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!

Healer preference?

An interesting point brought up by our resident Paladin was “Do different kinds of healers do better for different kinds of tanks?”. AKA do White Mages / Scholars heal Paladins / Warriors better?
Surprisingly, yes.

Warrior – White Mage

Warriors are healed better by White Mages. An extreme HP pool makes Graniteskin worth every MP spent to cast it. Marauder HP wildly fluctuates and Regen makes healing them smoother and less ‘risky’. Warriors do alot of self-healing, which would help alleviate the WHM mana problems.

This combination is extremely potent because it frees up your WHM’s GCD’s. A warrior can survive on his own longer than a PLD can, this makes sure the White Mage can make maximum use of his Free Cure and Overcure procs. I’m sure you can even hardcast raise in the fight if you’re healing a Warrior. While I’d be a little more wary attempting that while healing a paladin.

Paladin – Scholar

Paladins are healed better by Scholars. Giving a shield on each heal “extends” the Paladins small base HP with each cast of Succor. If Succor lands a critical – it’s okay because the the shield doesn’t go to waste. Compared to a CNJ/WHM heal that just overheals. The superior resource management of SCH allows them to heal for a longer period of time, albeit weaker than WHM. This suits the more stable, mitigation based tanking style of Paladins.

Just like the warrior white mage combo, Scholars healing Paladins give the scholar more freedom and peace of mind. A critical heal could mean an extra 2-3 spell casts on other party members, whereas if a WHM crit heal a PLD, it means nothing.

But of course, these are just minor points. A combination of spells from each healer would be the most effective for the success of a raid, and it all depends on the encounter. But generally speaking WHM heals WAR better, and SCH heals PLD better.


Overall Kit


Lets remind ourselves of one thing. I’ll give you a scenario to better help you visualize it. If a warrior and paladin were to try and solo a boss, the warrior would last longer due to self-healing, shielding and a huge pool of HP. But if a healer was added to the equation, Paladins will outlast the Marauder. Why? High natural defenses, block rate, and high-quality pure defensive skills make each point of HP healed on a paladin “worth more”. Does this mean Paladins are better? Definitely not. It takes time for a Paladin to see this difference, and will feel it with longer, harder hitting encounters.

Superior resource management, superior defenses, more interrupts and a simpler playstyle make it much better for a Paladin to tank high priority targets. Warriors need to combo and manage defiance, and movement/positioning or interrupting boss skills will break this flow. Paladins are much less affected by this. They can focus more on interrupting spells (more often, too!), proper positioning and directing the raid makes Paladins an excellent choice for Main Tank.

While you do not need godly player-skill or mechanics to play a Paladin (As compared to warrior), you do need a keen sense of strategy and overall awareness of what’s happening with your raid. As such, it’s recommended that Paladins as Main Tanks should be one of your main ‘raid leaders’.


Warriors excel at dealing great damage and healing from that damage. Naturally, if the target is weaker, or there are more targets, Warriors can leverage this more. It’s quite simply really, with 25% lifesteal, hitting 2 monsters will heal you for double the amount as compared to hitting one. Warriors have access to high threat on demand, by straining their TP pool for a while longer. Every healing knows the feeling of trying to mass-heal everyone at the same time a bunch of adds just spawned. This exact scenario is where warriors shine. They can more easily pick up mobs and make them stick.

Better damage and better skills to deal and even benefit from adds makes Warriors alot better for an Off-Tank. If a Paladin were to deal with adds, the time it will take to clear them will be longer – simply because they deal a pathetic amount of damage. Warriors will literally melt them (Berserk), heal from them (Bloodbath), reflect their damage (Vengeance) and even gain life landing killing blows (Mercy Stroke). Longer time dealing with adds = more chances to mess up = more mana spent on healing. This is not a problem for warriors.

Warriors are skill-intensive, and it will take time and practice to bring out the most out of your warrior (In comparison to Paladins). Handling short but intense adds spawning phases during boss fights should be something every Warrior should get used to and excel at.

Summary & Recommendations

So in an 8-man team, how many Paladins and Warriors would you want? One of Each. Paladins are highly recommended for tanking the main-boss, and Warriors are highly recommended for tanking adds.
While you can succeed any raid with 2 Paladins and 2 Warriors, we would suggest leveraging the strengths and offsetting the weakness of each class by using them to their best capabilites. Our raid composition includes one of each!

Do you have anything to add to the discussion? Please don’t hesitate to drop a comment! Or you can post on the official thread for this post:
PLD vs. WAR Forum thread

You can check out our resources below to help you make your decision!
Gladiator Paladin Marauder Warrior

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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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