Destiny 2: The Best Warlock Builds For Hard PvE Content


Following the release of Beyond Light, the Stasis subclasses have taken over Destiny 2. For some time, it was clear that stasis was the most powerful class in Destiny. Not surprisingly, the best Warlock build will be a stasis build, at least in PVE. However, there are a few other options for gamers that have grown tired of the stasis abilities. Guardians will be impressed by how good the alternatives are.

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Players will want to have the best abilities, mods, and gear when attempting the new PVE activities this season. The warlock is a jack of all trades, and the classes outlined in this article will maximize the utility of each warlock’s ability. Below are the two best PVE Warlock builds for players attempting to complete challenging PVE content such as Grandmaster Nightfalls, raids, and dungeons.

Updated on September 8, 2022, by Anastasia Maillot: Season 18 has arrived, and with it, all three original subclasses have received their 3.0 updates. This means that buildcrafting in Destiny 2 has changed significantly from before, giving players more flexibility and more choices when it comes to their gameplay. It has also democratized a bunch of abilities between the classes and introduced new Exotics into the game. With all this in mind, it was clear this Warlock endgame PVE build guide needed a full revamp to reflect the flexibility and options of the 3.0 subclasses. Each subclass is featured here, from worst to best, with recommended abilities, aspects, fragments, Exotic gear, and mods.


The most important thing to focus on with any build as of right now is to have Tier 10 Resilience, or Resilience 100. This provides players with a 40% damage negation without having to use any mods or abilities.

Stormcaller Endgame Build

Arc is by far the weakest subclass for Warlocks to run in endgame PVE content. This is because the Arc Warlock Supers are extremely weak compared to many other damage-focused or ad-clear Supers in the game, and generally not worth a player’s time.

That said, Arc Warlocks excel in quick ability regeneration. Arc is one of the spammiest subclasses for Warlocks, so players looking to quickly clear ads, blind and jolt targets for maximum chaos can turn to the Arc subclass for just that. Credit for this early Arc build featuring the Fallen Sunstar and Delicate Tomb goes to Aztecross.

Arc 3.0 Abilities, Aspects & Fragments

In terms of the weak Supers, it doesn’t matter much which one the player chooses. Chaos Reach will force the player to remain stationary in the air, while Stormtrance is a mobile roaming Super. It really boils down to personal preference. Healing Rift is a must-have for Arc since it doesn’t deal with health regeneration, similar to Stasis. For melee, Ball Lightning has the best range. In terms of Warlock grenades, players can pick between Storm grenades or Pulse grenades, both being excellent choices with decent damage.

Aspects:

  • Electrostatic Mind: This aspect allows players to create Ionic Traces with Arc ability kills, or kills on blinded and jolted enemies. Ionic Traces are the cornerstone of this build, as they grant ability energy.
  • Lightning Surge: This aspect is more of a preference and technically can be replaced with the Arc Soul aspect, though it will allow players to jolt targets more often. Sliding and meleeing will allow players to teleport forward and deal AoE damage while jolting enemies nearby.

Fragments:

  • Spark of Beacons: When players are Amplified, any Arc special weapon final blows explode and blind nearby enemies.
  • Spark of Ions: Killing any enemies that are jolted will drop an Ionic Trace.
  • Spark of Magnitude: Lingering Arc grenades such as Storm and Pulse grenades have longer durations.
  • Spark of Shock: The player’s Arc grenades will now jolt targets.

Mods & Gear

This build can function well with Crown of Tempest, but it will be at its strongest if players put on the Fallen Sunstar helmet. This brand-new Exotic is quite a powerhouse, and will significantly improve Arc Warlock gameplay, especially when Ionic Traces are involved.

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Fallen Sunstar buffs Ionic Traces, which now grant even more ability energy and move quickly towards the player. When players collect an Ionic Trace, allies near them will also get increased ability energy.

Arc special weapons are a must-have for this build. Players will have the option between the Forbearance grenade launcher from the Vow of the Disciple raid, or the Delicate Tomb fusion rifle from the season 18 season pass. The latter will have greater synergy with this build since the Delicate Tomb gets overcharged when players collect and Ionic Trace. Its next shot will jolt a target. With Font of Might applied, Stormchaser is a natural choice for a DPS weapon or The Hothead.


Elemental Well mods are once again a player’s best friend when it comes to this Arc build. The primary way players will make Wells with this build is by using their charged melee, so having Melee Wellmaker at least twice, as well as Bountiful Wells to up that to three Wells, will be incredibly beneficial. Font of Might is a natural choice here as well, for better damage on heavy and special weapons that should be Arc.

