This is usually one of the first questions asked by PLDs unfamiliar with how PLD/NIN works.
After all, they've most likely been subbing /WAR since their first XP party as PLD and continued to do so all the way to 75. Some of them might not even have their /NIN sub leveled to 37 yet. They might have taken /NIN to 18 as a subjob for WAR, or possibly used /MNK or /THF and grinded out 30-37 WAR as quickly as they could so they could get back to leveling PLD. Some of them might have even went WAR/PLD with a Sword and Shield. They might not understand exactly how a PLD/NIN could keep hate at all without abilities like Provoke, and why Utsusemi would be preferable to Defender, especially since PLDs aren't very good at evading things to begin with.
So, again, why would a PLD choose to sub /NIN to tank a particular mob?
If they're able to keep hate without resorting to /WAR and they're able to keep Utsusemi up fairly often, /NIN can reduce a lot more physical damage than /WAR, and Utsusemi can also absorb single target enfeebles and spells that could potentially 1-shot a /WAR.
Is PLD/NIN always the best option?
No. PLD/NIN works well on monsters that don't use a lot of AOE shadow stripping TP moves or spells, and works best with a co-tank to share hate (although this part is true for /WAR as well). PLD/NIN also requires certain gear and the proper support for the best results.
How is it possible to tank without /WAR?
Subbing /WAR gives access to some great abilities that help to control hate and reduce damage. Provoke, Warcry, and Defender are the main benefits a 75 PLD gets from /WAR sub.
Job abilities such as Sentinel, Rampart, and Shield Bash and spells like Flash and Cures don't require a /WAR subjob, though, and they also happen to generate a lot of hate, especially with a good amount of +Enmity gear.
However, while the job abilities are nice, they're on fairly long timers, which leaves nothing but spells to generate the majority of hate. Fortunately, Flash generates a nice amount of hate, even though it can only be cast once every 45 seconds.
Wait, Flash can only be cast every 45 seconds?
No, I lied.
The recast will be 45 seconds only if you have no Haste whatsoever. If a RDM or WHM casts the Haste spell on you, you'll be able to cast Flash every 37 seconds.
Here's where it gets interesting. The Haste spell increases your overall Haste% by 15%. If you wear gear that adds Haste%, the recast time on Flash will be lowered even further. There are also BRD songs that add Haste%. Victory March adds 11% and Advancing March adds 9% Haste, respectively.
People started testing Haste% once they figured out it cut recast timers on spells as well as reduced melee speed, and they've discovered there's a 50% cap on Haste as far as spell recasts are concerned.
If you can hit that 50% Haste cap between gear and buffs, your recast on Flash will be 22 seconds. Casting Flash this often (or close to it) is how PLD can generate incredible amounts of hate even without Provoke, especially if they pile on the Enmity+.
Wait, Utsusemi is considered a spell, right? Does Haste% affect it in the same way?
It most certainly does, and it's the entire trick to making PLD/NIN work most effectively. When you can cast Utsusemi: Ichi every 15 seconds and Utsusemi: Ni every 22 seconds, it becomes much easier to keep shadows up the majority of time, especially if you have a co-tank generating similar amounts of hate and you're able to share hate well with each other.
This requires incredibly expensive gear I'll never be able to afford?
Not necessarily. Luckily, Speed Belt isn't a required piece of gear to make this work. Also, there are plenty of rare/ex pieces which make it easier for a PLD/NIN to put together an effective Haste% build.
Wait, you said Rare/Ex, didn't you? I suppose now you're going to say I need Zilart and CoP complete and doing all those "Limboose" runs for "Homamamy" gear or whatever, right?
Not necessarily, although having CoP complete and being able to do Limbus runs for Homam gear certainly doesn't hurt if you want the best PLD/NIN build you can put together.
OK, how much Haste% gear do I actually need, and what are my options?
If you have a BRD for double March and a WHM or RDM for Haste, you're looking at a total of 35% Haste. That means you'll only need to wear 15% worth of Haste from gear to cap your recast timers at 50%. Try to get at least 10-12% Haste if you can't manage to get 15% or more.
