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Destiny 2 Strand subclass guide, how to unlock, and upgrade

With Lightfall comes a new Darkness subclass, here's everything you need to know about Destiny 2 Strand, including how to unlock, and upgrade your abilities.

Destiny 2 Strand subclass guide: A Guardian stands ready for battle, highlighted in neon green to showcase their Strand abilities.

Get ready to master the Destiny 2 Strand subclass. It’s been a while since Guardians have gotten their hands on a new set of abilities, so prepare to be bombarded with time and space now that Strand has been unleashed on the Destiny 2 community.

Bungie enticed fans with a first look at the Destiny 2 Strand subclass when it teased Destiny 2 Lightfall. The new Darkness power joins the ranks of Arc, Solar, Void, and Stasis, giving players even more diversity in how they set up their favourite Destiny 2 classes. While the Lightfall preview gave us a first look at the new subclass, more details arose in the following weeks. Here’s everything you need to know about Destiny 2’s Strand subclass, including how to unlock it in the free PC game.

Destiny 2 Strand subclass guide: A Warlock Guardian shows off their Strand abilties.

How to unlock the Destiny 2 Strand subclass

To unlock the Destiny 2 Strand subclass, you need to complete the entire Lightfall campaign and meditate at the Pouka Pond on Neomuna. 

You’re given a taste of the Strand in several of the Lightfall missions, but always end up exhausted, unable to hold that much power inside your body. It’s only when you’ve beaten every story mission that the Strand subclass is yours to wield at will.

How to earn Strand Meditations and upgrade your Strand abilities

Once you have unlocked the Strand subclass, you can visit the Pouka Pond in Neomuna to unlock additional Strand grenades, Aspects, and Fragments. To unlock these additional powers, you must spend a currency known as Strand Meditations.

You can earn Strand Meditations by using Strand anywhere in the system and completing activities in Neomuna. You can earn additional Strand Meditations while in the Vex Incursion Zone in Neomuna

What is Destiny 2 Strand power?

According to Bungie developers, Strand is about manipulating space and time. The Darkness power allows Guardians to reach into the fabric of the world around them, kind of like The Matrix. Bungie developers refer to this as the Weave, and Strand appears to be rooted in psychic energy. The word ‘strand’ can refer to an extended length of something long and thin such as thread, fibre, or wire. Presumably, the idea behind Strand’s existence in the game universe is akin to manipulating the threads that hold together the fabric of spacetime.

From a game lore perspective, Strand is particularly unique. Unlike Arc, Solar, Void, and Stasis, all of which existed before the Guardian’s re-emergence, Guardians are the first to discover and learn to use Strand. This means that throughout the universe’s history, you are the first ones to find and use Strand. However, while the Guardian will be the first to use Strand, game lore implies that the Hive, Eris Morn, and the Drifter can all see the Weave.

Similarly to the game’s other elemental powers, Warlocks, Titans, and Hunters will each have unique Strand abilities. Players can expect a core Strand Super ability (or perhaps more than one option) and several types of melee, grenade, and class ability options. Guardians can also be able to obtain Aspects and Fragments to further augment their character builds.

What are Destiny 2 Strand core mechanics?

According to a recent post from Bungie, players should understand the vocabulary associated with the Strand subclass.

Strand basics

  • Weaving means creating an object from Strand.
  • If you defeat an enemy using Strand, you will unravel them.
  • Unraveling their life force creates a tangle, which is a bundle of Strand fibers. Tangles explode when shot, but players can also throw them at enemies.

Strand buffs

Woven mail protects the Guardian in a Strand mesh, reducing damage. (In PvP, this only body damage will be reduced.)

Strand debuffs

  • Suspend: Lift enemy off the ground for a short time, disabling them. In PvP, suspended players are lifted off the ground but can still move.
  • Unravel: Attacking an enemy that is unraveled causes a burst of threads that attack other nearby enemies. Targets hit by this burst will also become unraveled.
  • Sever: A severed enemy has reduced damage output.

Strand grapple

Another primary Strand mechanic is the grapple ability. The Grapple works when the player hits the grenade button, which will weave a hook that will allow them to grab to an anchor point. Because Strand is everwhere, players can grapple through the air anywhere. Players can also execute melees at the end of a grapple.

Grapple abilities make for a lot of exciting potential throughout the game world. For example, Bungie loves to include platforming puzzles in raids and other in-game PvE activities. Therefore, players may have to leverage grappling abilities to swing further or higher than they could get by merely jumping. Such a mechanic also opens the door to numerous Easter eggs in hard-to-reach areas of existing maps.

Destiny 2 Strand subclass guide: A Titan Guardian demonstrates the power of Strand.

Destiny 2 Strand abilities

Bungie remains relatively mum on Strand’s specifics, but the studio has confirmed a few things about the forthcoming Darkness power.

When Bungie introduced the new subclasses during the Lightfall preview event, it originally referred the Warlock subclass as Architects, the Titan subclass as Tyrants, and the Hunter subclass as Threadrunners. However, in mid-January, updates to the official Destiny 2 Lightfall webpage showed Bungie had changed two names, later also updating the descriptions as well.

