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Advanced Bard GuideFollow

#1 Oct 02 2005 at 2:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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186 posts
I always planned to convert this from Word to BB Code, so here it finally is...



Bard 201: Advanced Bard Guide
Draft v5 1/11/06

Compiled and written by
Jaysensen - www.livejournal.com/users/jaysensen
&
Vilurum @ Quetzalcoatl



Table of Contents
1 Introduction

2 General Info

3 Songs and their typical uses

4 Abilities and Merits

5 XP Party Strategies

6 Maat Strats

7 Bard Endgame - what to do

8 End Game Equipment

9 Appendix A

10 Appendix B: Sha'ir Set Recipes

11 Appendix C: Specific HNM/God Tactics

12 Appendix Z

Edited, Sun Oct 2 16:06:11 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Wed Jan 11 17:48:47 2006 by Jaysensen
____________________________
Jaysensen @ Kujata
Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
LastStands
Bard/WhiteMage
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#2 Oct 02 2005 at 2:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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186 posts
I Introduction
1.1 Contributors
Vilurum @ Quet
Eriiko @ Ramuh
Kunekaden
TNT @ Bismarck
Fedex/Sepals @ Kujata
KittyCatty @ Midgarblahblah
ArtfulDodger
Pukeblak
Lady Etain @ Fenrir
Geno @ Shiva
Tineey
Sendoh @ Bahamut
Cydille @ Ragnarok
Meneki @ Kujata
Valyana @ Ramuh
Niwaar @ Ramuh
Gwendowen @ Cerberus
Peipei
Valyana
Tordall
Kirsh
Faranim @ Bahamut
Thanks guys. You rock.

1.2 How to use this Guide
This guide is written with the assumption that you are a Bard, and want to become better. This guide will not tell you what to do in what situation; however it will explain important facts, and describe some general strategies. It is up to you to use
your judgment to apply any ideas here and improve on them for your specific party.
This guide also assumes you know the basics of Bard, though it will explain many obscure facts about Bard that will help you be a better Bard.
This guide also makes the assumption that you will be or are a member of a HNMLS as many of the situations are end game
oriented. If you don't understand what the situation or mob is, there is lots of great information on these forums.
This guide also assumes that you know almost everything that is discussed in this thread; however some of the material will be
reiterated in this guide.
Fedex's Bard Links: http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9&mid=11054108285884794&num=57

1.3 Update History
Edited all posts with formatting.
10.08.05 Added March number from BlueGartr forums
10.14.05 Added Tordall and Beerificus comments
1.11.06 Added in Alexislucia strategy for Maat. Added COP section. Took out solo skillup section.

Edited, Sun Oct 2 16:20:07 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Sat Oct 8 14:29:28 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Fri Oct 14 15:26:51 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Wed Jan 11 17:51:02 2006 by Jaysensen

Edited, Thu Jan 19 16:29:17 2006 by Jaysensen
____________________________
Jaysensen @ Kujata
Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
LastStands
Bard/WhiteMage
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#3 Oct 02 2005 at 2:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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186 posts
2 General Info

2.1 Sub jobs
You should already know almost everything about what sub job to use, since this has been beaten to death like a dead
chocobo, but to summarize at a high level:
WHM is generally accepted as the best sub job for almost all situations. This guide assumes you are using WHM as your sub
job.

/RDM /NIN are both viable sub jobs for Bards when soloing. Utsusemi and the RDM repertoire make both a welcome break
from the typical WHM sub job when desiring some alone time.

/THF is obviously used for Treasure Hunter when farming.

/RDM is also a good sub job for Bards in Ballista and in Dynamis. Rostrum Pumps are a great addition to a Bard's arsenal and
allow very quick cast times in combination with /RDM.
Warlock's Mantle adds 5% haste when using RDM as a sub job. Be aware that some people state that there is a rumor that the
Fast Cast trait is capped with RDM as a sub job; however, I have found no links supporting this.

/RDM is also nice in Dynamis, using Phalanx to help you survive, with Fast Cast to help your cures land earlier. This is effetive in BLM parties where you are main healer, for example.

/BST is an interesting combination. Charm effectiveness, according to BST forums, is also affected by your actual BST level.
So a BRD75/BST37 would be more effective if the BRD also had BST leveled to 75, rather than just 37. Charm is one of the fastest Job Abilities in the game, and as such, some people have used Charm to claim Land King HNMs.

2.2 Macros
A good Bard needs a great set of macros as you will be swapping gear constantly.
2.2.1 Macro tips
A good set of macros is necessary to being a good bard. Whether or not you use one palate or multiple is up to you and your play style. Some good tips to remember:
- Both /so and /ma work to cast songs.
- Use /recast "Song Name" to help you out with songs you frequently recast.
- No /wait is needed when changing your equipment, however /wait 1 is necessary after using a Job Ability
- The gear you have equipped at the RESOLUTION rather than initial casting of the song is what is used when calculating attributes of the song. Therefore do not switch gear before your song resolves.
- Changing gear redraws your character. People who have you as their current target will lose you, and have to retarget you.
- Once you get to certain levels, players become inherently more competent. This level differs from server to server. Near these levels, it may be time to take useless information out of /p chat. Of course, it's a judgment call as to what is useless but just because people don't know that Madrigal is accuracy at level 30 doesn't mean that you should have that in your macro at level 70. It is good to include in party chat spells that have a tactical impact on your party such as Finale, Erase, or Lullaby.
2.2.2 Sample Macro with analysis
/recast "Magic Finale"
/ma "Magic Finale" <stnpc>
/p Finale ---> ( <lastst> )
/equip main "Apollo's Staff"
/equip range "Military Harp"
/equip neck "String Torque"

Notice that in this case, there is notification to the RDM that you are casting Finale. It is your call if you choose to include that information or not. Also, use STNPC, BT, T or whatever you prefer. Finale on STNPC is useful in cases where mobs are sleeping (such as link situations or Dynamis) and not currently engaged with. Generally, it is best to have the /equip commands for each song macro.

2.3 Songs & Instruments

2.3.1 Song List
See Appendix A to see the list of where to get each song. Check both the AH and the NPC vendor to save the most money, as sometimes the AH is cheaper, and NPC price is affected by fame.

2.3.2 Song Range
As you go up in level, your String skill increases, and thus the range increases as well.
Wind range, however, is the same on Minne I at level 1 or level 75, and it's the same on Minne I as it is on Mazurka. Or if it varies (or increases with level), it's so incredibly slight a variation that it's really not worth worrying about. For all intents and purposes, wind range is fixed. String range is never smaller than wind range. Depending on song it can be anywhere from ever so slightly bigger, to *hugely* bigger.

General rule is, don't use strings unless you want to hit your whole party (or it's a fairly high level song like Minne IV, that isn't all that big a string range). As far as buffs go, only Minne, Etude, Paeon, and Hymnus have string instruments. Etudes are targetable, Minne is generally not used (and if you use it for some sort of endgame thing you'll be using the fairly small-range high tiers), and Paeon and Hymnus you tend to want to hit everyone anyway. All other song+ instruments are wind, and you can play ballads with whatever you please (i.e. wind for exp party for controllable range and string for all-mage Dynamis/HNM party, when there aren't any people who *don't* want ballad and the mages are all spread out anyway)
.- Vilurum

One of the keys to being a good Bard is to know the ranges of each instrument and song combination. Song tier affects range as well - Ballad I has a much larger range than Ballad II.

At times you may want to de equip your instrument, or even use the wrong one. If you are in a cramped space, you may not have the space to properly move people into the right position. Try singing Ballad I to your mages with no instrument. Don't forget to equip an instrument or the second song will instead overwrite. When range is a factor, paying attention to what instrument is equipped or quickly checking your instrument may save you time, which is the key element in high chain parties.

Sometimes melee characters move out of range. While Minuet will be less effective with a Harp, perhaps it is better to quickly equip a Harp and ensure that the RNG who moved out of range will receive the song. Don't forget that a Harp will give less duration than the Cornette +1 because it has no +1. This is a common scenario in pre-July patch RNG parties.

2.3.3 NQ vs +1 vs +2 instruments
Adding a +1 +2 instrument will add 12 and 24 seconds respectively to the duration of the song. The extra time should make your job much easier - so buy them ASAP. In addition to the time bonus, each +1 on the instrument decreases the resist rate on the debuff. On a side note, the only +3 instrument in the game is Sorrowful Harp (Threnody +3).

When you have a wind instrument equipped, the potency (as in accuracy of the debuff or amount of buff) of the song is affected by a combination of your Wind Instrument skill and your Singing Skill, according to generally accepted theory. As such, String songs are affected by both your String Instrument skill, and your Singing skill. Singing a song without an instrument uses only your singing skill, you lose your +1/+2 bonus to the song from your instrument, thus the duration of the song is shorter.

You may have two songs on a PC at a time for each Bard in your party, if you have an instrument equipped at the resolution of the song. Each of these songs must be unique. You may not have two of the exact same songs on (i.e. Ballad II twice), but you may have two buff songs of the same type (Sword and Blade Madrigal), per Bard. In XP situations two Bards are far from optimal, however there are parties based on two Bards for endgame scenarios. See the Strategies section for more details.

Bards who use NQ, +1, and +2 instruments occasionally run into problems with overwriting. The extra song duration granted by the +2 may not overwrite the correct songs when playing melee songs vs Ballad. Make sure you concentrate on the order
you play your songs when dealing with instruments of different qualities. If your songs are not overwriting correctly, you may need to change the order of your songs, sing other songs in between buffs, or simply delay the casting of songs with lower quality instruments.

2.3.4 Buffing
When you learn a new song, it is not necessarily more powerful as the previous version. At the level where you reach a new numbered spell, it will give less of a bonus than the previous tier spell. This is due to SE's magical hidden formula which calculates the amount of bonus given based on your Singing and Wind Instrument Skill.
Numbered songs have minimum and soft maximum bonuses. To achieve the maximum bonus from the buff, you must cap your Wind Instrument skill, and in a level or two, the value will catch up to its predecessor.
Buff songs are overwritten based on remaining Duration. Lower tier songs will not overwrite the song of the next step up.
Don't forget that you need to have an instrument equipped at song resolution (not cast time) for the attributes of the instrument to apply. If you change instruments after the song starts, you will redraw, and your animation will stop, which will remove you as the current target of a PC.

2.3.5 What do CHR and Wind/String Instrument Skill really do?
2.3.5.1 Charisma
Increasing Charisma does not increase song duration. The only way to do so is to use a +1/+2 instrument.
Charisma does NOT increase the bonus given on buffs songs such as Minuet or Madrigal. You will not get more Attack or accuracy by increasing your CHR.

Charisma also has diminishing returns. Generally a balance of CHR and MP is sufficient to adequately debuff XP mobs. End game activities do not follow this rule at all - generall get as much CHR as possible.

As for +skill gear and +chr gear. It appears that the point of diminishing returns for charisma is your instrument skill /2. So at 75 with base skills you can benefit from having 112 total charisma (+42 chr for hume, elvaan, taru). If you get +skill gear then additional charisma seems to also help with debuffing. For example if you equip the wind torque and relic hands (+10 wind total) then it seems that you can benefit from 117 total chr (+47 for hume/taru/elvaan). Note, that it's really hard to figure this out because our resist rates are already nearly negligable for xp mobs and really really low on gods/HNM. Most of the statistics I've gathered about this have been from Kirin. - Tordall

An example use of a high CHR build would be fighting Steelshells (level 65ish camp) as a level 60 Bard in a Manaburn party with level 64s. The extra CHR should be used over MP to land Elegy, Threnody, and Lullaby with a reasonable success rate.
An example use of a high MP build is XPing on VT weapons in the Shrine of RuAvitau at level 75, where the level of the mob is so close to your own, extra Charisma is not necessary.

2.3.5.2 Skill
Increasing Wind/String Instrument skill does not increase the song duration.
Wind/String Instrument skill DOES increase both the accuracy and potency of buffs (the bonus given on buffs songs such as Minuet or Madrigal); however not by much. Drastically increasing your Wind or String Instrument skill has very small increases
to your buff potency. Several points in Wind/String will yield one point in bonus attack or defense.

To summarize CHR and Skill in another way, specifically regarding the neck slot (Wind/String Torques vs Star Necklace):
Basically at 75, your level difference will be favorable enough, *and* you'll have so many options for CHR equipment, that you really won't get many resists regardless of neck equipment. I wear the Star Necklace for both the CHR and the MP. Before 75,
you will get more resists, *and* +skill will actually do more to improve your buffs than it does at 75, so Wind Torque is more useful. We don't know whether 7 skill or 3 CHR helps more for resists. At 75, things will basically fall into one of two categories:
- Extremely easy to debuff, regardless of equipment. This is most enemies in the game (and very few normal enemies are even Incredibly Tough).
- Nearly impossible to debuff, regardless of equipment. This is the more powerful HNMs
- Vilurum

2.3.5.3 How to Skill up String Instrument skill
Many Bards have had difficulty capping String Instrument skill. Start early and keep this skill up. You can do this in both Skill up and XP parties. Make macros to equip a Harp and Finale/Threnody the mob once per fight. Don't spam these in an XP party, as you should be busy doing something productive. Spam Harp Threnodies in Skill up parties. Don't forget to face in the skill up direction.

2.3.6 Debuffing
You may have one of each debuff on a mob at a given time: one Elegy, one Threnody, and one Requiem. Having two bards will not change this, however subsequent debuffs of the same type will be overwritten with the highest tier song (Minuet III will not overwrite Minuet IV) and highest remaining duration (i.e. casting over your another Bard's Requiem VI will refresh the time remaining on the spell.

Bard debuffs stack with Ninja, and both White and Black magic debuffs because Bard songs are Song Effects (song status icon), rather than debuff status effects (Slow status icon). Ninja Ichi series debuffs are the same potency as the White Magic debuffs,
but the Ninja Ni series debuffs are more powerful than the White Magic counterparts.

Debuffs can be resisted. Full resist are when the Mob has a 100% resist on the song. It is important to note that full resists still generate hate especially on very long fights such as Fafnir/Nidhogg. Partial resists occur when the song wears off prematurely, as debuff songs have a set amount of time that they last.


When you cast a debuff on the mob, it is generally accepted that a magical unknown formula involving a Charisma check (your CHR vs the CHR (and thus level) of the mob), your actual Job level, and then a combination of your Wind or String Instrument Skill (whichever you have equipped) and Singing Skill. However, a Japanese website has reported that Singing Skill does not affect Debuff accuracy (Valyana), and that one String/Wind skill point is approximately equal to 1.5 CHR.

In addition to Charisma and Skill, SE adds in equipment bonuses such as Earth/Light Staff, NQ vs +1 vs +2 Instruments, and direction you face. Other factors such as Day, Weather may also come into play, but the exact formulas are obviously unknown.

Regardless of what is fact and what is speculation, the Teffie Rule is the proven method for debuffing. "The Teffie
Rule" states:
Level 1-74 = Skill
Level 75 = CHR
This means for debuffing, while Xping from level 1 to level 75, focus on Skill as increasing skill will decrease your debuff resists on normal XP mobs more effectively than by increasing CHR. Once you level to 75, join and HNMLS and fight Gods, HNM etc, you will need ridiculous amounts of CHR because mobs are level 90 (for example).

Make sure you equip the correct weapon when debuffing. Elemental staves decrease resists by 10% (15% HQ).
Foe Lullaby: Light Staff
Horde Lullaby: Light Staff
Foe Requiem [I - VI]: Light Staff
Magic Finale: Light Staff
Maiden's Virelai: Light Staff
All the above debuffs are light-based.

Battlefield Elegy: Earth Staff
Carnage Elegy: Earth Staff
Elegy is earth-based.

Fire Threnody (water-based): Water Staff
Ice Threnody (fire-based): Fire Staff
Wind Threnody (ice-based): Ice Staff
Earth Threnody (wind-based): Wind Staff
Lightning Threnody (earth-based): Earth Staff
Water Threnody (lightning-based): Thunder Staff
Light Threnody (dark-based): Dark Staff
Dark Threnody (light-based): Light Staff

Each threnody is based on the element that *beats* the element you're weakening. As detailed above. Fire beats ice, so Ice Threnody is fire-based, so you use Fire Staff for it.

In practical terms, pick up Light Staff (for all those debuffs it works on, and improved cures), Earth Staff (for Elegy, incidentally Lightning Threnody, and reduced damage if you get hit), and Dark Staff (for MP while resting, and incidentally Light Threnody).
You don't really need to get - or if you have them, lug around in your inventory - the other five staves.
Vilurum

2.3.6.1 Case Study: Faranim's Effectiveness of a naked Bard study
This experiment performed by Faranim illustrates the utility of CHR on XP level mobs. CHR is not the be-all-end-all of factors necessary to be effective...on XP mobs. Things change on HNM/Gods. You can be effective without the most expensive gear in the game, no matter how nice to have said gear is. Note: keep in mind that this experiment was performed in July 2004, prior to introduction of Merit Points and lots of other neat Bard Gear.
I haven't done a whole lot of testing on this but I'm hoping to get opinions. For my entire bard career, I was always focused on being the best Bard I can be. Making sure I had every song. Getting all of the best +CHR equipment as soon as it's available.
Making sure to get AF quests done before level 60, etc. A few nights ago I was leveling with a party on Aura Statues [highest level mobs in the game] and I decided to try the group without any equipment on. Here's some info about my character:

With Equipment on:
Level 75, maxed singing and wind skills
70+70 CHR, along with an extra +5 Singing skill from AF1 Gloves.

