Rift Soul Overviews: The Bard

Updated Wed, Jun 08, 2011 by Medawky

The Bard

Calling: Rogue
Role: Support/DPS
Primary Attribute: DEX/STR

Shredding their way through opponents with powerful riffs and power chords, the Bard is the perfect soul for those looking to channel their inner rock star. While it may not be as glamorous as say, being Jimmy Page, the Bard can be an essential addition to a group or a raid due to their ability to enhance group DPS, mitigate damage a tank receives, decrease enemy damage or increase healing effectiveness. Like 3M, the Bard doesn’t necessarily make the things you love, it makes them better.


  • A truly unique playstyle
  • Fast paced and engaging
  • Meshes well with every other soul in the calling
  • Difference maker that can turn the tide of battle


  • Greater learning curve than other souls
  • Players in other roles can be demanding of buffs
  • Requires constant management and upkeep


The Bard is perhaps the most unique of the Rogue souls, and one that can be highly rewarding for players who master its demanding playstyle. Using a mixture of short term, long term and instant abilities that are broken down into various musical terms, Bards weave a tune that inspires their allies and demoralizes their foes. A top notch bard will be able to anticipate changes in the battle and switch their Anthems, Codas and Verses quickly while maintaining all Motifs and the proper Fanfare.

Solo Play

As a support soul, a deep spec Bard isn’t the most efficient of soloist, but given the proper arrangement they can become quite a force. Having a second role slotted with a more balanced mix can allow players to learn the soul while maintaining a tempo that is more allegro than largo. Consider using a Ranger for the free pet when rocking it solo.

Group Play

The group dynamic is where the Bard really begins to shine. Whether in a quintet or a large ensemble, a properly played Bard can be the difference between a command performance and being booed off stage. Like all Rogue souls the Bard uses combo points to increase their output by unleashing powerful finishing moves. But the bard has some interesting cooldown based abilities that allow their finishers to become vastly more powerful and invaluable to a group or raid.

Pairs Best With


While it may not seem like the match made in heaven at first glance, the Nightblade is the top option for creating a powerful Bard build. Delivering a massive 24% increase to Cadence damage, the single most important Bard ability and the building block of the soul. The ripple effects of this pairing are evident in all aspects of Bard gameplay.


Another pairing that seems odd on the surface but that makes more sense as you delve into it, the Riftstalker brings some big upside to the Bard. Even though this is the "tanking" soul of the tree, the Riftstalker has an immediate increase to attack power in its first tier. Spend no more than 5-7 points here for maximum effectiveness. If you plan to raid with your Bard and aren't yet hit capped, consider using the Blade Dancer for its 5% increase until you can make cap through gear alone.

Curious. This sounds very cool and I want to try it out.
For pairing with the nightblade, where does the 24% increase to cadence damage come in? Where are the points put for that.

Very interesting though. Will try that today.

The increase to Cadence damage through the Nightblade soul comes from 5 points in Blazing Fury in tier 1 and 3 points in Unstable State in tier 2. If you have 5 points to spare, there's also a 3% damage increase from Fire and Death Attunement in tier 3 and a 20% chance to get a 5% increase to damage when Hellfire Blades procs from Melted Skin in tier 3. Good stuff!

"At BASF we don't make the things you buy, we make a lot of the things you buy better." Don't think that slogan belongs to 3M.

We don't make the products you buy, we make a lot of the products you buy better.


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