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Rift: Bard


The Bard is a support rogue class with many buffs and debuffs, and a good deal of heals. Though the bard probably cannot solo heal and instance, it can give your healer help and lighten the load. You possess some short term buffs called motifs, that all stack and provide a 15 second buff to all raid members. You also get permanent raid buffs called Anthems, and long term raid buffed called Fanfares. You may only be affected by one fanfare and anthem per rogue. All bard buffs are raid-wide, or raid-wide with a 10 player limit.


Motifs:

Motif of Focus - Gives 5% melee/spell crit to raid.
Motif of Bravery - Increases attack/spell power of raid.
Motif of Tenacity - Reduces damage taken by raid by 5%.
Motif of Regeneration - Heals raid over 15 seconds.
Motif of Grandeur - Increases healing received by 5%.


Anthems:

Anthem of Glory - Increases armor of raid.
Anthem of Competence - 15% out of combat movement speed to raid. Can be specced to 20% and to work in combat.
Anthem of Defiance - Increases resistances of raid.
Anthem of Fervor - Reduces costs of skills for raid members by 10%.


Fanfares:

Fanfare of Power - Str/Dex buff to raid
Fanfare of Vigor - Endurance buff to raid
Fanfare of Knowledge - Int/Wis buff to raid.


Damage Skills (point builders):

Cadence - (3 points) - Channels damage over 2 seconds, giving you 1 combo point per second and one at the end, for 3 total. This is one of your main ways to generate combo points.
Power Chord - (2 points) - Deals damage and can't be dodges/blocked/parried, on a short cooldown. Combined with Cadence, gives you a quick 5 points.


Codas (finishers):

Coda of Wrath - Single target direct damage.
Coda of Cowardice - Increases physical damage target and nearby enemies take by 5%. Lasts for 5 seconds per combo point (max 30).
Coda of Distress - Increases non-physical damage taken by target and nearby enemies by 7%. Lasts for 5 seconds per combo point (max 30).
Coda of Fury - Deals AE damage.
Coda of Restoration - Raid-wide healing finisher.


Verses:

Verse of Captivation - Single target mesmerize with no cooldown. Lasts 8 seconds.
Verse of Vitality - Strong raid-wide heal. 1 minute cooldown.
Verse of Joy - Restores 50 mana, 5 power, and 5 charge per second to raid members for 15 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.


Soul Tree Options

Bardic Inspiration (Tier 1) - Increases motif duration by 3/6/9/12/15 seconds. Causes the healing motif to heal double over double the duration. Helps you when you are juggling multiple motifs, so you don't have to refresh as often.

Anthem of Glory (Tier 2) - Armor buff.
Invigorated Soul (Tier 2) - Causes your Cadence to heal 33/66/100% of the damage done to up to 10 raid members. Even though the damage is fairly low, you will be alternating cadence and power chord for combo points, so you will be healing quite often.

Street Performer/Stage Presence (Tier 3) - Increases the effect of Anthems/Fanfares by 6/12/18/24/30%. Anthems are probably better to take at the moment. Fanfares normally buff stats, while anthems buff other things like movement speed, armor, mana costs, or resists.
Power Chord (Tier 3) - Your other combo point generator alongside cadence.

Coda of Fury (Tier 4) - AE finisher.
Extended Grief (Tier 4) - Causes your 2 debuffing codas (cowardice and distress) to last 50/100% longer, so you don't have to recast quite as often on boss fights or large group pulls.

Coda of Restoration (Tier 5) - Raid-wide healing finisher.
Triumphant Spirit (Tier 5) - Causes your healing skills to heal 5/10/15% more.
Riff (Tier 5) - Instantly gives 5 combo points and can't fail to hit. 1 minute cooldown.

Resonance (Tier 6) - Increases all stats of raid members by 2/4/6/8/10% when they are affected by Motif of Tenacity, Bravery, and Focus. This skill lasts 30 seconds from the point of the third motif cast, and will not be removed if any of the other motifs expire.

Virtuoso (Tier 7) - Codas do not consume combo points for 15 seconds. This lets you build 5 points and chain-cast finishers. Very useful for times when stronger AE healing is needed, but can also be used for burst single target or AE damage. 3 minute cooldown.


Playstyle

Basically you play a support class, keeping buffs and debuffs refreshed. Cast all your motifs back to back, build up combo points with cadence and power chord, and use the points to debuff enemies or deal damage. You can also use them to heal if needed. All your damage skills work from 20m range, but you may melee if you feel the need, or have a melee oriented soul paired with the bard. It may be intended for the class to shoot a bow while fighting and buffing/debuffing from range.

Class Combos

Nightblade - Nightblade gets a tier 1 soul tree ability that gives you 15% more damage on combo point abilities, which increases the cadence damage and healing. They also get a tier 2 skill that increases non-physical damage by 9%. Nightblade gets a few ranged attacks, such as a stackable dot that gives combo points, if you want to be more offensive.

Ranger - Since you can swap out souls freely that do not have spent points in them, ranger gives you a free pet to tank and deal damage for leveling, a ranged combo point builder, and a ranged finisher for no invested points. Later when you have points to spare, you can dump ranger without cost and pick up another class if you wish. Alternatively, you can go into the ranger tree to give you and your pet buffs to increase your damage output. Since your raid buffs also affect your pet, you are getting extra benefit from them.

 

Written by: Rhys