Naked:
70 CHR, maxed singing and wind skills. The only piece of equipment I had on was an instrument.

The result was that, my songs were resisted SLIGHTLY more, but It still only took 3-4 tries to land Elegy (as opposed to the normal 1-3). Other songs would still land, just not quite as often.

So what is all the equipment for? Do my millions of gil in equipment for +70 CHR really only make a 10-20% difference in resist rates? (I don't use elemental staff either)... The difference between being totally naked and fully decked out was not enough to justify spending that much money on the equipment.
Faranim



Edited, Sun Oct 2 17:00:04 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Sun Oct 2 18:53:59 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Fri Oct 14 15:20:17 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Wed Jan 11 16:16:06 2006 by Jaysensen
____________________________
Jaysensen @ Kujata
Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
LastStands
Bard/WhiteMage
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#4 Oct 02 2005 at 2:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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186 posts
3 Songs and their typical uses

3.1 Ballad
This song will be a staple for both XP and end-game situations. The only instrument to increase MP regained per tick is the tier 4 relic, the Millennium Horn, and fully upgraded relic, the Gjallarhorn.

Double Ballad is generally the staple for all healers and nukers. Some PLDs also prefer double Ballad in XP situations, though many like Madrigal and Ballad II. Take care to pay attention to distance from melee as you do not want to overwrite melee songs as you will have huge range with Ballad I at level 75.

Ballad increases in effectiveness the more mages you have in your party since each person receives the bonus MP per tick. Thus Bards are almost required in manaburn parties, providing a combined total of 18 MP per tick (3 mp per tick times six players).

3.2 Carol
At skill cap, Carol gives a bonus to the appropriate elemental resistance of 40, 45 with +1, and 50 with +2.

Carol is rarely used outside of Avatar fights, and should always be used in conjunction with the appropriate bar*ra spell to increase elemental resistance as much as possible. Fire Carol is also used against Ninja mobs in Dynamis as the Mijin Gakure AOE (AOE fire damage) often wipes entire alliances. Light and Dark Carols are the only spell to increase Light and Dark Resistance. As such, Carols are useful against the Crimson-toothed Pawberry's and the Dynamis Lord's special attacks.

Fire Carol can be used against Goblin mobs in XP situations however, the slow casting time and opportunity cost of another song makes it a preference / situational call. Carol is often used in against Doll-type or Bomb-type monsters in non XP situations such as traveling in Ifrit's Cauldron, hunting for Bomb Coal, or hunting Steam Cleaner or Despot.

3.3 Elegy
Carnage Elegy (rarely) drops from Yagudo Chanters in Castle Oztroja. Although it is one of the more pricey Bard Songs, it is highly recommended that you get this song as soon as you can use it.

White Magic or Ninja Slow both stack with Elegy (though they do not stack with each other; make sure you have both Slow/Hojo and Elegy on a mob for optimal delay. As stated earlier, in terms of potency:
Battlefield Elegy < 15%: Slow = Hojo: Ichi < Hojo: Ni < Carnage Elegy
The other percentages have never been tested, and are thus unknown. Carnage Elegy should last three minutes if unresisted with a Horn +1.

3.4 Etude
CHR - MND - INT - AGI - VIT - DEX - STR
Tier 1: Enchanting - Spirited - Learned - Quick - Vivacious - Dextrous - Sinewy
Tier 2: Bewitching - Logical - Sage - Swift - Vital - Uncanny - Herculean

Etudes improve with skill as well. At 75, tier 1's give 9 (+2 from HQ instrument) and tier 2's give 14-and-falling (+2 from HQ instrument). Stacked etudes are consequently +27-and-falling, which ain't half bad (so long as Chi Blast, nuke, WS, SATA, whatever it is, gets used before the tier 2 falls so much that it's weak).

Tier 2 decreases at approximately 1 point per 10 seconds. This 10 second timer is *independent* of when the song landed, so it may "tick down" almost immediately after landing (this has led to a few erroneous reports that it caps at 13-and-falling) or it
may stay at full potential strength for several seconds.
-Vilurum

Etudes are not a typical XP song, in that they are not of the song which is on the PC for the majority of the time. However, many players request an Etude before executing a Weaponskill in order to take advantage of damage multipliers and the accuracy bonus of Weaponskills. Sometimes fulfilling such a request is difficult, and you will have to make judgment calls as which songs benefit the party the most.

Double Etudes are a complement to BLMs or RDMs depending on their gear builds, and can be used when trying to land important nukes or debuffs, more in HNM/God situations rather than XP situations. In XP situations, if your BLM is requesting more INT from an Etude, he is probably wearing inappropriate gear, however Learned Etude is quite appropriate pre 55, where you have very few songs for a BLM.

PLDs love double VIT in HNM situations, and your friendly neighborhood melee will appreciate a buff to the WS modifier prior to a WS - assuming you have the time. Especially in HNM situations, MNKs will mame and kill to ensure that they have double MND to achieve spectacular Chi records.

3.5 Finale
Dispels one buff on a mob. It has not yet been determined how FXXI determines which buff is removed.
You should rarely be resisted on Finale, except on light-based mobs such as Light Elementals. Finale effectiveness is determined by your Wind/String and Singing Skill, unlike Dispel. Dispel doesn't get resisted based on skill level. [You] can be NIN/RDM and dispel crap. X3 Things with magic barrier will resist it, though. – KittyCatty

A Military Harp (Finale +2) is not an important addition to your instrument collection; some people feel that the benefits are marginal and not worth the extra money and it is really an instrument for those of us who like to collect instruments to be leet.

An important thing to note is the difference between Finale and Dispel:
Dispel has quicker recast. Finale costs no MP. Dispel is dark elemental. Finale is light elemental. A well-equipped RDM will be able to land Dispel reliably on dark-based enemies (though not Dark Elementals ... though I don't recall that they buff themselves anyway). A well-equipped BRD will be able to land Finale reliably on light-based enemies (though not Light Elementals). – Vilurum
The moral of the story is that both are good. Communicate with your RDM and all will be well, especially when XPing on RDM
mobs such as weapons in Ro'Maeve where two dispellers are excellent, and Aura Pots when camping Ro'Maeve Water.

Jyneefur's The Big Finale - Things for you to Dispel guide is a great resource and lists mobs and their Dispellable buffs.
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9&mid=11146813119347681&num=22

Hymnus
Another situationally useful song, which became less useful with the advent ofr Reraise gear. Hymnus grats Reraise 1.5. Soul Voice does not help the XP given back, and the Angel Lyre increases only the duration.


3.6 Madrigal
Madrigal is arguably the most important song during your XPing career. Exact numbers are unknown, and SE will never tell us. But there are generally accepted estimates, as originally researched by Applepie:
Sword Madrigal is something to the tune of +15, while Blade Madrigal is to the tune of +25. That's when you're 75 and you have really high skill. Madrigals do improve with skill, so Blade Madrigal when you first get it, is not gonna be +25. It'll probably
be closer to the +15 that Sword Madrigal has probably hit and capped at by that point.
Vilurum

Double Madrigal is used against high evasion (THF) mobs such as Goblin Blaggers, or when your melee just cant seem to hit the mob at all. Double Madrigal also has its uses in skill up parties.

Madrigal and Minuet is the tried and true combination for melee jobs during XP. One of the key concepts behind this reasoning is TP per damage. Assuming that the average damage done over a fight is the same (it is not. Parseing the fight will prove this.) using say March and Madrigal vs Minuet and Madrigal, what is the key difference? Using Minuet to increase the damage done to a mob will give the mob less TP for the same amount of damage given.

Check your Party members' gear and discuss what you should sing in advance. Your XP per hour will benefit from singing the appropriate songs.

3.7 Mambo
It is unknown how much evasion Mambo gives, but it has been estimated to give 15/25 evasion for Sheepfoe and Dragonfoe respectively, similar to Madrigal.

Some Ninjas prefer mambo over March; it is generally a personal preference. Mambo is great in situations where the mob (or HNM) has low accuracy and/or attack speed, but high damage. Wyverns (Bune) and Sea Monks (Charybdis) fit in this category.

Soul Voice double Mambo will make a Ninja or Thief very difficult hit.

3.8 March
March increases attack speed and decreases recast timers. It does not increase movement speed or decrease casting time.

March is not the same thing as the White Magic spell Haste, which reduces recast timers by 12% and increases attack speed by 15%. Most Bards agree that each +1 from an instrument adds 1% speed; so buy the +2 ASAP. Advancing March adds about 9% "Haste" and Victory March adds about 11% "Haste".

Without March, Ni/Ichi Recast: 45/30
Both Marches will make Ni/Ichi Recast: 36/24
Advancing March will make Ni/Ichi Recast: 40/27
Victory March will make Ni/Ichi Recast: 40/26

Haste rounds up... So even though you know recast, there is a possibility window. Knowing Ni AND ichi will reduce the window.

Seconds Saved on Both: 9/6
Haste: 18%-20%

Seconds Saved on Advancing: 5/3
Haste: 9%-10%

Seconds Saved on Victory: 5/4
Haste: 11%

Since Victory March is definetly 11%, you can deduce that Advancing March must be 9%, and both marches are 20% total.

Note: Haste %s can be decimals. (In fact it can be shown that Haste Spell is between 14.5%-14.7%) So there is a +/- .9% on these haste% counts. Note2: I did the test a while ago (but kept the data). I'm pretti sure this is with March+2 instrument and capped skills... but I don't know for certain so I won't make any claims.
- Kirshy

Soul Voice double March makes a NIN or /NIN appear to have Hundred Fists when they attack. Recast times are cut to virtually nothing combined with Haste. Your Ninja will love you for it.

When straight tanking HNM/Gods many NIN prefer March and +Haste builds. March on DD is rarely used in XP situations as Madrigal and Minuet is better for melee characters in general. Some Monk Parties utilize double March in KRT. March x 2 can be used in skill up parties, as everyone can benefit from increase attacks speed, however March and Ballad are often throw into the mix, depending on the situation.

3.9 Mazurka
The most desired Bard song EVER. Sadly, using the Harlequin's Horn does not increase the speed bonus given; it only increases the song duration. Also, Soul Voice doesnt double the speed.

Mazurka stacks with equipment such as NIN AF boots, and Crimson legs. It does not stack with Flee, as Flee is the maximum movement speed in the game.

Make sure you have a /p line in your macro, and include some wait. Even people used to receiving Mazurka forget and run off after you zone. Be sure to laugh at them if they do.

3.10 Minne
Minne is a sparingly used song. Even Paladins, who require high Defense, generally prefer others songs over Minne. People rarely use this along with a defense build in the Maat fight, though most go with Paeon.

3.11 Minuet
The way that minuet IV's effect gets determined (minuet III is capped at your level) is: instrument skill /10 (round down) + singing skill /10 (round down) +5 if NQ instrument, +10 if HQ instrument.

At level 75 (225, 225 respectively) without an instrument it gives +50 atk (not 45). You have to add much more +skill gear than my formula would indicate to increase it past that. The current findings are: 60 w/ cornette+1, 61 if you equip +5 skill to either wind or singing, and to get to 62 you have to pretty much equip all the +skill gear you can get your hands on.
Tordall

Prior to the Ranger Nerf patch, with capped skill and + skill equipment, Minuet I - IV caps at 16, 32, 48, 56 Attack. (I dont have exact numbers) Increasing Minuet any more requires Merit points. This bonus applies to both Attack and Ranged Attack.

I had done tests on this when I initially got level 75, but it appears to have changed at the same time as the ranged-damage patch. I believe that new min value and a 'soft cap' max value were added at that time so that minuet III wouldn't be better than minuet IV when you get minuet IV.
Tordall

Minuet is generally combined with Madrigal in XP situations. In non XP situations with lower level mobs, double Minuet is quite common. Double Minuet is optimally used when melee/RNG players use accuracy equipment builds and food. Situations where double Minuet may be appropriate include Dynamis, Triggers, Gods, HNM, or just casual situations where you have a few melees and no specific needs. At level 75 Minuet III and IV are often used in Merit situations with specialized parties such as MNK or WAR parties. See the XP section for more details.

With the introduction of Sushi to the game, Minuet x2 is becoming a very strong standby to Madrigal and Minuet. Before using double Minuet, make sure that the melees can hit with just a sushi and their equipment. /Checking and discussing in /P is a
surefire way to ensure you get the max XP per hour. Make sure you discuss this you're your party beforehand.

3.12 Paeon
Paeon adds 1 HP per tick for each tier of the song, plus extra based on your skill total. Thus Paeon I restores 1 HP per 3 second, and Paeon V restores 5 HP per 3 seconds. Paeon IV and V should restore 11 HP per tick plus +4 from an Ebony Harp +1. Paeon does not wake people from Sleep effects.

The effectiveness of this song is really determined by how many wounded party members you have in range. 15 HP per tick times 6 members isn't going to save you from a tonega IV but it can help downtime when camping Ro'Maeve Water.

Paeon IV & V are used in the Maat fight by most Bards. It can be used to assist main healers in dire situations. Soul Voice with dual Paeon is an option when the proverbial stuff hits the fan; do not confuse this as a substitute for a healer. This is a supplement to an existing healer. Paeon is also useful in skill up parties with no WHM as a main healer.

3.13 Prelude
There are no documented tests regarding the amount of Ranged Accuracy bonus given by either prelude, but a logical estimation would be in line with Madrigal (15/25).

The increase in Ranged Accuracy makes this song combine well with Minuet in XP situations, where there is a high level difference between the RNG and the mob. Double Prelude is often used in HNM/God situations, with an STR/Attack build RNG. Again, discuss this beforehand with your RNG. The Bard is often placed in the RNG party just for this song. Use double Prelude before God fights to allow the RNG to throw the appropriate debuffing Wind.

The July 05 patch affected changed Ranger, and thus new strategies and builds are being devised; ask your HNMLS for more details on how you can contribute most effectively.

3.14 Threnody
Threnody lowers the elemental resistance of the named element.

This song is used in XP situations prior to Magic Burst. The appropriate Threnody is an excellent assist to BLMs in Manaburn parties, when fighting mobs of significantly higher levels, assuming you have time to do so. Lightning Threnody is often used to ensure reliability of stuns on Stun Resistant NMs such as Dynamis Lord.

Note that the song is of the element that the named element is weak to. Fire > Ice > Wind > Earth > Thunder > Water > Fire... Going through the so called "elemental wheel" means using the threnody based on the element the mob is weak to. For example according to Allakahzam, Kirin is Earth Based, but weak to Ice based spells.

Supposing you want Earth threnody to land so you have a better chance to hit up Elegy. Earth threnody probably won't hit, but the song itself is wind based. Sooooooo if you try Wind threnody beforehand [optimally use an Ice/Aquillo's Staff since Wind
Threnody is Ice based], and it lands, Earth threnody has a fairly high chance of landing. Wind isn't the easiest to stick either...so the one previous to that is Ice, previous to Ice is Fire. Again, once you get any one to land, you can often just go around the wheel until you land the one you really wanted in the first place. Be really careful with hate again here and don't do this too often... if the tanks go down you may find yourself kiting Kirin for a little while ^^.
TNT

Coordinate with a Ninja go follow through the elemental wheel with you to ensure debuff reliability.

3.15 Virelai
Maiden's Virelai is another end game toy given to Bards. It has no practical uses, as even in link situations, you will Lullaby rather than Virelai. While it may be fun when you first get it, it quickly loses its appeal.

I think it may only attack "what attacks you", not "what you attack" ... but regardless, the fact that the recast is double the duration, and the fact that you get no commands to give it (even with BST sub), makes it very limited in use. It's a toy spell, and in emergencies can serve as a backup form of crowd control (if neither lullaby can/should be used, you can at least keep it not hitting you for 50% of the time).

It can, however, succeed on much tougher enemies than you can charm with a 37 BST sub. (Or even a 75 BST main, Virelai is much harder to resist than Charm.) However, a BST main will always always always be so much better at charming things, it's not even funny. Cythara Anglica (and +1). I believe the HQ is something like ... 37 seconds duration rather than 30 seconds? Maybe it's 35. It's nowhere near the 60 second recast.
Vilurum

3.16 Other songs
No one seems to cast them, even though some are very cool looking. Try them out one day. The problem is not really their utility. It is that the opportunity cost of increasing resistance to Curse (Warding Round) is another song which will help the Party more.
Is it worth it? While many Bards say no, there are situations where the miscellaneous songs are useful. Regardless of use, many Bards like to simply have all instruments and songs, and buy them just to complete their collections.

