How-To Guide: Bard

CAUTION!
This article is only a guide. Information expressed in a guide is usually more opinion than fact and should be taken as such. Guides are written by players, based upon their experiences, successes and mistakes, and are meant to aid other players. However, there may be differing opinions than those expressed in a guide.
Strategies and information in guides may not work for everyone.

Bard of Stratford-On-Avon[edit]

Bard is the original support-role job in the game. It’s a really unique job in that it’s great, but only through other party members. Bard is basically like a battery that supports every other member to make them super-charged and amazingly effective. No other job is as amazing of a puller or all-round support as Bard is. Bard can do almost anything through its party. Give the whole party a Refresh or Regen effect, give the whole party Attack, Accuracy, Haste, Defense, Evasion, resistances, or buff up individual stats. On the monster, you can take off damage over time, sleep it, slow down its attack speed, or lower its resistance to a particular element. On top of which, if things go bad, Bard can even Charm monsters, or give the party an area effect Reraise effect. It can even give an area effect Flee (though to a much lesser extent than the ability itself). Bard literally requires instruments in order to do its job effectively. Otherwise, Bard can’t have more than one song on a target at once. This is the very reason Bard as a support job isn’t nearly as effective as Bard as a main job. Higher-quality instruments aren’t usually expensive, and can boost songs’ effects. Another interesting quality about Bard is that its songs can’t be interrupted by simply being hit by a monster. The downside to Bard is it can’t solo very well. Though that should never be a concern since you won’t spend more than 15 minutes seeking for a party at any given time.
Please note: This is only a guide. Please add anything if it is needed, and take away anything that is either untrue or not needed.

Job-Race Combinations[edit]

Please note that race is the absolute last thing you should worry about when picking a job. Anything said here is seriously exaggerated. A single piece of gear can often make up for a race's negligible lack in a stat. Every race also gets "Race Specific Equipment", or "RSE", that will boost a race's stats to equal, or possibly even surpass other races.

Hume[edit]

  • Believe it or not, Bard actually takes a lot of stats. With that said, Hume does not fail to be a great one. With survivability through endurance (vitality and HP) as well as evasion (agility), as well as a high count for charisma (stat used in song accuracy) and MP (for White Mage support job), Hume does not disappoint the world of Bards.

Elvaan[edit]

  • Elvaan plays Bard great too. With lower evasion, but higher endurance than Hume, it has no problem with survivability. Elvaan shares a high pool of charisma. The only true downside to Elvaan is lower MP means less curing power with a White Mage support job. RSE makes up for this detriment a lot.

Tarutaru[edit]

  • Combining high charisma with high evasion and MP, Tarutaru Bards are amazing too. Shy only in the field of HP and vitality in terms of Bard-related stats, Tarutaru can easily make this up with gear.

Mithra[edit]

  • Mithra players can enjoy a balance of stats much like Hume. Moderate MP and HP, higher evasion traded in for vitality, allows for a versatile Bard. Choosing any regular support job will work. Low charisma can be made up by race-specific gear, and a slew of other equipment out there.

Galka[edit]

  • Galka make superb Bards. Though their base MP is quite low for a White Mage support job, having full race-specific equipment can alone bring them well past even that of a Tarutaru. Low charisma is also easily made up by this same thing. On top of having the best RSE in the game for this job, Galka also own the highest HP and vitality in the game, so survivability is no problem. They even have decent agility.

Equipment Choices[edit]

Weapon[edit]

