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Valor Bard, the Best Gish No One Plays | D&D 5e Build Guide

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

Original Video:



*This article is an edited version of the script for this video


Race:

Custom Lineage, Variant Human could work as well. Mainly for the first level feat which will be Crossbow Expert


Background:

I know most of you will probably not be able to use them but I feel like I always have to mention the Strixhaven and Dragonlance backgrounds because they’re so good. If you are playing in one of those settings or have a nice DM, these backgrounds are a really good pick.


Ability Scores(point buy):

Str: 8

Dex: 14

Con: 15

Int: 8

Wis: 10

Cha: 15(+2)


Ability Score Priorities:

#1: Cha

#2: Con

#3: Dex


Ideal Equipment:

-Hand Crossbow

-Half Plate

-Spellcasting Foci(Warlock and Bard)


Level 1: Warlock 1

-Spells: Shield, Hex

-Otherworldly Patron: Hexblade

—Hex Warrior: We can attack with our Charisma and we get medium armor proficiency

—Hexblade’s Curse: Good bonus to our single target damage once per short rest


Note:

If you roll really good stats you don’t necessarily need the warlock dip. Though it is still good for Hexblade’s Curse and the Shield spell either way.


Levels 2-7: Bard 1-6

-Bardic Inspiration: Our subclass will give us a buff to this but I would try to hand these out before combat so you don’t have to spend your bonus action on them in combat

-Spells(Note: For bard spells I’ll be saying my top picks, you may or may not be able to get all of them): Healing Word, Silvery Barbs, Faerie Fire, Aid, Locate Object, Dispel Magic, Hypnotic Pattern

-Feat: Sharpshooter

-Bard College: College of Valor

—Combat Inspiration: Additional uses for bardic inspiration

—Extra Attack


Level 8: Fighter 1

-Fighting Style: Archery


Tactics:

You’ll want to start casting a concentration spell on the first round that will help your whole party like Faerie Fire or try to take some enemies out of the fight with something like Hypnotic Pattern. On rounds thereafter you’ll just be firing your hand crossbow 3 times, throwing in other spells as needed.


Damage Per Round(DPR) Vs 17 AC:

No Advantage: 17.85

Sharpshooter on AC 20 or lower

With Advantage(likely with Faerie Fire): 29.61

Sharpshooter on AC 21 or lower

Hexblade’s Curse without Advantage: 21.53

Sharpshooter on AC 19 or lower

Hexblade’s Curse with Advantage: 35.78

Sharpshooter on AC 20 or lower


Levels 9-20: Bard 7-18

-Spells: Dimension Door, Polymorph, Animate Objects(if you’re commanding something with your bonus action often pick up a heavy crossbow and use that), Synaptic Static, Mass Suggestion, Heroes’ Feast, Forcecage, Mirage Arcane, Mind Blank, Foresight, True Polymorph

-Feats:

—8th: Resilient: Con, boosts our concentration checks as well as all our other Con saves

—12th: Telekinetic or Fey Touched, mainly for the +1 Cha but each can provide its own unique utility

—16th: War Caster or +2 Cha, another boost to our concentration checks which will be nice at a level we are taking a lot of damage per hit

-Magical Secrets:

—10th: Wall of Force, Find Greater Steed

—14th: Counterspell, One of these 3: Conjure Celestial, Pass Without Trace, Contingency. You could take Simulacrum as well but this one can be game breaking so I would talk to your DM first.

—18th: Wish, Maze

-Battle Magic, we can cast a spell and still get some damage in on the same turn


Tactics:

Our tactics our pretty much the same we just have much better spells to start of with and now with Battle Magic we can still do some damage on that first round when we’re casting our concentration spell


Damage Per Round(DPR) Vs 20 AC:

You and Griffon(from Find Greater Steed), no Advantage: 28.93

Sharpshooter on AC 24 or lower

You and Griffon, with Advantage: 47

Sharpshooter on AC 25 or lower

You with Hexblade’s Curse and Griffon with Advantage: 59.5

Sharpshooter on AC 23 or lower

You(with heavy crossbow) + Animate Objects and Griffon with Advantage: 86.19

Sharpshooter on AC 24 or lower

You, Animate Objects, Hexblade’s Curse and Griffon with Advantage: 94.89

Sharpshooter on AC 22 or lower


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