Destiny 2 Exotic Armor Changes – Season of the Deep



In a recent Bungie dev blog, the company has laid out all their plans for nerfs, buffs, and changes that are coming really soon. This article will review all the Destiny 2 Exotic armor changes coming in Season 21 Season of the Deep.

Bungie’s focus is to rebalance and reimagine many pieces at lie at both extremes of the usage curve. This set of changes is but the first wave that’ll start hitting the game once Season 21 goes live. Expect more changes as the season progresses.

The goal for the changes is to increase the appeal of underused armor pieces while tuning down outliers seen as must-haves by the majority of the community.

All Season 21 Destiny 2 Exotic Armor Changes

In total, there are 24 Destiny 2 Exotic armor changes coming with Season 21. With more coming as Bungie gets feedback from the community. So far there are 7 Hunter exotics, 8 Titan exotics, and 9 Warlock exotics set to be changed next season.


Pre-change: Hydraulic Boosters – Increases speed and slide distance. Improves High Jump, Strafe Jump, and Triple Jump. The airborne effectiveness stat of all weapons receives a large penalty.

Intended change: Removed airborne effectiveness penalties. You only gain increased speed, slide distance, and improved jumping while your dodge energy is full.

Take heart, Hunter ST0MP-EE5 mains. Your favorite Exotic has been hit pretty badly. But let’s be real for a moment. We get our dodge back pretty quickly. STOMP-EEZ mains will just have to be more mindful of using their dodge if they want to maintain their moment in battle. At least the Airborne Effectiveness debuff is gone. You guys don’t know the pain of seeing your Auto Rifle shots miss 50% of the time.

Sealed Ahamkara Grasps

Pre-change: Nightmare Fuel – Dealing melee damage reloads your currently equipped weapon. Provides a large benefit to the airborne effectiveness stat of all weapons for 5 seconds after dealing melee damage.

Intended change: This Exotic will now reload the magazine of all of your weapons when you defeat a target with your powered melee, and for 5 seconds after dealing melee damage you gain increased movement speed and jump height.

This one’s a flat-out buff. Previously, the Sealed Ahamkara Grasps only reloaded your currently equipped weapon. When the changes go live, it will reload all your weapons. Hunters will also get a mini-ST0MP-EE5 buff.

Athrys’s Embrace

Pre-change: Skittering Stinger – Weighted Knife gains a second bounce. Raid precision hits wit your weapons grant Weighted Knife a significant damage bonus and the ability to stun unshielded combatants for a short time.

Intended change: Gain additional Strength while the Exotic’s Weighted Knife damage bonus is active.

This is another buff to Athyrys’s albeit a minor one. It’s good that Hunters get additional Strength while the bonus is active. Though we wish that they fine-tune the bounce cones for the knife when using controller. It’s a bit tough compared to MnK players.


Pre-change: Adamantine Brace – Bow charges can be held indefinitely. Provides a moderate benefit to the airborne effectiveness stat of Bows.

Intended change: When fully drawn, Bows gain a bonus to damage against combatants that increases as you hold the draw but deactivate after a few seconds.

Bows are already a common sight in both PvE and PvP. This buff is intended to get players to move away from behind cover to look for enemies. We expect an uptick in Leviathan’s Breath and Le Monarque’s usage rate.

Raiju’s Harness

Pre-change: Mobius Conduit – Pressing the Super button deactivates Arc Staff early. Guarding with Arc Staff consumes energy more slowly when not attacking, and guarding does not consume extra Super energy.

Intended change: When deactivating your Arc Staff Super, you create a blinding explosion that temporarily increases your Arc weapon damage. However, blocking with Whirlwind Guard will no longer consume energy more slowly.

Right now, we can’t say that this is a fair trade off. We don’t currently know how much of an increase Arc weapons are going to get. But we feel like it should be a significant one considering the player is asked to willingly deactivate their Super. The Whirlwind Guard is a pretty big hit though.

Radiant Dance Machines

Pre-change: The Dance – Activating your dodge ability while near targets allows you to dodge additional times for a short period.

