Pros & Cons of All 19 Jobs in FFXIV - Quick Overviews and Tier List - (2024)

Pros & Cons of All 19 Jobs in FFXIV - Quick Overviews and Tier List - (1)Hey, what’s up? My name is Librarian Husky, and I hope you’re doing well. Today we’re going to be talking about all the jobs in Final Fantasy 14. There are 19 jobs, and I’ll try to speed through them as quickly as I can. Maybe there’s a job you’re interested in, so you can check that out specifically.

I’m going to go over all of them, discussing what I like, what I dislike, and just trying to give you a general sense for what each job plays like. This will not be a detailed guide by any means. I play all these jobs in a casual sense, some in a more hardcore raid sense, but I do know how all of them work. I play them all pretty comfortably, some of them less so.

Introduction to Final Fantasy 14 Jobs

We’re going to talk about all of them, just kind of highlighting what’s fun about them, what’s cool about them, and then we’re going to be throwing them into this tier list just for fun. This will be my personal, very biased tier list, rated on what I like to play to what I dislike, and your list is going to be different than mine. It’s all personal preference; any one of these jobs could be S tier. I could find a reason to put them there. They’re all very balanced, they’re all fun to play in their own unique ways.

But what fun would that be if I put them all in S tier? We got to make some people angry and put some things at the bottom. I will say the gap between S and D tier is very small, so just because I rank them in a certain way doesn’t mean that the D tier jobs are bad by any means. I’ll try to explain that as we go, but let’s not waste any more time, let’s jump right into it, and start with the melees.

Ninja Job Overview

First job on the list is Ninja, and in my opinion, this is the most unique job in the game. It has a ton of little gimmicks that are super fun, really unique spells that act differently. It’s a melee but plays like a ranged half of the time with all its spells. It’s kind of a combination between melee, ranged, and caster.

A lot of the time you’re in melee range, a lot of your burst can be at range, and you can still keep hitting the boss. You can be out on the side of the arena, throwing out the highest potency spells in the game, and it’s just really fun. It’s got a base 10% move speed increase, so it’s literally the fastest job in the game, just running around in and out of combat.

It’s got a unique little jump animation where you do a fun little front flip. It’s got the mudra system, where you have to do a combination of teni, Jin to get different abilities, different spells. You’ve got a haste buff where you can just do your spells faster, your abilities faster. It’s just a really solid combination. You can reset those cooldowns when you hide outside of combat, so you can go invisible, which is kind of fun.

Ninja Job Complexity and Strategy

If you’re just out in the world, you can do this as well. The rotation is really busy, but it’s not so bad outside of the burst window, so you do have time to chill. The opener and the bursts are very tight, but it’s still flexible, and you have range. You can move things around, and once you learn it, there’s a really nice flow to it. There is a bit of a learning curve to Ninja, but once you get it, it’s not so bad. It’s very repeatable and flexible throughout different fights.

Ninja offers lots of flashy spell effects and fun stuff you can do. You get fun things like the Frog, and you see a bunch of burst. You get cool AOE effects like Doon, where you place it down and rely on the tank to position mobs within it, which can be interesting. You do a lot of damage with Ninja. This job has the single highest damage ability in the game with Hosho. When you put this under buffs, you will see the highest numbers for any attack in the game. So, that’s cool if that’s what you’re into.

Ninja: A Consistently Engaging and Top-Tier Job in Gaming

This is one of my favorite jobs. I started the game on Dron but also leveled Ninja, both through the MSQ, and this is an easy S tier job for me. Right off the bat, we’re putting that at the top of the list.

I think this is one of the best-designed jobs in the entire game. Highly recommend it. Definitely give it a shot. It starts at level one, so you can’t pick it from the very start when creating your character, but if you start in Limsa, you can grab it right off the bat.

The leveling experience for Ninja is also really good. It’s interesting throughout the levels. Many other jobs come alive later on, but Ninja is always interesting from the start, more so than some other melee and DPS jobs. It’s always fun, always consistent, and a solid S tier pick.

Introduction to Monk

Next up, we have Monk, and this is an interesting one. I don’t have much playtime on Monk, but I recognize that it’s an incredible job. It is the most melee of the melee jobs. If you like punching and kicking, this is for you.

Monk has an interesting rotation with a 3 GCD combo. You mix and match between six buttons to achieve that combo. You have a damage buff for yourself and a DOT to apply to the enemy. You have to juggle these because they have different timers and are applied at different times.

Keeping track of both the buff and DOT gets a bit confusing, but it’s manageable once you get the feel for it. Monk offers good party buffs and personal buffs. Perfect Balance lets you build your gauge in various ways by doing different combos, leading to a big finisher move. The order in which you perform those combos results in different finishers, making it a solid job overall.

Monk Gameplay Overview

I already forgot to press some buttons because I’m focused on talking here, but we’ll just run through some buttons so you can get a feel for what it looks like. The opener is not too busy or anything; this job feels maybe a little more consistent than some other jobs in how busy it is throughout the rotation. It’s kind of like you’re just constantly thinking about what’s going on. Like I said, I’m already screwing up really bad here, so don’t take my gameplay as a perfect representation of it, but yeah, it’s just a fun job.

