Destiny 2 Root Of Nightmares Raid [Full Guide]


The most recent raid that has been added with the Lightfall expansion is Destiny 2 Root of Nightmares. We understand a raid can be an intimidating experience for some players, but Root of Nightmares is one of the easiest, short, and simple in the entire history of the franchise. There are a total of four major encounters in the Root of Nightmares, along with a jumping puzzle which can be fairly challenging to learn if you’re not familiar with previous raids or their mechanics.

Key Takeaways

  • In terms of recommended load-outs for this raid in Destiny 2, you should use damage and ad clear abilities for each class which can be summarized as follows:
    1. Throwing Hammers with Synthoceps exotic armor for Titans is a great build to help them generate orbs for allies as well as provide support on the battlefield.
    2. Fusion Grenades for Warlocks paired with Empowering Rift are a must-have on the team to increase the maximum DPS during each damage phase.
    3. Vortex Grenade with Weaken aspect on Hunter can provide orbs of powers for other guardians as well as weaken targets to apply extra damage.
  • In terms of recommended supers to use, we strongly encourage using Well of Radiance for Warlocks and Thundercrash for Titans. Hunters can use either Shadowshot or Golden Gun.
  • For the Best PvE weapons, we suggest using the likes of Hothead, Succession, and Funnelweb, as these will ensure optimal damage and efficient trash mob clearance during boss fights.

Root of Nightmares Mechanics:

  • The overall mechanics for most of the encounters in the Root of Nightmares largely focus on players distributing themselves into teams, such as connecting the nodes or dealing with the trash mobs.
  • Nodes are one of the central mechanisms in the Root of Nightmares raid, as they will either grant you the light or darkness buff, depending on the encounter itself and its placement.
  • Cataclysm and Scission are pretty similar encounters as they feature parallel mechanics and require players to be focused on clearing trash mobs around the arena as well as activating the light and dark nodes.
  • Macrocosm will require some teamwork, as it involves players moving four planets to their respective sides, making it a unique encounter in the Destiny 2 Root of Nightmares raid.
  • During Macrocosm, you will also be facing off against Zo’Aurc, Explicator of Planets, so once players align the planets, they will need to deal damage to him in a couple of DPS phases.
  • There is a jumping puzzle before the last encounter in which players will need to cycle between light and dark buffs throughout the section in order to stay alive and reach the end of it.
  • Lastly, the final fight against Nezarec himself can be done fairly quickly as it brings back the node mechanics from the first two encounters and involves handling his gaze as well as preventing the wipe mechanic.

Important: Complete the Lightfall campaign on Legend difficulty to quickly obtain 1770 Power Level gear, as this will ensure you are at level with the raid’s required power level requirements.

Subclass And Loadout Composition

The following subclasses will do you good in the entire raid, but it is advised that they switch from both of the recommended ones for DPS and ad-clear. So, for instance, you do not want a berserker strand titan on the third encounter, as a Thundercrash will be much better to boost DPS.


  • Thundercrash paired with Cuirass of the Falling Star exotic chest piece. The exotic armor piece will allow you to do more DPS on the boss by increasing the overall damage of your Thundercrash super.
  • Hammer of Sol paired with Synthoceps exotic gauntlets. This setup will increase the melee damage of your throwing hammers and give you an anti-barrier on your heavy weapon for a short duration.


  • Shadow shot running with Deadfall Super. Using Orpheus Rig exotic legs with this super will return 30% of your super energy.
  • Golden Gun with Celestial Nighthawk exotic headpiece. This exotic armor will increase the damage of your golden gun by six times!


  • Well of Radiance running with Fusion Grenade, Empowering Rift, and Starfire Protocol exotic chest piece. This Fusion Grenade spam build is currently one of the most powerful builds in Destiny 2, with outstanding boss damage ad clear potential.


