Hunters are Destiny 2’s most popular class by a large margin, doubling the number of Guardians that play Warlock or Titan. With their majestic capes and well-designed Subclasses, it’s easy to see why. Hunters can offer a little bit of everything besides damage buffs to any squad.
Even with their flexibility, some Subclass trees are worse than others. Hunters have no bad Subclass trees in Destiny 2, but they certainly have picks that fall behind other fantastic choices. For those who want to understand a Hunter’s potential while wielding the Light or Darkness, here is every Hunter Subclass in Destiny 2 ranked from worst to best.
Updated November 24th, 2020 by Charles Burgar: Now that Beyond Light has given Guardians a chance to wield the Darkness, the game’s PvE and PvP metas changed drastically. Hunters have seen a sizable shift in Subclass usage thanks to core sandbox changes and the inclusion of Stasis. With the plethora of new builds the Revenant allows, now is a perfect time to revisit the Hunter’s best and worst Subclasses and see how they stack up in Destiny 2: Beyond Light.
10 Way Of The Current (Middle Tree Arcstrider)
Introduced in Forsaken, the Way of the Current shakes things up for Arcstriders by giving them a ranged melee attack as well as an alternate block button for their Arc Staff Super. It’s by no means a terrible spec, but there are better options for both PvE and PvP.
The Tempest Strike ability is solid when it works. This ability has a serious issue tracking targets and going over elevated terrain, making it nigh-useless in Crucible. Arc Staff lacks the damage of Way of the Warrior for PvE, leaving only the spec’s neutral game for Crucible—which is overshadowed by Way of the Wraith and Way of the Wind. Tempest Strike needs to be more consistent for Way of the Current to remain competitive in the game’s sandbox.
9 Way Of A Thousand Cuts (Middle Tree Gunslinger)
Forsaken’s Subclass addition for Gunslingers is Way of a Thousand Cuts. Ironically, this Gunslinger tree has nothing to do with firing a weapon.
Melee is king with this tree, granting players a fan of burning knives that can deal precision damage. Burning enemies with these knives or an Incendiary Grenade will grant dodge cooldown, perfectly synergizing with Gambler’s Dodge. It has a great crowd-clearing Super and a solid melee ability, but this spec’s neutral game and PvP potential are limited at best. Those that enjoy Gambit and chaotic PvE content will love this tree, however.
8 Way Of The Warrior (Top Tree Arcstrider)
While Way of a Thousand Cuts is a great melee tree, Way of the Warrior does the job better in almost every way and has health recovery to boot. Those that use Way of the Warrior will want to use Gambler’s Dodge to gain their melee ability. Dodging increases a player’s melee range, allowing them to kill a target from afar using only their fist.
This procs Combination Blow, increasing melee damage for 20 seconds while also granting a dodge charge and a chunk of health. Once Combination Blow stacks up to three times, players can instantly-kill most majors. That said, Combination Blow can never outright kill a Guardian inside of the Crucible.
This spec also has one of the highest damaging Supers in the game thanks to dodges granting Arc Staff increased damage for a short time. Pair this spec with Raiden Flux or Liar’s Handshake for even more damage. If this Subclass tree had a better neutral game, it would be a fantastic choice in PvP as well. Sadly, its focus on punching things limits its viability in Grandmaster Nightfalls, certain raid encounters, and makes it a horrible choice for PvP.
7 Way Of The Outlaw (Top Tree Gunslinger)
Way of the Outlaw is one of Destiny 2’s more stylish Subclass paths that allows Hunters to fan-fire their Golden Gun Super at a rapid pace. Better yet, Way of the Outlaw’s affinity for explosives makes it a solid off-meta choice inside of the Crucible.
Besides the great add-clearing Super, Way of the Outlaw gives players a Proximity Explosive Knife that deals a sizable chunk of damage in PvE and PvP. This can be combined with Young Ahamkara’s Spine and Tripmine Grenades to set devastating traps. For PvE, this spec is a fun choice for non-pinnacle content but lacks the damage output and survivability to find a place inside of raids and Nightfalls. As for PvP, this spec is great for chaotic 6v6 matches but is somewhat lacking inside of Trials of Osiris and Glory-enabled matches.
6 Way Of The Wind (Bottom Tree Arcstrider)
For the bottom path for Arcstriders, Way of the Wind is a tree focused on gaining plenty of passive bonuses from staying aggressive.
Cooldown reduction is everywhere in this path, granting dodge cooldown on sprinting and ability cooldowns while a player’s shields are broken. Arguably the strongest part of this Subclass is Lightning Reflexes, a passive that grants 15% damage resistance while you’re dodging.
Way of the Wind is a fantastic alternative to Way of the Wraith inside of the Crucible. Unfortunately, this tree’s neutral game can’t make up for its lackluster abilities inside of PvE and Gambit.
5 Way Of The Trapper (Top Tree Nightstalker)
Few Subclasses in Destiny 2 are as easy to use as Nightstalker’s Way of the Trapper. This Subclass packs one of the strongest crowd control Supers in the franchise and can go invisible whenever they dodge.
The issue is that this Subclass has been overshadowed by the Revenant Subclass and buffs to Way of the Pathfinder introduced in Shadowkeep. Orpheus Rig and this Subclass still provides an insane amount of crowd control and Orb of Power generation that is invaluable in all PvE content. Sadly, this Subclass has little else to bring to the table. For PvP, this is easily one of the worst Subclasses in the game due to its awful neutral game and short invisibility duration.
