Warrior Guide

Updated for Patch 5.4

Hello, fellow axe wielders, we are Warruru Bros from The Balance discord:
– Mox Xinmagar
– Glu Kos
– Sizzy Twintails
Table of Contents

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Introduction

With this guide we hope to provide everyone with an in-depth view on one of the FINAL FANTASY XIV tanks, Warrior. As such, this guide is dedicated to people already familiar with the basics of Tank role.

For those new to Tank role as a whole, we must first refer you to this beginner tank guide, where you’ll be introduced to the basics, such as, defensive cooldowns for each tank, enmity control, tank swaps and positioning:

So You Want To Be A Tank?

If you know the basics and want to push the limits of Warrior gameplay, carry on reading.

Job Overview

On the northernmost edge of Abalathia’s Spine exists a mountain tribe renowned for producing fearsome mercenaries. Wielding great axes and known as Warriors, these men and women learn to harness their inner-beasts and translate that power to unbridled savagery on the battlefield.

Warrior is a powerhouse combining both very unique defence and offence kits.

In general, Warrior’s gameplay revolves around filling the Beast Gauge using basic combos and spending the Beast Gauge on powerful abilities. It’s a minigame of sorts where you are balancing between 0 and 100. Go too far and you’ll waste the precious Beast Gauge. Go too low and you won’t have enough Beast Gauge to use the ability when you need it.

At the same time you will have another minigame. You will pay attention to the 30-60 seconds of Storm's Eye buff timer. Losing on some Beast Gauge if you reapply the buff too early or losing damage if you forget to reapply it at all.

Don’t be afraid, there will be some time to relax during Inner Release, while doing massive damage with those powerful abilities mentioned earlier.

While other tanks rely on knowing what happens next, Warrior charges into battle without a second thought. Self mitigation combined with insane self HP recovery tools are the biggest strengths of Warrior, allowing us to quickly react and adjust to unexpected situations. A healer suddenly died and you’re all by itself with low health? No problem! We have 2 instant heals to use, we heal ourselves during Storm’s Path combo and, on top of that, we also can heal ourselves or a party member by the portion of the damage we’ve dealt to the enemy!

Remember, no man can win every battle, but no man should fall without a struggle!

IC IR IC IC Opener

Nascent Flash is free to be moved around depending on damage taken. Here it is used to teach people to use Inner Release on the 2nd oGCD slot.

Nascent Flash is free to be moved around depending on damage taken. Here it is used to teach people to use Inner Release on the 2nd oGCD slot.

Rotation (is a priority now)

  • Keep Storm's Eye up and refresh it below 15 seconds.
  • Keep Upheaval on cooldown.
  • Keep Inner Release on cooldown (fight-dependent).
  • Don’t overcap Beast Gauge.
  • As a rule of thumb, use Fell Cleave only after 70 Beast Gauge.
  • Use Storm's Path to gain as much Beast Gauge as possible.
  • Aim to use Infuriate and Inner Chaoses inside party buffs.
  • Aim to keep Infuriate below 2 stacks at all times.

Stat Priority

Crit > Comfy SkS > Det > Ten

Skill Speed Tiers

37 GCDs per 90s
  • 1015 for 2.43 GCD – Highest DPS, but requires some planning
  • 1117 for 2.42 GCD – Some breathing room compared to the one above
38 GCDs per 90s
  • 1523 for 2.38 GCD – Your average Warrior skill speed
  • 1624 for 2.37 GCD – Some breathing room for mechs and clipping
  • 1726 for 2.36 GCD – “Greeding Mechanics” levels of comfy

BiS Lists 

Refer to Warrior Overview page on this site, or The Balance discord server’s #warrior_resources

Abilities Preview

Abilities will be presented in a tabular format for easy reading.

Single Target


Heavy Swing
Standard basic attack to initiate both the Storm’s Eye Combo and the Storm’s Path Combo, consisting of Heavy Swing, Maim, Storm’s Eye and Heavy Swing, Maim, Storm’s Path respectively.

200p

GCD


Maim

320 potency if combo’d after Heavy Swing.

Adds 10 Beast Gauge.

100p

(320p combo)

GCD

+10 Gauge

Storm’s Eye

420 potency if combo’d after Maim.

Adds 10 Beast Gauge.

Grants a 10% damage buff for 30s.

Extend any existing Storm’s Eye buff by +30 seconds, up to 60s.

