Low Damage - TL;DR Requiescat no longer buffs Confetior, which makes your damage kind of lackluster. Blade of Valor kind of ruins the complexity of the class and locks you into only 1 specific opener regardless of encounter design.
Gauge - This is next to useless when it's empty, as it fills rather slowly and is dependent on next to 100% uptime on the boss to make use of it.
Clemency - This skill is no longer buffed by Requiescat, meaning the Paladin solo heal capabilities for when things goes south in prog is basically dead. While the skill is still overall a strong skill for its kit, you're most likely better off just not using it outside of extreme emergencies.
Hallowed Ground - This skill is great, only if encounter design allows it. Otherwise this skill is outclassed by every other tank invuln due to the cooldown of these skills.
Divine Veil - Specifically needing the healer to cast a heal, that is a spell and not an ability, to proc the skill makes this skill lose value already. Not to mention the Paladin itself doesn't gain the shield from the buff, and Warrior's skill known as "Shake It Off" is strictly better.
-1 Defensive Cooldown - Due to Paladin's innate ability to "potentially" block any damage that comes in, regardless of any cooldowns active or not, SE has deemed this class worthy to be down a defensive CD. Every other tank has some extra defensive that make them more suited for taking a beating than the class with a shield.
Good Damage - Inner Release, Inner Chaos, and Primal Rend allow for MASSIVE burst damage.
Great Sustain - Equilibrium, Raw Intuition (upgraded to Bloodwhetting) and Thrill of Battle give Warriors an amazing health pool and very strong healing on multiple targets.
This sustain drops in value a little bit when on single target but is still very good overall.
Thrill of Battle
- I mentioned it above, but I figured I state something specifically to this skill. It raises the Warrior's HP by 20% and heals the Warrior by the amount gained. It also has a Convalescence
effect added onto it while the skill is active, meaning the Warrior specifically gets increased healing received from ALL
sources, doesn't buff Nascent Flash/Bloodwhetting sustain, but will buff comboed Storms Path, and Equilibrium.
Nascent Flash - Party Utility in the sense of Paladin's Intervention. Slap on some party member, Gain Nascent Glint for healing when the Warrior executes a weapon skill, and receive 10% DR from that specific buff. Also gives the buff "Stem the Tide" and "Stem the Flow" which is a shield with 400 cure potency for 20 seconds and 10% DR for 4 seconds. Great for being the off tank at the time or helping the healers heal 1 person.
Equilibrium - Incredibly strong self heal 1200 initial cure potency) on a short cooldown, and gives you a regen w/ 200 cure potency on top of that.
Shake It Off - Shields the party for 15% of the party's HP. This skill consumes "Vengeance", "Raw Intuition/Bloodwhetting" and/or "Thrill of Battle" to increase shield strength by 2% per buff consumed. Also heals party on application w/ a cure potency of 200.
Holmgang - Most attacks cannot bring you below 1 HP. The best Tank Invuln in the game due to its very short cooldown. Also its 10 seconds in duration now, yay!
Warrior Cons: Most of these are more or less "personal" cons and aren't exactly a reason to deter from using this class.
Boring - Outside of openers and re-openers, this class is very boring. Just pressing 1-2-3 and some defensives to help the party.
Bloodwhetting - This skill is great and garbage at the same time — a mixed bag if you will. The sustain it gives is great only if there are a lot of enemies to hit. If there's 1 enemy, the sustain falls off a lot.
Also, not sure if its an oversight on SE's part, but skills executed by Inner Release do not "crit" the heal from Bloodwhetting, while Inner Chaos, Chaotic Cyclone (AoE Inner Chaos technically) and Primal Rend do always crit the heal. This applies to Nascent Flash too, but I'm not really going to add that as a Con as that's almost never going to affect the purpose of Nascent Flash.
HP Fluctuating - Thrill of Battle can be a weird skill. Any AoE that would bring your HP to 1, could potentially kill a Warrior w/ unlucky snapshotting. This also applies to Protraction on Scholar, but I think that's a bit more controlled in a vacuum.
Primal Rend - The only real downside to this skill is that it's a "gap closer", meaning if you're ever bound in place, you can't use this skill. (a la Zodiark).
Gauge - This ties into the "boring aspect", but you use the gauge to press Fell Cleave, that's it. No other interaction with the class.
Inner Chaos/Chaotic Cyclone - This skill is acquired after using Infuriate, and transforms your Fell Cleave/Decimate to these skills. If these skills are used within an Inner Release window, they will consume Inner Release stacks. Very bad design and should be avoided as much as possible, with a few exceptions. Mostly being if the boss is about to die, Inner Chaos would be a DPS increase over Fell Cleave
Final Tidbits - Warrior gets the least benefits out of certain raid buffs. It's definitely a con, but with an asterisk as it makes the job more freeform and less dependent on raid buffs to maximize the job's capabilities.
