Support Hunter is a unicorn by all metrics. Your primary job as a Hunter is to be the ‘DPS’ guy after all. And besides, Void Invis Hunter with Weakening is the real Hunter Support build. But it never hurts to have another feather in your cap in case your Warlock ally is more comfortable buffing damage while dealing damage themselves.
This build is primarily focused on providing healing which is essential if your team wants to survive a Grandmaster Nightfall. The build I have right now relies on grenades for burst healing and Radiant buffs. It’s good enough that it can cover allies at some distance away. We’ll be running Star-Eater Scales for this one as well.
What does Radiant do in Destiny 2?
In Destiny 2, Radiant enhances the power of your weapons to deal a damage bonus on enemies for a short period of time. It’s as simple as that. The beauty here is that this buff synergizes with many fragments and activates additional perks. It’s nice to have especially knowing that it’s a buff that your allies can have if you run the right Hunter Aspects and fragments.
For the class ability, I suggest running the ever handy Gambler’s Dodge. This will work well with the solar melee that we’re going to talk about next. If your play style is more passive, you can opt to use Acrobat’s Dodge to further buff your team.
I suggest running Lightweight Knife as your Solar Melee. It’s a quick knife attack that does a good amount of damage. What’s more, if you do a precision hit, it will make you Radiant for a short while.
The other melees work here too. That will depend mostly on your preference or the Exotic armor piece you are running. If you are planning to run Exotics like Athry’s Embrace or Caliban’s Hand, for example.
For this build, Healing Grenade is what you want to get. Not only does it create a burst healing field on impact, but it also leaves behind an Orb of benevolent Solar Light. When your allies pick up the orb, they are granted a measure of restoration.
For the jumps, you can go for whichever one you are most comfortable with. Personally, I go for Triple Jump. It allows me to course correct mid-air, and avoid any unfortunate mishaps with explosives.
For our aspects, only Knock ‘Em Down is essential for this build. This aspect is primarily used to buff up your Supers which is something you might have to do since… you’re a Hunter and our Super HURT. As an added bonus, final blows with your Throwing Knife fully refund melee energy. And there is a little bit of synergy with mods here too.
Now, for your second aspect, you can either go for Gunpowder Gamble or On Your Mark. Gunpowder Gamble is great if you want some explosive UMPF to your build. But it comes at the cost of a fragment slot. On Your Mark is safe and very reliable especially if hit crit shots. If you’re unsure which one to pick, go for On Your Mark.
Grand Master Nightfalls are no joke, it’s better to be safe than sorry there. I run Gunpowder Gamble myself. I can confidently say that after being on the receiving end of many unfortunate mistakes and am now very familiar with its… uniqueness.
For this build, you’ll be running almost all the support fragments the subclass has on offer. The most important of which is Ember of Solace. This fragment increases the duration of Radiant and Restoration effects. Both of which I run for this build. The other two I have on this build are Ember of Tempering and Ember of Wonder. (This one works really well for this build because I have Star-Eater Scales on and +10 Resilience is almost necessary for today’s Destiny 2.)
Since I exclusively run Solar weapons with this build, Ember of Tempering is a must-have fragment. But if you use any other element type, it’s best to use the other fragments.
These next three fragments mesh well with this build but they come at the cost of some of your stats. You can stack Ember of Empyrean with Ember of Solace but it will require you to get Solar final blows. Also, it comes with the penalty of -10 Resilience. I tend to stay away from this one as I like to maintain high resilience with my Hunter.
Ember of Benevolence also works with this build but it requires you to have allies around to reap the benefits. It is useless in Solo Master activities. It also comes with a -10 Discipline penalty. Which isn’t something you want to have if you run grenades.
Ember of Torches is also something you might consider if want to go all-in on Radiant effects. I don’t run it because the build I’m using right now can only accommodate three fragments.
If you run Knock ‘Em Down and On Your Mark, you’ll be able to have up to five fragments at once. That’s room enough to slot in Scorch or Ignition buffs.
This build works best for support. It’ll be really tough to get any sort of value if you are trying to go for both offense and support at the same time. That’s no issue when it comes to mid-tier content but we’re getting ready for Grandmaster Nightfalls.
(Solar) Helmet mods – This build works best if you are able to generate Orbs of Power. Since you get more benefits from Star-Eater Scales the more Orbs you pick up, you can forget quality and go for quantity instead. So that means running Solar Siphon and Kinetic Siphon at the same time. You’ll be swapping weapons a lot with this build. For the combat style mod, go for Well of Life for that sustained survivability.
(Solar) Gauntlet mods – The first two slots you’re going to need for Champion mods if you don’t have Arbalest in your arsenal. Otherwise, you’re going to want to run Fastball and Impact Induction. Fastball makes sure your grenade goes for longer and goes a little faster too. It helps. But if you need a Champion mod, Fastball is the first to go. Then Make sure you have Taking Charge as your combat style mod.
