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Very Detailed Guide on How to Play/Build Your Voidwalker in Destiny: The Taken King

Here's a guide for those Guardians who are playing as the Warlock using the Subclass, Voidwalker.

You Should Know:

  • AoE - Area of Effect
  • DoT - Damage over Time
  • PvE - Player versus Environment
  • PvP - Player versus Player
  • Trash mobs - Basically the weakest enemies you would find. Thrall, Dreg, Goblins, Vandals, etc.

Grenade
The Voidwalker's Grenades, while not being the primary damage source for them, they do give a decent amount of damage on top of the rest of their skills. Most of them are for killing mobs rather than taking out Ultras.

  • Vortex- A grenade that creates a vortex which continually damages enemies inside the sphere.

PvE - The Vortex grenade by itself is generally bad. The damage it does is reasonable, but the enemy AI knows to run the hell away as soon as it's thrown, so you barely get any damage. While not very good on its own, some perks can make this grenade pretty decent.

PvP - The same problem with this grenade in PvE comes right into PvP; They run away. Although there's also a few times where people don't realise that they're standing right on top of it and end up dying, which is always nice.

Important Note: Good grenade in theory, AI and Real Players actually being smart make it pretty bad.

  • Scatter- A grenade that splits into many submunitions and covers a large area with explosions.

PvE - Ah, the Scatter grenade. This is probably the best of the three grenades for PvE. Does the most damage out of all grenades. (unless you can actually manage to get an enemy to stay inside the Vortex AoE) Clears Trash mobs fairly well, and does a load of damage to Majors and Ultras. Good in most situations and it's what I would recommend in most builds.

PvP - An okay grenade for PvP. Not the best, not the worst. Average. Mediocre. Get the gist? Basically can kill if you hit all submunitions on the one target. Your chances of hitting all of them? Low.

Note: PvE Top Tier. PvP Eh Tier.

  • Axion Bolt- A bolt of Void light which forks into smaller bolts on impact which seek toward enemies.

PvE - The Axion Bolt's smaller bolts don't do too much damage, but this is probably the easiest way to clear trash mobs. Generally it's worth using the Scatter grenade over this, but this does have it's own advantages (more range than both Vortex and Scatter, easiest to hit).

PvP - The grenade you definitely want in PvP. Scans an area and hits your target. Throw down your grenade, shoot them and wait for that bolt to ruin their day. Combined with the Voidfang Vestments which give you full grenade energy and gain another seeker. Pretty gosh dang good.

Note: PvE Eh Tier. PvP Top Tier.

So ranking the grenades, in my opinion:

For PvE

  1. Scatter
  2. Vortex
  3. Axion Bolt

For PvP

  1. Axion Bolt
  2. Scatter
  3. Vortex

Glide
The Warlock's Glide is, in my opinion, the best jump in the game right now. The height you get is great, and the fact that you can basically float to the ground without any fall damage (unless you fall a huuuuuge height) is beautiful. And you can reactivate it multiple times (like you can with the Titan).

  • Focused Control- Upgrades Glide for better directional control while in mid-air.

PvE - Focused Control is what you want in PvE. Use this in basically every situation. Outclasses Focused Burst because let's be real, you'd rather be able to control where you go instead of being flung straight forward.

PvP - Control is great for PvP too. Since the Blink nerf, this can probably contest Blink in terms of usefulness. Althought Blink is probably just a step higher.

Note: This is the best upgrade for Glide in PvE. Without a doubt.

  • Focused Burst Upgrades Glide to provide an initial burst of speed.

PvE - Yay you go faster! Yay you can fling forward! Yay I just died from catapulting into an abyss!

PvP - It's a no from me.

Note: Nope.

  • Blink- A short distance teleport that replaces Glide.

PvE - Don't use this in PvE. It's pretty awful. Control is so much better. Hell, even Burst is better than Blink in PvE. It causes more problems than it helps.

PvP - Since it's been nerfed, Control could be chosen over this. Although Blink is still really good, so it's ultimately better for dodging those bullets and rockets.

Note: Sucks in PvE. Even after nerf, still good in PvP.

So ranking for the Glide upgrades:

For PvE:

  1. Control
  2. Burst
  3. Blink Bolt

For PvP:

  1. Blink Bolt
  2. Control
  3. Burst

Nova Bomb
Hurl an explosive bolt of Void light at the enemy, disintegrating those caught within its blast.