Intended change: Kills, while your free dodge is active, extend the duration of free dodging. No longer deactivates when you get too far away from enemies. Deactivates after using Suspending Slam.

This is a wonderful change to Radiant Dance Machines. This is definitely going to see more use in PvE, especially after the addition of the new Powerful Attraction mod. Also, new dodges for kills are invaluable in Crucible. Can’t wait.

Mask of Bakris

Pre-change: Light Shift – Replaces your Stasis subclass dodge ability with a longer range, faster-moving shift that partially cloaks you during use. After shifting, your Arc weapons deal increased damage to combatants for a short time, and you deal increased damage to all slowed or frozen combatants.

Intended change: Changed to use a tier-4 non-stacking weapon damage bonus (which behaves the same as the non-stacking damage bonuses provided by Surge mods). Damage bonus increased in PvE from 10% to 25%, and now grants a 6% bonus to weapon damage in PvP. No longer stacks with Surge leg armor mods, but provides a larger bonus that can be achieved with 3 such mods equipped.

It’s a bit of a long description but yes, Mask of Bakris is going to get buffed. However, it should be noted that there is now a cap with Surge leg armor mods. Which is fair, in our opinion. Better to utilize those slots for different mods.

No Backup Plans

Pre-change: Force Multiplier – When you have full Void melee energy, Shotgun final blows grant you a Void overshield and consume your melee energy. Shotgun final blows also give you melee energy. Provides a moderate benefit to the airborne effectiveness stat of Shotguns.

Intended change: This is a complete rework, replacing the old functionality entirely. Now provides a moderate benefit to the airborne effectiveness and reload speed of Shotguns. While you have a Void overshield, Shotguns deal additional damage, and Shotgun final blows refresh your overshield. While using a Void subclass, rapid Shotgun final blows or defeating a powerful enemy with a Shotgun grants you a Void overshield and kicks off your health regeneration.

No Backup Plans will become the Titan’s equivalent to Gyrfalcon’s Harberk with Repulsor Brace. Pre-change this Exotic would consume melee energy but now Titans can go into an engagement knee-deep in Thrall and come out for the better as long as you get Shotgun kills while popping barricades.

Eternal Warrior

Pre-change: Resolute – Gain an overshield when activating Fists of Havoc.

Intended change: Rapid takedowns with an Arc weapon grant an escalating bonus to Arc weapon damage, using the same non-stacking damage bonuses used by Surge mods. This can go all the way up to the tier-4 damage bonus, granting a damage bonus of 25% in PvE and 6% in PvP, providing a larger bonus than can be achieved with three Surge mods equipped. While at the tier-4 damage bonus, Arc kills refresh the bonus’s duration. After your Fist of Havoc Super ends, you gain the tier-4 damage bonus.

From what we can tell, Eternal Warrior has hope of pulling itself out of garbage tier. The rework gives the exotic extended functionality outside of Fists of Havoc. You don’t even need to have Fists of Havoc on as the main beneficiaries will be your Arc weapons.

Point-Contact Cannon Brace

Pre-change: Hammer of the Gods – Defeating targets with your Thunderclap melee restores melee energy. Target near you when you use your Thunderclap suffer lighting strikes; being amplified increases the range of these lightning strikes.

Intended change: Lightning strikes now jolts targets. Increased PvE damage per lightning bolt from 50 to 200. Being amplified now increases the damage of the lightning strikes by 50% instead of extending their range.

Finally! Point-Contact Cannon Brace is worth pulling from collections. Granted Titans will sacrifice range for pure damage potential but that’s all worth it in the end. The dream of a One-Punch build is possible at last.

Second Chance

Pre-change: Myrmidon’s Reach – Gain a second charge of your Shield Throw melee, which becomes shield-piercing and stuns Barrier Champions.

Intended change: Shield three melee now weakens enemies. Stunning a Barrier Champion with your shield throw grants a single full melee charge.

