Firstly, I’ve never played bard, what stats should I prioritize?
Since you’re likely curious about how to make one, let me break some stuff down for you. The benefits of this combination far outweigh the negatives if you build it outright.
As a bard, you’re likely going to want to build up high charisma, given that charisma is your primary stat that affects your spellcasting. The next stat that you should dump points into is either Dexterity or Constitution.
Of course, this depends on your bardic college choice as that can determine whether or not you’ll be up close to your enemies as you continually provide your allies with inspiration or if you choose to be in the back line, playing your tunes as loud as you can.
Why an Aasimar Bard?
Whether you’re playing the DMG version of aasimar or the VOLO’S version, aasimars grant a +2 bonus to charisma regardless, which is a huge benefit to any bard.
If you’re playing the VOLO’S version, then there are a couple subrace options for you to choose from.
Now between the three subraces, Scourge, Fallen and Protector, their abilities are fairly different, but for me, there’s one that stands out above the rest: Protector.
The additional +1 to Wisdom is decent depending on your stats, but the ability to fly at level 3 is far stronger than you may realize.
In addition to the ability to fly, you also deal additional radiant damage equal to your level, which in the mid-range levels (10 to 15) can have a huge impact.
Plus you get to look really cool flying around and playing your instruments high in the sky.
- Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.
- Age. Aasimar mature at the same rate as humans, but they can live up to 160 years.
- Alignment. Imbued with celestial power, most aasimar are good. Outcast aasimar are most often neutral or even evil.
- Size. Aasimar have the same range of height and weight as humans. Your size is Medium.
- Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
- Darkvision. Blessed with a radiant soul, your vision can easily cut through darkness. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
- Celestial Resistance. You have resistance to necrotic damage and radiant damage.
- Healing Hands. As an action, you can touch a creature and cause it to regain a number of hit points equal to your level. Once you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
- Light Bearer. You know the Light cantrip. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for it.
- Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Celestial.
- Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
- Radiant Soul. Starting at 3rd level, you can use your action to unleash the divine energy within yourself, causing your eyes to glimmer and two luminous, incorporeal wings to sprout from your back.
- Your transformation lasts for 1 minute or until you end it as a bonus action. During it, you have a flying speed of 30 feet, and once on each of your turns, you can deal extra radiant damage to one target when you deal damage to it with an attack or a spell. The extra radiant damage equals your level.
- Once you use this trait, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
Source: Volo’s Guide to Monsters
There’s no taking away from the benefits of Scourge aasimar or Fallen as the +1 to Con from Scourge may be more beneficial than the +1 to Wis from protector, but the ability to burn an action and take flight at 3RD LEVEL is quite strong.
Plus like I said before, it looks really cool.
Choosing a College
So I’m a protector aasimar bard; now what college do I choose?
Now, this is the part that’s obviously the most crucial. I will say that no matter what college you choose you’re going to have a great time playing bard as they’re just really fun to play.
Now with that said, if you’re planning to take your aasimar to the physical level, which isn’t the most effective but it is feasible, then you ought to take the College of Swords.
Blade flourish essentially turns your bardic inspiration die from a buff to a damage option, plus at early level, taking this subclass grants a fighting style option that will help you turn physical.
This of course, isn’t the greatest option, which I know is what you’re waiting for.
For the most optimal choice, I’d personally go with the College of Eloquence or the College of Lore. Both of these options are your best bet and have the potential to give you a large presence on the field of battle.
The College of Eloquence 14th level unlock essential allows you to use twice the amount of bardic inspiration die at the cost of one, whereas the College of Lore’s 3rd level unlock, Cutting words, grants you the ability to use your bardic die to essential cancel out or severely lower an enemy’s attack roll, ability check, or damage roll.
That could come in really clutch if you manage to save another player from near-certain death.
Okay, okay, I heard you. I chose a good college, now what feats are good? Do I multiclass?
You’ve gotten this far, now you’re almost there.
As a bard you already provide numerous benefits to yourself and your party, but there are a couple of good feats to take, at least in my experience.
Feel free to build your character however works for you of course, but there’s a couple feats that you shouldn’t overlook for this race/class combination.
First up: War Caster. I take this feat on all my spellcasters for the simple reason that it grants you advantage on concentration checks – really hard to ignore. A must-have.
Prerequisite: The ability to cast at least one spell
You have practiced casting spells in the midst of combat, learning techniques that grant you the following benefits:
- You have advantage on Constitution saving throws that you make to maintain your concentration on a spell when you take damage.
- You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands.
- When a hostile creature’s movement provokes an opportunity attack from you, you can use your reaction to cast a spell at the creature, rather than making an opportunity attack. The spell must have a casting time of 1 action and must target only that creature.
Source: Player’s Handbook
Next up is Fey Touched. It grants Misty Step, which is an extremely clutch spell, but most of all, it bumps up your charisma by an additional +1, which for a bard could mean a world of difference.
Your exposure to the Feywild’s magic has changed you, granting you the following benefits:
- Increase your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
- You learn the Misty Step spell and one 1st-level spell of your choice. The 1st-level spell must be from the Divination or Enchantment school of magic. You can cast each of these spells without expending a spell slot. Once you cast either of these spells in this way, you can’t cast that spell in this way again until you finish a long rest. You can also cast these spells using spell slots you have of the appropriate level. The spells’ spellcasting ability is the ability increased by this feat.
Source: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
Finally, without dragging this on, another great option is the Lucky feat. Bards roll a lot of ability checks, so having three “emergency” d20’s is extremely valuable.
You have inexplicable luck that seems to kick in at just the right moment.
- You have three luck points. Whenever you make an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw, you can spend one luck point to roll an additional d20.
- You can choose to spend one of your luck points after you roll the die but before the outcome is determined. You choose which of the d20s is used for the attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.
- You can also spend one luck point when an attack roll is made against you. Roll a d20 and then choose whether the attack uses the attacker’s roll or yours.
- If more than one creature spends a luck point to influence the outcome of a roll, the points cancel each other out; no additional dice are rolled.
- You regain your expended luck points when you finish a long rest.
Source: Player’s Handbook
Lastly, you can multiclass with this build; of course, it’s optional and depends on your party. A single level in Rogue can grant you a boat load of skill proficiencies.
You don’t actually gain much benefit otherwise, as sneak attack will be tricky to use, but having additional skills at your disposal can come in clutch.
Finally, there’s the Warlock. A single level in hexblade warlock can provide you with medium armor and shields, and you can use your charisma with a weapon.
If you plan on going the martial route with this build, then having a level in Hexblade warlock can go a long way.
After it’s all said and done, these are some of the best options to take and don’t take into account the setting of your story/campaign or the roleplay aspect.
At the end of the day, the objective is to have fun, which you will because you’re playing a bard! 🙂