Nova Bomb is basically the bread and butter of this subclass. This is what makes the Voidwalker. While not doing too much damage to bosses (compared to Sunsinger), and not clearing as many mobs (compared to Stormcaller), Voidwalkers sit nicely in the middle as a mix and match of massive damage and wave clear.

  • Vortex- Nova Bomb creates a vortex which continually damages enemies trapped inside. Lasts 3.5 seconds.

PvE - Vortex has the exact same problem as the grenade. However, the Nova Bomb variant is a lot better because of the larger radius. This is more useful against Ultras and Majors because of the initial bomb damage, and then the DoT on the bosses (well, at least until they run out of the AoE).

PvP - Probably the best out of the three in PvP. Really good as zoning off areas and is amazing to ward enemies away from control zones. Does a buttload of damage in the process.

Note: Has Enemy AI problem like grenade, is pretty much amazing in control.

  • Shatter- Nova Bomb splits into three projectiles.

PvE - This is the mob clearing god. Splitting the Nova Bomb into three projectiles increases the radius of the bomb by a huge amount. Has superiority over the other two in that aspect, which is usually what you want to use your Nova Bomb for.

PvP - Has its uses (if enemies are spread apart), but generally outclassed by Vortex and Lance.

Note: Absolute machine for PvE, probably the worst of the three for PvP.

  • Lance- Nova Bomb travels farther and faster.

PvE - Lance in PvE isn't very good. It shoots in basically a straight line and goes faster then the other options. While it's a good perk, the other two are much better for clearing and boss dps.

PvP - This is probably a step under Vortex, as you can pinpoint exactly where you want the Nova Bomb to explode, but you don't get the amazing Zone Control benefits that Vortex gives.

Note: Eh in PvE, Relatively good in PvP but just a bit below Vortex.

So ranking for the Nova Bomb perks:

For PvE

  1. Shatter
  2. Vortex
  3. Lance

For PvP

  1. Vortex
  2. Lance
  3. Shatter

Energy Drain
A powerful melee attack which drains energy from enemies and uses it to reduce the cooldown of your grenade.

Energy Drain is the Voidwalker's Melee. While it's not a major part of their kit it still helps to get your grenade back for mob clearing. This is probably the weakest in terms of use when compared to Sunsinger and Stormcaller, but it fits the Voidwalker well and can make for some nice and interesting builds.

  • Surge- Damaging an enemy with Energy Drain increases your weapon and movement speed.

PvE - After proccing Surge, your agility and handing stats get increased to max for 15 seconds. This is extremely helpful in a lot of situations. It lets you dart away in a pinch and the handling is always nice. It's an all round nice perk to use.

PvP - Not bad for PvP, hit someone with a melee, run, and gun. Works nicely in most close encounters. Like I said, just an all round nice perk.

Note: Perk is nice for the 15 seconds of Agility and Handling. Good in both PvE and PvP. Not much else to say about it.

  • Life Steal- Killing an enemy with Energy Drain immediately restores a significant portion of your health.

PvE - Really good in a situation where you're being jumped on by a bunch of Thrall. Problem with that is, you're in a situation where you're being jumped on by a bunch of Thrall. Really good if you're dying but you never really want to be in that situation.

PvP - Seems like it would be super useful right? Kill an enemy and get your health right back! The problem with this is that it only procs when you kill an enemy. That means that if you waste your melee charge on a full health enemy, you don't get the health back and you've just used up your charge. Only really viable if you're running a shotgun and you manage somehow not to instakill them, so you melee them to save yourself.

Note: Not as good as it sounds, you have to be in bad situations to make good use out of it.

  • Soul Rip- Killing an enemy with Energy Drain reduces the cooldown of Nova Bomb.

PvE - This is a beautiful perk. Synergising well with a lot of the other perks and builds that Voidwalkers have to offer, this lets you build up your mob clearing potential to full. You get a huge chunk of super back with a kill and that also gives grenade energy, which means you can clear more mobs. It's amazing in PvE.

PvP - In PvP, this is less useful, as you're probably not going to be killing an enemy with the first charge of your melee. Basically the same as the Life Steal upgrade, but this is probably worse for PvP.

Note: In PvE it has good synergy with most Voidwalker builds and helps with mob clears in the long run. PvP has the same flaw as Life Steal but isn't as good in most situations.

