Destiny 2 Warlock class guide: Class info, subclasses, skill lists, tips and more


What is the Warlock class?


Destiny 2 Warlock (Image credit: Bungie, Inc.)

Warlocks made a return in Destiny 2, allowing players to control the battlefield using a number of powerful and unique abilities. You could consider Warlocks to be the mages of Destiny 2, while Titans and Hunters are tanks and rogues, respectively. They're also pinned as the support pillar of any fire strike team. Warlocks don't go running in to soak up damage, but instead, offer supportive firepower and team buffs.

Basic abilities

Rift types:

  • Healing Rift: Conjure a well of Light that continually heals those inside it.
  • Empowering Rift: Conjure a well of Light that increases weapon damage for those inside it.


In Destiny 2, three subclasses are available to the Warlock class — Dawnblade, Stormcaller, and Voidwalker. Each offers their own unique strengths and weaknesses, as well as abilities, both regular and super, exclusive to that subclass. On top of that, each subclass also has two available skill trees that further increase a number of playstyles you can adopt.


Destiny 2

Have you ever desired to be transformed into burning flames with the ability to shoot sizzling hot blades from your weapon? If so, then the Dawnblade subclass is for you. This class of the Warlock allows you to get up close and personal to enemies and set them ablaze or keep one's distance and take full advantage of mid-flight fighting capabilities.

Super Ability:

  • Daybreak: Weave Solar Light into blades and smite your foes from the skies.

Jump types:

  • Strafe Glide: Jump while airborne to activate Glide and start an airborne drift with string directional control.
  • Burst Glide: Jump while airborne to activate Glide and start an airborne drift with a strong initial boost of speed.
  • Balanced Glide: Jump while airborne to activate Glide and start an airborne drift with both moderate speed and directional control.

Grenede abilities:

  • Solar Grenade: A grenade that creates a flare of Solar Light that continuously damages enemies trapped inside.
  • Firebolt Grenade: A grenade that unleashes bolts of Solar Light at nearby enemies.
  • Fusion Grenade: An explosive grenade that deals bonus damage when it attaches to a target.

Attunement of Sky skill tree abilities:

  • Heat Rises: Airborne kills recharge your Grenade and Melee energy. Casting Daybreak instantly refills all your ability energy.
  • Winged Sun: Engage your enemies mid-flight. Fire weapons and throw grenades while gliding. Icarus Dash: Press "B, B" while in midair to dodge.
  • Swift Striker: Strike an enemy with this Melee Ability to burn your target and temporarily increase your movement and reload speed.

Attunement of Flame skill tree abilities:

  • Igniting Touch: Strike an enemy with this melee ability to burn them and cause them to explode when killed.
  • Phoenix Dive: Hold "B" while in midair to quickly descend and restore your health. While Daybreak is active, Descend cause explosive damage. Everlasting Flame: Killing an enemy with Daybreak extends its duration.
  • Fated for the Flame: Daybreak projectiles seek targets as they travel and, upon impact, launch a streak of deadly flames.


Destiny 2

This is the go-to subclass for Warlocks who are down for some solo action for an hour or two. Sporting healing abilities that drain the life from foes, it's a well-rounded skill tree that sacrifices some of the support aspects of this class for extra damage. And the Nova Bomb is amazing to unleash for massive splash damage.

Super Ability:

  • Nova Bomb: Hurl an explosive bolt of Void Light at the enemy, disintegrating those caught within its blast.

Jump types:

  • Strafe Glide: Jump while airborne to activate Glide and start an airborne drift with string directional control.
  • Blink: Jump while airborne to teleport a short distance.
  • Burst Glide: Jump while airborne to activate Glide and start an airborne drift with a strong initial boost of speed.

Grenade abilities:

  • Vortex Grenade: A grenade that creates a vortex which continually damages enemies trapped inside.
  • Axion Bolt: A bolt of Void Light that forks into smaller bolts on impact that seek out enemies.
  • Scatter Grenade: A grenade that splits into many submunitions and covers a large area with multiple explosions.

