Home Destiny 2 Destiny 2 Comprehensive Guide to Destiny 2’s Damage Buffs/Debuffs/Modifiers By: CourtRooom

Destiny 2 Comprehensive Guide to Destiny 2’s Damage Buffs/Debuffs/Modifiers By: CourtRooom


Been a while since my last post and it’s been relatively quiet since Season of the Worthy in terms of damage modifiers being added, changed, or removed. However as we move into Beyond Light and with the implementation of the Destiny Content Vault – DCV – we will be seeing big changes (a.k.a. removals) to damage modifiers that I thought would be better suited for another Reddit post to advertise to Guardians.

As per usual with these posts, my context: I have created spreadsheets which ‘catalogue’ all the damage modifiers, buffs, debuffs, and any thing in between that exist (or have existed, which I’ll get to in a moment) inside Destiny 2. If something boosts the damage output of your weapon, super, grenade, or whatever then it’s catalogued and categorized in these sheets! I’m currently working towards transitioning all the data and information onto either a website or a collection of infographics which will display all the modifiers in a much more user friendly (especially for mobiles) and aesthetically pleasing way versus using Google Sheets. No timeframe for this but for the time being the spreadsheets will remain updated as we move into Beyond Light. My spreadsheets are linked below:


Speaking of Beyond Light, specifically the DCV, there has been revealed information of what content is (as of this post) going to be vaulted which directly affects a variety of modifiers. I’m going to list all of them, including some revamps and outliers like Pinnacles, to make people aware with less than 3 weeks left to go until Beyond Light.

Vaulted Modifiers

Leviathan Mods

One of the largest removal of modifiers comes due thanks to Leviathan disappearing – including all Leviathan-based Raids, The Tribute Hall, and The Menagerie. This means all Leviathan Armour Mods which are only active on Leviathan locations will become deprecated and removed, including these pretty potent damage mods:

  • Striking Hand20% all damage output increased for 10s on a successful Melee kill (can refresh indefinitely)

  • Heavy Hitter (Power Overwhelming in Y1) – 15% Power Weapons damage output increased for 10s on a successful Major and higher tier combatant killed by a Power weapon (can refresh indefinitely)

  • Energized15% Energy Weapons damage output increased for 10s on a successful any combatant killed by an Energy weapon (can refresh indefinitely)

  • Emperor’s Shock, Blaze, and Balance25% All Elemental Abilities [Arc, Solar, and Void respectively; Supers, Grenades, and Melees only] damage output increased (constant)

Currently drop: for Y2/3 Armour pretty rare RNG drops from Crown of Sorrow Raid, and The Menagerie; for Y1 Armour they were actually intrinsic to Armour pieces when they dropped but you could change them around with Calus Tokens. If you have them unlocked on your Collections you can get these Y1 version (not the actual Y2/3 Mods) Armour.

Value: as all Leviathan locations are disappearing, Leviathan-based Armour are being Light-capped starting with Beyond Light, and the fact they don’t work any where else… probably zero. As a collector you might want to knock out those Menagerie runs to collect them but as we have no knowledge of when and in what capacity returning DCV content will look like I’d make the assumption these Mods will be easily acquired if/when Leviathan Locations and Gear make a return.

Forge Ignitions Mod

All Guardian’s favourite AFK arena is disappearing and that too of a pretty unknown but unique damage modifier which could be applied to Forge Ignition weaponry on a unique “Temper Effect” slot:

Currently drop: not too rare RNG drops during successful Forge Ignitions, they can only be used on Forge Ignition weaponry (like Kindled Orchid)

Value: Forge Ignition weaponry are getting Light-capped starting with Beyond Light and the Obsidian Radiance only works during Forge Ignitions. If you want the pretty light-wave effect on your Forge weaponry then get a few of these but just remember the weaponry cannot be brought into end-game content!

