Destiny Sunsinger Tips and Analysis
Destiny Sunsinger Tips and Analysis by GringoLoko_904
Good Evening/Morning/Afternoon depending on where you are. This is not a comprehensive guide but rather one for new/lesser experienced Sunsingers. I welcome any additional info that I can add to this as well as any correction for any bad advice that I’ve given.
I decided to put this together after seeing so many threads containing guardians asking how Sunsinger is to be played properly (which is inherently wrong because there are multiple ways to play). I do not claim to be the best by any means but I have spent quite some time learning from the posts of others here on Reddit and I’ve also done a good deal of in-game testing on my own Sunsinger.
Let us first go through the different columns of abilities/perks/talents available to the Sunsinger and analyze them in regards to their effectiveness in PvP.
Column 1 – Grenade Selection
This for me was the hardest column to decide upon as the Sunsinger gets three very good options for their grenade choice, possibly the best set of grenades available out of all class/subclasses.
- Solar Grenade
Pros – This grenade is fantastic for control as it provides excellent area denial. You can use it to keep the enemy team off of a node/flag, you can use it to block a door/hallway, or you can use it to funnel opponents and make them move where you want them to (if they’re standing behind something and you want them to come out into your view/scope… toss one of these.
This grenade also has the highest possible kill potential … key word being “potential.” I’ve gotten quadruple kills with this because often times in a big firefight the enemy does not realize that they are standing inside of it, or are too slow to move out of it with all of the chaos going on around them. It does not take long before a good amount of damage is done, and if their shields are already down from your teammates or your gunfire, they will die pretty quickly.
Cons – While this grenade has the highest kill potential, it also has a very low kill potential (but this is assuming you’re choosing a grenade based upon kill potential… keep in mind it will still serve other great purposes such as area denial/funneling).
A smart player will recognize this grenade and immediately walk out of it, rendering your grenade almost useless. Another frustrating thing about this grenade is when you’re in a big open map or anything out-doors. Lets say you pop radiance and start spamming this all over the place… sure you’re covering lots of ground with it, but it can be dodged easily by players just spamming their jump and remaining in the air.
This grenade (along with the other two) is a solid choice, just be aware of its pros/cons and use in maps that amplify its effectiveness rather than ones that detract from it. In my opinion this would mean using it on control maps or maps where a lot of fighting is done in close quarters where people can’t jump all over the place.
- Firebolt Grenade
This grenade began as my least favorite and moved its way up to being the one that I probably use more than the others…
Pros – There are two huge plusses to picking this grenade. The first one is that this grenade has a huge radius that can reach people around corners. This is very useful when you know that someone is camping behind something or when someone is running away. The enemy does not have to be in your sight at all and you can be rest assured that you hit them with this. One scenario that often occurs with me is I start shooting someone and they run and hide behind something, I toss one of these and it cleans them up for an easy kill.
The other huge plus to this grenade is that it is frontloaded damage. Instead of having to wait a few tics for someone to take some damage from your solar grenade (during which time you could be killed), this grenade provides instant damage. Why is this important? Because it will put you ahead in any firefight. Throw out a firebolt and the opponent’s shield is now gone, you still have yours, and all you have to do is finish them off while they still have to go through both your shield and your health bar (assuming you don’t also have your flame shield up). This allows you to play a bit more aggressively and give you the best chance at preserving a respectable k/d ratio.
Another Pro to this grenade is that it doesn’t really require any aiming. It has a pretty good radius so that makes it very forgiving for all you bad grenade throwers out there.
And finally, with radiance up you will be doing some insane AoE Damage and killing everything with this grenade. The AoE of the solar can be dodged easily and the fusion grenade has to be aimed… but using this grenade in radiance allows you to just spam it all day until the cows come home….there will be fiery explosions EVERYWHERE!
Cons – The only real con to this grenade is that it doesn’t have the ability to get a kill on its own. If an opponent is at full health it will not kill them, rather it will take their shield down and maybe a little more (usually if you have Touch of Flame on you’ll get more than the shield). With this in mind, be ready to get the killing blows with your weapon/melee. As touched on earlier, the solar grenade has a higher kill potential because it can take someone from 100-0 while this cannot. However, I do not see this as a big issue because you will already be so far ahead that you should get the kill anyway, or if you started out shooting… assuming you landed a few hits, this will land you the KB while you reload or something. Additionally, I’ve ran into many situations where multiple opponents were already low due to my teammates and this grenade has mopped them all up at once (it will hit up to 3 enemies).
