Destiny 2 Best Warlock Armor Tier List (PVE)

Destiny 2 Best Warlock Armor Tier List (PVE)

Welcome to our PVE Destiny 2 exotic armor tier list for Warlock!

The armor will be organized by S/A/B/C tiers with specific categories for Helmet, Gauntlets, Chest, and Legs.

To learn more about our methodology, head to the bottom of the article.

Note: White represents Witch Queen Exotic, teal represents Arc subclass, red represents Solar subclass, purple represents Void subclass, and blue represents Stasis subclass.

If you’re looking for our other armor tier lists, check them out here:

Guardians, get ready! The Final Shape has arrived in Destiny 2, introducing an exciting new Prismatic Subclass. Explore our comprehensive Prismatic Hunter builds, Prismatic Warlock builds, and Prismatic Titan builds at our D2 site.

destiny 2 warlock exotic armor tier list pve

Destiny 2 Warlock Armor Tier List for PVE

  • S-Tier
    • Helmet
      • Nezarec’s Sin
    • Gauntlet
      • Sunbracers
      • Osmiomancy Gloves
    • Chest
      • Starfire Protocol
  • A-Tier
    • Helmet
      • Verity’s Brow
      • Crown of Tempests
    • Gauntlet
      • Winter’s Guile
      • Necrotic Grip
      • Karnstein Armlets
      • Contraverse Hold
    • Chest
      • Phoenix Protocol
      • Mantle of Battle Harmony
    • Legs
      • Rain of Fire
      • Boots of the Assembler
  • B-Tier
    • Helmet
      • The Stag
      • Felwinter’s Helm
      • Eye of Another World
      • Dawn Chorus
    • Gauntlets
      • Nothing Manacles
      • Getaway Artist
    • Chest
      • Stormdancer’s Brace
      • Sanguine Alchemy
      • Chromatic Fire
    • Legs
      • Secant Filaments
      • Promethium Spur
      • Lunafaction Boots
      • Geomag Stabilizers
  • C-Tier
    • Helmet
      • Skull of Dire Ahamkara
      • Astrocyte Verse
      • Apotheosis Veil
    • Gauntlets
      • Ophidian Aspect
      • Claws of Ahamkara
      • Aeon Soul
    • Chest
      • Wings of Sacred Dawn
      • Vesper of Radius
    • Legs
      • Transversive Steps

S-Tier Helmet

Nezarec’s Sin

This is not the must-use exotic it once was because super gained is now capped out at 50%, but it is still strong due to the strength of well of radiance.

S-Tier Gauntlet


With heat rises, a charged melee, and solar grenades you turn into an AC-130 that throws fire and lava balls. On top of that with Well of Life and Elemental Ordnance, you also heal a ton.

Osmiomancy Gloves

It is extremely important to throw the grenade directly at the target and hit it rather than the ground. This makes the cooldown more or less infinite and you can permanently stun targets with them. Use with Glacial Harvest and kickstart mods.

S-Tier Chest

Starfire Protocol

Solar 3.0 made this once joke exotic into a top PvE exotic across all classes. With fusion grenades, empowering rift, touch of flame, and ember of ashes and eruption you will deal out so much damage and have nearly infinite empowered grenades and rifts.

A-Tier Helmet

Verity’s Brow

This is a solid grenade regeneration exotic and is applicable to any class. The only stipulation is using a weapon that matches your subclass, which is usually done regardless of elemental good bonuses.

Crown of Tempests

You can get your abilities back very fast with this exotic. Getting ahead of the curve here as this can be a top option when Arc 3.0 rolls around.

A-Tier Gauntlet

Winter’s Guile

This exotic may look ugly, but you can deal a lot of melee damage with them. These fall off in higher-level content where melees can put you in danger.

Necrotic Grip

Pairs very well with Osteo Striga which is a top primary exotic. Good for dealing with trash mobs and can deal some solid single-target damage.

Karnstein Armlets

A great option for staying alive. There is a cooldown to this exotic and other options for healing so it is just shy of S tier.

Contraverse Hold

This exotic getting changed to charged grenades gave it a huge boost as it allows you to use the new version of Void 3.0 empowered grenades.

A-Tier Chest

Phoenix Protocol

This is not the must-use exotic it once was because super gained is now capped out at 50%, but it is still strong due to the strength of well of radiance.

Mantle of Battle Harmony

This exotic is quite nice and easy to get value out of. If your super is full and you have an elemental primary, you can essentially have a flat 20% damage boost for that weapon.

A-Tier Legs

Rain of Fire

If you have Vex Mythoclast this exotic is pretty nuts. You essentially get a free 25% damage boost that can stack with other modifiers and create elemental wells.

Boots of the Assembler

You can really play the healer role with this exotic and Lumina which it gives benefit to. This is a better version of Sanguine Alchemy as it extends rift duration and offers a nice healing boost, which will be great once classy restoration is no longer in the game.

B-Tier Helmet

The Stag

This exotic is more or less a convoluted way to allow your rift to be offensive and defensive by having damage resist which is worse than healing rift and equip empowering rift. The cooldown energy regeneration is nice though.

