Destiny Hunter Class Guide – Gunslinger and Bladedancer Tips

By   /   Sep 12, 2014

The Hunter class differentiates itself from the robustness of the Titans and the near archaic powers of the Warlock through its defined assassin-like nature. While Titans are all out assaulters or hardcore tank defenders, Hunters are assassins regardless of which specialization they choose.

For more help on Destiny, read our Crucible PvP Loadouts, Crucible PvP Tips and Destiny Class Guide.

Destiny Hunter Class

Hunter can become direct, frontal infiltrators through the Gunslinger specialization, or stealth-based ninja styled melee experts through the Bladedancer specialization.

Either way, the Hunter is a class that requires a specific set of skills to play, and not entirely for those who like to spray bullets with their guns. If you’re one of those who enjoys a high-risk, high-reward play style, then the Hunter class is meant for you.

Hunters will begin with the Gunslinger specialization, and will unlock the Bladedancer at level 15.

Gunslinger

The Gunslinger is the first of the two specializations for the Hunter class. Gunslingers use the Light literally as a weapon, having the ability to summon a Golden Gun of raw solar energy that can destroy foes.

The Gunslinger excels at speedy combat and depends largely on accuracy, so those with a steady hand would flourish with this specialization.

Another area where the Gunslinger is unique is their specialized proximity explosive: the Tripmine grenade, which allows for some tactically flexibility and astuteness. The two most important stats for a Gunslinger are Intellect and Discipline, allowing you to take use of your Golden Gun and the clever explosives.

Grenades

The three types of grenades available to a Gunslinger are Incendiary grenades, Swarm grenade, and the Tripmine grenade.

Incendiary Grenade
The Incendiary grenade is a well-known explosive in most shooter games. It will basically cause an initial explosion, followed by a DoT for whoever is caught in the fiery remains of the explosion, which last for a few seconds.

The initial blast as a fall-off (reduction of impact/damage further away from the blast epicenter), but the DoT remains constant across the entire radial area.

It’s an ideal grenade for some good area of effect damage, and can be highly intimidating for foes in PvP, allowing you to shut off access to certain regions for a short duration which could give you tactical advantage.

The initial blast will cause 115 damage, followed by 5 ticks of 5 damage over 2.5 seconds for whoever is engulfed in the flames. The radius of the blast is 7 meters.

Swarm Grenade
The Swarm grenade is a tactical trap and shouldn’t actually be called a grenade. Once thrown, it will break apart into tiny ‘swarms’ that will seek out enemies in the near vicinity, bashing them twice before exploding in their faces.

If you throw this grenade out into a location without any enemies, it will break and the swarms will simply stay there waiting for a prey. This makes the unique Swarm grenade a vital weapon when setting up traps and defending certain areas. The swarms are not highly damaging individually, but if they collectively go to one specific enemy they can be absolutely lethal.

Tripmine Grenade
The Tripmine Grenade is a grenade that attaches to walls and emits a laser trigger. When enemies pass through it, it detonates, dealing large amounts of damage. This is the only proximity grenade in the game, and the Gunslinger holds the privilege of using it.

The damage does have fall off, so using it in tight corridors or just near doorways is an ideal way of ensuring maximum impact.

In addition to being a proximity grenade that is primarily meant to be stuck on walls and floors, you can also use it as a sticky grenade if your aim is good. If the grenade sticks on to a target it will explode instantly.

The damage done through this method can be fatal in PvP. The Tripmine has 160 damage if stuck on walls and 225 if stuck on a player, in a cone of 12 meter length.

Abilities

The three primary abilities of the Gunslinger are Double Jump, Golden Gun, and Throwing Knife. The other abilities tend to modify or enhance these three core skills.

Double Jump
The Hunter’s Double Jump differentiates itself from the Titan’s Lift by being a simple jump on top of another jump instead of any kind of boost that would hold you slightly in the air. This makes it much quicker that a Titan’s Lift, yet still allowing you to reach higher ground and also use it as a means of dodging in combat.

Better Control
Double Jump normally is a bit hard to control but gives you better height. Better Control tends to give your jumps more stability, allowing you to gain control in the air while performing it. Though this can prevent you from reaching certain heights, it certainly allows you to use Double Jump more efficiently for dodging and mobility.

