Destiny Swordbearer Guide

Destiny Swordbearer Guide by Themiffins

Hello Guardians, I’m Themiffins or better known on PS4 as Domanastra a.k.a. “Dom.”

I have 13 clears on hard and 45 clears on normal CE. I wanted to make this guide to not only help current swordbearers improve themselves but to also let new people think about picking up the reigns as well.

I want to preface by saying that being a swordbearer can be stressful and daunting to people. You have 5 other people watching your every move and you will be subject to criticism, whether wanted or not. Once you get it down, being a swordbearer is a ton of fun! So let’s begin:

Sword Damage Numbers At 32:

Attack Damage
Slash 7201
Heavy 15301
Super 18001

For the purpose of this guide everything will be under the assumption of doing heavies only. I personally don’t like the combo, and only feel necessary to talk about it if you want to kill Crota in two swords. Using only heavies, I feel, is a more controlled way of killing Crota.

I don’t have great editing skills or a set up that let’s me make a video covering everything so this will be broken up into some general tips for being swordbearer and then broken up by class.


  • Practice canceling the sword animation! This is a huge part of being a good swordbearer as this is what allows you to get the three and four hits off on Crota. If you don’t have this skill down you will have a hard time.
  • While hitting Crota with the sword you should be pushing forward on the left analog stick. This will speed up your sword hits.
  • Forget how you normally move. Weird as it sounds, as a swordbearer you are not subject to the movement limitations that others have. You can use your light attack (R1 button) to cover ground fairly quickly and is something that should be utilized.
  • Know your teams DPS. Timing is crucial on Crota, and time spent waiting for Crota to kneel before you go out is time wasted on damage. You need to know how fast your team is able to take Crota down and be out there before he kneels. This will take practice and you’re subject to dying pretty easily. Note: this doesn’t apply to hunters.
  • Worry about yourself and man the fuck up. Expect Crota will go down, expect the boomers won’t shoot at you, expect Crota or swordbearer / sword to not bug out. If you have little health and need to hit Crota, do it, don’t worry about it. Worse thing that will happen is you die to Crota or boomers, which would happen even if you weren’t low. Don’t second guess yourself, just go!
  • Jump. Pretty simple, right? Fact is many people will often die coming out of Deathsinger’s room or running into it due to boomers. The AI will track you, and those rapid fire assholes will nail you more often then they miss. So when coming out or going in jump in the air and keep jumping till you’re safe. You’re less likely to be hit in the air than you are running on the ground.
  • The time on the Sword is 30 seconds from the time you pick it up not when it drops. The sword will eventually disappear, but you won’t have to worry about it vanishing while you’re wielding it for 30 seconds. Try to listen to the music that plays to find out how much you have left.
  • As a Swordbearer, you can stand on the two obelisk’s that are near the platforms to get a better angle / vision on the swordbearer. You’ll be safe from both Boomers and Crota in these spots, and should have an easier time taking down the swordbearer should he choose to run out of LOS of your team.


While it is down to individual preference what class they want to have run sword, any class can!

Based on overall difficulty I think the Swordbearers would be rated from easiest to challenging:

  1. Hunters
  2. Warlocks
  3. Titans

This is based around general survivability of each and how easily I find it is to run sword on them. Your opinions may differ but this is how I rate each one based on my experience.


Video of a successful Crota kill on hard as a Hunter Swordbearer

Hunters are by far the best option when running Sword. This doesn’t mean you should ALWAYS have a hunter running it, but they are the ones with the highest chances of killing Crota.

Pros Cons
Easiest Damage On Sword Less “Tanky” Than Other Classes
Least Chance Of Dying To Crota Very Few Resources To Regenerate Health
Low Skill Cap Running Sword Requires Good Timing On Abilities


