Bard is one of the twelve classes in Elder Tale, and one of the three Weapon Attack classes. This class specializes in using magical songs to increase the stats of the other members of an attack party.
There are two localized variants of this class: Skald on the Scandinavian server, and Tribal on the Oceanic server.
Although categorized as a Weapon Attack class, Bards lack the offensive power of Assassins and Swashbucklers, and their equippable weapons are limited to lightweight one-handed weapons, musical instruments, bows, and a select few types of two-handed weapons.
Despite these limitations, Bards' spell-songs are the reason why they fall under the Weapon Attack category. Spell-songs have a wide range of possible effects: some deal direct damage; others inflict debuffs such as Sleep, Slowed, and Paralyzed; yet others enhance the party's abilities by increasing action speed, attack and defense specs, and rendering them immune to debuffs. These powerful abilities are how Bards fight—even if their personal damage is low, a skilled Bard can amplify the party's fighting ability much more effectively than having just another damage-dealer.
That said, this class has a high learning curve and is tricky to use. Because they have low personal damage, they're difficult to use as a solo player. To balance their indefinite duration (only removable by the caster), spell-songs have relatively low numbers on their effects, making them less useful in short battles. Learning how to properly use this class, gauging which songs to use and when to switch them, requires insight and experience gained over many battles. This makes it a relatively unpopular class and in turn, means that there are less people making guides on how to play it, perpetuating the loop. Skilled high-leveled Bards, like with Enchanters, are rare to find.
Bards have their chance to shine in high-difficulty battles such as raids, and some even say that a raid party's success chance is directly tied to having a Bard around. First-class guilds that understand the class' potential even go out of their way to recruit promising rookie Bards so they can be trained up as powerful raiders.
There are three main builds for this class: the Concertmaster (buffing spell-song specialization), the Prima Actor (special attack specialization), and the Virtuoso (debuffing spell-song specialization that forgoes all damage).
This build was developed to support raid parties, as continuous support songs can affect up to twenty-four players (the size of a full raid), not just the caster's own party. However, it is still usable in smaller-scale battles by allowing the party to maintain its pace over a longer period of time.
Concertmasters assist allies and draw out their full potential by using supportive skills like War Conductor to increase allies' action speed; Curtain Drops to lower aggro; Battle Conduct and Repeating Note to cue in a concentrated attack; and Shifting Tact to lower skill cooldowns. Micromanaging these skills to maintain perfect uptime and seamlessly transition when needed requires a lot of focus, so Concertmasters aren't expected to contribute much personal damage.
In terms of weapons, most Concertmasters pick the cheapest weapon for their level—usually a bow so they can attack no matter where they are. During battle, they leave their characters on auto-attack and focus on their allies' status screens. Some hardcore players, during the game era, even had timers on the side to keep track of skill durations.
A build that aims on maximizing the player's damage potential, using skills such as Sword-Speed Etude and Onslaught Prelude to increase close-combat strength and Pavane Dance to boost evasion rate.
The attack method differs from player-to-player, but they can be roughly divided into three types: a weapon-based type that continuously attacks while using Resonance Beat; a song-based type that uses debuffing songs (usually Ballad of the Slowpoke Snail) to weaken enemies; and a hybrid type that switches between the two as the situation calls for it.
For the most part, weapon-types equip powerful two-handed weapons to maximize damage from Grand Finale, coupling it with buffs and other attack skills like Duet to further boost damage potential. Meanwhile, song-types use special attack spell-songs which have both melee-range and wider-range effects on top of dealing minor area-of-effect damage; as a result, players of this type often take to the front lines to scatter the effects of their songs across the battlefield. Its main weakness is that it is more effective against multiple enemies, so its effectiveness drops considerably against single enemies.
But the real problem this build faces is the number of naysayers that will criticize you for running it. Being able to take comments like "If you wanted to be a DPSer, pick another class" and "You're wasting your skills on yourself" in stride is perhaps this build's most powerful skill.
Takayama Misa uses this build.
Focusing on maximizing the effects of their spell-songs and weakening enemies, this build abandons any pretense of dealing damage. In fact, many "true" Virtuosos firmly draw the line at wielding anything that isn't an instrument; according to them, Virtuosos who use weapons like swords or bows are really Prima Actors, even if those weapons have effects that give them instrument-like bonuses.
Typical spell-songs used by this build are Ballad of the Slowpoke Snail to slow enemies, Lullaby of the Mermaid in Moonlight to put enemies to sleep, and Dirge of the Trapped Lion for instant death. These songs have wide ranges of effect and can lock down multiple enemies at once, and because two spell-songs can be used at once, Virtuosos can use a continuous support song to bolster allies' abilities at the same time.
