Bard

The Bard (吟遊詩人 [ginyuu shijin] or 'bard' in Japanese) is an old Final Fantasy staple, and has appeared in the series since Final Fantasy III. The function of the job hasn't changed all this time, although one evolved form, the Songstress has appeared. There is also a related job, the Dancer.
Bards are expert users of instruments of all kinds, and are quite accomplished singers. They are very weak in terms of offense, but provide exceptional support from the back lines. Their trademark ability is Sing. A famous set-job character in the series is Gilbart Chris Von Muir from Final Fantasy IV, and while Hurdy from FFTA2 is not set in it, Bard is his special job.

Final Fantasy III

Coming soon

Final Fantasy V

"Musicians whose dulcet tones soothe savage beasts…or kill them"

Bards are commonly held as the weakest job in the game. Their only situational use could be in areas with lots of undead after you gain the appropriate song for them, but this situation is very rare, and as bards are prone to dying in 1-2 hits anyway, you are most likely better off using another job for that.

Basics
Unlock: Fire Crystal
Command Ability: Sing
Innate Abilities: -
AP to Master: 175
Bonuses on Mastering (for FRE/MIM): MAG, AGI

Stats

bard_ff5.jpg

Stat Modifiers
Strength: -8
Agility: +8
Stamina: -9
Magic: +11

Abilities

Level 1: Hide (25 AP)
Level 2: Equip Harps (50 AP)
Level 3: Sing (100 AP)

Songs
Sinewy Etude
Mana's Paean
Swift Song
Mighty March
Hero's Rime
Requiem
Romeo's Ballad
Alluring Air

Equipment

Weapons: Harp, Dagger
Shield: -
Head: Hats
Body: Robes
Special Accessories: Armlets

Final Fantasy XI

Bard is one of the advanced jobs in FF11, and it's unlocked with the quest Path of the Bard.

Bard is, as in every other Final Fantasy game, a support type of job. Every party wants one or two, which is good, because Bards' abilities are made for parties, and shine brighter the more people are involved. With songs that affect party members in an area of effect, parties with Bards often have creative formations to maximize the songs' utility, so that everyone gets the most ideal set of buffs. They also have a decent set of debuffs, some of which work very well in conjunction to a mage's spells.

Though not designed for the purpose, Bards often serve as pullers for parties, since they run around all the time, and thus are not engaged in battle or healing. Bards will often choose Ninja as their support job to stay safe while pulling, or White Mage to help with healing if there is already a puller and fewer healers.

Bards fight decently, as well, as they can buff themselves to fit any situation. However, one song provides the same benefits to one person as it does to a full party, so soloing takes a less than stellar usage of a Bard's abilities.

Abilities

Bard's 2-hour ability is Soul Voice. For the three-minute duration in which it is active, any enhancing song sang with it will have double the effect, while enfeebling songs will have increased accuracy or effect. Even after Soul Voice wears off, songs sang before it ends will still have the Soul Voice effect, making for a few minutes of super-charged characters.

Bard songs count as spells, but are different from normal spells. They must be bought and learned, and they can be silenced, but they don't require MP, and each Bard can only play two songs on a character, one if Bard is a support job - this limit goes for debuffs on enemies as well as buffs on allies. With two Bards in the party, however, each can have two songs on a single character, making for a total of 4.

There are 30-some types of songs, most of which come in tiers, with each higher tier stronger than the previous. Some of the songs - such as Madrigals and Ballads - will be stackable between tiers, while some of the others won't. Some instruments will increase the effects of a certain family of songs. Carols and Threnodies are elemental. Only one of each can be active at a time; a different element will overwrite the first.

There are a few different categories of songs.

Debuffs: Requiems (damage over time), Lullabies (sleep), Elegies (slow), Threnodies (elemental resistance), Finale (dispel; non-tiered), and Virelai (charm; non-tiered).

Stat-increasing buffs: Minnes (defense), Minuets (attack), Madrigals (accuracy), Mambos (evasion), Preludes (ranged accuracy), Marchs (haste), Carols (elemental resistance), and Etudes (specific stats, one for each one).

Status resistance buffs (non-tiered, except for Operettas): Pastoral (poison), Operettas (silence), Aubade (sleep), Gavotte (bind), Capriccio (petrification), Fantasia (blind), and Round (curse).

Other buffs: Paeons (HP regen), Ballads (MP refresh), Mazurkas (movement speed increase), Dirge (enmity reduction; non-tiered), Sirvente (enmity increase; non-tiered), Hymnus (reraise; non-tiered), and Scherzo (damage reduction for deadly attacks; non-tiered).