Operetta can be useful in Dynamis when there are Crow pets around with their Silencega spells; similarly for Capricco and Scorpion pets and Breakga. The Rostrum Pumps NM also uses Breakga.Valyana



Edited, Sat Oct 8 14:33:53 2005 by Jaysensen[]Prior to the Ranger Nerf patch,[/]

Edited, Fri Oct 14 15:07:50 2005 by Jaysensen
____________________________
Jaysensen @ Kujata
Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
LastStands
Bard/WhiteMage
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#5 Oct 02 2005 at 2:48 PM Rating: Excellent
*
186 posts
4 Abilities and Merits

4.1 Soul Voice
Soul Voice arguably the most powerful 2 Hour in the game, yet most misunderstood. Unlike other "OMG we R pwned! 2 Hour
now" abilities, Soul Voice requires keen recognition and sometimes planning to use properly. While it can be used to extend XP
chains, that is only part of its power. The key to using it properly is to 2 Hour before "the sh*t hits the fan". While not completely accurate, here are how SV can be used:

SV + double Mambo = Perfect Dodge
SV + double March = Hundred Fists
SV + double Minuet = Mighty Strikes (just to illustrate - SV and Madrigal + Minuet is usually better)
SV + Elegy = Mob hitting you so slowly that you can make a sandwich in between (not really)

SV at kirin, and mnd etude a monk, and subsequently watch kirin hunt him down after an 1800+ chi blast, despite sidewinders and provokes. - ArtfulDodger

Need some more quotes and uses here.

4.2 Divine Seal (/WHM)
Using DS and Curaga II mid battle will pull hate quite often. Take care when doing so, as a dead Bard is ineffective. You are not the WHM; it is usually not your job to keep everyone alive at the cost of your own life... Sometimes one Bard plus one alive RNG is better than two alive RNG and one dead BRD.

4.3 Merit options
The important thing to think of is your character overall. -Enmity will make tanking difficult should you ever choose to level PLD NIN or WAR. This guide will discuss Bard only.

Stats (0/4)
3 - 6 - 9 - 9

Combat Skills (0/9)
[2 categories]
1 - 2 - 3 - 3 - 3 - 3
1 - 2 - 3

Magic Skills (0/6)
1 - 2 - 3 - 3 - 3 - 3

HP/MP (0/7)
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 5 - 5

Other (0/6)
[2 categories]
1 - 2 - 3
1 - 2 - 3

Job Specific Merits (0/5)
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

Need to update with actual stats.

Edited, Sun Oct 2 17:20:00 2005 by Jaysensen
____________________________
Jaysensen @ Kujata
Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
LastStands
Bard/WhiteMage
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#6 Oct 02 2005 at 2:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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186 posts
5 XP Party Strategies

5.1 Why Madrigal and Minuet?
The biggest draw back to not using at least one minuet is that you're changing the balance of damage done to the monster and how much TP it gains. IMO changing the rate at which the mob gains tp vs. how much damage it takes is probably our biggest gift to parties.
Carnage Elegy drops the mob's attack rate, meaning that it doesn't get as much tp from attacking things.
Minuet boosts the damage done per hit, meaning that the mob will take more damage for the same TP gain.
– Tordall

This is exactly what I thought when I had learned Advancing March...a party wide Haste. Turns out that it's not as effective as it seems. The difference of attack speed is almost negligible. So then I thought, once I get Victory March I'll really have a party wide Haste. I was wrong again.

Yes, the norm is Minuet/Madrigal for almost a Bards whole career and for a good reason. Most of the mobs you fight are 10~ levels higher than you and your party. This means their evasion is a lot higher too. If you were to give up Minuet and play March/Madrigal, you'd still have the accuracy from Madrigal but your damage will be lower than Minuet/Madrigal and your party members will notice it. It will take longer to kill the mob even though you're attacking *faster*.

You'll get to a level of what is called the "accuracy cap". Where playing Madrigal really does not affect your party's accuracy.

At this level (around 70ish) is when you'll start to play Minuet/Minuet and party members will actually request that combo. By this level their accuracy from foods and gear and their inherent accuracy from their jobs and weapon skill levels give them enough to hit mobs consistently without the need for Madrigal.
Julen

5.2 Party configurations and what you do in those parties

5.2.1 BLM Manaburn Parties
Once you hit level 55 and learn Ballad II, you become the catalyst in Manaburn parties, consisting of 5 BLMs and you. You should be pulling, as BLMs need to be resting during downtime. Your job is to double Ballad the BLMs, and bring in new mobs
for them to nuke. Pull with Elegy. Requiem is not worth the casting time, as time is usually your limited resource. Threnody is not necessary unless some of the BLMs are really to low for the party. Toss in Lullaby to assist with the initial sleep if using
Ancient Magic (only certain levels).

5.2.2 RNG MNK WAR Parties
Your jobs in these parties are similar. You double Minuet the melee characters, and make sure that x 2 Ballad is on the Mages. You also assist in pulling duties, depending on what zone you are in.

5.3 Pulling
Bards pull in some parties? Even though we do not have abilities which make pulling easier like Widescan or Flee, the key reason lies in the time factor of a Party. Once your buffing and debuffing duties are complete, you have little to do other than Cure. In some Parties, you will do little backup healing, and need to pull in your spare time to ensure high chains.

When there's competition pulling, my best bet is to Elegy it, let it follow me to camp, then sleep it. If I have to Elegy or Finale the mob the party is fighting, I can then use a WHM debuff (not Dia! Slow or Paralyze only!!!) on the sleeping mob to claim it again.

There is a bit of safety in sleeping the mob in camp, I've found... If it's too far away you won't get the "The Torama is no longer asleep" message, also, I usually hang out on the other end of camp till it wakes up. That way I don't get hit resleeping, I sing 2 songs and run to the other side of camp and wait.

I've never really bothered with Blink/Stoneskin while pulling (mostly because I don't have time), but I also trust my parties and Regen III will more than cover any damage I take (if you cast Elegy or Sleep as far away as possible, you will be out of range most of the time you are running back to camp, most of the time I only get hit if the PLD doesn't voke as the mob runs past him).
Gwendowyn

I was recently in a party where I was main puller, and no, it was not a manaburn party. I often find myself pulling a chain 5 as the party is dusting off 4, to ensure we get it. This party, however, had me pulling every mob. We were fighting VT mobs, and killing fast. What ended up happening was this:

After arriving at camp I would buff either the pld/mages or the melee. Due to the level of the mobs, melee buffs were double Minuet, since accuracy was not an issue. After singing two songs, I took off to find our next mob. I would pull as soon as I found it, and if the party was still fighting the previous mob, I would lullaby my pull as close to the current mob as possible, to keep positions. Each pull I would alternate between mage and melee buffs.
Stouter


5.4 Skilling up
Bards are the most desired class for Skill up Parties. Combinations of Ballad, Madrigal, March, and Prelude allow your party to skill more effectively. You should be able to keep reasonable close to cap for your magic skills as you level. Your combat skills
on the other hand, will likely be very short, except for possibly evasion, unless Bard is not your first job.

Since damage is not a problem in skill up parties, try to use low delay or multi-hit weapons. Many people have neglected String Instrument Skill. Use a Harp and spam Threnody/Finale on the mob. Evasion is best leveled on mobs such as or Weapons Orcs as their AOE move will give skillups.

Level 75 Skill caps
Dagger B- 240
Sword C+ 230
Club D- 205
Staff C+ 230
Throwing E- 195
Evasion D 210
Parrying E 200
Singing C 225
Stringed Instrument C 225
Wind Instrument C 225

At level 73, Bards can learn Evisceration, and at level 75, Bards can learn Retribution.

Prior to a recent patch, you could gain skillups if you dealt no damage to a mob. This change prevents the "sleep - hit for 0" skillup method from working.


Edited, Sun Oct 2 17:15:57 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Wed Jan 11 16:20:20 2006 by Jaysensen
____________________________
Jaysensen @ Kujata
Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
LastStands
Bard/WhiteMage
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#7 Oct 02 2005 at 2:49 PM Rating: Excellent
*
186 posts
6 Maat Strats

6.1 Overview
The Maat fight is a fun fight that can be won by either killing him, or doing enough damage to make him give up. Get your testimonies from Bard type Sahagin or Yagudo of coffer key level or greater.

Abyss Sahagin (Level: 72 - 74) (Sea Serpent Grotto)
Coastal Sahagin (Level: 62 - 69) (Sea Serpent Grotto)
Yagudo Conductor (Level: 63 - 67) (Castle Oztroja)

There are many builds that have been successful - choose one that is on par with your budget, and fits your play style. One important thing to note is that Charisma is not very important for this fight. Maat is equal to your level, so he is an Even Match.

The general strategy to beat Maat is as follows:
1) Optional step: sleep to 200% TP with Sleep potions and Opo-Opo Necklace
2) Buff up using items
3) Soul Voice and sing your two buffs
4) Engage Maat but don't attack. Pull him away from his starting point. Pull him using Carnage Elegy. Debuff him.
5) Refresh your buffs and debuffs
6) While waiting, drink potions to stay alive.
7) Win and brag in /l chat. Maat gives you a scroll of instant warp to use for your journey back, so don't keep one in your Mog House.

6.2 General Tips
You do not lose XP when you fight him in the capped battle. If you fight him again for fun, you will lose XP in a loss.
Don't bother trying to Lullaby him. He will likely resist and you do most of your damage with Requiem anyway.
It is rumored that he mimics your stats exactly - including equipment. If you believe this (I did), go in naked, or even with Stumbling Sandals (tech).

-Maintain "dummy buffs" of HP regen (Selbina Milk) and MP regen (Pineapple Juice or something). His Finale will pick one of your buffs randomly when it comes to what gets removed, and you want as good odds as possible of it *not* being a Paeon.
- Finale him whenever he buffs himself, even if it's a useless buff. If he's unbuffed, he's more likely to stop and buff himself, and if he's buffing himself, he's not hitting you. :P
- Evasion skill is a fine fine thing. Dodge him and he not only doesn't hurt you for that hit, but he doesn't get TP for it either, and his WS will come that much later. Try to skill up your evasion, and also wear a Melody Earring or +1 (the latent effect of evasion skill+, is from when you have a bard song on yourself ...).
- Bring a big pile of Hi-Potions and don't be afraid to use them. You can always resell any leftovers, so it's better to have too many than too few.
-If you have 190+ in dagger, sword, *or* staff, you're fine.
Vilurum


6.3 Builds

6.3.1 Consumables for all fights
Food
Hi Potions
Persikos Au Lait
Cheap MP refresh (Finale bait)
Reraiser & Scroll of Instant Reraise
Sleep Potions if you use the Sleep for TP step

6.3.2 Defense Build

This is the general strategy people use, most going with double Paeon. If your combat skills are up to par, you should not need to drink many potions as the Au Lait and double Paeon will be enough. Some people recommend using Stoneskin Torque as an
additional buff.
Gear: Defense and VIT gear such as Carapace armor and Phalanx Rings
Food: Defense food such as Tazvanian Taco, or Tazvanian Salad
Songs: Double Paeon or Double Minne

6.3.3 Evasion Build
Make sure your Evasion Skill is capped. As an EM, Evasion gear and Soul Voice double Mambo will make Maat miss you quite a bit. This gives him less TP for Asuran Fists.
Gear: Evasion gear such as Scorpion Harness, Evasion Torque, Melody Earrings
Food: Accuracy or Evasion food such as Squid Sushi, Eel, Kabob, or Jack O Lantern
Songs: Sheepfoe and Dragonfoe Mambo

6.3.4 Full Attack Build
Only really pimped out Bards can get away with this, but this strategy has worked for some. It alsohelps to be a Galka or Elvaan. A Joyeuse is a necessity for this strategy, so it is not recommended for first timers.
Gear: Joyeuse + Attack & Accuracy gear such as Sniper Rings, Amemit Mantle,
Food: Sole Sushi
Songs: Blade Madrigal and Minuet IV


6.4 Cases Studies

6.4.1 Pukeblak's Maat Guide
Note: I am a tarutaru.

1st. It seems true that Maat had as exact same stats as you are. Let say if you have 700 hp, Maat will give up as soon as you do 700 hp. I really cant check other stats like STR and such. BUT he does miss a lot if you have Stumbling Sandals and 2 Mal-Rings b4 entering the BCNM which takes out a huge junk of DEX and AGI.

2nd. Maat also get stats bonus from you sub and might use WS that available for that sub. For example, I fought maat with war sub once and he used Spinning Slash on me. o.O Weird. And he used Tackle or Combo while I sub BLM, WHM, SMN.

3rd. The longer the fight, the harder WS Maat gonna used. Try to finish him as fast you can.

FAQ:

1. How hard is Maat?

His difficulty level may range from Easy Prey to Even Match. Really can not predict. Only pray :).

2. Does sword skills have to be capped?

Nope, you should be able to do fine with 190+. You can fight him with less but my 1st fight with him is 189 which I miss him quite a bit.

3. Where do I get a bard's testimony?
Most Bard get their testimony from Yagudo Conductor from Castle Otroza. But I like to get my testimoney from Coastal Sahagin from Sea Serpent Grotto behind the Gold Door or from Abyss Sahagin near the Mindgazer Area with 15 min spawn rate and drop high lvl songs and bard test 100%.

4. How much should I spend on Maat Fight?
Probably a lot. I will show you the list of the item I always bring to Maat fight.

Luxury Maat Fight Style

Weapon : Joyeuse Shield : Elegant Shield
Head: Carpace Neck : Bird Whistle
Body: Assault Jerkin Hand : Carpace
Back: Jester Cape+1 Waist: Life Belt
Earring: Minstrel's Earring and Melody Earring
Ring : Moon Ring x 2
Pant : AF
Leg : AF

Items:

Hi Potion x 6
X Potion x 4
Steamed Crab x 2
Persikos Au Lait x 4
Reraiser
Vile Exlixir
Vile Exlixir +1
Icarus Wing

Note: I fought this way 4 times with BRD sub WAR / WHM / RDM / BST and I went in naked with 2 Mal Ring and Stumbling Sandals.

TAKE OFF YOUR LINKSHELL PEARL AND PUT ON AWAY STATUS. DONT LET THOSE THING DISTRACT YOU.

Ok, enter BC:

I put on my armors while running to the center. With Maat in my sight, now I can tell what he sings. I stopp. Eat Steamed Crab. Used Reraiser. Use Soul Voice. Then Sing Minuet and Madrigal with your +1 Instrument. Use Persikos Au Lait.

DO NOT RUN STRAIGHT TO HIM. Stay at a distance and sing Carnage Elegy to him. He will rush toward you. Too late, your Elegy is on him now. Now quickly sing, Requiem.
When you buff up for the fight, note what he sings on him. If his last song was Etude, leave it on him. If not Etude feel free to sing Finale on him.
Now resume the fight with him, watch your tp and your hp. Try to keep your hp at yellow or white. Always use Potion after you see the animation of you hit Maat and use it while he is singing song. At 100%+, start spamming hi potion or x potion to get back to yellow or white, then do fast blade. Eat Icarus Wing and then do Burning Blade. At this point, sing Elegy and Requiem again. he should be give up by then.

As War sub: Maat WS was Spinning Slash. I win.
As Whm sub: Maat WS was Combo. I win. Server Record: 3 min and 11 sec
As Rdm sub: Maat WS was Tackle. I win.
As Bst sub. Maat WS was Dragon Kick. I lost.

Note: Use Vile Exlixir if you need fast recover and keep Persikos Au Lait on you.

The Technique above is probably the best for BRD Maat You may finish the fight even Soul Voice wore off.

I also tried with def songs and Darksteel Set with Phalanx Ring. Maat does not hit hard and same applied to you. With sword skill capped and I still missed. Just a longer fight and you have to recast songs b4 Soul Voice wore off. Maat does sing Elegy
on me so we both have Elegy on.

Wing Sword as my weapon: Very slow fight. Maat used Combo. Then later on , he used Dragon Kick. Doesnt hurt much because of my super high defense and all the Latent effect kick in. I recover with X potions and won the fight. 7min+ fight.

Joyeuse as my weapon: Defintely better then Wing Sword. Maat only used Dragon Kick on me before he forfeits.

I did fight Maat with Regen Songs. I dont know why people like this technique but that is probably painful technique. I lost 3 times to Maat and barely won one. thank to Requiem. There is a video about this technique. You should be able to find it at Krag 's Library.

The last technique I tried is deck out my evasion with Scorp. Harness, AGI+ gear, Emp. Hairpin, Nomad's Mantle +1.
I fought twice with this technique. One fight with Steamed Crab and one fight with Meat Chiefkabob. Joyesue as my main weapon both time. I sang 2 Mambo songs with +1 Instruments. This is probably the most fun Maat fights I ever has. Maat just cant touch me. He hits me a few time the entire fight. Taru is well know for high AGi with all the goodies I have on. Maat just cant touch me. That is why used Steamed Crab to strengthen def is a waste. Since Maat doesnt hit me much, I used Selbina 's Milk as my buffer fo rhis Finale. I won both times and had so much time.

However, the gear that needed for this technique is cost a lot. I borrow most of the armor from friends. I dont think any bard wants to spend around 6mil + for a single fight.

That is all I know and wants to share with you about Maat fights. If you comes up with some other technique, feel free to post it so I can try it out.

By the way, you get nothing after the 1st win on Maat. Yes, you do lose exp when you lose after the 1st win.



