- Introduction to Hunter Builds
- Utility and Survivability of Nightstalker
- Orb Generation and Super Chaining
- Grand Masters with Nightstalker and Golden Gun
- Optimizing Nighthawk’s Precision Super Regen
- Hand Cannon Choices for Hunter Builds
- Introduction to Hunter Builds
Last week, we started a brand new series covering the top three warlock builds for endgame PVE, and now we’re back with part two, this time for our Hunters.
Introduction to Hunter Builds
This segment will cover a build that has seen a massive value surge in recent seasons, a raw damage build capable of one-shotting champions in Grandmaster Nightfalls, and a build with an exotic so versatile it can be used on any Hunter subclass and provide a game-changing difference for your fireteam. Today’s discussion aims to enhance your gameplay with these strategic insights.
Utility and Survivability of Nightstalker
When it comes to underleveled endgame content, nothing matches the overall survivability and utility that Nightstalker provides. The ability to weaken and suppress enemy targets, protect your fireteam with on-demand invisibility, tether large groups of adversaries together for unrivaled crowd control, and simultaneously feed your team orbs of power makes this subclass one of a kind. Whether you enjoy Aeon’s, Omni Oculus, Graviton Forfeit, 6 Coyote, or J Falcon Halberg, Nightstalker’s neutral game is strong enough to enable all sorts of playstyles. These exotics all have a place in endgame PVE.
Superiority of Tether in Nightstalker Arsenal
The Tether super stands as a formidable force within Destiny, offering a peak weakening effect of 30% against foes, while also suppressing and rendering them volatile upon impact. This ability causes adversaries ensnared by the tether to absorb 50% of the damage inflicted on any one of them, transforming it into an exceptional tool for clearing large groups of adversaries. The increased frequency of adversaries in scenarios such as Grandmaster Nightfalls and seasonal events like Coil underscores this point. Bungie’s approach to introducing fresh challenges for players often involves placing them in scenarios teeming with foes, pushing the limits of strategy and skill in content where players find themselves at a power disadvantage.
Orpheus Rigs: The Game-Changing Exotic
Orpheus Rigs stand out as my top pick for the Nightstalker class. Once a staple in Destiny’s high-level content, these boots experienced a dip in popularity due to game balance adjustments and the introduction of competing exotics. Yet, given the current trend of enemy-dense scenarios, Orpheus Rigs have made a significant comeback, proving to be an unparalleled solution for such challenges. The unique feature of these boots is their ability to replenish a substantial portion of your super, grenade, melee, and class ability energy for each enemy ensnared by your Deadfall super, potentially restoring up to half of your super energy and fully recharging your other abilities. Remarkably, this regeneration benefit is further amplified by the additional super energy obtained from defeating the ensnared enemies, often resulting in a 60-70% super energy return per usage. Coupling Orpheus Rigs with a Well of Radiance in team play amplifies their effectiveness, creating a formidable combination.
Orb Generation and Super Chaining
You’ll become a crucial source of orb production for your squad, facilitating a rapid succession of super abilities. Exploring our skill set further, I’ve opted for Gambler’s Dodge, which replenishes our smoke ability upon dodging close to foes, serving as an alternate means for instant stealth and also possessing the potential to neutralize nearby opponents. This will be complemented by the deployment of a vortex grenade, known for its potent area-of-effect damage and its ability to draw enemies into its center, effectively controlling enemy mob spawns with ease.
Strategic Aspects and Abilities
Regarding our chosen aspects, Vanishing Step will be a key component, rendering us invisible each time we execute a Dodge, seamlessly complementing Trapper’s Ambush. This latter aspect introduces Quickfall, an innovative melee skill capable of cloaking both you and your teammates from sight. The synergy between these aspects affords prolonged periods of invisibility, providing a strategic advantage for executing critical revivals in challenging situations. Although the allure of invisibility stands out, these aspects also enhance our overall combat efficacy, significantly enriching the utility of the entire skill set.
Enhancing the Neutral Game
Leading the charge is Echo of Undermining, bestowing a debilitative effect on our void grenades, reducing enemy strength by 15%. This subtle yet impactful debuff synergizes perfectly with our tether, amplifying the damage dealt to adversaries while diminishing their mobility and precision. Following suit is Echo of Starvation, which activates the Devour effect upon orb of power collection, ensuring each subsequent takedown not only restores health but also prolongs the Devour effect. Moreover, this fragment enhances the cycle by replenishing grenade energy with each enemy defeated, facilitating a continuous and efficient combat loop.
