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Destiny 2: Here's What You Need To Know About Strand Before Lightfall Launches

Bungie shares details about the new Darkness Strand subclass arriving in Destiny 2 Lightfall.


Destiny 2: Lightfall, which launches February 28, brings players another Darkness subclass called Strand that's all about telekinesis. Before swinging into Lightfall, we have the essential information players need about new abilities, mechanics, customizing Strand, and the grind for subclass upgrades. We had the opportunity to learn more about Strand during a group interview with Destiny 2's combat systems design lead Kevin Yanes and gameplay feature lead Eric Smith, and the studio has also released a new trailer and blog, as outlined below.

Tangles and Grapples

Firstly, the crux of this new Darkness subclass is that the Guardian weaves Strand to unravel enemies, and that action creates a Tangle. Smith explains, "any Strand-debuffed enemy that you defeat is going to turn into a Tangle when you kill them." Players can shoot at Tangles to damage nearby enemies or throw Tangles at targets. Also, Tangles are multipurpose, not only serving as a way to damage enemies, but also doubling as an anchor point when using the new grappling hook system.

A Guardian grappling onto Tangles in the air.
A Guardian grappling onto Tangles in the air.

Grappling is a new movement mechanic--available to all Strand subclasses--that lets players latch onto a surface or create an anchor point in the air, first pulling then propelling them, like swinging from paracasual vines. Although this ability uses the grenade button, players can hook onto grapple Tangles to save their grenade energy. Smith says, "I think in the Lightfall campaign specifically, [the level design] was definitely affected by grapple or grapple Tangles scattered throughout Neomuna. Grapple Tangles are like normal tangles, but they're more ethereal, so you can't pick up and throw them for an explosive, but you can still grapple to them for free," making it easier chain grapples, adding "there are sections of Lightfall where we're grappling to moving objects, vehicles to kind of pull ourselves around the environment."

In addition to movement, Bungie’s post says how players can melee enemies during or when ending grapple to deal bonus damage and unravel them--all classes can perform grapple melees. When discussing the grapple ability in the grenade slot and PvP, Smith explains, "We quickly found that [grapple] needed to have a grenade-level offensive capability. So, we gave the grapple a grapple punch. If you grapple toward an enemy, and you press the melee button, you're going to pull out to third-person, do this giant punch performance that does a big AoE explosion and debuffs the enemy."

Strand debuff and buffs

Bungie defines three debuff terms associated with Strand that players should know for PvE and PvP.

  • Suspend: Suspends a PvE enemy in the air for a brief duration, leaving them unable to counter. However, in PvP, suspended opponents can slowly move and fire their weapons. "When you're suspended, it's going to pull the camera out to third-person just so it's very clear that you are suspended and you will be hip-firing at enemies until it wears off," Smith says.
  • Unravel: Attacking unraveled enemies causes threads to explode and attack nearby enemies. If hit, those enemies will then unravel.
  • Sever: Reduces the damage output for enemies when they are severed.

Guardians also get a new buff called Woven Mail that wraps the Guardian in a protective barrier to reduce incoming damage. In PvP though, Woven Mail won't provide additional protection against melee and headshot damage.

There is another term to keep in mind before moving on to Aspects and Fragments, called Threadlings, which Smith describes as "explosive creatures woven from Strand matter that crawl towards enemies and then jump on them and explode."

Strand Grenades, Aspects, and Fragments

The grapple ability uses the grenade slot, but there are two other grenades in Strand. One is called the Threadling grenade, where three projectiles weave as Threadlings on impact. Also, the Shackle grenade detonates in the air, sending projectiles to suspend and shackle nearby enemies.

Aspects and Fragments have become a core part of subclass customization and remain an essential part of Strand. Each class has a specialty when it comes to Aspects: Warlocks rely on Threadlings, Hunters use the grappling rope, and Titans have their blades.

The new Bungie blog post detailing the Strand subclass lists the two-per-class Aspects coming to Lightfall:

Warlock Strand Aspects:

There's a lot Warlocks can do with Threadlings. As Smith explains, "if you are a Warlock, that Threadling, when it can't find any more targets, it's actually going to come back to you and kind of hop on to you, an action we call perching. When Threadling perches on you, it kind of condenses down into the smaller form and orbits around you. So, I can run around with my minions, and as I attack enemies, they're also going to off me and rush toward those enemies."

  • Weaver’s Call: On Rift cast, Warlocks weave three Threadling eggs, which hatch into Threadlings when they hit a surface. Any perched Threadlings turn into additional eggs.
  • Mindspun Invocation: This Aspect improves several of the Warlock’s abilities:
    • Grapple melee: Warlock weaves three Threadling eggs from the target.
    • Threadling grenade: consume grenade to generate a full complement of perched Threadlings.
    • Shackle grenade: consume grenade to gain a buff, creating a suspending detonation on every kill.

