Solar Warlock is definitely one of the most popular subclasses in Destiny 2. The Solar subclass is one of the strongest in the game in terms of damage and survivability. Unfortunately, many Solar Warlock mains were left heartbroken after the release Season 21 and the nerfs it brought to one of the subclass’s main Exotic armor pieces, Starfire Protocol. To help ease this loss, we here at High Ground Gaming have put together a list of the best Solar Exotics (both armor and weapons) in Destiny 2 for the Warlock.
Let’s get to it!
Solar Exotic Armors
The five armor pieces we have chosen today each augment or improve your abilities in some special way. While you won’t reach the level of power previously seen with Starfire Protocol — as that Exotic was admittedly pretty broken — you will still be able to do some pretty crazy things and provide value to your fire team.
This exotic shares a similar name and function to Starfire Protocol. Starfire got its value from dropping Well of Radiance and spamming Fusion grenades, which provided value to your fireteam through damage and healing. Phoenix Protocol brings value to your fireteam by allowing you to drop Well of Radiance much more often.
Phoenix Protocol’s Armor Perk is called Battle Hearth. This perk will generate Super energy whenever you get a kill or assist while standing in the Well of Radiance. This is great for clearing really challenging encounters during Nightfalls and other endgame content, so long as your fireteam is willing to take advantage of it.
While on the topic of Supers, Daybreak received a damage buff to PVE enemies this Season, and no Warlock Exotic can take better advantage of it than the Dawn Chorus helmet. This Exotic helmet has the Rites of Ember Armor Perk, which makes your Daybreak projectiles deal more damage and Scorch targets on impact. The Scorch you apply to targets is improved and you gain melee energy back whenever your Scorch deals damage to targets. Perfect for any Super or ignition-focused build.
Wings of Sacred Dawn
While this Exotic chest piece doesn’t affect your supers in any way, it still requires you to have one of the Dawnblade supers equipped in order for its effect to work. The Armor Perk for Wings of Sacred Dawn is called Tome of Dawn, and it grants you improved airborne effectiveness to all your weapons, improved weapon accuracy, reduced flinch, and increased damage resistance while aiming down sights in mid-air.
This Exotic pairs really well with the Heat Rises and Icarus Dash Aspects, which grant melee energy and Cure whenever you get a kill while in mid-air. It can actually be pretty useful in PVP as well, allowing the user to take powerful off-angles on a variety of different maps. This Exotic won’t grant you infinite ability, but sometimes your aim, positioning, and weapons can be even more powerful.
Mantle of Battle Harmony
This Exotic Armor piece is the last one on this list that’s focused around our super. Mantle of Battle Harmony’s Armor Perk is called Absorption Cells. It gives super energy when you kill enemies with a damage type matching your subclass. While your super energy is full, you’ll receive a damage boost to weapons that match your super’s subclass.
Considering the fact that Well is such a great super, sometimes we want to hold on to it for a particularly rough encounter. In those cases, having a bonus to your weapon damage can make up for not dropping Well. This exotic is not specific to Solar Warlocks, but we can still make great use of it!
Speaking of Exotics that aren’t specific to the Solar subclass, Chromatic Fire is another Exotic chest piece that is great for supplementing our Solar builds. Its Armor Perk is called Cristiline Transistors, and it makes your kinetic weapon’s final blows generate an elemental explosion that applies Scorch to targets hit by it. So, if you’re obsessed with Scorching and igniting targets, this Exotic will work wonders for you.
Boots of the Assembler
One of our few Rift-focused Exotics, despite not being specifically for the Solar Subclass, the Boots of the Assembler are still a great fit for Solar Warlocks. Solar Warlocks have this neat little trick centered around the Radiant buff and the Empowering Rift. Both of these buffs stack with each other and, when stacked, provide a damage bonus higher than that of the Well of Radiance. The Boots of the Assembler help us push our damage up even higher.
