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Baldur's Gate 3

Best Bard College of Sword Build in BG3: Feats, Race & More

Craig Robinson

The Bard is one of the strongest classes in BG3, gaining some interest thanks to some of Larian’s reworks to the typical 5e ruleset. We now have the ability for the !Bard to multiclass with Warlock’s Pact of the Blade, which enables them access to some Hexblade-lite style gameplay. While combining the College of Swords !Bard’s agility, and finesse, with the !Warlock’s charisma melee weapon modifier, you turn the !Bard’s and !Warlock’s strongest ability score into a deadly modifier. Here’s a closer look at the College of Swords !Bard Build in BG3, featuring levels, feats, races and more.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Bard Build: College of Sword-Lock

Our Baldur’s Gate 3 Bard Build uses College of Swords and Warlock’s Pact of the Blade.

The full and complete !Bard Build in BG3 will have the following break downs.

  • !Bard 7
  • !Warlock 3
  • !Fighter 2
  • !Warlock Invocations: One With Shadows

Before we go into this, note that Pact of the Blade grants your melee attacks damage based on Charisma. It is highly recommended you start !Bard, and take three levels into !Warlock to get to the Pact of the Blade as soon as possible. Without it, you will rely more on your Strength or Dex, depending on your weapon, and that will delay your damage potential the more you delay your Blade pact. So, your levels should look something like this:

  1. !Bard
  2. !Warlock x3
  3. !Bard x6
  4. !Fighter x2

There are a few important things to know about !Bards while you level a College of Swords build. !Bard gets extra attacks at level 6, rather than 5, so, a potential power spike is delayed.
The other thing you have to consider is how strong !Bard’s get at level 7. !Bards will have a very strong Bardic Inspiration, and they get fourth-level spells, getting things like "Polymorph" iconPolymorph, "Greater Invisibility" iconGreater Invisibility, Dimensional Door, etc. These are very strong support and map utility spells, so, will play very well with anything you’re trying to do in combat, or as you explore the world. You will come online at different breakpoints, level 1, level 4, and then level 6. By level 10, you will be a very strong !Bard, and by 12, you will have your build complete.

As for !Warlock, you only need to get to level 3, just to pick your pact of the blade option. We want to mention that it doesn’t matter what subclass you opt for as the !Warlock. Each subclass comes with its own flavor, so you can look at the flavor of each one and decide what is best for you. The same applies to the Invocation. We recommend One With Shadows, just so you can get invisibility, which can help escape certain death situations.

As for the final two levels, you want to go Fighter for "Action Surge" iconAction Surge. Gaining an extra attack has two synergies. One extra action per short rest is very strong, as it means you can hit three times, or hit twice and cast another spell or Bardic inspiration a turn, which is very powerful for party support or offensive purposes.

Best Bard Feats in BG3

Unlike many of our Baldur’s Gate 3 builds, the !Bard Build has no stand-out amazing Feats to use. So, we’ve given you a few options that you can grab, all of which grab a niche for you to fill and will always come in handy. Some more than others, mind you, but rest assured, all of them are very handy:

  • Mobile: Increase your character’s speed. You are no longer slowed by difficult terrain. You also don’t trigger an opportunity attack from enemies after attacking.
  • Actor: Your charisma is increased by 1, to a maximum of 20. Your proficiency Bonus is also doubled for Deception and Performance checks.
  • Lucky: You gain 3 Lucky Points, which you can use to gain advantage on attack rolls, ability checks, or saving throws. Or to make an enemy reroll their attacks rolls.
  • Alert: You gain a +5 bonus to initiative and can’t be surprised. The most niche feat on the list, yet, there are a few fights in Act 1 that surprise you. Being able to adapt can make a fight a lot less easier to manage when you use support skills.

Best Bard Race in Baldur’s Gate 3

Gnomes and Halflings make some of the best bard races in BG3 for their general bard buffs, regardless of playstyle.

When it comes to character customization, we recommend you alter the ability scores slightly. We advise you to change the bonus from Dexterity to Constitution instead. You still get your +2 Dex bonus by dropping it from 15, to 14, and instead gain an extra point in Con, raising it to 14. This spread is much better, especially since you’re a melee build via Warlock and College of Swords. With that settled, it’s time to pick the best race for !Bards in BG3.

  • Halfling: Halflings get the Brave and Lucky feat from the start. Lucky is already on our list of possible feats, so, that’s always a good shout.

  • Drow: Drow’s start the game with Rapier proficiency. A weapon that is very fitting to Blade and Sword !Bards.

  • Elves: Elven Weapons Training grants bonuses to "Longsword" iconLongswords and Shortswords. Again, weapons you will be using as either Pact of the Blade !Warlocks and the College of Swords !Bard.

  • Gnome: Gnomes get Gnome Cunning, which grants an advantage on saving throw proficiency for Wisdom, Charisma, and Intellect. Rock Gnome is also handy for the Artificer for history checks. Since you make a great face for the party anyway, why not make it even better?

This concludes the Baldur’s Gate 3 !Bard Build. For more reading, feel free to check out our other BG3 guides:

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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Larian Studios
  • Platforms,
    Mac, PC, PS5, XB X|S
  • Genre
    Adventure, RPG
  • Guide Release
    6 April 2023
  • Last Updated
    14 June 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author

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Baldur’s Gate 3 is an immersive roleplaying game set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe. It features a rich story with multiple outcomes for almost every encounter, and plenty of character customization features including more races, classes, subclasses and party combinations than you are ever likely to explore. The seemingly endless possibilities and numerous choices that you can make throughout your journey make a helping hand always welcome, and that’s where we come in! This guide features the following:

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