Best Solar 3.0 builds for Hunter in Destiny 2

Become a keeper of the flame.

Image via Bungie

The rework to the Solar subclasses in Destiny 2‘s Season of the Haunted has had its highs and lows, but Hunters have experienced one of the more significant power boosts to the class in recent memory. Often falling behind in the departments of ability regeneration and Super damage, Solar 3.0 has allowed Hunters to get a taste of that power they’ve been missing through a multitude of potent builds.

Whether it’s harnessing the maximum damage potential out of the new and improved Blade Barrage Super, or igniting clusters of opponents in the Crucible with a well-placed throwing knife, there’s a build out there for every type of Hunter. You might succeed at a lower difficulty without putting much thought into the Fragments and Aspects that you bring, but certain combinations will be essential for your survivability and efficiency when bringing Solar 3.0 into endgame content.

Aspects and Fragment Slots

Screengrab via Bungie

It’s important to start this build talk with a conversation about Gunpower Gamble. One of the more exciting new Aspects introduced with Solar 3.0, Gunpower Gamble gives Hunters the opportunity to utilize an improvised Solar explosive after charging up the Aspect via other Solar damage. This explosive is incredibly powerful, causing ignitions when it detonates for devastating crowd control capabilities.

But Gunpower Gamble has one fatal flaw for buildcrafting, which prevents it from appearing in the majority of builds here. While Knock Em’ Down and On Your Mark, the other two Hunter Aspects, grant two and three additional Fragment slots to work with, respectively, Gunpowder Gamble grants only one. With Knock Em’ Down’s benefits to the Supers and the refunds to melee energy making it a necessary Aspect in every build, pairing it with Gunpower Gamble would only give the Hunter three Fragment slots total.

This isn’t the death of a build, but far more limiting than the five total Fragment slots when pairing Knock Em’ Down and On Your Mark. For the sake of maximizing the passive benefits and the statistical boosts of the Fragments, the Solar 3.0 builds here lean toward avoiding Gunpowder Gamble. But if the fun factor and its inherent power as a tool are too much to pass up, it can still be a good option.

The best Solar 3.0 builds for PvE

The infamous Blade Barrage build

Screengrab via Bungie

Blade Barrage is back in a big way this season in Destiny 2. After never finding a healthy spot for itself in the meta since its introduction in the Forsaken expansion, new Fragments, Aspects, and an old Exotic have breathed life into it. In fact, with the right build, Blade Barrage is currently the strongest Super in Destiny 2 for single-target damage. If you want to make farming the new Duality dungeon a breeze, this is the build for you.

The key element of the build is its Exotic: Star-Eater Scales. These Hunter pants have dipped in and out of the meta since their release in Season of the Splicer, but their ability to enhance the damage of any Super, through the acquisition of Orbs of Power, makes all the difference with Blade Barrage this season. Gaining all eight stacks of Feast of Light can put a single use of Blade Barrage in the territory of 600,000 to 700,000 damage, numbers that are staggering in comparison to other Supers in the game right now.

This build doesn’t require much engineering to make it work, but you can make the loop of gathering Feast of Light stacks much easier with the proper mods. A Siphon mod of some description is mandatory on your helmet, but utilizing Solar weapons in your loadout will allow you to make use of the very cheap Harmonic Siphon mod specifically. Stacking two of these together will also increase the potency of the Orbs of Power that you spawn. If the Solar weapon you use is an Exotic primary, such as Tommy’s Matchbook or Sunshot, you can increase your chances of finding Special and Heavy ammo to make up for the lack of Ammo Finder mods as well.

Super

  • Blade Barrage

Aspects

  • Knock Em’ Down
  • On Your Mark

Fragments

  • Ember of Beams
  • Ember of Torches
  • Ember of Solace
  • Ember of Eruption
  • Ember of Searing

Mods

  • Helmet armor: Harmonic Siphon or Kinetic Siphon
  • Leg armor: Recuperation or Better Already
  • Solar armor: Bountiful Wells
  • Elemental Armaments
  • Melee Wellmaker
  • Elemental Ordnance
  • Font of Might

Exotic

  • Star-Eater Scales

The ultimate support Hunter build

Screengrab via Bungie

It’s not often that Hunters get to take a supporting role in a fireteam lineup when Titans and Warlocks have access to all manner of utility in their kits. When Solar 3.0 introduced universal keywords to the subclass though, Hunters got a number of opportunities to take on the role of an enabler in endgame content.

