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CAUTION!
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.


Weapons

Sword

The primary weapon for a Paladin. For leveling, a Paladin mostly looks for for stats which help to increase damage output (DPS, Accuracy, multi-hit, etc.) to help with defeating enemies as well as enmity gain. For endgame, Enmity+ and survivability (damage reduction, HP+, etc.) rule. Endgame Paladins with the Atonement WS unlocked, however, may value gaining TP more and switch back to multi-hit and accuracy swords.

lvl 1 Wax Sword (Wax Sword +1 recommended if have money)
lvl 9 Spatha
lvl 11 Bee Spatha (Consider getting Bee Spatha +1; that sword is very powerful for its lvl and Accuracy+2 helps)
lvl 18 Iron Sword or
Longsword or
Fire Sword/Flame Sword
lvl 19 Auriga Xiphos Rare/Ex Drop from Chariotbuster Byakzak (NM)in Fort Ghelsba.
lvl 30 Centurion's Sword
lvl 34 Hunting Sword
lvl 39 Grudge Sword (+1 Enmity is nice, keep till lvl 50 for emergency situations)
lvl 42 Honor Sword (AF1)
lvl 50 Tactician Magician's Espadon
lvl 55 Wise Wizard's Anelace(Gluttony is not the end all be all. You can use this until 66)
lvl 57 Gluttony Sword (This has the highest delay of any sword in the game. Despite this, it also has very high damage along with VIT +7, and is probably your best bet until Macuahuitl +1)
lvl 60 Bastard Sword (The 9 additional points of base damage generally outperforms the +12 attack on the Wise Wizard's Anelace if you chose to skip the Gluttony Sword.)
lvl 65 Macuahuitl +1 (Enmity +4 is very nice. This is generally the best sword for endgame tanking.)
lvl 66 Espadon (Get the Espadon +1)
lvl 70 Joyeuse (Double Attack (~45%), Piercing Damage; fast TP gain good when DD'ing. Drops from Charybdis.)
lvl 70 Company Sword (Hidden effect of +2 base damage for each party member, mostly used for playing a DD.)
lvl 71 Durandal (Cheap. +1 enmity, +7 vit and low delay.)
lvl 71 Hauteclaire (Physical damage -7%, Accuracy+7; a rare drop from Khimaira.)
lvl 73 Justice Sword (STR+7, and Double Attack (~55%) with Virtue Stone equipped; possibly the fastest TP gain sword for Paladin. 100% drop from Jailer of Justice.)
lvl 74 Sanguine Sword (HP +20, MP +20, VIT +4)
lvl 75 Organics (Dmg:48 Dly:264 HP-55 STR+3 Attack+10 Critical Hit Rate+3%; nice DD sword for the main hand. Drops from Achamoth ZNM.)
lvl 75 Soulsaber (Dmg:43, Dly:230, VIT+4, Physical damage taken -5%. Probably the best general tanking sword that most people can reasonably expect to own. Although completing Magian Trials 164, 190, 197, 198, 199 and 200 is a rather daunting task.)
lvl 75 Burtgang (Mythic weapon; improbable to obtain for most. Enmity +10, Physical Damage Taken -10%, Reduces Enmity decrease when taking physical damage, "Atonement", Aftermath: Increases Acc./Atk., Occasionally attacks twice.)
lvl 75 Excalibur (Relic weapon; improbable to obtain for most. It's the best damage dealing sword. DMG: 49 Delay: 233 Attack +20 Additional effect: Damage proportionate to current HP; "Knights of Round".)

Great Sword

Keep in mind that a paladin's main role is tank. While a great sword paladin can theoretically hold hate better with a higher damage output, the B rating in great swords leads to more misses and a lower damage-over-time. Never use a Greatsword in exp parties while tanking. Yes, you will do more damage, but you will also take a lot more damage than with Sword + Shield

That being said, here is a list of approved great swords.

lvl 1 Rusty Greatsword (Your only option at this level.)
lvl 10 Claymore
lvl 13 Flame Claymore (Or Burning Claymore, these will help to kill the fire-weak enemies in the dunes.)
lvl 18 Braveheart (Dex+2, Acc+5 is a lot at this level, and will help with a two-handed weapon.)
lvl 20 Mercenary's Greatsword (Carry this with your Braveheart. Att+7 will be helpful when you don't need the Acc+5.)
lvl 25 Federation Sword (The +2 version of the Mercenary's Greatsword which grants +8 MP. Not bad.)
lvl 36 Mythril Claymore
lvl 39 Ice Brand (Huge jump in DMG, Plus the ice damage is beneficial at this level.)
lvl 43 Royal Swordsman's Blade +2 (You're a paladin using a great sword. You need the +3 VIT.)
lvl 50 Cobra Claymore (MP +8, Attack +7, and great DPS, bought from Mindala-Andola, C.C. in Windurst (S) for 3,000 or 4,500 Allied Notes, depending on your allegiance)
lvl 55 Royal Guard's Sword (A PLD-only great sword, and it's really good. STR+2, MND+3, CHR+1.)
lvl 62 Mercurial Sword (This GS is great for melee/accuracy built PLD/DNC)
lvl 69 Flamberge
lvl 71 Nagan
lvl 71 Ferrara Lowest Delay Great Sword in the game at 387 and dmg at 74 making it the 4th highest DPS
lvl 72 Subduer (If you can get your hands on one, it outdoes the Nagan in DPS after it's been broken, but it has no defensive values stat-wise, so be careful.)
lvl 73 Balan's Sword Just edges out the Nagan in DPS and is much cheaper. Good for DD'ing on a budget. And the INT helps Spinning Slash and Ground Strike.
lvl 73 Perdu Sword (Excellent and fairly easy to obtain great sword for general DD use. Generally outperforms most great swords except Subduer, Mercurial, and Ragnarok.)
lvl 75 Ragnarok (Clearly a pipe dream.)

