Help me tune up this Bard?

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Get it?  He's a bard, and I said... oh forget it.

Hello.  I've got this bard.  I don't love him, I like him.  Sometimes.  When I've had a few drinks, and the lighting is just so.  Part of it is that I really wasn't planning on playing a bard when we started this group.  We were leaderless, and I jumped on the grenade (I know a good enough party can get by without a given role, but I didn't feel like trying to find out if we were above the Mendoza Line for that).

Below find two copies of the build; one at his current level of 4, and another one planned out to 20.  If anyone has any constructive criticism of the build, I'd love to hear it.

Thanks!

Later on,
Ghorrin

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Manael, level 4
Tiefling, Bard
Bardic Virtue Option: Virtue of Valor
Versatile Expertise Option: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise Option: Versatile Expertise (Wand)
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 12, CON 17, DEX 10, INT 14, WIS 8, CHA 19
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 12, CON 16, DEX 10, INT 12, WIS 8, CHA 16
 
 
AC: 20 Fort: 16 Ref: 17 Will: 18
HP: 44 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 11
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +9, Diplomacy +13, Heal +6, Insight +6, Perception +6
 
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +2, Athletics +3, Bluff +11, Dungeoneering +2, Endurance +5, History +5, Intimidate +7, Nature +2, Religion +5, Stealth +4, Streetwise +7, Thievery +2
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Tiefling Racial Power: Infernal Wrath
Bard Feature: Majestic Word
Bard Feature: Words of Friendship
Bard Attack 1: Vicious Mockery
Bard Attack 1: War Song Strike
Bard Attack 1: Shout of Triumph
Bard Attack 1: Stirring Shout
Bard Utility 2: Canon of Avoidance
Bard Attack 3: Impelling Force
 
FEATS
Level 1: Ritual Caster
Level 1: Blade Initiate
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: Imperious Majesty
 
ITEMS
Ritual Book
Traveler's Chant
Comprehend Language
Adventurer's Kit
Light Shield x1
Wand Implement
Vicious Longsword +1 x1
Skald's Chainmail +1 x1
Amulet of Resolution +1 x1
Potion of Healing
Dagger
====== End ======

And the second build, up to 20...

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Manael - Copy, level 20
Tiefling, Bard, War Chanter
Bardic Virtue Option: Virtue of Valor
Versatile Expertise Option: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise Option: Versatile Expertise (Wand)
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 13, CON 21, DEX 11, INT 15, WIS 9, CHA 23
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 12, CON 16, DEX 10, INT 12, WIS 8, CHA 16
 
 
AC: 35 Fort: 27 Ref: 26 Will: 29
HP: 128 Surges: 12 Surge Value: 32
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +17, Diplomacy +21, Heal +14, Insight +14, Perception +14
 
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +14, Athletics +15, Bluff +22, Dungeoneering +13, Endurance +19, History +16, Intimidate +20, Nature +13, Religion +16, Stealth +16, Streetwise +20, Thievery +14
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Tiefling Racial Power: Infernal Wrath
Bard Feature: Majestic Word
Bard Feature: Words of Friendship
Bard Attack 1: Vicious Mockery
Bard Attack 1: War Song Strike
Bard Utility 2: Canon of Avoidance
Bard Utility 6: Ode to Sacrifice
Bard Attack 7: Scorpion's Claw Strike
Bard Attack 9: Counterpoint
Bard Utility 10: Savior's Song
War Chanter Attack 11: Victorious Smite
War Chanter Utility 12: Battle Chant
Bard Attack 13: Couplet of Deceptive Weakness
Bard Attack 15: Whispers of the Dream King
Bard Utility 16: Chorus of Recovery
Bard Attack 17: Song of Summons
Bard Attack 19: Satire of Prowess
War Chanter Attack 20: Visions of Victory
 
FEATS
Level 1: Ritual Caster
Level 1: Blade Initiate
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: Imperious Majesty
Level 6: Stirring Song of Baator
Level 8: Bard of All Trades
Level 10: Improved Defenses
Level 11: Majestic Rescue
Level 12: Improved Valor
Level 14: Bel's Impending Victory
Level 16: Glasya's Charming Words
Level 18: Armor Proficiency: Scale
Level 20: Hellfire Blood
 
ITEMS
Ritual Book
Traveler's Chant
Comprehend Language
Adventurer's Kit
Light Shield x1
Wand Implement
Potion of Healing
Dagger
Flaming Longsword +4 x1
Deathsteel Wyrmscale Armor +4 x1
====== End ======
Hiya!

