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Thread: Freezzo's 1.11 Raid Bard

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    Telaran
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    Default Freezzo's 1.11 Raid Bard

    The RIFT 1.11 Bard Guide

    The old bard doesn’t exist anymore. It’s been replaced. Not more placing your motifs every 30 seconds. In this guide I’ll first go over the changes of the Bard as we knew it and then I’ll cover the new rotations. I’ll go over all changes for the levels up to 50.

    Summary
    1. Abilities and changes in 1.11
    - 1.1 Bard Attacks
    - 1.2 Combo point builders
    - 1.3 Finishers
    - 1.4 Buffs
    - 1.5 Other Abilities
    2. How to Bard in 1.11
    - 2.1 Build
    - 2.2 Execution
    - 2.3 Emergency/Utility Skills

    1. Abilities and changes in 1.11
    1.1 Bard attacks:
    All Bard attacks are now ranged weapon attacks and will therefore benefit from all buffs having to do with ranged weapons.
    What’s also very big is that Cadence and Cadenza allow movement whilst casting these channeled abilities.

    All rogues now build combo points on themselves instead of on their target. This makes it easier as there’s no more last-second casting of a finisher with just a few combo points. Often this led to a loss of efficiency and shortage of energy. No more of that, you keep your combo points, even when leaving combat.

    1.2 Combo point builders:
    Cadence (2 sec channel, 3 points): The major changes to cadence aren’t in the spell itself, although it deals more damage now. No, it’s in the healing. Invigorated soul (available after spending 5 points in the Bard tree) now gives Cadence the ability to heal up to 5 party or raid members for 12% of your Attack Power. This is a huge buff, since Bard damage and the healing based of the damage was hardly relying on gear. They lowered the amount of targets healed, but upped the healing.

    Cadenza (2 sec channel, 3 points): This is a totally new skill to the Bard tree. It’s basically the same as Cadence, but it does more damage and it doesn’t heal. Cadenza is a great skill to up that Bard dps when the extra healing from Cadence isn’t needed.

    Power Chord (instant, 2 points): Power Chord has undergone a large change. Before patch 1.11 cadence was your only healing combo point builder. Now, after picking up Power Chord over 10 points into the tree, it unlocks Chord of Inspiration, which heals up to 5 party or raid members for 5% of your Attack Power and increase damage of the next Cadence or Cadenza by 5% per point spent in this option. It goes up to a maximum of 3 points, so per Power Chord you would get an additional 15% Attack Power in healing and a 15% damage buff of Cadence or Cadenza.
    Also the cooldown went up to 4 seconds, where it used to be 3. This still allows the rotation of Cadence/Cadenza + Power Chord + Coda.

    Riff (instant, 5 points): This ability hasn’t changed. It still gives 5 combo points on a 30 second cooldown.


    1.3 Finishers:
    There have been no changes to the finishers in the Bard soul tree.
    Coda of Cowardice: Increases physical damage taken on the target by 5%[/i]
    Coda of Distress: Increases non-physical damage taken on the target by 5%
    Coda of Fury: Deals Life damage per Combo Point to up to 5 enemies
    Coda of Restoration: Restores additional health per Combo Point on up to 5 party or raid members
    Coda of Jeopardy: Causes the enemy to take additional 530 Physical damage. Each attacker may trigger this once every 3 seconds.
    Coda of Wrath: Deals Life damage per combo point (on a single target).

    1.4 Buffs:
    The Bard buffs have had a major revamp, as it was a chore to keep up the Motifs all the time. First of all the following Motifs have been removed:
    - Motif of Focus, which increased Physical Crit and Spell Crit by 5%
    - Motif of Grandeur, which increased healing received by 5%
    - Motif of Renewal, which healed the rogue over time

    Fanfare of Knowledge (increase Wisdom and Intelligence by 40) has been removed.
    Anthem of Defiance (increase all resists by 40) also has been removed.

