Best Destiny 2 Warlock Builds for PvE and PvP

by | Sep 11, 2023 | Armor

Are you a Warlock main and want to take your game to the next level? These are the best Warlock builds in Destiny 2, including builds for endgame, Solo players, and PvP content. Whether you’re into Solar, Void, or are into the brand-new Strand subclass, these builds have you covered.

And by the way, as any great Destiny 2 build, these will guide you every step of the way, including essential Exotics, Mods, and more.

Top 10 Warlock builds

--NameClassAreaSubclassExcels inElementStatus
Solar Warlock Sun WizardWarlockPvESolar SolarCasual ContentSolarBest in Class
Void WarlockCommander of ChaosWarlockPvEVoid VoidGrandmaster ContentVoidBest in Class
Delicate Tomb ExoticBlinding StormbringerWarlockPvEArc ArcEndgameArcBest in Class
Warlock SubclassMindspun SuspenderWarlockPvEVoid StrandEndgameStrandBest in Class
Osmiomancy Gloves Warlock DestinyStasis EngineerWarlockPvEStasis StasisGrandmaster ContentStasisBest in Class
Cenotaph Mask Warlock ExoticMasked WeaverWarlockPvEVoid StrandEndgameStrand
Fallen Sunstar Warlock ExoticArc SummonerWarlockPvEArc ArcCasual ContentArc
Warlock Void featured Destiny 2Void CasterWarlockPvEVoid VoidSolo ContentVoid
Ager's Scepter ExoticFrostmakerWarlockPvEStasis StasisSolo ContentStasis
Boots of the Assembler WarlockNoble AssemblerWarlockPvESolar SolarSolo ContentSolar

More Destiny 2 Builds:

Best Warlock PvE builds

Checkmark icon V3Updated as of Season of the Witch (S22). See Updates.

Solar Warlock

Sun Wizard

Excels In: Casual Content (Seasonal Activities, Strikes, etc.)

Goal of the Build: While it’s simple at its core, this build allows you to rain terror from above by throwing an infinite amount of Solar Grenades. It provides excellent ad-clear and can give you a seemingly infinite damage buff via surge mods. P.S. This build is heavily inspired by one of Imagine’s amazing build videos.

Mandatory Gear: Any solar weapons can be helpful here, but we recommend a CALUS Mini-Tool with Incandescent. Sunbracers is the exotic we’ll be using here, as it grants you tons of Solar Grenades and has unmatched synergy with Heat Rises.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Sunbracers Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Sunbracers

WarlockArmsFree-to-PlayExotic EngramsSeason 1Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Increases the duration of Solar Grenades. Solar melee kills grant unlimited Solar Grenade energy for a brief time."
  • Aspects: Touch of Flame and Heat Rises.
  • Fragments: Ember of Ashes, Ember of Searing, Ember of Empyrean, & Ember of Resolve
  • Abilities & Stats: Solar Grenade, Phoenix Dive, and Incinerator Snap are the required abilities for this build.
  • Stats: Resilience and Recovery are the only two stats you might want to spec into here. Since you’ll be in the air for most of the time here, you might be taking more fire than usual, meaning anything to help you survive is a great choice.
  • Mods: The only mods you’ll need are:
    • Helmet: Ashes to Assets x2, Harmonic Siphon
    • Arms: Firepower, Bolstering Detonation, Momentum Transfer
    • Chest: Resist and reserve mods
    • Legs: Solar Weapon Surge x2
    • Class Item: Stat mods

Gameplay Loop

Get a kill with your charged melee ability to start the gameplay loop. If you’re struggling with this step, try binding your charged melee to a unique button so you can send it off at a more specific time.

Getting that powered melee kill will proc Sunbracers, granting you five seconds of ‘infinite’ Solar Grenades. Realistically, you can only fire a maximum of five in this time due to the time it takes to execute the animation. Swallow your first grenade to get Heat Rises, then take to the skies and watch everything below burn via your other Solar Grenades. Any kills in the air (including those from the grenades) will give you 30% of your melee energy, allowing you to repeat this loop infinitely.

If you ever fail to kill something with your melee, just get kills in the air with your weapons—you’ll get it back soon after due to Heat Rises. As a nice bonus, casting Phoenix Dive while Heat Rises is active grants Restoration, which you can extend with Solar kills via Ember of Empyrean.