100p (420p combo)

GCD

+10 Gauge

+10% damage buff

Storm’s Path

420 potency if combo’d after Maim.

Adds 20 Beast Bauge.

100p (420p combo)

GCD

+20 Gauge


Fell Cleave

A big 590p hit, your main damage source and a tool to avoid over-capping the Beast Gauge.

Consumes 50 Beast Gauge.
Reduces Infuriate’s cooldown by 5s.

590p

GCD

-50 Gauge


Inner Chaos

Costs 1 stack of Nascent Chaos.

Replaces Fell Cleave on your hotbar when you have 1 stack of Nascent Chaos.

Delivers a Critical Direct hit.
Consumes 50 Beast Gauge.

Reduces Infuriate’s cooldown by 5s.

920p

Dhit crit

GCD

-NC

-50 Gauge


Tomahawk
Ranged attack with increased enmity.

140p

GCD

Area of Effect 


Overpower
130 potency to enemies in a cone in front of you. Radius 8 yalms.

130p

GCD


Mythril Tempest

200 potency to all enemies nearby you, if used after Overpower.

Radius 5 yalms.

Extends Storm’s Eye buff by 10s and adds 20 Beast Gauge.

100p
(200p combo)GCD+20 Gauge

Decimate
A big AOE hit, 250 potency per target.
Radius 5 yalms.
Consumes 50 Beast Gauge.
Reduces Infuriate’s cooldown by 5s.
250p
GCD-50 Gauge

Chaotic Cyclone

Costs 1 stack of Nascent Chaos.

Replaces Decimate on your hotbar when you have 1 stack of Nascent Chaos.

Guaranteed Critical and Direct hit.
Consumes 50 Beast Gauge.

Reduces Infuriate’s cooldown by 5s.

400p

GCD

-50 Gauge

-NC

oGCD


Upheaval

This is a single oGCD that deals 450 potency damage.

Consumes 20 Beast Gauge.

450p

30s CD

oGCD

-20 Gauge


Onslaught

Warrior’s gap-closer.

Consumes 20 Beast Gauge.

100p

10s CD

oGCD

-20 Gauge


Infuriate
Increases Beast Gauge by 50
Grants Nascent Chaos
30 seconds duration
Can stack up to 2 times

60s CD

oGCD

+50 Gauge

+NC

Utility


Inner release

Guarantees all of your attacks are Critical and Direct Hit.

Extends existing Storm’s Eye buff by +15 seconds (up to 60s).

Makes all of your attacks cost 0 Beast gauge.  Nullifies most draw-in and knockback effects 10 seconds duration.

+Crit Dhit

90s CD

oGCD


Defiance
Toggleable effect that significantly increases enmity generation.

+ 900% Enmity

10s CD

oGCD


Provoke
Places you on top of the enmity list and adds additional 2000 potency worth of enmity points (x10 in Stance) on top of that

30s CD

oGCD

+Enmity


Shirk
Redirects 25% of your current enmity onto a party member of your choice

120s CD

oGCD

-25%Enmity


Holmgang

Prevents most attacks from reducing your HP below 1 hp

Binds your target
8 seconds duration

6s dur.

240s CD

oGCD


Vengeance
Reduces damage taken by 30%.
Deals 55 potency every time you take physical damage

10s dur.

120s CD

oGCD


Rampart
Reduces damage taken by 20%.

20s dur.

90s CD

oGCD


Thrill of Battle

Increases maximum HP by 20% and restores the amount increased

Increase HP recovery by healing actions on self by 20%
10 seconds duration

10s dur.

90s CD

oGCD


Equilibrium

Heals self for 1200 potency.

60 seconds cooldown.

1200p

60s CD

oGCD


Raw Intuition
Reduces damage taken by 20%
Shares a recast timer with Nascent Flash
6 seconds duration

5s dur.

25s CD

oGCD


Nascent Flash

Grants Nascent flash to yourself and Nascent Glint to a party member

Nascent Flash: Absorbs 50% of damage dealt as HP
Nascent Glint: Reduces damage taken by 10% and restores 50% of hp absorbed by Nascent Flash
6 seconds duration
Shares a recast timer with Raw Intuition

6s dur.

25s CD

oGCD


Shake It Off

Gives a party wide, 15% of targets hp, shield.

