Best Destiny 2 Warlock Builds for PvE and PvP

by | Oct 5, 2022

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 PvE and PvP. Whether you’re into Solar 3.0, Void 3.0, or are still into Stasis, 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 supersHarnesser of FlameWarlockPvESolar SolarMid to Endgame PvE contentSolarBest in Class
No Time to Explain Destiny 2 featured Pulse rifleArc SummonerWarlockPvEArc ArcCasual PvE ContentArc
Void WarlockCommander of ChaosWarlockPvEVoid VoidGrandmaster NightfallsVoidBest in Class
Solar WarlockSun WizardWarlockPvESolar SolarCasual PvE ContentSolar
Ager's Scepter ExoticThe FrostmakerWarlockPvEStasis StasisGrandmaster NightfallsStasis
Warlock Arc 3.0 featuredController of StormsWarlockPvEArc ArcMid to Endgame PvE contentArcBest in Class
Osteo Striga ExoticToxic FireWarlockPvESolar SolarCasual PvE ContentSolar
Vex Mythoclast ExoticRadiant TimestriderWarlockPvESolar SolarCasual PvE ContentSolarBest in Class
Osmiomancy Gloves Warlock DestinyStasis EngineerWarlockPvEStasis StasisGrandmaster NightfallsStasisBest in Class
Boots of the Assembler WarlockNoble AssemblerWarlockPvESolar SolarTeam-based contentSolar

More Destiny 2 Builds:

Best Warlock PvE builds

Solar supers

Harnesser of Flame

Excels In: Mid to Endgame PvE content (Dungeons, Raids, Grandmaster Nightfalls)

Goal of the Build: The goal of the build is to grant you the ability to throw infinite Fusion Grenades and cast infinite Empowering Rifts using Starfire Protocol. P.S: This build was heavily inspired by one of Datto’s excellent build videos.

Mandatory gear: While no weapons are required, DoT (damage over time) options such as Anarchy and Witherhoard are some of the best choices. For armor, you’ll want Starfire Protocol. Fusion Grenades are strong on their own, and Starfire Protocol allows you to throw as many as you want.

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."
  • Aspects: Touch of Flame is the only mandatory pick here because of the grenade-centric goal of the build.
  • Fragments: Ember of Ashes is mandatory too. Ember of Solace, Empyrean, and Singeing are the other three we use, but you can get creative here.
  • Abilities: Fusion Grenades and Empowering Rift are musts as they are what make Starfire Protocol work.
  • Stats: Resilience (for damage resistance) and Recovery (for a quicker rift cooldown).
  • Mods: No mods are needed for this build to function. However, these can enhance your build:
ArtMod NameSlotAffinityCostEffectsTypeElementReleased
Font of Might mod Destiny 2 artFont of MightUniversalAny4Picking up an elemental well that matches your subclass energy type grants a temporary bonus to weapon damage of that same elemental type.Elemental WellAny
Elemental Ordnance mod Destiny 2 artElemental OrdnanceUniversalAny3Defeating a combatant with a grenade spawns an elemental well that matches your subclass energy type.Elemental WellAny
Insulation mod Destiny 2 artInsulationLegVoid Void1Reduces class ability cooldown each time you pick up an Orb of Power.GeneralVoid

Gameplay Loop

The gameplay loop for this build is reliable and straightforward, making it one of the strongest and easiest-to-use builds in the game.

To begin, place your Empowering Rift and simply shoot at enemies with your weapons (this is where Witherhoard and Anarchy come in handy). Doing so will give you Fusion Grenade energy, which you can use to kill ads or DPS a boss. If you get a kill with a Fusion Grenade, your rift will automatically recharge completely, allowing you to start the process all over again.

If you fail to get a kill with your grenade, Insulation and other class ability regeneration mods can help you recover quicker, as mentioned earlier. If you happened to add more mods to this build, your specific gameplay loop might be more complex. However, even if you stick to the basic framework we covered here, you’ll be able to do tons of DPS and kill ads like nothing.

 

No Time to Explain Destiny 2 featured Pulse rifle

Arc Summoner

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

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

Mandatory Gear: Getaway Artist and No Time to Explain are crucial here as they both grant small mobile turrets that also stack with each other.

