Destiny 2 Solo Guide: Heroic Adventures

[heroic-adventure]

[up to guide index]

(Last updated: 2018/02/28)

The Curse of Osiris expansion added Heroic Adventures, which take place on Mercury. The rewards are pretty meagre, so once you've finished the crafted weapons there's not much reason to do them except as a solo challenge. While these adventures aren't complex enough to warrant a full strategy guide, there are some tips that make things easier. See the Solo Nightfall Guide for recommendations on PvE loadout.

There are currently three adventures:

Each adventure starts with a run through the Infinite Forest. As in the story missions, some of the gates are blocked by orange-bar daemons that must be killed. Unlike the story missions, these daemons are tough. (If you're confronted by Phalanx daemons, grab a snack, it's going to be a while. Skyburner's Oath helps a little.)

They're started by talking to Brother Vance in the lighthouse on Mercury. There's some weirdness where they will appear as "already active", and characters can get locked into doing one specific adventure. This has been an issue since they were first introduced. (You may be able to reset them by running each character through to clear the adventure flag, then not even looking at Mercury for a few days.) Because of this, it's helpful to decide ahead of time which character will do which adventure.

The chest at the end will give you some mild rewards (blue armor, a couple of shaders, 4 Mercury tokens, 500 glimmer, 9000 XP, and maybe a legendary engram). If certain conditions are met, the mission ends with a Glimmering Chest instead of a plain old Chest, and you get increased rewards (+1 token, +100 glimmer, +1500 XP). You don't get any Clan XP either way. The goal of a solo run is to secure the Glimmering Chest, not because the rewards are so much better, but because the whole point is to have a challenge to overcome.

If you return to orbit before opening the chest, even after killing the boss, the mission is not considered complete, and you will be able to run it again.

General Info

The missions have a set of modifiers that are similar to what you had in the old Nightfall missions, minus the time limit. (My thanks to this page for collecting most of them.)

First modifier:

Second modifier:

It appears that only certain combinations are allowed. Here's what has been observed so far (credit: /u/Try_to_guess_my_psn):

The modifiers are the same for all missions on a given day, and change at the daily reset. Each mission has different variants, selected at random every time you start.

How to Get Started

The first thing to do is play through each adventure a few times, ignoring the Glimmering Chest bonus. There's no hard timer, so you can always finish them given time. Get to know what the different modifiers feel like.

If the second modifier is Elementalist, pick any class with Pulse, Void, or Thermite grenades and go nuts. Torrent-grade grenade spam makes everything much easier.

The easiest adventure is The Up and Up. You have to clear familiar enemies quickly and then beat up a boss. The Runner is a bit tougher, mostly because the Cabal mobs are disturbingly powerful and it's hard to get a clean shot on the boss. Bug in the System is the hardest, as swarms of enemies will try to overwhelm you, and a single death can cost you the mission.

For each adventure I list the best modifiers. The mission will be much easier if the modifiers are favorable. For example, you can obliterate The Runner very quickly with boosted power and super damage (e.g. Prism), but a melee boost like From the Shadows will do you no favors.

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The Up and Up

Glimmering Chest Requirement: Kill the Cache Defender in less than 5.5 minutes.

Best Modifiers: Elementalist, Elite Soldier, Justice from Above, Risk and Reward. De-Powered nerfs your grenades, but those aren't as important here, so the gun boost can work out well. You need to move through the mission quickly, then blast the Cache Defender with power weapons and your super. Prism can be very beneficial if the timing works out right.

Best Classes: Striker or Sunbreaker Titan, Stormcaller Warlock, and Arcstrider Hunter with Raiden Flux. You want a super that does strong single-target damage.

There are two main variants, "present" and "future". The maps are very different, but the approach doesn't change much. The fastest way through the first part is to hit the Rearguard Commanders with the Wardcliff Coil from an angle that knocks them off into space. It doesn't take much to launch them, so you don't even have to be close if you hit them right. Sometimes the level setup doesn't allow this, but a full dose of Coil should kill a Commander.

Once the Commanders have been dispatched, head up and clear the decks. Liberal use of the Wardcliff Coil or other AoE weapon is helpful to speed things along. Remember that, when firing the Coil, you can move the reticle to spray destruction over a large area. Another option is to use a sword, since you'll be facing a number of enemies that like to melee, and there are orange-bar hostiles on the second and (sometimes) third platform that drop power ammo.

