Unfortunately I have no first hand experience from PBE or something like that, but from his stats and the video footage that already exists I can assume something like the following:
+ **Bard's Basics // Compared to Lulu:**
(Bard: Level 1 - Level 18 // Lulu: Level 1 - Level 18)
535 - 1980 // 553 - 1947
+ Health Reg.:
5.4 - 14.8 // 6.0 - 16.2
350 - 1200 // 292 - 1227
+ Mana Reg.:
6.0 - 13.7 // 6.0 - 19.6
500 // 500
+ Attack Damage:
46 - 97 // 46 - 91
0.625 (+0% – 17.0%) // 0.625 (+0% – 38.3%)
21 - 89 // 19.2 – 82.1
+ Magic Res.:
30 // 30
330 // 325
In the first place I wanted to compare him to Braum in this section as well, but decided to rather go for Lulu as their basic playstyle matches a little bit, at least for the range, the peeling ult that can aslo be used offensively and so on.
As wen can see Bard has relatively low scaling mana and health reg. which is okay as his mana costs are not that high anyways and he has heal which Lulu lacks. The only thing of course being quite mana expensive are the heals, but as you have at least 12 seconds cooldown and then another 10 seconds to get the heal powered up, you will have enough mana regenerated anyways.
He willi be a little squishy in early if you do not go for the shield, as compared to Lulu he has some HP less than her, but not a dramatic difference there aswell. His attackspeed is of course kept low for a reason, as it would be alittle bit too powerful if it was higher and he could do a double Meepattack for instance and a slow/stun beforehand. The other stats are not quite groundbreaking and I think there is not a lot more to talk about them.
+ **Bards Passive:**
The Speedbuff aswell as the extra experience and the Manareg. are quite nice if you play him as a support and your playstyle as support includes a lot of roaming anyways, which see as an increasing trend in this season.
Also the "Meeps" seem quite funny and the damage he deals when collected 5 of them seems quite decent aswell.
On the other hand. I do not know the spawnrate and spawnspots for the "Ancient Chimes" he can pick up, so it might be rather rare to stack up 5 of this "Meeps" if you have to leave your lane to collect them. Because in that case I would rather stay with my AD-Carry than going on a Meephunt.
+ **Bard's Q / Cosmic Binding: **
Range: 925 which is quite okay if you compare it to Braum's Q for example which has a range of 1000.
Cost: 60 Mana
Cooldown: 11/10/9/8/7 sec
Damage: 75/110/145/180/215 (+50% AP)
Slow/Stun Duration: 1.2/1.4/1.6/1.8
Slow Amount: 60%
Bard's Q is even if "only" used as a slow with an amount of 60% and a duration of 1.2 - 1.8 seconds quite decent. Also it can slow 2 targets at a time which will of course make the difference between a good and a bad Bard. Still if played out well it will definitely give you an advantage compared to most of the other supports CC which is single target slow/stun like Taric or Braum.
Coming to think of it, why does Taric even exist anymore if now there is a Champion that can stun even **two** targets at once if well played.
+ **Bard's W / Caretaker's Shrine:**
Cost: 100/105/110/115/120 Mana
Cooldown: 12 sec
Minumum Heal: 30/60/90/120/150 (+20% AP)
Maximum Heal: 70/110/150/190/230 (+45% AP)
Movementspeed buff Amount: 50%
Movementspeed Duration: 1.5 sec
This Ability will be definitely something in the early and mid game. It will help a lot on Lane. But my opinion is, that it will be way more efficient if Bard places his heals around the map for the jungler. This would defenitely be the first Ability to put a point in, because as you are waiting for 1:55 Bard can already place 3 of his heals around the map for the jungler, which will proved the jungler +210HP as he collects them and some more movementspeed throughout the jungle.
On the lane it will be important to always have at least one at the tower for emergency so that he or his adc can maybe flash into it to survive that last Ignite tick, who knows. We will see about it.
