Season of the Risen

Gambit Improvements Coming In Destiny 2 Witch Queen

Bungie just released a huge info drop related to changes coming to Gambit. The mode is being tweaked and changed, and today I’ll bring you all the news, including changes coming to ammo economy, invading, and rewards. Gambit is getting a focused loot system, much like Trials of Osiris, so it looks like Bungie wants us to jump into Trials once again.

Let’s dive right into the changes to Gambit with an update from Bungie.

Core Activity Changes

These changes are all about enhancing teamwork or making the mode easier to play and understand.

Freelance node added.

  • We think it’s important that players feel like they always have a chance at winning, and we see over and over again that full stacks of friends or clanmates have a significant advantage over groups of solo matchmade opponents.
  • The modes we have added Freelance nodes to (Iron Banner, Glory, and Trials of Osiris) all feel like they end up with more balanced matches more often, even as they increase and split the number of matchmaking pools.
  • We are investigating ways to remove the need for Freelance nodes that split the population, and hope to have something for you later this year.
  • In the meantime, the ability to queue for Gambit Freelance should be very useful.

Other changes

  • Rotating seasonal selection of curated encounters starting in Season 16.
  • Respawn points added to all Fronts (sections of maps where enemies could cycle in or out).
  • Players always drop half the Motes they were carrying when they are defeated.
  • Players can be revived by other players two seconds earlier, and auto-respawn is delayed two seconds.
  • All shields have increasing resistance to non-matching damage types.
  • “Rules of Gambit” node added to the launch screen, and numerous Gambit-specific hints have been added to the load screen.

Blockers, Draining, and the Bank

While we didn’t do any drastic adjustments here, we have a few tweaks we think will increase interesting decisions both when sending and battling Blockers, and hopefully remove the feeling of helplessness as you pour ammo into three Knights as all of your Motes drain away.

10 Mote Phalanx Blocker has its health boosted a bit.

  • While they are a good positional challenge with their shield and knockback, we felt like they weren’t quite tough enough for their Mote cost compared to the Knight, so we increased their health.

15 Mote Knight Blocker gains a Stasis attack.

  • We originally planned to pull its health down some as we felt it was a little too beef for 15 Motes, but with the ammo changes below, we didn’t find the current health onerous in playtesting.
  • We did think they could be more tactically interesting with a Stasis attack without necessarily making them more deadly or harder to kill.

Mote drain from multiple Blockers continues even if the opposing team is in Primeval phase.

  • This will help the team that is behind get to the Primeval a little quicker – it’s never felt great to send over four Blockers only to have the enemy team ignore them, all while still being severely behind.
  • This also gives the team in the lead a bit more incentive to kill Blockers during their Primeval phase.

Mote drain is paused if a player is near the bank and engaging Blockers.

  • It never feels great to have your Motes draining away while you pour Primary ammo into three Taken Knights.

Ammo Economy

Our goal for these changes are to make a more predictable and equal baseline of Special and Heavy ammo among all players. We will be watching both feedback and analytics around ammo gain and usage rates, and we’ll continue to make tweaks if these aren’t enough to make fair matches.

When completing a Front, a chest containing a small amount of Special and Heavy ammo spawns in the middle of the Front and can be looted once by each player.

  • It times out 20 seconds after the initial interact, so you still can’t dilly-dally.

Killing a high-value target spawns one normal Heavy brick for each player.

  • During the Primeval phase, ammo chests spawn in one of the Fronts every 60 seconds.
  • This replaces the regular Front ammo chests – but you still need to find the time to go grab it!

Limited Special and Heavy ammo bricks to only spawn from enemies if you have finder mods equipped.

  • Other ammo Exotics and perks, like Aeon Cult still work.

The Primeval Fight

The Primeval fight is the ultimate challenge of Gambit. It should feel like an epic boss fight and be long enough for the opposing team to get off some invades to counter strong DPS. It should have more to do than simply burning the boss as quickly as possible (and turn in place to kill Envoys every once in a while). Its mechanics shouldn’t be complex but should require about as much tactical play as a high-end strike boss.

Primeval health and Slayer stack bonus retuned.

  • Burning the boss after three rounds of Envoys should be just as easy as it is now, but burning him after just one or two rounds should be significantly more work.

Envoys now spawn with friends out in the Fronts, rather than in the bank area.

  • They have reduced health, and are no longer affected by Slayer stacks, and have varied elemental shields.

Killing the Envoys to get Slayer stacks will require movement, dealing with the Envoy’s protectors, and dealing with their elemental shield.

  • Envoys put an invulnerability shield on Primeval.
  • You must kill them both to remove it and damage the Primeval, forcing your team to go out and invade.

