Thanks to their varied perks and abilities, Warlocks in the Crucible often float between being overly oppressive and somewhat underwhelming in combat. The most commonly used Warlock subclass in Crucible is the Sunsinger using Firebolt grenades. For fans of the Sunsinger Warlock, we're diving into one of the best builds to help your Sunsinger succeed in Crucible combat.
As with all things Crucible, remember to play to your preference of abilities and play style as your overall success will vary with the suggestions below.
The Sunsinger is arguably the best Warlock subclass. Their tankiness, attack range, and second-chance Super means that opponents will constantly need to keep on their toes even if they successfully manage to kill a Sunsinger.
The Sunsinger’s grenades are their bread and butter as they play an important part of the neutral game, and are inherently tied to the Sunsinger’s Super. Firebolt Grenades are currently one of the most powerful grenades and should always be included in Warlock builds for Crucible play. With a maximum of three individual “bolts” striking out from the epicenter of the Firebolt grenade, you can potentially tag an entire team in Elimination. Even if you do not manage a direct hit with the grenade, the bolts’ range is considerable and will often make up for sloppy throws (even tagging enemies that are behind cover).
Solar Grenades offer an area-of-effect and continual damage, however a seasoned player will quickly be able to leave the blast before any significant amount of damage is dealt to them. Fusion Grenades are a contentious topic among Warlocks. Some tout them as a must-have while others refuse to touch them. If you feel confident in your ability to land a Fusion Grenade on an opponent in the Crucible 100% of the time, then you should take them. However, if you have a tendency to miss, there’s no saving grace like you’ll find with Firebolt. A secondary issue with the Fusion Grenade is their lack of synergy with the rest of the Sunsinger perks (Viking Funeral and Touch of Flame are wasted due to the Fusion grenade being a one-hit kill).
A quick note about jumps: Sunsingers should always take Focused Burst. If you can time your jump correctly, you can effectively perform a sort of “Warlock Skate” which is similar to the movement that Titans can achieve, albeit at a slower pace. Using Focused Burst allows for quick movement around the Crucible, whereas using another Glide in your Sunsinger build will leave you moving slowly.
Variations of the Sunsinger’s Super are limited with some players opting to take Radiant Skin in place of Fireborn (though never Song of Flame). Fireborn is an excellent safety net for your team. If you go down during a round of Elimination, rather than having the remaining enemies converge on your teammates in a 3v2 fight, they must allocate someone to guard your ghost in case of resurrection. Not to mention the ability to save a near-loss by coming back to life and continuing the fight.
Radiant Skin is a very powerful Super modifier, though it requires you to move toward the enemy and potentially find yourself in a sniper's line-of-fire. Unlike the Sunbreaker’s Hammers or the Gunslingers Golden Gun, the grenades from your Super are not one-hit kills; they require you to continually chase an opponent which will further separate you from your allies. Song of Flame is more of a niche modifier, being a fun moment for you and your allies to rush the enemy while spamming grenades.
The problem with this is that while you are throwing a grenade you are incapable of shooting, and it also means you are not actively moving toward an enemy rooted in a defensible area. While Radiant Skin and Song of Flame offer interesting variations on an attack, Fireborn gives the best advantage for a Sunsinger Crucible build (especially when coupled with the Exotic armor piece Purifier Robes). Switching to the Purifier Robes while dead can give the opponent a nasty surprise when you cast Radiance.
When it comes to which Sunsinger melee modifier is most useful for Crucible, Flame Shield is by far one of the strongest melees in the game. Keep in mind that the Sunsinger’s Scorch melee has a special effect that is often overlooked: Scorch Ignites enemies. So when you successfully land that Flame Shield melee, the enemy is Ignited and will be affected by Viking Funeral. Flame Shield offers a shield that temporarily reduces incoming damage with the only downside being that it increases Scorch’s recharge time. However, the benefits of having a shield far outweigh any potential negatives.
If you are caught in a fight where the opponent initially has the upper hand, you can swiftly land a melee hit and have the fight swing back in your favor. Furthermore, you can finish an enemy with a melee and have increased shields to face their ally. Alternatives to Flame Shield are Solar Wind and Brimstone. Solar Wind pushes an enemy away from you, while Brimstone causes an opponent to explode when killed with the melee. Solar Wind isn’t nearly as disruptive to an enemy as it ought to be, and Brimstone is only effective if the player has an ally next to them. These two modifiers offer no immediate benefit to your lethality.
Perk Column 1
Viking Funeral is the perk that makes the Sunsinger subclass so oppressive: the Ignite effect lasts longer and deals more damage. Ignite is built-in to the Scorch melee but can be applied to grenades through the Touch of Flame perk. It also presents some not-so-obvious benefits: while an opponent is burning from Ignite, numbers will appear with each tick of damage allowing you to effectively see them “through” walls and obstacles. Burns also prevent health and shield regeneration during the effect, which means your opponent will be low on health and vulnerable until the tick finishes even after fleeing. Radiant Will increases the duration of Radiance; when paired with Song of Flame or Radiant Skin, you and your teammates can throw more grenades for longer.
However, Fireborn is a better asset and opting to extend its duration unimportant, especially when it means dropping Viking Funeral. Sunburst is one of those perks that you cannot be blamed for forgetting. Its uses are so limited (even more so in Crucible), and should never be considered for use in a Warlock Crucible build. Killing an enemy with Sunburst generates an Orb of Light. A single Orb of Light rarely makes or breaks a game, and this perk relies on you having a charged melee ready for use whereas Viking Funeral essentially doubles your lethality by potentially being applied to both your melee and grenade.
Perk Column 2
Touch of Flame is without a doubt one of the best perks to use in conjunction with Viking Funeral as it applies the Ignite effect to all grenades. Sunsinger grenades do not usually apply Ignite, instead they deal a base damage and then continual damage if an opponent stays within the radius of the Solar Grenade. Touch of Flame changes this and allows you to become far more oppressive; even though you may lose sight of an opponent, your presence will still felt by them in the form of continued damage. Angel of Light is too niche to be of any use. Some will argue that it can take players by surprise when you stop in mid-air to fire a shot, however the downside of this is that any experienced player will be able to snipe you out of the air.
The only reason you would use Angel of Light is if you need to stay off the ground or if you want to make a slick mid-air snipe montage. Gift of the Sun is a somewhat useful perk in Crucible, though opting for this over Touch of Flame is ill-advised. While having a second grenade can increase your chances of securing a kill, you will find that to kill an opponent you must throw both grenades. Whereas Touch of Flame coupled with a few rounds from a Primary weapon can be enough to kill a single or even multiple opponents. Also, consider that the second grenade takes twice as long as the first one to recharge, meaning it is unlikely you will have two grenades ready at all times.
Agility is wasted on a Warlock as opposed to a Hunter whose jump allows for precise movements. Instead, it is prudent to opt for Armor and Recovery boosting nodes. In Crucible, the ability to rapidly regain health and shield (as well as reduce incoming damage), is paramount to success.
The optimal Sunsinger build for Crucible is one that focuses on Armor and Recovery for the Attribute Columns, with Firebolt Grenades affected by Touch of Flame and Viking Funeral, rounded off with Flame Shield melees and a Fireborn Radiance. By following this Sunsinger Crucible build, you should find yourself being a menace for the opposition and walking away from a match with the victory!
While on the topic of Warlocks, be sure to check out the new Warlock armor coming in Rise of Iron! If you're still playing Destiny on a last-gen console, now might be the time to upgrade because Rise of Iron will not support last gen consoles. Have you heard about the new Crucible game mode coming to Destiny? We've speculated on what Rise of Iron's new Crucible mode will be.