Hunter Strand Aspects:

  • Ensnaring Slam: While in the air, press the air-move button to slam into the ground to suspend all nearby enemies.
  • Widow’s Silk: This Aspect gives an additional grenade charge. The Hunter’s grapple ability creates a persistent grapple Tangle when it latches--which fully refunds grenade energy when grappled. This ability can set up chains of grapple points for their team. Also, any grapple Tangles created by the Hunter Aspect has a timer that resets every time someone grapples onto it, and as Smith explains, "you could create that jungle gym indefinitely as long as you keep grappling to that Tangle."

Titan Strand Aspects:

  • Into the Fray: Destroying a Tangle weaves Woven Mail unto the Titan and nearby allies. In addition to reducing damage taken, this Aspect increases the Titan’s melee energy regeneration.
  • Drengr’s Lash: When the Titan casts their class ability, the Titan blasts a powerful ripple in reality forward, suspending enemies caught in the shockwave.

Additionally, Lightfall will bring four Strand Fragments:

  • Thread of Ascent: For a short time, the Guardian gets increased weapon handling, airborne effectiveness, and their weapon reloads when activating the grenade ability.
  • Thread of Fury: Gives melee energy when the Guardian damages targets with a Tangle.
  • Thread of Finality: Perform Finishers to generate Threadlings.
  • Thread of Warding: Pick up an orb of power for Woven Mail buff.

Unlocking the Stasis subclass and then setting up Aspects and Fragments was time-consuming, even after completing the Beyond Light campaign, but the process for Strand may be less grind-heavy. "We definitely learned from the Stasis unlock grind that it was hard to dedicate that much time per character to do all that so we have streamlined at this time instead of it being kind of locked behind time-gated quests," Smith says. Yanes adds, "When you end the campaign, you'll have a pretty competent subclass, right? You have a few Aspects. We actually do a better job of onboarding you here. Whereas in Beyond Light, you had just a skeleton, you had to go out and kind of like fulfill the rest of that yourself." Also, Smith mentions that new parts of Strand and new Aspects will roll out throughout upcoming Lightfall seasons.

Strand Supers and Melee Attacks

Hunter Strand Super and Melee

The Hunter Strand subclass rope dart.
The Hunter Strand subclass rope dart.

The grappling rope is the Hunter's specialty. The Strand melee ability called Threaded Spike turns the grappling rope into a rope dart that bounces off enemies, dealing damage and severing them. When the rope dart returns to the Hunter, it grants melee energy per hit; players can also catch the rope dart with the melee button to get bonus melee energy.

Silkstrike--the Hunter's Super ability--has light attacks that let the Hunter chain attacks toward individual enemies, and when hit with the point of the dart, the enemies will take bonus damage and explode when defeated. When talking about mastery in subclasses, Smith gives an example of the Hunter Super saying, "So you can run in all willy-nilly and just swipe at everything, but if you can actually master the spacing required to get that crit every single time, we're rewarding that mastery with additional damage." For the heavy attack, the Hunter hurls the rope dart in a circle to attack nearby enemies.

Titan Strand Super and Melee

The Titan with its Strand-clawed arms.
The Titan with its Strand-clawed arms.

The Titan melee attack is called the Frenzied Blade, where the Titan rushes forward to slash enemies that are in the way with their blade-like arms--slashes can chain together with three charges. This melee severs targets and decreases the enemy damage output.

Bladefury, the Titan Strand Super ability, turns the Titan into a tornado with blade-like arms that mimic the melee ability. Yanes explains how the sever debuff is "rewarding you for getting in there--whereas Fist of Havoc resolves that by killing things in front of you. Bladefury is much more about giving you the survivability tools to really lay into those guys." Chaining Bladefury light attacks increases speed and builds up to the heavy attack, which is a ranged attack where the Titan does an uppercut to throw Strand projectiles at enemies that damages and suspends them.

Warlock Strand Super and Melee

The Warlock sends out projectiles using Strand.
The Warlock sends out projectiles using Strand.

The Warlock melee ability called Arcane Needle sends out a projectile that tracks enemies to deal damage and unravel on impact. Players can chain this ability three times in succession. The Strand Super attack for the Warlock is called Needlestorm, which sends missile spikes of Strand matter toward enemies--they can stick to surfaces too. These missiles will detonate and create Threadlings to attack additional enemies nearby.

In addition to Strand, there are new Exotic armor and weapons arriving with Lightfall that pair with the new subclass.

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