Staff

There is only one staff a Paladin may use without truly dragging itself down. Even this, however, is debatable.

lvl 51: Earth Staff or Terra's Staff (Terra's is highly recommended if you take this method. Even if the gains are seemingly minimal, it's all you're going to get.)

This staff can be used with HNM's, and it often is. However, it has been used in other situations.

This method has been confirmed to be used by at least one and argued by a few Paladins. The concept uses the VIT and -20% damage reduction to lower damage below the levels of a sword/shield Paladin. This method often relies on a Paladin using his/her magic to keep hate levels high, since the damage in comparison to a sword using Paladin will be lower. The Weapon skill of choice is often Spirit Taker in order to restore MP.

To use this method, staff skill must be capped beforehand, or else the Paladin's accuracy and damage will fall to very low levels, due to its A- skill. This also works for things like wyrms and Dynamis mobs that you do not actually engage to avoid giving them unnecessary TP. In this situation, the Earth Staff is only being used for its damage reduction making its lower damage inconsequential.

Staff Tanking works, though most of the time it is ineffective compared to sword/shield as of recent patches. If you are in a party that wants to fight only monsters that are far too high level for you to be killing effectively and you find yourself getting hit for 100+ per regular attack an Earth Staff becomes a viable option. If you find you are only taking 30-50 damage per hit on VT and low IT mobs, you can use a staff for approximately the same damage taken as sword and shield. This will help you keep your staff capped without having to go to skillup parties.

The biggest negative for staff use might be the loss of Shield Skillups. These are hard to come by and the chance of Shield Skill up is of course reduced to 0% when using a staff.

Also get
Lvl 51 Light Staff & Dark Staff
Light Staff you can use it when PL
Dark Staff is good when fight is over and when PL
-Do not attempt to tank in an EXP PT with either of these however.
lvl 60: Battle Staff (DMG:49 Delay:402 Accuracy+3 Attack+10, Battle Staff +1 if you can find one for a reasonable price)
lvl 73: Kinkobo/Primate Staff (Kinkobo is almost always cheaper due to woodworkers skilling up on them and trying to mitigate a bit of loss. These staves are more powerful than even Claustrum. With capped staff skill, PLD/WAR or potentially PLD/SAM can be a solo machine on many enemies, especially those weak to blunt damage such as skeletons and pots.)

Polearm

Since IR gear came with the WotG expansion, paladins have gotten more options for tanking pure or mainly magic casters. The Iron Ram Lance offers -10 Damage reduction which is including magic damage. For certain fights, often tanking as /rdm, this is a very nice option. By example Jailer of Love can be mentioned.

Club

While club is not a viable weapon to use in an experience party due to its generally poor damage/delay, Paladins should be mindful of some of the uses of clubs.

In end-game situations, tanking with a club adds more to a Paladin's repertoire than most swords.
Templar Mace (level 71) Can be used as an alternative to Light Staff, It can be used on higher level HNM's while subbing
/nin. You will still be using a shield, but because your damage and acc using any weapon will be low, the +10% Cure Potency enhances
your ability to gain hate and keeps your HP high in those rough fights.
Buzdygan (level 71) has some MP and VIT and is the most comparable club to Durandal.
Jadagna (level 69) is a new club with the ToAU expansion, and has +29HP -29MP VIT+5.
Morgenstern (level 72) The best club paladins can wear.
Brise-os (level 74) has +36 HP, +3 STR and +3 VIT. Brise-os +1 has +38 HP, +4 STR, & +4 VIT, along with better damage as well, which can arguably be the better club so far
Starlight and Moonlight weapon skills to restore both your MP and your party's MP.
Club damage on bone-type mobs is generally greater than swords due to bones weakness to blunt weapons. Note that using Banish on skeletons allows swords and daggers to do more damage.

Ranged

lvl 55: Lightning Bow or Lightning Bow +1
lvl 70: Rosenbogen or Rosenbogen +1
lvl 75: Lamian Kaman or Lamian Kaman +1

Ammo

lvl 1: Happy Egg
lvl 1: Fortune Egg
lvl 11: Attar of Roses (Gives more HP than Happy Egg at lower levels)
lvl 30: RSE Ammo (If you cannot get the above)
Lvl 54: Smart Grenade (Hidden Effect: ATT +4)
lvl 60: Bibiki Seashell (VIT +4)
lvl 70: Fenrir's Stone

Armor

* Bone or Lizard set may be used, Lizard is generally cheaper.

