Best Warlock exotics in Destiny 2: Season 18 Tier List Ranking

by | Sep 28, 2022

Exotic armor is a truly unique and important part of Destiny 2. While weapons get most of the attention, your choice of armor plays a crucial role too. This is especially true for Exotic armor, as that one single piece of equipment can elevate your playstyle and lethality to new levels. Destiny 2 is all about finding synergies within your gear, and Exotic armor is often the first piece of the puzzle.

This guide covers every Warlock Exotic in Destiny 2. We’ll rank them from best to worst, and explain how to use them for maximum lethality.

Checkmark icon V3Updated as of Season of Plunder’s release (S18).

Destiny 2 Warlock Exotics Tier list

The Tier list below includes every Warlock Exotic armor piece in the game. It starts with the S Tier weapons and moves down from there:

NameTypeRankExcelsSubclassSourceRequirementsArmorTier rankSubclass?Final Verdict
Boots of the AssemblerLegsS › BestPvENeutralLost SectorsBeyond LightBoots of the Assembler Destiny 2 art

Boots of the Assembler

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

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."

Best used with Child of the Old Gods or Arc Soul Aspects. This exotic can grant a powerful healing effect or damage buff to your allies, depending on your rift choice. If you add on the Child of the Old Gods Aspect, your rift will also grant you tons of ability energy, health, and even the ability to weaken combatants around you.
Lunafaction BootsLegsS › BestPvENeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayLunafaction Boots Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Lunafaction Boots

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Your Rifts gain the additional ability to increase weapon reload speeds. Empowering Rift makes weapons effective over longer ranges."

Best used with Well of Radiance. This exotic is so good that it is difficult to find a raid group that doesn't have a member of their team wearing them. They work with Well of Radiance, which means you can place it down to grant your team healing, bonus weapon damage, and now max reload speed as well.
Ophidian AspectArmsS › BestPvE + PvPNeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayOphidian Aspect Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Ophidian Aspect

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Weapons ready and reload very quickly. Melee range is extended."

Ophidian Aspect sees most of its usage in PvP, but it's also not a bad option for PvE. The buffs they give are always active, and they're extremely noticeable, making them a great pick if you have nothing else to run.
Phoenix ProtocolChestS › BestPvESolarExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayPhoenix Protocol Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Phoenix Protocol

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Solar Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Solar
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Kills and assists you make while standing in your Well of Radiance return Super energy."

Best used with Well of Radiance. Giving you more uptime with one of the strongest supers in the game, Phoenix Protocol is a simple but powerful exotic that excels in any PVE activity.
Starfire ProtocolChestS › BestPvESolarExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayStarfire Protocol Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Starfire Protocol

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Solar Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Solar
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Fusion Grenades have an additional charge and recharge from empowered weapon damage. Fusion Grenade kills grant Rift energy."

Best used with Well of Radiance and the Touch of Flame Aspect. Fusion grenades are extremely powerful at their base, but with Starfire Protocol and Touch of Flame, this becomes one of the best builds in the game right now. For a complete build to make this as potent as possible, check out our Top Warlock Builds guide.
Transversive StepsLegsS › BestPvE + PvPNeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayTransversive Steps Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Transversive Steps

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Sprint speed increased. After a short time sprinting, your currently equipped weapon is automatically reloaded."

The movement speed buff that Tranversive Steps gives is super potent, and the reload ability can be useful at times. If you are looking for a great neutral exotic to run in any activity, this exotic is one of the best options out there.
Rain of FireLegsS › BestPvE + PvPSolarLost SectorsThe Witch QueenRain of Fire Warlock Destiny 2 art

Rain of Fire

Best

S



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Solar Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Solar
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

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."

Best used with Vex Mythoclast. Providing a damage buff, free reloads, exceptional Solar 3.0 synergy and airborne effectiveness, Rain of Fire has nothing to dislike. To elevate this exotic to its max potential, check out our Top Warlock Builds!
Mantle of Battle HarmonyChestA › StrongPvENeutralLost SectorsBeyond LightMantle of Battle Harmony Destiny 2 art

Mantle of Battle Harmony

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

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."

