Grandmaster Nightfalls are one of the most difficult activities in Destiny 2, but they also give some of the best rewards. If you’re hoping to farm valuable upgrade materials and weapons, GM Nightfalls are one of the first places to go. In this article, we’ll look at three great Exotic armor choices for each class in GM Nightfalls and give a full breakdown on them.
Let’s get started!
Best Hunter Armor for GM Nightfalls
Hunters are a highly mobile class focused on stealth and/or huge damage. Therefore, most of their Exotics tend to fall into that mentality as well. The three pieces of armor we’ve picked for this list are all great to center your build around, and each is perfectly suitable for use in GM Nightfalls!
Without wasting any more time, let’s get right into our picks for Hunter.
This is one of those Exotics with a wall of text to explain what it does, so let’s look at the basics. The most important part of Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk is that it gives your Void weapons Volatile Rounds whenever your invisibility ends. Hunters have a ton of ways to go invisible, so this is very easy for them to do.
In addition to granting Volatile Rounds, Gyrfalcon’s also gives you a major weapon damage bonus (+35%) when you defeat a combatant with a finisher while invisible. On top of the damage bonus, you and nearby allies also get a reserve overshield whenever you do the finisher. (To use your reserve overshield, use your class ability after you receive it. It will activate after you do that.)
For Void Hunters, Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk is an incredibly easy choice. Volatile Rounds increases your add-clear potential by a ton, and the damage bonus and overshields are incredible bonuses on top of that. It’s amazing just how much this Exotic does, and every single part of it is great even on its own. It’s also nice to get more Exotics that benefit the rest of your team as well for Hunter, as there aren’t many options there.
If you’re using Void Hunter, you should at least own Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk for occasional use. It’ll make your GM clears much, much easier, so we highly recommend it.
Star-Eater Scales (SES) is a great Exotic for any subclass on Hunter, but especially the Arc subclass thanks to the Gathering Storm super. Said super is already a very high-damage ability, but SES increases it to be some of the highest damage you can do at all in the game.
SES allows you to overcharge your super ability by picking up extra Orbs of Power after the super meter is already filled. You can get up to 4 overcharge stacks, which give the following super damage bonuses depending on the amount of stacks: 27/55/62/70% bonus super damage per orb. Plus, if you have maximum stacks when you cast your super, you’ll get a 100 HP overshield as well.
Using SES is a great idea in GM Nightfalls, as you’ll always need your super and Orbs are very easy to get these days. Each time you cast your super with SES on, you should be doing massively increased damage and getting an overshield, if you use it optimally. There will never be a time where you’re upset to have SES on, so it’s absolutely worth farming Lost Sectors for.
If there’s anything we love, it’s an Exotic that’s really easy to explain. Wormhusk Crown does one thing (well technically two), and it does them very efficiently. Whenever you dodge with Wormhusk Crown equipped, you get a small amount of HP and shielding. So whenever you’re pinned down or in a bad spot, just use your Class Ability to gain a bit of health back! It’s as simple as it could be.
When using Wormhusk Crown, you just have to focus on playing your best to do well. You don’t have to focus on any special Exotic interactions or anything like that, so you’ll have less to focus on. Plus it allows you to play a little more aggressively, knowing you can get some health back if needed.
It is worth noting that it’s far more likely to get one-shot in GM Nightfalls than anything else, but there are still a lot of situations where you end up with just a bit of health left. Wormhusk Crown is absolutely perfect for those situations, and you’ll probably be in them more often than not in GMs since they’re so difficult.
Best Titan Armor for GM Nightfalls
Titans are a fun class to play, assuming you like to be right in the middle of the action. You can ultimately play them however you want, but they excel at melee-based builds and being as tanky as possible. Here are our picks for the 3 best Exotics to use in GM Nightfalls as a Titan!
Helm of Inmost Light
If you’re looking for an Exotic that’s good in pretty much every situation, Helm of Inmost Light (HOIL) is perfect. It’s a neutral Exotic, which means it can work on any subclass.
With HOIL, every time you use an ability, it empowers the other abilities. So when you use your Grenade, your next other ability is empowered. This is described in-game as meaning the abilities will get faster regeneration speeds, do more damage (grenades/melee), and get bonus HP (for Barricades). No matter what GM Nightfall you’re doing, those bonuses will never be bad.
The biggest strength of HOIL is that you can build around it however you want. You can take advantage of the bonuses to your abilities by focusing on grenade or melee synergies, or you can just forget about that altogether and focus on weapon mods.
That’s the beauty of HOIL–it requires very, very little thought. You just play the same way as normal, but everything you do is just a little better than usual.
As of now (November 2023), Synthoceps have seen a huge rise in popularity thanks to melee builds on Titan. The new Banner of War aspect for the Strand subclass is so good that it essentially forced Titans into melee builds so they could use it, and Synthoceps is one of the go-to Exotics for those builds.
Synthoceps gives a number of melee-focused bonuses whenever you’re surrounded by enemies. When you’re surrounded, you’ll get bonus melee and Super damage, plus bonus handling and reload speed for your weapon. It turns even the hardest content into a cake walk, as long as there aren’t high-damage melee enemies or Screebs anywhere around you.