This is a pretty big PvE buff. When this goes live, Titans can throw another shield after stunning a Barrier Champion. The Weaken can potentially also see play in PvP. We’ll see how it goes.


Pre-change: Clenched Fist – Maximizes Guard stats on equipped Swords. Shots blocked immediately after guarding will heal you.

Intended change: Replaced the healing from blocking shots precisely with significant damage reduction (50% in PvE, 10% in PvP) while blocking with a Sword. When you stop blocking, gain restoration x2, with a duration that increases based on the number of shots you blocked.

This is more of an Ease of Use thing than a flat-out buff. Does this mean we’ll see more Swords in PvP? Probably not. Not unless next season’s Artifact Mods support swords in a huge way. But the pairing with The Lament does open up the possibility for more boss-tanking options at the very least.

Khepri’s Horn

Pre-change: Solar Rampart – Solar damage kills recharge your Barricade, which unleashes a blast of Solar energy when summoned.

Intended change: The Solar damage wave now scorches targets.

So the exotic scorches targets now… but by how much? That is the question. If Khepri’s Horn does make it so that Ignitions are easier to do in PvE then it’s worth wearing. If not, it’s back to the meme build with Strand Titan.

Path of the Burning Steps

Pre-change: Firewalker – Solar final blows periodically grant you an escalating bonus to weapon damage. You are hard to slow or freeze with Stasis, and when you break out, you take no damage from doing so, creating a burst of Solar energy around yourself.

Intended change: Changed to use the non-stacking weapon damage bonuses used by Surge mods. This can go all the way up to the tier-4 damage bonus, granting a damage bonus of 25% in PvE and 6% in PvP, providing a larger bonus that can be achieved with three Surge mods equipped. While at the tier-4 damage bonus, Solar kills refresh the bonus’s duration. Becoming encased immediately grants you the tier-4 damage bonus.

This is a nerf for Path of Burning Steps. The removal of the damage bonuses from Surge mods is noticeable. Not deal-breaking though. It does stack well with Solar Exotics like Tommy’s Matchbook but you won’t be going around PvP like a dang firestarter anymore.


Pre-change: Linear Actuators – Increases sprint speed. Sprinting builds up a static charge. After melee attacking an enemy, that charge will chain damage to nearby enemies.

Intended change: Reduced the range of the chain damage from 20m to 12m and PvP damage from 85 to 50.

A well-deserved nerf. Enuf sed.

Starfire Protocol

Pre-change: Fusion Harness – Fusion Grenades have an additional charge and recharges from empowered weapon damage. Fusion Grenade kills grant Rift energy.

Intended change: Reduced the amount of energy gained per instance of damage from 20% to 2.5%. Empowered weapon kills now grant 20% grenade energy.

Nerfed. Totally and completely in PvE content. You’ve had a good run Starfire Protocol but all good things come to an end. And it so happens to be in Season 21. On the bright side, Warlocks can still do Warlock things like the ever-important Well of Radiance.

Vesper of Radius

Pre-change: Planetary Torrent – Rifts release an Arc shockwave when cast. Rift energy recharges faster when you are surrounded by enemies.

Intended change: Your rifts emit an Arc shockwave every 5 seconds that deals damage (200 in PvE and 70 in PvP). Enemies defeated by these shockwaves explode for an additional 100 damage and, if you have an Arc subclass equipped, also blind nearby enemies.

In all honestly, this Exotic has never come up in serious conversation. Not even once. But it’s not so bad as people dunking on it like Eternal Warrior. It’s just one of those forgotten Exotics that no one ever uses. Until now. We may see this get used a lot more in PvE content AND PvP content. Control Points won’t be the only place you see Titan barricades and Bubble Supers.

Chromatic Fire

Pre-change: Crystalline Transistor – Precision final blows with your Kinetic weapon create an explosion in the element of your subclass.

Intended change: Increased the radius and damage of the explosion created by precision Kinetic takedowns. The explosion also applies a status effect to targets damaged by it, depending on which subclass you have equipped: blind (Arc), scorch (Solar), slow (Stasis), sever (Strand), and weaken (Void).