  • Become familiar and have the capacity to cancel the sword animation. There should be no reason you should not be hitting Crota four times as a hunter on each sword rotation.
  • Be familiar with and able to drop the Sword, blink strike to go invisible, and pick up the sword again. This allows you to remain on Crota’s platform with a low risk of being killed (Crota will sometimes bug out and kill you). You should do this on the second rotation of each sword.
  • Two different ways you can go about getting to Crota:
  1. I personally like to pop my super then turn invisible to grab the sword then go straight to Crota. This way my only real danger is from Thralls and possibly Gatekeeper while doing this. I don’t have to worry about Boomer’s or Crota hitting me while grabbing it and it also means more time hitting Crota rather than sitting on the ledge and waiting to turn invisible. But there is a chance of your invisibility wearing off before Crota goes down and requires you to be quick in getting up to him, very little room for error.
  2. Grabbing the sword and then turning invisible on the ledge before jumping up to Crota. This is an effective way of doing it as it allows a safer overall way of being near Crota when he is going down. But you have a higher chance of being hit by Thralls, Boomers, and Crota while getting the sword, and a chance of Crota shooting you while you’re trying to turn invisible on the rocks. You also have a little less time when damaging Crota this way.
  • Have some way to regenerate health. Don’t rely on your super to do it for you. Either have a helmet that regenerates health on orb pick up like Mask of the Third Man or a raid helmet that has health on orb pickup, or a weapons that does. Good thing Xur sold Red Death this week!
  • Try to start damaging Crota as he’s kneeling rather than when he is fully kneeled. This let’s you get off at least four hits on him.
  • When getting away from Crota use your light attack (R1) to move away and cover as much ground as you can. When going inside Deathsinger’s room go in the door opposite of other guardians, or you’ll have a bad time from Boomer’s already shooting there. Jump as much as possible to reduce your chances of being hit by a boomer.
  • For added safety, hunters can run inside the Ogre rooms to crouch and go invisible before running back into the crystal room to replenish orbs / health.


Video of a successful Crota kill on hard as a Warlock Swordbearer

Warlocks are very excellent substitutes for Sworbearer if a hunter is not able to. They have the plus side of generation a lot of orbs and being able to save a wipe through revive should Crota kill them. Communication is key tho, your team should be telling you when Crota is about to kneel so you’re able to get out in time to do the damage.

Pros Cons
Very Forgiving With Revive Have To Play Dangerous To Get Good Damage
Jumps Are Easy To Land And Cover Ground Fast Relies On CD’s A Lot (Super / Melee)
Free Shield When In Danger Healing Yourself Can Be A Choice At Times


  • Know your groups dps, that’s a huge factor. As a Swordbearer you need to be hitting a minimum of three hits each rotation. If you’re too slow on getting out there you won’t deal enough damage, too soon and you risk dying.
  • Have teammates spawn orbs at the beginning or throughout the fight. You can often pop your super and shoot down a Boomer or some thralls to spawn more for them and get your own super up to heal by picking up orbs.
  • I highly recommend having some way to heal yourself. If you have an Apotheosis Veil, Light Beyond Nemesis, or raid helmet that gives you health on orb pickup, then you’re set. Red Death is also very useful as a Swordbearer.
  • Don’t push yourself to do more damage then you need to. You only need to hits Crota 18 times with heavy hits. So only go for three each rotation. You’ll do three swords and have enough to kill Crota.
  • Make use of your glide. You have a lot of height to it and can continuously start and stop it. You have a lot of freedom to move around the area and dodge attacks. Make use of this when going for the sword. Don’t simply run at it, jump and make it hard for Crota and crew to hit you.
  • Your super is a get out of jail free card. Don’t waste it, and make sure you have it when doing a sword rotation.


Video of a successful Crota kill on hard as a Titan Swordbearer

WARNING: Only For The Manilest Of Men

Titans are, in my opinion, the hardest class to run sword with. I find it to be the most challenging and fun. You have very little room for error and do not have the options a warlock does to save a wipe should Crota kill you. I’d recommend doing this only if no one else is able to and you have experience.

Pros Cons
Highest And Fastest Jump Of The Three Classes Lets You Make Jumps And Cover Ground Fast Doesn’t Have The Safety Of A Hunter Or Suvivability Of Warlocks
Health Comes Back Passively From Super Super May Not Save You In Time With It’s Windup Animation
Provides A Lot Of Safety With Defender Bubble Limited Ways Of Negating Damage Without Super


  • Same as Warlock, jump when going to grab the sword, don’t just run out. You’ll decrease the chances of Thralls, Crota, and Boomers hitting you.
  • Don’t be afraid to pop your bubble if your health is low after a rotation. You have time while Crota is immune and it will often save your run (example of this is in the titan video I linked).
  • Be prepared if asked to use your Super as a defensive for other guardians.
  • Communicate with your team on when to fire and for you to go and hit Crota. You do not have the revive of a Warlock and a misstep here can cause a wipe.

Some final notes:

How you choose to do sword, or what class you may like to do it one may differ from my views. This guide is simply a tool for new people who want to be a Swordbearer, or people who already do to help them improve.

I feel it’s important to have flavor in Destiny, and simply doing sword on a Hunter starts feeling a bit stale when you have such an easy time doing damage, it just doesn’t feel as challenging or fun to me.

I’ll be willing to discuss or improve this guide in any way, just say so.

Hope this was helpful and good luck out there Guardians!

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