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The stalwart guardians of the party, tanks lead the charge into battle and attract the ire of the enemy becoming the bulwark protecting the rest from damage.

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    Tanks in General 
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Tank Limit Breaks in general. They're very powerful mitigation skills for the entire party, but don't do much more beyond that. Similiarly to Healer Limit Breaks, you'll almost never see a Level 1 or Level 2 Tank LB , and Level 3 ones are used in specific fights and situations, such as mechanics that require a Level 3 Tank LB to avoid an instant wipe. In general, however, it's better to leave the Limit Breaks to the DPS for their massive damage, or the Healer for their party-wide instant revival Level 3 LB.
  • Beehive Barrier: The shared "Stronghold" Limit Break surrounds party members in shields of this sort.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Tank classes all have blue icons.
  • Damage Reduction: A specialty of Tanks, all of them have the ability to reduce damage in a myriad of unique ways as well as the shared ability Rampart. Tank Limit Breaks reduce damage taken for the whole party.
  • Deadly Lunge: The Tanks each get an attack where they lunge at their target from a distance. Dark Knights get "Plunge", Gunbreakers get "Rough Divide", Warriors get "Onslaught", and Paladins get "Intervene".
  • Deflector Shield: Rampart will conjure a Beehive Barrier that reduces incoming damage for the tank that uses it.
  • Limit Break: Tank Limit Breaks reduce the damage taken by all party members for a short time. Higher levels increase the damage reduction, up to a massive 80% at level 3. Though rarely used (usually saving the Limit Break gauge for a Melee, or a Healer in a pinch), a few boss encounters do require it in order to barely survive a One-Hit Kill AoE.
  • Power at a Price: In Bozja, the Essence of the Irregular gives tanks a massive boost to their damage output. It comes at the cost of tripling the damage they take and a sizeable Maximum HP Reduction, effectively turning that tank into a Glass Cannon.
  • Practical Taunt: One of the role skills available to all tanks is Provoke, allowing the user to instantly become the target of the enemy it's used on. Prior to its removal, tanks also had "Ultimatum", an AoE version of Provoke that draws enemies around them.
  • Stance System: Downplayed as of Shadowbringers; the previous "tank stance vs DPS stance" systems on all tank jobs have all been replaced with a single stance that massively increases enmity generation with no other effect.
  • Status Effects: "Arm's Length" inflicts any enemy who strikes the tank with Slow, allowing them a bit of reprieve from enemy attacks. "Low Blow" stuns the target, "Interject" interrupts the target's action, and "Reprisal" lowers the damage dealt by nearby enemies.
  • Stone Wall: Their job is to hold enemy attention so the DPS can safely burn them down. They do deal a fair amount of damage, since damage generates enmity, but it doesn't approach that of the actual DPS jobs. When compared to each other the Dark Knight is a straightforward Stone Wall, the Gunbreaker runs slightly closer to a Glass Cannon, the Warrior is a Mighty Glacier and the Paladin is a Lightning Bruiser.
  • Super Toughness: All classes are Made of Iron but the Tanks take it to another level. They always have a passive trait active that reduces all received damage by 20% and they only get tougher as they gain more abilities. They can withstand a beating by several dozens mooks at the same time and they can survive attacks that would down other classes in no time. It's not unusual for the tank(s) to be the last one(s) standing after an AoE attack wiped out everyone else in their group.
  • Too Awesome to Use: The Tanks’ invulnerability skills last only a few seconds and have very long cooldowns, the shortest of whichnote  is 4 minutes. Players generally don’t use them except during the hardest raids or massive trash pulls, and only when they’re sure that they’re about to die if they don't.

    Gladiator and Paladin 

Gladiator and Paladin

Fighters that favor defense over attack by wielding both a sword and shield. By the use of a plethora of protective cooldowns they can shield allies from harm while taking minimal damage themselves. The Paladin unlocks powerful new skills for both attacking and defending as well as the ability to better support allies with healing and barrier magic.


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Gladiators provide examples of...

  • The Artifact: Shields as a separate item from the main hand. In 1.0, the shield abilities actually came from a separate class, Sentinel, which was only used as a subjob by Gladiators, Conjurers and Thaumaturges. This class was removed when Jobs were introduced and the abilities were rolled into Gladiator and Paladin, who are the only ones intended to use shields; while mages are still able to use some shields, even before the 2.0 questline ends they almost exclusively receive two-handed weapons that preclude use of a shield by the time they can advance to a full job. Even for Gladiator and Paladin, swords and shields are treated as much like a single piece of equipment as possible while still technically being two separate pieces; purchasing end-game gear for them, for instance, only requires 7 tokens for the sword and 3 for the matching shield, rather than the full 10 just for a weapon as with other classes. The only other classes to still make use of separate off-hand equipment are Disciples of the Hand and Disciples of the Land, and they're actually a second set of tools that complement their main tool, like grinding wheels for Goldsmith or scythes for Botanists. It's telling that the following classes/jobs that use anything in the off hand (Rogue/Ninja's twin knives, Red Mage's rapier/crystal, and Dancer's twin throwing weapons) have their weapon and off-hand equipment come pre-paired as a single item.
  • Cool Sword: The primary weapons of the Gladiator class are various one-handed swords including the exotic macuahuitl (a Mayincatec obsidian-bladed wooden sword).
  • Knife Nut: Knives and daggers were also a weapon available to this class until patch 2.3, in which they were replaced with more swords, in preparation for the addition of the fully knife-based Rogue, who used the previously removed models.
  • Knightly Sword and Shield: Gladiators and Paladins have exclusive access to the classic sword-and-board combo. Combined with their access to all of the game's heaviest plate armor and being the best tank at directly defending their allies, they are the game's quintessential Knight in Shining Armor class.
  • Light 'em Up: Prior to its removal, "Flash" doesn't actually do damage, but it does blind enemies and draw their aggro more towards the Gladiator. "Circle of Scorn", "Spirits Within", and "Rage of Halone" likewise are sword attacks enchanted with light magic, some of which have similar aggro-building effects.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: The Gladiator is the only class who always uses a shield and has many abilities they can use in conjunction with it. It also grants them a much higher block and parry rate than other classes, which helps them mitigate damage even when their abilities are on cooldown.
  • Mana Drain: "Riot Blade" allows Gladiators to siphon MP from enemies, not a terribly useful effect at first but it eventually becomes invaluable when the Paladin's Magic Knight abilities come more into play fifty levels later.
  • Practical Taunt: The originator of "Provoke", which is a staple skill when it comes to endgame content. When cross-class skills were phased out in favor of Role skills, this was understandably given to all Tanks by default.
  • Shield Bash: "Shield Bash", one of the Gladiator's signature moves, is primarily used for stunning enemies. They also had "Shield Swipe" which is a Counter-Attack they can use after blocking attacks. Of course one can make the shield invisible with the Heroic Spirit Shield or Emperor's New Shield equipment, which turns their shield bash attacks into backhands.
  • Situational Damage Attack: "Spirits Within" gets stronger the closer the Gladiator is to full health. Similarly, the Paladin’s "Requiescat" attack gets stronger the closer they are to having full MP.
  • Spell Blade: "Rage of Halone" and "Spirits Within" notably enhance the Gladiator's sword with light.
  • Status Buff: Gladiators come with an enormous amount of buffs to help them mitigate damage.
  • Stone Wall: In contrast to the Marauder, the Gladiator focuses more on damage mitigation and defense, boasting a wide range of powerful defensive cooldown abilities. The Paladin builds on that of course.
  • Sword Plant: "Circle of Scorn" involves this which generates bursts of energy from the ground.
  • Throwing Your Shield Always Works: "Shield Lob" is the Gladiator's primary ranged attack for pulling enemies.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/paladin_concept_art.jpg

Paladins provide examples of...

