The Lightblade Grandmaster Nightfall stands as one of the most difficult GMs in Destiny 2. Though not as brutal as past seasons, an ill-prepared team won’t make it far. To ensure your success, we’ve collected information from personal clears and experience and tips from the Destiny community at large and created the ultimate Lightblade GM Nightfall guide. Below is information on best builds, details on each section (the boat, the swamp, and others), as well as a thorough breakdown of the final boss fight against the monster himself, Alak-Hul, the Lightblade.
The Lightblade Grandmaster Nightfall
The Lightblade Grandmaster Nightfall rotates into the GM schedule every few seasons in Destiny 2. This GM features plenty of Barrier Champions but only a few Unstoppable Champions. Anticipate Arc and Solar shields and an Arc Threat, especially due to the explosive moths, Cursed Thrall, and Alak-Hul’s attacks. You’ll also find plenty of Void damage coming your way from Shriekers and Solar damage from Knights.
- Champions: Barrier, Unstoppable
- Shield: Solar, Arc
- Threat: Arc
The Surges and Overcharged weapons will change depending on the season. It can be a good idea to lean into the Surges in order to each out some more damage. If the Surge is Arc, a Hothead god roll remains an excellent choice, especially with taking down Champions and the boss.
Weapons & Exotics
When it comes to weapons and Exotics, the choice will generally be up to personal preference. However, it’s always a great idea to bring along Arbalest to knock out the Barrier Champions with ease. There’s also Wish-Ender, which has seen a considerable buff and can easily handle Champions and high-end enemies.
Because there are so few Unstoppable Champions, don’t bother bringing along Unstoppable mods for every player – one player is enough. In fact, with the introduction of Strand, if someone is running Shackle Grenades or the Titan’s Barricade with Drengr’s Lash, these will string up the Unstoppable Champions rendering them vulnerable to attacks.
Other weapons to consider is Divinity for the bonus damage, The Navigator for the Woven Mail, and Riskrunner for the Arc damage resistance (especially if you’re struggling with staying alive).
Classes & builds
As for the classes and builds to consider, it’s possible to complete Lightblade using any class and any setup. However, there are obvious winners that make this much easier to complete. Use our infinite invisibility Void Hunter build to stay invisible forever which trivializes the boat and swamp sections and ensures you can survive and revive fallen allies in the boss room.
Additionally, a Stasis Warlock using Osmiomancy Gloves and the Bleak Watcher Aspect for Stasis turrets can lock down Champions and Lucent Hive. The same is true for Strand Warlocks using Shackle Grenades.
Some more generalized tips would be to use survivability mods, especially Arc Resistance mods in your chest pieces and health recovery on Orb of Light pickup. You don’t want to be taking unnecessary damage or staying on critical health for extended periods of time.
The Lightblade GM guide
The start of Lightblade has your team dealing with Alak-Hul outside of a massive building. The area will be populated by numerous Hive and some Champions. One strategy is to damage Alak-Hul until he moves away and then send an invisibility Hunter into the next area as doing so will despawn the enemies.
If you choose to stay and fight, try to be quick about it so as to avoid wasting time. It’s not worth dying to defeat the Champions as it won’t be a net gain for revive tokens.
When you reach the inside room, focus on taking out the Champions, Lightbearers and Wizards first. According to research by Reddit user Anangrypudge, the waves of enemies are tied to defeating Acolytes. Whenever a Lightbearer Knight uses its Super, retreat to avoid getting one-shot by the shield throw.
The Boat / Barge
The boat (or barge) section can cause some problems for players. The good news is that at just about every part you can disembark from the boat and use platforms or walkways along the side of the area to avoid being in the crossfire.
As you enter the area, take care defeating the Champions and clearing out the enemies. Before you get on the boat, aim down the route and pick off all the enemies you can. It’s possible to jump up onto little platforms just past the boat but before you get to the next section with the water pouring out of the bowls. This will give you a good vantage point to pick off the enemies.
