Paladin is one of the staple jobs of any game, with the play style being in every game. FFXIV Paladin is, unfortunately, unlike any Paladin out there. Paladins do have access to Cure, but it is piss poor, even with all the buffs you can find (Convalescence, Internal Release, Eos' buff, Mantra, just to name a few) you'd be lucky to get a crit on yourself for 500 hp. With over 8k hp this is laughable. Instead, FFXIV Paladin is built just like any other Sword and Board tank, they are the mitigation rocks. Instead of Cure, Paladins will use Stoneskin, and pull everything they can from War to help mitigate.
Paladin hasn't seen much change since the launch of 2.0, instead monsters have been changed with Paladin in mind. Things you could not debuff or drain mp from were alter to favor Paladin. Paladin excels at everything but is best for nothing. While Paladin can mitigate quite a bit, their cooldowns favor physical damage slightly, so Warrior has pulled ahead as the better tank. That being said, Paladin is user friendly, and much easier to learn, making it the best tank to have around and best beginner tank. Because Paladins have more tank cooldowns than War, they are at the forefront of any progression, be it newest content, or tackling older content for the first time.
This will be the smallest portion of the guide, because lets face it, what tank has a rotation? Paladin does!
i personally prefer this as my opener,
Fight or Flight>Shield Lob>Spirits Within as I run through>Fast Blade>Circle of Scorn>Savage Blade>Str Pot>Rage of Halone
If the boss is a slow heavy hitter I'll stall Fast Blade and throw in Awareness.
Jonny prefers a different rotation,
Fight or Flight > Shield Lob > Circle of Scorn > Flash > Spirits Within > Flash
A decent opener, and one worth noting however, personally I feel it is a bit slow since it waits 3 GCD's to start the enmity combo. Good for snap agro as mobs run around, but for initial pulls I find that you have enough layer of bonus enmity to start your Fast Blade much sooner. Also I tend to Spirits as I run through so I am still at full hp for max damage, and use Circle later since it is not hp dependent. I would also like to point out that both Savage Blade and Rage of Halone do the same potency outside of combo, so for snap agro purposes I favor Savage Blade since the Animation is shorter, give you the damage much sooner.
Basic Rotations: Hide
Fast Blade>Savage Blade>Rage of Halone
Just spam these three in combo over and over and over.....and over again and profit! Paladin's utility lies in their threat combo, as Rage of Halone applies a str debuff on the target when done in combo.
Fast Blade>Riot Blade
Pretty easy to figure out if you read the tool tip, Riot Blade refunds MP when done in combo. While Paladin doesn't cure, they are heavily based on MP. Flash is very strong for threat, aoe or single target, and requires MP. Stoneskin can be used in a fight which also requires a substantial amount of MP. Cure is there, and until your HP surpasses the 6k mark is a better choice compared to Stoneskin.
Instead of a basic Weapon Skill rotation, Paladin has a Buff rotation.
A good rule of thumb, use the shortest CD first (not the shortest duration the shortest CD), strongest later, weakest last.
Buff Rotation: Hide
Rampart - 90sec cd, reduces damage taken by 20%
Bloodbath - 90sec cd, converts 25% physical damage in to HP
Foresight - 120sec cd, increases Defense by 20%
Convalescence - 120sec cd, increases HP received via healing magic by 30%
Awareness - 120sec cd, Nullifies chance to suffer critical damage
Sentinel - 180sec cd, decreases damage received by 40%
Bulwark - 180sec cd, increases block rate by 60%
Hallowed Ground - 420sec cd, renders you impervious to most attacks
*All of these buffs reflect lvl 50 traits