Mantle of Battle Harmony grants you super energy (or a damage bonus) just by killing enemies, making it a great part in any build. It does require a bit of planning prior to using it, but after figuring that out, this chest piece is very powerful. If you need some help figuring out a build to use with it, check out our Top Warlock Builds guide!
Aeon SoulArmsA › StrongPvENeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayAeon Soul Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Aeon Soul

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Aeon Exotics have an additional mod socket which is used for Aeon Cult mods."

Best used with Shadebinder or Voidwalker. With the three mods you can choose from, Aeon Soul grants as much variety as it does power. While these gauntlets can easily excel in any team-based activity, they're best utilized on subclasses that don't have an excellent subclass-specific exotic.
Felwinter's HelmHelmA › StrongPvENeutralExotic EngramsShadowkeepFelwinter's Helm Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Felwinter's Helm

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Powered melee final blows create a burst of energy that weakens nearby targets. Finishers and final blows against more powerful targets increase the radius of the burst and the length of the weakening effect."

Best used with the Feed the Void Aspect. As long as you have something to keep you alive, like Devour, this exotic can debuff and blind any enemy in sight in PVE.
Crown of TempestsHelmA › StrongPvEArcExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayCrown of Tempests Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Crown of Tempests

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Arc Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Arc
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Arc ability kills increase the recharge rate of your Arc abilities and extend the duration of Stormtrance."

Best used with Spark of Shock, Delicate Tomb, or other Jolt-based perks. With Arc 3.0 now all over the place, Crown of Tempests has seen a jump in popularity. Whether you use Fallen Sunstar or this is really up to you, but both are extremely strong when used correctly.
Contraverse HoldArmsA › StrongPvEVoidExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayContraverse Hold Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Contraverse Hold

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Void Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Void
Source: Exotic Engrams

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."

Best used with Vortex Grenade and Echo of Undermining. The damage resistance while charging grenades is excellent, but the main focus of this exotic is the returned grenade energy. With all of the easy ways to get bonus damage and extra effects added to your grenade, Contraverse Hold is one of the best PvE exotics out right now.
Karnstein ArmletsArmsA › StrongPvE + PvPNeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayKarnstein Armlets Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Karnstein Armlets

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Melee kills instantly restore a large amount of health and continue to restore health afterwards for a short duration."

Best used with projectile melees. Karnstein Armlets are extremely good for any solo PVE content and are even good in PVP. While it's incredible with any subclass or melee you choose, projectile melees are the best option because they make the exotic perk safer and easier to trigger.
Nezarec's SinHelmA › StrongPvENeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayNezarec's Sin Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Nezarec's Sin

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Void-damage kills increase ability energy recharge rate."

Best used with Voidwalker. Nezarec's Sin works as long as you are doing void damage, regardless of where it comes from (abilities or weapons). It provides great regeneration to all of your abilities (including super), and excels even further with a Void subclass, making it a very strong option in PVE.
SunbracersArmsA › StrongPvESolarExotic EngramsFree-to-PlaySunbracers Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Sunbracers

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Solar Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Solar
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Increases the duration of Solar Grenades. Solar melee kills grant unlimited Solar Grenade energy for a brief time."

Best used with Touch of Flame and Heat Rises. Giving you tons of grenades, Sunbracers provides great ad clear. Plus, it has great synergy with Dawnblade's Aspects and Fragments, making it a great option for any low-mid level PVE activity. For a full build, check out our Top Warlock Builds guide!
The StagHelmA › Strong-NeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayThe Stag Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

The Stag

Strong

A



Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Your Rift provides damage reduction to allied Guardians standing in it. Grants Rift energy when you are critically wounded. On your death, creates a healing rift on your corpse."

An excellent option in PvP, The Stag gives you a free rift reasonably frequently. That said, it isn't anything extraordinary in PVE, and options like Ophidian Aspect will still beat this helmet out.
Osmiomancy GlovesArmsA › StrongPvEStasisLost SectorsThe Witch QueenOsmiomancy Gloves Warlock Destiny 2 art

Osmiomancy Gloves

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Stasis Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Stasis
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

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

Best used with Bleak Watcher. Even though Coldsnap Grenades aren't currently very good, being able to have two stasis turrets at a time (using Bleak Watcher) makes this exotic an exceptional choice in harder PVE content.
Fallen SunstarHelmA › StrongPvEArcLost SectorsThe Witch QueenFallen Sunstar Warlock Exotic

Fallen Sunstar

Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Arc Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Arc
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

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."