Speaking of which, that is the downside to Synthoceps. Sometimes it’s hard to utilize a melee Exotic when there are too many dangerous enemies around. Luckily, thanks to the strength of Banner of War, you can do that more easily right now. We’ll see if Bungie nerfs that strategy soon, but for now Synthoceps is easily one of the best and most popular Exotics for GM Nightfalls.
Cuirass of the Falling Star
Cuirass is the go-to Exotic for every Arc Titan using Thudercrash out there. Thundercrash is great for doing a huge burst of damage to bosses or other high-HP enemies, which is perfect in GM Nightfalls, and Cuirass simply “greatly increases” Thundercrash’s damage.
To be specific, it’s a 100% increase to completely double the amount of damage it does. No matter what, if your strategy involves relying on Thundercrash for boss damage, this is an Exotic you’ll want as an option.
As a plus, when using this Exotic, you don’t really have to build the rest of your loadout in any specific way. Intellect is nice so you can utilize the Exotic more often thanks to lowered super cooldown, but it’s not required. You can really do whatever you want here, as long as you do have some solid ways to regenerate your super, like Intellect, Orbs of Power, or something else.
Also, don’t forget about the 100 HP overshield you’ll get after using Thundercrash. It makes surviving after using your super much, much easier, so don’t forget about it.
Best Warlock Armor for GM Nightfalls
Warlocks are known for many reasons in PvE, but they largely function as a support class. While they can still do just as much damage as everyone else, Warlocks do have a lot of abilities that also help their teammates. We have some Exotics here that compliment their support capabilities, in addition to some more “selfish” picks, so let’s get started with the first one!
When it comes to clearing adds, nothing compares to Sunbracers right now. Without a doubt, they’re the best Warlock Exotic for add-clear, and maybe the best overall.
All you have to do is get a combatant kill with your charged melee ability to activate the Exotic perk, Helium Spirals. This perk increases the duration of Solar Grenades, but more importantly grants you infinite Solar Grenade energy for 5 seconds. That means you can spam Solar Grenades all over the map and clear out all the adds in sight, while also doing a ton of damage to any nearby powerful enemies.
Any build that has synergies with your melee ability is great for this Exotic. Since it grants infinite grenades for a short period, you don’t have to worry so much about having 100 points in Discipline. As long as you can consistently get charged melee kills, you’ll be good to go. You can also combine this with melee-focused fragments, armor mods, or Exotic weapons like Monte Carlo as well.
Just remember that for Sunbracers to work, you must be using “Solar Grenade” specifically. Not just any grenade on the Solar subclass, but the one that’s just called that. Could they have picked a better or more descriptive name? Yes, but that’s just how it is sometimes.
If you’re a team player, Cenotaph Mask is the absolute best Exotic armor piece for you. There is a lot of text used to describe this weapon, but we’ll break it down in short form.
To start with, Cenotaph Mask reloads your Trace Rifle’s mag while you use it. It’s similar to Actium War Rig in that regard, but for Trace Rifles. Then, whenever you damage a vehicle, boss, or Champion you’ll put a “mark” on them which causes them to drop special ammo for you and heavy ammo for all of your allies whenever the marked enemy dies. This is a lot for one Exotic to do, so it’s not hard to see why it’s so strong.
When using Cenotaph Mask, you are a bit limited in terms of weapons, though. You have to be using a Trace Rifle for it to work, so you’re forced into a primary ammo Kinetic weapon, unless you’re using Ager’s Scepter or The Navigator. However, there are luckily a lot of great Trace Rifles for you to choose from these days.
But if we’re being honest, we all know there’s one Trace Rifle that most people use with Cenotaph Mask – Divinity. Divinity is one of the strongest Exotic weapons for debuffing enemies and improving your team’s damage, so having an Exotic seemingly designed just for it is perfect.
Cenotaph Mask is great for everything from taking out Champions to bursting through bosses’ health bars. If you’re using Divinity, this is the best Exotic to use with it. And if you’re using any other Trace Rifle, it’s at least one of the best.
If you’re looking for consistency, here’s a great Exotic Helmet to try out. Nezarec’s Sin requires you to be using Void Warlock, but that subclass is definitely strong enough these days to use.
The main appeal with Nezarec’s Sin is that it causes Void kills to increase your ability regeneration rate. Each Void kill will grant the Abyssal Extractor buff for 2.5 seconds, with a maximum limit of 20 seconds. While you have Abyssal Extractor active, you gain 300% bonus grenade and melee recharge rate and 200% bonus class ability and super recharge rate.
For Void Warlocks, Nezarec’s Sin is just too consistent and useful to overlook. Spamming Grenades is a favorite pastime for Void Warlocks (and Warlocks in general), so you’ll definitely get your money’s worth with this one. Plus recharging your super is always nice, especially now that Nova Bomb is better than it used to be.
It might not be the absolute highest-damage subclass or Exotic, but it enables some seriously broken strategies and makes GM Nightfalls a breeze.