** There is debate over the Silver set's higher DEF and the Eisenschaller set's overall higher VIT and AGI as a better set of armor. Kampfschaller is typically considered superior to Silver set.

*** Instead of loading up on MP armor, focus on VIT, Shield Skill, and HP. You can get MP from RDM casting Refresh, BRD casting Mages Ballad, or drinks - recomended - Cooking (30)

***At lvl 35 you get: Auto Refresh. <fun> <excitement>

Shield

There are several different size and styles of shields to choose from, and you may find that you want to have more than one on hand and use whichever best fits a given situation. The effectiveness of your shield-blocking is based upon your Shield Skill. When the Shield Skill activates it reduces the amount of damage taken from a melee hit. The higher your shield skill, the more often it will kick in. The Job Trait Shield Mastery also influences how often shield blocks will occur, and gives you TP for every shield block.

There are 5 distinct shield types. These are, in increasing size: Buckler, Round, Kite, Tower, and "size 5", which is currently restricted to the Relic shield, Aegis. The smaller shields will block more frequently, but will reduce the damage by a smaller amount than the larger shields (except for the Aegis, which is in a league of its own, being a fully upgraded Relic item). See the category listing for Shields for the types of all shields.

lvl 1 Lauan Shield or Lauan Shield +1 (if you can afford it) or
Marine Shield
lvl 7 Shell Shield (can work well, but some don't like the AGI loss)
lvl 9 Aspis or
Clipeus (better than Aspis, but a NM drop)
Lvl 14 Fish Scale Shield
lvl 20 Decurion's Shield
lvl 24 Turtle Shield/+1 (+3/+4 VIT)
lvl 25 Bastokan Targe or
Republic Targe (often preferred over the Kite Shield)
lvl 28 Kite Shield (reward for completing A Knight's Test)
lvl 38 Jennet Shield (recommended until lvl50)
lvl 40 Light Buckler (+5 Shield Skill, great for skilling up and preventing spell interrupts)
lvl 43 Heater Shield
lvl 50 Royal Knight Army Shield (DEF:14 STR+2 MND+1)
or Temple Knight Army Shield (DEF:14 STR+1 MND+2)
or Sentinel Shield (DEF:10 STR+3 Haste+1%) Bought for 8000 Imperial Standing. This shield can last up to General's Shield
lvl 52 Master Shield (lower DEF, but +10 Shield Skill can be very helpful)
lvl 55 Royal Guard's Shield
lvl 55 Musketeer Commander's Shield, small shield, but with AGI+3
lvl 58 Wivre Shield (+5 enmity.)
lvl 59 Adoubeur's Pavise Gives Shield Mastery +1, which gives an additional +1 TP when blocking.
lvl 60 Iron Ram Shield (+3 STR, VIT, Att and Eva. (WotG expansion))
lvl 66 Diamond Shield
lvl 69 General's Shield
lvl 69 Terror Shield
lvl 70 Caballero Shield (Magic Def. Bonus +2, Enmity +2, Physical damage: Blaze Spikes effect, Set: Increases VIT need the Caballero Gauntlets to get VIT +10)
lvl 71 Ritter Shield or Ritter Shield +1 HP and MP +10, DEF +2 as PLD or DRK (NQ DEF=23 total). NQ is obtainable from Ru'Aun Gardens Treasure Casket. Not necessary but nice to use if you have.
lvl 72 Tatami Shield
lvl 72 Palmerin's Shield (Damage Taken -2%)
lvl 73 Koenig Shield (Generally the best all around shield aside from relic.)
lvl 73 Januwiyah (size 4 Tower shield with HP+25)
lvl 75 Aegis (the difficult to obtain relic shield)

Head

Lvl 1 Bronze Cap
Lvl 1 Cache-nez (Enmity +2)
Lvl 7 Leather Bandana
Lvl 10 Faceguard or Royal Footman's Bandana
Lvl 16 Bone Mask or
Lvl 17 Lizard Helm *
Lvl 20 Trump Crown (DEF:10 HP/MP+14~ CHR+2)
Lvl 21 Beetle Mask
Lvl 24 Iron Mask
Lvl 29 Eisenschaller or Kampfschaller
Lvl 36 Silver Mask **
Lvl 40 Iron Musketeer's Armet
Lvl 45 Iron Ram Helm
Lvl 55 Fourth Armet has +3 VIT and adds +10 hp
Lvl 56 Gallant Coronet (AF)
Lvl 68 Iron Ram Sallet (DEF:29 HP+20 Enmity+5 "Magic Def. Bonus"+3)
Lvl 69 Louhi's Mask (Day: Physical Damage -3% | Night: Magical Damage -3%)
Lvl 70 Aegishjalmr (Enmity +7) (Drops from Fafnir)
Lvl 70 Lord's Armet
Lvl 73 Adaman Barbuta
Lvl 73 Valor Coronet (Relic)
Lvl 73 Koenig Schaller (Abjuration Gear (Martial Abjuration: Head from Seiryu). One of the best endgame pieces due to the shield skill.)
Lvl 75 Askar Zucchetto (use when /NIN more useful than Homam and the Turban in my opinion due to Def STR VIT and DEX, could also be used as part of a DD setup also)
Lvl 75 Champion's Galea Equipment awarded at finish for A Moogle Kupo d'Etat. Widely used for a WS piece.
Lvl 75 Walahra Turban to be used when tanking as PLD/NIN.
Lvl 75 Bahamut's Mask (Enmity +8, Enhances "Dragon Killer" effect, overall a better piece than the Aegishjalmr, but even harder to get - This is the best head piece in the game for a PLD/NIN).