So ranking for the Energy Drain upgrade:

For PvE

  1. Soul Rip
  2. Surge
  3. Life Steal

For PvP

  1. Surge
  2. Life Steal
  3. Soul Rip

Stats
The Voidwalker should be built around Battle Recovery more than Armour, and Armour more than Agility. While Both are important, you're going to want quick and clean encounters with enemies, using grenades and melee, backing up and going back in when your shield regenerates. Of course this is all my personal preference and opinion, so feel free to choose what you like.

  • Arcane Wisdom- Training focused on battle recovery and speed.
  • Arcane Spirit- Training focused on battle recovery and toughness.
  • Arcane Force- Training focused on toughness and speed.

Out of these three perks, Arcane Spirit is the most useful. As stated early, you want Battle Recovery, then Armour, then Agility when playing as a Voidwalker.

  • Ancestral Order- Training focused on all attributes.
  • Chaos Order- Training focused on raw speed.
  • Diving Order- Training focused on toughness at all costs.

Divine Order is the next perk you want. Ancestral Order is also an option, but you want more Armour than Agility so, Divine Order is perfect for that.

Note: Arcane Spirit & Divine Order for Battle Recovery & Armour.

Ability Modifier #1

  • Annihilate- Increases the size of the explosion created by Nova Bomb and grenades.

Annihilate works really well with the Vortex grenade and the Vortex Nova Bomb upgrade for vortex build. Really nice if PvP and also makes the Vortex better in PvE (increased radius, can't escape as easily). Also really great for a huge increased blast radius. Annihilate also gives +1 Agility.

  • Angry Magic- Nova Bomb tracks enemies.

Nova Bomb tracking is pretty nice with the Nova Bomb upgrade Shatter. It gives 3 enemy seeking projectiles which can destroy large groups. Angry Magic also gives +1 Armour. While this perk is nice, other perks usually outclass this once you learn to control the Nova Bomb properly (which isn't very hard, if you don't get it, just practice.)

  • The Hunger- Increases the duration of the Energy Drain effect.

Increases the effect by 3 seconds. Useful for more grenades, which means more mob clears, which is what we're all about here. Combined with the Embrace the Void perk (which we will get into shortly) it can give you a whole bunch of grenades to destroy that pesky trash!

These three are all pretty evenly matched. Your choice here is based around what build you're going for. If it's mob killing mayhem you're going for, then The Hunger or Angry Magic + Shatter is what you want. If you want a crazy Vortex black hole build, then you want Annihilate + Vortex + Vortex Grenade (+Vortex Mastery, which we'll be getting to shortly). If you want an extremely precise explosion to snipe far away targets in PvP, then Lance + Angry Magic is just for you!

Note: Annihilate for vortex, Angry Magic for tracking enemies, and The Hunger for grenaaaaades.

Ability Modifier #2

  • Vortex Mastery- Increases the range of Axion Bolt seekers and the duration of the Vortex Nova Bomb and Vortex Grenade

It goes without saying that this is the key to the Vortex build. Sure, increases the range for Axion Bolts, which is nice but generally you want to play with Vortex grenades with this + Annihilate for some serious AoE DoT.

  • Bloom- Enemies killed with any of your abilities explode.

This is totally amazing! It's just so beautiful to see a fireworks show of exploding Thrall and Acolytes floating through the air. And the damage this does is pretty decent too. (Think around the same as the Firefly perk, maybe more?) Combine this with Annihilate and you can just absolutely destroy groups of enemies.

  • Embrace the Void- Damaging enemies with Nova Bomb or any grenade triggers the Energy Drain effect.

Contrary to popular belief, the Embrace the Void perk only procs the Energy Drain part of the melee (being reduced grenade cooldown) and does not trigger any of the melee upgrades (being Surge, Life Steal and Soul Rip). Goes really well with The Hunger or Skull of Dire Ahamkara for a crapload of grenades.

These perks here are what finish the Voidwalker. They can change the entire playstyle depending on what you choose. There's a lot to work with with these three perks and it's a load of fun to chop and change depending on what you want to run next.

Note: For Vortex, Vortex Mastery (obiously). For EXPLOSIONS, Bloom. And for grenaaaaaades, Embrace the Void.

Exotics
Here we are. The fun part of the guide. What exotics to use, or not use, while playing as a Voidwalker. These can change your playstyle more than the last set of perks, so there's a lot of fun when you can find a great combination to use! This guide will only be listing obtainable Year 2 Exotics in this section. And only listing weapons that work particularly well with the Voidwalker.

Helmet

  • Light Beyond Nemesis

Light Beyond Nemesis is just a generally okay exotic. It's Titan and Hunter equivalents are Crest of Alpha Lupi. Use this if you have nothing else to use.

