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Destiny 2 Season of the Witch Grandmaster Nightfall Guide | Season 22 Grandmasters

Check out this guide for Season 22 of Destiny 2, also known as Season of the Witch, to learn everything you need to know about this season's roster of Grandmaster Nightfalls, including how to effectively beat each one, the best gear to bring when challenging GMs this season and what kind of exclusive loot you can get for your troubles.

Destiny 2 Season of the Witch Grandmaster Nightfall Guide | Season 22 Grandmasters

With the weekly reset of the 12th of September 2023, Grandmaster Nightfalls are now available during Season of the Witch in Destiny 2. Not only have Grandmaster Nightfalls returned once more in Season 22, but they’ve followed in Season of the Deep’s footsteps by releasing several weeks early which may be why some players could feel a little blindsided by their sudden reappearance. Additionally, this season’s GM roster features some familiar faces and a reprisal of all the Heist Battlegrounds first launched during last year’s Season of the Seraph, giving Guardians two brand new Grandmaster challenges to contend with alongside the nefarious Mars Battleground which stumped many back at the start of the year.

Following on from last season’s success with a lack of a Power Level increase, the Power cap for GMs this season remains the exact same as the level required since Lightfall launched. This means that, to be at maximum effectiveness, you’ll need to reach a Power Level of 1815 as Grandmasters are capped at 25 Power Levels about you. Considering that the Power Level hasn’t increased at all over the last two seasons, most active players will be able to confidently participate in Witch’s round of Grandmasters, no matter if you’re a Gilded Conqueror or fresh-faced Nightfall explorer. There’s good reason to give them a try, too, as you can earn yourself some fancy new Adept Nightfall weapons, plenty of Exotics and upgrade materials and, of course, progress towards the Nightfall exclusive Conqueror Title.

Here’s everything you need to know about Grandmaster Nightfalls in Destiny 2 Season 22 (also known as Season of the Witch). This will include a breakdown of each available Grandmaster and how their trickiest components work, the best gear you should bring for tackling these GMs and what sweet loot you’ll get as a reward for completing them. 

Want more Destiny 2 content and articles? You can find more here on KeenGamer:

  1. How to Get Necrochasm in Destiny 2 | Crota’s End Raid Exotic Guide
  2. Crota’s End Red Border Chest Guide (Guaranteed Deepsight Raid Weapon) | Destiny 2
  3. Destiny 2 Season of the Witch: How It Works
  4. 7 Things You Need to Do in Destiny 2’s Season of the Witch
  5. Destiny 2 | Ghosts of the Deep Secret Bonus Chest Locations
Destiny 2: Lightfall | Season of the Witch Launch Trailer

D2 Season of the Witch Grandmaster Nightfall List

As mentioned above, there are two key things to mention about Season 22’s iteration of GMs. The first is that they’re available 3 weeks before they would usually come online, allowing all six Adept weapons to get two weeks in the spotlight. Just remember that, during those initial weeks up until the 3rd of October when they should have been released, the Grandmaster node will not be available, forcing you to endure whatever weekly Nightfall is currently active.

The second thing is that this season features all three Heist Battlegrounds which were the focus of last year’s Season of the Seraph. Heist Battleground: Mars was the first of the Battlegrounds to get Grandmaster status and now, in Season 22, Heist Battleground: Moon and Heist Battleground: Europa have come to join it. When compared to traditional Strikes, Battlegrounds are usually a fair bit shorter with less focus on encounters and more focus on sheer ad density and survival management. In the case of all three Heist Battlegrounds, Guardians will be completing objectives to infiltrate several of Rasputin’s hidden bunkers around the system, complete with a set of complex combat arenas thrown in for good measure. 