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."
  • Aspects: Arc Soul and Electrostatic Mind.
  • Fragments: Fragment choices aren’t as critical here, but we personally enjoy Spark of Amplitude, Resistance, and Recharge, with the fourth slot being up to you.
  • Abilities: Flashbang Grenade as it has the shortest cooldown of all Arc grenades. You’ll always be consuming it for an Arc Soul, so the grenade itself doesn’t matter. Melee and Super are completely up to you, although we like Stormtrance and Chain Lightning.
  • Stats: Recovery and Resilience are great. We also recommend mid to high levels of Discipline to ensure your Arc Soul has 100% uptime.
  • Mods: Taking Charge is an easy pick with Spark of Amplitude’s consistent Orbs of Power. High Energy Fire or Protective Light are easy picks but don’t contribute much to this specific build
ArtMod NameSlotAffinityCostEffectsTypeElementReleased
Protective Light ModProtective LightUniversalVoid Void2While Charged with Light, you gain significant damage resistance against combatants when your shields are destroyed. This effect consumes all stacks of Charged with Light. The more stacks consumed, the longer the damage resistance lasts. -10 Strength ▼Charged with LightVoidSeason 9
Taking Charge Mod mod Destiny 2 artTaking ChargeUniversalAny3Become Charged with Light by picking up Orbs of Light.Charged with LightAny
High Energy Fire mod Destiny 2 artHigh-Energy FireUniversalAny4While Charged with Light, gain a bonus to weapon damage. Each defeated enemy consumes one stack of Charged with Light.Charged with LightAny

Gameplay Loop

Start by getting precision hits with No Time to Explain to summon a Time Portal. Then, swallow your grenade (or cast your rift) to summon an Arc Soul. Both of these combined in addition to your own weapons will clear enemies in an instant. With Electrostatic Mind and the fragments we’re using, you should very easily get back your grenade before your Arc Soul even disappears.

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 with Arc 3.0’s release.

 

Void Warlock

Commander of Chaos

Excels In: Grandmaster Nightfalls

Goal of the Build: Be able to throw debuffing Vortex Grenades while maintaining Devour for survivability.

Mandatory Gear: A primary weapon with Demolitionist will significantly help. Contraverse Hold is at the center of this build, so running it is mandatory.

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."
  • Aspects: Chaos Accelerant and Feed the Void.
  • Fragments: Echo of Undermining, Echo of Remnants, and Echo of Persistence or Instability.
  • Abilities: Vortex Grenades are mandatory for this build.
  • Stats: Discipline and Recovery.
  • Mods: Elemental Ordnance is the one clear pick here since you’ll be getting tons of grenade kills. Beyond that, however, it’s up to you! Some recommendations
ArtMod NameSlotAffinityCostEffectsTypeElementReleased
Well of Tenacity mod Destiny 2 artWell of TenacityUniversalVoid Void2Picking up a Void elemental well reduces the damage you take from combatants for a short period of time.Elemental WellVoid
Font of Might mod Destiny 2 artFont of MightUniversalAny4Picking up an elemental well that matches your subclass energy type grants a temporary bonus to weapon damage of that same elemental type.Elemental WellAny
Elemental Ordnance mod Destiny 2 artElemental OrdnanceUniversalAny3Defeating a combatant with a grenade spawns an elemental well that matches your subclass energy type.Elemental WellAny

Gameplay Loop

The gameplay loop here is simple. Just throw a charged Vortex Grenade using Chaos Accelerant, and the build will do the rest for you. When that grenade damages something, Contraverse Hold will trigger, giving you just under 50% of your grenade energy back. This can proc twice with one Vortex Grenade when using Echo of Remnants, potentially giving you your full grenade back with no added work.

Any kills with that grenade will also grant you Devour to help you stay alive, and they’ll spawn Elemental Wells. Picking up these wells will grant you energy for all of your abilities. As previously stated, you can add more mods here to do anything from giving you damage resistance to buffing void weapon damage.

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

 

Solar Warlock

Sun Wizard

Excels In: Casual PvE 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 you’ll receive the Radiant buff frequently to provide extra weapon damage toward higher-health targets.

