In Destiny 2, picking the right weapon is only half the battle, the other half is making sure you’re using the best subclass, especially in PVP. Though each Class in Destiny 2 has three subclasses, there is typically only one, maybe two, which are considered the best PVP subclasses.
Best Hunter PVP Subclass – Gunslinger
The Hunter in the original Destiny was a monster in Crucible, and that remains the same in Destiny 2. Out of the three subclasses the Hunter has available, the Gunslinger is arguably the best thanks largely to its hit-scan super, Golden Gun.
Generally, the bottom perk cluster, Way of the Sharpshooter, is considered the best one to select when using the Gunslinger. This is mainly due to the extra Orbs of Light you can potentially generate for your team during PVP. In a game of Crucible, you will only earn enough kills or assists to fill up your Super once, maybe twice if you’re especially good – but the Crowd-Pleaser perk helps this with its ability to generate Orbs. Furthermore, this ability has increased precision damage, making it useful for taking down enemies with overshields.
While it’s often thought to be the lesser of the two, Way of the Outlaw can be deadly in the right hands. If it’s not too late, leaving the Six-Shooter perk unfilled will allow you to use this perk cluster without drastically reducing the time you have to get kills with Golden Gun, and it also means you retain the standard three-shot Super. The Way of the Outlaw node also offers explosive throwing knives, making those final hits a bit easier; improves your ability to hit with Golden Gun, which is excellent when combating mobile enemies; and grants improved reload speeds on precision kills.
As mentioned, the fact that Golden Gun is a hit-scan weapon (meaning the bullet has no travel time), means that so long as you aim true, your opponent cannot avoid being hit.
For the grenades, you’ll find that in Destiny 2 they feel rather weak as they’re unable to hundred-to-zero an opponent. In saying this, Swarm Grenades can be oppressive for a low-health enemy, and they’ll also help with zone control, allowing you to affect where your enemy will likely move.
Honorable mention: Nightstalker
The Nightstalker is a worthy option for players who prefer a more reactionary Super. It’s ability to completely quell multiple threats and render enemies extremely vulnerable cannot be overlooked in Crucible, especially while team-shooting is the golden rule.
Best Titan PVP Subclass – Striker
By the close of the original Destiny, the Striker Titan was one of the most terrifying subclasses to face in the field of battle, and much remains the same in Destiny 2. While their Lightning Grenades might not hold the same power, their roaming Super is the bane of anyone’s existence.
However, what makes the Striker Titan such a monster is its ability to have two grenades at any given time thanks to the top perk cluster, Code of the Earthshaker. Due to how Destiny 2 treats grenades (they aren’t able to kill an enemy through their damage alone), having two grenades allows the Striker to effectively shutdown choke points and completely deny critical areas. Due to how long it takes a Super to charge in PVP, the ability to increase your neutral game effectiveness cannot be overlooked. When playing Countdown in Trials of the Nine, a well-placed Pulse Grenade can prevent the enemy from defusing the bomb.
The melee modifier is Seismic Strike, which allows you to sprint at an enemy and shoulder-charge into them. This releases explosive damage and also procs the second perk, Aftershocks, which helps recharge your grenade. It’s a system that feeds into itself, allowing you to be a grenade-throwing fiend.
As for the Fist of Havoc Super, the Terminal Velocity perk means that every slam leaves a damaging field on the ground, making it difficult for enemies to pursue you or escape from the epicentre of your attack. This is all ignoring the fact that Fist of Havoc has the fastest cast time out of all the other Supers, allowing you to “Fist of Panic” and slam any enemy that catches you off guard.
Honorable mention: Sunbreaker
The Sunbreaker is excellent for the player who prefers long-range play, as its Hammer of Sol Super allows you to eliminate enemies at a distance. For an enemy, it can be very difficult to dodge a Hammer, and even more difficult to avoid the reasonably sized explosion.
Best Warlock PVP Subclass
The Warlock was particularly monstrous in the original Destiny, especially during the days of Thorn and strong damage-over-time abilities with the Solar subclass. But in Destiny 2, everything else melts away into the background whenever a Voidwalker takes the stage. Out of all the classes in the game, the Voidwalker’s Attunement of Hunger perk cluster has got to be one of the most synergistic nodes available.
Because of the intertwining forces of the Atteunment of Hunger, it’s important to appreciate how every element functions. The most important ability is Devour, which is procced whenever you kill an enemy with a charged melee. When the enemy dies, Devour activates, regenerating your health and allowing you to gain more health whenever you kill an enemy – but only for a short time.
Devour can easily save your life in PVP if you get into a close-quarters engagement. Slap the enemy down, have your health immediately refill, and then any following kills heal you. To further the lethality of this, the Voidwalker is able to consume its own grenade energy in order to heal itself. When this ability is used, the Devour effect is activated. So not only will you be immediately healed, but for a short time, any kills you make will heal you.
It doesn’t end there. The Insatiable ability adds another effect to Devour: whenever Devour is activated and you manage to get a kill, Insatiable will increase the duration of the Devour effect (kills give you health) and also recharge your grenade.
Rounding it all off is the Nova Bomb Super that creates a massive vortex that continually damages anyone inside. After Fist of Havoc, the Nova Bomb is another panic-Super, but unfortunately it's a one-and-done with no roaming potential. The Voidwalker makes up for this lack of long-lasting Super through its powerful neutral game.
Beyond all this, the Voidwalker is also the only subclass that offers the Blink ability for its jump. That, and the Axion Bolt grenade is fantastic at hunting down fleeing enemies.
Honorable mention: Stormcaller
Arc Soul and Landfall or Ionic Blink and Transcendence make the Warlock Stormcaller subclass an absolute nightmare to deal with in Crucible. The crackle of electricity coupled with a teleporting Warlock is difficult to overcome, and the Landfall ability just deletes enemies off the map – even if they’re mid-Super.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to personal preference and what you’re most comfortable playing. If you’re totally crushing your enemies and claiming victory each match with an Arcstrider Hunter, a Sentinel Titan, or a Dawnblade Warlock, there’s really no need to change. However, if you’re struggling to use these subclasses effectively, perhaps it’s time to try out a subclass that is considered the best subclass for PVP.
Be sure to check out our Destiny 2 complete strategy guide for more tips and overviews.