This article is only a guide. Information expressed in a guide is usually more opinion than fact and should be taken as such. Guides are written by players, based upon their experiences, successes and mistakes, and are meant to aid other players. However, there may be differing opinions than those expressed in a guide. Strategies and information in guides may not work for everyone.
Specializing in the arts of battle, Warriors are masters of all aspects of combat.
Warriors are a very versatile melee class that can equip almost all of the armor and weapons available in the game, and thus can fill a number of different roles in a party. Warriors have the ability to wear heavy armor and tank, protecting their comrades from the enemy attacks. Warriors are also masters of the powerhouse Axe and Great Axe weapons, and are among the most powerful Damage Dealers in the game.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Variety of play styles and weapon selection.
Access to the most powerful Axe and Great Axe weapon skills.
Access to a wide variety of both tanking and damage dealing armour in the game.
Able to use a variety of support jobs.
Strong offensive and defensive traits and abilities.
Berserk and Aggressor give WAR a natural DD advantage.
Must compete with many other melee players for party slots, leading to slow invites.
Full potential cannot be unlocked unless players spends extra time leveling multiple support jobs.
Equipment selection becomes very expensive at higher levels.
Inability to self-heal, sometimes causing difficulties while tanking.
Flexibility comes with a price: average defense and attack after 30.
Equipment/food/tactics make or breaks what kind of WAR you will be, though this is true of any job.
Players that enjoy tanking will find that the role is often better suited for NIN and PLD at higher levels.
Warrior is interesting in the fact that no race has clearly been defined as the 'best' as far as base stats. Hume, Galka, Mithra, and Elvaan can all easily be debated as the superior WAR. Taru warriors when acting as DD are equally effective to all other races, as they have great DEX and AGI. STR can be easily made up for in gear and food, so is not really an issue. As far as Taru warrior tanks go, their AGI shows its usefulness here, and their VIT score is only off by a couple points when compared to hume and mithra across the entire level span. This means that they can take a beating just as well as either a hume or mithra per hit. However, a taru lacks the HP that other races have. Although this will not create any issues until around level 45+, when the HP gap becomes quite noticeable without HP+ gear.
Has a varying longevity, however, it is normally considered the best subjob for warrior in an EXP party until level 30. Increased stats relevant to Warrior: HP, Vitality, and STR. The job abilitiesBoost and Focus can aid damage output, with the job traitsCounter and Max HP Boost aiding tanking. This sub can be used all the way to 75 with suitable party setups. Below is a list of job traits and job abilities you will get from subbing Monk, listed at the Warrior level you get them. The ones you are most likely to use have their level marked in Bold.
This subjob is typically seen when the Warrior main is at level 30 or above. This subjob raises Dexterity and Agility. This sub is primarily used for the level 30 job abilitySneak Attack that guarantees both a sucessful hit and a critical hit when hitting the monster from behind (45 degrees around the direct back of a monster). At level 60 the job abilityTrick Attack is gained, this allows a character to transfer hate to another character by 'tricking' the monster into believing someone else inflicted damage that was generated by the user of Trick attack. This ability also has a 100% hit rate as long as you are standing directly behind another character while the ability is in effect, and the character does not move during the hit. The two skills are generally used together to maximize effectiveness and both conditions for generating a successful hit must be done correctly in this situation. For maximum efficiency with a warrior, Sneak Attack or Sneak Attack and Trick Attack are combined with a Great AxeWeapon Skill. Most effective choices are Sturmwind from 30 till 60 when Raging Rush is acquired, then until level 71 when the final Weapon Skill for Great Axe is possible, Steel Cyclone. Also, keep in mind that Rampage and Mistral Axe will also stack with Sneak Attack and Trick Attack if you must use an axe instead of a great axe, but do remember that Sneak Attack only affects the first hit of a Weapon Skill, nullifying its usefulness for Rampage. Below is a list of job traits and job abilities you will get from subbing Thief, listed at the Warrior level you get them. The ones you are most likely to use have their level marked in Bold.
