The House of Wolves add-on also adds a new weekly wrinkle from Destiny
Tuesday means only one thing if you're a Destiny fan: Reset day.
It's that wonderful time when Bungie's rotating selection of high-reward activities are rebooted (along with any raid progress made in the previous week), giving everyone a fresh chance at scoring some of the game's sweetest and rarest loot.
The lineup of enemies, modifiers and, in some cases, bosses for the level 32, 34 and 35 activities changes every week. Destiny power leveling make upgrade quickly. You can find some general tips for surviving Prison of Elders right here. Read on for a breakdown of enemies and modifiers for each round this week.
The House of Wolves add-on also adds a new weekly wrinkle, in the form of Prison of Elders. The multi-round gauntlets are built for endgame play, with the specific enemy types and modifiers changing from week to week.
Here's a rundown of what's happening this week:
Nightfall (Cerberus Vae III)
- Epic - This is a standard Nightfall modifier. It just means there are more enemies to fight, and a greater number of Majors (the yellow health bar dudes) on the field.
- Nightfall - Another standard Nightfall modifier. This one boots the entire Fireteam back to orbit if everyone is downed inside one of the revive-only respawn Darkness Zones.
- Arc Burn - All Arc damage is increased.
- Solar Burn - All Solar damage is increased.
- Brawler - Guardian melee damage is increased.
Cerberus Vae III is a long Strike with an annoying final boss fight. That's not to say you should skip the Nightfall this week. The combination of Solar and Arc Burns is great, and Brawler should help keep those pesky Psions at bay when they creep up behind you. Just play conservatively, especially during the final encounter with Valus Ta'aurc. There are a few "safe" spots to fight from in the boss arena (the one beneath the stairs in the back left corner of the room is a favorite), so just stick to those, take your shots when there's an opening and be patient.
Weekly Heroic (The Shadow Thief)
- Heroic - Standard Weekly Heroic modifier. More enemies show up than you would see on a standard Strike, and they're more aggressive.
- Angry - Enemies can't be staggered.
"The Shadow Thief" is a House of Wolves-only Strike, so you'll need that add-on to participate in the latest Weekly Heroic challenge. Angry isn't exactly a welcome modifier, but it could be worse. There's no real trick to this Strike. Advance cautiously and withdraw when you're ambushed so you can return fire from a safe location. There are lots of surprises in this Strike. When you get to the tank, the safest location is the enclosed hallway on the left side of the room (watch for foes that occasionally rush in). And for the final boss, enter the chamber through the left door and immediately pelt him with everything you've got. If that's not enough to bring him down before he teleports, move to the opposite end of the chamber from the entrance and post up on the raised platform that's there.
Prison of Elders
If you've got House of Wolves then you can also participate in the weekly Prison of Elders activities. These endgame challenges send players through a multi-round gauntlet in which each round has its own enemy type and Nightfall/Weekly-style modifier(s).
Are you new to Destiny? Don't know what any of this means? Good news. There's a Destiny wiki that's packed with information. Click for details on what Strikes are, and how Nightfall differs from Weekly Heroic challenges.
Level 32: Broken Legion
- Round 1 (Cabal): Juggler (ammo only drops for weapons not in active use)
- Round 2 (Hive): Lightswitch (enemy melee damage increased)
- Round 3 (Fallen): Catapult (grenade recharge rate is increased)
- Round 4 (Hive): Brawler (Guardian melee damage is increased)
- Round 5 (Valus Trau'ug boss): Juggler (ammo only drops for weapons not in active use)
Valus Trau'ug is a lumbering Cabal boss with a unique shield mechanic. He starts out the fight with a Solar shield active — meaning you can bring it down quickly using Solar weapons — but the shield only stays down for about 10 seconds before it recharges with a new, randomly selected element (Arc, Solar or Void). The shield recharge also triggers a new wave of spawning enemies. To bring down Trau'ug, have your fireteam camp in the left corner of the chamber. The boss can't hit you easily in that spot and Cabal forces only occasionally rush in (bring a Solar shotgun). The long, safe way to do it is clear out all the enemies in the chamber — remember, they don't respawn until the shield recharge — before you bring the boss's shields down each time.
Level 34: Urrox's Grudge
- Round 1 (Hive): Trickle (abilities take longer to recharge)
- Round 2 (Cabal): Small Arms (primary weapon damage is increased)
- Round 3 (Cabal): Exposure (shields are significantly increased but recharge very slowly)
- Round 4 (Hive): Arc Burn (all Arc damage is increased)
- Round 5 (Urrox boss): Solar Burn (all Solar damage is increased)
Fighting Urrox amounts to a deadly game of "Hot Lava." Every once in awhile throughout the fight, Urrox goes into rage mode, which makes anything that counts as "ground" (including the tops of crates and rocks) burn, causing damage. The trick is to keep hopping for the 10 seconds Urrox's rage is active. Defender Titans should save their bubble shield (equipped with Blessing of Light) for these rage moments, as the Blessing upgrade gives you a bonus overshield each time you hop out of then back into the bubble. In the spectrum of Prison of Elders boss fights, Urrox is one of the easier ones. Especially with Solar Burn active for this week's fight. Vision of Confluence/Black Hammer/Gjallarhorn is the ideal loadout.
Level 35: Skolas' Revenge (all modifier descriptions listed here)
- Round 1 (Hive): Exposure and Brawler
- Round 2 (Vex): Grounded and Airborne
- Round 3 (Cabal): Catapult and Arc Burn
- Round 4 (Fallen): Specialist and Juggler
- Round 5 (Fallen): Trickle and Small Arms
- Round 6 (Skolas boss): Small Arms and Lightswitch
Skolas is a Fallen boss and the constant big bad for all level 35 Prison of Elders runs. He's a tricky one. You can't even damage him until you take out one of his two special Servitor defenders (they keep respawning), and even then you have only a small window (20 seconds) in which to dish out damage. That's the first half of the fight; once Skolas is at half health, the Servitor issue goes away.
They're replaced by Skolas' "Devouring Essence" attack, which puts one randomly chosen player on a 30-second countdown to death.The countdown can be reset by passing Devouring Essence to another player, but there's a 35-second delay before the player that gives it up can grab it again. This means that all three fireteam members need to participate in a deadly game of hot potato.
The second half of the fight also features two rounds of mines that need to be dismantled. It's tricky to juggle dismantling alongside the Devouring Essence hand-offs; frequent, clear communication is vital. Designate someone (preferably a Bladedancer Hunter with invisibility) to grab the more distant mines. You should pretty much ignore Skolas until you can get those taken care of.
Now that Bungie's updated the fight to no longer have elemental burns, there's no cheesy route to success with Skolas. This week's Small Arms modifier means you want to dish out the bulk of your damage using primary weapons. The exotic hand cannon Thorn is probably the best; in addition to the increased damage you get from individual shots, Thorn's unique abilities also carry an extra damage-over-time effect with every connected hit.