Bard DPS Rotation, Openers, and Abilities — Endwalker 6.2

Last updated on Sep 20, 2022 at 12:00 by Cetonis 4 comments

On this page, you will learn how to optimise your opener and rotation in both single-target and multi-target situations. We also cover the use of your cooldowns, to ensure you can achieve the best use of them every time as a Bard DPS in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker (Patch 6.2).

1.

Opener

The opener is designed to align your buffs with the rest of the party while maximizing those buffs yourself. It sets up for clean two-minute burst sequences later on as well.

  1. Grade 6 Tincture of Dexterity Icon Grade 6 Tincture of Dexterity (fight-dependent) at 2s left on countdown
  2. Stormbite Icon StormbiteThe Wanderer's Minuet Icon The Wanderer's MinuetRaging Strikes Icon Raging Strikes
  3. Caustic Bite Icon Caustic BiteEmpyreal Arrow Icon Empyreal ArrowBloodletter Icon Bloodletter
  4. Burst Shot Icon Burst Shot or Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent ArrowRadiant Finale Icon Radiant FinaleBattle Voice Icon Battle Voice
  5. Burst Shot Icon Burst Shot or Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent ArrowBarrage Icon Barrage and/or Sidewinder Icon Sidewinder
  6. Burst Shot Icon Burst Shot or Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent ArrowBarrage Icon Barrage or Sidewinder Icon Sidewinder (if not used yet)
  7. Burst Shot Icon Burst Shot or Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent Arrow
  8. Burst Shot Icon Burst Shot or Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent Arrow
  9. Burst Shot Icon Burst Shot or Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent ArrowEmpyreal Arrow Icon Empyreal Arrow
  10. Iron Jaws Icon Iron JawsPitch Perfect Icon Pitch Perfect

Use Bloodletter Icon Bloodletter and Pitch Perfect Icon Pitch Perfect as able throughout. For Pitch Perfect, use it at three stacks, or at two stacks if Empyreal Arrow is coming soon.

"Barrage Icon Barrage and/or Sidewinder Icon Sidewinder" is there because you might have a Straighter Shot proc already. If so, you do not want to use Barrage until after spending that proc on a Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent Arrow. You could also have a Pitch Perfect Icon Pitch Perfect to use there too, so you may not be able to use both Barrage and Sidewinder even if there is no proc. Prioritize Barrage in that case.

Make sure to spend any Pitch Perfect Icon Pitch Perfect stacks you have after the Iron Jaws Icon Iron Jaws. All the buffs that are about to run out there make it well worth even a single stack usage.

Use Grade 6 Tincture of Dexterity Icon Grade 6 Tincture of Dexterity before the opener in most cases. In fights where you can use them on bursts at 2:00 and 6:30 or 2:00 and 8:00, without losing a potential usage, do that instead.

2.

Song Cycle

Song ticks (proc chances) happen based on the song timer - at 42s, 39s, 36s, and so on. You can not get a proc in the last three seconds. You want to use your songs in this pattern:

  1. The Wanderer's Minuet Icon The Wanderer's Minuet for 42s (leave at 3s or less on the timer*)
  2. Mage's Ballad Icon Mage's Ballad for 33s (leave at 12s or less on the timer)
  3. Army's Paeon Icon Army's Paeon for 42s (leave at 3s or less on the timer**)

*Use any remaining Pitch Perfect Icon Pitch Perfect stacks before leaving.

**Use The Wanderer's Minuet Icon The Wanderer's Minuet as late in the oGCD window as you can, so that Enhanced Army's Paeon Icon Enhanced Army's Paeon covers five GCDs.

Although Mage's Ballad Icon Mage's Ballad is a tiny bit weaker than a fully stacked Army's Paeon Icon Army's Paeon, it is better to use it as the middle song for a host of reasons. These include the timing of Mage's slightly better party buff, Army's warmup period, Enhanced Army's Paeon Icon Enhanced Army's Paeon and other things.

3.

Single-Target Rotation

Bard's rotation is very simple outside of the two-minute burst sequence and its setup. The general between-burst skill usage is covered here first.

3.1.

GCD Priorities

Here is your general GCD priorities (in all songs):

  1. Stormbite Icon StormbiteCaustic Bite Icon Caustic Bite - if DoTs are not applied
  2. Iron Jaws Icon Iron Jaws - if DoTs are about to run out
  3. Apex Arrow Icon Apex ArrowBlast Arrow Icon Blast Arrow - at specific times*
  4. Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent Arrow - if available
  5. Burst Shot Icon Burst Shot

*For Apex and Blast Arrow, you want to use them during your burst window. To ensure that you have enough gauge to do this, only use them once between bursts. Use them either when your gauge fills during Mage's Ballad Icon Mage's Ballad or before the timer on that song hits 18 (so long as the gauge is at least 80). You will sometimes fill the gauge during Army's Paeon Icon Army's Paeon - do not use it. Wait for your burst.

3.2.

oGCD Priorities

Your handling of oGCDs will vary based on which song you are in.

3.2.1.