  • Bard has a number of useful choices in terms of weapons. Swords are useful for damage-dealing and soloing, certain daggers can be too, and Staves are used for pretty much everything else. For those who don’t want to engage battle, which is basically any Bard after Lv.20, you’ll be using Staves. A very prominent Staff is the “Monster Signa” at level 17, which gives you CHR+8 at an expense of VIT-5. Since Bards are generally weak on their own (as I said, they work through parties), you’ll be using that staff primarily throughout your game. Any weapon that increases your charisma is nice, but don’t forget the use of MP and HP. These can be easily gained at Lv.30 through grips, allowing you to use a Monster Signa while also having +10 HP and +10 MP. Later on, there are a few Elemental Staves that have some use. The Earth/Terra Staff reduces all physical damage taken by a whopping 20%. Light and Dark Staves are useful for when you want to sub White Mage and cure, since they increase “Cure” potency by 10%, and will give +10 hMP respectively. The Chanter’s Staff at Lv.40 gives +6 CHR and +4 Singing Skill. This can be debatably better than the Signa, since 2 CHR really isn’t that prominent.
  • Also on the topic of weapons are your instruments. It is never necessary to actually use instruments to play music, but if you don’t have any, you won’t be able to have more than one song on a target at any given time. Instruments in general aren’t very expensive, but some of them are, such as Mary’s Horn. If you see one that has the name of a song, with an added number beside it, such as “Lullaby+1”, the effect of that song will be slightly enhanced. Effects that enhance things such as “Attack” or “Accuracy” will be directly enhanced in terms of how much attack or accuracy they boost. Higher-quality instruments will actually make songs higher-quality too. With that said, normally you can only have two songs on with instruments, and casting a third one would remove the earliest one cast. But if you had one enhanced song active, then a non-enhanced song, then a third song, the non-enhanced song would be removed. Keep that in mind when choosing instruments. Also, having higher skill allows for higher accuracy on negative monster effects, and higher effect on party-buffs. Singing Skill works for all songs, even if you have instruments on, so having that capped is a must. Since Bards don’t need to rest, it’s not very hard to keep your skills capped. Wind is a lot more relevant, but don’t let your String skill fall too far behind.

Armor[edit]

  • Bard actually has access to a lot of different kinds of equipment, ranging from mage Robes and Cloaks to melee Harnesses and Leather equipment. Bard can’t wear any kind of scale or plate armor, though, so its defense is quite low. However, that doesn’t matter all that much, since Bards won’t end-up taking too many hits, and certainly won’t end-up tanking monsters. That isn’t to say you won’t ever get hit. Since Bard has a number of stats that it can have to boost its overall effectiveness in a party, your best bet is to pick gear with those kind of stats anyway. Overall songs and pulling will give you a fair bit of hate from time to time. With that said, evasion and defensive gear can be a good idea to pick up too. Bard gets a wide variety of equipment, so it’s all a manner of choice. At Lv.65 there is a headpiece called the “Opo-Opo Crown”. It’s a lot more useful than it appears on the outside. Eating the food “Pamamas” will activate a hidden effect on it giving you an enormous boost to HP and MP (both +50), and a wicked +14 to Charisma (to reverse the -7 to +7 in total), though that’s only while under the food’s effects. The food is super-cheap and lasts a nice half-hour, so you don’t have to worry about any other food as long as you live.

Walkthrough[edit]

Advanced Job Quest[edit]

The Old Monument

  • This quest is super-easy, but it involves a little bit of travelling. Also, it won’t appear in your ‘quests’ menu until you’ve completed it. After you have a job Lv.30 or higher, talk to Mertaire at I-8 in the “Merry Minstrel” bar in Lower Jeuno. Then, talk to the Mithra behind the counter named Bki Tbujhja. Go to the auction house and purchase a Parchment (under Leathercraft materials). Now, go to Buburimu Peninsula (either by Teleport-Mea or by taking a Chocobo from Port Jeuno), and head to the beach in the south end of the map. Go through a hidden cave near the water to the beach to the west, and go to the Song Runes. Click on them, watch a cutscene, and then trade the Parchment to the Runes. You should receive the item, Poetic Parchment. Good! You’re done part one. Go back to Jeuno and trade the Poetic Parchment to Mertaire. Awesome! You’re done part two. Talk to Bki Tbujhja again, then go to Valkurm Dunes. If you’ve partied there, you’ve probably been to Secret Beach at least once before. It’s at C-6 after heading far north-west in the area. You’ll see Song Runes in there. Click on them and see another cutscene. Congratulations! You can now become a Bard.

