Best tank tier list in FFXIV

Some jobs are more suited to be main tanks, while others to offtanks.

Screengrab via Square Enix

While some multiplayer games feature metas that heavily favor certain jobs over others, Final Fantasy XIV’s is generally well-balanced. Every job is viable in one way or another, but they still feature different strengths and weaknesses.

In the MMO, there are two tanks in raids and trials: one main tank and one offtank. While the main tank takes most of the boss damage by activating its stance and increasing enmity, the offtank only provokes the bosses for a short amount of time, due to tankbusters or when the main tank dies. Due to what they can offer, all jobs are more suited for one specialty than the other. As for dungeons, every job is equally viable, especially since trash mobs received a heavy nerf alongside Endwalker’s release in December 2021.

If you don’t know which tank job to choose from the four choices available, here are the best tank jobs ranked from best to worst in FFXIV.

Tank tier list

S – Warrior

Screengrab via Square Enix

The Warrior is a base job in FFXIV, starting as Marauder at level one in Ul’dah. It consists of learning to take control of their wrath and unleash it on their enemies using their axe at full strength and the Inner Release ability. This is a buff that grants several Beast Gauge actions, a gauge that fills by using abilities on enemies and grants powerful damage abilities.

The Warrior is a straightforward job in general. It’s the purest form of tank available in the game and it’s beginner-friendly. Its rotation isn’t as fast as the Paladin’s and Gunbreaker’s, while its abilities are more straightforward than the Dark Knight’s, which makes it ideal for all kinds of players who want to get into tanking, whether they’re beginners on the game or on this category of jobs. It also boasts impressive survivability due to its lifesteal and healing abilities.

The job in the 6.05 meta

The Warrior is the clear winner from Endwalker’s balance changes and new abilities brought to the game in December 2021. It gained more heal, which drastically helps its survivability in combat, and several AoE damage abilities. The tank job is now omnipresent in the game’s level 90 activities and is considered one of the most optimized jobs in this meta for the main tank role.

S – Dark Knight

Screengrab via Square Enix

The Dark Knight embraces the dark side to harness its power, which manifests through an avatar with Living Shadow (unlocked at level 80). It was released alongside the expansion Heavensward and is unlocked at level 30, which is now included in the free trial. The job features one of the best questlines, written by the narrative designer Natsuko Ishikawa, also involved in Endwalker‘s main scenario.

Beyond that, it’s not hard to pick up but is challenging to master, which can allow it to suit every kind of player. It also has all the tools a tank could dream of in its kit.

One of their most crucial abilities is The Blackest Night, unlocked at level 70. It grants them or an ally a shield that offers a damage buff if it’s entirely absorbed before ending after seven seconds. This ability must be mastered to maximize the job’s true potential, which also means having good mana management due to the 3,000 points it costs.

The job in the 6.11 meta

The Dark Knight hasn’t been particularly favored by Endwalker’s balance changes, but it remains viable in all kinds of content on FFXIV and gains more damage after level 90. When mastered, they can even top some DPS in damage. Patch 6.11 gave the DRK an improved Living Dead, the job’s invulnerability skill, as they no longer die if they’re not topped off after the end of the effect.

A – Gunbreaker

Screengrab via Square Enix

The Gunbreaker is the most aggressive tank in FFXIV. It wields a gunblade and fills a Powder Gauge to unlock powerful damage combos that mix off-cooldown and on-cooldown abilities. Its damage rotation is quite fast, and it can be more challenging to pick up than the other tank jobs. Additionally, it’s unlocked directly at level 60, so you’ll have many abilities to learn at once.

To match its fast damage combo that starts with Continuation, the Gunbreaker boasts a 20 percent damage boost with No Mercy and several traditional mitigation skills. It also provides some utility with the Aurora ability, which applies a Regeneration effect to a target.

The job’s invulnerability ability, Superbolide, can be scary to activate because it instantly reduces its HP to one while rendering it “impervious to most attacks.” Players have to rely on a healer to top them off to survive, similar to the Dark Knight.

The job in the 6.05 meta

The Gunbreaker remains viable at every level and is among the most-played tank jobs in high-end duties, such as the Asphodelos Savage raids even though the potency of several abilities received a nerf alongside Endwalker’s release, according to FFLogs. It has everything to offer, provided the players successfully learn to master its rotation and the balance between dealing high damage and protecting its allies.

B – Paladin

Screengrab via Square Enix

The Paladin is a traditional job in fantasy games, and FFXIV is no exception. It’s a base job and starts at level one in Limsa Lominsa as Gladiator. Wielding a shield and a sword, the Paladin boasts numerous strengths and a unique playstyle in the tanking department. It provides the most utility compared to the other tank jobs, although it’s not as extensive as its iteration in World of Warcraft.

The paladin boasts off-cooldown damage abilities and numerous mitigating skills. It can also heal itself or its allies using Clemency, which makes it a unique tank in the game. If one healer is down and the other is busy resurrecting in a raid or trial, the Paladin can save the day with this ability. It can also take all damage from an ally with Cover and protect an area behind them with Passage of Arms, which is powerful and features an impressive wing-effect.

The job in the 6.05 meta

Paladin players are largely underrepresented in Endwalker high-end duties such as Asphodelos Savage raids due to their lack of strength compared to other tank jobs at the moment, according to FFLogs. Due to the buff of other tank jobs, it has fallen behind in terms of efficiency. It’s also relegated to the role of offtank in general, due to its strong utility for its allies. Square Enix also plans to bring them a buff in the future, so it’s possible to hope the job will come back in the spotlight soon.