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All Bard subclasses in Baldur’s Gate 3, ranked

The best Bards!

Bards not only provide songs and entertainment for the party, but also excellent support, utility, and even damage depending on what subclass you choose. I have found Bards can be extremely versatile due to the various subclass abilities, so here are the Bard subclasses ranked in BG3.

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Best Bard subclasses in BG3

Bard subclasses include the College of Lore, College of Valor, and College of Swords. You can choose your Bard subclass at Level 3, so you will have a few levels to decide what route you want to take for your build. Here are the best Bard subclasses ranked in Baldur's Gate 3.

3. College of Valor Bard Subclass

The College of Valor subclass allows bards to utilize armor, shields, and different weapons, along with supporting allies by boosting their damage. While proficiency with medium armor, shields, and martial weapons can be very helpful, the College of Valor subclass lacks the abilities to justify taking the subclass instead of multiclassing into Fighter or Paladin. Here are the abilities College of Valor bards unlock:

3Medium Armor, Shields, Martial Weapons proficiencyUnlock the ability to equip items proficient with and use proficiency bonus on weapon attacks.
3Combat InspirationYour Bardic Inspiration receives an upgrade, allowing inspired allies to add bonus damage to their next weapon attack or a bonus to their Armour Class for one attack.
6Extra AttackMake an additional attack after performing an unarmed strike or weapon attack.

Related: Baldur’s Gate 3 – Best feats for Bards in BG3

2. College of Swords Bard Subclass

The College of Swords subclass can allow a Bard to use the Flourish ability, which can unleash multiple attacks on the same turn. The College of Swords subclass can significantly boost your damage output and defense.

The one downside to Swords Bards is much of the time, you will be using your Bardic Inspiration on Flourish instead of buffing teammates. However, you will be able to dish out tons of damage, and at higher levels, you can hit up to four attacks in one turn by using an Extra Attack and a Flourish.

Here are the abilities College of Swords Bards unlock at each level:

3Medium Armor, Scimitar ProficiencyUnlock the ability to equip items proficient with and add Proficiency bonus to weapon attacks.
3Defensive FlourishAttack defensively, increasing your Armor Class by 4 if you hit.
3Slashing FlourishAttack up to 2 enemies at once.
3Mobile FlourishThrust your weapon with enough force to push your target back 6 m / 20 ft. Afterward, you can Teleport to the target.
6Extra AttackMake an additional attack after performing an unarmed strike or weapon attack.

1. College of Lore Bard Subclass

The College of Lore subclass is the best for Bards due to its utility and support abilities. Bards can be most effective in combat as a support role by buffing allies and debuffing enemies. College of Lore Bards can utilize various spells to help allies and inhibit enemies with powerful charms.

One of the biggest advantages of choosing the College of Lore subclass is you instantly gain Proficiency in three skills, which can be amazing for a Charisma character and the face of the party. The Cutting Words ability can be used to save you or your party in dangerous situations, but does use a Bardic Inspiration charge, so it should be used sparingly. Here are the abilities unlocked at each level for College of Lore Bards:

3Skill ProficiencyGain Proficiency in 3 Skills
3Cutting WordsUse your Reaction to distract an enemy, giving a 1d6 penalty to an Attack Roll, Ability Check, or Saving Throw
6Magical SecretsLearn 2 non-Bard Spells from the Magical Secrets list of level 3 or lower.

For more on Baldur's Gate 3, check out Best Bard build BG3 here on Pro Game Guides.

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Bishop Lister
Bishop Lister is a writer and sports data analyst covering video games since 2019 after graduating from Arizona State University with a bachelor's in Sports Business, minoring in Digital Media Literacy. Bishop enjoys covering RPGs, sports, fighting, strategy titles, and FPS titles, with a focus on Apex Legends.

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All Bard subclasses in Baldur’s Gate 3, ranked

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