Destiny 2 - Root of Nightmares: Macrocosm Guide (2023)

How to Complete Macrocosm (Root of Nightmares) in Destiny 2

The third encounter of Root of Nightmares is Macrocosm, and is the first boss damage encounter of the raid.

Zo’Aurc, Explicator of Planets is the boss of this encounter and to get to boss damage this encounter uses entirely new mechanics from the preceding encounters.

Check out our Scission guide here if you missed it.

For class builds, godrolls, and more, head to our Destiny 2 site.

Root of Nightmares’s Macrocosm Infographic

Check out our infographic below for a compact overview:

Destiny 2 - Root of Nightmares: Macrocosm Guide (1)

Player Roles

This encounter has only one role that requires performing mechanics. Four players will undertake this role of Planet Swappers while the other two players are on add clearing duty. Each of the four Planet Swappers should be assigned a plate. The plates are on the outer portion of the room with three planets above each plate.

Planetary Swap

Before the damage phase there are a few steps that the team needs to perform first. The first portion is general wave clear. There are a few enemies to take note of because the encounter is timed, and killing these select enemies will advance the encounter into the main mechanics to avoid the group from wiping.

The first wave enemies will contain Psions and Phalanxes. The Phalanxes are the priority target here because taking these out on one side will spawn in a Centurion on that side. This needs to be done on both the left and right side of the arena. The Centurion of that side will spawn in the Terrestrial Lieutenant which is the focal point of planet swapping.

Each Planet Swapper will have a Terrestrial Lieutenant on the center of their respective plate. Killing the Terrestrial Lieutenant will grant the Planetary Insight buff to the player who landed the final blow on the Lieutenant. The Planetary Insight buff allows the player to see the true color of the planets on that side of the room. Each of the four swappers should get the Planetary Insight buff.

With Planetary Insight it can be seen there are dark and light planets over each plate. On the left side there are two light planets and one dark planet and on the right side there are two dark planets and one light planet. Once Planet Swappers have the insight buff they should look for the odd planet out based on its color.

Planet Swappers pair up with another swapper on the opposite side of the arena, and they need to trade their odd planet out with the other side so the left side contains all light planets and the right side contains all dark planets. This is done through the dark circles at the base of the corners of the plate and holding the interact key to pick up the planet, and doing the same to deposit the planet. When a player picks up a planet they should notice a Planet Swap buff which is a timer in the form of a bar.

The player is only able to deposit the planet as long as this timer is still active. For example if the two front plate players should be paired with one another. The front left plate player sees that L2 is the only dark planet and the front right plate player sees that R3 is the only light planet.

The front left player should pick up the L2 planet, cross the arena to the front right plate, and deposit the planet into the R3 section of the front right plate. The front right plate player should pick up the R3 planet, cross the arena to the front left plate, and deposit the planet into the L2 section of the front left plate.

Damage Phase

Now that the planets are in order there is one more task to complete before the boss can be damaged. With the planets in order the Index Planets will be revealed. The Index Planets are three planets over the center of the arena, designated by their position, left, right, and middle.

Two of these planets will be one color, and the third planet will be the other color. The Terrestrials Lieutenants will spawn in once again and what needs to be done is taking planets and depositing them in the plate with the matching Index Planet color.

If there are dark planets left and middle, the right planet will be light, any two dark planets can be grabbed from the right side front or back plates and deposited in left and middle index plates, and any light planet can be grabbed from the left front or back plates and deposited into the right index plate.

Now the damage phase is officially here. The three index plates will be used to break up the damage phase into three sections. The boss will have a shield around him that is either dark or light. The shield will alternate its color, and to damage the boss stand on an index plate which has a planet that matches the shield color the boss currently has.

The order will always be the color in which there are two planets of, the color in which there is only one planet of, and then the color in which there are two planets of. For the example above the rotation would be dark, light, dark.

It is important to note that you do not have to remain on the plate to deal damage to the boss. The plate needs to be stood upon and then the player can go into the central pool to deal damage. This allows the team to utilize a Well of Radiance for multiple plates.

To deal the best damage, have a countdown for every plate in which the team starts damaging the boss all together. Avoid using any weapons or abilities that deal damage over time as it can bleed over to the next plate and inadvertently deal damage during the countdown. Continue with this damage strategy until the final phase when the boss gets to 10% health. The final stand works just the same as the primary damage phases.

Challenges and Master Mode

Each encounter will have a Master Mode challenge and an encounter challenge, both of which are required for the Dream Warrior raid title, and the former which gives an extra loot piece when it is the challenge in rotation.

Encounter Challenge – Singular Orbit

  • A player cannot gain Planetary Insight twice during a phase of shifting planets
  • The planet shift phase encapsulates swapping the planets and placing the index planets
  • Planetary Insight is gained by killing the Terrestrial Lieutenant
  • To do the challenge rotate one of the three players on each side to kill both Terrestrial Lieutenants on that side
  • The player that kills the Terrestrial Lieutenants will call out the planets from the plate players to move
  • During the same planet shift phase, change out the player who killed the Lieutenants and gained Planetary Insight with one of the plate players to avoid the same player gaining Planetary Insight twice

Master Challenge – Cosmic Equilibrium

  • The goal of this challenge is to move two light planets from the left to the right plates and move two dark planets from the right to the left plates
  • The Terrestrial Lieutenants are Barrier Champions
  • The encounter is timed so be sure to do this quickly
  • When swapping planets, the exact planet location must be utilized by both players, if L1 and L3 are light plates and the player picks up L3, the player on the right must deposit their planet into L3 to properly swap it and vice versa on the right side
  • Running across the back of the arena can be dangerous on Master Mode, if players are having difficulty with this consider having the back left plate player swap with the front right plate player and the back right plate player swap with the front left plate player so all the Planet Swappers can run along the front of the arena where there are fewer enemies

Loot Rewards

After this encounter is only the final boss. The loot for the Macrocosm encounter includes the class item, chest, and leg pieces as well as:

  • The Rufus’s Fury Auto Rifle
  • Acasia’s Dejection Trace Rifle
  • Koraxis’s Distress Grenade Launcher
  • Mykel’s Reverence Sidearm

For class builds, godrolls, and more, head to our Destiny 2 site.


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