Root of Nightmares Challenges this Week: Rotation & Guides

by | May 30, 2023

Some of the best and most unique weapons in Destiny 2 come from Raids, and through Master difficulty challenges, the rewards get even better. Root of Nightmares is no exception.

This guide covers all there is to know about the Master Challenges from the Root of Nightmares raid: their rotation, rewards, and, most importantly, how to complete them.

Root of Nightmares Challenge This Week: May 30, 2023

The Root of Nightmares Master Challenge this week is “Crossfire” from the Scission (second) encounter.

ArtRaid ChallengeEncounterDescription
Scission encounter Root of NightmaresCrossfireScissionGuardians can only shoot the launcher crystals (to activate the jump pads) on the opposite side.

Season 21 schedule

WeekChallengeEncounterWeek #
23 May 2023Illuminated TormentCataclysmWeek 1
30 May 2023CrossfireScissionWeek 2
6 June 2023MacrocosmCosmic EquilibriumWeek 3
13 June 2023All HandsNezarecWeek 4
20 June 2023Illuminated TormentCataclysmWeek 5
27 June 2023CrossfireScissionWeek 6
4 July 2023MacrocosmCosmic EquilibriumWeek 7
11 July 2023All HandsNezarecWeek 8
18 July 2023Illuminated TormentCataclysmWeek 9
25 July 2023CrossfireScissionWeek 10
1 August 2023MacrocosmCosmic EquilibriumWeek 11
8 August 2023All HandsNezarecWeek 12
15 August 2023Illuminated TormentCataclysmWeek 13

Adept Root of Nightmares weapon this week

The Adept Root of Nightmares this week is the Korasis’s Distress (Adept) Grenade Launcher.

WeekArtWeaponTypeElementAmmoChallengeWeek #
30 May 2023Koraxis's Distress artKoraxis's DistressGrenade LauncherStrand Element StrandHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyCrossfireWeek 2

As with most things in Destiny 2, Master RoN challenges are on a weekly rotation. On any given week, only one Master Challenge is available to farm. PS: The week officially resets on Tuesdays at 9 AM PDT, Destiny 2’s official reset time.

Power Level Requirements

If you’re interested in farming RoN’s challenges, make sure your Guardian has the proper Power Level (including your Artifact’s bonus Power):

Difficulty Recommended Level
Normal 1770
Master 1840

Destiny 2 RoN’s Master rewards

With all the added difficulty that Master mode brings, especially with the challenges, it can be hard to understand why you would even step foot in it. But there are actually tons of different reasons to tackle Master Challenges, including cosmetic and gameplay-focused rewards.

Challenges in Normal mode

Completing Challenges in Normal mode will reward players with double loot for the encounter the challenge is active on

Challenges in Master mode

In Master mode, regardless of whether you complete the challenges, you will receive masterwork materials as a reward. Spiky high-stat armor also comes from Master mode, and the focused stat changes weekly.

High stat armor Vow Master Destiny 2 featured

High-stat armor from Master Vow of the Disciple, Destiny 2

If you complete the challenges, however, you’ll receive an Adept raid weapon too.

ArtWeaponTypeArchetypeRarityAmmoElementRequirementsIn loot pool?Ammo?Element?TierExcelsSourceCraftable?RequiresReleasedSlotCan be Crafted?Best of?Top Perk?
Acasia's Dejection artAcasia's DejectionTrace RifleAdaptiveLegendarySpecialSolarLightfallYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialSolar Solar


PvERoot of Nightmares RaidCheckmark icon V3Lightfall Preorder icon
Season 20EnergyCraftableTop-tier
Briar's Contempt artBriar's ContemptLinear Fusion RifleAggressiveLegendaryHeavySolarLightfallYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavySolar Solar


PvERoot of Nightmares RaidCheckmark icon V3Lightfall Preorder icon
Season 20HeavyCraftableTop-tier
Koraxis's Distress artKoraxis's DistressGrenade LauncherRapid-FireLegendaryHeavyStrandLightfallYesHeavy ammo Destiny 2 HeavyStrand Element Strand


