With FFXIV being on such a vast scale, there is an intense variety of jobs to play as in each of its three prominent roles: Tank, Healer, and DPS. This is our take on the four available Tank jobs in FFXIV as of patch 6.3 – our FFXIV Best Tank tier list.
- Gunbreaker is easily the best tank in FFXIV because of its META damage output, great defensive potential, and powerful passive healing. It is proven by many top players playing Gunbreaker during week 1 raiding.
- Dark Knight is second as it is the uncontested highest damaging tank throughout all fights. However, due to its weaker defensive potential, it is second on our list but still META because of its broken damage.
- Warrior is third on our list. While it has broken self-healing and defense, it struggles in meeting DPS checks in some fights. But, in fights where DPS isn’t a problem, the warrior is the king.
- Finally, Paladin is last on our list. With mediocre DPS, replaceable party utility, and lower DPS, it is not part of the META but is still strong enough to clear all content.
- These jobs have been ranked based on their performance in Savage content as Square Enix balances the game around Savage Raids.
FFXIV Best Tank Tier List Ranking Table:
|S-Tier||Gunbreaker, Dark Knight|
FFXIV Best Tank
A job is designed with its role and responsibilities. Several factors add up to an overall ranking for any job in any game. While such tier lists and rankings are often subjective, there is a level of factual ground somewhere in between. Our tier list focuses on how the job functions in raids and its overall design. Nevertheless, each and every job in this game is viable for content, so do keep that in mind.
S Tier: Gunbreaker
Gunbreaker is the latest tank added to FFXIV with the Shadowbringers expansion. In Endwalker and its patches, it has been refined and buffed. Originally, the job was a Tank + DPS mix with weaker defense and movement issues.
Before, Gunbreaker struggled to move the boss while doing its combos because of Continuation being an OGCD (Off-Global Cooldown) and having limited range. In addition, Gunbreaker’s heart of stone skill was only a 15 percent mitigation, which felt lackluster.
It has now been completely buffed with one of the best defensive skills in the game, and its movement issues have been alleviated thanks to the range buff on Continuation. It also boasts extremely high damage and that is why it is an S tier on our list.
Mitigation And Self Sustain
Gunbreaker boasts an incredibly versatile defensive kit, fit for any situation. It is second only to a warrior’s healing and defensives.
Heart Of Corundum
Gunbreaker boasts Heart of Corundum, an upgrade to the Heart of Stone skill from Shadowbringers. This skill is touted as one of the best defensive skills in the entire game.
The skill can mitigate up to 30 percent of damage if you time it within 4 seconds of any attack connecting. After the 4 seconds pass, it will mitigate 15 percent damage. In addition to the powerful mitigation, Heart of Corundum has a built-in heal with a potency of 900.
The heal will go off if you drop below 50 percent HP or if the effect wears off. It is an incredibly powerful tool overall that allows Gunbreaker to negate anything from tank busters to auto attacks. In addition, this defensive skill can be given to an ally to help them in case they are dying.
Camouflage is Gunbreaker’s secondary defensive tool with a 90 seconds cooldown. It increases the parry rate by 50 percent and reduces damage taken by 10 percent.
While the parry effect by itself is very mediocre, it can be very helpful in situations where you are about to take heavy physical damage. Also, the 10 percent damage reduction that is bundled alongside this makes it a decent addition to Gunbreaker’s already insane defensive potential.
With the release of Endwalker, Gunbreaker now has 2 stacks of Aurora. It is a simple heal-over-time effect. While it may sound lackluster on paper, it is incredibly useful when paired with Heart of Corundum. You can effortlessly minimalize damage very easily thanks to the passive healing this provides.
Gunbreaker’s invulnerability skill is called Superbolide. This skill drops your HP to 1 and makes you invincible for 10 seconds. It is considered one of the best invulns in the game due to its short cooldown at just 360 seconds.
The short cooldown and the complete invincibility it provides make this skill very versatile. It can be used a lot more in a fight compared to Paladin’s Hallowed Ground.
This is Gunbreaker’s main strength, dealing absurd amounts of damage. Gunbreaker dominated the Shadowbringers Tank META, and it continues to do so in Endwalker. With skills like Gnashing Fang, Blasting Zone, and Double Down, Gnb can help alleviate DPS checks in any high-end content.
