When most Destiny 2 players hear about armor builds, they usually write them off as too confusing and not worth using. Most of this confusion stems from Combat Style mods, armor mods that focus on providing buffs through the use of Charged with Light, Warmind Cells, and Elemental Wells.
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Updated January 26th, 2022, by Charles Burgar: Combat Style mods have become critical to making builds in recent seasons. With recent buffs to Elemental Wells and nerfs to Warmind Cells, it was time to give this guide a refresh. We’ve updated this guide to include more information on each mechanic, how these mods work in PvP, and refreshed our recommended Combat Style mods to reflect recent balance changes. Some organizational changes were also made to make this article easier to navigate.
What Are Combat Style Mods?
Combat Style mods offer powerful, build-enabling effects that go in your armor’s fourth mod socket. These effects range from granting free grenade energy to giving your Guardian a massive damage resistance buff when their shields break. Think of them as miniature Exotics in mod form.
You can have up to five Combat Style mods installed at any given moment. There are three types of Combat Style mods as of Season of the Lost:
|Charged With Light||Warmind Cells||Elemental Wells|
|Description||A malleable buff that lasts until either spent or you die.||Explosive orbs that deal massive damage over a small area||Pillars of energy that refund ability energy|
|Works In PvP?||Yes||No||No|
All Combat Style Mods have an elemental affinity associated with them, similar to your other armor mods. Combat Style mods can be Arc, Solar, Void, Stasis, or Universal for their affinity.
Combat Style Mod Mechanics
All Combat Style mods revolve around one of three mechanics: Charged with Light stacks, Warmind Cells, and Elemental Wells. Here is a brief description of what each mechanic does:
- Charged with Light: A permanent buff that stacks up to two times and does nothing on its own. Consume stacks of Charged with Light to receive unique bonuses. Mods influence how this buff is earned and spent.
- Warmind Cell: A bright orange ball that can be detonated by damaging it. Warmind Cell detonations deal heavy damage over a small area. Mods influence how Warmind Cells behave.
- Elemental Well: These energy orbs can be consumed by walking over them, granting 10% ability energy. Elemental wells spawn with one elemental affinity (Solar, Arc, Void, or Stasis). Mods influence how you spawn Elemental Wells and what additional benefits they provide.
Charged With Light Explained
Charged with Light mods work inside The Crucible.
Charged with Light is the most versatile Combat Style mechanic in Destiny 2. Certain mods will give you a stack of Charged with Light upon doing something. On its own, Charged with Light does nothing. It’s not until you equip a mod that consumes Charged with Light stacks that the buff becomes useful. That might sound strange on paper, so let’s give an example of how you can use Charged with Light to give your weapons a sizable damage increase.
One of the most common Charged with Light mods you’ll see is Taking Charge, a mod that gives you one stack of Charged with Light upon grabbing an Orb of Power. Masterworked weapons generate an Orb of Power after every double kill, so we effectively gain a Charged with Light stack after every double kill.
OK, so we can get Charged with Light. How do we spend it? You can equip High-Energy Fire to give your weapons a 20% damage increase while you are Charged with Light. This effect lasts until you either kill someone or die yourself. So long as you grab an Orb of Power after every double kill, this buff will be active half of the time.
But what if you wanted High-Energy Fire to be active all of the time? We can equip a third Combat Style mod called Stacks on Stacks. This mod doubles the amount of Charged with Light stacks we receive from any source, Taking Charge included. With this setup, you’ll now receive two stacks of Charged with Light upon grabbing an Orb of Power. And since you only need a double kill to spawn an Orb of Power, you can effectively give your Guardian a permanent 20% damage increase in both PvE and PvP.
You might have noticed that the mods we used are color-coded. The color of a mod dictates what it does:
- Green: Generates Charged with Light.
- Yellow: Consumes Charged with Light.
- White: Augments how you receive or spend Charged with Light.
Hopefully, this gives a clearer idea as to how these mods work together. If you want to learn more about the ins and outs of Charged with Light, consult our in-depth Charged with Light guide.
Warmind Cells Explained
Warmind Cells cannot spawn inside The Crucible.
Warmind Cells are much easier to understand. While any Warmind Cell mod is equipped, any Seventh Seraph or IKELOS weapon will spawn an orange ball after killing a set number of enemies. This ball has an invisible health bar. Shooting the Warmind Cell will lower this health bar. Once you deal enough damage, the Warmind Cell will explode, dealing a large amount of damage over a moderate area.
Mods augment how Warmind Cells work. The mod’s elemental affinity relates to how the mod will influence your Warmind Cell:
- Solar: Grants bonuses for destroying Warmind Cells, such as healing for nearby allies or burning enemy targets affected by the explosion.
- Arc: Walking over a Warmind Cell will consume it, providing some sort of effect. This can be a self-buff like an overshield, or it can be a utility effect like pushing enemies away from you.
- Void: Grants utility effects, such as reducing an energy’s damage output while they’re near a Warmind Cell.
If you want to learn more about Warmind Cells, check out our in-depth Warmind Cell guide.
Elemental Wells Explained
Elemental Wells cannot spawn inside The Crucible.
Elemental Wells are similar to Orbs of Power, providing a myriad of buffs based on which mods you have installed. Just like Orbs of Power, Elemental Wells are instanced per player, making them an excellent choice of ability energy for your fireteam. Most Elemental Well mods require ability or element-specific kills to spawn an Elemental Well. Grabbing an Elemental Well grants 10% ability energy to whichever ability has the lowest amount of energy. Should that Elemental Well’s color match your subclass, you’ll receive 10% energy to all of your abilities instead (excluding your Super).
