I briefly talked a little bit yesterday about the new Subclasses available in Destiny: The Taken King. Over the next few days though I want to hit each Subclass a little more in detail – similar to what I did at launch last year. As always, we’ll start with the best class, the Titan, and move through Warlock and Hunter later.
SUNBREAKER: TOO LEGIT TO QUIT
The Sunbreaker is the Titan’s answer to Golden Gun and Sunsinger – it’s a duration based, Solar super. The hammers that you throw throughout the duration have some serious power behind them – a direct hit is a one-shot kill in Crucible play, and in PvE they cause burn damage over time. You gain some pretty serious damage resistance too while it’s active. Defender may have been the go-to PvE class for Titans in any serious content, but I can definitely see Sunbreaker being just as viable. Just like I did last year, let’s talk about the Subclass specific abilities.
We’ll start with the grenades. Sunbreakers have access to the Fusion Grenade, Thermite Grenade and Incendiary Grenade. The Fusion is just the same as the one on the Sunsinger Warlock. It’s a sticky grenade that does some good damage – and is one of the best PvP options. Similarly with the Incendiary grenade – it’s the same grenade as the Gunslinger. It’s a good crowd control option, and does cause damage over time. The new grenade option here is the Thermite grenade. Thrown one down, and a solar shockwave will shoot out in a straight line. It’s very similar in behavior to the Shockwave and Razor’s Edge abilities from the arc subclasses. It does some decent damage – I’ve been using it a lot to clear lines of weak enemies like Thralls. In PvP, it’s much more of a zoning tool, but it does have some use because of the range on the firewave. Each grenade is useful, and each one excels in different phases of the game.
We move on now to the melee abilities that add on to Sunstrike. Sunstrike is essentially a solar powered punch – nothing too crazy from the Titan norm. It still suffers from the same problem that all Titan melees have – the range is abysmal, and it’s outclassed in PvP by the other options. That said, the extra perks may have you punching things a bit more than you’re used to. Our upgrades here are Melting Point, Thermal Vent, and Stoke the Forge. Melting Point makes it so after you punch an enemy, they’re weakened for you and anyone else. Essentially, all incoming damage is shown as precision damage, resulting in a bunch more damage – and precision shots still add in their damage multiplier on top. All incoming damage is increased too – that includes supers and grenades. Against majors and bosses, this is perhaps the most important single ability on any Titan tree, aside from Ward of Dawn. It doesn’t last forever, but with the right builds, that won’t really be a huge deal. Thermal Vent, while it does pair well with a later class perk, loses a bit because of the Titan punch. It creates a solar explosion on hit – that’s a good thing, area of effect is always a plus. It also creates a Sunspot on kills that damages enemies inside it. That’s where the issue lies – the Titan range is so short, and punching in general is a really risky move, that the Sunspots really are only happening with low-tier enemies. It’s maybe a fun Patrol or messing around perk, but that’s all I see for it. Finally, Stoke the Forge is essentially a pure cooldown buff. It reduces the cooldown on it – whether it’s to the same level as Fast Twitch for the Bladedancer’s Blink Strike I can’t say for sure yet. Kills with Sunstrike also instantly reset the cooldown – again, always a good thing. This is probably the PvP option for Sunstrike I think. Melting Point probably would work, but I think taking Stoke the Forge will net more value. As it stands right now, I see Melting Point being the PvE choice, and Stoke the Forge the PvP option.
Next up, the Hammer of Sol – the new Super ability. Popping this will have you tossing flaming hammers around all over the place. Each hammer does serious damage, and has a pretty surprising blast radius too. The upgrades for it really pull it into three different directions, giving you some options. Forgemaster plain old buffs the Hammer – you get more hammers, and they blow up bigger. I’ve found that you get maybe three more hammers, which is a pretty solid boost to damage possibility. Suncharge gives you a new melee ability while Hammer of Sol is up. Press your melee button and you’ll hurl yourself forward. You do some pretty serious damage with this, but it does take up a huge chunk of Super energy. Enemies do explode though, which sets up for chaining damage, helping it a little. Finally, we have Scorched Earth, which is all about creating Sunspots. Every impact from your hammers creates one, which cause damage over time to enemies inside them, and they pair with other class perks. Depending on how well that pairing works, a Sunspot build could be a pretty powerful one. In the end, I think Forgemaster is always going to be strong, in PvP or PvE; Scorched Earth is also pretty strong in either phase. Suncharge I think is really the one that going to be left behind – it’s got uses, but they aren’t quite as plentiful as with Forgemaster or Scorched Earth.
As for the class perks, we’ve got a pretty good mix with the six new ones. In the first column, we have Flameseeker, Explosive Pyre and Fleetfire. Flameseeker adds a homing ability to the Hammer of Sol – it’s not quite as aggressive as Truth’s rockets, but definitely noticeable. Explosive Pyre makes it so enemies killed by Hammer of Sol explode, which then chains the damage. It’s somewhat similar to Combustion on the Golden Gun. Fleetfire gives you a bonus agility and reload speed boost when you get kills with your fire abilities. That means grenades, Sunstrike and Hammer of Sol. It’s similar to Gunslingers Trance, just a little more difficult to get the stacks built. The final column of perks includes Simmering Flames, Cauterize and Fire Keeper. Simmering Flames makes your grenade and melee recharge twice as fast, but only while your Super is fully charged. It’s got use for sure – especially in low-pressure activities like Patrol. Cauterize gives you health regeneration when you get kills with your fire abilities – again grenades, Sunstrike and Hammer of Sol. It’s a good upgrade for Hammer of Sol, keeping you alive while tossing hammers around. Fire Keeper is the perk that plays into the Sunspots – while you are standing in one, you have an overshield, and Hammer of Sol lasts longer. Depending on how much longer it lasts, this with Scorched Earth could be a pretty beastly build.
All things considered, the Sunbreaker Titan feels a lot more flexible than previous Titan builds. There are a couple different ways you can go about taking perks, and I really don’t see a lot of all around weak ones – maybe Fleetfire or Suncharge. It’s a great Subclass for Titans to use in the Crucible – we finally have a slayer style Subclass. If you’ve been waiting to make a Titan, this is definitely the time to finally get on that.