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Thread: Barding in Storm Legion

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    RIFT Guide Writer TheGrinnz's Avatar
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    Default Barding in Storm Legion

    This is a guide for 61 Bard. The Bard/Tactician hybrid generates higher sustained healing but it does not have the necessary buffs (primarily Orchestra of the Planes) to act as the primary raid bard.

    As a disclaimer, Bard is not a simple spec. There are many abilities and they are all useful for different situations, there are very few useful macros if any. This is a spec for many keybinds. This guide is directed primarily toward barding in raids, but the basic idea is the same in any group.

    So, let's get started.

    Builds

    There is not much variation in the optimal build for Bard. You want to maximize Attack Power bonuses because these affect both healing and damage.

    61 Bard/10 Marksman/5 Riftstalker - http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#A90/vkGGBiGllay/t8
    My preferred build. Picks up the teleport from Riftstalker and slightly higher Endurance/Armor/Resist from the gift and Planebound Resilience.
    61 Bard/10 Marksman/5 Nightblade - http://rift.magelo.com/en/soultree#A90/vkGGBiGllay/wg
    Slightly better DPS build as it gets +2.5% more damage from the NB gift. Also picks up stealth.

    These two builds are otherwise virtually identical.

    Strategy

    Bard is a very flexible spec. Depending on what is needed you can focus on debuffing, DPS, or healing, or alternate between them. Your buffs are primarily maintained passively by using Bard finishers. There are also a few cooldown buffs to manage manually.

    Buffs

    There are three categories of buffs which are conveniently categorized by name: Fanfares, Anthems, and Motifs. There are also some additional important cooldown buffs.

    Fanfares

    Fanfares are 1 hour buffs which apply to all raid members when used -- this means that they will keep the buff even if you go out of range (but not if you switch specs), however it also means they will need the buff to be reapplied after death. These are the buffs that need to be refreshed when someone calls "redo bard buffs" after a rez.

    Fanfare of Vigor - Increases Endurance by 70. Unique buff.

    Fanfare of Power - Increase Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom, and Intelligence by 70. Overwrites the stat-specific buffs: Focus of Body, Combat Preparation, Wisdom of the Ages, and Flaring Intellect.

    Anthems

    Anthems are toggled raid-wide buffs that are centered on you, that means they will apply to anyone in range and do not need to be refreshed after a rez, but they require LoS much like Archon auras. You can only have one Anthem toggled on at a time, so it is better to let others handle these buffs when possible.

    Anthem of Glory - Increases Armor by 2000 and Resists by 65. Does not stack with Archon's Arcane Aegis or Beastmaster's Bond of Shelter so it is better to let one of those handle it if present. Also overwrites other raid resist buffs.

    Anthem of Competence - Increases movement speed by 15%. Applies in combat with http://www.rifthead.com/trait/311/im...-of-competence. Does not stack with Beastmaster's Bond of Alacrity so it is better to let them handle it if present. Also does not stack with Archon's Spark Shower but that is not necessarily a full uptime buff.

    Anthem of Fervor - Reduces ability cost by 5%. An important buff for energy starved specs or to conserve mana for casters. Does not stack with Chloromancer's Living Energy so it is better to let them handle it if present.

    Motifs

    Motifs are 20 second raid-wide buffs which are refreshed every time you use a Coda (Bard finisher) with 5 combo points. So in most cases you only need to manually use them once at the beginning of a fight.

    Motif of Bravery - Increases Attack Power and Spell Power by 225 and Crit Chance by 1%. Overwrites Archon's Granite Salvo and Druid's Fury of the Fae.

    Motif of Regeneration - Heals over time, and increases healing received by 5%. Unique buff and the only consistent raid-wide healing received buff in the game. Requires Improved Motif of Regeneration to affect the raid.

    Motif of Tenacity - Reduces damage taken by 5%. Overwrites Beastmaster's Call of Stone.

    Motifs have an additional very important property, in that if a raid member is buffed by all three, they receive Resonance, which buffs all of their primary stats (Str/Dex/Int/Wis/End) by 5%. This is one of the most important unique buffs to maintain as a Bard, so make sure none of your motifs accidentally drop off. As long as you are regularly using Codas this should not be an issue.