-Root of Nightmares RaidCheckmark icon V3Lightfall Preorder icon
Season 20HeavyCraftable
 artMykel's ReverenceSidearmRapid-FireLegendaryPrimaryStrandLightfallYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStrand Element Strand


-Root of Nightmares RaidCheckmark icon V3Lightfall Preorder icon
Season 20KineticCraftable
Nessa's Oblation artNessa's OblationShotgunPinpoint SlugLegendarySpecialVoidLightfallYesSpecial ammo Destiny 2 SpecialVoid Void


PvERoot of Nightmares RaidCheckmark icon V3Lightfall Preorder icon
Season 20EnergyCraftableTop-tierDestabilizing Rounds
Rufus's Fury artRufus's FuryAuto RifleRapid-FireLegendaryPrimaryStrandLightfallYesPrimary ammo Destiny 2 PrimaryStrand Element Strand


PvERoot of Nightmares RaidCheckmark icon V3Lightfall Preorder icon
Season 20KineticCraftableTop-tier

Standard Raid weapons are already great. Yet, Adept variants have more perks per column, give even more stats when Masterworked, and can accept unique Adept mods. Additionally, if you want to go for the Raid title, you’ll need to complete all four challenges on Master difficulty.

So with all those incentives, how do you complete these challenges? Read on, as we have a guide for every single one, covering both loadouts and strategy.

Master Challenges: Guides & Loadouts

ArtRaid ChallengeEncounterDescription
Root of Nightmares Cataclysm encounter Destiny 2Illuminated TormentCataclysmAll Tormentors must be killed by someone with the Field of Light buff.
Scission encounter Root of NightmaresCrossfireScissionGuardians can only shoot the launcher crystals (to activate the jump pads) on the opposite side.
Macrocosm encounter Root of NightmaresCosmic Equilibrium MacrocosmGuardians must move all Dark planets to the left side and all the Light planets to the right side.
Nezarec encounter Root of Nightmares RaidAll HandsNezarecGuardians must complete a node on each side, Light and Dark (both sides must be completed around the same time).


Root of Nightmares Cataclysm encounter Destiny 2

1. Cataclysm Challenge: Illuminated Torment

Cataclysm often gets criticized for only requiring one player for mechanics, but the Illuminated Torment challenge partially solves that problem.

To complete Illuminated Torment, all Tormentors must be killed by someone with the Field of Light buff. As with everything in Destiny 2 that mentions a “kill,” this challenge only checks those who get the final blow.

There are a couple of ways to go about completing Illuminated Torment. The first is simple: have your designated mechanics player take a moment to kill Tormentors once they’re low. While this slows the flow of the encounter, it’s an easy strategy that never fails.

The other widely used option would be to have one or more ad clearers obtain Field of Light in addition to the player doing mechanics. This strategy allows the player connecting the seeds to do everything as usual while those clearing ads can still kill Tormentors (as they’ll have the Field of Light buff).


Loadouts aren’t anything special here; just have everyone run something with relatively high DPS to burst down the Tormentor to a sliver of health. Then, have your designated Tormentor killer run Izanagi’s Burden, a linear fusion rifle, or something similar to finish things off easily. Lastly, ensure everyone is on either a burst-DPS or support Super to make the encounter run as smoothly as possible. If ad clear becomes an issue, have one person swap to Arcstrider or Dawnblade.

Once you get the hang of it, Illuminated Torment doesn’t feel any different than the base encounter. If one or two people know what they’re doing, the additional loot from the challenge should be free.

More Destiny 2 Raid Challenge guides:


Scission encounter Root of Nightmares

2. Scission Challenges: Crossfire

A bit more involved than Illuminated Torment, Crossfire requires a considerable amount of extra communication between members of your fireteam.

To complete Scission’s challenge, players cannot shoot launch crystals on the side they’re currently on. If you need to cross the gap at any point (including moving to the next level), a Guardian from the opposite side must shoot the crystal for you.