Attunement of Chaos skill tree abilities:

  • Bloom: Void ability kills cause enemies to explode.
  • Chaos Accelerant: Hold "LB" draw power from your Super to overcharge your grenade, making it deadlier and more effective.
  • Cataclysm: Nova Bomb travels slowly and seeks enemies. Detonations shatter into smaller seeker projectiles. Fire your weapon at the Nova Bomb to detonate it early.
  • Entropic Pull: Strike an enemy with this Melee Ability to drain your enemy's life force and use it to recharge your grenade.

Attunement of Hunger skill tree abilities:

  • Devour: Kill an enemy with this melee ability to fully regenerate your health. For a short time afterward, kills restore additional health.
  • Feed The Void: Hold "LB" to consume your grenade energy to regenerate your health. Grants the Devour effect.
  • Insatiable: While the Devour effect is active, killing enemies extends its duration and recharges your grenade.
  • Vortex: Nova Bomb creates a singularity which continually damages enemies trapped inside.


Destiny 2

When things go south, it's time to bring in a little electricity. The Stormcaller subclass for Warlocks allows one to float across the battlefield spewing lightning from their fingertips. As a supporting subclass, you'll also find your Rift ability regenerating faster while allies are nearby, should you lock in specific passive skills.

Super Ability:

  • Stormtrance: While active, Stormtrance allows a Stormcaller to float across the battlefield, electrocuting and disintegrating foe after foe.

Jump types:

  • Controlled Glide: Jump while airborne to activate Glide and start an airborne drift with string directional control.
  • Burst Glide: Jump while airborne to activate Glide and start an airborne drift with a strong initial boost of speed.
  • Balanced Glide: Jump while airborne to activate Glide and start an airborne drift with both moderate speed and directional control.

Grenade abilities:

  • Arcbolt Grenade: chains bolts of lightning to nearby enemies.
  • Pulse Grenade: periodically damages enemies inside its explosion radius.
  • Storm Grenade: calls down a focused lightning storm.

Attunement of Ions skill tree abilities:

  • Chain Lightning: Deliver an electrocuting Arc melee strike at extended range that chains from the struck target to another enemy nearby.
  • Transcendence: When cast with full grenade and melee energy, Stormtrance lasts longer and fully restores health.
  • Arc Web: Enemies Damaged by your grenades chain deadly lightning to nearby enemies.
  • Ionic Blink: Press the Sprint button to teleport during Stormtrance.

Attunement of the Elements skill tree abilities:

  • Gale Force: This electrocuting Melee Ability hits at extended range and recharges your Super, grenade, and melee energy.
  • Landfall: On casting Stormtrance, fire a bolt of lightning into the ground, creating a devastating shockwave under you.
  • Rising Storm: Your Rift charges faster when allies are near.
  • Arc Soul: Your Rift now grants you or any ally who uses it an Arc Soul to aid you in battle.


To help guide you in picking a direction to go with when you're playing as a Warlock, we've come up with three types of builds (one for each subclass) to give you an example of how you can find success.

Dawnblade: Flaming Bullet


  • Movement ability: Strafe Glide
  • Grenade ability: Solar Grenade
  • Rift ability: Healing Rift
  • Skill path: Attunement of Sky
  • Kinetic weapon: Scout Rifle
  • Energy weapon: Hand Cannon
  • Heavy weapon: Sniper Rifle

With the "Flaming Bullet" build, and as a Dawnblade Warlock, you're going to need to be accurate with your shots to get the most out of this setup. With the Wings of Sacred Dawn, you'll be suspended in the air for a long time while aiming down a sight so make each shot count before hitting the ground (precision hits extend the duration further). With the Winged Sun passive, you'll want to do most of your shooting airborne, especially when melee mobs are coming for your face.

