Destiny 2 – FAQ / Myths about Boss DPS

Commonly Asked Questions and Myths

Arc Soul Team Damage

Is Arc Soul worth sacrificing Needlestorm for?

Needlestorm does ~470K damage. A team of six Arc Souls (5 base, 1 amplified) does ~33K DPS. Therefore, Arc Souls compensate for the damage loss of a missing Needlestorm in around 14 seconds. However, there are two things to consider. One, Stormcaller does not have a rocket reload assist like Broodweaver does. Two, it’s not as if a Stormcaller would be sitting there doing nothing while a Broodweaver is casting Needlestorm — they could be casting a Chaos Reach or shooting rockets, which narrows the gap considerably.

BnS Cataclysmic

Is using Enhanced Bait and Switch on Cataclysmic worth it?

If you are using Cataclysmic with a reload enhancer (Rain of Fire / reload dodge), then yes. Enhanced FTTC allows you to proc it 3 times per mag, since the last 2 shots of your previous mag count towards FTTC combined with the first two shots of your next mag, leading to 12 shots per mag, which makes the extended BnS duration worth using (see the attached video).

BnS First Shot

Does Bait and Switch affect the shot that activates it?

It depends. If a Bait and Switch weapon is the one to activate Bait and Switch, people typically think that, because the timer has not started and the damage number appears to be an unbuffed one, it is not active. However, in solo instances, the game actually does do the BnS damage to the enemy, meaning that BnS is effectively a flat 35% perk for all shots if used correctly.

In the attached video, see that both rocket shots do approximately the same amount to the health bar despite the first shot being the activation condition (the difference between both shots’ damage can be attributed to the ~7500 DDT damage error against Templar, 1 pixel’s worth). In team settings, however, BnS does not seem to affect the first shot due to instance activity, which likely resulted in the 29% buff value rather than a full 35.

BnS Timing

How long do you have to activate Bait and Switch?

About 7 seconds between each weapon (14s total). No, this does not mean you can shoot weapon 1, wait 1 second, shoot weapon 2, wait 13 seconds, then shoot your Bait weapon. Additionally, you can infinitely store Bait and Switch prep by repeatedly tapping your second weapon without ever going back to your first weapon, provided you initially shot your second weapon within 7 seconds of firing the first. Finally, you can’t start shooting weapons to reproc Bait and Switch until its timer is out.

Boss Health

How do you calculate boss health precisely?

See linked spreadsheet. Basically, I shoot a boss a bunch with a weapon I know does consistent, non-inflated health bar damage, and then I plot visual against true health bar damage and create a line of best fit, which I then use to find the full health value.

Broodweaver Exotics

Can I use Necrotic Grips instead of Ophidian Aspect for Broodweaver rotations? What about Unravel?

Both are insignificant damage increases in the grand scheme of things but they aren’t a bad idea for one person to use. I opted to leave them out since they are limited to one person and aren’t noticeable damage increases.

Danger Zone Blinding

Does Danger Zone increase the blast radius of the blinding effect of Disorienting Grenades?

No. At least, not in PvP.

Cluster Bomb

How much damage does Cluster Bomb add to a rocket?

On Templar, each cluster does 334+1669 damage. Assuming all 8 clusters hit, that’s 16024 extra damage on top of a base value of 72339, which comes out to an increase of ~22.15%.

Deathbringer Scaling

How bad does Deathbringer fireteam scaling get?

Compared to solo, five people shooting Deathbringer reduced damage on the wipe screen to 3.89x of a solo player, and health bar damage to 3.97x of a solo player.

Debuff Extension

How does debuff extension work?

Timer-based full debuffs (30%) like Tractor and Felwinter’s can have their timers refreshed by the application of a timer-based weaken, including Echo of Undermining grenades and Snare Bomb. This interaction does not work with either Tether, since the debuff applied by those supers does not seem to apply as a timed status effect, but rather by a consistent connection to the Tether object itself.

Double vs. Triple Swaps

How much damage loss is not using a third weapon in an Izi rocket rotation?

