BG3: The BEST Bard Build (Feats, Spells & Progression)

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Bards are versatile characters skilled in music, magic, and combat while inspiring allies, weakening foes, and playing instruments uniquely. As such, the optimal BG3 Bard build emphasizes healing, buffs, and crowd control with the Best Spells, Feats, Cantrips, and Skills. Bards shine in non-combat role play and offer combat utility.

Key Takeaways

  • Bards in BG3 excel in music, magic, and combat, offering both support and offensive capabilities.
  • College of Valor provides combat proficiency, medium armor, shield, and extra attack for enhanced survivability.
  • Entertainer background aligns with charisma and agility skills for BG3 Bard Build.
  • The High Half-Elf race grants additional cantrips, movement speed, shield proficiency, Darkvision, and synergy with Bard abilities.
  • Bard shines in teamwork, contributing to both combat and social interactions with their unique abilities in Baldur’s Gate 3.

Best Bard Build Character Creation

Here’s a summary of the Best Bard Build in Baldur’s Gate 3 in the Character Creator:

BG3 Bard Build Description
Character Role Versatile: Skilled in music, magic, and combat. Focus on healing, buffs, and crowd control.
Strengths Inspiring allies, debuffing enemies, playing musical instruments.
Build Focus Healing, buffs, crowd control. Role-play and combat utility.
Race Choice High Half-Elf
Subclass College of Valor: Combat-focused abilities, survivability.
Dialogue Skills Valuable skills: Deception, Persuasion, Intimidation for dialogue.
Ability Priorities Charisma for spellcasting, Dexterity for armor class, Constitution for hit points and concentration.

Best Bard Subclasses

bard Subclasses bg3
Bard Subclasses (Image by eXputer)

The College of Valor specializes in combat-oriented and support Bards, offering abilities that make them proficient attackers and supporters. Many people on Reddit seem to worry about selecting College of Valor or Swords. The difference is great, and College of Swords is better only if you plan to make your Bard a DPS.

Why Choose College Of Valor?

  • Enhanced Survivability: Compared to the College of Lore and College of Swords, the College of Valor Bards has better survivability due to Medium Armor Proficiency and Shield Proficiency, providing superior protection.
  • Unique Abilities: While lacking certain abilities like Cutting Words and not focusing solely on damage, College of Valor Bards offer versatility and support capabilities.
  • Combat Inspiration: At level 3, College of Valor Bards gain Combat Inspiration. This potent ability buffs an ally’s Attack Roll, Ability Check, Saving Throw, weapon damage, or Armor Class by +1d6, showcasing their versatile support role.
  • Extra Attack: Upon reaching level 6, College of Valor Bards unlock Extra Attack, allowing two attacks within a turn after initiating an unarmed or weapon attack, which enhances their combat effectiveness.

Background

best Background bg3
Background of Bard Build (Image by eXputer)

Choosing backgrounds that offer Charisma or Dexterity skills is ideal for this BG3 Bard build, aligning with our proficiency strengths, as Constitution ability doesn’t offer skills.

Entertainer

  • Acrobatics Skill: Acrobatics proficiency enables you to maintain balance in challenging scenarios like icy terrain or precarious beams, enhancing your agility and versatility.
  • Performance Skill: With proficiency in Performance, you can captivate and entertain audiences through various forms of artistic expression, emphasizing the charismatic aspects of your Bard character.

Race And Subrace

High Half-Elf
Race of High Half-Elf (Image by eXputer)

The High Half-Elf subrace is an excellent choice for Bards, offering a tailored combination of abilities and features within the Half-Elf race in BG3.

Key Features

  • Additional Cantrip: High Half-Elves allows you to select additional Cantrip, granting you the flexibility to choose a spell that complements your playstyle.
  • Movement Speed Increase: Benefit from increased movement speed, enhancing your agility and mobility on the battlefield.
  • Proficiency in Shields and Light Armor: Gain proficiency in using shields and light armor, boosting your defensive capabilities.
  • Fey Ancestry: Enjoy the advantage of Fey Ancestry, granting immunity to being Charmed and magically put to sleep.
  • Darkvision: Acquire Darkvision with a range of 12 meters, allowing you to see in low-light conditions.

