Warrior is first and foremost a tank job, with heavy utility in the form of Storm’s Eye and Storm’s Path. It is also capable of the highest DPS output of all tanks, and can even outburst DPS jobs during openers. Warrior doesn’t have all of the fancy cooldowns that Paladin and Dark Knight have, but we do get a pretty great toolkit all our own. Warrior brings not only great utility, and potent self-healing, but also the ability to consistently generate high DPS in both single target, and AoE situations. It’s a very active play style that involves a lot of stance dancing to take advange of the job’s amazing versatility. It is fairly simple to pick up, but can be challenging to master, so I hope this guide can help you do just that!

 

Core Skills and Abilities

Offensive Abilities

Maim – Used after Heavy Swing, a 190 potency attack that also increases your damage dealt by 20% for 24 seconds. 20% increased damage for 24 seconds, what else is there to say? Use it early and keep it up at all times.

Storm’s Path – Used after Maim, a 250 potency attack that heals you for 50% of the damage dealt and lowers the target’s damage dealt by 10% for 20 seconds. Your lowest potency combo finisher, but fantastic at lowering outgoing damage for you and the entire raid.


Storm’s Eye
– Used after Maim, a 270 potency attack that reduces the target’s slashing resistance by 10%. WAR, PLD, DRK and NIN all do slashing damage, so this is a 10% increase for each of those classes. NEVER LET IT FALL OFF, if possible. Does not stack with NINs Dancing Edge debuff, so NINs should use Aeolian Edge instead (60 potency increase) when a WAR is in the party.

Butcher’s Block – Used after Skull Sunder, a 280 potency attack with increased enmity. WAR’s highest potency combo (Heavy Swing, Skull Sunder, Butcher’s Block) is also their threat combo. That means you’ll be using this a LOT, both as main tank and off-tank (as long as neither Maim nor storm’s eye will fall off when you do).

Overpower – 120 potency frontal cone AoE with increased enmity. Great for AoE threat and dps in dungeon runs. If you have multiple targets in front of you get Maim up, pop Berserk, and go to pound town!

Fracture – 100 potency initial attack with a 20 potency DoT that lasts 30 seconds. 300 total potency. Extremely good when under Berserk, or if applied when you have 3-5 stacks of Abandon (for the extra crit chance).

Brutal Swing – 100 potency off-global ability that also applies a 5 second stun. Use as often as possible for extra damage. Also great for helping secure aggro after tank swaps, or on newly spawned adds.

Mercy Stroke – 200 potency off-global attack. Can only be executed when target’s HP is below 20%. If delivered as the killing blow, up to 20% of your maximum HP will be restored. The extra damage is nice, but don’t count of the killing blow self-heal.

Tomahawk – 130 potency ranged attack with 15 yalm range and increased enmity. Use this to pull mobs/bosses, or to pick up mobs that spawn too far away from you to reach with other attacks.

 

Offensive Buffs

Berserk – Increases attack power by 50% for 20 seconds (90 second recast). Unable to use weaponskills for 5 seconds after effect ends (unless you have a BRD or healer remove the pacification). Hands down the best offensive buff in the game.

 

Stances

Defiance – Increases maximum hp by 25% and  HP recovery via healing magic by 20%. Also increases chance to hit by 5% while reducing damage dealt by 25%. While in Defiance certain actions grant stacks of Wrath, each stack grants 2% parry rate. At 5 stacks you become Infuriated and gain access to certain stance specific abilities. You also gain an additional enmity modifier for every action you take while in this stance, meaning you generate more threat. This is your tank stance, you’ll use it whenever just using cooldowns isn’t enough, or they can’t cover all of the incoming damage.

Deliverance – Increases damage dealt by 5%. While in Deliverance certain actions grant stacks of Abandon, each stack grants an additional 2% crit rate. At 5 stacks you become Uncontrollable and gain access to certain stance specific abilities. This is your dps stance, while in this stance you won’t generate as much threat and you won’t be as easy to heal, keep that in mind when stance dancing.

 

Stance-dependant Abilities:

 

In DPS Stance

Fell Cleave – Delivers an attack with a potency of 500. Can only be used while Uncontrollable, all Abandon is lost when used. What can I say – this ability is amazing, it hits hard, sounds great, definitely worthy of its name.

