Paladin Basics Guide
Guide Info
Last Updated: 6 Nov, 2023
Patch Applicable: 6.5

Welcome to the Basics Guide for Paladin! Whether you are a fresh level 90, a returning player, or just need a refresher, this guide will get you started and allow you to hit the ground running.

Since this is a basic introduction to level 90 Paladin, this guide will not go into many nuances and topics that are tied to high-end optimization. If you are looking for such information, you may find it in one of the dedicated guides below:

Paladin Playstyle

The Paladin rotation revolves around its main buffs: Fight or Flight, which heavily buffs all damage dealt, and Requiescat, which enables the use of powerful spells. Defensively, Paladin has strong party mitigation as well as targeted mitigation for your co-tank or party members.

Core Concepts

There are a few key concepts that are fundamental to the game and carry over between jobs.

  • Keeping your Global Cooldown (GCD) on cooldown is one of the most important parts of playing any job. Pressing something wrong is almost always better than pressing nothing at all.
  • As a primarily melee job, it is important to know how to keep melee uptime on the boss. This includes knowing when mechanics snapshot and where you can greed for extra GCDs before and after disengaging for mechanics.
  • Keep off-Global Cooldowns (oGCDs) on cooldown. Damaging oGCDs should be used roughly as they come off cooldown, as long as using them does not delay your next GCD due to animation lock.

The Rotation (as of patch 6.4)

Paladin Opener

6.3 Paladin Standard Opener

The potion used is whatever the current tier’s Strength potion is (as of patch 6.4, it is the Grade 8 Tincture of Strength).

After the opener, we cycle between a filler phase and a burst phase (explained below).

Paladin Rotation

6.3 Paladin Rotation

Burst Phase

The burst phase begins with the use of Fight or Flight, and should contain the following GCDs:

  • Goring Blade
  • Confiteor
  • Blade of Faith
  • Blade of Truth
  • Blade of Valor
  • 3 “extra” GCDs (if you have the Divine Might buff, prioritize Holy Spirit)

The exact GCD order is flexible. Since Goring Blade and the Confiteor combo actions do not break combo, it is recommended to use them first in the Fight or Flight window to avoid losing uses.

Each Fight or Flight should also include the following actions:

  • Requiescat (this can be weaved immediately after Fight or Flight, and must precede Confiteor)
  • Circle of Scorn
  • Expiacion
  • 2 Intervenes (these should be held for Fight or Flight when possible — use them outside of Fight or Flight if needed to keep melee uptime)

Filler Phase

During the filler phase, abide by the following rules:

  • Avoid overwriting Divine Might and Sword Oath stacks by spending your empowered Holy Spirit and Atonements before you next press Royal Authority.

  • You can (and should) start a Royal Authority combo before spending your Divine Might and Sword Oath — This enables you to hold strong GCDs to be your three “extra” Fight or Flight GCDs. Ensure that before actually pressing Royal Authority, you spend any remaining procs.

  • Use Circle of Scorn and Expiacion on cooldown — you will naturally get one use for free between Fight or Flight windows

  • Try to hold both Intervenes for Fight or Flight

  • Use Fight or Flight and Requiescat on cooldown, beginning another burst phase

    • Fight or Flight may come up at any point during your filler — that is okay, and you should use it immediately regardless of what point during your combo you are. Since Goring Blade and the Blade of Valor combo do not break combo, you can easily pick up your filler combo afterwards.

Multiple Targets

  • At three or more targets, replace single target melee combos with Total Eclipse and Prominence and Holy Spirit with Holy Circle

Notable Utility

Divine Veil

Divine Veil provides a party-wide shield and heal. Use during dungeon trash pulls as self-mitigation or during trials and raids as party mitigation.

Passage of Arms

Passage of Arms applies a buff to all party members behind you, granting them a 15% reduction in damage taken. The buff lingers for five seconds after you cancel it, so the most common use case is flashing it onto the party before high raid-wide damage.

In a pinch this can also be used for a hard-hitting tankbuster, but needs to be channeled since the guaranteed block buff ends as soon as the skill is canceled. This is not recommended because the cooldown is very long and is often more valuable as raid mitigation.


Intervention gives your target a buff that reduces damage taken, as well as provides a small regen effect. The damage reduction buff can be buffed by having either Rampart or Sentinel active when casting Intervention. Having both Rampart and Sentinel active does not provide an additional buff.