    Now on to the stuff added and improved on the buffs:
    Fanfare of Power: This one absorbed Fanfare of Knowledge and now buffs all party or raid members for 40 Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence and Wisdom.
    Fanfare of Vigor: Increases Endurance by 50 for all party and raid members.
    Anthem of Glory: Now buffs not only all party and raid members’ armor by 656, but also increases all resists by 40. This has absorbed Anthem of Defiance.
    Anthem of Fervor: Reduces ability cost on all party and raid member by 5%. This is down from 15%.
    Anthem of Competence: Increases out of combat speed by 15% on all party and raid members. This can be skilled in the tree to affect in-combat movement speed.

    The biggest change the Bard soul has seen in regard to execution mechanics is the way Motifs are handled. Before it was the dreaded cast them every 30 seconds. Now there are only 3 out of 5 useable Motifs left, with a duration of 20 seconds each.
    - Motif of Bravery: increases Attack and Spell Power by 62 each and Increases Critical Hit chance by 5%. This Motif absorbed Motif of Focus.
    - Motif of Regeneration: which restores 858 health over 20 seconds and increases healing received by 5%. This Motif absorbed Motif of Grandeur and replaced Motif of Renewal. At first this Motif is single-target, but in tier 6 of the Bard tree you can pick up the ability to make it affect party and raid members.
    - Motif of Tenacity: which remained the same, reducing damage taken by 5% on all party and raid members.
    So what’s different about the casting and upkeep of Motifs?
    In the 4th tier of the Bard tree, 15 points in, you can now pick up Bardic Inspiration. This skill allows your Codas (Finishers) to refresh existing Motifs with a 20% chance per combo point. This, combined with the combo points being on yourself instead of the target, leads to only having to cast your Motifs once per engagement.

    1.5 Other abilities:
    Harmonic Distortion: This skill is learned from the 41 point ability in the Bard tree. It comes with a buff the Bard gets. Every time the rogue uses a Coda, there’s a 20% chance per Combo Point to gain Harmonic Energy: which increases damage by 5% and stacks up to 5 times. Harmonic Distortion consumes 1 stack of Harmonic Energy and heals a single ally for 848 to 937 health.
    Verse of Vitality: Restores health on all party and raid members.
    Verse of Agony: Deals 1625 to 1795 life damage. This ability is on a 20 second cooldown and doesn’t give any combo points. The Bard can be specced to have every Cadenza (not Cadence) reduce the cooldown by 1 or 2 seconds, based on the amount of points put in. This adds another ability for the Bard to do greater dps.
    Verse of Joy: Restores 5 charge, 50 mana, 5 power and 5 energy each second for 15 seconds on all party and raid members. On a 2 minute cooldown.
    Virtuoso: Causes combo points to persist when using Codas. Lasts for 15 seconds and is on a 3 minute cooldown.

    2. How to Bard in 1.11
    2.1 Build
    First of all a build. The Bard is more focused on doing constant damage now, instead of having to refresh the motifs. The following build brings the most damage to the table, but keeps the full Bard tree. Or as full as possible, as you can only spend 51 points right now.
    51Bard/13Nightblade/2Riftstalker

    I chose for extra points in Nightblade here to get the 6% increase in non-physical attack damage and the 1% extra damage per point spent in the Nightblade tree, as opposed to the 0,5% of the Riftstalker.
    Also I picked Riftstalker because the bonus goes for Attack Power and Weapons Damage as well as a little increase in resist, endurance and damage done per point spent in this tree.

    I disregarded Marksman/Riftstalker, because the Increased Fire Power spec does the following: Increase weapons damage and attack power by 25% after critical hit, increase range by 5 and increase weapon damage and attack power by 5% base. The Nightblade build gives 10% base attack power bonus, 10% combo point generating ability damage and 6% non-phyisical damage. Also the bonus from points spent in the Nightblade tree is 0,5% attack damage per point spent vs. allocating these to the Riftblade soul.

    If you want to go for the higher damage Bard and skip the healing on cadence, go with this:
    51Bard/13Nightblade/2Riftstalker with Damage
    This leaves out the cadence healing and means the only channeled casting skill will be Cadenza. This dishes out more damage than Cadence. Also Verse of Agony is added to your rotation. Use this whenever available to hit them hard.