  • Obsidian Mind

This. This is probably the greatest exotic that you can get on a Voidwalker. The amount of super you can generate from the Insatiable perk is just ridiculous. Combined with Inverse Shadow and Bad Juju you can throw Nova Bombs literally every 10 seconds

  • Skull of Dire Ahamkara

The Skull is a really weird exotic. It gives increased armour when using super, making you like a striker using Fist of Havoc but at a distance. Not much use in PvE. Okay in PvP. But what's really nice about this helmet is that is gives you The Hunger perk for free. Which means you're free to use this, Annihilate and Embrace the Void all together which stacks quite nicely.

Gauntlets

  • Claws of Ahamkara

The Claws give an extra melee charge. At first glance this doesn't seem very good for a Voidwalker. That's where you would be wrong. The claws are amazing with the Soul Rip upgrade for the melee charge. Using The Hunger and Embrace the Void, you can get a whole bunch of grenades. Stack all this with max discipline you're using your grenades every 10 seconds.

Chest

  • Voidfang Vestments

These give Full grenade energy on respawn. Also gives Axion Bolts and additional seeker. Pretty awful for PvE. Decent in PvP. Not much to say about these, they don't do too much IMO.

  • Alchemist's Raiment

Not good for the Voidwalker. Saving your Super is the opposite of what you want to do while using this subclass. I'd avoid this.

Weapons

  • Bad Juju

Bad Juju is what you want when you're a Voidwalker. Combining this with Obsidian Mind and you've got one of the best combos in the game. The amount of super you get from this is absolutely ridiculous. Use this and you'll be happy.

  • Monte Carlo

At first, Monte Carlo doesn't seem very good for Voidwalkers. But combined with Skull of Dire Ahamkara, or better yet the Claws of Ahamkara, you have an amazing setup. Build either max Discipline or Strength and spam your grenades a crapload.

  • Red Death

Red Death is just always a great weapon. Not necesarrily for Voidwalkers but in general it's great. Use it if you dont' have another weapon to make an appropriate build. Obviously it's great in both PvE and PvP.

  • Zhalo Supercell

Zhalo is amazing. Everyone loves it. It gives super and ammo back on double kills. Not as strong as the Bad Juju in that regard, but it still works pretty damn well.

Builds

The Never Stop Nova Bomb build

  • Scatter Grenade
  • Focused Control Glide
  • Shatter Nova Bomb
  • Soul Rip Energy Drain
  • Arcane Spirit
  • Annihilate
  • Divine Order
  • Bloom
  • Obsidian Mind Helmet
  • Bad Juju Pulse Rifle OR Zhalo Supercell Auto Rifle
  • Max INT.

You never stop throwing your super in this build. Bad Juju for the super energy on kill. Obsidian Mind for more super per super kill, Inverse Shadow for even more super on kill. Scatter grenade + Bloom makes a mini Nova Bomb per grenade, and the Annihilate makes for an even bigger explosion. Let's be real, You can throw explosions all the time, and your explosions make explosions!

The Vortex build

  • Vortex Grenade
  • Blink Glide
  • Vortex Nova Bomb
  • Surge Energy Drain
  • Arcane Spirit
  • Annihilate
  • Divine Order
  • Vortex Mastery
  • Obsidian Mind Helmet
  • Bad Juju Pulse Rifle OR Zhalo Supercell Auto Rifle
  • Max DISC. or INT.

You get the most out of your Vortexes using this build. You get a solid amount of DoT in a huge AoE. Pretty average build. It's a lot of fun to use though. Nothing that great about it, but in PvP is has huge zoning potential.

Energy Drain Party build

  • Scatter Grenade
  • Focused Control Glide
  • Shatter Nova Bomb
  • Soul Rip Energy Drain
  • Arcane Spirit
  • The Hunger (Or Annihilate if you choose Skull of Dire Ahamkara)
  • Divine Order
  • Embrace the Void
  • Claws of Ahamkara Gauntlets OR Skull of Dire Ahamkara
  • Monte Carlo Pulse Rifle
  • Max DISC. or STR. (IMO DISC. is better)

Monte Carlo gives you more Melee, which means you get more grenades, etc. Loads of fun for melee + grenade spam. Claws give you two charges which means more grenades, while Skull gives you The Hunger for free. Give it a try if you have the exotics!

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Credits: Guide by SmearSoul