To see details of the job's abilities, see here.

Stats

Bard stats are not particularly impressive, nor particularly bad; unless they solo, they hardly need any of them except Charisma. None of their stats are noteworthy at all, in fact, except a rather low Agility, and a rather high Charisma. Everything else sits around the middle, neither good nor bad.

Despite their musical prowess, however, Bards do not have high musical skill. They are the only job to have song skills at all, of course, but all three - Singing, Wind, and String - rank at a C, making them less accurate at debuffing than mages. Though songs depend on skill levels as well for effects, most song effects, fortunately, cap at only a few skills above Bard's natural skill cap. Combat skills are low, as well, with evasion at D, and parrying at E.

Equips

For fighting, Bards can use Daggers, Staves, Swords, or Clubs. They are decent with Daggers - their skill is B- - with Staves coming in not much lower at C+, and swords at C-. Club is a low D, and Bard can't equip most of the attacking ones. Most Bards, if they wish to fight, would use a Sword at lower levels, and move on to a Dagger once stronger ones are available. Staves, however, are the party weapon of choice, as many of them give Charisma boosts or, even better, musical skill boosts. Bards also do possess a throwing skill, just barely, at E, but there is nothing they can equip worth throwing.

One special item type Bards - and only Bards - can equip are Instruments, equipped in the Ranged slot (thus changing them will reset TP). There are two different kinds: Wind and String, corresponding to their two skills. Each skill is taken into account when playing with that type of instrument. Wind instruments give a higher accuracy in relation to skill, whereas Strings instruments give a larger area of effect.

Many instruments will give a bonus to a specific type of song. Usually, high-quality versions of those instruments will give even bigger bonuses. High-quality instruments will also give songs a slightly longer duration, and those songs cannot be overwritten by a song played from a lower-quality instrument.

The job-specific equipment sets for Bard are uninteresting to look at, but mainly increase the various musical skills a Bard possesses.

Artifact Armor
Level 52 - Choral Slippers
Level 54 - Choral Roundlet
Level 56 - Choral Cannions
Level 58 - Choral Justaucorps
Level 60 - Choral Cuffs
Level 74 - Choral Set +1

Relic Armor
Level 70 - Bard's Cape
Level 71 - Bard's Slippers
Level 72 - Bard's Roundlet
Level 73 - Bard's Cuffs
Level 74 - Bard's Justaucorps
Level 75 - Bard's Cannions
Level 75 - Bard's Set +1

Empyrean Armor
Level 80 - Aoidos' Belt
Level 81 - Aoidos' Cothurnes / +1 / +2
Level 83 - Aoidos' Rhingrave / +1 / +2
Level 84 - Aoidos' Matinee
Level 85 - Aoidos' Calot / +1 / +2
Level 87 - Aoidos' Manchettes / +1 / +2
Level 89 - Aoidos' Hongreline / +1 / +2

Weapons
Level 40 (artifact) - Paper Knife
Level 75 (relic) - Gjallarhorn, Mandau
Level 75 (mythic) - Carnwenhan
Level 85 (empyrean) - Twashtar
Level 90 (empyrean) - Daurdabla

Lore

There is not much lore about Bards. They are fairly common, singing in taverns across Vana'diel, though the main gathering place for them is the Merry Minstrel in Jeuno. The most famous amongst them is Lewenhart, a legendary traveling Bard. He is much involved in both the quest to unlock Bard, and the quest line to obtain their Artifact Armor.

Final Fantasy Tactics

A warrior who uses his voice as a weapon. May use Bardsong to support his allies in battle.

Basics
Unlock: Summoner lv5, Oracle lv5, males only
Unlocks: -
Command Ability: Bardsong
Innate Abilities: -
JP to Master: 7,900

Stats

bard_fft.jpg

Stat Modifications
HP F, MP D-
Phys Atk F, Mag Atk C
SPD C
Phys EVA 5%, Mag EVA 0%
Move 3, Jump 3

Growth Rate for Stats
HP ★, MP ★
Phys Atk ★, Mag Atk ★
SPD ★

Abilities

Bardsong
Seraph Song (100 JP)
Life's Anthem (100 JP)
Rousing Melody (100 JP)
Battle Chant (100 JP)
Magickal Refrain (100 JP)
Nameless Song (100 JP)
Finale (100 JP)

Reaction Abilities
Magick Boost (500 JP)
Faith Boost (700 JP)

