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Dozens Of Destiny 2 Exotic Armor Pieces Are Getting Overhauled In Season 21

Sorry Warlocks, Starfire Protocol is getting a heavy nerf next season.


As part of the new changes coming in Season 21 of Destiny 2, developer Bungie has outlined which Exotics armor pieces will be getting overhauled. For Season of the Deep, Bungie says that it's aiming to identify underused armor pieces and revamp them to increase their appeal, and at the same time, nerf certain armor pieces that have become too powerful. Bungie's other changes will free up space on leg armor that would typically be used to run Surge mods, allowing players to insert other mods instead.

For Warlocks who enjoy using an explosive strategy, this is where the bad news comes in. Starfire Protocol, which has long been used to spam grenades, is getting heavily nerfed next season. The amount of energy gained from every instance of damage is being decreased from 20% to 2.5%, and Empowered weapon kills will grant 20% grenade energy when Season 21 begins.

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"This Exotic has been strong for a long time, ever since Solar 3.0 dropped and fusion grenades became much more powerful for Warlocks," Bungie explained. "In making these changes, we didn’t want to completely rob the Exotic of its benefits. But right now, Starfire Protocol is one of the best single-target damage boosting Exotics--combine Witherhoard or Wolfpack Rounds with a Rocket Launcher with Demolitionist and you essentially get an infinite loop of rockets and double-detonating grenades--and it’s sucking all of the air out of the room.

Other Warlock Exotics are getting some nice buffs next season, as Mantle of Battle Harmony will do more damage if the right conditions are met, Daybreak's projectile damage bonus is being increased when using Dawn Chorus, and Chromatic Fire will create explosions that apply status effects to enemies.

For Hunters, Oathkeeper will get an interesting overhaul that emphasizes aggressive combat bow gameplay, and Radiant Dance Machines will gain a time extension on kills that pairs very well with Marksman's Dodge, the Reaper armor mod, and the new Powerful Attraction mod that will allow players to collect Orbs of Power at a distance. Stomp-EE5 will have its airborne effectiveness penalties removed and will now function as a situational power fantasy Exotic with increased speed, slide distance, and improved jumping if you have full class ability charge.

As for Titans, their Exotics range between harder-hitting armor pieces and complete reworks. Point-Cannon Contact Brace, which was introduced last year, proved to be one of the more underwhelming power fantasy Exotics for Titans who enjoy using their Arc subclass. This Exotic will pack more of a punch next season, as its damage is being quadrupled and lightning strikes will Jolt targets.

Eternal Warrior is getting a big redesign, as this legacy Exotic will grant an escalating bonus to Arc weapon damage after achieving a rapid takedown, and has several other perks as well. No Backup Plans has been overhauled entirely as well, and will provide a moderate benefit to the airborne effectiveness and reload speed of shotguns. Using a Void subclass offers several other benefits, including additional shotgun damage and Void overshields when you defeat powerful enemies.

For a breakdown on all the changes coming to 24 Exotic armor pieces in Season 21, you can read the full list below. For a deeper look at what else is changing next season, you can read up on how several Supers are being buffed, new armor mods are being introduced, and the new Aspects being added to the Strand subclass.


Sealed Ahamkara Grasps

  • Now reloads the magazine of all of your weapons when you defeat a target with your powered melee.
  • For five seconds after dealing melee damage, you gain increased movement speed and jump height.

Athrys's Embrace

  • Gain additional strength while the Exotic's Weighted Knife damage bonus is active.


  • When fully drawn, bows gain a bonus to damage against combatants that increasess as you hold the draw.
  • This bonus deactivates after a few seconds.

Raiju's Harness

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

Radiant Dance Machines

  • 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.


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

Mask of Bakris

  • 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 than can be achieved with 3 such mods equipped.


Point-Cannon Contact Brace

  • Lightning strikes now jolt 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.

No Backup Plans

  • 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.

Second Chance

  • Shield throw melee now weakens enemies.
  • Stunning a Barrier Champion with your shield throw melee grants a single full melee charge.


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

Eternal Warrior

  • 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.

Khepri's Horn

  • The Solar damage wave now scorches targets.

Path of the Burning Steps

  • 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 than 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.


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


Vesper of Radius

  • 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.

Chromatic Fire

  • 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), weaken (Void).

Dawn Chorus

  • Daybreak projectile's damage bonus has been increased and no longer is reliant on the enemy being scorched.

Sanguine Alchemy

  • 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

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

Mantle of Battle Harmony

  • 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.
  • 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).

Ophidian Aspect

  • Removed the extended melee range.

Promethium Spur

  • 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 ability energy and create a rift at the target's location.

Starfire Protocol

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