Grandmaster Nightfall strikes are one of the hardest endgame activities that Guardians can face in Destiny 2
Strikes make up the backbone of Destiny 2’s post campaign activities. While there are still bounties and miscellaneous quests once players finish the main story for each expansion, it’s strikes that will offer the most loot. These strikes vary in a few ways like difficulty, length, and enemy types. With the multiple species that Guardians fight against in Destiny 2, there are currently fifteen strikes available to play that are focused around one of the six races players come up against: Hive, Vex, Taken, Scorn, Cabal, and Fallen. Each of the strikes in Destiny 2 is also defined by an Ultra or Boss that players must face at the end of the activity.
The bosses for strikes are most commonly stronger, and sometimes modified, versions of members of the specific strike’s primary enemy species. While the main mobs that Guardians will fight on the way to the end boss are mostly comprised of rank-and-file enemies, the bosses will often have different and unique mechanics. The Devil’s Lair strike, for instance, focuses on a prime servitor known as Sepiks Prime. This servitor is a focus of worship for the Fallen and a high-ranking member of the House of Devils. Sepiks Prime goes through multiple phases where it is guarded by other lower rank servitors that must be destroyed to continue battling the much stronger Sepiks Prime.
Differences Between Strikes In Destiny 2
The strike playlists in Destiny 2 are separated by difficulty. Currently, they are separated into three main categories: Vanguard strikes, Nightfall: The Ordeal strikes, and Grandmaster Nightfall strikes. The latter two categories also come with new sets of obstacles and enemies to face. While the normal strike playlist has a recommended power level of 1150, the Nightfall strikes are separated further by four levels of difficulty. Grandmaster Nightfall strikes are even more demanding with a required power level of 1325 and recommended power of 1350
Nightfall strikes are categorized even further with four different difficulty levels. The first two categories of Nightfall: The Ordeal strikes are Hero and Adept. Each level of difficulty has a recommended power of 1230 and 1270 respectively. The third and fourth levels are Legend and Master which carry recommendations of 1300 and 1330 respectively. On top of increased difficulties these strikes also contain more modifiers than their vanguard counterparts.
While the main strike playlist will run three modifiers for the strikes, an elemental burn plus an advantageous one and one that causes a disadvantage, Nightfall: The Ordeal strikes modifiers are affected by the level of difficulty chosen. The first level of difficulty, Adept, will only run one modifier, while the fourth level, Master difficulty, will have eight different modifiers that effect the strike. Grandmaster Nightfalls take the number of these modifiers a step further with eleven in total.
Nightfall Vs Grandmaster Nightfall Strikes
Nightfall: The Ordeal strikes and Grandmaster Nightfall strikes differ from each other in a few ways. As mentioned above, the difficulty levels for these strikes are staggeringly different. While it is possible to go through the first couple of levels of Nightfall: The Ordeal strikes with relative ease, the Legend and Master difficulties are much harder. Nightfall: The Ordeal strikes also still allow matchmaking with other guardians at the Adept and Hero levels, a feature that is removed higher up. Grandmaster Nightfalls, on the other hand, require extreme levels of coordination as well as either a premade fireteam or the will of a Guardian that is willing to take them on solo.
The difficulty of these higher-level strikes is amplified by the Champion modifiers that Destiny 2 has begun using for higher level content. Champions are elite enemies with large amounts of health, high rates of damage, and some form of defensive capability in one of three categories: Overload, Unstoppable, and Barrier. These enemies will require Guardians to choose specific guns to pair with Destiny 2 mods on a piece of armor to be able to kill with any sort of ease.
The perk of facing off against these higher-level enemies and increased modifiers is the loot that becomes available for players. Based on the level of difficulty of the strike that is chosen different rewards will drop. With the Adept and Hero strikes Enhancement Cores become the most common upgrade item that players will find. The Legend and Master versions are where the expensive Enhancement Prisms and highly sought-after Nightfall weapons begin to become more abundant. Once players begin to queue up for Grandmaster Nightfall strikes is where the most prestigious gear will be obtained in abundance.
Grandmaster Nightfall Rewards
Grandmaster Nightfall strikes while home to some of the most sought-after loot in the game are one of the hardest activities to play outside of raids, and often require specialized builds for hard PVE content. With their recommended power level of 1350 and mandatory power level of 1325 it’s almost like an exclusive club for dedicated players. With these strikes comes gear upgrade rewards and high tier nightfall weapons. The reintroduced Swarm, Palindrome, and Shadow Price nightfall weapons are high tier PVE weapons that now drop as even higher tier Adept weapons from the Grandmaster nightfall strike. These Adept weapons have no guaranteed perk rolls and can result in the most hardcore players grinding for them strike after strike.
On top of these highly coveted and exclusive weapons Grandmaster Nightfall strikes also drop exotic gear and Ascendant Shards at a common rate. While exotic gear can drop from any activity at different rates it is the drop of Ascendant Shards that many players find enticing. Ascendant Shards have a high demand with minimal supply. These shards are used for the masterwork of armor which gives a plus two stat boosts to all stats on a piece of armor. Luckily Ascendant Shards aren't necessary for weapons as legendary weapons require Enhancement Cores and exotic weapons use exotic weapon catalysts.
For legendary armor the price is relatively low, only one ascendant shard is needed per piece of armor, but with five armor categories the means players will need five Ascendant Shards. Exotic armor pieces while limited to one worn piece at a time are three times as expensive. With a requirement of three ascendant shards per armor piece. This makes the price to be able to have a master worked exotic armor in every main category a total of fifteen Ascendant Shards. For Guardians that aren't able to complete these strikes, it makes the choice of which armor to masterwork difficult as exotic pieces are tailored to which of the three Destiny character classes the player chose.
Can You Beat Previous Grandmaster Strikes?
With the steep price of master working armor sets it’s easy to see why many players are willing to queue up to Destiny 2's Grandmaster Strike and try their luck. While the return of these activities is welcome, and their loot drops necessary, the difficulty of each strike can be brutal. For those Guardians brave enough to take a stab at some of Destiny 2’s most challenging strikes it’s definitely worth putting a fireteam together or perusing Looking for Group pages.
For players that want to step up and have some FOMO from not being able to play previous strikes at Grandmaster difficulty don’t despair yet. With the addition of the Grandmaster difficulty there will be an opportunity to play through The Ordeal: Grandmaster strike playlist. In the last few weeks of Season of the Chosen players will get a chance to complete these strikes and earn the Conqueror season Seal and Title. This will also provide an extra opportunity to loot those necessary materials to masterwork armor.