6.4.2 Tineey - Dagger & Defense build
Rule 1: Get your combat skill for sword or dagger to 200+~
Buy about 15 Hi pots... the rest of the stuff you prolly already know.
Go the defense method. Which is the 1st way you chose.

If you use sword. Sleep + icarus + hit matt till 300% tp: Spirits Within. (Remember to use this ws when you have full life, meaning, gulp those hi pots like mad prior to doing it) If you use dagger, I'll give you an insight on my first and successful try then. I did the store tp to 300% thingy and did a cyclone for only 140 dmg :( Ended the fight with 100% tp cyclone and did 110 dmg... so i could have actually done cyclone 4 times in the battle.

Yeah... so just do sleep > cyclone > icarius > cyclone > then fight and cyclone whenever possible. FYI I went in with 217 dagger skill. Stun knife avg of 20 dmg per "poke"

6.4.3 Sendoh - Sword & Defense build
Used about 50k to prep for the fight, actually spent under 5k.
Expendables
Fish Mithkabob
Pear Au Lait (had for a long time)
Stack of Selbina Milk (used 1 to test macro orz)
Hi-Potion bought 20 (used 1, cost me about 2k in AH fees to sell them back)

Already Owned
Cermet Sword +1
Elegant Shield
Elegy +1
Requiem +1
Paeon +1
Carapace Helm
Carapace Armor
Carapace Gauntlets
Choral Cannions
Choral Slippers
Life Belt
Amemit Mantle
Minstrel's Ring
Minstrel's Earring
Melody Earring
Tiger Stole

Bought for fight than sold back
Phalanx Ring

What happened
used Fish Mithkabob
used Pear Au Lait
Soul Voice
Paeon x 2
Elegy
Requiem
Finale
Attack
Fast Blade for like 30 damage
Finale
Paeon x 2
Elegy
Requiem
Finale
use Hi-Potion (at first sign of Yellow HP)
Finale
another WS (maybe Spirits @100 TP for about 100 damage)
Finale
Fight over (Fight took about 5 minutes.)

---
some of the keys were
- near capped sword skill (was capped for Lv 69, only 2 skill difference between 69 and 70)
- macros, I macroed everything i planned to do in order including the items. The Ctrl macros were everything I was going to do in order regardless, the Alt macroes were the stuff in battle I had to do a few times.
- Luck, he never Finale me, he used Shoulder Tackle instead of Asuran Fist or something more damaging.
- I completely forgot about Selbina Milks after I started fighting, too busy looking at Soul Voice timer and recast time for Finale.
- I consciously choose not to use Icarus Wing, Opo-opo Necklace + Sleep Potions. felt I did enough preparation to beat him without it.



6.4.4 Cydille @ Ragnarok - Mixed Defensive/Offensive build
Consumables
Selbina milk
Boiled crab
Icarus wing
4 Sleeping potions
5 X-potions
4-5 Hi-Potions (I can't remember which)

Equipment
Weapon: Wing Sword (thanx for letting me bum your weapon Lalryn! :)
Shield: Elegant
Instruments: Traversiere, Cornette, Siren Flute, Horn (all +1)
Head: Carapace
Body: Craapace
Gloves: AF (so im lazy) :P
Leggings: Darksteel Subligar
Feet: AF
Back: Jester's +1
Neck: Opo Necklace
Waist: Life Belt
Earring 1: Minstrel Earring (MVP!)
Earring 2: Melody +1 (also borrowed)
Rings: Dual Moon rings

Relevant Stats
Sword: 192
Evasion: 160
Parry: 38
Shield: 35

What I Did
Equip sword + shield, sleep to 100 TP
Run just out of aggro range, Soul Voice
Cast Madrigal/Minuet (yep, you read that right)
Pull with Elegy + Requiem
Use Selbina Milk
Spirits, Icarus Wing, Spirits
Whack until dead, using Spirits where appropriate and potions after every hit (he hits sssslllloooowwww)

An unusual method with subpar equipment and stats, and yet I still won, even managing to survive through Dragon Kick AND Howling Fist. I think the reason for this is that I used an offensive, rather than defensive, method, and simply stocked up on more/better potions to compensate. The initial Madrigal/Minuet gave me a definite edge, and though I didn't beat any speed records, the constant use of potions + the harder hits gave me the edge I needed to survive and beat the old guy.

For those who have used both defensive methods and failed, I would highly recommend this method, especially if you can get your hands on a Minstrel Earring. The Earring will do more for you than any realistic amount of DEF will, and I would even go so far as to consider it an essential item for success in Maat if you don't have your weapon & evasion capped.



6.4.5 Meneki @ Kujata - Defense Build
6 x 1,600 - Hi-potions
1 x 11,000 - Icarus Wing
1 x 2000 - Steamed Crab
1 x 3,600 - Persk au lait
1 x 8000 - Reraiser (don't buy, get a reraise scroll for free with CP points)

For Armor and weapons
Crab helm (loaned)
Crab body (loaned)
Crab hands (loaned)
AF pants
AF shoes
Corsette +1
Jester's Cape +1
Moon Rings
Melody Earrings
Elegant Shield
Cermet Knife +1 (dagger level 2130

None of my combat skills are capped, so I opted for the defense route. Perhaps the poster before me as right.....maybe Maat is sliding scale based on what you bring to the table. In any case, I got lucky and won with a few tricks thanks to you guys on this forum.

Used 2-hour, sang 2X Defense songs, Steamed Crab, and au lait for hp regen. Ran into the circle (near the edge) and pulled Maat to me with carnage elegy, finale, and foe requiem. And started fighting. (though I kinda blew it and I should have drew my blade first).

The fight went very close right down to the wire. My defense route worked since maat and I were hitting each other for about the same damage. It got down to where we BOTH had 50 HP left. Of course this is when maat wants to pull out another special attack - and I die. Thank you reraiser.

Maat floats back to his spot in the center of the circle and once out of attack range I reraise. I target him and see that he is still taking damage. He is casting some other buffs, but apparently not Army's Peon. I rest up a bit, but not even to full (about 200
or so HP) cast Army's Peon on myself 2X, and then pull Maat again with Foe Requiem - this time I had I blade drawn out. Yes, still weak. Two hits on Maat and he had nothing left. Thank you Foe Requiem. I was actually watching him die as I was healing up.







6.4.6 Alexislucia @ Kujata - Mixed Evasion Attack Build

This is how I beat him @ 67 (mainly for Requiem VI)
Gear:
Main: Cermet Sword+1
Shield: Elegant Shield
Range: Various Horns/Harps as necessary (I didn't have Frenzy Fife at the time)
Head: Emp. Hairpin
Neck: Evasion Torque
Earrings: Melody Earring+1 x2
Body: Scorpion Harness
Hands: Choral Cuffs
Rings: Sun Ring x2
Back: Amemit Mantle+1
Waist: Gleeman's Belt
Legs: Choral Cannions
Feet: Choral Slippers

Skills:
Singing, Wind, String all capped for 67
Evasion Capped
Sword @ 202
Parry @ ~140
Shield N/A

Consumables: Icarus Wing, Vile Elixir, Tavnazian Taco, 2x Selbina Milk, 2x Orange Juice

Strategy:
Upon entering the circle, I buffed up as follows:
Tavnazian Taco, Selbina Milk + Orange Juice (Regen/Refresh as Finale blockers)
Soul Voice + Paeon IV + Paeon V (with Ebony Harp+1)
Ran into circle; Elegy, Requiem, finale (with appropriate instruments)

Start swinging with sword, when at 100% TP Burning Blade -> Icarus Wing -> Flat Blade ==> Fusion
Finale when available
At 2:30 from Soul Voice activation, recast Paeon IV + V, Requiem, Elegy
When he Asuan Fist (~800DMG, left me with ~250 HP) use Vile Elixir

Fight over in 4mins,26sec, he rarely hit me with all the evasion gear, so the Paeons were more than enough to keep me topped up, and I hit quite often with a near-capped sword skill and the little bit of accuracy from Scorp Harness and Gleeman's Belt

Edited, Sun Oct 2 17:54:18 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Sun Oct 2 17:54:55 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Sun Oct 2 17:52:22 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Wed Jan 11 17:49:44 2006 by Jaysensen
____________________________
Jaysensen @ Kujata
Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
LastStands
Bard/WhiteMage
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#8 Oct 02 2005 at 2:50 PM Rating: Excellent
*
186 posts
7 Bard Endgame - what to do

What do Bards do in the Endgame? Are we really desired?

Bards do EVERYTHING. Our buffs make us the favorite party members in almost every situation. We are virtually necessity in Merit parties, HNM, God, Dynamis and Wyrm parties.

To reiterate, this guide assumes that you are a member of a HNMLS on your server. You will start to get invites to a HNMLS; possibly even as early as the late 60s, depending on how prolific Bards are on your server.

7.1 Dynamis

7.1.1 Strategies
Bards are very useful in Dynamis, in both generalized parties, and specialized parties.

7.1.1.1 BLM Party
BLMs nuke and Sleepga everything. In addition to Ballad duties, the Bard often assists sleeping efforts with an initial Horde Lullaby (use Nursemaid Harp for additional range), which will be overwritten by a BLM sleep. Wear MP and -Enmity gear as you will be healing when they invariably get hate. In addition to you and your nukers, BLM parties can have a WHM or RDM as the main healer and SMN for Aerial Armor and Earthen Ward.

Make sure you keep up with -na spells and status effects to assist your WHM if you have one. If you don't, Barfira is a must when fighting things that blow up, such as Ninjas. Fire Carol is an appropriate song against Ninjas.

If you are responsible for assisting with sleeping duties, make sure you have a main healer in your party - you will not be able to effectively cure yourself, and other BLMs who get agro, and Lullaby at the same time. Use Stoneskin and Blink.

7.1.1.2 Tank/Kite Party
Sometimes you are throw in with THFs, PLDs, NINs who are responsible for holding NMs, Sac Pulling and other fun things. Ask them what they want - be it Etude, Ballad, March, Mambo. Help them by debuffing with Elegy and Finale. For outland Dynamis, Mazurka can give the kiter and extra boost of speed when training mobs away. Keep in mind that using Provoke or other abilities that target mobs will break Mazurka. So you must time the Mazurka to land when the PC runs by (use a Harp for the extra range), or the kiter must agro pull.

There are also cases where Thieves use ranged attacks to trigger TH2. In these cases, they may want Prelude, though Minuet may suffice, depending on the THF's Marksmanship Skill level.

7.1.1.3 Random Assortment Party
You may just be thrown in any old Party. Usually melee classes wear enough Accuracy to give them Minuet x2 rather than Madrigal. Mages will naturally want Ballad x2. This separation is usually easy to achieve with little effort on your part. Even Paeon x2 may prove useful after AOE attacks.

7.1.2 Builds
Find what works for your play style and linkshell needs. There are no right and wrong equipment builds. Here are some suggestions:

7.1.2.1 Healing Build
Use a -Enmity and MP build when you are a backup healer (hopefully you are not the primary healer). This happens in Melee heavy parties, and in a BLM party.

7.1.2.2 Debuffing Build
Focus on CHR and - Enmity when it is important that you Lullaby mobs, or are at the final boss. +HP and -Enmity from AF2 pieces are a nice bonus for those Bards (read: Tarutaru) who don't have a lot of hit points to survive Mijin Gakure.

7.1.2.3 Red Mage Sub
If you are in BLM pt and have a role as main sleep, BRD/RDM can work better than BRD/WHM arguably. The job change results in 4 less CHR, assuming both subs are 37. Being able to use Fast Cast, well, is fairly self-explanatory. Faster Lullaby = less swings a mob will get in. The other important benefit is Phalanx. If you are acting as one of the main sleepers then there will certainly come a time when something wakes up and wants to kill you. Phalanx + Stoneskin + Blink = not feeling so bad about that -7VIT on your Errant body (assuming you don't have an Osode yet.)CaptCrunch

7.2 HNM / Gods
The key to party configurations is to understand what your role is in the specific party. Don't forget that over the course of a battle, your role may change due to links, increase NM strength, or deaths. Understand the basic tactics of the battle, and use your knowledge to adjust to the situation. Here are some party tactics that have worked for other Bards. Find out which works for you and your HNMLS, in your own situation. Keep in mind that these strategies are generalities, and will obviously need to
be adjusted to your linkshell's available personnel, and individual play styles.

7.2.1 PLD Parties
Bards are used in Paladin parties for either Etude or Ballad. Vital Etude and Vivacious Etude are good for shorter fights where the PLD will likely not run out of MP. Ballad x 2 is good for situations where staying alive and keeping hate with Cure IV is necessary dude to longer fights. Two Bards can be used for both Etudes and both Ballads.
A PLD party is typically configured with 2-3 PLD, and a combination of you, and some RDMs and WHMs.

The most useful equipment build for the Bard will be a combination of debuffing Gear (CHR) and MP. Since you may be only singing Ballad, extra time can be spent singing debuffing, Curing and removing status effects. If you have a second Bard in the Alliance, coordinate who will be debuffing to allow both of you to focus on equipment to wear (i.e. one wears all CHR gear and is responsible for debuffs, and the other wears all MP and is responsible for Cures).

7.2.2 NIN Parties
Bards are used in NIN tank parties for either March or Mambo. Mambo is good for mobs with low accuracy or high delay. March is good in most other situations. Ninjas often have a preference as to which they prefer - ask which they prefer. Two Bards can be used to give both Mambos and both Marches.

A NIN Party is typically configured with two NIN, and a combination of you, and some RDMs and WHMs. Separate Ballad for the Mages and the desired song for the Ninjas.

7.2.3 Damage Parties
Damage on HNM/Gods comes in five forms: SMN, BLM, MNK, RNG, /THF.

SMN - SMN use Bloodpacts and Avatar TP to deal the majority of their damage. Hitting SMN with Ballad can be a challenge when SMN are chasing kited mobs. +Haste gear may help to make your job easier in this situation. Using designated SMN areas (sometimes referred to as Summoner Pits) where kiters stop to allow SMN to unleash attacks on the mob will make your job easier as well.

BLM - A combination of Learned and Sage Etude and Ballad x 2 are your best bets. Threnody on the mob will make your BLMs love you. Often, BLM are subbed in and out of the Main alliance as they run out of MP, and a new one returns with full MP. Bards are often made party leaders to facilitate the swapping in and out of BLMs.

MNK - MNKs often sub WHM and wear Chi Blast gear on HNM/Gods. Your job is to Sage & Logical Etude them. Monks swap in and out like BLM do. Make sure your Monks let you know before they need the Etudes so you can add them into the Party, and
don't drop them if they have Hate.

RNG - RNG are thrown in with Bard to maximize damage using a combination of Minuet, Prelude, and Herculean / Sinewy
Etude. Coordinate the equipment your RNG wear to maximize damage/accuracy. With the recent patch, Attack/STR and
Ranged Accuracy should be balanced between equipment and songs.

/THF - Most of your melee characters will sub THF for SATA. Double Minuet will be the song of choice most of the time; however you may receive the occasional request for an Etude of the appropriate Weaponskill damage multiplier.

Depending on what job mix you are with, you may be anywhere from really busy with not time to debuff, or all the time in the world. Be aware of your situation and decide between +%Haste, CHR, MP and -Enmity.

7.2.4 WHM Parties
External WHM parties are used to squeeze every last spot in the Main alliance for as many damage dealers as possible. This doesn't work well in all fights; be aware of NMs with AOE that will require spells such as Curaga, or status effects that require Erase.

WHM parties typically include you plus some combination of RDMs and WHMs. If you have BLMs who just ran out of MP, add them to this party to recover MP effectively. Since WHM parties are typically external, debuffing gear is not an option. Wear a combination of-Enmity and MP. Long fights may give you lots of hate. Watch out for TP reset moves. After your WHMs die - it will come for you next.

7.2.5 Your role as a Spirits Within attacker
BRD has the great benefit of +HP on nearly every piece of AF & coupled with the fact that you can bulk up on HP gear useable by DD's & main melee, you can use your sword skill quite well with Spirits Within. Taru or Galka can both use heavy HP gain items such as Gigant Mantle, Bomb Queen Ring, Root Sabots, Genbu Kabuto, AF1 legs, Minstrel Coat, Powerful Rope, Shield Pendant coupled with Turtle Soup and the extremely useful +20% HP Getsul Ring (From solo ENM60). Gigant Mantle is quite expensive, but Enhancing Mantle is a low cost alternative. Spirits Within attack at 300% is exactly 15/32 of your HP, so when fighting against someone like Dynamis Lord, Bard is one of the better melee DD's with the high amount of HP we can get added on top of our Sword ability. It's quite easy to top 800 damage from a 300% attack even as Taru. - Beerificus

Edited, Sun Oct 2 18:18:38 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Sun Oct 2 18:20:46 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Fri Oct 14 15:20:30 2005 by Jaysensen
____________________________
Jaysensen @ Kujata
Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
LastStands
Bard/WhiteMage
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#9 Oct 02 2005 at 2:50 PM Rating: Excellent
*
186 posts
8 End Game Equipment
This guide assumes that you will get your full Artifact set, commonly called AF or AF1. Your AF1 pieces do little in XP situations, but come in handy in level 60 capped situations. Read either of these guides: Fedex's guide http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9&mid=1101436933335935753&num=27

Crydee's Guide http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9&mid=10980308967417571&num=8

See Appendix B for the Sha'ir set Recipes.