  • An Adventurer Is You: The Tank (Mitigation Tank-Style). Much of their abilities are dedicated to reducing the damage they or their party members take. Also thanks to their shields, they get the chance to block attacks in addition to possibly parrying them.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: "Clemency" is this prior to reaching level 64. It's a very potent healing spell, but it costs a very hefty 4000 MP per cast, and is best saved for big emergencies. This is averted once the Paladin reaches level 64, where they learn the Divine Magic Mastery trait that halves MP costs. "Enhanced Requiescat" at Level 78 also eliminates the cast time while "Requiescat" is active, allowing them to remain mobile while providing bursts of healing when necessary.
  • Barrier Warrior: The Paladin can conjure Beehive Barriers, Deployable Cover, and Force Fields to protect themselves and allies.
  • Blade Brake: When using their "Passage of Arms" skill the Paladin will stab their blade into the ground behind them to brace themselves with.
  • Charge Meter: The Oath Gauge fills up as the Paladin hits enemies with auto-attacks, and is spent to activate powerful defensive abilities like "Cover" and "Sheltron".
  • Combat Medic: The Paladin could once use the Conjurer's healing spells, but unlike in Final Fantasy XI they lacked any real power due to the class's low Mind stat. This trope, however, comes in full force when they unlock their own powerful healing spell, "Clemency", which not only restores HP on par with a healer, they can also regain some HP for themselves if they use the spell on another party member. The downside is that the spell uses a ton of MP. With the buff from "Requiscat", "Clemency"'s potency increases to be as strong as a White Mage's "Cure II", making it shockingly feasible for a skilled Paladin to sustain themselves to victory even if their healer dies. While in Endwalker "Requiescat" no longer increases the potency of "Clemency", their "Intervention" now places the "Knight's Benediction" buff on its target, healing them over time for a short duration.
  • Cool Crown: The helmets of the Paladin's Job specific sets are often crowns of various designs.
  • Cool Sword: The class' original Relic Weapon is Curtana. The sister sword of the Sultansworns' famed Oathkeeper, it was forged with the ashes of a saint to grant it holy power. It can be further upgraded to make it glow before transforming it into the legendary Excalibur and then Excalibur Zeta.
  • Damage Over Time: "Circle of Scorn" inflicts a mild damage-over-time effect to nearby enemies, while "Goring Blade" inflicts a much stronger one to a single target.
  • Damage Reduction: "Sentinel" reduces damage taken by 30 percent. "Sheltron" blocks incoming attacks for a short time, mitigating their damage. "Intervention" gives another party member 15% damage reduction for a few seconds. "Passage of Arms" creates a safe spot behind the Paladin where other party members will take reduced damage, and guarantees that the Paladin will block incoming attacks.
  • Dash Attack: "Intervene" has the Paladin quickly rush into enemies with a shield charge for a gap closing attack.
  • Evolving Attack: "Rage of Halone" is replaced with the stronger "Royal Authority" at level 60, giving Paladins the hardest-hitting finisher for a basic weaponskill combo among the Tanks.
  • Foil: Story and mechanically wise to Dark Knight. Paladins use the classic sword and board to mitigate damage while Dark Knight forgo it for greater offense and prefer to parry or just soak the blows. Paladins use holy magic while Dark Knights use shadow magic, and while Paladins save their magic for emergencies or burst damage, Dark Knights freely weave magic into every attack. Paladins are celebrated heroes loved the realm over while Dark Knights are social pariahs at best and wanted vigilantes at worst. Paladin is about enforcing an iron will and temper in protection while Dark Knights let their emotions guide them and can fall into mania. Even in MP expendature, Paladin prefers to hold onto their MP until they can dump it in a predictable and consistent burst phase with Requiescat and then spend the cooldown time getting their mana back, while Dark Knight is constantly gouging their MP away in huge chunks on their strongest attacks or best defenses and then leeching it back from their enemies.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Paladin-specific gear never includes a proper helmet, usually sticking to coronets and tiaras that leave the entire head exposed.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: The Paladin's "Holy Spirit" and "Holy Circle" spells are powerful holy magic attacks.
  • Knight Errant: Free Paladins, not belonging to the Sultansworn, are described as this.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: A lot of heavy armor equipment falls under this category, and even more so for the Paladin.
  • Knightly Sword and Shield: Paladins are holy knights and have the arms to match.
  • Limit Break: At Level 3, the Paladin's limit break is "Last Bastion", which surrounds all nearby allies in a massive iron bunker that greatly reduces damage.
  • Long-Range Fighter: With their "Holy Spirit" and "Confiteor" spells the Paladin is the only close-range Job besides the Ninja that can deal reliable damage from afar.
  • Magic Knight: As a Paladin, the player can heal allies with "Clemency" and attack enemies with "Holy Spirit". Part of their strategy since Stormblood has been to use "Requiescat" to buff the power of their spells, spam "Holy Spirit" or "Clemency" until they run out of MP, and then use "Riot Blade" to recover their MP while they wait for "Requiescat" to recharge. Shadowbringers adds more to this strategy by adding in "Holy Circle", an area-of-effect version of "Holy Spirit", and "Confiteor", a powerful spell made to be used at the end of Requiescat's duration.
  • Mana Drain: At higher levels, "Riot Blade", "Spirits Within" and "Prominence" will all replenish the Paladin’s MP upon striking an enemy. The "Atonement" attack also replenishes MP.
  • Master Swordsman: The Sultansworn Paladins are some of the finest swordsmen in Eorzea, practicing diligently to meld swordplay and the use of their shield. By the events of Stormblood, a Paladin Warrior of Light will be invited to the revived Ul Cup, where the greatest swordsmen on the continent duke it out for glory and the chance to learn the techniques of the original captain of the Sultansworn.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class:
    • Unlike the other Tanks, Paladins fill their Oath Gauge by landing auto-attacks rather than using weaponskill combos. The abilities tied to the Oath Gauge are also purely defensive in nature, whereas the other Tanks spend their gauges to make powerful attacks.
    • The fact that Paladins carry a shield allows them to block attacks as well as parry them, giving them more opportunities to passively mitigate damage than the other Tanks get.
    • The Paladin is one of the two physical Jobs to make use of MP, a trait they share with Dark Knights.
  • Mighty Glacier: Upon learning "Holy Spirit" and "Requiescat", the Paladin begins to gain more powerful tools for dishing pain out as much as they can take it. Their speed, however, still leaves something to be desired. In Shadowbringers however, they become a Lightning Bruiser, as they gain a skill that lets them quickly close the distance between them and the enemy while also gaining an upgrade to Requiescat that allows them to use their attacking/healing spells without casting time, giving them better mobility.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The Paladin's most powerful buff, "Hallowed Ground", makes them temporarily invincible to most attacks and status effects for ten seconds.
  • Not the Intended Use: Paladins, by all means, are thematically designed as the main tank who absorbs the damage. This has been so since their conception. However, players have found them even more effective as the off-tank, instead using their great utility and support to back the main tank up (many bosses will keep the Off-tank on their toes by turning around and hitting them with a cleave just as hard if not harder than their main tankbuster, so by having the paladin off-tank they can absorb that big hit).
  • One-Man Army: The Paladin's toughness combined with their steady damage output and reliable healing spell makes them one of the best classes to take on content that was normally designed for a full party of players.
  • The Paladin: Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Specifically, the paladin order has its roots in the Sultana's personal guard.
  • Powerful Pick: The Hellhound Warpick and Dwarven Mythril Pikenstock weapon can be used by Paladin's in place of a sword.
  • Power Gives You Wings: With the "Passage of Arms" skill, the Paladin generates two large magical wings which actually act like shields for the rest of the party, reducing the amount of damage they take so long as they remain within the Paladin's wingspan.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Paladins are the sworn bodyguards of the Sultanate and one of the last royalist factions.
  • Reduced Mana Cost: The "Divine Magic Mastery" trait halves the MP cost of the Paladin’s spells from level 64 onward.
  • Reverse Grip: The "Spirits Within" weapon skill has the Paladin stab enemies this way but most of their attacks are executed from a standard sword grip.
  • Shaping Your Attacks: The Paladin can summon a gigantic sword like the Holy Knight's in Final Fantasy Tactics with their "Confiteor" spell.
  • Shock and Awe: "Requiescat" has the Paladin Stab the Sky, causing a bolt of lightning to strike their blade. They then slash at their target, discharging the electricity.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The Paladin as a whole is this because they are a Lightning Bruiser with many straightforward skills to keep themselves or their team members alive.
  • Spin Attack: "Total Eclipse" and "Prominence" both involve the Paladin spinning in place to strike nearby enemies with their sword.
  • Spontaneous Weapon Creation: "Confiteor" has the Paladin generate a gigantic holy sword to impale enemies from below as its most damaging spell.
  • Stab the Sky: "Requiescat" has the Paladin charge energy into his blade by holding it aloft and then using the energy to slash an enemy.
  • Stance System: The Paladin had "Sword Oath", which increased damage dealt, and "Shield Oath", which increased enmity but decreased damage dealt, before Shadowbringers removed "Sword Oath" and changed "Shield Oath" to "Iron Will", which simply increases enmity.
  • Status Buff: Paladins have a number of buffs in their toolkit. Beyond the obligatory Damage Reduction buffs:
    • "Fight or Flight" increases the damage of the Paladin’s attacks;
    • "Divine Veil" primes the Paladin to grant nearby party members a damage-absorbing barrier the next time the Paladin receives magical healing;
    • "Requiescat", which is activated by using the ability of the same name while the Paladin’s MP is high, greatly boosts the power of the Paladin’s magic. From level 78 onward it also lets them cast spells instantly.
  • Storm of Blades: Endwalker allows the Paladin to follow up "Confiteor" with "Blade of Faith", "Blade of Truth" and "Blade of Valor" in sequence, all of which rain a barrage of holy swords on the enemy.
  • Super Armor: The Paladin has a trait which prevents them from being interrupted when casting their magic.
  • Sword Drag: "Goring Blade" drags the sword on the ground generating Sword Sparks in the form of electricity before slashing.
  • Taking the Bullet: "Cover", which will have the Paladin taking all physical damage for a party member for a short time, provided the covered party member remains within a close enough proximity to the Paladin.

