How the 2.5.0.2 Special Ammo changes will affect tournament play

On February 9th at 10 AM Pacific Standard Time, Bungie live streamed on Twitch a Sandbox Update Preview of the changes that are going to be implemented in the 2.5.0.2 patch. This patch will be released on February 14 and contains changes to certain gun types, subclasses, and the special ammo economy. The change that will have the largest impact on how competitive play in the upcoming Destiny Championship Series presented by FarCognitions is undoubtedly the changes to the special ammo economy.

In the 2.5.0.2 patch, players will spawn into games with special ammo as usual. However, upon respawn all special ammo will be lost. To balance this change, special ammo crates will now be replenished every 60 seconds as opposed to the previous 3 minute cooldown. Another less significant change that will be implemented is the radius players may pick up special ammo from a crate opened by one of their teammates will be reduced from 100 meters to 74.

These changes will have the largest effect out of anything this update hold on the competitive scene. In order to properly speculate what these changes would be, I had to get the opinions of some of the people who play Destiny at the highest levels. SirDimetrious, LMNO, and iTzCoRnPoPs all were kind enough to share with me their opinions on how upcoming tournaments will play out due to the changes to how players will obtain and use special ammo in 2.5.0.2. As players of both Team iAM and GodSquad, they are well versed in the ways of competitive Destiny and are more than qualified to speak on the effects of the special ammo economy in 2.5.0.2.

After talking with the three of them, a few aspects of competitive play are certainly going to play out differently. For one, the first few moments of  a match are going to be the most crucial in determining its outcome.


“The beginning of games will be crucial now. It is important to try to get a team wipe or kill more opponents on the other team because after they spawn they will not have special. Within the minute until the crates come up, you can easily get 2 more wipes if your team is coordinated.”- LMNO (GodSquad)


Teams are going to have to be much more coordinated in the way they execute their initial plays. They aren’t going to being able to rely on special ammo to make a push on respawn. Another projected change due to the changes in the special ammo economy is perk selection on special weapons.

“Replenish will be used most, in order to get as much special as possible. Additionally, nobody will be using rangefinder because of handling changes.”- SirDimetrious (iAM)

That highly coveted special is going to be a lot harder to get after death. Perks like Replenish, which refills the magazine upon super use, are most likely going to be seeing much more use in the upcoming Destiny Championship Series. The last predicted change due to the special ammo changes is going to be on game modes the most

“Zone control will be affected, but I think Supremacy will be affected the most due to having to push for a crest. You won’t be able to push for risk of trading. You’ll have to focus on locking down a crest until you kill two or three then pick it up.”- iTzCoRnPoPs  

Although none of these strategies and outcomes are definitive, if what was shown in the Update Preview stays true they most likely will become the new norm in competitive play. Make sure to check out each of these players to see how they adapt to the new state of the crucible and tune into the upcoming Destiny Championship Series to see how the winning teams perform. Take notes, pay attention, and remember to stay sharp out there, guardians.

Kai S.