When thinking of the late mid game and lategame this ability will get a little bit more useless, as the cooldown does not reduce throughout the game and this heal has to bve up for 10sec to reach it's maximum heal value, which means it has to stay untouched for 22 Seconds for maximum efficiency.
So as you can imagine in any teamfight or pushing it would be rather useless.
Another possible use could be to always have one of these healthpacks on every lane as soon as the jungler is fine. So Bard could constantly roam and provide all lanes with additional ganks and healthpacks. That would of course leave the adc solo at bot, which is propably not a good strategy, although the Chimes would provide Bard Exp without being on lane. But as a player who often pays adc, I really prefer having my support at my side (in most cases).
+ **Bard's E / Magical Journey:**
Cost: 30 Mana
Cooldown: 26/24/22/20/18 sec
Ally Bonus Movement: 10/20/30/40/50%
Well now that is certainly an interesting sandbox ability. It has a high cooldown, low cost and high potential when it comes to certain situations.
Who does not know those? Your whole team is standing in the jungle as the enemy team is doing the drake/baron. Noone wants to throw and do stupid engages, because in SoloQ noone knows if flashes would be up and maybe you have some champions without the possibility to jump over the wall.
Not anymore! Now that Bard enters the league he offers the unique possibility to get a way for the whole team to get in there and get instantly killed by the enemies AoE-CC and AoE-Damage.
Does not sound good? Well there is even more to it! You want to escape with your mate to safety? Do not worry and behold Brands awesome new tunnel system that anyone can follow through! Even the enemy!
No seriously it all depends on the usage of it. I could imagine some useful situations for that, but on the other hand just twice as many situations where that tunnel might kill him, a mate or the whole team. We will see about that I guess.
I mean at least the allys travel faster through the tunnel which might give you and your mate a little boost in escaping the enemy, so it will be okay.
+ **Bard's R / Tempered Fate:**
Range: 2500 (What?!)
Cost: 100 Mana
Cooldown: 130/115/90 sec
Stasis-Duration: 2.5 sec
Well this is propably the most risky Ability Riot has ever given to any champion and I am very excited to see it in action and if everything goes as Riot expected it to go.
When I say risky I mean it actually has the high potential to grief your own team as no other ability has.
But let's assume that will not happen for now. So Bard was given an ability that is basically an AoE-Zhonyas. He can make all Units within the AoE-Radius (including enemies, towers, minions, shopkeepers) invulnerable and untargetable for 2.5 seconds.
There lies a high potential within that ability for example to towerdive without having one of your allies shred by the tower.
Aswell as you can use it to take a breath for 2.5 seconds and reposition your team, to disengage any engages from the enemy, to stun the whole enemy team as it does Drake/Baron to steal it then, peel your allies, catch your enemies and a lot more.
It's range is actually higher than the lvl6 Nocturne ult which is at 2000 and nearly as high as his lvl 11 ult which is at 2750.
That makes it even more viable for catches and peeling. For Instance if one of your mates gets caught as always, you can just use your ult on him from an incredibly high range and maybe the 2.5 seconds are enough for your team to catch up to him and peel him for a safe disengage or even a turn, because now the enemy is out of position, because he went in too deep for the catch.
Besides the immense troll potential this ability sure has a lot potential within it and i am excited to see it live.
+ **Overall Conclusion:**
Bard is a strong early/midgame champ, but not as useful in a lategame teamfight as for example Leona. His Healthpack and his Tunnel will not be useful at all in teamfights which will reduce him to autohits with the "Meeps", his Q to slow/stun at the best rate 2 Targets and his ultimate that can be used in nearly any situation somehow. Did I meantion that I really love that sandbox element? I do. Now you know. It depends a lot on this few situations where he can use his Q and R properly to make him viable, but for solo/duoQ I still would rather go for other supports, as Bard is quite special and needs a lot of communication to get the maximum out of the Q and the R.
This is pretty much all I can conclude so far about Bard. I hope to get some feedback as always and maybe you can suggest any champion or item that I shall analyze next. I will always take wishes into account.
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