    Marauder and Warrior 

Marauder and Warrior

Heavy wielders of axes who bear unrivaled ability to both absorb damage and return it in full. The Marauder can further increase its offensive and defensive potential by becoming a Warrior which grants them stances that allow them to gain stacks that unleash savage attacks and Life Draining powers.


https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/0a4dee25_86c8_496e_b34a_5bac2487e7b9.jpeg

Marauders provide examples of...

  • An Axe to Grind: The weapon of choice for Marauders are two-handed greataxes. Warriors turn this into a Literal Metaphor with their iconic Fell Cleave skill, which summons a set of buzzsaw-like rings of energy around the head of their axe and grinds them into the enemy.
  • The Berserker: Their "Berserk" Status Buff turns all of their attacks into Critical Direct hits for 10 seconds.
  • Counter-Attack: Their "Vengeance" ability lets them temporarily reduce damage taken by a significant amount, and perform a counterattack every time they are physically hit.
  • Damage-Increasing Debuff: Prior to Shadowbringers, "Maim" made the Warrior's target take increased damage from slashing attacks for 24 seconds.
  • Damage Reduction: The "Vengeance" Status Buff gives the Marauder 30% damage reduction in addition to automatic counterattacks for 15 seconds.
  • Finishing Move: "Mercy Stroke", prior to its removal in Stormblood. The attack was only available when the target had 20% health or less remaining. If "Mercy Stroke" was the killing blow, the user would receive a large amount of health.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: "Holmgang", the Marauder’s invincibility skill, prevents the Marauder’s health from falling below 1 HP for 6 seconds.
  • Life Drain: The "Storm's Path" attack heals the Marauder for a portion of the damage it inflicts.
  • Not Completely Useless: Pre-4.0, Marauders had a weapon skill called "Fracture" that applied a small Damage Over Time debuff to the target. The skill was often maligned as being the least powerful DoT in the game and failing to mesh well with Marauder or Warrior movesets, to the point where other classes got more mileage out of it. It was still something worth leaving on a target after having to disengage, however, and did respectable damage under Berserk, if only because there was nothing better to squeeze into the buff window.
  • Practical Taunt: They could borrow "Provoke" from the Gladiator class, and were so often required to due to how enmity works that the skill became baseline to all Tanks when Role skills replaced cross-class skills.
  • Status Buff: Uses theirs to increase their survivability or to exchange their survivability for power. Apart from "Berserk" and "Vengeance":
    • The "Storm’s Eye" combo gives the Marauder a 10% boost to their damage output for 24 seconds.
    • "Thrill of Battle" increases the Marauder’s max HP by 20%, and heals them for an amount equal to the increase. At level 78, it also makes any healing actions which target the Marauder/Warrior 20% more effective.
  • Sword Beam: "Overpower", which has the Marauder swing their axe to unleash a cone-shaped blast of energy. It’s the class’s main tool for drawing aggro from groups of enemies.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: "Tomahawk" launches an energy copy of their axe at the enemy, which raises aggro.
  • Weapon Across the Shoulder: Both male and female Warriors rest their axes on their shoulders for their drawn idle animation. Men hold the axe with one hand, while women hold theirs with two. Their Victory emote also slings the ax across the shoulders.
  • You Will Not Evade Me: "Holmgang" creates a Variable-Length Chain of pure energy which shackles the Marauder to their current target, pulling that target toward the Marauder and preventing the target from moving or attacking anyone else.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/warrior_concept_art.jpg

Warriors provide examples of...