Remember, when it comes to Haste%, more is better. A single BRD in the tank party can sing something other than March X 2 (like Ballad II or Foe Sirvente) if you and your co-tanks have a strong enough Haste% build.
If you don't have any Haste% gear and you're still trying to clear Promyvion-Mea to continue your CoP progress, your options are a bit limited. Let's go over them though.
- Blitz Ring (Ring)- Haste+1%
- Walahra Turban (Head) - HP+30, MP+30, Haste+5%
- Capricorn Staff (Staff) - Haste+5%
- Quick Belt (Waist) - HP-15, Haste+2%
- Haste Belt (Waist) - DEF: 4, Enchantment: Haste (I believe Enchantment is 10% Haste but I'd have to test it to make sure. The effect does stack with the Haste spell)
Items that require a bit more effort-
- Dusk Gloves (Hands) - DEF: 24, HP+20, Haste+3%
- Dusk Ledelsens (Feet) - DEF: 23, HP+25, Haste+2%
Items even harder to obtain-
- Dusk Gloves+1 (Hands) - DEF: 25, HP+22, Haste+4%
- Dusk Ledelsens+1 (Feet) - DEF: 24, HP+27, Haste+3%
- Speed Belt/Velocious Belt - Haste+6%
Items that require a certain amount of CoP Missions complete as well as a significant time investment-
Mission 4-2 - The Savage completed or higher (required for access to Sacrarium)
- Swift Belt- Haste+4%
Mission 7-5 - A Warrior's Path completed or higher (required for access to Al'Taieu and Limbus)
- Homam Manopolas (Hands) - DEF: 20, HP+20, MP+20, ACC+3, Enmity+3, Haste+3%
- Homam Cosciales (Legs) - DEF: 35, HP+26, MP+26, ACC+3, Enhances Fast Cast Effect, Haste+3%
- Homam Gambieras (Feet) - DEF: 16, HP+31, MP+31, ACC+6, Haste+3%
- Homam Zucchetto (Head) - DEF: 26, HP+22, MP+22, ACC+4, Magic ACC+4, Haste+3%
OK, I've got 10-15% Haste or higher from gear. What do I focus on now?
Good question. Enmity should be your biggest priority after you have enough Haste%, because as much hate generation as possible is your goal.
Try to add as much HP as you can without neglecting Enmity+. Pieces which add both Enmity+ and HP+ like High Breath Mantle, AF/AF2 (in slots not filled by Haste), and Sattva Ring are often great choices for this very reason.
I strongly recommend Harmonia's Torque (VIT-5, Enmity+3) for the neck slot until you can obtain the Ritter Gorget (DEF: 8, HP+25, Evasion+5, Enmity+3), an item which can be purchased from the Einherjar NPC, Kilusha, for 15,000 Ampoules of Therion Ichor.
This F.A.Q. makes everything sound so easy, but surely PLD/NIN's not as simple as piling on the Haste% and Enmity+ and casting Flash as much as possible, curing and using job abilities appropriately? Or is it?
Yes and no. It's honestly not that hard of a concept, and it's easy to generate a nice amount of hate fairly easily just by casting Flash every 22 seconds with a high +Enmity score and casting Cures as needed.
With that being said, there's a certain room for finesse. Firing off Sentinel just because the timer is up isn't always the best approach. Job abilities can be useful to spike hate and grab it off your co-tank when they get caught with shadows down, so it's definitely something to keep in mind before you use one. Rampart is best used to reduce AOE damage from -ga spells or any magical based move that strips or goes through shadows.
Job abilities can also be saved to help get hate back easier when you know you might lose it to someone other than your co-tank. Some mobs have hate reset moves and saving Sentinel or Rampart for those times really helps minimize the problems this can cause. Finesse and the awareness of what's the best choice in each and every situation will only come with more experience and practice, and is exactly what separates the veteran tanks from the newer guys who need a F.A.Q. like this in the first place.
Sometimes, you'll even want to stop firing the Flashes every 22 seconds, just because your hate is just that much higher than your co-tank, and they need a bit of leeway to catch up. Other times, you'll be working overtime just because your co-tank is that much ahead of you.
