While most Destiny players are pretty set in their ways when it comes to raid strategies, many find that things change over time. Point of fact, the strategy that most players used for the final boss fight in Crota's End Normal mode changed somewhat significantly in Hard mode.
For the new King’s Fall raid there has been a similar change in strategies, but it hasn’t been quite as radical. The fight with Oryx doesn’t have too many differences in Hard mode - mainly a new set of enemies called Light Eater Knights and higher level “adds” to deal with. Even so, those small changes have had a large impact on fireteam’s success rates.
But, there has emerged a strategy for the Oryx fight in King’s Fall hard mode that has proven extremely popular, not just because it eliminates a lot of the risk associated with the fight but also because it lets lower light level Destiny players complete it. That isn’t to say the strategy is foolproof, but in our experience it is the “easiest” one.
The "No Knight" Strategy
As the name implies, this strategy eliminates the Light Eater Knights from the Oryx boss fight equation. Rather than worry about killing an Ogre (or two) and then looking for a knight, this strategy makes it so each platform holder’s focus is solely on their Ogre. Moreover, because the Ogres aren't downed prior to staggering Oryx there are no adds around the battlefield to worry about. Both the Light Eater Knights and all those pesky Taken enemies only spawn once an Ogre dies.
Much like the Normal mode strategy, players will still want to assign roles. That includes:
The Designated Floater – For hard mode, teams like to use a Titan with Blessing of Light as the designated floater. That way they can use Touch of Malice and step in and out of the bubble doing damage to each Ogre without actually losing any of their “real health.”
Platform Holders – Unlike in Normal mode, the platform holders have a very small role to play.
The Rotating Floater – Some teams like to have a player locked into this role and the platform holders rotate as needed, but we’ve found that requires solid communication. If you’re attempting Oryx with an LFG fireteam it might be best to avoid anything that requires too many moving parts.
The Relic Runner – This player’s job remains the same: jump between the platforms, collect the brand, and shelter the team.
Don't Kill the Ogres
The only major difference for the No Knight Strategy when compared to the Normal mode strategy is the bomb detonation phase. Everything else, including the Wrath of the King and the Echo of Oryx fight, are the same as in Normal mode.
Once the phase begins, the platform holders will want to jump up to their platforms and sit down. Don’t crouch, use the ‘Sit’ emote. That way the platform holders won’t draw any aggro from Oryx or the Ogres and they will be safe from damage.
Meanwhile, the two Floaters (designated and rotating) will be working from the Daughters platform opposite Oryx (the raised platform that is furthest from Oryx) to damage all four Ogres, but do not kill them. Ideally, you want to have each Ogre left with the tiniest bit of health.
Touch of Malice and Blessing of Light
The best way to DPS the Ogres is to have a Titan put down their Blessing of Light bubble and have the two floaters use Touch of Malice, stepping in and out to keep the overshield active. What’s important about the bubble is that each Touch of Malice shot will still do its bonus damage on the final round, but it won’t damage the player. Instead the overshield will fuel the ammo.
While all this is happening the Relic Runner should be doing their thing and once they have the relic they should call it out. Once the Platform Holders hear the callout they should jump up to the Daughters platform and stay safe within the Blessing of Light bubble. At the same time, the Relic Runner will grab the Aura of Immortality from the Vessel and then make their way up to the Daughters platform.
Once the entire team is together, the prime objective is to DPS Oryx when his chest opens. Touch of Malice works extremely well here, and will help any lower level players do enough damage.
The Detonation Phase
After Oryx has been staggered, the task turns to the Platform Holders to kill their Ogre and run down and detonate the bomb as soon as possible. It’s important that each Platform Holder knows which Ogre is “theirs,” so make sure to work that out before hand. Our groups typically designate Ogres based on proximity to their platform.
Coordinating the killing of the Ogres and detonating the bombs at relatively the same time is integral to this strategy’s success, so it's important to create some sort of callout. If an Ogre dies early the Light Eater Knight could spawn and devour the bomb before detonation, or if a player detonates their bomb early the other players might not have enough time to detonate and get back to safety in time. A great way to ensure a well-coordinated detonation is to call out when the front Ogres and back Ogres are dead and then give a ‘Go’ signal.
Rinse and Repeat to Kill Oryx
From there the most important thing is to stay focused. Remember to avoid the Wrath of the King explosions, kill the Echo of Oryx in time, and repeat the detonation phase three more times (four if you missed a bomb somewhere in there). If done correctly, Oryx should fall and the fireteam should earn some new raid gear with a light level between 310 and 320.
While this strategy is by far the easiest we’ve come across, it’s not without some risks. For example, because the Platform Holders are not drawing aggro from the Ogres, the Relic Runner is a lot more vulnerable. To compensate for that, we’d recommend using gear that protects against Arc Damage or using a Runner who is extremely quick.
The bomb detonations also have to be carefully coordinated or else a player might not get back to the Aura in time. It’s also worth mentioning that enemies and the Light Eater Knights will still spawn so make sure to stay vigilant while detonating; if you have a smoke bomb or a bubble, use them if things get too intense.
Obviously, there are plenty of other ways to tackle Oryx in Hard Mode, many of which don’t try to circumvent the mechanics. However, when it comes to low-risk strategies, this is one of the best we’ve seen thus far. And depending on how the Challenge Modes work in King’s Fall, this could be THE strategy everyone uses.
Destiny: The Taken King is out now for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.