  • An Adventurer Is You: A hybrid Meat Shield/Regenerator Tank and Blademaster DPS as of Shadowbringers. Warriors can temporarily boost their maximum HP, steal health from enemies with certain attacks and buffs, and spam hard-hitting Critical Hit attacks during a burst window.
  • Barrier Warrior: "Shake It Off" gives the whole party a damage-absorbing shield, and in Endwalker they can apply a brief, single-person shield to themselves or an ally with "Bloodwhetting" or "Nascent Flash", respectively.
  • Battle Aura: A fiery orange haze will surround the Warrior’s body as they fill up their Beast Gauge. When they activate "Inner Release", this haze turns red and black and their entire body glows red.
  • The Berserker: Warriors draw their strength from a savage impulse they have known as the Inner Beast. The Inner Beast is a double-edged sword that can make a Warrior attack indiscriminately if they lose control of it, but mastering and wielding this ferocity lets Warriors become demons on the battlefield. This is reflected in gameplay through the Warrior's Beast Gauge, which builds with every attack to perform devastating attacks.
  • Charge Meter: The Beast Gauge fills up as the Warrior hits enemies with combo attacks, and can be spent to execute powerful attacks like "Inner Beast", "Fell Cleave", "Steel Cyclone" and "Decimate".
  • Charged Attack: The Warrior’s most powerful attacks can only be used by filling and spending their Beast Gauge. Most of them cost 50 Beast Gauge, while "Onslaught" and "Upheaval" cost 20.
  • Cool Helmet: The Fighter's Burgeonet and Ravager's Helm are horned headgear with visors that can be put up or down depending on just how intimidating you want your hero to look.
  • Cooldown Manipulation: The "Enhanced Infuriate" trait reduces "Infuriate"’s cooldown by 5 seconds whenever the Warrior hits an enemy with "Inner Beast", "Steel Cyclone", "Fell Cleave" or "Decimate".
  • Critical Hit: The "Chaotic Cyclone" and "Inner Chaos" attacks are always critical direct hits.
  • Critical Hit Class: The Warrior has been moving further in this direction with every expansion.
    • Heavensward gave Warriors the "Deliverance" stance, which increases their critical hit rate as they generate Beast Gauge.
    • Stormblood reworked "Berserk" so that it turns all of the Warrior’s attacks into Critical Direct hits for 10 seconds.
    • Shadowbringers removes "Deliverance" but allows high-level Warriors to use "Inner Chaos" and "Chaotic Cyclone", two powerful attacks which are always Critical Direct hits, whenever they use "Infuriate".
    • Endwalker continues the trend with "Primal Rend", another high-potency attack which is always a Critical Direct hit, which is procced by using "Inner Release".
  • Damage Reduction: As of Shadowbringers, "Raw Intuition" reduces all damage the Warrior takes by 20% for 5 seconds. They can also grant 10% damage reduction to one of their allies with "Nascent Flash", and they retain use of the Marauder’s "Vengeance". Prior to Shadowbringers, "Inner Beast" would also grant 20% damage reduction for 6 seconds.
  • Dash Attack: The level 62 skill "Onslaught", which causes the Warrior to rush into their target for a heavy tackle.
  • Deflector Shields:
    • "Shake It Off" gives the party a temporary shield that absorbs damage equal to a portion of the Warrior’s total HP. The base amount is 12%, and it can go up to 18% by dispelling the Warrior’s active defensive buffs.
    • From level 82 onward a few of the Warrior's buffs will apply "Stem the Tide" to their targets, giving them a damage-absorbing shield.
  • Determinator: Their invulnerability cooldown is a different flavor to Paladin's "Hallowed Ground" in "Holmgang", which prevents the warrior from dying, but not from taking damage down to one HP.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: "Nascent Flash" gives the Warrior a six-second window to dish out as much damage as possible so that they, and another playernote , can recover as much health as possible. It also gives that other player some Damage Reduction for the duration. If you can master the timing, "Nascent Flash" becomes an excellent tool for mitigating and recovering from tankbusters.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Dwarven Mythril Hammer is a weapon that Warriors can obtain, the only hammer they are able to use.
  • Elemental Punch: "Upheaval" is a vicious uppercut accompanied by an eruption of energy.
  • Evolving Attack: As of Shadowbringers, the Warrior eventually upgrades their "Inner Beast" and "Steel Cyclone" attacks into the more powerful "Fell Cleave" and "Decimate", respectively.
  • Gradual Regeneration: In Endwalker, "Equilibrium" gains 15-second health regen effect at higher levels.
  • Ground-Shattering Landing: "Decimate" has the Warrior jump into the air and swing their axe down with enough force to crack the ground, damaging nearby enemies.
  • Heal Thyself: "Equilibrium" is a fairly strong self-healing ability that the Warrior can use once a minute.
  • Life Drain:
    • Shadowbringers introduced the "Nascent Flash" buff, which heals the Warrior each time they damage an enemy for the buff's duration. If they use "Nascent Flash" on an ally, that ally will also get some healing each time the Warrior attacks.
    • Endwalker tweaks the "Raw Intuition" buff to provide the same life-stealing effect as "Nascent Flash", though it only heals the Warrior, not their allies.
    • "Inner Beast" and "Steel Cyclone" used to heal the Warrior for a portion of the damage they inflicted. They lost this life-stealing property in Shadowbringers.
  • Limit Break: At level 3 their limit break is "Land Waker", where the Warrior takes a downward swing causing several massive walls of molten earth to erupt out, shielding the party.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Warriors must spend Beast Gauge to use their gap-closer attack, "Onslaught". Other Tanks have self-replenishing charges for their gap-closers instead. "Onslaught" is also weaker than the other gap-closers, but in exchange it has greater range and a shorter cooldown.
  • Mighty Glacier: To contrast with its fellow tank job Paladin's Stone Wall. Warriors primarily soak damage through an enlarged HP pool and enhanced HP recovery rather than mitigation (notably, lacking access to shields), and they have much more powerful weapon skills that more than compensate for their sluggish auto attacks.
  • No-Sell: In addition to its other effects, "Inner Release" makes the Warrior temporarily immune to certain status ailments and prevents most forms of Knockback from pushing them around.
  • Not the Intended Use: Most axe-wielding NPCs only think of their axe as a tool for killing and fight offensively with it. For whatever reason, the Warrior of Light feels compelled to use the marauder and warrior fighting style defensively and to keep the enemies off their allies. Turns out they are all the more effective because of this, and a few NPCs take to this defensive fighting style following the Warrior of Light's example in the warrior storyline.
  • Pelts of the Barbarian: All of the Warrior's signature gear sets have fur trimmings on barbarian themed armor sets.
  • Power at a Price:
    • "Shake It Off" dispels "Vengeance", "Thrill of Battle", and "Raw Intuition" when used, removing the Warrior’s defensive cooldowns in order to block more damage.
    • In older expansions, some of the Warrior’s buffs had serious drawbacks. "Berserk" gave the Warrior a massive attack boost, but left them briefly unable to use weaponskills once the boost wore off. "Raw Intuition" parried all frontal attacks, but made incoming attacks from any other direction into automatic critical hits.
  • Protectorate: It's revealed in the level 60 job quest that a Warrior learns to master their Inner Beast by tempering it with the desire to protect their allies from harm.
  • Razor Wind: "Fell Cleave" launches several discs of razor-sharp energy at the enemy.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Warriors tapping into their Inner Beast have glowing red eyes. The Player gets these eyes while using the "Inner Release" skill.
  • Reduced Mana Cost: "Inner Release" temporarily removes the Beast Gauge cost of the Warrior’s abilities, letting them spam their most powerful attacks to their heart’s content.
  • Regenerating Mana: "Infuriate" gives the Warrior an immediate 50 Beast Gauge. In Shadowbringers it also grants the "Nascent Chaos" buff, which transforms "Fell Cleave" and "Decimate" into the more powerful "Inner Chaos" and "Chaotic Cyclone", respectively.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: Since tank DPS stances have been removed, a warrior can use all the best things from the previous stance Deliverance while being able to focus on tanking. It mostly comes down to using the same best abilities over and over again and using a simple rotation when Inner Release is on cooldown since "Shadowbringers" changed everything. Not being damage penalized while in tanking stance not only opened the skill wall wide for beginning tanks, but ran over it with a bulldozer.
  • Spin Attack: “Mythril Tempest” has the Warrior twirl their axe overhead, spraying sparks on all nearby enemies. “Steel Cyclone” and “Chaotic Cyclone” both involve the Warrior swinging their axe while spinning in a circle to strike adjacent enemies. “Decimate” has the Warrior spin around to build up momentum before jumping up and slamming their axe into the ground.
  • Stance System: The "Defiance" stance greatly boosts the Warrior’s aggro generation. Prior to Shadowbringers, it would also boost the Warrior’s max HP by 25% and make healing spells which targeted them more effective, in return for a decrease in their damage. They also had a second stance, "Deliverance", which boosted their damage output, and several of the Warrior’s abilities could only be used while in one stance or the other.
  • Super Mode: "Inner Release", an upgraded version of "Berserk" obtained at level 70. In addition to the base effect of making all the Warrior’s attacks Critical Direct hits, it also lets the Warrior spam their Beast Gauge abilities at no cost. At level 90 it also procs "Primal Rend", an extremely hard-hitting, gap-closing AOE attack which is guaranteed to be a Critical Direct hit.
  • Sword and Fist: With their "Upheaval" ability, the Warrior will forgo their axe and just uppercut enemies instead. Its AOE counterpart, "Orogeny", has the Warrior put away their axe and take wild swipes at surrounding enemies with their bare hands.
  • Tranquil Fury: Revealed to be the hero's source of lucidity over the Inner Beast. By being mindful of one's allies and fighting to protect them, the Warrior can take control of their Inner Beast.
  • Unstoppable Rage: The Warrior is all about tapping into the power of their Inner Beast to perform anger-fuelled feats of incredible strength. This is represented in gameplay with their "Berserk" status buffnote , their "Infuriate" abilitynote , and "Inner Release" note .
  • Useless Useful Spell: "Shake It Off" in the beginning of 4.0 was advertised as an ability that purged most negative status ailments. This is a broad way of saying "any ailment that can actually be cleansed." Most ailments that would be worth cleansing in the game are explicitly non-removable, either because they're part of a boss mechanic or a punishment for failing said mechanic. "Shake It Off"'s function was understandably changed in 4.1.
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    Dark Knight 

Dark Knight

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dark_knight_concept1.jpg
Knights who combine their skill with a Greatsword with that of The Dark Arts to protect themselves and allies. By wielding their Black Magic they can enhance the strength of their attack and defense while siphoning the magic of their enemies to fuel their spells and attacks.