During Season of the Witch, Guardians will have to contend with the following list of Grandmasters: 

  • The Lightblade
  • Heist Battleground: Moon
  • The Scarlet Keep
  • Heist Battleground: Europa
  • The Devil’s Lair
  • Heist Battleground: Mars
Season 22's Grandmaster list includes The Lightblade and all three Heist Battlegrounds for the first time | D2 Season 22 Grandmasters

Season of the Witch Grandmasters

The Lightblade

First up, we have a real doozy in the form of Grandmaster Lightblade. Introduced in The Witch Queen expansion for D2, The Lightblade is infamous for its difficulty and how much challenge it posed at launch. While it doesn’t have the potency or danger it once had, it remains a difficult Strike to complete as a GM and is easily one of the most difficult Strikes on the Season 22 roster. As for what you’ll be doing in The Lightblade, you’ll be making your way through Savathun’s Throne World towards the Temple of Oryx to claim one of the Tablets of Ruin which, of course, is guarded by the eponymous Lightblade. This Strike is 100% Hive Champions so bring Anti-Barrier (Auto Rifles and Bows), Unstoppable (Scout Rifles and Fusion Rifles) and maybe a Sword for Drifter’s sake.

So, what gives this GM its infamy? Well, for starters, it was one of the first GMs built with Lightbearing Hive in mind, which are some of the most formidable enemy types in the endgame. Worst among them are the Lightbearer Knights who can use Void abilities such as the Titan’s Shield Throw and Supressor Grenades. There are a lot of Lightbearer Knights in this Strike and you’ll need to quickly learn the best ways to counter them, such as not grouping up when you hear them pop their Super as your entire team can very easily be taken out by a single good Shield Throw. The ordinary enemies in this Strike aren’t much better, either, with Acolytes, in particular, posing a massive threat as long-ranged units who can snipe you or throw a fire grenade that will burn you to a crisp instantly.

The first place you can put this all into practice (and the first gatekeeper for the Lightblade) is the Cathedral encounter. The arena you have to fight in is tiny and confined, essentially serving as a long corridor with you on one end and a lot of hungry Hive on the other. You’ll often find yourself sandwiched between the room’s close walls and the relentless amount of adds, with Knights and Thrall being especially aggressive and pushy. We recommend focusing on the Wizards first as their slowing mist can make you a much easier target for the melee adds. Of course, you’ll also have to contend with about 4 Lightbearer Knights who pop up at different points in the encounter: As soon as they pop up, they become priority targets and you should use everything you have to get them off the field as fast as possible

A (Mostly) Merry Boat Ride

A (Mostly) Merry Boat Ride

After the Cathedral, there are a few tricky moments unrelated to combat. First is the boat ride section where Acolytes, Wizards and Shriekers will rain down fire on you from all angles. During your initial descent just keep moving to avoid all the projectiles you can, stopping to take out any rogue Acolytes or Shriekers whenever you have the time. Once you pass the threshold and begin making your way down the long canal, hop off the boat and use the platforms on the side of the canal to progress so you can safely and securely take care of all the adds without any added pressure. 

The swamp run is where some other players may have difficulties. You can think of this as a remixed version of the first encounter from Crota’s End with Scorn instead of Hive and mist instead of Darkness. If you’re lucky enough to have an Invis Hunter or someone with Restoration and/or Devour, this section will go much smoother as they can move ahead of the pack and cause all enemies to despawn when they reach the end. Even with those boons, though, be cautious and take care of the Lucent Moths whenever you spot them as they can very easily end a run if you aren’t paying attention. 

Finally, we have the most daunting roadblock, the Lightblade himself. His arena is comprised of two floors with a circular platform at the centre and, while the Thrall hoard who roam the lower levels may try and scare you away, you should be utilising both levels: by rapidly moving between the upper and lower floors, you can make the Lightblade repeatedly move, giving you some brief respite from his string of attacks. Additionally, be very aware of the Lightblade’s health thresholds and get ready to collapse with your team when you’re about to hit one. The Lightblade will teleport to the central platform and shield himself, spawning several Knights and a Lightbearer that you should quickly deal with using your Super and Heavy. Remember that after each health gate, the floor around the central platform will be covered in Orbs of Power for some quick, easy Super gains. 