This build was already strong before Solar 3.0, but with the new aspects and fragments, it has gotten even more powerful. While it doesn’t excel much in higher-level content, this is a great build to run in seasonal activities and other lower-end content if you want to mix it up.

 

Void Warlock

Commander of Chaos

Excels In: Grandmaster Content

Goal of the Build: Be able to debuff everything in sight while maintaining Devour for survivability.

Mandatory Gear: Our two exotics for this build are Collective Obligation and Secant Filaments. While Collective can prove hard to get, its ability to spread Void debuffs is unmatched.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Secant Filaments Warlock Destiny 2 art

Secant Filaments

WarlockLegsThe Witch QueenLost SectorsSeason 16The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
The Witch Queen
Exotic Perk: "Casting an empowering rift will grant you Devour. Damage dealt by you and your allies from within your empowering rift will disrupt combatants."
  • Aspects: Feed the Void and Child of the Old Gods.
  • Fragments: Echo of Undermining, Echo of Instability, Echo of Domineering, and either Echo of Expulsion or Echo of Harvest
  • Abilities: We’ll utilize Suppressor Grenade for additional debuffing potential, and Secant Filaments require Empowering Rift to work.
  • Stats: Resilience is, as always, the most crucial stat here, with Recovery and Discipline not far behind.
  • Mods: The only mods you’ll need are:
    • Helm: Harmonic Siphon
    • Arms: Grenade Kickstart
    • Chest: Charged Up
    • Legs: Stacks on Stacks
    • Class Item: Bomber

Gameplay Loop

Because there are so many moving parts to this build, there’s no one “loop” you’ll need to execute. You have multiple ways to debuff enemies: Weaken and Suppression with a grenade, Volatile from melee and Volatile Rounds, and more Weaken from Child of the Old Gods. Plus, you’ll get Devour by placing your rift or getting an ability kill.

After debuffing an enemy with any of these sources, shoot them once with Collective Obligation. Holding reload will cause the weapon to fire bullets that debuff enemies with any effect you shot earlier. After the chaos subsides, you should have most abilities recharged and ready for a second round.

Like the Harnesser of Flame build, this is strong on its own but can be expanded upon in numerous ways to fit the activity you’re playing.

Going further...

 

Delicate Tomb Exotic

Blinding Stormbringer

Excels In: Endgame (Dungeons, Raids, Legend content)

Goal of the Build: Blind and Jolt hordes of enemies through both your rift and weapons, allowing you and your allies to easily control the battlefield.

Mandatory Gear: Vesper of Radius is our choice for exotic armor. For weapons, you’ll want an Arc special weapon. We recommend Delicate Tomb for casual content and Coldheart for higher-difficulty activities, but anything should work.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Vesper of Radius Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Vesper of Radius

WarlockChestFree-to-PlayExotic EngramsSeason 2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Rifts periodically release Arc shockwaves. Final blows with these shockwaves create an Arc explosion. While an Arc subclass is equipped, the shockwaves and subsequent explosions blind nearby targets. Rift energy recharges faster when you are surrounded by targets."
  • Aspects: Electrostatic Mind is the only required aspect for the build. Lightning Surge can be fun for more casual content, while Arc Soul can easily benefit allies.
  • Fragments: Spark of Brilliance, Spark of Beacons, Spark of Resistance, and Spark of Volts.
  • Abilities: While no specific abilities are required here, we highly recommend Chaos Reach, Ball Lightning, Storm Grenade, and Healing Rift.
  • Stats: Resilience and Recovery. Discipline is next on that list if you have mod slots to spare, but the other two are significantly more important.
  • Mods:
    • Helmet: Harmonic Siphon, Special Ammo Finder
    • Arms: Bolstering Detonation, Focusing Strike
    • Chest: Charged Up
    • Legs: Elemental Charge, Insulation, Recuperation
    • Bond: Distribution, Special Finisher, Powerful Attraction

Gameplay Loop

To begin the loop of this build, simply place a rift near a group of enemies. This should both blind the enemies (thanks to Vesper of Radius) and grant some rift energy back (from Distribution).

Defeating any of these blinded targets will generate an Ionic Trace, which will then make you amplified. Becoming amplified allows you to then blind even more combatants with your Arc special weapon of choice. Using your other abilities in addition to your weapon will generate more Ionic Traces and ability energy, allowing you to begin the loop again.