Good Damage - With mini burst windows every 30 seconds, and full on re-openers every minute, your damage is always going to be good. Not much else to say on that, go press your buttons angrily!
Aurora - 2 Charge regen that's fairly strong. HoT has a cure potency of 200.
Heart of Light - "Weaker" but more practical version of Passage of Arms. 10% Magic DR.
Brutal Shell - the "2" in your 1, 2, 3. Heals the Gunbreaker with a cure potency of 200, and creates a shield equaling the exact amount of health the skill healed you for.
Heart of Stone/Heart of Corundum
- 15% DR when used. Gives target the exact shield from Brutal Shell. Also gives the buffs "Clarity of Corundum" and "Catharsis of Corundum", which is an extra 15% DR for 4 seconds and an Excog
effect with a cure potency of 900 (actual Excog is 800).
Superbolide - Hallowed Ground but you shoot yourself in the head. Lower cooldown than Hallowed to allow more frequent use of it.
Camouflage - The "extra" cooldown in the class kit, where Paladin doesn't have an equivalent. 10% DR and a 50% chance to parry physical hits.
Continuation - TL;DR, this makes the class feel like a DPS more so than a Tank, in the sense that you struggle with boss positioning and weaving your defensives.
Lackluster Sustain - With Brutal Shell being not the strongest heal in the class kit, and Aurora being a regen, and Heart of Corundum being on a 25 second cooldown with a gimmicky "give me health" situation, you don't really have an instant health button like Paladin and Warrior do.
Superbolide - You're forced to 1 HP. Forcing healers into giving attention where it could otherwise be. Not exactly a flaw in controlled environments, but it could lead to less DPS in a panic situation.
Heart of Light - Being Magic only makes this skill limiting to a degree. It's a good thing most AoE skills are Magic, RIGHT!?!?!?!!?
Dark Knight Pros:
The best damage in the Tank Role (for now) - While your 1, 2, 3 is the weakest of the 4 tanks, you make up for it with plentiful strong GCDs and strong OGCD's that skyrocket your damage to be higher than most DPS in openers.
The Blackest Night - while not the most useful skill, is overall a strong skill to use on yourself or a party member for EHP.
Dark Missionary - Literally Heart of Light, 10% Magic DR
Oblation - 2 charge 10% DR that can be thrown on any party member.
Dark Mind - 20% Magic DR for the Dark Knight. You can already determine most damage types in Pandaemonium from Normal mode, so plan accordingly with this.
Abyssal Drain - In events where there's a lot of enemies, this could be a good sustain tool. Each enemy hit heals the Dark Knight w/ a cure potency of 200. Problem is, there hasn't been any AoE yet again in normal mode. Perhaps this changes in Savage.
Living Dead - Dark Knight's invulnerability skill. 10 second "grace" period to basically die, and then 10 seconds of "I can't die", assuming you get healed equal to the amount of HP your maximum HP pool can hold. (pairs well with WHM's Benediction)
Salted Earth - More or less a quality of life thing for Dark Knights, no longer have to potentially clip your GCD or use a macro to place the skill, as it's just placed at your feet now.
Other smaller things in benefit of Dark Knight - If you enjoy resource management, this is the class for you. Won't necessarily be for the benefit of the group, but its a feels good class if you can execute it properly.
Dark Knight Cons:
Awkward functionality - The kit fights itself. It's very awkward. Very rushed traits (see below).
The Blackest Knight - This skill was the "focal point" of every other new skill the other tanks got. It's outdated and while it's "cool" and "feels good to use", it is comparatively weak.
Living Dead - This skill absolutely sucks. You basically die, and force your healers attention onto you, through Benediction or heavy healing to actually stay alive.
Dark Mind/Abyssal Drain/Useless Traits- I'm kind of consolidating these into 1 category, as everything here is basically useless. The 2 skills mentioned aren't ever going be useful where something else in your kit or from the off tank couldn't cover. Abyssal Drain specifically shares a cooldown with another offensive skill, which is most likely means Abyssal Drain isn't ever going to get used. The useless traits in the Dark Knights kit are something you'd "assume" would just happen normally, shouldn't need a trait for those things.
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If you found this useful or have any questions, you can contact the author on Discord at Clef Able#6070. Until next time!
Clef Able is the tank for the <Royalz> static.
Images courtesy of Square Enix / FFXIV Job Guide website