Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Hands-On with Paladin

6 Jun 2024

Last month we had a chance to play a preview build of Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail as part of the North American Media Tour. During our hands-on time, we were able to experience many of the Job changes that are in the works. For the Jobs that we weren’t able to personally get hands-on with, we still had an opportunity to look into the changes that will be coming when Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail arrives on July 2 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series, Mac, Windows, and Steam.

You can see all of the Paladin changes, along with our thoughts below. Additionally, you can view the upcoming changes on our wiki by clicking on the Dawntrail tab on the Paladin Job page.

You can also find more coverage of the Dawntrail Media Tour here.

This article is based on play of an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail, and content in the final version is subject to change.

Welcome, Paladins! You just got a rework in 6.3 that went well all things considered, so nothing is going to change all that much in 7.0. What you do have are some smaller changes to repetitive animations and the flow of your DPS cooldowns, with a nice amount of added mitigation on top. Let’s get into it.

We’ll start with Goring Blade. It hasn’t changed much, but the way you gain access to it during your rotation has. Now Flight or Flight will grant the status “Goring Blade Ready” under which you can use Goring Blade once from the same button. That’s right, Flight or Flight morphs into Goring Blade so that’s one keybind you get to get rid of. This just re-enforces the fact that Goring Blade should be used under your buffs. This won’t change anything at all for experienced players, but it might help new Paladin players keep it from drifting outside of their buffs. One small note is that Intervene still does damage unlike Plunge and Rough Divide, so you’ll still be weaving it into your burst… Sorry. But at least if you like the animation, it isn’t going anywhere.

At level 76, Royal Authority now grants a singular buff- Atonement Ready, instead of 3 Stacks of Sword Oath (though, the trait still keeps the name). Atonement now requires that Atonement ready status and once you use it, it grants Supplication Ready for the next step in the newly added combo. Each of the next steps, Supplication and Sepulcher deal a little more damage than the previous step and restore MP like Atonement. All of these follow up skills are accessed through the same button as Atonement will morph depending on which step is available to use next just like the Confiteor combo. So… Yeah it is still pressing your Atonement keybind three times, but it looks nicer and hits a little harder in total. Also, even though I am writing “combo” it is not clear if using any other weaponskill will break this sequence of skills.

Guardian is your first Dawntrail ability at level 92, an upgrade for Sentinel. This has a higher damage resistance at 40% reduction and gives you a barrier basically equal to a Clemency heal for the same duration, 15 seconds. All tanks have received an upgrade to their current two-minute mitigation cooldown, so I guess we should get ready for much more incoming damage in Dawntrail! …Stop looking at me like that, it might happen! Next up is Imperator that upgraded AoE version of Requiescat we saw in the trailer. There isn’t much to say here, it is Requiescat, but as an AoE with a boost in damage output. All the follow up Blade skills were already AoE, so this was a no brainer, but cool to see.

At level 100, the Enhanced Blade of Valor trait gives you your capstone skill Blade of Honor. It is a ‘Blade’ ability but unlike the others it is not a GCD, it is an oGCD that you will have access to for 30 seconds after your Blade combo ends. Imperator (upgraded Requiescat, remember) morphs into it just like it was another step in the combo. Now will you probably just weave it right after Blade of Valor? Probably, but I guess you don’t have to if you need to weave some other oGCD immediately to stay alive.

So, Paladin ends up very similar to before with some extra mitigation on their biggest cooldown, a little bit of streamlining and some new animations. The tooltips show some potency increases, but until we get our hands on it at release, we won’t know if those are just standard expansion damage inflation. If you liked the 6.3 rework, these changes do nothing but make what was there a little less boring, at least to look at.

Caballarius Attire