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Destiny 2 Arc 3.0 Explained: Keywords, Builds and Exotics

Arc is the last Light element to receive the 3.0 treatment in Destiny 2, allowing for more build crafting as it moves over to the Aspect and Fragment system. Here's everything you need to know about Arc 3.0 including builds for all classes.

Destiny 2 Arc 3.0 Explained: Keywords, Builds and Exotics

Arc 3.0 is the final Light element to be revised in Destiny 2. Void 3.0 got a rework back in The Witch Queen and Solar had its makeover in Season of Haunted. Now it’s Arc’s turn and it has had a hefty uplift. 

Now Arc is all about speed, mobility and power. The keywords attached to it are some of the strongest add clearing methods in the entire game, and the speed-boosts the new Amplify buff gives Guardians is addictive to say the least. When paired with all the new Fragments and Aspects, all grenades across all characters, it can be a little hard to find your feet when making builds.

Here’s everything you need to know about Arc 3.0 in Destiny 2 Season of Plunder.

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Destiny 2: The Witch Queen - Season of Plunder Trailer [UK]

Arc 3.0 Keywords

Compared to Void, Solar and Stasis, Arc has fewer Buff and Debuff keywords. However, the ones that are here are very potent.

Buffs

The most important keyword is Amplify. This is a player buff which boosts movement speed, slide distance and jump height. If you spring while Amplify is active, you’ll hit the second stage of Amplify and receive the Speed Boost buff, enhancing your mobility, jump and slide speed even further. Amplify is your gateway into other buffs and bonuses, all of which differ among the classes.

Unlike other buffs like Radiant or Invisibility, Amplify doesn’t require a specific activation method. Instead, any form of Arc damage whether ability or weapon damage will grant Amplify on multi-kill. There are additional methods of getting Amplify, such as the Electrostatic Mind Aspect on Warlocks, but you don’t need any of these to activate it initially. 

The only other buff is the Ionic Traces. These were initially native to Middle Tree Warlock but now every class has access to them via Fragments and Aspects. When picking up a Trace, you will get ability energy for everything bar your Super.

That’s it for buffs, now onto debuffs.

The power of Arc

The power of Arc

Debuffs

There are two core debuffs for Arc 3.0 in Destiny 2: Blind and Jolt.

Blind is similar to how Disorient worked pre-Season 18. When a PvE enemy is afflicted with Blind, they will stand in place and be unable to act against you until it runs out. In this way, it’s similar to Suppression on Void subclass. Against PvP combatants, this gets rid of the HUD and mini-map for a short duration, as well as whiting out the screen.

Jolt is most similar to Scorch in that it is a damaging debuff. When an enemy if afflicted with Jolt, they will pulse out chains of lightning energy to those around them. as more damage if dealt to them. This acts like a supped up Chain Lightning from the old Arc subclasses. Jolt is a very powerful debuff, with it being one of the strongest add-clearing methods in the game.

Overall, Arc has a lot of different methods of dealing good add clear damage as well as utility tools.

Class Identity

Like most subclasses, each of the core 3 classes has an area of Arc that they specialise in. This details what kind of buffs or debuffs they msot effectively utilise.

For Titans, Amplify is their best friend. They don’t have a mastery over any specific part of Arc 3.0, but their new movement capabilities make them a force to be reckoned with. The new Thruster class ability paired with things like Amplify are really capable of making Titans move, whereas Thunderclap gives you a super powerful option in close range. 

Can't touch this

Can’t touch this

For Warlocks, Ionic Traces are once again your friend. From Electrostatic Mind you get Amplify from obtaining an Ionic Trace, as well as spawning extra Traces from Jolt, Blind and Arc ability kills. There are a lot of synergies with Warlock and Traces.

For Hunters, they have the easiest access to both Jolt and Blind. With Blind, they have Disorienting Blow and they can use Lethal Current to Blind any Jolted enemy. On the other hand, Tempest Strike and Flow State work really well together to keep you Amplified at almost all times. Alongside the new Gathering Storm Super, Hunters are certainly the masters of debuffing the enemies.

Exotic Arc 3.0 Synergy

In the update for Season 18, Bungie made a few changes to Exotics to match Arc keywords. Even without those, though, there are a bunch of fun Exotics to pair with every class to make them shine.