Mastering Monk: A High Skill, High Reward Melee Job

It does take a lot of brainpower. I personally find this to be one of the tougher jobs just because of all those timers you have to keep track of throughout the rotation, but I’m sure if I played it more, it would feel a lot more natural. The positionals on Monk are not too bad; you only have two of them, one flank and one rear, so there’s not much to keep track of there. But you do get some fun skills. The burst is coming up here again, so I will just show you that when we get Phantom Rush, which is your hardest hitting ability. So you fill your gauge, you get Phantom Rush, that’s fun.

You do have some fun other abilities like Six-Sided Star, which is like a good disengage tool, good for if you have to LB. You can press that just because it has a long cooldown, almost 4 seconds. You’ve got things like Mantra which buffs healing for the party, and yeah, just a very solid melee. Not one that I play a whole lot, but I think I will give Monk a solid A-tier because it’s just a very solid job. I don’t find it quite as fun as Ninja, but it’s a great pick.

Pros & Cons of All 19 Jobs in FFXIV - Quick Overviews and Tier List - (2)

Introduction to Samurai

Next up on the list is Samurai. This one’s a bit interesting because Samurai has a bunch of cast times on some of their big hits. It actually has more casts per minute than Summoner, which is a little funny; they’re neck and neck. Summoner isn’t much less, but Samurai does have a lot of casting, so you have to plant to get those casts out, and it can be a little bit awkward as a melee. You’re always in melee range when you’re casting, they do have a good bit of range on them, but even so, it can get you into trouble if you’re not careful.

It’s not too bad, but the rotation does flow smoothly. Your main goal is to execute your three different GCD combos to fill out these stickers on your job gauge, and you can cash those out for different abilities. So I’ll just run through the rotation real quick, and you can get a look at how this job plays. Samurai is really not too bad; like I said, the rotation is smooth, it flows into itself and rotates nicely, but you do have to plant for those big cast times. They’re not particularly long casts, but you do have to kind of plan around them sometimes. But overall, this is one of the most damaging jobs.

Samurai’s Position in the Game

Samurai is right behind Black Mage, making it the second most damaging class currently. However, I find Samurai significantly easier to play than Black Mage, making it more accessible for players to achieve high damage.

Despite its power, Samurai starts at a higher level than some other jobs, so it’s not available right from the beginning. It doesn’t bring any buffs or utility to your party, making it a very selfish DPS job. This can be a drawback in high-end raiding, although it’s less critical early on. Personally, I rate Samurai as B-tier mainly because of its heavy reliance on cast times.

Introduction to Reaper

Reaper is an interesting melee job that starts at level 70. It doesn’t truly feel complete until reaching level 90. Before that, it’s a slow and somewhat underwhelming journey through the levels. At level 90, though, it becomes the simplest melee job, in my opinion.

The job primarily involves putting up a damage debuff on the enemy and executing a straightforward rotation. The big hits come occasionally, but the basic combo lacks complexity. positionals are minimal, confined to moves like Gallows and Gibbet, which benefit from the True North ability to ease their execution.

Reaper: A Beginner-Friendly Melee Class with High Damage Potential

For those new to melee or players who prefer less positional complexity, Reaper is an excellent choice. It’s also ideal for learning game mechanics due to its uncomplicated nature. Despite its simplicity, Reaper can deliver substantial damage with minimal effort, making it appealing for both new and experienced players.

You only need to manage a few tasks with Reaper, such as maintaining the damage vulnerability debuff on enemies and utilizing your burst window effectively. Unlike Samurai, Reaper requires fewer casts, usually just one or two per minute, simplifying the gameplay even further.

Reaper Gameplay Dynamics

With Reaper, you’re primarily building gauge and waiting for your shroud window. You spend it strategically—usually once on the minute mark and twice during the two-minute buffs. There’s some room for optimization, but personally, I feel Reaper lacks something compared to other melee jobs. It’s slower-paced, which might be a detractor for some players.

Though Reaper does a lot of damage and is excellent for learning fights, it’s not as engaging as other jobs for me. Therefore, I’ve placed it in C tier. Despite my reservations about its aesthetics and pace, it remains a solid choice, especially for newcomers to melee roles.

Introduction to Dragoon

Dragoon is the last melee job we’ll discuss, and it’s my favorite. Starting my journey as a Lancer, Dragoon has become the job I play the most. Its gameplay is stylish and flowy, with a rotation that’s both smooth and engaging.

The job features a lengthy GCD combo that loops between a DOT and a more powerful attack. This dynamic keeps the gameplay interesting and continuous. You don’t see your most significant hits until about the one-minute mark, so Dragoon takes some time to ramp up in fights.

There are talks of upcoming changes with the Dawn tril updates, but I’m confident that Dragoon will remain enjoyable and engaging. The job’s design might adjust to address the delayed burst capability in the opener, but it’s balanced well as is.

Dragoon: A High-Skill, High-Impact Melee Job with Dynamic Gameplay

Dragoon also boasts the most positionals of any melee job, which might seem daunting but becomes intuitive with practice. The one-minute burst window showcases some of the job’s most exhilarating aspects, like Star Diver and other dynamic jumps. These elements make Dragoon not just fun but visually spectacular.

It excels in both single-target and multi-target situations, offering vast AOE potential. Dragoon’s iconic backflip provides not only a tactical retreat but also a dramatic way to navigate combat spaces—or accidentally exit them. It’s a job that combines high skill with high entertainment, making it a top pick for many.

