Destiny Melee and Shotgun Tips

Destiny Melee and Shotgun Tips by Eterya

Self-explanatory. This ties in with another big guide I’m writing on right now, and as I did a bunch of melee for that, I thought I’d post my findings here. This presumes a dedicated melee build who wants to fight stuff in melee, if you got caught by an enemy up close you may be better of trying to get away if there’s more than a single guy. It also excludes some Shotguns with a lucky Hammer Forged/Shot Package roll or the likes, as they have an overly high range, but not anybody will have them.

I expect that anyone reading this is pursuing a m/S build/playstyle and knows their weapons and melees. So here we go:


  • Dregs: Absolutely no problem here. Only note that if you kill them while thy prepare a grenade it will drop to the ground an can still hurt you. And some carry Shrapnel Launchers that can wreck you if get hit dead center, so keep an eye for that red glow.
  • Vandals (regular): No worse than Dregs only slightly tougher. Again, they (rarely) carry Shrapnel Launchers, and also their homing bullets can be irritating if you try to get some cover and regen.
  • Vandals (melee): They have some nice swords and deal good damage, but are no tougher. They do however like to kind of duck and weave to the side before hitting you just when they enter SG range, so be aware of that. Also note that they like to come in packs, as well as stealthed.
  • Vandals (sniper): Fuck those guys. They’re just as easy to kill, and hardly fire their rifle up close, but usually are placed way out of your reach. If you hear the characteristic noise of their Wire Rifles take cover, or at least find out where they come from, as they have an annoying tendency to hit you when you’re low on health after clearing up some adds in melee. Use whatever your long-range option is to take them out ASAP, or ask your team to focus them.
  • Shanks: Slightly annoying and floating around, but they have less HP and deal rather low damage, unless there’s half a dozen focused on you. More of distraction than anything.
  • Captains: Slightly problematic. Their shields let them soak up at least one hit without being staggered, they like to teleport, and carry Shrapnel Launchers as their main armament. If you engage them carefully and without too many other enemies in proximity, you’ll still be victorious. They also sometimes carry swords, so watch out for that.
  • Servitors: Those too are more annoying than anything, their blast does hit decently hard, but is easily dodged, and they’re slow. Only issue is the bunch of HP and damage reduction they have, but not too dangerous.


  • Thralls: Pretty fragile, they die easily and their melee is not all that strong on its own. However they do like to come in packs, and occasionally covered by enemy fire. If you get swarmed by 6 or more you may take serious damage, so consider using a grenade or making a tactical retreat then (or both).
  • Cursed Thralls: These can be massively dangerous. If you melee them, they blow up and you’re as good as dead. Instead either use your backup weapon, or ADS your SG and aim for the head. If need be just fall back a bit before turning around and shooting them.
  • Acolytes: About as bad as Dregs, absolutely no issue. Some carry Boomers, watch way out for those.
  • Knights: Pretty tough, and they carry Boomers. Those are pretty deadly if you get hit by a full blast, so try to keep moving as soon as you notice one and either get up in their face or shoot them with your backup gun. Some carry Shredders instead, which really just make them larger, tougher Acolytes.
  • Sword Knights: Just as tough, and their Swords deal huge damage. If you see one coming, it’s easy enough to stunlock him, but if you get blindsided it may be safer to fall back first.
  • Wizards: Not fun. Not that many actual HP, but shielded. and their Darkness Blast is pretty damaging and they use it relentlessly. Plus their poison cloud slows down and prevents health regen. If you can at all avoid it, don’t fight them with Shotguns, use your primary or get help from your team.
  • Ogres: They have a ground slam that will seriously hurt if they get it off. The thing is, if you’re in melee range they can easily be stunned with a SG to the face (literally, it’s their weak point). Their ranged attack is just as damaging, so whatever you do, engage carefully but decisively.
  • Shriekers: They are normally out of range, unless you literally jump up to them. Which will have you in full range of their Death Blast. Just don’t use SG on these, really.


  • Goblins: About as dangerous as Vandals. Note that they like to teleport to try to flank you. Some also carry Torch Hammers.
  • Hobgoblin: Fuck those guys too. Just as bad as Sniper Vandals, same things apply. They also have a grenade, but outside Void Burn it’s not that dangerous.
  • Harpies: Slightly tougher than Goblins and annoying to hit. They have no melee and their ranged attack takes a second to set up, so they’re relatively easy targets. But be aware that their attack does hurt if you don’t watch out and keep getting hit.
  • Minotaurs: Oh boy. Before the Shotgun buff they were just about the worst. Thankfully now they’re reduced to tough, shielded, no weakspot, teleport and Torch Hammers. Treat them like a combination of Boomer Knights and Captains. You can get them, esp with Void damage, but you need to be quick. Some carry Goblin Slap Rifles instead, those are slightly less dangerous.
  • Hydras: They pack massive HP, firepower and an impenetrable shield. And like Wizards they shoot you even when you’re right in their face. Unless a teammate distracts them for you to close in, you’re way better of at range.


  • Legionary: Not that bad. They’re tougher than the other tier-1 guys, but that’s about it. Some carry a Centurion Projection Rifle. Also be aware of their jetpacks that give them a deceptive mobility.
  • Centurions: Projection Rifles are another of the loved grenade launcher-type weapons (where is our exotic heavy that does that too, bungie?). Treat them roughly as Knight with Solar shields and jetpacks.
  • Phalanxes: Those can be problematic. If they hit you with their shield, they may just send you flying across the map and splatter on a wall. Don’t ever try to melee them unless they are already staggered or their back is turned. If they’re looking at you, if they’re shooting, ADS and hit their right hand, if they’re not they will try to melee you, normally by using a lunge if you’re 1-2 meters away. If they do that for a moment they leave their shield wide open and you can kill them. If you can, try to bait them into lunging at you, but only if you’re not taking too much fire from elsewhere.
  • Psions: Not much tougher than Dregs. The only dangerous thing about them is their Arc Blast special attack that deals some good damage. However it has a lenghty wind-up, so ultimately not at all porblematic.
  • Colossus: Those guys are dangerous. Loads of HP, powerful ranged attacks, and a ground stomp that seriously hurts. Just like Ogres thy can be stunned, but to even get close you need enough cover to advance during their breaks in fire, or get support by a teammate. Engage carefully, and ranged combat may actually be the better option.

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