When the boat goes outside, you can either have the invisibility Hunter keep everyone invisible for the whole ride or fight along the edge.
The boat will eventually go through a waterfall and into a temporary holding position while Thrall jump down onto it. Either stay on the boat and defeat them quickly or jump up onto the ledges near where they spawn. The Thrall should ignore you and jump onto the boat.
The swamp section can make or break a run in the Lightblade Grandmaster Nightfall. There are multiple strategies here with one popular option being to have a permanently invisible Hunter run through or keep the whole team invisible.
Another option is to stick to the right-hand side of the area and walk to the end. It’s slow going thanks to the Weight of Darkness x10, but as soon as one player makes it to the end, the debuff will be removed.
You could try both methods at once: send an invisible Hunter through the swamp and one player along the wall. No matter what you choose, remember to take out those moths as soon as you see them as they will annihilate you.
In the cave system, clear out the enemies being sure to not get hit by the Unstoppable Abomination. This cave will also be full of moths. At the top, you’ll be able to peer down into a battlefield with Alak-Hul, Shriekers, Unstoppable Abominations, Blighted Gravekeepers and more Scorn. Stay on the ledge, pick off the Shriekers, and clear everything out while staying safe.
The Lightblade boss room
There are two important things to know about the boss room: enemy spawns are tied to the boss’ health bar (much like The Glassway) and you can manipulate the Barrier Champion spawn locations.
The following video by 360GameTV does a tremendous job at walking you through the boss fight. Each event is broken down using images to show the room layout. The image above and one below have been created based on the ones that appear in the video.
Lucent Hive will spawn whenever you remove a chunk of health from the boss. The Lucent Hive consist of three units: one Lightblade’s Warrior and two Lightblade’s Disciples. The Warrior is a Lightbearer, meaning it can use a Super and has a Ghost that must be destroyed.
There are six Barrier Champion Knights that spawn during the fight, two at a time. Whenever Barrier Champions spawn, so will Knights and Acolytes. The first pair of Champions spawn after defeating the first set of Lucent Hive, the second spawn when the boss reaches 50 percent of its health bar, and the last two spawn when one-third of the final chunk of health is removed.
It’s possible to manipulate the spawn positions of the Champions so that they always spawn in the northwest (10 & 11) and southeast (4 & 5) positions. This is done by ensuring two players stand in set spots before spawning the Barrier Champions:
- First Barrier Champions: Two players stand to the right of the statue (1 and 2)
- Second Barrier Champions: Two players in the southwest position (7 and 8)
- Final Barrier Champions: Two players to the right of the statue (1 and 2)
The third player should be baiting the boss by jumping back and forth from the balconies to the center platform. The balconies to use is dependent upon the boss’ health and the enemies in the room:
- Right platform (3) when on the first chunk of health. Leave one Lightbearer Disciple alive
- Use the bottom platform (6), then defeat the last Lightbearer and clear the Champions
- Right platform (3) before hitting 50 percent of the second health chunk
- Go to the bottom platform (6) before the last health chunk loses one-third
The strategy might sound complicated on paper, so definitely check out the embedded video above for a look at it being done in real-time.
The main thing to remember if you’re the one baiting the boss is that you will need to shift to a new platform right before a new wave of powerful enemies spawns except for the final spawning of Lightblade’s Lucent Hive. For the players manipulating the Barrier Champion spawns, be in position before hitting the triggers.
While all of this is going on, you will need to contend with Knights, Acolytes, and plenty of Thrall. If you can, try to protect the player that is baiting the boss as they may not have the capacity to clear many enemies – this is where The Navigator might come in handy.
Remember that the center well will spew out Orbs of Light. Take a moment to grab them for Super regeneration, Armor Charges, and even Woven Mail.
Though difficult, it’s certainly possible to complete The Lightblade Grandmaster Nightfall without using extremely specific loadouts and builds. However, the more you lean into the meta and strategies, the easier it will be to walk away with some excellent loot, like more golf balls. For more endgame help, check out our Destiny 2 Strategy Guide.