Best Warlock Subclass in Destiny 2: Ranked for PvE and PvP

by | Oct 30, 2022

Destiny 2 is a complex game with buffs, nerfs, and an ever-changing meta. And since Abilities and Supers are so strong, Subclasses are a crucial part of the game. With the right combination of Aspects, Fragments, and Exotics, the right Subclasses can take your game to the next level, allowing you to create some of the most powerful Warlock builds.

Today we review and rank each Warlock subclass for PvE and PvP. More importantly, we cover each subclass’s strengths and weaknesses and tell you how to optimize them.

Best Warlock Subclasses for PvE in Season 18

--SubclassElementTierTrendAreaRank
Void Warlock Destiny 2 featuredVoidwalkerVoid Void
Best

S

Trend downPvES › Best
Solar WarlockDawnbladeSolar Solar
Best

S

Trend upPvES › Best
Shadebinder Warlock Stasis featuredShadebinderStasis Stasis
Strong

A

-PvEA › Strong
Warlock Arc 3.0 featuredStormcallerArc Arc
Weak

C

Trend upPvEC › Weak

Warlock Void 3.0 featured

1. Voidwalker (Void 3.0)

  • Ranking: S Tier (best in class for endgame content)

With all of its buffs, debuffs, and ad clear potential, Voidwalker is one of the most well-rounded subclasses in the entire game. It has a good mix of options for both boss and ad clear scenarios and even has one of the coolest aspects in the game (in Child of the Old Gods). Plus, potent exotics like Contraverse Hold or Nezarec’s Sin can constantly keep your grenades and other abilities up.

From healing through Devour and Feed the Void to debuffing with Weaken and Echo of Undermining, Voidwalker can excel in anything from patrol to Grandmaster Nightfalls.

Preferred Exotic: Contraverse Hold is generally the top pick, but Nezrec’s Sin is fantastic with a Void weapon.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Contraverse Hold Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Contraverse Hold

WarlockArmsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Resist incoming damage while charging your Void grenade with Chaos Accelerant, Feed the Void, or Handheld Supernova. Charged Void grenades return an amount of grenade energy on a hit."
Nezarec's Sin Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Nezarec's Sin

WarlockHelmFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Void-damage kills increase ability energy recharge rate."

Preferred Aspects and Fragments:

  • Aspects: Feed the Void and Child of the Old Gods is the go-to setup for most, but swap Child of the Old Gods for Chaos Accelerant when using Contraverse Hold.
  • Fragments: Echo of Undermining, Echo of Remnants, Echo of Persistence, Echo of Instability.

Preferred Abilities and Stats:

  • Stats: Recovery, Resilience, Discipline.
  • Abilities: Nova Bomb: Cataclysm is the best Super overall, and Vortex Grenade is easily the strongest grenade. And with only one melee ability, the rest (jump and rift choice) is up to you.

 

Warlock Solar 3.0 featured

2. Dawnblade (Solar 3.0)

  • Ranking: S Tier (best in class for team-based content)

A subclass primarily used for support, Dawnblade fills its lack of ad clear and boss damage with some of the most powerful buffs in the game. Radiant provides a whopping 25% increase to damage, and Restoration provides continuous health regeneration even through damage.

Well of Radiance and Lunafaction Boots or Boots of the Assembler open some unique support opportunities. Still, most of this subclass’ popularity comes from Starfire Protocol and its unique infinite Fusion Grenade potential.

While Dawnblade isn’t necessarily as versatile as Voidwalker, it is still excellent at what it does and has some unique synergies in Starfire Protocol and Incandescent.

Preferred Exotic: Starfire Protocol is inarguably the best exotic for Dawnblade right now. However, depending on your build, Boots of the Assembler or Lunafaction Boots can be utilized too.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Starfire Protocol Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Starfire Protocol

WarlockChestFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Fusion Grenades have an additional charge and recharge from empowered weapon damage. Fusion Grenade kills grant Rift energy."

Preferred Aspects and Fragments:

  • Aspects: All three Dawnblade Aspects have heavy pros and cons that come with them. However, Touch of Flame and Heat Rises are generally the most useful.
  • Fragments: Ember of Empyrean, Ember of Solace, Ember of Ashes, Ember of Torches.