Dispels Vengeance, Raw Intuition, Thrill of Battle and increases shield by 2% for each effect absorbed
15 seconds duration

15s dur.

90s CD

oGCD


Reprisal
Reduces target’s damage dealt by 10%.

5s dur.

60s CD

oGCD


Arm’s Length (knockback)

Negates majority of Knockback effects.

Certain attacks cannot be negated.

6s dur.

120s CD

oGCD


Arm’s Length (Slow)
Applies a Slow +20% debuff on the targets around you, increasing enemy’s cast time, attack time and auto-attack delay

15s dur.

120s CD

oGCD


Interject
Interrupts the use of some (highlighted) enemy actions

30s CD

oGCD


Low Blow

Stuns target.

Certain targets cannot be stunned.

5s dur.

25s CD

oGCD

The Beast Gauge

The Beast Gauge will be the main resource you will have to manage when playing Warrior. You will naturally accumulate the Beast Gauge during your rotation and will be able to spend it on specific skills. IT DOESN’T INCREASE CRIT ANYMORE. IT USED TO 🙁

Several actions will increase the Beast Gauge:

Maim  and Storm's Eye will increase by 10
Storm's Path and Mythril Tempest will increase by 20
Infuriate will increase by 50

Several actions can be used by spending the beast Gauge:

Inner Beast and Steel Cyclone will decrease by 50
Fell Cleave and Decimate will decrease by 50
Inner Chaos and Chaotic Cyclone will decrease by 50
Upheaval will decrease by 20
Onslaught will decrease by 20

While our crit chance increase from the Beast Gauge did get removed in 5.0, we still want to keep the Beast Gauge and Infuriate charges ready for buff windows, most notably Trick Attack. Our goal for every trick attack is to spend ideally 170 gauge, on 2 x Inner Chaos, 1 x Upheaval and 1 x Fell Cleave.

Depending on the fight, you won’t get your full burst in every trick window, but you should aim to land 1x Upheaval and 1x Inner Chaos as a bare minimum.

Abilities In-Depth Overview

Single Target

Storm’s Eye Combo

Heavy Swing
Maim
Storm’s Eye

One of your 1-2-3 combos. The goal of Warrior is to make sure Storm’s Eye is up as much as possible. Lovely 10% damage increase. Also generates 20 points of Beast Gauge (10 from Maim and 10 from Storm’s Eye).

Basic Rule is “if Storm’s Eye has less than 15 seconds left, then re-apply Storm’s Eye“. This will make sure that you don’t lose the buff. To maximize Storm’s Eye effectiveness though, it is possible to delay the application by using gauge spenders, such as Fell Cleave or Inner Chaos as a filler. 

Storm’s Path Combo

Heavy Swing
Maim
Storm’s Path

Your second standard 1-2-3 combo that generates 30 Beast Gauge (10 from Maim and 20 from Storm’s Path). The Warrior rotation aims to maximize gauge generation and minimize Storm’s Eye refreshes, so choose Storm’s Path only when Storm’s Eye buff is above 7 seconds. As such this will be the most used combo for you.

Fell Cleave

Fell Cleave

A powerful single GCD with 590 potency that can only be used while you have 50 Beast Gauge available. It is a preferred way to spend the Beast Gauge for 1-2 targets.

ALWAYS use 5 times inside Inner Release for 1-2 targets and as your gauge spender in-between Inner Releases to prevent the gauge from overcapping.

Inner Chaos

Inner Chaos. It will replace Fell Cleave on your hotbar, so it is easy to treat it in the same manner. Like Fell Cleave, Inner Chaos is a preferred way to spend the Beast Gauge for 1-2 targets. However Inner Chaos should NEVER be used inside Inner Release, since it already has the benefit of Crit Direct Hit. Try to use Inner Chaos inside raid damage buffs.

Tomahawk

Tomahawk

Tomahawk is the only long ranged skill available to Warrior. 140 potency is not the biggest damage in our kit, however Tomahawk makes it possible to attack the target in a range from 3y to 15y. 

Additional x7 enmity multiplier makes Tomahawk the strongest GCD enmity generator available on-demand for a Warrior. Don’t hesitate to use it if the target suddenly decided to run away and punch a caster in the face.

Area of Effect

Mythril Tempest Combo

Overpower
Mythril Tempest

AoE combo, not much to say.
This combo beats Heavy Swing -> Maim -> Storm's Eye / Storm's Path combo at 2 targets.

