Destiny 2 PSA: Resilience is now the single most important stat in the game

"Good luck trying to kill us, idiots." (Image credit: Bungie)

Perhaps it should be no surprise for a game with patch notes which can run to north of 9,000 words that impactful changes still slip through the cracks only to be later discovered. Which is what's happening right now in Destiny 2, where players have found they can become almost unkillable tanks by cranking their 'Resilience' stat to the max.

Previously, Resilience was considered a total dumpster stat. In PvE, it was only useful on the Titan class in order to charge the barricade ability faster, otherwise providing almost no meaningful extra survivability. But as part of the Solar 3.0 changes that Bungie rolled with Season of the Haunted, Resilience was reworked substantially. 

Amidst the vast swathe of changes listed in the May 24 update 4.1.0 notes was this: "Resilience: Now grants increased incoming flinch resistance and damage resistance vs. PVE combatants." 

What no one expected was how much of a slab of resistance Bungie was talking about. Try a whopping 40% to all inbound damage from AI enemies, provided you're willing to go all-in and spec 100 Resilience. 

(Note that this damage resistance doesn't apply in PvP, but the anti-flinch does.)

Crucially, this damage resistance effect does not scale linearly, and is heavily weighted towards the top of the curve. Or in other words, unless you can hit at least 70 Resilience, it's almost not worth bothering at all, as the testing by reddit user kaloryth illustrates: 

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Resilience statDamage resistance %

In any remotely challenging content, the effect is immediately noticeable. I found myself surviving all sorts of engagements that would normally have killed me, and often with a substantial chunk of health remaining. And for reference, 40% damage resistance is the same amount that the old Protective Light mod granted before it was nerfed into atoms. You really feel the benefit.

I was so impressed, that I've painstakingly re-specced most of my favourite builds to have 90+ Resilience. That process was made harder by the fact I've been routinely sharding armor with high Reslience for years now. Luckily, thanks to the superb tool that is D2 Armor Picker, which enables you to precisely specify what stat tiers you're trying to hit, then tells you what armor and mods to use, I was still often able to reach the cap. I strongly recommend building at least one high resilience set for raids and Grandmaster Nightfalls.

The final column of the Season of the Haunted artifact is full of juicy mods for Solar subclasses. (Image credit: Bungie)

Compounding our newfound tankiness further, Season of the Haunted delivered several other potent healing options. Most notable is the Classy Restoration mod on the final column of the Season Artifact. It reads: "Activating your Solar class abilities grants you Restoration." The 'Restoration' effect regenerates health and shields over time, and—crucially—isn't interrupted by taking damage. 

It's especially strong on Gunslinger Hunter, because the dodge ability already has a low cooldown and you want to be using it as often as possible anyway. You can easily have Restoration x2 up almost constantly. I also like it a lot on the current Starfire Protocol Warlock build, which involves spamming Fusion Grenades that explode twice using the Touch of Flame aspect, so that you can run an Empowering Rift that also triggers healing. 

The buff granted by Classy Restoration is actually 'Restoration  x2', which you don't need to be a maths whizz to know is double the basic version. In fact, it's the same buff that the recently reworked Titan exotic helmet Lorely Splendor gives. No surprise, then, that a Sunbreaker wearing that hat and also running 100 Resilience is the tankiest build in the game right now, thanks to constant Barricade/Sunspot spam.

Destiny 2 resilience changes.

Despite being reworked twice, the Lorely Splendor titan exotic helmet remains as powerful as it is gorgeous looking. (Image credit: Bungie)

If you want to spec even harder into not dying, also consider the new healing grenades, and the Well of Life mod which triggers another form of health regen when picking up solar wells.

Reminder: When you're dead your DPS drops to exactly zero.

At this point you may be thinking, hello, I am healed now, please stop healing me. I cannot, in fact, be more healthy. And you'd be right, insofar as we've certainly never had it so good when it comes to health mods and abilities. But as someone smarter than me once noted, when you're dead your DPS drops to exactly zero. It really can't be overstated how much not dying should be valued in endgame PvE content. My favourite teammates are the ones who are still shooting.

One side note: Presumably to mitigate the newfound value of Resilience, Bungie also nerfed (unannounced) the amount of damage resistance granted by chest mods. These now confer 15% damage resistance, as opposed to 25% for a single mod. Again, I think the philosophy here is that the developer wants you to really commit to building into damage resistance, rather than just slapping on a couple of cheap mods and calling it done. 

All that said, I do think the Resilience change is so impactful—especially as the damage reduction is active constantly—that I wouldn't be surprised if it gets toned down in a future update. For now, enjoy the face rolling. 

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.