Our 12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvP, PvE and endgame content in Season 23, ranked

Our 12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvP, PvE and endgame content in Season 23, ranked
Finlay Cattanach Updated on by

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Need the best Warlock exotics in Destiny 2? Exotics are the pinnacle of power in Bungie’s space-faring FPS game. The rarest type of loot, this special class of gear possess unique perks and abilities, exceptional stats, and some of the greatest fashion that the game has to offer. But not all exotics are made equal.

Now if you’re looking for the best Titan exotics or best Hunter exotics, we’ve already got you covered. Here though, we’ll be going over the best Warlock exotics, covering our top choices for the top-tier gear for your space magic scholars and secret holders. Be sure to pair these choices with the best Warlock builds where you can for even more of a powerup, and collect plenty of Ascendant Shards to make the most of your new armour before heading into the Destiny 2 Warlord’s Ruin dungeon, or trying to solo the Starcrossed exotic mission and pick up Wish-Keeper.

What are the best Warlock exotics in Destiny 2 you should be picking up?

Warlock exotic armor pieces can vary greatly in their utility and purpose. If you’re just after the list, here are our top twelve Warlock exotics for Destiny 2.

  1. Crown of Tempests
  2. Secant Filaments
  3. Mantle of Battle Harmony
  4. Verity’s Brow
  5. Phoenix Protocol
  6. Boots of The Assembler
  7. Dawn Chorus
  8. Osmiomancy Gloves
  9. Karnstein Armlets
  10. Contraverse Hold
  11. Cenotaph Mask
  12. Sunbracers

Each of these exotics provide benefits that boost the potential of certain builds, provide a powerful generally applicable benefit, and will help improve your PvP or PvE performance. While this list and its entries reflect our opinion and are of course a matter of debate, we’ve aimed to rank them based on the current meta, their overall utility, and how well they work both in solo activities and in fireteams.

12. Crown of Tempests

Strormtrancer might not be the powerhouse it was in Destiny 1, but it’s still a formidable super for clearing large numbers of ads and rebalancing control of an encounter in your favour. Crown of Tempests makes the most of this super, with its intrinsic trait Conducting Tines slowing the super drain by up to 66% when you rack up kills with it, thus massively extending the time you can use the super for. As an extra bonus, it also speeds up the recharge rate of all your abilities when you get Arc ability or Jolt final blows.

12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Crown of Tempests on display.
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11. Secant Filaments

Our first void subclass relevant entry, Secant Filaments are a great rift enhancement tool that turn your survivability up to the next level and expand your offensive potential.

Their intrinsic trait, Devouring Rift, grants the Devour buff to you and nearby allies when you cast an empowering rift. Devour can regenerate a massive amount of health on kills, effectively making you unkillable to all but the strongest enemies while it lasts. While in an empowering rift, getting kills to extend its duration will be far easier. As though that wasn’t enough, Devouring Rift will also grant overload shots to you and any allies stood within, allowing you to disrupt Overload Champions, effectively eliminating them as a threat.

With this balance, Secant Filaments will effectively let your empowering rifts work as well as a combination empowering and healing rift. This is one of the best upgrades for your class ability you can hope for, and a great way to provide a serious boon to your fireteam in challenging encounters. There is one reason it gets placed near the bottom of our list though. As of Season of the Wish, Devour has been hit with a hefty nerf, giving only half the healing it once did unless you have the Feed The Void fragment equipped. This can be a little restricting to some builds, and requires a truly exceptional exotic to justify.

12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Secant Filaments on display.
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10. Mantle of Battle Harmony

While it might look a bit out of place with some Destiny fashion trends, Mantle of Battle Harmony makes up for it with a truly fearsome capacity. Its trait, Absorption Cells, does two crucial things. First of all, any kills you land with a damage type matching your current subclass will provide super energy. In a well-optimised build, this can make for a super regen rate not that far behind Phoenix Protocol’s capabilities. Secondly, once your super is at full charge, it provides a 20% damage buff to weapons matching your subclass element as soon as you make your first kill for ten seconds before refreshing.

This essentially means that you not only get a staggering super recharge rate in high density encounters, but a major boost to damage, so long as you run weapons and subclasses that synergise well together. This exotic can effectively turn you into a walking tank.

Our 12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvP, PvE and endgame content in Season 23, ranked: A player casts a Needlestorm super onto a group of Scorn while wearing Mantle of Battle Harmony.
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9. Verity’s Brow

One more helmet to round off the list. Verity’s Brow can seem underwhelming on the surface, but the bonuses it provides might be just what you need to make a grenade focused build work. Its intrinsic trait is called The Fourth Magic. This trait will grant you a special buff called Death Throes whenever you defeat an enemy with a weapon or damage them with elemental damage matching your subclass. It grants a boost to grenade damage and recharge rate, and can stack up to five times. As an extra bonus, it’ll also grant better grenade recharge to nearby allies for a moment whenever you throw a grenade.

