Destiny Beating Skolas In-Depth Guide?by Shwinky
Let me start this out with a preface. If you don?t really care about why I wrote this feel free to skip down to the next paragraph. So I?ve browsed around here and Bungie.net forums and seen that a surprising amount of people have issues with Skolas. Even the few times I?ve managed to grab a Skolas CP from some randoms on an LFG site, we tend to blow through it in very few attempts and at the results screen I see that they?ve been at it for an insane amount of time. So to try and help out with this, I?m gonna post my strategy that I always use. Using this strategy I rarely have any Skolas fights take beyond 4 or 5 attempts.
So here?s the actual guide. I?m going to break this down into sections and these sections will be based on different components of the fight, in order of importance (according to me).
#1: ADD CONTROL
This here is the single most important thing in this fight. With the latest update to this fight we are finally able to control the adds (All the other enemies that aren?t Skolas) rather than just ignore them and try to burn Skolas quickly while we pray they don?t insta-kill us. Before you EVER attempt to damage Skolas you need to make sure you?ve cleared all the adds first. It?s okay if there?s a stray dreg or vandal you may have forgotten. That?s not a big deal, but Captains need to be your priority and I?ll get back to that in a bit. The reason for clearing the adds is because Skolas? health determines when adds spawn. I?m not entirely sure what the triggers are, but it pretty much feels like anytime you start knocking off a noticeable amount of health. The reason you need to clear adds is because:
A. They?ll get in the way while you try to hurt Skolas
B. You can spawn too many adds and overwhelm yourself.
There is only ONE time that you will hurt Skolas before clearing adds, and that is as soon as the fight starts. I?ll go more in depth on that once I get to the damaging Skolas section. Moral of the story here is kill adds first, then kill Skolas.
Now here?s how you need to prioritize adds:
2. Non-melee Captains
4. Everything else
That simple. Captain will bum rush you and melee the shit out of you. They?re assholes. Don?t let them do this. I cannot stress this enough: ALWAYS CALL OUT CAPTAINS WHEN YOU SEE THEM. Your team should drop everything for a second and focus fire these assholes into oblivion if they start rushing you. This is why I prefer using shotguns for this encounter. It typically takes two shots to kill a captain so make sure you aren?t getting lunged at when you go for the shot. Especially when Lightswitch is on because they will one-shot you. All the other adds tend to try and fight from afar and that makes them easy to pick off. They shouldn?t give you much trouble. Just keep an eye on snipers because they may pick you off during a cycle (We?ll get to that next).
#2: CYCLING AROUND THE MAP
This is vital to staying alive. There are two places you want to cycle around to and these are the two ledges located at the corners of the map. I will be referring back to the following picture for this section so keep it open:
See those two glowing red areas in the bottom left and right corners? Those are the ledges I mentioned. This is where you will be cycling between through the entire encounter. That area in the middle? That?s ?No-Man?s Land?. Avoid that if you enjoy staying alive (You may have to risk it through there occasionally, though). Right off the bat what you?re going to want to do when you break through those doors and watch Skolas be released from his cage is run left and make a beeline for that staircase to the ledge (That?s what the green line is in that work of art I linked). You?ll find your first ghost servitor there. Gun him down immediately then turn around and feed Skolas everything you?ve got for the short time frame you?re given. Remember how I said there?s only one time you don?t do add control before hurting Skolas? This is that moment. You will never do this again for the remainder of the fight. By the way, if you manage to really burn the hell out of him and get his health down below 75% you will have just triggered the first mechanic change of the fight and I?ll go over that in its own section. So back to cycling the map.
Once the bonds are no longer weakened you?ll want to begin add control. See where the green line points next? It tells you to jump off that ledge and go straight for the other ledge. Here?s the thing. Adds like to congregate there sometimes, so be sure to prioritize killing the adds in your way there before going after others. Now after a bit of add killing Skolas will be drawing near. He?ll either come up from the stair case or the ramp in the middle. If he comes from the stairs you?ll see him with plenty of time and be able to run away with little problem. However, if he?s coming up the ramp that?s a bit different. See that circled area labeled ?Don?t push your luck?? Really. Don?t push it. The second he is at the bottom of that ramp, it is time to get the hell out and go to the other side. Sometimes he?ll be at the bottom of the ramp, but then teleport right next to you. That?s when you?re in trouble. My rule of thumb: ?If you think you can get one more shot into him, don?t?. That means it?s time to run away. Follow that green line I drew and constantly do little bunny hops and quick bursts of your jump ability to cause adds to miss their shots (If you don?t already dot his, you?ll be amazed how well this works). And one more thing. ALWAYS CALL OUT WHEN IT?S TIME TO CYCLE. Your team should always be with each other (Save for mines, but that?s another issue on its own).
