Destiny 2: How to prepare for The Witch Queen expansion

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen (Image credit: Bungie)

The next Destiny 2 expansion, Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, is nearly here. Slated for a Feb. 22, 2022, launch, The Witch Queen DLC will focus on Savathûn and her Lucent Brood Hive warriors, many of which have been imbued with the power of the same Light that the Guardians of The Last City wield. How Savathûn managed to steal the Light is unclear, but one thing is certain: The Witch Queen and her Lucent Brood are one of the most dangerous threats that Guardians have ever faced.

To have the best chance at overcoming Savathûn and her forces, you'll need to do some things in Destiny 2 to prepare for The Witch Queen expansion. Here's a breakdown of everything you should do to get ready for the DLC in the weeks leading up to its arrival.

Grind for god rolls on Destiny 2, Year 4 weapons

Source: Bungie (Image credit: Source: Bungie)

Your No. 1 priority leading up to the launch of Destiny 2: The Witch Queen should be trying to acquire as many god rolls (ideal perk combinations) of Year 4 weapons from Seasons 12-15 as you can. This includes everything available from decoding Umbral Engrams at the H.E.L.M., as well as all of the weapons that you have a chance to obtain from completing matches in the Vanguard, Crucible, and Gambit playlists. Year 4 seasonal weapons will no longer be obtainable once The Witch Queen launches, so now is the time to get them before they're gone. There's also a chance that playlist-specific weapons will be harder to obtain, as Bungie may add more weapons to the loot pool of each playlist.

Here's a list of some of the best weapons from Destiny 2, Year 4, as well as what their god rolls are. Note that you'll need Parallax Trajectory to decode Umbral Engrams into weapons from Seasons 12-15, which is acquired by completing activities throughout the game.

  • Deafening Whisper (S12, Ambitious Assassin/Rampage)
  • Extraordinary Rendition (S13, Overflow/Frenzy)
  • Threaded Needle (S13, Auto-Loading Holster/Vorpal Weapon)
  • Ignition Code (S14, Slideshot/Vorpal Weapon)
  • Gridskipper (S14, Heating Up/Frenzy)
  • Chroma Rush (S14, Feeding Frenzy/Rampage)
  • Vulpecula (S15, Outlaw/Headstone)
  • Royal Entry (Vanguard, Auto-Loading Holster/Lasting Impression)
  • Empty Vessel (Vanguard, Auto-Loading Holster/Disruption Break)
  • Servant Leader (Gambit, Rapid Hit/One for All)

For a deeper dive into the best weapons and rolls from Year 4, including top-tier minor perks like Blinding Grenades, refer to our roundup of the best Season of the Chosen weapons, the best Season of the Splicer weapons, and the best Season of the Lost weapons.

Grind for high-stat armor

Source: Bungie (Image credit: Source: Bungie)

In addition to grinding for god-rolled weapons from Year 4, you should also focus on getting some high-stat armor if you don't have some already. A good set of armor with high stats is key to putting together one of the best Destiny 2 builds, and when the going gets tough in The Witch Queen, high-stat armor will help you move faster, stay alive longer, and regenerate abilities quickly.

There are a few different ways you can get high-stat armor to drop. Completing encounters in Raids like the Vault of Glass or the Deep Stone Crypt will often drop you armor pieces with a high amount of stat points, as will encounters from Dungeons like Prophecy. You can also get high-stat armor from playing the "Legend" version of activities like Dares of Eternity. Decoding Umbral Engrams with a Tier 3 focus on high-stat armor is also effective. You can even improve the chances that armor drops from standard activities like Vanguard strikes or Crucible matches will have high stats by using Armorer mods on your Ghost.

Spend your Gunsmith Materials

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

In a recent blog post, Bungie confirmed that once The Witch Queen launches, Gunsmith Materials and Weapon Telemetries are being removed from the game and that Banshee-44 on The Tower will no longer accept them. Moving forward, players will have to complete Banshee-44's bounties if they want to rank up their reputation with him and get weapon drops.

