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Destiny 2: The Best Warlock Builds for Every Game Mode

Warlocks in Destiny 2 may have the most diverse assortment of subclass and Exotic armor combinations. Unlike the Titan, which tends to focus on melee, or the ranged mobile builds of Hunters, the best Warlock builds tend to fit everywhere in-between. This makes for some very unique character builds that are only elevated by your mod and weapon choices.

So, which Warlock builds are best in Destiny 2? Let’s take a look at a few of our favorites.

Best Warlock Builds for Raids

For successful Raids, you’ll want to focus on support abilities or ways to keep yourself alive. Add-clear, survivability, and DPS are the keys to succeeding in raids, and Warlocks can handle all three. Here are a few options you can work with that focus on recovery, damage output, and delaying enemies.

Starfire Protocol Build

Yeah, we know that Starfire is getting nerfed in Season 21. But the good thing is that while it might not be the strongest DPS pick anymore, it’s add-clear capabilities stay the same! Fusion Grenades are still going to be a great way to clear out waves of adds, especially in raids like Root of Nightmares. In a raid that actually treats add-clear as a role instead of a “do nothing” option, having a focused add-clear build is a great idea.

This build isn’t too complicated to understand. Starfire Protocol buffs Fusion Grenades, so you’ll definitely want them all the time for this build. Using armor mods like Grenade Kickstart and Ashes to Assets allows us to take advantage of all those grenades we’ll be throwing, so don’t forget them! Combine the base power of the Warlock Solar subclass with the insane grenade buffs from Starfire and you have a build that’ll leave every add (and most major enemies) dead before they finish spawning.

The Build

  • Subclass: Dawnblade (Solar)
  • Aspects: Touch of Flame and Icarus Dash
  • Melee/Grenade: Incinerator Snap and Fusion Grenades
  • Exotic Armor: Starfire Protocol
  • Weapons: Solar weapons to take advantage of Solar Siphon and something to use for precision (changes based on the raid encounter or activity you’re doing).
  • Primary Armor Stats: Discipline, Recovery/Resilience
  • Essential Armor Mods: Solar Siphon, Ashes to Assets, Grenade Kickstart, Firepower, Bomber

Well of Radiance Support Build

Almost every raid (if not all) in Destiny 2 is designed around Well of Radiance. It’s the strongest super in the game and has been for pretty much all of Destiny 2, so that’s not surprising. In addition to healing, Well of Radiance also grants significant damage reduction and a damage boost. For boss fights, it’s essential that you stand in a Well. Otherwise, your team will end up either dead or they’ll be so flinched they can’t land a single shot.

If you want to go all in on being a support Warlock, the two best Exotics to use are Phoenix Protocol or Lunafaction Boots. Phoenix Protocol returns some of your super energy based on the number of kills and assists while in Well of Radiance. If you use Well in a good spot, you can easily get enough kills to quickly be ready to drop another one almost immediately. If you’d rather have something a little less hands-on, Lunafaction Boots grant bonus reload speed to everyone standing in your Well, and it also works with your Rifts. Both have massive potential, so you’ll just have to see which your team thinks would be more helpful at a given time.

The Build

  • Subclass: Dawnblade (Solar)
  • Aspects: Touch of Flame and Icarus Dash
  • Melee/Grenade: Incinerator Snap and Solar/Fusion/Healing Grenade
  • Exotic Armor: Phoenix Protocol or Lunafaction Boots
  • Weapons: Solar weapons and a heavy DPS weapon
  • Primary Armor Stats: Recovery, Resilience, Discipline
  • Essential Armor Mods: Solar Siphon, Heavy Ammo Finder/Scout, Solar Damage Boost, Time Dilation

Best Warlock Builds for PvE

Going full offense as a Warlock may be rare, but it’s entirely possible. The key is to focus on boosting recovery and connecting Exotic armor with Exotic weapon buffs. Here are your best options to go wild in PvE activities.

Void All-Round Build

Going all out with one of the best Warlock builds in Destiny 2 is incredibly fun. To do it best, you’ll want to focus on amping up your Void weapons. The more Void options you have, the more kills you can get, the more likely that you’ll activate the recharge rate boost from Nezarec’s Sin. Then, make sure to take advantage of Nova Bomb’s potential as both a DPS and add-clear source. Nova Bomb is also getting buffed next season, so be on the watch out for that! If you’d rather focus on grenades, you could also use Verity’s Brow as your Exotic instead. This is a less consistent version of this build, but when grenade damage is boosted or you’re dealing with Void-heavy shield types, it helps get the job done.