If you ever run out of special ammo, you should be making enough Orbs of Power to do special finishers whenever you need them. Also remember that, depending on what you picked earlier, you can add tons more depth to this build. Arc Soul can continuously empower allies, while Lightning Surge is a powerful ability that synergizes perfectly with Vesper of Radius. 

This build is perhaps the most diverse and powerful one on this list; it excels in all activities you put it up against and can even be focused to excel in higher-difficulty content.

 

Warlock Subclass

Mindspun Suspender

Excels In: Endgame (Dungeons, Raids, Legend content)

Goal of the Build: Dominate the battleground with both Suspend and Threadlings, immobilizing and damaging combatants with little effort.

Mandatory Gear: There aren’t any clear Exotic armor choices for this build as it’s entirely contained in the subclass. Our favorite is Necrotic Grip, but any subclass-agnostic Exotic should work great. A primary weapon with Demolitionist also helps this build run smoother. Bonus points if it’s Strand!

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Necrotic Grip Destiny 2 art

Necrotic Grip

WarlockArmsBeyond LightLost SectorsSeason 12Beyond Light Destiny 2 icon
Beyond Light
Exotic Perk: "Damaging combatants envenoms them with poison that deals increasing damage over time. Defeating a poisoned combatant spreads the condition to nearby targets."
  • Aspects: Mindspun Invocation and The Wanderer are our choices for Aspects.
  • Fragments:For Fragments, you’ll want to equip Thread of Mind, Generation, Continuity, and Warding.
  • Abilities & Stats: Shackle Grenade is the top pick here because of its uses with Mindspun Invocation.
  • Stats: Discipline is easily the most crucial stat to build into, with Resilience and Recovery being extremely useful as well.
  • Mods:
    • Helmet: Harmonic Siphon
    • Arms: Grenade Kickstart, Impact Induction
    • Chest: Charged Up
    • Legs: Elemental Charge
    • Class Item: Bomber, Outreach

Gameplay Loop

Consuming your Shackle Grenade with Mindspun Invocation grants you 25 seconds of Weaver’s Trace, making all final blows create an explosion of Suspend. Killing these Suspended targets will create a Tangle and grant class ability energy.

Throwing that Tangle at another group of enemies will Suspend them, starting the process over again. All of these Suspend instances also last longer due to Thread of Continuity. To top it all off, collecting Orbs of Power from your Siphon mod will give you Woven Mail and grenade energy indirectly via Grenade Kickstart.

 

Osmiomancy Gloves Warlock Destiny

Stasis Engineer

Excels In: Grandmaster Content

Goal of the Build: Slow and freeze large groups of enemies using countless Bleak Watcher turrets.

Mandatory Gear: The Osmiomancy Gloves are the exotic we’ll be using for this build.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Osmiomancy Gloves Warlock Destiny 2 art

Osmiomancy Gloves

WarlockArmsThe Witch QueenLost SectorsSeason 16The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
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."

No weapons are required, but some can exponentially increase the effectiveness of this build. You can run a primary gun with Demolitionist or one with Headstone. Wellspring as the second perk can help even more.

  • Aspects: Iceflare Bolts and Bleak Watcher, allowing you to slow and freeze the maximum number of enemies possible.
  • Fragments: Whisper of Refraction, Durance, Torment, and Chains. If you choose to run a Headstone weapon, you’ll want Whisper of Refraction, Durance, Chains, and Shards.
  • Abilities: Coldsnap Grenade is essential here as it will give you two grenade charges via Osmiomancy Gloves.
  • Stats: Discipline is far and away the most crucial stat here to allow for the maximum amount of turrets possible.
  • Mods:
    • Helmet: Harmonic Siphon
    • Arms: 2x Grenade Kickstart, Bolstering Detonation
    • Chest: Charged Up
    • Legs: x2 Innervation
    • Class Item: Bomber

Gameplay Loop

The primary loop of this build is just to throw turrets onto the field whenever you get them. Whisper of Torment and max Discipline will hopefully carry you to your next grenade charge without a problem. However, this is also where the two types of weapons mentioned previously come into play.

Adding a Demolitionist/Wellspring weapon here is self-explanatory: getting kills with it will regenerate your grenade quicker.

