GM Nightfalls Have Proven To Me That Destiny 2 Is The Thinking Gamer’s Shooter

I never used to be interested in Destiny 2’s Grandmaster Nightfalls. Back when I was first starting out, they seemed like an impossible challenge for only the best Guardians to cut their teeth on. Fast Forward a few seasons and now I’ve mastered every other piece of PvE content that Destiny 2 has to offer (notice I said PvE–I’m still a pushover for a dedicated Trials team), and I’ve got a few end-game worthy builds I’d like to try for myself. It was time for me to bash my Titan’s head against the wall that is Grandmaster Nightfalls.

Grandmaster Nightfalls were not at all what I expected. I expected hordes of enemies with health bars that barely budged even after emptying an entire clip into their faces–basically more of the same, but with the numbers all dialed up. And that did happen to a degree, but the challenge went way beyond merely encountering tougher enemies.

The thing that any newbie needs to know is that Grandmaster Nightfalls completely upend the usual PvE meta. Weapons and perks that I’d normally scoff at if I were to find them in the wild become not just viable but preferred. Old standby weapons that would decimate entire armies become next to useless in Grandmaster Nightfalls, forcing the player to reconsider their entire mindset.

Take Scout Rifles. Normally, scout rifles are a fairly maligned class of weapons in Destiny 2. They have great range, but poor power and a relatively slow fire rate. In most of Destiny 2’s PvE content, I’d have preferred an Auto Rifle or Pulse Rifle, but in Grandmaster Nightfalls, Scout Rifles are the ideal weapon.

In GM Nightfalls, everything is strong enough to kill you in just one or two hits. The best defense against being shot is to simply be as far away from your opponents as possible. Scout rifles give accurate, reliable, long-range firepower to let fireteams plink off enemies one by one from a safe distance.

Rampage, often one of the most sought-after perks on any weapon, becomes practically useless in Grandmaster Nightfalls. Enemies have so much health that it’s next to impossible to chain enough kills together to reach Rampage’s maximum three stacks, meaning the perk barely provides any power boost. But perks like Disruption Break, Triple Tap, or Genesis provide tangible, reliable benefits that continue working even if your target has way too much health to kill in a single burst.

Certain Exotics also become must-have tools to complete GM Nightfalls. Weapons like Eriana’s Vow and Divinity provide required anti-champion effects, while weapons like Anarchy and Izanagi’s Burden provide massive damage to help kill both champions and bosses alike.

Loadouts become just one piece of the puzzle in any Grandmaster Nightfall run. Every encounter is dangerous, and every encounter is a puzzle that must be solved. We have entire guides dedicated to disclosing safe routes that bypass battles that can be ignored, and safe spots where you can avoid enemy fire.

I was actually surprised to beat the first two Grandmaster Nightfalls of the season and get my first Adept weapons. Proving Grounds still eludes me, but like the previous two Nightfalls, it’s just a matter of time before the right combination of weapons and tactics solves that puzzle too.

I’ve never really had a game shift my perspective so completely after already having spent so many hours playing. Destiny 2 truly knows how to make end-game content.

Next: Bungie Is Finally Tweaking The Bottomless Grief And Celerity Perks In Destiny 2

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Actually a collective of 6 hamsters piloting a human-shaped robot, Sean hails from Toronto, Canada. Passionate about gaming from a young age, those hamsters would probably have taken over the world by now if they didn’t vastly prefer playing and writing about video games instead.

The hamsters are so far into their long-con that they’ve managed to acquire a bachelor’s degree from the University of Waterloo and used that to convince the fine editors at TheGamer that they can write “gud werds,” when in reality they just have a very sophisticated spellchecker program installed in the robot’s central processing unit.

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