Destiny 2 Best Warlock Build for Season of the Chosen

Get a (necrotic) grip on the latest Destiny season.

Well Warlocks, we’ve got good news and bad news. Good news? The best build hasn’t really changed since the last Destiny 2 season so that’s one less thing you need to grind for if you already have it. The bad news? There’s no new super overpowered build this season. Most of the new tools Warlock got were in for Stasis which has been nerfed into the ground since it released. In this guide, we’ll get you up to speed on running a slightly altered version of last season’s Necrotic Grip build!

Naturally, this is an armor piece you can make an entire build around to increase your lethality. Keep in mind, half the fun of Destiny is experimenting so feel free to customize this build based on your playstyle. This is simply designed as a foundation to support the Necrotic Grip’s ability.

Necrotic Grip Build


  • Kinetic – Thorn
  • Energy – Salvager’s Salvo
  • Heavy – Anything

The focus of this build is Thorn. This is because it actually triggers Necrotic Grip’s poison if you kill an enemy with it. Keep in mind, you have to land the final blow with a bullet from Thorn, not the poison, for it to spread Necrotic Grip’s corruption waves. Thorn is a must-have for this build, as it gives us way more consistency when taking down hordes of enemies while offering some protection since we won’t need to get close to trigger the exotic’s ability. Alternatively, Monte Carlo is another suitable option if you want to go all-in on just spamming your melee at enemies.

Last season we didn’t really make any recommendations for the Energy slot, but that changes due to the strength of Salvager’s Salvo. I can’t count the number of times Guides Writer Collin MacGregor has told the Destiny players at Fanbyte how badly they need to unlock Salvager’s Salvo. The perks on this thing are wild. It’s got Firefly so every enemy it kills also explodes. If you want boss DPS it has Vorpal Weapon, Demolitionist if you’re running a grenade build, and Ambitious Assassin for two shots in the chamber. The flexibility this thing offers is wild!

Destiny 2 Cabal Gold

Core Mods

  • Charge Harvester – Void: Our only way to become Charged with Light, Charge Harvester is perfect for this build since you will be killing a lot of enemies with your poison. While you will take a -10 to your Recovery, the benefits outweigh this since there’s a very high chance you will almost always become Charged with Light when spreading corruption throughout a room.
  • Heavy Handed – Arc: This will be what is primarily consuming our Charged with Light stacks. When triggered, you will earn half your melee energy when using a charged melee attack. Combined with Necrotic Grip’s ability to regain melee energy when spreading corruption ensures we will almost always regain this ability when facing down a group of foes. This is the second core component for our mods and should be apart of every Necrotic Grip build.
  • Powerful Friends – Arc: Here’s where your own personal touch comes into play because the next three mods are entirely up to you. Personally, I like to run Powerful Friends since I will frequently become Charged with Light. Often players rely on killing enemies to become Charged with Light, so this can be problematic if your corruption is slaughtering everything. This ensures your team can still become Charged with Light, plus you get a +20 Mobility bonuses which is nothing to scoff at.
  • Protective Light – Void: One of my favorite mods in the entire game, Protective Light has saved my butt so many times. While it does eat up a Charged with Light stacks, the damage resistance you gain cannot be underestimated. This ensures that we can get close to foes without risking death or take on higher difficulty content with this build. Just remember, you have a -10 penalty to Strength, so try to make that up with a Strength mod.
  • Stacks on Stacks – Void: Another wildly popular choice, Stacks on Stacks simply gives us an additional Charged with Light stack when we obtain one. This makes Charge Harvester even more efficient and ensures a great damage resistance boost with Protective Light. Again, you will take another hit to recovery when using this, so if you don’t want that to happen consider Kindling the Flame or Reactive Pulse instead.

More Destiny 2 Beyond Light:

Additional Mods

These are simply some armor mods to consider running if you need to use up additional Energy. None of them are key to the build, so don’t feel forced to hunt down and run them.

  • Momentum Transfer – Arc: Since we are using our melee a lot, this mod reduces our melee’s cooldown whenever we deal damage with a grenade. If you’re running a piece of Solar armor, Impact Induction is another solid choice for this build.
  • Hands-On – Arc: It turns out that gaining Super energy from melee kills is really good in this build, who would have thought?
  • Hand Cannon Loader – Any Element: The Thorn has a pretty slow reload, so this will cut down on the time wasted changing magazines. I’d only run this if you want to focus more on using Thorn than your charged melee to spread the poison.
  • Outreach – Arc: Another mod that reduces our melee cooldown, this time for casting our Rift to keep us alive. Since you usually want a high Recovery stat anyway, this is a good mod to slot in that’s extremely cheap.
  • Recovery & Strength Mods – Any Element: These are the two primary stats you’ll want to focus on improving. Recovery allows us to quickly regain our health, while Strength is directly tied to our melee cooldown. Since we have so many ways to regain our melee energy, you don’t need to max Strength out. Focus on Recovery first.
  • Unstoppable Hand Cannon – Any Element: Aiming down sights with any Hand Cannon you are wielding loads a powerful explosive payload that stuns unshielded combatants. Strong against Unstoppable Champions.

The only thing worth noting is you may have to put aside Salvager’s Salvo if you’re running a game mode with Champions. Scout Rifles and Sniper Rifles are the only weapons with anti-barrier mods this season so you may have to adjust on the fly. That’s fine though! Thorn is the only thing this build really needs.

If this isn’t your thing, there’s also a Stasis turret build centered around the new Warlock aspect.

Large portions of this guide were originally written by Guides Writer Collin MacGregor.


Dillon Skiffington

Dillon is the Guides Editor at Fanbyte. He can't seem to quit games as a service or looter shooters — unfortunate news for his backlog, really. Can't get enough game art, soundtracks, or space games. You can find him on Twitter @Squiblon.

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