Best & Worst Exotic Warlock Armor

Published on: Feb 15, 2015 @ 21:16

There’s a lot of Exotic armor in Destiny, but which pieces fall short? Which are worth using over the others, and why?

This article will analyze each piece of Exotic Warlock armor, ranking them tiers, just as we did with the Exotic Weapons for PvE & PvP.

We’d also like your feedback on which Exotics you feel are the best.

For the House of Wolves Exotics, you can find our initial thoughts for each of them here.

We have individual reviews for all of these items as well – click the armor category to read/watch them.

Helmets

Chests

Gauntlets

Tiers

  • Tier 1 armor is considered the best of the best, useful in nearly all situations.
  • Tier 2 armor is exceptional, but not as great as Tier 1 pieces.
  • Tier 3 armor is OK, worth using sometimes.

The armor in each tier is listed in alphabetical order.

PvP Rank

Tier 1

Heart of the Praxic Fire

Heart of the Praxic Fire is easily one of the most sought after Exotic armor pieces.  This chest is specific for Sunsinger, as it requires Radiance to take advantage of Praise the Sun.

With the right skills selected, you can become an infinite grenade/scorch machine when Radiance is active.

Which grenade type to use is really a personal preference, but the ability to completely deny areas with Solar grenades while using this armor is extremely useful, especially in Control.

Voidfang Vestments

The Voidfang Vestments is the only Voidwalker-specific exotic chest piece. The Improved Axion Bolt perk will buff the (amazing) Axion Bolt grenades, which means more consistent kills.

This chest will work for the Sunsinger as well, because with the Gift of the Sun talent, it will spawn grenades for you. The full grenade energy you get from Improved Axion Bolt will also work with any grenade, not just the Axion Bolt.

Combining the Improved Axion Bolt perk with the Vortex Mastery ability (which increases the range of Axion Bolt) will make your grenades lethal and better at clearing out larger areas.

Tier 2

Claws of Ahamkara

The Warlock melee is arguably the most versatile in Destiny, and having two charges makes it even better. If your melee ability isn’t up, these will help you squeeze out in a close quarters fight.

The increased reload to any special weapon is also handy for just about every situation, and like all of the Exotic gauntlets, it’ll reduce the reload speed by about .7 seconds.

For people who prefer sniping or hanging back, the Claws of Ahamkara won’t  be as favorable. These will shine on small maps and for any player who enjoy using special weapons.

Light Beyond Nemesis

For a team player who wants medic-like perks, this helm is worth picking up. This is an ideal helm for 3v3 Crucible, since you will be resurrecting teammates faster.

Light Beyond Nemesis is a subclass-neutral helm.  It shares the Keeper of the Pack perk with Crest of Alpha Lupi, allowing you to really support your teammates.

This helm will obviously be most useful in situations where teammates can be revived.

Starfire Protocol

Starfire Protocol’s main perk will give you an additional fusion grenade, but this does not stack with the Gift of the Sun talent, so you can only hold 2 grenades.

While this does pigeonhole you into taking Fusion grenades, it does free up the Angel of Light or Touch of Flame talent.

This chest piece will also increase your fusion rifle ammo and heavy ammo reserves, similar to the Heart of the Praxic Fire.

The Intellect on this armor increase the charge rate of Radiance, getting your double Fusion grenades back quicker than they would normally.

Sunbreakers

In PvP and PvE alike, Sunbreakers give the same benefit: More control over areas and more damage output for your grenades. The Solar grenade can be useful in encounters when enemies come through predictable chokepoints.

The perks these provide are fantastic if you set your talents right. Helium Cycle exactly doubles your Solar grenade’s duration. It doesn’t affect Dragon’s Breath solar flare.

An additional Solar grenade with Gift of the Sun talent is crucial if you want to take advantage of Sunbreakers‘ perks. The Song of Flame and Radiant Will Sunsinger talents will have Radiance last longer and have your grenades recharge faster.

Tier 3

Apotheosis Veil

An decent helmet for any Warlock subclass. Similar to Light Beyond Nemesis, the Apotheosis Veil is equipped with Infusion which regenerates your heath when picking up orbs.

Uniquely, this helmet is equipped with the Private Reserves perk that triggers health regeneration when Super abilities are activated.

Private Reserves is one of those perks that can potentially save your life and turn around and engagement, but it’s a perk that will only benefit you in a few situations.

For melee-centric Guardians, Serpent’s Tail and the Discipline this helm comes with will reduce the cooldown of your favorite grenade.

While this could save your life, it’s unlikely to do that consistently. Regenerating health only takes a few seconds, so 2 of 3 perks focusing solely on health regeneration is simply excessive.

Obsidian Mind

What essentially could be considered the best Voidwalker Exotic for PvE, falls short in PvP. Not only is Inverse Shadow completely worthless in PvP, Insatiable – the perk that allows your super to recharge quicker – won’t be as useful since you can’t reliably destroy 3+ Guardians at once.

