RANKING EVERY BARD SUBCLASS IN D&D 5E (Updated 2022)

Ahh, Bards!

It’s impossible not to love the characters! They’re extremely versatile characters with numerous talents and the ability to be awe-inspiringly charming.

Every party is more enjoyable having a Bard to join them on their adventures. What number of crazy D&D stories start by saying ” it all started when our Bard decided to…“?

In keeping with the format of my previous guides to classes, it’s time to rate each one of the Bard subclasses of D&D 5e.

What of these Bardic Colleges will be the first place?

NUMBER 8 – THE COLLEGE OF SWORDS

Best Bard subclass

Beginning from the lowest point of our rankings beginning at The College of Swords Bard.

The Bards are the best at swordplay. Their amazing technique can draw attention to crowds as well as out-finesse the opposition. This results in an amazing subclass to your bard.

Why do you think that the College of Swords is in the last place in this ranking?

This subclass significantly challenges the traditional role of a Bard. This isn’t necessarily bad but it’s something you should know about when creating characters.

While Bards generally play a support role in their group but those belonging to their College of Swords are a little more self-centered. Their Bardic Inspiration can be utilized to provide the Blade Flourishes in their assaults.

These capabilities are crucial to the Bard’s College of Swords’ performance in battle. Invoking your Bardic inspiration to an ally in a way that is effective can eliminate one of your primary subclass characteristics. It’s a tough choice to make!

These Bards might thrive on the battlefront however they are not the only ones. The College of Valor Bard just does it better, and in a manner that allows them to continue to support their allies.

If you’re planning to play in a College of Swords Bard, you’ll need to ensure that the group knows that the majority of your time will be spent making use of Bardic Inspiration for your own capabilities before you start!

NUMBER 7 – THE COLLEGE OF WHISPERS

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The bard who sneaks into the 7th place in the ranking comes from Bards from the College of Whispers Bard.

The majority of Bards are typically portrayed as jolly entertainers capable of winning the respect of everyone who watches them perform. If they are able to meet their requirements they will be a College of Whispers Bard is very happy to perform this role.

The Bards are spies, con artists, and manipulators who typically pretend to be students of other colleges.

They can create chaos and confusion everywhere they travel. They are able to speak with hidden threats, add Psychic attack damage, or create illusions using the shadows of the fallen foes.

Naturally, the Bards are great for roleplay-based adventures. If you’ve got a DM who is comfortable creating chaos in the troops of the enemy You can be extremely effective in combat too. The backline of the enemy will not be aware of what they did until they’re too late!

Unfortunately, it is true that the College of Whispers is another “selfish” Bard subclass.

The Psychic Blades ability requires Bardic Inspiration, this means that you have to decide between dealing some amazing Psychic damage or strengthening allies.

The College of Whispers Bard beats out the College of Swords in this list because they still provide incredible scouts, and have the potential to stop just about everything your adversaries have planned.

However, like other Bards in the College of Swords Bard, you’ll need to make it clear to your players that this class is more focused on dealing damage and destabilizing things, rather than buffing allies. It’s not a problem however, you’re closer to the role of a Rogue than a typical Bard!

NUMBER 6 – THE COLLEGE OF SPIRITS

bard spells 5e

Things are turning spooky as we approach the sixth position in this list. Take a look at the crystal ball, and you will see that the College of Spirits Bard!

As of the moment, I’m writing this piece it’s the latest update to the Bard subclasses.

Personally, I (and I really, I seriously) desired to place this higher. Beyond the greatness that is its College of Spirits’ theme, it’s a fantastic image of what Bards could bring to the celebration.

The entire College of Spirits Bard is intriguing to me, however, there’s no chance of chance to be fair in this position!

This subclass provides your Bard with many great options to help your team and still have a combative style of play. You can get fantastic buffs to your Bard spells. You can also utilize the power of your Bardic inspiration to invoke Spirits that grant all sorts of benefits to your friends.

The spirits you summon are random. It is possible to at least determine what you summon, however, it’s still just a matter of probability.

I like the random quality of this Bard subclass however I am aware that I’m far from the majority of people in this regard. When you’re facing the risks of your journey It’s always better to be sure of what you’re getting in terms of your abilities!

