Watch Destiny 2's rock hard Grandmaster Nightfall speed run in under four minutes

In order to feed my crippling addiction during this mid-season Destiny 2 content drought, aside from some masochistic experimentation with Trials, I've also taken to playing Grandmaster Nightfalls. These take the Strike of the week and crank the difficulty up to frankly unpleasant levels. Player power is capped at 1075, regardless of your seasonal Artifact level, whereas enemy power is set at 1100. The upshot of being massively underleveled means that you'll do much less damage and die incredibly fast to even the most basic enemies. Seriously, you can expect to get one-shot by hobgoblins.

So why bother? That's a fair question honestly. Completing the strike with Platinum rewards, which involves killing all the powerful Champion enemies which pop up, guarantees an Ascendant Shard, which is the rarest material in the game right now. There's also a decent chance of getting a second to drop, plus a high chance of exotic gear. But honestly if you're looking to farm, you're far better off playing the much less hellaciously hard 1080 version. 

The real reason to play is to earn the Conqueror title, which requires completion of all six of the current season's Grandmaster Nightfall strikes. That, and honestly, the challenge makes a refreshing change—like a Swedish ice bath?—for a game in which players are so powerful that they faceroll most PvE activities.

For the very best players, though, even Grandmaster difficulty is something to be disrespected. In the video above, Ehroar (who previously wrote about the joy of Charged With Light mods for PC Gamer), and his team blows through the whole strike in three and a half minutes. They're using the bottom tree Nightstalker Hunter class to 'smoke' themselves, which involves going invisible for a few seconds using the melee attack at your own feet. The exotic helmet Graviton Forfeit adds a couple more seconds to the duration of that invisibility, which enables them to skip past a lot of enemies and only focus on the ones needed to open up the next area. 

Surprisingly, Ehroar doesn't seem to bother with the Taken mods I swore by for this strike (here's how to get them) because they give access to bonus Heavy ammo and powerful damage resistance. I guess getting hit doesn't matter if the enemies can't see you. No surprise, though, that once they get to the boss the weapon of choice is the Falling Guillotine. As I noted previously, swords are ridiculous in Destiny 2 right now, and might be more powerful than the Gjallarhorn rocket launcher was in its Destiny 1 heyday. They're certainly more ubiquitous.

Because this is a speed run and they skipped most of the Champions, the reward tier at the end is only Bronze. But given that my successful run still took almost 40 painful minutes to inch through, I can but tip my helmet to Ehroar and the team. Give Grandmaster a go. It's both not as bad as you probably fear, and with the right friends, can be quite a bit of fun. Except for the bit on the bridge with the Overload snipers. Those guys can get in the sea.

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.