The dungeons in Destiny 2 are some of the best endgame PvE content the game has to offer. They combine the difficulty and small fireteam size of Nightfall strikes with the mechanical intricacy of raids. However, unlike those activities, dungeons offer an exclusive triumph and emblem for a full completion without any help or deaths. This is known as a solo flawless run, and it can be a great test of your skills as a Guardian. Completing a solo flawless run of a dungeon is no easy task.
There are numerous things, such as playstyles, mechanics, and builds to keep in mind. This guide here will reveal important tips and tricks when trying to go solo flawless in any dungeon in Destiny 2. I will be sharing some of my personal experiences as well, as I have completed almost every dungeon solo flawless (not to brag or anything), save for Spire of the Watcher.
While these things should go without saying, it’s pretty easy to forget some of these tips. These are chores and issues you should have resolved before going for a solo flawless run.
Ensure that all your gear is up to par for power level. Ideally, you’ll want to be at the pinnacle cap, which should also net you some artifact levels as well. These things combined should put you well above the max threshold for most dungeons.
If your goal is to complete the latest dungeon in a season — in this case, Spire of the Watcher — you may want to grind out more artifact levels before trying to enter. Remember that your damage dealt to and received from enemies changes for every 10 levels you are above or below their power level. Try to round off your level in order to gain as much of an advantage over the enemies as you can. Furthermore, have spare weapons and armor at the cap in order to extend your flexibility, if need be.
Keep in mind, too, that power level escalates throughout the dungeon. Enemies in the last encounter are more powerful than those in the first. I distinctly remember having to put off my Duality run simply due to the fact that my Sniper Rifle took an extra shot to take down the Bellkeepers, which could get me killed.
Know and Practice the Dungeon
While it’s entirely possible to solo flawless a dungeon on day one of its release, such a challenge is astronomically difficult. This is simply due to the fact that you’d be going in blind to the mechanics. The more you familiarize yourself with the mechanics of Destiny 2’s dungeons, the easier it will be to complete them.
This doesn’t just apply to the broad mechanics of each encounter, either. Think of the little details or tech in a dungeon that will give you an edge. As an example, while you’re moving across the beams in Shattered Throne before the Thrallway, Taken Ogres will spawn when you’re at certain distances from the door. When you learn these thresholds, you can slowly move towards the trigger, then run outside of their attack range and whittle them down with long-range weapons.
Understanding the ins and outs — every nook and cranny — of a dungeon will give you an encyclopedia’s worth of strategies for every given scenario in a run. One of the best ways to practice is to simply run the dungeon solo without worrying about flawlessness. This is especially true if you find yourself failing at one particular part over and over again. Resetting on every death will slow your progress towards finding a solution. And hey, you may even go flawless on what you considered a practice run!
Here are some tips outside of the game to ensure that your conquering of this challenge is as smooth and comfortable as possible:
- Have a clear schedule and at least a few hours to kill. Solo flawless runs can be very long.
- Keep some snacks and drinks by you. Water is preferred.
- Use the bathroom beforehand.
- Be comfortable with your current settings: control scheme, input device, sensitivity, etc.
- Be wide awake. Don’t make an attempt just after rolling out of bed.
- Take a break if you fail.
- Have a positive attitude. You can do this!
Your Guardian’s Build
The best things about dungeons is that almost any half-decent build and loadout can work. So long as you have an idea of what you’re doing when buildcrafting, as well as how to use your build, you’ll have a build capable of solo flawless runs. While builds can vary wildly, and some are better than others, here are some easy choices to make when making builds.
The absolutely most important stat that should be maxed out at all costs is Resilience, even outside of solo flawless dungeon runs. That damage resistance makes a difference that simply cannot be understated. Although Tier 10 Resilience is getting nerfed from 40% damage resistance down to 30%, it will still be an invaluable asset. Bonus points to Titans for getting their class ability back quicker due to this stat investment.
After Resilience, Recovery should not be far behind. Enemies are relentless, and your moments of respite in cover will be short-lived. Take advantage of them to the best of your ability by investing in fast health regeneration. Finally, you should focus on getting either Strength or Discipline as high as possible, depending on which ability you value more in your specific build. Your abilities in Destiny 2 are extremely powerful and integral to the gameplay. Punching or exploding enemies is nearly as common as shooting them.
Class, Subclass, Aspects, Fragments, and Mods
The long and short of this section is to use that with which you’re most comfortable. However, much like the stats, there’s a common theme to how you should kit yourself. Namely, you should build for abilities that will grant you survivability through damage resistance or health regeneration. A simple example is a grenade build using Healing Grenades on the Solar subclasses. For void, Devour is invaluable, what with it both instantly healing you to full and granting grenade energy on kills.
Arc and Stasis are more capable of damage reduction than health regeneration. Both subclasses have fragments that reduce damage taken under certain conditions. Stasis also has a fragment for generating overshield through Stasis Shard collection. Arc is much more indirect in its survivability, as being Amplified will allow you to move from cover to cover with haste, while also making it easier to avoid projectiles.