Remember, mistakes are a part of the learning process, and they're going to happen from time to time. The important thing is not repeating them.
Is there any use for +Shield gear?
Yes. One thing you need to learn very quickly is playing PLD/NIN depends a lot more on creative gear swapping to get the most out of it.
While this is true for PLD/WAR and any other job in FFXI as well, many PLDs don't utilize macro swaps as much as other jobs do on the road to 75, especially if it's their first post-30 job.
Macroing in +Shield gear can be useful during Utsusemi recasts, as a shield block will prevent it being interrupted thanks to Shield Mastery.
It's also a smart thing to swap in +Shield gear when you have hate, your shadows are down, and you're waiting on timers.
Utilizing macros to their fullest also applies to Haste% gear.
Maybe your Haste% gear isn't spectacular, so you decide to pick up a Blitz Ring to put you at Haste+12-14%. You might want to consider swapping that ring in just for Utsusemi recasts, and swapping Hercule's Ring in its place for Flash and Cures. Also, it's a good idea to macro out that Swift Belt for a Warwolf Belt for Cures and Job Abilities as well.
What about resistance sets? I've heard a lot about those. How do they apply to PLD/NIN?
I won't cover this too much, but you'll want to work on creating an all purpose -Magic Damage% set and possibly a Resistance set to a certain element (depending on the mobs you'll be tanking).
For instance, if you can get your overall Fire Resistance to over 300, you'll dramatically increase your resistance rate, and the amount of damage Tiamat does to you while in the air casting Firagas will be laughable. You'll want to get at least 150 Fire resistance, along with Barfira from a WHM and Fire Carol from a BRD to hit 300+ if you're going for a resistance build.
Alternatively, you could stack as much Magic Defense Bonus items and -Magic Damage% with a bit of Fire Resistance in other slots and reduce the amount of damage taken in that manner.
There's a thread over on KI that goes into much greater detail than I'm going to here. http://ffxi.killvoid.com/forums.php?m=posts&q=147809
Can you please give us a better idea of what equipment to wear for PLD/NIN, outside of Haste%? I understand why focusing on +Enmity would be important, but are there any specific "must-have" pieces or any situational gear that screams PLD/NIN?
I tried to avoid mentioning specific gear other than Haste% since my hope was anyone reading this would pick up the basics regarding gear choices from this F.A.Q. and then apply those principles when putting together a PLD/NIN build for themselves. I didn't want people to have the mistaken belief they can't successfully tank as PLD/NIN unless they have certain items, which is another reason I neglected to mention specific pieces.
For a more comprehensive list of items which can be worked into a PLD/NIN tanking build, I recommend checking out NCCoda's Extensive PLD Gear and Food Guide, specifically the sections entitled "PLD Equipment - Endgame Tanking," "PLD Equipment - Magic Resistance & Haste Gear," and "PLD Equipment - Misc Categories."
However, I'll make a short list of some non-Haste items that are worth incorporating into your build if they're available to you.