With how little your third weapon (GL/slug/sniper) makes up these days, in an Izi/slug/Apex Broodweaver rotation, you lose something like 4% of your damage by not using a third weapon, but having a third fill is still important while you’re waiting for your rocket to load.

Double Special Nerf

Is double special “dead”?

Absolutely not. The original appeal of double special has never been about getting extra heavy drops — that’s just a cherry on top of a mountainous cake. The real reason double special is the most effective loadout in the game is that it is a no compromise loadout with little to no consequences. Special weapons all do higher DPS than primaries and fill legitimate niches (splash damage, crowd control, burst damage), but legendary primaries all amount to “trace rifle but worse” and provide zero unique utility. While exotic primaries can be exceptions when they fill a certain role better than any special can (ie. Lumina, Trinity Ghoul, Malfeasance), equipping a primary is by and large crippling one third (or more) of your loadout for no real benefit.

While double special will be harder to play in solo content, team environments have plenty of options to force ammo generation in the form of Aeon exotics and Cenotaph Mask. On top of this, the post-3.0 sandbox has also given every single class in the game a zero ammo efficient add clear subclass option, in the form of Sunbracers Dawnblade, Synthoceps Sunbreaker, and Cowl Arcstrider, eliminating the need for ammo use for most interactions in the first place. The only change this update created is that it widened the gap between players who are and aren’t comfortable using double special. If you were fine with it before and understand the juggler effect, you’ll be fine now. If you were uncomfortable and reliant on primaries before, you’ll have an even harder time transitioning to double special now.


Is Duality worth using in the context of slug swapping?

Given that the standard double slug rocket rotation doesn’t use any exotics, using Duality in place of Sojourner’s Tale actually boosts damage by about 10% per shot against Frenzy Sojourner’s with Boss Spec. On top of this, in certain boss phases, you can proc On Black Wings and refresh it during damage through precision hits on the boss.

Frame-Based Damage

How much are certain damage sources affected by FPS?

Health bar-wise, not at all. This includes Leviathan’s Breath, Touch of Thunder storm grenades, Anarchy, and Wolfpack rockets, tested at 30 (capped) to 150 (uncapped). When others have found that the game reports lower wipe screen numbers, this is likely because the game counts damage ticks on a per-frame basis, whereas the instance itself actually calculates damage values at its own rate.

Frontloaded Health Bars

Are bosses “frontloaded” in health?

No. Based on extensive testing across every raid and dungeon boss in the game, not a single boss has a health bar that is not uniformly distributed.

GL Swap Options

Empty Vessel with surges or Wilderflight without surges?

Wilderflight does ~31% more damage per shot than Empty Vessel, which is more than the 22% from three solar surges.

Golden Gun Buffing

Does Well override Radiant for Golden Gun purposes? What about kinetic surges?

Yes. Stay outside a Well if you want to do full Golden Gun damage! As for kinetic surges, they are patched and no longer stack with Golden Gun! Finally, Lumina also overrides the Radiant buff for Golden Gun.

Kinetic Tremors

How much damage does Kinetic Tremors add to The Supremacy? Does it scale with player count and buffs/debuffs/surges?

If we’re talking per shot damage, two shots proc three shockwaves, each dealing 41.11% of a precision shot, resulting in a ~61.7% damage perk for each shot. Yes, it scales with buffs/debuffs/surges, but it does not stack with other players — only one KT user per team.

Nanotech Tracer Rockets

How much does Nanotech Tracer Rockets affect the damage of a weapon?

For every 3 Dimensional shots at 26623 damage each, one 5102 damage rocket is shot, resulting in approximately 6.4% more damage. This rocket’s damage scales with perks, buffs, and debuffs!

No Backup Plans

Is No Backup Plans worth it for shotgun swapping or Acrius?

No. The lack of a damage super and the inability to stack Force Multiplier with other global buffs holds NBP back from being notable.

Pack Hunter Multiplier

How much damage does Pack Hunter add to legendary rockets?

In short, Pack Hunter is approximately an 25-30% buff to base rocket damage. However, not all perks are multiplied and treated the same.

Pyrogale vs. Cuirass

Are Pyrogale Gauntlets better than Cuirass Thundercrash?