This build is not without its demerits, however. Firstly, while songs have wide ranges, they are centered on the caster. To get maximum effect out of these songs, Bards need to put themselves in the middle of enemy groups—a very risky move considering they have few defensive abilities. Secondly, while these songs have powerful effects, they don't deal direct damage. Trying to defeat enemies with spell-songs alone is time-consuming and inefficient.
As a result, Virtuosos are wholly unsuited for solo play. At the same time, they're difficult to make use of in raids. Song range may be wide, but this is still a Weapon Attack class; they don't have the range of a Magic Attacker, so they need to put themselves in danger by heading to the front lines. To effectively participate in raids, being geared to defend against attacks and having tight coordination with allies is a must.
For this reason, Virtuosos work best in parties of four to six people, particularly when paired with guildmates that know each other well. Because of the level of precision needed to run this build, very few Bards use it.
- Note: This section will be heavily revised in the future.
For general information on how skills work in Elder Tale, see Skills.
Bards have the unique ability to use spell-songs, which have myriad effects and remain in effect until toggled off or switched out for another song. Out of the fifteen total songs that can be learned, up to two can be used at a time. The level of variety and potential combinations that can be created with these songs make Bards equal to—and some cases, better than—an Enchanter's support abilities.
|Anthem of the Affectionate Mother||[Continuous Support Song] [Recovery Support] Increases rate of HP recovery for allies. Although the amount of HP recovered per second is far less than a Druid's "pulsation recovery" ability, it has a similar effect, and can be used in conjunction with their skills. Also, the effect lasts until the cover song is switched, while Druid skills are finite in duration. When in use, a green note appears every two minutes. It can also be used outside of battle to shorten break times.|
|Ballad of the Slowpoke Snail||[Special Attack] [Move Obstruction] An offensive spell-song that deals minor damage-over-time and decreases the speed of the target and other monsters around it. The damage range is surprisingly large and can trap groups of 5 or 6 enemies at a time. However, this skill garners more Hate, and you can become targeted if you are too careless with this skill. In situations where this isn't a concern, such as solo play or a party without a tank, this can be used to your advantage by dragging enemies around and wearing them down with ranged attacks. It seems there are anecdotes of wearing down a high level boss with only the ballad. While in use, a distorted spiral effect will appear around the target.|
|Circular Carol||[Continuous Support Song] [Attack Support] When the caster's ally casts magical attacks, follows up with an additional attack in the form of a rainbow beam. This skill maximizes the damage potential of magical attackers.|
|Coward's Fugue||[Continuous Support Song] [Aggro Management] Reduces Hate an ally receives when attacking by 5~15%, depending on skill proficiency. As proficiency rises, the percentage reduced increases. It is a powerful skill, powerful enough that it would accidentally decrease a tank's ability to aggro opponents. Now, Bards can choose whom not to affect with this skill. While in use, it creates dark blue notes that appear slowly.|
|Dancing Peacock Melody||[Continuous Support Song] [Status Buff] Raises the agility of the members of the caster's party, helping them avoid enemy attacks.|
|Dirge of the Trapped Lion||[Special Attack] An attack spell-song that traps enemies in a certain area and continuously deals damage. Although the damage dealt is low, as with all spell-songs, the damage builds up as you continue singing and the effect of an instant death is very powerful. The impact of an opponent who was fighting vigorously suddenly collapsing and dying has a very strong effect, and has given this skill the name of “Dying Song” and “Death Voices,” inspiring fear. When this skill is being used, a mark of a lion appears over the target’s head and a stinging chain wraps around them.|
|Fawn March||[Continuous Support Song] [Buffing] Increases allies' movement speed.|
|Lullaby of the Mermaid in Moonlight||[Special Attack] [Debuffing] A support curse song that puts the target enemy and those around it to Sleep. It is set so that the difference in level between the target and caster will affect how long it takes for them to fall asleep, so the effect is not instantaneous, and you might be countered if the target can see through the time it has before the effect occurs and cause a "Sleep Lock": "Attack right before effect occurs" then Sleep -> (Get hit) Wake up -> Immediate Sleep, rinse and repeat. When used, an aqua-blue ripple effect will occur and an image of a singing mermaid will appear over the head of the caster.|
|Nocturne of Meditation||[Continuous Support Song] [Recovery Support] Allies' MP, which is usually not restored during battle, recovers slowly. Although the rate is slower than when you are resting, its ability in the long run cannot be underestimated. In use, a cool-colored note (purple/blue) appears from your body.|
