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Military Parade
Military Parade
a DD BRD Guide



"For centuries... we have been forced to the back of battle...

...used...and tossed aside.

We can offer more than simple hymns to enhance the weapon wielders who thirst for blood.

We also have a thirst.

Thirst for approval...for acceptance.

We will no longer be pushed away from the front of battle...

We will be heard.


The revolution starts here!!!"




Introduction
This is my take on a guide that is meant for the discussion and exploration of the offensive perspective of a supporting job, that job being, obviously, Bard. Fortunately, I need not explain basic Bard mechanics in this guide, as the main BRD guide that goes into Bard's main support role covers a lot of that, though things will be covered and referenced to an extent.

For reference, the guide is here -- "You Spoony Guide! - A Troubadour's Libretto" -- started by Cantontai with information collaborated from him, Hidegger, Sigfreid, and myself, as well as bits from the community helping out. Unfortunately, the former three people no longer seem to play, which left me in charge of it.

Cantontai had originally planned to make a DD BRD Guide of his own with me, but that seemed to flop. So when I was looking at the main BRD guide, I was thinking of implementing a DD section. You'll notice a few other of the other guides for mage or support jobs cover a little bit of the combat aspects of that job. However, I felt I wanted the DD section for BRD to be separate from the main stuff that actually really matters for BRD's desired role in endgame content. I wanted it to be a little more diverse with its equipment sets too. Because of this, I made a separate thread so it didn't get jumbled up with all of the main BRD stuff, so that discussions in the comments were less confusing. This also gives the DD portion more space to work with, without having to worry about overclouding the main guide, if it got to that.

I don't expect the guide to be super long, it shouldn't have to cover much in too much detail as far as job and combat mechanics are concerned. Bard's main uses in content from its main supporting role are covered in the other guide, and Bard isn't intended to be much of an offensive job per say, so not a staggering amount of information needs to be prepared in explanation for Bard's innate tools for combat. Thus, not a lot is left for me to go over...but, most people come to guides seeking answers to questions pertaining to mainly one thing -- equipment.

I do expect lots of equipment sets, which is my basic vision for this guide. I want this to be a central hub with diverse and up-to-date equipment sets for BRD's combat uses and needs. Despite my rant of lacking info, I still expect this guide will still go through some frequently asked questions, as well as some ins and outs of things to take note of in application for life as a DD Bard. The equipment sets will probably overpower the info though, so on the face of it, it will seem like a pretty basic guide, but with a lot to take away.

I feel that most people explore Bard's offensive capabilities when they start to become more passionate about the job, which excites me! However, if one of your only jobs is Bard and you may be seeking to level a more DD heavy job, gearing your Bard isn't a bad place to start before moving onto real jobs, since DD'ing with Bard can be very simple. But on the other hand, DD'ing with Bard can also be very complex too, depending on how you approach it! Or, you may be picking up DD'ing with BRD for some other reason entirely.

Whatever that reason is, here we go, let's push Bard beyond its limits! I hope you enjoy!





Disclaimer!

I am not responsible for any Bards that slack on songs and other bardly duties because they're swinging their weapon around! Be smart and perceptive before deciding to engage :)






Job Traits, Job Abilities and Merits

Bard doesn't get a whole lot by itself, so there's not a lot of info here, but still a few tidbits worth mentioning


Job Traits

Fencer:
"Increases rates of critical hits when wielding with the main hand only. Grants a TP bonus to weapon skills."
Bard's only offensive job-trait. We get Fencer II, so this is Critical hit rate+6% and TP Bonus+300. The text on this can sound a little misleading with the second half, but to clarify, both of Fencer's bonuses, only apply when you're single-wielding. If you're dual-wielding, Fencer is in no way activated and you gain no bonuses from it. Still, for the times you single-wield, the TP Bonus is awesome for Rudra's Storm, and it also helps out Evisceration in addition to the crit. rate. Solid job trait for Bard to just naturally have when you're single-wielding.