    Cooldowns

    Orchestra of the Planes - +15% Damage for all raid members as well as a heal over time and damage over time, lasting 15 seconds. The damage buff component of this power is the primary reason 61 Bard is needed. It has a 2 minute cooldown so it should be used in combination with other cooldowns (primarily Flaring Power/Command to Attack) when the most burst damage can be used on the boss.

    Note that Flaring Power/Command to Attack leaves a 5 minute debuff before it can be used again, so you may want to delay the third Orchestra until they can be used together again if the fight lasts longer than 5 minutes. Also note that Orchestra does not stack with Archon's Lava Field so you should coordinate to have Lava Field placed after Orchestra ends if both are available.

    You can use this macro to announce the buff:
    Code:
    #show Orchestra of the Planes
    cast Orchestra of the Planes
    yell Orchestra of the Planes!
    Verse of Joy - Restores energy, power, mana, and/or charge depending on class to each raid member over the next 15 seconds, also with a cooldown of 2 minutes. This is an important cooldown for specs that may be energy starved even with Fervor, or have alternate energy-hungry rotations that do more DPS. It is also important to mage specs that use Charge because they can burn more charge-consuming abilities during it.

    Code:
    #show Verse of Joy
    cast Verse of Joy
    yell Verse of Joy!
    Verse of Occlusion - Shields all raid members for up to 30 seconds, cooldown of 2 minutes. The shield is somewhat weak but it is worth using for heavy raid damage mechanics.

    Virtuoso - This is not a raid cooldown but a personal one. It causes finishers to not consume combo points, which means you can spam either damaging or healing finishers without using any builders. Lasts 15 seconds and has a cooldown of 3 minutes. Ensure you have 5 combo points before using it. Virtuoso can be useful either for healing through heavy damage mechanics or for DPS while Orchestra is active.

    Those aside, let's move on to what to do most of the time as Bard.

    Builders

    You have two primary choices to use as a builder for Bard, with some other options to throw in depending on the situation.

    Cadence - This is your "healing builder". It is a 2 second channel which ticks at the beginning and end, so in essence it ticks 3 times every 2 seconds. Each tick does damage and generates healing via Invigorated Soul, and generates a combo point. 5 combo points can be generated by a full 2s channel of Cadence followed by 1s of a second channel. Since the GCD is 1 second, the second cadence can be clipped to use a finisher.

    Cadenza - This is your "DPS builder". It is identical in mechanics to Cadence except it does not trigger healing and does more damage.

    So the choice between these abilities is simple: Cadence for more healing, Cadenza for more DPS.

    Both Cadence and Cadenza are affected by Multiple Oscillations to split their damage among up to 3 enemies. For Cadence, this also generates extra healing ticks for each enemy hit, so always use Multiple Oscillations in multiple-target encounters for healing. For Cadenza, each tick lowers the cooldown for Verse of Agony and Verse of Vitality due to Modulation, so you can use these verses after each finisher if there are multiple enemies to hit.

    Verse of Agony - This is not technically a builder as it does not generate combo points, but it is used in the same context. This is a very damaging ability and should be used on cooldown when maximizing DPS on a single target. Its cooldown is reduced by using Cadenza via Modulation so these two abilities are very useful to use together, especially with Multiple Oscillations on multiple targets. You can even macro them together if you wish but be aware VoA will break Cadenza's channel if you spam it:

    Code:
    #show Verse of Agony
    suppressmacrofailures
    cast Verse of Agony
    cast Cadenza
    Riff - Does damage and generates 5 combo points. Useful primarily to get additional finishers, or to quickly build up combo points for refreshing Motifs or using Virtuoso.

    Note: I have left Power Chord out of the guide for now until I can better evaluate its usefulness for DPS.

    Finishers

    Once you have 5 combo points built up, there are 3 primary ways you can use them: DPS, Healing, or Debuffs.

    DPS

    The DPS finishers should only be used when both healing and debuff finishers are not needed.

    Coda of Wrath - ST DPS.

    Coda of Fury - AoE DPS.

    Healing

    Coda of Restoration - Heals up to 5 raid members.

