Rift Soul Overviews: The Bard
Whether ripping off a powerful solo or strumming a rhythmic chord, the Bard is an unparalleled support soul in terms of depth and complexity.
- 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.
As a support soul, a deep spec Bard isnt 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.
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.