Situational. On certain bosses, Pyrogale outperforms Cuirass with or without a swap, coming in at 840K and 574K with and without Biotic (which is now patched) compared to Cuirass’ 457K. However, on other bosses, Pyrogale actually hit for less then Thundercrash, even with a Synthoceps swap. Given the conditions required to make Pyrogale work, as well as its likely inability to stack scorch ticks from its lingering cyclones, this super exotic combination will likely remain a niche solo damage or boss-specific damage strategy.

Reconstruction Manual Reload

Is it worth waiting for Reconstruction to kick in after manually reloading a rocket in order to shoot 2 instead of just 1?

No, since waiting for Reconstruction requires you to sit for 3.5 seconds after your last rocket fired, and then you still have to deal with the intrinsic rocket firing delay of 1.166s (for an adaptive frame), which is higher than just manually reloading twice (2 x 2.233).

Rocket Rotation Surges

What surge distribution should I use for rocket DPS?

If you’re using Izi, 2 rocket 1 kinetic. If you’re on something like Lumina or RDM dumping, 3 rocket.

Rockets without Gjally

How viable is a rotation like Izi slug Apex if you have no Pack Hunter?

Rocket rotations are still good without Pack Hunter, but not chart-topping like they are without (~14% DPS loss for Izi slug Apex).

Shotgun Swaps

Double slug or double pellet? What about rapid fire shotguns?

Depends on the boss! Swap component-wise with no perk, slugs are at 95187 DPS, while pellets are at 98213 DPS (lightweight, crit). Once you account for perks available on both archetypes, they’re pretty close to equal. And yes, the other pellet frames are worse, with rapids at 93493 DPS and aggressive swapping at 88463 DPS.

Trench Barrel

Is meleeing to proc Trench Barrel damage loss? If not, what is the effective DPS change?

Archetype: Melee-3 Shots / 3 Shots, Trench / Base DPS

  • Rapid Fire: 2.016s / 1.299s, 43527 / 45035
  • Lightweight: 2.833s / 2.199s, 39356 / 33802
  • Aggressive: 3.766s / 3.3s, 35938 / 27342
  • Legend of Acrius: 3.783s / 3.549s, 69252 / 49212

Triple Rocket Options

Are Radiant Dance Machines or Rain of Fire better/faster for rocket spam? What about The Dragon’s Shadow and Whisper of Impetus?

Time to shoot 3 rockets:

  • RDM: 1.366 + 1.366 = 2.732s
  • RoF: 1.183 + 1.183 = 2.366s
  • TDS: 2.383s (Lunafactions reload)
  • Reconstruction + Impetus: 1.183 + 1.183 = 2.366s

True Damage

Why do your results not line up with the values other content creators have produced? Why is there a difference between health bar and wipe screen testing?

My testing is performed on Templar, a raid boss with standard multipliers. If a test was performed on The Conflux lost sector “boss,” value scaling may be different. In addition, there are many factors in this game that can cause inaccurate wipe screen values, from mechanics to certain weapons and abilities overloading the game’s ability to count damage correctly. What you see is not what you get!

Two-Tailed Fox Surges

How does Two-Tailed Fox interact with surges?

  • No surges: 109169
  • 3x void: 129920 (+19%)
  • 1x arc, 1x solar, 1x void: 109138 (???)

Volatile Retrofit

How much damage do Volatile Rounds add to Retrofit Escapade now?

~5.2%, which is not worth the damage loss of making yourself invisible beforehand or swapping your exotic.


Is Weavewalk worth using with Rain of Fire for reloading rockets?

Generally no, the animation is too slow (slower than a dash or Ascent reload, and approaching reloading at ~1.8s).

Well Damage Conversion

Why do I not receive certain buffs or stacking when I do damage in my Well?

Well of Radiance converts the caster’s weapon damage to super damage while standing in said Well, which can be beneficial in some ways (for example, super damage pierces all shields, which gave Well pseudo anti-Barrier before the Radiant changes) and annoying in others (Focused Light not working, Ballidorse buff not stacking).

I hope you found this useful!

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13338 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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