Best used with Electrostatic Mind in a team-based activity. Crown of Tempests finally has some competition in the form of Season 18's exotic, Fallen Sunstar. Both are very strong and can give absurd amounts of ability energy, but what you use depends on what activity you're running.
Dawn ChorusHelmB › AveragePvESolarLost SectorsBeyond LightDawn Chorus Destiny 2 art

Dawn Chorus

Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Solar Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Solar
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

Exotic Perk: "Your Daybreak projectiles cause targets to burn on contact and deal more damage to them. All of your burn effects last longer, and you gain a small amount of melee energy each time one of your burns damage a target."

Best used with Ember of Combustion and Ember of Beams. The part of Dawn Chorus's perk that affects you outside of super isn't that useful as combatants usually die too quickly to be burned for a significant amount of time. Despite this, it noticeably buffs the Dawnblade super, making it an average exotic.
Necrotic GripArmsB › AveragePvENeutralLost SectorsBeyond LightNecrotic Grip Destiny 2 art

Necrotic Grip

Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

Exotic Perk: "Damaging combatants envenoms them with poison that deals increasing damage over time. Defeating a poisoned combatant spreads the condition to nearby targets."

Best used with projectile melees and Thorn. Necrotic Grip gives great ad clear in easier PVE content, but has little to no place in PVP or harder PVE activities. Projectile melees make this exotic's perk significantly easier to proc, but it still is usually used just for fun.
Nothing ManaclesArmsB › AveragePvE + PvPVoidLost SectorsBeyond LightNothing Manacles Destiny 2 art

Nothing Manacles

Average

B



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Void Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Void
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

Exotic Perk: "You gain an additional Scatter Grenade charge. Enables tracking for Scatter Grenade projectiles."

Best used with Echo of Undermining and the Chaos Accelerant Aspect. Before Void 3.0, when you could use Handheld Supernova with any grenade, this exotic was great. However, now that Supernova can't be used with Scatter Grenade, this exotic feels like a worse version of Contraverse Hold.
Astrocyte VerseHelmB › AveragePvE + PvPVoidExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayAstrocyte Verse Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Astrocyte Verse

Average

B



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Void Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Void
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Blink further and more frequently. Weapon readies quickly out of Blink and Radar remains up."

This exotic makes Blink significantly more user-friendly and is a great option to run while having fun on Voidwalker. Despite this, using Blink usually isn't worth the hassle, and most people settle for a different jump ability and exotic.
Claws of AhamkaraArmsB › AveragePvE + PvPNeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayClaws of Ahamkara Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Claws of Ahamkara

Average

B



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Gain an additional melee charge."

Best used with projectile melees. While on a subclass with a strong melee ability, this exotic is pretty good. Despite that, this usually doesn't see too much use, as there are more powerful options out there.
Eye of Another WorldHelmB › AveragePvE + PvPNeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayEye of Another World Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Eye of Another World

Average

B



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Highlights priority targets and improves the regeneration speed of your grenade, melee, and Rift abilities."

Best used with Shadebinder. Because of how powerful the base abilities of Shadebinder are, Eye of Another World's ability regeneration is extremely potent here. If you have nothing else to use, this is a great passive armor piece to choose; however, most of the time, something more powerful can easily replace it.
Getaway ArtistArmsB › AveragePvE + PvPArcExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayGetaway Artist Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Getaway Artist

Average

B



Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Arc Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Arc
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Convert your Arc Grenade into a supercharged Arc Soul. The Arc Soul functions as an autonomous turret."

With Season of the Plunder and Arc 3.0, both Getaway Artist and base Arc Souls got a buff. While they still aren't overpowered, pairing the aspect, exotic, and a Demolitionist weapon can produce a fun combo in any activity.
Verity's BrowArmsB › AveragePvENeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayVerity's Brow Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Verity's Brow

Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Weapon final blows with a damage type matching your subclass energy grant Death Throes, which provides a grenade damage bonus and grants you grenade energy. When you have Death Throes and throw a grenade, nearby allies gain greatly increased grenade regeneration for a short time."