Higher Jump
Higher Jump does the exact opposite of Better Control. This will greatly increase the height of your jump but restrict the amount of control while in air.

Triple Jump
Triple Jump allows you to do three jumps at a time. This means that after performing a double jump, you can add another jump on top of it before you fall to the ground. This will allow you to be extremely unpredictable in PvP, especially if you mix single, double, and triple jumps together to confuse opponents.

Golden Gun
Golden Gun creates a magnum revolver made of pure energy that can disintegrate enemies. The ability itself has a recharge of 4 minutes and 30 seconds. This is the signature skill of the Gunslinger specialization, also being the most important and central part of its game.

You can typically get three shots out of your Golden Gun, and though it may not sound like much, in PvP all three are lethal. This means that those folks with great aiming could take out three targets within no time by using the Golden Gun ability, provided they land all three hits accurately.

The Golden Gun works best though as an infiltration skill instead of a defensive one. It is not recommended to be used to get out of danger, as you’ll probably get killed through the animation. Instead, allow yourself some preparation time and only use it just before engaging targets to ensure you can land the hits with your flaming magnum.

Another thing that you should keep in mind is that the Golden Gun does not have infinite range, and has a significant damage fall off like most handguns. Thus, it is best used in close quarters combat instead of being used to snipe players.

Deadeye
Deadeye will significantly improve the accuracy of your Golden Gun, allowing you to take rapid shots from the hips without compromising your aim. This is a recommended ability for PvP.

Combustion
Enemies that are killed by the Golden Gun will explode, dealing large explosive damage in an AoE to nearby foes. This is particularly useful in PvE, though its use in PvP is rather limited.

Gunfighter
Gunfighter will lower the cooldown of the Golden Gun ability to 4 minutes. If you invest in your Intellect and use this ability as well, you will actually get even further reduced cool-down time.

Throwing Knife
The Gunslinger is different to other classes in its melee, because instead of punching or swinging at opponents, it will throw a knife thanks to the Throwing Knife ability.

Throwing Knife is a bit hard to hit with, but once you manage to get hold of the art of throwing knives, you’ll admire the added bit of range and reach that it gives. It can be particularly useful against static PvP opponents, especially if you follow up with it after a barrage of gunfire.

Circle of Life
With this ability, if you kill an enemy with Throwing Knife while Golden Gun is active, the time of Golden Gun will be extended.

In theory this sounds appealing, but landing Throwing Knife is very hard, and those who have only just started the game will find it difficult to utilize the potential of the ability. The veterans however could really make life a living hell for PvP opponents by using this skill.

Incendiary Blade
This ability will light up your knife on fire, allowing you to deal 25 additional damage over time, with 5 ticks of 5 damage in the span of 2.5 seconds.

Knife Juggler
This is by no means an easy skill to utilize, as it resets the cool-down on your Throwing Knife ability if you can manage to land a precision kill. It’s very difficult to do so in PvP, but if you can manage, you’ll be able to throw knives in quick succession.

Ability Modifiers

Ability modifiers will amplify certain skills or techniques used by the Gunslinger, and are available in two tiers.

Tier 1

Scavenger
This ability will reduce the cool-down of your grenades and Throwing Knife every time you pick up ammo. This is significantly more useful in PvE than PvP because of the availability of ammo boxes.

Keyhole
This modifier will give your Golden Gun the ability to penetrate and kill multiple enemies in a line with a single shot. This is very useful in PvE, but in PvP you will hardly witness clustered enemies.

Gunslinger’s Trance
If you are skilled at scoring Precision kills in PvE or PvP, this is the right modifier for you, as it will add +20 stability every time you score one, and this can be stacked up to 3 times. The stack lasts for about 15 seconds.

Tier 2

Chain of Woe
This modifier is quite like Gunslinger’s Trance, except that instead of +20 Stability, it will grant you +20 Reload. Like GT, it can also be stacked up to 3 times and has a 15 seconds duration.

Over the Horizon
This modifier will remove the damage fall-off from Golden Gun, allowing you to snipe targets from long range with your solar magnum revolver. OtH will add a lot to your GG skill, particularly in PvP.