4 Way Of The Sharpshooter (Bottom Tree Gunslinger)
In terms of a sheer balance between all of Destiny’s core modes, Way of the Sharpshooter is the easiest to use across any game type. This spec is fantastic in PvE, Gambit, and Crucible.
Precision hits with this Gunslinger tree grant Super energy. Since Golden Gun can deal precision damage with this spec, having a high-damage Super available all of the time is invaluable in any content. Better yet, precision kills grant noticeable stability and handling buffs that even buffs Golden Gun’s damage if the buff exceeds 20 seconds when Golden Gun is cast. Top this off with a one-shot precision throwing knife and it’s easy to see why Gunslingers tend to gravitate towards this tree.
3 Revenant (Stasis)
Revenants are one of the strongest Subclasses in Destiny 2 if players master this spec’s unique gameplay loop. A major focus of this Subclass is shattering crystals through the use of the Shatterdive Aspect, giving Hunters a Darkness version of Phoenix Dive that deals damage over a sizable area. If Hunters can build around their abilities, Revenants offer an unparalleled amount of add clear and mobility.
- Shatterdive: Instantly-shattering Stasis crystals in a wide area makes this amazing for PvE builds centered around grenades. It can also be used as an immediate follow-up attack inside of the Crucible to help clean up low health Guardians.
- Winter’s Shroud: Every dodge granting x4 slow stacks is just enough to freeze opponents when struck by a Stasis Shuriken. While this is downright overpowered in PvP, the lack of Fragment slots makes Winter’s Shroud a tough Aspect to build around inside of PvE.
- Whisper of Hedrons: Grants a 25% damage buff for ten seconds after freezing a target, which is more than enough to make Bows and Aggressive Frame Sniper Rifles one-shot Guardians inside the Crucible. A top-tier pick in all game types.
- Whisper of Shards: Breaking a Glacier Grenade wall grants about 70% of your grenade after ten seconds. Pair this with Fr0st-EE5 to have a grenade ready every eight seconds. Synergizes with Whisper of Fissures to offer an absurd amount of add clear in PvE.
- Whisper of Bonds: Every enemy damaged by your weapons grant Super energy on death. The percentages are the same as Orpheus Rig but can recharge your Super past 50%. A top-tier pick for PvE but a poor choice inside of PvP.
- Whisper of Durance: All abilities that slow targets last an additional two seconds, which also affects Squall’s ice tornado. This Fragment is fantastic when paired with Whisper of Bonds in PvE or the Winter’s Shroud Aspect in PvP.
- Whisper of Fissures: The extra detonation damage this Fragment provides synergizes well with Shatterdive. A phenomenal choice for PvE builds that focus on their grenade.
- Whisper of Refraction: Due to the low cooldown of Hunter dodges, this Fragment provides little benefit inside of PvE and PvP. This Fragment does not bypass the Mask of Bakris’ dodge lockout timer.
There are multiple ways to build around the Revenant Subclass. For PvE, using the Whisper of Fissures and Whisper of Shards Fragments allows for nigh-infinite Glacier Grenades that can be shattered for massive damage. Alternatively, this Subclass can use the Whisper of Bonds and Whisper of Durance Fragments to turn Silence And Squall into an icy version of Nightstalker’s Shadowshot, complete with Orpheus Rig’s Super energy generation. The Revenant’s lack of invisibility or healing makes it tough to use in Grandmaster Nightfalls, arguably its only weakness in PvE. Its limit of Fragment slots also makes the Revenant tough to build around.
Crucible players should also consider using the Revenant due to this spec’s insane mobility. The Mask of Bakris Exotic Helmet lets Hunters teleport a short distance, which can be used after Shatterdiving to confuse the enemy team. If this Subclass had a roaming Super, it would arguably be better than Way of the Wraith inside of PvP.
2 Way Of The Wraith (Middle Tree Nightstalker)
Way of the Wraith is much easier to understand than Way of the Pathfinder. This path grants players invisibility on crouched precision kills, a damaging Smoke Bomb, melee attacks that weaken foes while invisible, as well as a pair of Void swords for a Super.
While invisible, players effectively gain wallhacks for a short duration. This makes it arguably overpowered in the hands of a skilled Crucible player. Way of the Wraith also has one of the best Supers in the game for PvP, granting constant awareness of where the enemy is and incredible movement speed. If it wasn’t for Spectral Blades being hard to control when damaging a boss in PvE, it would easily be the best Subclass for Hunters in Destiny 2.
1 Way Of The Pathfinder (Bottom Tree Nightstalker)
What was once one of the worst Subclass trees in all of Destiny 2 has become one of the best. Way of the Pathfinder is downright overpowered in PvE when played right, only kept in check by its limited viability in the Crucible.
Smoke Bombs with this spec turn allies in the radius invisible for 8 seconds while also granting those affected the Heart of the Pack Buff, increasing Mobility, Recovery, Resilience, weapon reload speed, and grants a dramatic boost to the handling stat. Better yet, players get grenade energy every time they make someone invisible. This pairs nicely with this spec’s ability to generate Smoke Bombs when grenades damage targets.
It doesn’t end there: grenades also last twice as long with this spec to make Void grenades worth throwing. This loaded PvE Subclass is topped with Moebius Quiver, an augment to Shadowshot that turns it into one of the highest damaging Supers in the game. For soloing the hardest content in PvE, there is simply no better choice.
NEXT: Destiny 2 Beyond Light: Where To Find Every Entropic Shard
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