Job Abilities

♪ "Keeping the Rhythm"


When solo, one thing you should always remember is this: Pianissimo is your best friend. Most people, if not all, are probably familiar with what the job ability Pianissimo does, "Limits area of effect of next song to a single target." However, it was changed in an update to give an additional effect along with this, that any songs cast under Pianissimo have their casting time reduced by 50%, and its JA recast time was also lowered to 5 seconds. There is no cap on this, it bypasses the 80% casting reduction cap, there is no strange way it's calculated, it's very simple. Whatever your casting time would have been (factoring in equipment etc), is straight cut in half. This is extremely useful by yourself for putting up songs quickly and safely, as there's no detriment to limiting casting range to yourself. It can help you to "keep the rhythm," if you will. The Job Point category for Pianissimo even furthers its songs' casting reduction by an extra 2% reduction per point, for a possibility of an extra 20%, totaling a reduction of 70% of your end result before factoring this in. Never underestimate the use of Pianissimo.


Tenuto may see a little more use, it's not super useful, but it's there if you feel you need different DD songs than the rest of the party. So, you may freely buff without overwriting songs what is best suited for you individually in that situation. Maybe if you're slacking on Accuracy more than they are for instance... just take care not to mess up the rotation of what the party wants! The Job Point category for Tenuto also increases songs' duration that are cast with Tenuto up, but only on yourself. Can be useful when solo, however you can't as flexibly put up new songs, you have to Tenuto each time you would want to overwrite an existing Tenuto song. Plus, Pianissimo has much more use when solo, and you can't have both up at the same time.



Merits


Group 1
5/5 Madrigal and 5/5 Minuet.
Others could be useful in some instances, but in comparison to these two, are pretty unattractive.

Group 2
5/5 Nightingale & 5/5 Troubadour

Generally, these are the two we just pop when the timer rolls back around. Realistically, that's about all we'll use them for, to get the most out of Soul Voice or Marcato songs, and obviously, instant songs with longer duration means less time casting, and thus more time to DD and more DPS. However, as well as being a compliment to negating Troubadour's increased song spellcasting time, sometimes being conscientious to save Nightingale to take advantage of its insta-cast properties can be incredibly useful for reapplying songs in a rough situation. While this could also be said about just playing support on Bard for a party, you may realize it moreso when you're actually in the front line, or if you're solo when some situations may be noticeably more detrimental to you. Troubadour's increased magic accuracy of songs is also helpful of course, landing Elegy is crucial if you're tanking, as well as your other debuffs.




Typically, these are merits you should already have, whether you're intent is to DD on BRD or not. For other general categories, choices are more blatant, such as maxing Dagger. For attributes, STR/DEX/CHR at 15/15 is most optimal. You may already have CHR maxed if you're a career Bard, but it also helps a bit when popping off Mordant Rime, and STR/DEX are obvious DD attributes.







Support Jobs

Since we don't get a lot of traits and abilities beyond our songs to further our damage dealing and damage mitigation, we rely a lot on our choice of support job to make up for these weaknesses. Because of this, the following will also be a wall of text!




Ninja


Dancer



White Mage


Red Mage


Rune Fencer


Thief









Weapons & Instruments

Evidently, because our main/sub slots are tied with pieces to deal damage, you be sure to change up your macros or rig up your SpellCast or GearSwap so that your normal Bard sets don't swap out your main/sub slot. This would include things like Debuffing, Precast, Buffing, Curing and some others that could swap out your main slots and lose you your TP. On few occasions though, the swap into your main weapon may be worth the tradeoff, for example, swapping into your debuff staff while tanking for lack of not being able to land Elegy.




Daggers







The king of daggers for Bard. This is Bard's mythic weapon. Not only is it a superb weapon for songs, it is also Bard's best weapon for dealing damage. This is accomplished by activating Mythic Aftermath Lv. 3 with a 3000 TP Mordant Rime and then riding out AM3 on more back to back Mordant Rimes. In some shorter fights, it can fall behind other options during the journey to 3000 TP for Aftermath activation. This is also true if you have minimum Haste buffs as well, for instance, if you were to be singing something else over March for some specific reason with no other Hastes, perhaps when tanking a particularly difficult mob when solo. Do not let these turn you off to Carnwenhan, because most often you'll be utilizing Marches, tremendously decreasing the time it takes to switch on AM3, widening the gap Carnwenhan's power has over all other options. It helps your damage not only in just swinging it around, but its 50% Song duration bonus squeezes more out of Marcato and Soul Voice songs for furtherance of DPS.




