Heretic Bard is currently my favourite S-Tier carry build for solo horde and party themed/boss dungeons. The elementless huge damage wrecks stuff. Mages are back with a bang!
First point: This build works just as well as Charmer spec with Mage's Pavane skill instead of Bard and Mage's Dance. The main reasons I prefer using Bard over Charmer are the cheaper spec switching cost, the higher minimum-damage than Pavane leaves less trash mobs on low HP unless you have extremely high magic. You can also play this as Deity with exact same concepts.
Mage's Dance does elementless damage to all enemies and unike Arrowstorm, the damage is not divided so you can build up some huge 6-figure numbers against all enemies when you build up some solid gear and have temp-buffs up. Heretic's Life Siphon passive keeps our HP topped up almost constantly, so I like to not even use 100% ward absorption, instead using Ward of Mythril and relying on Life Siphon to increase our effective health and lower ward management requirements.
We can of course play safer with higher ward gear - this will be solid options for fresh Heretics at tier 10. Transitioning into higher magic stats with Heretic's Robe and Azure Pinions as armour adornments give a good build transition into higher levels.
The Heretic's Robe extra magic stat is actually huge and we have a huge mana pool to cover using Mage's Dance with higher mana costs quite a few times before using Super Elixirs mostly to recover mana. It also gets us into Iconoclast battle passive faster.
Video guide linked at the bottom of this guide!
Heretic Bard Gear
1h + shield will be safest and best choice for most players here. You can use a scroll for lower tiered content for even more magic stat, but for t10 content the extra ward is best. We have a few choice weapons that actually have inherent ward which is awesome, and we can use Arisen Teardrops to bump our ward higher, Broken Bestial Eyes for pet action rate, Ashen Rubies for more life siphon (probably overkill unless you're also using berserk mushrooms for some reason).
You can try out using a safer weapon with ward initially, before moving to a higher magic weapon without base ward, and finally gunning for a Fey Macha Pillar which has both high magic and ward.
(Arisen) Fey Macha Pillar- This has inherent ward and huge magic
Arisen Feral Archistaff - From Arisen Kerberos event raid, gives +7% pet action rate and also has ward with decent magic - brilliant staff for a Phoenix pet
Arisen King's Sceptre - From Battlegrounds themed dungeons, has ward but lower magic
Questing Staff - base ward and high boosters actually makes this a good regular choice, especially for parties
Incarnate Staff - low magic but decent ward
Arisen Bow of Tiamat/Typhon
Arisen Ithra/Demeter Staff
Staff of the Chimera - From Fey Chimera World Raid Boss - has foresight and gives Berserk 1 buff
I recommend using a Heretic's Robe surrounded by high ward pieces. A high ornate robe can give us an extra 900 magic which is monstrous. It also boosts our transition into high Iconoclast battle passive.
Our standard Old Nothren Crown from Borr and Apollyon Incarnate Boots are great starter items.
Generally you want to use Azure Pinions for more magic, or regular ward adorns like Jewels of the End or even Saturn Eyes. In below pic I'm using Jewels of the Deep but only because was messing around with other classes with lower mana.
Old Nothren Crown
Fey Yeti Horns
Tarnished King's Crown - extra foresight can help vs berserks, has ward
Avalon Crown - has ward and high mag with Azure Pinions
Ashen Phoenician Gear
Apollyon Incarnate Gear
Fey Yeti Coat
For tier 10 content I will recommend a high ward shield over a scroll, for extra effective life pool. With Steadfast 2 we don't really need to use immunity gear like the Atlas, although of course you can if you want.
Mighty Griffin Shield
The real juicy power boost comes from using double Lugus Gauntlets, which have extra chances to proc Triple Magic Up 🠕🠕🠕 against multiple enemies. These drop from the tier 7 event kingdom raid Grand Knight Lugus, part of the Balor Invades event (last came Nov 2021). Be sure to pick up two of these next time around if you haven't already, any quality works.
Bag of Treats
Band of Gods
Arisen Monster Tomes
(Fey) Chimera for Berserk 1 buff and the +50% damage increase is solid. Our Life Siphon passive negates the dot almost completely.
(Ashen) Phoenix - Paired with an Arisen Feral Archistaff or some Bestial Eye weapon adornments gives us regular Deific Channel procs, meaning huge spike damage! Proccing this on Valle of the Gods boss floors can make the entire floor disappear!
Heretic Bard Skills
Heretic Bard Stats
These stats will get you similar power to what you see in the video below. Bear in mind this is with Heretic ascension level 9. For strong t10 carry you probably want to aim for +40k ward and +4.2k magic.
You can still play a strong AoE party role with lower stats as part of a larger party however, the above benchmarks are for strong carry.
Video guide covering all these concepts in detail whilst smashing out double Valley of the Gods solo!:
Shabbash has been playing Orna since the summer of 2019, reaching max level 250 a year later, and has a vast plethora of experience within the game. After completing and surviving the grind, Shabbash now turns his attention to creating the best guide resources for players to improve their enjoyment of what Orna has to offer.
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