Destiny 2 Guide: Tips For How To Be The Best Warlock
Enter The Space Wizard
In Destiny 2, the Warlock class has refined its spectral, elemental powers to offer much more to the fireteam's chemistry. With the Titan focusing on defense and heavy strikes, and the Hunter utilizing fast and hard hitting moves with finesse, the Warlock has upped their Space Wizard game to offer more support to their allies in the heat of battle--all the while getting in a some serious damage when it counts. If you want to have the power of the Warlock at your fingertips, there's a few things to consider while trying to be an efficient Space Wizard, and how to properly use those skills with other Guardians without missing a beat.
If this is your first time taking up the mantle of the Warlock, consult our skill and ability galleries for the various subclasses, and be sure to check out all our Destiny 2 guides and walkthroughs for more information on what's happening with the shared world shooter for PC, PS4, or Xbox One. If you're curious about other classes, click from the links below.
But if you're ready to start thinking about optimizing your playstyle for endgame content, read ahead!
Know Your Limits, And The Ways Of The Space Wizard
Much like the Mage archetype that it pulls from, the Warlock isn't really in a position to take up the brunt of damage on the frontlines. With most of their abilities focus on mid-to-long range damage, the Warlock can't touch the Titan's abilities for taking punishment and protecting itself. However, Warlocks more than make up for that in raw power and a number of support buffs that can amplify their attack power, along with abilities that can keep them in the game much longer. One habit to get into, even when playing solo, is to experiment with the many traits and modifiers that come with each subclass' skillset--which can make the Mage a serious force in battle. Though they're not bullet sponges like the Titans, or agile ninjas like the Hunters, the Warlock can hold its own with melee skills that can take out multiple targets at once, and can even drain the health of their enemies to support themselves in an intense fight.
Using Your New Class Abilities
Introduced in Destiny 2 are the brand new class abilities. The Warlock has the gift of placing down special Rifts that can augmented additional attack power, or the ability to heal their wounds along with their allies. Similar to grenade and melee skills, the class ability functions on a cooldown and can be used by holding down the crouch button. While quite effective for solo play, these Rifts are far more useful when in groups, especially when coupled with other class abilities like the Titan's Barricade, giving you extra protection while being amplified by the Warlock's buffs. The Warlock possesses a number of skills that benefit the group, and when you choose this class, you have to be ready to take charge and pop Rifts when the time comes.
Healing Rift: When placed down on a particular spot, the Rift will create a healing circle for those inside. When at full health, the Rift will continue its work and grant you an overshield. Though once you step out of its radius, the effect will drop.
Empowering Rift: Essentially working as the Weapons of Light buff from the original Destiny, this Rift allows Warlocks to amplify the attack power of their weapons, along with that of their allies while staying within the Rift.
Get A Feel For Their Movement
While Hunters and Titans have a focus on speed and reaching great heights with their jumping skills, Warlocks focus more on direct control and precision with their aerial movement. Gliding is a big part of the Warlock's movement in the air, allowing them to gracefully land on difficult surfaces, and even aim down the sights in mid-air to get a bead on their target. If you're coming from other classes like the Titan and Hunter, it may take some time to get used to the Warlock's hopping skills as they're more momentum driven than the others. If you get a poor running starting before a jump, you'll likely sink to the ground fast.
If you want to start off with jump skill that's well-rounded, then stick with Balanced Glide, which has equal focuses on direct control and speed during airtime. However, if you're looking for something that gets you going a little faster, then the Warlock's Voidwalker subclass possesses the Blink jump skill, which turns the glide into a teleport--similar to the Hunter's way of doing things.
Be Formless, Like Water
Along with the Titan and Hunter, the Warlock has a set of subclasses to choose from after acquiring artifacts and channeling the energy within them to continue their path forward. The subclasses have their own distinct strengths and weaknesses: Voidwalkers are high powered wraiths that can hit hard and fast while draining foes; Stormcallers rely on throwing bolts of energy from mid-to-long range; solar-imbued Dawnblades are flying swordsmen with amplified fire damage and projectile attacks from their flaming sword.Along with particular traits that can modify the subclasses drastically, it's important to get a feel of each subclass and test their limits--as getting too comfortable with one can put you in a vulnerable position where they made not be so effective. Each class is useful in its own right, and while it may feel like one is superior to the other, certain situations may call for you to utilize the skill-set of a specific subclass to survive.
Learn To Be A Parasite
As the very first subclass for Warlocks in Destiny, the Voidwalker takes advantage of a number of health draining and Void based attacks that debilitate foes. Unlike the other two classes, the Voidwalker's Super move--the Nova Bomb--is a one-time use. While that may seem like a hassle, the Nova Bomb is a massive attack resulting in tons of splash damage, which can hit a number of foes at once. Moreover, the Voidwalker can keep the Warlock in the action with its skills focus on draining health from foes with melee skills, and allowing the class to absorb their own grenade for health. With two unique skills trees, these two paths can alter the Voidwalker in a number of interesting ways.
