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Paladin Gearing and Mechanics

Paladin (PLD) is one of two tank jobs in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. Whereas Warrior’s (the other tank in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn) are a reactive, Weapon Skill laden job, PLD is proactive. WARs have a large pool of HP through Defiance which they use to soak up damage and a healing buff that helps them to waste less of their Healer’s MP. PLD does this in a different way by reducing the amount of incoming damage through a three-fold system. Firstly, there’s Shield Oath a skill that all PLDs come to know and love, it provides (as of patch 2.1) a +100% (x2) enmity boost while at the same time lowering Damage Received by 20% and lowering Damage Dealt by 20% as well. What this means is that a Paladin will deal -20% of their usual damage when attacking but also take -20% of their usual damage, and that damage reduction applies to nearly every single attack in the game. The only known exception is that of the Tonberry King’s Everybody’s Grudge attack in the Wanderer’s Palace which is not possible to mitigate with any ability save Hallowed Ground.

This article will outline the mechanics of PLDs for Advanced Tactics and Play and anybody looking for a primer on PLD should instead go to the Armoury Section and inquire within as to the Job links where PLD has its own page and Primer / Analysis. This is an article intended for those that already know the basics and have, at minimum, a fundamental grasp on the job. As with WAR we’ll go ahead and list a Best in Slot gear list and then go about breaking down the stats that revolve around it and ultimately why the set is either good or bad. This section is NOT for listing an already worked and approved Best in Slot and the Best in Slot is only meant to be used for the purpose of working out the various functions and mechanics behind PLD so that we can get an understanding and have a baseline by which we can express our formula to acquire proper data.

Proposed Best in Slot List

 Weapon: Allagan Blade
Shield: Holy Shield +1 / Allagan Round Shield
 
Head: Allagan Helm
Body: Valor Surcoat
Hands: Valor Gauntlets
Waist: Allagan Plate Belt
Legs: Valor Cuisses
Feet: Heavy Allagan Flanchard
 
Neck: HQ Gryphonskin Choker [8Vit | 6Par | 6Par | *6Sks/Crit | 2Vit]
Ears: HQ Rose Gold Ear Screws [8Vit | 6Par | 6Par | *6Sks/Crit | 2Vit]
Wrists: HQ Gryphonskin Wristbands [8Vit | 6Par | 6Par | *6Sks/Crit | 2Vit]
Ring: HQ Gryphonskin Ring [8Vit | 6Par | 6Par | *4Dtr/Crit | 2Vit]
Ring: HQ Gryphonskin Ring [8Vit | 6Par | 6Par | *4Dtr/Crit | 2Vit]
 
 
Base Stats (w/o Food & PT Bonus):
Def/Mdef: 758 (-33.35% Mitigation)
HP: 6,258
Strength: 406 (Edit: No longer necessary for stat reallocation or Melee party member w/ i95 update to Allagan Blade)
Dexterity: 238 (Partying w/ BRD pushes this to 245, giving +2% Parry & +2% Block Rate)
Block Mitigation: -28%
Block Rate: ~27%
Parry: 581 ~28% (Effective Parry: ~20% due to Blocking taking priority)
Accuracy: 467
 
 
•	Food: Finger Sandwiches
HP: 6,388
Parry: 598 ~29.56% (Effective Parry: ~21%)
Accuracy: 476
 
 
Pros
 
•	Highest mitigation
•	Sufficient Accuracy, can be made higher w/ inclusion of Allagan Shield if need be
•	Harder hits make hate generation even easier
 
Cons
 
•	Loses ~362HP to gain higher mitigation
 

The Truth About Shield Oath and Sword Oath

As of Patch 2.1 Shield Oath has a 2x multiplier for enmity, this means that all abilities have a doubled efficacy (sans Provoke) when used under Shield Oath. Flash being the most noticeable boost due to its lack of damage but high Enmity potency. However Weapon Skills and any damaging abilities in truth only have a 1.6x Enmity Multiplier. This is because Shield Oath lowers the damage dealt by 20% resulting in a 0.8x potency for all damaging skills, this is then doubled resulting in a 1.6x total Enmity Potency for all actions. So effectively all damage is multiplied by 1.6x, or in the case of skills with Enmity Modifiers such as Savage Blade, Rage of Halone and Shield Lob you can simply multiply the Enmity Modifers together. Savage Blade’s 2x Enmity Modifier becomes 3.2x, Rage of Halone’s 5x Enmity Modifier becomes 8x and so on in that fashion. Which means an attack that deals 100 damage under Rage of Halone WITHOUT Shield Oath would provide 500 points of Enmity, the very same attack WITH Shield Oath would provide 800 points of Enmity.