AoE Gauge Spenders

Decimate (Chaotic Cyclone)

AoE versions of Fell Cleave ( Inner Chaos) to be used for multiple targets. The AoE is centered on self. These gauge spenders beat Fell Cleave (Inner Chaos) at 3 targets.

Quick Reference

Use the chart below for quick reference during your AoE adventures:

Handy AoE Table

oGCD

Upheaval

Upheaval is just a standard damage oGCD. Use Upheaval on cooldown, it should align with buffs like Inner Release. A good visual cue for using Upheaval is looking at Inner Release’s cooldown timer: it should be used between 59-53 and 29-22 seconds. 

In reality Upheaval often lands between 58-53 and 28-22 seconds because the first second of Inner Release is used by Fell Cleave, and at times Upheaval lines up with a GCD so it has to be delayed a bit, making it drift. If Inner Release’s cooldown timer reaches under 22 seconds, replace Upheaval with a single Onslaught to reset Upheaval’s position and stabilize the Beast Gauge. You should also ALWAYS use Upheaval during Inner Release as it is a free 450 potency during the Inner Release.

Onslaught

Onslaught

Warriors’s very own gap closer. Onslaught has a short 10 sec cooldown, making it almost always available as long as you have 20 Beast Gauge. Intended use is for closing gaps to increase your uptime and thus Onslaught should be used that way. You should also ALWAYS use Onslaught during Inner Release as it is a free 100 potency skill during the Inner Release.

Onslaught comes with a priority system:

  1. Use as a gap closer to increase your uptime.
  2. Use within Inner Release.
  3. Use to manipulate your Beast Gauge according to the fight.
  4. Use at the end of the fight, if you have less than 50 gauge and Upheaval is on cooldown

Infuriate

Infuriate

In Shadowbringers, Infuriate now grants Nascent Chaos, a buff which enables Inner Chaos which is an upgraded 920 potency Fell Cleave (and Chaotic Cyclone which is upgraded Decimate) with guaranteed Crit and Direct Hit. You can also store 2 charges of Infuriate which allows you to sit on a charge for Trick Attack while still running down the cooldown on the other charge. You should always try to aim for 1 Infuriate inside Trick Attack, often you’ll even be able to get 2 since you’ll be reducing the CD of Infuriate by doing Fell Cleaves or Inner Chaoses inside Trick Attack.

General guidance for Infuriate: 

  1. Use during the opener
  2. Use during Trick Attack
  3. Use before 2nd charge accumulates
  4. DO NOT use during Inner Release
  5. DO NOT use before Inner Release, unless you can Inner Chaos/ Chaotic Cyclone before Inner Release activation

Utility

Inner Release

Inner Release

This button will make all your damage be Critical Direct Hits. This button will make your Beast Gauge actions cost 0 gauge. And this button also will prevent you from suffering Stun, Sleep, Bind, Heavy and Knockback effects. It is the single most important ability we have in our toolkit. Every Warrior should know how to use it wisely.

Each Inner Release window lasts 10 seconds and should contain 7 Beast Gauge actions: 5 GCDs and 2 oGCDs. NO EXCEPTIONS.

For 1-2 targets:

For 3+ Targets

To correctly perform this, each Inner Release must be executed in the second oGCD slot of the GCD. If not done in the second oGCD slot, you have a chance to miss the fifth GCD skill and lose good amount of potency as a result. Check the picture below for a good moment to activate your Inner Release.

Enmity Manipulation

Defiance

Defiance

Defiance is your Tank Stance. It will multiply the enmity you generate by a factor of 10. So just by having Defiance buff active you will generate as much enmity as 10 people combined. It simplifies the enmity management for tanks. Simply speaking – if you are tanking the boss, you have Defiance active.

As a counterpoint, hitting a target you’re not supposed to hit, while in Defiance, will probably make you hold that target for a long time. This applies to certain fights with additional targets.

Provoke

Provoke

Provoke is your go-to tool for grabbing the aggro. Patch 5.0 changed how Provoke works and currently each cast first places you on top of the enmity list and then adds a fixed amount of about 2000 potency’s worth (20 000p in Defiance) points of enmity. Makes tank swapping process a breeze.

