It's not just spells, bard dice, sing of rest, extra skill, expertise.My only question so far is, are Bards really inherently A/B tier in the 1-4 level range? Because my feeling is that, aside from Lore Bards (who get Cutting Words at 3, which is a fight-winner), at this level range, they're basically like Clerics with worse armour and no shield. They've got he same number of spells, far fewer to choose from (though I guess they do have stuff like Tasha's), weapon selection is similar - slightly better because you have rapier so if going DEX that works (but really that's 1 point ahead of the mighty Shortsword, D&D weapon of choice of so many people since the 1980s - man I must have had more characters wielding a Shortsword at L1 than any other weapon). WIS and CHA are similar in value at 1-4.
It just feels weird to me to see a Cleric getting a C rating and barely getting that, when a Bard is getting an A and I'm not sure that I really get it. I say this as a professional Bard-player too, so I generally have a pro-Bard bias (playing a Lore Bard right now and they're definitely A at L1-4 but only because of Cutting Words being like "You are NOT going to save against that!").
Once you get into 5+ I am pretty sure Bards are inherently B+ (and Lore goes to S once you start getting secrets at 6 imho) but I just wonder at this level.
Using the light cleric as an example I rated it high. That's because radiance of the dawn which is roughly a 2nd level spell. Compare with an upcast burning hands spell for example. Plus flair plus armor plus still a cleric plus great domain spells.