Tips on how to beat Grandmaster Nightfall and get your Conqueror Seal. Even for solo players with random LFG teammates!
The Basics & Target Audience
Grandmaster Nightfall (from here and now will be referred to as GM NF) is one of the most challenging activities Destiny 2 has to offer and becomes considerably tougher when you solo queue with random teammates from LFG websites and without a mic.
So this guide will help you, the solo guy to tackle this ordeal. If you are playing as a clan/friends you will have way more coordination but feel free to go through the guide as well, maybe you will learn something!
Before starting, if you are new to Destiny 2 and about to try out Grandmaster Nightfall for the first time, here are few things to note.
- Strike power level will be set considerably above your power level.
- Even if you have very high light level it will be capped (value depends on each season).
- Champions are the main challenges of this NF and boy o boy there is a LOT of them.
- No automatic revive, you have to revive your teammate.
- Limited revives, more earned by defeating champions. If you hit zero revives, kill champions to get more revive tokens
- You can’t take forever to do the NF. There is a time limit. You will see notifications -“Darkness encroaching in X minutes”. After that you are out of revives. If you die after that you die permanently.
More information is usually available in Bungie: This Week at Destiny articles, just before GM NF launch.
Now that we got that out of the way, now comes the classes and subclasses.
Class and Subclass Introduction
You would want to choose subclass based on the super they provide and the perks they have. I would recommend not to choose a subclass which requires you to rush the enemy with your super, and is one time pop from a distance.
For each character, my list goes from highly recommended at the top to don’t think about it at the bottom.
Class and Subclass: Hunter
Bottom Tree (Way of the Pathfinder): If you are a solo player with two random teammates who die a lot, this is your way to go. Smoke bombs paired with Graviton Forfeit hunter exotic helmet gives you a very long period of invisibility enough to revive your entire fireteam by yourself. You cant also use Sixth Coyote hunter exotic for two dodge charges. Use dodge ability near enemies to refill your smoke bomb. This setup if played smart allows become invisible almost all the time if you have 100 mobility. If champions rush and crowd your area, relocate your entire team using smoke bomb. I am a hunter main myself and this is what I use in most GM NF. Super is good, when you chain shots to one target and your teammates assist in damage at the same time.
Top Tree (Way of the Trapper): Dodging gives you invisibility but the time is way less compared to bottom tree, even with exotic. Using top tree with Orpheus Rig hunter exotic is a viable strategy to dish our damage. It comes down to preference.
Middle Tree (Way of the Wraith): PVP subclass, ignore.
Duskfield Grenade still works wonders on champions. If they are frozen they can’t activate their ability to regenerate health or rush you. With a team of stasis grenades and high discipline you can almost permanently freeze a champ and destroy him. Pair it with “Whisper Of Hedrons” for bonus weapon damage to frozen targets.
One Withering Blade slows target, two of them freezes them.
Super works well on a group of champions as they get frozen in their tracks.
Other than this, there is not much to say. Revenant is primarily a broken PVP class with some applications in PVE.
Bottom Tree (Way of the Sharpshooter): Chaining precision headshots, you probably can chip health of the boss. Using Celestial Nighthawk Exotic hunter helmet, you can hit one precision shot with will obliterate one champion(while stunned) with “knock em’ down” activated and get back 1/3 of your super provided he dies. But there will be over 20+ champions, is it really worth it? You can remove a major chunk of health from the boss. Other than that its utility is limited. Grenades are fine, throwing knife is good if you can kill ads with precision hits.
Top Tree (Way of the Outlaw): PVP class not worth it.
Middle Tree (Way of a Thousand Cuts): Ehhh, ignore.
You will get destroyed even before you can approach champions even with super active. Mostly for ad clear. Highly unrecommended class.
Class and Subclass: Warlock
Middle Tree (Attunement of Grace): For teamplay this is one of the best supers. Pair it with Pheonix Protocol warlock exotic and you regenerate super energy at an amazing rate for every kill you or your fireteam does inside the well. Once inside the well, ads become harmless. But 2-3 champions can chew through the well overshields and healing pretty quick. So try to take them down as soon as super is activated. Wyverns absolutely don’t care about wells, their damage is so high that even one wyvern can obliterate your fireteam even when inside a well. Having 2 warlocks with middle tree, pheonix protocol, you can have almost infinite wells, provided you can kill enough enemies to regenerate super.
Top Tree (Attunement of Sky): PVP class, not recommended.
Bottom Tree (Attunement of Flame): Wait, there is a bottom tree?
Top Tree (Attunement of Chaos): Another great class for solo players. Grenades are the main selling point of this subclass, so make sure your discipline is as high as possible to reduce grenade cooldown. Overcharge your grenade by holding grenade key, and release dealing massive damage. Pair this with Contraverse Hold, and you get random amount grenade energy back. More grenades!
Bottom Tree (Attunement of Hunger): Great class for solo players. On consuming grenade by holding grenade key, you regenerate health and every subsequent kill restores health with a timer of 10 seconds. For regular activities this class is perfect. But in GM NF, enemies are tougher, and by the time you get a kill, your 10 second timer will be over and devour buff will be gone. But if you manage to get a kill, more heal! Not too shabby, but not recommended for GM NF.
Middle Tree (Attunement of Fission): Super requires you to rush your enemy to deal damage. More suited for PVP.
Middle Tree (Attunement of Control): Decent subclass, due to the fact its super is shocking, literally. Shoot a handheld laser and obliterate any ads it touches. Works wonders for single target damage as well, be it champs or boss. If your target dies you can stop your super early and get back some super energy. Pair with Geomag Stabilizers warlock exotic for faster super regen.
