Class Tier List 2.0, SCAG+ Xanathars

Zardnaar

Hero
It's campaign/DM dependent, I think. If the enemies are intelligent, they'll target the caster in the back, so having better self-defense serves your support role. Plus, if you don't have to use cutting words for yourself, you can be handing out more inspiration dice, which for a valor bard are the same dice as their bonus option, so they become more versatile.



Even with magic initiate for mage armor and maxed DEX, the lore bard can get to 18. If the valor bard takes the feat you spent for mage armor and takes medium armor master, they would have a 20, without putting anything into DEX after chargen.
Not at low levels which is where it matters more.

You can max your Dex trade off is your charisma.

If you do that you're not getting much out of gwf.

That's the problem all these gish classes have. You have medium armor, you need a 14 Dex. You have a d8 hit dice so you kind of want 14 con.

Then you kind of want a half decent spellcasting stat and unlike a wizard a bard kind of wants a 14 Cha minimum .

But if you want to be good with weapons you kind if want 16+ Dex or strength. If you have high Dex it makes the medium armor part semi pointless so you're not really any better off than the lore bard in light armor since the other one is Dex based.

If you take medium armor master your AC is ok but you're not taking gwm and have to be a variant human or give up an asi latter.

Half elves can get higher stats, no level 1 feat.

Once all that is done you're waiting a while to do much level 10 or 14 until then you're a sub par fighter type.

Or you can keep it simple and just be a great support character and spellcaster.

It's probably why they invented the hexblade. Wear medium armor and key everything off charisma.
 

Esker

Explorer
If you take medium armor master your AC is ok but you're not taking gwm and have to be a variant human or give up an asi latter.
I'm not the one advocating GWM on a bard.

Once all that is done you're waiting a while to do much level 10 or 14 until then you're a sub par fighter type.

Or you can keep it simple and just be a great support character and spellcaster.
Exactly.
 

Esker

Explorer
But if you want to be good with weapons you kind if want 16+ Dex or strength. If you have high Dex it makes the medium armor part semi pointless so you're not really any better off than the lore bard in light armor since the other one is Dex based.
Doesn't make the shield part pointless. Light Armor + 16 DEX = 15 AC. Medium Armor and shield + 16 DEX = 19 AC
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Doesn't make the shield part pointless. Light Armor + 16 DEX = 15 AC. Medium Armor and shield + 16 DEX = 19 AC
True but AC doesn't matter to much if you're not a frontliner.

Even if you do get hit bards can heal.

Yes some clerics are better as they also get medium armor and can play support is a light cleric. I rated the light cleric very highly because of that, but the light cleric is giving up stuff in the social pillar.

When I rated the valor bard it was the equivalent of b tier and climbed up to A iirc.
 

Bacon Bits

Adventurer
Cleric Forge Domain
[...] Its channel divinity is also very interesting/fun but is really only good in those situations where you need to acquire something now and cant make it back to town. It also has some nice domain spells.
That depends on how your DM rules it. Being able to turn 100 gp worth of chain mail into 100 gp worth of pure bar platinum while you're long resting for 12 hours is a really great power. Commodity metals mean you can sell everything made of metal for 100% of it's value on the road!

That said, and having played one, you're still not a great fighter. You can pass at lower levels, but the lack of Extra Attack is a huge hindrance and the 1d8 bonus damage doesn't really help that much. I remain convinced to this day that War Clerics should get Extra Attack at level 8 instead of bonus damage. Bards and Wizards can both get Extra Attack. Warlocks, too. Why not Clerics?
 

Esker

Explorer
True but AC doesn't matter to much if you're not a frontliner.

Even if you do get hit bards can heal.
For one, if you have to use spell slots and actions/bonus actions to heal yourself, you're contributing less support. But also, getting hit means concentration saves. Even if you take feats to shore those up, eventually you will fail, but the fewer hits you take the more mileage you get out of your big concentration spells, which are your main contribution to combat. That 3-4 difference in AC makes the valor bard a better combat support character than the lore bard in tier 1, IMO (also, when they're out of / conserving spell slots, they can more easily go in and soak attacks, which is a nice bonus).

The lore bard has a bit more to offer out of combat, due to three extra half-proficiencies in skills, and being able to use cutting words on their own opposed skill checks.
 

Seramus

Adventurer
Valor Bard can cast animate objects and do some insane things, I think is what you mean to say. A puppy dies whenever a bard takes Swift Quiver.
Animate objects is an amazing spell, but it only lasts a minute and is vulnerable to AOE. Swift Quiver is a terrible option unless you are rocking a super magic weapon.
 

Esker

Explorer
Animate objects is an amazing spell, but it only lasts a minute and is vulnerable to AOE. Swift Quiver is a terrible option unless you are rocking a super magic weapon.
Animate Objects is not for every situation. But it is almost strictly better than Swift Quiver (which also only lasts a minute, btw) for a 5th level slot that uses concentration and your bonus action every round (AO doesn't even use your BA every round, only when you need to issue a new command).

Even an upcast flaming sphere is probably better than Swift Quiver (I realize bards don't get that one, but it just shows that being able to do an extra 12 or so damage a round using a 5th level slot, your concentration and bonus action every round is really crappy)
 

Seramus

Adventurer
Animate Objects is not for every situation. But it is almost strictly better than Swift Quiver (which also only lasts a minute, btw) for a 5th level slot that uses concentration and your bonus action every round (AO doesn't even use your BA every round, only when you need to issue a new command).
I agree. Swift Quiver is one of the worst things you can do with your 5th level slot unless you are literally about to run out of ammunition or have some godly super weapon. Neither are reasons to actually take the spell as one of your secrets.
 

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