Best used with Void scatter grenades. While allowing you to do some amazing grenade damage at max stacks, this exotic's perk is hard to keep triggered for long periods of time.
Secant FilamentsLegsB › AveragePvEVoidLost SectorsThe Witch QueenSecant Filaments Warlock Destiny 2 art

Secant Filaments

Average

B



Excels in:
PvE
Void Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Void
Source: Legend/Master Lost Sectors

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."

Best used with Voidwalker. While on Voidwalker, this exotic allows your Empowering Rift to also grant you Devour, which can be very helpful while trying to survive in harder content. In addition, giving you and your allies the ability to stun Overload Champions with any weapon allows for a wider range of weapons to be used in some activities.
Sanguine AlchemyChestC › WeakPvENeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlaySanguine Alchemy Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Sanguine Alchemy

Weak

C



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Weapon kills while standing in any rift pause the rift's countdown, extending its duration. Further kills maintain and extend the length of the pause."

While highly effective at what it is supposed to do, being locked to one position to kill people in is never a good (or fun) idea.
Stormdancer's BraceChestC › WeakPvEArcExotic EngramsShadowkeepStormdancer's Brace Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Stormdancer's Brace

Weak

C



Excels in:
PvE
Arc Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Arc
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Each target you defeat with Stormtrance increases the damage you deal with it and refunds Super energy when Stormtrance ends."

While the damage buff you receive from Stormdancer's Brace is substantial, Stormcaller just isn't meant to be a boss damage super. Plus, with Arc 3.0, Getaway Artist, Crown of Tempests, and Fallen Sunstar are tough to beat with their constant uptime and potent effects.
Winter's GuileArmsC › WeakPvENeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayWinter's Guile Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Winter's Guile

Weak

C



Excels in:
PvE
Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Eliminating enemies with melee attacks increases your melee damage."

Best used with a One-Two Punch shotgun. When stacking the buff all the way up to x5 and using a shotgun with One-Two Punch on it, Winter's Guile can deal some pretty good damage. Despite that, it is extremely hard to get to five stacks of the buff and generally isn't worth running into melee range and risking your life for.
Chromatic FireChestD › Worst-NeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayChromatic Fire Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Chromatic Fire

Worst

D



Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Precision final blows with your Kinetic weapon create an explosion in the element of your subclass."

Chromatic Fire used to be alright, as it allowed any kinetic weapon to make Warmind Cells with certain mods; however, now that Warmind Cells have been nerfed, it's nothing more than a fun option to run while doing easy content.
Promethium SpurLegsD › Worst-SolarExotic EngramsShadowkeepPromethium Spur Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Promethium Spur

Worst

D



Solar Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Solar
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Defeating combatants or Guardians while Daybreak is active creates a healing and empowering rift at their location. While standing in any rift, [Solar] Solar weapon final blows grant Rift energy. When your Rift energy is full, final blows consume your Rift energy and create a healing and empowering rift at the target's location."

Best used with Ember of Benevolence. While sounding cool on paper, these boots don't have a practical use in most areas of the game.
Vesper of RadiusChestD › Worst-NeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayVesper of Radius Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Vesper of Radius

Worst

D



Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Rifts release an Arc shockwave when cast. Rift energy recharges faster when you are surrounded by enemies."

To make Vesper of Radius work, you need to be in an extremely high-risk area, and you end up getting barely any reward. Unless these robes get changed in some way, this exotic is sadly not worth running in most activities.
Wings of Sacred DawnChestD › Worst-SolarExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayWings of Sacred Dawn Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Wings of Sacred Dawn

Worst

D



Solar Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Solar
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "When Dawnblade is equipped, aiming weapons while you're midair suspends you there for a short time, improving airborne accuracy, reducing incoming flinch, and granting damage resistance. Weapon hits extend this effect's"

Best used with Heat Rises and Icarus Dash. While Wings of Sacred Dawn is fun, locking yourself in place midair isn't the best choice and usually leads to your death.
Apotheosis VeilHelmSwap-NeutralExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayApotheosis Veil Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Apotheosis Veil

Swap

Neutral subclass Destiny 2 icon v2
Neutral
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Immediately regenerate health, melee, grenade, and Rift energy upon activating your Super. Nearby allies recharge class abilities faster."