This Exotic’s Armor Perk is called Blessing of Order, and its effect changes depending on which Rift ability you’re running. If running a Healing Rift, Noble Seekers are created that will seek out allies that are not in your Rift and heal them. While in an Empowering Rift, Noble Seekers will seek out allies and grant both you and them a damage buff. Whenever a Noble Seeker finds an ally, the duration of your rift is increased so long as you’re standing inside it.
Another of our Rift-focused Exotics, Sanguine Alchemy’s Armor Perk is called Blood Magic. This perk increases your weapon damage while standing in either your Healing or Empowering Rift. This buff is equal to that of two surge mods, and as a result, it will not stack with Solar surge mods. It will stack with other buffs like Empowering Rift and Radiant, but not with both.
If you want to provide extra healing to your team, you can still run the Healing Rift and you will still receive the 17% damage buff from blood magic, although your team will not be able to benefit from a damage increase like they would with the Empowering Rift.
Our last Rift-focused Exotic is Secant Filaments. These Exotic boots have the Devouring Rift Armor Perk. This perk will grant the user the Devour status effect whenever they cast an Empowering Rift. While you or your allies are inside the Rift, Dealing damage to enemies will disrupt them. This is probably the best Empowering Rift-focused Exotic in the game, solely because it gives the user a way to heal themselves while inside it.
Devour is one of the best buffs a Guardian can get, and being able to receive that buff while using other subclasses is crazy good. Solar Warlock already has access to pretty strong healing abilities, like Healing grenades, Cure, and Restoration, but this shoots our survivability up more than a few notches. This Exotic comes highly recommended if you’re planning on clearing high-difficulty content solo.
This Exotic helmet isn’t Solar specific, but it’s still very good no matter what subclass you’re running. Verity’s Brow uses the Fourth Magic Armor Perk, which grants the user the Death Throes status whenever they get a kill with a weapon that has a damage type matching your subclass’s energy type. The Death Throes buff provides a damage bonus and generates grenade energy. While the user is affected by the Death Throes status and near allies, throwing a grenade will grant those allies increased regeneration to their Grenade energy.
Death Throes grants a 20% damage increase to grenades with each stack of Death Throes, maxing out at 5 stacks or a 100% damage bonus. The user’s grenade regeneration rate receives a fixed 50% increase. Allies near the user when they throw a grenade will receive the Feel the Flames status. Feel the Flames increase the user’s grenade recharge rate by 10x.
These gauntlets are debatably the most powerful Solar Warlock Exotic — they’re certainly the most popular now that Starfire Protocol has been nerfed. Sunbracers use the Helium Spirals Armor Perk. This perk increases the duration of solar grenades, but that’s not the effect that makes these gauntlets so powerful. That would be their second effect, which grants the user unlimited Solar grenade uses for 5 seconds after getting a kill with their charged melee attack.
In reality, you don’t actually get infinite grenades — the effect grants you a 20,000% bonus to your grenade’s regen speed. This means you’ll usually get to throw around 5–6 Solar grenades during the window the effect is active. On their own, these gauntlets are crazy strong, but when paired with Aspects, Fragments, and Armor mods, you can make a build that completely decimates endgame content. And the cherry on top? You can still drop Well for your team, making you the ultimate combo of Support and DPS.
Solar Exotic Weapons
Your Solar Warlock build won’t be complete until you add an Exotic Weapon to your loadout. Lucky for you, we’ve picked up some great ones. Just as quick heads up, though, some of these weapons don’t have the Solar damage type. They still make this list because they are just really strong, or they have really powerful effects that complement our armor Exotic or subclass abilities.
Monte Carlo is an Exotic auto rifle. It doesn’t have an elemental aspect, but it can still be very useful for certain Solar builds. This weapon has the Monte Carlo Method Intrinsic Trait. This trait reduces your melee cooldown whenever you deal damage with this weapon, and also has a chance to completely refill your melee energy whenever you get a kill with this weapon. One of the best builds to use the Monte Carlo in is the Sunbracers gauntlets build. Since Sunbracers is triggered by melee kills, Monte Carlo lets you keep your melee ability available at almost all times.