Broodweaver: Warlock subclass

The Warlock’s Strand powers will turn them into a class now known as Broodweavers. While the original text described the Warlock Strand subclass as being able to tap into telekinetic abilities that allow them to form and shoot missiles, the newer copy explains that they “can even twist Strand into sentient creatures to do their bidding.”

Super: Needlestorm: Conjure a fusillade of hardened spikes that stick to enemies and environment and then detonate and reweave themselves into threadlings.

Melee: Arcane Needle: Chain up to three deadly projectiles that track targets for high damage, unraveling them on impact.

Warlock Strand Aspects:

  • Weaver’s Call: Rift cast weaves three Threadling eggs that hatch into Threadlings after hitting a surface. Perched Threadlings are converted to additional eggs.
    • Perched Threadlings are unused Threadlings that orbit the player until they attack another enemy.
  • Mindspun Invocation: This Aspect improves several Warlock Strand abilities:
    • Grapple: Grapple melee weaves three Threadling eggs from target.
    • Threadling Grenade: Consume Threadling Grenade to generate a full set of perched Threadlings.
    • Shackle Grenade: Consume Shackle Grenade to gain a buff, creating a suspending detonation on every kill.

Berserker: Titan subclass

Strand-wielding Titans will now be called Berserkers. While the original description noted that they could tap into unique skills that would enable them to use a massive claw to slice into their foes, the revised text now suggests they can “manifest claws” to “sever their targets from the Weave.”

Super: Bladefury: Titan dual-wielding fist blades.

  • Light attack: Supercharged version of the Frenzied Blade melee attack that increases the next attack’s speed, topping out at three hits. Connecting with light attacks builds energy for Super’s heavy attack with each hit.
  • Heavy attack: Titan hurls a pair of projectiles forward that seek out enemies, suspending and damaging them on impact.

Melee: Frenzied Blade: Melee button press causes Titan to dash forward and slash enemies with Strand arm blades, severing victims. Defaults to three charges so Titan can chain them together.

Titan Strand Aspects:

  • Into the Fray: Destroy a Tangle to weaves Woven Mail unto Titan and nearby allies. Reduces damage taken and increases melee energy regeneration when wearing Woven Mail.
  • Drengr’s Lash: When casting class ability, the Titan blasts forward a powerful ripple in reality, suspending enemies caught in the shockwave.

Threadrunner: Hunter subclass

Hunters remain known as Threadrunners, which will “grasp threads and weave new ones to dart through the air.” Bungie has alluded that this would be a chain they could use to manipulate their environment.

Super: Silkstrike: Use grapple to freely move in third-person view. While in this state, Hunters can also throw their rope dart to strike down enemies.

  • Light attack: Meant for single opponents. Can be used in air and on the ground, and when on the ground, Hunter can chain attacks seamlessly. Dart tip hits deal bonus damage. Defeating an enemy with it causes enemy to explode.
  • Heavy attack: Hunter swings rope dart in 360-degree arc, damaging all enemies. Can be used on the ground or in the air.

Melee: Threaded Spike: Rope dart that bounces between enemies, damaging and severing them. Grants melee energy for each enemy hit. Perfectly timed rope dart catches earn the player more melee energy.

Hunter Strand Aspects:

  • Ensnaring Slam: Press the air-move input to slam downward while in the air, suspending nearby enemies.
  • Widow’s Silk: Grants an additional grenade charge. The Hunter’s grapple ability creates a persistent grapple Tangle when it latches, fully refunding grenade energy when grappled to. Therefore, Hunters can set up chains of grapple points for the team for quick movement.

Destiny 2 Strand subclass guide: A Hunter Guardian manipulates space with Strand.

New Destiny 2 Strand grenades

The Strand subclass will introduce three new grenades.

  • Grapple (controlled with grenade button): Projects a hook that will allow player to swing through the air.
  • Threadling grenade: Splits into three projectiles that become threadlines on impact.
  •  Shackle grenade: Acts as a bola that entangles the enemy, detonating in a suspending blast and sending out smaller secondary bolas to suspend nearby enemies.

Destiny 2 Strand Fragments

Bungie has revealed a few of the Fragments that players can use to further enhance their Strand character builds. They are as follows:

  • Thread of Ascent: Activating grenade ability reloads equipped weapon and grants increased weapon handling and airborne effectiveness for a short time.
  • Thread of Fury: Damaging targets with a Tangle grants melee energy.
  • Thread of Finality: Finishers generate Threadlings.
  • Thread of Warding: Picking up an orb of power grants Woven Mail.

That’s everything we know about the new Destiny 2 Strand subclass. As you dig into Lightfall, check out our subclass guide to help you build the best character for your play style, along with the best Destiny 2 Warlock builds, the best Destiny 2 Hunter builds, and the best Destiny 2 Titan builds for the specific classes. We also have every Lightfall exotic weapon, so you know what you’re aiming for.