  • Kinetic Slot: Witherhoard, Arbalest, Izanagis Burden, Succession, Riptide, Deliverance
  • Energy Slot: Funnelweb, Forbearance, Burden of Guilt
  • Heavy Slot: Hothead, Hezens Vengeance, Gjallahorn, Thunderlord, Commemoration, Corrective Measure

Important: You only need one of Riptide, Witherhoard, and Gjallahorn for optimal boss damage. Having multiple people running these weapons will waste DPS. We suggest other players run Izanagi’s Burden.

Cataclysm – First Encounter

Psion inside the bubble.
Psion in bubbles that needs to be killed. (Image Captured by eXputer)

Approaching the first encounter in Destiny 2 Root of Nightmares raid, you want to equip any ad clear weapons since most of the encounter is just slaying enemies; however, there are some mechanics involved; follow along with our raid guide to learn more about the role each player has to play. Decide amongst yourself who will be the designated runner and who will be on adds duty.

Ideally, you would want to equip any weapon with Anti-Barrier, to deal with the champion that frequently spawns during this encounter. Arbalest is a perfect choice, but you can use any weapon with the Anti-Barrier mod you are comfortable using. Weapons in other slots are up to your own liking, but we recommend using any machine gun, especially Commemoration, for quick and efficient ad clear.


The following encounter has two goals.

  • Connecting the nodes or seeds from the beginning node all the way to the node at the end of the arena.
  • Punching the Psions, as shown in the screenshot above, will spawn the Tormentor and kill the Tormentor quickly to reset the wipe timer.

Tormentor and Adds

  • To start the encounter, have your designated runner stand in the aura and shoot the node.
  • It will spawn the two Psions inside the bubble that needs to be punched immediately.
  • You and your team should spread around the map to scout for any Psions spawning.
  • After the Psions are dead, everyone should focus on killing the Tormentor.
  • The location of these Psions is completely random, so you and other players in your team who are on adds duty should always keep an eye out for them.
  • Once located around the arena, punch them as soon as possible.
  • A countdown of thirty seconds will also start.
  • Kill the Tormentor as soon as possible to reset the timer and avoid wiping the encounter.

Node Runner

Important: You need to make sure only the runner is shooting the nodes, because if someone else shoots the node to get a buff, it will disrupt the nodes and cause a wipe for the team.

The job of your fireteam members who are the Node Runners will be as follows

  • The player who shot the node will get a buff known as “Field of Light.”
  • This will last for fifteen to seventeen seconds.
  • This player’s job is to locate and shoot another such deactivated node that is black in color and has no aura around it.
  • The location of the next node in order is random, but it is usually located near the previous node.
  • Once a new node is shot, the player returns to the node with the aura around it to refresh the buff and repeats the process until the last node.

Scission – Second Encounter

Launcher leading to the second encounter of the raid.
Launchpad that leads to the second encounter. (Image Captured by eXputer)

For this part of the encounter, you need to split up into two teams of three people. This encounter has the same mechanics as the previous one, but instead of one person on node duty, you now need two people on node duty. Furthermore, there are two buffs now, “Field of Light” and “Flux of Darkness.”


shooting nodes in second encounter.
A light node in the Scission encounter. (Screenshot Captured by eXputer)

Important: There have been several instances of players dying when using the launcher. We suggest that only two to three people should use the launcher at a single time and align themselves properly to avoid getting launched in the wrong direction

  • Both teams go on each of the two sides as runners start the encounter by shooting the Light and Dark nodes on their respective sides.
  • As shown in the screenshot above, it is crucial other fireteam members stand inside the aura, so they get the buff, too, and are able to kill the ads with immune shields.
  • Runners essentially have the same job as they get the Light and Dark buff, then use the launcher to transverse across the arena.
  • Once on the other side, runners should locate the inactive node and shoot it to activate it.
  • Afterward, runners go back to their respective sides using the same launcher to refresh the buff.
  • This process is repeated five times.
  • Once all Dark and Light nodes are activated, a mini-boss and anti-barrier champion will spawn, so players need to refresh their Light and Dark buffs to kill the mini-boss.
  • Anti-barrier champions can be killed using any weapon with the respective mod.

