Destiny 2 – Liar’s Handshake Hunter PVE Build

Hunters are known for their lightning-fast reactions, their movement speed and their stealth. However, with the right armour and subclass, you can turn your Hunters into melee warriors allowing you to get huge damage with your fists while dodging out the way of incoming attacks. Using a few choice items we can increase the melee damage by nearly 400% on a consistent basis. The following is a guide for a Liar’s Handshake Hunter PVE Build in Destiny 2.

This build is all about Hunter’s dodging and punching with their melee ability. We’re going to be using a combination of Exotic armour, Legendary weapons and subclass abilities to maximise the melee damage output so you can take out as many enemies as fast as possible in PVE. This is good for the current Contact Public event as well as Strikes, Nightfalls, Gambit and any future PVE activities where there are lots of smaller enemies you have to take out quickly.

Let’s have a look at the build before we get into some game play.

Liar’s Handshake (Exotic Gauntlets)


These gauntlets were originally introduced in season 6 of Destiny 2 and you can pick these up from Xur when he’s got them or try getting them from the weekly exotic engram. It’s a random world drop exotic so you may get lucky and get them out there in the wild. The particular perk we’re interested in for this build is called Cross Counter.

Cross Counter – Using your Arc melee ability or being hit by a melee attack will allow you to follow up with an extremely powerful melee counterpunch that will heal you.

Mobility Enhancement Mod Increased mobility.

Cross Counter is the main benefit here. When testing down in the Tribute Hall we can see our initial melee attacks on the Ogre are 2523 and then the follow-up melee is 7569. That’s a 200% increase in melee damage, which is incredible.

Subclass – Way of the Warrior (Top Tree Arc Strider)

We’re going to be using our Arc subclass here and specifically the top tree as there’s some perks here that are going to synnergise nicely with the exotic armour and weapons.

  • Combination Blow – Kill an enemy with this melee ability to trigger health regeneration and increase your melee damage temporarily.
  • Combat Flow – Melee kills recharge your Dodge ability.
  • Deadly Reach – Dodging increases your melee range, allowing you to lunge further to strike enemies.
  • Lethal Current – After dodging, each Arc Staff hit creates a damaging lightning aftershock.

There’s a couple of elements to this subclass which are going to come in really handy. First of all, we have Combination Blow, so when you get a kill with the melee ability it’s going to regenerate your health as well as give you extra damage for your melee. This stacks 3 times. Also, we’re going to be using Combat Flow, where a melee recharges our dodge ability. Finally, we’re going to be taking advantage of Gambler’s Dodge. This is where you dodge to perform a deft tumble, avoiding the enemy attack. Dodging near enemies fully recharges your melee ability.

Combination Blow allows us to get health back as increase melee damage, Combat Flow recharges our dodge and Gambler’s Dodge recharges our melee ability so it all works really well, especially when pairing it up with our exotic armour.

When we use Combination Blow we get 4037 for our melee which is an increase of 60%. Then stacking on Cross Counter from Liar’s Handshake we’re getting 12,111 damage which is an increase 380% on the base melee damage. This is going to make you very powerful in PVE activities and will have you taking out small enemies, yellow bars and even Champions very quickly.

Weapons (One-two Punch and Swashbuckler perks)

For this build we’re interested in pairing up weapons that work well with the melee ability. I’m using a combination of One-two Punch on my shotgun and also Swashbuckler on my Pulse Rifle.

One-Two Punch – Hitting an enemy with every pellet in a shot increases melee damage for a short duration.

Swashbuckler – This weapon gains increased damage from melee kills and kills with this weapon.

One-two punch works well as close range as you can run in there and soften up an enemy with a shotgun blast and then follow up with two quick melee attacks to get the benefits of Cross Counter. I have this Last Man Standing shotgun from the Reckoning, although any shotgun will do with one-two punch. I’m also using this Cold Denial Pulse Rifle as I still then have some range attacks for taking enemies out at a distance when Swashbuckler’s active then you’re going to get an increase in damage to your weapons.

Using all of the elements so far if you have Combination Blow active from Way of the Warrior and One-two Punch then you can get damage numbers of 18,166 which is a 600% increase in damage and then follow up with the Cross Counter punch from Liar’s Handshake at 12,111. Combining all 3 of these elements together is going to make you unstoppable in PVE.

Mods – Charged with Light

The only mods I am using for this build is Charged with Light so I can get even more of an increase in damage. I’m using Taking Charge to become Charged with Light and then High-Energy Fire for that increase in damage when charged with light is in effect.


Now we’ve put the build together let’s go and test it out there in the wild and for this, I went to the Contact Public event on Io, but this would be good in any activity where you have a lot of enemies like Altars of Sorrow and Strikes.

  • Melee attack a smaller enemy and if you kill them you’ll trigger Combination Blow from Way of the Warrior
  • Follow that up with the charged melee attack from Liar’s Handshake
  • Dodge to refill your melee meter and start over again
  • Get some one-two punch shotgun shots in there to get that boost to damage and melee again
  • If you want to take out some enemies at range pop off a few shots with your swashbuckler weapon
  • Dodge, punch, punch, repeat.

Let me know down in the comments what you think of this build and if you have any ideas for improvements, especially in the mod slots let me know as I am sure this could be improved.

That’s it for this guide for a Liar’s Handshake Hunter PVE Build in Destiny 2. For more Destiny 2 content like this check out the Shadowkeep Guide or check out the YouTube Channel.

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