Best Destiny 2 PvE Classes & PvE Subclasses, Ranked (2021)

After running through Destiny 2’s various PvE activities, we came up with a ranking of which classes you want fighting on your side. Updated for 2021 through Beyond Light here are the best Destiny 2 PvE classes y PvE subclasses.

12. Arcstrider Hunter

Best Destiny 2 PvE Classes & Subclasses for 2021

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Let’s start this list by saying that although we have the Striker last here on our best Destiny 2 subclasses for PvE, there’s no completely unviable subclass. There’s room for six people, y as long as you’re well balanced with support y damage subclasses, anything can work.

The Arcstrider, especially with its middle tree super, has a lot of versatility to offer a fireteam. It is excellent at clearing out packs of enemies quickly, like it always has been.

It’s also uniquely suited towards effectively stunlocking many bosses in Destiny 2, which is not something that a lot of other subclasses can easily replicate.

With middle tree, it has extreme defensive utility with Whirling Guard which still lets it smack enemies around. However, it now comes with the added bonus of being able to block incoming projectiles y launch them back at enemies.

Honestly, Arcstrider falls into the category of totally viable once you have the other more crucial spots like Nightstalker, Sentinel y/or Dawnblade filled.

You’re going to want some damage dealing specialists, y the Arcstrider is a great choice with its excellent survivability regardless of the skill tree that you choose.

11. Stormcaller Warlock

Best Destiny 2 PvE Classes & Subclasses for 2021

The Stormcaller as of Beyond Light still pretty much holds the exact same role that it did pre-Beyond Light. Clearing out adds y just pure overall damage.

The middle tree Forsaken super, Chaos Reach, is a little better towards single enemies than the other two Attunements y is a popular option for times when ammo is scarce.

Stormcaller is arguably the best Destiny 2 subclass for dealing out damage to packs of weak enemies. It will chew through Thrall, Psions, y red-barred enemies with comical ease with a super that feels like it lasts forever. There are plenty of sections in raids where this is a hurdle for the team, y the Stormcaller is the tool to clear that.

The perk that really helps the Stormcaller stand out, though, is found in the Attunement of Elements tree (bottom path) y is called Arc Soul.

What this does is add an Arc Soul to your rift ability so anyone who runs through your rift gets a violent little ball of electric fury over their shoulder that attacks any y all nearby enemies. You can combine this with the No Time to Explain exotic y almost turn Stormcaller into Destiny 2’s only pet job!

It seems like a small deal, but it does make a big difference in DPS, y can make tough spots in activities like the Nightfall much more manageable, since you now essentially have an extra gun over your shoulder that fires freely y can help watch your back.

It doesn’t necessarily give you more health or armor, but it can help keep aggressors at bay, while also backing up your allies too. 

If you already have a Dawnblade or two, throwing an Stormcaller into the mix for Arc Soul during boss DPS phases y some improved add clearing to mop of packs of enemies in Nightfalls y Deep Stone Crypt is definitely helpful, it should just never be picked over Dawnblade if you don’t already have one in something very difficult y has stiff competition from other Warlock subclasses as well.

10. Behemoth Titan

Best Destiny 2 PvE Classes & Subclasses for 2021

While the Titan Behemoth is incredibly fun to play in PvE, it plays very similarly to Striker, except with a little more utility, y has a harder time in very dangerous scenarios for PvE.

Titan Behemoths love to slide. The main gameplay loop for Behemoths is lay down lots of Stasis crystals everywhere; whether you’re using your grenade, your super Glacial Quake or even the new Stasis exotic weapon Salvation’s Grip, y then crash through them with your aspected slide or melee attack for massive damage to enemies while also reaping perks for your netural game.

It’s incredibly satisfying y powerful, it’s just also incredibly risky as you’ll need to put yourself in harms way to get the most out of it.

If you’re doing something lower key, Behemoths can make quick work of trash enemies without needing to rely on its super. If you’re going to take it into something like a Nightfall, though, definitely be more measured with your attacks or you’ll end up real dead, real fast.

9. Revenant Hunter

Best Destiny 2 PvE Classes & Subclasses for 2021

The Revenant is an extremely well-done Stasis subclass for Hunter that excel both in PvE y PvP scenarios. In PvE, though, the Revenant is best known for its powerful super, Silence y Squall.

There are few supers right now that can shutdown a wider area of enemies better than Silence y Squall. Not only does it do massive damage to a massive area (depending on your aim), icy tornadoes will spawn y will continue to slow y freeze enemies for what seems like forever. There are few supers that are as dominant as Silence y squall

If you’re going to play Revenant, lean into this super y try y utilize builds that will let you Silence y Squall as often as possible y leverage fragments such as Whisper of Bonds.

Revenant, like other Stasis subclasses, also can utilize other fragments to keep the slow y freeze effects going while also enhancing their damage.

While it’s not going to replace something like a Gunslinger or Nightstalker for boss DPS, there are few better options when it comes to area control in the game right now than a Revenant. It’s just a little too reliant on its super in PvE, which is why it’s just below yet another Stasis subclass.

