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Paladin (PLD) Guide

If you are looking for THE FASTEST WAY to reach the level cap with any class or job within 7 days, this FFXIV Leveling Guide by Killer Guides is a definite must have! It comes with step-by-step leveling tips, quest walkthroughs, detailed primal battle strategies, extensive dungeon guides, and more.


The part of the guide that deals with skill rotations has not yet been updated for Heavensward.

Paladin is a tank job which uses defensive tactics to hold enmity. It is still capable of dealing decent damage however you would not play Paladin if you care about your damage output. This guide will talk about how to play the job at level 50 and it should be noted that it may not be the only way to play it. Others may disagree, but see it as a starting point and build on it from there.


Paladin GuideAs a Paladin you have three main attributes to consider. Vitality (VIT) to increase your HP, Strength (STR) to increase your damage and the percentage of damage mitigated by block and parry and Dexterity (DEX) to increase the chance of block and parry occurring. VIT is the main stat to go for as you will need as much HP as you can get for fights like Titan and those within the Binding Coil of Bahamut.

With equipment you could focus on more stats than VIT. You could consider adding stats such as Defense, Accuracy, Parry, Determination and Skill Speed. These are the main stats that your PLD will make use of for tanking. Accuracy is a concern at end-game with the Binding Coil of Bahamut having a high accuracy cap. If you find yourself missing then you need to invest in a bit of accuracy gear.

Skill Rotation

For a full explanation of skills see our Paladin and Gladiator pages.

The Paladin has a wide range of skills designed to hold enmity or mitigate damage, as you'd expect. Some are situational while others you will use on a regular basis. The job also has some combos designed for increasing enmity and one designed for damage. These combos are listed below.

1) Fast Blade > Riot Blade
2) Fast Blade > Savage Blade
3) Savage Blade > Rage of Halone

4) Fast Blade > Savage Blade > Rage of Halone

The first combo is purely for damage, but it will restore some MP. The other three combos are for increasing enmity. #4 is a combination of #2 and 3 so that is the one you will use most of the time.

As you are tanking you should always have Shield Oath active as it will reduce your damage taken by 25%.

A possible Paladin rotation is the following:

Shield Lob
Circle of Scorn
Fast Blade
Savage Blade
Rage of Halone

Shield Lob is good to use at the start of the fight, mainly for pulling but it also increases your enmity. Next you should use Circle of Scorn to instantly gain enmity on multiple monsters if they exists and to apply your DoT.

Next you should use Flash a couple of times as it will increase enmity fast and Blind the enemies, which is useful for your melee damage dealers. After this you should use combo #4 as this is the best combo for increasing enmity.

The rotation sounds simple but in reality if you did nothing but this you would not be a good tank, but it will generate a steady flow of enmity. You need to carefully think about when to use your other abilities and slot them in when you see fit.

Shield Swipe is one of your best skills too as it deals good damage and will help save TP. It can only be used after blocking an attack so it does not fit into your rotation, but you should use it every time it is available.

If you have a lot of TP you should aim to get Fracture in there as it is another DoT you can keep on the monster, but it is not a priority and can fit into your rotation at any point.

Convalescense is very nice as you will be healed for 20% more HP, but as it is on a 2 minute timer you should be keeping it for difficult parts of the battle. Rampart, Awareness, Sentinel and Bulwark are also very useful but again on long timers. Sentinel and Rampart are best used right before a special move from a boss such as Ifrit's Hellfire.

You should only use Provoke if you lose enmity. It will catch you up to the person with the highest enmity and put you back in control providing they use nore more actions until you have fully re-established control.

Hallowed Ground is a very nice skill for when you get into a difficult situation and the healer needs breathing space, or worse - has died. It will allow the party a bit time to recover.

Cross Class Abilities

PLD can take cross class skills from the CNJ and MRD classes and at level 50 you can equip up to 5.

From CNJ the most useful is Stoneskin, as the damage mitigated by casting this will be more than you will heal if you had chosen Cure. You could take Cure as well but it generally is not worth it. You can also consider taking Raise however you can only use it outside of battle.