    Debuffs

    Keeping up the debuffs is one of the top priorities for using your combo points, but other raid members may be able to maintain them more easily. The duration of each debuff finisher is boosted from 30 seconds to 60 seconds (when used with 5 combo points) by Extended Grief.

    Coda of Cowardice - Increases physical damage taken by 5%, AoE. Does not stack with Archon's Ashen Defense, so have the Archon apply this if there is one in any single-target encounters.

    Coda of Distress - Increases non-physical damage taken by 7%, AoE. Does not stack with Archon's Crumbling Resistance or Inquisitor's Spiritual Deficiency, so have one of them maintain the debuff if available in any single-target encounters.

    For both of the above debuffs, the alternatives are single-target but instant cast (do not require combo points) and last at least as long as the Codas, so the alternatives should be used if available unless a group of enemies needs to be debuffed.

    Coda of Jeopardy - Causes the enemy to take extra damage every 3 seconds from each attacker. Unlike the other debuff Codas, this is single-target. Does not stack with the nearly identical debuffs: Archon's Illuminate, Beastmaster's Spotter's Call, and Druid's Thorns of Ire. Coda of Jeopardy lasts longer than any of these, but is the only one which requires combo points, so coordinate with your raid members to maintain this debuff on each enemy without unnecessary overwriting.

    Heals

    Most of your healing will be from builders and finishers, but there are additional heals you can use.

    Verse of Vitality - Heals up to 5 raid members, 20 second cooldown. Like Verse of Agony, its cooldown is reduced by Cadenza, which isn't very useful since you should be using Cadence for healing.

    Harmonic Distortion - Heals a single target. To be able to use this ability, you need charges of Harmonic Energy, which you gain each time you use a Coda. You can store up to 5 stacks of Harmonic Energy, and one is consumed each time Harmonic Distortion is used. In most cases this is a simple heal you can use to assist during heavy damage on a tank or specific player. You can use this macro to allow you to target it by mousing over the target's raid frame:

    Code:
    #show Harmonic Distortion
    cast @mouseoverui Harmonic Distortion
    Utility

    Verse of Captivation - Mezzes a single target, can be spammed. Lasts 8 seconds or until the target is damaged. Useful for similar reasons as the Dominator's Transmogrify (squirrel).

    Verse of Fascination - Mezzes all nearby targets, 30 second cooldown. Lasts 8 seconds or until each target is damaged. Primarily useful for mezzing the raid while mind-controlled.

    From Subspecs

    On the Double (Marksman) - Movement speed self-buff.

    Shadow Shift (Riftstalker) - Untargeted teleport.

    Planebound Resilience (4 pt Riftstalker) - Endurance buff.

    Conceal (4 pt Nightblade) - Stealth.

    Summary

    So there you have it. Bard has many abilities, almost all useful, and almost none macroable. To maximize the potential you need to have each accessible on a keybind and make split-second decisions for what is needed based on the situation.

    For DPS:
    • Cadenza
    • Verse of Agony
    • Coda of Wrath
    • Coda of Fury

    For Healing:
    • Cadence
    • Coda of Restoration
    • Verse of Vitality
    • Harmonic Distortion

    Good luck and happy barding!
    Last edited by TheGrinnz; 07-08-2013 at 09:27 AM. Reason: specified 5 combo points are needed to refresh motifs

  2. #2
    Telaran Folfe's Avatar
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    Lovely guide, not that bard is that hard to figure out yourself but this guide explains why your supports should cooridinate and waht is neccesary and not!

    Love it
    Flfe, swaging in <Mostly Harmless@Gelidra> since 2013
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    Grim divas 2/4

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    Soulwalker
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    Just wondering dont you use power chord? I didn't see it mentioned. Other than that great guide thanks.

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    Rift Disciple Lorx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shicker View Post
    Just wondering dont you use power chord? I didn't see it mentioned. Other than that great guide thanks.
    Was mentioned here:

    Note: I have left Power Chord out of the guide for now until I can better evaluate its usefulness for DPS.
    I remember seeing some people mention that power chord is never really worth it, I know it wasn't a while back but I don't know how it stands right now. Interested to see what Grinnz comes up with for it.
    Epic Gendo

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    Soulwalker
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    wow...thanks not sure how I missed that.