- Fusion Grenade
Initially this grenade was my favorite for PvP. I started out as a bladedancer and fell in love with it on that character before I switched to a Warlock… I was pretty excited to see that Sunsingers got it as well.
Pros – The most obvious pro to this grenade is that it is a guaranteed one hit kill if you land it. It doesn’t matter if it sticks to the enemy’s face or his pinky toe… if it sticks to him he will die.
This is great for getting post-mortems (i.e. for the bounty). And also great for those of you that have the mentality of, “If I’m going down… you’re coming with me .” So many times I’ve been in a firefight and got caught reloading or someone got the jump on me so I knew I was dead… and in most cases I would be, but not with the fusion grenade. Even if I did die, I at least preserved a 1:1 KD for the moment.
Some of my favorite uses of this grenade have been times where I’ve known there to be enemies in a certain room or on a flag or whatever… I’d pop from around the corner/out of cover, throw one of these on someone and then run away or go back behind cover laughing as I knew it was only a matter of a second before they blew up and I got a kill without them even having a chance of retaliation.
Cons – While this grenade has a huge upside.. it also has a huge downside. It has to be aimed. While there is a decent homing system on the grenade allowing it to attach itself even if your aim was a little off, it’s not going to chase your opponent more than a couple feet away. In close proximity, this grenade shines… but when your opponent is several yards away it can be very very difficult to land this..rendering it completely useless.
The grenade has an AoE effect but it’s extremely small, I’ve gotten maybe 2 kills with this grenade where it didn’t stick to the opponent but that’s only because they were literally right next to it. I have gone more and more away from this grenade and more towards the firebolt. Lag can make this grenade very difficult to land and with people running/sprinting/blinking everywhere it only amplifies this effect. Coupled with this grenade being almost useless from long range I’ve just found firebolt to be better though I would recommend this for rumble matches. I’ll never forget the one fusion grenade toss I had from 70 yards away that stuck… felt like I just threw a touchdown in the Superbowl, a pretty gratifying experience.
Column 2 – Glide Selection
There’s really only 2 choices here…
- Focused Burst
“Upgrades Glide to provide an initial burst of speed.” This is the one I prefer, just as the tooltip says, it provides a shot/burst of speed on your glide which gives you a bit more mobility and helps you close the gap to get in that melee hit for a kill/flame shield, or simply just to get you out of dodge.
- Balanced Glide
“Upgrades Glide to provide bonuses to both speed and control.” A lot of people choose this, it’s basically a balance of the glide that gives better control and the one that I explained above. I’ve seen a lot of people who seem to think that it gives you the full benefits of both the control and speed perk but it does not… the focused burst perk will give you more speed on your glide than this one, it’s simply a nice blend of the two.
Column 3 – Radiance
Just as in the last column, there’s really only 2 options here for pvp.
- Radiant Skin
This can be great if you’re an aggressive/offensive player. It allows you to take more damage with radiance up which comes in handy because whenever you turn into a walking ball of fire…people tend to notice, and they will focus fire you down. Unfortunately it’s not too hard to kill a warlock with Radiance up, which makes this perk really useful.
This allows you to self-resurrect upon getting killed. I love this perk and it happens to be what I use the most in the crucible. One of the reasons for this is because I went Dead Orbit so I focus mainly on melee/grenade cooldown reduction and save my special for when I get killed and see a few oponnents make the mistake of turning their backs and forgetting about me. Then I pop up and kill them all. This one can be extremely valuable for defending a control point, you can run in there and go HAM on everyone, and then when you die you’re able to wait a little bit when they’re no longer expecting it and kill the rest and continue to capture the point.
The way I like to use radiance is to first melee someone in order to get my fire shield up, then start the grenade spamming. If I know I will need to survive for a bit due to multiple players shooting at me I will melee>nade>melee again (it will be off cooldown at this point allowing me to get yet another fire shield up)>nade>melee, ect.
I find firebolt grenade to be the most useful during radiance due to the reasons previously mentioned. The other grenades can be just as devastating in the right circumstances. However there have been many times where even with the fire shield I only am able to survive for a few seconds with radiance up due to there being several enemy players around, in this scenario it is much more beneficial to have a grenade that you can just spam and forget about than one you have to aim as you will likely not have the time to do so in an effective manner. I’ve gotten double and triple kills multiple times by spamming firebolt only milliseconds before dying myself and those kills would not have come if I had another grenade equipped… possibly solar but definitely not fusion.
