Our Warrior guide to FFXIV: Endwalker should hopefully be pretty straightforward. It’s an awfully straightforward class, after all, with mostly just a handful of buffs to consider in this latest expansion. Said buffs basically amount to more healing for the Warrior and its nearby allies. Though there are a couple of damage-dealing options as well: like the new skill Primal Rend. At its heart, though, Warrior is still about building up the Beast Gauge to unleash it in heavy-hitting attack windows. Let’s look at how that goes with our Warrior guide to FFXIV: Endwalker!
Beast Mode Engage on the Beast Gauge – Main Attack Rotations
The Warrior, like its Dark Knight sibling, has an extremely simple damage rotation. In fact, the two classes are altogether extremely similar in terms of Job gauges and damage buff management. You’ll notice a lot of crossover between this Warrior guide and its Dark Knight equivalent, if you’d like to read that as well.
Some of the biggest differences between the two classes are how they go about achieving the same ends. In this case, those ends are “building up a very simple Job gauge” and “maintaining a 10% damage combo.”
The first task is mostly achieved via the Warrior’s basic damage combo.
Base Combo: Heavy Swing (Lvl. 1) → Maim (Lvl. 4) → Storm’s Path (Lvl. 26).
The damage buff is then achieved via Storm’s Eye (Lvl. 50). This applies the appropriately named “Surging Tempest” buff, which is what increases your damage by 10% — when you include it as part of the proper combo, of course. Luckily, this is almost identical to the basic combo above. Just swap out the third step!
Storm’s Eye Combo: Heavy Swing (Lvl. 1) → Maim (Lvl. 4) → Storm’s Eye (Lvl. 50).
Like other melee combinations in the game, the second and third blows of both combos do more damage if you perform the three-hit punch in order. However, Maim also increases your “Beast Gauge” by 10 points while Storm’s Path restores HP and fills the Beast Gauge by 20 per hit.
The lifestealing third attack helps out a class meant to soak up damage. That and the greater Beast Gauge gains make the first combo your usual priority. However, Storm’s Eye should be executed first. While it doesn’t provide HP and only adds 10 points to the Beast Gauge, the 10% damage buff applies to all future hits and thus should be kept up at all times. That’s easy to do, too, since every use of Storm’s Eye adds 30 seconds — up to a maximum of 60 seconds’ duration. That means you can simply use the combo whenever it falls to 30 seconds or fewer without overcapping.
Once these combos start to build up some Beast Gauge, you can expend that resource on Inner Beast (Lvl. 35) or Inner Cyclone (Lvl. 45). These upgrade to Fell Cleave (Lvl. 54) and Decimate (Lvl. 60), respectively, but the principles remain the same. Fell Cleave is for use on single targets (e.g. bosses) while Decimate is meant for groups of three or more.
One use of either skill costs 50 points from the Beast Gauge, which is exactly half of the maximum. However, at Level 66 both abilities reduce the 60-second cooldown on Infuriate (Lvl. 50) by five seconds. Infuriate, in turn, simply refills the Beast Gauge by 50 points with each use — with two charges to keep in the bank.
Dealing damage as a Warrior is just a matter of attacking, popping Infuriate, spamming Decimate or Fell Cleave to burn your bar, then popping Infuriate again that much faster. Eventually, Infuriate further upgrades Decimate and Fell Cleave to Chaotic Cyclone (Lvl. 72) and Inner Chaos (Lvl. 80). These once again deal more damage but otherwise function the same, further encouraging you to use one or the other after Infuriate.
To help recharge Infuriate further is Inner Release (Lvl. 70), a signature Warrior skill that should also be familiar to other tanks. Endwalker extends the buff ability from 10 to 30 seconds. However, it now comes with just three “stacks” you can expend on free uses of Decimate or Fell Cleave (down from about six during Shadowbringers). Inner Release also extends your Surging Tempest buff by 10 seconds (down from 15 with this expansion).
The tradeoff is that Inner Release has had its cooldown slashed by 30 seconds. These are precisely the same changes made to Delirium on Dark Knight, which functions almost identically.
Opening Up a Can of Chaos (with a Good Opener)
As a tank, you nearly always start a battle with your ranged attack. In this case, that’s Tomahawk (Lvl. 15). This is the Warrior’s “attention-grabber,” used to draw targets close to the party when you “main tank” (i.e. when you’re the tank who draws a boss to them, using your Enmity generating skill Defiance (Lvl 10), and take damage in place of the party). You also spam it as your only real ranged attack when standing outside of AoE attacks or doing mechanics that require you to move away from a boss.
After that, you should always strive to activate Surging Tempest via Storm’s Eye before doing anything else. You want that 10% damage boost before doing any serious work. Once that’s in place, you can start following up with longer cooldown skills to get them, well, cooling down. The sooner you use any skill that takes time to recharge, the sooner you can use it again.
The rub, of course, is that this applies to Global Cooldown (GCD) weaponskills, as well. This is where “weaving” — the practice of using off-Global Cooldown skills during the roughly 2.5 seconds your GCDs are cooling down — comes into play. You want to start with a GCD, like Heavy Swing, then use an oGCD, like Infuriate.