Dragoon’s Iconic Backflip

With Dragoon, it’s not a matter of if you will accidentally kill yourself with that backflip; it’s a matter of when. This feature is always amusing, and there’s consistently a new, innovative way you’ll find to use it. Dragoon is simply outstanding in my opinion, easily earning an S-tier ranking.

Dragoon and Ninja are my two favorite jobs in the game right now. Currently, I am progressing through DSR ultimate on Dragoon, and it has been a blast. I’ve completed raid tiers on both Dragoon and Ninja, finding both to be very fun and rewarding.

Introduction to Fizz Range Jobs

We’ve now made it to the Fizz range jobs, starting with Machinist. Similar to Samurai, Machinist is a selfish DPS job, meaning it lacks buffs but offers good party utility with mitigations like Dismantle, which is unique among Fizz range jobs. Machinist focuses on damage and allows for freedom of movement during rotations, an advantage in dynamic combat scenarios. The rotation is straightforward and more consistent than other Fizz ranged jobs, which might rely more on RNG or proc-based mechanics.

Machinist features fun abilities like Drill, Air Anchor, and Chainsaw, and even lets you summon a giant robot to assist in combat. Despite its straightforward approach, Machinist can outdamage some melee jobs in certain content if played well. This job is easy to pick up and starts at level 30 in Heavensward. While not my favorite among the Fizz ranged, Machinist is a solid choice if you enjoy the thematic elements of robots and guns. It’s highly recommended for players who value consistent, reliable damage.

Machinist’s Role in the Team

We’ll let the robot keep fighting there as we pull up the tier list. For me, Machinist is going in A tier. It’s a very solid pick and always good to have on the team.

Bard: The Musical Archer

Next for the Fizz ranged is Bard. This class combines typical bow and arrow skills with a unique musical twist. The main gimmick involves playing songs that provide constant buffs to your party and offer specific effects.

To manage this class effectively, you need to rotate through songs and maintain two damage-over-time effects. Many find the upkeep of dots and songs challenging, but a simple strategy for beginners is to refresh your dots whenever you play a song. This can be done using the Iron Jaws skill, ensuring your dots never fall off and simplifying your gameplay.

Despite its perceived complexity, Bard is straightforward once you understand the mechanics. You primarily press one button repeatedly, waiting for procs, while your songs subtly alter their effects. It’s a job that combines strategy with consistent action.

Bard: Harmonizing Combat with Music for Enhanced Gameplay and Utility

Outside of combat, Bard offers a unique feature: playing actual musical instruments in the game. Although gimmicky and difficult due to game delays, it adds an enjoyable layer to the role. If you’re a fan of musical themes and bow-based combat, Bard offers a compelling blend of gameplay.

Bard excels in providing utility and buffs more than raw damage, unlike Machinist. It’s particularly effective in multi-target situations thanks to its dual-targeting dots. Bard also has abilities like Asuna for cleansing debuffs and additional healing buffs, enhancing its utility in group settings.

Ultimately, Bard is my favorite among the Fizz ranged for its enjoyable playstyle and significant party contributions. Despite some players’ reservations about its song and debuff management, I place Bard in S tier for its overall utility and fun factor. Give Bard a try—it stands out as one of the top Fizz ranged jobs alongside Machinist.

Machinist vs. Bard: Busyness Comparison

I think Machinist might be a little more busy than Bard, but both of them are quite active in their gameplay. Bard is fun and a good pick if you like the aesthetic.

Introduction to Dancer

Next up, we’ve got Dancer, the last of the Fizz ranged, and this one is a bit interesting. Dancer is definitely a more RNG-heavy job. There’s a bit of randomization that goes on with your dances and some of your gauge procing. It also relies on having a dance partner, so you typically give dance partner to a party member who is the strongest DPS, as they are usually the optimal dance partner. There are some priorities with that, but I won’t get into those details now.

Dancer is in a unique spot where you need a party member who is playing very well to get the most out of the job. It’s a really good job, and some of the dances are unique and interesting. You essentially play DDR with a random set of buttons until you are ready to dance, and then you press the same. This also goes for your buff; you have to press a random four buttons to get your buff out.

Dancer is fun and, in my opinion, the simplest of the Fizz ranged. However, it is reliant on a party member to maximize your damage, which can be a pro or a con. If you’ve got a really solid Samurai, Ninja, or maybe even a Black Mage in the party, Dancer can really push them forward a lot and help them pump out some serious damage.

Dancer: The Interdependent Role of Buffs and Bursts in Combat

For me, I’m not a big fan of relying on other people to play my job to its fullest potential. That’s a problem with some of the buff jobs in this game. It’s not a big problem, obviously; you’ll still get full enjoyment out of playing the job, doing the rotation—that stuff doesn’t change. But the damage you do, the outcome might change a bit depending on who you’re giving your buffs to.

Reaching that high potential on Dancer relies on this. It also relies on feathers on your job gauge. These have a chance to proc as you go, as your dance partner does. You want to save those up for your two-minute burst, so there’s a chance that you just don’t have enough of them going into your burst and you don’t get to do the full damage that you could potentially be doing.

Dancer’s Unique Position

Dancer is really just not for me personally, but I do see the appeal. The aesthetic is nice and flashy, and the dances are fun. However, I prefer the other Fizz ranged jobs more. Dancer includes fun effects and unique movement skills, but they don’t quite match up to others like Ninja’s Shukuchi or Monk’s Thunderclap.