    2.2 The execution
    The role of the Bard hasn’t changed. You’re still the go-to guy for the buffs and debuffs.
    In a raid it’s always good to be prepared and based on the gear of the group you’re running with decide between Anthem of Fervor or Anthem of Competence. Now that jewelry has resistance stats added to it, you should be fine with Anthem of Fervor and keep down the ability cost for more raid dps and no downtime.
    Fanfares remained the same, aside from having one less to cast. Fanfare of Vigor and Fanfare of Power are still both required to have up.
    Hellfire Blades: This comes from the Nightblade soul and has a 20% chance to proc on weapon attacks. All Bard attacks are now ranged weapon attacks, so make sure to have this buff active.

    Now for the basic combat rotation:
    Always start off with your Motifs. Nothing has changed here, but the amount to put up. Cast them all three and get on to building combo points.
    If the group/raid is taking AoE damage, use Cadence to take the heat off of the healers a bit. If the healers are doing fine, then dish out some extra damage and use Cadenza.
    After casting one of both channeled abilities, throw out a Power Chord and you should have 5 combo points now.
    Cast one of your codas, based on the situation:
    - Coda of Cowardice: Coda of Distress: These must be up whenever possible on fights that take longer than 30 seconds. They add a great deal of dps and helps your group burn through the enemies faster.
    - Coda of Jeopardy: This is the most important debuff on your target after putting up Cowardice and Distress if the fight takes longer than 30 seconds. It’ll add even more dps, so keep it up.
    - Coda of Fury: If there’s more than 1 enemy and you have your other debuffs up, use this to dish out maximum damage.
    - Coda of Restoration: Use this when things get hot and there’s some extra healing needed.
    - Coda of Wrath: When there’s just 1 target or there needs to be 1 focused down, use this Coda to help burn through that HP bar as fast as possible.
    Each Coda now has a 20% chance per combo point used to add a buff called Reverbration, which increases Attack Power by 8% per stack and stacks up to 5. This buff lasts a minute, so make sure to keep it up if you can.

    2.3 Emergency/Utility Skills:
    Verse of Joy: Use whenever needed. If it’s a long fight, use whenever off cooldown.
    Verse of Vitality: Use when there’s fast healing of the whole raid needed. Heals for a decent amount and every bit helps in those critical moments.
    Harmonic Distortion: Causes you to temporarily lose 5-25% of your damage increase, based on how many times you use it. Preferably use 1 stack just before casting a coda, which gives the total loss of 5% damage dealt with the Coda and 1 gcd. Can be used as emergency button, but only heals a single ally and can only be used 5 times in a row.



    I hope this helped understand the new 1.11 Bard and you got anything useful out of it.
    Please leave any comments/tips/things to add below.
    - Freezzo
    Last edited by Freezzo; 10-17-2012 at 10:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Soulwalker szembor's Avatar
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    Ty for this guide

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    Ascendant Ailene's Avatar
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    Wouldn't it be better to put a point into Improved Anthem of Competence instead of Anthem of Glory? Armor/resists will be covered by Archon or Beastmaster (this of course depends on what you run with as support in raid) and with Living Energy being equal to Fervor now I'd say being able to keep runspeed up all the time is the best option.

    As for which souls to combine with Bard I'm still leaning a bit more towards MM and RS, but we'll see

  4. #4
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    Good guide, a few things I would add:

    If you want to go Bard as support healing, instead of buff support, then I found that the 51bard/10MM/5RS build is best. A bit more resist and health, a longer range on cadence, and much more AP to maximize your Cadence.

    Also, there is a bit of a rotation to the dps side of Bard. From what I've found:

    Verse of Agony->Power Chord-> Cadenza-> Finisher

    With the reduced CD that Cadenza gives Verse of Agony should be off CD after the finisher, maximizing dps. As well, if skilled into, Power Chord increases the damage of Cadenza, which in turn reduces the CD on Verse of Agony

    A few tips I found on Harmonic Distortion.