Attunement of Chaos: This particular path focuses on disrupting the general power dynamic that most Guardians operate in. Not only can you turn enemies into bombs with your melee skill, and also sacrifice Super energy to shorten your cooldowns for your class skills, you can also alter the trajectory and speed of the Nova Bomb, turning it into a vicious orb of destruction that can also be detonated early with a well-time shot from your gun.
Attunement of Hunger: With this path, the Warlock has the means to last much longer on their own by taking advantage skills that suck the lifeforce out of enemies. With the Devour and Insatiable perks, you can absorb life from enemies and recharge your skills with a quick melee strikes. Also, the Nova Bomb will be amplified again, turning it into a Vortex that keeps enemies trapped inside for additional damage.
Learn To Take Flight
Being the new subclass for the Warlock, the Dawnblade brings a number of interesting tricks to the fold that can make the class a serious force in battle. Allowing the Warlock to take flight and hurl deadly projectiles capable of wiping out foes in a single hit, the Daybreak Super gives the Warlock expanded verticality and speed in the air--even letting them stay in-flight for the duration of the powered-up period. In addition to this unique Super, the Dawnblade's supporting traits grant the Warlock moves to boost their movement and reload speeds, along with Solar based damage over time modifiers for their offensive moves.
Attunement of Sky: With this focus, the Warlock gains additional aerial moves and buffs, allowing for new abilities such as a useful air-dodge, kills in mid-air granting reductions to cooldowns and easier Super energy, and the skill to aim down the sights while gliding through the air. If the Dawnblade's existing aerial skills have won you over, then stick with this path to enjoy an extra boost.
Attunement of Flame: Focusing on applying new moves and modifiers to your Super, this tree will grant buffs to Daybreak--turns its projectiles into homing attacks, allowing extended Super phases with repeated kills, and a useful air-to-surface attack that will vaporize nearby enemies. Many of these skills are fairly interesting, which can make the Daybreak Super feel far more versatile.
Learn To Bring The Thunder
Returning from The Taken King expansion, the Stormcaller subclass allows the Warlock to take point and channel Arc energy into devastating lightning attacks. Granted with extra speed thanks to levitation, the Stormcaller can float through the environment while chaining Arc damage against a large number of opponents. Along with these Arc focused attacks, this particular subclass can recharge Super energy and hit multiple enemies with melee strikes, in addition to calling in Arc sourced helper drones and single focused lightning bolts for massive damage.
Attunement Of Conduction: Taking this particular path will grant the Stormcaller with a helpful teleport skill during their Super phase, along with a series of buffs and cooldown modifiers that activate when using grenade and melee skills--including the added bonus of chaining grenade and melee damage to nearby enemies. This particular tree focuses on hitting multiple enemies at once with as few moves as possible, which can be especially useful when going solo.
Attunement Of The Elements: With this skill tree, you're given additional buffs for your Rifts and granted a special Arc Soul, which creates a drone for the Warlock and their allies. With the Landfall perk, the Stormtrance Super will begin with a massive bolt of lightning, vaporizing all enemies nearby. Moreover, the Rift abilities recharge much faster when near allies. This particular path is helpful during a Strike or a Raid, especially during instances where you're surrounded and you and your allies need an immediate second wind to keep up with the fight.
Be A Team Player
The Warlock's new skills for healing and augmenting attack power makes them an invaluable asset for the fireteam. While they're still useful for solo play, it's important to remember possessing such skills will make you responsible for helping the other Guardians out. Don't be afraid to run into danger if it means you can revive an ally near cover, as you'll be able to pop a Rift soon after to heal you both.
Also remember to coordinate with other members of the fireteam to ensure you can double up on class abilities together. With the Titan's barricade ability, the Rift can used to heal the crew or buff their damage output while taking advantage of the extra protection. This ability also has a place during PVP, but it must be used more intelligently. As you're constantly moving around during games like deathmatch and supremacy, leaving a Healing or Empowering Rift may not be wise when you're not behind cover and away from enemies. However, the Warlock's ability can be used effectively during territory game types, where staying on particular points with teammates is required--which will make you a valued member of the team.
Finding Your Niche
Though Warlocks don't get as much play as the Hunters and Titans, they're a key part of the fireteam's dynamic and can be a game-changer in the hands of a skilled player. While they're not as fast as a Hunter, nor do they have the strength and resilience of a Titan, the Warlock class makes up for it with their versatility and skills that focus on keeping them in the action, while supporting the crew when it counts most. As one of the more sophisticated classes in Destiny, the Warlock challenges players in ways they least expect, but if those picking up the class are willing to stick with it--and learn the ins and outs of each subclass--they'll be rewarded with a class that prides itself on being the Guardian's most resourceful class.