This means players will need to have their melee ready at all times. On the class item, apply Outreach mods and a Well of Striking mod to ensure players have the longest melee uptime possible.

Voidwalker Endgame Build

Void is an extremely powerful subclass for Warlocks. In fact, it is the one subclass closest to the Warlock identity. Void 3.0 brought about many great changes that turned this subclass into a powerhouse for Warlock mains.

Void specializes in weakening targets, so having weakening grenades that will have bosses take more damage, the Child of the Old Gods which will weaken ads in an area-of-effect, and having Volatile Rounds for ad-clear makes this great for dealing with rank-and-file enemies, as well as tougher opponents. Moreover, Devour provides the Void subclass with excellent sustain as well.


Void 3.0 Abilities, Aspects & Fragments

Warlocks have three Void Supers to choose from, but for most hardcore PVE, the Nova Bomb: Cataclysm is the best choice for its slowness and high damage output. Since this build will focus on activating the Devour buff, confident players can go for Empowering Rift for even more damage. Otherwise, pick Healing Rift. For grenades, Vortex Grenade is the best for its damage and suction when paired with the enhancing aspect as well.

Aspects:

  • Chaos Accelerant: This will buff the various Void grenades, including the Vortex grenade for this build. The Vortex will be bigger and last longer.
  • Feed The Void: When players kill a target with a Void ability, they will gain the Devour buff. Each final blow will extend Devour, completely heal the player and charge their grenade energy faster.

Fragments:

  • Echo of Instability: Gain Volatile Rounds on Void weapons after defeating targets with Void grenades.
  • Echo of Undermining: Void grenades will now weaken targets, causing them to take more damage, move slower and have worse accuracy.
  • Echo of Remnants: All lingering grenades have increased duration. This further buffs the Vortex grenade.

Mods & Gear

In terms of the Exotic of choice, this build will work best around Contraverse Holds. Contraverse Holds allow players to charge their Void grenades. While charging, they gain damage resistance. Any direct hits with the grenade will refund grenade energy. The purpose of this build is to basically have infinite Vortex grenades that charge up grenade energy and constantly activate Devour and Volatile Rounds for the player.

Other Exotics for Void include Nezarec’s Sin, which buffs ability regeneration, and Secant Filaments, which allows players to gain Devour whenever they cast their Rift.

For weapons, players will absolutely want to have Void weapons available. A Void primary is a must-have, and one of the best ones is still the Funnelweb SMG with Subsistence and Frenzy. For longer range, the Aisha’s Embrace scout rifle with perks like Vorpal Weapons, Triple Tap, and Fourth Time’s the Charm works well.

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This Void build is practically made for Elemental Well mods. For damage resistance, slot in Well of Tenacity, which will make the player into an unbeatable tank on top of Devour. Font of Might will buff the player’s Void primary damage and help with ad-clearing. Bountiful Wells is great for getting even more bang for a buck, by increasing the number of Elemental Wells dropped. For the rest, just slot in Elemental Ordnance or Melee Wellmaker, depending on which ones the player prefers.


Shadebinder Endgame Build

Stasis excels above all in controlling rather than clearing ads and champions. Keeping dangerous targets frozen permanently is a huge boon for a fireteam, which is why Stasis ranks up so high on this list. It’s one of the best subclasses to run in just about any Grandmaster Nightfall.

Stasis builds will mostly function on having excellent ability uptime, since Stasis abilities and Supers have the longest cooldowns in the game.

Stasis Abilities, Aspects & Fragments

Stasis only has one Super option, but Winter’s Wrath is quite decent as it freezes targets and does good damage when ad-clearing. Since Stasis doesn’t deal with health regeneration and sustain, Healing Rift is the best option for class ability. For grenades, go for Coldsnap Grenade, as it will play into the Exotic perfect for this build.

Aspects:

  • Bleak Watcher: Players can consume their Stasis grenade into a stationary Stasis turret that freezes and damages targets. Since this build will use Osmiomancy Gloves, players will have two grenade charges, and one of them can be used to create a turret.
  • Glacial Harvest: Stasis shards will spawn around frozen targets, with more difficult enemies creating more shards. These shards work like Elemental Wells.

Fragments:

  • Whisper of Fissures: The damage burst from shattering a Stasis crystal has an increased area of effect.
  • Whisper of Bonds: Killing enemies that are frozen will grant the player more Super energy. Given the slow charge rate of Stasis Supers, this is a must-have.
  • Whisper of Conduction: Stasis shards will now track towards the player, similar to the Seeking Wells mod.
  • Whisper of Torment: Taking damage from enemies boosts grenade recharge rate. A great back-up to fall to if players mess up their ability rotation on Osmiomancy Gloves.