Mandatory Gear: Any solar weapons can be helpful here, but they are in no way required. 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 Engrams
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 Torches, Ember of Empyrean, Ember of Solace, and Ember of Ashes (optional)
  • Abilities & Stats: Solar Grenade and Celestial Fire are musts here.
  • Stats: Resilience and Recovery are the only two stats you might want to spec into here.
  • Mods: We don’t usually bother running any specific mods with this build, but some suggestions:
ArtMod NameSlotAffinityCostEffectsTypeElementReleased
Well of Life mod Destiny 2 artWell of LifeUniversalSolar Solar2Picking up a Solar elemental well grants increased regeneration for a short period of time.Elemental WellSolar
Elemental Ordnance mod Destiny 2 artElemental OrdnanceUniversalAny3Defeating a combatant with a grenade spawns an elemental well that matches your subclass energy type.Elemental WellAny

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. Doing so will proc Ember of Torches, giving you and nearby allies Radiant. This can be extended by getting solar kills because of Ember of Empyrean.

Getting that powered melee kill will also 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. After this, take to the skies, and watch everything below you start to burn. 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.

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.

 

Ager's Scepter Exotic

The Frostmaker

Excels In: Grandmaster Nightfalls

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: The primary weapon we’ll be utilizing here is Ager’s Scepter.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceAvailable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Ager's Scepter artAger's ScepterTrace RifleExoticExoticSpecialStasisBeyond LightYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialStasis Stasis
Best

S

PvE + PvPExotic Kiosk
Beyond Light
Season 15KineticNo

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 13
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 and Glacial Harvest as it will allow us to gain both ability energy and easy access to Elemental Well mods.
  • Fragments: Whisper of Bonds, Fissures, Hedrons, and Conduction.
  • Abilities & Stats: While no specific abilities are required, Discipline, Resilience, and Recovery are all good stats to spec into.
  • Mods: Special Finisher is one of the most potent mods to run here. Even though one-third of your Super energy seems expensive, you’ll need the extra Ager’s ammo, and you’ll be getting tons of super energy anyway. Other useful mods:
ArtMod NameSlotAffinityCostEffectsTypeElementReleased
Elemental Shards mod Destiny 2 artElemental ShardsUniversalStasis Stasis2Stasis shards count as Stasis elemental wells for you. Does not apply to Crucible, Trials, or Iron Banner.Elemental WellStasisSeason 15
Well of Restoration mod Destiny 2 artWell of RestorationUniversalStasis Stasis4Picking up a Stasis elemental well grants you additional energy for your ability that has the lowest energy. Multiple copies of this mod increase this effect.Elemental WellStasisSeason 15
Font of Might mod Destiny 2 artFont of MightUniversalAny4Picking up an elemental well that matches your subclass energy type grants a temporary bonus to weapon damage of that same elemental type.Elemental WellAny
Font of Wisdom mod Destiny 2 artFont of WisdomUniversalAny4Picking up an elemental well that matches your subclass energy type grants you a temporary significant increase in your Intellect, improving the recharge rate of your Super.Elemental WellAny

Gameplay Loop

There 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, allowing you to use Special Finisher if you run out of Ager’s ammo.

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.

 

Warlock Arc 3.0 featured

Controller of Storms

Excels In: Mid to Endgame PvE content (Dungeons, Raids, Grandmaster Nightfalls)

Goal of the Build: Have constant access to jolt-inflicting abilities, allowing for exceptional ad clear and major-killing potential.

Mandatory Gear: To regenerate abilities quickly, we’ll use Crown of Tempests. Season 18’s Fallen Sunstar can also work here, but we usually prefer Crown for its consistency. As for weapons, we’ll be utilizing Delicate Tomb.

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."
  • Aspects: Arc Soul doesn’t contribute much here, so Lightning Surge and Electrostatic Mind are the way to go for aspects.
  • Fragments: Spark of Shock, Discharge, Magnitude, and Beacons.
  • Abilities: We prefer Stormtrance (especially with Crown of Tempests). Pulse Grenade and Chain Lightning are the most potent abilities here in our experience, but these are once again up to you.
  • Stats: Resilience and Recovery are the top two stats you’ll want to spec into. Discipline can also help you top off your grenade charge if you don’t get it from everything else, but this shouldn’t be too much of an issue in theory.
  • Mods: Because no Charged with Light or Elemental Well mods have come out recently, there’s little we can do with mods here. The classic Taking Charge + a Charged With Light-consuming mod will work, but beyond that, there’s little opportunity to expand this build:
ArtMod NameSlotAffinityCostEffectsTypeElementReleased
Taking Charge Mod mod Destiny 2 artTaking ChargeUniversalAny3Become Charged with Light by picking up Orbs of Light.Charged with LightAny

Gameplay Loop

The beauty of this build is that there isn’t a specific “loop” for it; using Delicate Tomb or any ability will end up triggering something else most of the time. The goal here is to generate as many Ionic Traces as possible, amplifying you and buffing Delicate Tomb, then allowing you to jolt enemies.

