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Bard Build Guide

Last Updated: February 29th 2024

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Welcome to the Bard Build Guide! Bard is one of the Support classes in Lost Ark. Your role revolves around providing your party with various damage buffs, as well as keeping them safe through Shields, Damage Reduction, and Heals. This becomes relatively easy with Bard since she has many super armor skills that allow her to effectively support no matter the situation.

Outside of that, Bard provides a bonus Counter, and Destruction, to the party. Her Stagger and Counter can be a bit lackluster but this can easily be improved with a few build changes. Your class engraving Desperate Salvation further improves your healing with Serenade of Salvation (X) making it more impactful.

Pros
  • Good defense
  • Easy to learn
  • Flexible in parties
Cons
  • Poor mobility

Want to learn more about the other support classes? Check out our Paladin and Artist guides.

Builds

Raids
Chaos Dungeons
Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Need some tips for general content? Check out our Guardian Raids and Abyssal Dungeons guides.

  • Heavenly Tune and Sonic Vibration are your Attack Power buffs.
  • Harp of Rhythm and Sonatina are your Brand skills from Note Brand - you can think of this as your Synergy if you are familiar with the term.
  • Rhapsody of Light is your main damage reduction skill that also provides a shield.
  • Wind of Music is your best shield that also provides meter generation.
  • Guardian Tune is one of your additional shielding and damage reduction skills.
  • Prelude of Storm is your Counter as well as your largest meter generation.
  • Symphonia is your Awakening. It generates 1 bar and provides a large shield to your party.

Alternative Skill, Tripod, and Rune Options

Rhapsody of Light can be swapped for Rhythm Buckshot, using Melody Increase, Tenacity, Agile Cast, and Galewind.

  • This will cost you your Damage Reduction, it should only really be taken if you are struggling with normal patterns as your main Counter Prelude of Storm will be used constantly to generate meter.

Sonatina can be swapped for Sound Shock, using Maintained Explosion, Sacred Shock, Rapid Fire, and an Overwhelm.

  • This will cost you some meter generation and Destruction but can greatly help with Stagger.

Heavenly Tune

  • Courageous Tune - Will increase team survivability at the cost of losing the Attack Speed buff.

Guardian Tune

  • Agile Cast - Will speed up the animation, a great way to increase the fluidity of your rotation once you learn boss patterns.
  • Mind Enhancement - Significantly reduces mana cost making this easier to consistently use if you are struggling with mana problems.
  • Agile Defense - Significantly increases the uptime of your shielding, this should be what you aim to use once you become comfortable with the class and have the mana to sustain it.

Check the Rune Guide for more details on Runes and how to obtain them.

This build is optimized and meant to be used only in Chaos Dungeons. For Ebony Cube please use a Raid build.

  • Heavenly Tune is your self-buff skills that also provides a strong area of effect for clearing mobs.
  • Sonatina, Soundholic, and Prelude of Storm will be your best skills for dealing with elites.
  • Stigma, Sonatina, Sonic Vibration, and Prelude of Death are amazing skills for clearing mobs.
  • Oratorio is your Awakening. It is amazing for clearing bosses, elites, and mobs.

Acquiring additional engravings leads to a faster clear potential, but the build can perform quite well with the bare minimum.

Minimum requirements

  • Preemptive Strike causes your attacks to deal immense amounts of damage to monsters that you haven't attacked yet, making it ideal for Chaos Dungeons.

Additional engravings

  • Contender is a stacking Attack Power effect that increases in strength once you kill a monster, making it ideal for Chaos Dungeons.
  • Raid Captain provides damage based on your Bonus Movement Speed, synergizing well with the Buff Nodes scattered throughout Chaos Dungeons.

Gameplay & Skill Rotation

Bard excels at providing high uptime Attack Power and Brand buffs to the entire party, while also having reliable Damage Reduction, Shields, Heals and contribution to Utility checks.

Her identity functions around building meter to fill bars. These bars will increase the effectiveness of Serenade of Courage (Z) or Serenade of Salvation (X) depending on how many you use.

