Destiny 2 best Strand builds: Hunter, Warlock, and Titan in Lightfall

Destiny 2
(Image credit: Bungie)

Destiny 2: Lightfall, the latest expansion for developer Bungie's popular live service looter shooter, is finally here. The DLC takes players to the neon-soaked Neptunian city of Neomuna and tasks them with stopping Emperor Calus and his Darkness-worshipping Shadow Legion in a new campaign, but the true highlight of the expansion is its new Strand subclasses.

Strand — a thready elemental power capable of being used to weave armies of familiars, suspend enemies in midair, and more — felt quite underwhelming in the first few days after Lightfall's release due to long ability cooldowns. In response to fan feedback, Bungie made all of Strand's subclass Fragments available early. This has helped players unlock Strand's full potential and maximize its combat effectiveness.

We've been trying out multiple different Strand Fragment combinations over the last several days, and after coming up with several ways to enhance the subclass with weapons, Exotic armor pieces, and Lightfall's new Armor Charge mods, we've come up with a top-notch build for each of Destiny 2's three character classes. In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about them, including what the theme of each build is, how each one works, and all the gear, stats, and mods you should use to optimize them.

Destiny 2 Lightfall: Best Strand Hunter build

(Image credit: Windows Central)
  • Subclass: Threadrunner
  • Aspects: Widow's Silk, Ensnaring Slam
  • Fragments: Thread of Mind, Thread of Generation, Thread of Warding, Thread of Binding OR Thread of Wisdom
  • Class ability: Marksman's Dodge
  • Grenade: Grapple Grenade
  • Exotic armor: Assassin's Cowl, The Sixth Coyote, Radiant Dance Machines
  • Weapons: Close range
  • Important stats: Mobility, Discipline, Resilience
  • Important mods: Impact Induction, Focusing Strike, Heavy Handed, Charged Up, Stacks on Stacks, Innervation, Recuperation, Utility Kickstart, Bomber, Reaper

Every class can put Strand's iconic Grapple Grenade to good use, but it's at its strongest when used with the Hunter's Threadrunner subclass. Its Widow's Silk Aspect gives you an extra grenade charge, and also makes your grapples create anchor points that you can repeatedly grapple to without using up your grapple's charge. The Ensnaring Slam Aspect, meanwhile, allows you to convert your dodge into an area-of-effect dive attack whenever you're in the air. This attack suspends any enemy it hits, leaving them completely exposed to follow-up from you and your allies.

The best way to take advantage of the Threadrunner's Aspects is to grapple above a group of enemies, creating an anchor point. Then, you'll want to use the Ensnaring Slam attack to suspend all of them. After that, you can use your second Grapple Grenade charge to repeatedly grapple to your anchor point, using it to build momentum and grapple melee the helpless foes until they're defeated.

To optimize this combo, it's crucial to reduce the cooldowns on both your grenade and dodge abilities so you always have grapples and suspending slams at the ready. Additionally, you'll also want to build into damage resistance, as you'll be getting very close to enemies with this build. For these reasons, Thread of Mind, Thread of Generation, Thread of Warding, and Thread of Binding are the best Fragments to use. 

Thread of Mind will give you lots of class ability energy whenever you defeat suspended targets (something you'll be doing often), while Thread of Generation improves your grenade cooldown whenever you deal any kind of damage. Thread of Warding gives you the Woven Mail buff (60% damage resistance in PvE) whenever you collect an Orb of Power, which you'll be doing often with the mods we're about to go over. The fourth Fragment slot is flexible, but we like Thread of Binding for the +10 Resilience stat bump and the suspending bursts created whenever you get a kill with the Silkstrike Super. Thread of Wisdom — a Fragment that creates an Orb of Power whenever you kill a suspended enemy with precision damage — is fine too, but trust us when we say that you won't be hurting for Orbs without it.

The Orbs of Power you generate from grapple melees with Heavy Handed act as a battery for Utility Kickstart. (Image credit: Windows Central)

The single most important armor mod in this build is Heavy Handed, which gives you an Orb of Power for getting powered melee kills. This includes grapple melees, and since you'll be grapple meleeing groups of ads over and over, you'll constantly get Orbs that refresh your Woven Mail. Reaper is also a good addition to the build, as it allows you to get an Orb of Power by getting a weapon kill after using your slam attack. The Innervation and Recuperation mods don't spawn Orbs, but improve them so they reduce your grenade cooldown and heal you, respectively.

For Armor Charge, you want Charged Up and Stacks on Stacks so you can get four Armor Charges from two Orbs, then Utility Kickstart to instantly give your dodge cooldown a huge boost whenever you use it to perform a suspending slam. Impact Induction and Focusing Strike are useful for cooldown reduction, too, though they're not tied to the Armor Charge system.

