I finally finished a run of the Nightfall: The Ordeal on Master difficulty in Destiny 2 the other day. (Quick aside — Nightfall: The Ordeal is just a mess of a title.) It’s one of the game’s few Pinnacle challenges, meaning it’s a source of gear drops above the 950 Power cap. And boy, it’s rough if you’re not prepared. A slew of modifiers make things tricky while heaps of Champions are out to make your life miserable. But if you and your fireteam know what you’re doing, you can make it through. Here are five tips that will make your Nightfall: The Ordeal run a whole lot easier.
1. Mods, Mods, Mods
You’re going to be running into a lot of Champions in Nightfall: The Ordeal. On Master difficulty, they’re a huge pain. Make sure your fireteam has the right mods equipped. Typically, you’ll want at least one member running a Hand Cannon with the Unstoppable mod, and a couple with Anti-Barrier mods or Overload mods as appropriate. There are a few Exotic weapons that have mod properties baked in too, like Leviathan’s Breath and Eriana’s Vow. The latter is particularly useful in popping Barriers and regular old shields.
2. Oppressive Darkness
Oppressive Darkness is a Tier 5 mod available from the Seasonal Artifact, the Gate Lord’s Eye. It’s very, very good. When equipped, your Void grenades weaken enemies, making them easier to take down. If you’re a Warlock, running this as a part of a grenade-focused build can be extremely powerful.
3. Coordinate Your Fire
Champions are brutal on Master difficulty, and taking them out requires your whole fireteam to act together. In the case of Barrier champions, for example, you want someone to hit it with an Oppressive Darkness grenade, someone to pop the barrier when it goes up, then have everyone do DPS when its broken. It might sound easy, but few non-boss enemies in Destiny 2 require this level of teamwork to take down. Also note that Unstoppable champions have a period directly after they recover from a stagger in which they cannot be staggered again. That means you need to communicate when you’re firing on them so your fireteam can prepare to unload while they’re stunned.
4. Keep Your Distance
Yeah, Recluse rules PVE right now. But it can be difficult to work with in Master level Nightfalls, because it just doesn’t have much range. When you’re dealing with insta-kill melee attacks and Champions that can knock you out in a couple of shots, you might want to play a little more carefully than usual. If you’re running into trouble, try swapping out your Recluse for Eriana’s Vow and equipping a long-ranged auto or pulse rifle in your kinetic slot.
5. Celestial Nighthawk Rules the Roost
Celestial Nighthawk is a Hunter Exotic that alters your Golden Gun Super. Instead of a few shots, you now fire one supercharged blast. It’s one of the most reliable ways of taking out some of the tankier Champions, so having a Hunter on your fireteam run it is a huge help.
6. Izanagi’s Burden + Divinity = Crazy Delicious
Speaking of powerful single-shot weapons, Izanagi’s Burden is meta this season! Back before the Lunafaction Boots nerf, the need to reload to set up your super bullet made it not worth using. But now that Lunas increase reload speed instead of auto-loading, the sniper rifle has skyrocketed in utility. Hope you did the staggeringly-long quest to get it. If you did, it’s a strong contender to run in your kinetic slot.
And it pairs perfectly with another Exotic with a complex quest: Divinity. This Trace Rifle weakens and disrupts its targets, meaning that when you hit a boss with a charged shot from Izanagi’s Burden, they will know they have been hit. With two Burdens and a Divinity, you can absolutely tear through bosses.
7. Play Smart With Supers
Roaming supers don’t provide as much protection as they used to, and if you’re not careful you can easily be taken out by a sniper or champion while you’ve got one active. Many of the fire-and-forget supers are more useful in Nightfall: The Ordeal anyway — the aforementioned Celestial Nighthawk Golden Gun, Nova Bomb, and Ward of Dawn. If you are using a roaming super for whatever reason, keep an eye on your health and don’t get cocky.
Coordinate and play smart and you’ll make it through! Nightfall: The Ordeal is a great source of all kinds of good drops on the higher difficulties. Hopefully you’ll get an Ascendant Shard from the final chest — not an Aeon Soul like I did.
While you’re here, check out the rest of our Destiny 2 Shadowkeep coverage, including guides, features, tips, and more. Want to find Exotics? We’ve got your Exotics! Want to know what’s up with the world of Destiny 2 before you jump in? Take a look at our Lore Primer. Don’t know where to start? Check out our guide on Getting Started in Destiny 2 Shadowkeep. Good hunting, Guardian.