The fact that Sword Oath keeps damage at 100% provides an equivalent 1.2x Enmity Modifier compared to Shield Oath as each attack deals 20% more damage than Shield Oath would do. This by itself would not be much of a problem as Shield Oath would be able to easily outpace the damage of Sword Oath. However as of Patch 2.1 Square Enix sneakily added a +50% Enmity Modifier to Sword Oath’s additional damage to Auto Attacks. This is currently unknown if it is a bug or intended as it wasn’t included in the patch notes and hasn’t been added to any official description of Sword Oath, additionally this was not the case in the release of the game, 2.0.

Sword Oath provides a 50 potency additional damage onto Auto Attacks. And seeing as PLDs Auto Attack potency is generally fairly low (rough 80-90 potency based on weapon / stats at end game) Sword Oath’s additional damage ends up being in the neighborhood of +60% or more of the original damage. This gives a relatively big boost to auto-attack damage and therein boosting enmity as each point of Damage in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is equivalent to one point of Enmity. This means that on average a PLD under Sword Oath will be dealing a 100% strength auto-attack as well as a 60% bonus additional attack which itself carries a 50% bonus to Enmity. Compared to Shield Oath which reduces damage to 80% for an additional attack the Enmity Modifier of an Auto Attack under Sword Oath is already technically at 1.2x. Add in the 60% or +0.6x damage from the added effect of Sword Oath and we would arrive at Auto Attacks that deal 1.8x Enmity of normal (normal being Shield Oath’s damage sans the 2x enmity modifier). But that 60% has a 50% ADDITIONAL enmity modifier, for reasons I cannot completely fathom. So for example: a PLD does a swing of 100 damage, with 60 additional damage for a combined total of 160 damage, normally that’d be the end of it but with the 50% Enmity Modifier on the added damage that 60 is multiplied by 1.5 resulting in an enmity of 90. So the total attack grants 190 Enmity.

Auto Attacks occur at intervals specifically outlined on the weapon and occur regardless of Casting, movement (so long as the target remains within a 90 degree frontal arc) or use of Weapon Skills. Auto Attacks are completely independent and thus make up from 25-35% of the total damage of any class, particularly PLD who has among the fastest Auto Attacks due to their single handed weapon. This means that while Sword Oath doesn’t directly modify the damage of their Weapon Skills (they still have a technical 1.2x modifier due to the 20% additional damage versus Shield Oath however) nearly 30% of their total Enmity Income (from Auto Attacks) is 1.9x Enmity Modified which is nearly 30% greater than Shield Oath’s 1.6x Enmity Modifier for Auto Attacks. This helps to explain why it can be difficult for a PLD or WAR to completely keep hate off an off tank who is under Sword Oath and constantly spamming their Enmity Combo (which unfortunately also happens to be their strongest chain).

VIT vs. PAR vs. DEX vs. STR

As a PLD VIT is important to us as it increases our HP and by doing so increases a PLD’s capability to survive. Make no mistake, even with the hefty mitigating prowess of PLD, they still take a very large amount of damage. VIT provides 14.5 points of HP per single point of VIT and as such provides a large amount of resilience to damage. PAR, or Parry increases the rate at which a PLD can Parry with their sword, each point of PAR is equivalent to a 0.076% increase in Parry Rate. It does not unfortunately affect Shield Blocks as the description outlined in Beta. The problem with Parry is that Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn utilizes what’s known as a “Rolling Table” for factoring in hits. This was largely covered in the “Stats” section of this wiki seen here: Final Fantasy XIV - Stats

What this means is that there are priorities for particular actions, based (thankfully) entirely on how much damage they avoid or mitigate. The stronger the mitigation the higher priority it has. And so because Evasion has the highest mitigation (100%) it goes first. Which means if you evade then there’s no way you can Parry or Shield Block. Next on the list is Shield Block which by all rights (unless utilizing a Buckler / Small shield) is the next strongest mitigating force and if a PLD Shield Blocks they cannot Parry. This is very key to understanding because a Parry could have potentially happened during that Shield Block, if that particular Shield Block did not proc. I realize it can be somewhat confusing but the short of it is for a PLD, Parry Rate is directly reduced by the amount a PLD can Shield Block. As outlined in the Stats section, (which includes the formula for Parry and Shield Rate & Shield Block as well) we can find out Adjusted Parry Rate by multiplying the known Parry Rate by our known Shield Block Rate.