From MRD you should take Foresight, this is very useful for increasing your defense by 20%. Bloodbath is also good as it will help heal you. For the fifth skill Fracture is probably your best bet, but it is quite difficult to pick five that really stand out from what is available.


The best gear for your PLD constantly changes depending on what was added in the latest patch so it is important to do your own research on top of this guide. We have broken the gear down into tiers in order to give some indication of what you can use before you get up to that item level tier.

Slot Best Next Tier Third Tier
Main Hand Midan Metal Sword
Prototype Midan Metal Sword
Augmented Hellfire Blade
Horde Blade
Shield Prototype Midan Metal Shield
Midan Metal Shield
Augmented Hellfire Shield
Horde Shield
Head Augmented Hellfire Mask of Fending
Midan Headband of Fending
Hellfire Mask of Fending
Yafaemi Circlet of Fending
Prototype Midan Headband of Fending
High Mythrite Helm of Fending
Body Midan Coat of Fending
Augmented Hellfire Armor of Fending
Hellfire Armor of Fending
Yafaemi Mail of Fending
Prototype Midan Coat of Fending
High Mythrite Cuirass of Fending
Hands Midan Gauntlets of Fending
Augmented Hellfire Gauntlets of Fending
Hellfire Gauntlets of Fending
Yafaemi Gauntlets of Fending
Prototype Midan Gauntlets of Fending
High Mythrite Gauntlets of Fending
Legs Midan Breeches of Fending
Augmented Hellfire Breeches of Fending
Hellfire Breeches of Fending
Yafaemi Chain Hose of Fending
Prototype Midan Breeches of Fending
Eikon Leather Breeches of Fending
Feet Midan Sabatons of Fending
Augmented Hellfire Sabatons of Fending
Yafaemi Sabatons of Fending
Hellfire Sabatons of Fending
Prototype Midan Sabatons of Fending
High Mythrite Sabatons of Fending
Waist Augmented Hellfire Belt of Fending
Midan Belt of Fending
Yafaemi Belt of Fending
Hellfire Belt of Fending
Prototype Midan Belt of Fending
High Mythrite Plate Belt of Fending
Neck Midan Neckband of Fending
Augmented Primal Choker of Fending
Primal Choker of Fending
Prototype Midan Neckband of Fending
Ear Augmented Primal Earrings of Fending
Midan Earrings of Fending
Primal Earrings of Fending
Prototype Midan Earrings of Fending
Rings Augmented Primal Ring of Fending
Midan Ring of Fending
Primal Ring of Fending
Prototype Midan Ring of Fending
Wrist Augmented Primal Bracelet of Fending
Midan Bracelets of Fending
Primal Bracelet of Fending
Prototype Midan Bracelets of Fending


In FFXIV all materia can be added to any slot so this guide only lists the materia that is useful for the Paladin rather than where to put it.

Vitality - HP
Strength - Melee attack damage and block/parry damage reduction
Dexterity - Chance of block/parry
Battledance - Parry
Savage Might - Determination
Quickarm - Skill Speed
Heavens' Eye - Accuracy
Savage Aim - Critical Hit Rating

As you will be limited by how much of a certain stat you can apply to gear through stat caps it is a good idea to use a variety and add stats to gear which aren't already on the piece.

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ThatTankGuy [Anon]
Mar 12, 2015 - 19:50:46 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

Dian, I am guessing he meant other games. But also, tanking is tanking. There are a lot of skills that you take from MMO to MMO, just the abilities change.
Dain [Anon]
Jul 17, 2014 - 08:16:25 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

Over 10 years? 1.0 was released August 2010... ffxi, on the other hand, was released 12 years ago, maybe you meant WoW? that one was released 10 years ago, and, since ffxi did not have any kind of rotation... it only had limit breaks and skill chains (no rotation, you didn´t even need a mouse to play the game), but still, even if you meant WoW, its a whole other game, so it doesn´t count... I think Pinoccio´s nose is actually getting bigger by the minute.
Fenrir Ilax [Anon]
Dec 12, 2013 - 15:30:49 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

"over 10 years of tanking as main including 1.0"

Krissy [Anon]
Nov 14, 2013 - 23:41:29 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

With circle of scorn, you probably don't need two flashes at the start of a battle, however, you don't get it until level 50. I know I used two flashes until 50. (which was recently.)

