Hey guys! If you’re here, then you’re probably wondering what’s all the fuss about tanking and parry. Here, I’ll let you guys know MY stance on tanking, parry and all things in between. (I also wanted to write a resource I could link to, instead of repeating myself ad infinitum, haha). Hopefully, this guide will help you decide what’s best for YOU in this regard. Here goes: FFXIV Tanking & Parry guide!
(Disclaimer: Even a post this long doesn’t encompass the entire argument. I will be adding to this in the near future)
The Problem: War of the Parry camps
Two main camps exist. “Parry sucks nuts” and “Parry is needed“. This mini-conflict has affected even me, when writing the PLD, WAR and soon to be DRK BiS lists. Now that I’m going to write this easy to go-to resource, that will change. I’ll list down the main points of each side.
Parry sucks nuts
Parry scales poorly, therefore don’t use it.
Parry is random, so how can we rely on it?
Parry sucks because all attacks are scripted
Parry should be replaced with DPS stats (DET > CRIT > SS)
(MAIN CON): Higher risk of death
One (human factor) thing I dislike about this camp is that SOME tanks on this camp call tanks with parry “bad”. While this is not true for most of them, it does exist. I definitely see why tanks would want DPS gear. Two main reason being: fighting DPS races. However, not all tanks/ scenarios/ statics are equal, so you cannot just blindly put DPS stats on your gear – and blame your healer when you die.
Parry is needed
Parry helps mitigate damage, every little bit counts
Parry is still a lot better than some DPS stats (CRIT & SS)
(MAIN CON): Garbage DPS
These guys are a little more old school, and I see why their logic is sound. The more damage you mitigate, the less risk for your raid. But I also concede that you cannot just blindly put parry on your gear. There is such thing as sacrifcing too many stat points into something you might not maximize.
So how do we make sense of all this? Both sides make valid points, both sides have ups and downs. We should ask ourselves a more constructive question. Instead of “Does parry suck or not suck?” we should ask ourselves a better question, “When should we focus on DPS, or Parry and why?”
Analyzing Gains: What does each stat DO FOR US
DPS Stats for tanking: Why? Let’s ask ourselves, realistically, what gain can be had when itemizing for DPS?
- Pushing phases.
- Beating enrage timers.
Parry for tanking: Why? Again, what gains can be had when itemizing Parry?
- Less risk of death
- More free mana and time for healers (subsequently increasing healer DPS)
- This point is moot if your healers arent DPSing or conserving mana when needed.
These are all valid points. Let’s discuss each one, and let’s try to gain some insight on what exactly is going on here.
(DPS)Pushing Phases: First we must Identify when specifically pushing a phase matters. And I mean MATTERS, not just for some BS reason for the sake of pushing a phase.
Pre 2.4, upon entering T6 Savage, it soon became painfully obvious that having any more than 1 honey spells out a very, very difficult P2. So we squeezed out as much DPS as possible, this included having our Off-tank (Warrior) Mitlet Gyles wear more and more DPS gear until we were sure we could Phase with 1 honey even given sub-standard RNG. We weren’t just pushing phases for funsies – having 2 honey was FATAL. We can consider the above use of DPS stats, viable.
Example of not viable? “Wear DPS gear all the time just to push phases, because, you know… pushing phases is good”. Aye, I get it. Pushing phases is never truly a bad thing. But not all phase-pushing is equal! Sometimes you NEED it, and other times it’s just a luxury.
(DPS)Beating enrage timers: Very similar to the above. If you guys have a good run, but still lose to enrage – you have to squeeze extra DPS somewhere. Our first enrage wipe in T13 was at 3%, but had a death in final phase. It was too close to call – so our OT at the time Claes Henrietta (Warrior) wore another 2 DPS accessories to cover any possible randomness.
Example of not viable? Wearing full DPS gear in an encounter you just got into fearing enrage timer. You’re giving undue stress to your healers and not gaining as much experience as you can. So in essence, we should try for a more defensive setup when learning, and as you gain more experienced when to use cooldowns / knowledge of mechanics – we can push for more DPS.
(Mythbusting) DPS is king, Parry sucks ’cause everything’s scripted: BS. Pure BS. Yes, heavy attacks are scripted in (IE Death Sentence, Ravensbeak/claw, Flatten/Akh Morn). Basic attacks? no. If you’re gonna tell me to my face boss basic attacks don’t matter – you crazy. Having less damage from basics gives your healers a huge windfall in mana. Or in another perspective: opens up more healer DPS.
(PARRY) Less risk of death: The uncool counterpart to DPS’s points. I think because it’s a boring, linear point is why it gets so much hate. But is it true, no matter how you spin it. But this also has a small caveat: This only works when you’re actively taking damage. That’s one point we will discuss later.
(PARRY) More free mana and time for healers: Again, another upside. Less stress on healing. but to truly capitalize on this point – you need decent healers! If they’re wasting mana anyway, or never DPS… what’s the point!? I guess the only way around this is to monitor/advise/communicate as a TEAM. So this can be considered a con… “more parry doesn’t apply to all groups”, but also “more parry assists in the success chance of PUGs” (in terms of safety).
(SUMMARY) Both DPS and Parry are good: WHEN THEY ARE IN EFFECT: This is an interesting conclusion, while quite obvious, there are a lot of complex ideas behind that simple sentence. DPS stats are great, but are severely dulled while MTing. Parry is great too, but SUCKS when OTing! What a conundrum… But I think you see where I’m going with this.