Shirk

Shirk

Shirk is the opposite of Provoke. Using Shirk on a party member will transfer 25% of your enmity points to the party member. That 25% of enmity from Monsters A and B will be transferred to the party member’s Monster A and B enmity pool, respectively, effectively lowering your own enmity by 25%.

Enmity values

As of Patch 5.0, most of the tank skills have gotten an Enmity adjustment.

This guide doesn’t include information about enmity control and damage mitigation as it is seen as a general tanking skill rather than specific to Warrior. The General Tanking Guide by Aletin goes over these topics in detail, telling you how things work and how to properly manage each tool individually and as a whole set.

For more in-depth look on Enmity Values for lvl 80 ilvl 444 BiS Warrior,  you can check this enmity table.

NOTE: 

  • Variable abilities will have VARIABLE damage (example: Heavy Swing will be 4000-4400 damage) and as a result will have VARIABLE enmity values during the fight. It will cause +- 5% difference with enmity values in the table.
  • Fixed abilities will have FIXED enmity values.
  • Damage buffs, Critical Hits and Direct Hits will change the output of abilities and as a result will change enmity values (example: Storm’s Eye buff will increase your damage by 10% and as a result enmity will be increased by 10%). 
  • Provoke takes damage buffs into consideration as well.

* Critical Direct Hit effect is omitted for comparison purposes

** Storm’s Path doesn’t generate extra enmity via HP recovery effect

*** Sets your enmity equal to the highest enmity and adds fixed amount on top

**** Shirk instantly transfers 25% of your current enmity to the party member

***** Defiance adds x10 enmity multiplier to all your skills. Applies to itself. 

Mitigation and Recovery

Holmgang

Holmgang

Holmgang prevents you from dropping below 1 HP for 8 seconds for most attacks, it doesn’t ignore damage. Could be used on a target to Bind the target in place for the duration of the Holmgang or it could be used without the target. It’s pretty much “survive anything” button, with few exceptions.

Time your Holmgang well and be careful when using Holmgang for multi-hit tank busters. Its duration is 8 seconds. To get the most out of it you want to use it at the very end of the tankbuster cast. It activates much faster than Living Dead and Hallowed Ground so don’t worry about animation delay screwing you over. As long as you use Holmgang before the damage is taken it will work, even if the damage has already snapshotted before you pressed it. This is because Holmgang prevents you from dropping below 1 HP, it doesn’t ignore damage like Hallowed or Superbolide which is why they must be used before the damage is registered.

As of Patch 5.0, Holmgang’s effect wears off if the bound target dies. This puts Warriors at risk, especially in big AoE pulls in dungeons when the targeted monster dies and cuts Holmgang short.

To avoid this, use a macro that doesn’t use a target:

/merror off
/ac Holmgang <me>
/ac Holmgang <me>
/ac Holmgang <me>
/ac Holmgang <me>
/ac Holmgang <me>
/ac Holmgang <me>
/ac Holmgang <me>
/ac Holmgang <me>
/micon Holmgang

This macro activates Holmgang without the target. For raids try to avoid using the macro as its activation isn’t 100% accurate due to how the game works.

Vengeance

Vengeance

Vengeance is the heaviest mitigation tool in Warriors’ kit. A -30% mitigation and a Thorns effect that delivers an attack with 55 potency every time the Warrior is hit by physical damage, for 15 seconds at a 120 second recast timer. Great in AoE pulls in dungeons, even better for mitigating hard-hitting tank busters.

Rampart

Rampart

Rampart is your +20% mitigation for 20 seconds, on a 90 second recast timer. Overall, it’s good for AoE pulls in dungeons and mitigating heavy incoming damage spikes in raids.

Thrill of Battle

Thrill of Battle

Thrill of Battle gives +20% to Maximum Health and restores the amount increased. Additionally, it increases HP recovery via healing actions on self by 20%. It does NOT increase the healing done by Nascent Flash, but it does affect Equilibrium. 10 second duration on a 90 second timer.

Equilibrium

Equilibrium

Equilibrium is a 1200 potency self-heal for Warriors on a 60 second cooldown. The healing is buffed during Thrill of Battle

Raw Intuition

Raw Intuition

Raw Intuition is a -20% mitigation tool for 5 seconds. As opposed to Stormblood (patch 4.x), getting hit from the back or sides no longer results in Critical damage. Good for tank busters, especially when paired with other cooldowns when required. However, it does share the recast timer with Nascent Flash, so you can’t have both active at the same time. See optimization section on “Nascent Flash vs Raw Intuition.”