Reprisal reduces the damage dealt by all enemies around you. Most of the time, use this on raid-wide damage.

Holy Sheltron
Hallowed Ground

Use your other defensive cooldowns to reduce incoming damage and make life easier for your healers.


These skills are very niche and infrequently used but have their time and place to shine. Clemency is a significant DPS loss but enables soloing dungeon bosses when the healer is dead, or saving runs when progging raids and trials. Cover can be used in niche optimization strategies or for saving a party member from otherwise lethal damage. Covered damage ignores Hallowed Ground.

Helpful Macros

Co-tank macros assume your co-tank is in party slot two (default party sorting).

Intervention on Co-Tank

/merror off 
/ac Intervention <2>
/ac Intervention <2>
/ac Intervention <2>
/ac Intervention <2>
/ac Intervention <2>
/ac Intervention <2>
/ac Intervention <2>
/ac Intervention <2>
/ac Intervention <2>
/ac Intervention <2>
/ac Intervention <2>
/ac Intervention <2>
/ac Intervention <2>
/micon Intervention  

Mouseover Cover:

/merror off
/ac Cover <mo>
/ac Cover <mo>
/ac Cover <mo>
/ac Cover <mo>
/ac Cover <mo>
/ac Cover <mo>
/ac Cover <mo>
/ac Cover <mo>
/ac Cover <mo>
/ac Cover <mo>
/ac Cover <mo>
/ac Cover <mo>
/ac Cover <mo>
/micon Cover  

Shirk on Co-Tank

/merror off
/ac Shirk <2>
/ac Shirk <2>
/ac Shirk <2>
/ac Shirk <2>
/ac Shirk <2>
/ac Shirk <2>
/ac Shirk <2>
/ac Shirk <2>
/ac Shirk <2>
/ac Shirk <2>
/ac Shirk <2>
/ac Shirk <2>
/ac Shirk <2>
/micon Shirk  

Why are there so many repeated lines? FFXIV macros do not queue, so hitting a macro while in animation lock from another action will cause the macro to not go off. Since macros execute lines sequentially at around one line per frame, repeating the /action lines simulates mashing the ability every frame for ~15 frames and gives the macro a semblance of queuing.

Mouseover? <2>?
<mo> will attempt to target whatever your mouse cursor is currently hovering over when that macro line is reached, whether it be their physical model or a name on your party list.

<2> targets the second player on your party list, which is the other tank by default in eight-person content.

Stats and Itemization

Before obtaining best-in-slot gear, pick gear and meld according to stat priority on each piece of gear. Best-in-slot sets can be found in the Balance Discord or the Best in Slot page on this website.

Because of stat tiering, the Tank Gear Calculator gets the last word on any specific gearing question.

Highest Priority

Weapon Damage (main-hand weapon only)

  • Significantly affects all damage dealt.
  • Proportional to item level.
  • Always the top priority for main-hand weapons


  • Affects all damage dealt.
  • Proportional to item level.
  • Almost always more important to have higher Strength rather than swapping low-priority substats for high-priority ones

Critical Hit

  • Affects critical chance and critical damage.
  • Often naturally capped on BiS gear pieces.
  • Priority meld on all gear (unless that gear piece would overcap, i.e. the number turns red when melding).

Direct Hit

  • Affects only direct hit chance.
  • Meld remaining slots (filler stat).


  • Increases damage dealt and healing done.
  • Sometimes used in one slot due to stat tiering.


  • Increases damage dealt, healing done, and reduces damage taken.
  • Rarely melded due to weak scaling and minimal impact of mitigation.

Skill Speed

  • Reduces weaponskill recast time.
  • Skill speed is inefficient on Paladin and should be avoided where possible, though usually not at the expense of item level
  • See precise skill speed tiers, courtesy of the folks over at Allagan Studies.

Lowest Priority

  • Have any questions?
  • 27 Oct, 2021
    10 Jan, 2022
    Endwalker update
    26 Jul, 2022
    Updated opener graphics
    19 Sep, 2022
    Updated for 6.2
    12 Jan, 2023
    Updated for 6.3
    25 May, 2023
    Text updated for 6.4
    6 Nov, 2023
    Updated infographic for 6.4 changes