|Onslaught Prelude||[Continuous Support Song] [Attack Support] Shorten cooldown times of your allies' skills. It is a basic song used in battle to decrease the cooldown of magic and weapon attacks. Popular skill that is known to be refreshing to hear.|
|Pavane Dance||[Continuous Support Song] [Defensive Support] Increases the agility and evasion rate of allies. It allows Guardians, who usually don't have high evasion, to take advantage of it the way Monks do. In use, a yellow-colored note appears from the Bard's body.|
|Rainbow Arabesque||[Continuous Support Song] [Attack Support] Grants your allies an attribute such as fire or ice. This way, you can compound on an enemy's weak point. There are six attributes in total (if you don't have any selected, it is the seven colors of the rainbow), and you could click on which one use. After the Catastrophe, you can select it with your mind. A note of the corresponding color appears, and the weapons have a different effect depending on the attribute.|
|Sword-Speed Etude||[Continuous Support Song] [Attack Support] Raises the weapon attack speed and accuracy of surrounding allies. You can immediately switch cover songs if necessary as long as you have a prerequisite song prepared [TL: will revisit]. However, having two cover songs active reduces MP. When this song is in use, a red-colored note appears from the Bard's body. Additionally, a sword icon appears over the allies under this effect.|
|Träumerei of the Bear Cub's Dreams||[Special Attack] [Debuffing] A support curse song that gives the target and enemies within a certain area around it a Charm effect. A target that fails to resist it will be drawn to the Bard, advancing unsteadily. Because the effect wears off upon taking damage, allies will attack all at once. While in use, this skill creates a teddy bear turning a music box above the user's head, and the target has a spinning yellow star over its head. "Keep turning the music box" is a rough way of saying "Fool" in Elder Tale.|
|Venomoid Tarantella||[Continuous Support Song] [Recovery Support] Speeds up recovery from afflictions. Although you do not cure it immediately, you can cut down the normal time it takes to recover from them (around half). While some afflictions cannot be cured with this song, it is still an important skill for Raids. This skill becomes more effective by raising skill rank, so many seek the Secret scroll for this skill.|
|War Conductor||[Support] Decreases your own movement speed to continue supporting allies from behind while they go on ahead. Because it is an auto-attack, incantations are shortened, and strength increases. It creates an effect of a person waving a baton overhead.|
|Curtain Drop||[Aggro Management] Decreases the Hate of one ally. The number isn't shown, but because the enemy switches targets quite quickly, the amount of Hate reduced must be appropriately large. You can evade attack by using it on yourself, or you can use it on an ally at a higher MP cost. This creates an effect of a curtain wrapping around the target.|
|Repeated Notes||[Attack Support] Immediately repeats an attack/skill on the same target. However, you will be paralyzed for a short while after activating this skill. Furthermore, this attracts quite a bit of Hate, so using it too hastily can result in a disaster.|
|Shifting Tact||[Support] For a short duration (approx. 10 seconds), drastically decrease an ally's skill cooldowns. At Elementary-level, cooldowns are shortened by 7%, and the Secret-level scroll, which raises the effect to 32%, is in high demand. A metronome appears over the ally, and a "katchikatchikachikachikachi..." sound effect is heard.|
|Decrescendo||[Aggro Management] Become paralyzed for a while and decrease Hate slowly. While you can dispel this effect at any time, the amount of Hate that decreases is in proportion to the duration held. Although you cannot use any other skills during this time without dispelling the effect, cover songs are still in play, so you're still contributing to the fight.|
|Performance||Perform on the streets or in taverns to earn money. The amount you make depends on your skill and Luck.|
|Bard Style||Increases your endurance.|
|Typical Props||Special ability that allows you to know the lore behind the songs you learn as a Bard and understand their views.|
Skills whose effects haven't been translated yet:
- Impromptu (アンプロンプチュ)
- Rondo of the Wind Maiden (風纏う乙女のロンド)
- Robust Pastoral (堅牢なるパストラル)
- Harp-Bow Style (ハープボウ・スタイル)
- Bard Style
- Blade Singer Style
- Troll's Carol (輪唱のキャロル)
- Router's Song
From the Log Horizon TRPG Supplement: Into the Theldesia [Testing New Builds (1)].
|Percussion||Keyboard||String 1||String 2||Wind 1||Wind 2|
Average HP and MP Chart
For a more accurate representation of a character's values based on the quality of their equipment, the following multipliers are a good rule of thumb:
- Solo player without good equipment: 96% of their level average
- Average adventurer in an ordinary guild: 100%
- Adventurer in a wealthy and decently-skilled guild: 106%
- Adventurer in a raiding guild: 116%
- Adventurer in a top guild: 125%
|Approximate values for Average HP, Average MP|
Weapon Attack Classes
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Mamare Touno's Log Horizon References, Bard Characteristics and Builds https://ncode.syosetu.com/n5313bu/18/
- ↑ atwiki.jp, Bard https://w.atwiki.jp/loghorizon/pages/62.html
- ↑ Log Horizon HP/MP Chart, https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1cURlgfASO6ZH34vgid58zcuO1dqLghJ_RAExMPMAjug/edit?usp=sharing