Destiny 2 fans jump on leak as evidence that a new 'poison' subclass coming

Be prepared to take this with a sizable pinch of whatever passes for salt in the Destiny 2 universe, but it appears an artist at Bungie may have inadvertently given a glimpse of the game's next subclass. The leak came in the form of a clip allegedly posted to an Artstation account, as first reported by DestinyTwoLeaks on Twitter. I can't confirm the provenance because the linked post has been pulled, but—this being the internet—the clip is still easy enough to find. I've embedded it at the top.

At first glance, it just shows a Titan performing the 'Swing of the Scythe' finisher, which is available as part of the current season pass. However, cast your eyes down to the bottom left and things get more interesting. The HUD elements are all green, which doesn't tally with any current subclass in the game. Most intriguing, the super icon (ie your ult) is also new. Finally, the character has three melee charges available, which isn't possible with any current class in the game.

Naturally, fan speculation is running rampant, with many seemingly convinced that this all but confirms that the next subclass will be some sort of poison/decay variant (based, as far as I can tell, on the fact that poison has long been rumoured and the colour green feels kinda poisony). Here's what I'd say: Yes, we can be pretty sure that a new subclass is on the way. No, we still have no clearer sense of what that will be.

The 'new' super icon does look quite reminiscent of the current Nightstalker Spectral Blades icon.

Here are the big caveats to consider. It's absolutely normal for developer builds to enable all sorts of options that will never appear in game, and to contain placeholder UI elements. The green theme could simply confer that this is not a commercial release, for example. I also want to point out that the grenade icon used is for Firebolt, which is part of the current Solar kit. It's also worth noting that the 'new' super icon does look quite reminiscent of the current Nightstalker Spectral Blades icon (see below). They both show twin blades piercing circles, but on a different angle. All of which says that whatever we're seeing here, we can't say with any confidence what the new subclass will actually be.

Here's a zoom in on the leaked HUD. Note the super icon the yellow diamond: Two blades piercing twin circles. (Image credit: Bungie)

Now here's a close up of the current super icon for Spectral blades: Also two blades piercing twin circles.  (Image credit: Bungie)

For those not familiar with how classes work in Destiny 2, the game originally shipped with three 'Light' variants: Arc, Void, and Solar. These were then iterated on, with new supers and abilities added. As part of the Beyond Light expansion in November 2020, Bungie added Stasis, the first 'Dark' subclass, which centred around freezing and shattering opponents. Stasis came with a modular, fully customizable tree of abilities and perks. 

Since then, the studio has been busy moving all the original Light classes over to the deeper system. That work will wrap up later this month, with the launch of Arc 3.0 on August 23, the same day that Season 19 (currently unnamed) is due to start.

With the Light subclass rework complete, it makes sense that the next Dark subclass will land alongside Lightfall, the next major expansion, which should arrive next February based on past timelines. Personally, I'm not convinced poison will be the theme. The poison effect in Destiny has so far been limited to the Hive-originated Weapons of Sorrow (Thorn and Osteo Striga), and I'm not sure there's enough design space there to spin another damage over time effect out into an entire subclass given that we've just had Solar 3.0, which used 'Scorch' as one of its major elements.

Image for Destiny 2 leaked subclass story.

The Osteo Striga submachine gun is a 'weapon of sorrow', which some players think will be the inspiration for a new poison subclass.  (Image credit: Bungie)

I'm doubting whether 'harness the power of mushrooms' plays well.

I'm more persuaded by what some of the lore guys have been saying recently about how 'egregore'—the magical space fungus currently infesting the derelict Leviathan ship—could form the basis of another subclass. Although that said, I'm now doubting whether 'harness the power of mushrooms' plays well as a marketing strategy. In any case, it shouldn't be long before we learn more. Bungie is set to showcase what's next for Destiny on 23 August in the form of a stream on Twitch and YouTube.

Tim Clark

With over two decades covering videogames, Tim has been there from the beginning. In his case, that meant playing Elite in 'co-op' on a BBC Micro (one player uses the movement keys, the other shoots) until his parents finally caved and bought an Amstrad CPC 6128. These days, when not steering the good ship PC Gamer, Tim spends his time complaining that all Priest mains in Hearthstone are degenerates and raiding in Destiny 2. He's almost certainly doing one of these right now.