The Ultimate Endgame PVE Strand Hunter Build for Destiny 2 Lightfall
It took me a little while to theory-craft a quality Strand Hunter build for Destiny 2 Lightfall, but I’ve done it. I’ll confess that I hated Strand during the Lightfall campaign. Grapple was useless on Legendary, to the point I almost swore off Strand as a whole. As soon as I got access to the full subclass, though, I tossed the Grapple away – and everything changed.
Since then, I’ve put together what I think may just be the single most reliable endgame PvE build in Destiny 2 right now. This Strand Hunter build abuses the hell out of Suspend and doesn’t use Grapple at all. So, if you’re here looking for a build like that – this isn’t for you. If you’re looking to get the most out of Strand, though, you’re in for some interesting reading.
Destiny 2 Lightfall – Best Strand Hunter Build
- Widow’s Silk.
As of Lightfall’s launch, we only have two Strand Hunter Aspects – so we don’t get a choice in which ones we pick up. Despite that, both Aspects play into this build’s objective of Suspension perfectly.
Starting with Widow’s Silk, this simple little Aspect gives Strand Hunters two grenades, and it’s about time a Hunter subclass got a little bit of grenade support. It also leaves a Grapple Tangle at any point you grapple to, but we’re not using Grapple so that doesn’t matter.
While this build doesn’t make use of Grapple, there are plenty of great builds out there that do. Personally, I think it’s too gimmicky to be effectively used in high-end PvE, but maybe that’s just me being stuck in my ways.
- Ensnaring Slam.
Widow’s Silk gives us access to two grenades – making that two total Suspend sources so far. Ensnaring Slam is source number three.
This Aspect lets us activate our Dodge in mid-air. When we do, we slam to the ground and suspend all nearby targets.
You should already be able to see where I’m going with this. With several sources of Suspension and the right ability regen engine, it should be possible to infinitely Suspend any enemy/group of enemies in the game, bar bosses.
Ability-wise, Shackle Grenades are obviously a must. I would recommend Gambler’s Dodge, but you’ll be generally consuming your Dodge with Ensnaring Slam – so it doesn’t matter too much.
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- Thread of Continuity.
Thread of Continuity increases the duration of our Suspend debuffs, and not by a small amount – either. There’s a noticeable difference in how long Suspension lasts with and without this Fragment, so the value from it is there.
However, we’ll have enough Suspend sources by the end of this build that I don’t think you actually need the increased duration. It is nice, and I am a fan of it – but it can reasonably be swapped out for something else. If you were going to go that route, Thread of Mind should be your go-to for Class ability regen on Suspension kills.
- Thread of Wisdom.
I personally think that Thread of Wisdom has the best Orb of Power generation in the game right now. It generates an Orb whenever you kill a Suspended enemy with a precision hit. This follows in-suite from Void’s Echo of Harvest, which creates Orbs on Weakened precision final blows.
Unlike Weakened, Suspend holds enemies in place. What’s more, it exposes their crit-points. The majority of the kills you get on Suspended enemies will be precision kills simply because it’s so easy to hit their crit spots. Combine that with a Siphon mod, and you’ll be generating multiple Orbs per Suspend.
- Thread of Warding.
With how much Orb generation we have going on, it only makes sense to take advantage of that. We’re doing that with Thread of Warding, which gives us Woven Mail every time we pick up an Orb. This build’s entire gameplay loop revolves around Suspending and killing groups of adds, meaning you’ll always have Orbs – and should always have Woven Mail.
Woven Mail, with tier-10 Resilience, gives you a massive 72% damage resistance for its duration. That’s even higher with armor mods. This will let you tank insane amounts of damage, making it easier to get off those Ensnaring Slams.
- Thread of Generation.
Last but not least, we have Thread of Generation. This is a surprisingly powerful Fragment that simply refunds grenade energy whenever you deal damage. This is actually an important part of our grenade engine.