Envoys respawn at 30% of the Primeval damage done.

  • This increases by 10% every Envoy respawn, and Envoys stop spawning after the fifth spawn.

The Primeval Servitor boss is removed, since its custom shielding mechanics conflicted with the new mechanics.

  • The Malfeasance quest starts on the first Primeval kill.

With the tuning changes above, the Motes phase is significantly quicker, and the Primeval phase longer. You should expect matches to be just about as long as they are now, but we will be watching to make sure they aren’t too short or too long.


As we said above, a good invader should be able to turn the tide of a match, but a good invader should be no more important than any other equally-skilled team member. We don’t want a single good invader to completely dominate match outcome — and they certainly can right now. However, we still want a good invader to be able to delay a strong PvE team from finishing off the Primeval.

Level advantage is “now” disabled for Invader PvP.

  • It has actually been like this since the start of Beyond Light. Surprise!
    One of the Mote phase invasions has been removed.
  • Invasions now trigger at 40 and 80 Mote thresholds.
  • Primeval phase invasions are unchanged.
    Invasions can no longer be saved up.
  • Use it or lose it, pal.
    Invader no longer can see how many Motes enemy players are carrying, and player nameplates fade out when the Invader is aiming down their sights.
  • You can still see players through walls, just not while you are engaging your rocket tracking, or using your sniper zoom.
    We found a bug with how the Primeval heal effect was being applied, which depending on the sequence and timing of kills, would heal the Primeval for somewhere between 5 and 35%.
  • We fixed it, and now invader kills heal the Primeval for exactly 27% every time.
  • This sounds like a LOT but is actually less than the optimal amount prior. We will be watching feedback and analytics very closely on this one and will retune as necessary.


Gambit is the second of the core rituals (after Trials of Osiris) to get comprehensive engram focusing options.


  • You can focus the Gambit engram into either ‘Gambit Armor’ or ‘Gambit Weapons’ for 10,000 Glimmer and 50 Legendary Shards.
  • Gambit Weapons includes: Crowd Pleaser, Bottom Dollar, Trinary System, Borrowed Time, and Servant Leader.
  • Brand new Gambit weapons are drop-only for a single Season, and are then available for focusing.
  • We expect to expand Drifter’s focusing options further during upcoming Seasons.
    Other Drifter Changes
  • Bygones/Trust/Bad Omens have been removed from the vendor.
    End Match Drops
  • There is a Gambit memento for weapon crafting that can drop after any match.
  • Older Gambit shaders now have a small chance of dropping at the end of each match.
    Primeval Servitor cosmetic drops can now drop at the end of any match.
  • The Furtive Shell ghost can now drop at the end of any match.

Yes, you can expect more rituals to get this treatment throughout the year, but we do not currently have any specific dates to share just yet. Stay tuned!

The Future and Gambit Labs

There are a few things eagle-eyed readers might notice are missing from the above. Don’t fret, we do have a timeline for future changes!

The daily Gambit bounty objectives are generally fine, but some of the repeatable bounties have some onerous completion requirements.

  • We are taking a pass on these, though they won’t all come at once.
    Sometime this Season, we will be adjusting the completion amounts of most Gambit repeatable bounties.
  • (Weapon kills drop from 25 to 15, melee and grenade kills from 25 to 5, and Super kills from 15 to 10).
    In Season 17, we will be making additional tuning changes, as well as adding three new bounties.
  • Throughout the year, we will also be adding bounties specific to Light 3.0 updates.

Gambit Labs: Invasion Edition

We also have a couple of Gambit Labs that play with some of the core invasion concepts. These will run for one week each and will take over the base Gambit nodes.

Invasion Swap

  • This Labs variation plays around with who gets to benefit from triggered invasions.
  • During Motes phase, instead of opening your own invasion portal at 40 and 80 Motes, you instead open your opponent’s invasion portal.
  • We expect this to completely disrupt the accepted meta for how and when to deposit and invade. We’re looking forward to seeing the clever strategies and counterstrategies you will develop.

Mote Thief

  • Fundamentally, the original concept of the invader was Guardian as Taken Terror, overpowered and dangerous — something new to have to fight. While that is very compelling, we don’t believe it is the only compelling invader fantasy. We believe the sneaky Mote Thief is worth exploring, too. Maybe there are more?
  • Normal Mote drain from having two blockers is disabled.
  • Instead, every second the invader is invading, one Mote drains directly from your bank to the invader’s bank.

We hope all the Guardians that love (or fear!) Gambit give the mode another try once The Witch Queen launches. We’ve really enjoyed playtesting it, and we’re going to be listening to your feedback and making adjustments.

Let me know what you think of the changes to Gambit in the comments.