Additional recommended items for PLD/NIN
- Ethereal Earring (Earring) - HP+15, Attack+5, Evasion+5, Converts 3% of Damage taken to MP (Great item every PLD should strive to obtain)
- Loquacious Earring (Earring) - MP+30, Enhances Fast Cast Effect (Reduces Spellcasting time by 2%, and Spell recast time by 1%)
- Valor Surcoat (Body) - DEF:55, HP+23, DEX+3, Enmity+4, Enhances Cover Ability (Converts 20% of damage taken while Cover is active to MP)
- Hydra Haubert (Body) - DEF: 45, HP-20, MP+20, ACC+10, Enmity+9 (rare drop from Dynamis-Tavnazia that boosts +Enmity greatly)
- Aegishjalmr (Head) - DEF: 23, HP+25, MND-7, CHR-7, Enmity+7 (Great boost to +Enmity and worth using over Walahra Turban if you already have a solid Haste% build)
- Bahamut's Mask (Head) - DEF: 32. Enhances Dragon Killer Effect, Enmity+8 (Aegishjalmr+1)
- Boxer's Mantle (Back) - Guard Skill+10, Evasion Skill+10, Shield Skill+10, Parrying Skill+10 (Great swap item for +Shield if you're not using a High Breath Mantle)
- Gigant Mantle (Back) - DEF:4, HP+80 (Can be macroed in and out along with other +HP gears as a way to generate additional hate when you're not taking much damage)
- Flawless Ribbon (Head)- DEF:18, Light Resistance+30, Dark Resistance+30, Enhances Killer Effects, Increases Resistance to All Status Ailments (underrated piece that has its uses, but only worth getting if you have Ancient Beastcoins to burn)
- Macahuitl+1 (Sword) - DMG:37, Delay: 227, ACC-4, ATK+11, Enmity+4 (best source of Enmity in this slot and relatively cheap to boot)
- Wivre Shield/Wivre Shield+1 (Shield) - DEF:12/13, Enmity+5/6 (this size 3 shield which adds a bit more +Enmity to your build than Koenig was added in the 8-27-07 update)
Currently, I can only manage to scrape together a total of 10% Haste from gear, and my linkshell sometimes has a low BRD turnout on days we do events, which means I'm not going to be anywhere close to 50% Haste a lot of the time. Is casting Flash every 22 seconds (or close to it) the only way a PLD/NIN can generate hate?
Of course not. Whether you sub /NIN, /WAR, or even /DRG, Flash is only one of many hate tools. While casting Flash as often as possible is very important when building hate, it's not the only thing that makes PLD/NIN work.
Ignoring the other hate tools PLD has such as Cures and Job Abilities like Sentinel and Rampart or prioritizing a small amount of Haste% gear over a large amount of +Enmity isn't doing anybody any favors, and will severely limit your overall potential as a tank.
Also, there are other hate tools I forgot to mention that are specific to /NIN. Spells like Kurayami: Ichi (Blind) and Dokumori: Ichi (Poison) generate a small amount of hate, even if resisted. They can be used to conserve MP and as an additional source of hate when waiting on Job Ability and spell recast timers, and especially come in handy when kiting.
If you're lucky enough to have Homam Manopolas, Homam Cosciales, and a Swift Belt, you'd have a total of 10% Haste as well as an extra 1.5% shaved off your timers thanks to the Fast Cast from Homam Cosciales. You'd be making a mistake to go with Walahra Turban full time if you had access to either Aegisjhalmr or Bahamut's Mask. Giving up Enmity+7/8 for a couple extra seconds shaved off your spell recasts isn't worth it.
With that being said, acquiring plenty of Haste% gear and getting those recasts on Flash and Utsusemi as low as possible is very important if you want to make the most out of this combo. Just don't make the mistake it's the only thing to focus on.
How do you decide where to draw the line between enmity and haste? You mentioned it might be better to wear Bahamut's Mask instead of Walahra Turban. That was one of my exact questions, since I have a Bahamut's Mask. I'm also picking Swift belt over my Trance belt usually, and Homam Cosciales over my Valor Breeches. What do you think about the Capricorn Staff over the Machahuitl+1/Koenig Shield? Seems like a similar argument to W. Turban vs. B. Mask... lots of enmity lost for a bit of Haste%... and even worse, the ability to shield block. Without it, though, I'm left with Homam hands/legs (no feet yet) and a Swift Belt for 10% haste (+ a Loquacious Earring).
Macro in Walahra Turban for Utsusemi recasts, and replace it with Bahamut's Mask the rest of the time if an extra 5% Haste will make it easier for you to keep up Utsusemi.
If blinking your character causes problems for your WHMs, who cares? They shouldn't have to be curing you that much anyways. :D
As far as Capricorn Staff goes, I actually prefer using it over Machahuitl+1/Koenig Shield if I'm not already at the Haste% cap between buffs and gear. Blasphemy, right? To be honest, I'd only macro it in for Utsusemi if it didn't cause TP loss (Chivalry), but since it does, I leave it equipped full time. Keeping up Utsusemi is more important to me than boosting my +Enmity to the point where I'm taking damage simply because my Utsusemi recast isn't ready.
In the end, you need to find a balance between Haste% and +Enmity that works for you. Everyone has slightly different tanking styles and everyone is working with co-tanks and mages of varying skill/experience levels. There is no correct answer, as there's too many factors to consider.
