Reviewing the D2 BETA Subclasses

Now that we’ve had ample time with each subclass in the D2 beta, it’s time to take a closer look at each of them!

Titan

Class Skills

  • Towering Barricade – Press and Hold Circle/B to create a large barrier that can be used to reinforce a position with cover from enemy fire.
  • Rally Barricade – Press and Hold Circle/B to create a small barrier that allows you to peek over it while aiming down sights, and which instantly reloads your equipped weapon when you take cover.

The new Barricade skills are a perfect fit for the Titan class, and both options have their moments. The Towering Barricade is perfect for the new Countdown objective mode, while Rally Barricade is great for providing cover and a steady stream of DPS in PvE.

Movement Modes

  • High Lift – Jump while airborne to activate Lift and launch into the air to greater heights.
  • Strafe Lift – Jump while airborne to activate Lift and launch into the air with strong directional control.
  • Catapult Lift – Jump while airborne to activate Lift and launch into the air with a strong initial burst of momentum.

Looks familiar to anyone who’s spent time with Titans in D1, all of their Lift options are basically the same. Interesting to note in the beta is that Titans still seem to be the fastest moving class. It’s been noted by IGN that newer builds of the game have toned this down however.

Striker

Super Ability

  • Fists of Havoc – Supercharge your fists and slam the ground with the force of a maelstrom.

Fist of Havoc returns and it’s now a roaming Super! Using this makes you feel like the Incredible Hulk, as you initially slam the ground upon activation and then go on to either be able to ram into foes with your shoulder or perform more ground slams. Using R2/RT to perform additional ground slam appears to use more of the Super energy as well.

Grenades

  • Flashbang Grenade – An explosive grenade that disorients enemies it damages.
  • Pulse Grenade – A grenade that periodically damages enemies inside its explosion radius.
  • Lightning Grenade – A grenade that sticks to any surface and emits bolts of lightning.

All of the Titan grenades make their return and operate as they did in D1, with the only exceptions being the new Lightning Grenade takes about a second to activate.

Code of the Earthshaker

  • Magnitude – Gain an additional grenade charge. Increases the duration of grenade effects.
  • Seismic Strike – While sprinting, activate this melee ability to slam shoulder-first into your target and release an Arc explosion on impact.
  • Aftershocks – Damaging enemies with Seismic Strike recharges your grenade.
  • Terminal Velocity – Fist of Havoc’s ground slam attack leaves a damage-dealing field in its wake and deals more damage the longer it’s in the air.

The only Titan skill node available for use in the beta, the Earthshaker is very satisfying to play. While shoulder charge is no longer a OHKO, being able to recharge your grenade with it is a solid addition. Having access to a second grenade charge is a huge advantage now as well with ability recharge times being nerfed.

Code of the Juggernaut

  • Frontal Assault – Strike an enemy with this Melee Abiity to reload your weapon and increase your weapon stability.
  • Reversal – Melee kills immediately trigger health regeneration.
  • Knockout – Critically wounding an enemy or breaking their shields increases your melee range and damage.
  • Trample – Killing enemies with Fists of Havoc extends its duration.

This looks to be another solid option for Strikers to use, turning the Titan into a close quarters beast. FoH extended duration will help the new roaming Super and the melee/health regen synergy looks great.

Sentinel

Super Ability

  • Sentinel Shield – Press L1 + R1/LB + RB to summon a shield of Void Light. While Sentinel Shield is active, press R1/RB to attack. Hold L2/LT to guard. Press L1/LB to perform a Shield Throw.

The Sentinel Shield is a fantastic Super and perhaps the most versatile one we’ve ever gotten. Being able to smash enemies in melee, throw it for a ranged attack, and guard against incoming damage is just plain awesome.

Grenades

  • Magnetic – A grenade that attaches to enemies and explodes twice.
  • Voidwall – A grenade that creates a horizontal wall of burning Void Light.
  • Suppressor – An explosive grenade that prevents enemies from using abilities for a short time.

The grenades remain mostly unchanged from the old Defender, with the only change being the removal of Spike Grenades in favor of the Voidwall. It makes one curious once again as to what Bungie’s plans are for the old TTK subclasses.

Code of the Protector

  • Defensive Strike – Kill an enemy with this Melee Ability to create an overshield around you and nearby allies.
  • Rallying Force – Melee kills restore Health for you and nearby allies.
  • Turn the Tide – Your Overshield from Defensive Strike lasts longer and increases melee damage and reload speed.
  • Ward of Dawn – When Super energy is full, press and hold L1 + R1/LB + RB to create a shielding dome to protect you and your allies.

The defensive oriented subclass node is a blast to play, featuring the anticipated return of Ward of Dawn. Getting Force Barrier from melee kills is still nice and the health regen is an added bonus.

