[Crit/DPS bard]Guide to be a crit bard

  • Written by: paladin871002


    Hello, I probably keep this until spurry, hime, yilia, white (but but he love his saenai), or nadia actually make one. I wrote just because they doesnt make one, i m lazeh lazeh bard, for mean time i just put it here since nobody to write them.

    Going this path might require more funding (more expensive DPS gear), but we can assure you it is more fun than tank bard way, you might have to move often (avoid AOE, although you always should avoid but somehow many tank bard like to eat dmg), become jumping kangaroo, more prone to death than tanky builds. But you can finish off boss when you timed your skills well even your team mates being 1 shot-ed, help clearing annoying spawns fast (like PP 2nd boss and OW AT final boss), one single holy notes entire party full HP, carry an undergeared party.

    A DPS bard can change to support style with click of mastery, a tank bard could not do the other way round since tank gear gives pathetic offensive ability. But bear in mind you might need funding and movement skill (get yourself out of danger).

    A. Damage mechanics

    Defensively, there are a few points to tell here

    - Elemental armor is important in PVE when you have problem on fortification budget, 25% dmg reduction from elemental skills, either get +9 elemental set or 5star +15-20 armor with dark element. For PVP, violent is best.

    - dmg taken SS are DR1 against player is not useful at least for wizards

    - Cap DEF is a must, safe to aim 18k DEF in combat DEF @LV65 and 21k DEF for LV75+

    Offensively, there are 6 criteria to determine your efficient damage, zeal, skill rotations, elemental damage, detail damage, raw stats, debuffs

    1. Detail dmg

    (in dark blue)

    - Highlighted sentence are from detailed DMG%, THEY ARE IMPORTANT when you dealt with higher end dungeons like dragons and h_ell mode which is 90% reduction.

    - example of detail dmg source - DMG+2 SS, sniper set, boss dmg from devourer set, ambusher set.

    - There are different set of dungeon damage reduction, but the two that really concern your PVE game play are sky tower 70% and dragon/pryoclastic/temperous/he ll dungeons 90%.

    Example of a PVE boss in dragons (90% reduction), ignoring other parameters (like element, DEF)

    Say you deal 20k dmg with 10% boss dmg, my dmg is (1-0.9+0.1)x20k = 4k dmg

    If i hit the same boss with 12k dmg with 30% boss dmg, my dmg is (1-0.9+0.3) x 12k = 4.8k dmg

    From above example, you can see, even i have inferior raw dmg (12k vs 20k), but my boss dmg is high, i dealt more ACTUAL DMG than you.

    2. Elemental dmg

    (In red)

    - elemental dmg starts having better effect especially when your boss dmg pass about 60%. Also boss dmg have diminishing effect as u stack more and more.

    - Source are LV 65 elemental trophies from fishing, LV 65/85 elemental acc set from DP and drops

    - Often they taking slot with detail dmg like subweapon and head costume card so consideration must be made.

    So, how to choose? say it is elemental subweapon 30% or 10% boss dmg subweapon, say i m in 90% reduction dungeon

    If existing i got 10% element, 20% boss dmg

    if i wield 30% element, my dmg will be (1-0.9+0.2)x(1.4) = 0.42

    if i wield 10% boss dmg, my dmg will be (1-0.9+0.3)x (1.1) = 0.44 (better)

    If existing i got 10% element, 60% boss dmg

    if i wield 30% element, my dmg will be (1-0.9+0.6)x(1.4) = 0.98 (better)

    if i wield 10% boss dmg, my dmg will be (1-0.9+0.7)x (1.1) = 0.88

    If existing i got 50% element, 20% boss dmg

    if i wield 30% element, my dmg will be (1-0.9+0.2)x(1.8 ) = 0.54

    if i wield 10% boss dmg, my dmg will be (1-0.9+0.3)x (1.5) = 0.60 (better)

    Further reading for boss dmg and elemental dmg: Lionstaring chart

    3. Zeal

    - Zeal counted as x% of your DMG dealt, counted crit dmg, so better your total output by all factors, stronger your zeal, and each zeal proc act independent of other zeal proc, only dependent on your DMG dealt and RNGesus. Please note that even u use AOE, it seems the zeal proc are on individual target, not collectively zeal to all.

