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Destiny 2 Lightfall: best Strand builds, unlocking Strand Fragments

Everything you need for the best Strand build for your class in Destiny 2: Lightfall

The Destiny 2 Lightfall campaign is all about Strand, the latest Darkness subclass and the first subclass of any kind to be introduced since Beyond Light in 2020. Players get to grips with their Strand capabilities across multiple missions, while Osiris does his best to explain where it comes from (TL;DR: you’re sort of twanging the strings between dimensions).

However, it is not until just after the story finishes that players unlock the full subclass and have the option to start grinding for Aspects and Fragments. When you reach that stage, you might very well ask: how do we unlock Strand’s full potential and which builds are best?

How to unlock Strand and Strand Fragments in Destiny 2 Lightfall


The super short version of this answer is simple:

  1. Finish the campaign to unlock the Strand subclass
  2. Gather “Strand Meditations” by doing activities in the Vex Incursion Zone
  3. Use Strand Meditations to buy Grenades, Aspects and Fragments from the Pouka Pond in the Hall of Heroes

In order to unlock the Strand subclass permanently in Destiny 2, you have to finish the Lightfall campaign. That’s it. Once unlocked and equipped, you gain access to all the basics like the grappling hook, which replaces the grenade function when equipped, and your chosen class’s Super and class abilities. As ever, that’s only the start of your Strand journey.

You will also get a new gizmo in your inventory screen that has the Strand logo and is used to track your “Strand Meditations”. Stand Meditations are a Strand-specific currency that you can earn from all sources within the current Vex Incursion Zone in Neomuna, which will always be marked on the in-game map. (At launch, it was Liming Harbor.)


After unlocking Strand, you will be directed to the Hall of Heroes with its Pouka Pond, and this is where you can spend the Strand Meditations on grenade types, Aspects and Fragments. To begin with, there are two Aspects, and while the Fragments were originally going to be time-gated over the first couple of weeks of the expansion, Bungie announced in the first “This Week At Bungie” (aka TWAB) after Lightfall launched that it was making them all available immediately.

In other words, you can unlock all the available Strand Fragments just by blasting things and doing activities in the Vex Incursion Zone to gain Strand Meditations. Fragments seem to cost 200 Strand Meditations each, so get grinding and you should build up a decent collection within a few days. In our experience, it’s easy to gather a lot of Strand Meditations while working through the post-campaign quest lines from Nimbus and Quinn Laghari.

Hunter, Titan and Warlock Strand abilities


So what can you do with Strand? The various campaign missions go over it all, but it can become a bit of a blur while interpreting all those tutorial tip windows while you’re trying to take out a Tormentor or a herd of angry Wyverns that are 15 levels higher than you.

First off, let’s discuss the different keywords and buffs that make up Strand:

  • Grappling - This one is surely quite self-explanatory. It’s worth remembering that you get it at the expense of a grenade, and that it does not recharge in general as fast as it did during the campaign showpiece moments.
  • Grenades - If you give up the grapple, you can have a Threadling Grenade (explodes and produces Threadlings) or Shackle Grenade instead (creates a suspending blast and shoots out projectiles).
  • Sever - By severing an enemy, you’re shunting them slightly out of our reality, and the result is that they do a bit less damage.
  • Suspend - Remember when you did a thing and enemies were suspended in the air tied up in Strand threads? That was suspending, surprisingly enough.
  • Tangle - A tangle is a big green ball of Strand that you can either shoot to blow it up or pick up and throw. You produce them by killing enemies affected by Strand.
  • Threadlings - These little guys! Basically, you can do stuff that makes these little Strand dudes form on the ground and go chasing after enemies to explode.
  • Unreal - Enemies can be “Unravelled” when they are hit by threads of Strand spat out by killing one of their Strand-affected comrades.
  • Weaving - Weaving is just creating an object with Strand.
  • Woven Mail - Woven Mail is a good thing. It gives you a Strand shield, essentially, boosting damage reduction.

For the Hunter, the new subclass is called Threadrunner, and its key features are:

  • Melee - Threaded Spike - A rope dart that can bounce between enemies, restoring melee energy on kills and even more if you catch it on its way back.
  • Super - Silkstrike - Already the subject of some hilarious boss DPS videos, Silkstrike is a roaming Super that lets you batter enemies repeatedly or send out a big area-of-effect shockwave.
  • Aspect - Ensnaring Slam - By doing a long press of your crouch or using your aerial button, you slam the ground and suspend enemies. Useful, at least in Season 20, for stunning Unstoppable Champions!
  • Aspect - Widow’s Silk - Lets you grapple more often and create grapple points that can be used repeatedly by you and your fireteam.

For the Titan, the new subclass is called Berserker, and its key features are:

  • Melee - Frenzied Blade - Slice up enemies and apply Sever, with up to three charges so you can go from enemy to enemy.
  • Super - Bladefury - A roaming Super that gives you claws so you can charge around ripping people up with the light attack, or send out a projectile using heavy.
  • Aspect - Into the Fray - Give yourself Woven Mail and improve melee regeneration.
  • Aspect - Drengr’s Lash - Releases a shockwave that suspends enemies.