Prestige Lairs, The Reckoning, and Miscellaneous Activity Modifiers

You don’t see much of the following activity Modifiers being utilized around Destiny 2 as they specific to their own modes, and now they will be disappearing completely (unless they are used for future new Activities):

  • Frenzy100% Melee damage increase on any Weapon kill; refills Melee charge completely, consumed on Melee kill

  • Triumphant Rush100% all Weapon damage increase on Melee kill; refilled weapon magazine completely, consumed on any Weapon kill

  • Prism (Buff) – 300% Elemental damage increase during correct Element cycle; affects all Elemental damage including Weapons, Supers, Grenades, and Melee

  • Prism (Malus) – 50% Elemental damage reduction during incorrect Element cycle; affects all Elemental damage including Weapons, Supers, Grenades, and Melee

  • Sundering LightAll outputting damage from inside a Well of Light [in the Knight Boss room; spawns on Hermit kills and lasts 18s] will do ~24times more damage than if you weren’t in a Well of Light

Raid Lairs are being vaulted which means the unique Prestige Modifiers – Frenzy & Triumphant Rush – go too. These were pretty fun to mess around with and stacking with the Leviathan Mods meant you could easily clear a lot of those pesky Minotaurs, Centurions, and Bosses without sweating.

Prism – also featured in Prestige Raid Lairs – has been seen in other activities like The Reckoning and is/was the most potent damage buff in Destiny 2 going. OGs from Destiny 1 will remember Elemental Burns from Strikes: Prism is like the kind-hearted, sainted brother version because it doesn’t apply to enemy combatants! An extremely useful modifier because you can stack with other Modifiers (like Buffs, Debuffs, Leviathan Mods) AND it affected all outgoing Elemental damage. The true downside was the malus of using an incorrect Element (e.g. Arc in a Void cycle) was pretty punishing. Try using a Celestial Nighthawk Golden Gun in a non-Solar cycle against the boss and see very little damage being done. Personally, Prism remains one of my favourite in-game damage modifiers (including all the Buffs, Debuffs, and Oppressive Darkness) because it promoted cycling through your weaponry constantly and strategizing loadouts and when to do a damage phase.

Every Guardian’s favourite activity – the Reckoning – is also going and that means the Gambit-style Well of Light is too. Only active during the Knight Boss room, shooting and damaging inside a Well of Light was effectively the only way to do actual damage to those bigboi Knights.

Seasonal Activity Modifiers

I suppose the first few instances of a DCV system before they made DCV into a actual thing were these Seasonal activities; they appear for a few weeks then go away and come back a year later. We have had the Summer and Halloween events with damage modifiers twice now: 2019 and 2020, and both times none of the modifiers were revamped or changed:

Solstice of Heroes

  • Arc Buff (Melee) – Collect 30 Arc Orbs (Arc Kills drop these while running a Arc Subclass) on any destination or playlist (except Gambit Prime and Comp PVP) and for 30s you will do 100% increased Melee damage; also enhances Guardian movement speed and generates Sword ammo for free

  • Arc Buff (Sword) – Collect 30 Arc Orbs (Arc Kills drop these while running a Arc Subclass) on any destination or playlist (except Gambit Prime and Comp PVP) and for 30s you will do 50% increased Sword damage; also enhances Guardian movement speed and generates Sword ammo for free

  • Elemental Buffs – Active Modifier in the European Aerial Zone which affected Major and above tier combatants only; do 100% more damage if you used the same Element (Elements cycled every daily reset) – Weapons, Supers, Grenades, and Melees are affected by this buff

Festival of the Lost (The Haunted Forest Mask Mods)

  • Higher Purpose150% all damage to all combatants increased; also provides damage resistance while airborne

  • Vampiric Touch200% all damage to Major and above tier combatants increased; also triggers health regen on precision kills

  • Energetic Assassin250% all damage to Nightmare Terrors increased; also grants Grenade and Melee energy on precision kills

Revamped, Removed, and Exotic/Pinnacle Modifiers


With Gambit and Gambit Prime being merged into a single “Perfected” mode, a few changes to the current mechanics and setup is incoming. No concrete details as to what will be happening during the Primeval phase (I’m assuming they’ll stick to the Gambit Prime model for damage modifiers), but we did get news regarding Prime Armour Set Buffs:

  • Primeval Slayer 1-10 (Gambit Normal) – With every phase stack of Primeval Slayer, damage towards the Primeval Boss is increased. Each stack from 1 thru 10: 37% // 73% // 105% // 124% // 143% // 159% // 178% // 197% // 289% // 400%

