I recently took my first run at defeating Oryx in Destiny’s new raid, King’s Fall. While my group was defeated by real-life scheduling conflicts, I had a lot of fun taking down the raid’s first boss, the Warpriest. It wasn’t exactly easy, though, since there are plenty of trials to overcome before you even reach him. And when it comes to PvE content, a Guardian’s most potent weapon is no exotic rocket launcher, but knowledge. To that end, I present to you part 1 of Pixelkin’s King’s Fall Raid Guide. (You can see my review of The Taken King expansion here.)
The Hall of Souls in King’s Fall
When the raid begins you will find yourself in front of the hallway that leads up to the Court of Oryx. As always the hallway is lined with six statues, three on each side. One of the statues closest to you should have a small black orb floating in front of it, marking it as your first target statue.
In order to activate the target statue, you’ll need to find two “relics” that look pretty much exactly like the one floating in front of the statue. You might recognize them as “Tomb Husks” from the story missions. A player can only hold one relic at a time, and you can only melee attack while holding the relic. For these reasons, it might be wise to split your fireteam into two groups of three: one relic runner and two bodyguards.
The first two relics are in plain sight in what we’ll call the main room where you spawn into the raid. To start the encounter, simply have your relic runners each grab and orb and bring it to the target statue. They must both deposit their orbs at roughly the same time (by interacting with the statue) in order to activate the target statue. In order to complete the encounter, you basically just have to do the same thing five more times. But it gets a little bit more complicated from here on out.
You may recall from Patrol on the Dreadnaught that there are two pathways leading to the left and right from the main room. Somewhere along each path is one of the next pair of relics. Each three person group must pick a side and go relic hunting. This is where you will begin to encounter resistance, which is what the bodyguards are for, but your primary job isn’t to eliminate all enemies. Just make sure they don’t disrupt your relic hunt. Try to save your supers for when you get back to the statue hallway; there will be plenty of enemies to eliminate there before you can activate the target statue.
That’s really all there is to this section. The resistance you encounter will get stronger with every statue you successfully activate, but mechanically nothing changes. Once you’ve activated all six statues, the portal in the Court of Oryx at the end of the hallway will open. A couple of Wizard Majors will spawn from the portal, but should be easily defeated. Once they are down, enter the portal and you will find your first reward chest waiting for you.
I Hope You Like Platforming
The section between you and the next encounter is fairly simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The first obstacle you encounter will be a bunch of swinging platforms suspended over a bottomless pit. All you have to do is time your jumps properly and you’ll make it safely to the other side. Don’t worry about it too much if you can’t do it easily though; it’s harder than it looks. Just keep trying and you’ll make it eventually.
Keep moving forward and you’ll come to a Hive ship dock where some enemies will attack you. They should be pretty easy to take down, but this is the first place where you will encounter Adepts, which are a type of Major Hive Acolytes. They’re the ones with the yellow health bars. You will encounter them in the first boss fight too, so remember this well: make sure you kill Adepts only after all the normal Acolytes are dead. When you kill Adepts, they give any nearby Acolytes a nasty ability to shoot extremely damaging bolts of energy from their head. It’s kind of like turning them into mini-Ogres, and it’s particularly troublesome when there are several of them.
Anyway, once the enemies are dead you’ll notice that you seem to have reached a dead end. There will be one ship docked in front of you, and then lots of bottomless pit between you and the next bit of solid ground. If you step onto the ship, it will begin to move forward over the abyss and you’ll start what I consider to be Destiny’s most challenging platforming section yet.
I’m not sure there’s a good way to describe this section in text, so here’s a video of it. Essentially, you’ll be hopping from ship to ship all the way to the other side of the bottomless pit. Usually, the ship that you have to jump to next doesn’t actually appear until a few seconds before you have to jump to it. It’s also not always immediately obvious which ship you should be jumping to.
On the bright side, though, there is a safe platform that acts as a checkpoint about halfway across. When you inevitably die at some point during the significantly more difficult second half, you get to start over from here. I won’t try to describe this section in detail either, but I do have two very helpful tips. First of all, make sure that you get your character agility as high as possible. Switch your stat perks around in your subclass, and if you have a weapon that boosts your agility when equipped, use it. While you’re at it, make sure you have a jump ability perk equipped that will give you as much height as possible. I believe I used Triple Jump on my Hunter, but I think Increased Height would have worked as well or better. You’re going to need the extra height and speed.
