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Destiny 2: Crown of Sorrow guide - Gahlran, The Sorrow Bearer (Final Boss)

Reclaim the Crown of Sorrow from Gahlran

Bungie via Polygon

Gahlran, The Sorrow Bearer is the most complicated fight in Destiny 2’s Crown of Sorrow raid. But many players — ourselves included — believe the final encounter to be easier than Gahlran’s Deception. If you’ve already mastered that arena, you’re in a good spot going into the final boss.

This guide will teach you what’s changed from the last fight to this one, and everything you need to know about killing Gahlran.


There are lots of ways to kill Gahlran very quickly, but we’re going to save those for the experienced players taking Gahlran on for the fifth or sixth time. In this guide, we’ll be using the Outbreak Perfected strategy. Make sure everyone in your raid has it before it’s time for Gahlran.

Kinetic - Outbreak Perfected

Energy - The Recluse or a good shotgun for taking out Knights and Acolytes

Power - Hammerhead for killing Ogres

Titans don’t have a great Super for this fight, so just have them run fire hammers to kill groups of enemies in a pinch.

Hunters should run Golden Gun with Celestial Nighthawk to one-shot the Ogres and deal bonus damage to Gahlran.

Warlocks should all run Well of Radiance and Lunafaction Boots.


Here’s the arena breakdown for the Gahlran’s Deception fight
Here’s the layout for the fight. The three sections are still divided by the lines, but there are no walls of fire.

To start the fight against Gahlran, you or someone on your team needs to shoot him in the face. First you want to get your team in position. Split the raid up in the three usual two-player squads. One player from each squad should return to their same spot from Gahlran’s Deception, while the other should gather around the Rally Flag. When everyone is in position, start the fight.

After you shoot Gahlran, he’ll multiply and send a copy of himself to each of the three arena sections. A pool of Witch’s Blessing also spawns under the Rally Flag — hence why three players are standing there. When one player from each squad has Witch’s Blessing, everyone should group up with their buddy in their section.

Enemy and crystal killing

Bungie via Polygon

Each side has an identical experience this time. Blessed Knights and Normal Acolytes spawn in on the stair platforms. Each player should kill the enemies they can.

There are two mechanics you need to keep track of in this encounter.

  1. You and your teammate need to manage the Witch’s Blessing buff. All three Witch’s Vessels are up for the entire fight, meaning you can swap whenever you want. We suggest each team take the Vessel to their right to avoid overlap (the Vessel does de-spawn for a few seconds after you use it.)
  2. Just like in the second and first encounters, shielded crystals spawn on boxes and in mid-air above the stairs. You’re protected in their bubbles, but they drain very quickly and can wipe the raid if you ignore them. When a crystal comes up on your side, you and your teammate should drop everything to destroy it.

Keep killing enemies, crystals, and swapping the buff until each team has killed three waves.

Tip: You don’t have to be in a Witch’s Vessel to shoot one. As long as you are the opposite buff polarization from the person inside the Vessel, you can shoot it across the map to switch that player’s polarization. This is really useful for later in the fight when players need to get their buff back, or if someone with the buff dies.

Gahlran’s Deception returns

Bungie via Polygon

After three waves of enemies, Gahlran will summon Ogres on two platforms, and a Gahlran’s Deception on the other. He’ll also spawn in Cursed Thrall on every platform, so be careful — especially if you don’t have the right buff to destroy them. For Ogre teams, you just need to kill your Ogre and wait your turn for Gahlran to spawn a Deception.

If you get a Gahlran’s Deception on your side, you have some work to do. Kill the Cursed Thrall first so they don’t sneak up on you.

Walk up the stairs and onto the raised area with your ally. When Gahlran’s Deception also moves up the stairs — or it’s already there — punch it with both buffs like the last fight. You’ll stun the Deception, remove its shield, and it’ll stand in place for a few seconds, stunned.

Turn your attention to your side’s Gahlran. Wait for him to do his fireball barrage attack. When he finishes, his hand will turn green. Shoot it with you Machine Gun, and Gahlran will bring his axe down on the platform. If you’ve stunned your Deception correctly, this will smash and kill it. If the Deception is moving, you may need to draw it back on the platform and wait for Gahlran’s axe to come down.

If you had Witch’s Blessing when you popped the Deception’s shield, you’ll notice that your buff is gone. Run into your Vessel and ask for a Blessed player on another squad to shoot at your Vessel. Activate it with them to renew your buff, ala the tip above.

All of this is easier said than done, especially at low Power levels. Gahlran’s Deception really hurts, and he’ll probably one-shot you if you’re anywhere south of 729 Power. If you have a Warlock on your side, ask them to throw down their healing grenade to give you an Overshield.

Each side needs to repeat this process. Gahlran will keep spawning Ogres (max of two for the final side) until he spawns the Deception. You’ll need to keep balancing the crystals and Witch’s Blessing buff during this section.

Damage phase

Bungie via Polygon

When all three teams have smashed their Gahlran’s Deception, the damage phase will start.

The fight music will change and all three Gahlran’s will start channeling their head with their hands. Use your machine gun to shoot your Gahlran’s hands and then his head. When you deal enough damage, the copy will pop. One of the copies (random every time) will stick around — this is the Gahlran you’ll be damaging.

After the copies are gone, every team should swap buffs in their Vessel. A final crystal usually spawns around now.

When everyone is ready, group up at the top of the stairs in the section Gahlran is living in. A Warlock should drop Well of Radiance, and punch one of the nearby Thrall to empower their team.

To kill Gahlran, you’ll need to target his hands and then his head. When his hands are back at his sides, use Outbreak Perfected to whittle his health bar down as a group. When his head goes immune, target the hands again. He’ll do this about three times before finally breaking off to reset the fight.

As soon as the boss runs away, return to your Vessel and swap the Blessing back with your partner. You’ll likely need two damage phases to kill Gahlran, so start the fight from the beginning and go again.

When Gahlran finally dies, he’ll disintegrate and his giant helmet will fall onto the stair platform you’re standing on. If you’re not careful, you’ll get squished (the fight is already over, so it’s more funny than worrisome). Open the chest to get your loot, and then return to Benedict 99-40 in the Tower for some congratulations from Emperor Calus.

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