You mentioned how provoke works, however, after reading comments it might be good to point out that using it to pull is utterly useless. as the skill puts your threat at the same level as the highest person with threat, and no one has any at the start of the battle, it literally does nothing except get the monster's attention.
Firetail [Anon]
Nov 07, 2013 - 05:27:32 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

Hey man good guide but the rotation is a bit wrong
over 10 years of tanking as main including 1.0
This is the rotation i use and has never failed me yet.

Shield lob (to pull0
spirit within
circle of scorn
Fast Blade
Savage Blade
Rage of Halone (cycle through mobs once after rotation complete once)
Fast blade
Riot blade

Fight of flight
Shield lob (to pull0
spirit within
circle of scorn
Fast Blade
Savage Blade
Rage of Halone

Attributes should only go into Vit nothing else also you should take Mercy Stroke and that is your fifth.
Oct 20, 2013 - 22:25:04 | Location: Durham, United Kingdom

I should add a shield row. But the best shield is of course the relic one, which you get with the Curtana.
Oct 20, 2013 - 17:21:03 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

Firstly, I commend that your guide is pretty good, and covered most major parts. However, concerning gear, what are recommendations for Shield / Off Hand?
Oct 13, 2013 - 15:21:29 | Location: Durham, United Kingdom

I have improved the guide. I am not a tank main so it is harder for me to write guides for these jobs but I feel a guide is better than no guide so I try my best and ask people when I'm not sure. You guys are great help too with your comments and all criticism is good because it helps improve the guide.
Oct 06, 2013 - 21:52:18 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

Circle of scorn should come before flash since its off the gcd i actually press both around the same time but always circle of scorn slightly before you also forgot to mention to use spirits within on bosses/etc when they arent casting anything since it does alot of damage

and i really advise against using skull sunder its pretty crap fracture is way superior

also accuracy is really important when you get to BC the cap is 472 supposedly

I have seen you write a few guides now maybe you should actually play the classes abit more before you write a guide lol its abit off so was your bard one
Anon [Anon]
Oct 03, 2013 - 02:08:06 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

I find this guide to be very off, and wish it was a little better, and more accurate.
Phoenix310 [Anon]
Sep 28, 2013 - 01:30:50 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

There are a couple things you might consider adding to the guide.
You didn't mention anything about using Shield Swipe in the rotation. I try to use it every time it procs, because 210 potency with no TP cost helps conserve TP very well, especially in longer fights. Using Shield Swipe does not cancel your Fast/Savage/Rage combo, so it can be thrown in every time it procs with really no downside.
I'm not sure why no one uses, or even mentions Fracture. I feel like it's a good DoT to keep on enemies, provided I have the TP to cast it.
Sep 25, 2013 - 07:42:32 | Location: Durham, United Kingdom

Yeah I am planning to update the gear for all the guides at some point this week, using ilevel.
Altria [Anon]
Sep 25, 2013 - 02:30:20 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

equip guide needs to be updated for armor. the only darklight that pala can equip is heavy darklight.

best should be valor set/heavy allagan armor
second best should be darklight
third best should be hoplite/darksteel

cross class abilities are okay for paladin, but really aren't relied on (at least for me). mercy stroke is good as part of a macro, and foresight is definitely. skull sunder is useless, rage of halone does that job already. bloodbath isn't too terribly useful, but it has use.
for conjurer cure is the only really needed skill for dungeons (takes some of the load off medic), stoneskin and protect is more for solo and raise is just there for others.

@bravo: the blind ailment is just a tack on to flash, the important part is it boosts enmity. you should be relying on your other cooldowns for damage mitigation, rather than just flash.