The Solution: Maximizing your stats to your role
This is my stance. For a long time I haven’t been writing the most flexible of tank BiS’s because a page like this didn’t exist for further explanation. Now that I’ve gotten around to writing this – things will change. Now that we see how, when and why both DPS and Parry are good – how do we maximize this? If we cannot come to one solid scenario for a case to state “All tanks must parry”, or “All tanks must DPS” then we do what logically comes next:
As tanks, you should CREATE the ideal scenario to maximize your stats.
Okay let’s take a scenario, and try to maximize our gains for each type of tank.
Encounter example: T12 Phoenix
Main Tank: PLD
Phoenix has a forced tank-swap: Revelation. No tank can survive 2 Revelations, and we ASSUME that it comes every minute. With the exception of Hallowed Ground / Holmgang – a second Revelation will definitely show you the truth (AKA Respawn prompt). So if we go by every minute the tanking sequence end up like this
- let’s say, 10 minute fight. We will see 10 Revs, and Phoenix dies before the 11th minute
- First rev happens after 1m, then every minute after that.
- for simplicities sake let’s ignore Brand
- Also, swap 10s before next rev
So if they did things “normally” they MT 5 minutes each, split evenly.
If both tanks itemize DPS: for 50% of the fight, your DPS stats are reduced by 25% efficiency (from stance)
If both tanks itemize Parry: for 50% of the fight, your parry is useless. (not ideal)
That’s a big case for DPS right here. So in the most brainless of scenarios, DPS is the clear winner – at the sad expense of us healers (hehe). But is this the best we can do?
Now lets say we utilize our skillset to the fullest. The PLD will use HG to survive 2 “Second Revelations” and laugh death in the face… the tanking order looks like this.
- PLD (01:00) Revelation
- PLD (02:00) Revelation: Hallowed Ground
- PLD (02:50) Revelation soon (Tank swap) (PLD 2:50)
- WAR (03:50) Revelation soon (Tank Swap) (WAR 1:00)
- PLD (04:50) Revelation soon (Tank swap) (PLD 3:50)
- WAR (05:50) Revelation soon (Tank Swap) (WAR 2:00)
- PLD (06:50) Revelation soon (Tank Swap) (PLD 4:50)
- WAR (07:50) Revelation Soon (Tank Swap) (WAR 3:00)
- PLD (08:00) Revelation eaten (PLD 5:00)
- PLD (09:00) Revelation: Hallowed Ground (PLD 6:00)
- PLD (09:50) Revelation soon (Tank Swap) (PLD 7:00)
- WAR (10:50) Phoenix dies around this time or much sooner (WAR 3:xx)
So in this example, let’s use a a 65-35% uptime between PLD and WAR respectively.
If PLD itemizes Parry: for 65% of the fight Parry is working for you (an improvement to 50% in previous scenario)
If Warrior itemizes DPS: for 65% of the fight, DPS stats are at max (an improvement from 50% in previous scenario)
But wait… Warrior can and SHOULD use Unchained only when he’s tanking.. further increasing uptime!
If Warrior itemizes DPS: for 75% of the fight, DPS stats are at max (further improvement > 65 > 50)
The answer is dead simple, yet most people don’t see it. Parry is better the more you MT, DPS is better the more you OT… that’s quite an unexciting answer after all this discussion!
Clarifications, Summary and Recommendations
1) The more you MT, the better parry is (and the WORSE dps stats are due to stance) – So why spec DPS if this is the case? The more you OT, the better DPS stats are – SIMPLE! So instead of stubbornly picking and sticking to one camp – the first step of evolution is to keep the above statement in mind.
2) Warrior Unchained makes DPS stats more weighty. Ignoring the Defiance reduction is HUGE. This makes more sense for warriors to OT. Paladins make a more stable MT anyway, given they can also block! So why force the issue of “equality” – Maximize the strengths of both classes!
3) Adjust your strategy to accomodate these itemization choices: The most important thing we’ve learned here today is that all this theorycrafting is absolute garbage if you don’t find ways and means to push this strategic advantage to its absolute max. Some encounters already do this for you. In T13, you have a 14 minute encounter wherein the MT stands in front of Bahamut for 10 MINUTES. Not counting the Zoo phase, this gives warrior almost 100% uptime without Defiance! The only exception is the P2 adds (what… 1 minute total?)
Now I wont stop you if you still insist on stacking DPS stats if you MT most of the fight. But keep in mind, doing this is gimping your team. The solution? Owning a great mix of gear should cover all your needs. Being stubborn and inflexible isn’t pro – that’s being BAD.
“Im on 100% DPS gear and healers cant keep me up – damn pugs!” You can try wearing parry and see how it goes. Cleared the fight and didn’t hit enrage? Good. You hit enrage? Switch up some gear. Can’t clear with either sets? You or your group are fundamentally flawed – and itemization doesn’t matter.
“I cleared this/that boss with DPS/Parry and I don’t agree with you” If you’re overgeared, none of this matters. I can clear T13 with both tanks rocking 0 secondary stats if you’re in full 130. But if you REFUSE to see when a situation or strategy needs either Parry or DPS, that’s just limiting yourself. Having one statement be the clear RULE applying to all tanks/ composition / scenarios / encounters is downright FOOLISH.
But I’m sure as many tanks read this, we will still have diehard DPS campers, and diehard Parry campers – and that’s fine. I just wished to throw my stance out there. Hopefully this helps out anybody whose considering being a tank – and those current tanks who might want to learn a thing or two. Again, these are my own thoughts and I’m not forcing anyone to side with me.
Anyways – GOODLUCK parrying and DPSing where necessary, haha! Hopefully our Parry vs DPS stat guide for tanking helped you out somehow. If you have anything to contribute, please comment.