Bungie details big changes coming to Destiny 2's Solar subclasses

(Image credit: Bungie)

The latest This Week at Bungie update digs into some of the changes coming to Destiny 2's Solar subclasses when the Season of Dawn goes live in December. As it's said previously, the goal of the changes is to "revisit some older subclass paths and freshen them up a bit," which for the Solar class means changes to three subclasses: Gunslinger: Way of the Sharpshooter, Sunbreaker: Code of the Devastator, and Dawnblade: Attunement of Sky.

"When we started working on sandbox updates to follow Season of the Undying, our team looked at the whole catalog of Solar subclasses by cross referencing data, feedback, and conversation to figure out which subclasses needed help, which are performing fine, and which ones were a bit too potent. During our investigations, it was pretty clear that three specific subclasses were underperforming and needed to be taken back into the shop for a rework," Bungie explained.

"It’s worth noting here that a rework doesn’t mean it’s a completely new subclass. It means that we took the root of the gameplay fantasies for those subclasses and either expanded on what was already there or shifted some of the existing attributes closer to their fantasy. In some cases, entire perks were changed to help further the gameplay role and fantasy of those subclasses."

Here's what you can expect to change in the next season:

Gunslinger: Way of the Sharpshooter (Bottom Path)

In order to make Way of the Sharpshooter a more versatile subclass, Bungie has made changes to better differentiate the 3-shot and 6-shot Golden Gun: 3-shot will have increased auto-aim distance and reliability when aiming down sights, while 6-shot will have shorter damage falloff range. "We want Way of the Sharpshooter to feel more active and rewarding for players who can fulfill the role of the sharpshooter by taking down enemies with accuracy and precision," Bungie said.

Other changes:

  • NEW Weighted Knife: High-damage knife throw with a long wind up. Travels at high speeds, bounces once, and does extra damage to the head. Precision shot final blows recharge the melee completely. One-hit precision final blow in PvP.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: (QoL):  Lasts longer but gives a bit less energy per second. Precision hits grant two stacks.
  • NEW Knock 'em Down: Precision final blows increase weapon stability and ADS speed. Timer starts at 10 seconds but any additional final blow/assists can increase it up to 25 seconds. Casting your Super with this buff above 20 seconds consumes the buff and grants extra damage. (Does not stack with Celestial Nighthawk).
  • Line 'em Up: (QoL): Old perks from Crowd Pleaser are now part of this perk. (Golden Gun can cause precision damage and precision shots generate orbs of light).

Sunbreaker: Code of the Devastator (Middle Path)

Code of the Devastator is getting some nice buffs to make it more of a player in PvP combat. The Roaring Flame perk has been given a "significant buff" to bonus damage, and the base damage of the Throwing Hammer melee ability has also been increased. Burning Maul will last longer so you'll have a little more time to think about what you're going to do with it, the Light Attack energy cost has been cut, and the Ground Slam explosion height has been increased to make it easier to mess up airborne enemies, at a slightly higher energy cost.


  • Throwing Hammer: Increased impact damage from 100 to 120 and increased hammer pick-up radius from 2m to 3.5m. Adjusted hammer throw animations to fit a more damaging attack.
  • Roaring Flames: Increased damage bonus from 10% per stack to 25% per stack in PvP, and increased duration from 15 seconds to 20 seconds.
  • Burning Maul: Increased duration from 21.2 seconds to 28.5 seconds
  • Burning Maul Light Attack: Reduced light attack energy cost from 5% to 3%. Adjusted the animation so that it flows seamlessly into chained light attacks without stopping.
  • Burning Mail Heavy Attack: Ground Slam attack now detonates when it detects enemies above it. Detonation radius was increased to make landing attacks more consistent. Increased energy cost from 6% to 8%.

Dawnblade: Attunement of Sky (Top Path)

"When we initially released this path, its movement capabilities were tuned around the original Destiny 2 gameplay experience, which was much slower and more deliberate about positioning. However, over time, this movement needed to adapt to the new sandbox," Bungie explained. "We want to give you the gameplay experience that the fantasy begs for: A flying angel who can maneuver with grace and destroy its foes below."

To differentiate the two Daybreak paths, Bungie has reduced the Burst Guide acceleration speed in Daybreak, in order to "reserve the air superiority gameplay with Attunement of Sky." Icarus Dashes in Daybreak will have increased speed and thrust, however, which Bungie hopes will deliver a similar feeling of speed, "but with maybe a bit more expression behind that speed."

Other changes:

  • NEW Celestial Fire (Melee): Send a spiral of three explosive Solar projectiles.
  • Heat Rises (Rework): Consume your grenade to extend Glide time and dramatically reduce the in-air accuracy penalties for weapons.
  • Winged Sun (Rework): Fire weapons, use Celestial Fire, and throw grenade while gliding. Airborne final blows grant melee energy and extend the duration of Heat Rises.
  • Icarus Dash (Rework): Tap (Crouch) twice to dodge in midair. Dodging in Daybreak accelerates players farther and costs less Super energy while under the effects of Heat Rises.
  • Added note: Due to the nature of these reworks, Wings of Sacred Dawn received a buff where it gains 15% damage resistance while Tome of Dawn is active.

Bungie said that it's working on numerous other changes beyond these three subclasses: Most Solar, and some non-Solar, subclasses have also been tweaked. These changes and others, such as the nerfs to One-Eyed Mask and Recluse, will be implemented on December 10, when Season of Dawn begins.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.