Perhaps the most powerful Warlock exotic in Destiny 2 is getting hit with a big nerf next season. Revealed in the new blog post on Bungie’s website, this highly potent exotic quickly gained popularity following the introduction of Solar 3.0. With Fusion Grenades dealing a heavy amount of damage, being able to quickly get them back and spam these at foes or bosses skyrocketed a Warlock’s potential DPS (damage-per-second). This is getting changed in Season 21, as the amount of energy gained per instance of damage is reduced from 20% to 2.5%. There are also a bunch of other exotic armor changes coming for Hunters, Warlocks, and Titans. Before we highlight a few of my favorites let’s quickly recap all of the nerfs and buffs arriving next season.
- Increased the radius and damage of the explosion created by precision Kinetic takedowns. The explosion also applies a status effect to targets damaged by it, depending on which subclass you have equipped: blind (Arc), scorch (Solar), slow (Stasis), sever (Strand), weaken (Void).
Vesper of Radius
- Your rifts emit an Arc shockwave every 5 seconds that deals damage (200 in PvE and 70 in PvP). Enemies defeated by these shockwaves explode for an additional 100 damage and, if you have an Arc subclass equipped, also blind nearby enemies.
- Daybreak projectile’s damage bonus has been increased and no longer is reliant on the enemy being scorched.
- Standing in a rift grants a non-stacking bonus to weapon damage matching your subclass damage type. This damage bonus is the equivalent of 2 Surge leg mods (17% PvE and 4.5% PvP).
Claws of Ahamkara
- Powered melee kills create an Orb of Power. When Heavy Handed mods are equipped, increases the potency of the orb spawned (no more than 1 orb can be spawned per enemy takedown).
Mantle of Battle Harmony
- Weapon bonus damage changed to tier-4 when Super is fully charged, increasing damage bonus in PvE from 20% to 25% and reducing the damage bonus from 15% to 6% in PvP. No longer stacks with Surge leg armor mods, but provides a larger bonus than can be achieved with three such mods equipped. Damage bonus only applies to weapons that match your subclass damage type, and now stacks with Empowering Rift and other similar damage bonuses. Extended base duration of this bonus from 6 seconds to 10 seconds (PvE) and 3 seconds to 5 seconds (PvP).
- Removed the extended melee range.
- Grants Rift energy for any Solar weapon takedown, with more energy granted for Solar weapon takedowns while standing in a rift. Also, you now have to be standing in a rift when you get a final blow for the Exotic to consume your class ability energy and create a rift at the target’s location.
Sealed Ahamkara Grasps
- This Exotic will now reload the magazine of all of your weapons when you defeat a target with your powered melee, and for 5 seconds after dealing melee damage you gain increased movement speed and jump height.
- Gain additional strength while the Exotic’s Weighted Knife damage bonus is active.
- When fully drawn, Bows gain a bonus to damage against combatants that increases as you hold the draw but deactivates after a few seconds.
- When deactivating your Arc Staff Super, you create a blinding explosion that temporarily increases your Arc weapon damage. However, blocking with Whirlwind Guard will no longer consume energy more slowly.
Radiant Dance Machines
- Kills while your free dodge is active extend the duration of free dodging. No longer deactivates when you get too far away from enemies. Deactivates after using Suspending Slam.
Mask of Bakris
- Changed to use a tier-4 non-stacking weapon damage bonus (which behaves the same as the non-stacking damage bonuses provided by Surge mods). Damage bonus increased in PvE from 10% to 25%, and now grants a 6% bonus to weapon damage in PvP. No longer stacks with Surge leg armor mods, but provides a larger bonus than can be achieved with 3 such mods equipped.
- Removed airborne effectiveness penalties. You only gain increased speed, slide distance, and improved jumping while your dodge energy is full.
Point-Contact Cannon Brace
- Lightning strikes now jolt targets. Increased PvE damage per lightning bolt from 50 to 200. Being amplified now increases the damage of the lightning strikes by 50% instead of extending their range.
No Back Up Plans
- This is a complete rework, replacing the old functionality entirely. Now provides a moderate benefit to the airborne effectiveness and reload speed of Shotguns. While you have a Void overshield, Shotguns deal additional damage and Shotgun final blows refresh your overshield. While using a Void subclass, rapid Shotgun final blows or defeating a powerful enemy with a Shotgun grants you a Void overshield and kicks off your health regeneration.
- Shield throw melee now weakens enemies. Stunning a Barrier Champion with your shield throw melee grants a single full melee charge.
- Replaced the healing from blocking shots precisely with significant damage reduction (50% in PvE, 10% in PvP) while blocking with a Sword. When you stop blocking, gain restoration x2, with a duration that increases based on the number of shots you blocked.
- Rapid takedowns with an Arc weapon grant an escalating bonus to Arc weapon damage, using the same non-stacking damage bonuses used by Surge mods. This can go all the way up to the tier-4 damage bonus, granting a damage bonus of 25% in PvE and 6% in PvP, providing a larger bonus than can be achieved with three Surge mods equipped. While at the tier-4 damage bonus, Arc kills refresh the bonus’s duration. After your Fist of Havoc Super ends, you gain the tier-4 damage bonus.
- The Solar damage wave now scorches targets.
Path of the Burning Steps
- Changed to use the non-stacking weapon damage bonuses used by Surge mods. This can go all the way up to the tier-4 damage bonus, granting a damage bonus of 25% in PvE and 6% in PvP, providing a larger bonus than can be achieved with three Surge mods equipped. While at the tier-4 damage bonus, Solar kills refresh the bonus’s duration. Becoming encased immediately grants you the tier-4 damage bonus.
- Reduced the range of the chain damage from 20m to 12m and PvP damage from 85 to 50.
Along with the Starfire Protocol nerf, Warlock players should absolutely consider hunting down a good roll of Chromatic Fire. The debuffs it applies to enemies will be exceptionally strong for ability builds, as this will be a consistent method for weakening entire groups of foes with just a few bullets. Sanguine Alchemy also looks promising, as that damage boost could be great for solo players or those who like to run Healing Rift. I’m also a pretty big fan of the No Back Up Plans rework, as this will provide some terrific survivability that synergizes beautifully with the rest of the Void Titan subclass.
As for the Hunter, I’ve always been a far of Mask of Bakris so seeing the PVE damage buff makes me quite excited. Stasis Hunter has always been strong, but raising the damage to 25% will be exceptionally dangerous — especially with Arc and Stasis surges. The Starfire Protocol nerf and all of these changes will go live when Season 21 of Destiny 2 launches at the end of this month.