Destiny’s Hunter Subclasses Undergo Major Balance Changes in Latest Patch


Other subclasses and some exotics also get some love too.

Like Warlocks before them in the April Update, Destiny’s Hunter subclasses are undergoing some major changes today to help balance and update how they preform, especially on the PvE sides of things. Some of which, by the way, align with our general thinking back in this article last year shortly after The Taken King about how the older subclasses could be spruced up.

The most dramatic changes are arguably the ones that happened to the Bladedancer and Gunslinger classes, which have had increased competition in PvE from Nightstalker ever since the void subclass released back in The Taken King. Bladedancer’s super, Arc Blade, has been modified to be less about spamming attacks as quickly as you can, to instead focus on slower, more strategic/powerful strikes. Arc Blade swings will now cost more energy, but the duration and damage of the ability has also been raised.

Gunslinger has had some of its unused perks modified to make them more competitive and useful to other more popular nodes. For example, Circle of Life now reduces the cool down on Golden Gun instead of increasing its duration while active. Like Arc Blade, Golden Gun’s damage has also been increased in order to be more competitive in PvE play

One change though that might upset some PvP players is that Tripmine Grenades no longer attaches to targets. Instead, they will bounce off and attach to terrain. The reason for this change was to make Tripmines more of a trap grenade, which is how they were originally designed to be

Nightstalker and the other main classes such as Titans and Warlocks also received some balance changes as well. You can view those right down below or check out the full patch notes which includes some changes to exotic weapons and armor as well, you can do so by visiting Bungie’s official post on the matter right here.

Changes according to Bungie:



Super: Hammer of Sol

  • Hammer travel speed increased by 1.3%
  • Hammer detonation radius increased by 10%
  • Damage increased by 10% against AI combatants
Super: Fist of Havoc
  • Base damage increased by 50%  and an additional 50% against AI combatants
  • Spike Grenade: damage impulses per second reduced to 5 from 10
  • Spike Grenade: damage per impulse increased by 100%; total damage unchanged


  • Swarm Grenade: increased arming radius 0.5 meters
  • Swarm Grenade: detonation damage increased by 7%
  • Tripmine: no longer attaches to targets; arms on impact then bounces and attaches to terrain
  • Tripmine: damage reduced by 3%

Super: Golden Gun

  • Base damage increased by 50% and an additional 30% against AI combatants
  • Deadeye: now increases golden gun damage by an additional 30%

Melee: Throwing Knife

  • Base damage reduced by 10%
  • Circle of Life: modified functionality: precision kills with Throwing Knife reduce the cooldown of Golden Gun
  • Circle of Life: no longer extends the duration of golden gun
  • Circle of Life: +1 armor removed


  • Scavenger: increased the amount of grenade and melee energy awarded by 33%
  • Chain of Woe: +1 recovery added
  • Over the Horizon: +1 recovery removed


  • Skip Grenade: tracking time reduced to 8 seconds from 12
  • Skip Grenade: detonation damage reduced by 13%

Double Jump

  • Blink: now incurs a -1 recovery penalty

Super: Arc Blade

  • Changed to be less about repeatedly swinging and more about decisive strikes with additional effectiveness:
    • Base duration increased by 2 seconds
    • Hit detection test range increased by 0.5 meters
    • Damage increased by 30% against AI combatants
    • Added a 0.8 second cooldown between Arc Blade swings while airborne
    • Energy cost per swing increased by 20%
    • Energy cost on hit decreased by 20%
    • Vanish: now causes the player to vanish on cast in addition to its normal functionality
    • Showstopper: damage radius extended by 1 meter

Melee: Blink Strike

  • Lunge distance decreased by 0.4 meters
  • Backstab: valid backstab angle reduced by 30 degrees
  • Escape Artist: invisibility effect delayed by 0.5 seconds
  • Fast Twitch: recharge reduced by 20%


  • Encore: killing an enemy with Arc Blade now extends its duration and grants a 150% increase to arc blade damage for a short time
  • Spike Grenade: damage impulses per second reduced to 5 from 10
  • Spike Grenade: damage per impulse increased by 100%; total damage unchanged
Super: Shadowshot
  • Now applies the suppression effect on impact
Melee: Smoke 
  • Changed to be less frustrating to play against in PvP, but more effective in PvE
    • Impact damage increased by 34%
    • Impact suppression and damage over time duration reduced by 1 second
    • Jump suppression removed from initial impact status effects
    • Un-upgraded smoke cloud duration increased by 1 second
    • Envenomed: cloud duration increased by 1 second
    • Envenomed: Jump suppression removed from cloud status effects
    • Vanish in smoke: +1 agility removed
    • Snare: cloud duration increased by 1 second
  • Courage of the Pack: now increases recovery, armor and agility by 2 per stack
  • Courage of the Pack: now stacks 3 times
  • Lockdown: now increases smoke duration by 2 seconds (+2 additional seconds with the Snare upgrade)
  • Predator: now reduces the cooldown of the Shadowshot ability
  • Shadestep: moved to a single dodge on a 3 second cooldown
  • Firebolt: increased arming time by 0.2 seconds
  • Firebolt: decreased victim search radius by 1 meter
Melee: Scorch
  • Flame Shield: 0.3 second delay added before the overshield activation
  • Viking Funeral: no longer extends the duration of Ignite effects
  • Viking Funeral: now weakens targets afflicted with Ignite effects, causing them to take 5% more damage from all sources, stacking up to 3 times.
  • Blink: now incurs a -1 recovery penalty
Super: Nova Bomb
  • Base damage increased by 50% and an additional 50% against AI combatants
  • Lance: now increases Nova Bomb damage by an additional 25%

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