How To Play Bard In Crystalline Conflict

Screenshot by PC Invasion

Bard is on the more overlooked spectrum of FFXIV‘s jobs for PvP. Machinist and Dancer tend to be more alluring, as do the mighty DPS of Dragoon or Black Mage. What many don’t realize is just how incredibly fun and flexible Bard is to play in Crystalline Conflict. Today I am here to prove to you Bard is a very satisfying PvP job and more viable than you may realize. Here’s how to play Bard in Crystalline Conflict.

Bard Crystalline Conflict guide: Basic Overview

Compared to your cousin the Machinist, you’re the support sniper while Machinist is the raw power sniper. Both of you are most powerful at a distance to your opponent, but Bard trades raw power for utility. Like in regular content, Bard’s abilities buff the party as you attack, with greater AoE capacity than Dancer. Combined with a few skills that lend themselves well to supporting the party defensively, and Bard is one of the most valuable support jobs in PvP.

Because you are a Bard, your DPS is still lower than your Ranged cousins, but that doesn’t mean it’s nothing to scoff at. It’s still entirely possible for you to go on the warpath and start picking off opponents left and right, especially if they’re weakened. Bard is one of the best jobs for Assists in Crystalline Conflict, making it ideal to farm the Halone’s Cupbearer title.

Abilities Breakdown

  • Powerful Shot: Deals a ranged attack with a base 4,000 potency. Potency increases up to 6,000 the further away from the target, with maximum potency at 15 yards away.
  • Pitch Perfect: Powerful Shot changes to this upon giving yourself the Repetoire buff. Same ‘be far away’ mechanic as Powerful Shot, except the maximum potency is 8,000 and using it reduces the cast time of Empyreal Arrow by five seconds.
  • Apex Arrow: Deals 8,000 potency damage to all enemies in a straight line before you. Using this also sets off Frontliner’s March, which reduces the weaponskill cast and recast time by 10% and increases damage dealt by all within 30 yards by 5% for 30 seconds.
  • Blast Arrow: Chain action after Apex Arrow. Functions identically, except it grants Frontliner’s Forte, which is identical to March but only lasts ten seconds.
  • Empyreal Arrow: Delivers a ranged attack with 4,000 potency. Charges up to 3, and uses all charges when hit, meaning the maximum potency is 12,000.
  • Repelling Shot: Delivers a 4,000 potency attack while also launching you 10 yards back and afflicting the enemy with three seconds of Bind.
  • Silent Nocturne: Silences target for 2 seconds and grants you Repetoire.
  • The Warden’s Paean: Removes one status affliction from self or party member that can be removed by Purify. If there is no status effect, instead 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 your weaponskill cast and recast time by 10% while also increasing movement speed by 25%. Grants you and party members within a radius of 30 yards a 10% damage boost for 30 seconds. Recharges every 120 seconds.

Bard Crystalline Conflict Playstyle Breakdown

Related: FFXIV: How to play Black Mage in Crystalline Conflict

As a Bard, you need to be away from the crux of the action. Your job is to stand in the shadows and fire on enemies while also buffing the party at every chance you get. Every attack you get is instacast except for Powerful Shot, meaning you’re fast and able to weave yourself in and out of places quickly with Repelling Shot, so you can adjust to the battle as needed.

If you’re near your party, always use Apex and Blast arrow to stack Frontliner’s March and Forte on yourself and party members. That’s a 10% damage buff and a 20% cast and recast decrease for 10 seconds. The Black Mage will especially appreciate it. Between cooldowns on that chain, you’ll have Powerful Shot and Pitch perfect to deal damage. Each require you to be 15 yards away to do maximum damage, so stay away from opponents. Because Pitch Perfect lowers the cooldown on Empyreal Arrow, be sure you’ve fired them off before you move on to using it.

Your Limit Break is best used to help your party take the Crystal or wipe out the other team. Thirty whole seconds of damage increase can really add up. Stack it with Apex/Blast arrow’s buffs for maximum DPS buff, and that’s a whopping 20% DPS increase for those 10 seconds both buffs are active. Try to time it with other powerful Limit Breaks as well, like Black Mage, Summoner, or even Astrologian for double buff support. This can really help turn the tides in your team’s favor.

Playstyle Tips and Tricks

You’ll have a hard time picking off a Tank job by yourself, especially Paladin. DPS and Healers are more within your kill range.

Repelling Shot is great to run from Melee opponents or out of the fray. It’s also useful to help guarantee maximum damage on range dependent attacks, if you position to ensure you go back the full 10 yards. Or Repelling Shot can trap an opponent in the middle of the fray, inside an arena AoE, and ensure they don’t get away while fleeing.

Empyreal Arrow is your ideal ‘finish off a weakened opponent’ attack, because it’s instacast and is least likely to be completely on cooldown. If you see someone low on health, fire it off before they Recuperate or run away.

Knowing where to position is half the battle. Apex and Blast Arrow requires you to stand near the party so they’re buffed, but Powerful Shot and Pitch Perfect require you to be far away to do the best damage. This is not ideal if both teams are gathered up near each other. Make use of only needing to be 15 yards away for best damage while the party buffs extend to 30 yards to try and optimize. You can also use Repelling Shot after firing off Apex and Blast to help.

Silent Nocturne is a stun, but it’s especially valuable to use on a Black Mage in their Limit Break phase.

Warden’s Paean is your trickiest ability. You could use it before going into the fray to safeguard against incoming status afflictions. You could use it to remove one from you or someone else. Or use it just to trigger Pitch Perfect and keep DPSing. It’s  very situational.

Be a deadly sniping support and make your team outperform the other. Hopefully you’re thanked in commendations.

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