How to beat Skolas (Guide) (Destiny)

by CruelLEGACEY @, Toronto, Wednesday, July 08, 2015, 18:06 (2268 days ago)
edited by CruelLEGACEY, Wednesday, July 08, 2015, 18:11

I've been seeing lots of talk about the Skolas battle around here, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Lots of people seem to be finding it a bit overwhelming, and understandably so. It is an intense marathon of an encounter. So here's a quick guide to help people get a feel for how to approach the fight.

The most important thing to keep in mind during the Skolas battle is that you are in complete control. There are several phases to the battle, each with their own unique mechanics and objectives. These phases, as well as enemy reinforcement waves, are all gated by Skolas' health. Once his health drops below a certain point, the next phase of the battle is triggered. This means that you get to decide when each phase begins. If you aren't ready for the next phase, don't attack Skolas. Simple as that.

With this in mind, it is very important to be patient. Have a plan of attack for each phase of the battle, and make sure you are ready to execute that plan before you progress the fight. Sometimes this means hanging back and killing time while you wait for Supers or Ammo Synths to recharge. That's fine.

My group tends to treat the elevated platform in the far left corner of the arena as our "home base". We find it to be the most easily defensible position. There is another, smaller elevated platform in the far right corner, which we treat as "position B". Set up positions in home base and hold out there for as long as possible. But as soon as you're feeling the slightest bit overwhelmed, rotate as a group over to position B and continue from there. You'll want to repeat this process throughout the entire battle. In most cases, you'll want to rotate along the outer edge of the arena... cutting through the middle is almost always guaranteed disaster.

Reference video:

Phase 1 - Servitor Bonds (Video time 0:00-1:09)

During the first phase, Skolas is protected by several cloaked servitors scattered around the arena; one on the left, one on the right, and one in the middle. The exact location of the Servitors varies, as they are constantly moving, but they each stay within their generally defined areas. In order to damage Skolas, you must first destroy one of these servitors. This will trigger a "Servitor Bonds Weakened" notification, along with a countdown timer. This is your window to damage Skolas. Once the timer reaches "0", the Servitor Bonds will regain full strength and Skolas will again become invulnerable until you destroy the next servitor. The phase ends when you've done enough damage to Skolas to permanently break his Servitor Bonds.

You will want to enter this battle with full Heavy Ammo. As usual, Gjallarhorn is ideal for maximum damage per second. Begin the battle by entering the arena and immediately running towards "home base" in the far left corner. A cloaked Servitor will be floating around on the platform. Destroy it, then hit Skolas with everything you have. By the time the countdown hits "0" Skolas will likely have moved very close to your position. As soon as his shields are back up, end your attack and rotate to "position b" in the far corner. By this time, substantial enemy reinforcements will have flooded the arena. Take your time and clear them all out before you engage Skolas again. The goal here is to avoid triggering the next phase of the battle, and the next round of reinforcements, with plenty of Fallen still running around the arena. Take your time dealing with the adds, rotating between home base and position B as needed. Once all the adds are gone, refill your heavy ammo, kill another cloaked Servitor, and hit Skolas again. Repeat this process until you receive the "Servitor Bonds are Broken" notification.

***VIDEO NOTE: In this video, we actually broke the servitor bonds with our very first attack on Skolas, so we proceeded directly in to phase 2. This is unusual. Phase 1 typically takes a lot more time, with several rotations between positions. ***

Phase 2 - Skolas Taints a Guardian's Light (Video Time 1:09-3:19)

With Skolas' servitor bonds permanently broken, he can now take damage at any time. Yaaaay! The bad news is that he responds by poisoning a member of your fireteam with a debuff called the "Devouring Essence". Once infected by the devouring essence, a player has 30 seconds to live. The only way to survive is to have another member of your fireteam take the essence from you by standing next to you and holding the X or Square button. This will pass the devouring essence over. But there's a wrinkle: Once the essence has been taken by your teammate, you will be immune for 40 seconds. This means you cannot take the essence back until your immunity wears off. Since the immunity lasts longer than the infection, all 3 members of your fireteam must pass the essence along in a set order. You also don't want to take the essence from your teammates too soon, or your other teammate's immunity won't have time to wear off. Use "10 seconds" as your signal. When the infected player has 10 seconds left to live, it is safe to move the essence to the next player. When their timer is down to 10 seconds, it is safe to move it to the 3rd player, etc.

This phase is all about getting a feel for passing the devouring essence between members of your fireteam. Get to work on thinning out all the fresh Fallen reinforcements, paying close attention to your various timers and practicing moving the essence around your group. Rotating around the arena is particularly dangerous now. You don't want to get separated or trapped in enemy fire as you go, since you may need to pass the essence between players while on the move. Once the adds are again eliminated, attack Skolas until his health hits the next threshold and triggers the next phase.

Phase 3 & 4 - Dismantle Mines (Phase 3 video time: 3:19-7:17, Phase 4 Video time: 7:17-end)

The final phases of the Skolas battle are both Mine dismantle rounds. Dismantling mines is the riskiest part of this entire battle, so your fireteam will need to have a firm plan in place, and react quickly. Unlike the rest of the Skolas fight, you do not have the luxury of time here. When the mines appear, you must get to them quickly. The mines will always appear in 3 locations ("home base" on the left side, "position B" on the right side, and the middle platform) but the order in which they appear is random and cannot be predicted. I mentioned earlier that cutting across the middle of the arena should be avoided, but during these rounds you may be left with no other choice. Move as a group as much as possible, but be prepared to split up if necessary. You must also keep a close eye on your devouring essence timers, and factor that in to your decisions. If you do need to split up, try to avoid sending the infected player way off on their own where they will likely die to the essence before you can reach them. Instead, try to send the player who was last infected, as they will be immune for some time anyway.

Your exact tactics will need to be based around the makeup of your fireteam: the classes and subclasses you're all using, & the abilities you have available. Some general tips for each class:

*Warlocks - Sunsinger is preferable over Void Walker here, purely for the ability to self-res.

*Hunters - go Bladedancer with invisibility. Being able to cloak makes the Hunter an ideal choice for sneaking across the arena to dismantle a mine solo, if necessary.

*Titans - Defender class is by far the best choice. Make sure you have a bubble ready at the start of each mine round. If possible, save the bubble for the middle mine; it is the most open to enemy fire. A bubble on that platform makes it far easier to dismantle the center mine, and it gives your fireteam a much-needed safe zone as you cross the arena to reach the mines on each side.

Once the first wave of mines have been dismantled, you can settle back into your previous routine of thinning out the Fallen forces, and preparing to attack Skolas. Once everyone is ready (full heavy ammo, supers charged, essence recently passed between players) hit Skolas until the 2nd wave of mines begins, then repeat the process.

If you successfully manage to dismantle the 2nd wave of mines, you are now on the home stretch! From here it's a simple matter of hitting Skolas until he is finally defeated. Be patient and careful... the devouring essence is still in play, and Skolas is still a dangerous foe even without any reinforcements. Play it safe, take your time, and you will beat him.


Hope people find this helpful! It's worth mentioning that there are other tried and true methods for defeating Skolas. This is just the method my group likes to use, and we've had great success with it.

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to post them!

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