Generally considered less useful as a subjob until the level 40 or higher range unless serving in a dual tank pt. Learns Dual Wield at 20, which allows the Warrior to equip two Axes at once and reduces weapon delay by 10%, though TP gain is unaffected because TP per hit is reduced by the same amount. Learns Utsusemi: Ichi, a ninjutsu spell that creates 'shadows' to block attacks at level 24. However, with the majority of experience monsters being Monk type at level 25-30, or having the capacity to double attack, combined with an Evasion skill of C, it has varying usefulness. At level 48, an Axe is available called the Viking Axe (+10 Accuracy -10 Evasion), that opens WAR/NIN as an extremely powerful Damage Dealer. At level 50, the Dual Wield IIJob Trait will be gained. This skill will reduce the delay between attacks by 15% when using two weapons (does not take effect if only one weapon is used). Also, a Weapon skill at level 55 called Rampage is available for Axe. This weapon skill attacks 5 times and can hurt enemies badly. Warrior with a Ninja subjob is typically considered an excellent tank at levels 74 and 75 due to access to Utsusemi: Ni, which has a much lower cast time than :Ichi. However, updates and patches has affected the number of shadows that Ni gives when Ninja is subbed. It should be noted that people ask Warriors to sub Ninja and come as a tank at lower levels when more traditional tanks are not available. Below is a list of job abilities and ninjutsu you will get from subbing Ninja, listed at the Warrior level you get them. The ones you are most likely to use have their level marked in Bold.
Can be used to increase accuracy for skillup or use Sharpshot in order to aid with ranged weapons. However, not a widely accepted EXP party subjob. RNG gives WAR access to most ranged attack Weapon skills and in addition an Accuracy boost at lvl 20. This allows a WAR/RNG the ability to start distortion without having to surrender its Axe/Great Axe (filling the one spot in the skillchain chart that axes do not). This sub is also very useful for skilling up, in particularly any ranged weapon.
This subjob has recently started to gain more appeal in FFXI by allowing a Warrior to act as a Pseudo-Ranger. The premise behind this setup is to act exactly like a normal Ranger, spamming arrows/bolts/bullets at a enemy to inflict damage. However, Warrior has a fairly higher STR naturally than Ranger and will get more damage per successful hit, but with access to less +Ranged Accuracy means that it will generally hit less often. A warrior/ranger takes advantage of the effect of the generally accepted diminishing returns of +Accuracy to hit nearly as often, but compensates with more damage. Currently only 1 parser exists to my knowledge that proved that a Warrior/Ranger successfully out damaged a Ranger/Ninja.
Update: After the July 2005 update, this combination is no longer considered very valid, the ability of a WAR to hit nearly as accurately as a RNG still exists; but due to the complications of having to learn positioning combined with meager results has nearly destroyed this concept.
Below is a list of job traits and job abilities you will get from subbing Ranger, listed at the Warrior level you get them. The ones you are most likely to use have their level marked in Bold.
Can be used at level 60 or above for a job ability called Meditate. This can be used every 3 minutes in order to produce 60% TP over 10 seconds. Samurai also has the Job TraitStore TP that will raise the amount of TP gained per hit on an enemy. After an update that lowered the TP return on multi-hit WS's, this subjob has been considered less valid. However, some say that this subjob should be used to unlock the latent effect on the 'Trial' set of weapons that allows you access to the final Weapon Skill. It is also often used to build TP for HNM.
Update: The recent "Samurai Patch" which allows the abilities Hasso and Seigan, has gained new use for WAR as a subjob choice. Using a Great Axe, Warriors can stack Hasso on top of their Berserk effect for added attack power, or use Seigan for when backup tanking is needed.
Below is a list of spells, job traits, and job abilities you will get from subbing this job, listed at the Main Job level you get them. The ones you are most likely to use have their level marked in Bold.
Although it increases STR in small amounts, it lacks the useful job skills that other subs provide.
Last Resort is easily surpassed by Berserk with longer duration and almost no hate generated compared to it. Attack up I gained by WAR does not stack with DRK's, but DRK's Attack up II does increase attack by an extra 10 (however, at that point of the game 10 Attack is not much). Souleater is weakened to half effectiveness at lvl 60; however, it is still very powerful, and this can be combined with WS's like Rampage/Raging Rush to produce insanely high damage. However, this is very dangerous to the WAR, and the subjob must be used carefully. Below is a list of spells, job traits, and job abilities you will get from subbing Dark Knight, listed at the Warrior level you get them. The ones you are most likely to use have their level marked in Bold.
Dragoon sub provides Accuracy Bonus, Jump, and High Jump, and activates the latent effect on the Wyvern Earring. An unusual choice, but it can be effective with a Great Axe, especially with the level 70 Barone Cosciales and/or Barone Corazza JSE armor. With the proper gear setup, a WAR/DRG can accumulate TP faster than a WAR/SAM (with some Warriors reporting they can even self-skillchain with this job combination.) Below is a list of job traits and job abilities you will get from subbing Dragoon, listed at the Warrior level you get them. The ones you are most likely to use have their level marked in Bold.