Fourth Column – Melee
- Flame Shield
This is really the only one worth talking about. Scorch is hands down one of the abilities available to any class in the crucible. It allows you to gain an overshield every time you hit damage someone with your melee, scorch. This is huge because unlike life steal for voidwalker or hungering blade for bladedancer, you do not have to kill the enemy to gain this benefit… you merely have to damage them. This makes Sunsinger Warlocks fairly tanky as you can gain this shield approx. every 27 seconds assuming you max out your strength.
As briefly mentioned above while talking about radiance, it can also be used to make you live longer during your special which could be the difference between getting several more kills or dying. Use this ability whenever you have it up and it is convenient to do so (do not try rushing the guy with the shotgun to get a flame shield….stay at a distance and you’ll beat him). I enjoy a playstyle that nets me lots of melee kills so this ability is simply fantastic, it has kept me alive countless times where I would have otherwise died. It will allow you to go toe to toe with anyone in a melee fight and win since they will have to go through more bars than you will, and it will also aid you in close quarters matches should you have to take a shotgun blast to the chest.
Fifth Column – Arcane Wisdom, Spirit, Force
This is more of a player preference than anything. I go back and forth between Arcane Force for toughness and speed, and Arcane Spirit for recovery and toughness. Mobility is always a big thing in any pvp game where there is such a thing as mobility… and this game is no different. The faster you are the more you’re able to dodge bullets while strafing in firefights. Though I’ve heard that agility really makes a minimal difference in the crucible and that recovery is actually a much better stat. This actually seems to be the case based upon my own testing but I’m still trying to see if there really is a clear winner.
Sixth Column – Radiant Will, Viking Funeral, Sunburst
Radiant Will and Viking Funeral are the only two that are useful for PvP. I would go radiant will if you are also running radiant skin and wearing intellect gear (thus putting more focus into your special). I don’t play that way though… I’m usually just sitting on my special to use when I die so Radiant will is more of a wasted talent for me. On top of that, I’ve never run into a circumstance where I’ve used fireborn to come back alive in order to kill everyone who just killed me and simply ran out of time with radiance…they’re all going to be right there in front of me and it doesn’t take that long to wipe them out.
That being said, I run with Viking Funeral which just ads more DoT damage to my scorch. This synergizes well with my build since I am focusing on strength and discipline and plan on meleeing pretty much on cooldown. Unfortunately the DoT is rather lackluster right now, even with Viking Funeral so this is probably our weakest column in terms of ability/perk selection. There have been a handful of times where I’ve killed someone from the DoT damage of my Scorch so I guess that made me happy.
Seventh Column – Ancestral Order, Chaos Order, Divine Order
I usually run with Divine Order. I just like having as much toughness up front to allow me to get the kill before I would need to recover. I have switches to Ancestral Order a few times for more agility but like I said before, I barely notice a difference… and to be honest there’s not much of a difference between someone who has an almost full armor bar and someone who has half anyway. These stats are not game-changing or game-breaking.
Eighth Column – Touch of Flame, Angel of Light, Gift of the Sun
All 3 of these have some pretty good potential and I like all 3 for different reasons.
- Touch of Flame
Unfortunately right now this one doesn’t perform very well. The DoT that it adds to your grenades is minimal, though I have gotten kills with it before. If you run with this, be sure to run with Viking Funeral as well. I feel like the DoT is so lack-luster that it may be buffed in the future, mine tick for 7dmg per tick… that’s horrible. In the event that this is buffed, I would really love to run a Viking Funeral/Touch of Flame burn/DoT based build in pvp, it could be a lot of fun and very effective. I’ve tried it several times so far and it’s just not that good. On top of that, there seems to be a bug right now that prevents the DoT from the grenades from applying at times which makes this ability the worst in the column….for the time being.
- Angel of Light
I absolutely love this ability… I just wish that we could have this along with Gift of the sun. Angel of Light allows you to hover in the air for a few seconds when you ADS. Normally you would think that hovering in the air out in the open would only make you an easy target (and I suppose that can be true) I have found the opposite to be true while using this in the crucible.
This ability allows you to get sight lines that you normally wouldn’t be able to get. It also allows you to get kills that you normally wouldn’t be able to get. Additionally, it often times fools people who are aiming at you as they are anticipating a certain trajectory based on the speed of your glide…and they assume you will be landing. People often shoot where you’re about to be, but this stumps them just long enough for you to kill them. I have also gotten several kills with this where myself and the person I’m in a firefight with are jumping… except when he’s landing I put on the breaks with this and he’s looking all over for me on the ground knowing that I should have also landed by now, only to find me raining bullets on his head from above.