    - Example of zeal is evil eagle scythe, staff of stars, flokja set, dual drive weapon cards

    4. skill rotations

    - Enough SPD is important for wizards to perform their strongest skills rotation efficiently, also how you chain the skills in the GCD and jump casting

    - Skills rotations shall be discussed in Section J, game play, so i only include a little on AA speed here. This cap is not written in anywhere.

    A little section for Auto Atk Speed (AA)

    AA is good for most class who jump cast (maybe except bow which difficult to jump cast), the formula is (weapon spd, in wiz case is 2.2s)(1-AA%) which cap at 0.5 (2 hit per sec). for bard case, it is 75%, the AA% is count by SPD + AA spd from SS, envoy, eido buff, etc). Normally cap SPD + 25% AA spd eido like Eligos/ yarnaros/ bel chan is enough.

    5. Raw stats

    - Offensive raw stats, SPD, CRIT are important, choosing your gear without severely handicap your stats is a must to dish out good dmg.

    - SPD is to maintain your skill rotation smoothness, yes or no you should have minimum SPD

    - CRIT is important to dish out crit dmg, at least 60% since you doesnt have traps eveytime (unless you are gun sub)

    - low crit high crit dmg or vice versa is not efficient, you must have high enough crit dmg also, at least 200%

    - after having kind amount of SPD CRIT and crit dmg, then you can up ur raw DMG without sacrificing item 1-4 above.

    5. Debuffs

    - For cap for -DEF% reduction, many players stated that it observed to be caps at -50% (like white and leon senpai), u can get from break defense, storm curse mastery, etc

    - However, flat DEF debuff, like ice elemental burst are not boundary found, therefore use your ice elemental burst wisely if important. Our ice elemental burst is best flat -DEF in game, come with problem of RNG and boss animation toooooooooo freaking long

    Note: debuffs are highly class/subclass specific so in gearing section, you couldnt consider them.

    Dummy verison: work for boss dmg at least 60% (more is better), then work for elemental dmg (at least you have to get elemental trophy), if you have spare gold, go for zeal. While doing so, dun get your crit below 50% (70% is recommended) and cap SPD when you are LV 70+ in dungeon.

    B. Stats

    Build yourself like a DPS

    (i swap move speed emblem and dmg emblem, i using dmg emblem in SS)

    SPD then CRIT, patch up with DMG once you satisfy both SPD n CRIT

    DMG - attack stat, it is your raw damage, more it is, better your basic heal/ dmg rate.

    CRIT - crit rate, a tomato bard should have at least 65% crit rate (not in combat) IMO, more is better but it depends on how OCD you are. it capped at 100%

    SPD - it affect cooldown of your skills, I think minimum 43% in combat (your holy note CD is 3.2s). it capped at 50%

    DEF then HP, EVA hmm, not that useful

    HP - HP amount reach 0 = death, it is recommended that you get HP after u get your DEF

    DEF - important stat, you should have 60%+ for LV 60-65, and 75% (18k DEF LV 65-70, 21k for LV 70+ in combat). it capped at 75%.

    EVA - evasion TBH is a myth without near capping it, even you capped, it is only 50% efficiency in boss fight, you can up it after u have reasonable HP/DEF. It capped at 95%. Your skill to evade AOE has more meaning than EVA.

    CRIT DMG - it capped at 300%, with counted bonus crit dmg, crit dmg reduction, main hand crit dmg bonus. Crit heal do get bonus from CRIT DMG, so you are hit hard heal hard if you are crit bard. Crit heal do get crit dmg bonus from players but not dmg bonus agianst player.

    HEAL - directly multiply with your raw heal amount, but if you can do 90k holy note in a crit, getting too much heal% is optional. I would just leave it as it be.

    ACC - accuracy are mainly for PVP, recommended to get at least 40-50+ if you wanna PVP, it capped at 75%

    Move spd - move speed is very good, minimum 150%+ in dungeon (5 envoy 5 back costume 15 extreme spd 10 bard buff 15 mastery, not yet count in noripan leaf, imperial armor or emblem), it improve your ability to move away from danger or rush targets , it is recommended to be able to pass 200% with swapping, in many times i abbr it as "mspd"

    There is a hidden stat which affect your auto-attack spd (AA SPD), when you jump casting, the AA SPD will affect how frequent your AA fly to target. for bards you only need 75% for 2 hit per sec (cap of AA SPD), which meant you only need 25% AA SPD eido + cap SPD (50%), = 75% already.