Nascent Flash

Nascent Flash

Nascent Flash heals the Warrior for ~50% of the damage dealt, and the party member for 25%. It also reduces damage taken by a party member by +10%. The healing is not affected by Thrill of Battle. Very much overpowered in AoE pulls in dungeons where you can land AoE damage on multiple targets, and can be a heal well over 40k in total. However, it does share the recast timer with Raw Intuition, so you can’t have both active at the same time. See optimization section on “Nascent Flash vs Raw Intuition”.

Here is a handy macro to activate Nascent Flash:

/merror off
/ac "Nascent Flash" <mo>
/ac "Nascent Flash" <mo>
/ac "Nascent Flash" <mo>
/ac "Nascent Flash" <mo>
/ac "Nascent Flash" <2>
/ac "Nascent Flash" <2>
/ac "Nascent Flash" <2>
/ac "Nascent Flash" <2>
/ac "Nascent Flash" <2>
/ac "Nascent Flash" <2>
/ac "Nascent Flash" <2>
/ac "Nascent Flash" <me>
/ac "Nascent Flash" <me>
/micon "Nascent Flash"

If you mouse over a party member and use this macro, it will apply Nascent Glint buff on that party member. If you don’t have a party member under your mouse, it will apply Nascent Glint buff on the second member of your party list (usually the 2nd tank). This does not apply to Chocobos, for some reason… Use /ac “Nascent Flash” instead, if you want to help your loyal fighting buddy!

Shake It Off

Shake It Off

Shake It Off is the party-shielding tool for Warriors. Using Shake It Off consumes any active Thrill of Battle, Vengeance or Raw Intuition buffs. The base value of the shield is 15% of the party member’s maximum health, with +2% additional shielding for each buff consumed. At most, the shield can be 21% of the party member’s maximum health. There are times when buffing Shake It Off is a good idea, but consuming defensive cooldowns just to buff a 15 second shield by +6% isn’t usually worth it.

Reprisal

Reprisal

Reprisal is simply a wide mitigation tool, which lowers the target’s damage dealt by 10% for the next 5 seconds at 60 seconds recast timer. Good for raid-wide damage or additional tank buster mitigation, if there’s no better use for it in the next 60 seconds.

Arm’s Length

Arm's Length

Arm’s Length is a tricky one. Its main purpose is to prevent a single knock-back in the 6 seconds it is active, but when used in AoE pulls in dungeons, it increases cast time, recast time and auto-attack delay of any monster by 20% for 15 seconds when hit. Great for slowing down the incoming damage from multiple targets.

Cast Interruptions

Interject

Interject

Interrupts the use of enemy actions highlighted with red-blinking cast bar.

Low Blow

Low Blow

Stuns the target for 5 seconds. DOES NOT interrupt the use of enemy actions highlighted with red-blinking cast bar.

The Openers and Rotation

All right, now let’s use all this knowledge we’ve gathered and discuss how, when and why to use the abilities we have.

Opener Optimization

At present there is only a single worthy opener for Warriors, mainly because we want to get Inner Release on cooldown as soon as possible to maximize its usage, and because we can fit an extra Fell Cleave inside the potion by abusing Inner Release’s +15s Eye extension mechanics.

IC IR IC IC Opener

IC IR IC IC opener takes advantage of the potion’s whole duration, landing in 3 Inner Chaos, 2 combo finishers, a Fell Cleave and all the oGCDs possible.

Nascent Flash makes sure that you’re using Inner Release in the 2nd oGCD slot between GCDs, and that it lines up with Upheaval . You can use Nascent Flash later on if you wish to cover any fight damage that comes up a few GCDs later compared to the opener.
If you are facepulling, move the Infuriate forward by a GCD, right after Heavy Swing.
Defiance and Tomahawk is enough to keep an enmity lead if you are Main tanking. Equilibrium and Provoke can be used during the opener for a flat increase in enmity if you are pulling the boss and will keep Main tanking the boss after the pull. As mentioned earlier, as of patch 5.0 Defiance and Tomahawk provides enough enmity and it is better to use Equilibrium for healing and Provoke for tank swaps.

