Season of the Haunted has come to Destiny 2 and with it has arrived the revisions to the Solar subclasses.

Much like how Void was altered and reworked last season in The Witch Queen, Solar has now received the same treatment with aspects, fragments, selectable supers and sharable grenades across all classes. While initial reactions have been mixed to Solar (Hunters are the clear favourites while many think Warlock and Titan and a bit lacking) it still gives us a wide array of options regarding build crafting and tuning our Guardian into our own God-Killing weapon… or healing-weapon, in Solar’s case.

This is a guide breaking down all of the elements of Solar: what each of the keywords is and how they work, certain Exotics that synergise well with each class and even an example build that I have been running quite successfully over the last day or so.

So let us explain Solar 3.0 in detail.

Solar 3.0 Keywords

One of the best things about the move to a 3.0 system is that Bungie can condense and consolidate a lot of the nebulous words and phrasing used in past systems. This occurred first with Stasis, which has a set of 3 very distinct keywords which outlined the outcome of each ability very well. Void followed, this time with 6 keywords split into 3 buffs and 3 debuffs, which continued this trend.

Solar is no different. With Solar 3.0, Bungie has introduced a total of 5 new keywords, of which 3 are buffs and 2 are debuffs. They are as follows:

Cure: You are healed in a burst of mending Solar Light. Gives an instant, fixed amount of healing to whoever is Cured.

Restoration: You regenerate health and shields over time. Cannot be interrupted by taking damage.

Radiant: Your weapons are enhanced by the power of the Traveller and deal increased damage to foes.

Scorch: The target is singed with destructive Solar Light, taking damage over time. Scorch damage increases as the target accumulates more Scorch stacks. After enough Scorch stacks (100 stacks) are applied to the target, they Ignite.

Ignite: A large Solar explosion which deals damage in an area around the target.

Out of these, Cure, Restoration and Radiant are all buffs to the player or their allies, whereas Scorch and Ignite are debuffs to enemies. All of these keywords are used to govern how Exotics, aspects and fragments work in Solar 3.0. Each class has a role which includes one or two of these keywords, although that can be changed with build crafting.

Class Identity

If you don’t know where to start with Solar 3.0, here is the intended identity of each class so that you can have an idea about what to create.

Titans are the masters of Ignite. A lot of their abilities rely on explosive damage and being able to just tear into a battlefield and destroy. They have Sunspots at their disposal, giving them a continuous source of healing and ability energy after killing a target that has been Scorched or from any Solar ability kill, or their Throwing Hammer melee which gives them Cure on pick up. These help keep the Titan alive as they roam the arena, where their new abilities such as the new Consecration slide-melee deal massive Scorch and Ignite damage to any enemy they come across.

Hunters have been made a bit more interesting, as they are the primary source of the Radiant buff. As masters of weapon damage, a lot of their aspects revolve around stacking weapon buffs and Solar kills for big, big damage such as in Gunpowder Gamble. Their new Acrobat’s Dodge allows them an instant source of Radiant for them and their teammates with a fancy new animation, which can then also buff their Golden Gun Supers. Hunters now feel like a great addition to the team, constantly acting as both strong fighters in their own right as they hand out buffs and damage galore.

Warlocks are of a dual nature: Scorch on one side, Cure and Restoration on the other. If you want to be more destructive, their new aspects enhance their grenades and the new Incinerator Snap melee ability applies Scorch and a massive source of add clear or big damage, making Warlock potent fighters that zip around the battlefield. If healing is more your style, then they have access to better Healing Grenades (from an aspect) and the newly reworked Phoenix Dive is available as a Rift substitute which heals all around the Warlock when cast.

These roles are not fixed, any class can be a healer for example as they all have access to Healing Grenades. However, these are the intended fantasies of each class and so I hope this helps if you are struggling to figure out where to go.

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Exotic Synergy with Solar 3.0

Despite it being early days, there are still some Exotic synergies that have been found and that work alongside the newly reworked Solar 3.0.

Warlocks: The Stag, Sunbracers, Rain of Fire

The Stag seems like an unusual pick, but it has a brilliant place in Solar 3.0, specifically with its interaction with Phoenix Dive. As it replaces Rift, Phoenix Dive functions from Exotics that benefit Rifts and as a result, The Stag gives energy when low on health (about 2/3rds of their Phoenix Dive) and gives them damage resistance when they are casting it. It’s not a super flashy Exotic but it helps emphasise the healing fantasy of the Warlock.

Sunbracers are a simple Exotic: they just give you more and better Solar Grenades. Alongside the Touch of Flame aspect and the new Snap melee, you can deal some very significant damage with your grenades which burn a lot longer and you get a spree of grenades on melee kill – very good with Incinerator Snap.