Dark Knights provide examples of...

  • An Adventurer Is You: During Heavensward, they were a sort of hybrid Avoidance/Magic tank. In Stormblood, they were closer to a Magic/Regenerator Tank with aspects of Blademaster DPS, depending on their stances (Grit, Darkside, or both). In Shadowbringers, they are again an Avoidance/Magic tank.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: "The Blackest Night" is both an incredibly powerful barrier and, if it gets popped, lets the dark knight counterattack with a free use of their Darkness abilities. Since it would risk making all the MP and the barrier itself go to waste if you have a barrier healer in your party like a Scholar or Nocturnal Sect Astrologian always putting barriers on you, TBN will - unlike the aforementioned barrier spells which absorb damage in the order of application - uniquely and automatically place itself on top of every other barrier so it will always be the first one to take damage and break.
  • Barrier Warrior: "The Blackest Night" allows Dark Knights to shield themselves or others regularly. Should something prove capable of breaking this barrier the Dark Knight gains Dark Arts, enabling a free use of one Darkness/Shadow attack.
  • Battle Aura: A faint red haze surrounds the Dark Knight’s body while they’re under the effect of “Darkside”.
  • The Berserker: "Delirium" allows a Dark Knight to use its two most powerful weaponskills, "Bloodspiller" and "Quietus" with reckless abandon without spending their Blood Gauge.
  • BFS: Final Fantasy games often have one 'really big sword' class, and in XIV, it's the dark knights who bear the burden. Their Weapon of Choice is a massive hunk of metal that scales to the character's size but as a rule of thumb, from the tip of the blade to the end of the hilt, will probably be a head taller than the character using it.
  • Black Knight: The Dark Knight artifact armor predictably dresses them as such.
  • Black Magic: The magic of the Dark Knight uses the Dark Knight's raw and volatile emotions such as fear and wrath and tempers it by feeding it aether to create their eldritch magic. If done improperly it is very easy for the user to be consumed by their powers and killed in the process.
  • Blood Magic: The skill "Blood Price" gives them more MP the more damage they take. While "Blood Weapon" drains an enemies MP by dealing more damage. As of 4.0, both skills are also a primary source of Dark Knights' Blackblood resource. "Blood Price" has been further adjusted to provide insignificant amounts of MP but proportionately as much Blackblood as the original MP gains, while "Blood Weapon" strikes a balance between the resources.
  • Blood-Splattered Warrior: After fighting off waves of Amalj'aa in the level 40 quest, Fray will comment on how you look after. They then advise you to leave the bloodstains because you have nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Carry a Big Stick: The Aka Oni Greatclub is a kanabo (Japanese studded iron club) that the Dark Knight can wield in place of a greatsword.
  • Casting a Shadow: The Dark Knight uses shadowy magic alongside their swords.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The aptly named "Low Blow" has the Dark Knight give the enemy a violently unsportsmanlike kick to stun them. With the introduction of Role skills this was spread to all other Tanks.
  • Cool Helmet: Like the Warrior's relic armor, the Dark Knight's helms are decorated with a sinister pair of horns.
  • Damage Over Time: "Salted Earth" creates a pool of darkness which periodically damages any enemy standing in it.
  • Damage Reduction: "Shadow Wall" makes the Dark Knight less vulnerable to all damage, while "Dark Mind" and "Dark Missionary" reduce magic damage taken by the Dark Knight or by the whole party, respectively.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: "Living Dead", as mentioned below under Difficult, but Awesome, allows a Dark Knight to survive otherwise fatal damage while granting temporary invincibility. However, if their HP is not completely recovered within ten seconds, they will drop dead on the spot.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: They exist to protect the innocent when the Temple Knights prove Light Is Not Good, though since everything else to do with darkness is evil on Hydaelyn, they're pariahs for it. Additionally, as observed by a Moogle of all things, its purpose is not just to bring justice to wrongdoers, but also to protect their loved ones, so only those who love and protect their charges as much as they kill bad people can harness the art's full strength.
  • Deflector Shields: "The Blackest Night" allows the Dark Knight to put an energy barrier on themself or a party member. This barrier absorbs damage totaling 25% of the maximum HP of the target. It lasts seven seconds or until it is broken and can be cast up to four times a minute so long as the Dark Knight has enough MP.
  • Determinator: Their invincibility skill, "Living Dead", puts a lengthy (20 seconds) buff on the Dark Knight. If at any time the knight takes fatal damage while the buff is up, they won't die from that attack or any other as their HP will not drop below one point, but they will gain the zombie status (Walking Dead) and must receive healing equal to their maximum Hit Points within ten seconds or they will die.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • The Dark Knight's invulnerability skill "Living Dead" is easily the hardest one to manage. Once activated, you have a 10 second period in which you can drop to zero health. Once you do, you have another 10 seconds of essentially invincibility. The downside is that you must be healed back up to maximum health before those 10 seconds are over or else you will die properly. In an uncoordinated party, Living Dead can end up being a hinderance, as your healer may not realize you've used it until you suddenly drop dead. In a prepared group however, it is probably the strongest invulnerability skill. It has a shorter cooldown and doesn't require as precise activation for maximum benefit as Hallowed Ground, it lasts longer and doesn't tether you to the boss like Holmgang, and has a longer duration and shorter cooldown than Superbolide.
    • "The Blackest Night" can sharply reduce the incoming damage but the Dark Knight needs to know the right moments to us it or they just waste a lot of their MP for nothing.
  • Doppleganger Attack: In Shadowbringers, a Dark Knight can use "Living Shadow" to create a duplicate of Fray, which will attack alongside its creator for a short time.
  • Evolving Attack: "Flood of Darkness" and "Edge of Darkness" are permanently upgraded to the stronger "Flood of Shadow" and "Edge of Shadow" at level 74.
  • Expy: Image-wise and story-wise the Dark Knight brings Guts to mind, a dark swordsman who uses a gigantic weapon and hunts those who cannot be brought to justice (or more often vengeance) wihout becoming a pariah and are deeply troubled by their emotional baggage. Much like Guts' journey the Dark Knight storyline also deconstructs The Power of Hate and forces the WoL and Sidurgu to confront the source of their issues, try to move past them and become better people.
  • Five Stages of Grief: A Dark Knight will go through these over the course of Heavensward, Stormblood, and Shadowbringers. Fray is Denial and Anger, a projection of their darker thoughts and actions on a person who does not exist that is eventually given form to lash out at others and themselves. Myste is Bargaining and Depression, a desperate bid to attone for the deaths left in their wake before trying to crush themselves with some of their greatest failures. Fray returns once more as Acceptance, fading away after a note and random chance sends them back to meet many of those both helped and harmed in the past before finally having one last talk with themselves to find closure.