Best used with Well of Radiance or Shadebinder. Giving your abilities back can be nice on some subclasses, but this exotic is very lackluster and is usually considered a swap exotic.
Geomag StabilizersLegsSwapPvE + PvPArcExotic EngramsFree-to-PlayGeomag Stabilizers Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Geomag Stabilizers

Swap

Excels in:
PvE + PvP
Arc Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Arc
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Damaging targets with Chaos Reach extends its duration."

Only extending your Super a slight amount, Geomag Stabilizers are usually just swapped to when Chaos Reach is ready to go.
Skull of Dire AhamkaraHelmSwapPvEVoidExotic EngramsFree-to-PlaySkull of Dire Ahamkara Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Skull of Dire Ahamkara

Swap

Excels in:
PvE
Void Subclass Destiny 2 icon
Void
Source: Exotic Engrams

Exotic Perk: "Provides additional damage resistance during Nova Bomb. Nova Bomb kills grant Super energy."

Because Nova Bomb usually isn't used as an ad clear super, this exotic sees little use. Those who do run it usually just swap to it once they get their super.

These are the different Tier levels used for our list:

  • S Tier – Best: Highest ranking weapons in our Tier List.
  • A Tier – Strong: Very strong weapons, but not on the same level as S Tier Choices.
  • B Tier – Average: Decent choices that can be lethal in the hands of a skilled player.
  • C Tier – Weak: The middle of the pack, somewhat mediocre.
  • D Tier – Worst: Lagging behind the competition, these don’t have much to offer.

Swaps: You’ll see a couple of armor pieces ranked as “Swap.” Swap refers to those armor pieces that are generally not great but can be excellent in very specific situations, namely when using your Super. For that reason, these deserve a different ranking as they still have a place in your loadout.

More Destiny 2 Exotic Armor Tier lists:

Best Destiny 2 Warlock Exotic armor in 2022

This section not only covers the top Exotic armor pieces for Warlocks currently in the game, but it also tells you where you can find them. On top of being top-tier options for PvE and PvP, some of them look great. So much so, that they are often seen in Destiny 2 fashion contests.

Overall, these are our Top 10 favorite Warlock Exotics for PVE and PVP.

 

Crown of Tempest Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 featured

10. Crown of Tempests

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

Crown of Tempests is straightforward, giving you ability energy when you get arc ability kills.

Conduction Tines lasts 5 seconds and resets with each kill you get. The buff can stack up to three times (one per kill), granting you even quicker ability regeneration. It also applies the same way in Stormtrance, extending your super instead.

This exotic is mainly suitable for PVE, allowing you to chain abilities repeatedly. Especially now with Arc 3.0, it’s effortless to get ability after ability with Crown of Tempests. And with fragments like Spark of Shock and exotics like Delicate Tomb in the game, creating a powerful Stormcaller build with Crown is easier than ever.

It’s also important to note that Conduction Tines now also works with jolt effects. This means that non-ability kills (such as ones from Delicate Tomb or a legendary weapon with Voltshot) can sometimes trigger the potent buff Crown grants!

Overall, this exotic is a great ad clear pick in PVE and can also be a good pick in PVP.

How to get it: Crown of Tempests can be acquired via Exotic engrams, Xûr, or farming Lost Sectors.

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."

 

Mantle of Battle Harmony Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 featured

9. Mantle of Battle Harmony

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

Mantle gives tons of extra super energy and gives a damage buff once your super is full, two things that are extremely valuable. Plus, it works with any subclass element, making it even more powerful.

This exotic can be a little annoying to set up, but after matching your weapon and subclass elements, all you need to do is get kills to start seeing the effects.

Each kill will grant you super energy (with a cooldown of 3 seconds between kills), allowing you to get your most powerful ability before any of your opponents. In addition, once at full super energy, kills with your matching weapon instead grant a 20% damage increase for 10 seconds. This is useful in any activity and can stack with debuffs to enemies, increasing your damage even more.