Thread of Generation enables you, along with some mods, to throw a Shackle Grenade, then get your grenade back by the time the first one wears off. What’s more, I’ve been combining it with Witherhoard to great effect, but it combos well with anything that deals tick damage like Osteo Striga or Le Monarque.
Hunter’s Strand Exotic from Lightfall only affects Grapple, so that’s out of the question straight away. Traditionally, Hunters also haven’t gotten much in the way of neutral grenade support from Exotics, again limiting our options.
When I was first theory-crafting this build, I tested three different Exotics before settling on the one I wanted:
- Radiant Dance Machines.
- The Sixth Coyote.
I thought Radiant Dance Machines would let me abuse Ensnaring Slam, but I got mixed results with it. Its activation was unreliable at best for some reason, and I found that I never actually needed upwards of three slams. One was typically enough to Suspend whatever group of adds I was dealing with.
Following that, I experimented with Frostees. I’ve always been a fan of strong natural game Exotics like this, and it certainly works well enough here. The extra regen is nice, but I found myself underutilizing it as I don’t tend to run around encounters that much – I’m more methodical in my positioning. If you do have a faster playstyle, you’ll probably see better results from these than I did.
The last Exotic I tried, and the one I settled on, was The Sixth Coyote. This is a classic Hunter Exotic that can be slotted into pretty much any build to great effect, but particularly here. It gives you two Dodge charges, meaning two independent Ensnaring Slams. This combos with our two Shackle Grenades to give us four sources of Suspension, and honestly – that might actually be overkill.
I’ve no doubt that we’ll have Strand Exotics that outperform The Sixth Coyote in the future, so if you are reading this in Season 21 onwards, make sure you check what Exotics you have available to you first. If there’s an Exotic that modifies Woven Mail or gives your weapon Unraveling Rounds, it’s probably the better option.
Now, in terms of weapons, as I said anything that does tick damage works great here. For DPS, though, the new Winterbite Glaive is an obvious choice. Its melee attack can output the highest damage in the game right now, bar none, and it consumes no ammo. So, you can Suspend your target of choice, then go to town for insane damage, consuming no ammo and taking no risks in the process.
I also heavily utilized a Demolitionist weapon in this build, and I recommend you do the same. I had a Demolitionist/Rampage god roll Unforgiven hidden in my Vault for a rainy day, and that day came around with this Strand Hunter build for Destiny 2 Lightfall. The ammo economy isn’t ideal, but the damage output is still great, and the grenade regen from it is unmatched.
The mod setup for this Destiny 2 Lightfall Strand Hunter build is a bit more technical than most. We’ve got to balance both our grenade and class ability regen. So, we need to pull from multiple sources to keep our engine up.
Before we dive into the specifics, let’s have a look at what mods I think you should be running:
- x3 Grenade Kickstart.
- x1 Siphon mod of choice.
- x1 Charged Up.
- x1 Stacks on Stacks.
- x1 Recuperation.
- x1 Weapon Surge of choice.
- x3 Bomber/Distribution.
Grenade Kickstart triggers for both of our Shackle Grenades. With no armor charge, throwing both will refund half of your next nade, which is incredible. This will be one of our primary regeneration tools, and both Stacks on Stacks and Charged Up feed into that.
I do have one Weapon Surge mod here, and that’s because you’ll be generating enough Orbs from Suspended targets to keep that buff up, even with Kickstart regularly consuming your charges.
Beyond that, I have Recuperation for a bit of health regen in case Woven Mail isn’t enough, and three Bomber/Distribution mods to further push that regen along. Lastly, a Siphon mod matching your primary will synergize with Thread of Wisdom, wrapping this whole build together in one neat bow.
This is far from the only Strand Hunter build in Destiny 2 right now. However, I do think it might be one of the best ones – especially for harder content in which your Grapple isn’t the most reliable tool. For more Destiny 2 Lightfall guides like this, make sure you follow Gamer Journalist on Facebook. We’ll keep you up to date on all things Destiny.