In comparison, the setup with a Headstone weapon is slightly more complicated but benefits you a little more. Once you trigger Headstone and generate a stasis crystal, simply destroy it to get increased grenade regeneration for five seconds (via Whisper of Shards).

This build has been a monster in Grandmaster Nightfalls since Bleak Watcher was released, but Osmiomancy Gloves and Headstone weapons have boosted it to another level. Freezing so many enemies not only makes them easier to kill but also inhibits them from hurting you and your fireteam in any way, making this a simple yet well-rounded build that can fit any team composition.

 

Cenotaph Mask Warlock Exotic

Masked Weaver

Excels In: Endgame (Dungeons, Raids, Legend content)

Goal of the Build: Support allies on the battlefield by spreading Woven Mail, providing heavy ammo, and severing enemies.

Mandatory Gear: Cenotaph Mask and The Navigator are the two pieces of Exotic equipment we’ll be using.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Cenotaph Mask Warlock exotic

Cenotaph Mask

WarlockHelmLightfallLost SectorsSeason 21Lightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Exotic Perk: "Steadily reloads a portion of your equipped Trace Rifles's magazine from reserves. Damaging a vehicle, boss, or champion with a trace rifle marks them as the target. When an ally defeats the marked target, generate special ammo for yourself and heavy ammo for your allies."
  • Aspects: Weaver’s Call and Mindspun Invocation.
  • Fragments: Thread of Rebirth, Evolution, Continuity, and Generation.
  • Abilities: Threadling Grenade is our preference out of the three available; everything else is up to you.
  • Stats: Resilience and Recovery are the only stats to worry about here.
  • Mods:
    • Helmet: Harmonic Siphon, Special Ammo Finder
    • Arms: Focusing Strike, Impact Induction
    • Chest: Resist and reserve mods
    • Legs: Strand Scavenger, Strand Weapon Surge
    • Class Item: Outreach, Bomber

Gameplay Loop

Because it relies on weapon and armor perks instead of abilities, Masked Weaver doesn’t have a specific loop. Basic knowledge of both Exotics is all you’ll need to succeed here.

Shooting an ally with The Navigator grants you and them Woven Mail, equating to 60% damage resistance. If you hit an enemy instead, you’ll Sever them, reducing their outgoing damage by 33%. Damaging combatants will also regenerate your grenade ability, and Navigator kills have a chance to spawn a Threadling.

When you’re ready to use your abilities, start by swallowing your grenade. After doing so, casting your rift will send out eight Threadlings immediately, providing substantial burst damage.

Lastly, damaging a vehicle, boss, or champion with The Navigator will mark them. Marked enemies will drop heavy ammo for allies upon death, providing even more support to your fireteam.

This simple build relies on The Navigator’s and Cenotaph Mask’s base power. While it’s not flashy (and doesn’t excel at killing enemies directly), constant heavy ammo and Woven Mail for your allies isn’t something to pass up.

 

Fallen Sunstar Warlock Exotic

Arc Summoner

Excels In: Casual Content (Seasonal Activities, Strikes, etc.)

Goal of the Build: Consistently have turrets assisting you and allies on the battlefield, allowing for great ad clear and slightly more boss DPS.

Mandatory Gear: We’ll be using Fallen Sunstar here to provide ability energy for the entire Fireteam. Coldheart is our preferred weapon, but Delicate Tomb or any other Arc weapon can theoretically be used.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Fallen Sunstar Warlock Exotic

Fallen Sunstar

WarlockHelmThe Witch QueenLost SectorsSeason 18The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
The Witch Queen
Exotic Perk: "Ionic traces you create move faster and grant you additional ability energy. Nearby allies also gain ability energy when you collect an ionic trace."
  • Aspects: Arc Soul and Electrostatic Mind are the two aspects we’ll utilize.
  • Fragments: Fragments, on the other hand, depend on what Arc weapon you decide to use. If you’re running Coldheart (or any other Arc special weapon), use Spark of Magnitude, Shock, Beacons, and Brilliance. If you’re instead running an Arc primary weapon, Beacons and Brilliance can be replaced with your choice.
  • Abilities: We’ll use Storm Grenade simply because it feels the strongest currently; however, Pulse Grenade and others are fine as well. Melee and Super are completely up to you, although we like Chaos Reach and Ball Lightning.
  • Stats: Recovery and Resilience are great. We also recommend mid to high levels of Discipline to top off your grenade ability if needed.
  • Mods:
    • Helmet: Harmonic Siphon, Ashes to Assets
    • Arms: Firepower, Bolstering Detonation
    • Chest: Charged Up
    • Legs: Elemental Charge, Arc Weapon Surge, Innervation
    • Class Item: Time Dilation, Bomber, Powerful Attraction

Gameplay Loop

Start by placing a rift down to grant you and your allies Arc Souls. Then, simply use the rest of your abilities and shoot everything in sight with your Arc weapon. Any Ionic Traces you collect will grant you and your allies substantial amounts of ability energy and will make you Amplified (buffing your Arc Soul and other abilities).