Build Flexibility and Stat Prioritization
A standout feature of this setup is its adaptability; it doesn’t depend on particular armor modifications to excel, allowing for a significant investment in ammo finders and scavenger perks to ensure a steady supply of ammunition. Optimal stat allocation emphasizes tier 10 resilience for peak damage mitigation, with a substantial focus on enhancing mobility, which is intrinsically linked to reducing your Dodge ability’s recharge time. This approach to stat prioritization is applicable across all three discussed builds, yet it holds particular significance for Nightstalker users. The level of control this build offers is unparalleled, making it advisable to revisit the Orpheus Rigs for a commanding presence in the field.
Grand Masters with Nightstalker and Golden Gun
Contrasting with the Nightstalker’s emphasis on maneuverability and control, our subsequent strategy shifts towards delivering pure, unmitigated damage. The Golden Gun super empowers you to adopt an assertive stance in combat, offering explosive burst damage and enhancing your weapon’s damage output, complemented by the healing benefits of Restoration and Cure. When integrated with this season’s dynamic solar artifact enhancements, this approach emerges as a formidable force in high-level Destiny play. The Season of The Wish introduced notable updates to Hunter Exotics for PVE, such as the Shards of Galanor, Aida’s Spath, and notably, the Celestial Nighthawk, which stands out as a top choice for its impactful contributions to this build.
Celestial Nighthawk’s Impact
The unique feature of this exotic is that precision kills significantly reduce your super’s cooldown and transform Golden Gun into a singular, potent shot. Defeating an enemy with this shot not only grants super energy but also triggers an explosive effect. This enhancement results in a 650% increase in damage for the initial shot, and successfully eliminating a target replenishes 33% of your super energy. The substantial boost in damage provided by this exotic is undeniable, making it a worthy addition to any arsenal. However, the real game-changer lies in the super regeneration capabilities of this gear. A 33% return on super energy is substantial, and precision kills further contribute to this regeneration, offering between 1% and 5% super energy return based on the defeated enemy’s rank, ensuring rapid availability of Golden Gun.
Optimizing Abilities for Golden Gun
Regarding the selection of abilities, prioritizing the Marksman variant of Golden Guns is crucial. This choice enables critical damage capabilities, unlike the Six Shooter option. Additionally, incorporating Gambler’s Dodge enhances this setup by restoring your melee ability each time you dodge close to adversaries. The choice of Knife Trick as the melee skill is strategic due to its potent damage output and user-friendly mechanics, further bolstered by the use of healing grenades to sustain durability within this build framework.
Enhancing the Build with Aspects and Fragments
Interestingly, the core elements driving the Golden Gun’s effectiveness aren’t necessarily the aspects, though they contribute positively. Briefly touching upon them, we start with “Knock ‘Em Down,” enabling full melee ability recharge on powered melee kills. Following that is “On Your Mark,” enhancing weapon handling and reload speed for both you and your teammates. While beneficial, these aspects play a supporting role compared to the critical impact of our fragments. Leading the charge is “Ember of Torches,” which bestows radiance upon melee impact for both the wielder and nearby allies. “Ember of Imperion” follows, prolonging these radiant effects with solar weapon kills, complementing “Ember of Ashes” that amplifies Scorch Stacks, aligning seamlessly with current solar artifact enhancements. “Ember of Singing” boosts ability regeneration upon scorching foes, and “Ember of Blistering” significantly increases grenade regeneration post-solar ignition kills, an action our artifact mod facilitates recurrently.
Optimizing Nighthawk’s Precision Super Regen
Shortly, I’ll elaborate on how this strategy also optimizes our ability to sustain both restoration and radiant states, utilizing weapons such as Polaris Lance and Sunshot, which synergize excellently with the Nighthawk’s enhanced super regeneration through precision. Essential gear enhancements focus on mods like heavy ammo finders and scavengers to amplify heavy ammo availability for your exotic primaries. Additionally, Harmonic Siphon plays a crucial role in orb of power generation on solar weapon kills, while Kinetic Surge notably boosts Golden Gun’s potency (a surprisingly effective tactic), and Solar Surge further escalates the damage output of solar weaponry.