Code of the Aggressor

  • Shield Bash – After sprinting for a short time, use this Melee Ability to unleash a devastating Shield Bash that disorients enemies.
  • Superior Arsenal – Grenade kills recharge your Grenade energy.
  • In the Trenches – Kills while surrounded by enemies reduce the cooldown of your Super.
  • Second Shield – Gain an additional Shield Throw charge while Sentinel Shield is active.

This is the skill cluster that I can’t wait to get my hands on for the Sentinel! Shoulder charge for Sentinels, grenade kills recharging grenades and a second Shield Throw? All while being able to charge your Super faster when you’re in the thick of it? Sold!

Hunter

Class Skills

  • Marksman’s Dodge – Dodge (Circle, Circle/B, B) to perform an evasive maneuver with a steady hand. Dodging automatically reloads your weapon.
  • Gambler’s Dodge – Dodge (Circle, Circle/B, B) to perform a deft tumble, avoiding enemy attacks. Dodging near enemies fully recharges your Melee Ability.

All Hunters now get Shadestep! There’s already been some interesting uses discovered with the Dodge ability, particularly combined with the Reactive Reload perk on the Nightshade pulse rifle. Get a kill with the weapon, then dodge to instantly reload, and go to town. The Gambler’s Dodge works great with the new Arcstrider subclass as well to constantly cycle between melee kills and dodging.

Movement Modes

  • High Jump – While airborne, jump a second time to reach greater heights.
  • Strafe Jump – While airborne, jump a second time with strong directional control.
  • Triple Jump – While airborne, sustain your air control with a second or third jump.

The traditional Hunter jumps all make their return, with the noticeable absence of Blink. We’ve of course since learned that the ability isn’t gone altogether and instead appears to be exclusive to Voidwalkers.

Gunslinger

Super Ability

  • Golden Gun – Summon a flaming pistol that disintegrates enemies with Solar Light.

Golden Gun returns and is just as fun to use as ever, but seems significantly weaker.

Grenades

  • Incendiary – A grenade whose explosion catches enemies on fire.
  • Swarm – A grenade that detonates on impact, releasing multiple drones that seek nearby enemies.
  • Tripmine – An explosive grenade that sticks to surfaces and detonates upon enemies who pass through its laser trigger.

Again, all of the Gunslinger grenades return and function in the same way as they did in D1. The Swarm grenade seems to have gotten quite a boost this time around and is being used more often than ever.

Way of the Outlaw

  • Deadshot – Significantly improves your ability to hit with Golden Gun.
  • Chains of Woe – Precision kills increase weapon reload speed for you and nearby allies.
  • Explosive Knife – Throw a knife from a distance that explodes shortly after impact with this Melee Ability.
  • Six-Shooter – Golden Gun can be fired quickly up to 6 times, but has a shorter duration.

The main highlight of this tree is Golden Gun getting six shots. This is huge, with the only glaring downside being is it really doesn’t last long, at all. In PvE this isn’t such a huge issue, but it’s somewhat wasted in PvP with the max enemy team size being four. If you aren’t careful with it’d activation, it’s pretty easy to waste the Super thanks to its shorter duration. Otherwise, chain of woe is nice to have again and explosive knife is awesome to use as well.

Way of the Sharpshooter

  • Knife-Juggler – Throw a knife from a distance. Precision knife kills with this Melee Ability immediately recharge it.
  • Practice Makes Perfect – Enter a trance with each precision hit, reducing the cooldown of your Super.
  • Crowd-Pleaser – Enables precision damage with Golden Gun. Precision hits with Golden Gun generates Orbs of Light.
  • Line ‘Em Up – Precision hits with Golden Gun increase its damage and extend its duration.

The locked Gunslinger node shows some serious potential, with Golden Gun being able to do precision damage, increase its damage AND provide orbs with each precision hit. This will be the talent of choice for boss fights no doubt, and being able to generate orbs is nice to have on a class that so far seems like it’s struggling to find a helpful role in PvE.

Arcstrider

Super Ability

  • Arc Staff – Form a staff of pure Arc energy and acrobatically take out your foes.

The replacement for Bladedancing, the new Arc Super is awesome. It’s just plain cool as well, being able to flip around acrobatically by combining dodges, lunges, and the several different combos available with the move.

Grenades

  • Skip – A grenade that splits upon impact, creating multiple projectiles that seek enemies.
  • Flux – An explosive grenade that deals additional damage when attached to enemies.
  • Arcbolt – A grenade that chains bolts of lightning to nearby enemies.

All of the old Bladedancer grenades make their return, no surprises here.

Way of the Warrior

  • Deadly Reach – Dodging increases your melee range, allowing you to lunge further to strike enemies.
  • Combat Flow – Melee kills recharge your dodge ability.
  • Combination Blow – Kill an enemy with this melee ability to trigger health regeneration and increase your melee damage temporarily.
  • Lethal Current – After dodging, each Arc Staff hit creates a damaging lightning aftershock.