    C. Subclass

    There are several criteria in consideration on subclass that you preferred with, but i would think on what benefits (debuffs, buffs) first, and how quick you can release those skills and back into your main bard skills. Personally think that sorc and holysword will be better.

    D. Envoy

    Most important tiles are both storm song mastery tile, both holy note tile, angelic choir, energized healing, the rest are depends on your style, pick DPS tiles as possible.

    TBH, efficient immune system do help a lot in PVP, but in PVE, it still helpful but cost is at least 4 tiles on for less beneficial tiles (you have to give or take between some tiles).

    sorc sub

    Bard/sorc (semi-supportive

    More offensive (PVE)

    Wizard sub

    Bard/wiz (need more input)

    Bow sub

    Bard/bow (need more input)

    Other sub (like HS, shuri)



    Since you gonna jump cast, 25% AA SPD eido will be your priority. there are 2 series you can go, the crit eido or damage eido. pretty much if you lack crit, crit eido is worth better than damage eido.

    For crit eido series, bel chandra who gives 25% AA SPD +15% crit with skills to improve crit dmg is nice. alternatively, Zaahir with 25% AA SPD +15% crit and a stun is also useful, but personally think bel chan is better.

    For damage eido series, Eligos is a good choice since it gives 25% AA SPD +24% dmg with -flat def shred.

    In late game where you have massive crit rate, Eligos is better, however, if you lack of crit, you can use bel chan or zaahir.

    kotonoha/ vermillion/ Tsubaki is useful in some bosses where you need massive HP leech, like TF 1st boss.

    For starters, pick anyone you like, since most likely you not gonna use them after get a better eido.

    Remember to do eidolon prayer, the stat might be little at first, but when you accumulate enough of those, it is equivalent to a free set of armor set. Just feed them with items required.

    Also, feed them emblem to get star buffs

    F. Gear

    Gear like DPS class will do, you can get high crit high crit dmg which amplify your crit heal and also DPS rate, do not forget your detail/elemental damage, minimum 60% up boss dmg without bard mechanic, try to get at least elemental trophies.

    In summary for current end meta (LV 85+) i would say

    - over 80% crit (100% is better)

    - cap SPD in dungeon (50%)

    - at least 250 up CRIT DMG against boss (cap 300%)

    - minimum 60% boss dmg idle (not in combat or food)

    - at least swap elemental trophies (20% ele dmg)

    - Cap DEF, 21k in dungeon

    - as much HP as you can

    Wait, i doesnt mention CRIT DMG? it is crucial to crit heal yet it is not in list? because when you aim for crit dmg against boss, you only have 110% (60% from full sniper, 25% from subweapon, 25% from crit dmg card) from non-crit dmg source, mean you should have near 190% crit dmg from various crit dmg source (like 30% from envoy, 10% blinding, 130% base, 42% SS, HS or wiz buff, etc)

    However, I not very recommend bards to build DPS early (like pre-LV 70) unless you are experienced/ veterans players and have some sort of funding. Start from half tank before become DPS-crit bard.


    Pre 70

    Use anything you like

    LV 70-80

    Dual LV 70 crafted weapons is better choice for me, Dragon crystal harp paired with demon crystal grimmoire (if you a sorc sub). advantage of crafted here is you can insert useful core inside while yellow graded harp cant.

    Post LV 80

    Double orange weapon no contest, because you need pierce stat from LV 80 orange weapon.

    For subweapon, you can get the respective LV 70 craft weapon, or alternately you also get be like other DPS, use elemental subweapon swap.

    Remember enchant with 5% move speed card o0, if you can afford move speed - dual drive (zeal), use it

    What core to use?

    Destroyer if you wanna solo attempt, -DEF is gold there

    Protector for -DMG debuff, still useful in party

    Deadly is good to get more crit heal, since boss crit dmg from weapon/ sniper will not have effect on crit heal.

    Nocturnal is optional but if u have it, it is advantage to prevent death, but normally u do not need it that much.