Gives very little MP, learns the majority of cure spells far later than White Mage and Red Mage, and few job abilities. However, there is a small vitality boost. This is not considered a valid sub for most situations.
Update: After the April 2006 update, this combination has gained some actual usefulness. With the addition of Shield Mastery and Auto Refresh to Paladin, both of which are available to a level 70 or higher WAR, this subjob lends a great deal of survivability to WAR soloing (particularly in conjunction with a Hercules' Ring.) Below is a list of spells, job traits and job abilities you will get from subbing Paladin, listed at the Warrior level you get them. The ones you are most likely to use have their level marked in Bold.
Commonly known in the warrior community as a 'Ghetto Paladin' or a 'Buttersheep'. This sub can be used fairly successfully when 'soloing' or battling lower level enemies alone. Called a 'Ghetto paladin' due to the fact that it is commonly used by a new character under the impression that it emulates the paladin job. However, with an extremely reduced Mana/Magic Power and lack of Vitality, it does not perform as effectively.
WAR/WHM is sometimes used in combination with Paladin and Ninja tanks on Wyrm HNMs, where the ability to cast Curaga while wearing defensive equipment is useful.
Another opportunity to tank at the higher levels once Aquaveil, Stoneskin, and Blink are learned. The 'Ghetto Palain' turns into a 'Ghetto Ninja.' In a proper refresh party one with at least a Redmage, Corsair, or Bard this subjob can prove quite versitile as a tank. Two out of the three jobs and 'refresh' gear is helpful. Evasion and Agi should be focused on but Vit not neglected. A Warrior with most/all Vit gear and food can match a Paladin with 'decent' gear on along with his Blink and Stoneskin buddies. Provoke is a must every 30 seconds. If with a second tank SATA can prove very useful to help keep hate.
One may notice that when Warrior is chosen by a character as their first job, the starting weapon is an Onion Sword. This often leads to the belief that a sword and shield combo is the best choice for warrior. However, veterans of the warrior job generally agree this is not so.
One of the main conflicts a warrior has when choosing a weapon is the fact that warrior can equip the greatest variety of weapons out of any job. Also the favored weapon choice by a warrior often changes during the course of their leveling career.
Agreement on weapon choices by higher level and experienced warriors centers on five basic main and sub weapon combinations.
Great Axe- This weapon can be used from levels 5 until the final level of 75, This weapon has the highest skill rating of all weapons for warrior. At level 23 you will gain Sturmwind, and at level 60 you will get Raging Rush. Raging Rush is a Warrior-only weaponskill.
Axe + Shield- This combination is typically reserved for tanking situations in lower levels. This is typically the shortest lived and generally disappears completely past level 50.
Axe + Axe- This combination can only be used at level 20 or higher and when subbing Ninja. This combination is typically used at level 48 or higher, see the above discussion of the Ninja subjob for more details. At level 50, dual wield 2 kicks in and it lowers the delay time even further.
Axe + Sword- A Sword is used typically in the 'offhand' (or sub weapon) position. This is done because sword has a generally lower delay than an axe weapon, and often has some Accuracy or Attack+ attribute. With the Warrior's B skill in the weapon, this combination maintains a decent accuracy rating. There are also some very powerful swords late game.
Sword + Sword - Sometimes, there are mobs in the game that require a sword for mainhand weapon position. Starting at level 57, you gain the access to the weaponskill Spirits Within. Spirits Within is based on your HP and TP, and ignores the mob's defense. When going against Avatars, Elementals, and Slimes, unless you have a specific skillchain that goes towards their weakness, sometimes your only source of damage is Spirits Within. Also, if a Warrior keeps Sword skill current, at level 73 they can unlock Savage Blade which, when obtained, will allow them to open/close a Light skillchain with an axe-using warrior in an "Axeburn" party. This will also give you acess to Vorpal Blade, which is a very powerful weaponskill that hits slightly lower than Rampage, which is often being used in endgame parties by Warriors who possess the weapon Ridill. Unusual monsters aside, Warriors generally only use two Swords at level 30 (two Centurion's Swords for combined Acc+6 Atk+8) and at endgame generally only with both Ridill and Joyeuse (for up to five potential hits per attack.)
Sword/Axe + Club - This combination is only used by Warriors with the Kraken Club. Mainhand is an Axe unless the Warrior has Joyeuse or Ridill as well.
Polearm - High damage to anything weak to piercing. Your party will Thankyou if you are fighting colibri. Lvl 45-47, 63-65, and through the 70's when partying on Greater Colibri.