Augments
Attack+20
Double Attack+4%
DMG+16


Obtained from Alluvion Skirmishes. With the right augments, like the ones shown above, this dagger is your best non-mythic mainhand dagger. Its augment pool is rather large due to Skirmish's random augment variety, but at least you can influence what group you get depending on which stones you use to augment. Unaugmented it's decent, but not that great, at least compared to these other top daggers. Have fun pouring money into stones!




Obtained from a Unity NM, Mephitas, by using 50 Mephitas's Claws to upgrade Ternion Dagger NQ, which both drop from the NM. This dagger has a very low delay while still maintaining a decently high base DMG, with a good amount of Accuracy and Triple Attack. This is pretty much your best offhand dagger at any time, it's really good.



Augments
Occasionally attacks twice
Critical hit rate+4%


Obtained from Tchakka in Foret de Hennetiel Wildskeeper Reive, Atoyac is fair when unaugmented, but with Wildskeeper Reive augment selection, it makes it a very good dagger for TP gain. The Occasionally attacks twice augment is roughly a 40% proc-rate, which is very good. The best secondary augment to choose is, generally, Crit. rate+4%, which also compliments Evisceration. Store TP+5 is also nice to enhance TP gain a little bit further. Attack+20 is good, but not as useful as the latter two. Since Atoyac has a lower base DMG, it is best used in the offhand when Dual-Wielding and mainhanding a higher base DMG dagger, to still take advantage of OAT's TP gain. Ternion+1 is bit better than Atoyac as a whole, but aside from that, Atoyac is a great offhand until you get Ternion+1.





Mandau doesn't give much of a "wow" factor as it did in the past for Bard, despite being a relic weapon. It has a low base dmg, and Mercy Stroke is of little use to Bard nowadays compared to other weapon skills. Still, it's not entirely useless, Mandau is very good still, as it is competitive with other high end daggers. Its low delay, triple damage proc, and additional effect of Poison with great potency aren't things to be forgotten either. Mandau is sometimes better for a mainhand dagger, but it's reliant on your target's defense. If you're deprived of Attack, Mandau's Attack+40 makes it the better weapon in that scenario. Most often, other options are better than Mandau though. Mandau's uses are too few to warrant going through relic acquisition for it, if you don't have it already.





The empyrean weapon Twashtar. Unfortunately for Bard, it's not as good as it once was, comparatively speaking. The fact that we can naturally obtain Rudra's Storm now is what kills it from being a top weapon. Twashtar is a good option if you already have it, but it's beaten by everything above and a few of the daggers below that are easy to obtain. It still gives a massive DEX boost, has a low delay, and most importantly, gives Aftermath for Rudra's Storm. So, still a "good" weapon, but not worth doing from scratch for anything really. The only thing it really may have use for situationally is being the best non-mythic weapon for Abyssea, but... that's Abyssea.


izhiikoh
Obtained from the Foret de Hennetiel Delve's boss, Dakuwaqa. This is one of the better mainhand daggers you can use until you get better, specifically a good augmented Ipetam, or Carnwenhan. Mandau also sometimes tends to be a bit better as well, if you have it.

Odium
Obtained from Vagary. Much like Izhiikoh, also one of the better mainhand daggers to use until you get one of the more optimal daggers.

leisilonu +2
Obtained from using Transmelange on Leisilonu +1, which is obtained from Skirmish. Decent when its bare, but with Skirmish's random augment system, you can get things like Double Attack, DMG+, Attack, WS DMG+ and some other stuff. With really good augments, it can be close in competition with the weapons mentioned. Good alternative if you've happened to stumble across a a Leisilonu in Skirmish and have a Translurry+Transmelange to spare.

Rhadamanthus
Obtained from Vagary. Not super great, just has solid base DMG, and Waltz Potency as a plus for /DNC'ing.

vanir knife
Obtained from The Celestial Nexus II. Pretty high base DMG, good option to use if you get one from a run and don't have one of the better daggers.

levante dagger
Obtained from Trial by Wind II. Silence effect has some utility purposes, decent alternative dagger for damage too if one dropped to you and you're looking for daggers to use until you get some of the better ones.

nanti knife +1
Crafted, can be purchased on the AH, if you have deep pockets then this is a really solid choice dagger to start off with. Same could be said with the NQ version.

