The Warriors in Final Fantasy XI are the masters of all things melee. If sharp and shiny objects are your thing, then you’re in luck as the Warrior class is for you. Warriors are the ultimate men at arms, as they have access to almost all of the weapons and armor the game has to offer. The job can fill two roles in a party as tank or as a damage dealer. It’s one of my jobs of choice, especially for leveling to thirty for the first time as it allows you the versatility for party or solo play early on. Warrior is a basic class, meaning you can play it from the get go. It’s also a great job to have if you want to pre-level a weapon skill before you unlock a particular class. Warrior is a common sub job for many melee and tank jobs to boot. Chances are good, if you see the front lines, you will become familiar with the job at some point in time.
A Warrior’s life is one filled with heavy armor and stabby things that turn mobs into pin cushions. You have very little you can’t wear and having your choice of scale, chainmail and plate armor means never having to say you’re sorry for pulling aggro…you can take a hit. You are the meat shield putting yourself between powerful adversaries and squishy mage-types. The Warrior class allows you to equip all of the strongest weapons so you can switch from tank to a damage dealing role with some minor changes in gear and food. Should you choose to play as a damage dealer, it’s nice to have the option to off tank should your main take a nasty crit. Mob crits your tank into the red, healers struggle to reverse, then you Provoke and save the day. It can be a rewarding job.
Your weapon choices are diverse allowing you to go out solo or in weapon skill up parties and level up whatever your heart desires. Your weapon skills grade and level 70 caps are as follows: Great Axe (A+ / 276); Axe (A- / 269); Scythe (B+ / 256); Great Sword (B+ / 256); Staff (B / 250); Sword (B / 250); Dagger (B- / 240); Polearm (B- / 240); Club (B- / 240); Hand-to-Hand (D / 210). So as you can see you could pretty much wield a wet noodle with the skill of a master. Your two most powerful weapons are great axe and axe with great sword, scythe, and polearm as other viable options. The damage great axe and axe do in conjunction with the weapon skill level at which a Warrior can obtain, makes them your first choices. You can go axe/shield for additional defense for tanking, great axe for damage dealing and later you can sub Ninja to dual wield axes for a bit of flair. If you have the gil, some Warriors give the Kraken club a spin as it gives a chance to let loose with an additional 2-8 strikes. Later on you can work in some dual wielding sword combos like axe/sword; sword/sword and sword/club to try something different later in the game. With the nasty axe and great axe weapon skills, along with abilities like Berserk to increase your attack power, a Warrior can bring the pain in bucket loads. It’s a fun job.
If playing the meat shield suits your fancy then nothing says, “hit me” like stepping out of your mog house in full plate armor. With plate and abilities like Defender, you can raise your defense to very high levels. Warriors also have a solid parry, evasion and shield grade that adds to your ability to absorb damage. Your skill grade and level 70 caps are as follows: Shield (C+ / 230); Evasion (C / 225); Parry (C- / 220). It’s a thrill to stare a mob in the eyes that could one shot other members of your party and keep them the beast at bay. The Warriors ability to use Provoke combined with dealing a good portion of damage is a strong mix to keeping a monsters hate focused on you. Heavy armor is your friend.
Let’s talk sub jobs now and what works in party and what works in solo play. Your best sub jobs will be:
Monk (MNK): is the best party job early on as it gives you a good bump in health and vitality. Early on you will get the skill “Boost” that adds to your attack damage and enmity so it helps you keep aggro on you. Monk is a fun job to level as well.
Ninja (NIN): will become a great sub job later in the game (post 30). It allows you to dual wield axes to increase your damage over time and allow you to blink tank. Blink tanking means you are able to create (using Utsusemi: Ichi) shadows that cancel the next three attacks made against you. Practicing Ninjutsu makes it an expensive sub job to maintain as the tools you use to cast costs a good deal of gil.
Samurai (SAM): is a good sub job for damage dealing after level 50. You get a nice TP boost subbing SAM and coupled with the Hasso and Mediate skill makes you a mean Warrior indeed. Hasso increases strength and accuracy while Mediate gives you a quick TP boost. This combination along with the hard hitting great axe allows you to unleash some insane damage on a foe.
Blue Mage(BLU): is another viable sub job. Blue Mage provides you with the ability to boost stats you need, increase defense, and even heal. It’s a versatile class and that translates very well into its subbing merits.
Thief (THF): is a good sub for playing a damage dealing role. Early on you can use it to aid you in farming and gives you a critical on command attack with Sneak Attack. After 60 you get Trick Attack which allows you to shed hate back on your tank after a successful high damage attack.
White Mage (WHM): is a good solo sub (1-mid 30’s) but should be avoided in a party scenario. In a party it severely diminishes your tanking and damage dealing role and does not provide you with enough curing power to make any difference in the outcome of a battle. It is known as “Ghetto Paladin” or “Butter Sheep” as it makes you appear on the surface to function like a Paladin but does not in fact aid half as much. With that being said, it is a great sub for solo or duo play in the early stages. You can remove poison, paralyze, blindness and the like all of which will get you killed when fighting alone. With the proper mp gear you can squeeze enough cures to keep you on your feet and significantly decrease your healing downtime. Tip: MP recharges much faster that HP. Divine Seal plus your highest cure is a great panic button should things go wrong. It’s a good combo to solo with especially if you are on the path to Beastmaster and it’s a basic job so you can use it until you unlock better advanced alternatives like BLU or DNC. It can come into use later in the end game with specific purposes (Stoneskin/Blink)but you will find it lacking during mid game 30-50 even while trying to solo. It’s a long wait between getting Cure II at level 24 and Cure III at level 42.
Dancer (DNC): is a newest sub for Warrior and can provide some versatility to the job. I see this sub on a lot of different jobs for farming, solo and even party play. It provides you with the ability to self heal without interruption and gives you a lower level Provoke-like ability. Good solo or small party sub.
Beastmaster (BST): is a sub you can stick on any job to make it solo viable. It plays the same way as BST main so if you don’t like playing with critters then it won’t be any better as a sub. You will have to learn to work without Leave which is difficult for inexperienced players.
Other alternative subs are Paladin, Dragoon, Dark Knight and Ranger but they are usually used for very specific situations and uses. They are not the norm and results may vary.
We have covered some of the finer points of playing the Warrior today. If you like to put axe to skull, I highly recommend giving Warrior a try. From tank to damage dealer, you can run the gambit of weapons and armor for hours of fun. This will get you started on your way to the Warrior class. Check back for more guides on other classes as well as additional in depth guides on the class we just discussed.