Destiny - Hunter Class Guide: How to Create the Best Gunslinger or Bladedancer - Prima Games

Destiny – Hunter Class Guide: How to Create the Best Gunslinger or Bladedancer

by Prima Games Staff

How to find all the gold chests in Destiny. Want more? How to find all 62 Dead Ghosts.

One of the first decisions that players will have to make in Destiny is which class of character they want to become. Whether you choose Titan, Hunter or Warlock is completely dependent on your style of play, and should you wish to switch things up somewhere down the line, you are able to create up to three characters per account. Over the next few days we intend to cover them all, but given the popularity of the Hunter, we thought that might be a good place to start.

Before we begin, here are Bungie’s Hunter weapon loadouts.

Hunter Class Overview

The Hunter class will appeal to players who enjoy a purely offensive approach to their attacks. It is the fastest and most precise of all the classes, using speed, agility and stealth to neutralize its enemies.

Hunters, as well as both of the other classes, also come with two unique subclasses. The first one, Gunslinger, is the default class that everyone starts out with, while the second subclass, Bladedancer, is unlocked when a player reaches level 15. Within each of these sub-classes are specific Grenades, abilities, ability modifications and even passive abilities that are all unlocked by earning experience. It’s here that players can begin to craft a Hunter that compliments their specific play style and set themselves apart from the rest of the pack.

Gunslinger Subclass

Every player who chooses the path of the Hunter will be forced to use the Gunslinger subclass until they progress their character to level 15. This means putting in a considerable amount of time to unlocking the different Grenades, Abilities and Passives that it has to offer.

Beginning with Grenades, the Gunslinger comes with the Incendiary, Swarm and Tripmine, unlocked in exactly that order. Since players are only able to equip one type of grenade at any given time, once all three are unlocked, play style will be the determining factor in deciding which one should be chosen. Players who are looking to cause damage to several targets close together might opt to go for the Swarm Grenade, while others who are looking to keep their flanks secure could be drawn to the Tripmine Grenade.

Here is a breakdown of what each one does.

  • Incendiary – An explosive grenade that can catch enemies on fire and cause additional damage over time (DoT).
  • Swarm – Detonates on impact, then releases several smaller drones that will seek out and damage nearby enemies for a short amount of time.
  • Tripmine – Just as it sounds, this is an explosive grenade that detonates when enemies pass through the laser trigger.

In addition to the Grenades, the Gunslinger subclass also comes with three unique Abilities that will allow players a deep amount of customization once they have unlocked all of the modifiers for each.

The first Ability is tied to Movement and is called the Double Jump. Once unlocked players will be able to build upon their standard single jump, giving them the ability to cover larger distances and escape dangerous situations. The three bonus modifiers for the Double Jump are listed down below, but keep in mind only one can be used at a time. For clarification, this means that players could use their Double Jump + Higher Jump, but would have to remove Higher Jump if they decided they wanted to try Better Control or the Triple Jump.

  • Better Control – This modification allows players an increased amount of control over their standard Double Jump, giving them the ability to easily change directions in mid-air.
  • Triple Jump – Players who opt to go with this modifier will see their Double Jump replaced with a Triple Jump, just as the name suggests.
  • Higher Jump – For anyone who is fond of the Double Jump, this enhancement will allow the jump to even greater heights. It provides similar benefits as the Triple Jump, it just takes a different path to get there.

The Second Ability that comes with the Gunslinger subclass is a Super Ability called the Golden Gun, and when used correctly it can be an absolute game changer. By default, the Golden Gun will take four minutes and 30 seconds to re-charge after use, and therefore should be saved for some of the more difficult to kill enemies in the early stages of Destiny. Once activated, the Golden Gun will summon a flaming Hand Cannon that deals heavy damage with Solar Light. Just as the Ability before it, the Golden Gun also has three bonus modifiers, but only one can be used at a time.

  • Deadeye – Drastically increases the accuracy of the Golden Gun.
  • Combustion – When you kill an enemy using the Golden Gun it will cause them to explode.
  • Gunfighter – Reduces the cool down time of the Golden Gun to four minutes, allow players to use it more frequently.

The Final of the three Abilities is a Melee ability called the Throwing Knife. Just like the previous two, it also comes with three bonus modifiers, of which players will have to choose one. The Throwing Knife does not replace the standard melee attack, but rather allows players to engage targets that are just beyond melee range. The Throwing Knife has a cool down time of 55 seconds (the same goes for Grenades), and it’s modifiers are as follows.