You can find a glossary of terms like weaving and such in our FFXIV glossary!
In fact, a simple Warrior opener looks like: Tomahawk to draw aggro and bring the boss close to your allies → Infuriate to immediately fill Beast Gauge while starting to charge another Infuriate → Heavy Swing → Maim → Storm’s Eye to trigger the 10% damage boost → Fell Cleave or Decimate (which should automatically become Chaotic Cyclone or Inner Chaos) → Inner Release → Upheaval → spam Fell Cleave or Decimate.
The rest of your rotation is fairly rinse and repeat. Simply use Infuriate as often as possible to power up the two Beast Gauge burners, continue to build the Beast Gauge with your Storm’s Path combo, weave in Upheaval and then Onslaught (in that order) when they’re ready, and maintain Surging Tempest. At higher-level play, you can also pop a strength potion (for damage) or a vitality potion (for extra HP) early on, such as between Maim and Storm’s Eye.
Inner Release now also grants the GCD skill Primal Rend (Lvl. 90). This one-time-per-Inner Release super gap-closer deals more damage than either Decimate or Fell Cleave. Yet it doesn’t consume any of the stacks designated for Decimate or Fell Cleave, so you can safely add it to the end of any Inner Release combo like a normal skill. It’s also an AoE that does 70% less damage to other nearby targets. This, too, is fairly similar to the new Dark Knight skill called Shadowbringer.
The Best Defense is a Good Offense (Especially for Warrior)
Where Warrior starts to differentiate itself from other tanks this expansion is via its defensive skills. The class grows ever more self-sufficient not just through Storm’s Path, but also with changes to most of its defensive cooldowns. Nearly any skill that gave Warrior a shield or heal is simply better now. Though they focus more on regenerating health than outright mitigating damage.
One exception is Rampart (Lvl. 8) which is the same old 20-second defense buff every tank has gotten for years. It reduces 20% of all damage you receive during that time, but takes 90 seconds to cooldown. Besides its relatively long recast timer, it’s one of your first lines of defense against serious damage.
Raw Intuition (Lvl. 56), on the other hand, actually had its damage mitigation cut in half: from 20% over six seconds to 10%. To compensate it now grants the Warrior extra healing with every weaponskill strike — not just Storm’s Path — during that time.
Equilibrium (Lvl. 58) is still an extremely potent self-heal. However, it now also slowly regenerates health for 15 seconds.
Shake It Off (Lvl. 68) previously worked by dispelling other defensive buffs (e.g. Raw Intuition). In exchange, it granted a 15% max HP shield to the Warrior and all nearby allies. Then it added an additional 2% HP barrier per buff removed. Now it… still does all of that. Only it also heals the Warrior and every nearby ally at the same time.
Similarly, Nascent Flash (Lvl. 76) functions like the reworked Raw Intuition, adding lifesteal to attacks. But it also duplicates the same heal on a target ally for eight seconds. It also causes the ally to take 10% less damage for four seconds, as well, and gives them a small barrier that blocks damage outright. Just for good measure.
Not one to be left behind, Raw Intuition later upgrades to Bloodwhetting (Lvl. 82). This is effectively a personal version of the newly designed Nascent Flash. It provides exactly the same benefits as the previous skill. The only difference is that the buffs apply to the Warrior instead of a targeted ally. Unfortunately, the skills share a cooldown timer to compensate.
The Cone is Back, but AoE Attacks Got Easier
If Warrior has a “weakness” at the launch of Endwalker, it’s dealing AoE damage. The Job deals the same, basic one-two punch against trash mobs that it has for ages — though even this got some notable improvements.
Base AoE Combo: Overpower (Lvl. 10) → Mythril Tempest (Lvl. 40).
Overpower is unchanged: it still deals damage in a limited cone before your character, rather than in a circle like similar skills — even Mythril Tempest. This has irked Warrior players for ages. The cone-shaped attack limits how quickly and easily they can damage large groups of foes to get their attention in dungeon runs. Sadly, despite all the rough edges Square Enix has sanded off in this expansion, Overpower is still its quirky self.
Though Mythril Tempest did get a nice change. The combo skill extends the duration of Surging Tempest by 30 seconds, like it did before, but circa Endwalker it can also trigger the damage buff on its own. No more needing to use a single-target combo on groups.
Mythril Tempest further generates 20 Beast Gauge per hit. It’s like a two-hit version of your single-target combo in that way, but without the healing of Storm’s Path. Otherwise, the combo mathematically works the same as on other tanks. It’s better against crowds of three or more enemies. At this point, it basically just replaces your Heavy Swing → Maim → Storm’s Path combo until you’re down to one or two enemies. Nothing else changes!
The same goes for Decimate; use it against groups of three or more instead of Fell Cleave when you need to expend Beast Gauge or Infuriate against trash mobs.
