With the introduction of Solar 3.0, Starfire Protocol has pushed its way through to challenge the top end of Warlock Exotics in Destiny 2. Doubling the Warlock's grenade paired with the need to empower your weapon damage to take advantage of the Exotic, Starfire Protocol has become a must-have for any Solar Warlock.
Previously, Starfire Protocol played second fiddle to the fan favorite Exotic Phoenix Protocol when using Well of Radiance. With Solar 3.0 and Bungie leaning into more build crafting with the Fragments and Aspects system, Starfire Protocol can be built into a devastating piece of Warlock equipment.
Starfire Protocol Exotic Perk: Fusion Harness
Fusion Harness is the Exotic Perk for Starfire Protocol. It is designed around the Solar subclass which is how a Warlock gains access to Fusion Grenades.
- Fusion Harness - Fusion Grenades have an additional charge and recharge from empowered weapon damage. Fusion Grenade kills grant Rift energy.
Empowering Rift, the Warlock class ability, gives a weapon damage buff of 20 percent. Well of Radiance, the Warlock super ability provides a 25 percent weapon damage buff. The cooldown of these abilities are linked to your Strength stat and Intellect stat, so the higher these are the faster the cooldown. The base cooldown of your grenade is the Discipline stat. This is boosted when using the loop of this Exotic but it will still lower the cooldown the higher the Discipline stat, returning grenades even faster. The effects also apply if standing in a member of your Fireteam’s Well of Radiance or Empowering Rift.
When to use Starfire Protocol
Since Solar 3.0 has established itself as a top-tier choice for all forms of Destiny 2 content. The grenade focus can help with add clearance as well as dealing massive damage to the tankier enemies and bosses. The added bonus here is that with Empowering Rifts and Well of Radiance, your Fireteam also gets the benefits of the weapon damage buffs if they stand in its radius.
Grandmaster Nightfalls, raids, and dungeons get the most out of this Exotic. As you can blast the lower tier fairly easily it can sometimes interfere with the loop of Starfire Protocol but it’s still a strong choice nonetheless. A very useful tip to remember is that when in a Rift or Well, if you shoot an enemy and get ‘Immune’ pop up instead of damage numbers, it still provides grenade energy to your Warlock. This can keep you in the game in tight situations in endgame content.
As Starfire Protocol feeds off weapon damage and kills, some great weapons to consider are Witherhoard due to its lasting damage pools or weapons that can damage and defeat multiple enemies such as Trinity Ghoul and Riskrunner. Weapon perks to look out for include Incandescent which rolls on selected Solar weaponry and Voltshot which is exclusive to certain Arc weapons.
To increase the effectiveness even further, it’s essential to consider armor mods including Elemental Well mods. Some of the best armor mods to consider are: Explosive Wellmaker, Seeking Wells, Font of Might, or Font of Wisdom depending if you want to focus weapon damage or super regeneration, Well of Ordnance, Ashes to Assets and High-Energy Fire.
Aspects to go with are Touch of Flame and Heat Rises. Touch of Flame in particular is important to the build as it causes Fusion Grenades to explode twice causing more damage and spreading Scorch leading to Ignition more effectively.
Fragments to use include Ember of Singeing, Ember of Blistering, Ember or Solace, and Ember of Ashes. This combination pairs with Starfire Protocol to ensure that while in an Empowering Rift or Well of Radiance you are always feeding back into your abilities to allow for shorter cooldowns and survivability with restoration effects.
How to get Starfire Protocol
The main source to get this Exotic is by farming Legend or Master Lost Sectors when the daily rotation is for a chest piece. To find out what day it is available, check out Shacknews Lost Sector rotation guide.
It can also be found as a random engram drop from defeating enemies, completing Powerful or Pinnacle challenges, or sold by the Agent of the Nine, Xur.
Starfire Protocol Lore
The Protocol is contained in the patterns on the robe that, if scanned at the molecular level, describe a Turing-compatible virtual computer and program that, when executed on said computer, calculates the entire Protocol, exactly as it was determined in the Precipice of Flame.
This is of little interest to most Guardians, who can subconsciously "load" the program simply by looking at the pattern. In execution, the Protocol enhances the use of Solar Light to catalyze fusion. It is up to us to remember the deeper truth—that the Precipice showed us the uses of fire, that the highest form of fire is the stellar flame, and that no life would exist, anywhere in the cosmos, without the apocalyptic detonations of supernovae. Those who fear fire have forgotten that it is their true ancestor.
Starfire Protocol now feels revitalized with Solar 3.0 and has become a must-have Warlock Exotic. Turning the Warlock's supportive play into a damage-boosting, grenade-focused powerhouse strong for all corners of Destiny 2 content. For more Exotic armor breakdowns and guide content, be sure to check out the Shacknews Destiny 2 Complete Strategy Guide.