Ricky Stephens A Modern Villain


My name is Ricky and I think Voldemort should have won. Welcome to my blog. 

How to be a villain in Destiny

Destiny is a first person shooter (video game) developed by Bungie and published by Activision. The game itself has some RPG elements- players are allowed to choose varying combinations of weapons, armor, and abilities-but there is a set story that each character must follow. For this reason, villainy in the realm of Destiny is limited to choosing the right weapon/ability perks for your character, being mischievous, and maintaining a dark aesthetic. I have created this guide to help new guardians become legend and fight off "the darkness"... while still letting a little darkness in.

Step 1. Be a Warlock Voidwalker. 

When you start playing Destiny you are asked to create a character and choose between three basic classes: Warlock, Hunter, and Titan. Choose the Warlock. The other two classes are unique and fun but they are not nearly vile enough for our purposes. Each class has two available subclasses to choose from. The subclasses for Warlock characters are Voidwalker and Sunsinger. 

Choose to play as a Voidwalker because of these perks in the skill tree:

  1. Energy Drain- A powerful melee attack that drains the energy of enemies and uses it to reduce the cool down of your grenade.
  2. Life Steal- Killing an enemy with Energy Drain immediately restores a significant amount of your health.
  3. Nova Bomb- A special ability where the Warlock hurls a giant ball of void light at an enemy and disintegrates them.
  4. Annihilate: Increases the size of the explosion created by Nova Bomb and Vortex grenade.
  5. Bloom- Enemies killed by any of your abilities explode, dealing damage to those nearby.

Those abilities are why you need to be a Warlock Voidwalker in order to be a real villain in Destiny. What is more evil than hitting your enemy with a blast of energy that is so strong they literally disintegrate into nothingness? Or literally stealing their life force to add to your own? 

Step 2. Get to level 20. Choose your armor perks.

The way Destiny is set up prohibits very much customization, beyond choosing from the low  tier armor you find, until you reach level 20. When you reach level 20 you are able to equip legendary or exotic items, change your shader, and choose a faction affiliation. Here is a guide to get to level 20 as fast as possible.

For a Warlock Voidwalker you are going to want to think a lot about your play style and the way it is affected by the armor you choose. Each piece of armor has its own set of perks like "increased reload speed with hand cannons" or "replenish health when you pick up an orb of light" or "carry more ammo for heavy weapons", etc.  Beyond these perks each armor is also ranked with levels of intellect, discipline, and strength.

  • If you plan to capitalize on your Nova Bomb because you enjoy obliterating your enemies then you will need to focus on intellect.
  • If you plan to use your grenades to create giant explosions that kill targets, forcing them to explode, to kill other targets... well that's discipline. 
  • And if you are looking to steal the life from any enemy you punch to death- then you need to focus on strength. 

Balancing the right numbers for intellect, discipline, and strength is just as important as deciding what pieces of armor to wear because of their perks- or even for their looks. You need to find the right fit for your play style because, beyond looking villainous, you want to have fun playing the game. 

For reference: I tend to focus my efforts, in terms of armor perks, on intellect and strength. This gives me quick cool down times for my Nova Bomb and my Melee attack. I try to ensure that all of my weapons and armor choices have the perk that restores grenade energy for each kill/melee as well.

Step 3. Make Dead Orbit your faction. Choose dark shaders.

Destiny Warlock Bond Ritual Expansion Dead Orbit Class Item

Now that you are level 20 you are able to choose a faction. As of right now there are only three factions in the tower: Dead Orbit, New Monarchy, and Future War Cult. In order to choose a faction you must go to the faction's vendor and purchase their class item. Choose Dead Orbit

You might not like that Dead Orbit's armor focuses on discipline and strength but you do not have to use their gear. You are going to level up your Dead Orbit rank because, once you pass rank 2, you start receiving "level up packages" at the postmaster. There is a chance for these packages to contain Dead Orbit Shaders like RevenantThe Nowhere, Bittersteel or The Hanged Man. They may also contain the Dead Orbit ship The Fermi Solution. All of these items have the dark aesthetic that you need to really look evil. 

Dead Orbit is the only way to get the most vile looking shaders right now. Until the Dead Orbit shader drops (rumored around rank 9) here are some other options:

  1. "Thunderdevil" bought from Eva Levante near The Speaker.
  2. "Sunsetting" bought from Eris Morn near where you land in The Tower.
  3. "Chatterwhite" dropped for completing the Vault of Glass raid.
  4. "Blacksmith" unlocked with COD pre-order codes. You'll need to search for them.
  5. "Superblack" unlocked upon the release of The Taken King for "year one" guardians.