  • High-Value Target (Reaper Gear Set Buff at +3) – 100% all damage to high-value targets and Ultras (NOT Primevals) increased; also marks these combatants with a debuff marker for 10s but can be reapplied at any time. Can stack with all other Modifiers including Global Buffs and Debuffs

  • Killmonger 4x (Invader Gear Set Buff at +10) – 100% all damage to any combatants in own Gambit arena increased for 30s; successfully killing in and returning from Invasions gives modifier which stacks up to 4x. Per stack: 22% // 50% // 74% // 100%

  • Umbral Strike 5x (Sentry Gear Set Buff +3) – 200% all damage to Taken combatant increased; double kills and above per engagement begins stacking Umbral Strike modifier and is kept until damage performed to Taken combatant and is consumed but can be re-stacked. Per stack: 45% // 81% // 118% // 155% // 200%

Pinnacle Weapons

Technically not being “vaulted” like the above modifiers but for all intents and purposes will become deprecated due to these following weapons being Light-capped at the beginning of Beyond Light. While they will still be usable in non-end game content, for the purposes of making people aware I’ll list them here (and keep them as “live” on my sheets) as these weapons have unique modifiers which do not exist on other weapons:


  • Luna’s Howl & Not Forgotten (Magnificent Howl) – 60% damage increase to non-precision hits; rapid double precision hits buffs LH/NF

  • The Recluse (Master of Arms) – 20% damage increase; killing combatants with The Recluse or any other weapon buffs The Recluse for 3s (can refresh indefinitely)


  • 21% Delirium (Killing Tally 3x) – 65% damage increase to non-Ultra combatants, or 25% damage increase to Ultra combatants; killing combatants with 21% Delirium stacks up to 3 and does not get consumed until weapon reload, pick-up world item, or stowed. Per stack: 22% // 43% // 65% (non-Ultra), or 8% // 16% // 25% (Ultras only)


  • Loaded Question (Reservoir Burst) – 33% damage increase on the first shot of a fully-loaded magazine; combatants will also explode upon death

  • Oxygen SR3 (Meganeura 3x) – 180% Dragonfly damage increase; add stacks by performing precision hits, which stacks up to 3. Per stack: 45% // 134% // 180%

  • Wendigo GL3 (Explosive Light) – 70% damage increase for up to 6 grenades; pick up Orbs of Light to add stacks of Explosive Light

Exotics & Exotic Catalysts

Plenty of Exotics and some Catalysts quests or progression will become unavailable at the start of Beyond Light but these weapons and catalysts aren’t being “vaulted” and do not have a Light-cap like Pinnacles and Legendary Armour/Weapons. In fact they will be put into a new “Memorial Kiosk” located in the Tower, so no changes or removals are expected. If any of these weapons or catalysts have their intrinsic perks changed or reworked then of course I’ll update the sheets. Listed below are the weapons/catalysts with damage buffs you should definitely get before Beyond Light:


  • Ace of Spades (Memento Mori) – 50% (33% PVP) damage increase

  • Bad Juju (String of Curses 5x) – 100% damage increase; stacks up to 5, each stack is a 20% increase

  • Izanagi’s Burden (Honed Edge 4x) – 300% damage increase; reload a full magazine to “combined” those bullets in one singular empowered shot

  • The Last Word (Fan Fire) – 30% Precision Hip-Fire damage increase [vs Precision ADS]

  • Le Monarque (Poison Arrows) – 74% combined Poison damage-over-time + Arrow Shot damage [vs non-Poison Arrows]

  • Polaris Lance (The Perfect Fifth) – 165% combined 5th Shot + Explosive + damage-over-time damage [vs non-Charged Damage shot]

  • Sturm (Storm and Stress) – 262% (88% PVP) damage increase, empower Sturm by killing combatants with Drang

  • Thorn (Soul Devourer) – 200% Poison damage-over-time increase; pick up Remnant balls from defeated combatants by Thorn to increase damage-over-time duration

  • Wordline Zero (Tesseract) – 15% damage increase during Tesseract use [vs non-Tesseract Heavy damage]


