Destiny has evolved yet again with the launch of The Taken King, Bungie’s foray into Year Two of their newest IP that has managed to hold onto the spotlight longer than anyone could have predicted. But it isn’t just a new year, the game is being transformed from its very core and outward, and its new subclasses have a lot to do with that.
The Titan’s Sunbreaker, the Hunter’s Nightstalker, and the Warlock’s Stormcaller bring an entirely new dynamic into the Destiny fold, but they also require a bit of learning to get all of you guardians back into fighting form. Luckily, you’ve stumbled into the right place and we will get you set up properly.
This guide will give you an overview of the brand new Nightstalker subclass for Destiny’s Hunter. While still an assassin of the highest regard when compared to the other classes in Destiny: The Taken King, the Nightstalker takes on an even more supportive role that will definitely make the Hunter an even more crucial component to any fireteam.
So grab your favorite sniper rifle and let’s get to it.
The Nightstalker brings the Hunter class in Destiny: The Taken King even closer to its namesake. This class is all about subterfuge, sabotage, and making easy pickings of tough foes. Don’t get us wrong though, while the Nightstalker definitely works best in the shadows playing a more supportive position than the Hunter’s previous subclasses (Gunslinger and Bladedancer), it is still extremely dangerous, and will absolutely wreck in PvE and Crucible play. But, for the sake of this guide, we’re going to help you maximize this shadowy guardian’s potential.
This class is perfect for the player who doesn’t need the spotlight. Getting those clinch revives, playing objectives, and scouting the battlefield while weakening enemy forces is the name of the game. You will be the linchpin that keeps your teammates dealing out the death. You may not have the most kills, but every single death will have your mark on it.
Since you’ll be pulling off a lot of long range control, sniper rifles (such as the new Hereafter exotic), scout rifles, and hand cannons may prove to be right up your alley. Armor that hastens your ability cooldowns are also useful since the Nightstalker abilities greatly assist everyone on the team. Range is your friend, so no need for a reckless loadout this time around.
Combat Abilities- Melee
The Nightstalker eschews the normal physical attack for a cloud of smoke instead. While it does do a bit of damage, it’s main purpose is to both disorient and weaken enemies to make them easier targets for both your weapons and those of your fireteam. The effects can be tailored by using one of the three modifiers to provide exactly the type of trickery you need in a given situation.
You can go full ninja with the Vanish in Smoke perk which allows for the Hunter and any nearby allies to go invisible after the Smoke melee is used. Perfect for tight spots with tough opponents (such as Centurions and Fallen Captains). A few seconds of mobility without being targeted often spells the difference between life and death.
Envenomed provides a moderate DPS effect to smoke by poisoning any enemies caught in the cloud. It isn’t the strongest attack out there, but when paired with some precision shots it can make a two hit kill a one shot kill instead.
The final melee modifier, Snare, turns your smoke melee into a trap instead that acts like a sticky grenade. Leave a smoke bomb that blinds unsuspecting enemies as they pass by.
It may take a bit getting used to a melee attack that isn’t exactly a melee attack, but Smoke’s usefulness proves itself immediately especially during co-op play.
Combat Abilities- Grenades
The Hunter has always had grenades that were perfect for setting enemies up, and the new Nightstalker subclass in Destiny: The Taken King keeps that theme. Players will once again have three different grenade abilities to choose from, Spike, Voidwall, and Vortex.
Vortex is a common one, and if you’ve ever used a Voidwalker Warlock you’ll definitely be familiar with it. What it does is sticks to a surface and emits a continuous orb of damage for a few seconds to anyone caught in the blast. The blast is decently large, and is perfect for tight corridors or against enemies in small rooms since they can’t just escape the dome of purple hell.
The Voidwall on the other hand is new, and very useful for stopping enemy rushes. Hive Thrall, Fallen Vandals and Dregs, and Cabal Psions love to get up close and personal. During Lightswitch that always means death. Use the Voidwall to drop a…well, wall of purple fire that does a sizeable amount of damage while also blocking the enemy path. Enemies will avoid it, even powerful ones, so use it to defend an fleeing ally, or to create an escape for yourself as well.
The Spike Grenade is another familiar grenade employed by Defenders. Simply attach it to a surface (wall, floor, ceiling, door, doesn’t matter) and watch as enemies (human or otherwise) are absolutely torn to shreds by sharp blasts of Void energy. Yet another way to cover your back and block of routes for enemies. Good for controlling an objective when there is more than one entrance to the spot you’re trying to hold down. Stick this on a wall or surface instead of the ground for maximum effect.
This is the ultimate support super, but it is also so much more than just an assist. It is a high powered Void arrow that does massive damage on a direct hit, but also tethers any enemies nearby to an anchor that both slows and weakens them. This leaves them stuck in place as your Hunter and friends go to town on whatever poor alien saps happened to be in the wrong place at such the right time. That alone makes it one of the absolute best Super abilities in all of Destiny, but it’s modifiers take the cake making this an absolute nightmare for enemies.
Blood Bound adds an exploding effect to those killed while tethered. Sounds cool right? How about also adding the ability to share all damage between tethered enemies. Just shoot the one right in front of you and listen as they all writhe in agony from their shared pain.
Black Hole is for larger groups, adding range, time, and an increased capacity to your anchor. But it’s Quiver that can prove to be a secret weapon if used correctly. The trade-off of quiver is that your anchors will have reduced range, so you have to get it exactly where you need it if you want it to grab onto something. In exchange you’ll be able to fire three anchors instead of one, meaning you can lock down three separate groups at once…let that sink in.
There are also ability modifiers that do more than alter how the Shadowshot works. These add some special bonuses that further the Nightstalker’s support role in Destiny: The Taken King by bolstering your allies. Courage of the Pack increases recovery and armor for your allies (if they’re nearby) when a tethered enemy is killed. Not too shabby during difficult encounters, especially since it can stack 5 times. And Light of the Pack creates Orbs of Light when tethered enemies are killed providing more charging opportunities, which in turn leads to more supers, which in turn leads to your fireteam looking badass.
Other Notable Modifiers
There are three ability modifiers that should be taken into consideration when crafting your perfect Nightstalker in Destiny: The Taken King. These are Keen Scout, Predator, and Shadestep. Shadestep is mostly for the Hunter itself, perfect for when you have no choice but to get in close whether for an ammo run, or a quick revive of an ally. It grants a dodge ability that allows you to phase through damage (pretty neat, huh?).
Predator changes the anchors from your Shadowshot into traps that actually wait for targets instead of just expiring when missing. This one is useful because it adds a bit of trickery to the whole affair, when you have a bow in your hands everyone would be on alert, but nobody is looking for an anchor you fired five minutes ago.
Then there is Keen Scout. The ability to move faster is always welcome in Destiny, but this modifier is even better for reconnaissance. The ability to mark enemies for your allies to see is very useful, especially in situations where there is just way too much going on.
The Nightstalker in Destiny: The Taken King is a key figure that should not be underestimated. With the ability to systematically shut down enemy forces for your pals to have a field day, it is bound to be a star of any challenge. So get to practicing and mold your shadowy legend.
Safe travels, guardian.