  • Foil:
    • Story and mechanically wise to Paladins. Dark Knight forgo defensive fighting for greater offense and prefer to parry or just soak the blows while Paladins use the classic sword and board to mitigate damage by blocking. Dark Knights use shadow magic while Paladins use holy magic, Dark Knights freely weave magic into every attack while Paladins save their magic for emergencies or burst damage. Dark Knights are social pariahs at best and wanted vigilantes at worst while Paladins are celebrated heroes loved the realm over. Dark Knights let their emotions guide them and can fall into mania while Paladin is about enforcing an iron will and temper in protection. Even in MP expendature, Dark Knight is constantly gouging their MP away in huge chunks on their strongest attacks or best defenses and then leeching it back from their enemies while Paladin prefers to hold onto their MP until they can dump it in a predictable and consistent burst phase with Requiescat and then spend the cooldown time getting their mana back.
    • This naturally also goes down to their aesthetics. Paladins use rapid flurries of swordsmanship and call down holy light from above to smite foes and aid allies. Dark Knights swing their BFSes with slow, sweeping attacks and call upon darkness that oozes from the ground to engulf their foes. Whie Paladins are primarily shown wearing gleaming armor in silver, white, and blue, Dark Knights have a Black Knight aesthetic of red and black.
  • Good Is Not Soft: The Dark Knights are lawless vigilantes who punish the wicked and defend the innocent by any means necessary. The very first Dark Knight story quest has the Warrior and Fray massacre a number of corrupt Temple Knights who kidnapped a girl at swordpoint and planned on raping her. Compared to the sweeping swordsmanship of a Paladin, a Dark Knight's slow, heavy swings drain the blood and aether of their foes. Sidurgu also chides the Warrior for leaving a Temple Knight alive after the latter tried to lure them into a trap.
  • Hand Blast: "Power Slash" was a hard slash followed by a point-blank blast of dark magic. "Unmend", the job's basic ranged attack, likewise takes the form of a ball of energy launched from the hand (since their weapons are too big to just throw at enemies the way Gladiator's Shield Lob or Marauder's Tomahawk work).
  • Horrifying Hero: The Warrior of Light comes across as one at times, especially before they have taken control of their inner darkness. In one quest, an NPC you helped much earlier in the main storyline is really happy to see you and asks for your help saving some settlers. When you come back covered in blood (Fray, your mentor, tells you that you have no need to wash it off), he's clearly terrified of you and stutters out a thank you before quickly trying to send you on your way.
  • In a Single Bound: A Dark Knight's "Plunge" attack has them jumping higher than is normally possible and at most a good fifteen yalms to drive their massive swords into their enemy. They're not as skilled a jumper as Dragoons, but certainly no slouches in that department either.
  • Interface Screw: Certain journal entries for their Job quests can only be fully read when in the Dark Knight Job, notably the level 80 quest is missing more than half the entry when read by any other job. This particular entry does hint at this trait.
    "Hold the crystal close that we may enjoy these moments together. Or put it away and pretend I was never a part of it. That I was never really here."
  • Kill 'Em All: One of the very first things that you do as a Dark Knight is massacre a battalion of corrupt church soldiers, and of those that do survive Fray warns that the Warrior of Light will finish the job if they bother telling anybody who did it. A prime example of what a Dark Knight does and what entails in the Dark Knight story.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: The dark knight storyline challenges the hero to bring others to justice by any means necessary and begs the question of what it truly means to be a knight, matching up with the typical moral choice of whether to obey law or serve justice. Dark knights of FFXIV may be cynical and without reservation, but the player character never strays from the path Hydaelyn set for them. They are more of a chaotic antithesis than true opposite of their paladin cousins. Compare to the Japanese name for FFXIV paladins: Knight.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: The "Living Dead" skill grants Dark Knights a special status effect called "Walking Dead" if their HP hits 0 while active. For the next ten seconds, the Dark Knight's HP will not go below 1, but if their HP is not restored a total amount of Hit Points equal to their maximum by the time the effect ends, they will die once "Walking Dead" expires.
  • Life Drain: The "Soul Eater" and "Abyssal Drain" abilities steal health from enemies.
  • Limit Break: At level 3 their limit break is "Dark Force", the Dark Knight makes a slash of their sword in the air, cutting into the void and cascading the party with pure darkness to shield them.
  • Living Shadow: The aptly named "Living Shadow" skill in Shadowbringers summons a shadowy version of Fray to help them in combat.
  • Mage Killer: Before 4.0, late game Dark Knights were prime specialists in reducing magic damage, both overall output by reducing an enemy's Intelligence level and a specialized buff for reducing magic damage taken, which can be doubled with "Dark Arts". Today the magic resistance buff action remains, but the intelligence debuff attack does not.
  • Magic Knight: While Gunbreakers and Paladins offer respectable competition, Dark Knights are the most magical tank class in the game. Everything in their moveset is either a magically-enhanced sword attack or some sort of spell.
  • Mana Drain: "Syphon Strike", "Carve and Spit" and "Stalwart Soul" will all recover MP when striking an enemy, while "Blood Weapon" and "Delirium" apply an MP recovery effect to any weaponskill and spell or Blackblood weaponskill respectively, critical for the Magic Knight nature of the Dark Knight. This is only aesthetically a mana drain, however, due to enemies not actually having such a resource to drain from.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: Like all Tanks prior to Shadowbringers, Dark Knights had both a defensive stance ("Grit") and an offensive stance ("Darkside"). What made them unique is that they could have both stances active at the same time, whereas Warriors and Paladins could only be in one stance or the other, although there were still a handful of skills that could only be used while using Darkside but not Grit. As of Shadowbringers, they’re the only Tank class which still has its offensive stance: Darkside is a damage boost granted by using "Flood of Darkness" or "Edge of Darkness" now.
    • They’re also one of the only physical jobs to still make use of MP, a trait they share with Paladins. And the Dark Knight uses their MP constantly for attack and defense, unlike the Paladin who uses it for short bursts of damage or healing magic.
  • Mythology Gag: The Dark Knight's level 70 artifact armor highly resembles Cecil's Dark Knight armor from Final Fantasy IV.
    • While the Dark Knight resembles Cecil visually, the combat movements and the weapon are taken from Cloud.
  • No-Sell: The target of "The Blackest Night" is immune to most attacks and status effects for the duration of the ability. It's quasi a much weaker version of the Paladin's "Hollowed Ground" that can be used much more often.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: One that favors Dark Knights and their healers. Living Dead, the Dark Knight's emergency invulnerability ability, required the Dark Knight to be healed to 100% HP if they suffered damage that would drop them to zero and triggered Walking Dead, or else drop immediately to zero HP after ten seconds. This caused trouble for parties, because healers would have to continuously burn MP and long-cooldown ability heals to try and fight through the still oncoming damage the Dark Knight would be receiving to also restore them to full HP. Eventually it was patched that the Dark Knight only had to receive a total amount of healing equal to their maximum health, rather than having to actually be returned to max health.
