Tank position is an effect that tank players in FFXIV can turn on or off at will. Increases the amount of enmity (enemy attention) the tank generates, ensuring that enemies stay focused on them.
Tank position has a different name in each tank job, but the effect is always the same. Gladiators / Paladins have Iron Will, Marauders / Warriors have Defiance, Dark Knights use Grit, and Gunbreakers have Kingsguard.
So, different names, but they all say “Significantly increase enmities generation” when you hover over them.
I’d be forgiven for not understanding that as a rookie tank. All it means is that you will get a lot more attention from the enemy than from your allies in a fight, which is what we want.
Basically, tanks are running into a room yelling “HEY, LOOK AT ME, FIGHT ME, DON’T ATTACK THAT BUNNY IN HIS SMALL LOTS!”
And the tank stance ensures that all enemies hear those crazy screams and charge to smash a tank’s face exclusively.
Your main job as a tank in most situations is to maintain as much enmity as possible. Doing damage should always be secondary to that (and I mean that as Gunbreaker’s primary). You’ll have more health and defense for this very reason – if you’re doing your job right, everything will hit you all the time.
If that sounds like a tough deal, don’t worry.
Using the tank stance ensures that the healer / DPS members on your team take much less damage as a whole, meaning the healer can focus all of their attention on you.
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When should I use Tank Stance?
To get started, have you map it somewhere on the Quick Access Bar that you can easily access.
It does not need to be assigned a key. Just make sure it’s convenient.
Before even stepping into a dungeon or trial, make sure the effect is active. Your ability indicator will have a useful and obvious indicator that it is “on”, and it will also appear on your status bar.
You will unlock your tank position at level 10 in all jobs, so it will be available to you long before you start attacking the dungeons.
Chances are, if you forget to turn it on, someone (usually the long-suffering healer) will promptly remind you. But if you don’t activate the tank position before a fight, it could spell disaster for the party.
Without a tank stance, it will be extremely difficult to generate more enmity than the party’s DPS.
DPS jobs generally need to move a lot more than tanks, and this will result in enemy groups being pulled back everywhere.
This will naturally reduce the potency of the party’s AoE attacks and make it harder for the healer to do his job.
And if you are doing a dungeon or trial where you are the only tank, there are actually no situations where this should be disabled.
It is also important to remember that all you need to do is simply activate your tank position.
You’ll just have to make sure that enemies are attacking you (and not your task-seeking friends/allies) at all times.
But sometimes the tank posture won’t be enough to keep the enmity going, or new enemies will join the fight. Here you will have to make use of Provoke, a taunt that attracts the attention of unique enemies.
So should I leave the tank position on all the time?
I love the excitement, but no, there’s a reason it can be turned on or off.
It doesn’t make much sense to use it if you are doing missions by yourself, for example. If you are adventuring with a friend who is not a healer, it can actually be detrimental.
Remember that DPS is not our strong point as tanks. And if you’re drawing in all the enemies without the health pool to back it up, the fights can go sideways.
Trials (which are boss fights that generally require eight players) will often have two tanks, with only a handful of exceptions there.
But in these situations with two tanks in a group, one will be the main tank and the other will be the outside tank. The main tanks will do most of the tank’s work, so they will need to get a head start on the amount of enmity.
If I’m out of the tank at a party, I usually leave tank stance for the first ten seconds or so of a fight, just to give the main tank an advantage. But this is not a hard and fast rule.
Either way, you still want to generate more enmity than the rest of the group as a tank outside, but less than the main tank.
Turning the tank position on and off in these situations ensures that the main tank stays in the lead.
In the event that the main tank breaks or are thrown over the side of the sand, the external tank can easily take over.
It is 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 group composition, so while the tank position can be helpful, it is not necessary.