Soloing 1 to 10[edit]

  • Soloing is far from Bard’s forte, but with correct use of your low level songs, you can make 1-10 go by very fast. You’ll definitely want to pick up a sword (preferably a Wax Sword +1 if you can afford it). Head out into your lower level areas after you get Signet, then beat on things. Remember to cast songs before you fight instead of during fights. If it wears off in the middle of a fight, don’t worry about it (this doesn’t apply to levels after 10, just to let you know), and just cast it afterwards. Either as a full-time spell or just for downtime, use Paeon once you get it at Lv.5. If you have a Fellow NPC, call him or her to make the latter five levels easier. Make it a tank or damage-dealer, and make sure you’re subbing White Mage with MP-boosting equipment. Your songs will work on your Fellow. Another alternative is to form a low-level party. One last note is that you shouldn’t worry all that much about any stats at this level. Defense is probably a better course of action, though some MP or other things couldn’t hurt either. Don’t worry, these are your only hard levels. It gets easier at Lv.10. Make habit of grabbing Signet before you go outside. Not only will it make soloing a lot easier through defense and evasion bonuses, but it will also allow you to rest HP and MP without losing TP, and will also earn you conquest points with which to spend on items.

Valkurm 10-20[edit]

  • Now you can start having large-scale parties and really show-off your support-role skills. By now you have Minne, Minuet, Paeon, Requiem, your first Pastoral, and Light Threnoody. Until 11, you’ll probably use Minne and Minuet all the time, and afterwards, Minuet and Madrigal, to boost everyone’s attack and accuracy. Use Requiem and Threnody at the start of fights, and cure when needed (remember to sub White Mage). Paeon is great for downtime, especially after a long fight and/or if someone has to go away from their keyboard. In your stay this time in Valkurm, you don’t get a number of tiers of spells. Instead, you get a lot of new spells and you get to learn how they all work. At Lv.16, you get Foe Lullaby. This is a super-useful spell that sleeps one target. It’s light-elemental, so it actually can work well against most monsters, including undead and bats. It also consumes no MP and has a ridiculously short casting time of two seconds, so should be used often, even if things aren’t going wrong. Think of it is a quick “stun” effect to stop a monster from casting a spell or using an ability. It won’t always work, but like I said, it doesn’t cost anything, so why not use it? Be aware of your surroundings though, because if something is going wrong, save it, it has a 24-second re-cast timer.

Mid-levels 20-40[edit]

  • Until Lv.25, your party-helping skills are still minimal. However, once you hit that level, you get Ballad. Ballad is an area-effect “Refresh” effect that gives 1 MP every 3 seconds to every person in range of the spell, meaning less downtime, more cure power, and all sorts of stuff like that. Don’t become lazy and think that’s the only song you have to sing, though. Remember to continue all of your other tasks. It may not be easy, but it’s really worth it in the end. At Lv.27, you get Horde Lullaby that has the same casting and recasting timer as Foe Lullaby, but is area-effect. Again, if you can, use it whenever, but save it for problematic scenarios. For the most part, during the rest of the game, you’ll be basically just getting new tiers of already-learned spells, with a couple here and there. You also get Etudes in these levels. Spells that enhance a single stat on a single party member. Until you get Ballad II in later levels, it’s best to use Ballad I and an Etude on a mage.

Your AF Weapon[edit]

  • Though +2 charisma and agility is nice, you’d be a lot better off with Chanter’s Staff or Monster’s Signa. Even if you engage battle, it’s a fairly weak weapon overall. On the other hand, you have to get this to get all your other AF, so you might as well get it. It’s not even a very difficult quest, so finish it early and get your artifact armor later.
  • Talk to Mertaire in Lower Jeuno’s “Merry Minstrel” again. Now, either switch to a higher-level job or bring a higher-level friend along (Lv.55 or higher will do). Go to Ranguemont Pass near San d’Oria. Travel to E-5 in the north-western corner of the map and click on the “Waters of Oblivion” you see. A large Sea Monk named Tros will spawn. Defeat him, then click on the Waters again. After a brief cutscene, you’ll have your Paper Knife. Congratulations! Now dispose of that in the blue bin, if you please.