Numerous mods, such as Well of Tenacity and Better Already, will grant damage resistance or trigger health regeneration under certain conditions. This can make up for a lack in one or the other within your subclass. Keep in mind that many of Destiny 2’s mods are getting a major overhaul in functionality come Lightfall, as discussed in this blog post by Bungie. Even so, if you plan on going a solo flawless dungeon run post-Lightfall, the principle will stay the same; look for mods that aid in survivability.
Much like your class and subclass, bring the weapons that you’re used to using in normal runs. However, there are some traits to consider for swapping your loadout on the fly. For example, if you find yourself engaging enemies at long range often, bring a Sniper Rifle or Pulse Rifle. Complement these weapons with close- to mid-range weapons, such as an SMG, Hand Cannon, Shotgun, or Fusion Rifle.
For weapon perks, I recommend finding rolls that patch up weaknesses in your build, synergize with it greatly, or possibly both. As an example, on my Behemoth Titan, I’m centered around making Stasis crystals and stacking damage resistance. Though I don’t take a lot of damage, I don’t have great health regen aside from Tier 10 Recovery. This is why this Eyasluna roll is key to my build. Unrelenting patched up my health-regen issue, and Headstone provided more opportunities to utilize my Aspects and Fragments.
Depending on the encounter, your Heavy weapon should be dedicated to add-clear or DPS. Machine guns are phenomenal for mowing down hordes of adds. On the flipside, Linear Fusion Rifles are great for damage against bosses with big weak spots. If headshots are less practical, consider a Rocket Launcher, Grenade Launcher, Sword, or some other non-precision weapon.
Be aware of your weapons’ strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. For example, the Cloudstrike Exotic Sniper Rifle calls down a lightning storm after landing three consecutive precision hits. I had to learn the hard way that I could die to my own lightning storm. This forced me to either be more careful with Cloudstrike in close-range emergencies, or use something else entirely.
So you’ve got your builds and loadouts, you’re well-rested and hydrated, and you’ve got all day. You load into the dungeon on your own with no backup and essentially one life. What now? Well, as long as you know the dungeon well, it’s more of a matter of time and skill than knowledge. Here are some general tips to improve your odds:
Boss Damage Tips
There’s nothing more disheartening in Destiny 2 than wiping when the boss has a sliver of health left — especially when going for a solo flawless dungeon run. That’s why keeping your own health up takes priority over bringing the boss’ health down. If there are numerous adds around you when damage phase starts, dispatch them before turning your attention to the boss. If the boss is focusing you with numerous powerful attacks, consider taking cover or moving to a different area.
Furthermore, bosses like Gahlran in Duality will have a timer before causing you to die unless you fulfill a certain condition. In Gahlran’s case, you need to leave the Nightmare realm before time runs out. Give yourself plenty of time to fulfill those conditions and avoid death.
The reason you can put less priority on damage is because of one important detail: dungeon bosses, unlike raid bosses, do NOT have an enrage mechanic. In raids, bosses typically need to be killed in a certain amount of time or number of damage phases, else the team wipes. Dungeon bosses can be killed in an infinite number of damage phases. It doesn’t matter if you kill the boss in one phase or twenty. All that matters is your patience.
Add Clearing Tips
Enemies in dungeons can get numerous and deadly. Having forms of crowd control is extremely beneficial for your survivability. One particular area where it could be helpful is in Grasp of Avarice. The faster you clear adds, the more time you will have to safely deposit engrams you collect.
Remember to avoid explosive weapons in close range, especially when surrounded. Furthermore, keep in mind that your own grenades can damage you. Don’t throw a grenade at your feet unless it’s the last chance you have to salvage a run.
Lastly, use your Super and Heavy weapon when needed. Sure, you might be saving them for damage phase, but you can’t damage the boss while you’re dead. If you find yourself overwhelmed by adds, and your health starts creeping lower, don’t be afraid to whip out everything you have to survive. Heavy ammo will drop eventually, and your Super can always regenerate. It’s usually much faster to gain Super energy than to return to your original checkpoint from the beginning.
Jumping Puzzle Tips
Jumping puzzles in Destiny 2 can be particularly difficult if you’re not prepared for them. The most obvious tip is to go slow and steady, ensuring that your jumps are accurate and you’re landing softly. However, we can go deeper into the details than that.
You may want to switch which jump you use for parkour sections. While it may be tempting for you Warlocks to use Burst Glide for its momentum, Strafe Glide is your best bet. This jump allows for the best aerial course-correction. Hunters are blessed with the ever-powerful Triple Jump, effective for all the same reasons as Strafe Glide. I find that Titan jumps can be swapped to the player’s preference, but I personally enjoy Strafe Lift.
Want to learn more about movement tech? Watch this video by Destiny YouTuber sidezz.
It’s also important to understand the unique quirks of each jump for each class. For example, Warlocks can immediately stop all momentum while falling with their jump. On the other hand, Titans can only slow their descent. Inversely, Titan and Hunter jumps both have upwards momentum, whereas Warlocks do not. Learning how each jump works will make the difference between landing on a platform or falling to your death.
Destiny 2’s dungeons are some of the most fun activities in the game. Attempting to complete them all by yourself with no deaths only makes them even more fun. It’s also a great way to flex some emblems and bragging rights to clanmates and strangers alike. However, be aware of the difficulty of such a task. Keep these tips in mind, and learn specific strategies that work for you as you experiment. Good luck, Guardian!