Giest [Anon]
Sep 13, 2013 - 20:32:50 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

The skills I use on PLD/GLD:
MRD: Foresight, Bloodbath
CNJ: Cure (and protect when solo)

LNC: Keen Furry
PUG: Featherfoot
ARC: Raging Strikes
Kayaba [Anon]
Sep 07, 2013 - 22:00:01 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

The helm you have listed is not for gladiators, also the quest reward items are better than some of the gear you have listed in second best at the very least... stat wise.
Bravo [Anon]
Aug 30, 2013 - 17:40:47 | Location: Nowhere, In a Box

I avoid casting flash multiple times in a row:

- flash blinds the target(s)
- blind duration decreases each time you cast flash
- quickly, target(s) become immune to the blind effect (the enmity generation is still useful)

Casting flash 2 times won't increase the blindness duration, but will still build-up blind resistance. That's why at the beginning of a fight, I wait for blind to wear off before casting it again. When the target becomes immune, I usually cast it a bit more as MP permits.

Keeping the target blinded a bit longer obviously allow for extra damage mitigation.

In conjunction with that, I use Provoke more than you recommend, and usually pull with that.
Aug 20, 2013 - 23:04:06 | Location: Durham, United Kingdom

I added the rotation you mentioned because it makes the most sense to me. Though like you I'm unsure whether two Flashes are necessary. I figure anyone who plays PLD regularly will work this one out pretty quickly though.
Aug 17, 2013 - 00:42:45 | Location: Unknown, United States

That string I posted is pure theory crafting; I've never even taken the GLA beyond level 15! While it sounds good to me, I'd see about getting more experienced views before recommending it. For instance, I don't know if double Flash is necessary; in fact Cure spam might provide more hate.
Aug 16, 2013 - 08:51:21 | Location: Lowestoft, United Kingdom

Yes. I agree. I was trying to see what could be beneficial & got side tracked. Like you say, it is hard to find a perfect 5 cross class abilities & I didn't look as to whether the ability were able to cross over. Anyway, I agree with what you have so far with the updates from Kazumi & I will head in that direction unless I or someone discovers something else.
Good stuff though & thanks for all the info on it.
Aug 15, 2013 - 22:36:25 | Location: Durham, United Kingdom

That's a very good post Kazumi. I agree with all the points you're making. Guessing you don't mind if I change the rotation to the one you suggested?

Yeah you can't use Brutal Swing on PLD MrSte. Cross class skills for PLD are quite poor after Cure, Foresight and Bloodbath. Most likely whatever you pick for the other two you'll almost never use. Protect and Stoneskin I can't imagine anyone but the WHM casting. They're nice for solo but I'm doubtful you'd choose to solo on PLD over GLA.
Aug 14, 2013 - 15:09:45 | Location: Unknown, United States

Good guide, again. My recommendations:

Take out Shield Oath from your rotation list. It's a mode you keep on permanently until you want to take it off, and as such you won't be pressing it with any frequency. I know you say that but it should still probably be taken off.

Emphasize Flash's usefulness. It's virtually necessary to use a few times at the start of the fight and further occasionally to keep aggro off the healers.

Shield Lob isn't mentioned, you might want to make note of it as it's a great pull and most fights will be started with Shield Lob.

This is strictly phase 4 stuff, but Circle of Scorn is getting pretty buffed, up to 100 initial potency. As such I imagine against virtually every mob, the initial rotation will probably look like this:

Shield Lob > Flash > Flash > Circle of Scorn > Fast Blade > Savage Blade > Rage of Halone

Into stuff as needed, since tanking is very situational after the battle starts.
Aug 14, 2013 - 10:31:39 | Location: Lowestoft, United Kingdom

Of course, you get a Stun from Shield Bash, so covered there anyway. Cross class skills has taken me off track of what abilities you already have.....

Aug 14, 2013 - 09:42:51 | Location: Lowestoft, United Kingdom

Yep. Ok. So forget all that.. Just gone through it all again. I think it is about as best as guide says. Protect & Stoneskin from mage, Mercy Strike is a waste as the chance the PLD gets killing blow is very low & other choices are limited atm. :/

Aug 14, 2013 - 09:36:59 | Location: Lowestoft, United Kingdom

aww maybe I am mistaken. cant use Brutal Swing as PLD?

Aug 14, 2013 - 09:35:01 | Location: Lowestoft, United Kingdom

This is all pretty good. Not entirely set on cross class abilities yet. I will have to see what is more effective. A stun ability from Brutal Swing may be useful & drop Raise ability. Then there are other + enmity skills but may be a waste if keeping hate is relatively easy. Bit of practice & learning will sort it out.