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Holmgang is an ability used by Warriors to prevent their HP from dropping below 1 while it’s active. It also binds a target enemy with chains, halting their movement.
Each tank job in FFXIV has a move that prevents them from dying. These are generally known as invulnerability moves, or “invuln” for short.
Should you find yourself raiding on Warrior while a party member calls for an invuln, then Holmgang would be your go-to move.
When To Use Holmgang
Since Holmgang prevents Warriors from getting knocked out for a short duration, it’s used as sort of a panic button for emergency situations.
Let’s take a look at a couple of scenarios where you might want to use it.
It’s a common practice in FFXIV to pull as many enemies as you can within a certain area of a dungeon.
This is known to some as “wall-to-wall” pulling.
When attempting a wall-to-wall pull, a tank might be caught off guard with how hard some of the monsters hit – especially if they are still unfamiliar with the dungeon. Other times, a healer can have trouble keeping the tank’s HP up since they may be new to the role.
During these situations, a tank can use their invulnerability move if they feel that their damage mitigation abilities won’t be enough to save them, or if they are on cooldown.
Powerful single-target moves usually casted by dungeon and raid bosses as well as trial enemies are known as tankbusters.
For normal dungeons and trials encountered through the MSQ, a damage mitigation move is normally enough to survive these skills.
However, for more difficult content such as Extreme trials and Savage-tier raids, tankbusters are much deadlier. Some may even apply a huge debuff to the tank or are cast consecutively.
In some of these instances, parties like to perform a technique called “tank-swapping” to help deal with the incoming damage. Here, the main and off tanks will swap roles between hits to essentially split the damage between them.
An alternative to using a tank-swap in some cases is for the main tank to use his invulnerability skill. So if you’re on Warrior, that means Holmgang.
Examples where you can use Homgang instead of a tank-swap would include the off-tank being incapacitated, or if any of the skills needed to perform a tank-swap are on cooldown.
Holmgang in PVP
While PVP has never really been FFXIV’s strongest suit, it has seen a bit of a resurgence after patch 6.1.
With this update, a new PVP mode called “Crystalline Conflict” was introduced and has proven quite popular among players.
When you try PVP for the first time, you may notice that your job abilities look and behave differently. Some may even look familiar in its action icon or animation but are called something else entirely.
This is because actions are tweaked to better balance out each job in PVP.
Now you may see some Warriors in PVP throw out a chain against other players like they do when using Holmgang. While this skill has somewhat similar effects to Holmgang, it is an entirely different skill called “Blota”.
Like its PVE counterpart, Blota has an effect on its target’s movement. It doesn’t completely halt the target, but slows them down by 75%.
Unlike Holmgang, this skill pulls the target towards the user.
And the biggest difference Blota has vs. Holmgang is that it doesn’t have the effect that prevents your HP from dropping below 1.