Step 4. Choose your exotic armor. You need to look like something from a nightmare.

Recommended exotic pieces are: 


Destiny The Ram Warlock Exotic Helmet

The Ram is a Warlock Helmet that would strike fear into the heart of any man- especially with its "... PRAISE ME..." flavor text. This helmet specializes in both intellect and strength while adding "life steal" to any Voidwalker melee. This means that you are free to choose a different melee perk and still get the "life steal" benefit.  The added armor boost makes you a total monster in the crucible because you will always win those close shotgun encounters.

Destiny Obsidian Mind Warlock Exotic Helmet

Obsidian Mind is a nova bomb machine. Like The Ram, this helmet focuses its attention on intellect and strength. Unlike The Ram, though, Obsidian Mind's perks are all focused on recharging Nova Bomb as often as possible. When wearing this helmet you will get more super energy for each kill and, on top of that, you will reduce the cool down of your nova bomb... by using your nova bomb. In practice this means that if you kill enough enemies with your nova bomb you can have another full bar of super energy in an instant.

Destiny Skull of Dire Ahamkara Warlock Helmet

Skull of Dire Ahamkara was one of the first exotic Warlock helmets that dropped for me and I found it pretty useful. I think it looks best with the "million million" Iron Banner shader. Even though that shader isn't dark enough to scare anyone I think the skull itself has a level of mysterious creepiness to it. This helmet focuses solely on intellect and makes you tougher when you're using your nova bomb. This is an excellent perk for the crucible because you will be unstoppable when you go to use your super on a group of enemies- especially when they're huddled together trying to capture a zone. Skull of Dire Ahamkara also has an increased grenade throw perk and an enhanced siphon ability. When you do kill an enemy with a grenade/melee you will have enhanced energy drain for grenade cool down, or "life steal", which is a pretty nice perk.

Chest Piece:

Destiny Warlock Exotic Chest Piece Purifier Robes

The Purifier Robes are designed for Sunsingers so they are not optimal for Voidwalker Warlocks... But they look so sleek, dark, and evil that I need to mention them. Once you have mastered the Voidwalker you can switch to Sunsingers from time to time because they have some villainous perks: lighting enemies on fire, blowing them up with fusion grenades, and returning to life on command. These robes reduce the cool down of your melee with grenade kills and the cool down of your grenade with melee kills. They also blind any enemy who is near you when you claw your way back from the grave.

Destiny Voidfang Vestements Warlock Exotic Chest Piece

Voidfang Vestements focus their stats on strength and their perks in grenades. They give your axion bolt another seeker, letting you kill one more enemy per grenade, and they ensure that you always respawn with full grenade energy.


Destiny Warlock Nothing Manacles Exotic Gauntlets

Nothing Manacles are incredible tools for use in the crucible because of their grenade perks. The manacles give you enhanced scatter grenades, allowing them to track enemies, and let you to hold a second grenade charge. When you pair Nothing Manacles with  annhilate, bloom, and a high level of discipline... You are pretty much throwing Gjallarhorn's wolfpack rounds at your enemies.

Destiny Warlock Gauntlets Claws of Ahamkara

Claws of Ahamkara focus their stats on strength and discipline but I think they are most desirable because of their looks. The claws give you increased reload speed with special weapons, increases melee attack speed, and an additional melee charge for all Warlock melee abilities. The emphases these gauntlets put on melee charge and melee speed helps a lot in the crucible but I don't use them much.

Step 5. Choose your legendary armor.

There are a lot of great pieces out there to choose from so I won't make that many suggestions. I would recommend, though, that you start running Vault of Glass and Crota's End to get some raid gear. These armor pieces usually have great perks and competing raids gives you more chances at exotic drops. 

Here are the legendary armor pieces that I use with my Warlock Voidwalker. 

Deathsinger's Gaze Warlock Helmet Crota's End Raid Destiny

Deathsinger's Gaze is a monstrous looking helmet that I like to wear when I am using the Purifier Robes. I wear this helmet because I like the look and the "restore health when you pickup an orb of light" perk. These helmets drop in the Crota's End raid and the stat rolls are always different but mine focuses on Intellect and Strength. 

Destiny Legendary Vanguard Helmet House of Wolves Warlock Unity Clade

Unity Clade is my favorite vendor helmet from the House of Wolves expansion. I wear this helmet because of the look and the roll I have for intellect and strength. It encourages my use of "life steal" by reducing my melee cool down when I pick up an orb and restoring grenade energy with my melee hits.