(Any) Chest armor mods – This one’s all up to personal preference if you want to run a reserve or aim mod. Though I would suggest having at least one Thermoshock Plating installed for that improved elemental defense. Also, if this is void armor, you can run void resist so that you are protected against all three major elements. My combat style for this one is High-Energy Fire for that increased damage. Works wonders on tanky enemies as the buff doesn’t go away until an enemy dies.
(Solar) Leg armor mods – The solar elemental mods go hand-in-hand with the Star-Eater Scales since they give you a little something when you pick up an Orb of Power. I’m talking about Recuperation and Innervation. For the combat style mod, I like to run Elemental Charge, the engine to becoming Charged with Light. Those wells are good for more than just healing you and giving ability energy.
(Solar) Hunter Cloak – And finally there’s the class item. You’ll want to run Bomber to jump-start your grenade cooldown a little. If you need to get your healing grenade back instantly, you’ll definitely want to run Explosive Finisher. Saved my butt more times than I can count. For the last combat style, you can go with Bountiful Wells. Really useful and ensures near constant uptime on Charged with Light with enough enemies around.
For my Primary, my go-to weapon is my custom Austringer. Any gun in the primary can work here but the reason why I use Austringer is because of the Enhanced Demolitionist perk. With it, I can get my grenade back really fast.
If I’m running an Exotic weapon in that slot, it’s either going to be Arbalest or Lumina.
The energy slot weapons are going to be your most flexible. But they need to be of Solar affinity to be the most effective. I like running the Ammit AR2 and Explosive Personality with Auto-loading Holster for crowd control. For tankier enemies, my go-to is a Without Remorse shotgun with Incandescent. I also like running Drang with Incandescent with this build. (I really, really like Drang with Incandescent.)
The CALUS Mini-tool with Incandescent works great with this build too. And the Beloved is my sniper of choice for this build with Incandescent, of course.
For energy Exotics, I usually run Skyburner’s Oath and Lord of Wolves.
For the heavy weapons. I was actually fortunate enough to have a Thermal Erosion machine gun in my vault. This particular roll has Demolitionist. I am so glad I didn’t decide to scrap it. My other options are Cry Mutiny with Demolitionist on OR everyone’s favorite linear fusion rifle, the Taipan-4FR.
The only Exotic I feel comfortable on this build in high-level content is The Lament. I love this chain sword, and I love it even more if I throw a healing grenade at my feet before smacking a boss.
I didn’t think I’d ever need to run a support build for Hunter. I suppose because of Solar 3.0, that option is there but I didn’t think too much of it… until I made a list not too long ago and realized I didn’t have Lumina in my collection. I’ve made up for the slight error and I actually like the gun. I thought it was going to be weak since its primary use is for healing but it takes down red bar enemies in such a satisfying way that I had to build around it.
This is actually a Solar build I’d been using for a while now but that build didn’t stand a chance in end-game content. It was built for fun, for the most part. Now, I took a little something from that and made it in a build that can be viable in a Grandmaster Nightfall… provided you don’t have the healing already.
So the way I play is if I don’t have a healing grenade up, my weapon with Demolitionist becomes my primary. That’s usually Austringer. If I have Arbalest in the primary, my machine gun is going to go to town on any red bars. The moment I have a grenade ready, I quickly swap to my energy and use that to create Solar wells and Orbs of Power. Most of those guns run Incandescent so getting Solar explosions are easy and since my build has Gunpowder Gamble, I get a solar explosive almost instantly with enough enemies.
The thing about running the Solar improvised explosive is that you sometimes forget you have it on your person. Since it overrides your healing grenade, you can sometimes throw it by your feet. I’ve done that mistake a few times before, believe me. The best advice I can offer you is if you are in a pinch, don’t hesitate to throw that explosive and get healing nade on you ASAP. Don’t be fancy with mid-air tricks, it’ll explode eventually. That’s enough.
Star-Eater Scales is one of the best Exotics to pair with this build. For one, you can overcharge your Super for that Overshield and damage buff. Secondly, weapons like Austringer, Drang, Beloved, and CALUS Mini-tool all have benefits with a fully charged Super.
All-in-all, this build is capable of dishing out healing in a pinch. It’s not as reliable as Warlock healing but I can make a case when put up against Titan Sunspots. As a Hunter, you don’t have to change up your play style all that must. You’ll still be asked to add clear and deal damage to a boss. But you won’t be rushing towards Champions like an Arc Hunter.
If you’re going to make this work, you’re going to have to take a backseat and watch over your allies like a hawk. And like I said at the beginning of this article, this is but another feather in your cap as a flex Hunter Guardian.
Alright. That’s it, that’s all. See ya next time.
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