All 12 Destiny 2 Subclasses, Ranked and Explained
09 Jan 2023 — Written by Edwin Ruiz
With the release of Season of Plunder, Bungie has officially wrapped up its Light 3.0 reworks. I’ve had my fair share of fun with almost every subclass, excluding Stasis Warlock and any of the Titan subclasses, but I’ve done enough research to get a good grasp at them. (Plus, I watch lots of YouTube, so I’m BASICALLY a pro.) So today, with the assistance of Jay Rush for ordering, I present to you: All 12 Destiny 2 Subclasses Ranked and Explained, primarily looking into PvE (since you can run any subclass in PvP and be fine), fit with playstyle and strategy explanations.
#12: Stasis Titan, Behemoth
It hurts to say, but the silliest subclass ends up being the worst.
The gimmick for Stasis Titans is to create as many Stasis crystals as possible and shattering all of them for big damage. That game plan also happens to be its ONLY plan. All Stasis Titans do is “make crystal, break crystal”. Behemoth have no flexibility, and their “big damage” can easily be replaced by the utility or strength of any other Titan subclass, making this class near useless.
There’s really not much to say, as there’s no strong points that Behemoth has. At least it’s funny.
#11: Arc Warlock, Stormcaller
The start of my Season of Plunder adventure. Yeah, that was fun.
Stormcaller, the Arc Warlock subclass, abuses the generation of Ionic Traces to stay amplified and keep its abilities going, giving it some great add clear capabilities. The Warlock helmet Fallen Sunstar increases that ability energy by a moderate amount, letting you use your abilities even more frequently. Striking lightning all over the place is a fun ride, but these abilities are simply lacking. Not only that, but the overall subclass lacks in the utility that other Warlock subclasses give you. Why not run Void for the same add clear capabilities but 100x better, or run Solar for the same add clear capabilities and Well of Radiance? Arc Warlocks was completely power-crept before it released. And it doesn’t even have a good Super as a saving grace, because both Chaos Reach and Stormtrance are awful. They require you to run an exotic to make it tolerable enough to use, and even then, they’re still lacking.
#10: Stasis Hunter, Revenant
Revenant is the worst Hunter subclass, yes. That doesn’t necessarily make it bad though.
Stasis Hunters utilizes Duskfield Grenades like no other, and that’s what makes it good. The exotic gauntlets Renewal Grasps make their Duskfield Grenades huge, giving them insane amounts of crowd control. Stasis also comes fit with good grenade regeneration fragments, multiplying the number of grenades you can throw in a short amount of time. Not only that, but the Stasis shuriken melee ability is speedy yet chilly, and is crazy abusable in builds with its two charges. Builds accomplish a near perfect melee and grenade cycle, for a gameplay loop that freezes large amounts all the time. The Super is also really good, freezing a huge area and lets you control the arena with the press of a button. However, while the Super is great in utility, it’s lacking in overall damage. And unfortunately, the only good exotic is Renewal Grasps, with the Mask of Bakris exotic helmet filling a PvP role primarily. Revenant is also one of the only subclasses giving crazy movement techs, with the aspect Shatter Dive giving you access to Shatter Skating.
This sub-class is great at what it does best: freezing. However, it doesn’t exactly do it as well as it can.
#9: Solar Hunter, Gunslinger
Being a Gunslinger means being absolutely insane.
Building a Solar Hunter is incredibly flexible, but the game plan always revolves around your knives. Proximity Throwing Knife, Weighted Throwing Knife, and Knife Trick all allow their own special playstyles. Knife Trick is the most used, as its free Scorch stacks and can mow down adds, with Knock ‘Em Down fully recharging it whenever it hits while Radiant. If you want to go even farther, you can add the exotic gauntlets Caliban’s Hand and swap to a Proximity Throwing Knife, and cause mass explosions. Weighted Throwing Knives with the Arthry’s Embrace exotic gauntlets give them absolutely insane critical-hit damage. I also enjoy the exotic gauntlets Young Ahamkara’s Spine, which makes your Tripmine Grenade do better damage and recharges it with scorch. Gunslinger also gives you some of the best Supers in the game. The exotic leg armor Star-Eater Scales makes Blade Barrage the highest damaging Super in the game, and the exotic helmet Celestial Nighthawk turns your Golden Gun into one shot of pure damage-dealing fire. However, Gunslinger doesn’t have lots of utility. Radiance is at the same level as Weaken with its utility, although Gunslingers can keep it up easily for near infinite time, as they can with Regeneration.
Gunslinger is also a great pick for PvP due to Golden Gun and Radiance, but in PvE it fills the hectic explosion niche.
#8: Void Titan, Sentinel
John Fitzpatrick adores this subclass too much. He needs to play something else.
Sentinels truly fit the role that Titans are meant to be; impenetrable wall. It only makes sense Zavala is a Sentinel subclass. Sentinels adore shields. Class ability? Barricade. Melee? Shield Bash or Shield Throw. Super? Sentinel Shield or Bubble. Not only that, but Void Titans can generate tons of Overshield through various ways, which is its main utility. Ward of Dawn, a.k.a. Bubble, gives you Weapons of Light, which is a good buff to your weapon damage. You could also pair the exotic gauntlets Ursa Furiosa with Sentinel Shield to guard your team from damage more often and move faster while doing so.
