Crown of Sorrow raid guide - Destiny 2

A complete Crown of Sorrow raid guide in Destiny 2, the last raid added with the Season of Opulence.

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The Crown of Sorrow is the final raid released as part of the Destiny 2 Annual Pass and was included with the Season of Opulence. This is an extremely challenging raid that sees players delving once more into the depths of the Leviathan. To help you claim the ultimate victory, we’ve put together a complete Crown of Sorrow raid guide.


Crown of Sorrow raid guide

Set in the belly of the Leviathan, the Crown of Sorrow raid has players venturing into uncharted areas to quash a powerful Cabal-Hive hybrid that Calus created. Though probably as short as Eater of Worlds, the Crown of Sorrow is likely as challenging as Spire of Stars. Well, the final encounter can get a bit hectic, but the first few encounters are rather simple.

Crown of Sorrow has a recommended Power of 740, so expect to meet some heavy resistance. The first encounter kicks off at 720, so the entry point isn’t quite as high. Despite this, it’s well worth exhausting all ways to get Powerful gear in Season of Opulence to push your Power level as high as possible.

Before starting the Crown of Sorrow raid, it’s important that players are prepared for the fight ahead.

Weapons to use

These days, Outbreak Perfected is going to be the top pick for most encounters. If you haven’t already, make sure you’ve completed the Zero Hour mission to unlock Outbreak Perfected and even attempt the configuration puzzles so you can get the Exotic catalyst and boost its damage output. When you have a full Fireteam of six players using this Exotic Pulse Rifle, even yellow-bar enemies get chewed up. You will want to supplement it with a Shotgun, Fusion Rifle, or Submachine Gun in your Energy slot. There are very few opportunities for a Sniper Rifle, so keep it close range.

As for your Power weapon slot, this is a little bit more difficult. Now that Whisper of the Worm has been nerfed, it could be time to find a replacement Heavy weapon. A stand-out option is the Wendigo-GL3, the Vanguard pinnacle Grenade Launcher. For maximum boss damage throughout the raid, a team of Grenade Launchers with the Spike Grenade perk on each is as good as it gets. A Void Grenade Launcher with a 5-round Magazine, Spike Grenades, and 150 RPM (rounds per minute) is wonderful. Think Swarm of the Raven in Iron Banner, but also, stop throwing away those Edge Transits until you get a good look at the perks.

What class to use

Warlocks using Well of Radiance is without a doubt one of the most useful classes to use during the first encounter, and potentially the last. This allows your team to control areas and simply survive. In fact, two Warlocks with Well of Radiance is a pretty good bet throughout the raid.

Hunters should consider using Blade Barrage or Shadowshot to either clear out waves of enemies or provide ample Orb of Light generation. Shadowshot should not be used on the final boss, but should instead be used to control enemies and Thrall during the final boss damage phase. Golden Gun (Way of the Sharpshooter) with Celestial Nighthawk can be useful due to its ability to obliterate Ogres, who are a problem throughout most of the raid. However, Blade Barrage is great in the final encounter when it's crucial to clear several enemies in quick order.

Titans might like to opt for Sunbreaker (Code of the Fire-Forged) with a special focus on Hammer Strike or even Banner Shield for the added protection for your allies. Hammer Strike can be used to apply an extra damage buff to bosses.


Witch’s Ritual

The first encounter in Crown of Sorrow doesn’t have a boss, so it’s simply known as the Witch’s Ritual. Players will need to pair up in a yin-and-yang scenario to take down enemies and swap buffs.

  1. Three players stand in the Hive ritual and get the buff
  2. Clear enemies until three crystals spawn
  3. Destroy the crystals by pairing up with a Blessed and Non-Blessed and shooting it
  4. Group up on the ball and shoot it to reverse your buff
  5. Repeat this process, defeating Ogres as they appear
Destiny 2 Crown of Sorrow raid guide
Three players should stand in the green circle to get the Witch's Blessing.