Overall, this chestpiece gives you two of the most valuable things in the game for minimal cost. This makes it extremely powerful in both PVE and PVP, and extremely easy to craft builds around.

How to get it: Mantle of Battle Harmony can only via acquired via solo Legend/Master Lost Sectors.

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."

Boots of the Assembler Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 featured

8. Boots of the Assembler

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

These exotic boots provide your allies with your rift benefits on the run, making them a key piece of gear in any support player’s arsenal.

While running healing rift, you can stand in your rift to send out small healing orbs that automatically track nearby allies. Once they reach them, it will give them a bump in health to aid them in battle. This is great in PVP to keep your team alive, but is also good in PVE, allowing your fireteam to play more aggressively without a worry of death.

Rather, while running empowering rift, you send out small orbs that buff your teammates’ damage by 35% (20% in PVP), which is higher than supers like Well of Radiance or Ward of Dawn. This is once again a great buff in both PVE and PVP and is usually even more useful than its healing counterpart.

Overall, this is a great exotic that is simple to use and very powerful in both PVE and PVP. Any warlock who enjoys playing a support role while also not wanting to be restricted to Well of Radiance should have this in their kit.

How to get it: Boots of the Assembler can only via acquired via solo Legend/Master Lost Sectors.

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."

 

Rain of Fire Warlock Exotic

7. Rain of Fire

PVE and PVP logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE and PVP

With Solar 3.0 synergy, auto-reloads, damage bonuses, and more, it’s not hard to see why Rain of Fire has taken the community by storm.

Regardless of whether or not you build into the rest of the perk, Rain of Fire starts by reloading all of your weapons instantly using Icarus Dash. Even with the intrinsic cooldown of five seconds between Icarus Dashes, this bonus is absurd, allowing you never to have to reload again manually.

Although, that’s only one-third of the perk! Equip a linear fusion rifle or fusion rifle, and Rain of Fire only shines brighter. If you get a kill with either of those weapon types, you become Radiant (a 25% damage bonus) instantaneously. The exotic also passively grants airborne effectiveness for those two weapon types, and it works with Vex Mythoclast (allowing for a crazy low TTK in The Crucible).

With all of that said, it’s probably already pretty clear as to why people love Rain of Fire. But, remember that Radiant is a Solar 3.0 buff, which means it synergizes perfectly with different Fragments and Aspects. If you’re looking to take advantage of these synergies, we have an exceptional Rain of Fire build you can check out in our Best Destiny 2 Warlock Builds article!
How to get it: Rain of Fire Harmony can only via acquired via solo Legend/Master Lost Sectors.

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 featured

6. Ophidian Aspect

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

Ophidian Aspect provides a simplistic neutral buff to your gameplay, which makes it a great option to run if nothing else fits what you’re looking for.

These gauntlets improve your weapon ready speed (how quickly it takes to pull out your gun), reload speed, and melee range. All three of these are great buffs, especially in PVP, and you can feel all three of them working all the time.

This exotic is mainly used to help you get back into the fight quicker in Crucible, but can also be used in any PVE activity to give you basic passive stat buffs. Overall, Ophidians are great gauntlets that you can’t go wrong with.

How to get it: Ophidian Aspect can be acquired via Exotic engrams, Xûr, or farming Lost Sectors.

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."

 

Lunafaction Boots Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 featured

5. Lunafaction Boots

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

Lunafaction Boots are a must-have exotic for almost every raid group out there and are extremely good in high-level PVE. Not only that, but these boots also provide a nice buff in Crucible, and are even a pretty good choice in easier PVE content.

The exotic perk is fairly simple, allowing your rifts (Healing, Empowering, or Well of Radiance) to max out reload speed for anyone inside. In addition, Empowering Rift and Well of Radiance also increase the range of guns used inside of them.

The faster reload speed is mainly what makes these good in high-end PVE activities–faster reloads generally mean more damage, which means killing bosses quicker. In addition, the range buff Lunafactions can give can be useful in PVP, and at times even in PVE.

Overall, these boots are extremely nice to have in any PVE content, and are even alright at times in PVP, making them one of the best and most well-rounded exotics in the game.