Don't forget to look at the RSE2 for your race. Some pieces have great stats for your use.



8.1 What endgame equipment should I wear? Is Errant or Osode better for Bard?
Questions like this are loaded - there is no answer to something as general and useless as this. Every situation is different, and every party has different dynamics. Instead of explaining what to wear in 50 different specific situations, this guide will help you to think for yourself.

The important question is: WHAT IS MY ROLE IN THIS SITUATION?

How many songs will I be singing? Will they get dispelled? What is the cast time for my entire cycle? The more songs you sing, the less time you will have to take care of other things. Am I concentrating on buffing or doing a mix of things? How long will the fight last? Will hate become an issue?

Longer fights require -Enmity. Buff songs DO generate hate, and over the course of a multiple hour fight, big mean monster will get angry at you and swipe at you. Wear -Enmity gear, and /logout to reset hate if you need to. Beware of Hate-resetting moves.
How much curing and status removal will I be responsible for? If it is a short fight, Hate may not be an issue. However Spamming Cure3 will get you lots of hate over the course of a multiple hour fight.

How much debuffing will I do? Debuffing Sky gods and Wyrms requires a straight CHR build. Debuffing is a waste of time in some short fights, however may be critical in other situations. Don't forget that both successful and failed debuff attempts generate Hate for you.
Many times you will need to do multiple things. Is a balance of CHR, MP or -Enmity optimal? Should I switch mid fight?

The end result is that there is no right or wrong answer in most cases. There are tried and true builds for doing specific tasks, but there is also lots of room for personal play style. Use what works best in YOUR situation.

8.2 Equipment Builds & Guides
All of the above being said, what do you wear? Now this is a good question. Lets ask some of our friends what builds they use.

8.2.1 Etain’s builds
Well, the one thing you have to realize about bard is all gear/gear set-ups are situational at best, and its very different from most melee/mage jobs in that there is no ONE uber set of equips that will be the only ones you own.

For longer battles, like Kirin, I'll either go with -enmity or a full +skill setup (particularly if I'm in the monk chi-blast-athon party). My skill set up is as follows (this should be noted that this is my "default" gear):
- Bard's Roundlet (Demon Helm works if you don't have/can't get)
- Wind/String Torques
- 2x Melody Earrings
- Minstrel's Coat
- Sha'ir or Bard's Cuffs (depending on what I'm doing)
- 2x Angel's Rings
- Jester's Cape +1
- Steppe Rope
- Sha'ir or Choral Cannions (purely dependant on my inventory space)
- Bard's Slippers or Rostrums Pumps (depending on what I'm doing)

My enmity set-up is slightly different:
- Bard's Roundlet
- Wind/String Torques (If I'm really concerned about enmity, then Fenrir's Torque)
- Melody Earring, Healer's Earring
- Errant Hoppelaude
- Bard's Cuffs
- Angel's Ring, Peace Ring
- Jester's Cape +1
- Steppe Rope
- Errant Slops
- Bard's Slippers

That gives me something absurd like -15 enmity. I rarely use that set-up though; for kirin I'll usually mix and match a few -enmity pieces in (like switch in errant legs instead of sha'ir).

For Dynamis, unless it's against Dynamis Lord (then I use my "default" set-up), I'll mix in some +MP pieces, since usually I'm helping to keep my party healed up:
- Vermillion Cloak
- Melody Earrings
- Star Necklace
- Sha'ir Hands
- 2x Angel's Rings
- Jester's Cape +1
- Steppe Rope
- Sha'ir Seraweels
- Rostrum Pumps

This also helps me to cast my lullaby's faster when keeping a slime/hecteyes asleep.

Weapons-wise, if you want to seriously cut down on resists, pick up an Apollo's and a Terra's Staff. My success rate on Elegy with a Terra's is extremely good. Likewise for lullaby with the Apollo's- the only resists are usually from mobs that would be naturally resistant to lullaby's light-basedness. You'll also want a dark staff for MP gain, as well as a decent sword to hit things like sky gods up a 300% Spirits Within at the start of the fight (I use Joyeuse/Genbu's Shield).

This is only my gear set-up- every bard has a different set-up and a different approach. That's part of the beauty of the job- there is a lot of room from individuality and different playstyles. I have a guy in my LS who focuses on being a fast-cast bard- getting his songs off as quickly as possible. I have another friend who focuses on cutting down on recast times with +haste% gear. There are a bunch of great and helpful ways to play and gear up as a bard- do some research and experiementing and see what works best for you. ^_^ Good luck!
Lady Etain of Fenrir, off HNMLS.com

8.2.2 Vilurum’s Equipment Guide
Swan Bilbo in Eldieme is the sword you're thinking of. It's got 4 acc and 4 CHR (and -4 AGI but who cares), not to mention 36 DMG and it's usable at level 60. It's a melee weapon that has some CHR on it so your debuffs won't suffer terribly when you're meleeing. (As always, don't melee in exp past the 30's or 40's or so, but there are plenty of other occasions to melee ... then again, you may just wanna take your MNK to those, it's so much better at BRD at meleeing that it ain't even funny.)

For debuffs in exp, elemental staves 4tw, so it ain't so useful there. Basically it's nice to have but not all that important (ditto, btw, for the Kard, except it's a dagger instead of a sword). Kind of annoying to camp too, though I got lucky and not only popped the NM but got the drop on my first attempt (though it did take four hours to show up).

Genbu's Shield is a *very* good shield, even if it's only usable by mage jobs. Use it whenever you're using a 1-handed weapon, once you can equip it. Your only shield skill will come from sub job, so you won't get the shield kicking in for a shield's sake too often, but the stats alone are worthwhile. ...

Lessee ... all Errant is good for -enmity purposes, and body and legs are very good for CHR as well. -Enmity matters for any fight that takes over half an hour or so - particularly wyrms. Having a full set of Errant is not a bad idea, though depending on your alternative equipment options, only the body piece may get regular use. Notable downside of Errant is -VIT and -HP, so if you don't need the -enmity, keep that downside in mind. If -enmity doesn't concern you, Sha'ir hands and legs and feet are probably preferable to Errant for general use. Legs and feet are pricy though, about a million gil each on my server. Hands are dirt cheap and are also really good, be sure to get those. Sha'ir head is pretty pointless, it's about equivalent to Errant head without the big -enmity number. Opo-opo Crown is, -enmity aside, better than both. Sha'ir body (manteel) is, as we all know, not an option for 99% of us. The other 1% are either very rich or are in an HNM LS that kills Vrtra.

Abjuration gear, we can use Hecatomb and Zenith. Hecatomb would only be worth noting for macroing in for WS (that +slow would be nasty on song recast and for normal melee damage over time), and again if you're in a casual situation where you're meleeing in the first place you'd probably do it better as MNK anyway. Zenith is good for MP (every piece has 50 HP -> MP, 55 if by some chance you get HQ), the body has Auto-Refresh (naturally, drool-worthy, particularly since it doesn't take up the head slot like a vermy), and the legs and feet have some CHR too. Head and hands aren't noteworthy to a BRD except for MP - and let the BLMs and RDMs get A.Hands before you, since what the hands *do* have is Magic Attack Bonus. Note that all cursed Zenith gear is very pricy. You can get abjurations (Aquarian, for the record) for head, hands, and legs in sky - gotta tackle land HNMs for body and feet. Head: Genbu and Byakko Legs: Suzaku and Seiryu Hands: Genbu and Fafnir Feet: King Behemoth and Fafnir Body: Aspidochelone and Nidhogg Having MP and CHR options for the other equipment slots (earrings, rings, waist, back) is useful. Depends on how much inventory space you want to use and how much money you want to spend. Some ideas: Death Earring (10 MP) - HQs have 11 and 12 MP, but have +1 and +2 enmity respectively, so probably not smart. Plus they're really rare to HQ. Melody Earring (1 CHR) or HQ (2 CHR) Electrum Ring (20 MP) Astral Ring (25 MP) Serket Ring (50 MP) Angel's Ring (4 CHR) Jester's Cape +1 (10 CHR) Blue Cape (30 MP) or HQ (40 MP) Gleeman's Belt (6 CHR) Level 70 RSE MP belt (notable amount of MP, but varies by race

Also consider the +7 skill torques and the +3 skill earrings. String should be relatively cheap for both cases (so pick it up, because it's quite handy for Lullaby in such things as Dynamis), while Wind will be significantly more expensive. Singing skill isn't really worth bothering with imho. Some god armor is nice for BRD (besides Genbu's Shield). Most notably Kirin's Osode (10 CHR, 30 MP, and other stats that will get less use but are still nice to have) and Byakko's Haidate (5% Haste, nice for song recast). The rest, particularly Genbu's Kabuto and its 15 VIT, is nice to have for defense (such as when soloing or pulling).

And of course there's AF2. Head, hands, and feet offer +skill with -enmity. Body is a melee piece with boosts to melee stats and penalties to mage stats (only when engaged), and legs are a backline piece with boosts to mage stats and penalties to melee stats (only when disengaged). That's about all that comes to mind for BRDly equipment (I'm *sure* I'm forgetting stuff though), though of course there's various multiple-job gear we can use for various purposes (mostly melee) such as Vermillion Cloak, Scorpion Harness, Optical Hat, Sniper's Rings, etc. Assuming you already have light/earth/dark staves. If not, get them.

Sub jobs ... WHM is all you'll ever *need* for general use. SMN could have its uses for Aerial Armor rotation (but you'd only really need to get it to 25, not 37, for that). RDM is fun but you lose quite a bit of utility in exchange for pumping out your songs slightly slower. So not much use on the HNM front - and for soloing, WHM (for taking care of yourself) or NIN (for doing and avoiding damage) are probably best, and you have those already. BLM is nice to have to 17 for Warp, and if you ever get an urge to use Vorpal Blade you may wanna have a reasonably levelled WAR or PLD or DRK. Levelling PLD is also great for skilling up shield skill, that your WHM sub also has (it'll certainly skill up better than if you tried to do it as WHM). THF sub is good for screwing around (well hell, lots of subs are good if you're just screwing around). On the HNM, Dynamis, and other endgame-stuff front, you're looking at primarily WHM and possibly SMN or RDM, not really much of anything else. Well, unless someone really wanted you to Elemental Seal a debuff (unlikely) in which case BLM wouldn't hurt.
Vilurum

8.2.3 Tordall Equipment Guide
It's really hard to put together a definative list of endgame bard equipment. The biggest reason for this is because different bards have different playstyles and therefore various equipments will be of different values. If you're going the 'gimped white mage route' then you should look into tacking on as much +mp as possible and picking up a Vermilion's Cloak. It is actually very possible for a bard to put on something like +400mp so you can actually be pretty reasonable in this role. More +mp is definitely possible, but you'll be giving up other items that help you land debuffs (which may be fine with you and your LS for big fights. ex: I think you can swap out the the +16 chr you get from your jester's cape +1 and gleeman's belt for about 110 mp).

It's also possible to do a serious -enmity build (which you'll find out is very valuable since big monsters tend to go after bards if the tanks go down). In this case AF2 is your friend, as are various errant gears. I think you'll end up being slightly more functional in this build as a debuffer than you would with a pure +mp build. The biggest drawback is if you do ever manage to pull hate you'll be going down very fast. I tried to do more of a middle-of-the-road type thing to be able to fill in whatever my party needed at the time. As such I've got a little bit of -enmity, some physical damage reduction, reasonable defense, reasonable vit (I wouldn't overlook vitality), about +40 chr, and between 410 and 430 max mp. I'm able to get some debuffs off on gods/HNM/land kings, I live through hits from Kirin (being weakened really slows down your casting), and I have enough mp so that I can function as a for a couple of minutes while the real mages get back up.

There are a few key peices of gear that you'll want for all setups:
1) Rostrum Pumps. Fast cast is active even if you're not subbing red mage, very nice. Only draw back is it doesn't give +chr, also does 30 hp->mp.
2) Sha'ir gages (or the HQ variant): -2 (-4 for HQ) recast time. This is amazingly useful. About the only thing I'ld consider replacing them with would be either the zenith hands (but only if I was going fully into the +mp thing), or the dusk hands (for the +3% haste, and then only for solo/non-hnm).
3) Light (Apollo's), Earth (Terra's), and Dark staves. These let you take off some of your +chr gear in exchange for something else (mp, -enmity, +vit, -%physical damage) while maintaining low resist rates on debuffs.

The rest of your gear is going to have variants based on playstyle. At 72 most people get errant body and legs, dance shoes, sha'ir hands, and opo-opo crown for the head. Some people use the sha'ir turban at 72. Start with that, then figure out what you really want and what best fits how you play bard, then start building more specialized setups. If you want to skip a set (and spend more money), start out with errant body, sha'ir hands, feet, and legs, and opo-opo crown.

As for body peices, read some of the threads that are already here, there are 4 excellent choices for bard in endgame: Errant body, Kirin's Osode, Sha'ir Manteel, and Dalmantica. Errant body is definitely the easiest to get. You may already have an osode from HNM activities as monk, it's probably the best general use body armor for bards as well. The Manteel is best for trying to land AOE songs on someone kiting a mob (which you'll discover you try to do a lot), the non-vrtra way to get the manteel involves desynthing an 8million gil subligar avalable after CoP mission 4-2. The Dalmantica is probably the hardest to get, and it is definitely the best for function as a quasi-white mage. For legs, most people use one of zenith, sha'ir, and god (I forget which god, the +5% haste one).

For feet, people that previously were using zenith, sha'ir, and god are now migrating to Rostrum Pumps as their linkshells allow. I do not know any bards that consider any of the other options as better than the rostrum pumps. Hands was already covered, get sha'ir.

Head: Opo-opo crown if you can: it's the best general use head gear for bards. If you're looking for straight +chr you should consider the sha'ir turban and tuna sushi. If you're looking for straight +mp you should consider either zenith or faerie hairpin + pies. For -enmity either errant hat, Relic head, or the helm that drops off Biast in xarcabard (-5 enmity +2% haste +2 strength, probably some negative stats as well).


8.2.4 Geno’s General Build
Geno echoes the situation nature of Bard, and gives us a very nice general equipment build.
Yeah, bard gear is all situational; not only on WHAT and WHERE you are, but on HOW your LS does things. So you could be a BRD at Kirin, and doing something ENTIRELY different from what other BRDs do. You just have to mess around with it, and see what you end up doing the most and make a build from that. My build is generally MP/-emnity, as I've found landing songs @1 is becoming increasingly less important on higher level monsters (though it should be said - i only go to wyrms on SMN now, so I don't really need that much CHR as I don't usually fight the really high level stuff on BRD). Because of this, I end up wearing an overall MP and -emnity build, but also wear some HP gear (because I'm taru and too much MP gear would otherwise kill me)

so my "general" gear going into about any situation looks like this:
Head: mahatma hat
Body: Dalmatica
Hands: Sheikh gages
Legs: AF2
Feet: rostrum pumps
Earring: Morukaka earring + Heavens+1 earring
Rings: Tamas Ring + Heavens Ring
Neck: republic necklace
Waist: Steppe sash
Cape: jesters+1

Then, depending on the fight is going (getting resisted too much / we are doing really badly / or whatever), I will change those pieces around. Although I don't have my wind torque atm, I would normally switch that in after starting to get resists, along with some chr gear including: a second CHR ring in tamas's spot, sha'ir/zenith in shoes spot, melody+1(s) in earrings, a gleemens belt for waist, and most importantly errant/mahatma/osode in body slot (honestly I prefer errant to osode for this specific purpose, though I still feel osode is a great piece of gear overall.) It takes about 2-3 resists in a row with no other BRD landing them before I switch in this set of gear though, and thats actually surprisingly rare for the small ammount of +chr and +skill I have originally

BRD can be played a lot of different ways, and I dont really think there is one right way to play it. It all depends on what you use your brd for. For King HNMs / Wyrm set up, i would stick to -emnity +hp(if you are taru only! otherwise skip this) +skill +chr in that order, but it would also help to have MP merits so you could have some substantial stat boosts all around.
Geno of Shiva

8.3 AF2, AF2+1 & Relic Horn
8.3.1 AF2 Armor
AF2 is the Bard only equipment dropped in Dynamis. See below for descriptions of individual pieces.

AF2 pieces are rarely used in XP situations but are used at other times. The HP and -Enmity make them useful in Wyrm and Kirin fights, for example.

Recent updates have added the Bard’s Cape to your arsenal of equipment. It offers 7 CHR 7 Accuracy and 7 Evasion, a nice addition to your equipment, though not as potent as a Jester’s Cape +1, the Accuracy and Evasion bonus are nice soloing stats.

Relic generally refers just to the weapon, though people often use it to mean AF2 armor. Potato, Potato.

8.3.2 AFII +1
AFII +1 are upgrades of AF2 drops. First you need the AF2 piece from a basic city. Then you need to obtain the -1 version of the AF2, and not much is known about the -1 drops at the moment. In addition to two difficult drops, you need Dynamis currency and Dynamis crafting materials to complete your upgrade.