This might become a go-to Exotic in PvP. It is flexible to the point that you can pair this with any Kinetic weapon and any subclass that fits your fancy.

Dawn Chorus

Pre-change: Rites of Ember – Your Daybreak projectiles cause targets to scorch on contact. Your scorch effects deal more damage, and you gain a small amount of melee energy each time your scorch effects damage a target.

Intended change: Daybreak projectile’s damage bonus has been increased and no longer is reliant on the enemy being scorched.

This is going to see a lot of use in PvE mostly. Dawn Blade already has plenty of use in PvP so don’t really need a damage buff to something that can already one-shot kill practically any Guardian.

Sanguine Alchemy

Pre-change: Blood Magic – Weapon kills standing in any rift pause the rift’s countdown, extending its duration. Further kills maintain and extend the length of the pause.

Intended change: Standing in a rift grants a non-stacking bonus to weapon damage matching your subclass damage type. This damage bonus is the equivalent of 2 Surge leg mods (17% PvE and 4.5% PvP).

Claws of Ahamkara

Pre-change: The Whispers – Gain an additional melee charge.

Intended change: Powered melee kills create an Orb of Power. When Heavy mods are equipped, increases the potency of the orb spawned (no more than 1 orb can be spawned per enemy takedown).

It’s fair to say that Warlocks with this Exotic equipped will cause it to rain Orbs of Power. We’re quite excited about the possibilities when the changes go live.

Mantle of Battle Harmony

Pre-change: Absorption Celss – Takedowns with weapons that have a damage type matching your subclass element grant you Super energy. While your Super energy is full, you instead gain a temporary bonus to weapon damage of the type matching your subclass element.

Intended change: Weapon bonus damage changed to tier-4 when Super is fully charged, increasing damage bonus in PvE from 20% to 25% and reducing the damage bonus from 15% to 6% in PvP. It no longer stacks with Surge leg armor mods, but provides a larger bonus than can be achieved with three such mods equipped.

Damage bonus only applies to weapons that match your subclass damage type, and now stacks with Empowering Rift and other similar damage bonuses. Extended base duration of this bonus from 6 seconds to 10 seconds (PvE) and 3 seconds to 5 seconds (PvP).

Warlocks can see this as a give-and-take change for Mantle of Battle Harmony. What you lose in PvP, you make up for in PvE. Additionally, the Exotic now has a slightly extended base duration in both PvP and PvE.

Ophidian Aspect

Pre-change: Cobra Totemic – Weapons ready and reload very quickly. Melee range is extended. Provides a small benefit to the airborne effectiveness stat of all weapons.

Intended change: Removed the extended melee range.

We won’t be over the moon over this nerf. Yes, it was annoying to fight against a Warlock that can instantly delete you in half the time it takes you to pull out your knife. Don’t get us wrong, the Exotic is still going to be strong. But this may encourage Warlocks to play a little further in close-range encounters.

Promethium Spur

Pre-change: Embers of Light – Defeating combatants or Guardians while Daybreak is active creates a healing and empowering rift at their location. While standing in any rift, Solar weapon final blows grant Rift energy. When your Rift energy is full, final blows consume your Rift energy and create a healing and empowering rift at the target’s location.

Intended change: Grants Rift energy for any Solar weapon takedown, with more energy granted for Solar weapon takedowns while standing in a rift. Also, you now have to be standing in a rift when you get a final blow for the Exotic to consume your class energy and create a rift at the target’s location.

What is it with Warlock Exotics that only a handful are ever discussed? Looking at Promethium Spur, we now understand why. This is such a restrictive Exotic to use. With any luck, these changes will encourage more Warlocks to give it a chance.

And that’s all the Destiny 2 Exotic Armor changes that are set to take effect at the start of Season 21. We will keep an eye out for more changes as they become known to us.

In the meantime check out this video from YouTuber Fallout Plays where he goes through and comments on all the announced changes.



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