Therefore, you should immediately spend all of your Gunsmith Materials and Weapon Telemetries while they're still useful. If you've been playing for a long time and you've got thousands of Gunsmith Materials saved up, you'll be able to get a ton of weapon drops by doing this. Admittedly, the world loot pool does have a lot of subpar weapons, but you've got a decent shot of getting some gems if you have a lot of currency to spend. Here are some god-rolled weapons you should keep an eye out for while turning in all your Gunsmith Materials:

  • Eternal Blazon (Rapid Hit/Disruption Break)
  • Falling Guillotine (Relentless Strikes/Whirlwind Blade)
  • Night Watch (Rapid Hit/Explosive Rounds)
  • Legal Action II (Feeding Frenzy/Rampage)
  • IKELOS_SMG_V1.0.2 (Threat Detector/Surrounded)
  • Truthteller (Auto-Loading Holster/Disruption Break)
  • First In, Last Out (Auto-Loading Holster/Vorpal Weapon)
  • Cartesian Coordinate (Under Pressure/Vorpal Weapon)

Complete and save bounties

Source: Bungie (Image credit: Source: Bungie)

Grinding bounties and saving them until the next expansion launches have never been a particularly fun part of Destiny gameplay, but it's ultimately the best way to give yourself a huge XP boost once you get your Seasonal Artifact at the start of The Witch Queen. By turning in dozens of completed bounties at once, you'll instantly give yourself a few Power Level increases while also giving yourself access to some of the Artifact mods that will be available during The Witch Queen's launch season, Season 16. You'll also have to spend less time post-Witch Queen farming XP to level up, allowing you to focus on completing quests, hunting for new weapon drops, and preparing for The Witch Queen's Raid that launches on Mar. 5, 2022.

For optimal XP gain, you should focus on completing and saving weekly bounties first, as they award more XP. Then you can fill up the rest of your inventory with daily bounties that award less XP, but are also easier to complete and are more plentiful. The best bounties to prioritize include:

  • Weekly bounties from Eris (Moon)
  • Weekly bounties from Lectern (Moon)
  • Weekly bounties from Variks (Europa)
  • Weekly bounties from Shaw Han (Cosmodrome)
  • Weekly clan bounties from Hawthorne (Tower)
  • Weekly Iron Banner bounties from Saladin (Tower)

Stock up on materials

Source: Bungie (Image credit: Source: Bungie)

Finally, you should stock up on materials before The Witch Queen launches. This includes both planetary materials, such as Dusklight Shards and Microphasic Datalattice, as well as upgrade materials like Enhancement Cores, Enhancement Prisms, and Enhancement Shards. The former can be found in Destiny 2's open world locations or purchased from The Spider on The Tangled Shore, while the latter are primarily earned by playing playlist activities and ranking up your reputation with their vendors. Upgrade materials can also be earned by completing endgame Nightfall strikes, completing Banshee-44's Gunsmith bounties, or by purchasing them from The Spider.

Planetary materials are important for buying Upgrade Modules, which allow you to sacrifice a high-level piece of gear you have to give a lower-level item its Power Level. This is useful for keeping the Power Level of your best weapons and armors equal to your own Power Level, and since The Witch Queen will feature a new Power Level cap to climb to, you're likely going to need to buy and use several Upgrade Modules as you level throughout the DLC. Meanwhile, upgrade materials are important for masterworking new weapons and armor pieces. Masterworking weapons gives a small boost to one of its stats, while masterworking armor improves its overall stats while also allowing you to equip powerful armor mods.

Destiny 2: The Witch Queen is expected to release on Feb. 22, 2022. Destiny 2: The Witch Queen preorders are available now, so if you want to get your copy of the expansion ahead of its release, you can. The Standard Edition of the DLC costs $40, but there are also more expensive versions that include exclusive pieces of bonus content.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.