Body

*** This is debatable, AGI plays a useful role in shield use. and Kampfbrust has 3 AGI over Centurions 1 VIT

Lvl 1 Bronze Harness, RSE, Fourth Tunica, Iron Ram Jack Coat, Cobra Tunica or Pilgrim Tunica
Lvl 7 Leather Vest
Lvl 10 Scale Mail
Lvl 16 Bone Harness or
Lvl 17 Lizard Jerkin *
Lvl 21 Beetle Harness
Lvl 24 Chainmail
Lvl 24 Bannaret Mail isn't easy to find due to a particular key item needed to synth it, but it's like a second Breath Mantle if you can get it.
Lvl 29 Eisenbrust or Kampfbrust Recomended: use this armour til lvl(39)
Lvl 30 Centurion's Scale Mail ***
Lvl 36 Silver Mail **
Lvl 40 Royal Squire's Chainmail
Lvl 42 Earth Doublet
Lvl 45 Stolid Breastplate (DEF:35 VIT+2 Damage taken -1%) or
Lvl 45 Iron Ram Chainmail (If using other pieces of I.R.)
Lvl 45 Brigandine Armor (DEF:32 DEX+2 VIT+2)
Lvl 50 Iron Musketeer's Cuirass or Parade Cuirass
Lvl 52 Gaia Doublet
Lvl 55 Jaridah Peti (DEF:42 HP-25 ACC +5 ATT +5 R.ATT +5)
Lvl 55 Fourth Division Cuirass
Lvl 58 Beak Jerkin +1 (Yes, it looks like a Lizard Jerkin, but remember that it's the stats that matter, not the looks. Nobody's asking you to wear it in town.)
Lvl 59 Haubergeon (Good for damage output. See Talk page for discussion.)
Lvl 60 Byrnie Cheap dmg option if you don't have AF yet
Lvl 60 Gallant Surcoat (AF, most popular body piece due to balance of vit, hp, and enmity)
Lvl 68 Iron Ram Hauberk (more defence, hp and enmity then AF. Magic Defense Bonus is also nice.)
Lvl 70 Lord's Cuirass or
Lvl 70 Heavy Cuirass (No VIT+, no Enmity+, no HP+, but it has Defense 60, significantly more than any other pre-75 armor, and it's significantly cheaper than Lord's.)
Lvl 71 Avalon Breastplate (Very Hard to get if not in a good HNM shell but is one of the best pieces out there.)
Lvl 73 Adaman Cuirass (DEF:52 MP+8 VIT+4 MND+4 Enimity+3)
Lvl 73 Koenig Cuirass (Abjuration Gear) or Kaiser Cuirass (HQ verision)
Lvl 75 Valor Surcoat (Rare Relic Drop from Dynamis - Xarcabard, considered by some to be obsolete due Iron Ram Hauberk and Nuevo Coselete availability.)
Lvl 75 Nuevo Coselete (Relatively easy to get from Crystalline Prophecy missions, Enmity +5 and Fast Cast are most common augments for Paladin.)
Lvl 75 Ares's Cuirass (loads of gil and extreme dedication to Salvage, but well worth the effort)

