Destiny Sunsinger In Depth Guide
Destiny Sunsinger In Depth Guide by ChaoticallyNatural
After putting who knows how many hours into the Sunsinger subclass, I figured that I would help everyone here understand and use the subclass in it’s entirety. This here guide will cover what each individual skill does or doesn’t do, how they may or may not cooperate with one another, and some ratings and my opinions of how the Warlock exotics help or hinder certain builds. Both PvP and PvE will be covered, and honestly some of the testing I did was surprising. A word of warning, this is a LONG guide. Now..
All of my damage testing in PvE was done in areas where the abilities will do their full damage, and where each would be practical. The grenade counts were done by completely emptying my grenade energy, then using Radiance. I then threw all of my grenades as soon as they were ready. This is important for reasons that will be covered when I get there. My PvP testing was done in a game of Rumble. Note that this was all hand tested, as I only have a PS3. I apologize for any inaccuracies, but any that could come up would be negligible.
Your super, Radiance, is the core of your subclass. Only in certain circumstances is it okay to keep it pocketed. (See: Crota’s End HM, Nightfalls) Everywhere else, if that bar stays yellow in battle, you’re doing it wrong. While in Radiance, the damage you take is halved. You’re capable of absolutely ridiculous damage with that yellow bar. The more grenades you’re throwing, the better. Praise the sun every second you can. (Fun fact: If you’re blind in the Vault of Glass, Radiance will allow you to temporarily see.)
Duration and Grenade Counts
Radiance, when activated by itself, will last for around 13.73 seconds. This is without the use of Radiant Will. When activated with RW (Radiant Will), it lasts for around 17.18 seconds. This means that RW boosts the duration of Radiance by about 25%. This ishuge. I’ll get into why later. For now, glorious numbers!
- At your maximum, which is with Heart of Praxic Fire, 100% discipline, Radiant Will, and Gift of the Sun, your entire Radiance will practically (or rather, Praxically) give you a whopping 11 grenades. The reason I say practically is because when I tested it (having 0 grenade energy at the start), I got my 11th grenade right as I left Radiance. If you have any sort of energy beforehand, you’ll get that 11th grenade.
- At your very minimum, which is with just 0% discipline, you’ll get a lackluster 4 grenades. Radiant Will, nor Gift of the Sun will help you here. Your grenade recharge is just too sluggish.
I absolutely cannot express the importance of Discipline in a Sunsinger build. Your discipline stat will either make or break your super, and you don’t even need Heart of Praxic Fire. Without it, and with 100% discipline, you’ll be getting around 9 and a half grenades. This is still amazing. Speaking of grenades..
As a Sunsinger, you have three grenades. As you probably already know, these are the Firebolt, Solar, and Fusion grenades. You’ll throw plenty of these.
The Fusion Grenade
This is, in my personal opinion, the best weapon that a Sunsinger has. The Swiss Army Knife (see: MIDA Multi-Tool) grenade. It can do everything. It will kill most low to mid-tier enemies by sticking them. The grenade itself will do 2281 damage from the explosion, and an additional 1059 damage from being stuck to an enemy for a total of 3340 damage per grenade. Now, remember how at their maximum, a Sunsinger can throw 11 grenades? That means that on a single target, your super can deal a whopping 36,740 damage. Eat your heart out, everything else. In PvP, this grenade will typically kill a target if you stick them. It does, however, require a bit of skill to use to good effect. Your grenade can curve a bit to stick a target, but will often not. If you find yourself missing a lot with them, Firebolt may be a better choice. Speaking of..
The Firebolt Grenade
Okay, this grenade is weird. It’s also your best choice when you want to put damage on multiple targets at once. When it hits a surface, it deploys a “scan.” Up to three enemies inside of this scan zone can be hit by the grenade. When hit, the target will take 1304 damage in PvE. Fasten your seatbelts guardians, because this is about to get weird. This grenade has the unique ability to crit. I’ve only seen it crit on Vex enemies, and when it does it will do 2607 damage. I would assume that if properly placed it could crit other enemies. In PvP, this grenade will deal 97 damage when it hits someone. The targeting is still limited to three people. It’s also very important to note that this grenade will do ridiculous damage to Titan bubbles. Two bolts will break the bubble. I can already hear the Titans sigh as this is another hard counter to the Thunderdome. Now, on to the Solar grenade.