Top Tree (Attunement of Conduction): Kamehameha super or tiny sparks in both hands super?
Bottom Tree (Attunement of the Elements): Same logic as above.
Freeze and kill. Its easy. Duskfield Grenade, to freeze champions and “Whisper of Hedrons” for bonus weapon damage. Bleak Watcher aspect can turn your grenade into a stasis turret which slows and freezes. All down to preference.
Class and Subclass: Titan
I don’t play too much on titan so this section will be short. Anyways here goes,
Middle Tree (Code of the Commander): For teamplay this is another one of the best supers. Pair it with Ursa Furiosa titan exotic and you regenerate super energy at an amazing rate for every shot of the enemy you block. Literally blocks everything, none shall pass. Your fireteam behind you gains bonus weapon damage. 2 Titans with this subclass and ursa furiosa, you are almost guaranteed to always have a shield protecting you, if you play smart. With proper teamplay and coordination in ideal case, you can win almost any battle without a scratch.
Top Tree (Code of the Protector): Hemisphere of invincibility. If you play smart you can peek outside damage enemies and become invincible inside. Not too shabby, but not better than middle tree.
Bottom Tree (Code of the Aggressor): PVP class maybe? Subclass literally has aggressor in it, so not recommended for GM NF.
I can’t really comment on other titan classes.
Thundercrash Middle Tree(Code of the Missile) with the new “Cuirass of the Falling Star” exotic can destroy champs and major chunk from boss. But involves literally throwing yourself into enemy line of fire. Rest involves you to rush the enemy, so no.
Sunbreaker, throw hammer, punch with hammer, too close to enemy. Better subclasses exist.
Behemoth, broken PVP class. Use duskfield grenade, freeze and kill. Super is deadly, but limited utility.
If you are titan main, in my opinion, Middle tree Void is the way to go. You can refer websites for builds revolving around other subclasses.
Weapons: The Basics
DO NOT USE SWORDS. But lament go brrrrrr ;-;
Swords are good, but in GM NF, even if you are a hair out of cover, champs will destroy you, snipers will one/two shot you. Unless there is one target and the champs are stunned only then is it possible to run up with a sword. Utility is extremely limited. You would just be wasting a slot, in which you can equip a better power weapon.
Recommended are ranged weapons. Choosing proper exotic is key. Choose best weapons and equip mods pertaining to those weapons.
Anarchy, Anarchy, Anarchy
An absolute go to weapon for GM NF. Shoot two bolts, try to hit at least one on enemy and other nearby/on enemy. Damaging bolts last for 10 seconds. Shoot from behind cover and watch their health drop from 100 to 0.
Requires bit of teamplay. Requires two Izanagi and one Divinity.
Stun the champion. Bonus for overloads since divinity stuns then anyways. Hit it with divinity until the sphere of critical hit pops up.
2 shots(you and your teammate) with Honed Edge x 4 with masterworked Izanagi easily defeats champions.
Good all round weapon for any situation. Can generate warmind cells with Wrath of Rasputin mod. Simple aim and click.
Underrated exotic. Basically Anarchy with lesser damage, but has Area of Effect damage, special category, so more available ammo. Good for both ad clear and champs. Masterworked witherhoard has auto-loading holster. Thus fire witherhoard, switch and shoot with other weapons, fire witherhoard again.
Literally handheld sniper handcanon. Special category, so ammo always available. Critical shots deal high damage. Death at first glance is a very good perk, if you can hit crits consistently. Has in-built shield piercing rounds.
Truthteller with Blinding Grenades perk
Highly underrated perk. Blinding grenades blinds enemies, and literally makes them stop shooting. Does not affect champs or boss. Ultimate wyvern counter.
Above list of weapons are some weapons that you will probably always use when in GM NF. They are the meta. Pair them with the weapons you love along with correct mods and you are set for GM.
Experiment with different weapon combinations, who knows you might even make a new meta.
Tips & Tricks
- Always play from cover, unless absolutely necessary to stand out in the open.
- Do not rush. Champions hit hard and will kill you. Think of risk vs reward. Risk is you run out, you some how die to enemy crossfire just to kill one champ. Your ghost is stranded in the middle of nowhere, and your teammates cant revive you. Reward is one champion less.
- Overload champions can’t be stunned when they are glowing.
- Equip sniper resistance, or elemental resistance on chest armor. Snipers, even ads will one shot you.
- If you are solo queuing without mic you need to have epic keyboard skills. You need to get some info across to your teammates somehow. And you have to do it in chat. And you need to do that while there are champs breathing down you neck.
- If you are a bottom tree void hunter, make sure the enemies aren’t shooting the remains of your downed teammate. If they have no target to shoot they will keep firing at the dead teammates ghost. And even if you are invisible while reviving, AOE damage will kill you.
- Focus fire on one champion. There will be a lot of champions, and everyone trying to kill their own champs, in most cases won’t work.
- Champions (overload, barrier) regenerate health very fast. Make sure you stun when they aren’t stunned them otherwise all effort you put in to bring them low is in vain. Then again don’t rush a low health champion alone unless you are certain you can kill him.
- Equip proper mods. Have scavenger for the best weapon, to get lot of ammo per brick, and ammo finder to increase drop rate of brick.
- Warmind cell builds are powerful but in solo queue, when someone sees a warmind cell, his natural reactions are to destroy it for damage across the room.
- Global reach with seventh seraph weapons, Wrath of Rasputin with solar AOE damage weapons paired with Power of Rasputin and Warmind’s Protection makes a pretty nasty build.
Well these are some tricks I learnt after dying countless number of times. Guides for each GM NF are usually available on youtube, for detailed loadout ideas and builds.
Some people even do GM NF solo. Hats off to them.