This node provides excellent synergy with the Gambler’s Dodge ability, as you can get a melee kill to recharge your dodge, followed by a dodge near an enemy to instantly recharge your melee, and repeat. You’re able to keep this chain sustained thanks to the health regen melee kills provide as well, making for a nice close combat focused talent tree.

Way of the Wind

  • Disorienting Blow – Strike an enemy with this melee ability to disorient the target and nearby enemies.
  • Focused Breathing – Sprinting recharges your dodge ability. Increased maximum sprint speed.
  • Combat Meditation – While critically wounded, melee and grenades recharge drastically faster.
  • Lightning Reflexes – You are harder to kill while dodging.

The locked Arcstrider node seems to be all about movement and dodging. Being able to move quicker and increase your dodge recharge times all while being tougher when using your dodge seems like it could make for quite an annoying opponent to face in PvP. A melee ability that can disorient foes is just the icing on the cake!

Warlock

Class Skills

  • Healing Rift – Press and Hold Circle/B to conjure a well of Light that continuously heals those inside it.
  • Empowering Rift – Press and Hold Circle/B to conjure a well of Light that increases weapon damage for those inside it.

At first glance, the rifts seem like they provide the most benefit out of all of the new class abilities. Being able to boost your team’s DPS or immediately trigger health regeneration (along with an overshield if you remain in the rift) are both immensely helpful skills. Warlocks will definitely have a place in PvE content thanks to this.

Movement Modes

  • Strafe Glide – Jump while airborne to activate Glide and start an airborne drift with strong directional control.
  • Burst Glide – Jump while airborne to activate Glide and start an airborne drift with a strong initial boost of speed.
  • Blink (Voidwalker only) – Jump while airborne to teleport a short distance.
  • Balanced Glide (Dawnblade only) – Jump while airborne to activate Glide and start an airborne drift with both moderate speed and directional control.

The Warlock glides make their return, and interestingly, they are the only class to receive separate movement abilities based on subclass choice. Voidwalkers once again get Blink, which functions much the same as it did in D1, where you lose your HUD when using it. Meanwhile, the Dawnblade gets Balanced Glide, a nice mixture of the other two glide abilities.

Voidwalker

Super Ability

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

Grenades

  • Vortex – 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 – A grenade that splits into many submunitions and covers a large area with multiple explosions.

All of the Voidwalker grenades make their return and they all work exactly the same. Scatter Grenade seems to be slightly nerfed however, with most players instead opting for Vortex or Axions.

Attunement of Chaos

  • Bloom – Void ability kills cause enemies to explode.
  • Chaos Accelerant – Hold L1/LB to draw power from your Super to overcharge your grenade, making it deadlier and more effective.
  • Entropic Pull – Strike an enemy with this Melee Ability to drain your enemy’s life force and use it to recharge your grenade.
  • 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.

This skill node has divided most players pretty evenly. The slower moving Nova Bomb (given the appropriate nickname of Slova Bomb) will definitely take some getting used to. It has some absurd tracking capabilities though and having it shatter for additional seekers is pretty cool. Overcharging grenades is an interesting addition as well. While it doesn’t boost their damage, it definitely makes Scatter grenades more useful and the added seekers with Axion Bolts could potentially make for some great PvP plays.

Attunement of Hunger

  • 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 L1/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.

The classic lifesteal build is returning in Destiny 2! Melee kills regenerate health, grenade energy can be used to regenerate health, and killing enemies will recharge your grenade to be used for further health regen. This subclass node will also surely see a lot of use if only for the fact some players will be looking to use a more traditional Nova Bomb, complete with the Vortex ability on top!

Dawnblade

Super Ability

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

Self-res is a thing of the past, instead replaced with the new Daybreak Super. Your character still bursts into flames, only now instead of abilities recharging quicker, you wield a fiery sword that fires solar projectiles at your opponents. It’s absurdly cool, but at the moment, it seems like the projectiles are a little too easy to dodge.

Grenades

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

The solar line-up of Warlock grenades all return and they still work in the exact same ways.

Attunement of Sky

  • 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.
  • Swift Strike – Strike an enemy with this Melee Ability to burn your target and temporarily increase your movement and reload speed.
  • Icarus Dash – Press Circle, Circle/B, B while midair to dodge.

This skill node is all about aerial combat, and provides quite the interesting perks indeed! Having the Twilight Garrison built right into the class is amazing, and being able to shoot and throw grenades while gliding is a huge change as well. Not only that, but being able to recharge your abilities while getting kills from above complements it all quite nicely. Overall a very solid subclass node.

Attunement of Flame

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

The as of yet unplayable node for Dawnblade’s looks to alleviate some of the concerns I have with the Super ability, adding a tracking feature to the projectiles. Kills extending the Super duration is great as with the other classes with this ability, and the new health regen/explosive dive looks like it could be used for some clutch plays. Another great looking subclass setup all in all.

Kyle David
A PS4 player and member of the Warlock master race, Kyle enjoys writing about all things Destiny as much as he does playing it.