The PVP Bard
- 1) Intro
- 2) The Build
- 3) Tactics
Greetings! This is my first guide, so please bear with me. The goal of this guide is to help out new and current Bard players who want to branch into PVP. While you can change your roles for more damage or even tank-ish souls, the purpose of this guide is to show how to make a Battle Bard and play it effectively in this current beta 5 event.
Why a Bard? Wouldn't X/Y/Z soul be better?
Bards in this game will never put out the numbers that other roles will. What we do offer is a little bit of everything, along with some unique abilities your team can't get elsewhere. As a Battle Bard, your individual stats won't match up to other rogues, but that's fine. Your role is to buff the whole team.
You give up personal glory to help your team stomp the opposition.
What race is best for this?
Honestly, this one comes down to personal preference. As a generalist / support role, we can do well with any race. If pressed, I'd say Guardians should go Dwarf for the racial synergy with certain bard survival abilities. Defiants should probably be Eth for similar reasons.
Again though, the racial abilities don't make that much of a difference for a Bard, so pick the race you like. Racials will be changing after this Beta event anyway.
Do I need special gear for this?
Nope, your standard rogue stuff will do just fine. If possible, try to get items with higher endurance.
2) The Build
For the current cap of 30, this is the build -
Now for a look at the individual abilities and why you want them:
Bard soul - 30 points
- Bardic Inspiration (Tier 1) 5/5 - Longer buffs means less recasting and less downtime
- Good Health (Tier 1) 5/5 - More health is always a good thing for pvp
- Talented Composer (Tier2) 2/2 - You're going to be on the move a lot, and so will your team. This ability helps more people take advantage of your songs.
- Anthem of Glory (Tier 2) 1/1 - Armor buff for your team, 'nuff said.
- Street Smart (Tier 2) 3/3 - Another survival talent, 3% fewer hits and 3% fewer crits from all sources.
- Invigorated Soul (Tier 2) 3/3 - Your first healing ability. Provides all nearby teammtes with a constant stream of healing as you build your combos.
- Power Chord (Tier3) 1/1 - Instant, ranged combo builder.
- Coda of Fury (Tier 4) 1/1 - While you won't be using many of your finishers as damage, a ranged AoE can come in handy if needed.
- Extended Grief (Tier 4) 2/2 - Makes your debuff finishers last twice as long. Your enemies will be doing less damage and taking more for a whole minute.
- Improved Anthem of Competence (Tier 5) 1/1 - Run speed boost for your whole team while in combat.
- Riff (Tier 5) 1/1 - Your emergency combo builder.
- Coda of Restoration (Tier 5) 1/1 - Your big heal.
- Triumphant Spirit (Tier 5) 3/3 - Makes your healing better. Excellent ability since our healing is all AoE
- Verse of Fascination (Tier 6) 1/1 - Aoe Crowd Control goodness.
Nightblade Soul - 8 points
- Blazing Fury (Tier 1) 5/5 - More Cadence damage means more healing for your team.
- Unstable State (Tier 2) 3/3 - Bard abilities are all life based, so this will buff our combo generators and codas
The Nightblade soul is a great one for a PVP bard. With these 8 points, you get access to stealth, a weapon enchant buff, a ranged disorient (from stealth), and an incapacitate (also from stealth).
Riftstalker Soul - 2 points
- Toughened Soul (Tier 1) 2/5 - 8% more armor. Really though, these last 2 points are personal preference. I opted for the bit of extra armor for more survivability.
The Riftstalker soul is another great choice for the pvp Bard. I tried the Bladedancer, but Riftstalker just performs better for me. Shadow Shift is an amazing ability for PVP, and it makes Riftstalker worth taking even if you don't put points in it.
First off, you're not a dps or a healer or a tank; you're a Bard. Try to play like one of them and you'll be miserable and perform poorly. Bards are a unique role, and require a player to go into it prepared to play a different style.
Also, don't worry about the scoreboard. Topping the charts isn't our job, helping our team win is. We're support.
With that in mind, some general tips:
- Pregame/Match Start
- Make sure you buff everyone with a Fanfare.
- Use Anthem of Competence to help your team reach objectives first.
- Before hitting the enemy, stealth while you can. Having access to stealth is a huge advantage you have over the other 3 classes, don't discount it.
Your job is to provide buffs and supplemental healing to your team, while debuffing the enemy team. Try to stay near the front lines, but don't worry if you do get exposed, we're pretty survivable. Save your Shadow Shift for these times, and you should be able to get to safety. As we don't really top the charts and we tend to be very mobile and annoying to take down, we don't usually get focused the way a healing cleric or mage might.
Also, don't forget your stealth. We can potentially take 2 opponents out of the first (granted, one is a very short duration, but still) if we're in stealth. Also, if they can't see you, they won't be targeting you.
Keep your Motifs up! They're the reason you want a Bard on the team, and the difference they make over the course of a match is noticeable. Everyone has their own preferred order, but my general order of importance is Regeneration > Tenacity > Focus > Others. Regeneration is a wonderful buff - it might not save someone's life the way a spike heal can, but you can buy them time.
Finishers are another area of personal preference. If possible I try to get a Cowardice or Distress out when our teams first collide. Distress is very nice for this, as you can make the whole enemy team take more damage for a minute if they've clustered. After that though, I try to save my points for a Restoration. Instant cast AoE heal that heals your whole team can really make a difference.
Change your Anthems as needed. Once the fighting has started, run Glory or Defiance, depending on the enemy team's lineup. Fanfares can also be changed up if you want, but for pvp, I've found that the extra survivability Vigor gives you, coupled with our Motifs, means your team can outlast the enemy.
That's it for now, good luck and I hope to see more Battle Bards out there!
Edited, Jan 26th 2011 9:56pm by Selinya