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Screw daggers I have a lute: Barding

Guest Aevyn

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Guest Aevyn

Because it's needed =P

  • [*]Spec [*]Buffs [*]Motifs [*]Abilities [*]Priorities [*]Macros [*]Encounters [*]Notes

1. Spec


The backbone of the spec is this
While Tact/Bard hybrid will squeeze out more HPS on single target fights, and may bring some burst AoE DPS if encounter asks for it along with Power Core, 61 Bard brings superior HPS on multiple target fights, and if used correctly, has a better DPS buff in Orchestra of the Planes, as well as Verse of Joy.
5 Nightblade and 5 Riftstalker give the essential +% AP to Bard, as it's the only thing that will increase your Cadence healing amount.
Last 5 points can be spent as preferred, a weapon proc and slightly more Cadence damage(not healing) with Nightblade, or more endurance in Rifstalker.
Other options are MM, or Tactician, but both are inferior. MM brings the same +% AP but only when you crit, and Tactician's passive Gift does give +% healing, but still is not as good as +% AP.

2. Buffs


Fanfare of Vigor: +70 Endurance to raid, stacks with all.
Fanfare of Power: +70 Intelligence/Wisdom/Dexterity/Strength to raid, overwrites flat +70 to a stat buffs.
Planebound Resilience: +138 Endurance to yourself, NOT an excuse to stand in more stuff.
(if 8+ Nightblade) Hellfire Blades: Fire damage weapon proc.
After these, you have three options: Anthem of Fervor, Anthem of Glory, or Anthem of Competence. Anthem of Fervor if there is no Chloromancer in the raid, Anthem of Glory if no Archon or Beastmaster(overwrite if Inquisitor or Shaman, as it's better), and Anthem of Competence if no Beastmaster. Archon can give movement speed buff but ours is a toggle so 99% of the time you'll be using that.

3. Motifs


Seperate section for these, although they're obvious. For starters, they are Motif of Bravery, Motif of Tenacity, Motif of Regeneration, which give respectively +225 AP/SP and +1% crit chance to raid, 5% less damage taken by raid, and an AoE HoT to raid. Simply, cast them pre-fight and keep them up the whole fight by using your finishers thanks to the Bardic Inspiration talent, which has a 20% chance per combo point to refresh your Motifs after using a Coda(bard finishers), so basically 100% chance with 5 combo points. Keep them up also for Resonance, our unique +5% to stats to raid buff.

4. Abilities


A quick rundown of abilities that should be on your bars:


4.1. DPS Abilities

While 99% of the time you won't be using DPS abilities, here they are:
Verse of Agony - Strong ST damage, 20s CD, reduced by using Cadenza
Cadenza - filler DPS
Coda of Wrath - ST finisher
Coda of Fury - AoE finisher

4.2. Healing Abilities


Cadence - filler healing
Coda of Restoration - 5 person AoE heal finisher
Verse of Vitality - 5 person AoE heal, 20s CD
Harmonic Distortion - strong ST spotheal, requires finishers to be used to get stacks
Multiple Oscillations - Causes Cadence, Cadenza and Power Chord to hit 3 targets but for 50% less damage(but not healing)
Verse of Occlusion - Small absorb shield cast on all raidmembers, 2min CD

4.3. Other Abilities


Coda of Distress - +7% non-physical damage taken AoE debuff
Coda of Cowardice - +5% physical damage taken AoE debuff
Coda of Jeopardy - 1.5k damage proc on hit ST debuff, 3s ICD
Riff - 5 combo points gained, 30s CD
Virtuoso - Allows finishers to be used without using up combo points for 15s, 3min CD
Orchestra of the Planes - +15% damage done by raidmembers, AoE HoT, AoE DPS, 2min CD
Verse of Joy - Restores charge, mana, power and energy to raidmembers, 2min CD
Shadow Shift - 15m teleport, 45s CD


5. Priorities


Your priorities are simple as Bard, but require a minimum of thought and organization with the other Support player in your raid.


5.1. DPS Priority


There is none. Well ok, there may be the rare occasion when you can DPS freely, but really it's not what a Bard is brought for. Anyway, priority is:
Verse of Agony (if off CD) -> Coda of Wrath (if 5 combo points) -> Riff (if 0 combo points) -> Cadenza
For AoE, replace Coda of Wrath with Coda of Fury, and activate Multiple Oscillations.
Power Chord is a DPS loss, a heal loss, an everything loss so remove it if you have it.
If I see you using Virtuoso -> Wrath/Joy spam I will raidkick you. =P (Basically don't waste Virtuoso on DPS)

5.2.1. Support Priority with an Archon


This is the usual setup you'll find yourself in, and your priorities will depend on the fight. Ideally, you will keep up Coda of Distress and Coda of Cowardice only if there is 2+ mobs, otherwise that should be left to the Archon. Besides that, priority is:
Coda of Jeopardy (if not up and 5 combo points) -> Coda of Restoration (if 5 combo points) -> Riff (if 0 combo points or if not saved to quickly debuff in next 30s) -> Cadence
Remember, Multiple Oscillations up if 2+ mobs.

