The best bard builds in Baldur’s Gate 3

The best pumping for a bard in the early stages of the game; list of builds for midgame and endgame

Bards can be classified as magicians, although they differ significantly from other spellcasters in terms of their use of magic. Instead of uttering some abstruse words in an incomprehensible language, bards skillfully combine magic with fascinating stories and beautiful melodies that play throughout the battle. Thanks to their high charisma, they easily inspire their comrades, inflicting damage on opponents both during the battle and before it starts.

Bards skillfully protect themselves from incoming damage by applying buffs and improving the armor worn. Unlike incarnation wizards, who focus primarily on offensive spells, bards are more likely to use crowd control abilities to control the situation on the battlefield.

With their natural curiosity and thirst for knowledge, they are true jacks of all trades who are useful in any situation. Bards wield simple and light weapons, some varieties of ranged weapons. Depending on their subclass, they can wear light or medium armor.

Character Creation

First, let’s take a look at the bard customization process during character creation to maximize its effectiveness. You do not have to follow our instructions verbatim, and some changes are quite likely after the release of the full version of the game.


For backstory, I suggest taking the ones that allow you to get the most out of Charisma, which is the most important ability for bards to ensure that their spells hit the target, as well as increasing the success rate of various skills on NPCs. It’s about deception, persuasion, intimidation and execution.


With regard to race, the priority should be to find those options that will give additional charisma, since the effectiveness of witchcraft depends on it. Because of this, the first race that is best suited for a bard is the half-elves of the woods. Not only will you get +2 Charisma, but you will also be able to add 1 point each to Dexterity and Stamina, the second most important stats for this class. Agility is needed to increase the bard’s armor class, while stamina will increase maximum health. Both abilities should improve durability and survivability in combat.

In addition, higher stamina will increase the success rate of stamina saving throws, which are required for spells that require concentration. So leave 14 Dexterity and 16 Stamina at level one. Agility is set to 14 to get a +2 Dexterity modifier, which is enough to equip medium armor. You will be able to equip this armor when you select the College of Courage subclass. In addition, the half-wood elf has Night Vision, which improves line of sight and ensures that spells within a certain range will hit their target, even in the dark. You will also gain access to increased movement speed and stealth mastery.

The second race you can choose for your bard is human. You will gain +1 skill point to each ability. And last but not least, Drow Lolth or Seldarine. You get +2 Dexterity and +1 Charisma for choosing any Drow along with Enhanced Night Vision.

Skills and musical instrument

High Charisma and Dexterity should be kept in mind when selecting skills, so picking those that are compatible with those abilities is ideal. For Dexterity, Acrobatics, Stealth, and Sleight of Hand are good; for Charisma, Deception, Persuasion, Intimidation, and Execution.

You can also choose a musical instrument. Snare drum, lyre, violin, flute and lute are available. This will affect how your bard casts spells, though its effectiveness or power will not change. In general, here act at your discretion.


The bard’s main ability is Charisma, which increases the effectiveness of spells. For this reason, during character creation, you need to pump this ability up to 16 units, and later – try to 18. In addition, Agility and Endurance are the abilities that you need to focus on to increase durability and survivability, since only light armor is initially available, which provides weak protection.

You can then invest skill points in Strength, Wisdom or Intelligence, but remember that they do not matter much, since spells are not affected. However, it is worth considering that they affect the result of skill checks and carrying capacity. Plus or minus before the start of the game, the ability values ​​should be as follows: Strength 12, Agility 14, Endurance 16, Intelligence 8, Wisdom 10, Charisma 16.

Level 1 – inspiration, spells and tricks

bardic inspiration

As a bonus action, you gain Bardic Inspiration, which adds a +1d6 bonus to an ally on your next attack roll, ability check, or saving throw. You can use this class action 3 times and replenish on a long rest. For example, during combat, a bonus die will automatically be added to the target’s next attack roll to increase the chances of hitting the enemy. To extend the duration of the bonus, the character must re-cast Bard’s Inspiration on the same ally.

1st level spells

During character creation, you will be able to choose tricks and spells. Unlike the same wizards, you do not have to “prepare” spells from the list of known ones in order to use them. Instead, you learn a limited number of spells, which you can then cast without issue. Thus, one must be very selective, as bards cannot access all of the offered enchantments!

At the first level, you can choose 4 spells. I highly recommend taking Thunder Wave and Dissonant Whisper as offensive spells. Thunder Wave is a great AoE spell that will knock back or even kill enemies. Due to the short range, you should only use the cast against those who get close to the bard in order to push the opponents back to a safe distance. However, be careful when using Thunder Wave so that allies don’t get caught in the crossfire.

Dissonant Whispers is a powerful ranged spell that deals 3-18 psychic damage and instills fear in the target. In doing so, they will suffer disadvantage on checks and rolls.

The next set of spells to consider are Healing Word and Heroism. Healing Word will heal any party member the bard can see. At the same time, “Heroism” is a new enchantment spell that grants a nearby ally a temporary increase in health for 10 turns, and at the same time it becomes impossible to frighten them. Note that this spell requires concentration.

Concentration breaks if you cast another spell or focus that requires concentration. Read the descriptions of spells and tricks carefully to see if they require concentration. For example, if you play “Heroism” and then activate “Fairy Radiance”, then the concentration from the first cast will be transferred to the second.

If you take damage while concentrating on a spell, a Stamina saving throw is activated. If you fail it, the effect of this spell will dissipate. However, if you succeed on the saving throw, maintain your Concentration and the spell continues. Therefore, it is vital for bards to have high stamina in order to protect the effect of their spells with concentration.