Mid-High Levels 40-60[edit]

  • More with the fresh tiers of spells, making parties even better (if you can believe it). Bard gets its only non-two-hour ability in these levels: Pianissimo. This ability is amazing in that it can limit any friendly area-effect spell to a single target, allowing for many possibilities. Now you can Mambo/March the Ninja, Ballad/Minne the Paladin, and still keep the other members in the party with Minuet/Madrigal without having to coordinate everyone. During these levels, you also get your artifact armor starting at Lv.52, as do you get your limit breaking quests at Lv.50. At Lv.55 you get Mage’s Ballad II, giving everyone it hits an extra 2 MP per tic. It’s really nice in that now you finally give as much as the other support-role jobs like Corsair and Red Mage. Now you might even find yourself quite capable of pulling. In fact, Bards can pull easily at almost any level. Pull with an Elegy, then sleep the target before the party’s even done the previous one. If all goes well, the party should kill the first monster, then can move immediately to the second one. Once you have Ballad II and party with a proper tank, you probably won’t even have any downtime. The only problem with this strategy is that you might even run out of monsters to fight.

Your Artifact Armor[edit]

  • A solid set of armor. It gives you just what you need. Though you might want to pick out some better things, you still can’t go wrong with some of it. First off at Lv.52 are your boots. They give you a nice boost to evasion, agility (for more evasion), HP, and resist-vs.-wind. The Res-vs.-Wind is only really noticeable in the “resist silence” part it will give. Next up is your AF hat at Lv.54. Mind, more HP, and enmity-down make it a fairly decent piece of armor. It even gives you some parrying skill to avoid even more hits. Lv.56 is your leg pieces. Showing-off another drop to enmity, another boost to HP, and a beautiful +5 to Wind Instrument skill. You’ll be wearing these for a looong time. Not sure what the strength +5 is for, though. Your AF body piece comes as second-last Lv.58. It’s not bad, but you could probably do better through other gear. It only gives a String Instrument skill boost, some vitality, HP, and another drop to enmity. If possible, try getting your Lv.50 JSE instead. Finally, your Lv.60 AF gloves. Singing skill and charisma alone make these gloves great, and the enmity-down and further HP boost just make them icing on the cake.

High Levels 60-75[edit]

  • Your final levels. That didn’t take very long, did it? Fast party invites, making bad parties good and good parties extraordinary. Now you just have to finish up, then you’ll be cruisin’ for those merit parties and end-game scenarios. You still play the same way. You might even continue pulling (see “Mid-High Levels 40-60”) the way you were earlier. With just a few more levels to go, you finally get a couple new spells just to top off your awesomeness. A spell at Lv.71 in case things go wrong, an area-effect Reraise I. It’s especially useful if you have no main White Mage in the party to cast Raises II or III. It’s a great last-ditch effort if things go wrong. It has a 4 second casting time, so use it before people start dying. Another way to save your party comes at Lv.75 with Maiden's Virelai. It charms the target so it won’t keep beating on you. When you hit Lv.75, congratulations!

End-Game[edit]

  • (Please add information about Dynamis, Limbus, Salvage, merit parties, etc.)

Support Jobs[edit]

White Mage[edit]

  • One of two main support jobs you’ll be using all throughout your game. It opens you up with extra support potential, giving you access to cures, ailment-removal spells, Raise, and a large number of others. Sneak and Invisible both come free with this sub as another added bonus.

Black Mage[edit]

  • Generally this is not a useful support job and is only used as a free Warp back to town. Endgame it is useful for several fights where landing Elegy with Elemental Seal is a must. Elemental Seal gives you a very hefty boost to magic accuracy, so the chances of a monster resisting it are slim.

Ninja[edit]

  • Another useful support job choice for Bard. Its only major benefit is the use of one single spell: Utsusemi. Its primary purpose is to allow you to pull easier without taking as many hits, which is really relevant when the monster can run faster than you. Best used when parties cannot afford to cure you. Subbing /NIN also gives you the expanded Monster Radar, making pulling and avoiding unwanted aggro even easier.

Beastmaster[edit]

  • Believe me, it has purposes. It lets you land your songs on enemies a little easier. Since Bard isn’t really required to do any major healing or damage-dealing or the like, your support job is really open to anything. And with Beastmaster subbed, you get Charm from the low level of 1. It’s really only useful when chaining monsters and you accidentally take a link. It’s not as useful of a sub and should only be used for soloing or odd situations.

