The simplest solution is to subscribe to Esoterickk on YouTube because his guides are really, really good. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, details ahead.
What are Ascendant challenges?
In the Dreaming City, there are seven hidden portals, only one of which is active during any given week. To see these portals, which are in different locations each week, you need to use an item called Tincture of Queensfoil. Presumably some sort of in-game hallucinogen, this fancily bottled space drug gives you a buff called Ascendance which is used to see these portals, access hidden chests (more on that later), and complete special bounties (more on that also later).
Where can you get Tincture of Queensfoil?
While in the Dreaming City, completing heroic public events, opening chests found randomly in the world, opening the chest at the end of lost sectors, and buying them from an Ahamkara skull named after one of Odin’s ravens are the four ways that I know of to get your hands on space drugs.
Where can I find the portals and how do I complete the challenges?
Watch Esoterickk’s videos. Seriously. They’re really good, no bullshit, no commentary guides on how to get the challenges done. His goal is to show you how to do a thing, which he does remarkably well, with zero fluff and nonsense along the way.
I could do a text guide if anyone actually cares, but his videos are a lot better than anything I could write. Here’s his latest (at the time of this writing) guide. It’s good stuff.
Why should I bother with the challenges?
Well, they’re fun.
My first Ascendant challenge, in the very first week of the Forsaken launch was terrifying, intimidating, and incredibly exhilarating. I was underlevelled, very flimsy, and completing it successfully (after a handful of attempts) was an enormous rush. They’ve since become significantly easier to complete, but I love the aesthetic of the Ascendant realm so I like to visit and punch things occasionally.
Petra also has a weekly bounty to complete the featured Ascendant challenge, which rewards a piece of powerful Dreaming City gear, and you almost always get a piece of (non-powerful) gear the first time you open the chest from the challenge of the week. Not only is Dreaming City gear gorgeous, but it’s the only set of non-raid armour that can roll with Enhanced perks, so it’s definitely worth chasing.
Got any tips?
If you’re a Titan, PUNCH EVERYTHING. (not really). But sometimes, you can punch your way through the challenge itself. And in the Aphelion’s Rest challenge, Striker Titan with Code of the Juggernaut is a very effective way of dealing with the crystals. You can slam multiple times and blow up multiple crystals, leaving only a couple that need to be shot.
If you’re not a Titan, like, why. Go be a Titan. Pls.