If the Fallen have already deployed across the platform, you may want to start shooting from the transient blocks instead of jumping all the way to the platform itself. Listen for for the next set to appear and jump over when they do. This can help you avoid dying at the hands of charging Marauders and Wretches.

The boss can do a lot of damage if you get close, but he likes to hide and let his shield regenerate, so it's tough to snipe him from long range. The Arcstrider super will pretty effectively shut him down while you beat on him, and with Raiden Flux you should have enough power to finish the job. Titans can use their Rally Barricade with a rocket launcher to good effect. The Stormcaller Warlock super, when activated with full grenade and melee to double the duration, is almost enough to take him down without boosts from modifiers; be sure to throw a Pulse grenade at this feet the first time he does his teleportation move, and have a loaded rocket launcher ready for when your super ends.

In any event, you can kill adds from range until you have about 45 seconds left, then you have to rush the boss.

Present

This takes place on the same map as The Runner, with the addition of floating platforms full of Fallen.

In one variant, the initial part of the level is pretty brief. The second Commander likes to hang out near the edge where he's easy to knock into space. Sometimes he can be a bit "sticky", though, so clear the adds out first.

In the other variant, you have to make your way through the area that's used for the final checkpoint in The Runner, and jump across the rooftops.

The boss area is fairly confined, so taking out some of the adds on your way in is prudent, especially the Exploder Shanks. The boss likes to hide behind the pillar at the front right of the final room. If you try to step around it you'll likely get crushed, so jump on top and hit him with splash damage from grenades or the rocket launcher instead.

Known bug: if you die fighting on the 3rd platform, you may rez in near the boss. However, when you kill the boss, the mission doesn't end, because the checkpoint on the 3rd platform hasn't been cleared. You need to jump out of the boss area and kill all the enemies. It's hard to do this from the boss area because the Fallen tend to hide.

Future

This is a much more open map than "past", and the Commanders can appear in a couple of different places. For one common layout, you can save a lot of time by immediately turning to your right and jumping up the cliff. You can step up onto the raised metal bit and then jump into a notch in the cliff face, then up to the top. This is much faster than chasing the path around. Another layout has the Commanders farther up the hill, so this approach may not save much travel time, but it should bypass some hostiles.

It's possible to run past the last batch of enemies (especially if you have the Momentum modifier), and engage the boss in the back area. There are a number of adds right next to the boss, though, so it's easy to get surrounded if you don't move swiftly.

The boss may be around back when you first arrive, but he'll run out when you get close.

The Runner

[runner-map]

Glimmering Chest Requirement: Kill Valus Traud, Proxy before he makes it through 5 checkpoints. He will spend 30-60 seconds at each checkpoint. The actual time spent may depend on his health level.

Best Modifiers: Prism, Brawler, Elementalist, Risk and Reward. Justice from Above is iffy on its own but amazing with Prism. These boost the damage done by power weapons, your super, or both, allowing you to do massive damage before he reaches the final checkpoint.

Best Classes: Striker or Sunbreaker Titan, Stormcaller Warlock, and Arcstrider Hunter with Raiden Flux. You want a super that does strong single-target damage.

There are two main variants, both in the "simulant present" color scheme. The "northeast" variant begins with Valus Traud well forward from your starting position, appearing on the right. The "southwest" variant begins with him ahead of you on your left. It's the same map, but you start at different points. The boss runs in loops to throw off pursuit, so it's better to head him off than chase directly after him.

In both cases, your goal is to beat him up as much as you can at the first place he stops, then get to the rooftops to finish him.

Curtain Call is usually recommended so you can take long-range shots when the runner stops. Titans can pop a Rally Barricade and do massive damage. For some modifiers, e.g. Prism + Brawler, Wardcliff Coil becomes absurdly powerful and the boss won't live long enough to reach long range.

With no boost, a full Stormcaller super (full grenade and melee extending the duration) will take off the first 1/3rd of his health.

The various adds are lethal at close range. The rate of fire for some of the Cabal units borders on the absurd. Kill the adds from range or you'll die repeatedly. Don't try to engage the boss up close while the adds are still alive unless you're using your super. Generally speaking, it's best to take the time to clear the adds, rather than rush the boss.

For something like Elite Soldier, where power damage is boosted, you may want to use the super to clear late-stage adds and just rely on your rocket launcher to hurt him.

