Paladin VS Warrior Tanking Comparison

Warrior Or Paladins? Is one truly better than the other? In this battle of the fat, we try to determine just that. PLD VS WAR 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:
Gladiator | Paladin : Marauder | Warrior

Base stats / Innate capabilities

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.

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

— 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.
Defiance – (Stance) Increases maximum HP by 25%, while lowering damage dealt by 30% and increasing enmity.

— 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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22 thoughts on “Paladin VS Warrior Tanking Comparison”

  1. so i know that this thread is a little old but i find the main thing mising when its stated that warriors can pull better adds, the paladin has flash, a very basic skill earned early from the soldier. This is an aoe, not a big one but it is one that aggros everymonster around him, many times im in a multiple mob fight and when some spawn i just run over hit flash and everyone groups back, combine that with a couple skills that refill mana so i dont run out and can use flash again, with the proper healer i just sit there aggroing mobs while the dps aoe them out, i do with he could do more dmg but thats a trade im willing to make for the shield

  2. Hi. I had been reading that guide and… Looks like it isn’t updated at all. Mostly about the Warrior’s skill descriptions. Also, I think that guide should also deal with the cross skills available for each class.

    About defensive Skills…
    I don’t remember Storm’s path generating any shield, just healing hp up to 50% of damage dealt (but maybe it has been modofocated later ?). Also now, it reduces enemy’s damage output by 10%. I like to tell it is a defensive skill too.

    Inner beast, that you forgot, had previously a self heal equal to 300% of damage dealt (meaning in a super crit like I can perform, it resulted in a 3K HP healing repeatable really often, and even 2 times in a row with Infuriate). Now, it “only” heals 100% of damage dealt, but it also mitigates all damage received per 20% for 6s. Really good skill when you see how often you can use it, but it has to be perfectly timed.

    Since 2.1, even Vengeance became a mitigation skill, all incoming damage reduced by 30% during 15s if I remember well.

    Previously, rage stacks added 2% crit chance and 3% more heals, for a maximum of 10% crit chance and 15% heals, making Warriors easier to heal and so matching with their lack of defense (cause they can’t block) but it was choosing either that OR using one of the rage skills.
    Now, the healing bonus is constant with Defiance and buffed to 20% !

    Also, you qualified “Thrill of battle” as “cute”… Well… I’m not OK with that, it is insane in my opinion. Actually, I more see and use it like a “flat mitigation” skill, which enables you to nullify damage up to 20% of your maximum HP. It can also be used as a self heal if necessary (with my actual HP it heals me near 1.7K HP ! Higher healing than a Cure II !

    Regarding Cros skills, obvious that Flash allows War to “diversify” their AoE aggro and even allow them to save some TPs (even if with your MP pool you can only cast 4 of those) and Provoke makes getting back aggro a lot easier. But that’s not the real matter here.

    Defensively, Convalescence makes Warrior benefits EVEN MORE from heals, which was aleady one of his pros. he can also take featherfoot from tyhe pugilist to give him a chance to dodge more attacks (guess how happy I was when I dodged Titan HM’s Mountain Buster) !

    Well, all that to say that now, I think that Warrior and Paladin are just only 2 different ways to do the same work. The “only” difference is that Paladin takes a bit less damage, and that Warriors deal more and are more flexible.

    1. Just to inform you, this was an analysis done PRE-LAUNCH during BETA! haha. Needless to say it’s gone a long way.

  3. Im a lvl 36 warrior/marurder I am also a lvl 26 healer cun. I find I like tanking and healing. I love warriors as tanks and I like healing them to as im a burst healer lol. I do find that I never pull aggro if I have a marurder as a tank but in my experiance I do if its a gladiator. ( just my experiances though) I do find as a warrior though they benifit with the bards tp skill as I can eat through tp in a drawn out add based fight(again maybe just my play style)

    1. As an up and coming pally (lvl 46), I would agree. I’ve healed up to 34 on whm (also have a lvl 50 drg) and as a healer, I never took anything in the face with a warrior as a tank, but as a pally, if I’m not extremely careful, the healer does tend to get hit some if I’m dealing with a few mobs. Part of that is just me forgetting to rotate targets (or not immediately recognizing sleep wearing off), but some of that might be the extra threat the strength that warriors have adds to something like flash or overpower (or maybe just overpower, considering flash doesn’t actually damage).

