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All Destiny 2 Exotic armor changes in Season 21, explained

RIP Starfire Protocol.

A new Destiny 2 Season not only means new stuff like seasonal quests, dungeons, and Aspects but tweaks to existing content, too—including Exotics. Yup, that's right, some of the most beloved Exotic armor is getting a switch-up in Season of the Deep. Here are all the Destiny 2 Exotic armor changes in Season 21 explained.

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All Exotic armor changes in Destiny 2 Season 21 Season of the Deep

I know what you're thinking. "Why is Bungie changing Exotic armor?"...Well, as shocking as it may sound at first, it does actually make sense, with the developer citing wanting to "identify underused armor pieces" and "tune down outlier armor pieces that are probably too powerful." And yes, Warlocks, that does include Starfire Protocol. RIP.

Not every rework is bad, though, with Exotics like the Hunter's ST0MP-EE5 getting a pretty powerful buff to airborne effectiveness and Titan's Point-Contact Cannon Brace receiving a new buff and increased damage, for example. So don't let the idea of reworks scare you—you might be pleasantly surprised!

Related: All new Strand Aspects in Destiny 2 Season of the Deep (Season 21)

Here's every piece of Exotic armor for each class being tweaked in Destiny 2 Season 21 (23 in total), which starts on May 23, 2023, at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT at the time of the weekly reset.

Titan Exotic armor changes in Destiny 2 Season 21

Seven Titan armor pieces are set to be changed in Destiny 2 Season of the Deep, which are:

  • Point Contact Cannon Brace—Arms
  • No Backup Plans—Arms
  • Second Chance—Arms
  • Stronghold—Arms
  • Eternal Warrior—Helmet
  • Khepri's Horn—Helmet
  • The Path of Burning Steps—Legs
  • Dunemarchers—Legs

Point-Contact Cannon Brace

Not only will lightning strikes now Jolt opponents, but each lightning strike has increased damage by 50%, from 50 to 200.

No Backup Plans

Both airborne effectiveness and Shotgun reload speed has been buffed, with Shotguns dealing additional damage while you have a Void overshield and also refreshing the overshield with final blows.

If you're using a Void subclass, defeating a powerful enemy and rapid Shotgun final blows gives you a Void overshield and regenerates health.

Second Chance

While equipped, Titan's shield throw melee weakens opponents. You'll also recover a full melee charge if you Stun a Barrier Champion with the shield throw melee.


Now reduces damage significantly to 50% in PvE and 10% in PvP while blocking with a Sword. When you stop blocking, you get double restoration. The duration depends on how many shots you've managed to block.

Eternal Warrior

Rapid takedowns while using an Arc weapon can net you stacked bonus Arc weapon damage of up to 25% in PvE and 6% in PvP at tier four.  

Khepri's Horn

Solar damage wave Scorches opponents.

The Path of Burning Steps

Now uses non-stacking weapon damage bonuses used by Surge mods, granting bonus damage of up to 25% in PvE and 6% in PvP.


Chain damage range has been reduced from 20 meters to 12 meters, and PvP damage has been reduced from 85 to 50.

Warlock Exotic armor changes in Destiny 2 Season 21

Warlock armor is getting the most reworks, with nine armor pieces, as listed below:

  • Vesper of Radius—Chest
  • Chromatic Fire—Chest
  • Dawn Chorus—Helmet
  • Sanguine Alchemy—Chest
  • Claws of Ahamkara—Arms
  • Mantle of Battle Harmony—Chest
  • Ophidian Aspect—Arms
  • Promethium Spur—Legs
  • Starfire Protocol—Chest

Vesper of Radius

Rifts now emit an Arc shockwave every five seconds that deals 200 damage in PvE and 70 damage in PvP. Opponents killed by the shockwaves explode for an extra 100 damage. If you also have an Arc subclass equipped, nearby enemies are blinded.

Chromatic Fire

The radius created by precision Kinetic takedowns is increased and applies a status effect to nearby enemies depending on which subclass you have equipped: Arc (Blind), Solar (Scorch), Statis (Slow), and Weaken (Void).

Dawn Chorus

Projectile damage has been increased and no longer requires the opponent to be Scorched beforehand.

Sanguine Alchemy

Rifts grant a non-stacking weapon damage bonus of 17% in PvE and 4.5% in PvP that matches your subclass.

Claws of Ahamkara

Orbs of Power are created with powered melee kills. The potency of the Orbs is increased if you have Heavy Handed mods equipped.

Related: Destiny 2: When does Guardian Games 2023 start/end? – Dates & rewards

Mantle of Battle Harmony

Bonus weapon damage is increased to tier four at +20% in PvE and lowered to 6% in PvP when matching your subclass type. Exotic no longer stacks with Surge but stacks with Empowering Rift. The bonus is extended from six to 10 seconds in PvE and three to five seconds in PvP.

Ophidian Aspect

Extended melee range has been removed.

Promethium Spur

Rift energy is granted after Solar weapon takedowns, with more granted when in a Rift. You must be standing in a Rift when getting a final blow to create a Rift at your opponent's location.

Starfire Protocol

Energy gained per instance has been nerfed from 20% to 2.5%. Sorry, Warlocks. I'm pressing F to pay my respects. Empowered weapon kills do grant 20% grenade energy, though.

Judging by the Destiny 2 subreddit and my wife's reaction (you'd think she was dying), this is a change that stings for many Warlock mains who used the Exotic Chest armor to aid them through Raids.

Hunter Exotic armor changes in Destiny 2 Season 21

The Hunter class received seven Exotic tweaks, which are as follows:

  • Sealed Ahamkara Grasps—Arms
  • Athrys's Embrace—Arms
  • Oathkeeper—Arms
  • Raiju's Harness—Chest
  • Radiant Dance Machines—Legs
  • ST0MP-EE5—Legs
  • Mask of Bakris—Helmet

Sealed Ahamkara Grasps

Reloads the magazine of all of your equipped weapons when an opponent is defeated with your powered melee. You gain increased movement speed and jump height after dealing melee damage.

Athrys's Embrace

Grants additional strength while the Weighted Knife damage bonus is active.


Bows get a temporary damage bonus that increases as you hold the draw when fully drawn.

Raiju's Harness

Creates a Blinding explosion that temporarily increases your Arc weapon damage when deactivating your Arc Staff Super.

Radiant Dance Machines

Getting kills when your free dodge is active extends the duration of the dodging and no longer goes away when you go too far away from your opponent. Deactivates once Suspending Slam is used.


Airborne effectiveness penalties are removed. Gain increased speed and slide distance and improved jumping when dodge energy is full. As a Hunter main, I'm so stoked about this one!

Mask of Bakris

Uses a tier four non-stacking weapon damage bonus that's increased from 10% to 25% in PvE and grants a 6% bonus in PvP. No longer stacks with Surge.

For more information on Destiny 2, check out Iterative Loop Destiny 2 – How to get & best God Roll on Pro Game Guides.

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Brent Koepp
Brent Koepp is a freelance games journalist based out of California. An avid Pokemon fan for over 25 years, he has spent his career reporting on the popular Nintendo franchise. He also dabbles in Destiny 2 and JRPGs. You can follow him on Twitter @brentrkoepp.

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All Destiny 2 Exotic armor changes in Season 21, explained

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