Hands

Lvl 1 Bronze Mittens or RSE
Lvl 7 Leather Gloves *
Lvl 10 Legionnaire's Mittens or Royal Footman's Gloves
Lvl 14 Battle Gloves +3 ACC and EVA
Lvl 16 Bone Mittens or
Lvl 17 Lizard Gloves *
Lvl 21 Beetle Mittens
Lvl 24 Chain Mittens
Lvl 29 Eisenhentzes or Kampfhentzes (Tank) or
Lvl 27 Savage Gauntlets (Mithra only; +4 VIT and +16 MP don't hurt, though the 4 less DEF than Kampfhentzes may. Usable up to AF gloves.)
Lvl 40 Iron Musketeer's Gauntlets (Use if you can't afford Kampfhentzes)
Lvl 43 Gothic Gauntlets (+2 Enmity is very nice and Ice Spikes are pretty nifty.)
Lvl 45 Iron Ram Mufflers (Acc +3)
Lvl 50 Storm Manopolas (A fully valid selection, even for PLD. Enmity +3 is nice and evasion can never be a bad thing.)
Lvl 50 Rush Gloves (the +4 Vit is wicked and useful until AF is available, also the added agi may come in handy)
Lvl 54 Gallant Gauntlets (AF) (DEF:16 HP+11 DEX+3 Light+10 Enmity+2)
Lvl 55 Jaridah Bazubands (DEF:14 HP-9 ACC +3 R.ATT +2 EVA +2)
Lvl 62 River Gauntlets (Mithra only; VIT+6 tops anything else available before Relic, and HP+60 can only help Spirits Within.)
Lvl 65 Fencing Bracers (Def: 16 HP+ 18 Att+ 6 Eva +4)
Lvl 68 Iron Ram Dastanas DEF: 22 HP +20 Enmity +4 Magic Def. Bonus +2
Lvl 70 Lord's Gauntlets/King's Gauntlets (Level 70 PLD JSE good stuff if you can find it. Not necessary)
Lvl 71 Orcish Gauntlets (3 more DEF than Adaman, Same +3 VIT, +30 HP, and a 2HP/tick Regen in Campaign)
Lvl 72 Valor Gauntlets (Relic) (DEF:22 HP+16 VIT+5 Enmity+3 "Shield Bash" +10)
Lvl 73 Adaman Gauntlets (DEF:20 MP+10 VIT+3 AGI-1 INT-1 Enimity+2)
Lvl 73 Koenig Handschuhs (Abjuration Gear (Martial Abjuration: Hands from Genbu))
Lvl 75 Homam Manopolas (Useful for Enmity and Haste for PLD/NIN.)
Lvl 75 Askar Manopolas (Useful as /nin due to Haste a higher enmity than some other pieces that also give haste.)

Legs

Lvl 1 Bronze Subligar or RSE
Lvl 7 Leather Trousers
Lvl 10 Scale Cuisses
Lvl 16 Bone Subligar or
Lvl 17 Lizard Trousers *
lvl 20 Royal Footman's Trousers
Lvl 21 Beetle Subligar
Lvl 24 Chain Hose
Lvl 29 Eisendiechlings or Kampfdiechlings (Def:18 VIT+ 2 AGI +2)
Lvl 40 Royal Squire's Breeches (Perhaps a better option than Eisendiechlings, but definitely not better than Kampfdiechlings)
Lvl 45 Iron Ram Breeches (DEF:23 DEX +2 AGI +2)
Lvl 50 Iron Musketeer's Cuisses (Definitely the piece you want from 50-58)
Lvl 55 Fourth Division Cuisses
Lvl 58 Gallant Breeches (AF) (DEF:34 HP+15 AGI+3 Enhancing Magic Skill+5 Enmity+2)
Lvl 59 Sipahi Zerehs (Compared to AF: Same AGI, +2 STR, more HP, a bit less defense, and no +2 ENM. Enhancing skill who cares.)
Lvl 68 Iron Ram Hose DEF: 36 HP +28 Enmity +4 "Magic Def. Bonus" +4
Lvl 70 Lord's Cuisses
Lvl 73 Adaman Cuisses (DEF:41 VIT+3 INT-3 EVA-1 Enimity+3)
Lvl 73 Crimson Cuisses (Abjuration Gear with movement speed increase, godsend for kite fights. Please do not use while straight up tanking.)
Lvl 73 Koenig Diechlings (Abjuration Gear)
Lvl 74 Valor Breeches (Relic) (DEF:43 HP+20 STR+5 Enmity+3 Spell interruption rate down 10%)
Lvl 75 Blitzer Poleyn Equipment awarded at the end of A Shantotto Ascension. Has various uses for swap equipment.
Lvl 75 Homam Cosciales (Fast Cast and Haste for PLD/NIN.)

Feet

Lvl 1 Bronze Leggings or RSE
Lvl 7 Leather Highboots or Leaping Boots/Bounding Boots (if bought/camped, these can be used as footgear until lvl 29)
Lvl 10 Scale Greaves
Lvl 16 Bone Leggings or
Lvl 17 Lizard Ledelsens *
lvl 18 Power Sandals(can be hard to obtain, but can be used till 29)
Lvl 21 Beetle Leggings
Lvl 24 Greaves
Lvl 29 Kampfschuhs (DEF: 9 VIT +3)(This is the best foot gear until AF.)
Lvl 29 RSE (Elvaan ones good. DEF:5 MP+20 AGI+3 INT+2)
Lvl 40 Iron Musketeer's Sabatons (Use if you can't afford Kampfschuhs)
Lvl 45 Iron Ram Sollerets
Lvl 52 Gallant Leggings (AF, never take these things off if you're using a shield.)
Lvl 67 Rutter Sabatons (DEF:16 STR+3 VIT+2 ATT+5 Slow+2%)
Lvl 70 Lord's Sabatons
Lvl 71 Valor Leggings (Relic - Macro in for Sentinel only, stick with AF1 full time)
Lvl 72 Aurum Sabatons
Lvl 73 Koenig Schuhs (Abjuration Gear)
Lvl 74 Gallant Leggings +1 More shield skill than the level 52 boots.
Lvl 75 Homam Gambieras
Lvl 75 Askar Gambieras From Nyzul Isle Assault. Good for kiting and straight damage mitigation with MP and Enmity as well.