  • Ace of Spades (Funeral Pyre) – 50% (57% PVP) Firefly damage increase

    • Catalyst drops RNG from Strikes Playlists, Nightfall: The Ordeal Strikes, Gambit, and Crucible game modes

    • Can still be acquired and progression of catalyst can still be made in Beyond Light

  • Izanagi’s Burden (Peerless Edge) – 20% flat damage buff to Honed Edge, increasing Honed Edge 4x to 380% damage output

    • Catalyst drops from 1) having a fully upgraded Chalice, and 2) Completing a Heroic Menagerie run, where it drops from the final chest

    • Acquisition of catalyst will be made unavailable in Beyond Light due to the removal of The Menagerie, but progression of acquired catalyst can still be made

  • Whisper of the Worm (Whispered Breathing) – 35% Precision damage increase

    • Acquisition AND progression of catalyst will be made unavailable in Beyond Light due to removal of The Whisper

    • As detailed in this post, you must start this progression immediately and BEFORE the next Destiny Weekly reset (27th October) and then complete + get the secret chests every week leading up to Beyond Light

  • Outbreak Perfected (Disease Vector) – 25% (18% PVP) Nanite damage increase

    • Acquisition AND progression of catalyst will be made unavailable in Beyond Light due to removal of Zero Hour

    • As detailed in this post, you must start this progression immediately and BEFORE the next Destiny Weekly reset (27th October) and then complete + do the configuration puzzle leading every week up to Beyond Light

Seasonal Mods

Seasonal Mods follow the same juncture as Seasonal Event Modifiers in that they come-and-go through the year. So far we have had both repeat and brand new Modifiers come from each Seasonal Artifact and this is likely the model that will continue through Beyond Light’s year of Seasons. A list of the damage-buffing Mods we have seen since Shadowkeep:

  • Thunder Coil54% Arc Melee damage increase on an Arc Powered Melee hit

  • Volatile Conduction30% Arc Super damage increase when in a critical health state, lasts for the duration of your Super

  • Solar Plexus25% – 60% [various dependant on Class] Solar Melee damage increase; always active

  • Oppressive DarknessGlobal Debuff which allows for 30% damage increase [does not stack with other Global Debuffs] from Void Grenades damaging combatants

  • From The Depths30% Void Super damage increase when in a critical health state, lasts for the duration of your Super

  • Tenderizer300% Weapon damage increase to Unstoppable Champions for both you and your nearby allies when you stagger a Unstoppable Champion with this Mod on; also provides 10% Weapon damage increase to all other combatants

New & Upcoming Sandbox Changes

Beyond Light brings some brand new and announced changes to the sandbox. A quick reminder of those upcoming changes (as of this post):


  • Athyrs’s Embrace (Hunter Exotic Gauntlets) – “The Hunter’s weighted knife gains a second ricochet; rapid precision hits gain a damage bonus and can temporarily stagger enemies.”

  • Dawn Chorus (Warlock Exotic Helm) – “Feel that sweet burn. The Warlock’s Daybreak projectiles deal extra damage and cause enemies to burn on contact. Gain melee energy each time a burn damages a target.”

  • Necrotic Grip (Warlock Exotic Gauntlets) – “A deadly caress, compounded. Melee attacks corrupt enemies with increasing damage over time. Defeating a corrupted combatant spreads the corruption to nearby targets and restores melee energy.”


These are, as of the time of this post, the Modifiers which are either indirectly or directly affected by DCV or overhauls to game modes/Mods. Some may return in Beyond Light or near-future Seasons, but a few will be removed presumably forever. I’ll continue to document and catalogue any and all changes through these interesting DCV times, and of course continue to add and make changes to modifiers affected by Sandbox changes. The next sheet update will be after Beyond Light’s release, but you can view any progression on my WIP “Dev Sheet”. The spreadsheets link once again:


Once again thank you everyone who has used or continue to use my sheets. As mentioned above too, I’m currently migrating my sheets to a website/infographics model to be more user-friendly (and mobile-friendly) but this will take a little time. You can contact me via Reddit or Discord DMs for any queries, questions, corrections, or whatever. 🙂



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