  • Power Born of Madness: While all Warriors of Light deal with the various traumas listed in the General Tropes, Dark Knights are trained by multiple Literal Split Personalities that have manifested due to them. Mechanically they regularly subject themselves to Delirium, allowing free usage of "Bloodspiller" and "Quietus" for a brief period.
  • The Power of Hate: A Dark Knight's power is drawn from hatred towards injustice and abuse of power, this hatred also tempers them, allowing them to avoid being consumed by the darkness. However, to be at their absolute strongest, it requires The Power of Love as well, directed towards the Knight's charge, who they would give their life for.
  • Power Incontinence:
    • Not during actual gameplay, but under the influence of the Dark Knight crystal, the Warrior of Light has unwittingly created two sentient beings from their own aether, each representing negative thoughts that have swirled inside them (the first being Fray, representing the WoL's anger at everyone who takes their work for granted despite everything they've lost, and Myste, who represents the WoL's guilt at all the lives they have destroyed in one way or another.) No other class crystal has done anything nearly similar or caused the Warrior of Light's aether to do anything unexpected. It also doesn't seem to be a common thing among Dark Knights, as Sidurgu has no clue what is happening when Fray shows up at the end of the Stormblood class line out of thin air acting like he has history with the Warrior of Light.
    • Previously in 3.0, Darkside would constantly bleed out the user's MP just by having it on. This has since been removed following a buff.
  • Power of the Void: It is directly implied and sometimes quoted in the storyline that the dark knight's powers come not from elemental darkness, but negative energy of primordial nothingness itself. (Not to be confused with The Void, which is a plane of elemental darkness where voidsent come from.)
  • Prestige Class: Dark Knight can only be unlocked on a character level 50 or above who has completed the main story up to the beginning of Heavensward, and instead of beginning at level 1 as a class, they begin at level 30 as a full job.
  • Reduced Mana Cost: "Delirium" removes the Blood Gauge cost from "Bloodspiller" and "Quietus". In addition, "The Blackest Night" will grant the Dark Knight "Dark Arts" once the barrier goes down, making their next use of "Flood of Darkness" or "Edge of Darkness" cost no MP.
  • Skill Gate Character: Depending on the balancing in each patch, Dark Knight can go from just decent enough to compete to slightly bad in terms of DPS, which is something all characters want to have. They simply come in last most of the time among all tanks at the advantage of being the most survivable tank out of all of them. This doesn't mean that Dark Knights are bad by any means, and most average team compositions will reap the benefits of this survivability, it's just that many skilled parties will seek another tank job if they are aiming for a competitive clear time.
  • Spellblade: As if getting hit by a sword as big as you are wasn't bad enough, dark knights invariably coat their blades in magical energy to give their attacks some extra bite. This also means that several of their moves have useful side-effects, like draining the enemy's blood and/or aether to further empower the knight in question.
  • Spin Attack: "Bloodspiller" is a skill where the Dark Knight will spin himself parallel to the ground so that he spins the sword vertically into an overhead swing, while its counterpart "Quietus" is a more traditional example.
  • Stance System: Before the Shadowbringers skill overhaul, Dark Knights had two stances: "Grit", which is the generic tanking stance that reduced damage dealt but also damage received, and "Darkside", which drastically increased damage but made you unable to be affected by external MP-restoring effects like "Refresh" or "Mana Shift". Additionally, there's "Dark Arts", which was only usable with "Darkside" on and cost around 25% of your max MP but made certain abilities do more damage and gives certain others additional effects. Unlike the other stances in the game, however, these weren't mutually exclusive on their own - while some abilities which required Darkside couldn't be used while Grit is active, the two actually synergized pretty well for general purposes, removing Grit's damage-dealing penalty without affecting its defensive boost - but under normal circumstances using "Dark Arts" on every combo will drain your MP dry within three to four attacks. Like the other tanks, as of Shadowbringers they now just have Grit, which simply increases enmity, with Darkside being a time-limited damage-boosting effect granted by using the "Flood of Darkness" or "Edge of Darkness" skills.
  • Stone Wall: The Dark Knight generally deals less damage than the other Tanks and in turn has one of, if not the best damage reduction skill in the form of "The Blackest Night".
  • Sword Beam: They have a variation of Cecil's classic "Darkness" ability known as "Flood of Darkness" with the same stance used in the original SNES game to fire it.
  • Sword Plant: The female idle animation, doing for Saber what the male does for Cloud. For actual gameplay, "Unleash" has the Dark Knight stab their sword into the ground, releasing a shockwave of dark energy.
  • Technicolor Fire: "Dark Arts" causes the Dark Knight's body to temporarily spark up with dark blue flames, and as of a minor visual redesign in Stormblood, most of their weapon skills leave an abyssal black fire in the wake of their sword swings.
  • These Hands Have Killed: Myste, who represents another part of the Warrior of Light's psyche, monologues on this subject and calls the Warrior of Light the "Weapon of Light" instead. Knowing that death follows the Warrior wherever they go - of friends and enemies alike - killing people, even those who may or may not deserve it, on some level affected the Warrior's state of mind. Myste was the culmination of all the guilt and anguish that the Warrior of Light feels, and ultimately their desire for forgiveness and atonement for all the lives they took or failed to save.
  • The Undead: Their "Living Dead" ability invokes this to help them avoid death. Any healers will want to keep an eye on them more than usual when a Dark Knight is using it, or they'll drop dead once it wears off.
  • Weak, but Skilled: The Dark Knight generally deals the lowest damage of all the Tanks as they don't have the high burst damage of the Warrior or Paladin nor the higher overall damage of the Gunbreaker. They make up for by being the toughest of all Tanks, if played right.
  • Weapon Across the Shoulder: The male's idle animation, doing Cloud proud. The likeness is further extended with the Victory Emote, which includes Cloud's famous weapon twirl, and the Battle Stance Emote, where he assumes Cloud's combat pose for a moment.
  • Who Watches the Watchmen?: The reason for the Dark Knight's existence, they're master-less vigilantes who step in and slay Ishgard's above-the-law Temple Knights when they grow corrupt or their Knight Templar tendencies endanger innocents. In particular, the first Dark Knight was a decorated temple knight who slew a Pedophile Priest who abducted orphans from the Brume (Ishgard's slums) for his sick appetites, but was still decorated enough in the Holy See that the deed was deemed a cold-blooded murder.

