With Final Fantasy XIV’s Paladin, you are a one-man army. The only sword and shield job in FFXIV has to offer. When something goes wrong, Paladin is the one true king for staying alive and will always be the last man or woman standing.
Paladin is a neat tank class that uses a sword and shield. They also use the MP bar to use spells even though they’re a tank.
As a Final Fantasy Tactics fan, mastering Paladin was an absolute must. Do I usually and shamelessly write background stories for my Paladin as I go through a random dungeon? Absolutely. Listen, it’s 2023, and I need to come to terms with my hero complex one way or another.
Paladin has a pretty simple rotation, but it can be weird to get down. So in this guide, I’ll cover every aspect of the Paladin in Final Fantasy XIV.
Amidst all that pulling, mitigating, cooling down, and just looking heroic, you can’t find much spare time for long reads. Thus, here’s a short version of this guide.
- Job: Paladin
- Type: Tank
- Playstyle: pull enemy mobs and mitigate damage like a champ
Paladin Final Fantasy Guide
Tanking Crash Course
Are you evil? Do you want to learn how to be? Yes, this is a tanking guide. But tanking is not about fulfilling your role or protecting the party. It’s not even about satisfying your main character syndrome.
Being a tank is about going fast. So fast that you knock the Earth out of orbit and become the enemy of the entire world.
That’s right. It’s all about the big pulls, baby.
Tanks take on a horde of enemies through sheer force of will and determination. They also use these goofy little buttons called Sprint and Defensive Cooldowns.
Is that all? Indeed there’s more nuance to this. Yes, there is. But you’d be shocked at how far these two things alone can take you.
How Should Tanks React if a DPS is Pulling?
You queue into a dungeon, and the DPS pulls mobs out of you.
I’m not going to tell you you have to like it when DPS decides to pull ahead of you. But, still, I am telling you that watching a DPS die and grieving the rest of the party by refusing to do your job is not the way.
Be faster. Pull before they do. You should use Sprint right before you pull the pack. This will make you way faster and give you control of the encounter’s pace.
How to Tackle Boss Fights
As soon as the battle starts, you should smack the boss so it faces away from the party and targets you.
Don’t save cooldowns for bosses. Mobs are more likely to wipe you down than bosses.
Paladin starts at level 1 in Ul’dah. It’s your OG tank playstyle: you have a sword and a shield.
Paladin packs a lot of shield mitigations and some self-heals. They use the Oath Gauge, which fills up with auto-attacks.
You will have access to a few different job abilities as you level, but the most used one will be Sheltron. This ability blocks incoming attacks for six seconds. So basically, it lessens the damage you take.
Paladin plays exactly how it should feel, especially with the new abilities from Endwalker. Paladin almost feels like the perfect tank.
When leveling, you have a decent gap of damage mitigation abilities for beginner players who want to ease their way into tanking.
The regular damage GCD abilities at first seem underwhelming but ramp up at later levels. This balances the slow swordplay style by switching to a white magic-Esque rotation.
With Rescuicat, you can enter the second half of your rotation with an instant cast of Holy Spirit for a single target or Holy Circle for AoE.
Let’s start with your melee combo. Your 1, 2, and 3 will consist of Fast Blade into Riot Blade, then into Rage of Halone or Royal Authority at level 60.
Here’s what each of these does individually.
Fast Blade unleashes a 200-potency attack.
- Riot Blade unleashes a 170-potency attack. But when combo-ed with Fast Blade, it goes up to 300.
- Rage of Halone unleashes a 100-potency attack. But when combo-ed with Riot Blade, it goes up to 330.
- Royal Authority unleashes a 130-potency attack. But when combo-ed with Riot Blade, it goes up to 420.
Keep Up Your DoTs
Like in other classes, you want to ensure you are dealing damage over time.
At level 54, you can use Goring Blade, your DoT. After Riot Blade, you’ll mainly want to keep up Goring Blade throughout in a counter.
Circle of Scorn is another AoE DoT that looks really cool. It deals 100-potency damage to all enemies nearby.
Ways to Recover MP
At level 76, Royal Authority will grant you 3 stacks of Sword Oath. This ability will allow you to use Atonement three times. Each Atonement will give you 400 MP.
You also have Spirits Within, which will unleash a 270-potency attack. What’s interesting is it will restore 500 MP.
Level 58 Riot Blade will also restore 1000 MP.
At level 86, Spirits Within will upgrade to Expiacion, which is an AoE attack with MP recovery.
Your AOE combo will consist of Total Eclipse, then into Prominence.
- Total Eclipse: Unleashes a 100-potency attack on all nearby enemies.
- Prominence: Deals 100-potency damage. But when combo-ed with Total Eclipse, it deals 170-potency damage.
At level 66, Prominence will restore 500 MP.
You also have your ranged attack, which is Shield Bash. This one deals 100-potency damage and stuns enemies.
Fight or Flight will increase your physical damage by 25% for 25 seconds. So make sure you activate it whenever possible.
Besides your melee attacks, Paladins also have access to various spells. All of your spells will initially have high MP costs, but at level 64, all of them will be halved, and you won’t be interrupted during a cast by an attack.
- Holy Spirit is a single-target attack that deals 270-potency damage.
