Bards are a hidden character added in the Hellfire expansion, only playable once they've been enabled by the Command.txt file. As an unfinished character, the Bard uses the rogue's graphics, though the two classes play considerably differently.
Somewhat like the Monk and Rogue, the Bard is very balanced on her stats, and can use a variety of weapons. The Bard's main ability is that she can dual wield weapons, and is capable of hitting three targets at once while dual wielding. This ability to dual wield opens up a variety of interesting play options, especially since shields offer very little stat bonus in Diablo or Hellfire.
The Bard can use the Identify skill inherently, with no mana cost. She thus saves herself ever having to carry Scrolls of Identity, or pay Deckard Cain 100 gold. This is considered the most useful standard skills out of the original and Hellfire character classes.
Stats and AttributesEdit
A collection of useful stats and figures for the Bard. Refer to the Diablo Characters page to see these figures, and others, in tables for easy comparison between the six character classes of Diablo and Hellfire.
|Start Values|| Max Values
| Max Values (Equipped) *
Diablo / Hellfire **
| Life: 45
| Life: 221
| Life: 761
Per Level Up: ***
Per Attribute point:
- * Not all maximum values can be achieved at once. Each value is only attainable by devoting all of your equipment to that particular attribute or statistic.
- ** Hellfire maximum values are higher for the Rogue, Warrior, and Sorcerer since new uniques added in Hellfire make possible much higher attribute levels. The values for mana and life do not include the unique jewelry that transfers life to mana, or vice versa.
- *** No life or mana increases are granted at level 50.
Bards are good at everything, but not masters of anything. They can fight melee, or use spells, but they're not as fast swinging as Warriors, and not as fast casting as Sorcerers. Their best style of play is to dual wield weapons, but this makes them unable to block and takes away the defensive bonuses they gain from shields. As a result, the Bard is a fairly offensive character, capable of raising her magic higher than anyone but the Sorcerer, and able to build up enough mana to use mana shield, or hit points to play like a warrior.
Bards are best played with variety; mixing magery and melee combat on the same level. Thanks to their dual wielding they are capable of dealing high magical damage and melee damage, without changing any of their equipment.
Bards can fight melee effectively, especially since they're able to hit three targets at once while dual wielding. They swing as quickly as the Rogue, so can not swing fast enough to stun lock targets, the way Barbarians, Monks, and Warriors can. This is vexing, especially when trying to finish off mages, and is only partially compensated for by the Bard's inherently high magic/mana.
They do benefit quite a bit from their ability to dual wield, since it lets them use two prefixes and two suffixes at once. Bards can gain leech and haste from their weapons, something no other character can do. They can even have haste, life leech, and mana leech at the same time, something other characters have to wait for Diablo II to manage.
Dual wielding weapon combinations are the tricky part of the character. Two Dreamflanges makes for a very powerful mini-mage, and two KSoH weapons give her considerable damage and very high to/hit. Only one of her weapons will boost her attack rate, but this essentially gives her a way to double her modifiers. One weapon of haste, one of life or mana leech, and she swings just as quickly, and has much higher damage, plus the second weapon's modifiers.
The best way to deal very high damage is to use one KSoH for fast hitting, and pair it with a Civerb's Cudgel. That unique spiked club is statistically unpreposing, but the 300% damage to Demons applies to the total damage, not just the weapon damage. This effectively triples the Bard's total damage against Demons (almost all monsters in Hell are Demons), which already includes one King's Sword of Haste! Bards can deal hundreds of points of damage with this weapon combination. Two Civerb's Cudgels would triple the triple damage, giving potentially gigantic damage, but the swing speed bonus would be lost, and frankly, monsters die fast enough with just the KSoH and CC combo.
Another way to add huge damage is to use the rarely-seen Jester's modifier. This prefix causes each hit to deal from 0-6x damage. It's annoying and seldom used with a single weapon, but for a Bard who has high damage already from her first weapon, it adds the potential of giant damage bonuses. Jester is very hard to find, and is best obtained from Griswold. Since it's a fairly low level modifier, he only sells it up until around Clvl 15, so shop early, and try to find one with a useful suffix, such as "of leech."
Bards are the second best spell-killing class in the game, behind the Sorcerer. Bards basically cast spells as well as a Rogue, but they have much higher magic, and can dual wield. A bard with two Dreamflanges can easily get up over 700 mana, and pairing those weapons with a Thinking Cap will give +4 to all spells. Plus, Bards have a much easier time reading higher level books, thanks to their ability to dual wield items of sorcery, and their 120 base magic.
A Bard can play in full mage mode very successfully, while still retaining the ability to deal considerable melee damage without any equipment changes.
Not a weapon that Bards find very useful. Bards and Rogues have the same attack rate with every weapon save bows, and on this one Bards are much slower and do far less damage.
Like the Barbarian, the Bard is a hidden character and is thus deprived of even the sparse game fiction Sierra bestowed upon the Monk. Invent your own story for the character, and enjoy the dual wielding preview she provides.
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