With that being the only information you need to succeed, this build is simple yet effective. While it may not be the greatest in high-difficulty PVE content (or in anything with a high-health boss), it’s one of our favorite builds to run and has become a community favorite as a result of Arc Soul’s recent buffs.

 

Warlock Void featured Destiny 2

Void Caster

Excels In: Solo Content

Goal of the Build: Cover any battlefield with weakening Void Souls, which can then be recalled and used on another wave of enemies. Throughout this process, you’ll gain substantial amounts of grenade energy, plus Volatile Rounds for Void weapons.

Mandatory Gear: Briarbinds is our Warlock exotic of choice, and you’ll want any Void primary weapon to go with it.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Briarbinds art

Briarbinds

WarlockArmsSeason 22Lost SectorsSeason 22Lightfall Preorder icon
Season 22
Exotic Perk: "Your Void Souls have a longer duration. They also gain escalating damage and durability as they defeat targets. You can retrieve your Void Souls by interacting with them, allowing them to be redeployed."
  • Aspects: Feed the Void and Child of the Old Gods
  • Fragments: Echo of Instability, Echo of Undermining, Echo of Vigilance, and Echo of Harvest
  • Abilities: To successfully round out this build, we highly recommend Nova Bomb: Cataclysm, Vortex Grenade, and Healing Rift.
  • Stats: Other than Resilience (a must in PvE regardless of the build), Recovery is of utmost importance to boost your rift regeneration rate.
  • Mods:
    • Helmet: Harmonic Siphon
    • Arms: Bolstering Detonation x2
    • Chest: Stat, Reserve, and Damage Resistance mods
    • Legs: Elemental Charge, Void Weapon Surge, and Insulation
    • Bond: Bomber, Powerful Attraction

Gameplay Loop

The loop here is relatively straightforward: start by placing a rift, then shoot an enemy to send out your Void Soul. Killing combatants that are weakened by either this or your grenade will trigger Echo of Harvest, granting you a Void Breach. Killing an enemy with a grenade will also grant your Void weapon(s) Volatile Rounds.

Once you and your fireteam clear the wave of enemies your Void Soul is centered around, you can interact with it to once again get Void Soul Ready. As mentioned earlier, placing more rifts will grant you more Void Souls, allowing you to have multiple on the battlefield simultaneously.

That’s about it for the basics of this build, but you can make it infinitely more complex by adding a synergistic weapon like Collective Obligation or a legendary weapon with Repulsor Brace.

Generally speaking, this exotic build will always be powerful in activities where you can safely interact with your Void Soul. While it won’t be all that useful in Grandmaster-level content, the ability to litter a room with Void Souls is extremely powerful in anything easier.

 

Ager's Scepter Exotic

The Frostmaker

Excels In: Solo Content

Goal of the Build: The goal here is to slow and freeze everything in sight, giving you tons of super energy and, eventually a weapon damage boost.

Mandatory Gear: To use this build to its maximum potential, you’ll want to equip a stasis Power weapon such as Reed’s Regret or Cold Comfort.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Cold Front Destiny 2 artCold FrontSubmachine GunAggressiveLegendaryPrimaryKineticFree-to-PlaySeasonalPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Average

B

-Event: DawningError icon V2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Season 12KineticNo
Reed's Regret artReed's RegretLinear Fusion RiflePrecisionLegendaryHeavyStasisLightfallYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyStasis Stasis
Strong

A

PvETrials of OsirisError icon V2Lightfall Preorder icon
Lightfall
Season 15HeavyNoTop-tier

This pairs exceptionally well with a Stasis subclass and Mantle of Battle Harmony.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Mantle of Battle Harmony Destiny 2 art

Mantle of Battle Harmony

WarlockChestBeyond LightLost SectorsSeason 13Beyond Light Destiny 2 icon
Beyond Light
Exotic Perk: "Takedowns with weapons that have a damage type matching your subclass element grant you Super energy. While your Super energy is full, you instead gain a temporary bonus to weapon damage of the type matching your subclass element."