5.2.2. Support Priority with a Beastmaster


Here, Beastmasters do not have a Coda of Distress/Cowardice equivalent as Archons do, so it is up to you to keep them all up. You may want to throw a quick 1 point debuff if the mob will die soon, or use Riff to get them up quickly.
Coda of Distress (if not up and 5 combo points) -> Coda of Cowardice (if not up and 5 combo points) -> Coda of Jeopardy (if not up and 5 combo points) -> Coda of Restoration (if 5 combo points) -> Riff (if 0 combo points or if not saved to quickly debuff in next 30s) -> Cadence
As before, Multiple Oscillations up if 2+ mobs.

5.3 Healing Priority


While this is the same as Support Priority, I wanted to remember two useful abilities, Verse of Vitality and Harmonic Distortion, which should be used to respectively help top up the raid or a person at risk.

5.4 Cooldown Management Priority


You have a few good CDs as Bard, so it's good to know how to manage them. 
Verse of Occlusion: This is not much, but it's always great for an incoming AoE spike to the raid, such as Crucia's Orbital Breath, Zaviel's Ion Destruction, etc. Especially useful when people are not topped up.
Virtuoso: This can be alternated with Verse of Occlusion, or used right after, with a Coda of Restoration spam to help top up the raid quickly.
Orchestra of the Planes & Verse of Joy: I mention these together, as they should be used in unison, and are an immense boost to DPS as they are multiplcatively stacking with buffs such as Flaring Power/Command to Attack and debuffs like Wild Growth/Power Core. Ideally, after the first few moments of the fight when everything is debuffed, the Archon(Beastmaster) will cast Flaring Power(Command to Attack), which will be timed with Chloromancer(Tactician) Wild Growth(Power Core), and that is when you use Orchestra of the Planes and Verse of Joy. This is a huge DPS buff for the whole raid, and when all DPS CDs should be burnt to maximize burst to the boss.
The only time this shouldn't happen is if the encounter demands a DPS burn later on in the fight, but within next few minutes. Either way, these CDs should always be used together, and on CD after that (timed for the last Flaring Power of the fight if applicable). The reason why Verse of Joy is used, is for the mage buffs that require charge to last longer, such as Burning Fury, especially since the mana regained for healers is not as significant as it used to be, so it's usually better served for DPS purposes.

6. Macros


Not really any macros for Bard, but a couple I use:
#show Harmonic Distortion
cast @mouseoverui Harmonic Distortion
Simple mouseoverui to spotheal with Harmonic Distortion.
#show Orchestra of the Planes
cast Orchestra of the Planes
yell >> Orchestra of the Planes <<
#show Verse of Joy
cast Verse of Joy
yell >> Verse of Joy <<
Yell macros for Orchestra of the Planes and Verse of Joy.
Besides those, I guess you could macro Verse of Agony with Cadenza or something, nothing else in bard really wants to be a macro though.

7. Encounters


A couple short examples of what to do as Bard in some encounters.



7.1. Gelidra


Nothing really specific here, DPS buffs always go in phases when Gelidra is up as those are timed phases. Multiple Oscillations onto the Riptalons will help push out more healing. AoE debuff Riptalons, throw 1 point debuffs to Stormbirds/Vortex if needed.

7.2. Zaviel


Save Virtuoso + Coda spam / Verse of Occlusion for Ion Destruction (AoE after all Conducers are down). Multiple Oscillations onto Spheres for more healing. DPS buffs on CD, but save for the last Flaring Power in <50% phase. 

7.3. Crucia


Save Virtuoso + Coda spam / Verse of Occlusion for Orbital Strikes when Crucia lands(100%-60% phase). Orchestra of the Planes / Verse of Joy between the first and second Orbital Strike, or at end of first one to help a tiny bit with heals as well, and healer mana of course. Harmonic Distortion spam on tanks during Breath may help a bit. Staying alive is most important thing that can be done here.

7.4. Progenitor


Multiple Oscillations onto 3 bosses being tanked on the side for more healing. Virtuoso + Coda spam / Verse of Occlusion when needed as AoE damage can be spiky in this fight. Keep up debuffs on Arebus since you're AoE healing off those bosses, to make him take more damage when targeted.

7.5. Kain


Multiple Oscillations onto adds will help as this fight is pretty harsh in AoE damage as well. Virtuoso + Coda spam / Verse of Occlusion in Kain phase when people are stacked and adds are up. AoE debuff adds when up.

7.6. Matriarch


Virtuoso + Coda spam / Verse of Occlusion on Consume Essence (AoE when Matriarch hits 100 energy). Verse of Occlusion is actually very good there as it helps if people are hit by other mechanics at same time. Multiple Oscillations onto the adds but while still targetting Matriarch. AoE debuff adds when up. Time DPS buffs well with Flaring as this is a tight DPS fight.

7.7. Regulos


Actually not much to do here besides the usual. No really huge AoE damage spikes, besides when doing Molinar. DPS buffs need to be timed, the faster you get through a phase, less chance for people to die. Multiple Oscillations on Eyes, and when fighting Hierarch Kosic.

8. Notes


Gadgets or Karuulalert work great for tracking buffs/debuffs/CDs.
This is a nice list of buff/debuff stacking but all that's needed to know is listed in the guide.

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