Sabebus

Augments
Path A: DMG+3, Attack+10, STR+7
Path B: DMG+3, Accuracy+10, DEX+7
Path C: Double Attack+3%, Attack+10, Evasion+10


Obtained from the Delve NM Ironbeak Inguza. Fair to start with by itself, Path A augment seems to be the best DMG-wise of the three. Path C also compliments Sabebus's natural evasion boost very nicely. Still, wouldn't worry about which Path too much. There's plenty of better options for daggers, so you're probably better off not dumping your Airlixirs into this, unless you want a weapon with high Evasion.

homestead dagger
Purchased with bayld from the Peaceekeeper's Coalition. Easily obtainable which makes it nice to start off with. Not to mention, this is your best dagger to use in Reives, even better than Carnwenhan.

eminent dagger
Purchased with Sparks of Eminence from Records of Eminence NPCs. Very very stupidly easy to obtain. Latent effect is activated when TP is below 100%. Typically your best starting point.

blitto needle
Obtained from the SKCNM Divine Punishers, pretty cheap AH dagger with insanely low delay, can get it if you don't have sparks yet or need an offhand dagger,

legato dagger
Obtained from the SKCNM Kindred Spirits, also a cheap AH dagger, and you may already have this for buffing anyways.








Instruments

There's good ammo pieces available to Bard, but let's take a look at some particular instruments too.



Linos offers a very wide array of DD-purposed augments for Bard. This great part is that its non-Rare, so you can carry as many as you'd like. Again, this is from Alluvion Skirmish, which means it abides by the random augment system, so you may not get perfect augments, or even the right augments at first, but I'll go over some alternatives later on. Down further, you'll see full augment combinations in the equipment sets. You can get Attack or Accuracy+20 on it, Weapon skill damage+, Double Attack, Quadruple Attack, Haste, and a wide array of other things. Take that, other jobs!



Being the relic instrument, the trait we're all drawn to on this is All Songs +4. Of course, this will be of great benefit to your songs, and your offensive capabilities by extension. I won't mention any other instruments in this section just for their song bonuses, thought I would address Gjallarhorn's main use before going on to point out its massive CHR boost, which also makes it a really good option for Mordant Rime if you don't have a good Linos.



Simply just for its extra songs, you know the empyrean harp will not only help the damage of your DDs that you buff tremendously, given the situation, but also yourself. You'll notice, too, that with more songs, this will open some doors for you in your solo adventures.

angel lyre
Very generous amount of Haste given its easy obtainability, can be very helpful in TP sets if you need the Haste.

Iron Ram horn
Fair amount of CHR, a good option for Mordant Rime if you need to be using it but don't have Gjallarhorn or Linos.

oneiros harp
Great idle piece for Regen/PDT sets.

hellish bugle +1
Best Evasion piece you can use before considering augment choices. It also gives a slight Attack boost as a bonus.





Equipment Sets

All right, here comes the juicy stuff! A lot of the TP and Weapon skill sets were figured out using Motenten's DPS Spreadsheets which are a huge help. That being said, these sets may not be 100% accurate compared to what your merits, race, what you have access to, etc etc. So you may want to use these spreadsheets double-check optimal setups for yourself given how you're setup, as well as what piece beats which piece before considering a most optimal piece you may not have yet. Motenten's current spreadsheets aren't up to date completely, I had to modify his BRD sheet a bit before I could use it. He himself still did pretty much all of the work for the spreadsheet altogether, but I had to add equipment and change some things myself that were outdated, one big thing being new weapon skill calculations. I'll have to work a little more on the version of Motenten's BRD spreadsheet that I tweaked a bit to use, clean it to be a bit more presentable, and make it available here soon.

Also remember this..

..is a great piece to have, since we have the key to unlock the Madrigal effect. On things you may need a fair amount of Accuracy that you'll be utilizing Madrigal on, Kuwunga Earring is a gem of a piece. Obviously on insanely high level targets, you may want to use this slot for more Accuracy, but more often than not when you're using Madrigal, what you're fighting on Bard won't require an extreme Acc swap to cap your hit rate. So, this is a really good weapon skill piece to have for most Accuracy situations you'll be in.