The timer doesn't start until you aggro Valus Traud, Proxy. If you're trying to time the Prism rotation, you can exit the tunnel and shoot the first couple of adds near the entrance without starting anything.

Northeast

See the green path on the map.

Prism: for arc class, solar energy, and void power, you want to start when it switches to solar. That lets you clear some trash with solar, hit him with a couple of void rockets as he runs, then pop your arc super at the checkpoint. You should have him nearly dead after the first stop.

Move south, killing the Psions and Legionaries. When you see the boss, shoot him a couple of time and duck back. He'll run away from you. Keep moving south, and he'll run out in front of you at the next intersection. Beat him up, then head west (the way he came from). Kill the orange-bar Valus Defender, Proxy that pops out. Run to where he's parked (just follow radar) and hit him with power weapons, grenades, super -- whatever is appropriate for the current modifier.

Once he leaves the central area, he heads south, then west, then north, then west... don't try to chase him. Head west, killing adds, and get up to the rooftop area. There's a spawn door to the west (marked "UP" on the map) that you can get on top of, and jump to the roof to the north. Walk up to the edge and shoot downward. If he continues on to the boss exit area, jump across east and snipe him.

Southwest

See the red path on the map.

Prism: for arc class, solar energy, and void power, you want to start when it switches to void. That should be enough time to clear the two Psions and the Legionaries near the boss. It'll switch to arc when you get to the first checkpoint.

Shoot the nearby adds to the east, and move into the room with the circular thing (fountain?). Hit the boss with something to start him running. Run to where he was, then keep going north toward the force field (which blocks you from entering the boss exit area from this side). Turn left at the end to find the boss. Shoot him and duck back to let his initial barrage pass, then hit him with everything you have. He'll actually start running toward you, which is convenient.

He runs south, through the room you were facing when you first started, and then starts weaving his way eastward. If you died in the first barrage you probably ended up back at the starting area, so if you start running east you'll run into him.

He'll go east, then north, then east, then back south, then east to the end, and finally north toward the entrance to the boss exit area. Stay in the southern road and hit him when he weaves back toward you. Be mindful of the weapon-blocking barriers that pop up at each intersection if you're shooting rockets.

After he passes, use the UP point on the east side -- as you look north, there's a few low blocks on the right that you can use to gain altitude for a jump to the roof to the west. From the roof with the circular thing, jump north to get above the boss.

A few Cabal may follow you up to the roof. Watch your six.

Head to the boss exit area, and shoot Valus Traud with whichever weapons are powered up. From this side you have an easy shot on his exit point if it gets down to the wire.

Bug in the System

Glimmering Chest Requirement: Keep hostiles away from the central pillar. If they stay in contact for more than a few seconds, the bonus is lost.

Best Modifiers: Elementalist. Spamming augmented grenades makes this much easier. Melee-boosting modifiers like Risk and Reward can work for a Titan with An Insurmountable Skullfort, because the boosted melee can kill Acolytes as well as Thralls; works best with Attrition because you'll be picking up health drops as you go. Modifiers that boost your guns are helpful, but it's tough to keep up with the swarm of incoming Hive using guns alone, especially in some "past" configurations where your fields of fire can be more limited.

Best Classes: Voidwalker Warlock with Devour, and Nightstalker Hunter with Orpheus Rig. These pairings are designed to handle swarms of low-level enemies. If you can make it well into the second wave without your super, Dawnblade Warlock with Everlasting Fire can clear the map in style. As mentioned above, Striker Titan with An Insurmountable Skullfort can work if melee damage is boosted.

There are two main variants, "past" and "future". Both require you to defend against two waves of Hive, then kill one or more mini-bosses.

If the Hive get near the pillar, the HUD will say "Sync disrupted", and show a shutdown percentage. You need to stand next to the pillar to clear it. If you and a Hive unit are both standing next to the pillar, the shutdown counter will increase, so there's no value in standing on the pillar while Hive are still nearby.

The first wave may be a large collection of Thralls followed by some Acolytes and Cursed Thralls, or it may be three Ogres (starting with one Revenant Ogre) with a smattering of Thralls and a few Knights. You should be able to destroy most of the wave before it gets close, though the Ogres can force you into cover if you don't have a modifier with a gun boost.