If you plug this exotic into a grenade focused build, you can easily get some pretty impressive results back, laying the groundwork for combat cycles that provide consistent, quality grenades to support you and your fireteam.

Did you know?

If your looking to complete a low-man run of the Vault of Glass raid, Verity’s Brow should be a go-to choice for defeating Aetheon. This is because, combined with the Time’s Vengance buff during the fight, grenade regen rate goes through the roof, allowing for virtually unmatched DPS.

12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Verity's Brow on display.
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8. Phoenix Protocol

Phoenix Protocol almost made it on here for the style points of its Phoenixfall ornament alone. Fortunately, it’s backed up by serious power potential. Its exotic intrinsic trait Battle Hearth grant super energy for all kills and assists you make while standing inside a Well of Radiance.

As many players will already know, Well of Radiance is among the best supers in the game. It provides the Radiant buff and constantly heals those inside the radius of the Well, while boosting damage output, until it disperses. For teams looking to optimise their damage and survivability during endgame content, it’s practically a must-have solar super. With a Phoenix Protocol, the wearer only really needs minor adjustments to the rest of their loadout to maximise their super regeneration, allowing them to single handedly carry this vital support super for a fireteam.

12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Pheonix Protocol on display.
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7. Boots of The Assembler

Another exotic that plays into the Warlock’s strong support potential, Boots of The Assembler are a great way to get more out of your rift class ability. They come with the intrinsic trait Blessing of Order. Your rifts will create Noble Seekers, entities which spawn in when you place a rift and seek out fireteam members. For a healing rift, the Seekers will heal your teammates when they reach them. For an empowering rift, they’ll provide a damage buff. In both cases, the duration of your rift will also be extended when a Noble Seeker finds a teammate.

This trait allows Boots of The Assembler to effectively bypass the biggest drawback of rifts – their static nature. The additional utility it provides to a rift reduces waits on rift energy recharging and greatly improves the usefulness of the ability to support a team, especially in larger activities like six man raids.

12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Boots of The Assembler on display.
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6. Dawn Chorus

Dawn Chorus is another solar-oriented exotic, and the perfect choice for solar Warlocks who want to go on the offensive rather than play support. With Rites of Embers, your Dawnbreak projectiles deal significantly more damage, eating through tougher enemies. Each blow also inflicts Scorch, a debuff that burns a target and detonates once it’s stacked enough. Scorch itself is also buffed by this exotic helmet, and you gain a small amount of melee energy back whenever Scorch damages a target.

This greatly improves the damage potential of a somewhat underwhelming subclass and super. In the right build, it can make Solar a fantastic alternative to the other elements, focusing more on slow but precise and significant damage to take on larger targets.

12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Dawn Chorus.
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5. Osmiomancy Gloves

Osmiomancy Gloves are pretty great in PvE, but they’re down right cruel to use in PvP. The Fervent Coldsnap trait greatly enhances your Coldsnap Grenades. It provides an extra grenade charge, improves the range of the tracking stasis seeker, and boosts recharge rate on direct impacts. A Coldsnap grenade won’t kill an opponent unless they’re badly wounded, but it will immobilise them momentarily.

Being hard to avoid and difficult to counter due to the seeker’s excellent tracking, Coldsnap grenades can give you an unrivalled advantage in 1v1 duels, and even the odds when the numbers are stacked against you. Osmiomancy makes them a truly viable threat for PvP however. In a well-tuned Stasis build, hits and successful follow ups will almost always recharge a grenade by the time you’re done with the first one, giving you an effectively unlimited supply to draw upon in combat.

12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Opponent forzen by Osmiomancy Gloves.
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4. Karnstein Armlets

The Karnstein Armlets fulfil their gothic vampiric design just as well as players might hope. Using their trait, Vampiric Touch, you can massively enhance your own survivability, something Warlocks often struggle more with than the other classes. Upon a kill with these armlets, you’ll instantly regenerate a large amount of health, and continue to regenerate health for a while after. While they won’t quite carry you through a weekly nightfall on Grandmaster difficulty, they will greatly improve your ability to work independently within a fireteam structure, and perform under higher pressure.

12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Karnstein Armlets finish off an Guardian in PvP.
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3. Contraverse Hold

As far as Void Warlocks are concerned, there are few if any exotics as worthwhile as Contraverse. These arm pieces come with an armor perk called Chaotic Exchanger. When equipped, they boost damage resistance by about 25% while charging grenades, and return grenade energy to the user on a grenade hit. We’ve already discussed how Devour has changed, but with this build it’s well worth pairing Feed The Void. Set up right, as few as three kills is enough to fully recharge a grenade, allowing you to throw out Void grenades at an astonishing pace. Each grenade of course deals massive damage to whatever it’s hitting, and every kill will trigger Devour, keeping you alive. Although it’s not quite as powerful as a Restoration-focused Warlock, done right, Contraverse can make Void builds viable even into the endgame.