An important note is that Crossfire cannot be cheesed by simply sword skating or flying to the other side. The challenge will fail if any method other than shooting each others’ crystals is used to cross the gap.


Similar to Illuminated Torment, there are several ways to complete this challenge. The first is simply having the runners shoot each other’s crystals when needed. While this allows ad clear players to keep focused on their usual jobs, it also assumes both runners keep the same pace during the entire encounter (which may not be true).

If you instead want to get other players involved, simply assign one ad clearer on each side with the additional role of crystal shooter. Each time someone from the opposite side needs to cross the gap, these Guardians should shoot the crystal to keep players moving. While this strategy relieves a fair amount of pressure from the runners, it can sometimes result in less efficient ad clear.

Crossfire can be annoying the first few times, but it’s a great challenge that adds a layer of communication the base encounter lacks.

Macrocosm encounter Root of Nightmares

3. Macrocosm Challenges: Cosmic Equilibrium

Cosmic Equilibrium follows the trend of being more complex than the previous challenge. While simple in concept, it requires players to move quickly with little to no mistakes.

To complete Cosmic Equilibrium, you must move all Dark planets to the left and all Light to the right. While that may sound normal, most teams do the opposite, moving Dark planets to the right and Light ones to the left.

This challenge is so difficult simply because of how the encounter works. When a new phase of the encounter begins, you’ll see four Dark and two Light planets on the right side (and vice versa on the left). Typically, players move the sets of two planets to opposite sides in order to avoid overcomplicating things. However, with Cosmic Equilibrium, Guardians must swap the groups of four (Dark on the right, Light on the left).

The strategy here is relatively self-explanatory: have each player swapping planets choose one of the two mismatched ones on their plate. Then, swap it with one from the other side. Here’s where the challenge kicks in: you’ll need to do that twice. You can’t move all eight planets at once, so two sets of four is the next-best option. However, this costs time, meaning the wipe timer will be significantly less forgiving of mistakes.

If the base encounter isn’t too difficult for your fireteam, Cosmic Equilibrium shouldn’t be too much of a step up. That said, this challenge easily reveals weak links in the group, so ensure you trust the four players on mechanics!


Nezarec encounter Root of Nightmares Raid

4 . All Hands Challenges: Nezarec

All Hands is the most demanding challenge Root of Nightmares offers, requiring everyone in the fireteam to be involved. That said, this challenge becomes relatively straightforward with a bit of planning.

To complete All Hands, every member of your fireteam must shoot one Dark and one Light node during each phase. There are six to hit on each side, making this work perfectly; if anyone shoots more than one on the same side per damage cycle, the challenge will fail.

For the most part, creating a specific rotation for this challenge is unnecessary. If you play with Guardians who know what they’re doing, communicating on the fly about things isn’t a big deal.

If your team struggles with communication, however, devising a rotation can help make things go smoother. Plan out what number nodes each player will shoot. For instance, have one player designated to shoot node one on the Light chain and node four on the dark chain. In theory, planning this out with everyone should make the encounter a breeze.

One thing to keep an eye out for is Nezarec’s wipe mechanic. Because you’ll be rotating so much, getting to the damage phase will probably take some extra time. With that said, you’ll likely need to stop the boss’ wipe mechanic once or twice, so communicate with your team about what refuge buff you need.

As a whole, All Hands isn’t too difficult of a challenge. However, it does get everyone involved in mechanics, so you may need to teach some people before you take a stab at it.

Before you go…

Root of Nightmares is one of the easiest raids available, which is why its Master Challenges are particularly accessible.

About The Author

Andrew Sideris
Andrew Sideris
When my brother introduced me to the Destiny franchise in 2015, I immediately knew that it would take up a lot of my free time for years to come. With my over seven years of game knowledge, six months of writing experience for, and hundreds of Blueberries already guided through endgame content, I hope to allow newcomers to have the same great introduction I had all those years ago.
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