I'm going to offer the bard build that I am currently playing in a game; it's a quite a bit different than yours, and it is completely optimized for... FUN!

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======

Alex, level 4
Changeling, Bard
Bardic Virtue Option: Virtue of Cunning
Seducer (Seducer Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 14, DEX 13, INT 17, WIS 10, CHA 19

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 14, DEX 13, INT 14, WIS 10, CHA 16


AC: 15 Fort: 14 Ref: 16 Will: 18
HP: 41 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 10

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +10, Bluff +14, Diplomacy +11, Endurance +9, Perception +7, Streetwise +11

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +7, Athletics +5, Dungeoneering +6, Heal +6, History +9, Insight +9, Intimidate +10, Nature +6, Religion +9, Stealth +7, Thievery +7

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Changeling Racial Power: Changeling Disguise
Changeling Racial Power: Changeling Trick
Bard Feature: Majestic Word
Bard Feature: Words of Friendship
Bard Attack 1: Guiding Strike
Bard Attack 1: Vicious Mockery
Bard Attack 1: Victim of the Feywild
Bard Attack 1: Stirring Shout
Bard Utility 2: Canon of Avoidance
Bard Attack 3: Impelling Force

FEATS
Level 1: Ritual Caster
Level 1: Bard of All Trades
Level 2: Advantage of Cunning
Level 4: Heart of the Blade

ITEMS


====== End ======


In combat this build is all about ranged positioning (almost every power & Advantage of Cunning), with a few tricks in case you end up in melee.  Outside of combat you are the master of skill challenges (balanced skills and Bard of all Trades).
And when it comes to snooping around, Changeling Trick +  a high bluff can get you into just about building in the world...  

Heart of the blade gives lets you use your sword as your implement, so it immediately cuts down shopping costs. At level 6 i would take Sly Dodge (Rogue MC) to gain another trained skill (intimidate) and my cha bonus to Ac against OA's. 

I know this is very different from what you posted, but i seriously think it's impossible to not have fun with this build. :D

EDIT - please note that i left out gear, but you would be wearing some kind of hide armor + light shield.
Hi,

I appreciate the look at another idea, Tardis, but this guy has to stay basically the same (i.e. Tiefling Valorous Bard).

Thanks,
Ghorrin
What is the rest of your party?
What is the rest of your party?



Yes, I suppose that would help.  In no particular order, a minotaur rageblood barbarian, a dwarf invoker, a longtooth shifter druid|fighter (brawler), and a githzerai seeker.  I hope that helps.

Later on,
Ghorrin
You already have 2.5 controllers and someone generating temp hitpoints.  Plus 2 PCs can self heal some.  I would throw in some enabling powers. 

Maybe switch out one of your at wills for staggering note.  Thunders calling could be good for either the seeker or the invoker to get in an extra RBA.  Those are ranged so you would want a weapliment at some point.
You already have 2.5 controllers and someone generating temp hitpoints.  Plus 2 PCs can self heal some.  I would throw in some enabling powers. 

Maybe switch out one of your at wills for staggering note.  Thunders calling could be good for either the seeker or the invoker to get in an extra RBA.  Those are ranged so you would want a weapliment at some point.

I'm already there on the weapliment; I take the MC swordmage power early on; the idea was to use a flaming weapon and the Stirring Song of Baator feat to generate THPs for the boys (I justdon't have the Flaming Weapon yet, that will come shortly).  Maybe swap Staggering Note in the spot where Vicious Mockery is currently?  I definitely want some manner of ranged at-will option; I've found myself boxed out of the frontline often enough to need something ranged (at the start I had War Song Strike and Guiding Strike, but swapped out the latter).

There's that goofy-looking* new White Lotus Expertise feat in Dr402, is that viable in lieu of Versatile Expertise?

Later on,
Ghorrin

*On the list of Top Ten Things I'll Be Doing After An Attack Roll, "A Diplomacy check" came in at spots 1, 3, 4, 6 and 8.