Waist

Lvl 1 Dash Sash (Enmity +2) - (You can macro it into your JAs till Astral Rope or higher waists.)
Lvl 7 Leather Belt
Lvl 15 Warrior's Belt or Warrior's Belt +1
(seriously, get the +1 as a PLD.... the longevity is amazing)
Lvl 48 Life Belt (Never get rid of your Warrior's Belt +1. Life Belt is great if you have problem hitting. If you are hitting fine, stick with the Warrior's Belt +1.)
Lvl 50 Swift Belt Haste +4% great for tanking PLD/NIN and DDing
Lvl 51 Astral Rope This is great for Galka/Elvaan PLD. 5 Def and 15 HP -> MP helps. The big attraction is the +2 Enmity
Lvl 60 Potent Belt Replaces life belt.
Lvl 60 Lieutenant's Sash DEF 5, HP+15, MP+15, Magic & Breath damage taken -2% (nice for Imp PTs)
Lvl 71 Warwolf Belt (DEF:5 STR+5 DEX+5 VIT+5 Emnity+3)
Lvl 72 Trance Belt HP+ and Enmity +4

Back

Lvl 4 Rabbit Mantle
Lvl 12 Traveler's Mantle or
Lvl 17 Lizard Mantle or
Lvl 18 Dhalmel Mantle
Lvl 18 Breath Mantle (This is the best mantle before High Breath Mantle since it is so hard to keep hate prior to it.)
Lvl 28 Wolf Mantle or Wolf Mantle +1 (+1 suggested)
Lvl 30 Mercenary Mantle Def: 2 Latent Effect: Enmity: 1 (if having any difficulties keeping hate)
Lvl 36 High Breath Mantle (Most useful, easily obtainable cape. If someone is crafting them on your server. Very good to have as a backup for if you are having trouble keeping hate.)
Lvl 37 Cavalier's Mantle (If you are willing to suck up the hit to Evasion, this is the best mantle before the Knightly Mantle.)
Lvl 40 Earth Mantle
Lvl 40 Resentment Cape (great for tanking casters, not effective in ToAU or WotG areas)
Lvl 51 Gaia Mantle
Lvl 55 Republican Army Mantle (Exclusive item from Bastok conquest points.)
Lvl 58 Beak Mantle
Lvl 60 Knightly Mantle (Use High Breath Mantle for hate-holding trouble, thf or /thf-less party, or PLD/NIN)
Lvl 61 Amemet Mantle or Amemet Mantle +1 (Good DD piece)
Lvl 65 Lamia Mantle or Lamia Mantle +1(good Magic Defense boost for AM tier IV and tier III aga nukes)
Lvl 70 Gigant Mantle (Use for +HP gear setup)
Lvl 70 Valor Cape (Relic - Arguably the best back piece in the game for paladin.)
Lvl 70 Boxer's Mantle (Excellent for any situation, well worth the 75 Ancient Beastcoins)
Lvl 74 Cuchulain's Mantle (Best piece for DD setup)
Lvl 75 Cerberus Mantle [A good enmity piece and DD piece for PLD.]
Lvl 75 Shadow Mantle (Dropped only from the Dynamis Lord. Good Luck.)

Neck

Lvl 3 Pile Chain
(Obtained from locked treasure casket in East Sarutabaruta. The +3 HP is very nice and the +1 ACC is an ever better bonus as ACC gear is extremely limited for beginning levels.)
Lvl 7 Justice Badge
Lvl 9 Armiger's Lace
lvl 11 Scale Gorget
(This piece is skippable. It is only 1 more DEF than the Justice Badge, and may not be worth the money/hassle to use it for 10 levels.)
Lvl 14 Van Pendant
(This can be hard to camp, but is useful throughout the dunes, it can also last until the tiger stole)
Lvl 21 Fang Necklace or Spike Necklace (Spike is the +1 version of Fang)
(+STR and +DEX will help through damage to hold hate. Macro +MND for Cure spells.)
lvl 24 Tiger Stole With DEF 2 and Attack +5, this is a nice option until level 35 for races less concerned with MP
lvl 26 Holy Phial
lvl 30 Ajase Beads
lvl 35 Medieval Collar
lvl 50 Parade Gorget (Get one of these. 1 mp/tick while you're in white hp is unbelievably helpful)
lvl 55 Iron Musketeer's Gorget
lvl 55 Royal Guard's Collar
lvl 60 Fortified Chain or
lvl 60 Chivalrous Chain
lvl 65 Shield Torque (+7 shield skill very nice. Combine this with Gallant Leggings +10 skill and Koenig Schaller +5 skill and you have +22 shield. You wouldn't believe how much this helps with skillups.)
lvl 70 Bloodbead Gorget The +60 HP is great for HP builds or Cure kits.
lvl 70 Ritter Gorget DEF: 8 HP +25 Evasion +5 Enmity +3 (Obtained via 15 000 Ampoules of Therion Ichor - Amazing for HP and Enmity build while PLD/NIN)
lvl 72 Harmonia's Torque (Vit -5 Enmity +3 - The VIT loss is nothing compared to the enmity gain - use it /nin)
lvl 73 Fortitude Torque (VIT +5 & Sword skill +7, very nice for end-game DDing.)