Cantrip

bard Cantrips bg3
Best Bard Build Cantrips (Image by eXputer)

In Baldur’s Gate 3, Cantrip Spells include basic and simple magical abilities that characters can use. Cantrips work like spells but can be cast infinitely, and don’t use up your spell slots.

If you choose the High Elf race at the start, you can pick 3 Cantrips to use. After reaching the highest level of Bard, you can choose a total of 5 Cantrips.

Here is the recommended cantrip that you should look into which suits your playstyle:

Cantrip Description School Range Duration
Minor Illusion Create an illusion that compels nearby creatures to investigate. Illusion School 18m Instantaneous
Blade Ward Gain Resistance to Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing damage. Abjuration Self Instantaneous
True Strike Divine a character’s defenses for Advantage on your next Attack Roll. Divination School 18m 2 turns
Vicious Mockery Unleash insults, dealing damage and imposing a Disadvantage on the next Attack Roll. Enchantment School 18m 1 Turn
Friends Gain Advantage on Charisma Checks against a non-hostile creature. Once the spell ends, the creature knows it was Charmed and might accuse the spellcaster Enchantment School 9m 10 turns

Proficiency Skills 

Choosing skills in this section isn’t overly critical, as they’re mostly used for conversations and non-combat situations. However, given our high Charisma and Dexterity, it’s wise to opt for skills that align with these abilities.

You can pick 3 skills, and here are the ones I recommend:

  • Deception: This check involves using Charisma to hide the truth convincingly, whether through words or actions. It ranges from creating ambiguity to outright lying.
  • Persuasion: It is used to influence individuals or groups with tact, social graces, or good nature. The game employs Charisma (Persuasion) checks for this purpose.
  • Intimidation: It is used when attempting to control others through threats, aggressive actions, or physical force. Charisma (Intimidation) checks are made for such situations.

Feats

bard build Feats bg3
Best BG3 Bard Build Feats (Image by eXputer)

Bards can select Feats at Levels 4, 8, and 12. The Best BG3 Bard Build feats include:

  • Resilient: Enhance an Ability by 1 (up to 20) and gain Proficiency in that Ability’s Saving Throws.
  • Alert: Gain +5 Initiative and immunity to Surprise.
  • Lucky: Acquire 3 Luck Points for Advantage on Attack Rolls, Ability Checks, or Saving Throws, or to force enemies to reroll their Attack Rolls.

Ability Points

Points Ability
Distribution of Ability Points (Image by eXputer)

For a Bard, Charisma takes the lead as our vital ability, shaping the potency of our spell casting. Dexterity is significant, enhancing our Armor Class, while Constitution boosts Hit Points and refines Concentration Checks.

Therefore, I suggest an ability point distribution similar to this:

  • Strength: 10
  • Dexterity: 15
  • Constitution: 14
  • Intelligence: 9
  • Wisdom: 9
  • Charisma: 17

Best Spells

bard build Spells bg3
Spells (Image by eXputer)

In contrast to other classes, you don’t have the option to prepare spells from a spellbook. Instead, your choices are fixed during the level-up process.

Ultimately, the selection of the best spell is crucial to avoid getting stuck with spells not best for the BG3 Bard build.

