Void Warlock Solo Build (S20)

With the advent of Armor 3.0, subclasses have access to more intricate builds that focus on maximizing specific elements of gameplay. With so many dungeons and exotic missions available to solo, I’ve been playing around with a Void Warlock build that combines the extreme survivability of Void, the flexibility of Warlocks, and the over-the-top power of the Seasonal Artifact.

Note: This build is designed primarily for use during Season of Defiance (S20). The build will mostly stay intact after S20, but is not guaranteed to have the same level of effectiveness.

Before diving into the build, I want to briefly discuss the four pillars that support this build. The build is centered around Void Overshield and Volatile Flow for defense (Volatile Flow can be found on the S20 Artifact) and Bricks from Beyond and Void Weapon Channeling for offense (both offensive perks can be found on the S20 Artifact). This build is focused on allowing Void Warlocks to solo content with relative peace-of-mind; as long as the Warlock is properly engaging with the specific parts of the build that are required for either power or survival, there should be no problems tackling almost any mission available.

The build starts by having the player generate a single Orb of Power, usually by getting a grenade kill with the Firepower mod equipped. Once an Orb is picked up, Volatile Flow activates and then feeds into a Repulsor Brace special weapon, which grants Void Overshield. Devour, started up by the grenade kill, will also be active in the background and will likely be active for most of the encounter in which the player is involved. Once the Void Overshield is applied, the build now starts to churn out big damage with a Void heavy weapon supported by Void Weapon Surges. Whenever the Void Overshield is low or has expired, switching back to the Repulsor Brace special will allow the player to reapply Void Overshield let the Void heavy weapon recover some ammunition. Passively, a massive amount of Orbs and Super energy are being generated for use at the player’s leisure. Indeed, this build lets Void Warlocks meet their enemies head-on and come out on top as long as the defensive and offensive gears are working in tandem with each other. Now, the build:

The Build

Primary Weapon(s): Any mid-range rifle is fine for this position. Ease of use is preferred over power.
Special Weapon(s): Any Void special with Repulsor Brace is fine. Range is preferred over power.
Heavy Weapon(s): Any Void rapid heavy with either Reconstruction or Auto-Loading Holster is fine.

Helmet Mod(s): Special Ammo Finder, Font of Wisdom, Void Siphon
Arms Mod(s): Firepower, Void Loader, Void Dexterity
Chest Mod(s): Charged Up
Legs Mod(s): Recuperation, Void Weapon Surge
Class Item Mod(s): Time Dilation, Reaper

Super: Nova Bomb: Cataclysm
Grenade: Magnetic Grenade
Aspects: Feed the Void, Child of the Old Gods
Fragments: Echo of Reprisal, Echo of Undermining, Echo of Persistence, Echo of Instability

Anti-Champion Mod(s): Anti-Barrier Pulse Rifle, Unstoppable Scout Rifle, Overloaded Auto/SMG
Authorized Mod(s): Authorized Mods: Void, Authorized Mods: Grenades
Miscellaneous Mod(s): Shatter Orbs, Volatile Flow, Bricks from Beyond, Void Weapon Channeling

The Gameplan

The basic gameplan of the loop is as follows: Find a rank-and-file enemy and throw a grenade. Attaching an enemy with Magnetic Grenade will proc Echo of Undermining to weaken the target, almost always guaranteeing a kill with Magnetic Grenade’s second explosion. Getting a grenade kill will proc Firepower, which will spawn an Orb of Power, proc Echo of Instability, which grants your Void weapons Volatile Rounds, and also proc Devour, courtesy of Feed the Void, which will be up for a majority of your playtime, giving you health boosts and grenade energy on every kill.

Picking up an Orb will proc Volatile Flow, providing Volatile Rounds if you don’t have it or refreshing it if you do, as well as giving you a health boost via Recuperation and granting Armor Charge. Armor Charge is vital, as it will provide a damage boost with Void Weapon Surge and Super Energy with Font of Wisdom. Charged Up increases the amount of Armor Charge you generate off an Orb pickup and Time Dilation extends the duration of your Armor Charge.

After having gotten charged up, switch to the Repulsor Brace Void special and get a kill. With Volatile Rounds active, Repulsor Brace will apply Void Overshield, which has a lengthened duration due to Echo of Persistence. Now with Armor Charge and Void Overshield, switch to the Void heavy and begin to absolutely obliterate anything in your way. Repeated kills will generate Orbs with Void Siphon and Super energy with Echo of Reprisal. Switching between the Void special and the Void heavy should be a regular action and is supported by the Void Dexterity mod. Once the Void Overshield is low or close to expiring, ensure that Volatile Rounds is up and switch back to the Void special for more Repulsor Brace kills. The Special Ammo Finder mod keeps ammunition for the Void special flowing and Bricks from Beyond keeps ammunition for the Void heavy flowing. While using your Void special, your Void heavy should be reloading passively via Auto-Loading Holster or Reconstruction so that it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice.

If, for some reason, Volatile Rounds is not up and you cannot immediately activate it, use your Rift class ability to generate a Void Soul, which will debuff enemies and allow your Void special to activate Repulsor Brace for more overshields. Reaper piggybacks off of Rift activations by providing an Orb on your next kill, meaning the destruction can continue unabated. Rinse and repeat until no one is left standing; get an orb, get a shield, get kills, get health, get ammo, get more orbs, get more shields, get more kills, get more health, get more ammo, get Super, use Super.