Quite a few Elemental Well mods grant some sort of boon when a matching Well is consumed. For example, the Font of Might mod grants a 25% damage increase to weapons that match your subclass element upon collecting a matching Elemental Well. This stacks with High-Energy Fire and other character-based damage boons. Other mods increase the energy your Wells restore, cause your Wells to seek nearby allies, or even max your Intellect stat for 30 seconds.
We cover Elemental Wells in more detail in our Elemental Well guide.
Where To Obtain Combat Style Mods
Ada-1 is the only NPC vendor that sells Combat Style mods from past seasons. She will sell a random Combat Style mod every day for ten Mod Components. Check her stock every day for new mods to complete your collection.
Ada-1 will sell two different Combat Style mods each day once The Witch Queen expansion launches. Mod Components will also be depreciated (source), meaning you’ll only need 10,000 Glimmer to purchase a mod from Ada.
When a season introduces new Combat Style mods, they are typically found in the H.E.L.M. social space. Speak to any vendors added in a given season to see if they have any new mods for sale. As of Season of the Lost, you can find all Elemental Well mods at the H.E.L.M.’s various vendors.
Keep an eye out for these mods whenever a new season begins. The mod section of the collections tab gives a good idea of how to obtain any new Combat Style mods.
The Best Charged With Light Mods
Players don’t have to memorize all 53 Combat Style mods to know which options are the best. Here are some of the largest standouts that relate to the Charged with Light mechanic.
|Mod Name||Element & Cost||Effect|
||Become Charged with Light by picking up Orbs of Power.|
||Receive a 20% damage buff while Charged with Light. Defeating an opponent consumes one stack.|
||Grants a 35% damage buff to Swords after striking a target, lasting five seconds. Consumes one stack of Charged with Light. Equip a second Arc mod to greatly increase your Sword’s charge rate.|
||Receive a 50% damage resistance buff for a variable duration after your shields break, consuming all stacks of Charged with Light. -10 Strength while equipped.|
||When you become Charged with Light, nearby allies also become Charged with Light. Equip a second Arc mod to gain +20 Mobility.|
Most of these mods are easy to build around and offer a powerful buff. Taking Charge is all players need to gain Charged with Light stacks. As for buffs, Lucent Blade and High-Energy Fire offer a large DPS increase for PvE and PvP, respectively. For a more defensive build, Protective Light can be used to make your Guardian a walking juggernaut.
Crucible players will want to use Powerful Friends, a mod that grants +20 Mobility if you use a second Arc mod in your build. A stat boost of +20 is nothing to scoff at and build-enabling for Hunters. You can even pair this mod with Radiant Light to gain +20 Mobility and Strength from two mods.
If you want to learn how each Charged with Light mod works, check out our Charged with Light mod guide.
The Best Warmind Cell Mods
Warmind Cells might be much easier to understand, but there are still a myriad of choices that vary from poor to exceptional. Here are some of the strongest Warmind Cell mods that you should keep an eye out for.
|Mod Name||Element & Cost||Effect|
|Rage of the Warmind||
||Warmind Cells deal additional Solar damage.|
|Wrath of Rasputin||
||Solar splash damage kills can spawn Warmind Cells. Solar grenades, Dragonfly, Xenophage, and Sunshot are compatible with this mod.|
||Damaging a Warmind Cell will radiate a suppressive Void effect. You also deal less damage to Warmind Cells.|
||Enemies deal 50% less damage when near Warmind Cells. This stacks with other damage resistance buffs.|
|Grasp of the Warmind||
||You can pick up, carry, and throw Warmind Cells.|
Wrath of Rasputin is a phenomenal mod for those looking to use Warmind Cells, allowing the likes of Solar subclasses and Exotics like Sunshot to spawn Warmind Cells. If Rage of the Warmind is also installed, Warmind Cells can spawn Warmind Cells if they kill enough targets. This causes a feedback loop where you constantly have Warmind Cells you can detonate. For a more support-oriented playstyle, Grasp of the Warmind and Warmind’s Protection can be used to carry around an orb that halves enemy damage output.
For more devastating Warmind Cell mods, check out our Warmind Cell mod guide.
The Best Elemental Well Mods
Elemental Wells might be a new addition, but they have already proven themselves to be an S-tier option for builds that spam abilities. Their synergy with Charged with Light is hard to overstate, giving you x2 Charged with Light stacks whenever you land a grenade or powered melee kill. These mods will let you get the most out of Elemental Wells:
|Mod Name||Element & Cost||Effect|
||Become Charged with Light by picking up an Elemental Well. If the Elemental Well’s element type matches your subclass element, you gain 2 stacks of Charged with Light.|
||Powered melee combatant final blows spawn an Elemental Well that matches your subclass energy type.|
||Defeating a combatant with a grenade spawns an Elemental Well that matches your subclass energy type.|
|Well of Life||
||Picking up a Solar Elemental Well grants increased regeneration for a short period of time.|
|Font of Might||
||Picking up an Elemental Well that matches your subclass energy type grants a 25% damage boos to weapons of that same elemental type. Lasts for 10 seconds.|
Font of Might has become one of the strongest Combat Style mods in Destiny 2 in recent months. This mod grants a massive damage increase that stacks with buffs like High-Energy Fire and Weapons of Light. If you can build a loadout around matching elements and this mod, prepare to dish out some absurd damage. Melee Wellmaker and Elemental Ordnance also allow your abilities to generate Charged with Light stacks when paired with Elemental Charge.
If you want to know more about how each Elemental Well mod functions, check out our Elemental Well mod guide.
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About The Author
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Charles Burgar is an expert on all things tech and gaming. Graduating from Pikes Peak Community College in 2018 with an Associate of Science, Charles has spent his time dissecting popular video games, movies, and technology. With an understanding of games for as long as he can remember, Charles has a large interest in understanding what makes things fun. He is currently a Freelance writer for TheGamer and Game Rant.