Lastly, use devour! There are a bunch of easy ways to get devour on Warlock, including the Feed the Void aspect. All you have to do is get a kill with a Void ability, then you’ll have the buff. With devour, each kill gives you a lot of health back and extends its timer. It makes staying alive a breeze, so it’s always gonna be nice to have.

The Build

  • Subclass: Voidwalker (Void)
  • Aspects: Chaos Accelerant and Feed the Void
  • Melee/Grenade: Pocket Singularity and Vortex Grenade
  • Exotic Armor: Nezarec’s Sin or Verity’s Brow
  • Weapons: Void primary weapons since both Exotics need Void weapon kills
  • Primary Armor Stats: Recovery/Resilience, Discipline (Dis is more important with Verity’s Brow)
  • Essential Armor Mods: Void Siphon, Grenade Kickstart, Void Weapon Surge x2, Time Dilation

Necrotic Grip Warlock Build

Necrotic Grips are an insane Exotic, made better since they don’t really work the way they’re supposed to. The Grips are supposed to cause enemies to take poison damage after being shot, which then spreads to other nearby enemies after dying. However, for whatever reason, Necrotic Grips also spread other status effects to enemies too. For example, just equip Osteo Striga and activate Weaver’s Trace by consuming a Shackle Grenade. With Weaver’s Trance, when you kill an enemy they get suspended, but Necrotic Grips improves this. It causes the suspending blast to essentially happen more times than it’s supposed to, which results in suspending all the enemies in the room.

This build is amongst the best for content of any difficulty. If you need (or just want) to suspend an entire room full of enemies at once, this is the build to use. It’s incredibly fun, and in content with Unstoppable Champions to suspend, it’s even better!

The Build

  • Subclass: Broodweaver (Strand)
  • Aspects: Weaver’s Call and Mindspun Invocation
  • Melee/Grenade: Arcane Needle and Shackle Grenade
  • Exotic Armor: Necrotic Grips
  • Weapons: Osteo Striga and a precision special weapon (alongside whatever heavy weapon you want)
  • Primary Armor Stats: Discipline, Recovery/Resilience
  • Essential Armor Mods: Kinetic/Strand Siphon, Grenade Kickstart x2, Kinetic Weapon Surge, Bomber x2

Best Warlock Builds for PvP

PVP is a whole new world for Warlocks. To be honest, Warlocks have never been the best of the best in the Crucible. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t make some incredible plays and carry games from time to time. Let’s check out two great Warlock PVP builds!

​​T​​he Stag Build

Have you come across those teams who just have that seem to recover in an instant? Even more so in Trials? They might have a teammate running The Stag. This Exotic helmet provides damage reduction to your Rifts for everyone on your team, even producing a healing rift on your corpse. This ability allows you to play far riskier without letting your team down in the process, with your ability to heal making dying an actual strategy.

This defensive ability is only augmented by the ability to spawn an Arc Soul. This can be applied to the rest of your teammates, providing multiple automated turrets. So, have everyone stagger in a rift and start firing, and it’s more than likely you’ll force your opponents to flee or be defeated.

Everything else about this build is about ability regeneration, recovery, and adding additional damage. Look for options that give you an advantage, focus on general defensive stat boosts, and run mid-to-long range weapons with high accuracy. It may also be wise to have a short-range powerhouse ready, like a Shotgun or SMG. PVP is a wild environment, so you never know what might happen.

The Build

  • Subclass: Stormcaller (Arc)
  • Aspects: Arc Soul and Lightning Surge
  • Melee/Grenade: Chain Lightning and Pulse/Storm/Lightning Grenade
  • Exotic Armor: The Stag
  • Weapons: Strong PVP weapons
  • Primary Armor Stats: Recovery, Resilience, Discipline
  • Essential Armor Mods: PVP mods like Targeting, Dexterity, and Unflinching Aim.

The Getaway Artist Build

So, this build likely looks similar to the last one. It’s an arc-focused build that tries to make the most of your ability to spawn Arc Souls. However, while the Stag was more about grouped defense, this build is all about pure offense. That’s thanks to The Getaway artist, which supercharges your Arc Soul with the Dynamic Duo perk.