A new class ability, Acrobat’s Dodge, allows Hunters to consistently apply the Radiant effect to themselves and their allies. This dodge is on a dramatically longer cooldown than its traditional counterparts, but making use of The Sixth Coyote Exotic and its two class ability charges can give you a lot more uptime. Hunters also now have access to the Healing Grenade, previously reserved exclusively for Warlocks.

If you enjoy taking a supporting role in your fireteam, this is the build for you.

Super

  • Golden Gun – Deadshot

Class Ability

  • Acrobat’s Dodge

Grenade

  • Healing Grenade

Aspects

  • Knock Em’ Down
  • On Your Mark

Fragments

  • Ember of Benevolence
  • Ember of Singeing
  • Ember of Torches
  • Ember of Solace
  • Ember of Tempering or Ember of Combustion

Mods

  • Class item armor: Perpetuation, Distribution or Utility Kickstart
  • Void arms armor: Focusing Strike or Bolstering Detonation
  • Void helmet armor: Dynamo

Exotic

  • The Sixth Coyote

The best Solar 3.0 builds for PvP

A build for the Hunters with an elegant touch

Screengrab via Bungie

Athrys’s Embrace has been both beloved and rejected by different parts of the player base since its introduction to the Hunter Exotics collection in Beyond Light. It’s easy to see why too, when its benefits apply to the Weighted Throwing Knife, a melee choice that many players tend to avoid for fear of missing the shot. But Athrys’s Embrace does a few things to make the choice of knife far more appealing: increased magnetism, bounces, and damage.

Until now, one of the fundamental flaws holding it back was the need to hit a headshot to refund the melee energy and get your knife back after a successful kill. It somewhat counteracted the point of running Athrys’s Embrace, which could kill any opponent in a single blow when its damage boost for the Weighted Throwing Knife was fully charged. With Solar 3.0 though, new Fragments allow for Athrys’s to shine.

The combination of the Knock Em’ Down aspect and the Ember of Torches fragment is the key to this build, making you Radiant when hitting an enemy with your throwing knife, and then refunding your melee energy if that throwing knife gets a kill. Even without hitting the precision shots necessary to boost the damage of the knife, the passive benefits to it can shine in the Crucible environment.

Super

  • Golden Gun – Marksman

Class Ability

  • Gambler’s Dodge

Aspects

  • Knock Em’ Down
  • On Your Mark

Fragments

  • Ember of Torches
  • Ember of Combustion
  • Ember of Solace
  • Ember of Searing
  • Ember of Beams

Mods

  • Stasis arms armor: Melee Kickstart
  • Class item armor: Perpetuation or Outreach

Exotic

  • Athrys’s Embrace

A build for the Hunters with an explosive personality

Screengrab via Bungie

It often feels like a secret that Hunters actually have access to builds, like Warlocks and Titans, that can give their abilities far more impact on the field. Young Ahamkara’s Spine is an Exotic that has existed since Destiny 2‘s Red War campaign, but only now is it starting to earn some well-deserved attention with the enhancements brought to Solar with the 3.0 rework.

Young Ahamkara’s Spine specifically boosts the strength of the Tripmine Grenade, increasing its duration when planted, but more importantly, its blast radius on detonation as well. With the Exotic arms helping to reduce the cooldown of the grenade even further via regeneration on ability damage, this can be a perfect build to pull out on unsuspecting foes in close-quarter environments.

Super

  • Golden Gun – Deadshot

Grenade

  • Tripmine Grenade

Aspects

  • On Your Mark
  • Knock Em’ Down

Fragments

  • Ember of Ashes
  • Ember of Searing
  • Ember of Char
  • Ember of Torches
  • Ember of Combustion

Mods

  • Stasis arms armor: Grenade Kickstart
  • Class item armor: Bomber or Distribution

Exotic

  • Young Ahamkara’s Spine