Artifact and Armor Mod Synergies
In addition, I incorporate a scavenger perk to enhance the utility of heavy ammunition pickups. Coupled with Focusing Strike and Impact Induction, this approach boosts class ability and grenade energy with each successful powered melee strike. The inclusion of Powerful Attraction ensures the automatic gathering of proximate orbs of power during evasive maneuvers. Delving into artifact specifics, the Kindling Trigger emerges as a pivotal element, applying 30 scorch stacks to targets previously unaffected by scorch, thereby augmenting class ability regeneration. Flint Striker, in tandem, bestows a radiant state following consecutive precision strikes with solar weapons, harmonizing seamlessly with the Celestial Nighthawk’s capabilities.
Maximizing Boss Damage and Survivability
Utilizing Ray of Precision for igniting foes upon precise final hits while in a radiant state, this setup significantly boosts healing grenade regeneration, all thanks to the Ember of Blistering. This strategy decimates boss enemies, enhances player resilience through restoration, and excels in eliminating adversaries swiftly, leveraging some of Destiny’s most formidable exotics to achieve superior performance.
Customizable Versatile Build with Lucky Pants
The ultimate configuration we’re presenting embodies Destiny’s hallmark of adaptability, allowing for a highly tailored approach to any encounter or preferred subclass. Central to this flexibility are just two key components: the Lucky Pants exotic gear and any chosen hand cannon that resonates with your playstyle. The unique feature of the Lucky Pants, dubbed “Illegally Modded Holster,” kicks in when you wield a hand cannon aligned with either kinetic damage or your subclass’s elemental type. Each successful hit temporarily boosts the subsequent shot’s damage by 60%, cumulatively reaching an impressive 600% increase after ten consecutive hits. Coupled with recent enhancements to hand cannons in PVE contexts, this setup becomes exceptionally potent, turning bosses and champions into mere targets for your firepower.
Hand Cannon Choices for Hunter Builds
As mentioned before, while you have the freedom to choose any hand cannon</strong, two particularly standout options are worth considering. The first notable choice is Malfeasance, an exotic hand cannon</strong with a firing rate of 180 RPM, renowned for its enhanced damage against Taken enemies. This characteristic makes it an ideal selection for challenging Grand Master activities such as Hypernet Current, Lake of Shadows, and The Corrupted. The addition of a Vorpal Weapon through its Catalyst further amplifies Malfeasance’s effectiveness, offering a 20% damage increase against both bosses and champions. Moreover, Malfeasance benefits from a significant 40% damage increase inherent to exotic primaries, ensuring it delivers robust base damage independently.
Warden’s Law and Its Unique Advantage
An alternative choice is Warden’s Law, which significantly benefits from the Lucky Pants exotic for optimal performance, especially when facing enemies other than the Taken. Properly equipped, this forceful burst-fire hand cannon</strong can feature enhancements such as Fourth Time’s the Charm and Vorpal Weapon. Its distinctive firing rhythm enables quicker attainment of maximum damage potential compared to Malfeasance. The Fourth Time’s the Charm perk guarantees sufficient ammunition capacity, ensuring not only the achievement of maximum damage levels but also the delivery of substantial impact upon reaching those levels.
Versatility and Weapon Pairings
This build’s primary appeal lies in its adaptability. The choice of subclass and weapon combinations is entirely up to your individual preferences, encouraging you to explore various setups that align with your gameplay style. Should you opt for Malfeasance, you’ll gain an inherent advantage against unstoppable Taken foes, thanks to its explosive capabilities. Coupling this with effective ad-clearing tools such as Forbearance, complemented by the Spark of Beacons for blinding adversaries, enhances your strategic options. Utilizing Malfeasance in this manner allows for formidable boss takedowns.
Armor Mods and Gameplay Loop
Opting for Warden’s Law opens up your exotic weapon slot, offering a broad range of strategic options for high-level activities. Essential gear enhancements include mods for increasing heavy ammunition drops and scavenger perks to ensure ample ammo for both you and your allies. Utilizing a kinetic siphon mod can turn kinetic weapon kills into a source of orbs of power, enhancing team synergy. Additionally, equipping dual kinetic surge mods boosts your hand cannon’s damage output by 17%, further enhancing its lethality. A scavenger mod plays a crucial role in optimizing heavy ammunition pickup.
This approach emphasizes weapon proficiency over ability reliance, necessitating a more tactical engagement style. Loader mods become invaluable here, streamlining the reload process and keeping your hand cannon</strong ready for action. The strategy involves cycling your hand cannon</strong use: engage with a fully loaded weapon, inflict damage, then reload and temporarily switch weapons. This pause allows the “Out of Luck” cooldown to reset, enabling a seamless transition back to your hand cannon</strong for continuous damage output.
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