To use this build to its maximum potential, you’ll want to equip a stasis Power weapon such as Reed’s Regret or Palmyra-B.

  • Aspects: Iceflare Bolts is convenient here as it will cause all of your freezing effects to spread. Glacial Harvest is also needed as it will allow us to gain both ability energy and an overshield.
  • Fragments: Whisper of Bonds, Fissures, Rime, and Conduction. These give numerous buffs, including more super energy and shatter damage.
  • Abilities & Stats: While no specific abilities are required, Discipline, Resilience, and Recovery are all good stats to spec into.
  • Mods:
    • Helmet: Harmonic Siphon, Special Ammo Finder
    • Arms: Stat, reload, and dexterity mods
    • Chest: Charged Up
    • Legs: Stacks on Stacks, Innervation
    • Class Item: Special Finisher, Empowered Finisher

Gameplay Loop

here isn’t a specific gameplay loop here; just use Ager’s Scepter and your abilities to freeze and kill as many enemies as possible. Both Whisper of Bonds and Mantle of Battle Harmony will give you super energy from said kills, and dropped Orbs of Power allow you to use Special Finisher as necessary.

Once you reach full super energy, you have three options that are all very strong. The first is to use your super to kill a large group of ads (or even damage a boss!). Assuming you have excess Ager’s ammo, a second option is to use the firing mode from Ager’s Scepter’s catalyst, making the weapon freeze everything and do more damage. The third and final option is not to use either and instead take advantage of Mantle of Battle Harmony’s second perk, giving you extra Stasis weapon damage after a Stasis weapon kill (as long as you keep full super energy).

Unlike other builds, the Frostmaker is extremely potent while not having a super specific gameplay loop, meaning it can be effective anywhere.

 

Boots of the Assembler Warlock

Noble Assembler

Excels In: Solo Content

Goal of the Build: Empower yourself and allies using support exotics and abilities such as Healing Grenade and Lumina.

Mandatory Gear: The two main pieces of equipment we’ll use here are Lumina and Boots of the Assembler.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Boots of the Assembler Destiny 2 art

Boots of the Assembler

WarlockLegsBeyond LightLost SectorsSeason 14Beyond Light Destiny 2 icon
Beyond Light
Exotic Perk: "Standing in a healing rift creates Noble Seekers that seek out allies that are not in a rift and heal them. Noble Seekers from Empowering rift grant both you and your ally a damage bonus. Each time a Noble Seeker finds one of your allies, the duration of your rift is briefly extended."

Both will empower allies and you, making this build a fantastic option for team play.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Destiny 2 Lumina artLuminaHand CannonExoticExoticPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Best

S

PvE + PvPExotic KioskError icon V2Forsaken Destiny 2 icon
Forsaken Pack
Season 7KineticNoTop-tier
  • Aspects: Heat Rises and Touch of Flame.
  • Fragments: This build only requires three fragments: Ember of Benevolence, Torches, and Solace. The fourth slot is entirely up to you.
  • Abilities: Healing Grenade is best here to build into the support identity even more.
  • Stats: Discipline is excellent to get your Healing Grenade back quicker. Beyond that, Resilience and Recovery are the clear options here, as always.
  • Mods:
    • Helmet: Kinetic Siphon
    • Arms: Impact Induction, Focusing Strike
    • Chest: Resist mods
    • Legs: Innervation, Insulation
    • Class Item: Bomber

Gameplay Loop

While there isn’t a specific gameplay ‘loop’ for this build, everything works in conjunction, and understanding all the moving parts is vital to your success.

Kills with Lumina will drop Noble Rounds, which you can shoot at allies to give both you and them a damage buff. This will also proc Ember of Benevolence, giving you more ability energy. This ability energy will give you your melee back, which, when used, will provide you and your nearby allies Radiant (which, once again, procs Benevolence). Throwing or swallowing your grenade will also grant Restoration, giving you even more ability energy.

