Essentially the closest thing Destiny 2 has to a mage class, the Warlock is possibly the most versatile of the three classes in the game – something our Destiny 2 Warlock build guide will now perfectly demonstrate. Ostensibly the more cerebral of the bunch, the Warlock can still bring the noise and is able to dish out massive damage while speccing for strong defence and utility.
With hundreds of possible combinations and some of the coolest abilities in the game, it can be tough to even figure out what works best for you. With the Void 3.0 and Solar 3.0 reworks we’ve received in The Witch Queen expansion, there’s now more choice than ever when it comes to creating the perfect Warlock.
In this Destiny 2 Warlock build guide, we’ll give you a handful of options to start with for PvP and PvE activities. While we’ll be dealing with some endgame mods and items, we’ll try to avoid any super-rare drops.
Destiny 2 Warlock build for PvE
For the best Destiny 2 Warlock build for PvE in The Season of Plunder, look no further than this Chaos Engine Void build.
- Subclass: Nova Bomb – Vortex
- Primary stat: Discipline
- Secondary stat: Strength
- Grenade: Vortex grenade
- Class ability: Empowering Rift
- Aspects: Chaos Accelerant, Feed the Void
- Fragments: Echo of Expulsion, Echo of Persistence, Echo of Remnants
- Exotic armour: Contraverse Hold, Nezerac’s Sin
- Weapons: Any of the best Destiny 2 weapons
- Mods: Hands-On, Harmonic Siphon, Impact Induction, Absolution, Outreach. When paired with a Charged with Light set-up this build is something monstrous in PvE, so consider Taking Charge, High Energy Fire, and Elemental Charge.
The true beauty of this Destiny 2 Warlock build is the Devour effect. The Feed the Void Aspect will grant Devour for every enemy defeated with a Void ability, and since you’ll be slinging grenades left and right, you’ll rarely lose the buff. Echo of Persistence might even be overkill, as this increases the intrinsic effect. You might get by just as well slotting Echo of Exchange instead.
If you choose to run Charged with Light (which is usually more consistently rewarding than Warmind Cells), consider sticking Gnawing Hunger in your secondary weapon slot as the Void damage from this assault rifle will help generate elemental wells. If it’s Masterworked, even better, as you’ll get Orbs of Power for your trouble. Gnawing Hunger commonly rolls with Demolitionist, which boosts your grenade recharge rate. Finally, choose Vortex grenade to maximise the effects of Echo of Remnants.
Contraverse Hold or Nezerac’s Sin are the Exotics of choice, as both boost Void abilities, but if you have neither consider the standard fall-backs such as Ophidian Aspect or Verity’s Brow.
Destiny 2 Warlock build for PvP
Arguably the best Destiny 2 Warlock build for PvP activities in The Season of Plunder is this Archangel Solar build.
- Subclass: Dawnblade – Well of Radiance
- Primary stat: Strength
- Secondary stat: Recovery
- Grenade: Fusion grenade or Healing grenades
- Class ability: Phoenix Dive
- Melee Ability: Celestial Fire
- Aspects: Heat Rises, Icarus Dash
- Fragments: Ember of Torches, Ember of Tempering, Ember of Singeing, Ember of Char
- Exotic armour: Wings of Sacred Dawn, Chromatic Fire
- Weapons: Any Solar weapon with the Incandescent perk
- Mods: Hands-on, Harmonic Syphon, Impact Induction, Absolution, Outreach, Distribution, Heal Thyself, Radiant Light, Charged Up
There are so many awesome choices for an offensive Warlock in PvP, but this build focuses on rising above the fray, bringing big damage as well as big heals. It prioritises battle placement in team-based PvP, giving you massive range and visibility.
Primarily, you’re using the Heat Rises Aspect to stay above the battlefield. By consuming one grenade charge, you can stay suspended for longer, and kills will prolong the effect. Long range weapons like Scout Rifles are great, especially if paired with the Chromatic Fire Exotic chest, which creates explosions in your subclass element on Kinetic precision kills.
Slotting the Radiant Light mod in your helmet will bestow Charged with Light upon nearby squadmates, while if you need to get out of trouble Icarus Dash has you covered. Heat Rises is key, as it will give your Icarus Dash two dodges, and causes your Phoenix Dive to apply cure to nearby allies while scorching enemies. The selected Fragments focus on returning energy and increasing the effects of restoration.
Healing grenades will keep your team up, while your Well of Radiance will provide a safe haven and restoration for allies. Also, stick with Celestial Fire for your powered melee. The Fingersnap is cool as all hell, but the range on Celestial Fire is incredible.
Destiny 2 Warlock build for all activities
We reckon that as an all-rounder, the best Destiny 2 Warlock build you could use in The Season of Plunder is this Lord of Storms Arc build.
- Subclass: Stormcaller – Stormtrance
- Primary stat: Resilience
- Secondary stat: Discipline
- Grenade: Flashbang
- Class ability: Healing Rift
- Melee Ability: Chain Lightning
- Aspects: Arc Soul, Electrostatic Mind
- Fragments: Spark of Beacons, Spark of Magnitude, Spark of Brilliance, Spark of Resistance
- Exotic armour: Crown of Tempests, Fallen Sunstar
- Weapons: Delicate Tomb, Riskrunner, Trinity Ghoul, Thunderlord, Trespasser
- Mods: Ashes to Assets or Hands-on (x2), Momentum Transfer, Seeking Wells, Elemental Charge, Firepower, Elemental Ordnance
This is a build that will not only devastate crowds of ads in PvE, but throw up a few surprises for opposing Guardians in PvP, too. The focus here is on Ionic Traces, bolts of light that will travel across the ground to you and boost your ability regen. Ideally for this build you want Fallen Sunstar, the new Exotic Helmet which increases the speed and potency of Traces. However, if you haven’t snagged it from the Solo Lost Sector runs yet, Crown of Tempests will still boost your regen by a massive amount.
To maximise this build, we want to take advantage of the perks of Electrostatic Mind. This Aspect causes Jolted or Blinded targets to release an Ionic Trace when killed. The combination of Flashbang Grenades and Chain Lightning is absolutely lethal here, as packs of enemies or opposing teams can be exploited easily with a few well-timed abilities.
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Running Healing Rift is ideal for PvE or PvP, as when combined with Spark of Resistance it will make you almost as resilient as a Titan running the Lorely Splendor (we said “almost”; you’re still not a tank). Equipping Arc Soul is great for some extra firepower.
Weaponry can be anything with Arc output, but Trinity Ghoul or Riskrunner are unrivalled when it comes to chaining damage between groups of foes. Blind a pack of mobs with a well-placed ‘nade, and use Trinity Ghoul’s Lightning Rod perk to mop them up – then sit back and watch the Ionic Traces roll in. That said, Delicate Tomb (the new Seasonal Exotic) has a perk that generates Traces on kills.
As for mods, you can’t really go wrong with either Hands-on or Ashes to Assets (and remember that they stack), while Momentum Transfer (Arms), Absolution or Distribution (Legs) and Outreach (Bond) will help keep those resources flowing. Charged with Light mods like Elemental Charge, Elemental Ordnance and either Firepower or High-Energy Fire combine for even more full-frontal damage.
Well, we hope this guide has given you some ideas. Remember, these are just a few examples of the kind of devastating endgame Warlock builds you can create without the need for particularly rare gear. There are countless alternatives to consider, but ultimately you’re always going to benefit from committing to a singular playstyle that you feel comfortable with.