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Destiny class guide: Warlock

Destiny has something for everyone, and if your thing is dishing it out in high style from behind the shield of your allies, the Warlock would like to talk to you.


Destiny is carefully balanced so you can enjoy the game solo, but if you're interested in co-op, strikes or raids you want to know as much as you can about what roles each class can play in a good fireteam.

The Warlock is a fragile class which can't survive the frontlines, but has the capacity to deal massive damage, drawn from their study of the Traveller's mystical energies. In classic fantasy archetypes, the Warlock is the mage. In the "holy trinity", it serves as main damage dealer.

Playing a Warlock takes skill, because doing heavy damage is easy but avoiding it is harder. The Warlock has much lighter armour than the Titan, and is nowhere near as agile as the Hunter. Skilled Warlocks will know how to avoid threats proactively, not reactively, lobbing their most powerful attacks right into the heart of enemy groups without entering firing zones. As a Warlock, you have a responsibility to use powers wisely - and frequently.

In a co-op situation, the Warlock is a damage dealer, first and foremost. Warlocks don't have the evasion abilities of the Hunter or the survivability of the Titan, but they're likely to be doing most of the non-spike damage. It's up to the other classes to keep their secret weapon safe by managing threat.

Warlock: Equipment

Warlocks and Hunters have a rivalry over which is the best dressed, but the Warlock is stylish from the start. Their distinctive mid-calf length dusters lend them a certain elegance the other classes don't achieve until they reach higher levels.

On the downside, the Warlock's class equipment is easy to miss - it's strapped to the arm. At higher levels it gives off gorgeous effects, like light or even flames.

Warlock: Glide

The Warlock's mobility ability is called Glide, and of the three classes its movement is the most parallel. This makes it great for getting across long gaps, but it's not so great for climbing through the environment or evading fire.

That said, the Warlock's dignified glide definitely has its used, allowing you to fire weapons or powers in mid-air with a much higher chance to hide. Is there anything more majestic then sailing serenely between two pieces of cover, lobbing a grenade at a group of startled enemies? If it really doesn't suit you, grit your teeth until you can upgrade to a teleport - now that's useful on the battlefield.

The Glide upgrade tree is identical in both Warlock subclasses:

    Jump and then press X again while in the air to activate Glide.
  • Focused Control - Upgrades Glide for better directional control while in the air.
  • Focused Burst - Upgrades Glide to provide an initial boost of speed.
  • Blink - A short distance teleport which replaces Glide.

Warlock: stat boost upgrade trees

Players can choose just one perk from each of the two stat boost upgrade trees. Although it's tempting to treat the third perk in each tree as the most powerful, which you should choose depends on your subclass, play style, equipment and build. The two stat boost perks may not seem dramatic, but you can use them to plug a hole in your build, or combine them with other choice to min-max a gameplay loop.

Warlocks are never going to be very happy right up in the enemy's faces for any length of time, but you could try to buff this aspect up if you find yourself repeatedly downed. or you could push for speed, and hope you do a better job of keeping away from the baddies.

    Class Modifiers
  • Arcane Wisdom - Training focused on battle recovery and speed.
  • Arcane Spirit - Training focused on battle recovery and toughness.
  • Arcane Force - Training focused on toughness and speed.
    Ability Modifiers
  • Ancestral Order - Training focused on all attributes.
  • Chaos Order - Training focused on raw speed.
  • Divine Order - Training focused on toughness at all costs.

Next: the Warlock's Voidwalker subclass.


Warlock: Voidwalker subclass guide

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

Both of the Warlock subclasses are killing machines, but the Voidwalker is perhaps the easiest to exploit for beginner magic users. There's an obvious grenade spam loop there if you use Energy Drain freely. Of course, this means you have to get close enough to the enemy to slap a palm against them, but if you find this too painful you can always plump for the health restoration perk. Less obviously, there's a great opportunity to get your super going faster, so that at their best, Warlock are firing powers near constantly.

The Voidwalker can be progressed through the following upgrades:

  • A grenade that creates a Vortex which continually damages enemies trapped inside.
  • Scatter Grenade - A grenade that splits into many submunitions and covers a large area with explosions.
  • Axion Bolt - A bolt of Void Light which forks into smaller bolts on impact which seek toward enemies.
    Nova Bomb (super)
    Hurl an explosive bolt of Void Light at the enemy, disintegrating those caught within its blast.
  • Vortex - Nova Bomb creates a Vortex which continually damages enemies trapped inside.
  • Shatter - Nova Bomb splits into three projectiles.
  • Lance - Nova Bomb travels farther and faster.
    Energy Drain (melee)
    A powerful melee attack which drains energy from enemies and uses it to reduce the cooldown of your grenade.
  • Surge - Killing an enemy with Energy Drain increases movement speed for a short time.
  • Life Steal - Killing an enemy with Energy Drain immediately restores a significant portion of your health.
  • Soul Rip - Killing an enemy with Energy Drain reduces the cooldown of Nova Bomb.
  • Vortex Mastery - Increases the range of Axion Bolt seekers and the duration of the Vortex effect of Nova Bomb and Vortex Grenade.
  • Bent Gravity - Increases the range of grenades and Nova Bomb.
  • The Hunger - Increases the duration of the Energy Drain effect.
  • Angry Magic - Nova Bomb tracks enemies.
  • Embrace the Void - Damaging enemies with Nova Bomb or any grenade triggers the Energy Drain effect.
  • Bloom - Enemies killed by any of your abilities explode.

Next: The Warlock's Sunsinger class.


Warlock: Sunsinger subclass guide

Fill yourself with Solar Light, dramatically increasing the effectiveness of all your abilities.

The Sunsinger is a hell of a team player, and has one of the most unique abilities in the game, being the only class with the ability to return to life after being downed - taking out a knot of foes at the same time. Use your super liberally to buff your teammates, protect yourself against attack with powerful abilities, and cause persistent damage over time.

The Sunsinger's upgrade trees are as follows:

  • Solar Grenade - A grenade that creates a flare of Solar Light which continually damages enemies trapped inside.
  • Firebolt Grenade - A grenade that unleashes bolts of Solar Light at nearby enemies.
  • Fusion Bolt - A grenade that causes bonus damage when attached to its target.
    Radiance (super)
    Fill yourself with Solar Light, dramatically increasing the effectiveness of all your abilities.
  • Song of Flame - While active, Radiance reduces all cooldowns for nearby allies.
  • Radiant Skin - While active, Radiance reduces incoming damage.
  • Fireborn - Radiance can now be activated from beyond the grave. Doing so returns you to life.
    Scorch (melee)
    A powerful melee attack that ignites enemies, causing damage over time.
  • Flame Shield - Killing enemies with Scorch reduces incoming damage for a short time.
  • Solar Wind - Hitting an enemy with Scorch knocks them back.
  • Brimstone - Killing enemies with Scorch causes them to explode.
  • Radiant Will - Increases the duration of Radiance.
  • Viking Funeral - Enemies you ignite burn longer and take more damage.
  • Sunburst - Killing an enemy with Scorch has a chance to generate Orbs of Light.
  • Touch of Flame - All grenades ignite enemies, causing damage over time.
  • Angel of Light - Aiming your weapon while in the air will hold you in place for a short time.
  • Gift of the Sun - Gain an additional grenade.

Not quite your style after all? Check out the other options in our Destiny class Guide.

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