  • Circle of Life – Killing an enemy with the Throwing Knife while the Golden Gun is active will extend the duration of the Golden Gun.
  • Incendiary Blade – In addition to the damage dealt by the impact of the blade, enemies will catch on fire and continue to suffer DoT.
  • Knife Juggler – Killing enemies by hitting their weak points (also referred to as precision kills) will immediately reset its cool down time.

The next section of the subclass is where things can get just a little bit tricky, as Hunters will now have to choose between what are called Passives, which directly affect the attributes that can be seen in the top left of the inventory screen and are broken down into Armor, Recovery and Agility. These Passives divided into Tier 1 and Tier 2, with each tier having players choose one of the three options. Here is how Tier 1 breaks down.

  • Path Forgotten – Grants players +2 Armor and +2 Agility.
  • Path Forbidden – Grants players +2 Recovery and +2 Agility.
  • Path Unknown – Grants players +2 Armor and +2 Recovery.

The second tier of the Passives will allow players to choose another bonus out of three available choices.

  • Way of the Drifter – Grants players +2 Armor, +1 Recovery and +2 Agility.
  • Way of the Fearless – Grants players +5 Armor.
  • Way of the Nomad – Grants players +4 Recovery and +1 Agility.

To round out the Gunslinger Subclass, there are two more categories called Ability Modifiers that players will have to choose from. As has been the case throughout all of the choices, only one from each list can be used at any given time. Both categories put a large focus on enhancing abilities and are once again broken down into Tier 1 and Tier 2. The first tier is as follows.

  • Scavenger – Picking up ammunition will reduce a the cool down time of the Grenade and Throwing knife.
  • Keyhole – The Golden Gun receives a boost in its ability to penetrate, making it possible to cause damage to multiple targets with one shot.
  • Gunslinger’s Trance – Killing targets by hitting their weak points (also known as precision kills) will increase weapon stability. This is stackable up to three times.

The second tier takes a similar tone as the first.

  • Chain of Woe – Getting kills by hitting the weak point on targets, or precision kills will increase a weapon’s reload speed. This stacks up to three times.
  • Over the Horizon – Increases the range of the Golden Gun.
  • Gambler’s Dagger – Players are given an additional Throwing Knife.

Example Gunslinger Subclass Setup

  • Swarm Grenade
  • Double Jump (Higher Jump)
  • Golden Gun (Gunfighter)
  • Throwing Knife (Incendiary Blade)
  • Passive Tier 1 (Path Forgotten)
  • Passive Tier 2 (Way of the Fearless)
  • Ability Modifier Tier 1 (Scavenger)
  • Ability Modifier Tier 2 (Gambler’s Dagger)

Unlock the official Destiny Digital Guide  (also available in a Print Edition).

Bladedancer Subclass

When a Hunter reaches level 15 they will have the ability to unlock the Bladedancer subclass which will replace their Gunslinger when enabled. It should be noted that you can swap between subclasses, but only one can be enabled at any given time. For example, if a player has the Gunslinger subclass enabled they will have Grenades, Abilities and Passives specific to that subclass. 

Just as the Gunslinger does, the Bladedancer has three unique grenades, each with a recharge time of 55 seconds.

  • Flux – This is an explosive grenade that will deal additional damage to enemies when it is attached to them.
  • Skip – This grenade will split on impact, and much like the Swarm from the Gunslinger subclass, seek out and damage nearby enemies via multiple projectiles.
  • Arcbolt – This grenade is a fan favorite because of how easy it is to use. Throw it near a group of targets and bolts of lightning will seek out and damage up to three enemies.

The first Ability (Movement) for the Bladedancer is once again the Double Jump, and although it does have some similarities to the Gunslinger Double Jump, there are a few differences to be found in the modifiers. Keep in mind you can choose only one modifier for each of the three Abilities in each subclass.

  • Higher Jump – Just like with the Gunslinger, this increases the height of the Double Jump.
  • Better Control – This modifier will allow players to change direction with more precision while in mid-air.
  • Blink – This is completely unique to the Bladedancer subclass, and allows players to teleport a short distance. It replaces the Double Jump.

Next up for the Bladedancer subclass is the Super Ability called the Arc Blade. It has a cool down (recharge) period of four minutes and 30 seconds and allows players to hack and slash their way through their enemies in third-person view. The auto-lock feature makes target acquisition very easy, and when letting go of the stick while pressing melee, it will automatically seek out and engage anyone who happens to be within range. In total it will last about 12 seconds before it has to recharge. Players can also choose one of the modifiers listed below.

