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Dark Mind is up for the things you actually use tank cooldowns for on this fight since almost all the damage is Magical and gives you a lot more freedom where you decide to use Shadow Skin and Shadow Wall

Final Fantasy XIV: Dark Knight mitigation is better on this fight by a country mile

Dark Knight mitigation is better on this fight by a country mile. Dark Mind is up for the things you actually use tank cooldowns for on this fight since almost all the damage is Magical and gives you a lot more freedom where you decide to use Shadow Skin and Shadow Wall. Sheltron and Bulwark are unreliable at best on the adds. You only use Sheltron to try to absorb the Panzerfaust on the Quarantine adds but often times even if you try to time it either an auto-attack will eat it (thus rendering it useless) or the buff will go up just before Panzerfaust lands, which means it won't register for the attack. There's a delay between using the ability and it registering as present on your character to block an attack, if you've ffxiv played Paladin in end game content you are very intimate with this. Often times you will only take 2 Panzerfaust hits during the add phase, and there's been plenty of times where I'll run Bulwark and it won't block these hits. So I, like every other tank, use my universal cooldowns because they are simply more reliable. If I had better DPS I'd kill the adds faster and take less damage than if I was playing Paladin.

 

The only truly useful time to used Hallowed on this fight is if you're the laser target during the third/fourth leg. You can use it, and then your raid doesn't have to intercept the lasers! Except that Hallowed Ground has a 7 minute cooldown, using it locks you out pretty much for the remainder of the fight, and Holmgang/Living Dead can do the exact same thing giving Paladin zero advantages in this regard. The healers can top you up easily if you're the only laser target here so the fact that you take no damage is meaningless.

 

Stunning the legs so that Perpetual Ray doesn't nuke your raid for super damage, plus the TP and MP drain isn't hard but the 150 TP cost rears it's head the longer you go into the fight, and it breaks your combo thus setting your damage back even further. Since you are locked to the Global Cool Down you also have the shortest window to stun the leg as getting caught in a Global Cool Down delays when you can stun it and get ffxiv gil on your kill target. No other tank in the game has to deal with this and it's a huge, huge disadvantage. DPS is also extremely important because you need to push the phases before getting additional Discoid orbs and Straf dolls spawns.

 

So if I were to summarize the problems in this fight are less DPS, no advantages in mitigation, the worst TP of any tank class.

 

There's a pretty large gap between Paladin being not favored, and being downright detrimental to the group. It was detrimental in A3S since I have to spend more time outside of Shield Oath (thus taxing the healers even harder in the final phase) to achieve the same DPS as a Dark Knight who is in Grit full-time when he is tanking Living Liquid but we spent extra time on the fight to do the fight as Paladin. Ironically, it gives the mitigation advantage to Dark Knight as well. A4S takes that performance gap and amplifies it even further, to the point that I say enough is enough. All the top groups dropping Paladin should be a signal to the developers that there's a problem. I, for one, refuse to make my group wait the extra 3 or 4 weeks we would need outside of normal progression learning to get the gear needed to make up for FFXIV Paladin's deficiencies in this encounter.

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