Parry

Using the above example for Best in Slot we can work out how much (with food) the PLDs Parry Rate and Shield Block Rate are and go from there. We know that Holy Shield Zenith has a Block Rate of 181, so using the formula provided in: Final Fantasy XIV - Stats (Under Parry Adjustment Formula) we can discern that the PLD in the above example of a Best in Slot gearset will have a 27.85% Shield Block Rate. Again from the same exact place we can plug in the Parry Rate into the formula and we get a Parry Rate of 31.53%. Expressing these both as decimals to be easier to work with we can plug them into the Parry Rate Adjustment Formula outlined in: Final Fantasy XIV - Stats

Parry Rate Adjustment for Best in Slot Example

 0.2785 x 0.3153 = 0.0878 

This gives us our Parry Rate Adjustment of 8.781%. Reducing our “Raw” Parry Rate by this amount we arrive at our Adjusted Parry Rate of 22.75%. This provides us with a number we can work with similar to how we did in the Final Fantasy XIV Advanced Tactics - Warrior Mechanics and Analysis for Advanced Players article. We know that our Parry will be a 25% mitigation based on the Strength displayed and therefore be weighted slightly higher than the WAR counterpart. Pulling the formula for figuring out the strength of Parry we arrive at the following:

 0.25 x 0.00076 = 0.00019 

This gives us an Effective HP increase / Total Mitigation Value of Parry for PLD at 0.019%. Using the above example we’ll lowball the total HP to a nice round 6,500 with food and party buffs it should be approaching 6,600 but it’s best to be conservative (refer to: Final Fantasy XIV Advanced Tactics - Warrior Mechanics and Analysis for Advanced Players for always assuming “Worst Case Scenario”). This makes one point of PAR equal to 1.235 points of HP.

HOWEVER, and please pays attention here; this is not our final value! This is simply because adding Parry does not DIRECTLY increase Parry Rate and as such is still subject to the reduction from Shield Block Rate. This is where things get tricky and a bit hard to follow. Each case will end up being different unfortunately, varying based on the Shield Block Rate of the PLD in question. Because Parry takes a hit of 8.78% we have to reduce the amount of Effective HP Parry provides commiserate to the amount Parry Rate is reduced in order to keep the values true. If not, we’re falsely inflating PAR’s Effective HP capability by pretending that Parry Rate is not reduced by Block Rate. And so we take 1.235 and subtract 8.78% arriving at our Adjusted Parry Effective HP Gain of: 1.126. Quite a bit lower, a full tenth of a HP in fact. But this is the true strength of Parry per point on a PLD.

Now, in order to see how much of an improvement DEX provides we need to determine how many points of Parry it takes for Parry Rate to increase a single percentage point, then we multiply that amount by the Effective HP Gain of Parry to determine how much a single DEX tier grants in terms of Effective HP. This will help us later on to see if missing out on 5 VIT is truly worth it or not per jewelry piece as the Best in Slot example at the start of this article assumes. Keep in mind that the DEX tier affects BOTH Parry and Shield, as does the STR from the items and we’ll need to combine all those Effective HP Values at the end to see if they match up to the full VIT / PAR build.

Each point of PAR increases Parry Rate by 0.076% therefore we can easily find how many points of PAR (it will not be a whole number) will be required to hit 1% Parry Rate Increase.

 1 / 0.076 = 13.157 

Here we can see that it takes 13.157 points of PAR to increase Parry Rate by a full %. Normally we’d have to reduce this by 8.78% with the above gear set but luckily we already did that with the Effective HP Gain Value and doing it again would skew results in another direction entirely. Instead we’ll simply multiply the Effective HP Gain of Parry (already adjusted of course) by the amount of Parry required to hit 1% Parry Rate Increase. Then we’ll have our DEX Tier Effective HP Value.

 13.157 x 1.126 = 14.814 

From this we can tell that for a SINGLE DEX tier we’re looking at an equivalent of 14.814 Effective HP. Which is slightly more than a full point of VIT would provide.