Red Mage[edit]

  • It’s quite a bit like White Mage, but traded in some of your useful magical spells for slightly more effective songs. How? Red Mage’s exclusive job trait “Fast Cast” can lower your overall casting and recasting time on your spells by roughly two seconds. It also gets Dispel, which gives you two versions of the ability when you can use it at Lv.64. However, with the lower MP and loss of area-effect Cures and ailment-removals, the only other real benefit is some minor curing power.

Corsair[edit]

  • A support-role job subbing a support-role job. It’s not exactly the most ideal sub, but in some situations a weakened version of the rolls will still provide use.

Blue Mage[edit]

  • This support job is similar to a Red Mage one, but ironically has more White Mage-like spells. It is not the ideal support job for a replacement of neither Red Mage nor White Mage. It is, however, a unique support job in its own right that has many advantages and disadvantages like all other possibilities. It isn't recommended to sub Blue Mage to Bard until a minimum level of 32. Many Blue Magic spells give a boost to charisma and other useful stats, and many spells such as Healing Breeze to replace spells that normally only White Mage would provide. It is imperative to note, however, that there are no Cure replacement spells until Lv.60, where one can finally use Wild Carrot. Blue Mage can also become a viable support job to replace Ninja when pulling. Cocoon is a decent alternative to Utsusemi while being able to heal party members between pulls.

Bard as a Support Job[edit]

  • All-rounded jobs, ie: support-role jobs, ironically don't play very much of a role in our lives as support jobs. Bard is one of those. That isn't to say it doesn't have its uses, and certainly not to say it is never used, though. Bard provides a number of very useful enhancing abilities for any main job. You can run to the front-line fighters and give them all an accuracy boost, and then run back to the mages and give yourself and them Ballad. Bard only works as a support job early on, before other support jobs get their useful abilities.

Overview of Job Abilities, Traits, and Spells[edit]

Your Two-Hour Ability[edit]

  • Soul Voice is a really interesting ability. Like a lot of two-hours, it becomes more useful over time. It literally doubles the effectiveness of all songs cast while the effect is active for three minutes. Meaning, of course, songs that are already on there won’t get the effect and you’ll have to re-cast them all. With double the effect, expect some great results from double Minuet or double Madrigal for their attack and accuracy boosts. Having both Ballads active gives everyone 6 MP per tic, allowing everyone to survive longer with almost 1 cure’s worth of MP every 3 seconds. Double ‘March’ for about +40% Haste, allowing everyone to attack tons faster. This is really relevant with a Ninja tank, using Utsusemi a lot more often. Like I said, it gets better as you level up, because you get better spells. Combined with the job meritable Lv.75 job ability Troubadour, you can get all that for double duration as well, which also means you can separate your songs on individual party members. Again, even more relevant with the other Lv.75 meritable ability Nightingale which cancels out Troubadour’s increase to casting time.
  • If you do have access to Troubadour, with good timing, you can extend a Soul Voiced buff from 2 minutes to 6 minutes. Since Troubadour lasts 1 minute, and Soul Voice lasts 3 minutes, you can easily stack up to 4 buffs with a Soul Voice duration of 6 minutes. To do this, simply use Soul Voice then immediately cast any two buffs you want to use. For example, double Minuet. Then you can also immediately do double Ballad for mages. Now, watch your recast timers. Once Soul Voice nears the 1:58:10 mark its time to recast your buffs before they wear. Use Troubadour then recast your first set of buffs, immediately followed by the second set of buffs. If you act quickly and have a little bit of Fast Cast, you can make this trick work.

