Destiny 2: Forsaken's new subclass trees

Destiny 2‘s Moments of Triumph went live a week ago. It’s the final hurrah for the game’s first year and players can complete at bucket list’s worth of activities. On the horizon, there’s Forsaken, the major expansion for Destiny 2: Year 2. In addition to a darker, revenge-type plotline, Forsaken will also introduce new subclass trees, abilities, and supers for Destiny 2′s Titans, Hunters, and Warlocks. Naturally, every Destiny Guardian is eager to see what’s in store. Here’s how we rate these new subclass additions in Forsaken.

Please keep in mind that this is based on the recent reveal. We’re yet to know of any additional tweaks to the existing subclass trees, or what the new encounters would be like, as well as any Crucible fine-tuning that may happen. We’ve also yet to receive word of new exotics and how well they would synergize with new and old subclass trees.

Destiny 2: Forsaken's new subclass trees

Titans

Sentinel (Void): Code of the Commander

This might be the new contender for a PvE and PvP choice. The new subclass tree is a force to be reckoned with boasting synergy among its three new perks. Controlled Demolition plants a detonator on enemies hit with a void ability, meanwhile punching them procs Tactical Strike which blows up those detonators and anything nearby. These detonators can also stick to other targets setting off a chain of explosions — kind of like a cross between Telesto and Graviton Lance. Hits on enemies affected by Controlled Demolition will also proc Resupply, giving health and grenade energy to teammates.

Sentinels will also get the Banner Shield when they block during their super. A transparent bubble surrounds the Sentinel, and anyone inside it cannot be hit by projectiles. The good news is, your teammates can continue shooting which also increases its duration. This is reminiscent of the Atheon boss fight in Destiny 1: Year 1, so it’s like having your own mini-Relic.

Rating: 10/10

The Code of the Commander tree has everything from turning enemy mobs and players into walking bombs and glorious chain explosions. The Banner Shield will definitely help when roaming around PvP or defending a point. There’s nothing scarier than seeing a group of Guardians running-and-gunning for you and you can’t even deal damage back. It also looks extremely helpful for PvE given how majority of Destiny boss fights require fireteams to stick together on a spot and deal DPS.

Sunbreaker (Solar): Code of the Devastator

Titans have become a meme for years due to their pitiful melee range. We’re not talking about sprinting or lunging — they’ve got Shoulder Charge for that. We’re talking about just trying to punch enemies with their short arms from a neutral position. That’s going to change with this new subclass tree where a Throwing Hammer replaces your regular melee attack. It’s another long-range melee similar to the Gunslinger’s Throwing Knife. The difference is you can pick these up again which allows you to throw another one, whilst also triggering health regeneration via Tireless Warrior. Hammer attacks, retrievals, and solar abilities also proc Roaring Flames which increases your Throwing Hammer’s damage even more.

The Sunbreaker’s new super for this subclass tree allows you to wield the Burning Maul, a giant, flaming hammer which you can spin around to do rapid damage, or do a stronger but slower overhead attack.

Rating: 7/10

The Code of the Devastator offers new ways for Sunbreakers to go on the offensive. I definitely see a lot of use coming out of it for PvP. Finally, Titans have a longer-range melee to rejoice about. For PvE, however, its utility remains to be seen. That would entirely depend on the damage output that Burning Maul does. If it does about as much as Destiny 1: Rise of Iron‘s Dark Drinker against Aksis, where people happily spun around to do damage to a boss with multiple hitboxes, then yes, it’s going to be awesome.

Striker (Arc): Code of the Missile

This is going to turn the Striker into pretty much a purely offensive rusher in PvP. There’s no other type of playstyle that you could adjust to. Ballistic Slam does a wide ground pound after doing a sprint and then skating in the air, with Impact Conversion providing more super energy depending on the number of targets you hit. Inertia Override gives your gun a boost in damage if you pick up the ammo drops of your opponents.

What might be the talking point, though, is the Thundercrash ability. This is basically Fist of Havoc from Destiny 1 with the Death From Above perk. That’s all there is to it. Titans activate their super and fly in the air, and can pinpoint where their smash will hit. It’s not necessarily anything new nor fresh.