Parry Effective HP Gain on PLD

 1 Parry = 1.126 HP 
 1 Parry DEX Tier = 14.814 

Doing the same for Shield Block which we can thankfully just plug in the known values for Shield Block Rate and our Shield Block Mitigation (28% Mitigation and 0.0876% per Shield Block Rate) we get the following expression:

 0.28 x 0.000876 = 0.00024528 

This places one point of Shield Block Rate at an Effective HP Value of 0.024528% plugging that into our supposed HP of 6,500 we get an equivalent Effective HP of 1.59432 HP. Truncating that we arrive at 1.594 HP per point of Shield Block.

Taking this a step further (in order to understand how DEX functions here) we need to figure out how many points of Shield Block Rate equal one percentage increase of Shield Blocking and then we can multiply the Effective HP Value of that to determine how much 1 tier of DEX provides in the way of Effective HP.

 1 / 0.0876 = 11.415 

Here we arrive at 11.415 points of Shield Block Rate to equal a single percentage increase in Shield Blocking. Multiplying that by the amount of Effective HP Gain from a single point of Shield Block Rate and we arrive at the following:

 1.594 x 11.415 = 18.195 

This means a single DEX tier of shield Blocking provides us with an Effective HP Gain of 18.195, more than a 1.25x a single point of VIT. Combined with the amount given from Parry Rate we arrive at a total of 33.009 HP for a single DEX tier since we need to combine both functions that a DEX tier provides, which are Shield Block Rate and Parry Rate.

Shield Block Rate Effective HP Gain on PLD

 1 Shield Block Rate = 1.594 HP 
 1 DEX Tier = 18.195 HP 

DEX

As we can see from above, increasing DEX Tiers by two we arrive at just over 66 Effective HP gain, roughly 4.55 VIT worth. Or the loss of VIT from less than a single piece of Jewelry. Normally I would recite the age old adage of Effective HP and its actual use here but suffice it to say that we haven’t completely worked out all the varying factors that affect PLD and their capacity for mitigation. However, depending on the encounter, it may be better to have a higher Mitigation Rate even if the Effective HP Gain from it is weaker. This is because there is a general “buffer” there is required for a tank. If that buffer cannot be fully filled to the point that the next attack will not kill the tank, allowing for a Healer to adequately put them back into a healthy or at least reasonably safe position, any added HP (effective or no) is a waste. For example, if you have 1,000 HP and you know that a boss has a particular ability that hits you hard for 800 HP and then follows up with a 300 HP attack immediately after, you have two choices.

One, you can increase your HP through Effective HP Gains or through flat HP so that you have 1,301 or higher HP, in order to give your healers enough breathing room to get you up. Or you drop your HP to 801+ and increase other factors that assist your tanking, such as boosting your overall mitigation rate so that damage spikes less throughout the encounter, except in that one particular instance. In that way a healer is required to heal you before that next auto attack comes in but it makes the rest of the encounter smoother. And a lot of times (Twintania in Turn 5 of The Binding Coil of Bahamut in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm reborn for example) you simply cannot increase your HP to the point that you can weather that next attack and so your option may best be to increase your mitigation for the rest of the fight.

One of the most important aspects of being a Tank is to know where your limitations lie and exactly how to overcome them. But even more important than that, is knowing how to work within those limitations to get the most out of your role. In the case above, if you had no way of boosting your HP or Effective HP above 1,301 so you could guarantee you would not die and allow your healers adequate breathing room in order to keep you topped off , you would effectively be wasting your HP by increasing it through raw means such as VIT. However if you were to increase your capacity to mitigate, then you would mitigate far more over the course of the entire fight and therefore reduce the strain on your healers even more.

Of course, this works inversely too. If the amount of Effective HP through additional Mitigation isn’t that much, or at least pales in comparison to the amount of HP you can boost through direct means, then doing that will overall give you a higher Effective HP pool and allow your healer more breathing room for all but the most frantic and damaging portions of the boss fight as outlined in the example above. The above example is rare and doesn’t occur with any great frequency and so generally it is safe (even in that example) to go purely by gains in Effective HP. So long as you try to maintain the largest Effective HP Gains you can manage as a whole for your role, you will invariably be a stronger and better tank because of it.