The Lightblade's True Power

The Lightblade’s True Power

Heist Battleground: Moon

The second Grandmaster Nightfall in Season of the Witch is Heist Battleground: Moon, which is this Battleground’s first appearance at a Grandmaster level. Don’t confuse this with Psi-Ops Battleground: Moon which debuted last season and features different encounters and objectives to those seen in the Heist Battleground. In this GM, you’ll enter a hidden Warmind bunker deep below the Moon’s surface to expunge Xivu Arath’s Wrathborn from within and claim another fragment of submind code. The main foes in this GM are the Hive and the Scorn, so prepare Anti-Barrier (Auto Rifles and Bow) and Unstoppable (Scout Rifles and Fusion Rifles) weapons. 

Like with most Battlegrounds you’ll face in Season 22, the main issues you’ll face are the sheer amount of adds you’ll need to mow through. A great example of this is the very start of the mission as you’ll need to bypass scores of Hive to even reach the entrance to Rasputin’s bunker, complete with sneaky Cursed Thrall, relentless Acolytes and deadly Ogres. The best advice for this kind of section is that you need to find a relatively safe hiding spot to deal damage from but be ready to abandon it at a moment’s notice: you need to stay aggressive and active during these moments, too, as playing too far back or too passively will result in a pile-up of problems from Champions to an overabundance of enemies and more.

Infiltration Mission

Infiltration Mission

Probably the most difficult portion of the GM is when you need to defend Ghost as it tries to unlock a path deeper into the bunker. Of course, during this entire period, you’ll have an onslaught of enemies to deal with, including a notable amount of Champions. Compared to the outer portions of the Battleground, you’ll simultaneously have less cover to utilise and be forced to engage at closer ranges due to the confined layout of the combat arena. As such, this is a place where versatile weapons such as Heavy Machine Guns and abilities like Suspend from Strand will shine, allowing you to either decimate or control certain portions of the battlefield. Like before, remain aggressive and don’t lapse into a passive style of play as the adds will just continue to build and put you in a really tough spot.

Finally, after opening the bunker door locked with Hive Runes (a staple in every Heist Battleground, so get used to it) you’ll come across the final arena where you’ll battle the resurrected corpse of one of Eramis’ companions, Once-Phyris, the Exhumed Tether. As a Raider, Phyris’ shots will certainly hurt and you’ll want to keep out of sight whenever possible, but the main difficulty here remains the same as the rest of the GM. In particular, the play space offered for the final encounter is winding and has a bunch of open space, especially in the centre where you’ll need to deposit Arc Charges. Coordinate with your team on majors, wipe out as many enemies as possible before dunking and keep an eye on the high ground for the snipers and you should be able to make it out… with some luck, of course.

Luna Bunker Breaker

Luna Bunker Breaker

The Scarlet Keep

The next Grandmaster on our list is the flagship Strike from the Shadowkeep expansion, The Scarlet Keep. This GM involves heading to the Moon to infiltrate a new Hive structure called, well, the Scarlet Keep, a mighty fortress manned by Hashladun, the Daughter of Corta. As you may have guessed, this is yet another Hive-focused Strike (and it isn’t the last one for Season of the Witch, either) meaning that you’ll be bringing back your favourite Anti-Barrier (Auto Rifles and Bows) and Unstoppable (Scout Rifles and Fusion Rifles) weapons. 

While not overly complex or difficult on a combat level, especially compared to the likes of The Lightblade or the Battlegrounds, The Scarlet Keep is tricky due to one reoccurring thing: it has a lack of discernable, usable cover in a lot of scenarios. This can best be highlighted by the first major encounter where you need to kill two Wizards and deposit Void Orbs they drop to lower the bridge. There aren’t a lot of places to hide here and enemies will be flinging grenades or attacking you from the high ground nearly every step of the way, meaning that Guardians who don’t stay mobile will soon find their head taken off their shoulders. To counter this, work on each side of the arena one at a time, with two members providing cover fire as they safely escort the one carrying and transporting the orbs. 

