DnD 5e: The Perfect Bard Build

DnD 5e: The Perfect Bard Build

The Bards of Dungeons & Dragons have a mixed reputation. Generally seen as incredibly charismatic oafs who can talk just about anyone out of their clothes, people don’t often take Bards seriously — and that’s their first mistake. With the perfect Bard build, these characters can easily become powerful members of an adventuring party, all while recording their epic deeds for posterity’s sake.

Factors like race, subclass and background choices can impact a Bard’s potential. There are also a number of intriguing feats that, when combined with the right attributes, can more or less turn a Bard into whomever they need to convince the world they are. Bards tend to be jack-of-all-trades characters, which can be just as much of a hindrance as it is a boon. Taking time to carefully consider the impact the character will have on the party and the world around them is an essential part of creating the perfect Bard.

Perfect Bard Build Summary

Ability Scores (in order of importance)

Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, Strength




The College of Lore


Inspiring Leader, War Caster, Actor

Skill Proficiencies

Performance, Persuasion, Intimidation, Deception

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DnD 5e’s Bards Are Charisma-Based Magic Users

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Charisma is the most important stat in a Bard’s repertoire. Not only does it guarantee epic performances in their chosen field of entertainment, but it grants the power to masterfully con, manipulate, charm, deceive and intimidate almost anyone they meet. This makes them the perfect person to throw into diplomatic situations that need a little finesse, including those moments the rest of the party may find themselves in a jam.

Nearly all of a Bard’s abilities, including the magic they wield, are Charisma-based, so getting that Charisma as high as possible as quickly as possible is a must. Not only does this raise their Spell Attack modifier and Spell Save DC, but a good Charisma base offers a nice boost to important skills like Performance, Deception, Persuasion, and Intimidation. The next most useful stat is Dexterity, as Bards need to be nimble, agile, and just stealthy enough while pulling the wool over someone’s eyes to get away.

Dungeons & Dragons’ Half-Elf Is Perfect For Bards

<!–[if IE 9]> <![endif]–>DnD 5e Half-Elf Bard

There are a handful of standard races perfect for Bards, but the best hands down remains the Half-Elf. Not only do half-elves get an automatic +2 Charisma boost, but they also get two more +1 stat boosts to other attributes. This is great for granting extra Intelligence and Dexterity, both highly useful skills for Bards. Half-elves also have darkvision, extra skill boosts, and advantage on being charmed — which is perfect because they definitely need to be the most charming person on the field.

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Eladrin, Elves, Drow, Tabaxi, Tieflings, Humans, Changelings, and Satyrs the other useful choices, as they also get Charisma boosts and have access to a number of useful spells and abilities that a Bard could take advantage of. Analyze these races carefully, looking through their spells and abilities to determine which one best suits the type Bard you’re creating.

Choosing the Right Bardic College

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Choosing a Bardic college grants access to the skills, spells, and abilities that will define the character throughout the campaign. As 5e continues to expand its many options for class specializations, the College of Lore continues to be one of the absolute best options for building outstanding Bards. It’s the perfect balance between practically infallible skill checks and a list of nearly unstoppable spells from other schools of magic that only keeps growing as the Bard levels up. Lore Bards also gain access to one of the coolest features in D&D: Cutting Words. This allows a character to use one of their Bardic Inspirations as a reaction to affect the outcome of an enemy’s attacks, ability checks, and damage rolls.

The College of Glamour is another powerful choice, with intriguing boons like Mantle of Majesty and Unbreakable Majesty that allow them to stop pesky enemies in their tracks by Commanding them to do their bidding or putting them at a disadvantage when the Bard attacks. Consider Colleges carefully, looking what each offers and thinking about how they will be useful.

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The Best Dungeons & Dragons Feats for Bards

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All classes have the option to either boost their core skills or take a feat at certain levels. There are a handful of feats that are particularly useful for Bards. Inspiring Leader couples well with the Bard’s Song of Rest ability, granting the entire party temporary hit points after listening to an inspirational speech. War Caster is another great option, as it gives Bards a little more spellcasting flexibility when it comes to Concentration and Opportunity Attacks. Finally, Actor boosts Charisma a little more, and since most Bards are always looking for opportunities to flex their acting muscles, it’s definitely a good fit.

The Bard’s Best DnD 5e Skill Proficiencies

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Choosing the right proficiencies is the difference between a mediocre and amazing Bard. Bards don’t need to be athletic or know how to handle animals, so taking opportunities to boost their skill checks in things like Performance, Persuasion, Deception, and Intimidation is an absolute must.

The College of Lore’s Expertise feature allows Bards the chance to double their proficiency in up to four skills by the time they reach level 10, which is just another great reason that college is the best option. These are the choices that will truly make a Bard the kind of jack-of-all-trades that is indispensable to the entire party. People won’t hesitate to rely on them when it comes to bargaining, convincing, deceiving, and telling the epic tales of the adventures they undertake together while out saving the worlds.


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