Shield Block Strength

We know that Shield Block Strength is derived from the stat itself being multiplied by 0.0876, then added to the number of STR tiers above norm for that level, and then finally adding 10 to that as the baseline for both Shield Blocking and Parrying is a 10% rate that only grows with the additional boosting of the requisite stat. We were able to find the amount of HP equivalence with Shield Block Rate and Parry Rate, but what about the difference STR provides, or the difference Shield Block Strength provides? Due to the amount they require in which to boost the mitigation, obviously they’ll be quite a bit lower than the Effective HP Gain of the respective rates but we would be doing ourselves a disservice if we did not follow due diligence and completely quantify all the variables that make up a PLDs toolkit of Effective HP and Mitigation.

Now, it’s just a simple point of taking the amount of Effective HP Gain Percentage and adjusting the Mitigation amount one point less, then subtracting the two to find the Effective HP Gain Percentage. I realize that might be somewhat difficult to follow, so I’ll break it down step by step below. First we need to find the values for our Shield Block Mitigation and the values for Shield Block, which happen to be one and the same in this case; 0.0876% per point. Now we take that and multiply it against our known Mitigation amount, which is 28%.

 0.28 x 0.000876 = 0.00024528 

This is a value we’re already familiar with and it’s not what we’re after per se. It’s only a means to an end, so we can see the difference one rate of Mitigation plays with regard to Effective HP Gain Percentages. Whereas in the above we’d have discovered that 1 Point of Shield Block Rate would be equivalent to 0.024528% Effective HP Gain Percentage, we’re looking for the difference between 27% and 28% mitigation while keeping the value for Shield Block Rate the same. By doing so we come up with a number that is effectively one Effective HP Gain Percentage value below the above. By subtracting the new value from the old we’ll get the Effective HP Gain Percentage that corresponds to each raise in Mitigation.

 0.27 x 0.000876 = 0.00023652 

Now we take this and subtract it from the above and we come up with the following:

 0.00024528 - 0.00023652 = 0.00000876 

This equates to 0.000876% per Mitigation point. Which with keeping in line with our projected HP of 6,500 leads to 0.05694 Effective HP Gain per point of Mitigation. This, not entirely surprisingly makes Mitigation by itself rather terrible, except this doesn’t fully illustrate what’s going in, as you cannot have Mitigation by itself without Mitigation Rate. So let’s go back over the numbers by using the known value of Block Rate Strength and doing the exact same thing we’d do here except with Shield Block Rate and Shield Block Strength value. We know that Shield Block Rate is 27.85% and that Shield Block Strength is 0.0876, so we should be able to more easily find out how much each point of Shield Block Strength is worth by comparing it to the currently known Shield Block Rate. Which will give us the big picture at a sizeable Shield Block Rate.

 0.2785 x 0.000876 = 0.000243966 

This results in 0.02439% Effective HP Gain per point of Shield Block Rate, or at a HP of 6,500 as in our example, we’d have 1.585 Effective HP Gain per point of Shield Block Strength.

As it takes the same amount of Shield Block Rate as Shield Block Strength to make a whole percentage, we can skip that step and go straight to finding out how much a full Mitigation % at our Mitigation Rate will grant us in Effective HP Gains.

 1.585 x 11.415 = 18.092 HP 

We can now see that Shield Block Strength and by proxy Mitigation Strength is slightly weaker than the rate of which attacks are mitigated. Because there is no factor to increasing the Mitigation strength sans STR raising for Parry we’ll have to assume that the rate increase is roughly on par with the strength increase at around 14 points of Effective HP per single point of Mitigation increase. This gives us 32 HP per Mitigation increase, roughly the same as that for rate increase. Giving us a total of 98 Effective HP Gain for increasing Mitigation Rate 2% and Mitigation 1%. That’s roughly equivalent to 6.75 VIT. Hardly more than a single piece of jewelry would allow.

As we can see, adding DEX and STR doesn’t actually provide a massive amount of Effective HP as either takes a large amount to increase by a single percentage. The only way to tell if a piece is better than the other however is to break down the two pieces in question to their most basic levels as pertains to the job. In this instance we’ll need to break them down into Effective HP Values.

Breaking Down Items Into Effective HP Values

For this example we’ll use a bracelet. We have the HQ Gryphonskin Bracelet and then we have three options for Bracelets elsewise. These are: Allagan Bracelet of Fending, Infernal Bangle of Fending, and Hero’s Bracelet of Fending. Right off the bat we know that all five pieces of jewelry provide a 98 Effective HP Gain, now they don’t work separately as the game works in tiers for STR and DEX, but for the purposes of this exercise we’ll divide that Effective HP Gain equally across all 5 pieces of jewelry, resulting in 19.6 Effective HP per piece of jewelry.

So now we have the stats of the HQ Gryphonskin Bracelet to quantify:

It has 10 VIT and 12 Parry Melded to it, and though Skill Speed, Determination and / or Critical Hit Rate are useful, they are not directly related in any way to defensive capability for a PLD and so they’re thrown out. So four of the five melded pieces of material are all that is counted, we know that 10 VIT equates to 145 HP, and we know that each point of PAR equals 1.126 HP which has been adjusted / modified to fit with PLD’s “Rolling Table” of mitigation priorities. All that is left is to add it all together in two steps:

 1.126 x 12 = 13.512 

Now that we have the Effective HP Gain of PAR on the HQ Gryphonskin Bracelet, we add the Effective HP Gain split from all five jewelry pieces, to the HP from VIT and the Effective HP Gain from PAR:

 19.6 + 145 + 13.512 = 178.112 Effective HP Value for HQ Gryphonskin Bracelet 

Now we have Allagan Bracelet of Fending. Which has a bundle of Accuracy and not much else sadly. However it does have 15 VIT and 11 PAR which amounts to:

 15 x 14.5 = 217.5 
 11 x 1.126 = 12.386 

Added together we get a final value for the Allagan Bracelets of Fending:

 217.5 + 12.386 = 229.886 

As with WAR we can see a clear pattern developing, and that is the vast linearity of gear and how Square Enix is trying quite difficultly to hamper development of stats outside common methods of acquiring. What I mean by that is this: Square Enix is trying to prevent power creep in all ways shapes and forms. By making it so an i70 HQ piece of jewelry with a penta overmelded glut of material cannot come close to the total Effective HP of an Item Level 90 piece of jewelry, they are making sure they tightly control he ways in which a player may grow and become stronger. Whereas it may seem wise to skim off a bit of VIT for 2 tiers of DEX Mitigation Rate and 1 tier of STR Mitigation Power, it is in fact less effective than simply stacking the most VIT and PAR as you can while making sure to hit the Accuracy cap. But, regardless let us press on with our third piece of jewelry.

The Inferno Bangles of Fending swap the 16 Accuracy of the Allagan for Skill Speed, but keep the same amount of Parry (11) and VIT (15) which makes this really easy for us. From a simple standpoint of Effective HP Gain, the two are exactly equal. Which means that unless Accuracy was an issue a PLD should pick up the Inferno Bangle of Fending if those two options were their only choice, as one would give accuracy where it would go to waste and the other would give a small boost to weapon skill rate.

Next up is the Hero’s Bracelet of Fending, it swaps the 11 stat for Critical Hit Rate, something we’ll simply ignore here but it does have 15 VIT like all the other Item Level 90 jewelry AND it ups Parry from 11 to 16. Without doing the calculations we can already see that this is going to be the highest Effective HP Gain of all four, but let’s continue anyways. We already know from above that 15 VIT equals 217.5 HP and all that’s left is to find the PAR Effective HP Gain, add them together and come up with the total for the Hero’s Bracelet of Fending.

 16 x 1.126 = 18.016 

Adding the both together we get a grand total 235.516 Effective HP Gain for the Hero’s Bracelet of Fending. Ordered from best Effective HP Gain to least we have:

 Hero’s Bracelets of Fending: 235.516 Effective HP Gain 
 Allagan Bracelets of Fending: 229.886 Effective HP Gain 
 HQ Gryphonskin Bracelets: 178.112 Effective HP Gain 

As we can see the Hero’s Bracelets have a very large lead over the HQ Gryphonskin Bracelets, but only a smaller ~5 HP lead over the Allagan. Which means that if the trade in Accuracy was needed, a PLD would still be best served by going with the Allagan piece over the Gryphonskin, which has high accuracy as well.

Now that we know HQ Gryphonskin Bracelets have an Effective HP Gain of 178.112 and we know that all other crafted jewelry has the same caps on PAR and VIT, we can extrapolate that data across all 5 Over Melded pieces of jewelry and come to a total Effective HP Gain.

 178.115 x 5 = 890.575 

Now, we can go through and whittle away at that number, eventually overtaking it by utilizing better, higher Effective HP Gain items at our disposal. First is the Hero’s Bracelets of Fending, we already know this best everything else in their slot giving them a hefty 235.516 Effective HP Gain.

