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warrior war versus paladin pld tanking guide and comparison

Inevitably, it’s come to this. “Who is better”, Warriors (Marauders) or Paladins (Gladiators)? Here, we will try our best to give you the ins and outs of each class. Note that we will be discussing level 50 PLD and WAR capabilities, and this somehow extends to lower-level Gladiator and Marauder comparisons.

This is also our very first ‘community driven’ guide – we will be discussing key points in the forums, ultimately leading to the content to this page. Participate and be commended!
PLD vs. WAR Forum thread

For reference you can open these windows (Opens in New Tab):
Gladiator | Paladin : Marauder | Warrior

Base stats / Innate capabilities

Warrior
The main advantage of a warrior is it’s immense maximum HP. Does a lot of damage, and indirectly increases defenses by doing so. Marauders and Warriors are extremely combo sensitive, and are definitely more difficult to play. This further extends by adding the “Defiance” / “Infuriated” warrior system. Compared to Paladins, these guys pack a huge punch. Parrying serves as a welcome additional defense (Although Paladins have this too), they cannot block.

Paladin
Damage reduction / mitigation is the paladins key trait. Wears a shield by default (Blocks!). Paladins have a reactive gamplay style, and are much easier to play ‘mechanically’ than warriors. Paladins are susceptible to burst damage with a low HP pool, but over the course of longer encounters – their mitigation more than makes up for it. Their “Effective HP” is much much higher than a Marauder. Their damage is so pathetic, and could possibly be out DPS’d by a Conjurer.

So here we see the main difference, Warriors rely on HP and Damage. Paladins rely on Damage Reduction. This becomes brutally clear in the next section:

Defensive Skills

Warrior
— MRD —
Foresight – Increases defense by 20% for 20s. Recast 90 (Traited)
Bloodbath – Gain 25% “Lifesteal” for 30s (Traited). Recast 90.
Mercy Stroke – Killing a target with mercy stroke restores 20% of max HP. Recast 30 (Traited)
Thrill of Battle – Increases max HP by 20% (Traited) and heals for that amount. Duration 10s.
Storms Path – (If Combo’d into) Creates a shield equal to 20% of damage dealt up to 10% of max HP.
—WAR—
Defiance – (Stance) Increases maximum HP by 25%, while lowering damage dealt by 30% and increasing enmity.

Paladin
— GLD —
Rampart – Reduces damage taken by 20% (Traited) for 20s.
Convalescence – Increases HP restored by spells or actions by 30% (Traited) for 20s.
Awareness – Reduces critical strike damage taken by 15% for 25 (Traited) seconds.
Tempered Will – Immediately cures Bind and Heavy, while preventing knockback and draw-in effects.
Sentinel – Reduces damage taken by 40% (Traited) for 10s.
Bulwark – Increases block rate by 60% for 15s.
— PLD —
Shield Oath – (Stance) Reduces damage taken by 25%, and damage dealt by 30% but increases enmity generated.
Hallowed Ground – Renders you impervious to most attacks

Wow, from here it becomes rather obvious that warriors have the short end of the stick when it comes to purely defensive skills. Foresight is directly inferior to Rampart (Which also reduces magic damage) and Sentinel (40%!). Thrill of Battle is ‘cute’ at best, amounting to a large heal. Storms Path is the warrior saving grace here, giving you a reusable shield without a long cooldown.

Paladins on the other hand have a long list of defensive skills, all ridiculously effective. Just by comparing the stances, the trade-off for 30% reduction for damage dealt is just completely lopsided in the paladins favor: 25% damage reduction for the paladin, and 35% max hp for the warrior. While 35% HP is better in a vacuum, when healers are involved, this becomes next to useless (Remember Effective HP?)

Warriors scale extremely well with offense, and even benefit from it defensively. While this is good, the survivability gained is just nowhere NEAR the Paladin. Not even close.

Threat Generation

Both Paladins & Warrior have no trouble generating threat. It’s the small differences and situations that make the Warrior superior to Paladin in terms of threat.  It’s very unlikely that DPS will pull aggro during a fight from either a Paladin or Warrior, so what’s the difference? Two key points.

Threat on Demand
The main difference? Warriors are better in more desperate times. When sh*t hits the fan – you’re going to want a warrior. When resources are tight, and adds spawn, Warriors are much much better at picking them up and making them stick. Paladins have superior resource management and will match a warriors threat over time. Warriors excels at keeping up with initial burst aggro when picking up and killing newly spawned adds.

Adds, AoE
In both single target and AoE situations, Warriors will out-threat Paladins any day. Paladins also have decent AoE threat, but simply pale in comparison to what Warriors can do to multiple enemies, and struggle alot less to build up initial aggro. It’s like Warriors WANT adds to spawn, and lots of them, while Paladins would rather not!

Due to the length of this post, we split it into two pages. In Page 2, we discuss Healer Preference, Overall Kit, and finally Summary and Recommendations.

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