8. Sunbreaker Titan

Best Destiny 2 PvE Classes & Subclasses for 2021

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Sunbreaker still holds onto its niche, even if it’s less important than it once was: great at clearing out enemies y the ability to debuff a single-target pretty much whenever it wants.

Hammer striking a boss or champion is still useful at times, but there’s plenty of other safer y longer-lasting methods of buffing up a DPS phase now as of Beyond Light.

That said, it’s still a very useful melee attack for taking out majors y other tankier enemies like Servitors. You can’t have a Sentinel’s bubble around all the time, y it’s in non-Boss scenarios where Sunbreaker shines now.

If you have plenty of Ward of Dawns, having one Hammer Strike Sunbreaker around to help the group burn down smaller, but still tougher enemies is still helpful.

Bottom tree Sunbreaker, AKA Sunspots, got an indirect buff through the release of the exotic armor piece, Phoenix Cradle which allows team members that pass through the Sunspots to gain its effects, further solidifying its roll of the off-brand buff/debuff guy, especially when you’re on the move.

Middle Tree Sunbreaker in particular pairs excellently with the incredibly powerful Warmind Cell builds. Pair it with Ashen Wake, high Discipline y some Solar weapons; it requires some effort, but you’ll have a hard time finding subclasses as destructive as Code of the Devastator.

7. Striker Titan

Best Destiny 2 PvE Classes & Subclasses for 2021

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In the years that I’ve been ranking Destiny 2 classes, Striker has almost always been last, or close to last. Not that it’s been a useless subclass, it just always had the least to offer compared to other classes.

That changes in 2021 with the addition of the exotic chest piece, Cuirass of the Falling Star. It finally turns middle-tree Striker into the nuclear weapon it was always meant to be, y combined with all the other benefits that Middle Tree Striker, AKA Code of the Missile, provides, turns this subclass into one of the best subclasses in the game.

Middle Tree Striker always had, arguably, one of the best neutral games (aka the time when your super is down) in Destiny 2. Ballistic Slam is a powerful melee great at clearing enemies, y when specced in a melee build, can be used often, while Intertia Override gives you free reloads y damage perks.

Now, though, on top of all those other benefits, you can equip Cuirass of the Falling Star y turn its super into one of the hardest hitting y best damaging supers in the game, hitting Ultras for massive amounts of damage y rivaling Celestial Nighthawk Gunslingers.

While the other Striker trees are solid for add clear y the such, Code of the Missile with Cuirass of the Falling Star is what elevates Striker out of the basement of our best PvE subclasses in Destiny 2 rankings.

6. Voidwalker Warlock

Best Destiny 2 PvE Classes & Subclasses for 2021

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The Voidwalker, unlike many of the Destiny 2 subclasses in this list, has never evolved very much. The Voidwalker is a very competent damage dealer for all scenarios with lots of survivability tools in PvE. That’s been its role pretty much forever y it remains the same as of Beyond Light.

The Voidwalker is arguably the tankiest neutral-game Warlock that can do massive damage via Nova Bomb y assist with clearing out packs of enemies without having to worry about dying as much. Use the Attunement of Hunger, y feast with Devour.

Just make sure that people don’t steal your kills otherwise, you could be in trouble. Equip Nazarec’s Sin to double the fun.

Slowva Bomb in particular helps it with boss damage too y can be helpful in the Deep Stone Crypt raid for a number of encounters including Taniks for quickly ripping the nuclear cores off of his shank.

The handheld supernova buff in PvE also makes middle tree far more interesting than it ever has before. With the right loadout that ensures you get your grenades back, it can be a very potent major killer.

5. Shadebinder Warlock

Best Destiny 2 PvE Classes & Subclasses for 2021

Shadebinder, the new Warlock stasis subclass, shoots up towards the top of our list of best Destiny 2 PvE subclasses.

The Shadebinder just has so many options when it comes to fragments that torment enemies y champions by keeping them constantly frozen while also enhancing the effectiveness of the Shadebinder itself.

Shadebinders with the Aspect of Control can use their grenades to consistently keep enemies slowed y frozen more than any other Stasis subclass right now as anytime a frozen enemy an ice bolt will seek out y freeze another.

Combine that with its super, Winter’s Wrath, Shadebinder Warlocks can consistently manipulate a battlefield to their benefit y also apply powerful weapon damage buffs to themselves. Of course, if specced right, you can also create an army of Stasis turrets to keep a battlefield frozen y easy to handle.

Stasis lacks the sheer firepower as other classes, so to make the most of them you’ll want to leverage that ability to stop enemies in their tracks. Just a second or two of freeze is enough time to allow another fireteam member to show up with something like The Lament y wreck a difficult enemy.

4. Gunslinger Hunter

Best Destiny 2 PvE Classes & Subclasses for 2021

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The Gunslinger still is among the best burst DPS subclasses in the game for both AoE y single-target damage, y until that changes it will remain a fixture in difficult PvE scenarios.