Job Abilities[edit]

  • Pianissimo is Bard's first and only non-meritable job ability not including its two-hour, and it's acquired at Lv.45. Pianissimo is a musical term meaning "to play softly", which suits it because what it does is limits the next area-effect buff song to a single target. To be frank, this opens up a number of possibilities for Bards, now being able to further customize the way they play. It used to be that Bards had a hard time giving Paladins "Ballad" and it was pointless to give Ninjas "Mambo", but now both of those just became easy enough to not neglect. This also means that if one character needs Haste, while another needs Accuracy, and another needs Attack, it can be much more easily split. Seeing as how this job ability rests on a 15-second recast timer, it can be used once per song (whose casting time is 8 seconds, but with intermediate frames is around 10-12 seconds). It also lasts 1 minute unless a song is used, meaning you can use it and then wait a second or two if you really need to, then get songs off in quicker succession. Songs have a general duration of 2 minutes, or 120 seconds, allowing for 8 different songs to be used with this job ability, meaning the possibilities are nearly endless. Please note that this does not work with Horde Lullaby, only friendly songs.
  • Nightingale is one of two job abilities Bard can get from merits. What it does is halves both the casting and recasting time of all songs for its entire one-minute duration. Though pretty irrelevant by itself, with its partner song Troubadour, it’s amazing. It resides on a twenty-minute re-cast that can be brought down to ten with full merits.
  • Troubadour increases song casting time by an extra 50%, but literally doubles their duration. If combined with Nightingale, it will have only three-quarters of the normal casting time, and still one-half of the normal re-casting time. But now with Troubadour, you don’t have to cast it nearly as often. The effect lasts one minute, same as Nightingale, and can also stack with your two-hour ability to give you one of the most ultimate powers ever. Also like Nightingale, it has a twenty minute recast that can be brought down to ten with merits.

Job Traits[edit]

  • Resist Silence is the only trait Bard gets. It gets four tiers starting at Lv.5 and acquiring the last one at Lv.65. Since Bard is solely a support-role job that works completely through singing songs (which are classified under ‘spells’), losing out on the ability to do so would make you completely useless. Each tier will increase the chance to resist the effects of Silence just a little bit more, and if it doesn’t, it will still greatly reduce its duration.

Bard Songs (Spells)[edit]