Gambler’s Dagger
This modifier will allow you to throw 2 knives in quick succession while using Throwing Knife before the cool-down starts.

Passives

Tier 1

Path Forgotten
+2 Armor, +2 Agility

Path Forbidden
+2 Recovery, +2 Agility

Path Unknown
+2 Armor, +2 Recovery

Tier 2

Way of the Drifter
+2 Armor, +1 Recovery, +2 Agility

Way of the Fearless
+5 Armor

Way of the Nomad
+4 Recovery, +1 Agility

Bladedancer

The Bladedancer specialization is basically the cyber ninja of Destiny. They utilize powerful stealth abilities like Cloaking and strong melee technique to decimate their foes.

The Bladedancer requires tactical stealth play and quick thinking, encouraging an indirect fighting style that emphasizes on moving in and out of action rapidly. You can call Bladedancers as high-risk high-reward kind of characters.

Since melee attacks are emphasized largely with the Bladedancer, you’ll want to focus on Strength alongside Intellect, the two essential stats for this specialization. Discipline is another stat that you should be looking into if you play as a Bladedancer.

Cloaking

Bladedancers is the only specialization in the entire game that can cloak. While cloaked, enemies in PvE lose sight of you completely. In PvP though, you will have a bluish ghostly outline around you.

The intensity of the outline will vary depending on how quickly you are moving. You’ll be very tough to spot if you move slowly, but the outline will become more apparent if you are sprinting and mobile.

The cloaking ability can be utilized quite well in both PvE and PvP battles. While they aren’t the same in PvP, patient players will really benefit from cloaking and executing surprise attacks on unaware enemies, as the Motion Tracking on you is significantly reduced by increasing the duration between pulses to 5 seconds instead of 3, which can be used to your advantage.

Grenades

The three different grenades available to the Hunter Class are Flux Grenade, Skip Grenade, and Arcbolt Grenade.

Flux Grenade
The Flux grenade is a sticky grenade that deals a large amount of damage to the enemies it sticks to. This further compliments the shadowy tactics of the Bladedancer, as it can catch unaware players by surprise in PvP, and can be lethal to almost all kinds of specializations except for Defenders.

The grenade deals 100 damage normally, and 65 additional to the enemy it sticks to. The blast radius is 5 meters.

Skip Grenade
The Skip grenade is very similar to the Gunslinger’s Swarm Grenade, though with a different delivery mechanism. Instead of a swarm of seekers, the Skip grenade splits off into seekers when it bounces off a wall or object.

The seekers then seek a target and deal two bashes before exploding in their face. Each seeker does 7 damage twice to a player before exploding for 15 damage.

Arcbolt Grenade
The Arcbolt grenade in theory has a similar effect to the Skip grenade, though instead of seekers it generates bolts of Arc energy that instantly hit enemies nearby. These bolts then bounce to two more targets nearby. This makes the Arcbolt grenade an easy explosive to use and dish out players, forcing them to change positions once they receive the jolt.

Abilities

The Bladedancer specialization has a large variety of ability to take use of. These include the commonly shared Hunter’s Double Jump, the Arc Blade, and Blink strike. Each of these has additional very unique abilities that greatly compliment the Bladedancer’s lethality in stealth and when dealing melee damage.

Double Jump
Same as the Gunslinger’s Double Jump.

Better Control
Double Jump normally is a bit hard to control but gives you better height. Better Control tends to give your jumps more stability, allowing you to gain control in the air while performing it. Though this can prevent you from reaching certain heights, it certainly allows you to use Double Jump more efficiently for dodging and mobility.

Higher Jump
Higher Jump does the exact opposite of Better Control. This will greatly increase the height of your jump but restrict the amount of control while in air.

Blink
Blink is a unique skill that replaces your second jump in Double Jump with a teleportation. So instead of a second jump, you can looking in any direction you want after jumping and press jump again, and you will be instantly teleported a few feet ahead in the direction you were facing.

Though it can be a bit difficult to control and manage at first, Blink is an excellent escape and initiation ability when used in PvP, greatly confusing opponents.

Combining Blink with the set of melee abilities at the Bladedancer’s disposal is the optimum way to get the best out of this specialization. The only downside to this otherwise incredible skill is the learning curve to use it effectively.

