Destiny 2 Warlock Guide — PVE, PVP, Best Exotics

Getting into Destiny 2 for the first time? Considering trying another character? Our Destiny 2 Character Guides have all the information you need on playing Titans, Warlocks, and Hunters. We’ll first cover the basics, then get into the details on PVE and PVP scenarios.

Warlocks are the mages of the Destiny universe, warrior-scholars who probe the dark mysteries of the world. In game, playing a Warlock in Destiny 2 is like playing the bass guitar — no matter where you go, you’ll always be able to find a group that needs you.

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Getting Back Into Destiny 2

Destiny 2 Warlock — General Info, Tips

It’s tempting to call Warlocks the support class of Destiny 2, but that’s not entirely accurate. Every type of Guardian can be played in a number of different ways. But before we get to grips with Warlock subclasses, let’s talk about their core ability and movement styles.

Warlock Class Ability: Rift

The Warlock class ability is Rift. By holding the crouch button, you generate a field of energy around you which will either buff damage or provide a healing effect to everyone standing in it — including yourself. This makes Warlocks great team players, but don’t forget to use your Rift when you’re alone as well. Healing Rifts will drastically increase your survivability in solo PVE. Empowering Rifts, meanwhile, are much more situational, though can be useful in certain Raid situations and with particular Exotics (more on that later).

Warlock Movement Ability: Glide

Of all of the classes in Destiny 2, Warlocks have the most complicated movement abilities. Hitting the jump button in midair activates Glide, which is not a traditional second jump. Instead, Glide conserves your existing momentum at the time of activation. That means if you activate it right after you leave the ground, you’ll keep flying up and forward. But if you’re already descending, you won’t gain any additional height.

Glide does have two other limits. First, you have a set amount of glide time. Once it runs out, you’ll drop like a rock. There’s no onscreen meter, so you’ll just have to get a feel for it. Second, you have a limited number of activations in one jump, so you can’t just tap on and off constantly. That said, playing with activating and deactivating the ability in midair gives you a lot of maneuverability.

All Warlock classes have access to two varieties of Glide: Burst and Strafe. The Stormcaller and Dawnblade class also get Balanced Glide, while the Voidwalker gets Blink. Burst is useful for speed and making long jumps — it gives you maximum velocity but minimal control. Strafe gives you a lot of control but minimal thrust, making it great for many jumping puzzles. If neither suits you, give Balanced a shot.

As for Blink, this Voidwalker-only ability works similarly to Glide. Jumping in midair will teleport you a short distance in the direction you were heading. It’s not the best for getting around, but it is extremely useful in a firefight.

Destiny 2 Warlock PVE Guide

Three words: Well of Radiance. This Dawnblade ability is possibly the most useful Super in Destiny 2 PVE right now. You need to unlock it by completing the New Powers quest in Forsaken and using the Seed of Light you get to open up the new Dawnblade subclass. But once you have it, you’ll have a place on any PVE team. Make sure to pop your Well in a strategic location with clear lines of sight.

Well of Radiance means that Dawnblade is overwhelmingly the most popular subclass in Destiny 2 PVE for Warlocks. But others can be useful, too. Stormcaller, in particular, has excellent room-clearing abilities. The top tree gives your grenades and melee attacks the power to chain lightning, which can take out a ton of enemies at once.

Another option, especially for solo PVE, is the Voidwalker Attunement of Hunger. This tree grants your melee attacks health-regenerating properties. If you find yourself drawn to close-up fighting, this might be something to try out.

Destiny 2 Warlock PVP Guide

One strong option for Warlocks in PVP is the Voidwalker Attunement of Fission. This subclass gives you access to Nova Warp, a roaming super that lets you float around the map and unleash explosive void energy. Used correctly, you can easily get multiple kills in one activation. Just remember that while you do have additional armor during your super, you aren’t actually invulnerable. A well-placed rocket launcher or enemy super can still take you out.

In addition to the super, Attunement of Fission Voidwalkers get one of the best PVP grenades in the game: Handheld Supernova. Warlock grenades typically aren’t all that useful in PVP, since they mostly do damage over time, and enemies can simply move out of their area of affect. But Attunement of Fission lets you charge your grenade then release it in a short ranged spread attack that will one-shot enemy Guardians at close enough range. Practice charging it when you see someone approaching on radar around a corner — it can really ruin someone’s day.

Another option for Warlocks in PVP is the Stormcaller Attunement of Control. Not only does this give you a ranged melee attack and additional speed when you’re wounded, but you get the ability to fire a Kamehameha Chaos Reach. This is a deadly, controllable big laser of death that can easily wipe out several foes in one activation if timed right.

Destiny 2 Warlock Exotics

Unfortunately, Warlocks kind of get the short end of the stick when it comes to Exotic armor. Seriously, they have one that just makes them float in midair. That said, there are a few strong standouts.

Lunafaction Boots (Lunas) are probably the best all-around PVE Exotic for Warlocks. When equipped, any Rift or Well you cast will constantly reload your weapons as well as those of allies. Additionally, Empowered Rifts and Wells of Light will improve weapon range. Right now, Lunas are basically essential for DPS in all group PVE settings. Combined with Well of Radiance, they’re what make Warlocks so highly in demand. That said, they’re less useful solo (because you won’t be boosting your team) and in PVP (because Well is less effective against human enemies).

Lunas work for solo PVE, but you can also play around with some of the Warlock Exotics that affect melee abilities. Karnstein Gauntlets can increase your survivability, while Winter’s Guile can be fun paired with Voidwalker’s Attunement of Hunger.

In PVP, you have a few options. Transversive Steps increase your sprint speed, which can be useful in Control matches. Contraverse Hold works well with Handheld Supernova, allowing you to use it more frequently and gain some additional protection while you’re charging. Ophidian Aspect increases your reload and ready speed, plus ups your melee range slightly, which can be useful for getting the drop on enemies. And Eye of Another World improves all of your ability regeneration speeds.

Destiny 2 Warlock Best Weapons

Since all Guardians in Destiny 2 can equip all weapons, check out our weapon guides for general information on the best equipment for each scenario:

And that’s it for our Destiny 2 Warlock Guide! Be sure to check out the rest of our Destiny 2 coverage for more guides, news, and features on the game. Good luck out there, Guardian!


merritt k

merritt k is the managing editor of Fanbyte. She has never played a video game in her life.

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