Now you?re on the other ledge. On the other ledge it?s much easier to judge when to run away because Skolas will be coming straight at you. Utilize those walls up on that ledge and don?t push your luck if your health is low. Just focus on clearing adds and once you feel Skolas is too close and hitting you with too many shots call out to cycle and follow that green line. Stay behind the walls and make sure to bunny hop the wall ends and you?re out in the open for a short second. See that purple line? That?s if you?re feeling frisky and want to save a few seconds. Only use that if there?s no adds in the way and your health is fine. Otherwise stick to the green line to get back to the other ledge. Now you?re back on the other ledge. Now it?s as simple as rinse and repeat. That is until the fight throws a few wrenches at you.
From Classic_Griswald: ?Don?t be afraid to rotate. Rotate every time you are getting crunched by enemy aggro and don?t feel comfortable. The more you rotate, the less aggro you will build up.?
Great advice here. Never be afraid to move if you feel pressured. You don?t need to wait for Skolas to be breathing down your neck to run away.
#3: MECHANICS OF THE FIGHT (A.K.A. A FEW WRENCHES GETTING THROWN AT YOU)
This fight has a lot more going on to it then just shoot a bullet sponge. There?s a lot of moving parts and personally that?s why I love it. If it wasn?t for the 5 pain in the ass rounds before it and GOD DAMN MOTHER FUCKING LIGHTSWITCH I?d probably do it every week on all my characters. So the mechanics will either add to your strategy or simply make you follow a completely different strategy for a short amount of time. Improv skills will help here.
This infographic will help you visualize his health triggers:?infographic
Mechanic 1: Ghost Servitor (100%-75% health)
When Skolas is in this health range, he will take negligible damage from you. In order to hurt him you will need to kill a cloaked ?ghost-looking? servitor. When you kill him a counter will pop up and a message saying something along the lines of ?Servitor Bonds are weakened?. This means hit Skolas now. During this counter his defenses are normal and you can lay into him with some damage. Hit him as hard as you can because this phase is quite frankly time consuming, easy, and boring. Once you get him down to 75% health it will say ?Servitor Bonds have been broken?. This means this mechanic is no longer relevant. He will take normal damage at all times even if there is still a ghost servitor around. This brings us to the next mechanic.
Mechanic 2: Tainted Essence (65%-0% health)
Once this mechanic is triggered, it lasts until the end of the fight, so get used to it. Once the bonds are broken Skolas will taint a single guardian. This guardian will have a Thorn DoT display effect on their screen and a counter on their screen. DO NOT LOSE TRACK OF THIS COUNTER. You can easily cause wipes if you do. You will lose track of it occasionally. Shit happens. So don?t worry about it if you do. Just don?t make it a habit. So the way this works is once the counter hits 0 you die. A teammate can take it off you by holding square when next to you. ALWAYS TAKE IT OFF IN THE 1-10 SECOND TIME FRAME AND CALL IT OUT. The way I like to call this out is I announce to my team when it hits 15 seconds so they know to get ready. Once it hits 10 I start counting down every second. 10. 9. 8. 7. 6. Bam. My teammate takes it off me and now it?s their turn to do the same thing. Now that you?ve had the essence removed you?ll have a new counter labeled ?Immune?. This means that you cannot take the essence again until this timer is up. This is why you always want the essence taken off of you in the 10 second range. It will give you enough time to take the essence off of your guy and avoid having a teammate dying because everyone is immune. Just keep doing this while doing your regular add control, cycling, and damaging Skolas (We?ll get there, don?t worry). It may sound daunting to balance this while doing everything else, but it?s actually pretty easy. You get a rhythm going and it kinda becomes automatic. Also, don?t be afraid to ask your teammate, ?What?s your timer at?? if you?re worried they may have lost track or you just want to know what it?s at. That?s pretty much it for this mechanic.
Mechanic 3: Dismantle Mines (50% health and 25% health)
Once you knock Skolas? health down to 50% he will summon mines that must be dismantled and he?ll do this again at 25% health. They appear in the same 3 places every time. These are those places:
The 3 places
These two moments are the most difficult parts of the fight because for this brief moment, you have to throw away the cycle strategy and a lot of improv has to happen to combat the sometimes unpredictable adds. You may get a few wipes here, especially if Lightswitch is on so don?t get discouraged. I?ll break down this section by mines:
Mine A: Mine A sits at the top of the stairs that lead up to left ledge (Left in relation to when you walk out the door). Adds can rush you here, but it?s mostly Captains that like to rush here. Dregs, vandals, and shanks tend to keep their distance. What I like to do for this mine is keep the person who is currently immune over here to solo capture this mine. They can just sit up top on the ledge and once it spawn just rush down there dismantle it really quick. Typically the adds won?t react to you in time so you can solo it easily. However, depending on the taint timer and how long it takes to spawn the mine this strategy may not work every time. That?s why I said improv is important.
