Claws of Ahamkara Review: Perks and Build Guide

Everything you need to know about Claws of Ahamkara and its stats, perks, and play styles! 

Claws of Ahamkara are Warlock Exotic Gauntlets that first made their appearance during the release of The Dark Below. Originally only supplementing the Sunsinger Warlock, the Year 2 versions added an additional melee charge for any Warlock subclass which allowed Voidwalkers to throw an extra Energy Drain and Stormcallers get another Thunderstrike. Additionally, there are numerous paths you can take to acquire these Exotic gauntlets including Xur, Nightfall, Exotic and Legendary Engrams, King’s Fall Oryx reward, and Trials of Osiris. Let’s check out the Claws of Ahamkara!

Claws of Ahamkara Stat Split

Claws of Ahamkara are stat-locked to Strength, so no matter how you roll they will always turn up with Strength alongside a guaranteed Strength perk in the Stat Increase column. If you want a pair with Intellect you will have a tough time as there’s only a 33% chance of receiving an Intellect node.

  • Intellect: 30-60
  • Discipline: 30-60
  • Strength: 30-94

Claws of Ahamkara Perks

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Exotic Perk - The Whispers: Gain an additional melee charge.

Additional melee charges are available for all Warlock subclasses, so pick your favorite and get to slapping! You can either go for the tankiness of two Flame Shields, the extended sniping range of Amplitude, or increased ability synergy with Soul Rip!

Selectable Perk 1 - Stat Increase

The first unlockable node has a 2:1 ratio for Discipline and Intellect, while the second node will always roll with Strength. You may find yourself forced to use a few Glass Needles if you need Intellect in order to smooth out your build.

Selectable Perk 2 - Melee or Grenade Effect

Snap Discharge is a built-in perk of the Claws of Ahamkara that increases your melee attack speed. Meaning after you throw a slap the time before you can throw another one is reduced. Below this is a 50/50; you will either receive Momentum Transfer, gain bonus melee energy on grenade hits; or Impact Reduction, bonus grenade energy on melee hits. Due to Strength being the predominant feature of this Exotic item, you are more likely to have your melee charged which makes Momentum Transfer a bit redundant. Impact Reduction will help have your grenade up more often and will allow for a melee-grenade-melee combo.

Selectable Perk 3 - Reload Speed Increase

This is where things can start to get a bit messy. The Claws of Ahamkara can roll with just about any combination of Reloader. The top node can roll any of the four Primary Weapons: Auto Rifle, Pulse Rifle, Scout Rifle, or Hand Cannon. This means you may need to use a few Glass Needles in order to get the Reloader that matches your preferred Primary loadout. The bottom node has the potential to roll both Special and Heavy (excluding Sword): Fusion Rifle, Sidearm, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, Machine Gun, or Rocket Launcher.

Claws of Ahamkara In PvE

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The Claws of Ahamkara shine in PvE, and you won’t have to worry about getting up close and personal as you are more than likely to win in a one-on-one fight. In fact, most of the lower-tier enemies will die in one melee hit when you have the Claws of Ahamkara equipped. With the April Update, Sunsingers now have a good reason to use Sunburst where killing an enemy using a charged Scorch melee generates an Orb of Light. Equipping the Claws of Ahamkara will allow you to generate twice as many Orbs of Light through this method, thus enabling you to fulfill a more support-oriented role for your team.

Thanks to the aforementioned April Update, Voidwalkers have also become a powerhouse in PvE with their class finally being as synergistic as first envisioned. Two Energy Drains will allow you to greatly reduce the cooldown of your Nova Bomb (which is helpful considering the noticeable inefficiency of Obsidian Mind post-nerf), or increase your movement speed and weapon handling. Stormcaller is somewhat lacking in the class-specific Exotics department unlike the other two subclasses, so it’s nice to have an Exotic effect for the Stormcaller as well.

All three of the modifiers to the Thunderstrike melee can be useful in PvE, though Chain Lightning for the extra area-of-effect and Rising Storm for the Super and Melee recharge are the ones you will want to focus on using. The Claws of Ahamkara are one of the few Exotics that feel as though they were made to be paired with a specific weapon, and that weapon is the Monte Carlo. By unleashing shots from this into a boss you will not only damage the boss’s health, each successive bullet hit will also help recharge your melees. 

Claws of Ahamkara in PVP

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There’s a riddle in Destiny and it goes like this: what is longer, the time between DLC releases or a Warlock’s melee range? Keeping that in mind, it’s not hard to imagine the sheer power you will find when given two melee abilities in PvP. Take for instance the Sunsinger’s Flame Shield, an ability that gives you a damage resistant shield whenever you hit someone. By using the Claws of Ahamkara, it’s possible to recover from poor plays where you need a shield mid-fight only to find yourself face-to-face with another assailant and running low on health.

Even though Flame Shield offers up a shield, the base Sunsinger melee Scorch adds Ignite to an enemy which deals damage-over-time. Couple your Flame Shield-Scorch with Viking Funeral and not only will you be increasing your health, but you’ll also cripple the enemy player as the Ignite deals increased damage-over-time. Stormcallers also benefit from the Claws of Ahamkara in PvP where you are most likely using Amplitude to extend the range of your melee. Remember the riddle above? Well, you’ve just made that easier to answer by extending the reach of your Warlock melee. Mix this with a long-range Shotgun like Conspiracy Theory-D and you may find yourself on the receiving end of some PvP hate mail.

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As mentioned in the PvE section, the Monte Carlo pairs extremely well with the Claws of Ahamkara. Build your subclass around the melee ability and equip Monte Carlo, by doing this you’ll find yourself being more punch-happy than a Titan in a Ward of Dawn. The downside of using the Claws of Ahamkara in PvP is that you miss out on using an Exotic that helps your team like Light Beyond Nemesis, or you miss out on always spawning with a grenade when using Voidfang Vestments. Moreover, entering into melee range with another player adds a lot more risk to the encounter. However, sometimes high-risk situations lead to the best results. Keep in mind, if you’re using Stormcaller with the Transcendence perk you will need both of your melees fully charged for the perk to activate.

Claws of Ahamkara Review Score

The Claws of Ahamkara can be a powerful tool for Warlocks who feel like they need an additional melee charge be it Thunderstrike, Energy Drain, or Scorch. Increasing your melee count to two means that you can survive most one-on-one encounters in PvP when it comes to punches, and in PvE it means creating a lot more synergy within your subclass while fulfilling the support role for your team. Despite the Claws of Ahamkara have no overwhelming flaws, using them does mean sacrificing an Exotic that could give you more lethality in PvE or PvP such as the Starfire Protocol, Impossible Machines, or The Ram. So while the Claws of Ahamkara are powerful, you may find yourself opting for another Exotic piece instead.

In conclusion, we’ll be giving the Claws of Ahamkara 4 out of 5 Engrams!

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Now that your Warlock can deal twice as much melee damage, it’s time to setup the perfect Voidwalker build. The hype train is preparing to leave the station because next week Bungie will unveil new content on their Twitch stream! Do you think Bungie will show any new solo activities? Here are five new solo activities that Destiny needs.

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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