How to get it: Lunafaction Boots can be acquired via Exotic engrams, Xûr, or farming Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Lunafaction Boots Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Lunafaction Boots

WarlockLegsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Your Rifts gain the additional ability to increase weapon reload speeds. Empowering Rift makes weapons effective over longer ranges."

 

Phoenix Protocol Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 featured

4. Phoenix Protocol

Vanguard logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVE

Phoenix Protocol allows you to chain your Well of Radiance super back to back, making it a great pick to increase your team’s survivability in PVE.

This exotic gives you super energy for every kill you or your allies get inside of your well. While Phoenix did get nerfed recently, now only giving you up to 50% of your super energy back, it is still an amazing choice for both solo and group play.

Phoenix isn’t the best pick in PVP just because the super isn’t the best, in addition to it being hard to get enough kills in your well to make it worth it. Despite that, where this exotic falls short in PVP, it goes above and beyond in PVE, making it one of the most useful exotics outside of Crucible.

The amount of extra super energy you can receive is insanely useful, and with the super ability itself being as powerful as it is, Phoenix Protocol can help your team survive and kill combatants way easier.

How to get it: Phoenix Protocol can be acquired via Exotic engrams, Xûr, or farming Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Phoenix Protocol Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Phoenix Protocol

WarlockChestFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Kills and assists you make while standing in your Well of Radiance return Super energy."

 

Transwersive Steps Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 featured

3. Transversive Steps

Crucible logo Destiny 2 Excels in PVP

Transversive Steps are the default exotic for most Warlocks. While they don’t do anything fancy, the buff they give is extremely valuable and passive, resulting in it being one of the best exotics to run when nothing else suits what you’re using.

These exotic legs do two simple things: make you move faster and reload your weapon after sprinting for a short time.

The movement speed buff is very substantial, allowing you to traverse any PVP map, jumping puzzle, or PVE activity quicker than ever before. In addition, the reload speed buff is a nice cherry on top, giving you one less thing to worry about.

While these boots can mainly be seen in PVP, you can also easily find use in them in PVE if nothing else fits the playstyle/subclass you are running. Transversive Steps are neutral and simplistic, but amazing at what they do, making them a great pick for any Warlock player.

How to get it: Transversive Steps can be acquired via Exotic engrams, Xûr, or farming Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
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."

 

Karnstein Armlets Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 featured

2. Karnstein Armlets

Crucible logo Destiny 2Best PVP Warlock Exotic in Destiny 2

Karnstein Armlets are one of the most powerful exotics in the game, allowing you to get constant healing. While these gloves excel in PVP, they are also amazing in PVE and can keep you alive in moderately challenging content.

When you get a melee kill, you first instantaneously get a large bump in health (around 50-70% from what we’ve seen). In addition, you gain around 8 seconds of health regeneration afterwards. This health regeneration is extremely strong and even continues to work while you’re losing health.

In addition, these gauntlets work with projectile melee abilties, making the buff way easier to trigger from significantly further away.
Karnsteins can easily help you win a fight in Crucible, and can even keep you alive in PVE. Overall, these gauntlets are an amazing choice anywhere in the game and provide you with health regeneration that is unrivaled.

How to get it: Karnstein Armlets can be acquired via Exotic engrams, Xûr, or farming Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Karnstein Armlets Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Karnstein Armlets

WarlockArmsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Melee kills instantly restore a large amount of health and continue to restore health afterwards for a short duration."

 

Starfire Protocol Warlock

1. Starfire Protocol

Vanguard logo Destiny 2Best PVE Warlock Exotic in Destiny 2

Starfire Protocol has been the talk of the community ever since Bungie released Season of the Haunted, and for a good reason—it has the potential to be one of the best sustained-DPS options in the game.

Without any synergies, Starfire already has a perfect gameplay loop. Place down an Empowering Rift (or Well of Radiance) and shoot at enemies with your weapons until you get a Fusion Grenade. Throw it, and repeat. If your Fusion Grenade kills something, you instantly get your class ability back, allowing you to start this process again once your rift expires.