    The rest are mats for your star evolve TBH

    For weapon element, Personal preference is holy, some might think storm is better due to spammable, but they also have lower coeff, dmg and travel slower.


    Pre 70

    Use anything you like

    LV 70-80

    Full sniper is the best, kind amount of stats and star'ed HP, if not, use mixture of sniper bottom with devourer top or use ancient top/ sniper btm

    Galen top offer kind amount of stats and also 8% detail dmg, but sniper still better choice because imperial run run.

    Post LV 80

    While sniper will still satisfy your need if u poor, you can choose upgrade Lordwrath top first

    Ofc full lordwrath still better choice just the cost that matters.

    Do not hesitate to use imperial core over other cores, because run run is AK life. For card slots, DMG card is fine.


    Pre 60

    Use anything you like

    LV 60-70

    If you have existing flokja set, do not hesitate to use them. If you doesnt, you can use "Gekasso's eye of insanity, Saint Hale's divine band and Talamud's infernal whisper" set (abbr as GST set). and wait for blinding set at LV 70.

    LV 70-80

    LV 70 blinding reflection set with imperial core is the better choice. You can run faster, get desired stats (SPD DMG CRIT) and also have CDMG. Just abit down side is lack HP. (where you might need to invest on acc fort)

    Alternatively you also can build elemental accessory rotation like other DPS, but make sure you have bag slots for that.

    Post LV 80

    While elemental acc still relevant in this point, but if you need the imperial core craft set, Paragon set is better and replacement to blinding, while frost set is second choice, for the other 2 is just filler for RNG.


    Pre 60

    Use anything you like

    LV 60-70

    I would recommend use double madalnak claw (orange and green) to get better crit rate from them, also doesnt deal bad DPS from them.

    At LV 65, you can choose to swap elemental trophies and orange/green madalnak swap.

    Post LV 70

    Guzigla's bloodied tooth (orange) + elemental trophies, I think this is better setup because

    both trophies benefits all your attacks in form of detail dmg and elemental damage

    By default the orange guzigla will be on 2nd slot, you will swap for first slot. For each elemental bosses you should swap for respective elemental trophies, while for violent boss, you can use green guzigla (for the poor) or fenrir dog tag (for the rich), unless you are ultimate OCD otherwise i dun think dog tag worth the price tag.

    Remember to craft a imperial noripan leaf to swap when you need that move speed~

    My lazeh skillbar

    Dark/ storm / lightning / ice / fire / holy / violent boss / run run~


    whitekite wrote:

    food is almost always royal jelly tea + either yellow teppanyaki (not capped spd) or yellow ice cream (already capped spd)

    Best food according to white areTeppanyaki or ice cream with royal jelly tea, They are zeal food


    adv DMG card for all except head you have no DMG card, only HP card for head

    Recommended card slot

    Back - move speed

    head - boss dmg, you can swap with elite dmg if you wanna clear mob faster, or you can choose ele swap if your boss dmg exceed 70% without head card.

    face - ballad

    weapon - storm song, maybe prepare gaia revival card for swapping

    costume - not much choice, crit dmg against boss/ elites probably


    General: -DEF storm song, -DEF%, even you cant dmg well as full support but at least -DEF helps most of the time, for DPS bard, this is your core skills. Unless, you are confident party will cap 50% -DEF%, where you use move speed bliss harmony.

    Advanced: zeal, who doesnt love zeal?

    DEF: extreme speed, move speed, run is love, run is life

    advanced: DMG ballad, self explanatory, if u r wiz sub probably u might want -DEF% storm curse if your team cannot reach 50% DEF debuff, it might worth more than 3-4% dmg ballad in some situations.

    Tactical: usually sabotage or break defense, or others if your team need them

    Special: best defense if you need it, DMG to DEF; if you are in the case of able to cap DEF without best defense, you can consider move speed song of wind for moar sanic (sorc sub only), or deep blue for more damage.

    H.Bard mechanic

    The top long slender bar is the bard mechanic bar, it has 3 red note on left and green on right. This means you can stack 3 stacks of each note max, more stack on red notes results on more DMG bonus (3 stack are DMG+12% in detailed damage), while more green notes adding the radius of your healing AOE.