The main mechanic of the Witch’s Ritual fight is something called the Witch’s Blessing. This buff lasts for 60 seconds and allows the affected player to kill Blessed enemies. However, a player with the Witch’s Blessing cannot damage Non-Blessed enemies. After 60 seconds, the Blessing will turn into the Witch’s Curse and shortly thereafter the player will die.

Destiny 2 Crown of Sorrow
Stand near the Witch's Vessel and shoot it to switch the Witch's Blessing on or off. 

To prevent the Witch’s Curse, players must use the sphere at the front-center the room to flip their buff/no-buff. Players will need to shoot the sphere with someone of the opposite buff state. All players will need to be within the effect radius of the sphere or their buff will not be removed/they will not receive the buff. The sphere is simply an on/off switch.

A good strategy seems to be grouping around the sphere and using Well of Radiance for protection. This ensures all players are close to the sphere when it comes time to switch. Kill enemies, ensuring that the Blessed players take down the Knights and the non-Blessed focus on the Thralls. Players can stand next  to this sphere for nearly the entire encounter, only really needing to wander away when they need to locate and shoot a cystal.

Destiny 2 Witch's Ritual crystal
Two players will need to destroy a crystal, one with the Witch's Blessing and one without.

When the crystals spawn, pair off in a Blessed and non-Blessed to destroy the crystals. Two players should destroy the crystal on the left, two should focus the crystal in the middle, and two should destroy the one on the right. The crystal’s spawn point is random, so you will need to find it.

Return to the sphere, and if it’s needed, switch the buffs. Those players with the Witch’s Blessing should be counting down the seconds and calling out when a switch is required. If you find that there are 20 seconds remaining before a switch is needed, but you have a few seconds of downtime, initiate the switch. You do not have to wait the full 60 seconds, and it's best not to push the timer if you don't need to. That's just inviting mistakes to happen.

Destiny 2 Gahlran's Retainer
Ogres will spawn during the Witch's Ritual event, take them down to continue the fight.

As you progress, Ogres will spawn, one on each side. One of these Ogres is Blessed and the other is not, so make sure you’re shooting the correct Ogre.

Repeat this entire process until all four of the braziers across the gap have been lit. Not a lot of attention needs to be paid other than killing enemies, switching buffs, shooting cyrstals, and owning Ogres. Do that until you get that sweet loot!

In the event someone has missed out on getting the Blessing, you will need to work out on the fly what player will stay outside of the sphere’s radius during the next switch. If four players are Blessed, you will need to have one non-Blessed player running around shooting the crystals in turn.


Kingdom of Sorrow jumping puzzle

The second encounter in the Crown of Sorrow raid is the Kingdom of Sorrow jumping puzzle. Players will need to use the Blessed and non-Blessed mechanic to destroy crystals which raises up more bongo-like pistons.

  1. Have three players get the Witch’s Blessing
  2. Pair-up and jump across the pistons
  3. Destroy the crystals with your partner
  4. Continue to the sphere platform and activate it to switch the Blessing
  5. Repeat until you cross the gap

The Kingdom of Sorrow jumping puzzle is rather easy and only requires a bit of communication. You will need to ensure that each crystal is destroyed as quickly as possible. Taking too long means the Witch’s Blessing will turn into the Witch’s Curse, killing your players and prevent progress.

As you actually work your way to each sphere platform, the pistons will drop away behind you. In fact, if you’re not fast enough, the pistons will drop right from under you.

Destiny 2 Kingdom of Sorrow
Use the pistons to reach the crystals. Two players are needed to destroy a crystal, one with the Blessing and one without.

Some of the crystals will be inside protective shields, both a Blessed and non-Blessed player will need to make it into the shield to destroy the crystal.

The key to this encounter is speed. Try and go as fast as possible and try to keep your shooting to a minimum. You don’t want to run out of ammo as you get closer to the end.


Gahlran’s Deception

The fight against Gahlran’s Deception has the arena split into three distinct sections, with segments slowly joining until all players can fight the Deception.