The Solar Grenade
Ew. This grenade is very situational, but in its niche it’s a very good grenade. Problem is, it’s a very small niche. (See: Crota’s End, area denial.) The grenade’s direct impact will deal 1304 damage to non-majors and 652 damage to majors. When this grenade hits something, it leaves behind a damaging solar flare which will deal 196 damage per tick to non-majors and 163 damage per tick to majors. (Fun fact: This is the only grenade that has its damage changed by the major status of an enemy.) This solar flare will last for 4 seconds, and with Sunbreakers it will be increased to 8 seconds. As I have already said, this grenade has very few places where it will be your best option, or even an optimal one. One very prominent example is the Abyss section of Crota’s End. Throwing one will create a barrier of fire that will kill a LOT of thralls. Because they’re dumb. In PvP, the grenade will do 49 damage on impact, and 13 damage per tick. Unlike thralls, people are not dumb (usually), and will move out of the radius of the flare. This is not a good PvP grenade.
Over all, if you are in a niche situation, any grenade may far outclass the others. However, in general, you won’t want to use the Solar grenade. The debate of Firebolt vs. Fusion comes down to what you’re going to be killing more of, and how you want to do it. For boss and single-target DPS, use Fusion. For killing lots of weak things OR if you insist on using Touch of Flame/Viking Funeral, use Firebolt. In PvP, the Solar grenade is irrelevant. If you have the skill, use Fusion grenades. If you’re bad with them, Firebolt grenades are your friend. Firebolt grenades also have some interesting synergy with Touch of Flame/Viking Funeral. SPEAKING OF.
Radiant Will, Gift of the Sun, Touch of Flame, and Viking Funeral
To start off, let me explain these skills:
- Radiant Will gives you a 25% boost to your Radiance duration. The more grenades your Radiance will give you, the more effective this skill.
- Gift of the Sun simply gives you another grenade, but has other implications. If you don’t have Gift of the Sun, while in Radiance there will be a split second in which you aren’t charging your grenade while you’re using it. If you do have it, your second grenade will be recharging in that split second that you use your grenade. These split seconds will add up and can make a one grenade difference. You also have the obvious benefit of having a second grenade to use whenever.
- Touch of Flame applies a damage over time effect whenever you hit an enemy with a grenade. It ticks 5 times no matter where it is used. It deals 49 damage a tick on non-majors, 45 damage a tick on majors, and 41 damage a tick on ultras. In PvP it deals 7 damage per tick. The area of effect damage of the Solar Grenade will NOT apply this damage over time effect.
- Viking Funeral doubles the number of ticks of Touch of Flame. That’s it. No effect on the damage per tick or anything.
Now that I’ve explained those, let me tell you that Gift of the Sun and Radiant Will will typically be a better option than the combination of Viking Funeral and Touch of Flame. The extra grenades you get from the combination of Gift and Will will far outdo the damage you’ll deal with your burning. A notable exception is PvP. A firebolt grenade with Touch and Funeral will nearly kill a target by itself. Any sort of respectable damage beforehand will make it so the target dies from the burn damage. This is the only situation in which Touch and Funeral combined will be better than Gift and Will. The volume of grenades doesn’t matter so much in PvP, it matters more what you do with them. The only reason you shouldn’t be using Gift and Will in PvE is if using Starfire Protocol and even then, you’ll only want to use Touch of Flame.
Segway into the next segment.
Your Melee and You. Also Sunburst.
Flame Shield gives you an overshield that lasts for 15 seconds. It does a good job of reducing damage, and is easily your best Melee option. Seriously, just use Flame Shield. It’s by far your best option. If you’re so concerned with producing orbs that you want to use Sunburst over Radiant Will (don’t do that.), the Sunburst skill has around a 50% chance to produce two orbs of light. It can, interestingly enough, proc off of the Brimstone explosions, and can also proc off of the damage over time effect that Scorch applies to the enemy (which doesn’t matter). Neither Light Beyond Nemesis nor the major status of the enemy affects the number of orbs you get, it will always be two. That’s all for the melee section of the guide.
Oh, and Solar Wind is for trolling.