Felwinter’s Helm

Void 3.0 made it far easier to weaken enemies than through this exotic. Aside from that, Tractor Cannon and Divinity provide an increased weaken effect.

Eye of Another World

The ability cooldown boost is only 50%. Granted it is easy to use as it is entirely passive. This can be achieved more efficiently through mods.

Dawn Chorus

Dawnblade is what this exotic is based around, but Dawnblade is arguably the worst PvE super. The other scorch benefits are nice, but there are better exotics for the Solar neutral game.

B-Tier Gauntlet

Nothing Manacles

Void warlock has many great ways to get grenade energy faster such that a 2nd grenade is rather obsolete. The tracking doesn’t have too much value in PvE where enemies have limited movement.

Getaway Artist

In PvE, your grenade will more likely do more damage than the arc soul. The damage to higher health targets isn’t too hot.

B-Tier Chest

Stormdancer’s Brace

Doesn’t have quite enough boom to be a great option. Also doesn’t help with hiring health targets and is only good for clearing trash mobs with low health that are easy to clear regardless.

Sanguine Alchemy

Its rework did help it out somewhat in PvE, but it still isn’t too strong. There are much stronger exotics based around rifts, and this exotic is only useful when you need to hold down a particular area in the open for a longer duration against weaker enemies.

Chromatic Fire

Doesn’t have quite enough boom to be a great option. Also doesn’t help with hiring health targets and is only good for clearing trash mobs with low health that are easy to clear regardless.

B-Tier Legs

Secant Filaments

The main perk of this is being able to activate devour. Problem is that with Warlock activating devour is very easy with Void 3.0, and having an alternate means of activating devour when running void warlock is hard to justify with options like Nezarec’s Sin out there.

Promethium Spur

This exotic is so close to being good. The issue is that it can be a detriment by wasting your rift energy when you kill an enemy at a long distance or in a weird spot where the newly created rift is unusable.

Lunafaction Boots

Years ago these were a must-use exotic. Now that the game has evolved and the exotic was nerfed it fell off. Auto-Loading Holster and weapon swapping made this exotic rather niche.

Geomag Stabilizers

Pre-Arc 3.0 Chaos Reach isn’t a top DPS option and this exotic only affects the super.

C-Tier Helmet

Skull of Dire Ahamkara

The damage resists for an instant cast super isn’t all too great to have in PvE. Essentially what this exotic does for you is help your single target damage super get 50% recharge energy back if you decide to use it on trash mobs rather than a single target.

Astrocyte Verse

If you are using blink in PvE you are a maniac. That’s all I have to say about this exotic.

Apotheosis Veil

You only get your super so often, getting back health and ability energy on super is a perk that doesn’t come around often.

C-Tier Gauntlet

Ophidian Aspect

This exotic makes weapons feel very responsive and snappy, but there is little to no use in that in PvE. Check the PvP list 🙂

Claws of Ahamkara

There is essentially no warlock PvE class built around the melee and no exotic. So having 2 of them doesn’t have much of any use.

Aeon Soul

The worst of the Aeon exotics. Dependent on allies dying and is a different version of Apotheosis Veil.

C-Tier Chest

Wings of Sacred Dawn

The only real PvE benefit of this exotic is 15% damage resist when midair and aiming down sights. The damage resist this gives you is not worth how much more you’ll be exposing yourself. Just build into 100 resilience.

Vesper of Radius

The damage isn’t enough to justify going in a big group of enemies and casting your rift. In more difficult content, the range in which this exotic deals its effect is very dangerous.

C-Tier Legs

Transversive Steps

These feel great for the movement speed, but the reload perk is hard to justify. It takes 1.5 seconds of sprinting and most weapons reload faster than that. Weapons that do take longer than 1.5 seconds such as shotguns or rocket launchers can just use an auto-loading holster which is much better for DPS.

Exotic Armor Tier List Methodology

When ranking exotics the following criteria are taken into account:

  • Is the effect the exotic brings strong?
  • If the exotic is class, weapon, or element specific, is that respective class, weapon, or element strong that it is worth building around or does this exotic make that otherwise weak aspect strong?
  • Will the exotic have a lot of uptime in which the effect is active or usable?
    • If an exotic solely buffs a super it is taken into account that it can be swapped to for just a super, but is not rated as if the exotic is only used when super is casted due to the convenience of a hot swap to a certain exotic for a super and then a swap back.
  • Do other exotics perform a similar function or role better?
  • Is the exotic good in content that is both low and high difficulty?

S Tier

  • Not necessarily a must use, but these exotics are the strongest and applicable to most if not all situations.

A Tier

  • Slightly less strength and or use cases than S Tier. Some of these exotics are top options for particular situations and are good exotics for most situations.

B Tier

  • Typically only fairly good unless a build solely revolves around the exotic, and even if that is done, the build is less than optimal or is only a good option in a very specific situation. These exotics are worth using if you have limited options otherwise.

C Tier

  • These exotics are typically not worth the slot and their effect is either minimal or extremely niche.

For more meta analysis, check out our other Destiny tier lists. If you’re playing The Final Shape, don’t miss our upcoming Prismatic Warlock.