Bard 4.0 Rotation in Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
The Bard has received the most notable changes out of all the Jobs currently available in Final Fantasy XIV. With the release of the Stormblood expansion, the Bard 4.0 now has a few new things to keep track of during battle.
First off, your primary duty now will be to make sure to keep your three songs in rotation. They are Mage’s Ballad, Army’s Paeon, and Wanderer’s Minuet. Mage’s Ballad no longer refreshes your allies’ MP. Instead, it will now increase your party’s critical hit rate by 2% (as long as they’re within a radius of 20 yalms). As the song plays, your Repertoire stacks will increase each time you proc a critical hit with either Venomous Bite or Windbite.
Army’s Paeon used to be a TP refresher for your allies, but now, it also increases your party’s critical hit rate by 2%. Again, they have to be within 20 yalms of you. The big difference is that this song also comes with a Repertoire effect that reduces your weapon skill cast time, spell cast time, and auto-attack delay. It can be stacked up to four times. Similar to the Mage’s Ballad, your Repertoire stack increases when you get a critical hit with Venomous Bite or Windbite.
And finally, Wanderer’s Minuet. This song has received a drastic change from pre-4.0, and it’s certainly for the better. Instead of increasing your Bard’s damage output by 30% and tethering you to the ground with cast timers, the Wanderer’s Minuet is now a third song you can keep in your rotation to increase your party’s critical hit rate by 2%. The difference is, the song’s Repertoire effects will give you access to a new Pitch Perfect ability to increase your damage dealt. Pitch Perfect’s damage increases with the Bard’s Repertoire stacks, and it can deal a total of 420 damage at three stacks. This ability can only be used when Wanderer’s Minuet is in effect.
One last skill to keep in mind for the Bard is Battle Voice. It hasn’t changed much in Stormblood, and it increases your party’s direct hit rate by 15%, as long as they’re under the effect of any one of your three songs. So you see how important it is to always have one of those songs active during battle.
Before we move on to the actual rotation, I should mention that the Bard still has access to MP and TP refresher skills. They’re now separate songs with a set duration (meaning they no longer drain your MP or TP when in use), along with a cooldown timer. Depending on your party composition, you should still use these songs as and when the need arises. Foe’s Requiem is pretty much a must-have each time you enter a battle, as it increases damage taken by enemies, allowing your party members to deal more DPS.
For the most part, the Bard rotation remains largely the same. Listed below is my preferred rotation, though you can probably change up the order to suit your own preferences.
- Venomous Bite, Windbite, Bloodletter, Sidewinder, Barrage, Raging Strikes, Heavy Shot, Straight Shot, Empyreal Arrow
You should still use Iron Jaws to reset the timers on Venomous Bite and Windbite, as well as Bloodletter and Sidewinder whenever the cooldown ends. When your target’s HP is low, remember to use Misery’s End to finish them off.
In the middle of all this, make sure that you always have one of the three songs (Mage’s Ballad, Army’s Paeon, Wanderer’s Minuet) playing. In order for these songs to be effective and used to their full potential, always keep an eye on your timers for Venomous Bite and Windbite to keep your DoTs going. That’s what’s going to get you the Repertoire stacks, and let you realize your Bard’s full potential. When you have access to Pitch Perfect, remember to use it before Wanderer’s Minuet ends as well.
Be sure to check back with Twinfinite for more tips, tricks, and information on Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood.