Destiny 2 Nightfall Solo Guide: Savathûn's Song


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(Last updated: 2018/02/27)

The strike takes place on Titan, in the Hive-infested Arcology.

Patch 1.1.3 and later: Kill everything before the boss. When fighting the boss, snipe the adds from cover, and don't die. Original guide is below.

This is a very long mission, and one of the most difficult to complete solo. Thus far it has only appeared with one set of modifiers.

There's a bit of luck involved with this strike. Hostiles can spawn and move in different ways, potentially requiring minor game plan changes on the fly. You might get lucky and have the bad guys bunched up, you might get unlucky and half of them hide behind pillars. Enemies that must be killed to advance might come after you or might go for a stroll. Sometimes you have to decide between patience or rolling the dice on an aggressive move. One of the worst moments is the dual-Shrieker dunk, which happens about 15 minutes in and has a roughly 75-second penalty for each failure.

There are a number of complicated multi-step sequences. Grab the orb, drop the orb, throw grenade, fire Coil, all while on the move into cover. Fire coil, proc Momentum, throw grenade, hit super. Fight Acolytes and Ogres while carrying an orb. You have to do these things to the point where it becomes muscle memory.

There are things that kill you instantly at close range, notably Ogre Eye Blasts. Step out at the wrong time and you're dead before you know what hit you. Happily, you then get 25 seconds to admire what hit you. The best part? If you're on a Striker Titan, you'll be killing two of them with a melee super.

The shielded Knights and orange-bar Revenant Knights will give you nightmares. These have arc shields and the ability to heal themselves while hiding behind an impenetrable force wall, which they can do surprisingly often. They take a very long time to kill with kinetic or energy weapons, and are strong enough to survive a direct hit from a rocket launcher. Sometimes they're cowardly, and hide in cover. The only saving grace is that Wardcliff Coil is often (but not always) able to kill them in one shot.

Disclaimer: I have not successfully finished this strike solo. After dozens of attempts in week 22, I got as far as carrying the final orb, but didn't make it to the dunk point. This is the only Nightfall I have utterly failed to complete. I believe the strategy laid out here is sound, but my skills were insufficient to the task.

Recommended Loadout

Equip standard loadout, but with the Wardcliff Coil. Arc energy weapons can give you a slight edge vs. the shielded Knights.

Modifiers: Momentum + Timewarp: Anomalies

You start with 14 minutes for normal, 9 minutes for Prestige.

The Wardcliff Coil is extremely useful for this strike, chiefly because of Knights and Revenant Knights. If you don't have the Coil, you can use a standard rocket launcher. Shoot the Knight with your energy weapon until it raises a barrier, then switch to your rocket. Fire when the barrier drops. If you just fire a rocket, the Knight may dodge the shot, and even if it doesn't the rocket won't be enough to kill it. If you don't want to use power ammo, use your energy weapon to knock its shields down, then use your hand cannon to land head shots.

You will see some players running toward or past enemies and shooting them with Wardcliff Coil while jumping, e.g. the Revenant Wizard near the start. The running and jumping is done to keep Momentum active while getting close enough to land the shot. It's usually safest to jump over or past the enemies and shoot down or sideways, rather than straight ahead, so that you don't blow yourself up if they suddenly move toward you.

Most of the things that are worth shooting with power ammo also drop power ammo. When in doubt, if it has orange-bar health, hit it with the Coil.


Starting Area

Arcology Entrance

First Ogre Room


First Dunk

Seal and Crystals

Ogres and Wizards

More Crystals

Another Orb

Step 1: clear the way

Step 2: special delivery

Back to the Seal

Boss Fight: Savathûn's Song

There are several stages to this encounter:

Fight strategy:

Wardcliff Coil Ammo Gift Abuse

You can speed up the last half of the fight by switching from Wardcliff Coil to Curtain Call, perhaps more than once. Suppose you're playing a Striker Titan:

Recommended Videos

For Momentum + TW:A, look for videos from weeks 5, 11, 13, 15, and 22.

Boss Damage Math

All numbers are from week 22, playing a normal-mode level 270 Nightfall.

The boss advances to a new phase when its health has been reduced by a certain percentage, either 15% or 20% depending on which phase it's in. Watching behavior and making some educated guesses, it looks like Savathûn's Song has about 147,000 total hit points, so you need to do 22,050 or 29,400 points of damage to get to the next phase. It's possible to do more than the exact amount of damage required, making the next phase slightly easier.

Titan Pulse grenades do an initial burst of damage, followed by an additional 7 pulses (or 5 if you go Juggernaut instead of Earthshaker). The initial damage and the last pulse are weaker than the 6 in the middle, doing 62.5% damage. A pulse grenade thrown at Savathûn's Song does 707*2 + 1131*6 = 8200 damage. That's about 5.58% of its health.

Curtain Call is somewhat hard to evaluate because of the cluster effect, but a typical hit does 3730 + 1057 + 622*2 + 88*3 + 385 = 6680 damage. Sometimes it's closer to 7,000. About 4.54% to 4.76%.

Manannan SR4, at medium range (boss in the center), does 148+93 = 241 damage per shot. At long range (shooting from east at boss in west), it does 92+93 = 185 per shot. This is with Candle PS, which has a shorter range than Impulse MS3.

From medium range, a grenade is equivalent to 8200/241 = 34 shots. At 200 rounds per minute, this takes 10.2 seconds, plus the time required for two reloads. At long range, one grenade is equivalent to 44.3 shots, needing 13.5 seconds plus two reloads.

Two grenades plus 24 shots from the scout rifle is 22184 damage, enough to advance through a 15% phase. Three grenades would be overkill. For a 20% phase, you need three grenades plus 20 shots.

Two grenades plus a Curtain Call shot is 23,080 damage, enough for a 15% phase. Two grenades plus two Curtain Call shots is about 29,760, enough to advance through a 20% phase.

Three rockets do about 20,040 damage. Three is often enough to end a 15% phase, either because the damage was on the high side or the previous phase had over-damage, but I've seen it fall short. To end a 20% phase, you'd need five rockets.

A Celestial Nighthawk Golden Gun shot does 28568 damage, or 19.4%. It's enough to end a 15% phase -- notably the the final one -- with a single shot.

Trivia: doing 147,000 damage with a scout rifle would require 610 shots from medium range.

In Prestige mode the numbers are all different. At a 330 light level, weapons do more damage, but Prestige boosts enemy health disproportionately higher. So you may not be able to advance a phase with the same number of shots.

Anomaly Locations

Starting Area

Arcology Entrance

First Ogre Room


First Dunk

Seal and Crystals

Ogres and Wizards

More Crystals and Another Orb

Second Dunk

Return to the Seal

Copyright 2018 Andy McFadden. All Rights Reserved.