8.3.3 Relic Horn
While Bards can equip the Relic Dagger, the crown jewel, and arguably the most powerful relic in the game is the Relic Horn. With the August 05 patch, the Dynamis (in Dynamis only) and Gjallarhorn now give Ballad +2 MP per tick, in addition to +24 seconds of duration. With an entire party of mages receiving +2 MP per tick per song, that is a total of 42 MP (3 from Ballad I plus 4 from Ballad II times 6 PCs) per tick at the cost of approximately 16 seconds of casting time.
Pyrrhic Horn (Dynamis : CHR+1 [ICE]+7): Relic Horn, Mammoth Tusk, Chromos Tooth, Sword Belt +1, and 3 L Jade shells.
Dynamis Horn (Dynamis : CHR+1 [ICE]+9): Pyrrhic Horn, Horn, Gemshorn, Shofar, and 14 100 Byne Bills.
Millennium Horn (Dynamis: CHR+3 All songs+2): Dynamis Horn, Attestation of Harmony from Shadow NMs in Dynamis Beaucedine, 60 M Silverpiece
Gjallarhorn (CHR+4 All songs+2 Singing skill+10 Wind Instrument skill+10): Millennium Horn, Mysterial Fragment from Dynamis Xarcabard, and a 10000 piece, however you get 4 100 pieces in return.

If you are thinking about doing this upgrade, it is a long expensive journey. Even if you RMTed for enough gil to do purchase the currency, you still have to find people willing to sell it. Dementia has summarize achieving the most lofty of goals as follows:

Well first you need to get the relic horn drop from dynamis-windurst. Thats probably the easiest part. Then you have to upgrade the relic horn(5 stages total), each stage will cost dynamis currency(only drops in dynamis, i'd say the average dynamis run nets 200-300ish, some will get less some will get a lot more, depends entirely on the number of 100 drops).

Byne Bill(100 Byne Bill) - Quadavs and Demons
T. Whiteshell(L. Jadeshell) - Yagudo and Demons
O. Bronzepeice(M. Silverpeice) - Orcs and Demons

Stage 1 - Relic Horn
Stage 2 - Pyrrhic Horn - Upgrade cost : Mammoth Tusk, Chronos Tooth, Swordbelt+
L.Jadeshell x3
Stage 3 - Dynamis Horn - Upgrade cost : Horn, Gemshorn, Shofar, 100 Byne Bill x 14
Stage 4 - Millenium Horn - Upgrade cost : Attestation of Harmony, M. Silverpeice x 60
Stage 5 - Gjallarhorn - Upgrade cost : Mysterial Fragment, 10,000 of some currency(shells i think?)

Aside from the currency which requires immense time just to gather(ignoring the enormous price of actually buying it all), most of the drops are simple to obtain in comparison except for the attestation and the fragment.
To get the attestation you must defeat a hydra NM mob in dynamis-beaucedine, Quiebitiel. I can't give you any specifics on how to spawn it, but the NM fight itself isn't a walk in the park. As soon as someone engages Quiebitiel, 2 hydra whitemages, 2 hydra blackmages, and 2 hydra bards will spawn to assist him. All are dynamis mobs and are capable of using their respective 2hour abilities. Quiebitiel himself has three jobs, whm/blm/brd, and can use all three 2hours, multiple times. He can use benediction repeatedly, which sucks, but probably isn't as bad as the NM who uses mijinn gakure repeatedly(i've fought that one personally, not fun).

To get the fragment you must defeat the Animated Horn in dynamis-xarcabard. It's actually just a floating horn that talks(like the beastment kings). I haven't fought the horn, but i've done the katana and gun, and if it's anything like those two, it will summon 5 sattelite horns to help it, and it will warp away if you don't kill it fast enough(once it warps its gone for good). The katana and gun both used the relic weaponskills(blade : metsu and coronarch) when i fought them, so really i have no idea what kind of special attacks the horn would have.
Dementia

8.4 Weapons
The following weapons are useful to have in your arsenal, though you don't need to carry all of them around with you. HQ elemental staves will do more for your effectiveness that lots of other gear; as such, you should aim to upgrade to HQ as soon as you can afford to.

As for weaponry, it all depends on what your role is. In 99.99% of party/alliance settings you will be using Apollo/Terra/HQ staves as your main weapon. While Chanter's or Signa are very very nice they are subpar when you have the HQ staff on your back. Staves are also good solo tools. With a Terra you have a nice -20% Phys Dmg.Niwaar

Light/Apollo Staff
Level 51 Dmg 30 Delay 366 STR+1 DEX+1 VIT+1 AGI+1 INT+1 MND+1 CHR+1 [DKN]+15 Cure Potency +10% Add Effect: Light Damage
The important hidden effect that is it decreases resistances for Light based songs such as Lullaby and Requiem by 10% (15% HQ).

Earth/Terra Staff
Level 51 Dmg 30 Delay 266 VIT+4 [LTG]+15 Physical damage taken-20% Add Effect : Earth Damage
The important hidden effect that is it decreases resistances for Light based songs such as Elegy by 10% (15% HQ).

Dark Staff
Level 51 Dmg 30 Delay 266 STR+1 DEX+1 VIT+1 AGI+1 INT+1 MND+1 CHR+1 [LIT]+15 MP Regeneration While Healing+10 Add Effect : Darkness Damage
The MP rest +10 is the key for this weapon. The HQ does not give additional resting MP.

Monster Signa
Level 17 Dmg 12 Delay 366 HP+5 MP+5 VIT-5 CHR+8
Some Bards keep this to use on Misc. Threnodies, and for level capped situations.

Warp Cudgel
For situations without Warp II & skill ups

Chanter’s Staff
Level 40 Dmg 20 Delay 366 INT -6 MND +6 CHR +6 Singing Skill +4
This is a great staff for capped missions and BCs. You can obtain it via 50cap ENMs.

8.4.1 Do I need all of the HQ staves for Threnodies?
Somnolent communicates the more or less consensus opinion among experienced Bards:
If you buy a full set of NQ staves just for threnodies, you are wasting money. If you already have a full set from some other job that is fine. Realistically, brds only need light/earth/dark. Dark is optional, at that. HQ earth and light can be useful, but not specifically for threnodies. Actually spending the 10-20 million required for something so useless as sticking threnodies... Threnodies just aren't really necessary endgame. Even if you can make the staves yourself, they still aren't worth the expense. If you stick one on to a god or wyrm or some such, fine. It would never be required, and the effects are almost always marginal by that point. For exp mobs, threnodies would still never be useful enough/resisted enough to warrant the expense.

Now, to put incredulity aside and answer your specific questions. Yes, HQ staves would decrease resistance on threnodies even further. Yes, with NQ staves the resists would be decreased sufficiently that you would not need HQ. But realistically, elemental staves are not required for threnodies. The resist rate is low with decent gear, and considering the crafting levels in your sig you can probably afford to buy the best gear available. Another factor is inventory. I carry between 4 and 12 instruments with me all the time, as well as requisite gear to swap out as needed.
- Somnolent

8.5 Shield
Elegant Shield (BCNM: Undying Promise)
Level 40, Def 1 MP+6 CHR+1
Genbu's Shield (Dropped: Genbu)
Level 24 Def 24 [FIR]-10 [ERT]+10 Evasion+10 Physical damage taken-10%

8.6 Head armor
The Opo Opo Crown is generally the best balance of MP and CHR, however it costs you your food effect to gain benefits. Although it has no CHR boost, the Zenith Crown is unparalleled in MP, as you can still eat Pie to gain more MP. The Errant Hat offers less CHR but more -Enmity than the AF2 Roundlet. Sha'ir Turban offers very little MP and CHR, but gives a 1% Haste, which may prove useful in a Haste gear build - plus it looks cool. For soloing and skilling, get an Optical Hat. The Bard’s Roundlet +1 has the most CHR and –Enmity of all pieces, in addition to nice bonuses of 5 Singing Skill and HP.

Opo Opo Crown (Quested)
Level 65 STR+1 DEX+1 VIT+1 AGI+1 INT+1 MND+1 CHR-7
While you have the Pamama food effect you gain +50 HP +50 MP and +14 CHR (net of 7)

Bard's Roundlet (Drop: Dynamis-Sandoria)
Level 72 Def 19 HP+13 CHR+5 Singing skill+5 Enmity-3

Shair Turban (Crafted: Clothcraft)
Level 72 Def 17 MP+9 CHR+3 Haste+1%

Errant Hat (Crafted: Clothcraft)
Level 72 Def 28 STR-2 DEX-2 VIT-2 AGI-2 INT+3 MND+3 CHR+3 Enmity-5

Zenith Crown (Aquarian Abjuration & Crafted: Goldsmithing)
Level 73 Def 30 INT+3 MND+3 Enhances "Resist Silence" effect Converts 50 HP to MP

Optical Hat (Triggered Drop)
Level 70 Accuracy+10 Ranged Accuracy+10 Evasion+10
Nice piece for soloing.

Choral Roundlet +1 (AFI+1: Limbus upgrade)
Level 74 Def 19 HP+11 MND+6 CHR+6 Parrying skill +5 Enmity-2
To upgrade:
Choral Roundlet
Coiled Yarn
Brown Doeskin
Gold Thread
Ancient Beastcoin x15

Bard’s Roundlet +1 (AFII+1: Dynamis Buburimbu Drop + Upgrade)
Level 75 Def 20 HP+13 CHR+6 Singing skill+5 Enmity-4
Upgrade Cost:
Bard's Roundlet
Bard's Roundlet-1
Gold Thread
1 Byne Bill x26

8.7 Body armor
Each piece shines in its own aspect; its up to you to collect and use them. The Osode has no drawbacks, unlike the – stats from Errant body; however the -Enmity and +hMP are critical in many situations. The AFI +1 Body, is a nice combination of CHR and –Enmity and has a nice bonus of VIT as well. Military Parade on the AF2 body is a great boost when farming or skilling. Dalmatica's Refresh and MP are unmatched by the other body pieces. The Sha’ir Manteel, while overpriced to some, may be a critical boost in time for the busy Bard.

Kirin's Osode (Drop: Kirin)
Level 75 Def 52 MP+30 STR+10 DEX+10 VIT+10 AGI+10 INT+10 MND+10 CHR+10 [LIT]+50

Bard's Justacorps (Drop: Dynamis-Beaucedine)
Level 74 Def 45 HP+19 Attack+18 "Military Parade"
Military Parade adds +8 to STR DEX AGI VIT when engaged in combat.

Sha'ir Manteel (Crafted: Goldsmithing)
Level 72 Def 42 MP+14 CHR+7 Haste+2% Song spellcasting time -12%

Errant Houppelande (Crafted: Clothcraft
Level 77 Def 42 STR-7 DEX-7 VIT-7 AGI-7 INT+10 MND+10 CHR+10 Enmity-3 MP Regeneration While Healing+5

Dalmatica (Aquarian Abjuration & Crafted: Clothcraft)
Level 73 Def 45 Magic Def. Bonus+5 Adds "Refresh" effect Enhances "Resist Paralyze" effect Converts 50 HP to MP

Choral Justacorps +1 (AFI+1: Limbus upgrade)
Level 74 Def 45 HP+20 VIT+10 CHR+10 String instrument skill +6 Enmity-3
Upgrade cost:
Choral Justaucorps
Coiled Yarn
Brown Doeskin
Manticore Leather
Ancient Beastcoin x40

Bard’s Justacorps +1 (AFII+1: Dynamis Unknown Drop + Upgrade)
Level 75 Def 46 HP+19 Attack+20 "Military Parade"
Upgrade Cost:
Bard's Justacorps
Bard's Justacorps-1
Griffon Leather
1 Byne Bill x28

8.8 Hands armor
Both the Sha'ir and Shiekh Gages have a good mix of CHR and MP, but also grant the impressive - song recast. In addition to 1 Def, 2 MP and 1 CHR, Sheikh Gages have a -4 to song recast time. Bard's Cuffs offer -Enmity with HP rather than the MP granted by Errant Cuffs. For pure MP builds, Zenith Mitts win Hands down with 50 MP on the hands slot.

Bard's Cuffs (Drop: Dynamis-Bastok)
Level 73 Def 18 HP+16 Evasion+5 Enmity-3 Wind Instrument skill+3

Shair Gages (Crafted: Leathercraft)
Level 72 Def 19 MP+12 CHR+5 Song recast delay -2

Errant Cuffs (Crafted: Clothcraft)
Level 72 Def 20 HP-20 MP+20 INT+5 Enmity-2

Zenith Mittens (Aquarian Abjuration & Crafted: Clothcraft)
Level 72 Def 23 Magic Atk. Bonus+5 Converts 50 HP to MP

Choral Cuffs +1 (AFI+1: Limbus upgrade)
Level 74 Def 18 HP+14 VIT+7 CHR+7 Singing skill+10 Enmity-1
Upgrade cost:
Choral Cuffs
Coiled Yarn
Brown Doeskin
Manticore Leather
Ancient Beastcoin x25

Bard’s Cuffs +1 (AFII+1: Dynamis Qufim Drop + Upgrade)
Level 75 Def 19 HP+16 Evasion+5 Wind Instrument skill+5 Enmity-4
Upgrade Cost:
Bard's Cuffs
Bard's Cuffs-1
Griffon Leather
1 Byne Bill x28

8.9 Leg armor
The 42 MP from the AF2 pants are only matched by the Zenith Pants, which cost -50 HP. Both the Errant pants and Bard's Cannions have - to Melee stats and + to mage stats, however the AF2 does not feature -Enmity, but the Errant Clops do not have the MP. The Sha'ir pants give a static CHR bonus, and have none of the - melee attributes, however the HP and MP bonuses are small on the NQ version. Choral Cannions +1 are great for soloing.

Bard's Cannions (Drop: Dynamis-Xarcabard)
Level 75 Def 31 HP+17 MP+42 "Courtly Measure"
Courtly Measure adds +8 to INT MND CHR -8 to STR DEX AGI VIT while NOT Engaged in combat.

Sha'ir Seraweels (Crafted: Clothcraft)
Level 72 Def 37 HP+2% MP+1% CHR+8

Errant Slops (Crafted: Clothcraft)
Level 72 Def 38 STR-5 DEX-5 VIT-5 AGI-5 INT+7 MND+7 CHR+7 Enmity-3

Zenith Pants (Aquarian Abjuration & Crafted: Clothcraft)
Level 73 Def 40 MND+4 CHR+4 Evasion-3 Converts 50 HP to MP

Choral Cannions+1 (AFI+1: Limbus upgrade)
Level 74 Def 31 HP+12 STR+8 DEX+8 Wind instrument skill +8 Enmity-2
Upgrade Cost:
Choral Cannions
Coiled Yarn
Brown Doeskin
Manticore Leather
Ancient Beastcoin x25

Bard’s Cannions +1 (AFII+1: Dynamis Unknown Drop + Upgrade)
Level 75 Def 32 HP+26 MP+42 "Courtly Measure"
Upgrade Cost:
Bard Cannions
Bard Cannions-1
Griffon Leather
1 Byne Bill x28

8.10 Foot armor
Both the AF2 feet and Errant feet have -Enmity, but the Errant piece features more MP. The Sha'ir set wins in CHR, gives some MP, and has a small Haste % bonus. The hands down winner for MP is the Zenith feet piece. Dance shoes give a nice evasion bonus in addition to more CHR than all but the Sha'ir Crakows, however the –VIT may be a durn off for some. Rostrum Pumps offer the most MP, at the cost of HP, but give Fast Cast, which is a very nice bonus in several situations.

Bard's Slippers (Drop: Dynamis-Jeuno)
Level 71 Def 14 HP+12 Parrying skill+3 Enmity-2 Stringed Instrument skill+3

Shair Crakows (Crafted: Leathercraft)
Level 72 Def 18 MP+11 CHR+4 Haste+1%

Errant Pigaches (Crafted: Leathercraft)
Level 72 Def 18 HP-20 MP+20 MND+5 Enmity-2

Zenith Pumps (Crafted: Leathercraft)
Level 73 Def 20 INT+2 CHR+2 Converts 50 HP to MP

Dance Shoes (Crafted: Bonecraft)
Level 72 Def 21 VIT-2 CHR+3 Evasion+6

Rostrum Pumps (Triggered Drop: Antlion Trap + Alastor Antlion)
Level 75 Def 20 HP-30 MP+30 INT+3 MND+3 Enhances Fast Cast Effect

Choral Slippers+1 (AFI+1: Limbus upgrade)
Level 74 Def 14 HP+10 DEX+5 AGI+5 Evasion+5 HP recovered while healing +2 MP recovered while healing +2
Upgrade Cost:
Choral Slippers
Coiled Yarn
Brown Doeskin
Manticore Leather
Ancient Beastcoin x25

Bard’s Slippers +1 (AFII+1: Dynamis Valkurm Drop + Upgrade)
Level 75 Def 15 HP+12 Parrying skill+4 Stringed Instrument skill+3 Enmity-3
Upgrade Cost:
Bard's Slippers
Bard's Slippers-1
Griffon Leather
1 Byne Bill x28

8.11 Bard Rare/Ex collectables
The collectable toys of the Bard. Most aren't really necessities, rather things that are nice (and fun) to have.