Finally, let's talk gear. Stat-wise, you want armor with high Mobility, Discipline, and Resilience for good base cooldowns and a high base damage resistance. Multiple Exotic armor pieces can work here, including The Sixth Coyote (two dodge charges) and the Radiant Dance Machines (infinite dodges for six seconds after using your dodge near an enemy). We've found that the Assassin's Cowl is the best all-around option, though, as free invisibility and healing after every grapple melee kill is extremely helpful. As for weapons, you can use whatever you'd like, though something suited for close-quarters combat will work best.

Destiny 2 Lightfall: Best Strand Warlock build

(Image credit: Windows Central)
  • Subclass: Broodweaver
  • Aspects: Mindspun Invocation, Weaver's Call
  • Fragments: Thread of Finality, Thread of Rebirth, Thread of Evolution, Thread of Generation
  • Class ability: Healing or Empowering Rift
  • Grenade: Threadling Grenade
  • Exotic armor: Swarmers
  • Weapons: Strand weapons w/ Hatchling perk, Demolitionist weapons
  • Important stats: Recovery, Discipline, Resilience
  • Important mods: Strand/Harmonic Siphon, Grenade Kickstart, Impact Induction, Charged Up, Stacks on Stacks, Innervation, Insulation, Bomber x2, Reaper

True to its name, the Warlock's Broodweaver subclass excels at overwhelming enemies with endless hordes of Threadlings, which are Strand "pets" that viciously seek and destroy whatever you're fighting. This is because the Mindspun Invocation Aspect allows you to consume your Threadling Grenade (hold the grenade input) to instantly create five perched Threadlings, and the Weaver's Call Aspect spawns three Threadlings and deploys any perched ones whenever you cast your rift class ability.

At its core, this build is about making as many Threadlings as possible, which is something that Lightfall's Swarmers Exotic leg armor helps with. It makes your Threadlings unravel enemies when they kill them, spawning a Tangle. It also makes your Tangles spawn Threadlings of their own whenever you shoot or throw them, allowing you to keep up the pressure between Threadling Grenade consumptions.

Unsurprisingly, you'll want to focus on Fragments that improve anything Threadling or Threadling Grenade related for this build. That's why we recommend Thread of Finality, Thread of Rebirth, Thread of Evolution, and Thread of Generation. Thread of Finality creates a Threadling whenever you perform a finisher (and also provides a nice +10 stat boost to Recovery), while Thread of Rebirth gives your Strand weapon final blows a chance to spawn one as well. Thread of Evolution buffs all of your Threadlings with 25% extra damage and doubled movement speed, making them significantly more lethal. Finally, Thread of Generation makes all of your damage, including damage caused by Threadlings, feed your Threadling Grenade energy and help it come off cooldown faster.

A mod setup built around Grenade Kickstart will help you get your Threadling Grenades back significantly faster. (Image credit: Windows Central)

Your mod suite should be completely focused on getting your Threadling Grenade back, and the best way to do this is to take advantage of the Armor Charge system. Specifically, you want Harmonic/Strand Siphon mods that create Orbs of Power when you get rapid kills with Strand weapons (we can't use Firepower to make Orbs since Threadling kills from consumed Threadling Grenades don't count as grenade final blows), followed by Charged Up and Stacks on Stacks so you can get four Armor Charge from two Orbs. Then, Grenade Kickstart will convert that Armor Charge into half of a Threadling Grenade charge after you consume one. Some other valuable mods include Impact Induction, Innervation, Insulation, Bomber, and Reaper. With all of these mods equipped and properly taken advantage of, you'll be shocked at how often your Threadling Grenades are available.

Recovery and Discipline are the most important stats for this build since they affect your rift and grenade cooldowns, though you should try and get a decently high Resilience as well since damage resistance is very powerful in endgame content. Strength can help you get your ranged Arcane Needle melees back, but since they don't do much in this build beyond proccing Impact Induction, it's not a priority stat.

Weapon-wise, you'll want Strand weapons with the Hatchling or Demolitionist perks. This is because rapid Strand weapon kills proc Thread of Rebirth and spawn a Threadling while also creating Orbs of Power thanks to Harmonic/Strand Siphon mods. The reason you want either Hatchling or Demolitionist on them is because the former makes the weapon create a Threadling whenever you get a precision kill (this stacks with Thread of Rebirth), while the latter gives you a small chunk of grenade energy with each kill and reloads the weapon whenever you use your grenade. Some  excellent ones to keep an eye out for include Perpetualis, Round Robin, Synchronic Roulette, and Circular Logic.