The Gunslinger can now melt a boss either from across the map with total safety with Golden Gun, or if the risk is worth it, they can get right up in your face y do even more damage plus clear out some minions while they are at it with Blade Barrage.

What’s also still super powerful is Celestial Nighthawk plus Golden Gun, a staple for any strategy that relies on burst DPS. Gunslingers have found a solidified raid team spot helping with one to two phasing bosses thanks their awesome boss melting supers.

The Way of the Sharpshooter as a whole focuses more on rewarding players for precision hits y kills. This is definitely a subclass that’s geared more towards highly-skilled players, y that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as in the right hands this is an absolute beast.

It still lacks a bit of PvE utility outside of the extremely useful niche of melting bossses, however. It will never be as proficient at clearing wide swaths of enemies like a Striker or a Stormcaller.

Nor, will it ever compete with the support specialists like Sentinel, Nightstalker y Dawnblade. However, if you have all that covered, y just need something that can wreck a boss, the Gunslinger is great for filling out a spot or two in your fireteam.

3. Nightstalker Hunter

Best Destiny 2 PvE Classes & Subclasses for 2021

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The Nightstalker remains one of the most useful subclasses thanks to its super, Shadowshot, which is never not helpful. Shadowshot is just so clutch in just about every single PvE situation that you can think of.

It can help debuff a boss similar to the Sunbreaker’s Melting Point, but it also is capable of shutting down an entire area of enemies y generating a boatload of orbs in the process.

As far as paths go for the Nightstalker, both are incredibly useful depending on your play style. Way of the Trapper (the top path) allows for you to use the Vanishing Step.

This adds invisibility to your dodge roll, y will keep you alive in dangerous situations. Keen Scout adds extra mobility, y your Shadowshot becomes a trap rather just a simple arrow, able to be left around corners or over doorways for unsuspecting foes.

Way of the Pathfinder is a bit more aggressive y plays more to helping your allies.

The Moebius Quiver lets you fire off multiple arrows which deal high damage, Heart of the Pack helps to increase Orbs of Light production, y Vanish in Smoke lets you turn yourself y allies invisible (great for speeding through areas in Nightfall Strikes).

If you really missed Bladedancer from Destiny 1, you sort of get that back via the middle tree Nightstalker with Spectral Blades, however it still lives in the shadow of Shadowshot in PvE situations.

2. Sentinel Titan

Best Destiny 2 PvE Classes & Subclasses for 2021

The Bubble Bros. are back! The Sentinel with the addition of Weapons of Light to Ward of Dawn (top tree) instantly launched the Sentinel back towards the top of the PvE meta game y remains there as of Destiny 2: Beyond Light.

Combined with Well of Radiance, the Ward of Dawn super is crucial for burning down the toughest enemies such as the Atraks-1 in DEep Stone Crypt, y surviving an onslaught of enemies in the hardest Nightfall activities, especially while using the Helm of Saint-14.

Also Defensive Strike is one of the best melee effects in the game y if you use Doom Fang Pauldron, you can contribute towards getting your bubble back too.

It’s not all just top tree either for PvE the Path of the Commander still has some uses too if you have 1-2 bubbles already. The Banner Shield is a good mobile cover for situations when you want to protect a vulnerable DPS squad while still enhancing damage. Plus it still is far better at offense than top tree, making it a more balanced choice if you have bubbles already.

Finally, you could also just opt to go Captain America all over everyone’s ass still with bottom tree. However, there are other subclasses, within Titan even, that can do that as well, if not better. Save bottom tree for PvP.

1. Dawnblade Warlock

Best Destiny 2 PvE Classes & Subclasses for 2021

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Dawnblade may not be as broken as it used to be, but it’s still a no-brainer Warlock pick in just about any PvE situation.

Well of Radiance, Dawnblade’s most useful super for PvE, creates a super rift that has extremely powerful healing capabilities y empowers anyone in it. Plus, if you don’t need your grenade energy, Dawnblades can turn it into portable overshield for an ally. 

Well of Radiance y Lunfaction boots are still very good, they just aren’t broken anymore or as critical, but they are still welcome in any DPS phase whether it’s Last Wish, Garden of Salvation, or Deep Stone Crypt.

Similar to the Ward of Dawn from Destiny 1, there’s really no bad time to have a Well of Radiance in your back pocket. It’s universally useful in just about every situation you can think of in Destiny 2’s PvE scene.

When Dawnblades use their top tree, they turn into one of the most mobile subclasses in Destiny 2, able to skate around with Icarus Dash at high speeds. y with Dawn Chorus, they can turn into a damage over time DPS monster as well thanks to their powerful burning abilities.

Between its ability to skate around at high speeds, clear groups of enemies, or effectively make a team nearly invincible in even the toughest of PvE scenarios. There’s basically nothing a Dawnblade can’t do.

That does it for which subclasses y classes we think are the best for PvE in Destiny 2: Beyond Light! Let us know if you agree or disagree down below.

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