So at one out of five slots so far (20%) we’re already close to 26% of the total Effective HP Gain from all five crafted and over melded pieces. Which, needless to say are quite a lot more expensive than one could find anywhere else. In a way Square Enix is saving players money, but at the same time hamstringing crafters who could be using these sales to stimulate the economy. But that’s another article, for another day.

So currently we stand at:

 Total Set of Over Melded Item Level 70 Jewelry: 890.575 Effective HP Gain 
 1 / 5 Item Level 90 Jewelry: 235.516 

Now onto rings, we don’t need to look too far to find the best ones available, there are only four to choose from this time, and with two slots to fill this is a simple process of elimination. We have the Allagan Ring of Fending, providing us with 15 VIT and 16 PAR and as we know the Hero’s Bracelets had a similar feature set we can safely assume that the Allagan Ring of Fending also has the same 235.516 Effective HP Gain. That brings us to a total of 471.032 Effective HP Gain, well over half and with three slots yet to fill!

Next for the second slot Ring we have Ultima Band of Fending and Hero’s Ring of Fending, as well as Vortex Ring of Fending. However the Vortex Ring of Fending has odd stats and no PAR to be seen on it and so it is automatically rejected. We then are left with the Hero’s Ring of Fending and the Ultima Band of Fending. At first blush the Ultima Band may look better because it has 14 PAR on it, but a closer look will reveal it is missing 2 VIT and at a rate of 1.126 HP per PAR, there is no way it can compete with the 14.5 HP per VIT and so is automatically disqualified as well. And we’re left with the only option left, Hero’s Ring of Fending. Which has 15 VIT and 11 PAR, noticing a trend developing yet? You should, because the items all seem to swap around 11 and 16 values. With WAR this would require some more working to factor in Skill Speed’s Effective HP Gain, but a PLD has no benefit from Skill Speed aside from allowing them to attack faster and so they’re more simple to deal with. So to arrive out final amount for Hero’s Ring of Fending we need to only look up where we’ve already quantified a 15 VIT, 11 PAR item and copy that: 229.886 Effective HP Gain. Add that to the running total so far and we have 3 out of 5 pieces of Jewelry so far:

 Total Set of Over Melded Item Level 70 Jewelry: 890.575 Effective HP Gain 
 3 / 5 (Hero’s Bracelets of Fending, Allagan Ring of Fending, Hero’s Ring of Fending) Item Level 90 Jewelry:  700.918 

We’re just shy of a piece and a half of taking over the 5 slots of jewelry from the Best in Slot example above. Which simply goes to show that Square Enix has made very sure that there is no way a person can “cheat” the system per se and get higher mitigation / Effective HP than Square Enix expressly allows for.

Next we have the Neck pieces and the Ears. For Neck pieces we only have three options, but seeing as one of them is an Ultima piece, which is an Item Level 80 and subsequently the drop in VIT is not worth it, leaves us with only two pieces remaining. Allagan and Hero’s, a quick glace reveals similar standings as with the other pieces. Allagan has 16 PAR while Hero’s has 11 with 16 Skill Speed which means nothing. This leaves Allagan with the higher Effective HP Gain of 235.516 and an obvious winner.

 Total Set of Over Melded Item Level 70 Jewelry: 890.575 Effective HP Gain 
 4 / 5 (Hero’s Bracelets of Fending, Allagan Ring of Fending, Hero’s Ring of Fending, Allagan Choker of Fending) Item Level 90 Jewelry:  936.434 

At this point, if we were to keep the character’s fifth slot naked, it would STILL beat the Item Level 70 set for Effective HP. Let that sink in a moment before we continue onto the final slot, the Ears. Again a quick look makes short work of any mathematics or effort done on the part of us, the player. We see again that Allagan Earrings of Fending have 16 PAR while the Hero’s only has 11 and the Tremor earrings have none. Why the Tremor Earrings, and most of the Primal items at that, have no real tanking stats on them I can’t completely fathom. It’s not like PLD or WAR cannot equip Allagan Damage Dealing accessories, so there’s no need to give them Critical Hit Rate and Determination, unless they were hoping to give that over to a class that needs a chunk of HP but wanted Damage Dealing secondary and tertiary stats. Yet, I can’t help but wonder if there are far easier ways to go about doing that. As with all 16 PAR 15 VIT accessories, we’re left with a total Effective HP Gain of 235.516. Adding this to the total above we come to the final tallying of the HQ Penta Melded, Unnecessarily Expensive Item Level 70 set and the Item Lvel 90 set:

