Best Solar 3.0 Hunter Build in Destiny 2

Destiny 2 Solar 3.0 Hunter builds are still in their early days, so saying one is the best is a bit disingenuous. We haven’t had all that much time to play around with the new Solar 3.0 subclass, so we don’t really know what the best is. I think I’m onto something, though, so my Solar 3.0 Hunter build is the best as of right now, in my opinion.

Destiny 2 as a game is split up into multiple different sections. There’s PvE and PvP, of course, but then you have different types of PvE. Understanding this is important because as fun as this Solar Hunter 3.0 Build is, it’s not Grandmaster material. You’ll get away with running this in end-game content, but when you’re using the top 1% of difficulty, you’re going to want to stick with Void.

Okay, with that out of the way, here’s what I think is the best Destiny 2 Solar 3.0 Hunter build.

Destiny 2 Solar 3.0 Hunter Build

This entire Solar 3.0 Hunter build operates on two different fronts. On one hand, we’ve got our Scorch and Ignition damage powering Gunpowder Gamble, giving us maximum uptime on those powerful grenades. On the other, we’re focusing on 100% melee uptime so that we can keep our Radiant buff active, as well as generate a ludicrous number of Elemental Wells.

If you’re not an Elemental Well fan, don’t sweat it. This build can work with Charged with Light builds, too. Just switch the mods around to a new melee-powered engine.

However, if you’re not a Well person, may I suggest giving Warmind Cells a try? I know they’ve been useless for seasons, but I have a sneaky suspicion they could be really good with Solar 3.0. Just food for thought.

Abilities and Super

Solar 3.0 Hunter Build – Super

Screenshot by WhatIf Gaming

Okay first, I’m using Blade Barrage. I know, I know, I didn’t expect to, either.

Golden Gun has been kind of Solar Hunters for so long that I didn’t expect any change going into Solar 3.0. I was right, sort of. Blade Barrage itself still isn’t all that strong. In fact, I was initially recommending Golden Gun – Marksman as a part of this build. However, Star Eater Scales got a massive buff that, combined with Blade Barrage, makes it the highest DPS Solar Hunter super in the game, and by a fair margin, too. So, there’s no point running Celestial Nighthawk anymore.

Solar 3.0 Hunter Build – Grenade

Destiny 2 Solar 3.0 Hunter build Incendiary Grenade
Screenshot by WhatIf Gaming

Your grenade for this build is a little flexible. My mod setup lets me get my grenades back pretty quickly, so I’m not worried about cooldowns or anything like that.

The majority of the damage this build puts out is thanks to Gunpowder Gamble. To power Gunpower Gamble, we need a Scorch engine. The Incendiary Grenade is a great choice for that. It doesn’t do the most damage out of the Solar 3.0 grenades, but it does have a wide blast radius, meaning more enemies Scorched per nade.

Solar 3.0 Hunter Build – Melee and Class Ability

Destiny 2 Solar 3.0 Hunter build Knife Trick
Screenshot by WhatIf Gaming

There’s an argument to be made for having Weighted Throwing Knife as your melee rather than the Knife Trick. That’s fair, the Weight Knife/Gambler’s Dodge wombo-combo is well known. Back in the day, it used to be how we kept 100% uptime on both melee and class abilities. However, we have a better and more efficient way to do that now. We’ll get into that with the Aspects, though.

For now, let’s assume we’ll always have a melee ability charged and ready. I’m not sure about you, but I would prefer a fully charged Knife Trick over any other melee, any day of the week.

We’ll be pairing Knife Trick with Acrobat’s Dodge. We’re not leaning too heavily into Radiant with our fragments, but being Radiant is vital to keeping our knives active, which is vital to this build’s mod setup. So, having Acrobat’s Dodge plays a similar role as Gambler’s Dodge here, as in it keeps our melee active, but it does so in a different way.

You could go with arguably any of the dodges over Acrobat’s Dodge, but I wouldn’t use a knife that’s not Weighted or Knife Trick. Not only will Knife Trick let us stack more Scorch than any other knife, but it also throws a fan of knives rather than just one – making it so much easier to hit your target.