Dancer’s movement skill is a straight line dash with three charges, but it feels more delayed compared to other gap closers. As a Fizz ranged, this isn’t as valuable, in my opinion. While Dancer is in a strange spot for me, it might be perfect for you. It’s flashy and pretty, a solid B-tier choice for its big buffs and utility, even though the proc systems and dances aren’t my personal favorite.

Introduction to Summoner

Summoner is considered one of the easiest jobs in the game. Its rotation is straightforward and simple to learn, making it a great choice for new players. This job is ideal for learning fights and delivering damage efficiently. Additionally, leveling Summoner also levels Scholar, offering a DPS and a Healer for the effort of one.

You cycle through well-known summons like Ifrit, Garuda, Titan, Bahamut, and Phoenix. I hope future updates like Dawn tril will introduce new summons such as Alexander, Shiva, Leviathan, or Ramuh. Currently, Summoner feels like it could use some enhancements—perhaps more buttons or additional summons to enrich gameplay. Despite this, Summoner performs well, featuring damage over time and healing effects in Phoenix mode.

Summoner’s Casting Mechanics

Summoner has about the same number of casts per minute as Samurai, offering significant freedom of movement. This allows you to cast all your summons on the move. There are slow casts with Garuda and Ifrit, letting you choose which summon to use based on the fight’s demands. If mobility is needed, Garuda or Titan are preferable; for stationary fights, Ifrit is ideal.

Summoner’s Strategic Gameplay

Optimization with Summoner isn’t overly complex. Bahamut delivers your hardest hits, and both Phoenix and Ifrit provide gap closers. Despite its simplicity, I find more satisfaction in playing other caster classes. However, Summoner’s straightforwardness makes it accessible and capable of dealing reliable damage quickly.

Summoner’s Role in Early Levels

At lower levels, Summoner stands out as exceptionally powerful, especially evident in level 70 ultimates where its damage output seems almost unbalanced. The dual benefit of leveling Scholar simultaneously enhances its appeal, offering both a DPS and healer role through one leveling process.

Summoner’s Weaponry and Aesthetics

One downside is Summoner’s primary weapon—a book, which might seem less exciting compared to more traditional fantasy weapons like greatswords. While there are some visually interesting books, such as one that’s see-through on one side, they may not appeal to everyone. Personally, I prefer more conventional weapons.

Personal Evaluation of Summoner

For me, Summoner ranks in D tier because it feels too simplistic and sometimes more akin to a Fizz ranged than a true caster. The job could benefit from additional complexity to match its caster designation. As Dawn tril approaches, there might be changes that could shift this perspective.

Overview of Red Mage’s Dual Cast System

Red Mage, one of my favorite jobs in the game, features a unique dual cast system. Whenever you cast a spell, your next cast is instant. This allows you to chain a short spell with a 2-second cast time into a long spell with a 5-second cast time without actually having to wait out the longer cast. Therefore, you should always transition from a short spell to a long one because they become instant—this includes utility spells like resurrection and healing.

Red Mage’s Combat Dynamics

Red Mage operates somewhat inversely to Ninja; while Ninja is typically melee with some ranged burst abilities, Red Mage performs most of its normal moves casting spells at range, then engages in melee during its burst phases. With the dual cast system, Red Mage offers significant mobility, allowing movement during those instant cast windows. This job has many casts, which I enjoy, in contrast to Summoner which often doesn’t feel like a true caster.

Red Mage’s Strategic Gameplay and Utility

Red Mage excels in building up black and white mana gauges. Once either gauge reaches 50, you can engage in a melee combo to expend the built-up mana, ideally timed for your burst windows. Red Mage provides substantial party utility with a unique magic barrier for extra mitigation, a party buff, and a personal buff, making it a versatile contributor in any team.

Assessment of Red Mage’s Gameplay Appeal

Red Mage combines excellent gauge management with enjoyable movement and effective melee combos, though it may not deal as much damage as Black Mage. Its damage output is roughly on par with Summoner but excels in style and fun, potentially making it the most enjoyable caster to play. Red Mage’s stylish and dynamic approach offers a lot of engaging gameplay options, making it a standout choice for those who appreciate an active and visually appealing caster role.

Advanced Combos with Red Mage

Here, we’re going to get a double melee combo under our buffs, which is an excellent tactic for maximizing output. Occasionally, we’re able to achieve a triple melee combo, which really showcases the job’s versatility. Red Mage’s backflip adds a flashy, yet risky, element to its repertoire—similar to Dragoon. Just be careful not to backflip off the arena, a mistake that can prove fatal. Fortunately, you have the option to choose whether to execute the backflip or remain in place, providing flexibility in your movements.

Summoner’s Unique Utility

Summoner stands out among casters with its access to infinite raises and heals on demand, which can often save runs more effectively than other casters, especially compared to Black Mage. While Summoner’s raise isn’t as accessible as Red Mage’s, it still enhances its utility significantly. This job, with its fun and flashy style, is an easy S-tier for me due to its versatility and utility in group settings.

Black Mage: High Risk, High Reward

Black Mage is currently the highest damaging job in the game, surpassing even Samurai. It’s also considered the hardest job to play, with a very high skill ceiling. Playing Black Mage can be quite polarizing; you’re either top damage or you’re struggling significantly, wishing for a different role. The technical aspects of its rotation involve a lot of precision, but it also allows for creative flexibility with techniques like transpose.