Rain of Fire is the new Warlock Exotic for this season, allowing for a reload of all your weapons when performing an Icarus Dash and giving Fusions and Linear Fusions bonus stats. While not as flashy as others, this is brilliant utility in both PvE and PvP, such as an Icarus Dash saving you some precious time on reloading during a DPS phase or giving you ammo to punish someone chasing you down.

Hunters: Young Ahamkara’s Spine, The Bombardiers, The Sixth Coyote

The move to Solar 3.0 has made Tripmine Grenades a lot more lucrative and the Young Ahamkara’s Spine enhances them even further. With their quick regeneration and their increased blast radius which now deals Scorch, they are a very viable pick for both PvE and PvP content.

The Bombardiers now specifically ‘Scorch targets’ meaning that they would benefit from anything that comes from Scorch: this includes aspects and fragments. Pairing this with the new Acrobat’s Dodge means increased gun damage and a very painful experience if you’re near enemies when casting.

Speaking of Acrobat’s Dodge, Sixth Coyote gives you access to 2 of these on the fly for a total of 30 seconds of increased weapon damage if used back to back. Paired with high mobility, this essentially guarantees you constantly increased damage for all of your weapons, which can be used to give everyone around you increased damage too. Overall, a very good and consistent pick for both good damage and team support.

Titans: Loreley Splendor Helm, Skyburner’s Oath, Phoenix Cradles

Phoenix Cradles allow for Titans to spread the love to other members of their fireteam, with the ability regen and health granted by Sunspots able to be taken advantage of by anyone standing in them. This gives Titans the ability to play a more supportive role and from experience, it helps buff everyone on the team.

Skyburner’s Oath isn’t an armour exotic, but it does give Scorch on hip fire, meaning that it is a very good source of Sunspot generation. As a primary and one that got a lot of buffs this season, it now makes itself a very good pick for those wanting constant Sunspots.

Finally, Loreley’s may have been nerfed (or been the reason for Sunspot’s tuning) but it is still pretty effective. With how Sunspots now operate, it essentially turns Loreley into an instant healing rift when needed, one that will most definitely keep you alive with all the damage resistance and Restoration you receive.

Example Solar 3.0 Build: Healer Warlock

For the final part of this guide, I’ll show off the build I am currently using. I’ve seen a lot of people saying that healing on Warlock isn’t as satisfying as it once was, so here is a Healer Warlock who can dish out both a lot of healing and a lot of damage, consistently.

First off: an overview of everything in the build.

I’m running Well of Radiance as my Super with Incinerator’s Snap as my melee, Healing Grenade as my Grenade and Phoenix Dive as my Rift.

The aspects in this build are Touch of Flame for increased healing and restoration on Healing Grenades, and Icarus Dash for getting in and out of scenarios very quickly (whether to heal weak teammates or escape to save me).

Fragments I’m using are: Ember of Solace, Ember of Singeing, Ember of Benevolence and Ember of Torches.

Meanwhile, the Exotics I’m using are Monte Carlo as my weapon and The Stag as my armour, with 100 Recovery and 100 Discipline.

Now, an overview of how the build works.

This is essentially an all in healing build, where only my melee is a powerful damage-dealing option outside of my weapons. My grenade is on a 30-second cooldown, with Bomber mods dropping that down every time I use my Phoenix Dive, which also heals targets around me. Well of Radiance can come back relatively quickly, and I almost always have a source of healing, whether it be Dive, Well or my grenade.

My fragments then boost this, with Benevolence giving me ability energy every time I heal (which only continues the loop of more healing and more energy). Singeing gives me class ability energy on Scorch (which I am always doing with my melee and gives me my Dive back faster) which works in tandem with Torches where my powered melee makes me Radiant. On top of that, Solace gives me enhanced Restoration and Radiant, meaning my grenade heals me for longer and my melee empowers me for far longer too.

With Monte Carlo, I can keep my melee up a lot of the time which gives me my central source of damage (which in turn gives me my healing Phoenix Dive back because of Singeing). Meanwhile, as previously stated, The Stag gives me resistance while I do my Phoenix Dive as well as giving me back a lot of energy when I go into critical health mode – something that occurs a lot when I zip around trying to heal my friends.

If you wanted to go full healing you could even use Lumina or the new Exotic Warlock Glaive, but I’ve chosen Monte Carlo because it allows me to output good damage at very little cost.

Overall, this build is a specialist healing build that combines a ton of elements that make healing more viable as well as decent sustain and damage capabilities. My healing grenades and Phoenix Dive are almost always available to me, while my Snap deals good add clear and damage. In addition, Well’s new damage resistance means that I can become a beacon for all my allies, and my Super comes back relatively quickly.

Solar 3.0 has only been available for a short while, but it is already opening up a lot of doors for players. Let’s hope Arc 3.0 follows in its footsteps.

Season of the Haunted is live now in Destiny 2 until August 23rd. More information can be found on the Bungie’s official website. Destiny 2 is free to play on PlayStation, Xbox and PC.

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Jack Carson

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