NUMBER 5 – THE COLLEGE OF CREATION

bard 5e

When I first began reading the College of Creation Bard in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, I wasn’t impressed.

However, I couldn’t be more incorrect!

This subclass is designed specifically for players who enjoy solving issues by thinking outside the box. The potential in Bards of the College of Creation Bard is more about the class’s mechanics, as much as the open spaces you can work on.

Bardic Inspirations can be transformed into new capabilities depending on how your allies utilize them. You can easily conjure objects (including elements of spells!) out of nothing.

You can also animate objects that you create to help you!

The quantity of potential this Bard subclass can unleash when it is used by an imaginative player is frightening.

However, that could make it an amount of limitation to this class classification…

You must be a problem-solver with a sense of humor and have a DM who’s willing to let you be a maniac to reap the maximum benefit out of the College of Creation Bard.

NUMBER 4 – THE COLLEGE OF VALOR

In the current ranking, there are a number of subclasses that really look at the role of the Bard in the group in various ways.

If you like being right in the middle of it all, the College of Valor comes in in the fourth spot.

The Bards are tough and equipped to stand in front of the crowd’s frontlines. You’re an amazing support character for your group But this doesn’t mean you cannot deliver some serious pain!

Bards from the College of Valor gain extra proficiency with weapons, shields, and armor, which enable them to play more aggressively. Additionally, their Bardic Inspiring provides allies with more options to increase their damage, or temporarily increase their armor class.

If you decide to take on the role as the role of a Valor Bard, you’re looking forward to telling stories of the great heroes and their feats. In the event that you could find yourself as well as your friends being the subject of some of these stories yourself!

NUMBER 3 – THE COLLEGE OF GLAMOUR

The Bards from the College of Glamour are masters of enchantment, governing the battlefield, as well as everything Fey.

However, this Bard subclass didn’t have to use any charms in order to get to the third position in this ranking!

As a College of Glamour Bard, you enjoy the awe of your fellow bards. Utilizing your Bardic Inspiration, you put an elegant appearance and grant temporary hit points and additional movement to your friends.

People find you attractive and they are quick to tell other people about how awesome you are. As you progress your ability to impress people can totally change the direction of any conversation.

If you have reached the capstone of this subclass, your adversaries have no choice but to reconsider attacking you. If they do decide to attack it’s not a problem shifting their minds quickly afterward!

The addition of Fey magic to an already captivating class such as the Bard creates an endlessly amusing and entertaining character.

You’ll not only become a powerhouse of support for your event and look stunning while doing it!

NUMBER 2 – THE COLLEGE OF ELOQUENCE

2 Bard subclasses that are alike in their dignity, but to fair 5, the place we set our scene…

The College of Eloquence is simply amazing. It shifted back and forth throughout this ranking, aiming for the number one spot but I ultimately had to rank it as number two.

This subclass was initially created to support the Theros campaign and it caused my jaw to fall. It is an amazing subclass. However, I was aware that any game I played for a party using the help of a Bard could totally change at any time.

Straight out of the beginning, you’ll never miss a chance to convince or trick anyone else. Furthermore, your Bardic Inspiring can be used to lower opponents’ saving throws.

And in the context of Bardic Inspiration… If your ally utilizes the die Bardic Inspiration and does not succeed they will be able to keep the die to use for another time.

At the point you’ve reached the capstone level in the College of Eloquence Bard, you will gain so much more value out of each Bardic Inspiration use that is completely absurd.

There’s no weakness in this Bard subclass, other than how specific it is. It does this specification so well, that it’s difficult to argue against it.

If you’re interested in playing the role of a Bard with a concentration on inspiring your fellows and being the undisputed leader of the group then this is a perfect choice the right choice for you!

NUMBER 1 – THE COLLEGE OF LORE

bard colleges 5e

It was a tight race but it was the College of Lore Bard takes the top place!

The subclass is considered to be the only Bard class.

Lore Bards can be described as the best masters of all trades. There’s nothing that these Bards could not do well!

They’re a Swiss Army Knife in terms of capabilities. As avid readers of knowledge as well as stories, they generally have a good grasp of almost anything. Combine that with their talent of attracting people’s attention through their performance or general Charisma and you’ll have an image that’s just iconic.

