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Destiny 2 Best Warlock Build for Season of the Witch - Ad-Clear Swarmers Build

The best Warlock build for Season of the Witch to dominate PVE content.

Destiny 2 players are hungry to lock in the best Warlock build for Season of the Witch, and this season, an epic Swarmlock build is our top pick to dominate PVE. This take on a Swarmlock build leverages the subclass's emphasis on producing Strand Threadlings, allowing you to chain your worm buddies for ad-clearing madness.

The revamped Swarmlock is a must-try for anyone looking for a monster setup that destroys enemies and is fun to play. While players remain divided on Strand's relative overall power as a Destiny 2 subclass, this nasty setup will turn Warlock mains into true believers. Most Warlocks already knew that the Swarmers are a must-have Exotic for Strand play, but this build maximizes their potential to make the player into a Threadling thunderstorm of chaos.

Hats off to RestAssured for turning us on to this build and giving us a terrific video that shows why it will dominate the PVE meta this season. You can check out their version of this build via Mobalytics right here. Not every build works in every situation, so note that this powerful meta build is much more suited for ad-clear than high-DPS boss annihilation (Starfire Protocol mains, we see you).


Destiny 2 Warlock Build

This build is all about producing an endless stream of Threadlings. It doesn't require a particular god roll weapon or rare raid drop, so almost anyone can create this build as long as they've unlocked the Strand subclass through the Lightfall campaign, and have the Swarmers Exotic legs. Augments granted by the seasonal Artifact make it more powerful, rendering it a solid build, specifically for Season of the Witch.

If you're ready to wield your army of Threadlings against anything that tries to get in your way, here's a breakdown of what you'll need.

Build Overview

  • Class: Broodweaver (Warlock Strand subclass)
  • Super: Needlestorm - A wave of Strand-woven hardened spikes that stick into enemies or objects and detonate. On detonation, they turn into Threadlings.
  • Grenade: Threadling grenade - Spawns three Threadlings when thrown.
  • Melee: Arcane Needle.
  • Jump: Player's choice.
  • Class ability: Player's choice. 

Aspects & Fragments

  • Aspects 
    • Weaver's Call: Casting your class ability spawns three Threadlings. 
    • The Wanderer: Threadlings create Tangles, and Tangles suspend enemies when destroyed.
      • Suspend lifts enemies slightly into the air, making them unable to attack or avoid damage while they still take full damage from players.
  • Fragments
    • Thread of Rebirth: Every kill has a chance to spawn a Threadling.
    • Thread of Evolution: Threadlings deal more damage and travel further.
    • Thread of Generation: Regenerates grenade energy when dealing damage.
    • Thread of Warding: Provides Woven Mail when you collect an Orb of Power.
      • Woven Mail is a Strand overshield protecting against non-precision damage.


Armor & Armor Mods

  • Exotic Armor
    • Swarmers - Destroying a Tangle makes two Threadlings. Threadlings from all sources will unravel enemies.
      • Unravel causes threads to burst out of the target and attack nearby targets. Once hit, that target will also become unraveled.
  • Armor Mods
    • Bolstering Detonation: Grants class ability energy when dealing grenade damage.
    • Strand Siphon: Rapid Strand weapon blows create Orbs of Power.
    • Strand Loader: Increases reload speed of Strand weapons.
    • Firepower: Grenade final blows grant Orbs of Power.
    • Innervation: Reduces grenade cooldown when you pick up an Orbs of Power.
    • Recuperation: Replenishes health each time you pick up an Orb of Power.
    • Powerful Attraction: Automatically collects Orbs of Power when you use your class ability.
  • Artifact Unlocks
    • Communal Pickups: If someone else shoots your Tangle, it reduces the cooldown by 5 seconds and grants a damage boost.
    • Frenzied Stacks: Increases Tangle damage (which you can induce by shooting the Tangle).
    • Elemental Munitions: Grants heavy and special ammo when you kill enemies with Tangles.

Destiny 2 Tesselation.jpg

Weapon Selection

  • Weapons
    • Preferred non-precision Strand weapon with the Hatchling Trait or Enhanced Trait: It's even better if you can get it with Demolitionist, which will grant even more grenade energy upon kills with this weapon.
      • With the Hatchling Trait, precision final blows or rapidly defeating targets with a non-precision weapon spawns a Threadling at the target's location.  
    • You may also want to try Tessellation, which you can get by prepurchasing The Final Shape expansion. Tesselation changes its damage type based on the player's equipped subclass while restoring grenade energy when dealing final blows.

As you can see, this build is a bit complicated, but it maximizes the Broodweaver's opportunity to produce Threadlings — which is exactly the point. Your Thread of Evolution makes those Threadlings even more powerful, so your army of Threadlings amounts to a bunch of damage-dealing machines. For this Swarmlock to be effective, the player must be getting kills, so it's important to note its utility as an add-kill setup rather than a boss battle build.

Weaver's Call is straightforward, and the Wanderer Aspect grants the potent ability to Suspend enemies, but perhaps more importantly, it creates Tangles. Season of the Witch introduced changes to Tangles wherein destroying a Tangle creates a delayed suspending detonation with an increased detonation radius from six meters to seven meters against PVE combatants. Further, the game increased thrown Wanderer Tangle detonation damage to match standard Tangle detonations.


Bolstering Detonation restores your rifts, while many of the other listed mods will help you generate Orbs of Power and replenish abilities by doing so to keep the chain going. However, ensuring you're producing Orbs of Power is essential due to the Thread of Warding — granting Woven Mail to help you survive longer and command your Threadling militia. The armor mods we've listed above are the ones we highly recommend. However, you can adjust the remainder of the mods to your playstyle as long as you're producing Orbs of Power and leveraging mods to replenish and cycle abilities.

The build is still effective without a Strand weapon with the Hatchling Trait, though it does slow down the number of Theadlings you can produce with the overall build. A weapon such as the Monte Carlo can still trigger the effects of the Thread of Rebirth to spawn Threadlings and the Thread and of Generation to restore grenade energy for chaining Threadling grenades. The Artifact unlocks only enhance the overall build, so take those suggested picks as you level up your Artifact.

In sum, with this build, your weapon kills are spawning Threadlings, as are your grenades. Your Rift is also granting Threadlings, and through this, you're also creating Tangles. Consequently, destroying Tangles creates even more Threadlings. As your Threadlings defeat enemies, you'll pick up Orbs of Power to grant Woven Mail, which adds protection to help keep you alive. The result is an all-powerful Swarmlock, capable of taking on hordes of enemies without skipping a beat.

About the Author

Whitney Meers