The second wave might be a pair of Wizards with a gaggle of Thralls, Acolytes, some Revenant Acolytes, and more Knights. Another variant starts off with a few Thralls and Acolytes, and then you'll suddenly find a Revenant Knight standing behind you (tip: use your super). It might start off with a Revenant Wizard, followed by Thralls, Cursed Thralls, Acolytes, Revenant Acolytes, and Knights. There tend to be a constant dribble of Thralls with two "swarm waves" of Acolytes and stronger units. It's very hard to kill them all unless you can engage them at a distance or have Pulse grenades and Elementalist.

There are multiple flavors of mini-bosses at the end. Sometimes you get three big Knights, sometimes it's one big Ogre, maybe a few Wizards, etc. There's usually a Shrieker on the battlefield that can be killed but comes back almost immediately. There's no time limit, and the pillar becomes invulnerable after the second wave, so you can take all the time you want.

This is probably the easiest adventure to do with a group, since there's no time limit and all the hostiles come to you, but it's one of the hardest to do solo because it's easy to get overwhelmed, and if you die once you'll usually lose.

If there's more coming at you than you can handle, hit your super. It might seem like a waste to spend it on a bunch of Acolytes and Thralls, but you won't need it for the last phase, so pop it when things get busy. Try to hold onto it for the second swarm in the second wave.

Wardcliff Coil or a sword is recommended. You won't benefit much from long-range rockets, and short-range power is useful. The Coil is much better for killing the mini-bosses than a sword, but by the time those appear you've already secured the bonus. Because most of the enemies will rush the pillar, the melee-range killing power of a sword is pefectly suited. Be careful with the Knights though if power damage isn't boosted.

Past

The pillar is at the center of a building with three narrow entry corridors. This is easy with Elementalist, because you can just throw grenades at the choke points. It's a real pain with Momentum, because you have to run some distance from the pillar to get any healing.

The direction the enemy will come from is indicated by a diamond on your HUD. It seems to be chosen at random. Your tactics will change slightly with each direction, as they offer different levels of cover and sight lines.

If you don't have a modifier that gives you quick-charge grenades, snipe everything you can, then retreat inside. Use the Wardcliff Coil on the Knights and big groups of Acolytes, or use a sword if power weapons are boosted -- the hostiles tend to get in your face, and the sword won't kill you with back-blast. Most of the hostiles will come from the primary direction, but a couple will try to slide around the sides, so watch your radar.

If the last wave has three large Knights, snipe any Acolytes and Thralls you can see, then head down the right side and stay in the below-ground area to avoid Shrieker fire. Use a power weapon (or whatever is boosted by the current modifiers) to kill the Knights.

Future

This uses the same map as the "future" version of The Up and Up. The pillar is at the center of a crater at the top of a hill. This variant works better with Momentum than the "past" version because you can run circles around the crater to heal.

Because your position is more exposed, the Axion Dart missiles fired by the Exalted Tomb Ships can be very dangerous. Stay in cover when a new round of adds is spawning. If you get killed during the spawn, you may be able to get back in time if you jump up the cliff (same as in The Up and Up) instead of running around.

There are two different ingress points for hostiles. In one version they come from the ruins, in the other they appear farther down the valley. In the latter case most units will run up the valley, which makes them easy to mow down, but some units (notably Knights, and Thralls in the second wave) will hop up the wall and come at you through a gap in the rocks.

A sword is less useful here than in the "past" version because you have a decent killing ground in front of the crater, and you're more exposed to medium-range attacks from the Knights and clusters of Acolytes. On the other hand, you have a much better opportunity to use kinetic/energy weapons to kill things before they get close. The tricky bit is the Knights, who you have to bait into the pillar before you can cut them.

Generally speaking your success will depend on your ability to kill things at a distance. With Elementalist you can grenade the ingress paths, and when things get busy you can keep a grenade ticking on the pillar at all times. Without it you have to do your best to prevent the swarm from getting near the pillar, and use your power weapon when stuff starts getting through. You have to position yourself somewhat aggressively.

If you get the start with the Ogres, dial back on the aggressive positioning. You need to slip back behind the crater to snipe them unless your guns are amped up. Most of the Thralls will come after you, but some will go for the pillar. Don't lose sight of the center while battling the Ogres.

Known bug: sometimes (maybe 25% of the time) you'll get the orange-bar Ogre and nothing else. The Hive carrier will shoot at you if you get close, but nothing else will show up, so there's no way to progress. There doesn't appear to be a way to recover from this.


Copyright 2018 Andy McFadden. All Rights Reserved.