  • Showstopper – This seven meter area-of-effect explosion will damage anyone who gets near you. It might not completely down some of the stronger foes, but it should clean out clusters of the weaker ones.
  • Razor’s Edge – This is a ground based energy wave that will have an effective area of about 15 meters.
  • Vanish – Pressing the fire button while using the Arc Blade will cause the Hunter to disappear for a short amount of time. This is useful in staying alive when the rest of the squad is down.

The final Ability for the Bladedancer is in the Melee category and is called the Blink Strike. This is a ranged melee attack that will shoot players forward to deliver a powerful strike. It has a cool down or recharge time of 55 seconds, and can even be used to evade hoards of enemies by attacking one that is separated from the group. Hunters will be able to choose one of the following modifiers to enhance it.

  • Backstab – When players strike a target from behind it will cause the damage to double.
  • Fast Twitch – This will reduce the cool down time of the Blink Strike to five seconds. We wanted to avoid telling players what configurations to choose given that everyone has a different style of play, but there is no question this modifier is a fantastic option.
  • Escape Artist – This one isn’t a bad option either, as it will automatically cloak the Hunter for 7.5 seconds after they strike their target. Use this to attack strong enemies that will not go down from one melee strike.

With all of the Abilities and their modifiers taken care of, it’s time to move on to the Passives in the Bladedancer subclass. These are exactly the same as the Gunslinger Passives, but depending on your play style and choices above, you may want to switch up your selections. Once again broken down into two tiers, here is Tier 1. Remember that players may only choose one of the three options from each list.

  • Path Forgotten – Grants players +2 Armor and +2 Agility.
  • Path Forbidden – Grants players +2 Recovery and +2 Agility.
  • Path Unknown – Grants players +2 Armor and +2 Recovery.

The second tier of Passives will allow players to choose one more option from the list of three.

  • Way of the Drifter – Grants players +2 Armor, +1 Recovery and +2 Agility.
  • Way of the Fearless – Grants players +5 Armor.
  • Way of the Nomad – Grants players +4 Recovery and +1 Agility.

The final section of the Bladedancer subclass will deal with two tiers of Ability Modifiers. They work exactly the same as every other selection made thus far, allow players to choose only one from each list of three. Here’s the first tier.

  • Fleet Footed – Increases the sprint speed and extends the distance that a Hunger can slide. It also grants +1 Agility.
  • Quick Draw – Makes a Hunter’s weapons available immediately after dealing damage with any knife attack.
  • Shadowjack – This Ability Modifier will increase the duration of the cloaking effects, and at least to us is the clear cut winner of this category, although it may be different for you.

Tier 2 of the Ability Modifiers.

  • Encore – When players kill an enemy with the Arc blade it will extend its duration. This makes it extremely useful when hoards of foes are around, as each kill will add more time to your Super Ability.
  • Stalker – Players will become invisible when they crouch in one place for a short period of time. This is very useful when you need to stay alive while your Fireteam respawns.
  • Hungering Blade – The final Ability Modifier in Tier 2 allows players to regenerate health immediately after killing an enemy with either Blink Strike or the Arc Blade. It seems especially useful given the slow recovery time of Hunters.

Example Bladedancer Subclass Setup

  • Arcbolt Grenade
  • Double Jump (Blink)
  • Arc Blade (Showstopper)
  • Blink Strike (Fast Twitch)
  • Passive Tier 1 (Path Forgotten)
  • Passive Tier 2 (Way of the Fearless)
  • Ability Modifier Tier 1 (Shadowjack)
  • Ability Modifier Tier 2 (Hungering Blade)

Destiny isn’t a simple game, but its complications are part of the appeal. Our hope is that this guide will help you understand what each of your choices mean when creating a Hunter, and perhaps give you some insight into what the benefits of the Abilities, Passives and Ability Modifiers are.

Destiny GuideMade for the ultimate Destiny fan, the Destiny Limited Edition Strategy Guide is a beautiful 400-page guide that comes with two exclusive lithographs, a gorgeous premium double-sided dust jacket (featuring a unique cover design on the exterior and additional artwork direct from Bungie on the interior), as well as one of Three Deluxe, Collectible Covers based on the Hunter, Warlock, or Titan. This Limited Edition book is a must-have collectible for Destiny fans.

The Destiny guide is also available as a Signature Series Guide and as a Digital Guide.

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