Hunters are Destiny 2's most popular class by a large margin, doubling the number of Guardians that play Warlock or Titan. With their majestic capes and well-designed subclasses, it's easy to see why. Hunters can offer a little bit of everything besides damage buffs to any squad.
Even with their flexibility, some subclass trees are worse than others. Hunters have no bad subclass trees in Destiny 2, but they certainly have picks that fall behind other fantastic choices. For those who want to understand a Hunter's true potential while wielding the Light or Darkness, here is every Hunter subclass in Destiny 2 ranked from worst to best.
Updated January 20th, 2022, by Charles Burgar: Year 4 made some major changes to each of Destiny 2's subclasses, some of the largest hits coming to Hunters in the form of dodge cooldown nerfs and ability cooldown tweaks. We've updated this tier list to reflect recent balance changes and give a more thorough breakdown of each subclass in PvE and PvP.
10 Way Of A Thousand Cuts (Middle Tree Gunslinger)
Way of a Thousand Cuts is a Gunslinger subclass tree that ironically has nothing to do with shooting guns. Hunters utilizing this spec will get access to a trio of blades they can throw to deal great damage, burning targets that survive. You have constant dodge charges, a solid melee ability, and a Super that has great add-clearing potential.
So why is this spec at the bottom of our list? Simply put, there's no activity in Destiny 2 beyond casual activities where this spec truly shines. You can pair it with Wormhusk Crown to make a solid solo build, but there are other ways of keeping your Hunter alive while providing support to your fireteam. If you love using your melee ability, Way of a Thousand Cuts is a fun spec and nothing more.
9 Way Of The Warrior (Top Tree Arcstrider)
While Way of a Thousand Cuts is a great melee tree, Way of the Warrior does the job better in almost every way, outputting more damage per melee strike while simultaneously healing you. Those that use Way of the Warrior will want to use Gambler's Dodge to gain their melee ability. Dodging increases a player's melee range, allowing them to kill a target from afar using only their fist.
This procs Combination Blow, increasing melee damage for 20 seconds while also granting a dodge charge and a chunk of health. Once Combination Blow stacks up to three times, players can instantly kill most majors. That said, Combination Blow can never outright kill a Guardian inside of the Crucible—making this arguably the worst PvP spec for Hunters in Destiny 2.
This spec also has a solid add-clearing Super in the form of Arc Staff, although this Super is rather lackluster unless you have Raiden Flux equipped. If you want to punch bosses to death or other PvE melee shenanigans, Way of the Warrior is an excellent choice. Unfortunately, its focus around melee attacks makes it extremely dangerous to use in Master-tier PvE content. The lack of neutral game passives and a one-shot melee also makes Way of the Warrior terrible for PvP.
8 Way Of The Outlaw (Top Tree Gunslinger)
Way of the Outlaw is a tough tree to recommend in PvE. Clearing waves of enemies with a six-shot Golden Gun is certainly fun, but that's about all this spec has going for it. Explosive Throwing Knives are mediocre, Golden Gun can't be relied on for add-clear since it's a Super, and Outlaw's neutral game is mediocre at best.
However, Way of the Outlaw starts to shine when you equip Young Ahamkara's Spine and take it to the Crucible. Guardians can throw a Tripmine Grenade and an Explosive Throwing Knife to prematurely detonate their Tripmine, one-shotting most enemy Guardians if both abilities hit. Doing so will give you a large chunk of grenade energy back, allowing you to bypass most of the cooldown changes that occurred with the Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack. If you're a Hunter main that wants to mix up their PvP build, give Way of the Outlaw a try. But if you're a PvE main, Way of the Outlaw is tough to recommend.
7 Way Of The Current (Middle Tree Arcstrider)
Introduced in Forsaken, the Way of the Current shakes things up for Arcstriders by giving them a ranged melee attack as well as an alternate block button for their Arc Staff Super. It lacks the neutral game of Way of the Wind or Way of the Warrior's absurd PvE damage potential with Combination Blow, yet Way of the Current does one thing better than the other Arcstrider specs.
Way of the Current gives you complete control over how an encounter plays out. Is an enemy hiding around a corner? Slide in and use Tempest Strike. Did an enemy Guardian decide to use their Super on you? Activate Whirlwind Guard to reflect it back at them. With Raiju's Harness, you can turn your Super into a panic counter for every type of attack in the game.
Your ability to turn gunfights into your favor with your Super and solid abilities make Way of the Current an excellent choice for PvP Hunters that are sick of using meta subclasses. For PvE, this spec should only be used if you plan to build around the Tempest Strike melee ability. You can otherwise avoid using this spec.
6 Way Of The Trapper (Top Tree Nightstalker)
Few subclasses in Destiny 2 are as easy to use as Nightstalker's Way of the Trapper. This subclass packs one of the strongest crowd control Supers in the franchise and can go invisible whenever they dodge.
The issue is that this subclass has been overshadowed by the Revenant and Way of the Pathfinder subclasses. Shadowshot might have excellent crowd control and Orb of Power generation, yet Revenant Hunters can fulfill a similar role without using their Super. As for the neutral game of this tree, Way of the Trapper is much more tailored towards PvP. PvE players are better off using Way of the Pathfinder instead.
