Now that Destiny players have had a few days to get to grips with the House of Wolves expansion, we’re starting to see some expert tactics emerge for its Prison of Elders mode. Yesterday, a group of players posted a video of its end boss being dispatched in just 40 seconds — but here’s the info to make the fight a breeze for you.
Reddit user theDroidfanatic made a post on the site’s Destiny subreddit sharing his analysis of the various mechanics that make Skolas such a challenge. A working knowledge of what’s going on — as well as a good fireteam — should help you finish off the Kell of Kells, and gain access to the all-important treasure room.
As the fight begins, your first target should be the ghostly white Servitors that Skolas brings with him. Kill one, and you’ll receive a 20-second damage buff — without this, the damage you can do to Skolas is severely restricted. If you kill another Servitor while the buff is applied, the timer resets as opposed to stacking.
Once Skolas’ health is less than 50%, you can forget about the Servitor buff; instead, you’ll need to watch out for the Devouring Essence debuff. Applied to one player at random once Skolas’ health is halved, that Guardian will see their display turn green, and a 30-second countdown will appear. Once time is up, that player dies.
This can be avoided by transferring the debuff to another player, something that theDroidfanatic compares to the Chalice of Light mechanic familiar to anyone who made their way through the Crota’s End Raid. The wrinkle is that after you’ve passed on Devouring Essence, there’s a 35-second cooldown before you can receive it again.
That means that you’re going to need to pass it between all three members of your fireteam in sequence, or else someone’s going to end up dead. This mechanic is in play for the rest of the fight, so it’s best to have a plan in place before things get confused in the heat of the moment.
Finally, there’s a second mechanic to complicate matters over the course of the second half of the fight — mines. Once Skolas reaches reaches 25% health, three mines will appear around the arena and need to be dismantled. If you don’t do this in time, you will die.
With a full understanding of those three mechanics, you should have a good chance at clearing the highest difficulty of Prison of Elders. However, one commenter on theDroidfanatic’s guide offers a different strategy — everyone equip a Gjallarhorn and worry about the mines once Skalos is dead. Whichever method you use, share your tips for beating the Prison of Elders in the comments section below.
Destiny and the House of Wolves expansion are available now for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.