Sure, if you get lucky and throw your Nova Bomb on an entire team, the Nova Bomb will surely recharge quickly, but how often does that usually happen? If you kill 3 Guardians at once, your Super meter will only fill up by about 30%.

When you’re able to eliminate an entire team from a Control point, you’re going to love this helm, but that won’t happen often.

Finally, the increased grenade throw distance perk is a nice quality of life addition if your gloves don’t happen to have it, but not that advantageous (especially on smaller maps).

Skull of Dire Ahamkara

Skull of Dire Ahamkara‘s main perk will make you harder to kill while throwing your Nova Bomb (niche/unattractive), and will improve your Energy Drain.

This helm is designed for the Voidwalker who wants to use the Soul Rip/Embrace the Void talents. It entirely revolves around giving you a large up-time up the Energy Drain buff, which will give you more grenades (leading to more kills).

This helm will give you Intellect, increasing the passive charge of your Super, which meshes well with the other two perks.

Unfortunately the perks on this helm won’t be effective enough for general PvP use.

best exotic warlock armor

PvE Rank

Tier 1

Apotheosis Veil

Apotheosis Veil is in the first tier primarily for its benefit in Crota’s End hard mode.

If you’re low on health, you can pop your Nova Bomb to obliterate anything nearby and let your health regenerate. As a Sunsinger, you can activate your Radiant Skin and regain your health before you even enter a fight.

Private Reserves is a niche perk, but it can be worked into pretty much any playstyle with ease. In Crota’s End hard mode, this perk plus Infusion will allow you to easily regenerate health and is perfect for the Crota encounter.

Heart of the Praxic Fire

Heart of the Praxic Fire is excellent in PvE for taking out large numbers of enemies very quickly.

This chest piece is one of the few that will give you purely Disciple, which will help decrease your grenade cooldowns, even when Radiance isn’t active.

The Praise the Sun perk will decrease your Grenade and Melee cooldowns by about 25%. Add Flame Shield, Radiant Will, and Gift of the Sun to really give you an edge.

Obsidian Mind

Do you love using Nova Bomb? Insatiable will decrease the cooldown on your Nova Bomb every time you kill something with it, which sometimes can allow your Super to recharge instantly.

It’s recommended that you use Bad JuJu with Obsidian Mind, as kills with that weapon will further increase your Super recharge speed!

Voidwalker’s Soul Rip, Annihilate, and Bloom talents will allow you to maximize your damage with the Nova Bomb. Soul Rip allows Energy Drain to reduce the cooldown of your Nova Bomb and Annihilate/Bloom will make your Nova Bomb deadlier.

Obsidian Mind will also give you Intellect and Strength. The real benefit comes from the Intellect since it will help with your Super recharge faster.

Tier 2

Claws of Ahamkara

Having a perk benefit both subclasses is very rare with Exotic pieces of gear, and it’s nice because you can choose which you prefer. This is also one of the few Exotics that provide multiple stats.

Unfortunately each of the perks relies on getting up close and personal. In PvE activities, especially in the most dangerous scenarios, you’ll be doing everything but getting close up and personal.

Like the Sunbreakers, these could be considered tier 2.5 gauntlets.

Light Beyond Nemesis

This is a decent helm for personal support, but with Infusion and Keeper of the Pack, the perks just are too niche to qualify this helm for general use. It’s worth keeping though if you know you’ll be in a situation where either of those perks will come in handy.

This helm will be benefit you most when fighting Crota on hard mode.

Starfire Protocol

Starfire Protocol‘s Fusion grenade is provides decent damage if you can stick an enemy. This chest only affects the Fusion grenade, and if you’d rather using something else, the chest is basically useless.

For this chest, it comes down to how much you enjoy the Fusion grenades.

Voidfang Vestments

Love using Axion Bolt? If not, this chest isn’t for you.

Voidfang Vestments will also give you Strength, so your Energy Drain or Scorch abilities will recharge quicker. This works well in tandem with a Voidwalker as Energy Drain reduces grenade cooldown, giving you another Axion Bolt grenade very quickly.

If you enjoy using hand cannons, and want to spawn with full grenade energy, it’s a great choice.

Tier 3

Skull of Dire Ahamkara

The increased effectiveness of your Energy Drain ability isn’t bad, as it’ll allow you to have more grenades at your disposal. More grenade kills = more Super kills.

If you like using your Nova Bomb and grenade, this is a suitable helmet, but its perks just aren’t good enough to warrant using.

Sunbreakers

Helium Cycle, the defining perks for these gauntlets, will increase the duration of the solar grenades to 8 seconds from 4.

Serpent’s Tail coincides well, but for a raid or Nightfall strike, getting the most out of the Serpent’s Tail perk will be somewhat difficult.