Weapons

One of the best new Arc weapons is the brand new Fusion Rifle Delicate Tomb. First off, this is an Arc special weapon, meaning that it can activate Fragments like Spark of Beacons or Spark of Discharge. Secondly, the actual Exotic perk is perfect for Arc 3.0 where final blows generate Ionic Traces. This is great on any class, but obviously Warlocks will be able to get the best use out of this in pair with Electrostatic Mind.

Delicate Tomb

Delicate Tomb

Another good Exotic for the same reason as Delicate Tomb is Coldheart. A few updates prior to season 18 Coldheart gained the ability to generate Ionic Traces upon kill, giving it the same capability to get great uptime on your abilities.

If you want something a bit more powerful, Trinity Ghoul is your bet. This weapon can spawn Ionic Traces with Spark of Discharge, it can do great add clearance and it ties into a lot of Arc based abilities. It unfortunately hasn’t been updated with Arc 3.0 keywords, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful.

Other good Exotic options include:

  • Thunderlord 
  • Legend of Acrius
  • Dead Messenger (Arc Variant)
  • Trespasser

Titan

Titans have a lot of options for Arc 3.0, with most of those revolving around their melee abilities. If you want, you could use neutral subclass pieces like Dunemarchers or Synthoceps but they have plenty of options built for Arc specifically.

An Insurmountable Skullfort is the first pick. When defeating an enemy with an Arc melee, it will start health regeneration and refund the energy back. In many cases, such as with Shoulder Charge, this fully refunds the charge. An interesting combination to put together is the new Thunderclap melee with Skullfort, as you could keep punching and punching so long as you killed enemies with each fully powered One-Punch Man style blow.

An Insurmountable Skullfort

An Insurmountable Skullfort

Armamentarium is a good choice in Arc 3.0 due to one of the Titan Aspects. The Touch of Thunder Aspect enhances Titan grenades, much like other Aspects on Warlock did. With Armamentarium equipped, you can benefit from two of these enhanced grenades at once, such as the tracking Storm Grenade.

As always, Cuirass of the Falling Star is an amazing pick for boss damage. This buffs the damage of Thundercrash, making it an excellent pick for PvE content, although it does only apply to the Super and nothing else.

Armamentarium

Armamentarium

Warlock

The Warlock class has a couple of standout Exotics for Arc 3.0 specifically that massively increase the potential of their kit. Of course, there are subclass neutral Exotics like Mantle or Battle Harmony or Transversive Steps, both of which tie into Arc through extra damage or through mobility buffs. However, the following Exotics are made for Arc 3.0.

The first being Crown of Tempests This Exotic helmet. Any Arc ability final blow increases the recharge rate of your abilities as well as extended the duration of Stormtrance if you are in it. In Season 18, Bungie also added that killing Jolted enemies increases the recharge rate, making this a perfect pick for Warlocks in Arc 3.0. The recharge bonus is easy to activate and it is a very consistent Exotic helmet if you want to run Arc Warlock.

On the other hand, you could try out the newest Exotic helmet. Fallen Sunstar gives Stormdancer’s access to enhanced Ionic Traces, which move faster and generate more ability energy on pick-up. It also makes Ionic Traces a supportive item as any ally around you will also get ability energy when you pick up a trace. While not as consistent as Crown of Tempests, Fallen Sunstar is capable of giving you your abilities back much faster if you invest into generating a lot of Ionic Traces. Each Trace regenerates about half of your ability energy, meaning that you can constantly throw grenades or melees as long as those Ionic Traces are made. 

Fallen Sunstar

Fallen Sunstar

If you wanted to focus more on the super, Geomag Stabilisers are still a good pick for if you are using Chaos Reach. Without them, the Super is okay. With Geomags, the timer of Chaos Reach will be extended as you deal damage to targets, making this great for sustained boss DPS and add clearing capabilities. If Stormtrance is more your thing, than use the Stormdancer’s Brace which increases Stormtrance’s damage and duration each time you kill an enemy.

Hunter

Hunters have a lot going for them, both with their Arc Staff Super and outside of it in Destiny 2 Arc 3.0. Like the other two classes, you could pick a more neutral subclass Exotic like FR0ST-335 or Six Coyote, but you are likely to find more synergy within Arc Exotics.

The first Exotic for Hunters is the Liar’s Handshake. A big component of Arc 3.0 is melee abilities and Hunters have exactly that in the Combination Blow + Liar’s Handshake combination. This Exotic was also buffed in Season 18 where now it requires you to either use your Arc powered melee or take damage. Upon doing so, you can strike back against the target for a massive counterpunch that heals you. Pairing this with the extra damage bonus from Combination Blow and the insane things you can do with things like Lethal Current and this combo can go very far.

