Like big ass armor? Like pounding people with your fists? Then I highly recommend playing the Titan class in Destiny. While the Warlock uses sissy space magic, the Titan is all about brute force and heavy armor. But despite this gung-ho approach to Destiny, there’s actually much more to the class depending on which subclass you prefer. And honestly, your subclass should be determined by the type of content you’re consuming and what you want to accomplish.
The Titan has two subclasses: Striker and Defender. You can pretty much guess the role each one fills; Striker is more about dealing damage, while Defender is more about soaking up damage and protecting your allies. In both instances, you’ll have the “Lift” movement ability; the key differences between the two are the types of grenades, your Super Ability, and your Melee Ability. And again, depending on what you’re doing in Destiny, you’ll want to be comfortable with both.
The striker subclass encourages close-range, physical combat. While you’re free to use any weapon in Destiny, I highly recommend taking a shotgun as your secondary due to the fact that you’ll be getting up-close-and-personal with a lot of enemies. Usually one hit with Storm Fist (a melee attack that deals bonus damage) plus a single shotgun round will down an enemy.
As you level, you’ll unlock different modifiers for Storm Fist. There’s Overload which has a chance to reset the cooldown of Storm Fist; Discharge which deals area of effect (AoE) damage with your melee strike; and Illuminated which can “significantly” reduce the cooldown of Fist of Havoc when you get a kill with Storm Fist.
Speaking of Fist of Havoc, that’s the Striker’s Super Ability. Again, it’s another gap closer, so another reason to bring a shotgun with you. Fist of Havoc is an AoE attack where your Titan wills mash the ground and dissolve any nearby enemies in a maelstrom of Arc Light. It’s best used when you’ve got a group of enemies, but don’t be afraid to use it in one-on-one encounters in PvP. Because Fist of Havoc is an ability that launches you closer to the enemy, it becomes a very big risk in PvE against a boss.
Like Storm Fist, Fist of Havoc also has modifiers: Aftermath, which leaves a damage-dealing field in its wake; Death from Above, which after jumping allows you to actually aim Fist of Havoc at enemies below; and Shockwave, which unleashes a wave of devastating energy that travels along the ground. I personally prefer Death from Above because I like having the ability to control where I go.
Types of grenades include the Flashbang (disorients enemies), Pulse (periodically damages enemies inside of its explosive radius), and Lightning (sticks to any surface, periodically emitting bolts of lightning. I prefer the Flashbang grenade as it allows me to disorient enemies long enough for me to get close and beat them with my fists.
The Defender subclass is unlocked when you reach level 15. Like the name suggests, the Defender is designed to mitigate damage with the use of shields that are deployed when using the Super Ability, Ward of Dawn, and Melee Ability, Disintegrate.
Despite the defensive focus of the Defender class, there’s still a heavy emphasis on melee and close-range combat. Disintegrate is another melee attack, but instead of dealing bonus damage, it will create a Force Barrier around you Titan that absorbs incoming damage. This is great when facing multiple foes. Again, Disintegrate comes with modifiers, this time focused on buffing your Titan. Warmachine, when Force Barrier is active, will reload your weapons extremely fast; Gift of Light, when your shield is active, generates Orbs of Light with melee kills; and Unbreakable continually recharges your Force Barrier. Again, you can still do damage as a Defender, but the skills are more geared towards keeping you alive.
The Defender’s Super Ability is Ward of Dawn, an indestructible domed shield that protects you and your allies from any damage. When inside of the shield, your are protected from incoming fire, but you also can’t fire outside. So basically, think of this as your own little bubble of safety. Sure, enemies can run inside of it, but with a shotgun and Disintegrate, that’s what you want. Ward of Dawn’s modifiers increase the power of your shield: Armor of Light significantly increases your damage resistance; Blessing of Light grants you and your allies a temporary shield when passing through Ward of Dawn; and Weapons of Light grants you and your allies a temporary increase to weapon damage when passing through Ward of Dawn. So how you want to use this is set up your Ward of Dawn, get that extra shield and weapon damage and then leave the shield to kill enemies. When low on health, try to get back inside of the shield.
The Defender class has my favorite grenade, the Magnetic which attaches to enemies and explodes twice. Think of it like Halo’s sticky grenade. If you can accurately throw this and stick it to an enemy it’s basically a free kill. So if you have good aim, go with the Magnetic Grenade. Other grenades include the Spike (attaches to any surface and emits a torrent of damaging void light) and the Suppressor (prevents enemies from using abilities for a short time).
Subclass use in PvE
Odds are, if you’re running a fire team with a Warlock and Hunter, you’re going to have more than enough damage. And getting up close to a boss with your Fist of Havoc is probably not the wisest decision. Because of that, I recommend the the Defender class for PvE — at least against bosses and in raids. Getting to the boss, feel free to deal as much damage as possible, but when you’re actually at the end you’re going to want to switch to Defender. Simply put, Ward of Dawn’s shield will save your life. And with it’s ability to create a domed shield, it can save your fireteam’s life.
My only suggestion when using Ward of Dawn is to save it for as long as possible, like if you need to resurrect a teammate. By creating a shield around you, you don’t have to worry about being killed when trying to revive someone.
Subclass Use in PvP
Choosing a subclass for PvP is mostly situational. Quite a few factors determine which class to use including your personal playstyle and the type of PvP mode you’re playing. If you simply want to just run around and get kills, then definitely go with Striker. If you want a bit more team utility, Defender is your best choice. And trust me, even in modes like Clash, where the only goal is to kill the other team, the Defender class can be quite useful (especially when reviving teammates).
For the Control — the 6v6 capture and hold PvP mode — I recommend Defender. Taking a point and then plopping Ward of Dawn down will basically ensure your survival when capturing or holding a point. Odds are, any enemies who see this won’t attack until your shield is down, which is usually long enough for you to capture the point. Additionally, if you’re holding a point with teammates, this shield can protect all of you long enough to wear down the enemy team. That being said, the clumping of players at a single point in Control makes using the Striker’s Fist of Havoc really fun. Nothing like getting that triple kill with your Super, right?
For Clash (6v6 team deathmatch), Skirmish (3v3 deathmatch), and Rumble (6-man free-for-all), I recommend Striker since these are basically all about killing. I’m more of an aggressive player, so I prefer the extra damage, while relying on my reflexes to escape sticky situations. Remember, playing a Titan is all about getting up-close, while Hunters and Warlocks excel from afar. Close that gap and your Fist of Havoc, Storm Fist, and trusty shotgun should do the rest. As a Striker in these matches, you’re going to need to be very good with using your Lift and sneaking up on enemies.
That being said, because different players approach PvP differently, Defender can be just as useful in Clash, Skirmish and Rumble. Because Clash and Skirmish have revives, the Defender’s shield can be tremendously useful. If a downed teammate is nearby, pop the shield and revive him under the safety of your domed shield.
Basically, it comes down to this: in close-quarters the Titan is one of the strongest classes in Destiny, regardless if you’re a Striker or Defender. Can you succeed at range? It’s definitely possible, but melee is your biggest advantage — especially against the Hunter and Warlock, two classes that rely on range. If you can close the gap on either one of these classes, you’ll have no problem dealing with them (provided they don’t have their Supers). The best part is, you are never stuck as one class. The great thing about Destiny is you can freely switch between both subclasses at any time, so analyze the situation you’re in and react accordingly.