It has been about a week since the release of Lightfall, the hype has settled, and the grind is underway. But the grind is not so important, at least for this article. As mentioned in the previous article, Lightfall has seen a new subclass added to our arsenal in Strand. Strand is what we will be discussing today. An important note, this is written purely from a Hunter’s point of view of Strand, I have not yet had the time to unlock Strand on my Warlock or Titan, so I do not have the experience to write about them.
In the build-up to Lightfall, Bungie showed countless videos and moments of the new subclass they have named Strand. As I watched each video, my excitement for this subclass grew. The fact that we can grapple to anything in the world on top of the new super, create a rope from nothing and swing it around, and be able to flip our way into enemies meant I could not wait to experiment with Strand.
With all this excitement, disappointment is inbound, right? In this situation, however, there was not. I know some people who felt let down by what we inevitably got with Strand, but I am not all about that noise. I wanted a subclass where I could have fun with it. I did not care if it fell off in higher-end content. Movement in Destiny is one of my favourite things to dive into, and Strand takes that to the next level, a level I never expected. What sets Hunters apart for me, is the ability to have two grenade charges and create tangle points at will. This allows for some insane movement potential, something which Hunters should be known for, we should be the movement kings.
What surprised me the most about Strand is how rewarding, and fun the current gameplay loop for Hunters feels. Grappling into enemies and punching them, followed by a nose-dive-esque maneuver to suspend all enemies left remaining nearby, allowing for easy kills. The spike melee, while it does not deal much damage, it is the most fun I have had with any Hunter melee. The little mini-game of keeping an eye out for it returning as well as seeing your melee button light up to catch it is extremely rewarding. You feel a lot more immersed in the game, than, oh I throw melee weapon, and it returns to me to give more melee energy back, or like a Solar Titan who just needs to walk up to a hammer to pick it up.
Initially, after the campaign, there did feel like something was off with the Strand build. It did not feel like it flowed perfectly. But after some consideration, I found the perfect exotic, Frost-EEs. Sprinting with the exotic equipped refunds ability energy, perfect for Strand. You are always on the move in Destiny, so you can always make use of Frost-EEs perk, which means you can maximize your uptime of every ability in your Strand arsenal. Then the icing on the cake is the fragments you get alongside the build. Three fragments, Thread of Mind, Thread of Generation, and Thread of Fury, all with ways to regain ability energy depending on the ability type, increased the build’s potency. Thread of Mind gives class ability energy back when defeating suspended targets, Thread of Generation grants grenade energy upon dealing any damage, while Thread of Fury grants melee energy when damaging targets with a tangle (something you will always be creating while running Strand). These three fragments make for an increase in ability spam and uptime.
After a couple of days, I got very comfortable with the ability rotation of Strand, and sure it will not work as well in higher-end content. Come to the Day One raid this weekend, I will likely be running other sub-classes, but my oh my am I having fun. My dream has most certainly come true.
Something else we have discovered is Strand skating. For those familiar, it is almost identical to Shatter or Well skating. However, the biggest difference is where you can use the skate. You have to be in an environment with a small slope making it more niche than just skating off the edge of a platform. Despite this fact, I much prefer Strand skating, it feels a lot more rewarding to pull off considering the timing is a lot tighter, and you gain much more forward momentum. Remember I said I love movement in Destiny? Yeah, skating is one of my favourite parts of the game. Being able to travel long distances, flying past enemies and fellow guardians brings me so much joy.
Lastly, something we have tested recently is the ability to grapple various projectiles, things like rockets, and even some weapons with alternate fires, like Lumina. It looks quite dumb but honestly is so much fun and changes the entire dynamic of parkour and movement in Destiny 2. I can not wait to test our more shenanigans in the days to come.
That brings the end to my thoughts on Strand, and I advise those who are hesitant about it, to give Strand a try, weave your way through to find its enjoyment, and do not forget to let your imagination run wild. Next up for me is the Root of Nightmare Day One Raid starting on Friday the 10th of March at 7 pm. We will likely have a stream going from one of our members, and you can be sure there will be an article coming out next week. Until then, stay safe guardians.