A high discipline build + Radiance + Helium Cycle solar grenades is going to aid you a lot in tight situations, however most enemies will quickly avoid solar grenades.

In truth, Sunbreakers are in tier 2.5, as they can be extremely useful in a few situations.

Feedback

Do you agree with this ranking? Which Exotics do you prefer using in PvE/PvP? Let us know!

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LATEST POSTS BY AUTHOR

  • Christian Aderhold

    Sunbreaker description is incorrect

    • It’s correct

  • mike_j_w

    Disagree with the claws of ahamkara in pve being tier 3! They’re a god send in tough missions and especially on the raid when getting overran and in need of health. 2 x melee to give you an instant shield and keep you alive with the sun singer fire shield. Saved my life so many times especially when added to the sun singers res ability means I’m one hell of a reliable ally!

    • yeah you’re right

  • Todd Michael Nery

    Obsidian Mind has made glimmer farming on the Exclusion Zone mission a breeze. I don’t even use Bad Juju and I can skip the first group of adds and bomb the second drop ship, shoot whatever I didn’t obliterate with my nova bomb and have my super charged and ready right as I die to start it all over again.

  • SGT_Pannenkoek

    If I can just get my hands on that raid helmet i’ll be using Heart of the Praxic fire all the time!

  • Forge

    It looks like Claws of Ahamkara got moved up to tier 2 in PVE, this I don’t understand, don’t get me wrong, I love them in pvp and on easy missions they are great against weak enemies but where it counts, you cannot really use them. They are useless in the hardest strikes, Nightfalls and most of the raids where most other Exotics are simply better

    Shotguns are getting a huge PVE buff for 1 reason, you cannot get close to big enemies in anything difficult like the NF or raid due to enemies high damage output. this holds even more so for melee hits, sure they give you a flame shield, but a flame shield won’t save you when the major/ultra smashes you. I can understand wanting them in certain situations, like the lamps, when there are a lot of small enemies that melee hits are actually useful against, but I’d much rather have sunbreakers and double grenades perc to simply deny all small enemies from an area while I fully healed inside the grenade zone. Or several of the other exotics.

    Starfire’s fuzion is great for majors and Ultras but is niche so it is rightfully tier 2, voidfang’s buffs are also good for specific builds, so again a good tier two, Light Beyond is awesome in the raid for healing and in NF for fast revives under fire, again a good tier two.

    The Claws are good for PVP but not Tier 2 PVE, Other exotics are simply better than it for almost any situation:
    Hard enemies – If you are close enough to be hitting them, they hit you harder. punching most things in the raid means death shortly after, shield or no shield.
    Weak enemies – hitting some thralls in the early stages might keep you alive for an extra second or two while you kill them, but grenades and other abilities given by other exotics will take them out faster and buy you more time. Also on hard mode if the thrall are close enough to be hitting you enough for you to need the flame shield, they are going to kill you right after anyway.

    I would always advise against claws in the raid, NF or weekly since they rely on using melee against things that can probably 1 hit kill you even with your shield. for the first part of the raid I’d choose most exotics over Claws, especially sunbreakers or Obsidian. The rest of the raid I wouldn’t use Claws at all.

    Claws are rightfully Tier 3 PVE

  • Finlay Jones

    starfire protocol sucks. It would be tier 2 if it let you use any grenades, so you could add the DoT to solar or bolt grenades. DoT to fusion is pointless, and angel of light is an extremely niche perk that most of the time will work against you.

    • DrKrFfXx

      I pick Starfire Protocol over Heart of the Praxic Fire anyday.

      I love my Lock to be fast. Angel of Light gives me +1 agility without trade offs.

      Angel of Light is also fun to pop out of cover, hover and score some sniper shots on baddies, or even nuke the shit out of them with a rocket.

      I love fusion grenades.

      DoT doesn’t stack and it is so minuscule to bigger enemies that even with Viking Funeral the extra damage remains almost imperceptible.

      A full discipline almost matches the grenade output of that of HoTPF on super.

      Starfire is so fucking ugly, though.

  • Kenshiro Genjuro

    The two Sunsinger vests are a bit diminished for anyone walking around in Crota raid leg armor, since extra heavy ammo doesn’t stack. Would have been nice though running around with 10+ Truths or Gallys…

  • Desttion

    COOL copy and paste from old articles, totally learned somethin new coming from the Exotic Chest Analysis article -_____- pigeon hole this pigeon hole that

  • Anon

    Skull of Dire Ahamkara is one of the best Voidwalker PvP exotics if not THE best and I question you as a player and a thinker for thinking otherwise. Blink+Nova Bomb becomes entirely unstoppable, guaranteeing a control point save. The grenade uptime passive fills HALF the grenade bar leading nearly endless grenades. I use it over Voidfang every time I play Voidwalker.