Arc Blade
Arc Blade is the signature ability of the Bladedancer. This will give you a lethal Arc Blade that you can use to slice and dice your foes.

While the Gunslinger could conjure a powerful revolver, the Bladedancer lives up to its name, allow you to manifest a powerful lightning blade that can be lethal in PvP combat, especially when combined with Blink.

Arc Blade also has a very generous auto-lock on nearby opponents, so even when you are casually facing them you don’t have to aim your lunges and slashes with precision, as Arc Blade will guarantee hits as long as you are close enough. You can also use Arc Blade while in midair.

Arc Blade will drain over time, with a 12 seconds effective timer, though it will drain much quicker when you fire or perform melee strikes during the time it is active. As with Golden Gun, you should always choose a proper time to activate it, as you can be outgunned from a distance if you plan to activate it and then rush into a horde of enemies.

Showstopper
Showstopper will grant you a lethal AoE explosive when you press the Fire button while Arc Blade is active. The radius of this blast will be 7 meters, and is an excellent ability in PvP, especially when surrounded as it can instantly kill enemies.

However, Showstopper’s animation tends to freeze you in place, so using it in the wrong place can make you a painted bullseye that is ready to be shot.

Razor’s Edge
This is a ranged energy wave that you can unleash by pressing the Fire button while Arc Blade is active. The result will be a large shockwave force that is sent off in a 15 meter radius. It is absolutely lethal in PvP and does massive damage in PvE.

Vanish
Vanish allows you to cloak while using Arc Blade, and can be useful for stealth tactics in PvP. In PvE, it is more useful as an evasive tactic.

Blink Strike
Blink Strike is a powerful melee ability that teleports you a few feet ahead in the direction you are facing, then allowing a powerful lunging strike with your blade. This can be a very useful ability in PvP, and further adds to the unpredictable and stealthy nature of the Bladedancer.

Backstab
Backstab will deal double the amount of damage when hitting targets from behind. Using Blink Strike to hit a target from behind will deal significantly larger damage, and is lethal in PvP. Backstab is generally easier to trigger against PvE enemies though.

Fast Twitch
Fast Twitch will reduce the cooldown of Blink Strike to only 5 seconds. Considering the fact that Blink Strike is one of the most powerful melee attacks in the game, you shouldn’t be surprised if this ability gets nerfed after a couple of patches.

Escape Artist
This ability will allow you to cloak instantly after hitting a target with Blink Strike. This can make life even more miserable for players facing skilled Bladedancers, as they can instantly disappear and relocate after performing a powerful strike, only to reappear again somewhere unexpected and finish them off.

Ability Modifiers

Tier 1

Fleet Footed
This ability will increase your max sprint speed and also increase the slide distance. For obvious reasons, this combines exceptionally well with almost all the abilities of the Bladedancer.

Quick Draw
With this powerful ability, your weapon will come up almost instantly after you perform a melee attack. Once again, this combines brilliantly with many of the melee abilities of the Bladedancer.

Shadow Jack
This modifier will increase the duration of your invisibility effects.

Tier 2

Encore
With this ability modifier, your Arc Blade’s duration will increase every time you kill an enemy. If you plan to use Showstopper and Razor’s Edge a lot, this is a must-have, as both of those abilities in Arc Blade mode are lethal.

Stalker
Want to hide safely? Just crouch while Stalker is being used, and you will gain invisibility. This makes Stalker one of the best modifiers for PvE, as you can survive Nightfall missions and revive your teammates through such stealth maneuvers, since enemies in PvE go completely blind when you cloak.

Hungering Blade
This modifier will give your Arc Blade and Blink Strike abilities life-steal, so that every time you kill someone with them you will immediately regenerate 10 points of health, followed by additional regeneration for 1.5 seconds even if you are taking damage during the time.

Passives

Tier 1

Path Forgotten
+2 Armor, +2 Agility

Path Forbidden
+2 Recovery, +2 Agility

Path Unknown
+2 Armor, +2 Recovery

Tier 2

Way of the Drifter
+2 Armor, +1 Recovery, +2 Agility

Way of the Fearless
+5 Armor

Way of the Nomad
+4 Recovery, +1 Agility

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