♪ A Common Bard Myth

"You can't switch instruments when fighting! You'll lose TP!"

This statement is false.

You may keep your TP if you:
Equip into an instrument.
Equip into an ammo piece.
Unequip an ammo piece entirely.

You may not keep your TP if you:
Unequip an instrument entirely.
Equip into a ranged weapon.
Unequip a ranged weapon entirely.

Now that that's out of the way, let's move onto some equipment sets!






Note on augments format: There are pieces of augmented Telchine and Linoses in the equipment sets ahead, augmentable from Alluvion Skirmish. Unfortunately, these pieces are very good, so there's a lot. This may seem overwhelming as there's many different pieces, but just know that these are to display most optimal pieces. No one expects you to have each and every single version of these Linoses and Telchine pieces, and if you did, you're not expected to have the perfect augments either, it's just not practical. Ideally, you probably want at least 2 augmented variants of each piece, 1 for TP'ing and 1 for WS'ing, just for pieces that are applicable anyways(for instance, Telchine Body is not a very good WS piece compared to other options, so you'd probably just want at least 1 of that for TP'ing.) Next best alternatives are listed below the respective equipment sets that follow too, for all augmented or hard-to-obtain pieces. There's some miscellaneous sets that could use some of these augmented pieces, but I didn't bother adding any to them, just to give the guide a little more color. If you want to make that set though, you can check out the augments and compare for yourself if there's any Telchine or Linos that's better than what's in the set. Also, for the Snow-stone augment slot in sets that do have Telchine/Linos in them, I've put max Attack augment there. Accuracy has just as many uses too, and Attack/Accuracy is good as well, but I've just put max Attack on [most of] these, not to say that it's better, but for the sake of simplification and so this doesn't overflow with more augments.

Use your own discretion when augmenting to decide if you'll need the Accuracy in what you do or if you'll stick with Attack augments. For the reason of this dilemma, it's also not a bad idea to eventually move onto getting both an Attack and an Accuracy set of each of your pieces once you're content with augments on one version of a piece. Personally, for the Telchine, I think it's best to go for Attack augments with your Snow-stones since there's other higher Accuracy pieces to use, but take what you can get too. Higher doesn't always necessarily mean better though, given the mix of other stats on a piece relative to what you're doing. Again, just remember that no one expects you to be perfect with this and have all of these pieces on the ready, after all, there's extra(and some better) Accuracy pieces you can use in place of Accuracy augmented Telchine. Just take your time with it if you feel you want to start branching off into extra Telchine and Linos pieces. Oh, and best wishes with the augments that matter most!







Weapon Skills





Evisceration
Delivers a fivefold attack. Chance of critical hit varies with TP.
Modifiers: DEX 50%


Evisceration is typically your best weapon skill at 1000 TP.

As far as skillchains go, Rudra's->Evisceration makes Darkness. Rudra's->Evisceration->Rudra's makes double Darkness.

ItemSet 242686

Augments
Attack+20, Critical hit damage+3%, STR+6 DEX+6
Attack+4, TP Bonus+250
Attack+20, Double Attack+3%, STR+7 DEX+7

Alternatives:

Buremte Gloves can be augmented with DEX+8

This is the ideal set. fTP transfers to all hits on Evisceration now, so Elemental Gorget/Belts are the way to go.







ItemSet 335267

Augments
Accuracy+20, Critical hit damage+3%, STR+6 DEX+6
Attack+4, TP Bonus+250
Accuracy+20, Weapon Skill Accuracy+20, DEX+10

Alternatives:

Telchine gets insane amounts of Accuracy when you factor in both the Accuracy augment itself, and the Weapon Skill Accuracy augment. Accuracy+Attack augments work too.






ItemSet 332804

Easily obtainable set to start with for Evisceration. Good alternatives to Gorget and Brutal Earring if you don't have sea access yet are Nefarious Collar and Ghillie Earring, respectively. Espial does look gross, but the set bonus actually makes this combo surprisingly great, despite being so easily obtainable.








