What is Tank Stance in Final Fantasy XIV?

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Tank stance is an effect that tank players in FFXIV can toggle on or off at will. It increases the amount of enmity (enemy attention) the tank generates, making sure foes stay focused on them.

Tank stance has a different name on every tanking job, but the effect is always the same.

Gladiators/Paladins have Iron Will, Marauders/Warriors have Defiance, Dark Knights use Grit, and Gunbreakers have Royal Guard.

So, different names – but they all read “Significantly increases enmity generation” when you hover over them.

You’d be forgiven for not understanding that as a rookie tank. All it means is that you’ll get way more enemy attention than your allies in a fight, which is what we want.

Tanks basically run into a room shouting “HEY, LOOK AT ME, FIGHT ME, DON’T ATTACK THAT BUNNY LADY IN HER SMALLCLOTHES!”

And tank stance makes sure that all the enemies listen to that crazy shouting, and charge over to smash in a tank’s face exclusively.

Your primary job as a tank in most situations is to hold onto as much enmity as possible. Dealing damage should always be secondary to that (and I’m saying that as a Gunbreaker main). You’ll have more health and defense for this very reason – if you’re doing your job right, everything will be hitting you all of the time.

If that sounds like a rough deal, don’t worry.

Using tank stance makes sure that the healer/DPS members of your team should be taking far less damage as a whole, which means the healer gets to focus all their attention on you.


When Should I Use Tank Stance?

For starters, have it mapped somewhere on your hotbar that you can hit easily.

It doesn’t need to be assigned to a key necessarily. Just make sure it’s convenient.

Before you even take a step in a dungeon or trial, make sure the effect is active. Your ability gauge will have a handy & obvious indicator that it’s “on”, and it’ll appear in your status bar too.

You’ll unlock your tank stance at level 10 across all jobs, so it’ll be available to you well before you start hitting the dungeons.

Chances are that if you forget to switch it on, someone (usually the long-suffering healer) will be pretty quick to remind you. But if you don’t turn on tank stance before a fight, it could spell disaster for the party.

Without tank stance, it’ll be extremely difficult to generate more enmity than the party’s DPS.

DPS jobs typically need to move around a lot more than tanks, and this will result in enemy groups getting pulled all over the place.

This will naturally reduce the potency of the party’s area of effect attacks, and make it harder for the healer to do their job.

And if you’re doing a dungeon or a trial where you’re the only tank, there aren’t really any situations where this should be turned off.

Cloud of Darkness voidsent battle tank in FFXIV
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It’s also important to remember that simply turning on your tank stance is all you need to do.

You’ll just need to be sure that enemies are attacking you (and not your friends/duty finder allies) at all times.

But sometimes, tank stance will not be enough to hold enmity, or new enemies will join the fight. Here you’ll need to make use of Provoke, a taunt that attracts the attention of singular enemies.


So I Should Just Leave Tank Stance On All The Time?

I love the enthusiasm, but no – there’s a reason why it can be toggled on or off.

There’s not much point using it if you’re grinding out quests by yourself, for example. If you’re adventuring with a buddy who isn’t a healer, it can actually be detrimental.

Remember that DPS isn’t our strong point as tanks. And if you’re attracting all the enemies without the health pool to back it up, fights can go sideways.

Trials (which are boss fights that typically require eight players) will often have two tanks, with just a handful of exceptions there.

But in these situations with two tanks in a party, one will be the main tank, the other will be the off tank. Main tanks will be doing the bulk of the tank work, so they’ll need to get a lead on the amount of enmity.

If I’m the off tank in a party, I typically leave my tank stance off for the first ten seconds or so of a fight, just to give the main tank a head start. But this isn’t a hard and fast rule.

Either way, you’d still want to be generating more enmity than the rest of the party as an off tank, but less than the main tank.

Toggling your tank stance on and off in these situations makes sure that the main tank stays in the lead.

In the event that the main tank gets tank-busted or thrown off the side of the arena, the off tank can then easily take over.

It’s also not essential to use your tank stance in Deep Dungeons (Palace of the Dead or Heaven-on-High). These activities do not require a typical party composition, so while tank stance can be useful, it’s not required.

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