Destiny Nightstalker PvP Guide
Destiny Nightstalker PvP Guide by SHITBEARDTHEPIRATE
Thought it was time to put together another in-depth Subclass guide, so please enjoy my complete PvP guide to the Nighstalker, master of the neutral game.
WATCHING THE VID IS PROB EASIEST, but if you prefer reading (many words..sorry), I got you covered. Gifs too.
Neutral Game – Grenades
Unlike other Destiny subclasses which usually have a ‘clear winner’ for Grenades, the Nighstalker choices are all fairly even. Each of them can get the job done and have situationally good uses. I prefer the Vortex, but just use whichever you’re most comfortable with. The data for each nade:
The Spike grenade you’ll recognize from the Defender Titan tree. The Nighstalker Spike grenade can attach to any wall and lasts for 3.5 seconds and can potentially do up to 117 damage-per-second to enemies caught in the damage cone.
The Voidwall is unique to the Nightstalker. Once thrown, the Voidwall shoots out fire in opposite directions creating a wall of fire. It lasts for 5.5 seconds and can potentially do 95 damage-per-second to anyone standing in the fire.
Finally we have the Vortex nade, borrowed from the Voidwalker skill tree. The Vortex nade creates a circular damage zone which lasts for 4 seconds and can do 95 damage-per-second to anyone standing in the zone.
All nades are capable of killing a full health Guardian, but only if they stay within the damage zone without running away.
Neutral Game – Melee
The Nighstalker Melee ability is ‘Smoke’, which sort of functions as a 2nd grenade option. You throw a small orb, it breaks on contact, releasing a cloud of smoke. Enemies hit by smoke are slowed, cannot use jumping /melee/grenade abilities, and have their vision distorted, making them very easy to pick off. Smoke lasts anywhere from 2.5 seconds to 4.5 seconds, depending on which upgrade choice you take.
It’s important to note that because Smoke is a melee ability, you can throw smoke & your regular grenade almost simultaneously, which is super handy. Since enemies are slowed by smoke, you can throw both to essentially trap an enemy in a grenade. I find this works best with the Vortex.
There are 3 ways to upgrade Smoke. First is Envenomed, which adds a toxin to your smoke that damages enemies. The maximum amount of damage you can do with Envenomed is 107. I prefer this perk. It makes picking off enemies hit by smoke even easier.
Vanish in Smoke allows you and nearby teammates to become invisible when throwing Smoke down at your own feet. Keep in mind this only works on teammates who are not using their Super. Camo works similarly to Bladedancer Camo, and lasts for 5.5 seconds.
Snare lets you throw Smoke on walls/floors/ceilings where it will wait for nearby enemies to pass by before detonating. If no enemy triggers Snare, it will self-detonate after 10 seconds, and produce smoke for 4.5 seconds
Super Game – Shadowshot
Shadowshot is a great Super that can be used both offensively and defensively. For those who don’t know, Shadowshot lets you shoot a void arrow, which on contact with any surface creates an “anchor”. Any enemy that gets close to that anchor will become tethered to it. Tethered enemies become slowed, cannot use jump/melee/grenade abilities, take an extra 55% damage from everything, and are kicked out of Super Mode if they happen to be using their Super when tethered.. This is perfect for shutting down pesky Hammer of Sol Titans, or any other Super-Chaining team in PvP that’s bothering you. Hitting a regular enemy dead-on with your Arrow will kill them, and then spawn an anchor where they were hit.
Enemies have the option to try and shoot your anchor to destroy it, but the anchor will only break after taking over 400 damage.
3 ways to upgrade your super, and the 1st is Blood Bound. Tethered enemies explode when killed, and share damage when hurt. Important to note that ‘shared damage’ between tethered targets is not 100%. Aka, if you headshot 1 enemy for 647 damage, not all other tethered targets take 647 damage. The amount of damage shared between targets depends on how many enemies you initially tether. Check these numbers, they should clear things up.
Next is Black Hole, which gives you increased tether duration, and longer tether range. Here is a comparison of Black Hole’s range to both Blood Bound and Quiver. The range is noticeably longer, and IMO makes Black Hole the go-to choice for those who use Shadowshot defensively aka to shut down enemy supers. For tether duration, tethered enemies will get snared for 8 seconds as opposed to the normal 5.