Movement Abilities
Move +3 (1,000 JP)
Fly (5,000 JP)

Equipment

Weapons: Instruments
Shield: -
Head: Hats
Body: Clothes

Grimoire of the Rift

Coming soon

4 Heroes of Light

Bards in 4 Heroes of Light, like they are in all the other Final Fantasy games, provide support for their allies. Their abilities give far higher boosts than any spell, at a fairly low AP. Their passive abilities increases their Strength, Intellect, and Spirit by 10% while they have a Harp equipped; they would usually not use any other weapon, anyway. Though their HP and Strength are fairly low, their Intellect and Spirit aren't too bad, making them half-decent magic-users when not singing. They are similar to the Musician crown; in fact, the two seem to be one job split into two, to fit all the song abilities the game has.
The Bard crown is obtained after you get to the end of the Animal Burrow.

Equips

Bards can use Harps decently, but are not all that useful with any other weapon; with all the singing they have to do, a Bard would hardly be required to fight, anyway.

Weapon Proficiency

Short Sword: C
Sword: C
Bow: C
Staff: C
Spear: C
Axe: C
Book: C
Harp: B

Stats

Bards are really not that great at any type of fighting… or healing. Which is completely fine, because their main role is support, and that, they do well.

Stat Modifiers
HP: 1.1x
Strength: 1.0x
Intellect: 1.3x
Spirit: 1.3x

Magic Proficiency
Offensive: B
Defensive: C

Evasion
Physical: C
Magical: C

Abilities

Different abilities are learnt by evolving the Crown. The list below has all the abilities as well as the jewels required to evolve the Crown to that stage.

Lv 0 - Ditty
Lv 1 - Motet (5 Lapis Lazuli, 5 Aquamarines)
Lv 2 - Aria (2 Topaz, 6 Sapphires, 6 Lapis Lazuli, 1 Amethyst)
Lv 3 - Fugue (3 Rubies, 7 Emeralds, 7 Lapis Lazuli, 2 Amethysts, 1 Diamond)

Explorers

bard_ffex.jpg

Basics
Role: Booster / Healer
Unlock: clear Aptitude Exam: Ninja and Bard
Condition to Master: clear 10 quests with Bard
Master: clear Bard's Master Trial

Stats

Note that as jobs don't level up in Explorers, your only two ways to get more are to equip better equipment, and to master your job. Bard's basic stats are listed in the below table.

HP AP Load
Default 3,250 2,025 190
Master 3,900 2,425 190
STR ACC MAG MND CNC P.DEF M.DEF P.EVA M.EVA MOV LCK
39 45 47 43 68 24 46 30 42 116 69

Abilities

Unique Ability: Sing
Default Abilities (default): Hide, Equip Instruments, Equip Tomes, Equip Staves
Default Abilities (Master): Equip Bells, Dual Wield
Proficiency: All but highest-level healing and buffing magic

Equipment

Weapons (default): Instruments, Tomes, Staves
Weapons (Master): Bells

Record Keeper

Stats

Job: Bard
Type: physical support
Obtain: clear South Figaro Cave
Obtain Memory Crystal: master Missile Base (Force)
Obtain Memory Crystal II: clear Draklor Laboratories (Force)

bard_ffrk.png
Stat Level 1 Level 50 Level 65 Level 80
HP 96 2,048 2,645 3,243
ATK 5 46 60 75
DEF 5 50 63 77
MAG 7 74 92 109
MDEF 8 82 101 119
MND 7 74 92 109
ACC 20 22 23 24
EVA 20 22 23 24
SPD 69 91 92 107

Abilities

Abilities
Support (Rarity 4)
Bard (Rarity 4)

Limit Break
Level 1 - Valor Minuet I
Equip Madhura Harp (III) - Valor Minuet II
Equip Dream Harp - Advancing March

Native Record Materia
Limit Break - Instrument Master
Level 2 - Evangelist
Level 3 - Battle Cant

Equipment

Weapons
Daggers
Instruments

Armor
Hats, Light Armor
Robes
Armlets

Accessory
Can equip

FF-TCG

Bards have made quite a few appearances in the FF-TCG series, bearing both the Ice and Fire elements.

tcg_1030.jpg tcg_1031.jpg tcg_3002.jpg tcg_5030.jpg
1-030C Bard 1-031C Bard 3-002C Bard 5-030C Bard
tcg_6018.jpg tcg_8016.jpg tcg_9034.jpg tcg_10026.jpg
6-018C Brad 8-016C Bard 9-034C Bard 10-026C Bard

Category: Jobs

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