There are a couple of synergies that put this exotic above anything else. Firstly, the Touch of Flame Aspect causes Fusion Grenades to explode twice, making their damage even better. Additionally, you can use Witherhoard or Anarchy in a rift to regain your Fusion Grenades passively. If you master the setup’s gameplay loop, you can damage with Fusion Grenades, Anarchy/Witherhoard, and a heavy weapon simultaneously.

Starfire Protocol is one of the most potent exotics we’ve seen in Destiny’s history, and it’s a monster in PVE, even without a build surrounding it. However, if you want to check out some more synergies Starfire Protocol has with Dawnblade, check out our Best Destiny 2 Warlock Builds article!

How to get it: Starfire Protocol can be acquired via Exotic engrams, Xûr, or farming Lost Sectors.

ArmorClassTypeRequirementsSourceReleasedRequiresExotic Perk
Lunafaction Boots Warlock Exotic Destiny 2 art

Lunafaction Boots

WarlockLegsFree-to-PlayExotic Engrams
Free-to-Play
Exotic Perk: "Your Rifts gain the additional ability to increase weapon reload speeds. Empowering Rift makes weapons effective over longer ranges."

Honorable mentions

While not among our 10 favorites, Exotics such as Starfire Protocol, Contraverse Hold, and Osmiomancy Gloves can be used to create insanely powerful builds.

Destiny 2 Warlock Exotics sources: How to get them

Unlike Exotic weapons, finding Exotic armor is a straightforward affair. This is not to say it’s easy to farm for specific armor pieces. It, unfortunately, isn’t.

To be fair, if you’re starting out and just want to find as many different exotics as possible, it can be done. Things become difficult when you are looking for good rolls of armor.

Exotic Engrams

Most Exotic armor can be found within Exotic Engrams: These can be found in the Season pass, they are sold by Xur and can also drop randomly at any time.

Destiny 2 Exotic Engram

There isn’t much more to say about Exotic engrams, only that they have a higher chance to drop from end-game activities. If collecting exotics is your priority, Nightfall: The Ordeals are for you. And the higher the difficulty, the higher the chance to get one.

Lost Sectors

A few specific armor pieces can only be found in Legend and Master Lost Sectors when completed solo. Lost Sectors are on a daily rotation (with only one Legend and one Master available each day), as well as their rewards (one day will reward Legs pieces, the next day only Arms pieces, etc). You can find the daily rotation and list of exclusive Lost Sector Exotics here.

Ranking criteria

For the record, as much as we tried to keep this list as objective as possible, it’s still based on our personal experience playing the PC version of the game.

Finally, if you’re wondering what criteria were used to build this Tier list, these are the main factors I took into account:

  • Consistency: Some armor pieces may not have the highest DPS potential, but they are so consistent, they more than make up for their lower burst damage numbers.
  • Ease of use: Similar to the point above, some pieces are very effective because they are easy to use and don’t require too much skill or setup. This is also rewarded with higher rankings.
  • PVE/PVP Performance: High lethality in either PVE or  PVP is equally valuable. However, an armor piece that is good at both PVE and PVP should rank higher than one that is slightly better on only PVE or PVP.
  • Fun factor: Not the most important factor, but it also helps if the weapon is damn fun to shoot with!

If you strongly disagree with some of the rankings here, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section. By the way, what is your personal favorite?

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.
More from Andrew Sideris
2 Comments
  1. Zach

    No offence but I think you completely missed the mark here with your placement of the Stag which makes me question how much you actually play this game. First of all you get 2/3rds of your rift energy back when you are critically wounded meaning you’ve lost 2/3rds of your health which happens constantly in endgame content allowing for ~80% rift uptime without modifiers. The damage resistance in rifts can make it oppressive in PVP, especially in 3v3 game modes where multiple people on the same team run the Stag. The damage resistance is also great for soloing PVE content. However, where it shines most is in PVE with rift focused builds. One especially potent build includes using it with the new child of the old gods void aspect which allows for virtually 100% rift uptime with insane ability regeneration and constant enemy weaken. The Stag is easily an S-tier exotic in the current meta.

    Reply
    • Larry

      I 100% agree with you! I was shocked to see The Stag as D tier, completely ignoring how useful it is. If you ask me, The Stag and Transversive Steps got their places mixed up.

      Reply
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