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Destiny 2 – Best Builds and Loadouts for Grandmaster Nightfalls

Here's what the best.
Destiny 2 Grandmaster Nightfall guide - Nightfall launch screen.
Image via Bungie

Destiny 2’s Grandmaster Nightfalls are the pinnacle of Destiny content. It’s the hardest activity Bungie has to offer, and the mark of a good player is how competently they can complete one. With the entry requirements for GMs being dramatically reduced, more people than ever will get to experience the joy of smashing their heads against The Glassway GM for hours on end.

I’ve gone through that suffering – and I don’t want you to. With this Destiny 2 Grandmaster Nightfall guide, I aim to give you a decent jumping-off platform into the world of GMs. I’m offering one build for each class that will work for practically any GM, along with some alternatives. I’ll also be going over a handful of weapons that are META at the GM level. So, I hope you’re ready to do some digging through your Vault.

Best Builds for Grandmaster Nightfalls in Destiny 2

Warlock – Starfire Protocol.

Destiny 2 Grandmaster Nightfall Warlock build.
Image via Bungie

Fortunately, Warlocks don’t have to change too much to make their regular META build suitable for GMs. Starfire Protocol builds with Witherhoard still work great. The only thing you need to make it work is the Starfire Protocol Exotic armor and the Touch of Flame Aspect. Your Fragments are entirely up to you – but here’s what I recommend:

  • Ember of Char.
  • Ember of Eruption.
  • Ember of Blistering.
  • Ember of Ashes.

You’ll be running a Well on top of this, obviously. If you’re all about damage, then this is the build to go with. Given how easy Grandmasters are now with the resilience changes compared to before, you can sacrifice some of that old-school survivability for lethality with very little worry.

If survival is still your main concern, you’ll want to build around Phenoix Protocol, instead.

Related: Why I’m Worried About Destiny 2’s Lightfall Expansion – 3 Reasons Why it Might Disappoint

Hunter – Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk

Destiny 2 Grandmaster Nightfall Hunter build.
Image via Bungie

Yes, believe it or not, Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk is as good in GMs as it is in regular gameplay. I didn’t expect it to work in GMs, but it did. If you’re still not sold on the idea, though, an old Omnioculous Void Hunter build will also do the trick just fine.

If you are committed to Gyrfalcon’s, here’s what I recommend:

  • Echo of Undermining.
  • Echo of Persistence.
  • Echo of Obscurity.
  • Echo of Starvation.

You’ll obviously need Stylish Executioner with that, but then it’s your call between Vanishing Step and Trapper’s Ambush.

One caveat to this build is that you’ll need a Void primary to make it work. I used Graviton Lance which, to my surprise, did fantastically. However, I reckon Fighting Lion may also be a decent option, depending on what seasonal mods you have access to.

Titan

Destiny 2 Grandmaster Nightfall Titan build.
Image via Bungie

I don’t play my Titan as much as I do my Hunter and Warlock, but it’s hard to go wrong with Heart of Inmost Light. I personally prefer this on Arc, but you could make it work on all three. When I was running the Insight Terminus Grandmaster Nightfall, my teammates were running a Void Titan with Aeons, and a Solar Titan with Synthocepts – both of those builds also worked a treat.

If you don’t want to give HOIL a try, here’s the Fragment setup I recommend:

  • Spark of Shock.
  • Spark of Ions.
  • Spark of Resistance.
  • Spark of Magnitude.

You’ll want these with a Storm Grenade and Touch of Thunder. Beyond that, you can pick and choose what you want.

Best Weapons for Grandmaster Nightfalls in Destiny 2

Arbalest

Destiny 2 Arbalest in inventory.
Image via Bungie

Anytime you’ve got to deal with Barrier Champions, Arbalest is an option. It’s a Linear, meaning it’s got great range and better damage – and it can take advantage of Linear Fusion Rifle ammo finder mods.

Being able to engage even red bars at a distance is key in Grandmaster Nightfalls, so having an Arbalest in your back pocket is never a bad decision – provided the activity you’re running does actually have Barrier Champions.

Ignition Code

Destiny 2 Grandmaster Nightfall guide - Ignition Code in inventory.
Image via Bungie

It’s not just Ignition Code that’s good for Destiny 2’s Grandmaster Nightfalls, but specifically any Grenade Launcher with Blinding Grenades.

GLs are great right now thanks to our seasonal mods, but even when they’re not, you’ll still see at least one of these on any serious Grandmaster Nightfall team.

Blinding Grenades suppress anything in its blast radius – whether you damaged it or not. This stops enemies from shooting for a few seconds, including Majors.

A Blinding GL can single-handedly carry you through a Grandmaster if you use it correctly, so don’t underestimate it if you’ve never used one before.

I recommend Ignition Code because it’s a kinetic GL that rolls with Blinding, but anything will do – Kinetics are just better because it keeps your energy slot free.

Le Monarque

Destiny 2 Grandmaster Nightfall guide - Le Monarque in inventory.
Image via Bungie

Le Monarque is the king of anti-Overload weapons. It’s a bow, which is great for Grandmasters, is Void, and deals damage over time – hence its effectiveness against said Overloads.

Le Monarque is very much the Arbalest of Overloads, except it’s a primary and not a special weapon. Its poison effect will keep Overloads from regening their health, so you can lock one down while the rest of your team goes to town on it.

This does eat up your Exotic and energy slots, though, granted that’s not too bad because it’s a primary weapon. You run one of these with an Ignition Code and a Linear and you’re practically good to go – provided you’re coming up against Overloads.

Scout / Pulse Rifle

Destiny 2 Smite of Merain in inventory.
Image via Bungie

Last, but absolutely not least, I recommend you run either a Scout or a Pulse Rifle. This is a generic recommendation, but if there’s one thing you take away from this Destiny 2 Grandmaster Nightfall guide let it be this – The Grandmaster Nightfall META is not the regular META.

Grandmaster Nightfalls operate by different rules, or at least they did when resilience didn’t offer a 40% damage resistance. Traditionally, you’d want to stay as far away from enemies as possible, making Scout and Pulse Rifles (two not too popular weapons normally) absolutely META for them.

A lot of newer players trying to get into GMs make the mistake of running something like an SMG. You might get away with it now, but when the resilience nerfs inevitably come in, you’ll be sorry you don’t have some Pulse and Scout god rolls in your Vault.


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