    When red note charged, your dmg skills ability increased as "tune of march" shown, and it is added to your detailed damage (your bonus dmg against player/elite/boss), this feature is one of the reason for bard sub to take place. they make the 3 stack of red note to empower their main skill damage, since this note are affect the detailed damage.

    When green note charged, your heal skills are improved as "tune of harmony" shown, it makes your single target heal, heal harmony and holy note become AOE. you can go hit bosses without needing to switch target to party members, just run alongside them and cast heal.

    To charge your "tune of march", you need bard healing skills (ballad, heal tone, heal harmony, holy note), to charge your "tune of harmony", you need bard atk skills (bliss harmony, storm song, ambient drone). due to charge one side will use up one note on the other side, so practically it would be 3 notes total at most

    Old post: bard mechanic

    J.Class Mastery

    They consist of 2 path, you can swap between with 10 min CD. Each tree have 50 levels and you can get bonus stats points as the SS shown, it is recommended to make both LV 50. when lvl 30+, you get bonus effect as below shows.

    - Up move speed first (15 points)

    - then up elemental resistance (15 points)

    - then crit dmg (20 points)

    - then the rest is your choice, pick what you lacking, i would recommend crit dmg next, or acc if you PVP often (unless you capped it already)

    Left path: Healing path

    - Unique skill: Phoenix Rising, 45 sec base CD, long CD, can prevent one time death within 5s duration and perform healing, good to cast just before deadly AOE

    - Healing harmony cast time -50% (twice as fast load) and DMG+5% (detail dmg) for 10s whn lv 30+

    - Healing tones cast time - 50% (twice as fast load) and dmg taken -5% for 10s whn lv30+

    - Passive buff, HP +6%, move speed +4% when lv30+

    Left path is more to support bard, you can take as crit healer, but if you going offensive route, go for right path.

    Right path: Damage path

    - Unique skill: String of Punishment, 8 sec base CD, can be charged to get more burst

    - Storm song DMG + 20% and its AOE add more 3m radius.

    - Bliss harmony DMG+ 15% and gives a buff where next atk dmg+20%, either consumed first or last 20s, however this buff can be consumed by Auto atk

    - Passive buff, DMG+15% (raw dmg), skill cooldown-8% when lv30+

    Right path is very good for DPS bard. Jump cast storm song/ bliss harmony, you enjoy the benefit. Your DPS rate is not negligible when your geared in offensive way, this is how right path do, improve your overall DPS rate.

    K.Game play

    DPS - holy note

    Since right path improve your storm song and bliss harmony DPS rate, also you can jump cast both damage skills, with holy note also jump cast-able. Hence, there is no reason to be tanky bard who stays as ballad- heal tone. Main job for bard is still healing, but your DPS rate is not insignificant especially you are jump casting.

    Holy note is the only direct heal that without cast bar. When you have cast bar like healing harmony and heal tone, the problem is you must be stand on ground when the cast bar loads, also, within that 1-1.5s (the cast bar is the loading bar like blue bar which loads when you cast above 2 skills), your member probably kiss the floor already, so i not recommend to use heal tone and harmony in dire time, use holy note instead, at least u drag enough HP for them to noct leech and save themselves (if not 1 hit KO). The cast bar is really bad, because you cannot jump cast or move cast.

    If your storm song at (1), bliss harmony at (2), holy note at (3), ballad at (4), it could be 444 (3 stack ballad before start combat) then 1213 123 1234 123 123 1234 123 123 1234 - repeat. Of course, in actual you doesnt do perfect 1234 thing like robot, you need to watch over the situation too, but my point is, use bard atk skill to charge heal note, when heal note full, cast heal, then dps again until your holy note CD full, then holy note again. If your team is kinda good, just go DPS mode with ballad still on every 15s, treat this as basic manner of a bard.

    If you find yourself out of range, you can always use AD to charge a green note. It does not have any restriction of skills, as long as your objective of charge note is fulfilled.

    Jump cast, back strike

    In dungeons, sometimes stand still and heal/attack is dangerous, and in most skills, there are animation time that makes you stationary when animation loaded. It is dangerous in most cases, therefore, you need jump cast skills.