Your Radiance Modifiers
You might think that these each would deserve their own huge section, but honestly they’re all kind of simple. Radiant Skin gives you an additional 20% damage resistance while in Radiance, effectively giving you 220% health. Stacked with Flame Shield, you’re a tank. While in Radiance, Song of Flame gives all of your allies within a small (about 8m) radius a sort of Mini-Radiance. Their grenade and melee charge faster while they have the buff. Heart of Praxic Fire will actually buff this Mini-Radiance you give your friends, shortening the cooldowns a bit more. It does not stack with Radiance or with other Songs of Flame. Fireborn does what it says on the box. You pick yourself up. Woo, exciting. There’s no definitive best one of these. If your teammates are coordinated, or you like helping people, use Song of Flame to help them. If you’re by yourself, by all means use Radiant Skin. It’s a small buff but it’s better than your Radiance modifier going to waste. If you picking yourself up can save a wipe, use Fireborn and pocket your Radiance. It’s all situational.
The Other Skills
Recovery, Armor, and Agility
This is honestly situational. No one combination of the boosts is better than another in all situations. Evaluate your situation, use what fits it, and you’ll do well. Hopefully.
Your glide is up to you, it’s all about preference. Controlled goes higher, Focused goes further, and Balanced is a happy medium. Was there another skill? Oh, Angel of Light.
Don’t use that.
For this segment of the guide, I will be giving evaluating each exotic and how they work with the Sunsinger subclass and it’s skills both in PvE and PvP. Please note that I won’t be putting in exotics that have no effect on Sunsingers. Obviously Obsidian Mind does nothing, no one needs to tell you that. This may also be a bit subjective.
PvE: This exotic has sort of limited use in PvE. In applications such as strikes or patrol, you really won’t be in need of the bonuses this helmet has to offer. Yeah, it’s sort of useful, but others are much better. However, there is one very notable exception, the Crota fight. In either version, hard or normal, you can remove your need for the Chalice entirely. You heal yourself whenever you pick up an orb, and you have a panic button heal in your super. Very good there.
PvP: The Veil isn’t too good in PvP. Yeah, you can be at low health and hit it like a panic button, but you’re much better off with other exotics.
Light Beyond Nemesis
PvE: First, answer these two questions. Are you with anyone, and is this helmet crucial to you being level 32? If the answer to both of those are no, then don’t use this. If with no one, the exotic perk is totally useless. It’s great for support, but awful solo. This exotic has some value in the Crota fight as well, but only if lots of orbs are being made.
PvP: If you’re not in Skirmish or Salvage, don’t.
Claws of Ahamkara
Both: These are pretty much universally useful. They’re not the best, they’re not the worst. Having two flame shields is great, but there are better exotics.
Both: Are you using a Solar grenade? No? Don’t use these.
PvE: This is a bad choice in PvE. Half of its exotic perk is for Voidwalkers, and the other half will only happen when you spawn. Not useful.
PvP: HERE is where these shine. Spawning with grenades, no matter the number, is GREAT. Universally (remote?) useful.
Both: Really only use this exotic if you have no others. It restricts your grenade choice, and the burn damage you get from not taking Gift is worthless in PvP and negligible in PvE. This is a last resort exotic, not really useful.
HEART OF PRAXIC FIRE
PvE: Use this whenever you can. This is your god-tier exotic. Unless the situation calls for something else, such as an Apotheosis Veil, use this if you have it.
PvP: Honestly, the HoPF loses some of its luster in PvP. You’ll be raining grenades, yes, but you’ll just have an excess of grenades to waste. If you ask me, the Voidfangs are a better choice for PvP. An argument can even be made for the Claws of Ahamkara over HoPF.
I’ve been wanting to get around to this guide eventually, and I vastly underestimated just how long it’d be. I covered everything that I could think of, and tested everything that I thought mattered. I genuinely enjoyed every part of making this guide and hope that every aspiring Sunsinger can use this to their advantage. I also hope that even seasoned praisers of the sun can learn something from this. I’ll answer any questions I’m asked to the best of my ability, and will happily take criticism. If anyone sees anything that could be added, or if anyone spots a mistake, please feel free to tell me. I hope you enjoyed it.
PRAISE THE SUN!