Daughter of Crota

Daughter of Crota

After fending off some more Hive, including an irritating Shrieker, you’ll meet the next blockade for The Scarlet Keep. You’ll need to stand on and activate three plates to open a door, all the while Wizards and Knights and Thralls will be constantly rushing you. Like with the first encounter, go one plate at a time and use any defensive Supers such as Well of Radiance, Sentinel Shield or Ward of Dawn in conjunction with your damaging options to keep back the hoards intent on stopping your advance. The main threats here are the Wizards as they can very easily overwhelm you, making you vulnerable to other Hive with their slowing mist. 

Once you’ve reached the door and dealt with yet another Shrieker, you need to reach the top of the Keep’s central spire via an elevator. An elevator which doesn’t have a lot of cover. Hiding in the walls as you make your way up are a ton of Acolytes who will kill you in only a few shots: To make matters worse, if you die on the elevator your Ghost will instantly teleport higher up the spire, forcing your teammates to continue surviving without you. There is a minimal amount of cover here from some jutting out pieces of Hive chitin but you need to be aware of where the Acolytes are going to spawn to make them actually worth something, otherwise, the snipers will just hit you from behind while you think you’re safe. 

The final stop on our journey is against the Daughter of Crota herself, the Witch Hashladun. For the majority of the fight, the boss will float ominously in the central part of the arena, slinging spells and Hive magic at you whenever she gets the chance. She’ll likely be the least of your worries, though, as you’ll be contending with a massive amount of CQC adds. The lack of cover makes this encounter feel a lot more hectic than others. You’re forced to stay on the move to avoid getting instantly decimated by the Champions that spawn whenever Hashladun hits her health gates. Like with the Lightblade, the best way to deal with this is to have your fireteam prepare Heavy and Supers in advance when you know a health gate is about to be broken, allowing you to shred whatever comes out data blistering pace.

Scarlet Fortress

Scarlet Fortress

Heist Battleground: Europa

Next up we have our next Heist, Heist Battleground: Europa. In this Grandmaster, you’ll be paying your old pal Clovis Bray a visit on the icy moon of Europa as his facility has been overrun with Xivu Arath’s Wrathborn, giving you a perfect opportunity to sneak in and claim another submind fragment for Rasputin. With regards to enemies, this GM mainly consists of Fallen and Hive, with the latter taking up Champion duties with Anti-Barrier Knights (Auto Rifles and Bows) and Unstoppable Ogres (Scout Rifles and Fusion Rifles).

When compared to the other two Heist Battlegrounds in rotation – Moon and Mars – Europa honestly isn’t that bad. It still has the classic Battleground dilemma of being absolutely stuffed with adds and Champions, with as many as 4 or 5 Champs populating specific areas at any one time, but thanks to its larger play spaces and longer arenas, you can safely engage at range most of the time. You’ll first notice this as you enter the Braytech Facility from the outside: Aside from having to manage the Warmind Towers, you can relax and pick off the defending Hive forces from a mile away. The same can honestly be said about the first big arena, too, as you can just sit back in the doorway and plink away at all enemies you can see. 

Into the Icy Vault

One huge thing to be wary of is that when you pass through the corridor lined with lasers – the one right before you need to defeat the Wizards surrounding Clovis’ massive Exo head – you’ll be ambushed by two Anti-Barrier Champions who seem to pop in from thin air: If you aren’t prepared to deal with them immediately, there’s a high likelihood that they’ll just take you out in an instant and force you to restart. Once you reach the big Exo head in question in the next room, engage at range and take out as many snipers, Champions and Heavy Shanks as you can before pushing in to deal with the Wizards, who will likely duck and dive for cover behind the Crypotliths lining the arena. 