Destiny Iron Breed Gloves Warlock

Iron Breed Gloves come from the Iron Banner competition. The roll that I have focuses on intellect and discipline- they also restore my melee energy with grenade kills. The pair I have are from the House of Wolves expansion because I like their look more than the previous version. 


Deathsinger's Mantle looks sinister on its own. The Deathsinger's Mantle is the Warlock chest piece from the Crota's End raid. Since the stat rolls vary I actually keep three different versions of this chest piece for my warlock- each one has a maxed out stat for intellect, discipline, or strength. I wear this chest piece if I am not wearing the Purifier Robes and I pick my stats for whatever activity I am doing. The perks won't help with any activity outside of the raid but they do let you carry more ammo for a few types of guns.

Destiny Iron Breed Boots Warlock

Iron Breed Boots are what I use in crucible. I have the perks set for intellect and discipline to help me regenerate my scatter grenades as fast as possible. 

Destiny Kellbreaker's Path Warlock Boots House of Wolves prison of elders

Kellbreaker's Path are boots from the Prison of Elder's. I love their look and their "carry more ammo for heavy weapons" perk. I have two different stat rolls for them, maxed discipline and strength, based off what activity I am completing. 

Step 6. Choose your ship.

A villain needs a sleek, dark, vehicle to help him/her get around in style. In Destiny finding the right ship can be a hard, tedious, task because the best ones come from random drops in activities you can only complete once a week. To start you should head to the shipwright and purchase Aurora Lance or Kestrel Class AX because they are both black and relatively cheap.

Aurora Lance

Destiny Aurora Lance

Kestrel Class AX

Destiny Kestral Class AX

Now that you have a ship you need to complete end game activities like Vault of Glass and Crota's end to unlock the raid ships.  Glass Minuet, Aspect of Glass, Light in the Abyss, and Bane of Dark Gods are all acceptable means of transport. The Fermi Solution, though, is the current goal.

Glass Minuet

Destiny Glass Minuet

Aspect of Glass

Destiny Aspect of Glass

Light in the Abyss

Destiny Light in the Abyss

Bane of Dark Gods

Destiny Bane of Dark Gods

The Fermi Solution

The Fermi Solution Dead Orbit Ship


Step 7. Choose your Sparrow.

Sparrows are used and seen more frequently than ships but, like ships, there aren't that many dark options:

1. Sparrow S-10: This is the default sparrow for the game. It is gray and black but very slow with a top speed of only 70mph. 

Destiny Black Sparrow S-20 Cavalier

2. S-20 Cavalier: This is an uncommon gray and black sparrow sold by the shipwright with a top speed of 90mph. 

Croatia's End Sparrow Destiny S-13 Graverobber

3. S-13 "Graverobber": This is the sparrow from the Crota's End raid. It drops infrequently and has a top speed of 120mph. 

S-31V Upgraded Sparrow

4- S-31V upgraded sparrow.


Step 8. Choose your weapons.

Scout Rifle:

Destiny Vision of Confluence Vault of Glass

Vision of Confluence is a scout rifle gained through participation, and success, in the Vault of Glass raid from the original Destiny game. It is one of the most popular scout rifles in the game because of its balanced stats and its solar damage perk.

Fang of Ir Yut (NA3D1 Salvation State and NL shadow 701x have a similar look) is a scout rifle gained through participation, and success, in the Crota's End raid from the first Destiny Expansion: Crota's End. It is less popular than Vision of Confluence but is still a great weapon. I love its monstrous look and its arc damage- I frequently use it for Nightfall Strikes.

Hand Cannon:

Thorn Destiny

Thorn is an exotic hand cannon that is gained through an exotic quest which, in my opinion, is how all exotic weapons should be earned. There is a lot of complaint from the online community about this weapon in crucible due to its damage over time perk. If you want to be a villain in Destiny you should absolutely use this gun. 

Destiny Hawkmoon

Hawkmoon is currently my favorite gun in Destiny because it is so much fun to use. It has an incredible amount of impact and range for a hand cannon and three of its, currently 13, bullets get bonus damage. Right now this gun is a Playstation exclusive so, while that lasts/if you have it, you should rub it in the faces of Xbox players for fun.


Fatebringer is a legendary hand cannon that is earned through the Vault of Glass. It only drops on hard mode during the fight with the Templar. It is probably the best, and most loved, hand cannon in the game to this day. It has firefly, which is a pretty rare perk on a hand cannon, which causes your enemies to explode when you shoot them in the head.

Word of Crota is a hand cannon earned from the Crota's End raid. It is not as popular as Fatebringer but it has void damage which makes it an asset in a lot of strikes and weekly activities. 