Secondly, watch out for this one particularly troublesome jump. This whole section is rather confusing, with several ships appearing that you can jump to even though they don’t actually go anywhere. But I’d say the most confusing part is when one ship flies over the ship you’re on. It will knock you off if you aren’t careful. Though it might seem as though you’re supposed to jump onto it, don’t. Duck under, and another ship will appear in front of you shortly thereafter. This is the part you need all that agility for, so make sure you begin sprinting before you jump for it. Everything after that jump is comparatively easy. Just remember that you’re trying to ride the ships up towards the platform that will now be above you.
When you make it to the other side, do a little dance to celebrate because you’re almost to the next encounter! Also, nice jumping. For the next bottomless pit all you have to do is have two players stay behind to stand on the plates that are to the left and right of the edge. Everyone else can jump onto the ship that’s docked there and ride it over to the other side, where they will encounter some light resistance. Once that’s taken care of, note that there is a matching set of plates on this side of the void as well. Again, have at least one player step on each plate and the players you left behind will be able to ride the ship across as well. Continue forward until you reach the Basilica.
As you enter this long and narrow room, you’ll see a bunch of Acolytes and a couple of Adepts kneeling in front of a door at the far side. In the center of the room there will be a circular plate. To the left and right of that plate are short passageways that lead to rooms on either side. Each of these rooms also has a circular plate in it, as well as lots of poison gas that will slowly kill you. Fortunately, at the entrance to each side room is an orb that will give you a buff called Brand of the Unraveler. It gives you a shield about the size of a Titan Defender’s bubble that will protect players inside of it from the poison. Unfortunately, picking up the orb causes something called Annihilator Totems to activate. If the player with Brand of the Unraveler doesn’t stand on the plate in that side room, it will kill your entire fireteam within about 10 seconds. It won’t, however, protect them from all the enemies that will begin attacking them in this room.
Additionally, Brand of the Unraveler lasts only 30 seconds. When its duration is up, it is passed to a nearby player. If there is no one else nearby, it kills the player with the Brand. Assuming the player with the Brand successfully waits out the duration and passes it to another player, they will gain 10 stacks of a buff called Deathsinger’s Power. That player must then go to the plate in the central room (there will be heavy resistance of course), and stand on it. When they do so, they will begin to lose stacks of Deathsinger’s Power at a rate of about one every two seconds. Meanwhile, the player that was just passed the Brand is about to reach the end of their 30 seconds with the buff. There should of course be another player with them to take their Brand, so they can then take their stacks of Deathsinger’s Power to the center plate. When this process has been completed 20 times, you will have completed the encounter. That sounds like a lot, but if you think about it that means you have to keep it up for only about five minutes.
Now that I’ve explained the mechanics, I’ll go over it again focusing on the strategy this time. You’ll want to split your 6-person fireteam into two 3-person groups. Assign one group to the left side room and the other group to the right. To start the encounter, both groups should run into the side rooms to the plates, touching the orb that grants the Brand buff on the way. Enemies will then begin spawning. In particular, you’ll want to watch out for the Boomer Knight that spawns roughly every 30 seconds on the balcony above you. He’ll shoot explosive projectiles at you, which is rather troublesome since you can’t move off of the plate to avoid them. Other than that, there’s no trick to taking care of them, just hold them off. When the Branded player gains Deathsinger’s Power, they should run to the plate in the central room immediately and get ready for a fight. Since there will only be two players in this room at any given time (one from each side room), you’ll probably be most at risk of dying from enemy attacks here. For that reason it’s helpful if the first person to pick up the Brand is a Titan Defender. That way they can use their bubble Super just before they go back to their side room, giving the next, potentially more fragile player an easier time surviving in the central room while they drop their stacks of Deathsinger’s Power. Meanwhile in the side room, the Titan will be ready to receive Brand of the Unraveler. Rinse and repeat.
In other words, once you get into the rhythm of things there will pretty much always be two players on the plate in the left-side room, two players on the plate in the right-side room, and two players on the central plate. All you have to do other than that is kill and avoid being killed by all of the enemies that will spawn during this time, and there isn’t really a trick to that.
When the last two players have dropped their stacks of Deathsinger’s Power on the central room’s plate, the door to the raid’s first boss will finally open. Better yet, your reward chest will open on the central plate. It potentially contains Midha’s Reckoning, a rather neat if somewhat creepy looking fusion rifle.