Lastly, we come to the final boss, a gigantic Shrieker called the Warwatcher, Eye of Xivu Arath. Just like any Shrieker, this thing has massive potential to be a huge pain, especially because its arena is so open and has essentially no cover to speak of. Fortunately, you can hide below the elevated platforms on the left and right sides of the play space, providing you protection from the boss and safe sightlines on most major enemy spawn points on each respective side. The main threats here are definitely the Wizards and the Acolytes, with the former spawning once you reach half of the Shrieker’s max HP while the latter exists to throw flaming grenades at you which can take out your entire fireteam in moments if you get unlucky. 

Another big bonus here has to do with how you can exploit the enemy spawn points in relation to the boss’ health. New waves of Acolytes, Thrall and Wizards seem to spawn in whenever the Shrieker reaches a certain amount of health: Knowing this, you can safely and securely take out all of the junk adds before the next wave spawns in, so long as you refrain from attacking the Shrieker during this period. When utilised correctly, this strategy makes the latter half of this GM kind of a joke and a very easy clear for practically any Guardian. 

That's One Big Shrieker

That’s One Big Shrieker

The Devil’s Lair

Closing out our trio of non-Battleground GMs for Season of the Witch is another returning Strike that was last featured in Season 21. I’m, of course, referring to the fan favourite Strike Devil’s Lair, a reprised Strike from Destiny 1 that veteran Guardians are all too familiar with. Under directions from the Vanguard, you and your fireteam must storm the base of the House of Devils and take out the Servitor feeding their troops with Ether, who goes by the calling Sepiks Prime. As a Fallen-centric Strike (with a few Hive thrown in for good measure) you’ll need to come ready with Anti-Barrier (Auto Rifles and Bows) and Overload (Machine Guns and Hand Cannons) weaponry. 

Beginning the Strike is a small skirmish through the Rocketyard where you’ll have to fend off some Hive and Fallen. While you can just speed through this section on your Sparrow, only hopping off to take care of the Overload Captain guarding the exit, it is very risky and you can cause some early wipes from being careless. As such, we recommend sneaking around the perimeter of the area and taking the fight to the enemies from up high. Just be cautious of one glitchy Acolyte who likes to hide in some of the walls in this area which could lead to some unintentional deaths.

Next up is the first major encounter in this Strike where you must defend Ghost while they try and disable a set of laser grids that are stopping you from proceeding. Each laser grid is met by a new wave of enemies, starting with Fallen followed by Hive and then a jumble of the two. There are going to be a lot of adds coming at you in both melee and long-range range so you’ll want to find an appropriate amount of cover: We recommend taking shelter in the cargo containers behind where Ghost is situated or by the collapsed pillar on the side of the room where the Hive spawn in. Take this section slow and carefully, picking off any threats from a distance before pushing into the frontlines with Supers and Heavy. 

Fallen Devil Walker

Fallen Devil Walker

Right after you clear the lasers and head into the next section, you’ll enter a massive open arena with a Spider Tank on the other end. It will periodically aim at one of your fireteam and fire a high-powered explosive, killing anything in the AoE. That’s not all, as two Fallen Brigs guard the left and right and a lot of Champions lurk close to the Walker. This section has the potential to drag on for a very long time if you aren’t proactive enough. To avoid this, focus on taking out one key piece at a time: start with the Brigs then move in and pick off the Champions which will let you deal with the Fallen Walker. Stay active and aggressive while keeping an eye on your surroundings and this can become one of the easiest sections in the whole GM.

Lastly, we have our battle against the massive Servitor Sepiks Prime. While it is possible to fight Sepiks and its minions out in the open (especially if you’re running high survival subclasses like Strand, Void or Solar), we recommend heading into a small room to the left as soon as you enter the arena as it provides good protections while still keeping Sepiks visible. Realistically, Sepiks won’t be the problem here. Instead, your downfall will be the waves of Overload Champions and Wretches, making them priority targets. One final tip is to keep that same energy you had in the Walker section and not grow complacent: It’s very easy to waste away time if you play too passively, potentially invalidating a solid run

An Old Friend

An Old Friend

Heist Battleground: Mars

Lastly, we have the final Battleground Grandmaster for Destiny 2 Season of the Witch. Heist Battleground: Mars was the first Battleground to enter the Grandmaster rotation back in Lightfall, introducing players to a different kind of challenge than they were used to with GMs. Using a time rift created by the Witness, we must slip back in time to retrieve another submind from the Mars Braytech facility, which has also been overrun by Xivu Arath. While this Battleground does contain both Hive and Taken, only the Hive have Champions pop up during this run so, for the final time, grab your trust Anti-Barrier (Auto Rifles and Bows) and Unstoppable (Scout Rifles and Fusion Rifles) weapons. 