If you want to use Weighted Throwing Knife, go ahead that’s fair enough. Just don’t waste your time on the others.

Destiny 2 Solar 3.0 Hunter Build – Fragments

Ember of Eruption

Destiny 2 Solar 3.0 Hunter Build Ember of Eruption
Screenshot by WhatIf Gaming

I’m more or less ignoring Radiant Fragments for this Solar 3.0 Hunter build. Instead, I’m focusing solely on Scorch and Ignition and that’s reflected in my Fragment choice.

Ember of Eruption increases our Ignitions blast radius. Given that we’re looking to Scorch everything in sight, it only makes sense for us to pump up that Ignition effectiveness. It’s simple, but deadly effective.

Ember of Torches

Destiny 2 Solar 3,0 Hunter build Ember of Torches
Screenshot by WhatIf Gaming

Ember of Torches is one of three bits of Radiant tech in this Solar 3.0 Hunter build. There’s good reason for that, though. With Ember of Benevolence being disabled at the start of the season, Radiant builds lacked a lot of their power early on. So, rather than going all-in on the support-healer playstyle, I think we’re better off specing into it lightly.

Ember of Torches does exactly that. Its effect simply makes you and your allies Radiant whenever you attack a combatant with a powered melee attack. If you think back to when I was talking about our melee ability, you’ll know that we should have nearly 100% uptime on our knife. We also need Ember of Ashes to achieve that, which makes it a must-pick Solar 3.0 Fragment.

Ember of Ashes

Destiny 2 Solar 3.0 Hunter build Ember of Ashes
Screenshot by WhatIf Gaming

Ember of Ashes should be pretty self-explanatory. Scorch and Ignition damage powers a lot of this build’s engine, so obviously we want more of it. It’s simple math, more Scorch stacks means more Ignitions, and more Ignitions means more damage.

Destiny 2 Solar 3.0 Hunter Build – Aspects

Gunpowder Gamble

Destiny 2 Solar 3.0 Hunter build Gunpowder Gamble
Screenshot by WhatIf Gaming

Gunpowder Gamble is the Solar 3.0 Hunter’s big gimmick. Is it a good gimmick? eh…. Is it a fun gimmick, though? Absolutely yes.

I won’t be taking Solar Hunter into a Grandmaster anytime soon (Void is still a vastly superior subclass), but I will be taking it pretty much everywhere else and that’s because of Gunpowder Gamble.

This single little Aspect almost changes the way you play the game. How it works is every time you kill an enemy with a Solar weapon, Scorch damage, your grenade, or melee, you’ll gain a charge. When you have six charges, a one-use special grenade replaces your current grenade.

This grenade is essentially three Tripwires duct-taped together. It does a lot of damage and has a massive blast radius. It won’t be killing bosses, but it will be taking out groups of ADs and majors.

When you use the grenade, you have to endure a 15-second cooldown before you can start collecting charges again, though. That long cooldown really does hurt the viability of Solar Hunters in the end game, but there’s nothing we can do about that.

Oh, and did I mention you get to shoot your Tripwire Grenades out of mid-air? It really helps bring the whole space-cowboy theme together.

Knock’Em Down

Destiny 2 Solar 3.0 Hunter build Knock Em Down
Screenshot by WhatIf Gaming

I could not care less about Golden Gun having better damage resistance and duration. That doesn’t matter. What does matter is the fact that Blade Barrage launches more projectiles which combined with Star Eater Scales lets you pump out crazy damage numbers.

That second effect is super important, too. While Radiant, final blows with our melee ability fully recharges it. I’d ask you to think back to Ember of Torches – powered melee kills makes you and your allies Radiant.

So, every melee kill will make you Radiant, and while Radiant, every kill gives you back your melee. You don’t need me to spell that out for you.

Gear and Mods

Gear

Before I dive into my choice of Exotics, I’d like to make this perfectly clear: the Exotics you use with this build DO NOT matter – except if you’re running my recommendation of Star Eater Scales and Blade Barrage. In that case, you need Star Eaters. Otherwise, go nuts.