Rudra's Storm
Deals quintuple damage and weighs target down. Damage varies with TP. Twashtar: Aftermath.
Modifiers: DEX 80%



The dagger empyrean weapon skill. You also can unlock it on any weapon now. Rudra's was pretty broken for awhile, but as of the most recent nerf, Rudra's Storm still has application, but its not "indisputable" as it was during its reign. It has some advantages in areas that Evisceration lacks. However, one isn't convincingly better than the other overall, they help each other out. Rudra's has a few main uses. The first being that it's heavily effected by TP, so while at 1000 TP it may not be your best weapon skill, at higher TPs it starts get a widening gap over other weapon skills. This varies depending on gear and target as well, sometimes it's better to use over Evisceration starting at 1100 TP, sometimes it's better to use it starting at 1500+ TP. One thing that really determines this number is TP Bonus Moonshade Earring. With Moonshade, it's safe to assume that generally it is best to use Rudra's if you end up having at least 1200 TP when you decide to weapon skill, or closer to 1500 without Moonshade. In other words, best to use Evisceration at 1000 TP, but use Rudra's Storm if you end up having 1200+ TP when you weapon skill. Another use of Rudra's is that on lower level mobs (basically anything DC or below to a 119, things that are trivial), Rudra's is better to use on these kinds of squishy targets at any TP, but stick to Evis @1000 on most targets that matter, (by contrast, things that are EM+). Also, Rudra's is not very reliant on Accuracy at all, so if perhaps you're fighting something you can't reliably use other weapon skills on, it is easy to land.

Rudra's -> Rudra's or Rudra's->Evisceration also make Darkness, Rudra's->Evis->Rudra's makes double Darkness, which is pretty awesome for self skillchains!

ItemSet 331769

Augments
Attack+20, Weapon skill damage+3%, STR+6 DEX+6
Attack+4 TP Bonus+250
Attack+20, Double Attack+3%, Weapon skill damage+3%

Alternatives:

This is the most optimal Rudra's set. On weaker targets where Attack caps significantly earlier, it's best to start replacing Attack pieces with more DEX heavy and multi-hit pieces (ie: Kayapa Cape over Vespid Mantle.) I wouldn't worry about that much, targets like that will die easy enough without accounting for Attack capping in your equipment. So, swapping wouldn't produce any noticeable effects besides a higher number on your chat log on a target that would have died anyways having been done in your practical set.





ItemSet 332713

This is a good, easy to obtain build for those just starting up. Espial may look gross, but keep in mind that, comparatively speaking, there's few pieces in between Espial and optimal options, so try to persevere and wear it proud until you can acquire your sought after gear!










Mordant Rime
Delivers a twofold attack that decreases target's movement speed. Chance of decreasing movement speed varies with TP. Carnwenhan: Aftermath effect varies with TP.
Modifiers: CHR 70% & DEX 30%



Bard's mythic weapon skill. By itself, it's not super great, it's good for opening skillchains if you don't have Rudra's yet, since Mordant Rime -> Evisceration makes Darkness. However, with Carnwenhan, it gets the mythic WS DMG boost, so not only is it useful for applying Aftermath 3, but its still your best weapon skill to use during Aftermath, and for almost any other situation beyond that. In other words, Mordant Rime is your best and nearly only weapon skill to use when you have Carnwenhan. Rudra's, however, is still good if you end up having to WS at 1200+ TP. For the most part, you'll be using Mordant Rime though.


ItemSet 242687 ItemSet 335106


Augments
Attack+20, Weapon skill damage+3%, Quadruple Attack+3%
Attack+20, Double Attack+3%, STR+7 CHR+7

Alternatives:

Plenty of alternative options here since these sets can be pretty expensive. The difference between the two sets is just the waist, for the time being. The reason for this is that Mythic Aftermath Lv.3 can proc once on weapon skills. Double Attack can sometimes hinder this and prevent an OA3x proc, so the loss of 5% Double Attack in exchange for Prosilio Belt +1's massive attack boost is not as detrimental with Aftermath as it would be without it. This isn't to say that adding Double Attack lowers your DPS, it still helps, all this is saying is that Double Attack means less than it normally would when you factor in Aftermath. Windbuffet Belt+1 doesn't at all cripple the boost from the OA2-3 proc rate, as it gives Triple and Quadruple Attack itself already and nothing less, however it doesn't make as much of an impact on your average weapon skill damage as it does with Aftermath down.