For the Warlock, the new subclass is Broodweaver, and its key features are:

  • Melee - Arcane Needle - A Strand needle that tracks and unravels enemies.
  • Super - Needlestorm - Whip up a cloud of Strand and then smash it, causing a hailstorm of missiles that detonate on impact.
  • Aspect - Weaver’s Call - Every time you summon a rift, you send out three Threadlings to attack stuff nearby.
  • Aspect - Mindspun Invocation - Grenades gain Broodweaver-specific bonuses.

The best Hunter Strand Build


It’s obviously early days for Strand, and at the time of writing Bungie has only just released all the fragments to the public, but already the theorycrafters of the Destiny 2 community are producing some very enjoyable builds to make the most of what’s available.

Our early pick for a fun Hunter build is MrRonit's Infinite Grapple Build based around the Assassin’s Cowl exotic. You should watch the full video to understand the details, but essentially it relies the following:

  • Assassin’s Cowl - Exotic Helmet - Powered melee final blows grant invisibility and restore a portion of health and shields.
  • Widow’s Silk - Strand Aspect - Gives another grenade charge (i.e. a second grapple charge), and grapples create Grapple Tangles that can be used indefinitely for additional grappling.

So essentially what you do is grapple and use your grapple melee to kill something. Grappling procs Widow’s Silk to produce a Grapple Tangle in the air, which you can use whether you have a full grapple charge or not. Killing something with the grapple melee, which counts as a powered melee, gives you invisibility and health regen. So with two grapples, plus additional Grapple Tangle grapples, and any others produced during combat, you can swing around endlessly doing powered melee attacks and keeping your health topped up.

There’s a lot more to the build to help boost grenade recharge, because grapple uptime is the critical factor, so check out the full video.

The best Titan Strand Build


Over on the Titan, Plunderthabooty's Suspend and Sever Crowd Control Build is good enough that the creator was able to blast through Legend Nightfalls despite being 40 levels too low. It relies, as the name suggests, on the Suspend and Sever keywords in the Strand arsenal, in order to keep enemies stunned or at least heavily debuffed, allowing for hijinx. You will need the following:

  • Abeyant Leap - Exotic Boots - Boosts the Drengr’s Lash Aspect below to send out two more projectiles that go harder and faster. It also grants Woven Mail when suspending targets, which reduces incoming damage.
  • Drengr’s Lash - Strand Aspect - Your class ability sends out a shockwave that suspends enemies, which is one of the keys to this build, because we’re going to keep it up as much as possible.
  • Thread of Mind - Fragment - Defeating suspended targets grants class ability, which obviously dovetails well with the above.
  • Thread of Fury - Fragment - Damaging targets with a Tangle grants melee energy.

The key to the Titan build—and to some extent Strand generally—is to avoid sitting back and instead to engage aggressively with a mixture of class ability, melee and Tangles. Throwing out the class ability (e.g. Rally Barricade) sends out projectiles that suspend enemies, immobilising them; hitting enemies with your melee severs them, reducing their damage output; and you use a combination of fragments and mods to top up those class and melee abilities frequently. Meanwhile, the Abeyant Leap boots are giving you Woven Mail every time an enemy is suspended. It seems very powerful, so check out the full video for all the intricacies to build into it.

The best Warlock Strand Build


Finally for the Warlock, the early Strand builds are all about Threadlings, which the space wizard conjures out of the ground like a necromancer. With Divide’s Warlock Threadling Build, players gather Armor Charge using mods and convert it into Threadlings, which then get sent out to kill stuff when you open fire. Killing enemies spawns Tangles, and shooting or throwing the Tangles spawns more Threadlings. Gameplay turns into a virtuous circle of Threadlings and Tangles, Threadlings and Tangles, until everything is dead. You will need:

  • Swarmers - Exotic Boots - This new Lightfall exotic means that Threadlings spawn from Tangles and unravel targets.
  • Threadling Grenade - Grenade Ability - Sacrifice your grapple so you can make more Threadlings to go hunt down enemies.
  • Mindspun Invocation - Strand Aspect - Hold the grenade button to consume the Threadling Grenade and spawn Threadlings, which hang out on your person until you shoot something, rather than despawning as they do for Titans and Hunters.
  • Weaver’s Call - Strand Fragment - Rifts weave three additional Threadlings, and also deploy any that are perched on you.

As you can see in the video footage, the interaction between the new exotic, the Aspects and Fragments, the Threadlings and the Tangles, makes for an entertaining loop in which the player is able to deal with large waves of enemies in PVE content over and over. Even when surrounded, spawning a Healing Rift will send out even more Threadlings, so while the Rift heals, the Threadlings take care of the things causing you damage.

There will undoubtedly be all sorts of entertaining builds for Strand discovered in the days and months ahead, and Bungie has said it is monitoring Strand usage so that it can nerf things if they get out of hand. But overall, this isn’t a bad haul for the first week, with plenty of ways to do huge damage in Lightfall and have fun with the new subclass in the process!