Lastly, placing down your rift will activate Boots of the Assembler’s perk, spawning Noble Seekers and empowering allies while giving you the Ember of Benevolence buff. As you can see, everything has a place in this build, allowing you to chain support ability after support ability. Even better, you’ll receive buffs from most of these sources, making you more potent while also helping allies.

 

 

Crucible featured

Best Warlock PvP builds

PvP Essentials

Because of its competitive nature, stats are significantly more critical in the Crucible than in PVE. For Warlocks, high Recovery is a must as it is tied to your health and rift regeneration speeds. Additionally, because of Destiny’s ability-focused nature, high Discipline is irreplaceable too. Lastly, while it’s more important on Titan, mid-high Resilience can also be helpful. Some things (such as two-shot kills with Thorn) depend on the enemy’s Resilience stat, so having around Tier 6 or 7 is always useful.

Generally speaking, the most potent PvP mods come in the form of stat, unflinching, targeting, and dexterity mods. These all provide passive buffs that are strong enough to notice in moment-to-moment gameplay.

Warlock Subclasses: Ranked

While there is usually a meta subclass or general setup to run for the Crucible, every element has unique strengths and weaknesses.

Dawnblade

Solar Warlock

Beginning with Solar, Dawnblade primarily focuses on giving you and your allies various buffs. Radiant, a 10% damage bonus, can be easily activated using something like Ember of Torches. Restoration is the second primary Solar buff, giving you constant regeneration—even while taking damage. There are various ways to activate this, including Healing Grenade and  the combination of Phoenix Dive and Heat Rises.

These buffs can be enhanced using fragments such as Ember of Solace and Ember of Empyrean. You can also use Ember of Benevolence to boost ability regeneration when benefitting your allies.

Pros: 

  • Great healing/support potential
  • Various movement options
  • Numerous choices for all abilities

Cons:

  • Generally weaker abilities compared to Voidwalker/Shadebinder
  • Weaker debuffs
  • Less desirable fragment options

Voidwalker

Warlock Void 3.0 featured

Moving onto the next element, Voidwalker is functionally the opposite of Dawnblade, focusing on debuffing opposing Guardians. Echo of Undermining is the most direct way of doing so, weakening your enemies when hit with your grenade. You can also use Echo of Instability if you have a void weapon, granting you Volatile Rounds on grenade kill.

Voidwalker also provides some survivability with the Devour buff, most easily triggered on Warlock via the Feed the Void aspect. This makes Void widely considered the most well-rounded Warlock subclass as of the writing of this article, but that’s bound to change.

Pros:

  • Powerful abilities at base
  • Powerful buffs and debuffs
  • Numerous super options and a unique jump ability (Blink)

Cons:

  • Lacks movement compared to Dawnblade
  • Weaker super abilities
  • Able to do everything other subclasses can do, but significantly less well (jack of all trades, master of none)

Stormcaller

Warlock Arc 3.0 featured

Inarguably the weakest of the three light subclasses before the Light 3.0 updates, Stormcaller now has a surprising amount going for it. Being all about speed and mobility, this subclass can grant you movement and weapon handling speed without the need to equip popular neutral exotic armor pieces such as Transversive Steps or Ophidian Aspect.

All three aspects are powerful here, but Lightning Surge is the stand-out, allowing you to close the gap between you and your opponents while also unleashing a substantial amount of damage. Arc Soul (and by extension, Getaway Artist) is also a popular pick, granting a good amount of chip damage to make kills more consistent. Lastly, while the Arc fragments available don’t have too much build potential, some (such as Spark of Resistance, Recharge, or Magnitude) provide very potent neutral buffs that can work anywhere.

Pros:

  • Extremely good neutral game
  • Potent aspects
  • Superior movement

Cons:

  • Weak super abilities
  • Lacks build potential
  • Weaker-than-average fragments

Broodweaver

Warlock Subclass

Broodweaver functions as a mix between Stormcaller, Dawnblade and Shadebinder, providing strong crowd control in combination with useful movement abilities.

Each grenade does something unique but powerful: Grapple can either close the gap or give you space, Shackle can stop opponents in their tracks, and Threadling can seek down low health enemies to kill.

Pros:

  • Has a nice variety of abilities and uses
  • Area control, shutdown, and movement abilities
  • Powerful subclass verbs (Suspend, Woven Mail, etc.)