Rotation Optimization

The basic rotation in a 100% uptime scenario is generously put a priority list:

  • Keep Storm's Eye up and refresh it below 15 seconds.
  • Keep Upheaval on cooldown.
  • Keep Inner Release on cooldown (fight-dependent).
  • Hit 5 {!Fell Cleaves}, 1 Upheaval and 1 Onslaught inside every Inner Release
  • Don’t overcap Beast Gauge.
  • As a rule of thumb, use Fell Cleave only after 70 Beast Gauge.
  • Use Storm's Path to gain as much Beast Gauge as possible.
  • Aim to use Infuriate and Inner Chaoses inside party buffs.
  • Aim to keep Infuriate below 2 stacks at all times.

The main goal for your rotation should be to maximize Storm's Path casts and Storm's Eye uptime.

With the combo timer being extended to 15 seconds, combos can carry over Inner Release. This means that after using Heavy Swing or Maim, it is possible to fit 5 Fell Cleaves before continuing the combo. However it is easy to drop the combo by using Inner Chaos or an extra Fell Cleave right before or after Inner Release.

Why Fell Cleave only after 70 gauge?

This rule is mostly for new Warriors, to ensure that they always have enough Beast Gauge for Upheavals. After you get a hang of the basics and party buffs, feel free to burn that gauge inside buffs. Hitting 0 Beast Gauge is bad practice only if it delays Upheaval or it was spent in vain.

Upheaval oGCD

Upheaval should be used inside Inner Release, and twice outside of Inner Release. The general rule regarding Upheaval usage is that you should NOT use it if Inner Release’s cooldown is at 22 seconds or below, as it would not fit inside the buff. In these cases, replace the Upheaval with an Onslaught to keep your Beast Gauge on track. A good visual cue for using Upheaval is looking at Inner Release’s cooldown timer: it should be used between 59-53 and 29-22 seconds.

In reality Upheaval often lands between 58-53 and 28-22 seconds because the first second of Inner Release is used by Fell Cleave, and at times Upheaval lines up with a GCD so it has to be delayed a bit, making it drift.

Onslaught oGCD

The tool to manage our gauge amidst fight mechanics and timings. To offset the extra 20 Beast Gauge generated by the opener Storm's Eye, and to stabilize our gauge and rotation, a single Onslaught has to be used at any time between the opener Inner Release and the second Inner Release.

The latest this can be done (comfortably) is around 38 seconds of Inner Release cooldown, right before the Storm’s Eye refresh.

Avoid refreshing Storm’s Eye too early. If the Storm’s Eye buff is up for the next 8 seconds, use Storm’s Path instead. If the buff is below 7, buffer the refreshing Storm’s Eye by using Fell Cleaves or Inner Chaoses. The closer to 1 seconds, the better.

A general rule for Onslaught usage is to use it when you would miss GCDs otherwise due to mechanics forcing you to disengage.

Infuriate oGCD

Infuriate should rarely hit 2 stacks. To ensure as many casts as possible, we want to take advantage of the Infuriate’s cooldown timer by keeping it ticking constantly. There are exceptions to this rule, such as pushing as much gauge as possible into Trick Attacks and thus saving the stacks, but in general the stacks should hover between 0 and 1, and the timer should stay active.

Another thing to avoid completely is using Infuriate right before Inner Release, or during it. Infuriate activates Nascent Chaos, which opens up Inner Chaos and Chaotic Cyclone, they always Crit Direct Hit, and using those skills inside Inner Release is a waste, because using GCD spenders inside the buff consumes Nascent Chaos. If necessary, delay Inner Release by a GCD and consume the Nascent Chaos through Inner Chaos or Chaotic Cyclone, then use Inner Release. There are exceptions to this, but they’re all fight-dependant (for example, Perfect Alexander opener to maximize your damage before taking a jail).

Nascent Flash vs. Raw Intuition

Assuming that one potency is 29 damage and Nascent Flash heals us for 48%, and the co-tank is healed for 50% of that initial 48%. Leaving Onslaught out of the normal windows, but including it in IR windows.

Worst case is a single combo without buffs, and a single auto-attack.
Best case scenario is Storm's Eye-buffed 2x Inner Chaos, Fell Cleaves, Upheaval and 2 auto-attacks.
Usual scenario is Storm's Eye-buffed Maim, a Storm's Eye/Storm's Path combo-finisher, Upheaval, Fell Cleaves and a single auto-attack.

Inner Release window is Storm's Eye-buffed Upheaval, Onslaught and 3x Fell Cleaves.