 Total Set of Over Melded Item Level 70 Jewelry: 890.575 Effective HP Gain 
 5 / 5 (Hero’s Bracelets of Fending, Allagan Ring of Fending, Hero’s Ring of Fending, Allagan Choker of Fending, and Allagan Earrings of Fending) Item Level 90 Jewelry:  1171.95 

This results in a 281.375 Effective HP Gain over the other five pieces of jewelry and they’re practically free compared to the potentially millions of gil squandered on a lesser effective set.

Now, admittedly in a perfect world you would build for the highest amount of mitigation possible, but in such a situation as this, that isn’t the case. Even with Food keeping the Best in Slot list above would cause a PLD to miss their mark on Accuracy and missing in any encounter is incredibly painful. Now a rare miss, with an Accuracy rating of 99% or higher is another issue altogether and one that is generally acceptable so long as you’re getting quite a lot of mitigation in its stead. However in this case we would need to swap out either the boots for a different pair losing 11 DTR and 6 PAR, or we could swap the bracelets and lose 5 PAR and some Critical Hit Rate. One PAR is not going to make a world of difference with the set together and waiting on an additional drop from The Binding Coil of Bahamut is a potentially long wait. As is the case, we would be best served by swapping out the Heavy Allagan Flanchard and replacing them with Valor Sollerets. It will cost more Mythology and we take a single additional point of PAR off comparatively but they would provide us with enough accuracy to never miss and we would not have to rely on waiting for a drop from The Binding Coil of Bahamut, which with as random and awkward as the loot system can be, is a very good thing. And when, or if ever the bracelets do drop, it would be a simple fix to swap those in for the Hero’s Bracelets, and swap the Valor for the Allagan, gaining 11 DTR and 1 PAR in the process.

I hope this has helped you to understand how Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn works, at least to some extent and how to better gear your PLD. Since there’s only really PAR and VIT that you can increase through gear and Mitigation / Shield Block Rate / Shield Block Strength are all static and the latter two only present on shields themselves, there’s not much room for customization or increases in efficacy by Over Melding gear. That being said the stats line up almost exactly as WAR does with the descending order of stats as follows, from strongest and most potent or important to the least potent or useless.

1. VIT: Vitality is bar none the best for PLD as it has the highest potency of HP : Stat ratio at 14.5 points of HP for a single VIT. 2. PAR: The second strongest stat for PLD, equivalent to 1.126 points of HP per PAR, it is at least an order of magnitude weaker than VIT. 3. DEX: Third strongest stat for PLD but so small it might as well not be used as it’s nigh useless in the grand scheme of things. Only when there is no access to Item Level 90 jewelry is over melding with accessories that possess DEX acceptable. 4. STR: Weaker yet than DEX but has pretty much all of the same issues. 5. Shield Block Rate, Shield Block Strength do not belong on that list because you cannot change them with gear. Only by equipping a different shield can that happen, and there is rarely, if ever, any variation enough to warrant more than an after though on the subject of Shield Strengths.

Normally this is the part where I’d list handy, easily referenced formulae or items like was done in the WAR article, but there’s no need. When choosing armor always choose VIT → Accuracy → Parry. Only enough Accuracy until the cap or near cap is hit and then stack in order of VIT then Parry. It’s remarkably simple to do and most people should quickly get the hang of it after a few minutes browsing the various items that are available. As long as accuracy is not being sacrificed below 472-475 (with food) and the items are of equivalent Item Level (in this case 90 should be exclusively sought after) then all that is left to decide is which has more Parry on it and then pick that. A very simple process I assure you and after you’ve read through all this, I am completely confident that every reader can easily and swiftly quantify their gear in terms of Effective HP Gains and see what they need to improve and the path that they would need to work towards in order to upgrade their gear while maintaining their accuracy rating but still increasing their capacity to tank. After all, a Tank’s role is of paramount importance; never jeopardize your ability to tank in any way for more mitigation or for more anything. If a Tank can’t keep hate, then it doesn’t matter if they take one point of damage.


Article By: Penguin Writer


Games | Role Playing Game


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