This class is generally just the ultimate support class, keeping your fireteam alive with protection and helping with damage phases overall.
#7: Void Hunter, Nightstalker
PvP Void Hunter, our worst nightmare.
Nightstalker is an amazing name for this class, as it loves to abuse invisibility. Void Hunters play drastically differently to any other subclass, as they play more passively while they wait for their melee or dodge charges to come back. The former powerhouse of the Nightstalker playstyle, the exotic chest armor Omnioculus, would provide you with 2 smoke bombs and damage resistance while invisible, which extended your invisibility periods, made you less fragile, and made it hell to play PvP for a bit. Now, with the release of Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk, another exotic chest armor, Void Hunters have traded away their damage resistance for a 20% damage buff when leaving invisibility. Paired with the Collective Obligation exotic Void pulse rifle, Void Hunters can dish out tons more damage than it used to be able to. And it’s also hell to play against in PvP, thanks to the exotic pistol Rat King. Its best Super, Shadowshot: Deadfall, tethers enemies and makes them Weakened and Suppressed, increasing damage output during damage phases. Shadowshot: Moebius Quiver also does tons of damage but has a weaker tether. Thankfully, pair it with the exotic leg armor Orpheus Rig to get a third shot, for even more damage.
Although Nightstalker seems like it’s lacking in variety and playstyle, invisibility is amazing in end-game content, as you could just ignore anything and run around invisible. Smoke bombs and Supers give tons of damage as well, so it’s great to have a Void Hunter sneaking around.
#6: Stasis Warlock, Shadebinder
STASIS TURRETS EVERYWHERE!
The Shadebinder subclass, King of throwing a grenade and ignoring what happens afterwards. Shadebinders are unique, as even though every other subclass can constantly freeze, Stasis Warlocks can do it in ignorance. The Shadebinger special, the Bleak Watcher aspect, lets you convert your grenade into a Stasis turret that fires little Stasis projectiles by itself. After that you just… let it do its thing. Although, pair it with the exotic gauntlets Osmiomancy Gloves, and you’ll get two charges of grenades: One for turrets, and one for a Coldsnap Grenade. The Stasis turret will take care of things somewhere else, and you’ll have a Coldsnap Grenade for close-up action, which will regenerate near instantly when it hits. Not only that, but whenever you freeze an enemy, it’ll spawn Stasis shards for entirely new ability regeneration or overshield shenanigans. Osmiomancy Gloves also have a good spot in PvP, since Coldsnap Grenades will absolutely chase down any enemies.
There’s also a completely different way you could play Shadebinder, which warrants an entirely different explanation (for the first time!). Shadebinder abuses the exotic trace rifle Ager’s Scepter the best, which is a weapon of pure ice beam. As stated before, when you freeze an enemy it generates Stasis shards, and that counts for this weapon. You could keep the Osmiomancy Gloves previously mentioned for your busted Coldsnap Grenades, or swap to the exotic chest armor Mantle of Battle Harmony and abuse the Ager’s Scepter’s Super consumption for some serious DPS.
Overall, if you want to freeze the battlefield, play Stasis Warlock. Not only do you have 2 unique ways to play, but they’re both highly effective in any areas of play.
#5: Solar Titan, Sunbreaker
I am SO glad Loreley got nerfed.
The Solar Titan playstyle took a 180 recently. Previous you would abuse the exotic helmet Loreley Splendor Helm and simply not die. The sunspots generated at near death, combined with the extension from kills, kept you unkillable. Now, the Regeneration has been swatted to 1x instead of the former 2x, making it on par with natural regeneration, so Solar Titans have moved on. Meet Consecration, a Solar aspect unique to Titans. Start sliding, activate your melee ability, and watch a wave of Solar energy charge at your enemies. Build correctly, and you can do this near infinitely. You can also pair this with the exotic gauntlets Synthoceps and get a 200% melee damage buff if you’re in the middle of the chaos, which you will most definitely be. Don’t forget the previous sunspots I mentioned, as those still take effect, although it’s definitely not as powerful as before. While you wipe the field with powered melees, those sunspots will keep you regenerating your health so you don’t die. And if you’re looking for more focused melee damage onto a bigger enemy, the basic Throwing Hammer works just as fine, as you can throw it and pick it up for constant and consistent damage. Sunbreaker also has a good damage dealing Super in Hammer of Sol, letting you run around and throw tons of hammers everywhere.
The Solar Titan shift from Loreley abuse to carpeting the arena with flames makes Sunbreaker look stronger than before, and is an incredibly solid choice for any content, having great damage and add clear, and being incredibly self-sustainable.
#4: Arc Hunter, Arcstrider
The true winner of Arc 3.0, from zero to hero, here comes Arcstrider.