Opo Opo Crown (Head)
FedEx wrote a great guide on how to get the Opo Opo Crown. This head piece is your Optical Hat. It is challenging to get this without a HNMLS or lots of high level friends.
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9&mid=1102252657257997009&num=33

Joyeuse (Sword)
Level 70 Dmg 35 Delay 224 Dark +14
The joy is a great soloing weapon with only one down side. Unless you are subbing warrior you have completely useless weaponskills to work with. As Brd/war you have vorpal blade and can actually do decent dmg with the sword. - Niwaar
The sword is a 100% drop from Charybdis http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/bestiary.html?fmob=1622 in Sea Serpent's Grotto. It is generally accepted to be a 8-24 lottery from the nearby (inside/outside of the door not the second inside) Devil Mantas, which are on 16 minute timers. This is how to get to Charybdis, courtesy of Alatunos of Kujata http://www.laststands.com/jaysfiles/7-6/ssgnmmap.jpg. If you didn't put in the work to kill the placeholders, please don't kill the NM.

Kard (Dagger)
Level 68 Dmg 22 Delay 190 CHR +5
There is the Kard, the goblin butcher knife. This dagger not only looks cool, it does in fact have a decent dmg/delay. As Brd/Nin with Kard in main hand and joyeuse in off hand you become an evisceration spamming machine. - Niwaar
This dagger is dropped by Soulstealer Skullnix http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/bestiary.html?fmob=1605 in the Labyrinth of Onzozo.

Star Necklace (Neck)
Level 59 Def 1 CHR 5 Converts 15 HP to MP
In addition to the prerequisite SOB quests, this neck piece is the reward for Crying over Onions http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/quests.html?fquest=268. The quest entails obtaining a r/ex drop, a Star Spinel, from Spelunking Sabotenders in QSC.

The area with the 5 Spelunking Sabotenders is on the way to the Chamber of Oracles (featured in ZM6). To get there, take the Quicksands entrance in D-12 of W Altepa (marked 8 on the W Altepa map below), which brings you to entrance 8 in J-11 of one of the Quicksands maps. Walk around to J-9 and use the weight sensor; have 1 galka, 2 hume/elvaan/mithra, or 3 taru stand on it to open the door. Continue west to another weight sensor in H-7, then through a normal door, and drop down into the gap in the floor in F-7.

The only things in these tunnels are 5 Spelunking Sabotenders (62-68) and 2 Girtabs (62-65). The Girtabs are very useful for killing the Sabotenders if you have a BST. The tunnels lead to the Chamber of Oracles and out to W Altepa #9.
Valyana of Ramuh

Minstrel's Coat (Body)
Level 62 Def 40 HP+15 Evasion+3 Wind instruments skill+3 Stringed Instrument skill+3
Drops from Novv the Whitehearted in SSG, in the open area right past the Gold door. Novv is a 2 hour lottery spawn off of the surrounding Lagoon Sahagins (WHM). He is often camped for the Siren's Hair which he drops. Use this to your advantage by asking to join the groups trying to farm for the Hair. They will usually let you in if you only want the Coat, as it is thrown away lots of the time.

Rostrum Pumps (Feet)
Level 75 Def 20 HP-30 MP+30 INT+3 MND+3 Enhances Fast Cast Effect
Though it provides less MP than Zenith, it is much cheaper. Drops from Alastor Antlion - which is a triggered spawn using an Antlion Trap. http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/bestiary.html?fmob=3676

Swan Bilbo (Sword)
Level 60 Dmg 36 Delay 240 Accuracy +4 CHR +4 AGI -4
Drops off Cyn Cwyff in Eldieme Necropolis. http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/bestiary.html?fmob=3746

8.12 HQ3 Instruments
A recent update added HQ2/3 instruments to the game. While you do not get +3 to song strength, you get some neat little bonus stats, and are always nice additions to add to your collection of toys.

Flute +2 HP+5 "Requiem"+1
Cornette +2 AGI+1 "Minuet"+2
Traversiere +2 MP+10 "Madrigal"+2
Crumhorn +2 INT+1 "Carol"+2

Edited, Sun Oct 2 18:42:53 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Sun Oct 2 18:44:45 2005 by Jaysensen


Edited, Thu Jan 19 16:31:17 2006 by Jaysensen

Edited, Thu Jan 19 17:03:08 2006 by Jaysensen
____________________________
Jaysensen @ Kujata
Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
LastStands
Bard/WhiteMage
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#10 Oct 02 2005 at 2:52 PM Rating: Excellent
*
186 posts
9 Appendix A
Song locations go here.
____________________________
Jaysensen @ Kujata
Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
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#11 Oct 02 2005 at 2:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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186 posts
10 Appendix B: Sha'ir Set Recipes
According to Mysterytour:
10.1 Sha'ir Crakows
Leathercraft (92) - Clothcraft & Goldsmithing (58)
Earth Crystal
Orichalcum Ingot x 1
Gold Thread x 1
Velvet Cloth x 1
Tiger Leather x 2
Buffalo Leather
10.2 Sha'ir Seraweels
Clothcraft (92) - Leathercraft (Level Unknown)
Gold Thread x 1
Velvet Cloth x 3
Tiger Leather x 1
Tafetta Cloth x 1

10.3 Sha'ir Turban
Clothcraft (91) - Goldsmithing (51)
Gold Thread x 1
Velvet Cloth x 3
Pigeon's Blood x 1
Hippogryph Feather x 1
10.4 Sha'ir Gages
Level 96 Leathercraft - Goldsmithing (46) & Clothcraft (Unknown)
Gold Ingot x 1
Garnet x 1
Gold Thread x 1
Velvet Cloth x 1
Tiger Leather x 1
H.Q. Bugard Skin x 1

10.5 Sha'ir Manteel
Goldsmithing (95) - Clothcraft (Level Unknown)
Gold Sheet x 1
Ruby x 1
Sapphire x 1
Gold Thread x 2
Velvet Cloth x 2
Cashmere Cloth x 1
10.6 Cashmere Thread -> Cashmere Cloth
Two Cashmere Thread and three Cashmere Wool are dropped from each Vrtra kill. Synth the Wool into Thread, then get the
Manteel crafted. Alternatively, Vir and Femina Subligars may be desynthed into either Cashmere Thread or Shining Cloth by
high level Clothcrafters. There is a reportedly high desynth failure rate.
Cashmere Thread
Clothcraft (93)
Crystal: Lightning
Ingredients: Cashmere Wool x2

Cashmere Cloth
Clothcraft (95)
Crystal: Earth
Ingredients: Cashmere Thread x3
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Jaysensen @ Kujata
Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
LastStands
Bard/WhiteMage
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#12 Oct 02 2005 at 2:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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11 Appendix C: Specific HNM/God Tactics

11.1 Kirin Tactics

11.1.1 Kunekaden's Kirin Tactics
Mage:
Ballad, Etude, Threnody, Elegy, Requiem
Help cure tanks / random melee

Melee:
Prelude, Madrigal, Minuet, Etude, Threnody, Elegy, Requiem
Help cure tanks / random melee
Set up skillchains, add/kick people from party

Tank:
Ask your tank which buffs they want.
Some like Minne, some etude.
Erase, Ballad, Etude, Threnody, Elegy, Requiem
Help cure tanks

Basically the same as any other fight except when in tank PT. In that case, follow them around, predict where they'll be next, hit them with +vit etudes or whatever they ask for and erase whenever kirin uses Rasp, Great Whirlwind (adds ... something)
or Deadly Hold (adds Bind).[i] – Kunekaden

11.1.2 Jamison/TNT's Kirin Tactics[i]
2 bards in alliance, each is leader of a non-tank PT. 1 makes efforts to bring in only MP users (usually has a RDM also) and the other bard PT is for melee. With all the running around it's far too easy to accidently overwrite songs, and this helps eliminate that problem.

Somehow in our LS the bards have ended up "leading" the damage portion of the fight, calling for people to come into alliance, and getting those with too much hate out safely. As we're the least likely to die, having leader is very helpful so people can be removed if/when they die ... and somehow I'm often finding myself outside of Astral Flow range when it goes off which is very nice also. Additionally, we can still function at about 80% while weakened if you are careful. I don't know if other LSs do this or not.. but it works well for us.

MP PT: spam ballad. spam again. use a harp for wider range. spam ballad. chase down summoner and spam ballad. did i mention spam ballad? Oh, I usually bring the MNKs into this PT also, although there's no reason they can't go into either.

Melee PT: This will vary a decent amount depending on how well equiped the melees are. Prelude for RNG, minuet is an option for second song. When other melee are brought in to alliance, I give them Madrigal once so they can build TP easier.

Sometimes I'll ask them to come to me , other times follow Kirin around just as they do and wait for a long-casting spell to sing. Give verbal warning to them that the song is coming so they can stand still for the extra 3-4 seconds it will take for the song to land.
Even with top-of-line CHR equipment, Elegy will only land a handful of times a fight. I'm talking like 2 on average. Over time this can generate a *ton* of hate, so be careful. I personally don't consider it "worth" trying... but we still do it as a matter of pride. Again, I've never gotten it to land more than twice in one fight, and I'm rather decently equiped. I'd actually be curious about the landing rate from other bards.

Threnodies are great, they get your blackmages killed a heck of a lot quicker... and nothing is more fun than a dead black mage. Here's the trick: you'll probably never land the threnody you want on the first try, but if you start somewhere else in the elemental wheel and work forwards (or would it be considered backwards?) through the elements until you get the one you want...

Here's what I mean: Supposing you want Earth threnody to land so you have a better chance to hit up Elegy. Earth threnody
probably won't hit, but the song itself is wind based. Sooooooo if you try Wind threondy beforehand, and it lands, Earth
threnody has a fairly high chance of landing. Wind isn't the easist to stick either.. so the one previous to that is Ice, previous to Ice is Fire. Again, once you get any one to land, you can often just go around the wheel until you land the one you really wanted in the first place. Be really careful with hate again here and don't do this too often... if the tanks go down you may find yourself kiting Kirin for a little while ^^.

Hrm.. what else. Stoneskin at all times. It won't save you from astral flow, but it might from other spells/abilities. I think that sums up how I play against Kirin.. I'm sure you'll get a lot of different responses because LSs will approach the fight very differently. It takes us between 60-90 minutes for the fight ... which I know isn't the best of the best, but we do a good, solid job. Hope this helps! [i]

11.2 Magus's Elegy Guide
Well, Charisma is only half the battle. . . Elegy can be successfully and predictably landed with about 50 to 60 CHR boost from equipment, double etuding yourself, a Terra's Staff, and using about 3 to 6 or 7 Skill+ points.

A lot of the time, since a Bard has "free hands", I find myself just curing people during Kirin fights as they become weak~ I also work mainly with Etude/Prelude (single target songs) unless I'm in our Tank party. Our Tanks are primarily Ninjas, even in Kirin
fights, who prefer Mambo if anything else. Rangers are double Minuet with Prelude according to miss ratio and food~. Monks definitely need a double MND Etude prior to Chi Blast; and so on~.

You will find yourself party leader... inviting and disbanding people on a regular basis~.
But yeah, to land Elegy well, you just need Errant style stuff, a +1 Horn, a Terra's Staff, and maybe a Skill+ piece of equipment that isn't in an offending area (Wind Torque, Merit Points, or Dynamis - Bastok: Bard's Cuffs).



Edited, Sun Oct 2 18:58:04 2005 by Jaysensen

Edited, Sun Oct 2 18:58:52 2005 by Jaysensen
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Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
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http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#13 Oct 02 2005 at 2:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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186 posts
Bard's uses in COP

Read a guide before reading on. This guide assumes you have knowledge of the various missions.

Sadly, Bard is not the most effective job in Capped BCs in COP missions. Since you have WHM to 37, it may be worth it to level those 3 extra levels if you have not to participate in the 40cap missions. Winning these BCs comes down to the strategy you use based on your PT config.

Bards match very well with PLD and NIN tanks. However you take a up a spot in the PT, so you need to add lots of value if you are not being gimped through with a sure fire win PT setup. Design your strategy carefully.

The Mother Crystals
While Ballad is very nice in Promvion Dem - Holla - Mea, and mages will love you, most people say that WHM is just better in the BC. Lullaby will not work on the Bosses. Since you have WHM to 37, that may be a viable alternative to going as BRD.

2-3 Distant Beliefs
Many people do this in a large group. Phoumina Aqueducts has no BC so BRD is a nice addition to any PT.

2-5 Ancient Vows
If you do the mammets with (especially three) Ninjas, they will love you for Elegy, March and Mambo. Lullaby will not work on the Mammets. If your WHM is 40, going as a Haste whore is also good.


3-5 Darkness Named
Since the floor tiles drop on the Diablos fight, you wont have much room to manuever and sings songs. There are few places where you can safely stand. While Elegy will work, Lullaby will not work on Diablos. I went as WHM.


4-2 The Savage
Another 50cap, so you still dont have Carnage Elegy and Ballad 2. But Lullaby works on Ouryu. It works well. If you Manaburn this, your BLMs need Drinks and that extra tick wont matter much but the BLMs will still love you for that and Ice Threnody. You will need to Finale his Stoneskin ASAP. Make sure you dont stand in front of him.


4-3 Secrets of Worship
While they are undead, Lullaby wont work on the skeleton or ghost summons from Keremet or OPM. Your WHM will love you for Ballad, even if they have Refresh already. Constant AOEs make that extra MP very nice.


5-2 Desires of Emptiness
You can bring a large group to raid Prom Vahzl, but you only get 6 in the BC. If you do enter the BC as Bard, your Ninjas will love you for Elegy, March and Mambo. The extra MP from Ballad is nice for your mages, but they need real Refresh as well via RDM or drinks.

When I did this as Bard, I felt lke I was not contributing much to the fight, and felt more like a gimp WHM than anything, although my Ninja loved me. If you have WHM at 50, you might as well go as that.

Dont forget that you can do the majority of the Prom as one job, and then warp to the BC as another job once you have completed the various stages and NMs.


5-3 the Three Forks
Tenzen Path
I took several friends and did the Gargoyle doors all at once. The second part is very soloable with Sneak and Invis.

Louverance Path
The Bugbear BC is 60 Cap, so you get an aresenal of tools with elemental staves, Elegy and Ballad 2. Yet you still cant sleep the Moblins or Bugbear. Look for Ballad your mages and Buff your tanks as the desire. Another job may be more useful here.

Ulmia Path
Mithra BC is most easily won with 3 SMNs. Many go in with SNM BLM. SV Ballad + drinks or a Refresh make this easier for them.

The Snoll is a tough fight, so pick your setup wisely. Learned Etude, Threnody and Elegy help you in the battle. You will likely be throwing a Mistmelt as you have time. I believe Lullaby will land, but its more like a stun since people are unloading on it.

6-2 One to Be Feared
Minuet, Elegy, Thenody, Etudes, and both Ballads make you a force to be reckoned with. Lullaby wont work on the Mammets or weapons, but you still add lots of value

Stay out of AOE range at all times. No matter what sort of tank you use, dont run up to the weapons. Giving AGI and/or VIT is the safest boff for your tank, and you can cast this from the other side of the Airship.

Double Ballad stacked with Drinks makes MP not a problem for your mages. You can give Double Minuet to RNGs. Prelude SAMs and other Ranged attackers. You have lots of space to separate songs, so these fight will be lots of work for you.

Make sure you have a CCB Polymer. And do a dry run first.

7-5 a Warrior's Path
Treat Tenzen like the Snoll fight. Own him quickly with 2Hour abilities. At this point if you dont deal damage you are being gimped. Etude, Minuet, Threnody and Elegy are your tools.

I havent advanced more in COP, so I dont know what Role Bard playes in the rest.

Edited, Wed Jan 11 17:47:15 2006 by Jaysensen
____________________________
Jaysensen @ Kujata
Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
LastStands
Bard/WhiteMage
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#14 Oct 02 2005 at 2:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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186 posts
#15 Oct 02 2005 at 4:48 PM Rating: Decent
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yay someone made an advanced bard guide. and you know what youre talking about. rating up!

my only note would be that soul voice double Minne is useful, it allows a paladin to toe-to-toe Byakko easily, as long as he has a white mage nearby
____________________________
*Retired July 22, 2005*
75whm: July 1, 2004
75brd: May 22, 2005
50blm, 44rdm, 40smn, 25thf, 22nin, 18war, 17pld, 12bst, 11rng, 10mnk, 10drg, 10drk, 10sam
Quests completed: 327
Server Ifrit
Linkshell CobraKaiDojo
my WHM guide
http://sigs.enjin.com/sig-ffxiv/82_fccd6dc32bc49944.png

#16 Oct 02 2005 at 4:58 PM Rating: Decent
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Nursemaids is +2 lullaby, not +3
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BRD75/WAR50/RDM37/WHM37/NIN37
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/profile.xml?81342

CoP : 7-4
Zilart : Complete

BRD AF2 3/5 Zenith 2/5
God Armor 5/5 Sheikh 2/5

Merits - MP 3/7 - CHR 3/4 - Combat 6/9
Magic 6/6 - Other 6/6 - Bard 5/5
#17 Oct 02 2005 at 5:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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186 posts
LOL WTF was I thinking? Fixed.
____________________________
Jaysensen @ Kujata
Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
LastStands
Bard/WhiteMage
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#18 Oct 02 2005 at 5:59 PM Rating: Decent
Very nice guide! One problem though, I can't figure out which one of your posts to rate up, so I guess I'll have to do them all!
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There are two kinds of people in FFXI, those doing the laughing and those who don't know what's funny.
#19 Oct 03 2005 at 11:48 AM Rating: Decent
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867 posts
I read this when you had it in HTML, linked from a different thread here on alla. I was surprised at how information dense it was. I learned so many little tidbits in areas I thought I already fully understood. Very helpful guide and doesn't waste space on explaining stuff everyone already knows.
#20 Oct 03 2005 at 1:31 PM Rating: Good
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Kudos for actually quoting people.