In the Crucible, Way of the Trapper becomes a menace for uncoordinated groups. A solo player can use their melee ability to send the enemy team fake radar pings. Paired with invisibility from your dodge, you can manipulate your enemy's radar in a way that no subclass can match. Fighting three other players by yourself? Make a fake radar ping and go invisible to reposition. Want to confuse an enemy during a duel? Throw a melee at your location and flank. Equip Graviton Forfeit, get yourself a weapon that maintains your radar, and have fun going on long killstreaks. If it wasn't for Way of the Trapper's absolutely terrible PvP Super, it'd rank even higher on our list.
5 Way Of The Wraith (Middle Tree Nightstalker)
Way of the Wraith is much easier to understand than Way of the Pathfinder. This path grants players invisibility on crouched precision kills, a damaging Smoke Bomb, melee attacks that weaken foes while invisible, as well as a pair of Void swords for a Super.
While invisible, players effectively gain wallhacks for a short duration. This makes it arguably overpowered in the hands of a skilled Crucible player. Equip Chaperone, slide into an engagement, land a headshot, then enjoy free wallhacks and invisibility. Sniper mains will also appreciate the amount of information this subclass can give you. If you have good aim and are willing to use precision weapons, Way of the Wraith is one of the best PvP specs you can use.
As for PvE, Way of the Wraith is mediocre but far from a bad choice. Flawless Execution allows you to debuff enemies just by meleeing them, allowing you to output some absurd damage when this subclass is paired with a Shotgun. Spectral Blades also deals solid DPS in PvE content, although it's much harder to control than other roaming Supers.
4 Way Of The Wind (Bottom Tree Arcstrider)
For the bottom path for Arcstriders, Way of the Wind is a tree focused on gaining plenty of passive bonuses from staying aggressive.
Cooldown reduction is everywhere in this path, granting a faster dodge cooldown while sprinting and ability cooldowns while a player's shields are broken. You also sprint faster with this path. Arguably the strongest part of this subclass is Lightning Reflexes, a passive that grants a sizable amount of damage resistance while you're dodging. The damage resistance is enough to survive Shotguns at close range if you time it right, making this an excellent spec for aggressive Guardians that frequent the Crucible. It's up there with Way of the Wraith and Revenant as the best Hunter PvP subclass in Destiny 2 currently.
As for PvE, the abilities tied to Way of the Wind aren't strong enough to warrant playing around its neutral game passives. Top tree Arcstrider is a much better alternative for fighting PvE foes.
3 Way Of The Sharpshooter (Bottom Tree Gunslinger)
In terms of a sheer balance between all of Destiny's core modes, Way of the Sharpshooter is one of the most versatile and powerful specs for all of Destiny 2's activities. This spec is fantastic in PvE, Gambit, and Crucible.
Precision hits with this Gunslinger tree grant Super energy. Since Golden Gun can deal precision damage with this spec, having a high-damage Super available all of the time is invaluable in any content. Better yet, precision kills grant noticeable stability and handling buffs that even buffs Golden Gun's damage if the buff exceeds 20 seconds when Golden Gun is cast. Top this off with a one-shot precision throwing knife, and it's easy to see why Gunslingers tend to gravitate towards this tree.
2 Revenant (Stasis)
Even after multiple nerfs throughout Year 4, Revenant still stands as one of the strongest Hunter subclasses for Destiny 2—both for PvE and PvP. It doesn't overshadow the Light subclasses anymore, yet its versatility and crowd control properties make this an S-tier pick for Grandmaster Nightfalls, raids, and virtually every PvP playlist.
There are multiple ways to build around the Revenant subclass. Most Hunters use the Whisper of Fissures and Whisper of Shards Fragments to generate nigh-infinite Glacier Grenades that can be shattered for massive damage. Alternatively, this subclass can use the Whisper of Bonds and Whisper of Durance Fragments to turn Silence And Squall into an icy version of Nightstalker's Shadowshot, complete with Orpheus Rig's Super energy generation. The Revenant's lack of invisibility or healing means you'll need good ability uptime to stay alive in Grandmaster Nightfalls—or you can use the Assassin's Cowl Exotic to give the Revenant some excellent survivability tools. Aspects and Fragments also make this much easier to pull off.
Crucible players should also consider using the Revenant due to this spec's incredible mobility. The Mask of Bakris Exotic Helmet lets Hunters teleport a short distance, which can be used after Shatterdiving to confuse the enemy team. You can use Glacier Grenades to create cover or platforms to shoot from, disengage in an instant with Shatterdive, or use Withering Blade to make the enemy open to a counterattack. If you can master the Revenant's toolkit, you'll be rewarded with one of the most powerful subclasses that Destiny 2 has seen.
Revenant Aspect And Fragment Rankings
|Rank||Aspect Rankings||Fragment Rankings|
|3||Touch of Winter||Rime|
1 Way Of The Pathfinder (Bottom Tree Nightstalker)
What was once one of the worst subclass trees in all of Destiny 2 has become one of the best. Way of the Pathfinder is downright overpowered in PvE when played right, only kept in check by its limited viability in the Crucible.
Smoke Bombs with this spec turn allies in the radius invisible for 8 seconds while also granting those affected the Heart of the Pack Buff, increasing Mobility, Recovery, Resilience, weapon reload speed, and grants a dramatic boost to the handling stat. Better yet, players get grenade energy every time they make someone invisible. This pairs nicely with this spec's ability to generate Smoke Bombs when grenades damage targets.
It doesn't end there: grenades also last twice as long with this spec to make Void grenades worth throwing. This loaded PvE subclass is topped with Moebius Quiver, an augment to Shadowshot that turns it into one of the highest damaging Supers in the game. For soloing the hardest content in PvE, there is simply no better choice.
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