Preferred Abilities and Stats:

  • Stats: Recovery, Resilience, Discipline.
  • Abilities: Well of Radiance is arguably the strongest Super in the entire game, so running it is a no-brainer. Fusion Grenades, Solar Grenades, and Celestial Fire are generally the best picks beyond the Super.

 

Shadebinder Warlock Stasis featured

3. Shadebinder (Stasis)

  • Ranking: A Tier (Excels in endgame content)

Arguably the best Stasis subclass for PVE, Shadebinder can easily take advantage of all the element has to offer.

With Bleak Watcher and Iceflare Bolts, slowing and freezing enemies can be extremely easy. Winter’s Wrath is also worth mentioning, which serves as one of the game’s best utility and roaming supers.

There aren’t too many Stasis-specific exotics for Warlocks, but Osmiomancy Gloves can fill most needs. Allowing you two Coldsnap Grenades, you can now have twice as many Stasis turrets.

Shadebinder’s lack of outright killing potential is easily supplemented by how much utility slowing and freezing enemies provide—especially in high-difficulty content.

Preferred Exotic: Osmiomancy Gloves is the only Stasis Warlock exotic that is worth using, and it’s also excellent at what it does.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Osmiomancy Gloves Warlock Destiny 2 art

Osmiomancy Gloves

WarlockArmsThe Witch QueenLost SectorsSeason 16
The Witch Queen
Exotic Perk: "Your Coldsnap grenades have an additional charge that recharges quicker on direct impact. The seeker spawned from Coldsnap grenades travels further."

Preferred Aspects and Fragments:

  • Aspects: While you could make builds with the rest of the available Aspects, Bleak Watcher and Iceflare Bolts are far and away the strongest.
  • Fragments: Whisper of Durance, Whisper of Torment, Whisper of Hedrons, Whisper of Bonds.

Preferred Abilities and Stats:

  • Stats: Recovery, Discipline, Intellect.
  • Abilities: With only one melee and Super option, there aren’t many abilities you can choose from. However, for grenades, we prefer Coldsnap.

 

Warlock Arc 3.0 featured

4. Stormcaller (Arc 3.0)

  • Ranking: C Tier (for low-level casual content)

Stormcaller is extremely fun, but heavily lacks in terms of usefulness.

From Getaway Artist’s Arc Souls to Lightning Surge’s unique teleport, there’s a lot of entertainment to come from Stormcaller. However, none of these abilities are potent past on-level activities.

Amplified and Stormcaller’s supers follow this same trend. While there’s nothing more fun than running 200 miles per hour or firing a beam of lightning at your foes, they lack practical use in PVE.

There are many exotics for Arc Warlock, but Getaway Artist and Crown of Tempests are the two stand-outs. While Crown of Tempests provides more of the same abilities, Getaway Artist gives you something new.

All in all, Arc Warlock is entertaining to use, and Arc 3.0 did a lot for it, but it still leaves a lot to be desired.

Preferred Exotic: Getaway Artist is the most fun pick, while Crown of Tempests tends to be the most useful.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Crown of Tempests Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Crown of Tempests

WarlockHelmFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Arc ability kills increase the recharge rate of your Arc abilities and extend the duration of Stormtrance."
Getaway Artist Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Getaway Artist

WarlockArmsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Convert your Arc Grenade into a supercharged Arc Soul. The Arc Soul functions as an autonomous turret."

Preferred Aspects and Fragments:

  • Aspects: Even though Lightning Surge is great fun, Electrostatic Mind and Arc Soul beat it out in terms of utility.
  • Fragments: Spark of Shock, Spark of Ions, Spark of Magnitude, Spark of Discharge.

Preferred Abilities and Stats:

  • Stats: Recovery, Resilience, Discipline?
  • Abilities: After numerous nerfs directed toward Chaos Reach, it no longer excels in PVE, so Stormtrance is usually used over it. As for grenades, Storm or Pulse are the two top picks.

Best Warlock Subclasses for PvP in Season 18

--SubclassElementTierTrendAreaRank
Solar WarlockDawnbladeSolar Solar
Best

S

-PvPS › Best
Warlock Arc 3.0 featuredStormcallerArc Arc
Strong

A

Trend upPvPA › Strong
Shadebinder Warlock Stasis featuredShadebinderStasis Stasis
Strong

A

-PvPA › Strong
Void Warlock Destiny 2 featuredVoidwalkerVoid Void
Average

B

Trend downPvPB › Average

Warlock Solar 3.0 featured

1. Dawnblade (Solar 3.0)

  • Ranking: S Tier

With unique movement abilities and absurd health regeneration, it’s no wonder Dawnblade is such a menace in PVP.