The Details

With the build on full display, let’s talk about weapons first. The weapon selection, as with most other variable parts of the build, is focused on ease of use over destructive power. The build relies heavily on a steady flow of weapon kills, so easy weapons like auto rifles and pulse rifles are preferred over marksman weapons like scout rifles and hand cannons. Ammo availability should also play a part in weapon selection. For example, Retrofit Escapade with Fourth Times the Charm or Feeding Frenzy is a fantastic boss-shredding Void machine gun, but does not have a strong argument for inclusion in this build when compared to something like Commemoration with Subsistence or Reconstruction. Instead of focusing on big boss damage, the build favors weapons that reload over time or even all at once to keep uptime at a maximum. Every second spent reloading is a second where weapons are not getting kills and where subclass buffs are winding down.

While the primary weapon can and should be picked based on the encounters the player will face, the special weapon slot is a bit more demanding. The necessary perk for this slot is Repulsor Brace, which grants Void Overshield when defeating Void-debuffed enemies. Repulsor Brace is central to the build and required on your special weapon, as Void Warlocks have no reliable way of generating Void Overshield on their own. Two Void Repulsor Brace special weapons I personally recommend are Harsh Language, a wave frame grenade launcher capable of scoring multiple kills from a single wave, and Hollow Denial, a trace rifle with more precision and anti-air capabilities than grenade launchers. Repulsor Brace shotguns are a viable option in certain encounters, but their limitation will always be their need to be close to the enemy for kills, whereas other options can activate Repulsor Brace from range.

The Void heavy weapon is a more flexible spot, simply requiring high uptime since it will be your primary engagement tool. The Void special can be used often, but is primarily used to apply Void Overshield. The majority of the offense in this build comes from the heavy weapon and because of that, I cannot recommend machine guns like Commemoration enough. With either Reconstruction or Subsistence, the weapon may be in use so much that forgetting to switch in order to reapply Void Overshield with Repulsor Brace has happened on more than one occasion. Of course, for encounters that do not have high enemy density or have particular requirements, the heavy can be switched out for a more appropriate choice.

Regarding the choice of grenades and super, the idea is to easily activate Devour without thinking too hard or taking too many risks. This is a solo build, after all, and will always err on the side of safety. Magnetic Grenade has great tracking coupled with a short fuse for instant gratification. Cataclysm, likewise, is a set-and-forget super that requires little aiming. That being said, when encounters call for a change, these selections do not need to be concrete. Bosses that do not move or that can be pinned down make Vortex a more appropriate option and enemies that run and hide often can often be pushed or pulled out of hiding with different types of grenades. Consider Magnetic Grenade and Cataclysm as the “default” options that you can change at will. While your Rift choice will mainly be Healing Rift for emergencies, the switch to an Empowered Rift can make a huge difference in an extended damage phase against non-threatening bosses.

When considering the armor mods, there are a few things of which to take note. First is that there are lots of empty spaces for extra mods on the listed loadout. These empty spaces are for the player to use at will. From extra elemental resistances to different Orb pickup effects, the empty slots should be used on a per-encounter basis to push the loadout in whichever way helps the player exploit the nuances of the encounter. Similarly, some of the mods present in the build can be swapped out as well. For example, if the player’s armor reaches close to Tier 10 Intellect, then the Font of Wisdom helmet mod is not necessary. Feel free to double down on certain mods or change or remove other as the situation calls for it. As the player experiments with this build and considers the needs of the encounter, the areas for adjustment will become more obvious.

The good, the bad, the ugly

Let’s discuss the strengths of this build. When it comes to a balance between survivability, ability uptime and weapon damage, this seasonal build walks a narrow road. Devour alone pushes the build’s survivability to extreme levels and abusing Void Overshield turns the player into a true army of one. Easy tracking abilities like Magnetic Grenade and Cataclysm mean that an ability kill is guaranteed when they are used and Armor Change means those abilities are always close at hand. Indeed, as long as there is an enemy to kill, this build goes to 11 quite quickly. The cherry on top is that Volatile Rounds are an inherently Anti-Barrier option now, meaning shielded Vex, Cabal and Taken have nowhere to hide from your wrath.

That leads us, then, to the weaknesses of the build. This build requires a steady diet of enemy kills to stay afloat and if the enemies in question are not in range of your Repulsor Brace special weapon or are too few and far between overall, the efficacy of the build drops dramatically. The build also performs poorly in a fireteam, since you’ll have to share kills and may inadvertently have some must-hit ability kills taken from you. This build is inspired by greedy, lonely play and needs the player to be willing to fight hordes of enemies without stopping to reach maximum effectiveness. That being said, activities in which enemies have enormous health pools, are too lethal to approach for Orb pickups, or require the player to slow roll their movement and kill tally also reduce the build’s effectiveness. Armor Charge, Devour and Void Overshield are all on a time limit, meaning the player must be able to refresh all timed buffs regularly or risk having to start from zero every time.

The Conclusion

Solo //node.ovrd.AVALON//, solo any dungeon, solo story missions, whatever you like. Remember the rules: get an orb, get a shield, get kills, get health, get ammo, get more orbs, get more shields, get more kills, get more health, get more ammo, get Super, use Super. By using an overpowered Seasonal Artifact and anchoring the player to constantly applying Void Overshield, Void Warlocks can walk into just about any solo encounter and, with an eye on keeping the gears of the build greased and turning, systematically reduce every enemy and obstacle into Glimmer, ammo bricks and dust.

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