Mastering Black Mage’s Rotation

The main goal for Black Mage is to cycle between spending mana in Fire mode and regenerating it in Ice mode. The rotation is straightforward but executing it effectively during combat can be challenging. It involves big explosions, managing a DOT, and using Lay Lines for strategic positioning. You can place these on the ground to teleport to and from party members or back to your Lay Lines. The job requires significant planning and practice. Knowing the fight well is crucial to decide when to plant yourself for casts and when mobility is necessary. Triple Cast is another key ability, offering three consecutive instant casts, which enhances your flexibility during fights.

Mastering Black Mage

Black Mage can be a challenging job, but mastering it is possibly the most satisfying experience in the game. There’s something uniquely rewarding about being in the right place at the right time, planting yourself, and casting your spells just where needed. When you execute correctly, the feeling of dealing insane damage is unmatched. Black Mage offers nearly limitless skill expression, where you constantly learn new ways to tackle fights.

Black Mage’s Build Flexibility

Black Mage is one of the few jobs in the game that still allows for different builds through gearing. You can optimize for spell speed to cast faster, or choose to focus on critical hits for more potent damage at a slightly longer cast time. This flexibility adds a layer of strategic depth that keeps the gameplay engaging and varied.

The Joy of Playing Black Mage

Playing Black Mage is fun, especially when pressing Fire IV repeatedly. It feels like being a powerful turret, just standing there and pumping out massive damage. It’s one of those classic jobs in the game that, when executed well, provides a profoundly satisfying gameplay experience. Although I don’t play this job enough, I recognize it as an S-tier job for its depth and the rewarding end game it offers.

Black Mage Leveling Experience

While Black Mage’s leveling experience is less enjoyable, with the rotation changing every 10 levels, the challenge keeps things interesting. Once you reach endgame, however, the job feels perfect. If you find yourself in lower-level content, you might prefer to switch to a different job, but at endgame, Black Mage shines, making any earlier struggles worthwhile.

Introduction to Warrior

We’ve now made it to the tanks, starting with Warrior. This might be a hot take, but Warrior is probably my least favorite of the tanks. Known for its identity centered around getting angry and smacking things with an axe, it performs its role effectively. If that’s your style, then enjoying the feel of pressing Fel Cleave back to back will certainly appeal to you.

Warrior’s Gameplay and Utility

Warrior offers enjoyable gameplay with abilities like Primal Rend and three gap closers, allowing for dynamic movement uncommon among tanks. It also provides robust healing abilities and good mitigation, including party shields with Shake It Off and increased HP through Thrill of Battle. Despite its simplicity, Warrior’s ease of use can be a significant advantage, similar to the appeal of Summoner for new players seeking an accessible yet effective tanking experience.

Warrior as a Starter Tank

If you’re just trying to learn how to tank, Warrior is an excellent choice that starts at level one, alongside Paladin. You really can’t go wrong with Warrior. It also has the shortest cooldown on its invulnerability skill of all the tanks in the game, which proves extremely useful even at endgame, allowing more frequent invulnerability than other tanks.

Warrior’s Consistent Burst and Self-Healing

Warrior’s burst is consistent and gauge-based; you simply save up a bit of gauge for your burst without overcapping. Additionally, Warrior has an instant heal with Equilibrium, allowing you to heal yourself on demand. Blood Wedding, another self-healing ability, is particularly effective in dungeons. When used during an AOE pull, it provides significant healing with every hit, almost eliminating the need for a healer.

Pros & Cons of All 19 Jobs in FFXIV - Quick Overviews and Tier List - (3)

General Appeal of Warrior

Warrior is straightforward and reliable, offering great healing and damage capabilities. It’s just not my favorite; I find other tanks more enjoyable. Therefore, I’m going to rank it in the C tier. However, it’s by no means a bad tank and could easily be considered S tier if you appreciate its style and gameplay. It’s always beneficial to have a Warrior in the party.

Introduction to Paladin

Next up for the tanks, we have Paladin, the classic sword and shield knight in shining armor. This is another tank that you can start from level one. Paladin plays similarly to Warrior but has its unique features.

Paladin’s Utility and Special Abilities

Paladin offers a damage buff and some ranged abilities. Notable abilities include Passage of Arms, which creates a protective barrier that your party can hide behind, and Divine Veil, a significant party shield. Its invulnerability skill makes you completely impervious to damage but has the longest cooldown in the game at seven minutes.

Paladin’s Ranged Capabilities

A major highlight for Paladin is its ranged attacks. Its main burst can unleash the entire Confiteor combo and Holy Spirits from a distance. While Paladin has fewer gap closers than Warrior, the flexibility of its ranged attacks can be a game-changer, especially if you find yourself disengaged from the boss. After your basic one-two-three combo, you get an instant cast option, but you can always choose to slow cast it instead.

Paladin’s rotation is straightforward and simple, making it a reliable choice for players new to tanking or those who appreciate a classic, defensive playstyle with the versatility of ranged attacks.

Paladin’s Unique Healing Capability

Paladin stands out among tanks with Clemency, an on-demand heal. This can be crucial in situations where, for instance, your healer is incapacitated during a dungeon boss fight, allowing you to heal your party members. While Warrior also has robust self-healing, healing party members can be more challenging with it. Using Clemency too frequently can lead to MP management issues, but typically, this isn’t a concern unless overused.