The other added bonus to this ability is that it also grants you additional agility, not a lot, but a decent amount if you’re going for a speed build.
- Gift of the Sun
This is the selection that I’m currently running with under this tier. It allows you to have 2 grenades. There is however a catch… only your first grenade gains the benefit of your strength, the second one has its own cooldown timer and does not appear to be affected by strength at all, it takes about twice as long to recharge. That being said, if you want to only use your grenades when you have both available, you will be waiting about a minute and a half each time.
Otherwise, you can look at this talent as basically allowing you to have at least one grenade available at all times. I’m not gonna lie though, I often try to save for when I have two (but if I need a grenade I just throw it, I wont keep it at the cost of dying). Having 2x firebolt grenade is fantastic for clearing out a control point. Earlier today I was playing one of the maps on earth and there were 3 enemies sitting at “A.” I ran around the corner and quickly chucked 2x firebolt and got a triple kill. 2x Solar would have been wasted because they would have walked out of it, and 2x fusion would have gotten me at most 2 kills assuming I wasn’t shot down before being able to aim the second one.
I wish that Angel Of Light could be moved to the tree with Radiant will to replace Sunburst or something so that I could have both of these abilities but for now I’m switching between the two, though I do find myself using Gift of the Sun more often than not.
So GringoLoko, thanks for the info but how exactly am I supposed to play this Sunsinger??
I’m glad you asked, unfortunately there is not one answer that I can give you. Everyone has a different style of play and apart from that it would simply depend on what perks you pick up. For example, if you pick up fire shield, you will most certainly want to make use of your melee. A lot of people make the Sunsinger a tanky run/gun class in the crucible, almost like a bladedancer. They run around with a shotgun relying on their flame shield to keep them up. This can be very effective but I myself do not play like that because I’m not a fan of the current shotgun meta, nor has that ever been a favorite playstyle of mine.
What Faction Should I Choose??
Well this is personal preference but I personally believe that Dead Orbit is the best faction for PvP. It allows you to focus on the things that you will be using the MOST in PvP. That being your grenades and your melee (which in turn increases your survivability with the flame shield). This is especially true if you plan on running with fireborn as you will be sitting on your special most of the time anyway, making intellect near useless.
On top of that, while the Sunsinger’s special has the highest damage output potential in the game, we still get trumped by every other special available (arc blade, titan striker’s ability, golden gun, and nova bomb). All of these specials will one-shot us while we have radiance up. I just don’t think it’s a good idea to focus on your special as a Sunsinger. This by no means makes it useless…I’ve gotten 6 or 7 kills with Radiance active once or twice, it just gets shut down by other subclasses.
Soooo what’s better in PvP, Voidwalker or Sunsinger??
Well, I know there have been a lot of Warlocks on these forums talking about how they use their voidwalker for PvP and Sunsinger for PvE because voidwalker is “better” for pvp. Don’t listen to them, they’re dead wrong. They may enjoy voidwalker in pvp more but it is definitely not better than Sunsinger. Sunsinger is better in almost every way possible. The only thing that Voidwalker has that can trump Sunsinger is Nova bomb. Nova bomb can grant you a free, almost skill-less multi-kill every time. The problem is that you’re still prone to miss and what a lot of voidwalkers don’t tell you is that they end up sitting on it half the time anyway while waiting for a good opportunity to find a group of players together. In that regard.. a fireborn radiance is definitely better…it never gets wasted when it is used.
Radiance still has a higher kill potential than nova bomb, it’s just harder to use. Apart from that, Sunsingers have better grenades, they have an overshield (which trumps life steal because damage mitigation beats health recovery any day of the week since you stay ahead rather than getting behind in a fight). On top of that, life steal requires voidwalkers to kill their opponent to reap the benefit, sunsingers merely have to damage theirs to gain the shield.
Sunsingers also have either angel of light or the 2x grenade option, as well as the option to play a DoT burn build. If I could exchange any of my abilities with a voidwalker’s, the only one I would probably take would be blink and I’m not even certain about that because I played with blink quite a bit on my 23 hunter and I’m really not a fan of the mechanics of it in this game, it can be just as detrimental to you at times as it can be to your opponents but that’s neither here nor there. If you’re on the fence about whether to play sunsinger or voidwalker… go sunsinger, if for nothing else, do it for the glowy-fiery shit.