SPELLS LEVEL EFFECT SCHOOL RANGE DURATION
Healing Word Lvl 1 Heal a creature you can see for 1d4 + Spellcasting Modifier hit points. Evocation School 18m Instantaneous
Tasha’s Hideous Laughter Lvl 1 Inflict a creature with fits of laughter, leaving it Prone and Incapacitated. Enchantment School 18m 10 turns
Heroism Lvl 1 Make yourself or a target immune to Frightened and gain 5 temporary hit points each turn. Enchantment School Melee 10 turns
Thunderwave Lvl 1 Release a wave of thunderous force that pushes away all creatures and objects. Evocation School 5m Instantaneous
Shatter Lvl 2 Damages all nearby creatures and objects. Creatures made of inorganic material such as stone have Disadvantages in their Saving Throw. On Save: Targets still take half damage. Evocation School 18m, 3m radius Instantaneous
Lesser Restoration Lvl 2 Cure a creature from disease, poison, paralysis, or blindness. Abjuration School Melee Instantaneous
Phantasmal Force Lvl 2 Deal damage to a creature each turn. The type of damage changes to the last type the creature suffered. Illusion School 18m 10 turns
Glyph of Warding Lvl 3 Inscribe a circle of arcane glyphs on the ground that triggers a magical effect when stepped on by an enemy. Only one glyph can be active at a time. Abjuration School 3m, Radius 8m Until Dispelled
Speak with Dead Lvl 3 Allow a corpse that still has a mouth and is not an undead to answer 5 questions to the caster. Necromancy School 9m N/A
Fear Lvl 3 Project an image so frightening it makes targets drop everything and become Fearful. They will be easier to hit and cannot move. Illusion School Radius: 9m cone Concentration
Greater Invisibility Lvl 4 Turn a creature Invisible. Attacks against it have Disadvantages. It attacks with an Advantage. Needs a Stealth Check to maintain Invisibility when interacting with items, casting spells, or attacking. Check DC increases with each successful attempt. Illusion School Melee Concentration
Polymorph Lvl 4 Transform a creature into a harmless sheep. Transmutation School 18m Concentration
Dimension Door Lvl 4 Teleport yourself and up to 1 adjacent ally to a place you can see. The ally cannot be larger than medium. Conjuration School Melee Instantaneous
Mass Cure Wounds Lvl 5 Up to 6 creatures regain 3d8+Spell.Ability.Mod (+1d8 hp/lvl). Evocation School Touch Instantaneous
Greater Restoration Lvl 5 End one condition (charmed or petrified), one curse, any ability scores or HP reduction, or one exhaustion level. Abjuration School Touch Instantaneous
Otto’s Irresistible Dance Lvl 6 Cause a creature to start dancing, making it unable to take action or move. Attackers have an Advantage on Attack Rolls. The dancer has a Disadvantage on Attack Rolls and Dexterity Saving Throws. Enchantment School 9m Concentration

Bard Class Overview

Class Bard
Bard Class (Image by eXputer)
  • With their nimbleness and charisma, Bards naturally possess abilities and skills aligned with these traits.

In summary, Bards bring the following features and proficiencies:

  • Primary Ability: Charisma
  • Saving Throw Proficiencies: Dexterity and Charisma
  • Armor Proficiency: Light Armor
  • Starting Instrument: Hand Drum, Lute, Flute, Lyre, Violin
  • Weapon Proficiency: Hand Crossbow, Simple, Longsword, Shortsword, and Rapier.
  • Hit Dice: 1d8

Having a clear understanding of these aspects, even before selecting a race and subclass, is crucial. This knowledge helps streamline choices and focus on options that enhance Bard’s inherent abilities and proficiencies, making this build highly effective.

Class Progression

It’s important for players to understand that as you advance from level one to level 12, you’ll gradually gain access to various action skills, class features, and feats.

Action/Features Unlock Level Effect
Bardic Inspiration Level 1 Enhance ally rolls and multiple uses based on your level. Effects last till rest.
Song of Rest Level 2 You and your allies are refreshed as if taking a Short Rest.
Jack of All Trades Level 2 Add half Proficiency to unfamiliar Ability Checks.
Expertise Levels 3, 10 The Proficiency Bonus of your chosen ability check is doubled.
Feats Levels 4, 8, and 12 Select one talent from the Feats list, granting unique character capabilities.
Font of Inspiration Level 5 Regains all Bardic Inspiration after a short or long rest.
Improved Bardic Inspiration Levels 5, 10 Enhance the bonus gained from Bardic Inspiration.
Countercharm Level 6 You and allies within 9m gain an advantage on Saves vs. being Charmed or Frightened.
Magical Secrets Level 10 Choose 2 additional Spells from any discipline’s spell list, expanding your magical repertoire.
Character Creation Best BG3 Bard Build
Best Bard Build (Image by eXputer)

Bards in Baldur’s Gate 3 possess qualities of poise, charisma, and versatility that go beyond their ability to deal damage. While they can contribute to combat, their true power lies in their capacity to improve team dynamics. 

That’s it on the Best BG3 Bard Build guide, which includes subclasses, races, ability points, feats, spells, and more. After starting your journey in Baldur’s Gate 3, you will need the Best Companions, such as Shadowheart, Karlach, or Gale. They are some of the best Origin Characters you can get as your companions. 

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