Rings

lvl 1 Bastokan Ring (Rare/Ex item from Bastok conquest points.)
lvl 10 Astral Ring (1 is good for Elvaan/Galka PLD)
lvl 14 Amber Ring or Stamina Ring (HQ1 version) or Stamina Ring +1 (HQ2 version)
lvl 16 Bomb Ring (Drops from Bomb King, easy kill, decent drop rate)
lvl 30 Sattva Ring (As a CoP ring, this will last you all the way up to endgame.)
lvl 36 Sphene Ring or Verve Ring (HQ1 version) or Verve Ring +1 (HQ2 version)
lvl 40 Ether Ring (Cheap replace for Astral Ring)
lvl 43 Mermaid's Ring for Enmity +2
lvl 50 Unyielding Ring (The defense, DEX+, and Resist Charm make this ring better overall than Vigor Ring.)
lvl 50 Phalanx Ring (10 DEF is far greater than 2-4 VIT.)
lvl 50 Ulthalam's Ring (ToAU ring) (ACC+4 ATT+4 Assault: STR+4 DEX+4 Adds "Regen" effect)
lvl 50 Garrulous Ring (STR+3 AGI+3 Enhances "Resist Silence" effect)
lvl 54 Chrysoberyl Ring or Vigor Ring (HQ1 version) or Vigor Ring +1 (HQ2 version)
lvl 57 Bomb Queen Ring (+75 HP great for HP build)
lvl 60 Demon's Ring or Demon's Ring +1 if you need the extra MP
lvl 60 Patronus Ring (30k(45k) AN in San d'Oria (S); Physcial DMG taken -2%, -10% in Campaign Battle)
lvl 63 Jelly Ring (Physical DMG taken -5%, Magical DMG taken +5%)
lvl 66 Krousis Ring gives 15 Def, and Krousis Ring +1 gives a major 20 Def.
lvl 66 Hercules' Ring Mainly for the Enmity+3 - Latent Effect is activated by HP below 50%. +3HP and +1MP every 3 sec (stacks with Auto-Refresh for a total of +2MP per tick).
lvl 70 Defending Ring (Good luck)
lvl 72 Topaz Ring or Robust Ring (HQ1 version) or Robust Ring +1 (HQ2 version)
lvl 74 Breeze Ring (DEF:3 VIT+2 AGI+5 INT-2)(Arguably better than the Soil Ring for PLD to some due to the increase in AGI and VIT which will help with defensive moves and taking damage)
lvl 74 Soil Ring (DEF:3 DEX+2 VIT+5 AGI-2)
Lvl 75 Shadow Ring Wonderful ring for tanking anything that casts

Earring

lvl 10 Onyx Earring or Energy Earring +1 recommended
lvl 10 Optical Earring (easy NM, 100% drop)
Lvl 21 Beetle Earring(+1 recommended)
Lvl 29 Dodge Earring
Lvl 30 Mercenary's Earring (One of the best earrings for PLD when leveling.)
Lvl 32 Bloodbead Earring (HP+25)
Lvl 33 Pigeon Earring (Really only useful for endgame where +HP matters)
Lvl 35 Wing Earring or Drone Earring (AGI can have an impact on Shield and Parry Rate.)
Lvl 35 Buckler Earring (A good match with Mercenary's earring for untill you get Knights or Ethereal.)
Lvl 50 Insomnia Earring/Antivenom Earring (Good for MP/Resist/+1MP recovered while healing)
Lvl 54 Hospitaler Earring (Decent earring if you are unable to afford something else. Feasible to keep up until your quested earrings. The +5% healing is actually very helpful in a tight spot.)
Lvl 55 Feyuh's Earring (Mithra only; can replace or pair with the Mercenary's Earring for Mithra, as it's STR+1 VIT+2.)
Lvl 59 Knightly Earring (Spell Interruption Rate Down 9%, "Bash" +10)
Lvl 72 Ethereal Earring (Converts 3% damage to MP. No arguments, the BEST earring for PLD in the game.)
One of the following from Divine Might:
(see Talk:Paladin: Guide to Weapons and Armor for discussion)
Lvl 72 Knight's Earring (+5 Shield Skill, +5 Divine Magic Skill, +2 VIT)
Lvl 72 Suppanomimi (+5 Sword Skill, enhanced Dual Wield, +2 AGI)
Lvl 75 Loquacious Earring (MP +30 Enhances Fast Cast effect; -2 spellcasting -1 recast time)


Misc

Melee Defense Foods

Gearing a PLD/NIN

While situational, a Paladin subbing Ninja can be one of the most effective tanks in the game. Mostly used for Grand Wyrms and Cerberus, a PLD/NIN focuses on Haste and enmity gear to get Utsusemi and Flash recasts down as low as possible to compensate for the lack of provoke. It takes an experienced player with good gear and a good grasp of how shadows work to pull it off, but it helps greatly on fights against things that might hit too hard to tank normally. Other than what I've mentioned here, you should forego equipment that gives shield skill or VIT in favor of anything that might give more enmity or HP. Note: Having Dual Wield does not mean you have to utilize it.

