Master Root of Nightmares changes - Destiny 2

All the changes to Root of Nightmares on Master mode including new Champions and additional shields.


Master Root of Nightmares brings with it several changes to the base raid in Destiny 2. These changes might make the raid easier for some players while others may struggle. Check the cheat sheet below for a quick glance at what’s different and scroll further down for a comprehensive overview of each encounter.

As always, don’t dive into Master Root of Nightmares without knowing the basics. We’ve got our Root of Nightmares guide which has simple numbered steps and a detailed explanation for every encounter.

Root of Nightmares Master changes cheat sheet
Encounter Champions
Cataclysm Barrer
Scission Barrier, Unstoppable
Zo'Aurc, Explicator of Planets Barrier
Nezarec, Final God of Pain Barrier

Master Root of Nightmares changes

Six Root of Nightmare weapons lying on the ground

Source: Bungie

The Master Root of Nightmares is the more difficult version of the base raid. Compared to a Day One raid, some might argue that this version is easier than the Contest Mode. With the change to how Power levels works in Destiny 2, it’s impossible to over-level for this raid as you will always be locked below the enemy’s power.

Despite this, you will want to have your Power as high as you can, up to the Power cap restriction (which may change). If you are too far below the recommended Power, you will not be raised up to the Power cap. As of Season of Defiance, the maximum effective Power is 1820.

Keep in mind that if you’re chasing extra loot, there is only one Challenge available per week. All Challenges will be active at once when Root of Nightmares joins the featured raid schedule. Additionally, the Adept weapon is on a rotation.


  • Barrier Cabal Colossus now spawn in greater numbers
  • Solar shields on Centurions

The only quantifiable change here is that there will be an additional round of Barrier Champions. Cabal units will still have Solar shields. If you’re leaning into the Overcharged weapons and have decent builds, this encounter shouldn’t be an issue.

For the Challenge on Master, it’s worth having one runner, two players dedicated to Psions, and the rest always looking to have the buff. This ensures you have a good coverage of the area when the Tormentors spawn.


  • Barrier Cabal Colossus still spawn toward the end of each floor
  • Unstoppable Cabal Incendiors spawn on each floor

The only difference with the Scission encounter is that there will now be Unstoppable Champions spawning toward the end of each floor.

When attempting the Challenge, it can be easier to have two players building a network of a single color. One player will be jumping across the gap and the other simply connects the nodes on the “home” side. The third player should be clearing enemies and shooting the piston activation button. Whoever is jumping the gap should call out the piston-shooter when needed.

Zo’Aurc, Explicator of Planets

The Explicator of Planets room in Root of Nightmares

Source: Bungie
  • Barrier Cabal Colossus replace the Terrestrial Lieutenants
  • Solar shields on Centurions

The fight against Zo’Aurc, Explicator of Planets in the Macrocosm encounter is basically the same on Master as it is on Normal. The key difference will be the Barrier Colossi. Do your best to take these down quickly. Slug Shotguns wdo the job nicely. When it comes to dealing enough damage, you might just have to anticipate doing multiple phases. Whatever you do, lean into the meta.

As for the Challenge, this is just going to balloon out the encounter. You’ll need to perform the Planetary Shift twice per damage phase, so just make sure you’ve got ammo finders on so you don’t struggle with the Terrestrial Lieutenants.

Nezarec, Final God of Pain

  • Barrier Cabal Colossus replace the Esteemed Colossus

As with the other encounters, Master Nezarec is basically exactly the same as Normal mode. The key difference will obviously be the Barrier Colossi and the amount of damage you’ll need to deal to Nezarec.

At the time of writing the Challenge hasn’t been released. Check back with us on April 18 for more information.

There aren’t a lot of changes in Master Root of Nightmares compared to Master King’s Fall. This should also be an easier time for players looking to score some Adept raid weapons and secure the Dream Warrior Title. Read over the Shacknews Destiny 2 strategy guide for more raid help.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, 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 message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

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