    The macro:

    #show Harmonic distortion
    cast @focus Harmonic Distortion

    Helps a lot, allows you to not switch targets and still heal the tank. Or you can put the focus on a non tank given that the tank healer should be the one dealing with the tank

    As well, combined with Virtuoso, Harmonic Distortion can lead to some strong heals. Coda of Restoration->Harmonic Distortion, repeat until Virtuoso is over.

    Personally I find Bard as support heals to be more fun than bard as buff source that also deals damage. That way you can cut out one of your raid healers for a dps slot. If you do go this way, Verse of Vitality is your only heal that heals the ENTIRE raid, not just 5 people. Cadenza reduces the CD on this as well, so it should always be up for a raid wide AoE.

    For reference here is the build I'm using:
    http://rift.zam.com/en/stc.html?t=0M...RsqktbdqR.V.-7

  5. #5
    Telaran
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailene View Post
    Wouldn't it be better to put a point into Improved Anthem of Competence instead of Anthem of Glory? Armor/resists will be covered by Archon or Beastmaster (this of course depends on what you run with as support in raid) and with Living Energy being equal to Fervor now I'd say being able to keep runspeed up all the time is the best option.

    As for which souls to combine with Bard I'm still leaning a bit more towards MM and RS, but we'll see
    Actually we do 10-mans without Archon, butI'll include it for 20 mans. Thanks for thefeedback all of you and phones do type crappy :/ Sorry for that

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    One more thing I'm remembering. The Beastmaster's Call of Stone (I think that's the name) will overwrite the bard's Motif of Tenacity, making it so that there are no longer enough active motifs for Resonance to trigger on a 5CP code. Sounds more complicated than it is. Essentially, make sure your beastmaster is not using Call of Stone and you'll be happy. If they don't turn it off the raid loses out on 5% endurance, dex, str, wis, int, or the bard is unhappy that they have to refresh their motifs again. and again, and again

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    Telaran
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    That actually sounds like a weird design flaw, as the system should pick the best buff...

  8. #8
    Telaran
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    Quote Originally Posted by hijienx View Post
    Good guide, a few things I would add:

    If you want to go Bard as support healing, instead of buff support, then I found that the 51bard/10MM/5RS build is best. A bit more resist and health, a longer range on cadence, and much more AP to maximize your Cadence.
    The MM buffs take weapon attack power and damage bonuses instead of overall AP. If looking at non-ID gear, would that yield the same result? I know everything scales, but still the difference between a blue/purple bow and a relic bow from a high tier is really huge.
    Just a curiousity and something I might want to take into consideration.

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    Ascendant Ailene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freezzo View Post
    Actually we do 10-mans without Archon, butI'll include it for 20 mans. Thanks for thefeedback all of you and phones do type crappy :/ Sorry for that
    Yeah we normally don't use Archon for 10 man either, but still I think I'd stick with runspeed instead there (with the change done to Fervor, was more or less always Fervor before).

    Quote Originally Posted by Freezzo View Post
    The MM buffs take weapon attack power and damage bonuses instead of overall AP. If looking at non-ID gear, would that yield the same result? I know everything scales, but still the difference between a blue/purple bow and a relic bow from a high tier is really huge.
    Just a curiousity and something I might want to take into consideration.
    Increased Fire Power from MM gives the same amount of AP as Unseen Fury in RS or Burning Rage in NB, and it's normally up all the time. If you go 13 into NB you only get 2 points left to spend to get AP from RS. In the end that give less heal. Also as mentioned before (with 10 MM 5 RS), the defensive skills you get from RS is pretty nice, same for the extra range from MM

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freezzo View Post
    The MM buffs take weapon attack power and damage bonuses instead of overall AP. If looking at non-ID gear, would that yield the same result? I know everything scales, but still the difference between a blue/purple bow and a relic bow from a high tier is really huge.
    Just a curiousity and something I might want to take into consideration.
    The proper 1.11 bard spec is 51 bard/ 10 MM/ 5 NB. It provides both the highest damage and highest healing possible in 1.11.

    Also, Power Chord is all but useless doing less damage and less healing than either a clipped cadence or a clipped cadenza. Currently there is no point in spending any points on power chord.

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