Honestly, the first half of this Battleground is where most teams are going to struggle. To enter the Braytech facility proper, you need to reawaken three dormant Warmind pillars which are under siege from Hive and Taken forces. While not overly difficult in and of itself – it’s just a game of tower defence, really – issues arise thanks to the sheer density of opponents. Heist Battleground: Mars is perhaps the Battleground which best exemplifies the difference between traditional Strikes and Battlegrounds as a lot of the challenge simply comes from surviving against these massive hoards of Thrall, Wizards and Acolytes. To raise the towers most effectively, bring defensive Supers like Well or Bubble as well as one or two roaming or damaging Supers to contend with Champions and adds.

Once you make it past the Hive gunk blocking the entrance to the facility, though, the real troubles begin. This is another Ghost-protection section, only there’s very little cover and you cannot leave Ghost alone for more than a few seconds before some sneaky Hive comes up and halts his progress. If you’re confident in your abilities and have access to things like Slow, Freeze or Suspend, you can stay directly near Ghost and pick off any enemies who get close: This is riskier, however, as there will be a lot of powerful enemies, including Unstoppable Ogres, gunning directly for your position. If you want to play a bit safer, you can fire from the platform above the entrance. Just remember to watch your back as enemies can sometimes spawn directly behind you. 

Depths of Mars

Depths of Mars

From here on out, the rest of the Battleground is a lot more trivial. Just like with the previous Heist Battlegrounds, you’ll need to break some Hive Runes on the Warmind bunker door to enter the heart of the facility where you’ll find the boss. Speaking of the final boss, this will be your second encounter with one of Xivu Arath’s Champions, Kelgorath, Risen from Bones. Essentially, he’s a big Hive Knight who acts exactly like the Darkblade from the Destiny 1 Strike. While he’s rather chunky and will almost always kill you in a single hit, he’s also very slow and you can kite him relatively easily. Simply keep an eye on him and get ready to pick up the pace when you shoot off his helmet, as that makes him significantly faster and more agile.

Kelograth isn’t the main problem here, though. The arena itself is a bigger issue as you’ll be dodging and weaving through the many tight corridors of the Braytech Labs, corridors which are constantly hiding enemies in places you cannot see. You really need to rely on your radar here to guide you and lead you to safe passage as there is a high risk of getting stuck in an area full of Acolytes simply because you couldn’t see them. Roaming Supers are actually great here as they generally have higher mobility and defence while still having high slaying power, allowing you to take care of the adds and cleave a path for whoever needs to dunk Arc Charges. 

Kelgorath Returns

Kelgorath Returns

All Season 22 Grandmaster Nightfall Rewards

Outside of loot, the main draw of Grandmasters is the Conqueror Title. By completing all 6 Grandmasters in a season (as well as a few other miscellaneous Triumphs) you can earn the fabled Conqueror Title, proving that you’re a true champion of the Destiny 2 endgame: Alternatively, if you already have Conqueror from a previous season, completing all Season of the Witch Grandmasters will gild your Title, turning it orange for the remainder of the season. Conqueror is a solid, impressive Title which shows off your prowess at the endgame without needing the crazy commitment required by some other seals.

In terms of weapons, the two new additions for Season 22 are the reprised version of Warden’s Law, the old Nightfall Hand Cannon from the Warden’s Law Strike, and a brand new Solar Bow called Pre Astyanax IV. Warden’s Law is the first of a new Heavy Burst archetype of Hand Cannon which fires two bullets in quick succession with each trigger pull, massively rewarding those who can be as precise as possible. Meanwhile, the Pre Astyanax IV is a solid Solar Bow which can slot Adept Mods with access to perks like Incandescent, Precision Instrument, Shoot to Loot and more.