    Gunbreaker 

Gunbreaker

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gunbreakerartwork.jpg
Soldiers armed with a gunblade, swords built with a firing mechanism that can unleash enchanted shells to achieve many different effects.

Gunbreakers provide examples of...

  • All Swords Are the Same: Although the Garleans have gunblades, it is not the same kind as Hrothgar gunblades used by the Gunbreaker. What little interaction there is with Garleans during Gunbreaker quests suggests that they see Hrothgar gunblades as inferior antiques.
  • An Adventurer Is You: A hydrid between a Mitigation Tank (with Regenerator elements) and a Blademaster DPS. In exchange for having weaker damage reduction abilities than the Paladin, they gain increased offensive potential. They're also the best tank when it comes to Area of Effect attacks, both in terms of attack shape and damage.
  • Animal Motifs: Gunbreakers have a lion motif just like Squall before them. Fittingly, the job was created by the leonine Hrothgar.
  • Badass Bandolier: Their artifact armor has a bandolier hanging from the longcoat.
  • Badass Longcoat: The artifact armor is an armored longcoat.
  • Badass Normal: Paladins make extensive use of their magic, Warriors use the power of their Inner Beast and Dark Knights use the forbidden Dark Magic. Gunbreakers? Gunbreakers use magically charged bullets for their abilities and these bullets can be charged by other individuals. Which means that even an individual without the ability to wield magic can be a Gunbreaker as seen with Thancred in Shadowbringers.
  • BFS: Squall's "Blasting Zone" is one of the Gunbreaker's more powerful attacks and as always involves conjuring a large blade of magic to attack.
  • Blade Across The Shoulder: The Gunbreaker's fighting stance has them resting their gunblade on their shoulder; this, like much about the job, is a shout out to Squall who uses the same stance in the Dissidia games.
  • Blade Spam: As the class is based on Squall, much of the gameplay is modeled after Renzokuken, meaning combos up to six hits.
  • Combos: The bread-and-butter of the Gunbreaker's damage output game is their "Continuation" combo, a six-skill sequence of sword strikes: "Gnashing Fang", "Jugular Rip", "Savage Claw", "Abdomen Tear", "Wicked Talon", then "Eye Gouge".
  • Carry a Big Stick: The Matchlock Greatclub is a kanabo (Japanese studded iron club) that the Gunbreaker can wield in place of a gunblade.
  • Context-Sensitive Button: "Continuation" is really three different attacks bound to a single hotkey, with those attacks becoming available as the Gunbreaker cycles through their Powder Gauge combo. When they use "Gnashing Fang", it becomes "Jugular Rip"; when they use "Savage Claw", it becomes "Abdomen Tear"; and when they use "Wicked Talon", it becomes "Eye Gouge".
  • Damage Over Time: "Sonic Break" applies a damage-over-time effect to one enemy, while "Bow Shock" applies one to all nearby enemies.
  • Damage Reduction: "Camouflage" and "Nebula" are the Gunbreaker’s personal damage reduction skills. They also have "Heart of Light", which makes the whole party less vulnerable to magic damage, and "Heart of Stone", which gives 15% damage reduction to the Gunbreaker or a party member.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: "Superbolide" grants the Gunbreaker eight seconds of invincibility, but at a cost: it reduces their HP to 1. If they are not healed quickly, they will be left in a very vulnerable position.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: The Gunbreaker differs from other tank jobs in that they have fewer mitigation options than their contemporaries, the tradeoff being a slightly higher emphasis on dealing damage, making them more akin to a mix of Tank and DPS jobs. A bad Gunbreaker will die frequently as a result of mismanaging their few mitigation tools (ESPECIALLY Superbolide, where improper use will make a healer absolutely hate your guts), while a good Gunbreaker can not only stay alive, but also put a nice dent into their enemies' HP.
  • Elegant Weapon for a More Civilized Age: The Hrothgar gunblade is an ancient weapon once used to combat Allagan fusiliers, and while still powerful, the discipline has been in decline since the destruction of Bozja Citadel, where most of the Queensguard were stationed when Midas Garlond's Meteor experiment destroyed the city.
  • Evolving Attack: "Danger Zone" becomes "Blasting Zone", the Gunbreaker’s most powerful attack, at level 80.
  • Expy: The class is based on Squall Leonheart's use of the gunblade and uses many of his iconic poses while fighting. The collector's edition of Shadowbringers even has his Revolver gunblade as a glamour weapon, to go along with his outfit being the last of the veteran rewards.
  • Force Field: "Brutal Shell" will create one for the Gunbreaker after executing as part of a combo, "Nebula" conjures one for a standard defensive cooldown while "Heart of Stone" fires a magicked bullet that will create a barrier on the targeted character.
  • Glass Cannon: Strictly in comparison to other tanks, the Gunbreaker has slightly less damage reduction in exchange for higher overall damage potential.
  • Gradual Regeneration: "Aurora" gives regenerating health to a single party member.
  • Having a Blast: The main function of a gunblade's magical ammo is to cause the blade to trigger magical explosions. "Continuation" and "Burst Strike" expend shells for single target explosive attacks while the Herd-Hitting Attack counterpart "Fated Circle" triggers a large magical explosion for AoE Damage with a Spin Attack. "Bow Shock" will also generate a field of explosions around the Gunbreaker.
  • Healing Hands: They have a fairly powerful healing spell known as "Aurora" which will place a heal over time on allies or themselves.
  • High-Class Glass: The class has a monocle for its signature helmet.
  • HP to 1: Gunbreakers have a self-inflicted variant with their invulnerability skill, "Superbolide": it drops them to 1 hit point while making them invincible for 8 seconds.
  • In a Single Bound: "Rough Divide" has the Gunbreaker leap at the enemy as a gap closer leaping while turning on their side for a spinning slash.
  • Hot Blade: Much like in VIII, the gunblade triggers explosions to power itself up.
  • Life Drain: "Brutal Shell" replenishes a small amount of the Gunbreaker’s health when used in a combo, and also gives them a shield that blocks damage equal to the health restored.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Gunbreaker boasts the highest overall damage potential out of all the Tanks, gets their gap closer earlier than the Paladin or Warrior and still retains a great portion of sturdiness that comes with being a tank job.
  • Limit Break: At level 3 their limit break is "Gunmetal Soul", where the Gunbreaker fires several rounds into the air generating a gigantic magical barrier, shielding the party.
  • Magic Knight: They use magical ammo and cartridges to defend themselves and heal themselves and allies.
  • Mana Drain: They siphon aether from enemies with Solid Barrel and Bloodfest to imbue their ammo with magical abilities.
  • Meaningful Name: The name of the Gunbreaker's signature weapon comes from the Praetorian Guard who used it: "Gunnhildr's Blades", or "Gunblades" for short. The profession's name came from how these soldiers would be tasked with laying siege to the Allagan Empire's powerful long-range weapons — to break their enemy's guns (a word that in-universe was born from their resemblance to the Hrothgarian blades' mechanisms rather than the inverse). As silly as this may sound, the real-world etymology of the word "gun" is actually quite similar.
  • Mechanically Unusual Class: The Gunbreaker’s Powder Gauge gains a Cartridge whenever they complete a weaponskill combo. This makes their Gauge fill up much faster than those of the other Tanks, letting Gunbreakers use the abilities tied to it much more frequently. One of those abilities is an extra combo consisting of up to six separate attacks, something no other Tank has as of Shadowbringers.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: The Gunbreaker's arm is a gunblade; these models, however, are based on Hrothgarian models which used cartridges to increase the cutting power with explosive force (similar to the weapons' depiction in Final Fantasy VIII), rather than the ones from Garlemald that can both shoot and stab.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Many of the Gunbreaker's attacks are named after skills used by Squall and Seifer such as Rough Divide, Fated Circle, Blasting Zone, Brutal Shell, Gnashing Fang, Savage Claw, Keen Edge, Solid Barrel, Lightning Shot, No Mercy, Demon Slice and Bloodfest.
    • The Gunbreaker's tank stance is called "Royal Guard" which was a defensive skill used by Gladio.
    • Cartridge Charges are based on the Draw and Junction concept from Final Fantasy VIII and the PvP version of the "Bloodfest" ability is even called "Draw and Junction". These abilities also share an animation with Squall's Draw.
    • The male and female idle animations emulate Squall and Lightning's battle stances respectively.
    • The Victory emote is a dead ringer for Squall's victory pose from FF 8, and the Battle Stance emote uses Seifer's battle pose.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Gunbreaker fighting style has been honed and passed down by "Gunnhildr's Blades", the personal guards of the Hrothgar queen. Its artifact gear is even known as the Bodyguard's set.
  • Prestige Class: Gunbreaker starts at level 60 and can only be unlocked if you have an equivalently leveled job, which in terms of main story requirements means you need to be near or at the end of Heavensward at the very least.
  • Razor Wind: As if to drive home the point that these gunblades aren't for shooting, the obligatory ranged attack is a shockwave caused by slashing at the air.
  • Retractable Weapon: Most gunblades retract their blade for the sake of travel. When going into battle stance, the blade will visibly extend to its full length.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Lionheart, the relic weapon of the Gunbreaker, has a stylish revolver styled gun barrel.
  • Shock and Awe: The Gunbreaker's aptly named "Lightning Shot" attack launches a sword beam made of electricity at enemies for a ranged attack.
  • Spellblade: Another dividing factor from the Garlean-style gunblades is that Gunbreaker gunblades still use aether for their combat, in the form of aether-loaded cartridges/shells that imbue magic into their slashes. That said, it doesn't need to be their own aether, as Thancred has the young Minfilia perpare his due to no longer being able to use magic at all since Heavensward. The player also has an ablity that drains a foe's aether to restore both charges.
  • Spin Attack: "Demon Slaughter" attacks with a spinning slash and "Fated Circle" adds explosions to one.
  • Stance System: Like the other tank classes, though since they were introduced with the update that removed the DPS stances from the existing tanks, Gunbreakers only get an enmity-increasing one, "Royal Guard".
  • Status Buff: "No Mercy" buffs the Gunbreaker’s damage output for 20 seconds.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: This is where the 'gun' part of their name mainly comes in. The usual way for a gunbreaker to make their attacks more powerful is to have them explode when they hit the enemy, and the devastating "Continuation" combo consists of almost ten seconds of rapid-fire explosions.
  • Sword Beam: They can fire one at enemies as a ranged attack with "Lightning Shot".
  • Trick Bullet: The Gunbreaker uses enchanted bullets to execute certain skills with the Powder Gauge system, magically charging their gun cartridges with certain attacks or loading them with "Bloodfest". Gunbreakers also use enchanted bullets to fire out different effects such as barriers, healing effects and other buffs.
  • Vibroweapon: As their gunblades take cues from VIII, they're not actual gun-weapons like those used by the Garleans, but rather pulling the trigger to expend ammo causes flash-vibrations that superheat the weapon to let it strike with hot cuts and explosive force.
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