Gunbreaker only does a smidge less DPS than Dark Knight, which is why it has cemented itself in the raiding meta. During the first week of the Abyssos: Savage raid tier, bringing a Gunbreaker was almost compulsory if players wished to clear the final raid of this tier.
The problem with Gnb’s damage was it limited your movement during your burst phase. This has been alleviated as Square Enix has increased the range of Continuation skills. This allows players to move the boss easily. However, the problem of weaving defensive abilities still persists.
It is not that big of a problem as a single Heart of Corundum can easily get the job done, while they can pop Rampart/Nebula a bit earlier. All in all, Gunbreaker’s insane defense coupled with its incredible damage output makes it the best tank in our tier list.
S Tier: Dark Knight
Dark Knight has gone through many changes since its introduction in Heavensward. Now in Endwalker, it is enjoying its place at the top of the Tank hierarchy thanks to its ridiculous damage output.
Mitigation And Self Sustain
Dark Knight enjoyed the single best mitigation tool called The Blackest Night in Shadowbringers. However, in Endwalker, it has fallen off a little bit thanks to the other tank cooldowns being buffed to high heavens.
In addition, Dark Knight lacks any viable way of healing compared to other Tanks.
The Blackest Night
The Blackest Night is a powerful shield equivalent to 25 percent of your maximum HP. It is cast by consuming 3000 MP. Dark Knight excels at mitigating powerful single hits but struggles against consecutive strikes because TBN is not a percentile mitigation.
Once you take enough damage, TBN breaks and you get to cast a free Edge of Shadow. This can be used during the start of Dark Knight’s opener to fit an extra Edge of Shadow in raid buffs. Similarly to other CDS, it can also be given to an ally.
While this CD is good, it falls short compared to tools like Heart of Corundum or Bloodwhetting.
Oblation is a defensive tool that mitigates damage by 10 percent. While the defensive effect is very average, Oblation has 2 stacks and can be given to allies, making it very versatile.
Dark Mind reduces magic damage by 20 percent. This CD is either useless or broken depending on what Square Enix feels like while designing fights. Take Abyssos Savage, for example, Dark Mind worked in every single fight, boosting Drk’s mitigation by quite a bit.
However, in Eden’s Promise, Dark Mind was completely useless as pretty much every fight had physical tank busters.
Living Dead was the worst invulnerability skill at the start of Endwalker. However, after buffs, it is pretty viable now. Players can effectively heal themselves back to full in 4 GCDs under the effect of the Walking Dead. In addition, it has the shortest cooldown after Holmgang at 300s, increasing its viability in fights.
This is where Dark Knight truly shines, the DPS. In its opener alone, Dark Knight can eclipse every DPS job in the entire game. With Living Shadow and 2 charges of Shadowbringer, Drk is always the top DPS tank in pretty much every single type of content.
DRK makes up for its lack of defensive tools by being the uncontested highest-damage Tank in FFXIV. In Abyssos (Savage), players were forced to bring a Gunbreaker and Dark Knight to have a chance at clearing the fights, thanks to their busted damage output.
Since Dark Knight has weaker defensive cooldowns compared to Gunbreaker, we have put it second to GNB but, it is still an easy S tier regardless.
A Tier: Warrior
In ARR, bringing a Warrior into your party was considered griefing. But now in Endwalker, Warrior is a viable choice to play in all types of content. While it is pretty much immortal in Normal or Extreme content, it does face some problems in the DPS department during Savage raids.
It is because of these DPS issues that we have put it in the A tier as it is still very strong regardless.
Mitigation And Self Sustain
Out of all the tanks on this list, Warrior is the king of self sustain and mitigation.
Bloodwhetting is the best defensive cooldown in the entire game. With a cooldown of 25 seconds, players can heal their entire HP on mobs, while on a single target, they can easily heal half of their HP. Coupled with a 20 percent mitigation during the first 4 seconds, it possesses all qualities required in a defensive cooldown.
In addition, the effect can also be given to allies through Nascent Flash. This allows the Warrior to heal both themselves and the ally, taking the healing potential to a whole other level.
Equilibrium grants a heal equivalent to potency of 1,200 and a heal over time effect. This skill alone can heal the warrior for up to 60 percent of their HP. Coupled with Bloodwhetting, Warriors can survive for long intervals of time.