Any suggestions on a hate build routine for initial hate when I can't rely on a SATA partner? This is where I seem to struggle with PLD/NIN. Longer fights like Ouryu or Bahamut 2 are outstanding and enable me to cling to the hate ceiling but the initial hate build gives me fits. Right now I'm trying to get in an initial Flash, wait 10 seconds or so, then pop Sentinel (fully merited guardian)and Flash/Shield Bash while the enmity boost from Sentinel is still in effect. My alliance usually stays full HP at all times through most all fights, so there isn't a lot to cure to build hate on. My co-tank is an excellent NIN/DRK who spams spells and stays at the hate ceiling constantly and takes almost no damage.
As far as trying to get a jump start on hate, I'd equip enough Haste% to get Flash recast around 22-25 seconds. Get on the mob hate list with something other than Flash, immediately Sentinel, Flash, swap in full Enmity+, Shield Bash, Rampart, and cast a 2nd Flash before Sentinel wears off. You'll definitely be at top of the hate list after all that. However, I wouldn't stress this as being important. If your alliance is normally at full HP, it sounds like you and your NIN/DRK co-tank are getting the job done.
If the NIN/DRK has hate on him nearly full time, and this is the reason you're wanting to get a better jump on initial hate, let your mages know to concentrate on -na spells, Barspells, and Erase until you're at 35% MP or less. You really should be handling the majority of the NIN/DRK's healing needs, as it creates stronger overall hate for both of you, as well as makes it easier to share hate. Cover can also be used whenever the NIN/DRK needs a breather or is riding recast timers.
Oh, and Bahamut 2 is a long fight? If you've got the people and jobs available to pull if off (and you probably do), I strongly suggest TP burning it.
I just leveled my NIN sub to 37, and learned Utsusemi: Ni. Are there any tricks to blink tanking you could pass along? Also, are there any differences to keep in mind when blink tanking as a /NIN instead of a NIN?
One of the first things I suggest is filtering any information you can live without. This makes it easier to read the log and keep track of how many shadows you have left.
Secondly, I recommend changing the default font colors for "Actions you Evade". To do this, go to Config > Font Colors > Actions you Evade. I make this a bright red color by sliding Red all the way to the right, and Blue and Green all the way to the left. In this way, any time you evade or parry an attack, it will show up bright red in the log, making it very easy to count shadows, regardless of how many or few filters are actually turned on.
Once you've got your filters and chat colors set in this way, it will be much easier to keep track of how many shadows you have up at any given time.
If you've done some tanking as NIN past 37, you're probably familiar with most of the basic concepts. If you aren't, you might want to read this- Jahava's Guide to Blink Tanking and Utsusemi.
Note: Everything that follows here assumes you understand the information found in Jahava's guide. Check it out if you're unsure.
One of the biggest differences between NIN and /NIN tanking is Utsusemi: Ni. It only gives 3 shadows instead of 4 if you're /NIN. What does that mean for PLD/NIN? There's no benefit to Utsusemi: Ni other than the much shorter casting time.
Typically, most NIN/WARs or NIN/DRKs will cast Utsusemi: Ni at the beginning of a battle and only cast Utsusemi: Ichi if/when their shadows are about to fall and their Utsusemi: Ni recast timers aren't ready.
As PLD/NIN or RDM/NIN, I cast Utsusemi: Ichi at the start of a battle, cast Utsusemi: Ichi when my first or second shadow is gone (depending on if the mob double attacks or not) and only cast Ni when my Ichi recast timers aren't ready.
If I'm keeping hate high and so is my co-tank, I can often tank Utsusemi: Ichi> Utsusemi: Ichi> Utsusemi: Ni and let hate bounce back to my co-tank before that last Ni shadow is gone.
There's one big benefit to tanking Utsusemi: Ichi> Utsusemi: Ichi whenever possible that might not be immediately apparent- it's a lot easier to put up Utsusemi: Ni after an AOE or multi-hit attack that strips all remaining shadows.
Edited, May 12th 2008 12:48am by ScarShiva