You’ve only got to pay a little attention in almost any activity in Destiny 2, whether it’s PvE or PvP, to notice that one subclass in particular is always under-represented. Since Destiny 2’s launch in 2017, Arc Hunters – or Arcstriders – have had it pretty rough. While Warlocks are all Force-lightning wizards and Titans are all punchy-smashy-electric-shocky (they are Titans, after all), Arc Hunters were given a stick to wave around and make zappy noises.
Even though I’m a Hunter main, I won’t touch Arc tree trees unless it’s necessary for my Vanguard weeklies. It’s not that it’s a useless subclass either, really. It’s just that compared to the Void Nightstalker or Solar Gunslinger options, it pales. The ability to block gunfire with the Arc Staff makes it somewhat useful for gap-closing in PvP, but let’s be honest, we’ve all swatted plenty of buzzy Arc Hunters out of the air like wasps around a trifle.
The Arcade Man website contains some shocking statistics about all Destiny 2 classes. Hunter is the most played class by a wide margin. However, Arcstrider remains the least used of all nine subclasses. Gunslinger is used by 20.8% of Destiny 2 players, compared with Nightstalker’s 12.6%. Arcstrider is at the bottom, with only 4.3% of players actually bothering to ride lightning. Stats don’t lie, people.
Bungie has made Arc 3.0 a priority to improve the subclass’s abilities, and make Arcstrider an attractive and viable choice for endgame activities. As detailed in the recent Bring the Thunder blog post, Arc 3.0 is set to do a lot for everyone’s favourite space emos.
Hunters can still block gunfire with Arc 3.0. They also have the ability to dodge which gives them super armor. This could make them more irritating for other classes like Trials of Osiris and Crucible. Season 18 will see the rise of Arcstriders, who will challenge Titans in melee fighting. With abilities like Combination Blow which not only triggers health regeneration but also refunds dodge energy, it will effectively create a lightning-powered space Ninja.
Not only this, but Blink is returning to the Hunter’s repertoire. This was a Crucible favorite in Vanilla Destiny. It allowed Hunters to perform a short-range, teleport move instead of a double jump or triple jump. Destiny 2 removed it, but Arc 3.0 will bring it back. Hunters can close gaps on your character in a split second.
Melee is the order of day with the new Arc3.0 debuffs jolt, blind and blind. These debuffs will be applied to enemies that have been struck by Arc damage. They can either make them blind or disoriented, or cause them to send shocks of lightning to their enemies. Add to this the new Amplified state that increases movement and reload speed as you build momentum with Arc attacks and it’s hard to see any subclass getting close enough to trouble a skilled Arcstrider.
Arc 3.0 will be cementing Gunslingers’ position at the top of Crucible’s food chain with a second Super, Gathering Storm. Arcstriders can jolt nearby enemies by smashing their Arc Staff to the ground. They will then create lightning arcs that inflict damage on any opponent that is unfortunate enough to be too close.
Arcstriders may be the least well-known subclass in Destiny 2, but Season 18 & Arc 3.0 are set to change that. We can’t wait to start trying out new Destiny 2 Hunter builds with the best armor and best weapons to see just how powerful Arcstriders can get in Season 18.
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