Lost Ark is one of those MMOs that will make you want to grind all day. There's a wide array of classes, builds, and complex mechanics in dungeons and raids. In today's guide, we'll showcase a few Lost Ark Bard builds you can try out.
What is a Bard in Lost Ark?
The Bard is an advanced Mage class chosen shortly after creating a character. This support class uses a harp as a weapon and plays music to provide buffs for her allies and deal damage to enemies. The class also features crowd-control abilities such as knockbacks, counters, and stuns.
Bard's Identity Skills
Identity Skills are class-specific abilities that provide your character with a slew of buffs. This can be activated by using 'Z' or 'X,' which typically have a gauge found at the bottom of the screen in the middle of your base abilities and items. The Lost Ark Bard Identity skills are the key to understanding the Bard's supportive playstyle. The class is all about building up its identity gauge using a feature called 'bubbles.'
The bubbles can be filled up to three, which empower two skills. The first skill, 'Serenade of Courage,' is a damage buff that increases your party's damage output and crit chance by an amount based on the bubbles you spent. On the other hand, 'Desperate Salvation' is a healing skill that heals allies in a specific zone as long as they are standing in its radius.
Lost Ark Bard End-Game Build
There are two types of Bards in the game: high Specialization or high Swiftness build. Typically, a max Swiftness Bard build is recommended because Swiftness increases your movement speed to help you with positioning. It increases your cast speed to get your buffs out much faster. Most importantly, it lowers the cooldown of all your abilities, yielding a higher uptime on your support spells. On the other hand, Specialization helps you build your identity skills much faster and your support skills' effectiveness.
- Awakening: This is your most crucial engraving since it reduces the cooldown of your Awakening Skill, Symphonia, which allows you to provide a massive shield and gives you 1 bar of Serenade meter. This is your number 1 priority to get level 3 engraving.
- Desperate Salvation: This engraving is why your Bard can sustain your team with your heals. This gives a 24% Max HP recovery effect at the end tick of your Serenade of Salvation.
Add-On Endgame Engravings
The following lower priority engravings are fine at only level 1 or level 2, depending on your budget.
- Expert: This is an incredible engraving that boosts the effectiveness of your shield and healing by 25%.
- Heavy Armor: This offers a lot of defense for Bards because this provides 100% defense at level 3 engraving.
- Max MP Increase: This is useful for Swiftness Bards as their reduced cooldowns can lead them to run out of mana quickly.
- Spirit Absorption: This is a great engraving, especially if running a specialization build for Bards. The reason is this gives you an additional 15% Atk./Move Speed.
I prefer using Expert rather than Heavy Armor, especially if I know the attack pattern and mechanics of the boss. With intense knowledge in the fight, you can use your high shield to negate damages from yourself and your party members. If you're having difficulty surviving, especially on the Argos Raid, a level 1 heavy armor will suffice.
Lost Ark Bard Skill Build
Now that you know your go-to engravings and stats let's discuss your skill build and runes.
- Sound Shock: Maintained Explosion - Sacred Shock - Rapid Fire (Conviction)
- Rhapsody of Light: Quick Prep - Stabilized Light - Shining Protection (Galewind)
- Wind of Music: Quick Prep - Melody Increase - Wind of Protection (Wealth)
- Sonic Vibration: Tenacity - Brilliant Wave - Wide-Angle Attack (Judgment)
- Soundholic: Sound Concentration - Sustain Enhancement - Focus Fire (Overwhelm)
- Prelude of Storm: Quick Prep - Melody Increase - Powerful Prelude (Wealth)
- Heavenly Tune: Quick Prep - Tough Tune - Intense Tune (Focus)
- Guardian Tune: Mind Enhancement - Endless Protection - Wind of Protection (Focus)
Primary Damage Buff
- Heavenly Tune: This is your most crucial buff that grants your allies 15% of your Attack Power (6% from Tripod), +16% Attack Speed, and +40% MP Regen Speed.
- Sonic Vibration: This is your secondary attack buff. It provides the same attack power without the attack speed boost and MP regen. This is a ground-targeted AoE, so place it where most of your DPS can stand.
Note: These two buffs don't stack together, so be mindful of the cooldown and your skill rotation. I will later discuss my preferred skill rotation for the Bard.
Primary Defense Buff
- Wind of Music: This is your primary shielding skill for your party members. This skill also generates a fair amount of Serenade Meter when hitting the mobs.
- Guardian Tune: This is a consistent buff that grants damage reduction to all party members with the Tripod: Endless Protection. It also provides a shield once this buff expires. This is a greatability to cast frequently to reduce incoming damage to you and your party members.
- Sound Shock: This is your main debuff skill since this applies a debuff on the boss that increases damage done to the boss by 10%. Always cast this frequently since it has a low cooldown and mp cost.
- Prelude of Storm: This skill is your primary Serenade Meter generator. You need to get close to the mobs and use this as often as possible. The best skill paired with this is your Wind of Music so that you won't be able to get hit after getting close to the boss.
- Rhapsody of Light: This is an incredible skill since this allows you to save allies with a 70% damage reduction buff due to one of its tripods.
- Soundholic: This is your only DPS skill and crucial for certain Stagger checks during boss encounters.
- Alternatives: Typically, you can replace Soundholic or Prelude of Storm with Rhythm Buckshot or Rhapsody of Light. Rhythm Buckshot is your Counter skill. This shuts down mobs with a counter window in a specific raids or dungeons.
Gameplay and Skill Rotation
- In my experience playing as a Bard on Tier 3 content, you have to be mindful of your positioning. I typically cast two spells and then reposition myself while minding where my allies are.
- I tend to cast my Sound Shock for opening debuff, then use Guardian Tune and Heavenly Tune for damage reduction and buff. When the Heavenly Tune's effect vanished. I'll cast my Sonic Vibration where our DPS is standing and dealing damage, dash in, and use Wind Music for Shield, followed by Prelude of Storm.
- I typically save 2+ bars before playing my Serenade of Courage. A good time to cast this spell is whenever the boss is staggered or being countered by your party.
Overall, playing as a Bard in Lost Ark is satisfying, especially if your team survives because of how efficiently you work with your skills. I hoped this Bard lost ark build helps you become more effective in dungeons and raids. There are many classes and roles in the game and having skilled support (such as Bard or paladin) makes dungeons/raids much easier.