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    Rift Disciple Blytzz's Avatar
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    From my limited testing Power Chord is a DPS loss, even though it increases Cadenzas damage by 15%, it uses a GCD instead of allowing Cadenza to continue channeling. I will try to find some parse logs to link.

    However I was wondering if it is a Healing increase? It heals for more than 1 Tick of Cadence but not 2. So is the GCD spent on Power Chord worth it for healing?

    I think if it was taken off of the GCD (wishes) then it would be useful in both situations. As for now I will continue testing it with my healing rotation.


    *Thank you for the guide!
    Last edited by Blytzz; 05-20-2013 at 03:21 PM.
    SOUL FORGED 4/4 TotDQ - 4/4 FT - 4/5 EE www.soul-forged.com
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  7. #7
    RIFT Guide Writer TheGrinnz's Avatar
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    It is definitely not worth it for healing. You get 2 ticks of cadence in 1s, or 3 ticks in 2s, either way it's more healing than Power Chord gives you.

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    Soulwalker
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    One thing you left out: Multiple Oscillations also multiplies the effect of Modulation, so if you're trying to dps down multiple mobs you can use VoA/VoV after every finisher.

  9. #9
    RIFT Guide Writer TheGrinnz's Avatar
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    Thanks, I have added that info.

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    Soulwalker
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    Thanks a lot for a great guide. In terms of gear and essences, am I right to focus on AP instead of crit power? My main is a warrior so its a shift in thinking. Is any crit power required?

  11. #11
    Prophet of Telara
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorx View Post
    I remember seeing some people mention that power chord is never really worth it, I know it wasn't a while back but I don't know how it stands right now. Interested to see what Grinnz comes up with for it.
    I used to NOT use PC and just go VoA->(clipped)Cadenza->Finisher just like the guide stated but I'm actually doing more damage with VoA->PC->Cadenza->Finisher so I'm using PC again (and have stopped clipping Cadenza/ce).

  12. #12
    RIFT Guide Writer TheGrinnz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrina View Post
    Thanks a lot for a great guide. In terms of gear and essences, am I right to focus on AP instead of crit power? My main is a warrior so its a shift in thinking. Is any crit power required?
    I am not certain, but there is not really anything in the tree that boosts crit other than the raid buffs which everyone gets. There's also a 20% bonus to AP through the subsouls. So I would suspect AP is worth more than in most DPS specs. Crit power is still worthwhile though.
    Last edited by TheGrinnz; 05-22-2013 at 11:44 AM.

  13. #13
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    Couple things about the Codas:
    - Cowardice and Distress are AoE from Bards so are very good to use, then others can do theirs, imo........also ours resets the Motifs.

    - Jeopardy is worthwhile due to the length, as well as resetting our Motifs.

    If I cast out Jeopardy, and it disappears - then I'm fine with that, cause then I know that finally one of the others has finally been able to catch up with what they are doing to start their debuffs, and not under pressure from their other chores, and I can resume dps'ing - I've seen so many fights where no debuffs hit the boss before my Jeopardy, and it runs it's full course before other debuffs finally land, so I know others are doing other things up front, so my firing it off the first 5 combo points is no biggie, they build up fast enough.

    Support is all about each of us covering for one another, imo; so I try to do those jobs while others are doing their other jobs; we all have that team thing to do to keep the raiders working hard to finish the job.

    BTW, Grinnz, this is another FANTASTIC write-up. Thanks.
    Last edited by Chaszar; 05-22-2013 at 03:16 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGrinnz View Post
    I am not certain, but there is not really anything in the tree that boosts crit other than the raid buffs which everyone gets. There's also a 20% bonus to AP through the subsouls. So I would suspect AP is worth more than in most DPS specs. Crit power is still worthwhile though.
    Bard spec'd correctly has on the order of 85% increase to the effect of AP via direct boosts to AP and increases to AP contribution which are multiplicative. AP >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> ALL!

  15. #15
    Soulwalker
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    Default Regarding Bards in Rift

    Just want to know if I’m following a myth, does dps gear affect bard healing abilities or is it as i have been told better to put on tank gear for survivability?
    Last edited by Knyn; 05-30-2013 at 07:40 PM.

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