All of this needs to be done fairly quickly because there is a countdown timer that causes a wipe once it reaches zero. When the mini-boss on both sides is dead, a launcher towards the end of the arena will spawn that can be used to reach the second floor.

The encounter has a total of three floors, but the mechanic is essentially the same. The locations of the inactive nodes will vary slightly, but they should not be difficult to locate.

Jumping Puzzle

Congratulations! You are now halfway done with the Destiny 2 Root of Nightmares raid; although it is not difficult, this next encounter can be extremely annoying, but with our guide, you can get through it quickly.

Since there is no wipe, countdown timer, or limitation to revive tokens, you can take as much time as you like. We recommend taking your time through this place.

The primary mechanic for this encounter is exactly the same as before.

  • You get the Field of Light buff by shooting the node with a white aura around it.
  • Then shoot the dark node with a dark aura around it, as it will give you what is known as Darkness’s Refuge.
  • Darkness’s Refuge buff will give you protection from the Darkness Pulse that emits every thirty seconds. 
  • If you do not have the Darkness’s Refuge buff, the Darkness pulse will kill you.
  • Now all you have to do is alternate between the Light node and then the dark node to keep Refuge up all the time and transverse the arena.
  • You can use the map below as a guide for the node locations and the optimal route to take.
  • Once all the players are at the final door, it will open, leading you into the third encounter Macrocosm.

Macrocosm – Third Encounter

picture of planets encounter in the raid.
Overview of Macrocosm encounter. (Screenshot Captured by eXputer)

Venturing further, we arrive at Macrocosm, also known as The Planets encounter. The encounter in the Root of Nightmares raid is a big step up in terms of mechanics and communication, but fear not, it is pretty straightforward to learn its ins and outs.

Macrocosm is definitely one of the most beautiful boss fights Bungie has ever designed. From its unique mechanics to its art direction, this encounter is pure euphoria. Furthermore, it fulfills a prophecy from long ago made by Savathun, The Witch Queen, that we will have the power to move worlds, and this is what the main mechanic revolves around, “moving worlds.”

If you want to learn more about the lore behind Savathun and Witness, we recommend you head over to Destiny Lore Subreddit for some interesting insight.

Arena Description

Let’s get down to the mechanics. Before we begin, it is vital we understand the layout of the room to avoid any confusion.

  • Macrcosm’s arena is divided into two sections the Dark on the right side and the Light on the left side.
  • This is indicated by the two planets floating in the middle of the arena.
  • Each of these sides has two platforms, an upper platform, and a lower platform, with three sets of planets each, making six planets on the left and six planets on the right side.

Team Composition

  • Divide your team into two, three players going on left and three players going on right.
  • Further, each team should pick two players who we will call planet movers.
  • This makes two planet movers on both sides.
  • The other two players should be on ad clear duty.
  • Have each of the four planet movers stand on their respective platforms.
  • Please keep in mind going further in the arena will start the encounter, so make sure everyone is rallied to the flag and is ready before moving forward.


Your main goal for the encounter is to move all the Light planets on the left side and all the Dark planets on the right side. Then replace the three planets in the middle with the correct corresponding planets.

Moving The Planets

Once each player has taken their position, start the encounter.

  • Clear some ads, and after a short duration, two Centurion will spawn near the boss.
  • These centurions should be dead as soon as possible.
  • Killing these two centurions will spawn two Colossus on each of the four platforms.
  • Only the planet movers should kill this Colossus.

The Planetary Insight buff lets you see what planets are on the wrong side and need to be switched, so it is very important players on adds clear duty avoid them to avoid any confusion.

  • Once the Colossus is dead, you will get a buff called Planetary Insight,
  • Top left and right people call out which planets they need to switch, and bottom left and right people call out which planets they need to switch.
  • Go under the planet on your side that needs to be switched and interact with it.
  • It should say Attune Planet, so the player on the opposite side does the same.
  • After interacting with the planet on your side, you go across the map and interact with the planet that needs to be switched.
  • It is the other player’s job to call out which planet needs to be switched.
  • Once all planets are in their correct places, a message will display on the bottom left saying, “The indexed planets reveal themselves.”
  • This means you switched the correct planets and are ready to move on to the damage phase.

