How to play Bard in Crystalline Conflict

Screenshot by PC Invasion

Bard Crystalline Conflict Guide: How to Play Bard in PvP

Bard is often overshadowed by other jobs in PvP in Final Fantasy XIV, such as Machinist and Dancer. However, Bard offers a unique and enjoyable playstyle in Crystalline Conflict. In this guide, we will show you how to play Bard effectively and demonstrate why it is a valuable PvP job.

Basic Overview

Compared to Machinist, Bard serves as a support sniper in PvP battles. While Machinist excels in raw power, Bard focuses on utility. Like in regular content, Bard’s abilities provide party buffs while dealing damage, and it possesses greater area-of-effect (AoE) capacity compared to Dancer. Alongside defensive support skills, Bard becomes one of the most valuable support jobs in PvP.

Although Bard’s DPS is lower than other ranged jobs, it is still capable of eliminating opponents effectively, especially when they are weakened. Bard is highly recommended for Assists in Crystalline Conflict, making it an ideal job for farming the Halone’s Cupbearer title.

Abilities Breakdown

  • Powerful Shot: Deals ranged attack damage with a base potency of 4,000. The potency increases up to 6,000 the further away you are from the target, with maximum potency at 15 yards away.
  • Pitch Perfect: Replaces Powerful Shot when you have the Repetoire buff. It follows the same mechanic as Powerful Shot but has a maximum potency of 8,000. Additionally, using Pitch Perfect reduces the cast time of Empyreal Arrow by five seconds.
  • Apex Arrow: Inflicts 8,000 potency damage to all enemies in a straight line in front of you. It also triggers Frontliner’s March, reducing weaponskill cast and recast time by 10% and increasing damage dealt by allies within 30 yards by 5% for 30 seconds.
  • Blast Arrow: Activated after using Apex Arrow. It functions similarly to Apex Arrow, but it grants Frontliner’s Forte instead, which is identical to Frontliner’s March but only lasts for ten seconds.
  • Empyreal Arrow: Delivers a ranged attack with a potency of 4,000. It can be charged up to 3 times, using all charges upon being hit. This means the maximum potency can reach 12,000.
  • Repelling Shot: Executes a 4,000 potency attack while launching yourself 10 yards backward. It also afflicts the enemy with a three-second Bind.
  • Silent Nocturne: Silences the target for 2 seconds and grants you the Repetoire buff.
  • The Warden’s Paean: Removes one status affliction from yourself or a party member that can be removed by Purify. If no status effect is present, it creates a 10-second barrier to nullify the next one. Successfully removing an effect grants Warden’s Grace, reducing your damage taken by 25% and increasing healing recovery by the same amount for five seconds.

Limit Break: Final Fantasia. Reduces weaponskill cast and recast time by 10% and increases movement speed by 25%. Grants a 10% damage boost to you and party members within a 30-yard radius for 30 seconds. Cooldown: 120 seconds.

Bard Crystalline Conflict Playstyle

As a Bard, your position in battles should be away from the main action. Your job is to provide ranged damage while buffing the party whenever possible. Almost all of your attacks are instant-cast, except for Powerful Shot. This allows you to quickly navigate the battlefield using Repelling Shot and adapt to the situation as needed.

If you are near your party members, make sure to use Apex and Blast Arrow to stack Frontliner’s March and Forte on yourself and your allies. This grants a 10% damage buff and reduces cast and recast times by 20% for ten seconds. This support is especially beneficial for Black Mages. Between the cooldowns of this chain, utilize Powerful Shot and Pitch Perfect to deal damage. Note that both abilities require you to be 15 yards away from your opponents to maximize damage. Since Pitch Perfect reduces the cooldown of Empyreal Arrow, make sure to use it after firing off the arrows.

The best time to use your Limit Break is when your party is attempting to capture the Crystal or when you want to eliminate the enemy team. The 30-second damage increase can significantly impact the outcome of the battle. For maximum DPS, combine it with the buffs provided by Apex/Blast Arrow. This grants a whopping 20% DPS increase for the ten seconds both buffs are active. Additionally, try to coordinate with other powerful Limit Breaks, such as those of Black Mage, Summoner, or Astrologian, to provide double buff support and turn the tide in your team’s favor.

Playstyle Tips and Tricks

When playing as a Bard, it will be challenging to take down tank jobs, particularly Paladin, by yourself. Instead, focus on eliminating DPS and Healers who are within your kill range.

Repelling Shot is an excellent ability to create distance between yourself and melee opponents or to escape from the fray. It can also ensure maximum damage on range-dependent attacks if you position yourself to go back the full 10 yards. Additionally, Repelling Shot can trap opponents in the middle of an area-of-effect, preventing them from escaping.

Utilize Empyreal Arrow as your finishing move against weakened opponents. It is instant-cast and less likely to be on cooldown. If you spot an enemy with low health, use Empyreal Arrow before they have a chance to recover or flee.

A key aspect of playing Bard effectively is understanding positioning. Apex and Blast Arrow require you to stand near your party members to buff them, while Powerful Shot and Pitch Perfect require you to be far away from your targets to deal optimal damage. This can be challenging when both teams are grouped together. Try to find a balance by utilizing the 15-yard requirement for maximum damage and taking advantage of the 30-yard range for party buffs. Additionally, using Repelling Shot after firing Apex and Blast Arrow can help you adjust your position effectively.

Silent Nocturne acts as a stun, but it is especially useful against Black Mages during their Limit Break phase.

The Warden’s Paean is a versatile ability. You can use it before entering the fray to protect against incoming status afflictions, remove afflictions from yourself or others, or simply trigger Pitch Perfect and continue dealing damage. Its use depends on the situation.

By adopting a deadly sniping support playstyle, you can significantly contribute to your team’s success in PvP battles. Hopefully, your efforts will be acknowledged with commendations from your teammates.