Starfire Protocol Review: Perks and Build Guide

Everything you need to know about Starfire Protocol and its stats, perks, and playability!

Starfire Protocol is a Warlock Exotic Chest Armor added in The Dark Below DLC, though it has been lifted into Year 2 with the release of The Taken King. It’s currently one of the best chest pieces available to Warlocks as it has an immediate impact on your lethality, as opposed to having to wait until you die (Purifier Robe). Or in the case of Heart of the Praxic Fire, having zero effect on your grenade cooldowns thanks to current Discipline builds. There are numerous paths to acquiring this Exotic piece: Xur, Nightfall, Exotic and Legendary Engrams, King’s Fall Oryx reward, and through Trials of Osiris. Let’s check out the Starfire Protocol!

Starfire Protocol Stat Split

The Starfire Protocol is stat locked to Discipline, meaning no matter how many times you reroll, you will always have a Starfire Protocol with some amount of Disciple, which suits the Armor piece well. Though in addition to Discipline, you could potentially roll one with Strength and Intellect, allowing for on-the-fly build changes.

  • Intellect: 44-86
  • Discipline: 44-138
  • Strength: 44-86

With maximum Discipline your Fusion Grenade will be recharging in 25 seconds with the second grenade taking a further 50 seconds to recharge. However, if halfway through the 50 second recharge of your second one you choose to throw your first one, the recharge rate will pick up speed.

Starfire Protocol Perks

Exotic Perk - Starfire Protocol: Gain an Additional Fusion Grenade

Fusion Grenades are scary good. They deal an incredible amount of burst damage, with the potential for sustained damage-over-time, and their magnetism is rivalled only by the Titan’s Magnetic Grenade. Keep in mind that this perk does not stack with Gift of the Sun.

Selectable Perk 1 - Stat Increase

This is where Glass Needles might come in handy. The first node has a 66% chance of rolling Intellect with the remaining 33% being Discipline. Whereas the second node has a 66% chance of being Discipline and a 33% chance of being Strength. If you’re incredibly unlucky and receive an Intellect/Strength roll on this section, definitely use a Glass Needle as you will want as much Discipline as possible.

Selectable Perk 2 - Ammo Increase

Special Weapon Ammo Increase, or Heavy Weapon Ammo Increase. This is where the Starfire Protocol shines as having an increase to the Special or Heavy Weapon Ammo is invaluable since the recent changes to their ammo capacity. Only the Starfire Protocol, Alchemist’s Raiment, and Purifier Robes are the current Warlock Exotic Chest Pieces that come with this selection as a standard option. The other chest pieces only offer a chance of rolling with the Special Weapon Ammo Capacity Increase.

Selectable Perk 3 - Armor or Defence

The built-in Armor Increase for Starfire Protocol is Solar Armor, likely due to the fact that the piece is only compatible with Sunsingers. The Burn Defence can roll as one of three variants: Arc, Solar, or Void. The choice is yours as to which you would prefer, but seeing as the game is placed firmly in Taken territory right now, and Taken combatants deal primarily in Solar damage, you may want to aim for Solar Defence.

Starfire Protocol in PVE

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All Sunsinger grenades are fairly viable in PvE, however the Fusion Grenade is the only one that deals enormous amounts of burst damage. The benefit of having Starfire Protocol is obviously having a bonus Fusion Grenade, but coupled with the Sunsingers Touch of Flame and Viking Funeral perks, the grenade goes from ridiculous burst damage to outrageous sustained damage.

High priority targets have a large pool of health, often exceeding the damage output of a single Fusion Grenade, which is where having the damage-over-time along with a second Fusion Grenade comes in handy. The moment this is most evident is during the Oryx encounter in the raid, specifically when the Ogres spawn. Two Fusion Grenades will obliterates their health, or you can choose to save one for the wily Light-Eater Knights that spawn.

Starfire Protocol in PVP

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In PvP Starfire Protocol falls vastly short of other Exotics to the point where it is almost entirely useless. The advantage of wearing Starfire Protocol is so you can apply the Touch of Malice/Viking Funeral combo to your grenades. Using this setup in PvP has limited benefits as most enemies you face will die when one Fusion Grenade is stuck to them regardless of the damage-over-time, rendering the Touch of Flame/Viking Funeral combo useless.

The only instance where Viking Funeral will come in handy is when an enemy has increased health from either Super usage or some ability that increase their damage resistance, or when you miss a grenade and it explodes next to them, applying the damage-over-time from the blast. But these times will be few and far between. Secondly, Gift of the Sun does not stack, meaning you’re not going to be receiving three grenades.

So you can then take Angel of Light, an incredibly niche perk that will see novices knocked out of the sky every time or extremely decent players landing impressive sniper shots. By using Angel of Light instead of Touch of Flame, you render Viking Funeral useless, meaning you need to use Sunburst, a laughably bad PvP tool, or Radiant Will, which is actually incredibly useful. There are better PvP options out there for Sunsingers, The Ram being top of the list along with Voidfang Vestments for the guaranteed grenade on spawn.

Starfire Protocol Review Score

Starfire Protocol excels in PvE with its incredible burst damage and the ability for sustained damage through the Touch of Flame/Viking Funeral combo as well as the Special and Heavy Ammo increases. However, it falls flat in PvP where Fusion Grenades kill in one hit when stuck to an enemy. If you want two Fusion Grenades in PvP don’t use Starfire Protocol, use Gift of the Sun and Radiant Will. Throw this on before the Oryx fight in the King’s Fall raid and listen as your Defender Titans shower you with praise for dealing so much damage to the Ogres and the Shade of Oryx.

For its PvE lethality alone, we're giving the Starfire Protocol a score of four out of five Engrams! 

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Thinking of starting a Titan and want to know what Exotic Chest piece to chase? Then you should check out our Twilight Garrison review! Or maybe you’re about to check out the Hunter subclass and need an awesome helmet? If so, you should look no further than the Graviton Forfeit.

About The Author: Sam Chandler

Australian Made and Owned. Sam's a writer, editor, and producer who specialises in friendship and high-fives. If he's not playing video games he's pretending to know things about scotch whiskey. Find him anywhere as: SerfaBoy

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