Level 36 High Breath Mantle - A must have for PLD/NIN and many other situations. Keep at least two of these around.
Level 50 Swift Belt - Haste. Macro in a Warwolf Belt for Flash.
Level 50 Parade Gorget - A staple piece of equipment since its discovery. Macro in a Harmonia's Torque for Flash.
Level 58 Wivre Shield, +5 enmity. (More enmity than Koenig but less stats/defense)
Level 65 Macuahuitl +1 - Enmity +4
Level 72 Ethereal Earring - One of the easiest ways to get mp, should you get hit.
Level 73 Koenig Shield - Shield of choice due to Enmity.
Level 75 Walahra Turban - Haste, HP, and MP. The lack of defensive stats is relatively unimportant.
Level 75 Homam Manopolas - Haste and Enmity. Not too hard to get if your linkshell does Limbus.
Level 75 Homam Cosciales - Fast Cast and Haste for spellcasting.
Level 75 Loquacious Earring - +30 more MP and more Fast Cast

MP/HP Swap

Galka Paladins are a special case where they can benefit greatly from swapping MP gear for HP gear as they expend their MP. This allows Galka to maximize the gear available to them, increasing their survivability while impacting minimally on their attributes.

Dune Bracers (-35 HP +65 MP) can be swapped with Koenig Handschuhs.
Hierarch Belt (+48 MP) can be swapped with Warwolf Belt or Desert Sash.

Gear for MP Recovered While Healing

Paladins don't get a lot of time to rest for MP between pulls, so every bit recovered can make a big difference. At higher levels, there are several pieces of gear that can be swapped in with a macro for healing.

* Keep in mind that swapping to a staff forfeits current TP. If a macro is used to put MP Recovered gear on, it may be a wise choice to leave dark staff out of the macro and do it manually when one is sure they don't need TP.

Level 1 Pilgrim Tunica, MP Recovered While Healing +1
Level 20 Mohbwa Sash, MP Recovered While Healing +1
Level 20 Mohbwa Sash +1, MP Recovered While Healing +2
Level 40 Qiqirn Sash, MP Recovered While Healing +2
Level 40 Qiqirn Sash +1, MP Recovered While Healing +3
Level 41 Reverend Sash, MP Recovered While Healing +1
Level 50 Antivenom Earring, MP Recovered While Healing +1
Level 51 Dark Staff, MP Recovered While Healing +10 - {best one :)}*
Level 65 Relaxing Earring, MP Recovered While Healing +2
Level 70 Lord's Sabatons, MP Recovered While Healing +3
Level 71 Hierarch Belt, MP Recovered While Healing +2

And for those times you might have RDM subbed:

Level 30 Warlock's Earring, MP Recovered While Healing +1 with /RDM

Notes for the Tarutaru Paladins

The tiny tanks of Vana'diel, renown for their magnificient mana pool, are frequently (needlessly) scorned for their low HP, VIT, and defense. Much of this can be made up for by being more careful with your gear selection than other races might be. Try to avoid using gear that converts MP to HP if you can, your MP is what sets you apart from the other races. However, there are times you could find that little bit of extra HP comforting.

As far as our RSE goes, for general exp purposes, there are often better options. The Kampfplatte Armor Set is the best investment you can make at level 29, but you may want to have your Wonder Armor on hand for its HP boosts for special occasions (it can save you from being one-shotted by Flood in Steamed Sprouts).

Paladin Artifact Armor is arguably the best set of AF in the game, but you may want to replace the hands and feets with our Creek RSE in the 60s, at least situationally.

Remember, these are the recommendations from one Tarudin's experience, and you will need to find what works for you. Some flexibility is important, so do your gobbie bag quests and bring a variety of gear for different situations. Keep in mind, just because a piece of gear is higher level doesn't mean it's better. My preferences for stats were always VIT > DEF > AGI > HP. Tarutaru have good natural agility, but the more you have, the more you will shield block and parry, which means less damage done to you. Follow the above recommendations, but keep in mind the following Taru-only items, and the ones that benefit Tarutaru more than other races.

Level 1 Cassie Earring (end-game gear, and the price reflects that)
Level 10 Physical Earring (25MP->25HP if you go this route, replace one at 30 with a Mercenary's Earring, the other at 35 with a Drone Earring)
Level 20 Bloodbead Amulet (+15HP)
level 40 Intruder Earring DEF:6 DEX+1 AGI+1 "IN AREAS OUTSIDE OWN NATIONS CONTROL: CONVERTS 40MP TO HP"
Level 50 Steppe Belt (can be quite expensive, but it's a wonderful replacement for your Warrior's Belt+1)
Level 55 Morukaka's Earring (+35HP for when you need it)
Level 62 Creek F Clomps or Creek M Clomps
Level 62 Creek F Mitts or Creek M Mitts
Level 70 Steppe Sash (another end-game piece)
Level 70 Lord's Armet (+2VIT, +2Enmity, 15MP->15HP)
Level 70 Lord's Cuisses (+2VIT, +2Enmity, 12MP->12HP)

Closing Note

Guide created by User:Andres
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