Quiver lets you shoot out 3 arrows instead of just 1 at the cost of reduced tether range. As shown in the previous gif, Quiver’s tether range is piss-poor, and if you roll with Quiver I suggest you stick to just using it offensively as opposed to trying to shut down enemy supers. You can still tether enemies, but again the tether range is so poor that it’s extremely difficult to get it done.
It’s VERY Important to know that there is a DELAY between your Void Arrow hitting a target, and the Anchor spawning. About 1.5 seconds. This is important because if your goal is to shut down enemy supers, using anything other than Black Hole is ill-advised, because when using Quiver or Blood Bound, enemies are able to literally outrun being tethered due to the 1.5 second delay on the Anchor spawning, combined with mediocre tether range if they are either shot dead on, or if the arrow is shot near/behind them. Always keep the 1.5 delay in mind when trying to shut down enemy Supers.
Skill Tree Perks
Lockdown gives you double the duration of grenade and smoke effects, and is a great choice for making the Nighstalker neutral game better. Clarification: Testing proved that Lockdown does NOT give you extra damage for Envenomed – the max damage will always be 107. It just extends the duration of your envenomed smoke from 2.5 to 4.5 seconds. Also, snare will never ‘wait’ longer than 10 seconds. Lockdown extends the duration of the smoke of Snare from 4.5 to 8.5 seconds. Vanished in Smoke is….disappointing. It extends the duration of camo from 5.5 to…6 seconds. Yay.
Light of the Pack gives you additional orbs of light for killing tethered enemies. Normally, you generate orbs just for tethering foes, not killing them. LotP gives you 1 extra orb for each tethered enemy killed, which is great. Here’s how many orbs you normally will generate for each enemy tethered. So in theory if you were to kill 3 tethered enemies, you’d produce 5 orbs total (3 for each kill, 2 for tethering 3 to begin with).
Courage of the Pack gives you and nearby allies a bonus to armor and recovery when killing tethered enemies. This can stack up to 5x. Here’s a comparison of regular max recovery compared to x5 CotP recovery. For armor, I found that a x5 armor bonus let a guardian survive 2 extra bodyshots from a weak, minimum impact Auto Rifle (2 bullets @ 13 damage each), so roughly +26 or so extra health…and again, that’s at x5, which isn’t likely to happen. These bonuses last 30 seconds. IMO there is no reason to take CotP over LotP. The bonuses are minimal and disappear in 30 seconds, whereas making orbs for your team is literally always beneficial.
Keen Scout gives you many things – the ability to mark enemies, a better radar (pie-dar), faster run speed, and faster crouch-walk speed. Marking enemies is insanely helpful. Enemies will know they are marked by text on their screen, but still. The ‘marked’ effect lasts for about 6 seconds.
Enhanced radar is also helpful, and will give you a better idea of where nearby enemies are than your traditional radar. Damaged enemies also appear as a dot
Here’s a rough idea on how much faster you run with Keen Scout, and an idea on how much faster you crouch-walk. More speed is never frowned upon in PvP. Keen Scout is a damn good perk, and is highly recommended.
Predator lets your tether last much longer while it waits for nearby enemies to walk near. It gives an additional 30 seconds (normally your tether will only ‘wait’ for 5 seconds…8 if you’re using Black Hole), which is solid…but it’s hard to justify taking Predator when your other 2 choices are Keen Scout, and Shadestep.
Shadestep is as useful as, if not better than Keen Scout. Shadestep lets you evade, which can instantly get you out of dangerous situations, as well as mess with enemies in close quarters.. Shadestep also lets you take literally 0 damage from certain grenades in PvP, specifically nades that rely on a kind of ‘auto-targeting’ system. If you want to learn more about this, I made another short vid about it here.. In short, Shadestep is amazing, and also comes highly recommended.
TL;DR Nighstalker is a great PvP subclass for their stellar Neutral Game, and strong defensive Super play with Shadowshot. For exotic armor recommendations, sample builds, etc, check the video. Or if you have questions, feel free to hit me up.