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Lost Ark Bard Guide (Builds, Engravings, and Tips)

Bard Class Guide – Lost Ark

Bard is an advanced class of the mage class that focuses on supporting the party through music and sound of their harp. They juggle between providing burst heals and shields, or huge short duration damage buff spells to their allies.

They are one of the few support classes in Lost Ark. Supports are incredibly important for harder content since they provide amazing damage buffs as well as increased survivability for the whole party during the raid.

Bards have many skills that are useful depending on the situation. As a Bard, you will be rewarded by understanding your whole class and all your skills as you can be flexible and take the appropriate skills and tripods depending on the raid you’re going to.

So if you’re looking for – a class that is highly sought after and rewards strong knowledge and awareness then Bard is for you.

To learn how to play the newest mage sub-class, check out our Lost Ark Arcanist guide. If you’re planning to level up this class, please, read our Bard leveling guide for the best experience!

Comparisons to other classes

Bard is much different than the other mage classes as it’s the only dedicated support in the mage class.

Compared to Sorceress, Bard has less mobility and damage. They focus on supporting their teammates instead. But Bard and Sorceress are similar and that they have to make choice in what they want to spend their identity on.

If you want to know how well Bard performs in the current meta, visit our Lost Ark tier list.

Class Mechanics

Bards class mechanic revolves around Serenade Meter. Serenade Meter consists of three bubbles. This meter builds up by damaging enemies and supporting your teammates.

Once you’ve filled up your Serenade Meter, you can spend it to play one of your two songs: Serenade of Courage and Serenade of Salvation. Both of these songs have opposing purposes:

  • Serenade of Courage
    • Is a damage buff that gives your allies a huge boost in damage for a short time. This helps your party get maximum dps during key parts of the raid.
  • Serenade of Salvation
    • Is a massive heal that restores health over time. This helps undo your party’s mistakes and increase the survivability of the raid.

Both buffs increase in power depending on how many bubbles you used to play the song with the maximum power buff requiring all three bubbles.

Bards identity is flexible and fun. It rewards players that have good awareness and understanding of the situation at hand.


Bard is one of the few support classes in Lost Ark. They’re focused on short duration but strong buffs for healing, shielding, and damage increasing.

Although they don’t do much damage themselves, the damage increase they give to their team as well as the utility they provide is more than worth the difference.

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Bard is a support class in PvP that takes on a reactive role. They use their buffs, immunity, and great ability to peel to counter anything aggressive from their opponents.

Bards shortcomings lie in the fact that they have limited mobility and are reliant on their team to deal damage. However, with good positioning and understanding of the game, Bard’s can be the biggest impact on why their team wins.

Core Abilities


Your main damage skill used to follow up combos.

Prelude of Storm

This is your hard crowd Control. Can be used to peel for your teammates that are getting juggled by Push Immune skills or to catch enemies off guard to start an engagement.


Bard has limited mobility but March helps make up for that. It gives movement speed and slows enemies that the musical notes hit.

Guardian Tune

One of the best buffs in the game hands down. Provides Debuff Immunity for your whole team on one instance of Hard Crowd Control. This allows you to bait abilities as well as reactively save teammates. On top of all of that it also provides great shields.

Rhapsody of Light

Damage reduction skill that’s used to help mitigate damage taken by teammates that are getting juggled or are caught out.

Sonic Vibration

Push Immunity skill that is good to use to peel for yourself or your teammates.

Rhythm Buckshot

Short ranged knock up that can be used to extend combos or peel for yourself.

Awakening Abilities


Bard plays their harp and sings to the angels to inflict a massive amount of holy damage. It ends with a final explosion that deals damage and increases crit chance against enemies for a short time.

This Awakening is not recommended to take outside of Chaos Dungeons since the damage increase is not as impactful as the benefits from Symphonia.


Rise into the air and play music granting all nearby allies a large shield that is based on the Bard’s Max HP. Enemies within range take a bit of damage as well as damage, attack speed, and movement speed reduction debuffs.

This is your preferred Awakening due to how much utility it provides compared to Oratorio.

Advanced Class Engravings

Every Lost Ark class has access to engravings that will focus your playstyle in one particular direction. For Bard you will choose between Desperate Salvation and True Courage.

Desperate Salvation

desperate salvation engraving bard

Healing your allies, you heal them for an extra large % of their maximum HP. This is a great engraving that allows even the weak version of your Serenade of Salvation to heal for a large amount.

This is your primary engraving since it’s the only one of Bard’s class engravings that provides a bonus to their allies. Since Bard is primarily a support this will be the typical engraving taken.

True Courage

true courage bard engraving

For Bard’s that want to trek down the selfish main DPS path. It provides you with bonus damage and crit rate after using Serenade of Valor.

It’s not recommended to take this engraving at all since Bards are lackluster as a damage dealer and way more valuable as a support.