Mods & Gear

The core of this entire build is the Osmiomancy Gloves, which are Exotic gauntlets. These gauntlets will give the player a second Coldsnap grenade charge, which is replenished immediately if players land a direct hit with their Coldsnap grenade. Moreover, Coldsnap grenades will now travel further and freeze more enemies, making it brilliant against larger groups of ads.

For weapons, players will want to have a primary Kinetic weapon with Stasis. Eyasluna is an option for hand cannon enthusiasts, but other possibilities include the Krait Stasis auto rifle available from Legendary engrams, the Forensic Nightmare SMG from Savathun’s Throne World, and Syncopation-53 Suros pulse rifle. Look for the Headstone perk, and Enhance it on any weapons that are crafted.


Stasis Elemental Well mods will be the player’s best friend here, to ensure that they get their long cooldowns back quickly. Elemental Shards will actually make Stasis Crystals count as Elemental Wells, so it’s an absolute must-have for this build. Melee Kickstart is great for making sure players will get their melee back quickly no matter how long the cooldown is.

On the class item, Utility Kickstart is a fantastic and versatile mod that will increase the class ability recharge rate when the cooldown is at its lowest. Finally Well of Restoration will grant players ability energy for their lowest charged ability.

Dawnblade Endgame Build

Solar 3.0 for Warlocks received mixed opinions and feelings, but overall, Warlocks remain extremely powerful in this subclass. Warlocks can not only be great damage dealers in this subclass, provided the right gear and weapons are paired with one another, but they are also excellent supports for their fireteams thanks to the Well of Radiance.

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This subclass is still one of the strongest and most versatile picks for Grandmaster Nightfalls. There are several options for players to choose from when it comes to gear, but for Supers, the pick will always be the Well of Radiance due to its damage resistance.

Solar 3.0 Abilities, Aspects & Fragments

The obvious choice for Super will be Well of Radiance, to support the fireteam. The Well provides damage boost and moderate healing and resistance to damage. For class ability, Phoenix Dive isn’t ideal, so Healing Rift is best for moments of panic when health regeneration is needed. Celestial Fire is still the best melee due to its superior range, over Incinerator Snap. For grenades, Fusion Grenades are absolutely the best due to their incredible damage.

Aspects:

  • Heat Rises: Warlocks can consume their grenade to gain the Heat Rises buff, which allows them to float and use weapons while suspended. Consuming the grenade also heals the player and allies nearby. When airborne, kills generate melee energy and extend the duration of Heat Rises.
  • Touch of Flame: Adds various buffs to grenades. In this case, fusion grenades will explode twice.


Fragments:

  • Ember of Torches: Gain the Radiant buff by doing damage with a powered melee. With Celestial Fire, this becomes even easier due to its long range.
  • Ember of Ashes: Players will apply additional scorch stacks to targets, which improves ad-clearing with weapons that have the Incandescent perk.
  • Ember of Char: Solar ignitions by the player spread scorch stacks to targets.
  • Ember of Eruption: Solar ignitions by the player have a larger area of effect.

Mods & Gear

For the Exotic armor piece of choice, players have a few options to choose from. To enhance their Well of Radiance, they can go for The Stag for additional damage resistance, Lunafaction Boots for improved reload speed, or Phoenix Protocol to constantly be able to farm Well of Radiance back with kills.

If players can afford to do damage instead of focusing on buffing their Well of Radiance, they should go for Starfire Protocol, though this requires players to use Empowering Rifts over Healing Rifts, which removes some healing from them but provides them with increased fusion grenades and damage. Verity’s Brow is the ultimate choice for players who want the most out of their fusion grenades, as kills with weapon damage matching the player’s subclass buff grenade damage.

This Solar build pairs best with Solar weapons and Solar Elemental Well mods. Some great Solar primary weapons include the Calus Mini-Tool SMG with Incandescent and the Staccato-46 scout rifle, also with the Incandescent perk. Incandescent will help players spread scorch and clear ads quicker. For heavy weapons and damage, Cataclysmic is the best choice, with Bait and Switch and Fourth Time’s the Charm.

For Elemental Well mods, Well of Life lets players regenerate health when picking up a Solar Elemental Well. Bountiful Wells increases the number of Elemental Wells created, the more Well-making mods players have equipped. Well of Ordnance is a nice addition as well for players who are concerned about getting their grenade energy back as soon as possible. Font of Might is also necessary for players who plan on using a heavy Solar weapon to do DPS, such as Cataclysmic, as the damage buff is significant.

Destiny 2 was released on September 6, 2017, and is available on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, and Google Stadia.


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