 

Decimate – Delivers an attack with a potency of 280 to all nearby enemies. Can only be used while Uncontrollable, all Abandon is lost when used. Pretty potent point blank AoE skill, always use it when you have at least 2 targets close enough to hit both for a dps gain.

 

In Tank Stance

Inner Beast – Delivers an attack with a potency of 300. Can only be used while Infuriated, all Wrath is lost when used. Ignores the damage penalty of Defiance. Additionally, it restores 100% of the damage dealt as hp AND reduces all damage received by 20% for 6 seconds. Whenever this is up warrior has the best tank stance in the game, so don’t be afraid to use this whenever a lot of damage is coming your way.

 

Steel Cyclone – Delivers an attack with a potency of 200 to all nearby enemies. Ignores the damage penalty of Defiance. Additionally generates additional enmity. Can only be used while Infuriated. All Wrath is lost upon use. A great skill for picking up a lot of threat on multiple targets in an AoE around you.

 

Unchained – Nullifies the damage penalty inflicted by Defiance. Duration 20 seconds. Can only be used while Infuriated, all Wrath is lost upon use. This effect ends if Defiance is cancelled. This is a great skill for DPSing if you can’t leave tank stance for a bit. It’s also great for dealing additional enmity and is used in the main tank opener.

Defensive Abilities

Mitigation Abilities

 Abilities that reduce incoming damage.

Vengeance – Reduces damage taken by 30% and delivers a counter attack with a potency of 50 every time you suffer physical damage. Duration 15 seconds. Grants a stack of Wrath/Abandon. Your primary mitigation cooldown for heavy incoming damage such as tank busters or when tanking several targets at once.

Raw Intuition – Parries all attacks from the front. All attacks from the flank or rear will result in critical damage. Duration 20 seconds. Grants a stack of Wrath/Abandon. Great for dealing with physical based heavy hits.

Foresight – Increases Defense by 20%. Duration 20 seconds. A highly underappreciated cooldown. It’s better than it seems and is great when paired with other CDs to supplement them.

Holmgang – Draws target toward caster and binds both. Duration 6 seconds. Most attacks cannot reduce your hp to less than 1. Warrior’s version of “god-mode”. You can’t die for 6 seconds (but you also can’t move). The bind effect can also be used situationally to prevent knockbacks.

 

Health Effects

Abilities that replenish or augment health.

Thrill of Battle – Increases maximum HP by 20% and restores the amount increased. Duration 20 seconds. For those moments when the HP you have now just isn’t enough.

Convalescence – Increases HP recovery via healing magic by 20% for self. Duration 20 seconds. Great for deploying Adlos or if your healers are struggling to keep you alive.

Bloodbath – Converts 25% of physical damage dealt into HP. Duration 30 seconds. Great cooldown altogether, whether it be for AoE tanking or single target, you should use this one a LOT.

Equilibrium – Restores own health when used with Defiance. Cure Potency 1200. Restores 200 TP when used with Deliverance.

 

The Warrior Thought Process

OFF-TANK PRIORITY AND THOUGHT PROCESS

Your top priorities as off-tank are to keep Maim and Storm’s Eye up always, never let either fall off if it can be helped. The main rotation is to start with a Storm’s Eye combo, followed by a Butcher’s Block combo, then another Storm’s Eye, and so on and so forth, alternating BB combos with SE combos. Be ready to pick up any adds that might spawn during an encounter, as well as be ready to apply Storm’s Path anytime heavy raidwide AoEs are coming out, and when this happens, prioritize Storm’s Path over Butcher’s Block. Yes it’s a 40 Potency loss overall, but that’s better than a dead raid. Always be prepared for any change in the flow of the battle, such as phase pushes, or should the main tank die and you need to take over threat on the boss quickly.