  • Serenade of Courage (Z) provides 5/10/15% increased damage for 8/12/16 seconds. We want to use 2 bar due to it having the highest average performance. However, there will be many times when you will have 3 bar and that is fine.
  • Serenade of Salvation (X) provides an AOE heal for 4/6/8% of Bard's HP for 8/12/16 times lasting 14/18/24 seconds. Due to her Class Engraving Desperate Salvation we want to only use 1 bar heals for max efficiency.

Bard Identity

Serenade Meter

Your gameplay revolves around supporting your party through various damage buffs, as well as protecting them from dangerous attacks. Here's a breakdown of how you can fulfill that role. Bard additionally can suffer from severe mana issues so make sure you are capitalizing on Max MP Increase, Focus runes, food that provides "Combat Resource Recovery" such as [Masterwork] Artisan Garlic Steak Meal, and looking at the tripods you use.

Yearning Buff

This buff consists of +8/10/12% Attack & Movement Speed, as well as increased damage, and it comes from the Yearning Gear Set. It is applied through a circle around your character that grants the buff to any party member inside it for 15 seconds. You gain the circle upon landing any attack on an enemy. The Yearning buff is one of your highest priorities, and should always be maintained from the start of the fight until the end.

Attack Power Buffs

This buff allows you to increase your party's Attack Power by 15% of your own Attack Power, as well as granting +6% Attack Power overall. It is applied through Heavenly Tune and Sonic Vibration. It is very important to understand that both of these skills apply the same buff, and it does not stack. You should maintain this buff as well as you can throughout the fight, by keeping an eye on your buff bar and alternating between these skills when the buff is about to expire.

Brand

This debuff causes the target to receive +10% Damage from your party. It is applied through Harp of Rhythm and Sonatina. Since Harp of Rhythm is stationary we use our second brand to fill in gaps when the boss moves to maintain more consistent uptime. You should be able to maintain Brand throughout the entire fight by keeping an eye on the enemy's debuff bar and using your Brand.

Identity

Her Identity has two different use cases and it depends on the situation. Remember your Identity will use all of your bars so you always want to be planning what to do depending on the fight. You should only be using Serenade of Salvation (X) when your team is relatively low and only using it at 1 bar due to the previously stated interaction. Serenade of Courage (Z) should be used as much as possible if your team is healthy. You generally want to use 2 bar as it is more efficient on average but there will be many situations where you can build more meter or have a great burst window lined up, this is where 3 bar can shine and should be used.

Shields, Damage Reduction, Healing

Bard's kit benefits from several ways of protecting your party.

  • Guardian Tune - All party members within range receive 30% damage reduction, then when it expires receive a shield for 30% of Bard's HP.
  • Rhapsody of Light - All party members inside the area of effect receive a shield for a portion of the Bard's maximum HP for 3 seconds and take -75% incoming damage until the skill ends or they leave the area.
  • Wind of Music - All party members within range receive a shield for 30% of Bard's HP.
  • Symphonia - All party members within range receive a shield for 100% of the Bard's maximum HP.

Tripods and Gems

Tripod Levelling

Increasing the level of Tripods greatly enhances their effectiveness. You may only increase the level of 18 tripods at a time. Some of them cannot be leveled at all, or are left at level 1 - these tripods are omitted from the table, even if they are used. Here are the main tripods you should look out for in order to maximize this build's potential.

Skill1st Tripod2nd Tripod3rd Tripod
Heavenly TuneQuick Prep
Harp of RhythmSummoning Will
Prelude of StormQuick PrepMelody Increase
Wind of MusicQuick PrepMelody IncreaseWind of Protection
Guardian TuneEndless Protection
Rhapsody of LightQuick PrepShining Protection
SonatinaQuick PrepIncrease Melody

Tripods written in bold text are your highest priority, make sure to level them first!

For more information on where to obtain Tripod Amulets and how to use them, check out our Skill Tree System Guide.

Gems

Gems are another significant aspect of your build, as they directly impact the damage and cooldowns of your skills. You can equip up to 11 gems at a time, but as a support class, damage gems have no impact on your performance. Here are the ones you should focus on in order to maximize this build's potential, listed according to their priority.