Unlike almost every other build under the sun, this one is optimized within itself. It doesn’t rely on external factors for its power – beyond mods.

While I’m personally using what I think are the best exotics to complement this build, they aren’t mandatory, If you want to run Shards of Galanor with Blade Barrage instead, be my guest. It won’t impact the general performance or engine of this Solar 3.0 Hunter build at all. It’ll just hurt your damage.

Sunshot

Destiny 2 Sunshot
Screenshot by WhatIf Gaming

Sunshot is absolutely busted with Solar 3.0, but you should already know that. It’s an old pistol that, somehow, power creep has done a whole lot of favors for. Being able to make everything go boom wasn’t all that powerful back in the day, but it is now.

Sunshot will be blowing up everything, and powering up your Gunpowder Gamble in seconds. Expect to see a lot of Sunshots this season, it goes with almost every single Solar 3.0 build by default.

Star Eater Scales

Screenshot by WhatIf Gaming

Whether Star Eater Scales will get a nerf or not in the near future remains to be seen. For now, though, they’re the king of Solar Hunter DPS.

At 8x with your Star Eater Scales buff, your Blade Barrage with Knock’Em Down will be doing over double the damage of a Radiant Celestial Nighthawk Golden Gun. That’s insane to think about considering how useless both Star Eaters and Blade Barrage were before the Solar 3.0 update.

For now, I wouldn’t even look at running any other Hunter Exotic – especially if you’re going for maximum efficiency.

Mods

Destiny 2 Cloak Mod Font of Might
Screenshot by WhatIf Gaming

There’s a very real argument to be made for using Explosive Wellmaker with this build. I ran it myself for a short while, and I considered swapping out Font of Wisdom for it. However, with the rate we’re able to make Wells with our melee ability, I just don’t think there’s a need for any other type of Well generation mod.

That being said, here is my current mod setup:

  • Melee Wellmaker
  • Well of Life
  • Font of Might
  • Font of Wisdom
  • Seeking Wells

As I said, Melee Wellmaker is too good with this build. Its synergy with Knife Trick and Ember of Torches means we’ve almost always got an Elemental Well available, so much so that we don’t need any other method of generation.

This Destiny 2 Solar 3.0 Hunter build has massive Well generation, so I’m looking to capitalize off of that by running three different “Font” mods.

First, I’m running Font of Might and Wisdom. These two mods should be self-explanatory. They’re used in almost every Elemental Well mod because it’s just a flat damage buff and a buff to your super regen.

Destiny 2 Boots Mod Well of Life
Screenshot by WhatIf Gaming

Well of Life isn’t one of the default Font mods, but it does benefit from Elemental Well generation. Every time you pick up a Well, you’ll get a temporary buff to health regeneration. So, every time we pick up a well, we’ll do more damage, get our super quicker, and regenerate health quicker.

Combine all that with Seeking Wells, which makes Wells come to us instead of the other way around, and we have a monstrous build that can maintain almost 100% uptime on all of its mod buffs. Plus, you can throw Impact Induction – which regens grenade energy for melee damage – onto your Gauntlets as a final cherry on top.

Wrap Up

Keep in mind that it’s still early days. With how underpowered Solar 3.0 feels compared to Void 3.0 in the endgame, we should expect a buff somewhere down the line. Plus, we’re going to get more Aspects and Fragments, so who knows what the future holds for this subclass.

Having said all of that, I’m pretty sure this is the best Solar 3.0 Hunter build out there right now. Unless Warmind Cells are busted with the new Solar rework, this type of setup will likely be king of the Hunter hill for a good while.

Eoin Black
Eoin Black
Eoin has been playing video games his entire life. He specializes in narrative-driven, single-player titles, and brings his extensive Esports experience into his writing.

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3 Comments

    • You’re right thanks for pointing that out, I had misunderstood how Gunpowder Gamble was activated when the season first launched. Thought Scorches powered it up and assumed that since Sunshot did, it was dealing Scorch like Jotunn and Skyburner’s. Changed it there.

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