Mine C: Why did I skip B? Well we?ll get back to that. Mine C is the easiest one to take of all the mines. Just hide behind the wall while dismantling it and if you?re feeling frisky go ahead and kill some adds as you dismantle it. I like to keep the person with the essence and the non-immune guy up here to two-man this one. ?Why have 2 on the easiest mine?? you may be asking yourself. Well here?s why?
Mine B: The B stands for Bastard. This mine is a complete and total bastard in every way. It?s dead smack in the middle of the arena, sitting on top of a little structure that you can get shot from all sides on, and all adds seem to enjoy hopping up here to accompany you. Fuck. This. Mine. Fortunately, it?s close to C. That?s why I like to keep 2 on C. As soon as B spawns (Assuming you aren?t currently dismantling C) hop over (try to avoid the floor here) to this mine and dismantle this ASAP. Few key things here:
1. Do not sit under the mine spawn before it actually spawns. This will attract the adds there sooner than you want and that will make it much more difficult to take down.
2. Your abilities are your friends here. Titans? Drop down a blessing or armor bubble here (Saint-14 bubbles are a god send here). Hunters? Go invisible. Warlocks? Get a flame shield off any non-Captain that may jump up (Seriously. Don?t melee Captains.) and have that self-rez ready to salvage a possible failure.
3. You successfully dismantled the mine? Great job! NOW GET THE FUCK OUT! Do not overstay your welcome on this mine!
Good job! You took out the bastard mine! Back to the grind now!
So now all the mines are taken care of. Regroup now and get back to the usual cycle. I?ll end this section with some key things to keep in mind during this phase:
* The mines will always spawn at 50% health and 25% health. Do your best to edge his health down at this point so you can be sure there are no adds when you take his health down past this threshold. Once the mines spawn, a wave of adds will as well. We don?t want more adds than we?ll already have.
* The mines can spawn in any order, so be prepared for anything and be ready to wing it a bit if you have to. That strategy of 2 on C and 1 on A isn?t bulletproof. Things can and will go wrong.
* During all this mayhem make sure to keep an eye on that tainted timer. That son of a bitch can easily cause wipes during this phase of the fight.
#4: Handling Revives
Revives are important. You always want all your team together, but deaths are inevitable and will happen. If you can, try to stay by them and pick them up. If Skolas is right on you, however, cycle out and then once Skolas is far enough out of the way cycle back to get the revive. Sometimes you may have to get the revive ASAP because of the taint timer. In this situation, you may need to risk it and cut across the ?No-Man?s Land? to get to him in time. Just don?t fall onto the ground level and keep bunny hopping from structure to structure and you should be able to get there just fine. From there just assess your situation (Where is Skolas) and resume the regular cycle.
#5: Damaging Skolas
There?s a reason this is the last bullet point. It?s the last thing you will always do in each part of this fight. Before you damage Skolas, kill adds. Before you damage Skolas, make sure you?ve cycled to the safest area and you have a clear and safe shot at him. Before you damage Skolas, make sure the essence counter isn?t in the 10 second range. Before you damage Skolas make sure all teammates are alive so you don?t have to deal with adds when going for the revive. See the pattern here? Oh, and never try to hurt Skolas during the mines phase. That?s just asking to wipe. Now for hurting Skolas there are a few ways to go about this. If Small Arms is on whittle down his health with a primary (I prefer scout rifles because of their amount of ammo) and take out big chunks by either focus firing primary with your team or applying heavy ammo directly to the face (It?s a cure-all). If there is no Small Arms you may be tempted to use a sniper to pick off health, but I personally prefer having a shotgun at the ready for those pesky Captains. They like to bum rush a lot. Also, if you stick to this strategy you?ll be taking down his health slowly, but steadily and you should have heavy synths almost always ready to go when you need them. The important thing to remember here is this:
It?s a marathon, not a sprint.
It used to be a sprint. Not anymore. So get out of that mindset and play it safe and carefully. A single successful 30 minute run is much better than 30 unsuccessful attempts to burn him down immediately. Just keep adds the priority and only hurt Skolas when they?re gone and you?ll be fine. And yes, if he has next to no health and you can finish him off with just a couple rockets, feel free to ignore the adds then. But be 100% certain that it?s going to work and you won?t doing it. Follow these simple guidelines and you?ll take him down no problem.
So that?s the guide! If you have any advice you want to give feel free to tell me and if I like it I?ll happily add it to this guide! I hope you enjoyed this guide and my mad MS Paint skills! Now good luck and go finish your Moments of Triumph!
P.S. Lightswitch seriously makes this way more difficult. If you?re having too much trouble this week, just scrap it and come back next week when it likely won?t have Lightswitch. The difference in difficulty is night and day (And mines are 1000000000x easier).