Rating: 5/10

This will probably not see much action in PvE depending on the encounters. In PvP, yes, Code of the Missile will definitely see some mileage. After all, many Titan players might’ve missed glorious Striker multi-kills in Destiny 1. Seeing a Titan streaking downwards to hit six enemies, killing them in a blast of lightning never gets old. Still, unless Destiny 2‘s PvP moves away from heavy team-shooting, there’s a good chance these rushing Strikers will end up as free kills.

Destiny 2: Forsaken's new subclass trees

Hunters

Nightstalker (Void): Way of the Wraith

This new subclass tree just screams pure and absolute cheese, there’s no other way to go about it. Precision kills, while you’re at full health, trigger Flawless Execution. That provides Nightstalkers with invisibility and true sight (aka wallhacks). You can basically see enemies through walls. The Corrosive Smoke Bomb ability further improves the already annoying Smoke Bombs by having them explode in a linear fashion. Finally, hitting enemies with a melee attack grants Shattering Strike, which debuffs opponent damage.

The brand new Nightstalker super will no longer have you firing an arrow to tether enemies in order to make orbs or debuff a boss. Instead, the Spectral Blades will be a roaming super instead. Finally, Nightstalkers have a super that can actually kill an opposing Guardian in the Crucible

Rating: 10/10

On paper, the new Way of the Wraith subclass tree already looks insane. The mere fact that Nightstalkers can gain invisibility from precision kills, which can easily happen in a PvE or PvP setting, means more survivability. It also means that one can, technically, stay invisible for the majority of the match. If Nightstalkers weren’t already annoying with Wormhusk Crown or Graviton Forfeit, now they’re next to unkillable if you can’t find them. I’m actually tempted to break the scale and give the subclass tree an 11/10.

Arcstrider (Arc): Way of the Current

The synergy seems decent with this subclass tree. It requires a lot of getting in close to melee range and punching. Two perks, Ebb and Flow and Lightning Weave, provides ability recharge and increased reload speed respectively. The other, Tempest Strike, requires that you sprint and then slide before you can unleash a powerful uppercut. The arc attack travels on the ground which hits an enemy and throws them a short distance in the air.

Whirlwind Guard provides much-needed survivability for the Arcstrider. You can block attacks with the Arc Staff now. Blocking these projectiles empowers your super even further.

Rating: 6/10

I’m not yet too sold on the Way of the Current tree. It looks to be helpful in PvP somewhat, and I foresee countless Hunters trying to slip and slide their way just to get uppercut kills. However, I do feel it might be more welcome in PvE. Several bosses can be killed in just a few seconds when Arcstriders go to down with their supers, coupled with the Raiden Flux exotic armor. Blocking bullets, and then going in for electrified attacks with a damage boost, does seem like a viable tactic.

Gunslinger (Solar): Way of a Thousand Cuts

Gunslinger montages are filled with long-range and near-impossible kills with Throwing Knives. This time around, Knife Trick allows you to throw an entire fan in a frontal cone. Burning Edge and Playing with Fire further synergize to boost your dodge and melee ability respectively with the enemies you’ve hit.

The Blade Barrage looks slightly odd, however, as it’s merely burning knife after burning knife until the super runs out. Will it be good in PvE? That’s doubtful. Golden Gun with Celestial Nighthawk and the Way of the Sharpshooter tree remains the single highest damage output in the game. It might find some fans (pun intended) in PvP. Since Golden Gun requires you to aim at various targets, you can pretty much just hit all of them in a cone.

Rating: 3/10

As mentioned, Golden Gun is still a go-to super for a majority of Gunslinger mains. Its insanely high damage output in PvE, and having a Six-Shooter in PvP, can turn the tide in a long-range engagement. Given that the Gunslinger class isn’t the hardiest of all, I honestly cannot see how much utility the Way of a Thousand Cuts would provide.

Destiny 2: Forsaken's new subclass trees

Warlocks

Dawnblade (Solar): Attunement of Grace

Dawnblades can turn their own grenades into health pickups for teammates via Divine Protection. I’m suddenly having flashbacks of World of Warcraft‘s Paladin skill because of that. Meanwhile, Guiding Flame gives your allies a damage boost whenever you melee an enemy. Whenever your allies are under the effects of these two new perks, plus your Rifts, you gain Benevolent Dawn which recharges your abilities as well.