 

MAIN TANK PRIORITY AND THOUGHT PROCESS

Just as with off-tanking, it’s important to sustain Maim and Storm’s Eye at all times, but your primary responsibility as the main tank is to ensure your enmity lead over the rest of the raid and maintain it. You also have to be aware of when heavy tank mechanics such as tank busters will occur and mitigate them properly. The rotation for main tanking is the same as off-tanking, alternating Butcher’s Block and Storm’s Eye. Main tanking does not mean you must always remain in Defiance – you can switch to Deliverance while main tanking, as is shown in the Main Tanking opener. Before you stay in Deliverance for an extended period of time, however, make sure you have the CDs necessary to mitigate any heavy damage to the point that you can survive comfortably even in Deliverance. If there are a lot of Weakness or Vulnerability debuffs on your raid, you may want be a little more conservative and stay in Defiance, since your healers will already be struggling to keep everyone else alive. Other than that, simply alternate your cooldowns, ensuring you always have one available, as well as a back up should you need it, and keep an eye on your threat lead, if a DPS or healer is about to overtake you, change back to Defiance and re-establish a comfortable lead on threat.

 

OFF TANK OPENER:

MAIN TANK OPENER

 

Advanced Tips

STORM’S PATH

Learn when big raidwides are going out and apply path to help mitigate. Also learn to keep an eye on your party list, and especially apply ‘Path if you see people with Weakness or Vulnerability.

 

STORM’S EYE

Keep it up. Never let it fall off. You want every Storm’s Eye after the first one to be buffed by it’s own effect. The only exception is if the boss jumps and dropping it is inevitable. Outside of that, make sure it’s up 100% of the time.

 

UNCHAINED

I use Unchained in my main tanking opener, and also if I need to establish a lot of threat really quickly on adds mid encounter. Also be sure to use Unchained anytime you’ll be in Defiance for an extended period of time (at least 10 seconds).

 

FRACTURE

Keep it up, a good general rule for Fracture is to always apply it with at least 2 stacks of Abandon, and let it tick for the full duration. It’s 100 frontload potency followed by 200 potency over 30 seconds. At 9 ticks that’s equal to a Butcher’s Block, and at all 10 ticks it’s a DPS gain over Butcher’s Block. Never clip Fracture outside of Berserk.

 

TO CLEAVE, OR NOT TO CLEAVE

Sometimes you’ll find yourself in a situation where you have 5 stacks and a Fell Cleave primed, but no Eye debuff on the boss. You can overwrite your stacks to reapply Maim/Storm’s Eye if you want, as long as it doesn’t cause you to lose an entire Fell Cleave over the course of the encounter.

 

Cooldown Management

To properly manage your cooldowns, you need to be familiar with the encounter and know two key things: when the big hits are going to happen, and whether those big hits are magical or physical. One of the best things about the Warrior job is how short the recast timers are on our best cooldowns, generally 90-120 seconds, allowing Warriors a lot of flexibility in how they use and combine their best CDs. Not sure if a big attack is physical or magical damage? Try asking a healer or a Black Mage – they also have CDs that only work on specific types of damage, and may already know the answer. If your whole group is new to a particular fight and no one is sure, just experiment. Use Raw Intuition and take the big hit. Did you parry it? If so, it’s physical. If not, it’s magical. Is there a big tank buster coming and you’re out of CDs? Sounds like a great time to Holmgang! If you’re going to use Holmgang to survive a big hit don’t bother using any other CDs at the same time (you can’t die anyway, so it’s a waste). Just be sure to communicate to your healers what you’re doing, so they can heal you up quickly afterward.

Deliverance vs. Defiance

For this most part this is pretty basic, one is your tank stance one is for DPS. However, just because you’re tanking something doesn’t mean you have to stay in Defiance. There are a few key things to remember though before you change stances while tanking a boss. You are harder to heal in Deliverance than in Defiance, and you have less health. This means you’ll need to know how much damage is going to happen, and compensate accordingly with cooldowns. For instance, a tank buster is coming up and you’ve switched to Deliverance, you should know how much the buster will hit for unmitigated, and use the appropriate cooldown to ensure you survive not only the tank buster, but also the next autoattack comfortably. Another thing to note is that if you normally take a certain hit with only Defiance up, but want to do so in Deliverance, Thrill of Battle + Convalescence is basically a 20 second Defiance.