Icarus Dash and Heat Rises allow you to utilize vertical movement while not bogged down by airborne effectiveness. Movement in Daybreak is similar, allowing you to fly across the map raining death from above.

Dawnblade (and Solar as a whole) also provides excellent support opportunities in the form of Restoration. This buff goes through damage, meaning you’ll restore health while taking damage. Radiant is also an irreplaceable buff in PVP, allowing for significantly more consistent kills.

Dawnblade is simply unmatched in general utility, movement, and support, making it one of the best subclasses for PVP.

Preferred Exotic: Rain of Fire can grant easy reloads and damage increases, while Transversive Steps and Ophidian Aspect are timeless favorites.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Rain of Fire Warlock Destiny 2 art

Rain of Fire

WarlockLegsThe Witch QueenLost SectorsSeason 17
The Witch Queen
Exotic Perk: "Air dodge reloads all of your weapons and improves the airborne effectiveness of Fusion Rifles and Linear Fusion Rifles; final blows with these weapons make you radiant."
Ophidian Aspect Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Ophidian Aspect

WarlockArmsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Weapons ready and reload very quickly. Melee range is extended."
Transversive Steps Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Transversive Steps

WarlockLegsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Sprint speed increased. After a short time sprinting, your currently equipped weapon is automatically reloaded."

Preferred Aspects and Fragments:

  • Aspects: Heat Rises and Icarus Dash’s movement bonuses are hard to resist, but Touch of Flame could be used in rare situations.
  • Fragments: Ember of Solace, Ember of Torches, Ember of Empyrean, Ember of Benevolence.

Preferred Abilities and Stats:

  • Stats: Recovery, Discipline.
  • Abilities: Daybreak is great for both its movement and killing capabilities, and Celestial Fire’s range and tracking is usually preferred. Solar Grenade is excellent here, but unique grenades like Healing can excel just as much.

 

Warlock Arc 3.0 featured

Stormcaller (Arc 3.0)

  • Ranking: A Tier

Regarding PVP, Stormcaller got treated relatively nicely in the Arc 3.0 updates of Season of the Plunder.

While they’re known to be fun and nothing more in PVE, Stormcaller’s unique abilities prove very useful in The Crucible. With extra firepower through Arc Soul to being able to close the gap with Lightning Surge, Stormcaller provides loads of abilities that fit the “space magic” idea perfectly.

Stormcaller’s grenades and melees are also top-tier, ranging from Storm Grenade’s substantial damage to Ball Lightning’s range. Plus, while they aren’t the best Supers in the game, both Stormtrance and Chaos Reach can prove helpful in various situations.

In some ways, Stormcaller almost feels underrated in PVP. Arc subclasses have always gotten a bad rep in the community, but Stormcaller isn’t anything to scoff at—its unique and powerful abilities prove to be extremely useful in the Crucible.

Preferred Exotic: Getaway Artist enhances the powerful effects of Arc Soul even more and is usually the go-to pick for an Arc-based exotic.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Getaway Artist Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Getaway Artist

WarlockArmsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Convert your Arc Grenade into a supercharged Arc Soul. The Arc Soul functions as an autonomous turret."

Preferred Aspects and Fragments:

  • Aspects: Arc Soul and Lightning Surge are easily the two top options for Stormcaller in PVP.
  • Fragments: Spark of Magnitude, Spark of Feedback, Spark of Focus.

Preferred Abilities and Stats:

  • Stats: Recovery, Discipline.
  • Abilities: Both Chaos Reach and Stormtrance are excellent in particular scenarios, so use whatever you’re more comfortable with. Storm, Lightning, and Arcbolt Grenades tend to be used most often, but most Arc Grenades tend to be good. Lastly, we prefer Ball Lightning over Chain Lightning, but once again, there isn’t a clear winner.

 

Shadebinder Warlock Stasis featured

Shadebinder (Stasis)

  • Ranking: A Tier

Providing tons of options to freeze opponents, a Shadebinder is appreciated on any PVP team.