  1. Split into pairs and pick a section
  2. One player from a single pair will collect the Witch’s Blessing
  3. Kill Wizards, Ogres, and avoid Gahlran’s Deception
  4. Use the Vessel to flip the buffs, which will also remove one wall
  5. Continue to clear enemies and then use the Vessel to flip buffs, removing the final wall
  6. A Blessed and Non-Blessed punch Gahlran’s Deception to remove his shield
  7. Damage the Deception until his shield returns, then remove it again
  8. Split up again and repeat the steps until Gahlran’s Deception dies
Destiny 2 Gahlran's Deception
Two players will be in each section of the arena. The pair with the Deception will be the last team to receive the Witch's Blessing.

Begin the fight by splitting into pairs and picking a corner. Shoot Gahlran to initiate the fight, at which point a few things will happen: walls will appear and split the arena into separate areas, a pool for the Witch’s Blessing will appear in one section, and Gahlran will appear in a section.

The team with the Witch’s Blessing will assign one player to get the buff. At this point, all the players will need to clear enemies until Ogres spawn. Killing all three Ogres spawns a Vessel. The team with the Witch’s Blessing (both members) will need to stand near the Vessel and one player from the pair next door will need to stand there too. Shooting the Vessel will result in two players having the Blessing and two players without. Remember, the Vessel only flips players between blessed and non-blessed. 

Destiny 2 Gahlran's Retainer
Once all three Ogres (Gahlran's Retainer) die, the Vessel will spawn.

Continue to clear enemies and once the three Ogres die, all players will need to stand near the Vessel, including those in the section with Gahlran’s Deception. Once the Vessel is shot, this will result in two players without the buff and four players with the Witch’s Blessing.

Destiny 2 Gahlran's Deception
Remove the shields by having two players punch Gahlran's Deception. Deal damage until his shield returns and then clear it again.

From here, players will need to work in pairs to take down the shield of Gahlran’s Deception. One player without the buff will call forward one player with the Witch’s Blessing. These two players will punch Gahlran’s Deception, which will explode the shield and consume the Witch’s Blessing. At this point, players will need to damage the Deception. Once the shield returns, take down the shield again. Be careful, though, as the explosion of the shield disappearing will remove the Witch’s Blessing from any player that is too close. Ideally, you should be able to take down the shield four times. 

It's important to note that only players without the Witch's Blessing can damgae Gahlran. Since the boss-damage portion of this encounter starts with four players with the Witch's Blessing and two without, it plays out like this: One player with the Witch's Blessing and one without approach Gahlran and lower his shield. Because the shield explodes and removes the Witch's Blessing from anyone nearby, there are now three players with the Witch's Blessing (who cannot damage Gahlran) and three without it (who can damage Gahlran). For this reason, the first phase of this boss-damage section will have three people doing damage and three not. Once Gahlran's shield returns, one player with the Witch's Blessing and one without will lower his shield. Now there are four players without the blessing doing damage, and two with it who are not. You keep lowering the shield each time it returns, and on the final phase all six Guardians should be doing damage. For this reason damage can start off slow, but picks up dramatically as you get more Guardians putting the hurt on Gahlran.

In terms of damaging Gahlran’s Deception, a Well of Radiance, Tractor Cannon, Hammer Strike, and even a Banner Shield are all great at increasing damage output. Outbreak Perfected, a high-impact shotgun, and Wendigo-GL3 are all excellent choices for weapons. These damage buffs can help you one-phase Gahlran. If Gahlran’s Deception isn’t defeated during the first rotation, return to your sections and repeat the process. 


Gahlran, the Sorrow-Bearer

The final fight in the Crown of Sorrow raid is against Gahlran, the Sorrow-Bearer. This fight has players juggling crystals, Ogres, and three Gahlran’s Deceptions.

  1. Start the fight and get three players with the Witch’s Blessing
  2. Split into pairs and defeat Knights, an Ogre, and flip the buff using the Vessel
  3. Destroy the crystal with a Blessed and non-Blessed when it appears in your section
  4. Remove the shield of Gahlran’s Deception with a Blessed and non-Blessed when he’s at the top of the stairs
  5. Shoot Gahlran’s hand when it glows green to cause him to slam the ground, destroying the Deception
  6. Once all three Deceptions are defeated, shoot both of Gahlran’s hands as they glow green, and then shoot his face
  7. Two Gahlran’s will disappear, group up on the final Gahlran and prepare to deal damage
  8. Shoot Gahlran’s hands to stun him, then shoot his head to crit. Repeat this until the damage phase ends.
  9. Return to your section and repeat the steps

The fight against Gahlran, the Sorrow-Bearer is much the same as the previous encounter, except this time there are no walls and the Vessels respawn faster. There is also a crystal that spawns clockwise around the room that must be destroyed.