Warpriest is a good first boss; it tests your ability to follow boss mechanics as well as your damage output.
First, the mechanics. The Warpriest spawns on the big stage in front of you as you enter the room. He is invulnerable to damage except during certain parts of the fight. He can be more or less ignored until then. For now, split your fireteam into three groups of two players each. This room also contains three circular plates. One is directly in front of you as you enter the room, one is up the stairs to the right, and one is on the platform up and to the left of the entrance. Assign one group to hang out by each plate. To start the encounter, have one player step on each plate and enemies will begin to spawn.
Again, try not to kill the Adepts (Acolytes with yellow health bars) until you’ve killed all of the normal, red-health-bar Acolytes. Otherwise they will become much more dangerous when the Adept dies. Keep that in mind and this part shouldn’t be too challenging.
The hard part comes after you’ve killed the Major Knight that will eventually spawn. After you do, a message saying “Glyph sequence started” will appear in the bottom left corner of the screen. When it does, one of the floating pillars between each of the three platforms and the stage will light up on the side facing the stage. You’ll need to send somebody up onto the stage to act as a scout, to see which pillar has lit up. Since it can be dangerous on the stage where all of the enemies spawn, it’s good to use a Hunter that has access to Invisibility for this role.
The pillars will tell you what order to step on the plates in. Remember, there is one pillar in front of each plate. After the scout calls out the first plate to step on and the player at that plate does so, another pillar will light up. Again, the scout will relay the information to the rest of the fireteam. It should be easy to deduce which plate should be stepped on third by process of elimination. Activate them out of order and you’ll have to start again. Activate all three successfully, and the player who activated the third plate will gain a buff called Brand of the Initiate. It works much like Brand of the Unraveler, except instead of granting players inside of the bubble immunity to poison, it gives you the ability to damage the boss.
However, the Branded player won’t be able to focus on damaging the boss due to the way the Brand works. Brand of the Initiate only lasts 10 seconds, and when it expires it kills the Branded player and is passed to a new player. In order to stop the buff from expiring, the Branded player will have to kill Acolytes just before the buff runs out, refreshing its duration back to 10 seconds. If the Acolytes are killed too quickly, you’ll run out of them and won’t be able to continuously refresh the buff until this phase ends.
Before it does end, all of the other players should of course get inside the Branded player’s bubble, granting them the ability to damage the boss. This is the damage output part of the fight. You’ll have to pour on every bit of damage, or you won’t be able to kill him before you run out of time. I’ve found that it’s best to use a sniper rifle on the boss during this phase. If you have any other tricks to increase your fireteam’s damage, use them now. Nightstalkers should use their Super on the boss. Defenders should use their Weapons of Light perk for their Super.
I’m not sure, but I think this part is on a timer. The amount of time you get to damage the boss depends on how quickly you killed the enemies and stepped on the platforms. If you didn’t perform these tasks efficiently enough, you may not have enough time on the boss to do a significant amount of damage. Either way, after some time this phase will end and the boss will become invulnerable again. The Brand will disappear without killing anyone.
Immediately thereafter, a message will appear in the bottom-right of your screen saying “the Warpriest calls upon the Oculus.” When this happens, everyone must stand in the shadow of the pillar that last lit up. If you don’t, you will shortly die. This will also disintegrate the stone of the pillar that you’re hiding behind.
From here on out it’s more rinse and repeat. The trick is to make sure you’re performing all of the above tasks efficiently enough to give yourself a lot of time on the boss, and to hit him as hard as possible. The only thing that changes is that, when a pillar is destroyed, you can tell if it’s being lit up as part of the Glyph sequence from either side. This decreases the amount of time that your scout has to stay up on the stage with each round, and after two rounds there is no need to act as a scout at all.
This is good, because after two rounds the enemies that you have to fight become significantly tougher and more numerous. Just stick together and stick to the strategy, and you should be on your way to another loot chest. The catch is that if you don’t manage to take the boss down quickly enough, there won’t be any pillars to protect you from his fourth Oculus attack and everyone will die.
But assuming you can hold it together, you’ll potentially be on your way to a nifty heavy Machine Gun called Qullim’s Terminus! If you got it, congratulations, and either way congratulations on beating the first boss of King’s Fall!