Season 21 Exotic Armor Tuning

Wow, these changes are such a surprise!

  • Season 21 is rolling out the first wave of tuning for exotic armor intended to rebalance and reimagine many armor pieces at both ends of the usage spectrum.
  • They've been hearing that the changes have been highly desired, but they had to delay the changes to Season 21 due to the number of changes in Lightfall.
  • Their goals are to identify underused armor pieces and revamp them to increase their appeal, and to tune down outlier armor pieces that are too powerful.
  • They also will be curbing some instances where exotic armor could stack with surge mods, to hopefully allow exotic armor to replace the need for surge mods to dominate your led armor.
  • Unless otherwise specified, these changes will leave the rest of the exotic's current effects intact


  • Sealed Ahamkara Grasps will now reload the magazine of all your weapons when you defeat a target with your powered melee, and grant a 5 second buff to movement speed and jump height after dealing melee damage.
  • Athry's Embrace will grant additional strength stat when the weighted knife damage bonus is active
  • Oathkeeper will grant bows bonus damage that increases as you hold the draw, but deactivates after a few seconds.
    • The original exotic gave the damage bonus as long as the bow was held, but this created too passive of a play style. They're hoping the limited damage window will make this exotic's playstyle more active.
  • Raiju's Harness will now create a blinding explosion that temporarily increases arc weapon damage when deactivating your arc staff super early, but will no longer make blocking consume less super energy.
  • Radiant Dance Machines will now let kills while the free dodge is available extend the duration of free dodging, and will no longer deactivate when you are too far away from enemies. It will also now deactivate after using Suspending slam.
    • Adding the time extension on kills lets thix exotic pair well with marksman's dodge, the reaper mod, and the new Powerful Attraction mod. In playtests they saw a long uptime with the exotic, allowing players to pull a large number of orbs (with the Powerful Attraction mod). This exotic was too potent when combined with Suspending Slam though, so they are disabling that interaction.
  • ST0MP-EE5 will no longer give airborne effectiveness penalties, will now only grant its effects while your dodge is fully charged.
    • They want ST0MP-EE5 to have a string fantasy, but permanent uptime for potent movement benefits was too easy of a chiece, even with the prior airborne effectiveness nerf. They're removing the nerf, but making the uptime not permanent, to let you either ambush or escape from an engagement but not both.
  • Mask of Bakris changed to give the same kind of buff as a weapon damage bonus (aka will not stack with surge mods). Damage bonus increased in PvE 10% -> 25%, now grants a 6% damage buff in PvP. The total damage bonus in PvE is larger than 3 stacked surge mods.


  • Point-Contact Cannon Brace lightning strikes now jolt, PvE damage per bolt increased 50 -> 200. Being amplified now increases the damage of the lightning strikes by 50% instead of extending their range.
  • No Backup Plans is getting a complete rework, replacing the old functionality. Now provides a moderate benefit to airborne effectiveness and reload speed of shodguns. While you have a void overshield, shotguns deal additional damage and shotgun final blows refresh the overshield. While using a void subclass, rapid shotgun final blows or defeating a powerful enemy with a shotgun grants a void overshield and kicks off health regeneration.
  • Second Chance now lets the shield throw melee weaken enemies. Stunning a barrier champion with your shield throw melee grant a single melee charge.
  • Stronghold now grants significand damage seduction while blocking with a sword (50% in PvE, 10% in PvP) instead of granting healing when timing the block precisely. When you stop blocking, you gain restoration x2, with a duration that increases with the number of shots blocked
    • This swap happened to improve ease of use. The previous functionality encouraged rapid blocking and unblocking, which wasn't intuitive. This change lets you use the exotic to close in to melee range against powerful enemies safely while being able to deliver attacks thanks to restoration. This should pair nicely with exotic swords, e.g. Lament.
  • Eternal Warrior now grants an escalating bonus to arc weapon damage as you rapidly defeat targets with an arc weapon. This bonus can't stack with surge mods, and can go up to 25% in PvE and 6% in PvP (larger than three surge mods). While at this maximum bonus, ark kills refresh the duration. After your fist of havoc super ends, you gain the maximum bonus.
  • Khepri's Horn's solar damage wave now scorches targets.
  • Path of the Burning Steps will no longer stack with Surge mods, will now max out at 25% in PvE and 6% in PvP. While maxed out, solar kills refresh the duration. Becoming encased immediately grants the max damage bonus.
  • Dunemarchers has reduced the range of chain damage 20m -> 12m, damage in PvP down 85 -> 50
    • This exotic sees a lot of use in PvP, and not much in PvE, and these changes embrace that. The range on the chain made it too easy to get a kill without ever seeing the person you kill, so they reduced the range and turn down the damage.


  • Vesper of Radius lets rifts emit an arc shockwave every 5 seconds (200 damage in PvE, 70 in PvP). Enemies defeated by these shockwaves explode for an additional 100 damage, and also blind if you have an arc subclass equipped.
  • Chromatic Fire gets increased radius and damage on the explosion created by kinetic kills. The explosion also applies a status effect to targets damaged by it, depending on the equipped subclass (blind on arc, scorch on solar, slow on stasis, sever on strand, weaken on void)
  • Dawn Chorus now grants even more increased Daybreak projectile bonus, and no longer relies on the enemy being scorched
  • Sanguine Alchemy now grants a non-stacking bonus to weapon damage matching your subclass type (17% PvE, 4.5% PvP, equivalent to 2 surge mods).
  • Claws of Ahamkara now create an orb of power on powered melee kill. When Heavy Handed mods are equipped, they increase the potency of the orb spawned (only 1 orb can be spawned per kill).
    • This exotic uses the same perk as Heavy Handed, and now stacks with the mod if it is equipped.
  • Mantle of Battle Harmony weapon damage buff when super is charged is changed 20% -> 25% in PvE, and 15% -> 6% in PvP, no longer stacks with surge mods. Damage bonus only applies to weapons that match your subclass type, and now stacks with empowering rift and other similar damage bonuses. Base duration extended 6s -> 10s in PvE, 3s -> 5s in PvP.
  • Ophidian Aspect no longer grants extended melee range.
    • The extended range created some issues where players would flicker in high latency scenarios. The exotic should still be plenty strong.
  • Promethium Spur now grants rift energy on any solar weapon kill, with more energy granted for solar weapon kills while standing in a rift. Also, now you have to be standing in a rift when you get a final blow for the exotic to consume your class ability energy and create a rift at the target's location
  • Starfire Protocol now grants 2.5% grenade charge on hit (down from 20%). Empowered weapon kills now grant 20% grenade energy
    • This exotic has been strong ever since solar 3.0 dropped. They don't want these changes to completely rob the exotic of its benefits, but right now starfire is the best single-target damage boosting exotic, stifling all other alternatives. These changes are intended to tamp down on passive weapon damage giving you your grenades back too quickly (you will still probably get an extra grenade or two per damage phase), while also pushing it away from single-target damage and more toward neutral play


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