Spreadsheet used for the results below can be found here.

As the table above shows, Raw Intuition has to either cover you from a certain death or mitigate ~54k damage on its own to be worth more than Nascent Flash in the usual scenario. Add in double-busters that target the co-tank and it’s a certain win for Nascent Flash.

Stats, Itemisation and BiS Theory

At present, not a lot of information is known about how primary and secondary stats will be changed for Shadowbringers. We will not know anything for sure about how our damage will scale with Strength, Vitality, Critical Hit, Direct Hit, Determination or Tenacity. However at present one thing we can be relatively confident of is that Skill Speed should remain relatively untouched as its scaling is in an acceptable spot at present. For Stat Tiers, refer to Allagan Studies website.

Melding priority

Crit > Comfy SkS > Det > Ten

Direct Hit is avoided altogether because of how Inner Chaos and Inner Release work: Direct Hit has no effect in either of those.

Currently “Supported” Skill Speed Tiers

  • 1015 for 2.43 GCD – Highest DPS, but requires some planning
  • 1117 for 2.42 GCD – Some breathing room compared to the one above
  • 1523 for 2.38 GCD – Your average Warrior skill speed
  • 1624 for 2.37 GCD – Some breathing room for mechs and clipping
  • 1726 for 2.36 GCD – “Greeding Mechanics” levels of comfy

The difference between 2.43 GCD and 2.38 GCD is a single weapon skill between Inner Releases:

Inner Release’s recast: 90 seconds
Weapon skill timer: 2.43 seconds or 2.38 seconds

Total amount of Weapon skills per 90 seconds:

90s / 2.43 = 37.037… which translates into 37 full Weapon skills
90s / 2.38 = 37.815… which translates into 38 full Weapon skills

Raid Tips and Tricks

Additional Resources

Guides:

Beginner’s Tank Guide
Visit for basics of tanking.

Becoming a Better Tank
Introduction for tank optimization

Paladin Primer v4.58
Visit for shield wielding tips.

Gunbreaker Primer v5.00
Visit for gunpowder blasting tips.

Discord Servers:

The Balance Discord
Visit for chat and questions.

Acknowledgment

Authors:
Mox Xinmagar (Mox#0007)
Glu Kos (Glukos#1104)
Sizzy Twintails (Sizouney#4484)

Special thanks to:
Levi (Alevia#1270)
For Warrior blobs. Visit Levi’s Discord for more!

Aletin Ves’ser (Aletin#3164)
For the PLD guide that was cloned, slaughtered and modified to make this guide.

Sierra Lindfeldt (kat#0069)
For the original layout of GNB guide which had its contents gutted multiple times.

Changelog

2019-07-04 Initial Release for 5.0
2019-07-05 Colorful
2019-07-06 Public Release for The Balance
2019-07-08 Updates for Visuals, Job overview, Abilities Overview, Opener Optimization, Additional Resources, Acknowledgment sections
2019-07-09 SkS tiers, BiS, Low Blow, Equilibrium edits
2019-07-11 Updated Enmity Table
2019-07-13 Added a note about side/rear hits no longer critting under Raw Intuition. Added a note about Nascent Flash being a 40k+ heal.
2019-07-14 Added the AoE table back
2019-07-15 Raid Tips and Tricks for Trials. Simplified AoE table.
2019-07-31 Changed the Meld priorities and some wording. Added BIS for E1-4s.
2019-08-01 BIS lists adjusted.
2019-09-11 More BIS list adjustments, melding priority fixes (removed the Det-heavy priority)
2019-11-22 Added a section for Nascent Flash vs Raw Intuition
2019-12-11 Fixed some typos and brainfarts
2020-02-19 Added a BLURB for the looping rotation. Big explanation about 1-2-3 path phases. Also adjusted some Onslaught text to answer questions like “When should I use it?”
2020-07-06 Added IC IR IC IC opener and a bit about EpppEpppE rotato.
2020-07-18 Fixed some skill descriptions FINALLY (Holm, Raw, Veng)
2020-08-13 Some Patch 5.30 shenanigans. Didn’t fix the rotation yet.
2020-11-27 Fixed things for Patch 5.3 shenanigans. Lots of changes
2020-12-18 Initial round of 5.4 updates
2020-01-04 More updates for 5.4, added updated Nascent Flash v. Raw Intuition chart.

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