For when you land you'll be up close and personal, which is where Swift Strike comes into play. Smashing a mob will not only set it alight but also increase your movement and reload speed. It's always (quite literally) a blast and efficient use of skills when bashing something as you come in for a perfect landing. Lastly, when all fails or you're about to fall, activate Daybreak and you'll instantly replenish all abilities. Nice!

Voidcaller: Exiled Tank


  • Movement ability: Blink
  • Grenade ability: Vortex Grenade
  • Rift ability: Empowering Rift
  • Skill path: Attunement of Hunger
  • Kinetic weapon: Scout Rifle/Hand Cannon
  • Energy weapon: Submachine Gun
  • Heavy weapon: Sword

The "Exiled Tank" takes the Warlock class and turns it into a living (and breathing) tank that can soak up some serious damage. This is arguably one of the strongest builds in Destiny 2. Within the Voidcaller subclass is the Attunement of Hunger. This is what you'll be relying on. Taking Blink as your movement ability, you're able to quickly relocated into a group of mobs, which is where the fun begins. Before running in, however, you'll want to consume your grenade to grant the devour buff.

With this buff active, all kills made before the effect wears off restore health. But that's not all, with the insatiable passive running alongside devour all kills now also extends the duration of the buff and even recharges your grenade. The submachine gun is ideal for hitting numerous mobs in closer quarters, while a scout rifle will lend a hand for any stragglers at a distance, or for when you mess up and lose the devour buff.

It's best to save your melee ability for when you are in a tight spot and need to have to devour activated again, which allows you to store two means of activating the effect in combat: grenade and melee. There's also no point taking the healing rift since we'll handle our own regeneration, but you could do so to lay the rift down for teammates before leaping into a mob. Unfortunately, this build relies on there being more than one enemy every nine seconds (before the effect wears off) and for bosses, you may find it a little tough to get cocky.

Stormcaller: Thor's Cousin


  • Movement ability: Balanced Glide
  • Grenade ability: Arcbolt Grenade
  • Rift ability: Healing Rift
  • Skill path: Attunement of Elements
  • Kinetic weapon: Scout Rifle/Hand Cannon
  • Energy weapon: Hand Cannon
  • Heavy weapon: Rocket Launcher

"Thor's Cousin" is a stunning PvE (Player vs. Environment) build that relies on one's relation to the hammer wielder himself. For this build, it's highly recommended you acquire the Crown of Tempests exotic helmet, which significantly increases ability cooldowns with ability kills. The aim of the game is to have your super ability running for as long as possible. And who doesn't want to channel lightning from their fingertips for extended periods of time?

The passives offered by Attuning to the Elements allow for the use of both grenade and melee (as well as the healing rift if you desire) to enter into Stormtrance and have all three abilities recharged from kills while in super form. As an added bonus, should you be tackling hordes of trash mobs, your friendly Arc Soul will also proc (activate) Crown Tempests' passive to recharge your abilities.

The result is an incredibly powerful build that allows for some serious damage to be applied. I personally enjoy gliding around with a dual hand cannon loadout and a rocket launcher for the big mobs.

Tips and tricks

We're going to round this guide out with four tips and tricks that will help every Hunter find success.

  • Don't forget to heal or buff. Warlocks are a support-like class and have an amazing Rift ability. Just remember to use it in the heat of battle as that extra few hit points or points of damage can really make a difference.
  • You can fly. Kind of. As well as being able to double-jump, Warlocks can also glide and sometimes even pick up passive abilities that allow them to more efficiently deal damage while airborne.
  • Use cover on cooldown. As you wait for abilities to recharge (or for mobs to poke around the corner for a solid melee blast) take full advantage of available cover offered by the terrain.
  • Keep on movin'. There's literally no reason to stand still in Destiny 2, regardless of which class you play, but as a Warlock you'll want to pay extra care with positioning as it can be real easy to be overwhelmed.

Destiny 2 is available now on Xbox One and PS4 for $59.99.

See at Amazon See at Xbox Store {.cta

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.