  • Minne has four tiers that all increase the defense of anyone in its effect. It’s not as useful as other spells, but is nice to use until you get Madrigal in parties. Any instruments that boost Minne will increase the defense given.
  • Minuet also has four tiers, all of which increasing the attack power of anyone in its effect range. Bards use this song extensively, and for good reason. Minuet IV has a hard cap of +66 attack power. Not a small amount. Any instruments that boost Minuet will increase the attack given.
  • Paeon has five tiers throughout the game. Each one gives a “Regen” effect equal to its tier number (I gives 1, V gives 5, etc). This is just the soft, base number, though, and can be changed with instruments. With the Ebony Harp, it will increase HP per tic by 1, and Ebony Harp +1 will increase it by 2. Having two Paeons on at once can alleviate a lot of mage’s healing during downtime.
  • Requiem is a monster-targeted spell that deals damage over time. It’s single-target and has fairly long range, so it can be used for pulling as a last resort. Requiem has six tiers, each dealing more damage over time than the last. It’s not a noticeable amount, but it can still help. Remember you can only have two songs on your enemies at a time.
  • Ailment-Resisting Songs are pretty useless. They’re not completely useless, but since you can only have two songs active at once, there’s almost no way you’re going to use one of them. On the other hand, they do have cool effect animations. These songs include Herb Pastoral (poison), Scop’s Operetta (silence), Fowl Aubade (sleep), Goblin Gavotte (bind), Gold Capriccio (petrification), Puppet’s Operetta (also silence), and Warding Round (curse).
  • Threnody songs lower the target’s resistance to certain elements. For example, using Blizzard with Ice Threnody would increase its damage and lower the chance of it being resisted. Similarly, using Paralyze with the same Threnody will increase the chance of it sticking, as opposed to being resisted. All-in-all, a useful line of spells. Like on your allies, remember that you can only have two songs on your enemies, and Threnodies also do not stack with each other.
  • Madrigal is your accuracy-boosting line of songs. As you level up, you get only two tiers of this spell, but they’re both very widely-used. Any instruments that boost Madrigal will increase the accuracy obtained.
  • Mambo, like Madrigal, only has two tiers and both are named something different. They enhance the evasion of everyone in the area effect. With that said, it’s only really useful when your main tank is a Ninja. Any instruments that increase the effect of Mambo will increase the evasion they give.
  • Lullaby puts enemies to sleep, a lot like a realistic lullaby. There’s only two Lullabies in the game, but they’re both a pair of the most useful ones ever. Foe Lullaby is single-target, and Horde Lullaby is area-effect. They both have a wicked two-second casting timer and are both light-elemental, so they’re more effective than any other form of sleep in the game. Mary’s Horn (or anything else that increases the effect of Lullaby) will simply increase the sleep duration.
  • Etudes are single-target, single-stat buffs for any one member (at a time) in the party. If your party has a Thief, increase his dexterity. If your party has a Black Mage, increase his intelligence. If your party has a Paladin, increase his vitality. There are two tiers of these spells, each with individual stat-boosts.
  • Carols increase the resistance to specific elements. Unlike the ailment-resisting songs, these actually have a purpose. When fighting the avatars, or other serious single-element-geared targets, you can use these songs to greatly reduce the damage or effect of any spell of that element, including other songs.
  • Ballad is every party’s best friend. Though for the most part hindered until its second tier at Lv.55, it’s still quite useful giving 1 MP per tic. The second tier gives 2 MP per tic. Unfortunately, once you get Ballad II, your Etudes will be pretty much useless. This is one of your best spells, but don’t neglect your others.
  • Magic Finale is a Dispel, which removes a beneficial effect from an enemy. On the same page you found this guide (i.e., the Bard page), there’s a great guide to tell you how to dispel effects effectively and what monster abilities to look out for. For example, a Crawler uses “Cocoon”. That boosts its defense by 50%. You’re going to want to dispel that right away.
  • Mazurka has two tiers- Raptor and Chocobo. They both enhance your movement speed; though not up to that of a Raptor or Chocobo respectively. They’re a nice way of getting around, but isn’t a great spell for fleeing, since getting attacked will turn the effect off. Then again, when combined with Foe or Horde Lullaby, it can work that way.
  • Elegy slows the target’s attack speed. There’s two tiers, Battlefield and Carnage. Carnage has higher accuracy and overall slow effect. Unlike Requiem, Elegies don’t take HP per tic, so these are much better for pulling.
  • Goddess‘s Hymnus is the Reraise spell I talked about earlier. It’s an area-effect Reraise that takes four seconds to cast. It can certainly save your party, especially if your party has no other way of Raising, or those with Raise don’t have Raise II or III (namely everyone who isn’t a White Mage main).
  • Maiden‘s Virelai charms the monster. It won’t give the control a Beastmaster’s Charm gives, but it can still save the party if you link or aggro (as long as they’re below “Very Tough”). Any monster under Bard’s Charm will attack whatever is attacking the Bard.
  • Adventurer‘s Dirge is one of two meritable songs. It reduces the target party member’s enmity by -3 per upgrade, up to -15. It’s not ultimately useful, but it’s great for anyone who wants to deal that extra damage without holding back. Unlike the slightly more useful job abilities you can merit into, this spell doesn’t have a ludicrous cool down timer, so it’s up to you whether or not you want them over this. Remember, -15 enmity means 15% more damage or curing someone can do before they get hate.
  • Foe Sirvente is one of two meritable songs. It will reduce the target party member’s enmity loss by 5% (up to 25% fully-upgraded). Over time, anyone with hate will slowly lose that hate, and anyone who gets damage taken will lose hate even faster. This is especially noticeable with high-spike enmity like Provoke or Flash, and makes a great spell if your end-game merit parties mostly involve Ninja tanks, who generally have much lower enmity than Paladin or other tanks. Like Dirge, it doesn’t have a ludicrous cool-down, so it’s up to you whether or not these songs are worth meriting over Nightingale and Troubadour. Those two aren’t as effective unless they’re both fully merited together, so it’s really a matter of choice of these two or those two.

See Also[edit]

The How-To Guides are user created guides editable by anyone. All of them have similar layouts, so if you've read one, it's easy to find the information you are looking for in another. And if you are a newcomer to this game, the Beginner guide may teach you a few things you didn't already know.

This article uses material from the "How-To_Guide:_Bard" article on FFXIclopedia and is licensed under the CC-BY-SA License.