In Season of the Witch, you can get your hands on the following Adept weapons:

  • Buzzard Kinetic Adaptive Sidearm
  • Loaded Question Arc High-Impact Fusion Rifle
  • THE SWARM Arc High-Impact Machine Gun
  • BrayTech Osprey Void High-Impact Rocket Launcher
  • Warden’s Law Kinetic Heavy Burst Hand Cannon
  • Pre Astyanax IV Solar Precision Bow

Finally, each run of a Grandmaster Nightfall will award you a certain amount of Adept Nightfall Ciphers. Depending on how high you score and what rank you achieve from killing Champions, the number of Ciphers you earn per run will increase, with Platinum runs giving a maximum of 4. Once you have 10 Adept Ciphers, you can run over to Zavala in the Tower and turn them in for a free roll of the currently weekly Adept weapon. Do be wary of the fact that you can only hold a maximum of 10 in your inventory, though, so be sure to spend them often if you plan on doing a lot of GM runs in D2.

Adept Nightfall Ciphers

Adept Nightfall Ciphers

Best Weapons for Season of the Witch Grandmasters


One Exotic which is even better than it was last season is Malfeasance. In Season of the Deep, Malfeasance quickly rose through the ranks as a top-tier Kinetic option due to gaining Vorpal Weapon as part of its Catalyst, allowing it to become a pseudo-DPS weapon for boss damage while retaining all the strengths of a Hand Cannon. Well, Hand Cannons got a very big buff in Season of the Witch, one Malfeasance also benefitted from, making it even stronger than it already was. Additionally, Malfeasance’s Explosive Shaodw detonations will break Unstoppable Champions, whereas repeated shots from the weapon itself with stun Overload Champions this season, making it very versatile and powerful in every single season 22 Grandmaster. 

There are a lot of Hive-centric Grandmasters in D2 Season of the Witch. This means an abundance of Anti-Barrier and Unstoppable Champions. While the Kinetic slot is lacking the latter, it has Anti-Barrier Exotics in abundance with the choice between Arbalest, Revision Zero or Wish Ender. Despite some nerfs, Arbalest is still great as a backup DPS option that can break any enemy shield in a single hit, whereas Revision Zero and Wish Ender both fulfil their roles as powerful Primary options perfectly, giving you access to a consistently strong weapon that never runs out of ammo. 

Quicksilver Storm remains as one of the best Primary weapons in the entire game | D2 Season 22 Grandmasters

Quicksilver Storm

Something else which returned from last season was Anti-Barrier Auto Rifle. In terms of the Kinetic slot, there are plenty of really solid Auto Rifles to choose from if you want to go down this route. For Exotics, you can go with the always reliable Quicksilver Storm if you want a stupidly strong gun for, literally, every part of the game or you can give the Monte Carlo if you want to put together a melee build, especially because the gun just received a fancy new Catalyst. If Legendary options are more your style, you cannot go wrong with Rufus’s Fury, one of the best-feeling weapons in all of Destiny 2 that can crafted and outfitted with some incredible perks. 

Finally, Scout Rifles are feeling pretty good right now. In terms of Exotic options, Touch of Malice just received a really nice buff to basically everything, allowing it to succeed in Grandmaster content while in the hands of a skilled player (or someone who can effectively manage its heal drain effect) whereas Dead Man’s Tale just became craftable with the Exotic Mission Rotator. Meanwhile, if you want a nice Legendary option, the Fang of Ir Yut from Crota’s End is not only craftable but very strong and reliable with a pretty sweet perk pool. 