Focuses 1st level

At the first level, you will be able to choose 2 focuses. I recommend taking “Stinging mockery” and “Light”. Snarky Taunt is a spell that deals 1 to 4 psychic damage and unleashes a torrent of arcane insults on the target to impose disadvantage on the next attack roll. Meanwhile, with the Light focus, you can imbue the subject with an aura of light.

Level 2


At the second level, you will receive the Jack of All Trades skill, which will allow you to add half the skill bonus, rounded down, to certain skills that you do not own. Jack of All Trades is a worthy bard trait that will turn you into a versatile character, making non-combat checks easier.

Holiday song

At this level, you will also receive Song of Rest, which will restore the health of the bard and his allies as if you had activated a short rest. If you have Will in your squad, he will greatly benefit from this, as his spell slots will replenish. With Song of Rest, you are essentially saving short rests for more critical and dangerous situations.


Starting at 2nd level, you will be able to replace old spells with new ones using a Replacement Spell, just like a wizard does. Thus, you can remove from the list of available spells that you do not use, and choose one spell as a replacement. And so with each increase in level. Alternatively, if you’re happy with the list of current spells, you can simply ignore this feature and continue learning new spells. All previously selected spells are extremely useful during the battle and for the squad buff, so it’s not worth learning them.

Among the available spells, I suggest choosing “Tasha’s Disgusting Laugh” to cause continuous fits of laughter in the target, preventing him from attacking or doing anything in combat for at least 1 turn. However, remember that this spell requires concentration, so you need to balance its casts with Heroism depending on the current situation.

Level 3

College Choice

When moving to the third level, you will be able to choose one of two subclasses of the bard – the College of Knowledge or the College of Courage. Your decision depends on the feature you would like to focus on – Sharp Words or Battle Inspiration. In the College of Knowledge, you strive for truth and knowledge, which allows you to gain 3 additional skills. During battles, you can use Sharp Words to impose a penalty on attack rolls, ability checks, and damage by subtracting 1d6 from your opponent’s rolls. This increases the chance of a miss or significant damage.

In comparison, the College of Courage previously covered provides important bonuses that not only increase the bard’s survivability, but also make him more prepared for combat scenarios as the character gains medium armor, shield, and combat weapon proficiencies. Moreover, the bard will be able to use “Battle Inspiration”, which improves the standard “Bard Inspiration”. Instead of simply adding 1d6 to an attack roll, ability check, or ally’s saving throw, a bard can choose a +1d6 bonus to the damage of his next weapon attack or to his armor class for one attack.

Decide which of these bonuses will be useful to the selected target (will it defend or attack?). Remember that Battle Inspiration only lasts for 1 action.

Skills with Mastery

At the third level, you can choose two skills you already have to double their bonuses, which will increase your success rate on ability checks dramatically.


The next spell that comes up is Phantasm Power, which does 1-6 psychic damage every turn for 10 turns. What adds flexibility to this focus-based spell is that if, for example, Gale casts Fire Arrow against the same target, the damage type of Phantasm Power will change to Gale’s attack type (Fire). Thus, instead of inflicting psychic damage in subsequent rounds, the enemy will receive fire damage. An excellent spell that allows you to automatically kill an enemy with a low level of health without the need to perform an additional action for this.

Level 4

At the fourth level, you will get another second-level spell slot, as well as a focus. Additionally, you can choose a trait, and I highly recommend sticking with the Enhance Attribute trait to get your Charisma up to 18. As a bard, you should prioritize upgrading this ability to maximize the effectiveness of your spells.

For the spell, you can choose “Inferior Recovery” or “Shattering Sound” depending on the situation. If you want to continue to support the group, then “Inferior Recovery” is the best option for removing negative statuses (malicious conditions or diseases). Alternatively, if you want to do more ranged damage, choose Shattering Sound (3-24 thunder damage).


As for the bard’s gear, you’ll most likely need a one-handed weapon with a shield as an alternative to Thunderwave and another weapon to deal damage with ranged combat (like a light crossbow, since your bard will have a decent agility stat). As for one-handed combat weapons, the steel sword from the Infested Village is quite enough to deal melee damage (5-10 points of piercing damage).

As for armor, you can opt for Laezel’s Partial Githyanki Armor, which will give you 17 armor class. Since you also have a shield, the armor class will increase to 19, making it much harder for you to take damage.

As for accessories, the Healing Cap should be preferred, which can be obtained from a gilded chest near the Druid Grove. It’s perfect for a bard, as it allows you to heal allies while using Combat/Bardic Inspiration on them. Another worthy trinket is the Talisman of the Absolute from the Shattered Sanctuary, which restores a portion of health when dealing damage (though if you have low HP).

Let’s summarize:

  1. Bard is an amazing class that is better suited to the role of a support than some DPS. With the help of numerous buffs and debuffs, the bard can strengthen allies and weaken enemies. With the College of Courage subclass, you’ll give your squad plenty of options to improve their attack, damage output, and more.
  2. Learn to manage Bardic Inspiration, as it’s easy to make the mistake of wasting it in one tricky encounter. As the level increases, its amount does not increase. If you encounter multiple enemies, be sure to use Combat or Bardic Inspiration to improve your chance to hit an enemy or weapon damage when fighting a specific powerful opponent. This will increase the chances that you will kill the mob faster, with a minimum of losses.
  3. Finally, remember that Discordant Whisper, Thunderwave, and Furious Taunt are your most powerful spells and focuses in most encounters, because not only do they deal decent damage, but they apply certain conditions or hindrances to targets.


by Abdullah Sam
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