Take up your sword and shield once again! Warriors have wild self-healing, while Gunbreakers and Dark Knights look cool. The Paladin isn’t the flashiest tank in Final Fantasy XIV, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have anything to offer.
With Patch 6.3 the FFXIV team has fundamentally reworked the Paladin class. Some skills and spells have had their abilities changed completely, and one skill has even returned to the fold! Our standard rotation has changed; many of the same skills and spells are there, but in new spots. Most likely, it’s not enough to vastly change your hot bars, but you do need to know what buttons to press.
Paladin Patch 6.3 Skill Changes – Divine Might
Let’s start with the new buff that you’ll be managing in your rotation. Divine Might is a 30-second buff that you’ll gain when you use your standard combo enders, Royal Authority and Prominence. Divine Might causes your Holy Spirit and Holy Circle spells to have no cast times, with increased potency. Under Divine Might, Holy Spirit jumps from 350 potency to 450 potency, while Holy Circle jumps from 100 potency to all targets to 200 potency.
Requiescat — which now gives you four charges of the Requiescat buff instead of five — now also affects the Confiteor combo, meaning Confiteor, Blade of Faith, Blade of Valor, and Blade of Truth all consume a charge of the buff. Requiescat used to grant the Blade of Faith Ready buff when it ended, but now it grants a 30-second Confiteor Ready buff when you use it, unlocking the full Confiteor combo automatically.
The Divine Might addition turns Holy Spirit and Holy Circle into tools you can use more often, outside of the Requiescat spam in previous patches. Both spells become instant after your combo-enders, giving you space to use them in your rotations.
Another major change is that Fight or Flight, which used to buff physical damage by 25%, now increases all damage by 25%. This makes it useful for your spells as well. Sadly, the duration has been lowered by 5 seconds, dropping to 20 seconds.
Paladin Patch 6.3 Skill Changes – Area of Effect Combo
With Divine Might, both Holy spells are more useful. In Holy Circle’s case, it essentially extends your area-of-effect (AoE) combo with an additional ability. As an example:
- Total Eclipse > Prominence > Holy Circle
Divine Might means the Holy Circle is instant cast and as you loop back around on the combo, Holy Circle’s MP cost is refunded by Prominence’s MP gain. Add in Circle of Scorn and Expiacion and Paladin’s AoE kit is good to go.
Paladin Patch 6.3 Skill Changes – Single Target Combo
Here is where you’ll see the most changes overall. The standard Paladin loop used to be something like this:
- Royal Authority Combo (Fight or Flight After Riot Blade) > Atonement x 3 > Goring Blade Combo > Royal Authority Combo > Atonement x 3 > Requiescat > Holy Spirit x 4 > Confiteor Combo
The addition of Divine Might and the changes to Requiescat are joined by a big change to Goring Blade. The latter ability is no longer a damage-over-time attack and it no longer combos with Riot Blade. Instead, it becomes a single attack you drop in-between other combos, similar to Gunbreaker’s Blasting Zone or Warrior’s Upheaval.
These changes mean you have dropped from a rotation of three single-target combos to a rotation of two single-target combos. Holy Spirit is moved outside of Requiescat because it consumes Requiescat charges, and the Confiteor Combo is a better use of all four charges.
The erudite folks at the Balance will likely number crunch the perfect rotation quite soon, but in the meantime, an example rotation under the new system would look something like this.
- Royal Authority Combo (Fight or Flight After Riot Blade) > Holy Spirit > Goring Blade > Requiescat > Confiteor Combo > Atonement x 3 > Royal Authority Combo > Atonement x 3 > Holy Spirit
You’re still switching from the melee combo to the ranged combo, we’ve just lost one of the melee combos. You also have room to throw in single-use attacks like Circle of Scorn, Expiacion, and Intervene.
For those not at level 90, prior to receiving the additional Blade actions you’ll be using Holy Spirit to consume three of the Requiescat charges, ending with Confiteor. Prior to getting Confiteor at Level 80, you’ll be using Holy Spirit to consume all of the Requiescat charges.
Paladin Patch 6.3 Skill Changes – Defensive Actions
There’s also been a few changes to the Paladin’s defensive capabilities. Many aren’t as big as the addition of Divine Might and change to Goring Blade, but they’re still worth covering. So let’s go over which actions are changing.
Sheltron and Holy Shelltron used to block incoming attacks, but now both abilities simply reduce damage by 15%. As a flat damage reduction, this means both should now mitigate damage-over-time debuffs.
Blocking is still a part of the Paladin’s kit though, as the FFXIV team brought back Bulwark. This defensive cooldown causes the Paladin to block incoming attacks for 10 seconds. This action was previously removed, so it won’t be on your hot bars; make sure you go into “Actions & Traits” and add the ability back to your bars if you’re above Level 52.
A wonderful change was made to Divine Veil as well. The previous version of the action created a protective barrier on you and any party members within a certain area if you were healed by magic after activating it. Now, activating the action just gives you and all nearby party members the protective barrier upon activation. Combined with the healing effect you get from the Enhanced Divine Veil trait, and the changes improve Paladin’s spot as the support tank.
All in all, it doesn’t look like these changes really mess with Paladin’s spot in the Tank role. There’s a removal of the damage-over-time reliance, the addition of some combo flexibility, and the change to Divine Veil is a complete winner. In terms of a rework, it’s smaller than expected and it could’ve been much worse. It brings the Job closer in line with the other Tanks however, which may be a negative to those who prefer each Tank to feel more unique. Right now, this is just the rebuilding for the foundation, which will likely carry in Patch 7.0.