Baldur’s Gate 3: Best Bard Subclasses [Features + Spells]

After playing for more than 80 hours as Bard, here is my take on its best subclasses available!

Baldur’s Gate 3 has a wide variety of classes and subclasses that players can choose from, through which they can choose the best one that might fit them. Such is the Bard class, which has a total of 3 subclasses, and each has its traits and features. Therefore, players might want to know the Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Bard Subclass, which is where your build will start to diversify. 

Important: Players must choose a strong subclass to get the most optimal Bard to build!
Key Takeaways
  • Baldur’s Gate 3 Bard Class has three subclasses, the best of which are the College of Lore and the College of Valor. 
  • College of Lore focuses on Cutting Words, Intimidation Proficiency, Arcana, and Sleight of Hand Proficiency. 
  • College of Valor aims towards Shield Proficiency, Combat Inspiration, Martial Weapon Inspiration, and Medium Armor Proficiency being the main features. 
  • The third bard subclass in Baldur’s Gate 3, the College of Swords, is also a good option but does not top the other two. 

BG3 Best Bard Subclass

Bard Class
Bard Class (Image Credits eXputer)

Below I have listed a summarized version of the BG3 Best Bard Subclass:

BARD SUBCLASSBEST FORDESCRIPTIONFEATURESPRIMARY ABILITIES
College of LoreThe Subclass with Charisma-Based Skills.Pursuing beauty and truth, colelcting knowledge and making opponents spellbound. Cutting Words, Intimidation Proficiency, Arcana Proficiency, Sleight of Hand ProficiencyCharisma
College of ValorThe Subclass with High Defensive Proficiencies.
Players will wander the lands in order to see the deeds of the mighty and using their insane memory.Shield Proficiency, Combat Inspiration, Martial Weapon Inspiration, Medium Armor Proficiency.Charisma

Regarding the features for the class, the Bard class will have quite a few features that align with the subclass. 

Features  Effects 
Dexterity Saving Throw Proficiency  Players can add their proficiency bonus to their Dexterity Saving Throws. 
Light Armor Proficiency  Wearing light armor won’t disadvantage your attack rolls or spell-casting. 
Charisma Saving Throw Proficiency  You can add your proficiency bonus to your Charisma saving throws. 
Simple Weapon Proficiency  Add up your proficiency bonus to your attack rolls with simple weapons. 
Musical Instrument Proficiency  Players will know how to play music and can entertain a crowd using it. 
Hand Crossbow Proficiency  Add up your proficiency bonus to your attack rolls with hand crossbows
Longsword Proficiency  You can add your proficiency bonus to your attack rolls with Longswords. 
Rapier Proficiency  Add your bonus to your Rapier-based attack rolls. 
Shortsword Proficiency  The proficiency bonus will be added to your Shortswords. 

College Of Lore 

The Best Charisma-Based Skills Subclass.
College of Lore
College of Lore (Image Credits eXputer)

First things first, when it comes to the Best Bard Subclassthere are two sub-classes that would be considered the best, which would range from the College of Lore to the College of Valor, though the College of Swords isn’t all that far off either. 

  • Regarding the College of Lore, its primary ability has been centered towards Charisma, while the Saving Throw Proficiencies will be that of Dexterity and Charisma. 
  • The College of Lore has been described as one that pursues beauty and truth, collecting knowledge from wherever possible and using it during combat. 

Features 

As far as the features are concerned, there will be four main initial features that range from Arcana Proficiency, Sleight of Hand Proficiency as well as Cutting Words, and Intimidation Proficiency. 

Features  Effects 
Cutting Words  Players can use their wit to distract a creature. 
Intimidation Proficiency  Charisma-based skill
Arcana Proficiency  Intelligence-based skill 
Sleight of Hand Proficiency Dexterity-based skill

Feature Progression 

As far as the Feature progression is concerned for both the Bard class and the College of Lore progression, it is listed as follows. 

Level Progression  Features/Spells/Actions 
1 Bardic Inspiration 
2 Song of Rest 
2 Jack of All Trades 
3 Expertise 
3 Choose a subclass 
4 Choose a feat 
5 Font of Inspiration 
5 Improved Bardic Inspiration 
5 Bardic Inspiration charge increases. 
6 Countercharm 
8 Choose a feat 
8 Bardic Inspiration enhanced 
10 Improved Bardic Inspiration 
10 Expertise in any 2 skills 
10 Choose 2 spells 
12 Choose a feat.
3 (College of Lore) Cutting Woods 
3 (College of Lore)  Arcana, Sleight of Hand and Intimidation proficiencies  
3 (College of Lore) Choose 2 spells
  • Reliable offensive abilities
  • Enemies Crowd Control
  • Impressive Charisma and Dexterity
  • Low overall damage
  • Only good as support class

College Of Valor 

The High Defensive Proficiencies Subclass.
College Of Valor
College Of Valor (Image Credits eXputer)

In my opinion, the second-best Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Bard Class will be known as the College of Valor, which has the primary ability set to Charisma, while the saving Throw proficiencies are set to Charisma and Dexterity. They have been described as wandering the lands and keeping memories alive. 

