Best Warlock Arc 3.0 PvE build - Destiny 2

The best build for your Warlock to take advantage of the Arc 3.0 changes and get the most out of your abilities in Destiny 2.


With the launch of Season of Plunder came the final revamp to the Light subclasses in Arc 3.0. The changes for the Warlock are interesting as far as builds go. Paired with some old and new favorite weapons and armor, there are interesting combinations to make. Most notable for the Arc Warlock is the substantial amount of combinations to increase your ability recharge time.

The following breaks down how to best use the new Aspects and Fragments for midgame and endgame encounters. The build is called Blinding Lightning and works for both Chaos Reach and Stormtrance Supers.

Blinding Lightning - Arc Warlock build

The key to this build is simple: create as many Ionic Traces as possible. As an example of how potent this can be, five Ionic Traces is enough to fully recharge your grenade and melee abilities under normal circumstances. If you then include the new Exotic, Fallen Sunstar, this improves Ionic Traces and lowers the amount you need. The new seasonal Exotic weapon, Delicate Tomb, should also be worked into this build. Final blows from this weapon have a chance to create Ionic Traces so all together this creates a particularly spicy, ability-focused build.

To add even more bonus effects to the Arc Warlock build, include Elemental Well mods on the armor. Players will find that this build not only keeps your abilities recharging quickly but can also increase your damage output to make creating Wells and Ionic Traces even more effective. Take advantage of Arc 3.0 and the Elemental Wells system by setting up with the following:

Blinding Lightning - Warlock Arc build
Armor Elemental Affinity Mod
Head (Fallen Sunstar) Solar Bountiful Wellmaker
Gauntlets (any) Void Melee Wellmaker
Chest (any) Any Font of Might
Legs (Any) Any High-Energy Fire
Class (any) Any Trace Evidence, Amped Up, Elemental Charge
Super, Aspects, Fragments
Super Stormtrance or Chaos Reach
Abilities Healing Rift, Burst Glide, Chain Lightning, Flashbang Grenade
Aspects Lightning Surge, Electrostatic Mind
Fragments Spark of Shock, Spark of Discharge, Spark of Ions, Spark of Beacons

With any current build it’s important to consider your Resilience. At 100 Resilience you will gain 40 percent damage resistance against incoming sources. This is especially important for survivability if your focus is endgame activities.

Chain Lightning is the choice of the melees because the chaining is too good to pass up. Paired with Elemental Well mods, even the potential chained kills count toward your Elemental Wells and Ionic Trace-creating chances. The Warlock’s new Aspect, Lightning Surge, when used on groups of enemies will Jolt targets as well as chain lightning to potentially defeat them creating Elemental Wells and Ionic Traces. Defeating the Jolted targets will cause Blinding explosions so this all complements each other.

Warlock Arc subclass screen showing the Flashbang Grenade
The Flashbang Grenade gives the Blinding Lightning build an extra kick of blinding goodness.
Source: Shacknews

Another pick here that stands out is the Flashbang Grenade over alternatives like Storm Grenades. It can make you near untouchable by consistently blinding enemies and Jolting them for the follow up shot if the grenade doesn’t get them first. Paired with Spark of Beacons (special weapon final blows create a blinding explosion), your enemies won’t even get a chance to see you, let alone stop you. While using Delicate Tomb, you are creating Ionic Traces while causing blinding explosions consistently so you can see the angle of why this build is so strong in PVE.

Veteran Warlocks out there will notice immediately the changes to Arc Soul and how that has now been converted to an Aspect for the class. It is still viable to use but it does not provide any of the Arc 3.0 bonuses to create Ionic Traces detailed in this build. If you wish, you can use it over Lightning Surge (as that is a more aggressive playstyle choice) without losing the huge benefits of Electrostatic Mind.

Strong alternatives to the Exotic armor chosen here for Stormcallers would be Crown of Tempests which paired with the build also can increase ability recharge and produce Ionic Traces. Geomag Stabilizers are also still a powerful choice due to the Exotic perk increasing the duration of the Super. This is the key for taking down stronger enemies or even large waves. Again, this will produce Ionic Traces upon getting kills.

Fallen Sunstar Exotic helmet for Warlock
The Fallen Sunstar makes Ionic Traces even more potent.
Source: Shacknews

Alternative weapons include Trinity Ghoul which provides a chain lightning effect and is still a top shelf choice for dealing with mob-dense areas. Riskrunner benefits most in activities where Arc damage is the main source of enemy fire toward yourself and your team. Symmetry, the Exotic Scout Rifle, is incredibly powerful with the damage boosts included in this build and, with the blinding explosions, it's a very good choice for this season’s endgame offering with Anti-Barrier Scout in the seasonal mods.

It’s not just Exotics worth using either, Season of Plunder introduced a new perk, Voltshot. This is incredibly potent for Arc 3.0 and this build. If you’re lucky enough to bag a weapon with this perk it’s highly recommended you try it out.

The best part of this build is the utility of how it quickly transfers from midgame to endgame PVE as the benefits of the build remain consistent. This is where you could consider changing to Chaos Reach as the burst damage will still create Ionic Traces as well as taking out tankier enemies with ease over Stormtrance. My recommendation here is to switch to Chaos Reach in the majority of endgame using this build and only use Stormtrance if you are more focused on clearing waves of mobs.

The Blinding Lightning Warlock Arc build is great fun. It stuck so hard for its ease in putting together and how it translated to almost all difficulty changes in-game. Arc 3.0 has felt like a great revamp for the damage type and has landed strongly across all three classes, although, not all Warlocks would agree. Let me know how you find this Arc Warlock build if you test it out or even share your own Arc 3.0 builds in the Chatty thread below. Be sure to check out the Shacknews Destiny 2 Complete Strategy Guide for all our other Destiny 2 advice and guide articles for the new season and more.

Contributing Editor

RiseOfBacon is a Redditor, vinyl collector, craft beer enthusiast, and lover of all things sports and gaming. Most frequently seen on r/DestinyTheGame either posting guides or in the comment section offering tips, advice, and sharing stories of Destiny triumphs and god roll chasing. Catch up with him on Reddit or Twitter using @RiseOfBacon to talk all things Destiny2.

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