Paladin’s Defensive and Offensive Utility

Besides its healing capabilities, Paladin also offers Cover, a very situational ability that allows you to absorb damage intended for a party member. This can lead to strategic plays and can be highly rewarding, though it’s not always useful. Paladin’s long invulnerability cooldown can be limiting, but overall, the tank is well-rounded, offering good damage and utility. All tanks in the game are fairly balanced, making it easy to switch between them.

Paladin Compared to Other Tanks

Compared to Warrior, I find Paladin more enjoyable, especially with its ranged spells and flashier effects. For these reasons, I place Paladin in the B tier. It represents a good middle ground among tanks. However, there are two other tanks I prefer, which we’ll discuss next.

Introduction to Gunbreaker

Next on our list for tanks is Gunbreaker, which I find particularly interesting due to its DPS focus. Gunbreaker has a more complex DPS rotation where you build up cartridges with your one-two-three combo. These cartridges are then used to unleash big, flashy Gunblade abilities.

Gunbreaker’s Gameplay Complexity

Gunbreaker requires more weaving of actions compared to other tanks, especially when managing movement, boss pulling, or integrating mitigation for tank busters and tank swaps while also executing damage spells. This can make the gameplay feel intense and sometimes overwhelming, but also more engaging than the previous two tanks discussed.

Gunbreaker’s Appeal to DPS Players

As a DPS main, I find Gunbreaker’s intricate rotation more appealing. However, those new to tanking might find it a bit cumbersome. Gunbreaker stands out with its flashy, explosive Gunblade effects and sleek weaponry and outfits. The job’s invulnerability skill drops your health to 1 HP but grants invulnerability for 10 seconds, during which time healing is up to the healer to manage.

Gunbreaker’s Defensive and Offensive Capabilities

Gunbreaker also features a shield that activates when you drop below 50% HP, enhancing survivability. It offers the same mitigation tools as other tanks but with a busier damage rotation, making it an exciting choice if you prefer a more active tanking style. Starting at level 60, it’s not suitable for brand new tank players but is incredibly rewarding once you’re familiar with tanking fundamentals.

Placing Gunbreaker in Tank Rankings

I enjoy playing Gunbreaker a lot and rank it in the A tier due to my preference for busy rotations and more DPS-focused tank roles. For those seeking a simpler tanking experience, Warrior and Paladin might be better options due to their easier handling and less intense gameplay demands.

Introduction to Dark Knight

Dark Knight might be considered the squishiest tank, often requiring careful management of MP and offering limited self-healing. Its rotation is the busiest among tanks, but it compensates with a cool Greatsword and stylish, edgy spell effects.

Dark Knight’s Complex Gameplay

Despite being busy, I don’t find Dark Knight’s gameplay too complex. The key is to manage your Mana efficiently and avoid overcapping your gauge. Dark Knight requires more effort to deal damage compared to other tanks but is equally balanced in terms of damage output.

Dark Knight’s Unique Abilities and Mitigation

Dark Knight’s mitigation includes The Blackest Night (TBN), which costs Mana to create a shield on yourself or a party member. If the shield breaks, it refunds the Mana cost, allowing you to reallocate it for damage. Additionally, Dark Knight’s Living Dead is a notable invulnerability skill that offers unique tactical advantages during combat.

Overall, Dark Knight provides an engaging and rewarding experience for those who enjoy an active, management-heavy playstyle. Its potential for damage and strategic mitigation makes it a standout choice, though it may require a steeper learning curve than other tanks.

Dark Knight’s Unique Invulnerability Mechanic

Dark Knight features a notably complex invulnerability mechanism known as “Living Dead.” When activated and your health reaches zero, you gain the “Walking Dead” status, making you completely invulnerable and allowing your global cooldowns (GCDs) to have a life-steal effect. However, you must be healed to full health before the effect expires, or you will die. This makes it the trickiest invulnerability skill to use but adds to the job’s interactivity.

Dark Knight’s Engaging Gameplay

Dark Knight requires active management of MP and a busy DPS rotation, which can be more demanding than other tanks. For players who enjoy a more involved playstyle, the complexity of Dark Knight’s mechanics—combined with its aesthetics like the iconic greatsword—make it exceptionally rewarding. While it demands more strategic thinking and management, these elements contribute to a satisfying experience if you prefer a hands-on tanking role.

Personal Preference and Tank Ranking

Personally, I find Dark Knight to be my favorite tank due to its engaging gameplay and aesthetic appeal, earning it an S-tier in my book. However, it’s important to note that the distinction between S-tier and C-tier among tanks is minimal, as all tanks perform excellently and have their unique strengths. My rankings are based on personal preference and playstyle compatibility, not necessarily on overall job efficacy. Each tank has its merits, so the best choice depends on what aspects of gameplay you value most.

Starting with White Mage

White Mage is the only healer available from the start of the game and is arguably the simplest to master in terms of raw healing output. Known as the king of pure healing, White Mage allows you to focus predominantly on healing, with a straightforward damage rotation mainly consisting of repeatedly casting “Glare.”

White Mage’s Healing Capabilities

In addition to its primary damage abilities, White Mage excels with a range of healing tools. It features potent heals-over-time, instant healing spells, and significant mitigation effects like Temperance, which enhances healing potency and provides damage mitigation. The job’s unique ability, “Asylum” (referred to as the bell), emits healing pulses when damage is taken and delivers a burst of healing when activated or when its duration ends. Coupled with “Assize,” a powerful AOE heal that also deals damage, White Mage offers both healing potency and utility, making it an excellent choice for those new to healing or preferring a straightforward healer role.