Arcstrider went from being an abandoned gimmick, since Arc 3.0 was the last to release, to one of the craziest subclasses in the game. Arcstrider is all about melees. The very simple loop of powered melee and dodging to keep the damage up-time as well as Jolting everything, all while keeping your health up is insanity when facing hordes of enemies, or even bigger enemies, and sometimes bosses. Not only that, but get that Combination Blow to x3, throw in the exotic gauntlet Liar’s Handshake, possibly a One-Two Punch shotgun, and deal hundreds of thousands of damage to a single boss in the easiest melee loop ever… if you can melee the boss easily. Of course, if Arc Hunter was only melees, it wouldn’t be so high up. If that pesky boss is a pain to melee, swap over to Star-Eater Scales (remember this from Gunslinger?) and make your Gathering Storm Super do incredible amounts of damage; some of the best damage from a Super in the game. Don’t be afraid with that Super, though. Arcstrider generates Supers as if they’re another ability due to Jolt, so go all out with throwing those Arc Staffs all over the place.
Build Arcstrider if you don’t want to use your gun. All you need is to punch, punch, punch, and you’ll never die. And you’d think that’s the Titan’s job!
#3: Void Warlock, Voidwalker
MAKE IT ALL GO PURPLE.
The best all-rounder class in the game, Voidwalker is all about your grenades. This class is so self-sustaining that you don’t even need an exotic to pair with this. Voidwalker has an aspect called Feed the Void, which grants you Devour whenever you get a kill with a Void ability. When you net a kill, it extends the timer, grants you full health, and gives a chunk of grenade energy. See the plan here? Get Devour going with any of your abilities and keep the ball rolling. Then, pair it with the fragment Echo of Instability which grants Volatile Rounds on grenade kill, which makes your Void weapons do way more damage, along with PURPLE EXPLOSIONS.
Now that you have your self-sustaining loop, you can throw in an exotic, which determines the playstyle of the loop. The exotic gauntlets Contraverse Hold is a popular one, making your Vortex Grenade bigger, stronger, and generates grenade energy as long as it’s hitting something. It’s great for doing extra damage to bigger enemies. You could also use the exotic gauntlets Nothing Manacles for better burst damage, as it enhances Scatter Grenades, along with granting you a second one. You could also run the exotic helmet Nezarec’s Sin which will make ALL of your abilities generate faster, giving you more Rifts or powered melees. I’d also like to give an honorable mention to the exotic pulse rifle Graviton Lance. Although you could run any Void weapon, like an SMG or auto rifle, Graviton Lance causes even MORE explosions. And purple is a very good color for explosions.
Void Warlock is definitely the easiest subclass to build, as it takes literally nothing specific to be good. It keeps itself going through aspects and fragments alone, and your mod slots and exotics will only make it even better.
#2: Solar Warlock, Dawnblade
Resident healer subclass.
Dawnblade has the same versatility that Gunslinger has, except instead of Radiance all the time, you get access to many different sources of healing. Many different abilities apply Restoration or Cure, and you still have your handy dandy Healing Rift when its needed. Builds are also very different, but the most popular one is definitely using the exotic chest armor Starfire Protocol to make your Fusion Grenades do way more damage and get them constantly as well. The exotic gauntlets Sunbracers are also a popular pick, as they give you infinite grenades for a short amount of time.
That isn’t why it’s so high up though. Yes, Solar Warlock is a great class with different ways to play, but that’s not why it’s so special. What makes it the second-best subclass in the game is its Super, Well of Radiance. The best Super in the game, Well of Radiance is a golden rift for your teammates where you basically cannot die. It gives constant health, insane resistance, and lasts for quite a while. Get a few of these on your team, and you’ll have a grand amount of time to do damage to any boss. This is also why Starfire Protocol is popular, as the exotic pairs well with Well of Radiance. Many people consider this Super to be way too OP, which is why Solar Warlocks are crucial to any fireteam.
#1: Arc Titan, Striker
Grandmasters? Hard? What?
What can I say about this subclass? There’s really nothing special about it. Yeah sure, you can play some cool Thunderclap build, but it won’t match up to Storm Grenades. Nothing beats Storm Grenades. Arc Titan absolutely abuses Storm Grenades as the Arc grenade subclass. The artifact mod for Season of Plunder, Lightning Strikes Twice, gives you constant Storm Grenades. Those Storm Grenades get buffed by Arc Titan aspects and fragments, and then you pair that with the exotic chest armor Heart of Inmost Light to empower your other abilities as well. TLDR: Constant ability uptime, constant grenades. That’s all there is to it. Everything else is just outclassed in damage and ease of use. And that’s why it’s the best.
Don’t let these ranks steer you away from playing a subclass, play what you want. This is to show the strengths, weaknesses, and overall playstyle of each class. Destiny 2 is a very fun game with many ways to play and build. Try exploring for your own unique way to play. Some might be harder to play than others, but every subclass can have its own role in the fireteam. Whether you’re trying to dive straight into the action with Sunbreaker or Arcstrider, exploding everything with Gunslinger or Voidwalker, freezing the arena with Revenant or Shadebinder, enjoying the show with Nightstalker, or even being a bit silly with Behemoth. Pick a sub-class that you feel matches the playstyle you’re going for! Make your own way to play and perfect it, that is what Destiny is all about.