Bungie Reveals Major Shake-Ups to Guardian Abilities in Lightfall

Guardians are getting a huge amount of changes to how their abilities and build-crafting work in Lightfall.

Bungie is on a roll with their pre-Lightfall info dumping, releasing two in quick succession providing details on the latest expansion to Destiny 2. The first dove deep into the new Strand Darkness subclass, and their second covers some major ability updates that are likely to be a decisive shakeup to both the PvE and PvP meta.

There’s also a huge — and long overdue — quality of life update for an issue so pervasive it was a meme almost instantly.

Guardian Ability Changes Coming in Lightfall

Image via Bungie

Bungie is taking a pass at all three stats that govern ability regeneration, with a blanket nerf to ability uptime thanks to a reduction in what Discipline, Strength, and class-specific stat values provide for grenades, melee, and class ability. 

As a compromise, players will be able to equip a number of ability regen mods without restriction, making build crafting more important than sheer stat investment. Armor mod energy costs have also been adjusted downward, and specific grenade, melee, and class ability cooldowns will be increased.

Another of the most substantive news is the massive set of updates to Guardian abilities, including considerable changes to specific Supers. Both roaming and one-off Supers are receiving tuning, as are what you can do while in them.

First on the block are two one-off Titan Supers, Thundercrash and Ward of Dawn. The powerful Thundercrash slam will be much less effective in PvP, with adjustments to its hitbox, flight time, detonation size, and more. Its PvE effectiveness will remain unchanged.

Titan’s Void bubble, the Ward of Dawn, also got a heavy hit with the stick. Its overall health was reduced; it takes a more even amount of damage from all PvP weapon sources, and the armor it provides while inside has been reduced. These changes shouldn’t reflect in PvE, as combatant damage values against the Ward have been altered to compensate for these updates.

The Warlock’s Solar Dawnbreak roaming Super also got a new coat of paint. It now costs less to use, does more damage in PvP, and the Pheonix Dive ability is now overwhelmingly better than it was previously. Its explosive radius, damage, and usability with the Super active will be silly in the right hands, but more average players should also feel a major difference.

New Subclass 3.0 Fragments and Current Fragment Updates

The current crop of Subclass 3.0 Fragments are getting some new friends, and others are being adjusted to either work alongside them or are receiving a balance pass.

New Arc Fragments

  • Spark of Instinct
    • When critically wounded, taking damage from nearby enemies emits a burst of damaging Arc energy that Jolts targets.
  • Spark of Haste
    You have greatly increased resilience, recovery, and mobility while sprinting.

Current Arc Fragment Updates

  • Spark of Resistance
    • Increased nearby enemy count requirement for activation from 2 to 3.
      Reduced linger time after you're no longer surrounded from 4s to 2s.

New Solar Fragments

  • Firesprite 
    • Firesprites are created by a suite of new and existing Solar Fragments, and grant grenade energy on pickup.
  • Ember of Mercy (New!)
    • When you revive an ally, you and other nearby allies gain Restoration. Picking up a Firesprite grants Restoration.
  • Ember of Resolve (New!)
    • Solar grenade final blows Cure you.

Current Solar Fragment Updates

  • Ember of Tempering
    • Now creates a Firesprite on Solar weapon kills while active, in addition to its original effects.
  • Ember of Combustion
    • Now creates a Firesprite on Solar Super defeats, in addition to its original effects.
  • Ember of Searing
    • Now creates a Firesprite when defeating Scorched targets, in addition to its original effects.

New Void Fragments

  • Void Breach 
    • Void Breaches are created by a selection of new and existing Void Fragments, and grant class ability energy on pickup.
  • Echo of Cessation 
    • Finisher final blows create a burst of Void damage that causes nearby enemies to become Volatile. Defeating Volatile targets creates a Void Breach.
  • Echo of Vigilance
    • Defeating a target when your shields are depleted grants you a temporary Void Overshield.

Current Void Fragment Updates

  • Echo of Domineering
    • Now creates a Void Breach when defeating Suppressed targets, in addition to its original effects.
  • Echo of Harvest
    • Now creates a Void Breach when defeating Weakened targets with precision damage, in addition to its original effects.
  • Echo of Starvation
    • Now grants Devour on picking up a Void Breach, in addition to its original effects.

All these new toys will undoubtedly bring a sparkle to Destiny 2 build crafter’s eyes, and it shouldn’t be long before whole new endgame-breaking setups make their way into the community zeitgeist.

The last, and probably totally most important, update ever coming in Lightfall is a change to Guardian survivability.

Hitting walls at Mach 10 or falling from obscene heights will no longer kill you.

Instead of dying to a sudden impact at high speeds, players will now be left with one hit point. It’s unclear if this change will neuter Cabal Phalanx shields and keep Guardians from dying to the Architects, but as those deaths are themselves likely caused by massive acceleration and deceleration in a short time, perhaps the most meme-worthy death in the Destiny franchise history is finally fading into obscurity.

And that’s the lowdown for the Destiny 2 Lightfall ability update blog post. There are a lot more numbers and other details in the post itself, so head there for a better look. For more content from us on the game, check out our guides hub.

Feature image via Bungie.


John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.

Published Feb. 9th 2023

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