In battle, You can always depend on Bards from the College of Lore Bard to have a trick or two up their sleeves.

They can access a variety of new spells due to the more Magical Secrets features. In battle, they can utilize their Bardic Inspiration using the Cutting Words abilities to distract opponents and reduce their attack rolls.

If the group finds themselves in need of a boost in their skills or utility or an engaging spokesperson or someone who can defuse the most well-planned strategies of any adversary or enemy, the College of Lore Bard can quickly fill the gap.

It may be a bit cliché to place this Bard subclass on the top of the list, but it definitely deserves the honor!

CONCLUSION – THE BARD SUBCLASSES RANKED

The Bard subclasses in D&D 5e really do a great job to show just how unique Bards can be. In certain ways, the subclasses didn’t seem like one of those “apples to apples” comparisons!

Every single one of these could be the most memorable character you’ve ever encountered. (Especially if you take a look at my full description of D&D 5e’s Bard character for D&D 5e!)

This subclass ranking is essentially made in my personal opinion. But, I tried to make my ranking as neutral as I can in my decision-making process to determine which Bard subclasses will provide the most influence on your games!

Whatever Bard College you plan to join after reaching Level 3, make sure to read my guide on how to use Bardic Inspiration. This is your Bard’s most crucial skill and you need to ensure you’re making use of it correctly!

What do you think?

Would you be acquiescent to this classification? Do you rate your Bard Subclasses in a different way?

Let’s discuss this in the comment section!

The College of Lore and College of Valor subclasses in the 5e Player’s Handbook.

The Colleges of Glamour, Swords, and Whispers are in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.

Find the College of Eloquence and College of Creation in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.

The College of Spirits Bard is available inside Van Richten’s Handbook to Ravenloft.

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FAQs – RANKING EVERY BARD SUBCLASS IN D&D 5E

What does the College of Swords do?

The College of Swords Bard is a master in the art of using a blade. These Bards can perform dangerous feats like knife juggling and sword swallowing. But that’s not all! Their skill makes for great entertainment but it also makes them very formidable in combat.

How do I make the College of Swords good?

Consider the following when building a Bard College of Swords:

  1. Choose a race that has high Charisma modifiers and Dexterity.
  2. Bard built around fencing and social prowess
  3. Learn College of Swords benefits, Blade Flourish.
  4. Bard spells should complement or aid a swashbuckling fencer.

Which is better College of Swords or valor?

College of Swords and College of Valor
Both become proficient in medium armor and weapons. Both gain Extra Attacks. The College of Swords bards are more focused on improving their melee fighting skills, while the College of Valor bards are more concerned with making others more successful in melee combat.

Can a College of Swords bard use a shield?

EDIT – only Valor Bards can use shields. However, Valor bards would require a feat to use a weapon/shield for a spellcasting focus.

What weapons do Bards use?

Dungeons & Dragons: The 10 Best Weapons For Bard (& Where They’re Usually Found)
  • 3 Star of Day.
  • 4 Sacrificial Dagger. …
  • 5 Hexblade. …
  • 6 Dancing Sword. …
  • 7 Oathbow. …
  • 8 Tinderstrike. …
  • 9 Moonblade. …
  • 10 Luckblade. For Bards that want to be a part of the action, the Luckblade may be a perfect choice. …

What is the College of swords?

Bards from the College of Swords are called blades and entertain with their incredible feats of weapon mastery. Blades are skilled at stunts like knife throwing, sword swallowing, the juggling of a sword, as well as mock combats. While they are using their weapons for entertainment, however, they are also skilled and trained warriors on their own.

What did Bards do?

poet, or bard specifically one who composes passionate or epic poetry. Bards were the first Celtic writers of eulogies and comedy; however, the term came to refer to an indigenous poet and singer who is skilled in writing and reciting poems on heroes and the deeds they performed.

How do bards fight?

There are many other ways to be involved in the fight other than by causing damage. Bards are very adept at making enemies whiff at their attacks. Use the two games Bane as well as Vicious Mockery on your adversaries and watch them stumble and stumble with their attacks. This is a great way to make fun of your opponents.

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