So basically, without AM3, Prosilio+1 is more detrimental, and Windbuffet+1 is more beneficial, but with AM3 up, Prosilio+1 is not as detrimental, and Windbuffet+1 is not as beneficial.








ItemSet 335271

Augments

Accuracy+20, Double Attack+3%, Quadruple Attack+3%
Accuracy+20, Weapon Skill Accuracy+20, DEX+10

Alternatives:

Also very generous with Accuracy, you'll need an Accuracy set for Mordant Rime if you have Carnwenhan.









Exenterator
Delivers a fourfold attack that lowers enemy's accuracy. Effect duration varies with TP.
Modifiers: AGI 73~85% (depending on merits)

Exenterator was one of Bard's best weapon skills before the June 2014 weapon skill update rolled around. It buffed Exenterator a little, but in comparison to buffs made to everything else, it wasn't that great of an option anymore. It's okay for its effect I guess if you really need that Accuracy-20 on the mob. I wouldn't recommend meriting this though, it's not very useful at all.

ItemSet 267136

Augments
Attack+20, Weapon skill damage+3%, Quadruple Attack+3%
Attack+20, Double Attack+3%, STR+7 AGI+7


Alternatives:


Just so you can see an optimal set, in case this gets any use in the future. If you actually DO need the Acc. down effect, Moonshade Earring w/ TP Bonus is a choice piece.








Mercy Stroke
Batardeau/Mandau: Temporarily improves critical hit rate.
Modifiers: STR 80%

The relic dagger weapon skill. For a time, this was Bard's best option. When Exenterator was in its prime, Mercy Stroke had a little bit of a lead on it. Nowadays, Mercy Stroke is still pretty good damage-wise, it didn't suffer the same crippling fate that Exenterator did, but there are others still ahead of it by a bit. Because of this, Mercy Stroke doesn't have a use for Bard, really.

Aftermath is Crit. rate+5%, and lasts 20 seconds at 1000 TP, 40 at 2000, and 1 minute at 3000.


ItemSet 332822

Augments
Attack+20, Weapon skill damage+3%, Quadruple Attack+3%
Attack+20, Double Attack+3%, STR+10

Alternatives:









Energy Drain
Steals MP. Amount stolen varies with TP.
Modifiers: MND 100%

As mentioned earlier, Energy Drain is particularly useful for keeping MP up with mage subs, since Bard's MP pool isn't the greatest.

ItemSet 332187

There's some pieces with more MND (Vanir Cotehardie, Xux or Kaabnax Hat w/ MND+8, Conduit Shoes +1 or Uk'uxkaj Boots w/ MND+8), but this is effected by Magic Accuracy too, so this typically will be the ideal set. On weaker targets, you can swap into those MND heavier pieces mentioned, or on higher level targets you can swap in more Magic Accuracy.











TP Sets




Standard

ItemSet 333774 ItemSet 333775 ItemSet 333777


Augments

Attack+20, Haste+3%, Quadruple Attack+3%
4 of Attack+20, Double Attack+3%, STR+10
1 of Attack+20, Haste+3%, STR+10


Alternatives:

Store TP+6 augments on Telchine tend to be better than Double Attack+3% if you're using OAT Atoyac, or AM3 Carnwenhan. DA is still useful, but less notable with OAT procs, in comparison to Store TP.

Set on the left is simply the most optimal TP set when Dual Wielding, the one on in the middle is what is best when you're single-wielding. The one on the right is what's best to use when capping your delay.

When Dual Wielding, the set on the right shows what is most ideal when capping delay reduction, as Dual Wield becomes unneeded. With Magic Haste capped(for all of the following scenarios) on /NIN, you'll need 11% DW to cap your delay reduction, so it's best to use Shetal Stone and Suppanomimi(but preferably Haverton if you have it) for a nice perfect 11%. On /DNC, you need 21% Dual Wield in the same situation, so stick with the the basic DW set on the left. Also on /DNC, with your (or another's) sub /DNC Haste Samba, you'll need 10%, so use Suppa and Haverton(or Shetal if you don't have). On /NIN with another's sub Haste Samba, you cap your delay reduction, so use the capped delay set entirely. And with a merited Haste Samba, you cap delay on either sub, so also use the set on the right for that too.