There’s also a simple new skill called Orogeny (Lvl. 86). Like the reworked Upheaval, it’s just a damage skill with a 30-second cooldown; in fact, it actually shares a cooldown with Upheaval. The difference is that Orogeny is an AoE meant for (you guessed it) groups of three or more.
General Best Practices
The Endwalker version of Warrior is awfully flexible with all of its new healing abilities. You can easily put it in the “off-tank” role (a.k.a. the tank that doesn’t take boss Enmity and instead focuses on damage and additional enemies). Just use Nascent Flash instead of Bloodwhetting.
However, because the Job relies more on lifesteal than outright damage mitigation, you’re probably better as the main tank. In which case you want to swap out Nascent Flash for Bloodwhetting. Hewing closely to the overall simple design of Warrior, you can pretty much use Raw Intuition / Bloodwhetting at any time while main tanking.
This also means that a Warrior should stay close to the boss and keep attacking — even more so than usual of course. Luckily, Inner Release can help with that. It has a bonus effect that “nullifies Stun, Sleep, Bind, Heavy, and most knockback and draw-in effects.” Just treat this like the bonus that it is, though. Inner Release is too powerful of a damage skill to hold back just to escape a (literal) bind. Every tank already has the Role Action Arm’s Length (Lvl. 32), which also stops most knockback and draw-in effects. It’s mostly used in Savage raids and similar high-end content. However, if you learn a fight well, you might as well use it during standard boss fights where you would otherwise get pushed or pulled around.
Warrior otherwise obeys the same laws as all tanks. Your “Enmity generator” is a skill called Defiance (Lvl. 10), which just toggles a passive that makes you more attractive to enemies.
Your invincibility move, Holmgang (Lvl. 42), has the longest cooldown of all the tanks’ “invuln” skills. But it makes it impossible for Warriors to drop below one HP for eight seconds and chains a target in place for the duration.
Just be smart with Defiance if you’re not communicating with your group. If you off-tank, you can toggle the skill off so as not to confuse bosses (and your healers) by splitting aggression. If you do, though, you need to then remember to switch Defiance back on immediately if the main tank dies or needs to tap out, or if there are adds to pick up for the party.
Warrior Stat Priorities
Warrior has unique stat priorities compared to other classes.
Your general order of priority should be:
Critical Hit > Determination >= Tenacity.
First we have the old standby: Critical Hit. This not only increases the power of your crits in FFXIV, but also their frequency. The damage (and healing) from these hits also grows exponentially as you add more. It’s the favorite stat for nearly all classes for a reason.
Normally, you would then prioritize Direct Hit Rate. This “baby crit” effect semi-randomly increases your damage dealt — not healing, though. Warrior already gets guaranteed Direct Hits and Critical Hits, however, with every use of Inner Release, Chaotic Cycle, and Inner Chaos. Since these are your primary damage skills, and since Direct Hit Rate doesn’t affect Direct Hit damage like Critical Hit, it’s not necessary on this particular tank.
Determination and Tenacity are next. These are… tricky. Tenacity is the tank-only stat that makes you take less damage, deal a little more of it, and receive more healing. That all sounds well and good, but Tenacity doesn’t affect healing received from healers; only what you restore yourself. As noted above, though, Warriors restore a ton of their own HP with various skills in Endwalker. The defensive value also helps if you predominantly play main tank — especially since Endwalker is attempting to give healers smaller margins for error.
Determination might still edge out Tenacity for many players. It’s a somewhat weak boost to all damage and healing you do. That’s it! It’s also additive, unlike Critical Hit, so you don’t see nearly the same boost as the stat rises. This is why it’s typically one of the last skills to worry about on any build.
Skill Speed, in exchange for Direct Hit Rate, isn’t quite as useful for Warrior in Endwalker after its changes to Inner Release. Higher levels of the stat used to allow you to more easily use Fell Cleave and/or Decimate during the aforementioned buff. Now, Skill Speed just helps you maintain a quick, comfortable tempo of GCD skills. That’s still useful, particularly on the attack-happy Warrior. But only add as much as you feel comfortable with, while still being able to weave skills. Then move on to the rest.
The best food and potions to use change with the tides (i.e. new recipes with each patch and what you can afford from the market board or make yourself). But, generally, focus on Strength, Vitality, and that all-important Critical Hit. This has made Smoked Chicken the go-to meal by the end of Shadowbringers.
Warrior didn’t get a ton of new toys, but its existing suite of skills saw a big bump with Endwalker. Tank players often complained that the Job was too simple, too easy to get bored with over the course of Shadowbringers compared to the other tanks. Hopefully, that will no longer be the case. It now leans more heavily into a vampiric, self-sufficient identity that can also aid allies like the Dark Knight before it. And its damage-dealing skills are less punishing to use, as Onslaught and Upheaval no longer drain the Beast Gauge.
Warrior is still a solid starting point for tank players, especially if you’re just starting the game. Compared to the Paladin, the Warrior can have a huge impact with less fuss than its fellow tank available at the start of FFXIV. That’s a solid and dependable place to be, which is exactly what you want from a tank.