White Mage’s Healing and Damage Capabilities

White Mage offers a robust toolkit for both healing and damage. It features a significant heal-over-time within its big bubble heal, effective for anyone inside it. Additional shields and personal mitigation options are available, such as a shield for the tank during incoming tank busters. Presence of Mind accelerates casting times during bursts, and Benediction provides a crucial single-target heal, ideal for tank invulnerabilities or emergency situations.

White Mage’s Lily Gauge Mechanics

The Lily Gauge is a unique aspect of White Mage, allowing for single-target or party-wide heals. After using three such heals, you gain access to Afflatus Misery, a massive attack with a potency of 1240, which can be enhanced further under buffs. This makes White Mage not only a formidable healer but also capable of delivering significant damage.

General Assessment of White Mage

White Mage is a solid, reliable pick for any healer, especially for those new to the role. It is easy to manage and provides straightforward, potent healing capabilities. While it lacks extensive mitigation options, its simplicity and effectiveness make it a go-to choice for many players. However, due to its straightforward nature, some may find it less engaging compared to other healing jobs.

Personal Ranking and Comparison with Other Healers

Personally, I find White Mage a bit on the boring side, so I place it in the C tier. This ranking reflects my preference for more dynamic gameplay, which other healers might offer. However, for new players or those tackling challenging content for the first time, White Mage’s straightforward approach can be exceptionally advantageous, making it arguably the best choice for those conditions. It excels in delivering reliable healing easily, making it an excellent healer overall, just not my favorite.

Introduction to Astrologian

Next, we have Astrologian, another pure healer that’s currently poised for a rework in the upcoming Dawn Dril expansion. Its future changes are unknown, but as it stands, Astrologian is considered the most challenging healer to master due to its complex array of buffs and timed healing spells.

Astrologian’s Gameplay and Visual Appeal

Astrologian is notable for its flashy and aesthetically pleasing spell effects, which are compelling reasons to play the job on their own. While its damage spells are similar to those of White Mage, Astrologian offers additional versatility such as targeted AOE options. The complexity of managing its diverse toolkit adds depth and engagement to its gameplay, setting it apart as a uniquely challenging and rewarding healer to master.

Complexity of Astrologian’s Abilities

Astrologian stands out with its unique card system, which involves drawing cards and distributing them to party members appropriately during buffs or bursts. This can be tricky as you need to give melee or ranged cards to the correct party member at the right time. Astrologian is considered one of the busiest jobs in the game due to the need to effectively weave these cards into your rotation.

Astrologian’s RNG Elements

Astrologian’s gameplay involves a significant RNG component with its card system and the Lord of Crowns play, where outcomes can vary between a heal or damage effect, adding unpredictability. Additionally, for a full-power personal buff, Astrologian players must collect three different seals (moon, crescent moon, or sun), which can be frustrating when the desired seals don’t appear.

Mitigation and Healing Power of Astrologian

Despite its complexity, Astrologian offers strong mitigation and healing capabilities, making it capable of solo healing in many scenarios. Its buffs are among the strongest in the game, though it generally does less personal damage compared to other healers. The choice between Astrologian and White Mage often depends on the player’s preference for more straightforward healing or a more involved, strategic gameplay.

Personal Preference and Ranking of Astrologian

For those who enjoy an engaging playstyle, Astrologian may be the most rewarding healer. It offers a significant challenge with a higher learning curve, but mastering its systems can be incredibly fulfilling. I rank Astrologian in the S tier for its engaging gameplay and the potential to keep a player alert and focused during extended play sessions. If you prefer straightforward healing, White Mage might be better, but if you’re up for juggling various elements like cards, buffs, shields, and timed heals, Astrologian offers a more complex and satisfying experience.

Introduction to Shield Healers: Scholar

Next, we turn to the shield healers, starting with Scholar. This role introduces another layer of healing strategy, focusing on preemptive damage mitigation rather than just reactive healing. Scholar’s gameplay will be discussed further as we explore how it compares to the other healers and its unique contributions to a healing team.

Pros & Cons of All 19 Jobs in FFXIV - Quick Overviews and Tier List - (4)

Scholar and Its Relationship with Summoner

Scholar is intrinsically linked with Summoner as leveling one also progresses the other due to their shared class system. Both jobs utilize a book as their weapon. Unlike Summoner’s carbuncle, Scholar summons a fairy to assist in battles. This fairy not only contributes passive healing but also enhances Scholar’s overall utility in group settings.

Unique Abilities and Fairy Mechanics of Scholar

A significant aspect of Scholar’s gameplay revolves around the active and passive healing abilities provided by the fairy. This includes automatic healing which can be particularly beneficial during intensive combat sequences. Scholar is known for its excellent mobility and instant-cast area-of-effect spells, making it highly effective during dungeon pulls.

Scholar’s Versatile Spell Kit

Scholar’s main damage spell is Broil, similar to the primary spells of other healers but with a casting time. An interesting addition to Scholar’s arsenal is Ruin II, a slightly weaker but instant version of Broil, allowing for continuous damage output while moving. Chain Stratagem, another key ability, debuffs enemies to increase their susceptibility to critical hits, enhancing overall group damage.