Liar's Handshake

Liar’s Handshake

A more underground pick is Bombadiers. These Exotic legs drop a bomb after you perform your class ability dodge, the element of which changes depending on your subclass. For Arc, this is a Blinding bomb. If any enemy in either PvE or PvP is hit by this bomb (which has a fairly large radius) it will Blind them and damage them. This is great to pair with other abilities such as Disorienting Blow or Lethal Current where you can follow up with a quick melee after the dodge for bonus aftershock damage. Another Blind pick is Gemini Jester. When you dodge near targets, they will become Blinded (Disoriented). While not a damaging effect like Bombardiers, they do provide Blind much easier so they may be worth picking.

If Arc Staff is more your thing, you cannot go wrong with Raiden Flux. This has been the best Arc Staff super since the game released and not much has changed with time. If you do quick and successive attacks with your Arc Staff, you will deal more damage and increases the Super’s duration. Pretty simple but very effective, especially in the world of Arc 3.0.

Bombardiers

Bombardiers

Example Builds

Quickly, here are some example builds for each of the new Arc 3.0 classes in Destiny 2.

Titan

Super: Fist of Havoc.

Class Ability: Thruster.

Melee: Thunderclap.

Grenade: Pulse.

Aspects: Knockout + Touch of Thunder.

Fragments: Spark of Focus, Spark of Magnitude, Spark of Resistance and Spark of Frequency. 

Arc Titan

Arc Titan

This builds utilises An Insurmountable Skullfort alongside Arc 3.0 to blaze a destructive path of melee damage across the system. Knockout makes my melee even more effective and efficient, something bolstered by Spark of Frequency, allowing me to reload my weapons much faster after every melee hit. Skullfort keeps my super powerful Thunderclap melee topped up as long as I kill with it (which is very likely). 

On the other hand, this build does very well with grenades too. With enhanced Pulse grenades from Touch of Thunder, I spawn Ionic Traces every time it damage an opponent which grants me more ability energy. Paired with this, Spark of Magnitude increases that duration for even longer, allowing for more ability energy. 

Thruster helps us move around the battlefield and reposition for those sweet Thunderclaps, where as the other two Fragments are more personal and fit to playstyle. Stick on a Melee Well-Maker mod, Taking Charge and Striking Light and you’ll even generate orbs on every melee kill. 

Warlock

Super: Stormtrance.

Class Ability: Healing Rift.

Melee: Chain Lightning.

Grenade: Storm.

Aspects: Electrostatic Mind + Lightning Surge.

Fragments: Spark of Discharge, Spark of Magnitude, Spark of Resistance and Spark of Shock. 

Arc Warlock

Arc Warlock

This build is all about Ionic Traces and pairing that with Fallen Sunstar and Delicate Tomb. The Electrostatic Mind Aspect allows my Warlock to not only generate a ton of Ionic Traces through Jolt and Blind (something easily accessible through Lightning Surge’s slide melee and Spark of Shock’s grenades). From these Traces I can become Amplified, boosting my melee damage and making me move way faster.

Every other part of the build just adds on to that core idea. The Storm Grenades and melee will constantly be switching on and off cooldown to spawn Ionic Traces, my Aspects make sure that I’m alive and that more Ionic Traces can be generate with Spark of Discharge. Everything just clicks together very nicely with this build. 

Add on some Well Maker mods, Elemental Charge and a mod like Firepower and you’ll have your abilities back even faster, allowing for even more mayhem and chaos.

Hunter

Super: Gathering Storm.

Class Ability: Gambler’s Dodge.

Melee: Disorienting Blow.

Grenade: Flashbang. 

Aspects: Lethal Current + Flow State.

Fragments: Spark of Frequency, Spark of Focus, Spark of Shock and Spark of Recharge.

Arc Hunter

Arc Hunter

This build utilises the Bombadiers Exotic alongside Disorienting Blow to create a build all about Blind. By combining Bombadiers explosive power with Lethal Current, the follow up hit to the Blind bomb will have increased range and an aftershock. With Gambler’s dodge, I will always have my melee ready whenever I dodge.

Spark of Focus and Spark of Recharge work to keep my ability up time high no matter what situation I am currently in. Spark of Shock acts to make all of my grenades Jolt enemies, allowing for even better capabilities as Jolted targets become Blinded by Lethal Current and make my Hunter Amplified through Flow State. 

That’s an overview of Arc 3.0 in Destiny 2.

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