That said, my formula for the effect of minuet appears to be wrong. At level 75 (225, 225 respectively) without an instrument it gives +50 atk (not 45). You have to add much more +skill gear than my formula would indicate to increase it past that. The current findings are: 60 w/ cornette+1, 61 if you equip +5 skill to either wind or singing, and to get to 62 you have to pretty much equip all the +skill gear you can get your hands on.

I had done tests on this when I initially got level 75, but it appears to have changed at the same time as the ranged-damage patch. I believe that new min value and a 'soft cap' max value were added at that time so that minuet III wouldn't be better than minuet IV when you get minuet IV.

As for +skill gear and +chr gear. It appears that the point of diminishing returns for charisma is your instrument skill /2. So at 75 with base skills you can benefit from having 112 total charisma (+42 chr for hume, elvaan, taru). If you get +skill gear then additional charisma seems to also help with debuffing. For example if you equip the wind torque and relic hands (+10 wind total) then it seems that you can benefit from 117 total chr (+47 for hume/taru/elvaan). Note, that it's really hard to figure this out because our resist rates are already nearly negligable for xp mobs and really really low on gods/HNM. Most of the statistics I've gathered about this have been from Kirin.

I'ld also say something about heartsnatcher. I use the heartsnatcher/joyuese combo for soloing/small group and am able to do evisaration for 800ish damage on TWTBW mobs (which decreases as the mobs get stronger all the way down to about 200 to a steelshell with it's def boost move up). The extra critical hits really make a difference on how fast you take things down (and the +6% crit hit rate affects joyuese too).
____________________________
Tordall - BC:100+3 LC:60+1 AL:60+1 WW:60 CO:60 CC:60 BS:60 GS:60 Fish:91
Sugared - CO:100+3 WW:15
Kinarii - AL: 87+2 BS:14 GS:1
#21 Oct 04 2005 at 11:45 AM Rating: Good
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Things I'd add to section 4.1 Soul Voice

SV + Double Etude at 75 with capped skills + Rose Harp +1 yields +53 to a single stat before the 2nd level etude starts wearing down.

Might mention this that are NOT affected by soul voice:
No, you don't get a speed increase with Mazurka.
Hymnus also doesn't gain a bonus from SV either. It's RR2 either way. (Actually Hymnus is about RR1.8, not quite the same EXP return as Raise II).

Would be good to add Hymnus to the song list also. The HQ instrument, Angel Lyre, adds to the duration of the effect for certain, but I'm unsure of the added exp regained from it if it boosts that or not.

Also in the strat section, might be helpful to add "Your role as a Spirits Within attacker."
BRD has the great benefit of +HP on nearly every piece of AF & coupled with the fact that you can bulk up on HP gear useable by DD's & main melee, you can use your sword skill quite well with Spirits Within. Taru or Galka can both use heavy HP gain items such as Gigant Mantle, Bomb Queen Ring, Root Sabots, Genbu Kabuto, AF1 legs, Minstrel Coat, Powerful Rope, Shield Pendant coupled with Turtle Soup and the extremely useful +20% HP Getsul Ring (From solo ENM60). Gigant Mantle is quite expensive, but Enhancing Mantle is a low cost alternative. Spirits Within attack at 300% is exactly 15/32 of your HP, so when fighting against someone like Dynamis Lord, Bard is one of the better melee DD's with the high amount of HP we can get added on top of our Sword ability. It's quite easy to top 800 damage from a 300% attack even as Taru.

Even without the specialized +HP gear, TP'ing up for a Byakko fight is well worth your time to get in a good 650 attack at the opening of the fight.

Also for a 5th body armor recommendation, I'd have to speak up for Narashima's Vest. A cheap & very useful solo body armor piece useable at 74 (+3STR, +3VIT, +4Acc, +4Eva, 46DEF). Cardinal Vest is also near identical without the +STR bonus.

Excellent collection!
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Brandywine
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#22 Oct 05 2005 at 12:52 AM Rating: Decent
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62 posts
very good guide, i learned new things :D
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Vesku / Troll female / Blood Guard / Turalyon
62 Priest

Konstantine / Human female / Private / Uldum
60 Rogue

Viikadin / Human female / Uldum
52 Warlock

[Retired atm]
Notsopritty / Mithra / Windurst Rank 9 / Shiva
75BRD/66RDM/60WAR/41BLM/38WHM/37THF/37NIN/34SAM

Woodworking 69.0
Clothcraft 53.0
#23 Oct 16 2005 at 1:17 PM Rating: Excellent
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186 posts
Updated.
____________________________
Jaysensen @ Kujata
Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
LastStands
Bard/WhiteMage
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#24 Oct 17 2005 at 3:04 PM Rating: Decent
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Very nice thread but I believe your dagger/staff skill up thing wont work know more, SE changed it do you need to do at least 1 damage to get skill ups /cry "Rate ups for all!"
#25 Oct 18 2005 at 5:44 AM Rating: Decent
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599 posts
Cool this has answered alot of my questions. lol

If i could rate you up i would ^^
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All jobs 75
All quests completed
All mules with at least 1 100 craft
All titles obtained
AF2 5/5 on all
Maats cap: O
Relic weapons: O

です
#26 Oct 18 2005 at 10:05 AM Rating: Default
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1,807 posts
I read most of it but couldnt read it all, and noticed that I *think* you didn't talk about singing skill
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BRD 75, WHM 66, BLM 64, RDM 45, COR 41, SMN 35, PLD 35
Server: Bahamut
Linkshell: Hokuten
Title: Vrtra Vanquisher
Rank: 9 ( ;-; ) Nation: Sandoria
AFv2: 4/5
That's me ! -----> Jasmyne
#27 Oct 18 2005 at 4:14 PM Rating: Decent
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Shofar + 1 is Requiem + 3. It's just that it's incredibly rare.

Made from Recipes:
(Exceptional Results can be: Shofar +1)

* Bonecraft (86) (Max: 1)
o Crystal: Wind
o Beetle Jaw x1
o Behemoth Horn x1
#28 Oct 19 2005 at 7:42 AM Rating: Good
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3,892 posts
Another Maat strategy:

This is how I beat him @ 67 (mainly for Requiem VI)
Gear:
Main: Cermet Sword+1
Shield: Elegant Shield
Range: Various Horns/Harps as necessary (I didn't have Frenzy Fife at the time)
Head: Emp. Hairpin
Neck: Evasion Torque
Earrings: Melody Earring+1 x2
Body: Scorpion Harness
Hands: Choral Cuffs
Rings: Sun Ring x2
Back: Amemit Mantle+1
Waist: Gleeman's Belt
Legs: Choral Cannions
Feet: Choral Slippers

Skills:
Singing, Wind, String all capped for 67
Evasion Capped
Sword @ 202
Parry @ ~140
Shield N/A

Consumables: Icarus Wing, Vile Elixir, Tavnazian Taco, 2x Selbina Milk, 2x Orange Juice

Strategy:
Upon entering the circle, I buffed up as follows:
Tavnazian Taco, Selbina Milk + Orange Juice (Regen/Refresh as Finale blockers)
Soul Voice + Paeon IV + Paeon V (with Ebony Harp+1)
Ran into circle; Elegy, Requiem, finale (with appropriate instruments)

Start swinging with sword, when at 100% TP Burning Blade -> Icarus Wing -> Flat Blade ==> Fusion
Finale when available
At 2:30 from Soul Voice activation, recast Paeon IV + V, Requiem, Elegy
When he Asuan Fist (~800DMG, left me with ~250 HP) use Vile Elixir

Fight over in 4mins,26sec, he rarely hit me with all the evasion gear, so the Paeons were more than enough to keep me topped up, and I hit quite often with a near-capped sword skill and the little bit of accuracy from Scorp Harness and Gleeman's Belt
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#29 Oct 19 2005 at 9:07 AM Rating: Decent
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Nice post.

Regarding WHM/RDM slow I found this link in which Apple Pie describes a test vs too weak mandies. It shows that the effectiveness of slow caps at 30% and depends on the difference in the PC and mob's mnd.

Edited, Wed Oct 19 10:23:09 2005 by BiQuad
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Spu
RDM 75 BST 75
Cooking 100+1
(CC Mule) - CC:95+3 LC:60 SM:60 BC:55
#30 Jan 11 2006 at 5:48 PM Rating: Excellent
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186 posts
Updated.

I need more info on COP experiences as Bard, since I didnt go all the way yet.
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Taru Male, Bastok Rank 10
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http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1128282720175168153;num=28
#31 Jan 11 2006 at 7:43 PM Rating: Decent
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This guide is getting steadingly getting better 8-).

They've added more things that bards might be interested in in recent updates.

1: +2 instruments. These are really just for show since they have the same effect on the songs. I've ended up with the +2 cornette and crubhorn because of bonecraft 100+3 and just kinda kept them for myself. The two woodworking ones might be useful in ballista (Since you are penalized for changing gear), the ebony harp +2 gives +1 acc (minor, but still helps), and the Traversterie +2 gives +10 mp. IMO the main purpose of them introducing these was to give crafters a reason to end up with 4-5 of the +1's to sell to up-and-coming bards.

2: Mercurial Kris. Gotten from the inside the belly/pirate's chart fight. From my friends and me the rate of getting the mercurial kris from the fight is rougly 1/7. Our rate of getting either a pirate's chart or a brigand's chart are hugely different though with some of us getting about one chart every 5 marlins and others (like me) going 1/78. The fight is most easily done with 3 summoners just using their 2 hours and killing everything. There are other strategies for doing it, too.

3: AF+1 armor. Some of this stuff is really really nice. They also added AF2+1 armor, which is a marginal improvement on AF2 armor.

4: Bard's cape (or something like that): drops from one of the new dynamis areas. Looks really nice for soloing.
____________________________
Tordall - BC:100+3 LC:60+1 AL:60+1 WW:60 CO:60 CC:60 BS:60 GS:60 Fish:91
Sugared - CO:100+3 WW:15
Kinarii - AL: 87+2 BS:14 GS:1
#32 Jan 11 2006 at 7:53 PM Rating: Decent
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wow.


your guide is awesome and thank you for taking the time to write it. i'd rate you up but it's already maxed at "kick-ass".
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Quote:
Blade Warding is like waving your hand infront of a shotgun hoping that everything will line up to not blow your face off, the chance of it actually saving you when you actually need extra chance to live is laughable I personally go with Blood Draining, but Mongoose is probably better than it, but Blade Warding isn't even in the conversation.
-Lestat13

#33 Jan 19 2006 at 5:07 PM Rating: Good
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I reworked the equipment guide, and put in some info about AFI +1 and AF2 +1.

Merc Kris is like 100+ M on Kujata. Id sell that thing if I ever got one lol. Or is that just me?

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#34 Jan 19 2006 at 5:28 PM Rating: Decent
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I think it would be nice to compile it into one post, it confused me with all the other ones :P
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#35 Jan 26 2006 at 5:20 AM Rating: Good
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I'm going to bounce my comments off of this topic here:
http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/db/jobs.html?fjob=9;mid=1130285364286589975;num=23;page=1

I've been seeing alot of comments regarding 'what I should merit' for skill. Generally the topic gets avoided because BRD is really difficult to figure out. When I started playing, I didn't see much information about skill based BRDs. About all the info that was out there available was 'it makes some songs better'. Although I have only just now finished my 'personal' tests, there have been tests like it - such as the link above. I want to further support the findings in that link by saying: I totally agree there is a 'upper cap' to potency of songs. At 251 Singing Skill and 244 String/wind skill (495 combined skill) the 'full strength' effect of Minuet is only 59 (61 with +instrument). I am missing maybe +12 singing, but from here I think its a moot point (I've already got +45 total skill). The last change in potency occured when I had +12 skill (as seen in tests above too). Which leads to me to believe that, as far as song potency, the cap is at around 462 total (sing+instrument) skill. This of course does not provide any insight on song accuracy.

Which leads to the next part. Song accuracy is unaffected by singing skill, it has been documented several times and generally agreed that raising it only affects potency. However, raising instrument skill DOES seem to have an effect on song accuracy. This is reaching the border of the grey area when it comes to actual testing, but some believe that adding instrument skill either adds song accuracy, or raises some chr cap to allow you to add more chr to become more accurate (what?). Regardless, findings are still unconclusive.

So what does this mean as far as merits? Well simply put - you only need to merit +12 total skill, and focusing on instrument is good too. Now, most people that ask theses questions obviously want to get the best out of their bard, and carry around a whole bunch of instruments, and maybe gear to boot. I happen to be in that group, and after analyzing my options, have come to the conclusion that I plan to do the following:

Singing Merits: 4
String Merits: 2
Wind Merits: 2

The reasoning behind this is simple - Without any +skill equipment what-so-ever, I can have 6 merits (+12 skill) allocated regardless of the instrument type. I hit max potency, and provide a little song accuracy in the process.

Now, ocasionally you'll run into the type of bard that 'limits' their options - Using only wind instruments, etc. Not a bad thing (we are a rare job, and can typically play 'how we want'), and maybe they just have high hopes for that horn (you know what i'm talkin about). Regardless of whether its the right or wrong idea (i'm not here to flame), it should be said that meriting the instrument skill you favor most will help you more. So if you dont want to carry all those insturments, and only carry a horn and use string 'rarely ever', then by all means merit and cap your wind skill.

Hopefully this helps those people that constantly question 'what magic skill should i merit?'
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Asmoranomar - Diabolos
BRD/RDM - Song Cast Time Setup
BRD/WHM - Wind Buff Setup
BRD/WHM - Wind Debuff Setup
BRD/WHM - String Buff Setup
BRD/WHM - String Debuff Setup
#36 Jan 30 2006 at 9:21 PM Rating: Good
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3,883 posts
Bard Sword Skill cap is 220, not 230. 230 would imply we can get Savage Blade through conventional means.
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FaffyOfDiabolos is now OfPandy.
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#37 Feb 16 2006 at 2:36 PM Rating: Decent
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435 posts
*bump*

:D
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♪ You Spoony Bard! ♫

#38 Feb 17 2006 at 7:50 PM Rating: Decent
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221 posts
Quote:
2nd. Maat also get stats bonus from you sub and might use WS that available for that sub. For example, I fought maat with war sub once and he used Spinning Slash on me. o.O Weird. And he used Tackle or Combo while I sub BLM, WHM, SMN.


just wanted to clarify that this is a subless fight. go /blm so if you lose you can warp back. its a long run.
#39 Mar 28 2006 at 7:09 PM Rating: Default
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122 posts
jaysensen, u fuggin rox all my pairs of soxorz =) rate this thing up by 1mil if i would =P


stickyed

Edited, Tue Mar 28 19:14:25 2006 by GameMasta
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GameMasta from Kujata Server. 8)
Alchemy= 9.2 ~_~
Goldsmith= 12.1
Cooking= 4.6
70war/74 brd/18 monk/42 whm/21 blm/25 thf/37 nin
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WAR & BRD AF|O| ZM 14 |O| CoP |5-1Promy Vhazl|
Currently Retired till october...
#40 Apr 12 2006 at 11:22 PM Rating: Good
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362 posts
Quote:
The way that minuet IV's effect gets determined (minuet III is capped at your level) is: instrument skill /10 (round down) + singing skill /10 (round down) +5 if NQ instrument, +10 if HQ instrument.

At level 75 (225, 225 respectively) without an instrument it gives +50 atk (not 45). You have to add much more +skill gear than my formula would indicate to increase it past that. The current findings are: 60 w/ cornette+1, 61 if you equip +5 skill to either wind or singing, and to get to 62 you have to pretty much equip all the +skill gear you can get your hands on.
– Tordall

Prior to the Ranger Nerf patch, with capped skill and + skill equipment, Minuet I - IV caps at 16, 32, 48, 56 Attack. (I dont have exact numbers) Increasing Minuet any more requires Merit points. This bonus applies to both Attack and Ranged Attack.

I had done tests on this when I initially got level 75, but it appears to have changed at the same time as the ranged-damage patch. I believe that new min value and a 'soft cap' max value were added at that time so that minuet III wouldn't be better than minuet IV when you get minuet IV.
– Tordall


So does anyone know what the current capped +Attack values are for each tier of Minuet?
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