Ionis

ItemSet 289363 ItemSet 333776 ItemSet 333778


Augments

Attack+20, Double Attack+3%, Quadruple Attack+3%
3 of Attack+20, Double Attack+3%, STR+10
1 of Attack+20, Haste+3%, STR+10


Alternatives:

Since Ionis will give you roughly 2% equipment Haste, this means you only need 24% Haste to hit the cap in your gear. The left set is the standard Dual Wield TP set with Ionis. The middle set is the standard single-wield TP set, also with Ionis. Same deal augments, as well as with the various scenarios to cap delay as mentioned in the standard sets section above.







Accuracy

ItemSet 335265 ItemSet 335266


Augments

Accuracy+20, Double Attack+3%, Quadruple Attack+3%
2 of Accuracy+20, Haste+3%, DEX+10
1 of Accuracy+20, Double Attack+3%, DEX+10
DEX+8


Alternatives:

These should be standard Accuracy TP sets. Remember, nothing is really set in stone when it comes to these though, they always tend to vary in optimization. These sets put you at 27% Haste, allowing a 1% tolerance on the one Telchine Haste augment.

The Haste+3% augment on a Telchine could also go on the Linos instead, allowing you to effectively just switch the DA+3% from Linos onto that Telchine, but it literally doesn't matter. Just throwing that out there for if you happened to already have a Linos and Telchine with those augments. I threw Haste on a Telchine because Telchine pieces seem easier to come by than Linos, and the reason that matters is because if you were to utilize these exact sets, and use an Ionis version of them, you would swap out the Haste+2~3% piece (dropping you right to 24% Haste) for it's DA+3% augment counterpart. So if you did use these particular Accuracy sets, you would either need a two different Telchines for the same slot, or two different Linoses.







Starting Sets

ItemSet 335269 ItemSet 335270


Some bare minimum starting sets. Very generous with Haste, there's 28% in these sets but there's not much to work with as far as putting in other easy starting alternatives without compromising capped Haste. With Ionis, could put in Angel Lyre and Windbuffet Belt. Remember, Angel Lyre by itself is also there if you need more Haste for some reason when building your set.


Misc.


ItemSet 333355

Just a reference table of the highest best-in-slot Accuracy pieces for BRD.



ItemSet 322810



ItemSet 324518


ItemSet 323195 ItemSet 323196 ItemSet 324520


Wanted to throw some 75 sets down in here. Lava's/Kusha's for more Accuracy when applicable. Gotta wonder if there's any cool Fields of Valor augments for Hellish Bugle+1.


More coming soon!







Conclusion

This guide will constantly be added to, tweaked, and evolved. I plan on making it prettier over time and making it easier to use. I won't be late on updating it as new gear and updates come out! As it is now however, it's my wishes you still are able to derive information that will be useful to you in your limitless Bard excursions. If you have any suggestions or questions, no matter how trivial it is, please don't hesitate to post here or PM me. :)

My thanks goes those I've had the pleasure of collaborating the other guide with, Cantontai, Hidegger, Sigfreid, and everyone else who helped out. Without it, the other foot that is this guide would not appropriately be able to step forward. For this guide more specifically, many thanks to Motenten for making these DPS spreadsheets for us, that I was able use for a lot of this. I'm also grateful for all of the other people who devote themselves to research and findings on various mechanics over at BlueGartr. Big thanks to Dekoda for helping me with some equipment sets, and to Sechs for aiding me with equipment sets as well, plus making sure there's no error or anything left out in the guide itself. Thanks are also owed to Legate for the opening quote he so effortlessly freestyled on the spot. Lastly, thanks to other notable ones in DD BRD topics, such as Creelo, along with both the inquisitiveness and contributions of everyone else in those topics who inspired a lot of the motivation to make this guide, each and every one of you.

While both of these guides may be mostly my responsibility now, I will do my best to not fail in maintaining and constantly refining them! With everyone's help and discussion, I'm certain this will not be a concern.

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide and seeing the other side of Bard. Now you see, Bard doesn't have to be a boring job at all! Join me, we'll play this song together.

-Bruno
Author: BruHouse
Date Created: 2015-05-11 01:24:47
Date Last Modified: 2015-08-21 10:20:27
Updates: 18
Bytes: 73207