When to Berserk

Outside of your opener, Berserk can be tricky to use in certain situations. It’s all about timing, ensuring you get the most out of your Berserk without losing any uptime while it’s up, as well as making sure you aren’t Pacified at the wrong time. The best way to use Berserk is to experiment. Learn the boss’s patterns and rotations, when adds will spawn, when you are going to have to leave the boss and lose uptime, and when you can stay and DPS to your heart’s content. Learn the timings of mechanics, and use Berserk at times when you can get the full benefit from this amazing ability. There will be scenarios where holding Berserk for a short period will actually lead to a DPS gain, such as if a group of adds is going to spawn shortly after it’s ready to be used, or if using it in a certain part of the fight can help to push phases leading to a shorter encounter.

Stat Weights and Gear Choices

For Warrior, there are 2 important thresholds you want to hit with your gear set: 700 accuracy, and 550+ skill speed. The frontal accuracy requirement for Creator (Savage) is 700, and missing an attack is not only a huge DPS loss, it can also lead to a wipe if it happens at a critical time, like immediately after a tank swap, or when trying to establish threat on a newly spawned add. Having 550+ skill speed (or more) will allow you to get 9 in GCDs (including 3 Fell Cleaves) within the 20 second Berserk window. Dipping below this amount will result in a significant DPS loss. If you have significant latency, you may want to be well over 550 skill speed, to ensure that you’re able to execute the 9 GCD Berserk effectively in a raid setting.

Here are the best available stat weights for a Warrior in Deliverance:

STR: 1.000

VIT: 1.000

WD: 27.095

DET: 0.387

CRT: 0.546 SS

(Once at 550+ for 9 GCD Berserk/ x3 Fell): 0.350

Source: https://dervyxiv.wordpress.com/ stat-weights/

3.4 Best in Slot Lists

Depending on which Warrior you ask, there’s currently 2 different gear sets that are arguably “best” in patch 3.4. The big difference is which chest piece you choose to use.

Option #1: http://ffxiv.ariyala.com/VN8W

Option #2: http://ffxiv.ariyala.com/VRCR

Option #1 uses the Alexandrian Mail of Fending (from A12S) and has a whopping 1167 crit, but only 555 skill speed, and an extra 90 points of unwanted parry. Option #2 use the Augmented Shire Custodian’s Armor, this has significantly more skill speed (699) and less parry, but also has much less crit (1020) and 50 points of unnecessary accuracy. If you’re not yet clearing A12S and don’t have access to the Alexandrian Mail of Fending, then the decision is easy – go with the Shire chest piece for now, and reevaluate later if/when you can get your hands on the Alexandrian alternative.

 

Written By: Pristia Heartfilia & Oldbear Stormborn

About The Author

Editor-in-Chief

Midlander heartthrob and Warrior extraordinaire Oldbear Stormborn is the creator and Editor-in-chief of The Moogle Post. He spends his limitless free time working on creative projects and running laps in the Mist on his home server of Adamantoise.

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12 Responses

  1. Sara

    Hi! Really digging your guides and wanted to download the PDFs. For some reason the “click for PDF” worked for everything but Warrior and Dark Knight. Please let me know if you fix that and/or please send them my way!
    Excellent job!
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Serena Fieflorn

      We are so happy to hear that you enjoy our guides and thank you so much for catching this and letting us know! They should be working fine now!

      Reply
  2. Deadlock

    Hey, This page has some great stuff on it. Any new warriors should be pointed here immediately xD. Are you being paid to do this???? I noticed that Storm’s path and eye have the wrong pictures next to them with their description at the top. I personally think that it is best to keep both eye and path up as much as possible when OT or MT. If you have another warrior in your party let them keep one of them up and you keep the other one up. If you can keep storm’s path up at all times, i believe this helps the raid enourmously. 10% damage reduction on everything if it is a single target boss fight or something similar. As a main tank, once i have a fair aggro lead i do my best to keep them both up at all times. Also if you have a ninja in your party they will most likely be reducing slashing resistance for you so no need for storm’s path but you could also keep this up for them instead, im not sure if that will improve their dps or not. I love your guide though and it has been really helpful!