Features 

For its features, it has a total of 4 that range from Medium Armor Proficiency, Combat Inspiration, Shield Proficiency, and Martial Weapon Proficiency. 

Features Effect 
Shield Proficiency  Wielding a shield won’t impose a disadvantage on the Attack Rolls. 
Combat Inspiration  You can inspire an ally to add a bonus to the next attack roll. 
Martial Weapon Inspiration  Add a proficiency bonus to the attack rolls with Martial Weapons. 
Medium Armor Proficiency If you wear medium armor, it won’t be a disadvantage on your attack rolls or spell-casting. 
  • Cancels disadvantage on attack rolls
  • Defense focused abilities 
  • Reliable Support 
  • Lacks at heavy armor
  • Lacks at Melee attacks 

Best Subclass Spells 

Spells
Spells (Image Credits eXputer)

Moving on, there are cantrips and six levels of spells that players can use, and a few might work better than others. 

Cantrips  Effect 
Friends  Players will gain an Advantage on their Charisma checks against a creature that isn’t hostile. 
Minor Illusion  Players can create an illusion that will cause creatures nearby to investigate it. 
Mage Hand  Cast forth a spectral that will be able to manipulate and interact with objects. 
True Strike  You will get an advantage on your following Attack Roll. 
Vicious Mockery  Cast forth a string of insults toward a creature that will take damage and get a Disadvantage for the next Attack Roll. 

As far as the spells are concerned, they are listed as follows for Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Subclass. 

Spells  Effect 
Fireball  You can shoot out a bright flame using fingers that will explode upon coming into contact. 
Mass Healing Word  The spell will end up healing up to 6 teammates. 
Haste  You can either target yourself or your allies to make them Hastened. 
Heat Metal  You can cause a metal weapon or your armor to become red hot. 
Cloud of Daggers  Summon forth a cloud of spinning daggers that will attack anyone inside. 
Crown of Madness  You can instill madness in an opponent that is a humanoid. 
Counterspells  Nullify another creature’s spell that is being used as a reaction. 
Thunderwave  You can cast forth a wave of thunderous force that will push away objects. 
Calm Emotions  Humanoids won’t be able to be charmed or can’t be frightened. 
Hypnotic Pattern  Summon a twisting pattern of color that will end up hypnotizing all sorts of creatures. 
Plant Growth  Cause weeds to burst from the ground and cover the entire area. 
Heroism  Make yourself or any target become immune to Frightened. 
Dimension Door  You can teleport yourself and one ally to a place you can see. 
Minor Illusion  Create forth an illusion that will cause nearby creatures to investigate. 
Vicious Mockery  Summon forth a string of insults towards a creature. 
Disguise Self  Magically change your appearance completely. 
Bane  Up to a total of 3 creatures will receive a -1d4 penalty to their attack rolls and their Saving Throws. 
Phantasmal Force  You can deal damage to any creature for each turn. 
Bestow Curse  You will be able to curse a creature using your touch. 
Fear  Project forth an image that will be so scary that it makes targets drop everything and become fearful. 
Polymorph  Transform a creature into a sheep. 
Dominate Person  You can make a humanoid fight alongside you. 

My Take On Using The Bard Subclasses

The Bards have to be one of my favorite classes in BG3 after playing the title for over 40 hours. The fact that an entity can use such harsh language that it deals damage or even kills the target is simply too hilarious. Naturally, this means that I lean more toward the College of Lore than the College of Valor.

ibrahim bg3 save slot
My Baldur’s Gate 3 save slot (Image by eXputer)

The class also focuses a lot on Charisma for skills like Deception, Persuasion, and, of course, Performance. If you’re a seasoned DnD player, then you already know why I singled out these three. If not, then you’ll come to know in time what power these hold.

And that’s just about it! All that players need to know about the Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Bard Subclass, and with that, let’s wrap up the guide! While you’re here, why not read the Baldur’s Gate 3 Halsin guide, which will tell you everything you need to know about the Halsin Companion? Alongside that, the Best Level 1 Spells guide will be worth reading!

With that, Baldur’s Gate 3 Best Fighter Subclasses Strategy Playstyle guide is one that you shouldn’t miss out on. Lastly, how about reading the in-game Bear Scene guide?

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Ibrahim Akhtar is a guides writer at eXputer. He uses his passion for gaming to provide insightful takes in his guides. Ibrahim spends most of his time defending Baldur's Gate from the forces of the Absolute. He has accumulated more than 15 years of gaming experience, having 1000 hours in The Witcher 3 and twice as much on Skyrim V. Ibrahim has previously worked at TopTierList. You can keep up with his Steam account to stay up to date on his latest explorations.

Experience: 1+ Years || Previously Worked for TopTierList || Mainly Covers Guides || Education: Bachelors in Data Science.

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