In addition to these, your Well of Radiance super creates a gigantic Rift. According to Game Informer, this is wide enough to cover two Calus damage plates. This Rift provides a large amount of healing and DPS increase as well.

Rating: 10/10

Dawnblades did not get much love during Destiny 2‘s early days. Subsequent changes still made them “just an option” compared to hard-hitting Voidwalkers and roaming Stormcallers. Recently, they’ve become much more beloved in PvE and PvP, and it looks like the Attunement of Grace will even bolster that idea. The mere fact that Warlocks are now acting like Overwatch‘s Mercy will be a sight to behold. The Well of Radiance is looking like a it’s going to be a mainstay of high-end PvE and PvP as well.

Voidwalker (Void): Attunement of Fission

Voidwalkers gain a ranged melee attack that creates a mini explosion around it via Atomic Breach. Rushing in to get a kill also gives you the option to use the Handheld Supernova, which turns your grenade into a, well, melee bomb. Killing opponents will grant health regeneration and ability recharge energy via Dark Matter. These will no doubt turn Voidlocks into unpredictable killing machines.

Perhaps another enticing part of this new subclass tree is the Nova Warp. Rather than throwing a Nova Bomb towards enemies, the Warlock becomes the Nova Bomb itself. Voidlocks can teleport around the map, and release Nova Bomb-lite explosions to clear entire mobs or entire groups of Crucible opponents.

Rating: 9/10

The unpredictable nature of Voidwalkers, coupled with survivability and synergy with all the perks, means that Warlocks specializing in the Attunement of Fission might be one of the hardest to kill in any setting. If you can’t predict what your opponent will do, you’ve already lost the battle.

Stormcaller (Arc): Attunement of Control

The subclass tree emphasizes team-wide utility. Ionic Traces are little orbs on the ground that can drop from enemies. These refill energy for all your abilities. Getting damaged gives you and nearby teammates a speed boost via Pulse Wave. Finally, Ball Lightning is another ranged melee attack. Think Diablo III‘s Ball Lightning and you’ve got the idea.

The Stormcaller also gets the Chaos Reach, a beam of pure arc that can be used repeatedly within the duration of the super. This allows you to kill multiple enemies in a short span of time. Think of it as the Craniums during the Argos fight in Eater of Worlds.

Rating: 9/10

The Attunement of Control for Stormcallers will redefine aggressive gameplay in the Crucible. After all, when you’ve got refills from kills, as well as speed boosts for your rush-happy teammates, you can leave your opponent’s defenses stunned. The new super attack is also damaging and will definitely frustrate opponents. In PvE, the utility the subclass tree provides is also top-notch.

Overall Rankings

  • 10/10: Sentinel: Code of the Commander, Nightstalker: Way of the Wraith, Dawnblade: Attunement of Grace
  • 9/10: Voidwalker: Attunement of Fission, Stormcaller: Attunement of Control
  • 7/10: Sunbreaker: Code of the Devastator
  • 6/10: Arcstrider: Way of the Current
  • 5/10: Striker: Code of the Missile
  • 3/10: Gunslinger: Way of a Thousand Cuts

Power to the Forsaken

We still do not know a lot about Destiny 2: Forsaken. Suffice to say, these changes and additions to subclasses are going to play a big role in engaging in PvE and PvP. The new Sunbreaker and Nightstalker subclass trees seem grandly overpowered on paper. However, it looks as though Warlocks of all classes got all the love. Pretty much every single new Warlock subclass tree is worth using.

Destiny 2: Forsaken will bring all these new subclass trees, supers, and abilities this September 4. Even though it’s still a few months before that, we hope that we’ve helped you determine which of these new additions are worthwhile. As usual, Daily Esports will provide continuous coverage of Destiny 2’s new expansion.

Jason Rodriguez
I'm a contributor for various sites under the Enthusiast Gaming umbrella: Destructoid, dailyesports.gg, PlayStation Enthusiast, PC Invasion, and Flixist. Games. Movies. Travel. History. Warhammer. Dad jokes. All around nerdy stuff. You name it, I'll happily chime in.

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