Pulse Rifle:

Destiny Red Death

Red Death is an exotic pulse rifle and it is probably the coolest looking weapon there is. From the blood on the blade to the skull and crossbones in the weapon's sights- this weapon was designed to be held by a villain. The perks are just as malicious: when you kill someone with this weapon it restores your health. 


Destiny Sword Breaker

Swordbreaker is a legendary shotgun from the Crota's End raid. It has a great rate of fire and void damage- making it a volatile weapon in both PVP and PVE situations.

Felwinter's Lie is an Iron Banner shotgun with an incredible amount of impact and varying range, depending on perk rolls. It is an awesome tool for player verse player combat and will help your KTD go up.


Black Hammer is a sniper rifle earned in the Crota's End raid that refills its magazine automatically when you kill three enemies with shots to the head.

Destiny Icebreaker

Icebreaker is an exotic sniper rifle with incredible range, solar damage, and the ability to recharge its magazine over time. 

Heavy Weapons  

Destiny Gjallarhorn

Gjallarhorn is probably the biggest villain in Destiny. As a weapon Gjallarhorn is a rocket launcher with solar damage, tracking rockets, and "wolfpack rounds" that detonate upon collision with a target. It is most definitely one of the best weapons in the game. 

The problem with Gjallarhorn is that the players who have it rely on it way too much. The strategy for any end game content is to shoot everything with rockets and ignore most of the game mechanics. What's worse, though, is that it creates a schism in the Destiny community between the players who do have Gjallarhorn and those that don't- where those that don't have it are often excluded from joining groups. 

Hunger of Crota is a rocket launcher with solar damage, tracking, and cluster bombs that explode upon impact with the target. For those players that do not own Gjallarhorn, Hunger of Crota is an excellent second choice. 

Truth is an exotic rocket launcher that deals void damage and has crazy amounts of tracking. If you don't have Gjallarhorn, or another exotic you want to equip, you should use this one in crucible. If you lock onto an enemy as you both shoot rockets at one another... even if you die your rocket will get find its target and avenge your death.

Thunderlord is an exotic machine gun that deals arc damage and gains stability/accuracy the longer it is fired. It is an asset for arc burns during nightfall. 

WanderingWonton How to be a villain in Destiny Warlock Deathsinger's Mantle Purifier Robes Kellbreaker's Path iron Breed gauntlets

Step 9. Act like a villain.

Alright. Now you've got the weapons, the armor, and the look down. You're a modern villain now... so it's time to start acting the part. 

  • Destiny relies heavily on community and team based events. If you want to be a villain you need to compete in these activities and get revenge on the people who go "AFK" (away from keyboard) in the middle of strikes. You should do this by shooting enemies in non-critical areas, so that they target you, and leading them over to the AFK person. Hide behind the inactive player until they get killed! (This is very easy during the Devil Walker part of the Devil's Lair strike. When people hide out of the walker's range it is easy to run in front of their location to attract the walker's blast. You can jump out of the way really easily so you don't die too.)



  • There are a lot of common areas where events happen. For The Dark Below there would be public events where the "sword of Crota" would spawn. You would be able to kill him and steal the sword to attack enemies for Eris Morn bounties. Now, for "House of Wolves", there are areas where enemies prowl using scorch cannons and wait for guardians to come fight. You should go to these areas and steal the special weapons, swords or scorch cannons, and run off with them- leaving others to fight the enemy with their own weapons! (This is especially easy in the Winter's Lair strike because you run through the Ember Caves where a pack of wolves always spawns. Steal the scorch cannon and take it into the strike with you!)


  • You should become a threat in the crucible arena. Right now the most relevant game type is Elimination, because of Trials of Osiris, but I still prefer control. Also, until they "nerf" it, use Thorn to kill enemies with your damage over time perk. People in crucible hate to face users who are using Thorn. 


  • Follow other guardians around in the Tower. You can hold your ghost by pressing the button you use to go to orbit- but not holding it down. This gives you an especially maniacal look. When you see guardians playing with the purple floating ball, or the soccer ball, you should kick it off the edge. 


  • In the reef you should walk, purposely, into the nonplayable characters. If you push them into the ledge they will eventually fall off the map.


  • Only let people who have Gjallarhorn join your groups! (I don't actually support this one but since I already wrote about the G-horn problem I figured I would mention it.)

Any suggestions on other ways to be a villain in Destiny? 




What is a Villain?

Bane- Batman: Knightfall (and brief origin)

Bane- Batman: Knightfall (and brief origin)