to the next target and start your RoH to build up initial threat.

So there you have, the very basics of tanking as a Paladin. Hope this was helpful.

DPS, Heals or Tank. You sir, are still a dork.

Mean but correct as always my friend.

Next time, well, I don’t know…cross-class skills? Cooldown discussion?

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