How to get Destiny 2 Vexcalibur and complete the Avalon mission

Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Exotic Glaive quest Avalon mission friendly harpy in the Gulch cave
(Image credit: Bungie)

You can get the new Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Exotic Glaive by completing the Avalon Exotic mission found in the Gulch in the EDZ. After retrieving some hidden Vex items around the Gulch, you’ll unlock a path to a mysterious cave that contains a friendly Harpy that might be familiar to long-time Destiny 2 players. Here you can start the NODE.OVRD.AVALON mission, begin “The Variable” Exotic quest, and delve into the Vex network to investigate an unusual signal from an old Destiny 2 character. At the end of it all, you’ll be able to pull the glaive from the stone as it were and wield Destiny 2 Vexcalibur. Here’s what you need to do to get it and eventually improve it with Exotic Catalysts.

How to get Destiny 2 Vexcalibur and complete The Variable Exotic quest

While getting Vexcalibur doesn’t require many hoops to jump through, you will need to gain access to and complete a rather long Exotic mission. Here are some quick links to take you to the relevant sections to get Vexcalibur in Destiny 2:

How to start the Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Avalon mission

Before you can hop into the Vex network as part of the Exotic mission, you need to collect six holographic Vex cubes floating in the Gulch region of the EDZ on Earth to gain a complete access code. You can collect the cubes in any order, but you’ll need to be fast as a 30-second countdown starts as soon as you collect your first cube. Collecting subsequent cubes will reset the countdown, however. Here’s where you can find all six of the Vex cubes to complete the access code and open a secret cave:

Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Exotic Glaive quest vex puzzle map in the Gulch, EDZ

(Image credit: Bungie)
  1. From the Gulch landing zone, drive along the road and go across the broken bridge. As the road starts turning downhill, go right into the area full of damaged trees.
  2. Amid some broken trees in the middle of the Gulch.
  3. Above the rusted road sign on the north road.
  4. Next to a tree up against the northwest cliff wall, near the entrance to the Cabal tunnel base.
  5. On top of some Cabal equipment on the hill towards the southeast
  6. Under the broken bridge.

With all six cubes collected, you’ll see the message “Simulate terrain subnode //CAVE// deactivated…” appear and a big mess of Vex data holograms will appear in the sky, guiding you to the cave entrance in the southeast corner of the Gulch. Head inside the cave to reach a friendly Harpy and begin the NODE.OVRD.AVALON Exotic mission. Starting the mission also gives you the “The Variable” quest.

How to complete the Destiny 2 Avalon mission and get Vexcalibur

Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Exotic Glaive quest Avalon mission entrance tunnel to the Vex network

(Image credit: Bungie)

The Avalon Exotic mission for Vexcalibur is a pretty long, adventure through the labyrinthine Vex network. You’ll also face two tough bosses and lots of Vex along the way. Destiny 2 Strand builds can be good, especially with the grapple, but any builds that allow you to clear a lot of enemies and deal solid boss damage should be used.

The mission itself is pretty linear but there are some quite well hidden paths, moving obstacles, and more that will make navigating a bit tricky. If you’re unsure of where to go, following obvious lights is usually a good trick, but also look for small gaps and crevices in walls that are hard to spot if you’re sprinting past them. You might also stumble on several secrets that you can’t figure out just yet, so bear in mind that the Avalon mission is intended to be played weekly using Vexcalibur to reveal new elements and secrets.

Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Avalon mission access codes puzzles

These access codes puzzles appear a few times during the Avalon mission, including during the final boss fight. They consist of a weird tower of Vex geometry that is surrounded by three shapes that regularly appear and disappear – a cube, a pyramid, and an octahedron (that’s two pyramids base-to-base or the shape of a d8). Here’s how you solve these access code puzzles to progress through the Vex network:

  1. Find the nearby access code: The access code you’re looking for is some combination of holographic cubes and octahedrons arranged in a vertical line. Look up in the air and behind objects as the codes are usually obscured in some way.

Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Exotic Glaive quest Avalon mission access code puzzle

(Image credit: Bungie)
  1. Shoot the corresponding shapes that appear around the tower: For example, if the code is ‘cube, cube, octahedron’, head over to the tower and shoot the cube object. Wait for the next set of objects to appear and shoot the cube again, then wait again and shoot the octahedron this time. Correctly entering a code causes a new access code to appear somewhere else.

Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Exotic Glaive quest Avalon mission access code puzzle tower with shapes nearby

(Image credit: Bungie)
  1. Repeat steps 1-2 for any other required codes.