One fun synergy worth mentioning is that of Delicate Tomb and Spark of Beacons. While amplified (which you can easily get by picking up an Ionic Trace through Electrostatic Mind), kills with Delicate Tomb will release blinding explosions. This makes it very easy to jolt and blind enemies simultaneously, while also regenerating other abilities to continue the loop.

Overall, as long as you’re getting kills with arc abilities or Delicate Tomb, all of the moving parts in this build should automatically regenerate your abilities quickly. A great build for ad clear that’s also extremely fun to use, the Controller of Storms can excel against anything you put it up against.

 

Osteo Striga Exotic

Toxic Fire

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

Goal of the Build: Both an ad-clear and high-damage beast, this build gives you the power to spread poison everywhere you go while frequently getting your high-damage melee ability back.

Mandatory Gear: Toxic Fire centers around Necrotic Grip, which allows us to spread poison easily and quickly. You’ll also want to equip Thorn or Osteo Striga, as both benefit from Necrotic Grip’s effects.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Necrotic Grip Destiny 2 art

Necrotic Grip

WarlockArmsBeyond LightLost SectorsSeason 12
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."

We recommend Osteo Striga as it’s generally more potent in PvE (especially with the catalyst).

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceAvailable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Osteo Striga artOsteo StrigaSubmachine GunExoticExoticPrimaryKineticThe Witch QueenYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Best

S

PvE + PvPDeluxe Edition
The Witch Queen
Season 16KineticCraftable
  • Aspects: Heat Rises and Icarus Dash.
  • Fragments: Ember of Torches, Solace, and Ashes are the three required fragments for this build—the fourth one, however, is up to you.
  • Abilities: Incinerator Snap is the melee of choice.
  • Stats: High Recovery and Resilience are almost necessary here.
  • Mods: No mods are required for this build to be potent, but some easy-to-use ones can help slightly:
ArtMod NameSlotAffinityCostEffectsTypeElementReleased
Bountiful Wells mod Destiny 2 artBountiful WellsUniversalSolar Solar2Elemental well mods that cause you to spawn elemental wells can now stack, spawning additional wells for each additional copy of the mod you have equipped.Elemental WellSolarSeason 15
Melee Wellmaker mod Destiny 2 artMelee WellmakerUniversalAny4Powered melee combatant final blows spawn elemental wells matching your subclass energy type.Elemental WellAnySeason 15
Well of Ordnance mod Destiny 2 artWell of OrdnanceUniversalSolar Solar1Picking up a Solar elemental well grants you additional grenade energy. Multiple copies of this mod increase this effect.Elemental WellSolarSeason 15
Well of Life mod Destiny 2 artWell of LifeUniversalSolar Solar2Picking up a Solar elemental well grants increased regeneration for a short period of time.Elemental WellSolar

Gameplay Loop

Begin by swallowing your grenade to proc Heat Rises. Then, take to the skies, and start killing things with your poison weapon of choice. These airborne kills will grant you melee energy, and you should send Incinerator Snap off whenever you get it. In addition to doing significant damage, this melee will poison enemies and make you Radiant.

A simple yet effective build, this is my personal favorite to run in more casual PVE content. While it doesn’t stand much chance against endgame activities, watching low-tier enemies get obliterated by this build is highly satisfying.

 

Vex Mythoclast Exotic

Radiant Timestrider

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

Goal of the Build: Pair Vex Mythoclast’s great utility with various Solar 3.0 buffs to create a well-rounded build that can handle ads and bosses alike.

Mandatory Gear: The gear you’ll need here is self-explanatory: Vex Mythoclast and Rain of Fire. Not only will Rain of Fire provide you with easy reloads—but it’s also practically made to be used with Vex Mythoclast.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceAvailable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Vex Mythoclast artVex MythoclastFusion RifleExoticExoticPrimarySolarFree-to-PlayYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimarySolar Solar
Average

B

PvEVault of Glass Raid
Free-to-Play
Season 14EnergyNo

Running a kinetic legendary fusion rifle will elevate this build even more, but it is in no way necessary if you prefer snipers or shotguns.