Iceflare Bolts is one of the strongest Aspects in the game overall, allowing you to gain a high potential of freezing multiple enemies at once. Frostpulse is an easy way to freeze targets, allowing you to stop nearby enemies in their tracks with a press of a button. Bleak Watcher can also prove helpful when used strategically; however, it does require practice and map knowledge.

Shadebinder’s other abilities don’t disappoint, either. Winter’s Wrath and Penumbral Blast allow for more easy freezing opportunities and are great ways to shut down both Supers and shotgun rushers alike.

Like in PVE, Shadebinder can excel greatly in PVP when used properly. While it doesn’t outright kill enemies, freezing and slowing them can prove extremely useful in any situation.

Preferred Exotic: Osmiomancy Gloves help greatly when using Coldsnap Grenades or Bleak Watcher, but neutral exotics like Transversive Steps and Ophidian Aspect tend to be used more frequently.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Osmiomancy Gloves Warlock Destiny 2 art

Osmiomancy Gloves

WarlockArmsThe Witch QueenLost SectorsSeason 16
The Witch Queen
Exotic Perk: "Your Coldsnap grenades have an additional charge that recharges quicker on direct impact. The seeker spawned from Coldsnap grenades travels further."
Ophidian Aspect Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Ophidian Aspect

WarlockArmsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Weapons ready and reload very quickly. Melee range is extended."
Transversive Steps Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Transversive Steps

WarlockLegsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Sprint speed increased. After a short time sprinting, your currently equipped weapon is automatically reloaded."

Preferred Aspects and Fragments:

  • Aspects: Iceflare Bolts and Frostpulse tend to be the winners here, but Bleak Watcher isn’t a bad option if you know how to use it.
  • Fragments: Whisper of Rending, Whisper of Torment, Whisper of Chains, Whisper of Bonds.

Preferred Abilities and Stats:

  • Stats: Recovery, Discipline, Resilience.
  • Abilities: There aren’t many abilities to choose from here, but Coldsnap or Duskfield Grenade and Healing Rift tend to be the most desirable options.

 

Warlock Void 3.0 featured

Voidwalker (Void 3.0)

  • Ranking: B Tier

Voidwalker provides a fair amount of utility in some scenarios but is still often regarded as average for PVP.

The debuff and healing potential of Weaken and Devour deserve to be mentioned, but the Radiant and Restoration effects of Solar tend to do the same thing better. Additionally, other than Child of the Old Gods (which absolutely deserves to be discussed here), the Aspect choices for Voidwalker aren’t the strongest or most flashy.

A wide variety of Supers, however, helps Voidwalker stand out a slight amount. Nova Warp is a passable roaming Super, and both Nova Bombs excel in different situations.

While Voidwalker isn’t the strongest subclass in PVP, it does have many unique facets that help it stand out from the pack.

Preferred Exotic: Because there isn’t an extremely strong Voidwalker PVP exotic, we recommend using a passive exotic instead (Transversive Steps, Ophidian Aspect, etc.).

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Ophidian Aspect Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Ophidian Aspect

WarlockArmsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Weapons ready and reload very quickly. Melee range is extended."
Transversive Steps Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Transversive Steps

WarlockLegsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Sprint speed increased. After a short time sprinting, your currently equipped weapon is automatically reloaded."

Preferred Aspects and Fragments:

  • Aspects: Child of the Old Gods is the best Aspect here, with Feed the Void and Chaos Accelerant being about the same. Both can be good in some situations, but it depends on your playstyle.
  • Fragments: Echo of Persistence, Echo of Remnants, Echo of Undermining.

Preferred Abilities and Stats:

Stats: Discipline, Recovery, Intellect

Abilities: Super choice is mostly up to you here, but overall we think Nova Bomb: Cataclysm is best. Vortex Grenade, Suppressor Grenade, and Axion Bolt are all good options for grenades, and Empowering Rift can be used here if Feed the Void is equipped.

Your turn

What is your favorite Warlock Subclass right now? Let us know in the comments below!

About The Author

Andrew Sideris
Andrew Sideris
When my brother introduced me to the Destiny franchise in 2015, I immediately knew that it would take up a lot of my free time for years to come. With my over seven years of game knowledge, six months of writing experience for Blueberries.gg, and hundreds of Blueberries already guided through endgame content, I hope to allow newcomers to have the same great introduction I had all those years ago.
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