- Holy Circle is an AoE attack that deals 130-potency damage.
At level 84, Holy Spirit and Holy Circle will heal you with every cast.
Clemency is a super healing solid spell that’s very good at helping yourself or a party member stay alive.
At level 68, you’ll learn Requiescat, which will be the start of your magic combo. Requiescat will make your following 5 spells into instant casts. It will also increase their potency.
When you use Requiescat, you’ll want to use Holy Spirit four times or Holy Circle four times if you need to AoE.
You can also use Clemency, but you should only use it when you need healing.
The last spell? You’ll want to use it on your level 80 ability: Confiteor.
Confiteor deals 900-potency damage to a target and all enemies around. It also restores your own HP with a potency of 400.
At level 90, Confiteor will have a combo of its own. The Valor combo consists of Confiteor, Blade of Faith, Blade of Truth, and finally, Blade of Valor.
Each blade attack will restore 500 MP. Blade of Valor also applies a damage over time.
However, you cannot stack the Blade of Valor DoT with Goring Blades DoT, so be careful.
The Oath Gauge
The Oath Gauge increases with every auto-attack. Each auto-attack will give you 5 oaths.
With your Oath Gauge, you can use a few abilities, each costing 50 Oath Gauge.
Sheltron will block all incoming attacks for 4 seconds at level 74. After that, the duration of Sheltron will be increased to 6 seconds, and at level 82, Sheltron will upgrade to Holy Sheltron.
Holy Sheltron will block attacks for 8 seconds, reduce your damage taken by 15% for four seconds, and give you a regen for 12 seconds. Holy
Sheltron is your bread and butter cooldown. You can use it for nearly any attack or tank buster, and you’ll usually be fine.
Intervention will reduce a party member’s damage taken by 10% for 8 seconds. You cannot apply this to yourself. It can only be applied to another party member. The damage reduction can be buffed to 20% if you have Rampart, one of your role actions, or Sentinel. Your 30% damage reduction moves active when you use Intervention.
At level 82, Intervention will also give the party member another 10% damage reduction and the same regen as with Holy Sheltron. Intervention can protect a party member, especially if you use Rampart or Sentinel to buff it.
Lastly, you have Cover. You can use Cover on a party member. You’ll take any damage or debuffs that the party member would receive. Cover does have some use, but the main reason to use Cover is to protect another party member if they’re about to get killed if you have enough HP to take the heat for them.
Intervene is Paladin’s gap closer. You learn this at level 74. Why did it take you so long to learn this? I have no idea.
Divine Veil is a super helpful ability that applies Shields to nearby party members when you receive a heal. This can only be triggered by healing spells and Scholar’s Fairies. Off-global healing abilities will not trigger Divine Veil.
At level 88, Divine Veil will also heal any nearby party members. Divine Veil will not apply a shield to yourself, nor will it heal you, so keep that in mind.
Passage of Arms is by far the most surprising mitigation move in the game. You sprout wings, and any party member standing behind you will take 15% reduced damage.
This move is super helpful for raid-wide attacks that happen when a boss is untargetable. You can also use it for a few seconds to let the buff apply if you want to use it mid-fight while trying to keep up time.
Hollowed Ground is the best invulnerability move in the game. It has a massive 7-minute cooldown, but there’s a good reason why. You’re literally invincible for 10 seconds.
You take zero damage from nearly every single attack. It’s handy when you’re in a pinch and need to take a second to get everything situated again.
Question: Why Should I Play Paladin in Final Fantasy XIV?
Answer: You should grab Paladin for the magic combat. Like no other tank, Paladin has access to magic spells. You can use healing spells like Clemency, single target, and even AoE ranged magical attacks like Holy Spirit and Holy Circle.
Question: Is Paladin a Difficult Job in Final Fantasy XIV?
Answer: Paladin features a very beginner-friendly learning curve. You learn all the skills you need in precise order, and the game only replaces your existing skills a little.
Still, the rotation falls under the more complex side of things. At least when you want to optimize your final flight windows as best as possible.
But overall, the Paladin is on the same level of beginner friendliness as the Warrior while offering a slightly more advanced combat system during the downtime of its cooldowns.
This job is a chill breeze that never lets you hang on the dull side of things.
Question: Is Final Fantasy XIV’s Paladin on Par with Final Fantasy Tactics’s Paladins?
Answer: FFXIV’s Paladin is a shameless fan service for those players loving the Final Fantasy Tactics series. In the FFT series, Holy Temple and Dark Knights were the coolest thing ever, especially with their magical Blade and sword skills, which had been revolutionary in gaming then.
Final Fantasy Tactics fans will find a spectacular rendition of Paladin once they reach Endwalker. It’s simply spectacular and a sweet homage to these magical blade attacks we have all come to love and gawk at.
Paladin is the best tank at the current moment, play style-wise. By that, I mean visuals, how the job feels, and balancing abilities.
The reason for this is the addition of their level 90 abilities, Blade of Faith, Blade of Truth, and Blade of Valor. These were the missing pieces.
I’m making Paladin my main tank job because these allow Paladin to catch up on higher damage numbers that the other tanks already had in previous expansions. These alone are why I will keep maining Paladin for this expansion.
If you’d like a strong, safe, visually satisfying tanking job to play, then Paladin just might be for you.