There’s no time limit to entering these puzzles, so take your time to minimize failed attempts. If you do shoot the wrong shape, the code will change but you will find it in the same location, so just go back and have another look to see the new code. Furthermore, when I played, the pyramid shape never showed up in any codes and appears to be a distraction. With those first few Access Codes puzzles solved, you can progress through the Vex network to eventually reach the first boss, the Data Nullifier Hydra.

How to beat the Data Nullifier boss in the Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Avalon mission

Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Exotic Glaive quest Avalon mission Data Nullifier boss fight

(Image credit: Bungie)

The Data Nullifier is the first major boss of the Avalon mission, and beating it is quite an ordeal as there are a few things you need to do before you can even damage it. In short, the fight revolves around this deletion protocol mechanic which kills everything after 50 seconds, so you’ll need to know how to avoid that and damage the boss. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Kill the corrupt Vex and collect the required number of pink Data Fragments they drop. Do note that collecting more than the required amount doesn’t help in any way, so don’t waste time collecting more fragments than you need.

Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Exotic Glaive quest Avalon mission Data Nullifier boss fight pink data fragments

(Image credit: Bungie)
  1. Deposit the Data Fragments you’ve collected in the conflux at the centre of the arena.
  2. Get in the pit below the conflux and wait for the deletion protocol to activate. Stay in this pit and wait for the deletion protocol timer to reach zero. You can’t be killed by the deletion protocol in this pit, although watch out for the Wyverns before the timer ends.

Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Exotic Glaive quest Avalon mission Data Nullifier boss fight pit of safety

(Image credit: Bungie)
  1. Complete steps 1-3 again and then the Data Nullifier will appear in the arena.
  2. Damage the Data Nullifier Hydra. It’ll flee back to its safe area once it reaches half-health.
  3. Repeat steps 1-3 twice.
  4. The Data Nullifier Hydra will appear again and now you can continue damaging it until it dies.

With the first boss defeated, you can venture further into the Vex network. After a bit of platforming, you’ll reach the final boss – a familiar Strike boss if you played Destiny 2 before the Beyond Light expansion in 2020.

How to beat Brakion in the Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Avalon mission

Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Exotic Glaive quest Avalon mission Brakion boss fight

(Image credit: Bungie)

Brakion, who you might recognize from the Pyramidion Strike on Io when Destiny 2 first launched, is a massive Vex Hobgoblin boss that you’ll fight across three different arenas. I recommend going into this fight with a suitable boss-melting loadout comprised of a good Subclass and some of the best Destiny 2 Exotics. Strand’s grapple is also very useful for quick escapes from Brakion or angry Wyverns. Here’s what you need to do to beat Variant Stalker Brakion, Repurposed Mind:

  1. Damage Brakion until it teleports away. In this first arena, there are no tricks. Just damage Brakion until one third of its health is gone.
  2. Jump through the portal to reach the next arena.
  3. Complete one access code puzzle to temporarily bring down Brakion’s firewall shielding. The access code will be underneath a transparent piece of triangular flooring on either the left or right of the arena.

Destiny 2 Vexcalibur Exotic Glaive quest Avalon mission access code puzzle in Brakion boss fight

(Image credit: Bungie)
  1. Damage Brakion as much as you can. Brakion’s firewall will reactivate after 30 seconds so avoid the enemies and focus solely on the boss.
  2. Repeat steps 3-4 until you’ve taken off another third of Brakion’s health. Two good damage phases should be all you need. Brakion will then flee to the final arena.
  3. Damage Brakion until it is destroyed. Be aware that it becomes more erratic the more you damage it, eventually resorting to just constantly chasing you which can be tricky to fight against.

Now that you’ve hopefully beaten Brakion and completed the Avalon Exotic mission, head to the HELM and interact with the War Table to draw Vexcalibur, the Exotic Glaive, and complete The Variable Exotic quest. Don’t get rid of Vexcalibur though as you’ll need it for subsequent runs of the Avalon mission to reveal secrets. Make sure you extract the weapon pattern so that you can reshape it at the Relic in the Mars Enclave too. You’ll be able to unlock three Exotic Catalysts and slot your choice onto Vexcalibur to enhance it further.

Finally, in case you didn’t know, it turns out that old Io vendor Asher Mir, who was partly corrupted by the Vex, was the one getting your attention with the mysterious signal and led you to Vexcalibur!

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Will Sawyer
Guides Writer

Will Sawyer is a guides writer at GamesRadar+ who works with the rest of the guides team to give readers great information and advice on the best items, how to complete a particular challenge, or where to go in some of the biggest video games. Will joined the GameRadar+ team in August 2021 and has written about service titles, including Fortnite, Destiny 2, and Warzone, as well as some of the biggest releases like Halo Infinite, Elden Ring, and God of War Ragnarok.