Bad Juju is another Exotic weapon that doesn’t have an elemental damage type. It’s an Exotic pulse rifle with the String of Chaos Intrinsic Trait. This refills the weapon’s magazine, increases the weapon’s damage, and grants super energy each time you get a kill with the weapon. Well of Radiance is a big thing for Solar Warlocks and their fireteams, and this weapon allows you to drop Well more often.
Our first Solar elemental weapon is Sunshot, the Exotic hand cannon. This weapon’s Intrinsic Trait is called Sunburn. Sunburn makes the weapon fire explosive rounds and highlights targets that take damage from Sunshot. Targets that are killed with Sunshot will explode, dealing solar damage. Sunshot’s shots will also Scorch targets, making it a great choice for Scorch/Ignition builds.
Skyburner’s Oath is an Exotic Solar scout rifle with the Slug Rifle Intrinsic Trait. This trait grants the weapon explosive rounds while firing from the hip. When aiming down sights, this weapon will fire fast, straight shots like a typical scout rifle.
Rounds fired from the hip explode and apply Scorch to targets. This weapon functions as both a grenade launcher and a scout rifle, making it useful in multiple situations. It’s just a shame that the ADS shots don’t apply Scorch as well.
Our first heavy Solar Exotic is Xenophage. This Exotic machine gun fires explosive rounds with an impact stat of 100 and a range stat of 68. While this weapon can’t apply Scorch to targets, it still deals really good damage and has excellent range, making it a good option for boss encounters.
Polaris Lance is another Exotic Solar scout rifle. This weapon has the Perfect Fifth Intrinsic Trait, which returns ammo to the weapon’s magazine whenever you land precision hits. If you land four precision hits with this weapon, you are granted an explosive Solar round for your next shot. This shot will apply Scorch to targets.
Merciless is our first and only Solar fusion rifle on this list. The weapon has seen a much-needed rework recently and its results are quite impressive. This weapon’s Intrinsic Trait is called Conserve Momentum, and it decreases the weapon’s charge time each time you hit a target with one of the weapon’s projectiles. This trait effectively lets you fire this weapon like a machine gun after landing a few shoots.
But things don’t stop there. The weapon also has the Impetus Trait, which increases this weapon’s damage if you reload immediately after getting a kill. These two traits combined make for an Exotic weapon that deals absolutely ludicrous amounts of damage.
Devil’s Run is an Exotic Solar sidearm. This weapon’s Intrinsic trait is called Close the Gap. This trait grants the weapon a variable trigger. Tapping the trigger will fire individual shots. Holding it down will charge a high-powered stunning laser that stuns Unstoppable champions. When the weapon’s fully charged laser is fired, the magazine will be reloaded from reserves.
Our last Solar Exotic heavy weapon is Gjallarhorn. Wolf Pack Rounds is this weapon’s Intrinsic Trait, and it’s a pretty strong one. This trait makes the rounds fired from this weapon split into a cluster of tracking missiles upon detonation. This on its own is really strong, but Gjallarhorn really shines when in a fire team.
Its second trait is called Pack Hunter. This trait grants Wolf Pack Rounds to allies who have non-Exotic rocket launchers after you fire Gjallarhorn. It also increases this weapon’s handling and reload speed when standing near allies.
Our final Solar Exotic for this list is called Prometheus Lens. This Exotic trace rifle has Prismatic Inferno as its Intrinsic Trait. This trait allows the weapon to ramp up in damage while continuously damaging enemies. This effect resets if your stop firing or reload the weapon.
This weapon will also apply Scorch to targets that suffer sustained damage from this weapon. The big draw for this weapon is its high ammo reserves and damage versatility. It excels at melting bosses, champions, and adds.
Join the High Ground!
There you have it, the best Solar Exotics for the Warlock in Destiny 2. There are certainly still some great Exotics out there, and Bungie continues to change old Exotics and implement new ones on a regular basis, so this list is subject to change in the future. If you learned something from this list, feel free to sign up for the High Ground Gaming newsletter for more content like this!