      1. Having just dinged 50 and still loving my warrior im finding that im going to need to spec some more into parry this being said i can see and feel the strain i can put on a healer but that being said i also can see how fast i can drop mobs plus if i can get the pugulist featherfoot skill this will help massivly i will start working on my gladiator to perfect my tanking but me personaly i engoy the warrior a lot more

        1. The part about dropping mobs makes me jealous. My dps output sucks. Granted, that isn’t my job, but it’d be nice to, you, use the sword in my hand for something. I will say it is nice to be able to heal/stoneskin in a pinch though. Somehow, on two separate occasions, the two dps died on the 2nd boss of the stone vigil (how, I’m not sure) and I was able to keep me and the poor healer alive long enough for him to get some mana back and then us kill the boss together. He only had about 25% life left when they both died. Would have gone much much quicker as a warrior I imagine.

          1. well its horses for corses i suppose as i dont think the healer would have been able to get much mana back with a warrior as i get git hard lol. that being said if i switched out to my hp rotation i can get some hp back with it and my cooldowns. that the fun here we can compare and have a pleasent discussion without the (nerd rage) hahah

  4. So, question about this topic. I’m not new to the game (hit 50 on my dragoon a week ago), but I’m an utter newb when it comes to tanking. I know the premise, keep my healer alive, but other than that, not much. I’m getting the feeling Paladin is easier to learn tanking with. Would you guys agree with that?

    1. At lower gear levels yes, Paladin is the safer option due to his raw mitigation. But since the 2.1 patch I would say they both have its own strengths. Paladin pure mitigation, Warrior high HP and some mitigation. Overall Paladins take less damage but Warriors can take in more damage.

      Oh and you won’t see a Paladin survive Behemoths meteor or Twintanias fireball.

      We will be updating this, taking into account the 2.1 changes of a Warrior.

      1. Perhaps I lied about being not new. I haven’t done any endgame stuff yet, but if Warriors would survive some of that better, I might go that route. Plus that would technically be the better choice to increase my Dragoon’s cross class ability pool. If Paladins can’t survive some of those attacks, are they useless in those fights? Or just need to be good at avoiding attacks? Thanks for the help!

        1. Actually those are mechanics that aren’t meant to be survivable haha. Behemoths meteor in Crystal Tower is a surekill unless you have 10,500+hp. Both tanks are viable end game.

          1. Ah, well, that makes me feel better. Thanks again. Keep up the good work with the site.

  5. Sorry, but I strongly disagree with your comment about PLD damage output. I’ve been in many situations where our 4th party member was a mnk and they attacked my non-marked mob so we both were attacking different mobs starting at the same time. Not only did I finish off mine first, there was still 20-30%hp left on the mnks mob, so I switched over and help them finish it off. Clearly you haven’t ACTUALLY played pld very much.

  6. I disagree with the PLD – Scholar, I have had many Scholar healers, and they just refuse to use anything to cure status debuffs where WHM’s use it more often. And plus, I like the WHM ability to heal me better than most scholars. When tanking with a Scholar Healer I always find myself using more cooldowns to save my own butt. Where with a WHM, I only use them when something is going wrong and I need to assist my healer in reducing my damage.

  7. I would agree 100% with everything you guys say. I am leveling my warrior now, and there are so many fights where I can easily run over and scoop up any adds that spawn, but when my cooldowns go down I really feel it every time they punch me in the face. Loving the guides, Keep them coming.

    1. “[…]and 35% max hp for the warrior. While 35% HP is better in a vacuum[…]” The skill you are referring to reads as 25%. Both the skill and comparison should show the same number.

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