Running around in PVP with a supercharged Arc Soul is almost unfair. You don’t have to do anything other than run and survive, which is even easier these days thanks to Amplified. You’ll be running full speed, barely even aware of what’s going on around you, but you’ll still get some free kills. It’s a fun build that actually has good potential in higher level content, which is also nice.

Lastly, your weapon choices are really up to how much you want to run Arc weapons. It also may be wise to run with No Time to Explain to take advantage of the Rewind Again and Time Slip Perks alongside your Arc Soul. 

The Build

  • Subclass: Stormcaller (Arc)
  • Aspects: Arc Soul and Lightning Surge
  • Melee/Grenade: Chain Lightning and Pulse/Storm/Lightning Grenade
  • Exotic Armor: Getaway Artist
  • Weapon Type: Any good PVP weapons, but Arc ones synergize well
  • Primary Armor Stats: Discipline, Recovery, Resilience
  • Essential Armor Mods: Grenade Kickstart x2, Targeting, Dexterity, Unflinching Aim

Best Warlock Builds for Gambit

Your builds for Gambit should be fairly similar to your PvE options. You want highly offensive skillsets that can be combined with recovery and resilience buffs to keep you in the fight. These may not be as effective in PvE but should be your go-to options in this hybrid game mode.

Osmiomancy Gloves Build

It’s time to show Stasis some love. The whole subclass has been fairly underwhelming since the release of Strand, but it’s not completely out of the meta just yet. In Gambit, Stasis is actually still a pretty good option. This Warlock build focuses on using the Exotic arms piece Osmiomancy Gloves to create an endless string of Coldsnap Grenades.

Osmiomancy Gloves improve almost every aspect of Coldsnap Grenades, including recharge rate, seeker range, and the amount you can hold (with Osmiomancy, you can have two at a time). This Exotic not only grants base bonuses to your Coldsnap Grenades, but it also has a unique interaction. If you land a direct hit with a grenade, your second charge will recharge much faster. Almost instantly. It makes for a really fun time of tossing nearly infinite Coldsnaps at powerful enemies, and it helps keep adds in check as well.

If you want to find a way to use Stasis in Season 20, Gambit might just be the number 1 place to go.

The Build

  • Subclass: Shadebinder (Stasis)
  • Aspects: Bleak Watcher and Glacial Harvest
  • Melee/Grenade: Penumbral Blast and Coldsnap Grenade
  • Exotic Armor: Osmiomancy Gloves
  • Weapon Type: Stasis weapons or anything you think will help in Gambit. PVP weapons are good too.
  • Primary Armor Stats: Discipline, Recovery/Resilience
  • Essential Armor Mods: Siphon, Grenade Kickstart, Ashes to Assets, Firepower, Weapon Surge

Ionic Traces Build

Ionic Traces are an Arc 3.0 addition to the game, so you might not be super familiar with them if you haven’t played much Arc lately. They give ability energy when picked up, and they track to you so you don’t have to run around chasing them. With this build, we’ll focus on making as many Ionic Traces as possible to keep abilities off cooldown and Amplified active. The Exotic that makes this all happen is Fallen Sunstar. With Sunstar, Ionic Traces give more energy, track to you faster, and grant allies a bit of energy when you pick one up too. More energy for the whole team? Sounds great.

Gambit is a very fast-paced game mode, so Arc builds often shine there. The speed boost from being Amplified is better in Gambit than any other mode, since you have so much ground to cover along with player enemies to deal with. Using this build will definitely give you the (speed) boost necessary to defeat those Primevals!

The Build

  • Subclass: Stormcaller (Arc)
  • Aspects: Arc Soul and Electrostatic Mind
  • Melee/Grenade: Chain Lightning and Pulse/Storm/Lightning Grenade
  • Exotic Armor: Fallen Sunstar
  • Weapon Type: Arc energy weapons and an Arc heavy weapon to burst the Primeval (Grand Overture is our recommendation if you really wanna burst it down)
  • Primary Armor Stats: Discipline, Recovery, Resilience
  • Essential Armor Mods: Grenade Kickstart x2, Targeting, Dexterity, Unflinching Aim

Join the High Ground

With Warlocks being such a well-suited support class, almost any of the above builds will work across every game mode — it really depends on which subclass you want to run. To make sure the Warlock on your Fireteam knows which build to focus on, be sure to share this article on your favorite social platform. And for the latest on Destiny 2 subclasses, armor, and weapons, sign up for our newsletter.

Happy gaming!

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