  • Aspects: Icarus Dash and Heat Rises.
  • Fragments: Ember of Solace, Ember of Empyrean, Ember of Tempering, and Ember of Benevolence
  • Abilities: Healing Grenade is the only ability you’ll want to run for this build.
  • Stats: The generic Recovery/Resilience/Discipline combination works best.
  • Mods: While this build already gives extreme versatility through its Restoration and Radiant buffs, there are a couple of different ways you can go with mods to enhance this build to its limits.
ArtMod NameSlotAffinityCostEffectsTypeElementReleased
 width=Harmonic SiphonHelmetAny1Rapid weapon final blows with damage matching your subclass type create an Orb of Power.Charged with LightAnySeason 16
Protective Light ModProtective LightUniversalVoid Void2While Charged with Light, you gain significant damage resistance against combatants when your shields are destroyed. This effect consumes all stacks of Charged with Light. The more stacks consumed, the longer the damage resistance lasts. -10 Strength ▼Charged with LightVoidSeason 9
High Energy Fire mod Destiny 2 artHigh-Energy FireUniversalAny4While Charged with Light, gain a bonus to weapon damage. Each defeated enemy consumes one stack of Charged with Light.Charged with LightAny
Quick Charge mod Destiny 2 artQuick ChargeUniversalArc Arc5Become Charged with Light by rapidly defeating multiple enemies with Fusion Rifles or Shotguns.
Greatly increases the ready speed of Fusion Rifles, Shotguns, Submachine Guns, and Swords.
Charged with LightArc

Gameplay Loop

Start by getting a kill with Vex Mythoclast (or a kinetic fusion rifle, if you happen to be running one). Assuming you have the Vex Mythoclast catalyst, you’ll get two damage buffs: Radiant from Rain of Fire and the second damage buff from Vex’s catalyst. These will stack together, allowing you to eliminate majors and minibosses as quickly as standard red bars. These buffs will also continue to stack when you activate Vex Mythoclast’s linear fusion rifle mode, allowing you to even put some good damage into bosses.

On the other side of this build, Healing Grenade will grant you Restoration, allowing for extreme survivability. Having allies walk through your Healing Grenade will also provide you with faster ability regeneration via Ember of Benevolence, and kills with Vex can extend both Radiant and Restoration via Empyrean.

While this build isn’t too flashy, it’s enjoyable and easy to use. As long as you have the two required exotics, you’re automatically set up for success with this one.

 

Osmiomancy Gloves Warlock Destiny

Stasis Engineer

Excels In: Grandmaster Nightfalls

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 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."

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: With the way this build is set up, it’s tough to integrate any Combat Style mods successfully. You’ll mostly just want to put all your eggs in one basket with stat mods.

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.

 

Boots of the Assembler Warlock

Noble Assembler

Excels In: Team-based content (Raids, Dungeons, etc.)

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 14
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?TierExcelsSourceAvailable?RequiresReleasedSlotCraftable?
Destiny 2 Lumina artLuminaHand CannonExoticExoticPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryKinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic
Strong

A

PvE + PvPExotic Kiosk
Forsaken Pack
Season 7KineticNo
  • 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: There are no specific mods needed for this build, making it one of the most accessible and easy to set up right now.

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.

 

PVP stancesDestiny 2 featured 900p

Warlock PvP Builds, Destiny 2

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.

Regarding mods, Warmind Cell and Elemental Well mods don’t activate in the Crucible. And while Charged with Light mods do work, they’re significantly more challenging to trigger than in PVE. Because of this, the two most important types of mods for PVP are extremely general: stat mods and weapon mods (such as targeting). These are always active and can provide you with noticeable benefits.

Subclasses

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

 

Solar Warlock

Dawnblade

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 (as of Season of the Haunted) Classy Restoration.

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

 

Warlock Void 3.0 featured

Voidwalker

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)

 

Warlock Arc 3.0 featured

Stormcaller

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 exotics 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

 

Shadebinder Warlock Stasis featured

Shadebinder

Lastly, 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 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."

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, simply boosting the snappiness of your weapons and increasing melee range. 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
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."
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."
Boots of the Assembler Destiny 2 art

Boots of the Assembler

WarlockLegsBeyond LightLost SectorsSeason 14
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."

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.

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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1 Comment
  1. Boom

    DIM links would be appreciated

    Reply
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