    Reply
    • Serena Fieflorn

      We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed our WAR guide! We actually are not paid to do this, all of our content is obtained from volunteers (which I think makes it more special!). We definitely appreciate the additional tips you have provided as well, especially since everyone plays their classes so differently!

      Reply
  3. Grahf

    Hi im a total newbie.. just buying the game 2 days ago and im interest playing the warrior, any advice which stat i must invest in the warrior? Str or vit? Thanks and great guide

    Reply
    • Malakym

      A bit late but – VIT always. VIT will help your damage *and* your survivability.

      Reply
  4. Heracles

    There are a couple of things fundamentally lacking or wrong with this guide that could lead newer Warriors astray, here’s a short list:

    First and foremost: NEVER use butcher’s block when not holding aggro unless you’re looking to anger the MT or rip aggro off of them. Unless the MT is cowering behind their tank stance the entire encounter and thus has sizable aggro lead, keep to eye combos. MTs like to ride the aggro line, using the least amount of enmity generating combos as possible (besides warriors).

    You mention how it’s important to never let eye fall off, yet your openers let eye fall off for a second or so due to pacification. Don’t finish berserk with a BB combo unless you’re going to get Warden’s Paean from the bard. Dropping Eye for a second is a dps loss for the MT, you, and the ninja in your party.

    Neither opener is optimized, and no mention of doing 3 fell cleaves inside berserk is made (outside of Dervy’s weights). Fitting 3 fell cleaves inside Berserk is required in order to do competitive DPS as a warrior, and is the only reason the 519-550+ sks thresholds are in place to begin with. In the vast majority of cases, berserk with 4 stacks after a Heavy Swing –> FC –> infuriate, FC –> Raw intuition, Awareness –> maim into eye/ skull sunder into bb combo –> another eye/bb combo –> fracture –> FC.

    Fracture is a DPS loss in most cases. The only valid times to use fracture are at 5stacks during berserk before your final fell cleave, or as a filler GCD in between berserks (where fracture needs to tick for its full duration to be a dps gain, and not lose a FC in the course of the fight to be worth it).
    For a newer player, using fracture should be limited to 5stacks inside berserk (or taken off the hotbar entirely because its usefulness is so niche).

    Equilibrium is an unbelievably powerful aggro tool. Use it in your opener when pulling in defiance. It generates 2x as much enmity as it heals you, which goes from 10-18k non crit, to 20-36k enmity for a crit. This is enough to hold aggro and be a lot more greedy with your defiance usage, dropping it after the tomahawk.

    Proper warrior pull: 50sec. Infuriate (wait till it almost drops) –> Raw intuition (start a 23sec countdown for your ninja) –> tomahawk, equilibrium, deliverance –> Eye combo, bloodbath –> HS –> IR,zerk –> FCx2, vengeance –> BB combo –> Eye combo –> fracture –> Fell cleave. (Fit brutal swings whenever you can).

    If you need additional enmity for the pull (no ninja to give shadewalker), feel free to stay in defiance a gcd more and use thrill of battle for another heal+enmity, or to use second wind for more enmity as well.

    Reply
    • Xsteel7

      If the MT cant keep aggo then they need to back into tank stance or not be the MT. Iv pulled aggro off of other tanks as a MNK when they are not in their tank stance. There is no reason a good MT should loose aggro to an OT WAR using butchers block. Otherwise thats more of a dps loss on ur part then theirs.

      Reply
      • Sera A

        @Xsteel7 That’s an extremely selfish way of looking at DPS. A DRK loses 20pot and MP by using Power Slash instead of Delirium or 130pot if used instead of a DA Souleater and a PLD loses 90pot by using Rage of Halone. They need to do the weaker combos to make up for the aggro loss every time the WAR uses BB as OT. This means it’s an overall raid DPS loss for the WAR to BB over Eye as OT 100% of the time since the WAR only gains 20pot and MP=Damage on DRK. If you want to circumvent that by having the WAR MT all the time, you lose a lot of damage again, because PLD and DRK gain DPS from damage based procs in Shield Swipe and Low Blow resets/Reprisal respectively.

  5. hope_reborn

    Really useful guide. I never realized how many things I was doing wrong as Warrior until I stumbled upon this article. 🙂

    Thank you

    Reply

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