Destiny 2: Best Strand Titan build

  • Subclass: Berserker
  • Aspects: Drengr's Lash, Into the Fray
  • Fragments: Thread of Mind, Thread of Wisdom, Thread of Warding, Thread of Binding OR Thread of Continuity
  • Class ability: Rally Barricade
  • Grenade: Shackle Grenade
  • Exotic armor: Abeyant Leap
  • Weapons: Medium range
  • Important stats: Resilience, Recovery, Discipline or Strength
  • Important mods: Siphon mods, Heavy Handed, Charged Up, Stacks on Stacks, Insulation x2, Utility Kickstart, Bomber, Outreach 

Like Threadrunner Hunters, the Titan's Berserker subclass is fantastic for suspending enemies and locking them in place. However, the way in which you accomplish this with Titan is much different. Instead of diving directly into groups of enemies, it's best to set up a defensible front line with a Rally Barricade with Berserker Titan. The subclass' Drengr's Lash Aspect makes your Barricades create a ripple of suspending Strand energy that shoots forward when you cast them, while the Into the Fray Aspect allows you to buff yourself and your allies with protective Woven Mail by destroying the Tangles you create. It also significantly improves your melee recharge rate whenever you have Woven Mail.

Suspending enemies with your Rally Barricade (and Shackle Grenade if your Drengr's Lash ripples miss) and then laying into them with your weapons and Frenzied Blade melee attacks is the goal here, so the new Abeyant Leap Exotic leg armor is a perfect fit for this build. This Exotic adds two additional suspending energy ripples to Drengr's Lash, making it much easier to suspend large groups of enemies when casting your Barricade. It also gives you Woven Mail for suspending your foes, ensuring that between it and the effects of Into the Fray, you'll almost always have this buff active.

Since this build is completely centered around your Barricade class ability, the suspend debuff, and Woven Mail, the best Fragments to use are the ones that improve your uptime with these elements of your subclass. Therefore, we recommend Thread of Mind, Thread of Wisdom, Thread of Binding, and Thread of Warding. 

Thread of Mind is a must-have, as getting class ability energy back for defeating suspended targets is perfect for this setup. Thread of Wisdom is also synergizes well with Drengr's Lash, as killing suspended enemies with precision damage will spawn Orbs of Power. With Thread of Warding, those Orbs will then provide you with Woven Mail when collected. Both Thread of Binding and Thread of Continuity are good choices for your fourth Fragment; Binding provides an extra +10 Resilience and makes kills with the Bladefury Super suspend nearby foes, while Continuity extends the duration of your suspensions.

(Image credit: Windows Central)

To optimize the build further, you should use the Charged Up, Stacks on Stacks, and Utility Kickstart Armor Charge mods to get huge chunks of Barricade class ability energy back whenever you cast a Barricade after picking up Orbs of Power. Heavy Handed and Siphon mods that match your weapons of choice will help you generate more Orbs with your melee and rapid weapon kills. Other valuable choices include a pair of Insulation mods that improve class ability regeneration whenever you pick up an Orb, as well as both Bomber and Outreach so your Barricade casts help your grenade and melee abilities recharge faster. You could opt for Reaper instead, but you'll be making plenty of Orbs already.

This build is similar to other Titan setups in that Resilience is, by far, the most valuable stat since it reduces your Rally Barricade cooldown while also giving you high base damage resistance. Recovery and Discipline or Strength are the next best ones after that, as quicker health regeneration and faster ability recharge rates are always a good thing.

While you don't need any specific types of weapons to make this build work, it's recommended to use a medium range loadout with lots of ad clearing potential so you can shred the enemies you suspend. SMGs, Auto Rifles, Pulse Rifles, Fusion Rifles, wave frame Grenade Launchers, Machine Guns, and Heavy Grenade Launchers are all great choices for this. Make sure you use Siphon mods that match the elements of your weapons so you can generate Orbs of Power with them.

Get buildcrafting, Guardians

While Destiny 2's new subclasses felt weak at first, unlocking Strand's abilities, Aspects, and Fragments has helped everyone figure out just how powerful it can be with the right setups. The builds described above are incredibly potent in both regular and endgame content, and whether you're repeatedly grapple punching your foes with a Threadrunner Hunter, drowning them in explosive Threadlings as a Broodweaver Warlock, or locking them in place and cutting them down with a Berserker Titan, you'll have no problem overwhelming your enemies with the power of Strand.

Destiny 2: Lightfall is available now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One consoles, Windows PCs, and PlayStation systems. In it, you'll take the fight to Emperor Calus, gain access to Strand subclasses and their unique abilities, and more.


Destiny 2: Lightfall

The Lightfall expansion takes players to the neon-soaked city of Neomuna on Neptune and pits them against the fearsome Shadow Legion — all while the threat of Darkness Pyramids, The Witness, and his new Disciple Emperor Calus looms overhead.

See at: Microsoft | GMG (Steam)

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.