Cons:

  • Few options for Super, Melee, and Aspects
  • Little access to subclass verbs compared to other Strand classes
  • Acts as a jack of all trades, master of none

Shadebinder

Shadebinder Warlock Stasis featured

Shadebinder is primarily used to counter your enemies by slowing or freezing them.

All three grenades have some slowing or freezing capability, and the Iceflare Bolts and Frostpulse aspects can grant more opportunities. Fragments are simple here; most simply buff your abilities or give you stat boosts. Whisper of Hedrons and Whisper of Chains are some of the more popular picks, but you can easily build into unique ones like Whisper of Rime as well.

With the addition of the Light 3.0 subclasses, Stasis has slightly fallen out of the meta. However, it’s still potent and is sometimes unfairly disregarded by the community.

Pros:

  • Excels in close quarters combat
  • Various shutdown and area control abilities
  • Amazing dueling super
  • Exceptional fragments and debuffs (Freeze/Slow)

Cons:

  • Extreme lack of movement
  • Less Grenade, Melee, and Super ability choices
  • Mediocre grenade options at base
  • Little to no intrinsic buffs (compared to Devour, Restoration, etc.)

Best PvP Warlock Exotics

General Exotics

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Ophidian Aspect Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Ophidian Aspect

WarlockArmsFree-to-PlayExotic EngramsSeason 2Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Weapons ready and reload very quickly. Provides a small benefit to the airborne effectiveness stat of all weapons."
Transversive Steps Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Transversive Steps

WarlockLegsFree-to-PlayExotic EngramsSeason 1Free to Play Destiny 2 icon
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Sprint speed increased. After a short time sprinting, your currently equipped weapon is automatically reloaded."

Because of their ease of use and 24/7 activation, neutral exotics are the most common for general PVP. Ophidian Aspect has always been an S-Tier pick, passively boosting the snappiness of your weapons. Transversive Steps excels for a similar reason, providing quicker and more fluid movement (plus the ability to get a free reload).

Subclass-specific Exotics

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Boots of the Assembler Destiny 2 art

Boots of the Assembler

WarlockLegsBeyond LightLost SectorsSeason 14Beyond Light Destiny 2 icon
Beyond Light
Exotic Perk: "Standing in a healing rift creates Noble Seekers that seek out allies that are not in a rift and heal them. Noble Seekers from Empowering rift grant both you and your ally a damage bonus. Each time a Noble Seeker finds one of your allies, the duration of your rift is briefly extended."
Osmiomancy Gloves Warlock Destiny 2 art

Osmiomancy Gloves

WarlockArmsThe Witch QueenLost SectorsSeason 16The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
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."
Rain of Fire Warlock Destiny 2 art

Rain of Fire

WarlockLegsThe Witch QueenLost SectorsSeason 17The Witch Queen Destiny 2 icon
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."

As for subclass-specific exotics that you can build into, Osmiomancy Gloves are one of the stand-outs. Coldsnap Grenades are already extremely strong, and the increased travel distance and extra charge make for an unparalleled shutdown option. Rain of Fire, the Season of the Haunted exotic, is highly beneficial when using a Solar subclass and a fusion rifle (especially Vex Mythoclast). Boots of the Assembler also isn’t a terrible option to run on Dawnblade, allowing you to embrace the support role.

You can find more complex and in-depth builds online with niche exotics such as Verity’s Brow. My favorite two content creators for PvP builds are Coolguy and Apathettic, but you can find numerous fantastic community members creating builds frequently on all social platforms.

Before you go…

The new Warlock Exotic is definitely worth chasing this season. We cover how to get the Briarbinds in Destiny 2 here.

See latest Updates

We keep our content up to date! These are the latest changes made to this guide:
  • September 11, 2023: Updates based on the Season 22 meta, the addition of the Void Caster build (replaces Radiant Timestrider) and Blinding Stormbringer (replaces Sorcerer of Swarms).
  • June 8, 2023: Updates based on the Season 21 meta
  • July 30, 2022: The guide is published for the first time.

Stay tuned, and don’t forget to bookmark this page for next season!

About The Author

Andrew Sideris
Andrew Sideris
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. You can find Andrew on Twitter.
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2 Comments
  1. Boom

    DIM links would be appreciated

    Reply
  2. jediD

    Why use solace and empyrean on the first build if you have no way of getting radiant or restoration?? Is there something I am missing?

    Reply
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