Dynamic Resource Management with Aetherflow

Aetherflow is central to Scholar’s gameplay, providing three stacks that can be used for various abilities, balancing between damage and healing. Options include Sacred Soil for shielding, Indomitability for direct healing, or Energy Drain for additional damage. This flexibility allows Scholars to adapt their role between offensive and defensive play dynamically.

Strategic Use of Scholar’s Abilities

Scholar excels in offering a range of tools for damage mitigation and healing. The job allows for significant shielding, including the ability to cast critical shields and extend them to allies. Expedient, for instance, not only mitigates damage but also provides a sprint effect, enhancing mobility for the entire party. Scholar’s toolkit includes abilities that can temporarily increase a target’s health, adding an extra layer of survivability.

High-Level Play and Effectiveness of Scholar

At higher levels, the utility of Scholar’s fairy becomes increasingly prominent, taking on a more active role in maintaining the group’s health. This allows the Scholar more freedom to focus on other aspects of gameplay, such as optimizing damage output or managing complex fight mechanics. Scholar’s engaging playstyle and substantial impact in both healing and mitigating make it a compelling choice for players who enjoy a tactical approach to healing.

Comprehensive Review of Scholar’s Toolkit

Scholar excels with its versatile toolkit, providing strong mitigation and the ability to shield effectively as required. Beyond its defensive capabilities, Scholar is enjoyable due to the satisfaction derived from using abilities like Broil, which, although it has a cast time, is quite satisfying to execute. Scholar’s movement options enhance its gameplay, making it a dynamic healer.

Scholar’s Healing and Shielding Capabilities

The job offers critical shielding on demand within its cooldown limits and features Lustrate, an effective off-global cooldown (GCD) heal. This array of tools ensures Scholar can provide substantial support in various combat scenarios, combining powerful shielding with capable healing and damage abilities.

Evaluating Scholar as a Healer

Scholar’s performance as a healer strikes a good balance between effectiveness and enjoyment. It offers excellent shielding, enjoyable damage output, and beneficial movement abilities enhanced by the fairy’s assistance. While I have not played Scholar as extensively as other healers, its engaging mechanics make it a solid choice, warranting a higher tier placement in my personal ranking.

Positioning Scholar Among Other Healers

Given its capabilities, Scholar ranks as a B-tier healer for me, reflecting its status as a well-rounded option with strong defensive and offensive abilities. This ranking places it above some healers but below others, depending on individual preferences for healing style and job complexity.

Introduction to Sage as a Shield Healer

Moving on to the final healer and job class in the game, Sage stands out as my favorite shield healer due to its unique and visually appealing medical-themed abilities.

Unique Mechanisms and Style of Sage

Sage introduces a distinct healing style with its Cardia system, which functions similarly to a dancer’s partner but in a healing capacity. It passively heals the designated party member when you deal damage, making it particularly effective for maintaining tank health or assisting other party members.

Sage’s Advanced Healing and Shielding Techniques

Sage’s toolkit is filled with abilities that facilitate both healing and shielding, tying much of its functionality to a resource gauge. This gauge is crucial for managing its various capabilities, including the activation of Toxicon stacks, which are accrued when shields break and can be used for instant cast damage spells. Sage requires careful shield management to maximize its effectiveness.

Challenges and Rewards of Playing Sage

While Sage offers a plethora of shielding and healing options, the job’s complexity lies in managing its resource gauge and ensuring optimal shield usage to trigger beneficial effects. Learning to use Sage effectively involves understanding and manipulating its unique resource dynamics, providing a challenging yet rewarding experience for those who prefer a hands-on, tactical approach to healing.

Understanding Sage’s Interface and Abilities

Learning Sage starts with deciphering its interface, as the buttons can appear similar and have somewhat confusing names. This can make initial learning challenging, particularly since Sage begins at level 70, making it unsuitable for those new to healing roles. The complexity of Sage’s interface is compounded by its rich ability set.

Flexibility of Sage’s Abilities with Ukia

Sage offers a unique ability called Ukia, which allows switching between different modes of operation for your skills. This includes toggling between personal and party shields, healing, and damage abilities. By pressing Ukia, you can adapt your skills to provide either shields or heals, or switch to a damage or DOT mode, enhancing your adaptability in various combat scenarios.

Sage’s Damage and Healing Capabilities

Sage is equipped with powerful multi-functional abilities like Flegma, a high-damage ability that can be enhanced under buffs, and Pneuma, a laser beam that not only damages but also heals. Panima and Hima offer multi-shields that refresh when they break or heal when they time out, providing continuous support. This ability suite emphasizes Sage’s role in maintaining DPS while simultaneously managing healing through Cardia.

Sage’s Unique Mobility and Utility

One distinctive feature of Sage is its gap closer, the only healer with such an ability, allowing instant dashing to a target, be it an enemy or an ally. This mobility is particularly advantageous for a healer, enabling quick repositioning in the arena, essential for both offense and defense. Sage’s numerous instant casts for its shields make it adept at quickly responding to changing battle conditions, ensuring both protective and offensive capabilities are always at the ready.

Final Evaluation of Sage

Sage combines futuristic aesthetics with a dynamic and versatile healing approach, making it one of my favorite healers. It ranks highly on my tier list due to its engaging gameplay, significant damage output, and unique mobility. The ability to move quickly across the battlefield and its efficient shielding capabilities make Sage not only fun but also highly effective, deserving of its high placement among healers.

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Pros & Cons of All 19 Jobs in FFXIV - Quick Overviews and Tier List - (2024)
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