Thrill Of Battle
The Thrill of Battle increases the warrior’s effective HP by 20 percent for 10 seconds. It also boosts the potency of healing actions such as Equilibrium. All of these skills make Warrior the best defensive tank.
Holmgang is the best invulnerability skill in the entire game. It makes you unkillable for 10 seconds. The real reason why it is broken is that it has a cooldown of only 240 seconds. Coupled with Warrior’s healing, this skill is an enhanced version of Living Dead.
Now we approach Warrior’s only real flaw. While a warrior has extremely good defense and party utility, it can lack in the damage department in some fights, especially the last turns of Savage tiers. This begs the question, wouldn’t it be better to bring a Gunbreaker instead?
The reasoning behind this claim is that Gunbreaker also has busted defensives, and while the healing is not on the same level as Warrior, it is still very powerful. Combine that with extremely high damage output and you have little reason left to bring a Warrior into week 1 fights.
However, the existence of Gunbreaker does not disregard Warrior altogether and in some cases, it can work pretty well, for example; in The Omega Protocol (Ultimate), Warrior can dish out pretty high damage.
If you are not struggling with DPS checks, we strongly recommend prioritizing a Warrior as the defense, invuln, and healing can be very helpful in removing the pressure off your party. However, if your party is struggling with clearing DPS checks, then it may be time to pick up Gunbreaker or a Dark Knight.
B Tier: Paladin
In Patch 6.3 of Endwalker, Paladin has received a much-anticipated rework that adjusted it so it can align itself in the bursty 2-minute meta. While the rework has adjusted rotation to be more burst-oriented, Paladin still suffers a little bit from jank and lower DPS. This is why we have put it on B Tier in our tier list.
Mitigation And Self Sustain
Paladin has received numerous adjustments to its entire defensive kit, making it a lot more viable than before. In addition, Paladin revolves more around party mitigation with Divine Veil, Intervention, and Passage of Arms rather than personal mitigation.
Holy Sheltron now works just like Heart of Corundum, providing up to 30 percent mitigation for the first 4 seconds and 15 percent mitigation after 4 seconds have passed. In addition, it also provides a strong healing over time.
The problem with Holy Sheltron was that it blocked attacks instead of mitigating them. As blocking does not affect damage over time effects, Holy Sheltron was completely useless against attacks that dealt damage over time. Because of this reason, Square Enix adjusted it to make it viable against all types of damage.
Now, Holy Sheltron is arguably better than Heart of Corundum as it has the same effect and 2 charges. Also, it can also be given to another ally, allowing PLD to mitigate both themselves and their allies.
Added in Patch 6.3, Bulwark is now the new Sheltron. It is similar to Camouflage, however, instead of parrying it blocks incoming attacks. With a cooldown of 90 seconds, it is a great addition to Paladin’s defensive kit and allows for more flexibility.
Clemency is a terrible version of Warrior’s Equilibrium skill. It forces Paladin to stop attacking to heal themselves at the cost of 2000 MP. While this tool can be nice to have if your Healers are dead or sleeping, it is ultimately useless in the grand scheme of things. Divine Might and your Requiescat window are much better for healing.
Hallowed Ground is the worst invulnerability in the game, with a staggering cooldown of 420 seconds. While it grants you full invulnerability for 10 seconds for absolutely free, the cost is the absurd cooldown. In some fights, players can only use this skill once, while a Warrior or Dark Knight can use their invulns up to 3 times.
This is Paladin’s biggest drawback, even after the rework. While the DPS right now is viable enough to clear all content easily, it is still the lowest out of all tanks. The rework allowed it to pump more damage into raid buffs by streamlining the rotation. However, even with that, it is still struggling to keep up with even the likes of Warrior.
The only good thing about Paladin is its party utility, and even that is nothing special. Keeping in view its lower DPS potential and overall mediocre defenses, we have put it as the worst tank on our list. However, it is still B Tier because regardless of its flaws, it can still clear fights and put up a good performance.
A job’s effectiveness will always vary based on player skill if you consider all the above information. Keeping that in mind, we must always try to improve our gameplay to play the job in the best way possible.
This brings us to the end of our FFXIV Best Tank tier list. Do you agree with the points discussed in our tier list? Let us know in the comments below.
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