Cooldown Gems

  • Heavenly Tune
  • Sonic Vibration
  • Harp of Rhythm
  • Prelude of Storm
  • Wind of Music
  • Guardian Tune
  • Rhapsody of Light
  • Sonatina

For more information on where to obtain gems and how to use them, check out our Gem System Guide.

Stat Priority

This build utilizes Swiftness and Specialization.

  • Swiftness is the primary stat. It significantly lowers your cooldowns, helping you maintain uptime on your buffs.
  • Specialization is a secondary stat. It slightly increases meter generation and strengthens your identity's damage effect.

Standard Setup

  • Swiftness + Specialization
  • Swiftness
  • Swiftness
  • Swiftness
  • Swiftness
  • Swiftness + Specialization

Gear Set

Yearning Set

This set is the only option for supports due to the powerful buffs it offers your party, as well as significantly increased meter generation for yourself.

The name of your set will change every time you acquire a higher tier of gear, but the set effect will remain the same. Look for your set's keyword when recrafting it to find it more easily (e.g Entropy, Hallucination etc).

Check out the Gear Progression Guide for step by step instructions and early game gearing.

If you are interested in Sidereal Weapons, click here for more details.

Engravings

Engravings are a core part of your build. Typically, most engravings will be used at level 3, but there are some that can be used at level 1 or 2 in addition to the others, after reaching item level 1540 and unlocking Ancient Accessories.

Relic Gearing Build (5x3)

  • Desperate Salvation
  • Awakening
  • Expert
  • Heavy Armor
  • Max MP Increase

Ancient Gearing Build (5x3+1)

  • Desperate Salvation
  • Awakening
  • Expert
  • Heavy Armor
  • Max MP Increase
  • Crisis Evasion Lv 1

Engraving Explanations

Core Engravings

  • Desperate Salvation grants your Serenade of Salvation (X) a bonus heal at the end, this is not impacted by level. This is why we always want to use 1 bar Serenade of Salvation (X).
  • Awakening allows you to cast your Awakening skill more frequently and increases its use limit.
  • Expert significantly boosts your healing and shielding capabilities.
  • Heavy Armor grants a large amount of survivability, surviving as a support is a high priority and she is one of the squishiest classes in the game.
  • Max MP Increase is incredibly important as Bard's kit has severe mana issues that are hard to circumvent and this will solve nearly all of them.

Level 1 and 2 Engravings

  • Crisis Evasion can save you from death, but the cooldown of this effect is quite long, effectively making it available once per fight.
  • Alternatively, you can use Heavy Armor (Level 2) and Max MP Increase (Level 2) or Expert (Level 2) to fit in Vital Point Hit. This will greatly improve your Stagger however this comes at the cost of making you more squishy and potentially having mana issues.

Check out the Engraving Guide for more details.

Bracelet

Bracelets provide beneficial effects to yourself or to your party members depending on the rolls they have.

The primary goal is to get the main stats used by this build Swiftness and Specialization. After that you should be aiming for Special Rolls to get more damage. Please note that this system is heavily reliant on RNG, and you should not expect to get much more beyond your main stats early on.

Optimal Bonus Rolls

Swiftness
Specialization
Cheers
Dagger
Expose Weakness
Enlightenment
MP Recovery

Alternative Bonus Rolls

Weapon Power
Intelligence
Max HP
Vitality
Max MP

Check out the Bracelet Guide for more details.

Elixir

The recommended Elixir Set for this build is Advance.

Check out the Elixir Guide for more details and general stat recommendations.

Card Sets

Cards are an endgame system that helps maximize your character's damage. Here are the recommended card sets for this build.

  • You Have a Plan is used early on as it is fairly easy to obtain.
  • Lostwind Cliff is the standard endgame option, but it can take a fairly long time to acquire 30-piece Awakening.
  • Master of Spears is used as an alternative to Lostwind Cliff, in content where enemies have a weakness to Dark Damage.

Check out the Card Guide for more details on how to obtain cards and interact with them.

Early Game Support Card Set

End Game Support Card Set

Credits

Written by Civo
Reviewed by Starlast

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