Desperate Salvation Build

desperate salvation bard build tripod

Image from Lostarkive

  • Sound Shock
    • 3-1-1
    • Your party synergy skill. Landing this skill marks your target to take additional damage. A good Bard can land all their Sound Shocks to keep this debuff up 100% of the time.
  • Wind of Music
    • 2-1-2
    • Important shield skill. Deals damage to enemies and provides shields to allies. You gain more meter if you are able to land both parts.
  • Heavenly Tune
    • 1-1-1
    • Your main buff skill. Make sure to use this skill off cooldown.
  • Soundholic
    • 1-1-2
    • Main stagger skill and your only decent damage skill. This skill also gains a decent amount of meter.
  • Prelude of Storm
    • 2-2-1
    • Main meter generation skill. Take meter generation tripods and make sure to land this skill. Main Wealth rune goes on this skill.
  • Sonic Vibration
    • 3-2-1
    • Secondary buff skill after Heavenly Tune. Use this when Heavenly Tune is on cooldown to bridge the gap. You’ll often place this skill behind the boss since most damage classes are going to be back attacking or simply standing safely behind the boss.
  • Guardian Tune
    • 1-1-2
    • Your main defensive skill. Tripods allow you to provide additional shields as well as a buff that negates one source of crowd control. Good timing will allow you to save yourself and allies from deadly abilities.
  • Rhythm Buckshot
    • 1-2-1
    • Main counter skill. It’s a good counter with good defensive tripods.
    • This slot can be flexed to other options like Rhythmic Harp, Rhapsody of Light, and other abilities.
Stat Priority
  • Swfitness primary and Specialization secondary.
  • Swiftness allows a more consistent playstyle because of the additional cooldown reduction and movement speed making it much easier to be forgiving with your skills and dodging mechanics.
  • High Swiftness can lead to mana problems until you have access to Conviction and Judgment runes so it’s important to adjust your stats to add more Specialization according to your needs.
  • Wealth runes are important to generate identity in order to give your strongest buffs more often.
  • Conviction and Judgment runes help with Bard’s mana issues that come from their high swiftness build.
  • Overwhelm runes allow Bards to carry more during stagger checks.
  • Desperate Salvation 3 is core to the build and necessary due to how efficient the extra healing and support is at level 3.
  • Heavy Armor 3 is important for Bards since they have the lowest vitality multiplier in the game. It is important for supports to survive and later in raids, it’s important for supports to take hits from the raid instead of the DPS during certain boss mechanics.
  • Awakening 3 allows for increased amount of awakening uses as well as reduced cooldown. Since Bard’s awakening is a supporting ability, this gives Bards more chances to save their teammates.
  • Expert 3 and Vital Point 3 are both good extra engravings as the extra healing/shielding can be very useful and Vital Point allows Bards to help with stagger checks from bosses much more easily.
  • Drops of Ether can be useful for providing more buffs for party members
  • Bards don’t focus on damage so getting cooldown gems for your skills is what matters most.

True Courage Build

true courage bard build tripod

Image from Lostarkive

  • Sound Shock
    • 3-1-1
    • Your party synergy skill. Landing this skill marks your target to take additional damage. A good Bard can land all their Sound Shocks to keep this debuff up 100% of the time.
      Also use this to proc Conviction buff so that you can trigger Judgment with Dissonance.
  • Soundholic
    • 1-1-2
    • Main damage skill for True Courage. This skill also gains a decent amount of meter.
  • Heavenly Tune
    • 1-1-1
    • Your main buff skill. Make sure to use this skill off cooldown since it makes your rotation strong as well as your party members.
  • Sonic Vibration
    • 3-3-2
    • Another damage over time dps skill. The Push Immunity gives it some flexibility with dodging dangerous crowd control.
  • Rhythmic Harp
    • 1-1-2
    • Damage skill that continuously can apply your Bleed rune. Its range is decent but not amazing so be careful where you place it.
  • Stigma
    • 3-3-1
    • Another one of your damage skills but on a medium cooldown. This skill is damage over time so try to use this when the boss is stuck in an animation.
  • Dissonance
    • 1-3-2
    • Low cooldown dps skill. Dissonance is a multi hit with a short cooldown so it’s useful for trying to trigger your Judgment rune.
Stat Priority
  • Crit primary and Swiftness secondary.
  • Crit is necessary to improve your DPS and increase the damage of Keen Blunt Weapon engraving.
  • True Courage is focused on DPS so we take Swiftness as a secondary stat for the extra CDR instead of Specialization.
  • Conviction and Judgment runes help with Bard’s mana issues and improve their DPS.
  • Galewind runes go on longer animation skills to make rotations smoother.
  • True Courage 3 is mandatory class engraving for this build. The scaling for True Courage makes it much more efficient at level 3 than level 1.
  • Adrenaline 3 is another engraving that is good to pick up early. True Courage Bard doesn’t have issues keeping this up with their low cooldowns and the extra crit rate helps them maximize their DPS.
  • Keen Blunt Weapon 3 is a good choice for True Courage Bard due to how much crit rate they can get from their engravings.
  • Grudge 3 and Cursed Doll 3 are good to pick up once you have your other engravings or are comfortable with the content that the penalty of these engravings don’t punish you too much.
  • Damage and Cooldown Gems on
    • Soundholic
    • Sonic Vibrations
    • Stigma
    • Rhythmic Harp
    • Dissonance

Thanks for reading! For more articles and guides, check out the rest of our Lost Ark blog.