Our 12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvP, PvE and endgame content in Season 23, ranked: A player throws a charged Void grenade while wearing Contraverse Holds.
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2. Cenotaph Mask

Do you like heavy ammo? Do you like having so much heavy ammo that you’ll never need to worry about it again? Cenotaph Mask is among the most coveted Warlock exotics in-game and with good reason. This helmet, lovingly named the ‘Aircraft Carrier’ for it’s absurd long-and-flat design, uses a perk named High Priority to mark bosses, targets or Destiny 2 Champions above red-bar grade when you hit them with a trace rifle. Any ally who then defeats that target will have a brick of heavy ammo drop for them. Cenotaph mask effectively solves heavy ammo shortages, optimising DPS phases and often producing enough to create an excess, allowing you to unleash your most powerful high damage weapons against lower priority targets, too. If you run a second Cenotaph in a fireteam, you can get those heavy ammo benefits as well.

Our 12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvP, PvE and endgame content in Season 23, ranked: A player marks a target with a trace rifle while wearing Cenotaph Mask.
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Honourable mentions

There are loads of great exotics out there that just barely failed to make our list. Here are a few of the honourable mentions.

  • Ophidian Aspect gloves. Their Cobra Totemic perk grants better weapon handling and speed, making them a premium PvP choice.
  • The Stag. The Dearly Departed perk gives allies in your rifts additional benefits, and drops a rift down every time you die – a great asset for mid-late game content.
  • Brairbinds. The One With The Void perk enhances your Void Souls while these gloves are equipped, and allows you to pick up and redeploy them – indispensable for builds that focus on them.
  • Necrotic Grip. Grasp of the Devourer lets you poison targets when you hit them with a melee. On death, these targets then spread their poison to other nearby targets. Fantastic option for ad-clear.

1. Sunbracers

It’s unlikely anyone reading this wasn’t expecting these fiery gauntlets to make an appearance. The Sunbracers’ intrinsic trait Helium Spirals grants a brief period of unlimited grenade energy, equalling a roughly 50,000% increase in recharge rate. This allows players to toss out up to 5 fusion grenades in quick succession. With the right build, the Sunbracers become the backbone of a combat cycle of continuous damage and healing that boasts superior survivability and ad clear capability to most other warlock builds in the game. That’s why it gets our top spot for Warlock exotics. Until it’s eventual and inevitable nerf, of course (RIP Starfire Protocol).

12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Sunbracers used for solar melee.
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Best Warlock exotics for PvE

Of the list above, there are plenty of exotics that perform better in one type of engagement than the other. Here are our choices for the top three PvE exotics for Warlocks.

  • Sunbracers – They’re the core of one of the most powerful solar Warlock builds in the game right now.
  • Mantle of Battle Harmony – They provide massive bonuses to already synergistic builds, greatly improving super regen and damage output.
  • Cenotaph Mask – Used right, you’ll support a fireteam with more heavy than you could ever need, greatly improving DPS and ad-clearing potential.
12 Destiny 2 best Warlock exotics for PvE, PvP, and endgame content: Guardian launches a Nova Bomb in Iron Banner.
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Best Warlock exotics for PvP

Conversely, some exotics are much more well suited for PvP situations. While they can perform in PvP, their applicability to Guardian-on-Guardian violence is especially relevant. Here are our top picks for PvP exotics for Warlocks.

  • Osmiomancy Gloves – The range of bonuses and absurd grenade regen provided with these gloves in tow make Stasis a terrifying proponent to face off against in PvP.
  • Karnstein Armlets – These exotic gauntlets help overcome the latent survivability issues of the Warlock class, a trait even more desirable in the Crucible.
  • Crown of Tempests – A well optimised Arc Warlock can dominate in the Crucible, so being able to extend one of the most dangerous PvP supers in the game and boost ability recharge provides yet another sharp edge over your opponents.

That covers our picks for the best Warlock exotics in Destiny 2. Class exotics alone though might not provide the edge you need. If you want to know the best PvP weapons and best PvE weapons and go into Destiny 2 season 23 best prepared, we’ve got you covered. Be sure to check where Xur is this week too, if you want an easy way to get your hands on some of these.

What are the easiest Warlock exotics to get in Destiny 2?

The easiest Warlock exotics you can get are Crown of Tempests, Starfire Protocol, and Contraverse Holds, which can all be picked up from Ikora Ray at the Tower after completing some basic quests.

What’s the best Warlock void exotic in Destiny 2?

The best Warlock void exotic is likely Secant Filaments, which grant Devour to you and allies when stood in an empowering rift.

What’s the best Warlock solar exotic In Destiny 2?

The best Warlock solar exotic is likely the Sunbracers, which are at the heart of one of the strongest Warlock builds in the game.