Starting The Damage Phase

Important: You all don’t need to stand on the plates to do damage; only one person from the team can activate them to initiate the damage for the whole team.

At this point, the centurions and colossus need to be killed again, and the same player should get Planetary Insight.

  • Once you have the Planetary Insight again, look in the middle for the three planets, and see which of the three planets is dark and light.
  • Replace the planets from left and right with the correct ones in the middle. For instance, if the middle three planets are Dark, Dark, and Light.
  • So then players should take any two dark planets from the right side and anyone Light planet from the left side and replace them with the respective ones from the middle three planets.
  • Once all three planets are replaced correctly, the damage phase will start.

For optimal damage, we recommend one person running Gjallahorn and the other 5 running an Aggressive Frame rocket launcher such as Hothead. Furthermore, make use of Well of Radiance, Divinity, and Chill Clip fusion rifles such as Riptide for more optimized DPS. This should make the fight an easy two-phase without running out of heavy ammo.

Nezarec – Fourth Encounter

Light flash from shooting Nezarecs shoulder
Shooting Nezarecs shoulder. (Image Captured by Us)

Good job! Beating The Explicator. You are now almost done, this is the final encounter in the Root of Nightmares raid, and with our guide, you will beat Nezarec too.

Despite the intimidating name, this boss fight is actually very simple, with the same mechanics as in the Scission encounter.


The arena has 5 Light nodes on the left side and 5 Dark nodes on the right side. Simply put, Runners will have the same job as they did in the Scission encounter, which is to connect the nodes.

  • Two runners connect the Dark and Light nodes on their respective sides.
  • Players on add clear should keep killing enemies, especially the colossus that spawns at the far end of the arena.
  • Once all nodes are connected on both sides, all players should gather on the first plate on the left side for DPS.
  • The boss will shortly teleport there, and players can begin to damage the boss.

Preventing The Wipe

If the runners are fast enough to connect both nodes on the left and right sides, you don’t need to create a refuge and head straight to DPS. However, if the need arises, here is how to do it.

  • One player should shoot Nezarecs on both shoulders; they will flash either Dark or Light.
  • It indicates what refuge the players should seek to avoid dying from the boss’s wipe mechanic.
  • If, for instance, the shoulder flashes Light, players shoot the Light node with an aura around it.
  • If the shoulder flashes Dark, the Light runner gets a Field of Light by shooting the Light node, then shoots a Dark node on the right side of the arena, and it will turn that Dark node into a refuge node.
  • Now players can shoot this Dark node and get Darkness Refuge to avoid a wipe.

On top of all this, players shooting Nezarec should also receive a debuff called Nezarecs Hatred. There is really nothing to worry about; it just means the boss will be focused on you. The debuff goes away after ten seconds or if some other player shoots Nezarecs Chest.

For DPS, we recommend using the same loadouts as used in the Macrocosm encounter. Similar to The Explicator boss fights, Nezarec also has low health. Therefore, this boss fight should be a two-phase as well.

Final Remarks

Congratulations! You have now completed Destiny 2 Root of Nightmares; we hope our raid guide was of some help. Despite being one of the easiest raids in Destiny 2, with its flaws and simplicity in mechanics, this raid still manages to impress the player base and is a fun experience overall.

Bungie never fails to amaze us with its peak art direction and mesmerizing locations. In our review of Lightfall, we discussed each of the new strand classes and the story content heavily. While there is much left to be seen on the narrative side of things, the content is seemingly endless such as hunting down the Deterministic Chaos.

If you have any more questions regarding the raid or what load-out to run, you can reach out to us. The loot table guide for the Root Of Nightmares drops may just entice you to tackle this raid in Destiny 2. But again, we are always glad to help if you face any confusion regarding any encounter or mechanic. As always eXputer wishes you luck!

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