Fang of Ir Yut

Fang of Ir Yut


Returning as headlining acts from Season of the Deep’s list of mega buffs are Graviton Lance and Polaris Lance. The former is an absurdly good Void Pulse Rifle which quickly rose to the top of the rankings due to its great add clear and major killing capabilities. Several factors contributed to its meteoric rise, including its consistent ability to take high advantage of Volatile Rounds, having Vorpal Weapon and Turnabout as Catalyst perks, the good damage output of 2-Burst Pulse Rifles and the weapon’s ease of use. Similarly, Polaris Lance is another top tier Primary option thanks to how well it interacts with Solar keywords such as Scorch and Ignite, allowing you to become a flaming terror who destroys everything in their path, minors and bosses alike. 

If you want more of an underdog pick, consider using either Merciless or the new Tesselation Exotic Fusion Rifles. In Season 22, Fusion Rifles have access to Unstoppable Fusion, making them a nice pick for the many Hive-centric GMs that make up a lot of the roster. Merciless is an oldie but a goldie, serving as a solid Champion killer and DPS weapon rolled into one, whereas Tesselation can synergise very well with high Discipline builds to serve up some very nice damage. Alternatively, several Legendary Fusion Rifles such as The Eremite seasonal weapon will also be equally as strong, freeing up your Exotic slot without losing out on damage.

Tessellation Fusion Rifle

Tessellation Fusion Rifle

Now that Piercing Bowstring is back in the seasonal artefact, most Exotic Bows just became top-tier Champion options again. Ticuu’s Divination is a great Solar pick, capable of firing tracking arrows for high ease of use while still having high damage output, as is Hierarchy of Needs which, while requiring a tad bit more tact and finesse, has incredible potential in GMs like Heist: Moon. Or, if you simply want an intrinsic Bow which has an effect outside of Barrier, Le Monarque had a decent buff to its poison tick damage to compensate for a hefty PvP nerf and its Overload potential is second to none.

Lastly, for some more niche, quick-fire Exotic suggestions, any risky Titans looking to try a melee-heavy build in Grandmasters can pair the new Banner of War Aspect on Strand with Vexcalibur to become a nigh-invincible CQC God who tramples across the entire battlefield.

Hierarchy of Needs

Hierarchy of Needs


Season of the Witch hasn’t really shifted the Heavy meta in any significant way, with Rocket Launchers still reining as king in terms of raw DPS in most scenarios. Interestingly, though, the perks to look for on those Rockets have changed slightly. Bipod, which got a significant buff this season, has overtaken Chill Clip as a top-tier perk. When paired with perks like Envious Assassin on the Ghosts of the Deep Rocket Cold Comfort or the reprised Last Wish Rocket Apex Predator, you can potentially get upwards of 4 to 5 Rockets in a single magazine. Alternatively, Bait and Switch is still a great option, as are perks like Explosive Light.

If Exotic Rocket Launchers are more your style, there are still some very solid options in that regard. Two-Tailed Fox’s Catalyst bought it up from being a good Rocket Launcher to being a great one, with three Rockets per shot allowing you to deal with three different 3.0 keywords – Scorch, Suppression and Jolt, to be exact – which is a huge benefit against everything from Champions to bosses. Additionally, Eyes of Tomorrow is a really good pick if you feel like slaying out with your Rocket rather than using it solely for boss DPS. And, of course, Gjallarhorn remains a top-tier support option, as long as your other two teammates are running Legendary Rockets that benefit from Wolfpack Rounds.

Another carryover from last season (and the season before that) is the strength of Heavy Machine Guns, which continue to be a superb option for slaying out at a high rate. While the double Special ammo glitch may have been patched over, Machine Guns such as the Commemoration, Thunderlord or even the Collective Obligation remain worthy of your Heavy slot thanks to their ability to consistently outperform Primary weapons. Commemoration is a crafted DSC weapon with an incredible perk pool, whereas Thunderlord toes the line between add clearance and DPS weapon beautifully.

And that was everything you needed to know about Grandmaster Nightfalls in Season of the Witch (Season 22) in Destiny 2. Good luck with your Grandmaster runs, Conquerors!

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