Destiny 2 Gahlran the Sorrow-Bearer
Three Knights will spawn, followed by an Ogre. Be sure to flip the Witch's Blessinb buff before the timer runs out.

Once the encounter starts, a pool will spawn and three players will need to get the Witch’s Blessing. Pair off with a non-Blessed player and go to a section. Kill the Knights and then the Ogre, being sure to flip the buffs with the Vessel when necessary. It lasts 60 seconds, but flip at about 40-45 to be sure. Use the Vessel to the right of your area (clockwise) when you are facing the stairs, this way no team is doubling-up on a Vessel.

Crown of Sorrow raid
When meleeing Gahlran's Deception, it can help to stand on the blocks on the platform to avoid getting hit by the Deception.

A Gahlran’s Deception will spawn in your area, at this point you must take down its shield when it’s at the top of the stairs in front of Gahlran. To do this, have one player with a Witch’s Blessing and one non-Blessed player melee it. The Deception will be stunned. Gahlran will shoot five fire bolts out of his hand, after which you must shoot his green hand to stun him. He will then destroy the Deception with an axe. It's important to keep track of the rotating crystals here. If you have the cyrstal, or see that you will have it next, don't lower Gahlran's shield. Wait for the cyrstal, destroy it with one blessed and one non-blessed Guardian, then take down Gahlran's shield. If you take down the shield first, your section will have two non-blessed Guardians, and that won't to destroy the crystal, which is where things get hairy.

If you lose your Blessing (and your partner is also a non-blessed Guardian), stand near the Vessel and clearly communicate that you need a Guardian with the Witch's Blessing to shoot it from a distance while you're also doing the same. This will return your section to one blessed and one non-blessed, at which point you can handle crystals and Ghalran's shield.

When three Gahlran’s Deceptions die, each of the three Gahlrans must be stunned. To do this, work with your partner to shoot both of Gahlran’s hands and then his head. Two of the Gahlrans will disappear, leaving one alive.

Destiny 2 Gahlran the Sorrow-Bearer
Shoot the green hands to stun Gahlran, allowing damage to be deal to his head and body.

Flip the buffs again to reset the 60-second timer and then group up as a Fireteam near the remaining Gahlran and get ready for the damage phase. Shoot Gahlran’s hands to stun him and then shoot his head for critical damage. When his head goes immune, shoot his hands again to stun him. Repeat this process until the damage phase ends or when he dies. Remember to be applying the Hammer Strike and Tractor Cannon buffs, but this should be one Guardian. The other five should be melting the boss with that sweet Grenade Launcher with Spike Grenades damage.

Destiny 2 Gahlran the Sorrow-Bearer crystals
The crystal will continue to spawn in a clockwise partern around the arena. It must be destroyed or it will wipe the team.

Though any weapon is feasible, there are some standout options when attacking Gahlran. If all players on your team have it unlocked, a Masterworked Outbreak Perfected does tens of thousands of damage. However, in the current meta, a Grenade Launcher with the Spike Grenades perk (as mentioned previously) leads the way, such as Play of the Game or Swarm of the Raven.


The Crown of Sorrow raid is a deeply rewarding challenge that all players should try and attempt at least once. While it may not be possible for all Fireteams to tackle it in the first week, hopefully by using this raid guide, and by acquiring Powerful gear, you will be able to clear the Crown of Sorrow and grow fat with strength, just as Emperor Calus wants. For more raid guides, check out the Shacknews Destiny 2 complete strategy guide.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler is relatively new to the industry, getting his start a few years ago as a writer-for-hire. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and finding his feet, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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