    In practice, jump casting consist of "jump" first then "skills" on mid air (skill at early or near end of jump). when you able to move when you cast skills that makes you stationary (like ambient drone and holy note), mean your jump cast is success. It is recommended to jump evade the AOE instead of tank them, in higher dungeons, most cases are 1 hit KO or 2 hit KO.

    Of course, like DPS classes, back strike offer 1.5x more dmg, which is very good for DPS rate, as a bard, catching back strike also meant you are healing DPS who also know back strike as well, also it is easy to evade frontal AOE of bosses.

    jumpcast of bard/HS (by kitkitty) as pure DPS

    As noted by him, the storm song GCD of 0.6s have the similarity as his tachi, therefore it is possible to utilize this trick, trade 1AA to be a storm song attack. This require you to perform skill right after the moment you jump, and use the second skill before the jump arc end (~1s), then repeat.

    Please note that this rotation is more for solo attempt or purely DPS way; if you are in party mode, please do add in healing/ support skills in case the party really need it.

    Charged Dry Bones > Storm Song + Blissful > Storm Song + Smiting > Storm Song + Blissful > Storm Song + Thunderstrike > Storm Song + Blissful.

    Repeat dry bones and ballad for dmg% when needed. If you are other subclass, just perform storm song + blissful with similar jump cast pattern

    aditional reading: oni video for tachi


    Ballad - AOE HoT, use it whenever you can, it might not much compare to heals but it is passive

    Healing harmony - single target heal with cast bar, it is highest heal (twice of holy note) but u need to wait cast bar finish running, when move while cast will cancel skills. IMO it only can be used when you need big heal and target can survive for 2s, it can become AOE when u have green bard mechanic note and even heal non-party members

    Healing tones - AOE heal with cast bar, it is AOE heal but u need to wait cast bar finish running, when move while cast will cancel skills. wouldnt heal non-party members.

    Holy notes - single target heal without cast bar, have slight delay but still faster than other 2 cast bar heals, it can become AOE when u have green bard mechanic note and even heal non-party members. it can be jump casted and moves so it is primary heal skill for DPS bard.

    Bard/sorc game play

    For most of the time, you will end up dps with bard skills (for the bard mechanic), however, there are some additional skills where it is beneficial to your play style. Normally you will go 3 stack ballad first, then opening storm song (if with -DEF storm song mastery) or bliss harmony (if you use bliss harmony move speed), then proceed with your DPS/heal cycle.

    Totem - Ambient drone crowd control, use them when you need to control mobs

    Reju mantra, use it whn you need to clear debuff.

    Song of winds move speed mastery at special mastery slot, use it when you can, it add move speed to your party.

    If you afford to take bard -DEF storm song mastery, u can use bliss harmony move speed mastery at attack mastery slot.

    Bard/HS game play

    Compare to conventional Bard/sorc build, this sub offer different perspective of support mainly in terms of Smiting edge and dry bones.

    You can use HS jump to jump around to shorten distance, when you charge and jump, you can stun targets within AOE too

    Dry bones gives flat -DEF when charged so i usually use it when open the boss, it is crucial to most parties especially party with low DPS

    Smite edge gives 10% detail dmg for 6s with long CD (for subclass), hence if you see other HS main/sub used this skill, count 6s and put your own smite edge. It doesnt need to charge to get the buff. this skill also benefit from bard envoy "child of sun" (boost holy attack)

    Usually i will play as HS jump (easier to get backstrike when you jump to melee range) - charged dry bones - put smite edge if nobody does - heal/ DPS as you like.

    If you afford to take bard -DEF storm song mastery, u can use bliss harmony move speed mastery at attack mastery slot.

    Bard/Shuri game play

    Spam razor wind!

    Your main subweapon skill will be Razor wind, it is OP, can trigger multiple zeals/ debuffs, and it has -target move speed which is handful sometimes. it provide you with firepower

    Shuriken storm can provide detail DMG + 10% for 8s to self upon use. you can use it to open a battle. Shuriken toss flat -def is good (despite it is small amount if not stacked up) but possibly you wouldnt have much chance stack it up due to long CD


    Benefit of being a crit/DPS bard

    - DPS bard solo PP (nadia)

    - Solo WA (by french player(turtle))

    - Turtle (french player) solo videos

    Further reading:

    Seda DPS math

    Spur n nadia can i borrow your stats?