Destiny 2 Battlegrounds Guide: How The Hammer Of Proving, HELM, And Umbral Engrams Work
The Season of the Chosen has added a lot of new mechanics to Destiny 2. Here's how they all work and how you can get sweet loot from the new activity.
With the launch of the Season of the Chosen in Destiny 2 comes a new activity called Battlegrounds. It pits you against waves of Cabal enemies to take down leaders before they can join the war council of Caiatl, the Cabal empress, and allow her to rally her forces in the solar system. It also provides you with a new rewards system for earning seasonal gear and leveling up your Guardian--but the whole thing is a touch confusing.
We've put together a full rundown of how everything related to the Season of the Chosen works, from the Battlegrounds activity to the new HELM War Table, the Hammer of Proving, and the new version of Umbral Engrams. Here's everything you need to know to excel and earn your new Chosen gear.
Complete The Challenger's Proving Quest
You'll get this quest as soon as you start up Destiny 2 during the Season of the Chosen. It'll introduce you to the HELM and War Table and unlock your Bell of Conquests Seasonal Artifact and the Hammer of Proving, which you need to get the most out of Battlegrounds activities. Complete all the steps to get access to everything in the HELM area. You can enter the HELM from the Tower map in the Director.
How Battlegrounds Work
The Battlegrounds activities are a bit of a mix between a Strike and past seasonal activities like Contact. Your primary goal is to fight off waves of Cabal enemies, but you'll need to push through three different phases of the activity in order to complete it. Currently, Battlegrounds come in two versions: an easier one launched from the Director map (find it on Europa), and a tougher playlist version found under the Vanguard Director node.
The phases you'll face depend on which Battleground you're attempting. For instance, in Battleground: Behemoth on Nessus, the first phase requires you to fight through waves of enemies until a tougher Cabal with the name Keymaster shows up. Once you kill three Keymaster Cabal Majors, you can interact with a terminal that allows you to drop a forcefield and proceed to the next encounter.
In Battleground: Hailstone on Europa, the first phase has you killing several Unstable Incendior enemies, which show up one per wave. Killing these guys drops an energy orb that you can pick up and then throw at a cylindrical generator called a Power Relay. There are three of these relays, which need to be destroyed before you can advance. You'll need to be pretty accurate when you throw the orb, or you might fail to blow up the relay and have to wait for a new enemy to appear and bring you a new orb.
The first two phases of a Battleground are mostly about fighting through waves of enemies, but pay attention to any objectives that are set for you along the way as well. In playlist Battlegrounds, you'll also face Champions, and in some cases your objectives will involve defeating them before you can advance.
The last phase of the Battleground is a boss fight with a Cabal leader you need to take down. This bit enemy has a health bar divided into three sections. When each section is depleted, he'll call on Major enemies called Shieldbarrers, who will create an impenetrable barrier around the boss. You need to kill the Shieldbarrers before you can damage the boss again, so clear them out as fast as you can.
When you've killed the boss, you'll receive a chest for your efforts. In playlist Battlegrounds, if you've forged a Challenger Medallion, you can also smash one of the three forcefield-covered chests that spawns in behind the first chest at the end of the mission. This is the key element of how Battlegrounds get you new rewards--more on the Hammer of Proving below.
Each player on your fireteam should smash a separate chest for maximum rewards. Be careful about not bunching up, though, because it's easy to use two hammers on the same chest by accident, which will rob you of a chance at the third reward.
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How The Hammer Of Proving Works
The Hammer of Proving is how you earn extra rewards during playlist Battlegrounds activities by smashing the extra chests that appear at the end. To do that, you need to add a Challenger Medallion to the Hammer before you start the activity. You can create Medallions by clicking on the Hammer of Proving on the Quest screen, but in order to make those Medallions, you need to earn a currency called Cabal Gold.
The good news is that Cabal Gold is easy to come by. You'll earn it for doing basically everything, including completing playlist Rituals like Gambit matches, Crucible matches, Strikes, and Nightfall: The Ordeal runs. Gold also comes from public events, Lost Sectors, and battling in the Blind Well in the Dreaming City.
When you smash a Battlegrounds chest with the Hammer of Proving, you'll earn a Hammer Charge. You can then bring those back to the HELM to use on the Prismatic Recaster and your Umbral Engrams.
How Umbral Engrams And The Prismatic Recaster Work
The Prismatic Recaster is back from the Season of Arrivals, this time situated at the HELM. To use it, you'll need Umbral Engrams, which drop from various activities, but specifically pop up as Battlegrounds rewards.
After finishing the Challenger's Proving quest, you should have several options for tuning Umbral Engrams to make them decode for specific loot rewards. The first two, which give you armor and weapons from the world loot pool--the stuff you'd get from random drops off enemies as you're playing--cost nothing but Legendary Shards and Glimmer. Once you have the Hammer of Proving, you can start to unlock Season of the Chosen rewards from Umbral Engrams. You can first tune engrams to drop either only weapons or only armor (or both, but just from the Season of the Chosen), and as you level up the Recaster, it'll allow you to choose more specific loot drops.
This is where Hammer Charges come in. If you want to tune an Umbral Engram to give you Season of the Chosen loot, you'll need to spend a Hammer Charge on it as well. So that means, to get a Season of the Chosen reward from an Umbral Engram, you'll need to play various activities to earn Cabal Gold, use that to forge Challenger Medallions for your Hammer, then complete playlist Battlegrounds activities and smash a chest at the end to earn a Hammer Charge.
Each level for the Prismatic Recaster has different requirements, so pay attention to what you can unlock and how you can do so. Some levels require you to get a certain number of kills with a specific type of weapon, for instance, while others require you to unlock certain weapons from the Season Pass. Once you unlock those levels, however, you'll be able to use the Prismatic Recaster to give you weapons and armor with specific perks and stats favored, allowing you to tune your loadout to your liking.
How The HELM And War Table Work
The last element of the season is the HELM and its War Table. The HELM is the new seasonal room you can access from the Director's Tower map, which includes the Prismatic Recaster, the War Table, and several kiosks that give you a lot of the functionality of the Tower. You can use this room to access the Post Master and your Vault, so you can drop in here to do a lot of your Tower business and claim Battlegrounds rewards.
The War Table is your hub for a lot of season-related stuff. Here, you can claim Season of the Chosen bounties, upgrade your Hammer of Proving, purchase seasonal mods, and claim rewards as you increase your War Table rank.
Upgrading your Hammer of Proving at the War Table requires War Table Reputation, which is earned specifically from the new seasonal challenges tab on the Quest screen. These challenges replace weekly bounties you'd previously get from Zavala, Lord Shaxx, and the Drifter. Instead, you can earn these challenges anytime during the season, with new ones appearing each week. Several challenges dish out War Table Reputation; others give Bright Dust, weapons, and other rewards. So it'll be useful to pay attention to your seasonal challenges before heading out to activities to make sure you're progressing each one and earning everything you can.
We'll update this guide with more information as it becomes available during the Season of the Chosen. Expect more Battlegrounds to become available alongside more seasonal challenges, so there should be plenty to do as you upgrade your War Table, Hammer of Proving, and Prismatic Recaster.
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