In Wanderer's Minuet

Outside of the burst sequence:

  1. Pitch Perfect Icon Pitch Perfect - at three stacks
  2. Pitch Perfect Icon Pitch Perfect - at two stacks, if you are about to Empyreal Arrow Icon Empyreal Arrow at the same time as a song tick
  3. Empyreal Arrow Icon Empyreal Arrow
  4. Bloodletter Icon Bloodletter
3.2.2.

In Mage's Ballad

  1. Bloodletter Icon Bloodletter - if at three charges (try to avoid this)
  2. Empyreal Arrow Icon Empyreal Arrow
  3. Sidewinder Icon Sidewinder
  4. Bloodletter Icon Bloodletter
3.2.3.

In Army's Paeon

  1. Empyreal Arrow Icon Empyreal Arrow
  2. Bloodletter Icon Bloodletter - do not use if the song timer is 30 or less
3.3.

Burst Sequence

Every two minutes, you will be able to stack Raging Strikes Icon Raging Strikes, Radiant Finale Icon Radiant Finale, and Battle Voice Icon Battle Voice, alongside other buffs from your party. You want to land as much damage as you can while you have this large total damage increase.

To start, you ideally want to lead in with this sequence as you get to the end of Army's Paeon Icon Army's Paeon:

  1. Burst Shot Icon Burst Shot or Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent ArrowGrade 6 Tincture of Dexterity Icon Grade 6 Tincture of Dexterity (if available)
  2. Burst Shot Icon Burst Shot or Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent Arrow → wait → The Wanderer's Minuet Icon The Wanderer's Minuet (as late as you can)
  3. Burst Shot Icon Burst Shot or Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent ArrowRaging Strikes Icon Raging StrikesEmpyreal Arrow Icon Empyreal Arrow
  4. Burst Shot Icon Burst Shot or Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent Arrow → use Bloodletter Icon Bloodletter if at three charges
  5. Burst Shot Icon Burst Shot or Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent ArrowRadiant Finale Icon Radiant FinaleBattle Voice Icon Battle Voice

After that, there is no set order - that will depend on your Soul Gauge and your procs. But the six GCDs you use under the 15 seconds of buffs should be:

  • Apex Arrow Icon Apex Arrow
  • Blast Arrow Icon Blast Arrow
  • A Barrage Icon Barrage'd Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent Arrow
  • Iron Jaws Icon Iron Jaws
  • 2x Burst Shot Icon Burst Shot or Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent Arrow

Then for your oGCDs, you should have:

  • Sidewinder Icon Sidewinder
  • Barrage Icon Barrage
  • Empyreal Arrow Icon Empyreal Arrow
  • 3x Bloodletter Icon Bloodletter
  • Any three-stack Pitch Perfect Icon Pitch Perfects you get
  • A two-stack Pitch Perfect Icon Pitch Perfect (if needed to protect the Empyreal Arrow Icon Empyreal Arrow proc)
  • Use any Pitch Perfect Icon Pitch Perfect stacks you have after the sixth GCD

If you keep Empyreal Arrow Icon Empyreal Arrow on cooldown, save up Bloodletter Icon Bloodletters during Army's Paeon Icon Army's Paeon, and use Apex Arrow Icon Apex Arrow as described earlier, this should all come together nicely every two minutes.

4.

AoE Rotation

In dungeons, it is fine to use your songs in the same order. Use buffs on The Wanderer's Minuet Icon The Wanderer's Minuet to have strong output in two songs for trash packs (not just Mage's Ballad Icon Mage's Ballad). You can use your usual rotation on bosses this way too, though you will need to start in whatever song you happen to be in.

Against two or more enemies, instead of Burst Shot Icon Burst Shot and Refulgent Arrow Icon Refulgent Arrow, you want to use Ladonsbite Icon Ladonsbite and Shadowbite Icon Shadowbite. Also, use Rain of Death Icon Rain of Death instead of Bloodletter Icon Bloodletter.

You can use Apex Arrow Icon Apex Arrow and Blast Arrow Icon Blast Arrow on mob packs at any gauge from 80 to 100. There is not a large gap in efficiency. This may put them at odd times on bosses, but hitting multiple targets is well worth it. This is true for raid bosses, too - working your Apex usage around chances to hit two or more targets is usually a gain.

Make sure you still use your single-target oGCDs in AoE, since they are free value. Sidewinder Icon Sidewinder, Empyreal Arrow Icon Empyreal Arrow, and Pitch Perfect Icon Pitch Perfect should all be used.

Ideally, use these on the enemy with the most HP. If you put that damage on enemies that are already going to die first, the damage is effectively wasted. Blast Arrow Icon Blast Arrow puts its 600-potency hit on the targeted mob, too. Make it a goal to get the whole pack to die around the same time.

However, you need to be careful about Shadowbite Icon Shadowbite, since it has a smaller five-yalm radius around the targeted enemy. When that procs, you may need to swap to a target near the middle of the pack to hit everything with it. Then, get back to your priority target(s) afterwards.

5.

Changelog

  • 20 Sep. 2022: Updated as of Patch 6.2
  • 20 Apr. 2022: Updated for Patch 6.1
  • 09 Feb. 2022: Guide added.
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