Destiny Easy Skolas Strategy

Destiny Easy Skolas Strategy by el2mador


  • This is a very long and detailed guide, with a few tips included, on how I usually run Skolas with random groups (some first-timers, some experienced, all of whom have had trouble with the fight).
  • Feel free to read it in its entirety, or just watch the video, or try out the strategy for yourself.

There are numerous guides on various websites about how to kill Skolas. Majority of them suggest running around the map together, or splitting up to handle the mines.

This is an alternative strategy I have been using since the patch.

VIDEO 1 (Hunter/Mines Dismantler Perspective):

VIDEO 2 (Non-Dismantler Perspective):

(this is with two players doing Skolas for the first-time; killed in one attempt within 10-15 minutes)

“Right Side Camp” – basically just camping on the platform on the right side and taking out Skolas and adds from there.

The results are usually pretty good:

  • killed on the first attempt
  • first-timers find it very easy to do
  • fights lasting 10 to 15 minutes only
  • no rotations needed
  • no splitting up for mines
  • works for any modifier and especially good for Lightswitch (few mobs jump up on that platform, and it takes them several seconds of their animation to even attack you)
  • less hectic or chaotic moments
  • more breathing room and pausing for time
  • allows you to easily practice passing the debuff or make tactical changes

And also…

  • no Gjallarhorns needed (one of my previous kills had none of us in our team using Gjallarhorns; also cleared within 10-15 minutes on the first try)



  • the end-boss of Prison of Elders and the House of Wolves expansion
  • camping the right side means you will take more splash damage from his scorch cannon attack, but there are ways to negate that (explained below)

Phases = Skolas is an encounter with 4 phases based on his health

  • 100% to 65% = Servitor Bonds Active
  • 65% to 50% = Servitor Bonds Broken
  • 50% to 25% = First Set of Mines (the letter “A” in SkolAs)
  • 25% to Death = Second Set of Mines / Burn Phase (to the left of the letter “K” in SKolas)


  • Skolas will summon waves of adds at certain percentages of his health
  • you’ll want to clear them all or thin them out before pushing him to the next phase


  • servitors are only active during phase 1
  • they need to be killed during that phase to allow you to damage Skolas


  • jumpers are adds which jump on the side of the platform you are camping
  • a shotgun will take care of them easily

Devouring Essence

  • Skolas taints a Guardian’s Light
  • this is a debuff which affects one player at a time (causing his screen to glow green / burn)
  • this mechanic is active the moment Phase 1 ends, until Skolas dies
  • it lasts 30 seconds, and its expiration will cause the player to die
  • to prevent that from happening, the debuff has to be taken by another player, upon which the initial player will be immune and unable to retake the debuff for 40 seconds
  • if a player dies while he has a debuff, there is a window of 10 seconds where Skolas will re-cast it again on a random fireteam member


  • “Mines must be dismantled, or you die” / Critical Objective
  • there are two sets of three mines each which will spawn in short succession at 50% and 25% of Skolas’ health
  • there needs to be a player standing on those mines to be able to defuse them in time, otherwise you die


“Right Side Camp” involves staying on the platform on the right side.

  • Two players hide behind the two barricades on that platform, hugging it for the most part
  • The third player moves around a lot whether it’s sidestepping to another ledge beside the platform, or jumping down to the area below
  • This, along with proper spacing, lessens splash damage

Players just generally take out Skolas or adds from their position, as well as watching out for jumpers that may hop up on the platform.

Avoid bunching up together or staying out in the open, Skolas shooting at you means your teammates can also take a bit of splash damage.


** Phase 1 / Servitor Bonds Active (100% to 65% health) **

  • Skolas takes only a small amount of damage and “white Servitors” need to be killed. You will gain a 20 second buff which allows you to do normal damage to him.
  • Begin by running to the platform and killing the servitor there. For 20 seconds, do as much damage to Skolas (rockets, snipers, etc). Afterwards, stop.
  • Clear out the mobs that have appeared.
  • Have one player run to the far left side, kill the servitor there, then damage Skolas again. You should be able to drop his health below 65% (pushing him to the next phase). If not, just repeat the previous steps.
  • You can have a Hunter go invisible to kill the far servitor, or any other class, as long as your teammates shoot at Skolas to aggro him and prevent him from chasing your teammate.

** Phase 2 / Servitor Bonds Broken (65% to 50% health) **

  • You can now damage Skolas normally without having to kill Servitors.
  • Devouring Essence will now be active. Remember to pass it between teammates when it is around 8-10 seconds. A usual callout is “I’m at 10 seconds”, which means the next player has to take it. This allows you to do full cycles, with the initial player’s immunity running out, allowing him to retake it.
  • A lot of adds have now appeared so just clear them out.
  • Take a look at Skolas’ HP. If it is around the ‘A’ and ‘S’ at “SKOLAS“, this is a good indication that you can push him to the next phase but DO NOT ATTACK HIM YET!
  • Make sure you’ve done an ammo run, and supers are ready

This is when things get interesting.

** Phase 3 / First Set of Mines (50% to 25% Health) **

  • Make sure the Hunter has the Devouring Essence. He will tell you when he is at “20 seconds” – this is your cue to damage Skolas.
  • The prompt for mines spawning should now appear. The Hunter will crouch to gain invisibility, while the next player takes his debuff.
  • The Hunter will defuse the middle and left side mines (explained below; General Questions/Additional Tips 1 and 2)
  • The two other players will defend the platform and clear out adds; the mine will also spawn on that platform which means the two players can defuse it immediately.
  • A good tip is to have one Titan pop bubble during this moment
  • You can also have a Warlock who will sacrifice himself to the debuff (while the Hunter is away defusing the mines)
  • The Hunter should be able to make his way back safely, all mines defused, and most mobs have been killed by then (if not, just clear them)
  • Take a look at Skolas’ HP. If it is around the ‘K’ and ‘O’ at “SKOLAS”, this is a good indication that you can push him to the next phase but DO NOT ATTACK HIM YET!
  • Make sure you have a lot of rockets, and supers are ready

** Phase 4 / Second Set of Mines and Burn Phase (25% to 0% Health) **

  • As mentioned, the Hunter needs to have the debuff and he will tell you when it is at “20 seconds” – your cue to damage Skolas again.
  • Repeat the same steps as before, but this time focus on attacking Skolas only.
  • With enough DPS, you should be able to kill him
  • If not, play defensively and wait for the Hunter to return after defusing the mines. From here, you can clear out adds first and take your time in whittling him down.
  • As you can see in that video, that is exactly what we did. Our Hunter was defusing the mines, our Warlock ran out of rockets, so we cleared the adds while waiting for the Hunter. Then we just burned him afterwards.
  • The alternative is to simply burn him quickly with rockets and, once dead, defuse the mines; this may be risky if you lack the DPS, or if a teammate dies due to a random reason (splash damage, blowing himself up with a rocket, forgetting to swap debuff, etc)


(1) How do I solo defuse the left and middle mines as a Bladedancer?

  • At the moment explained above, when your debuff is at 20 seconds and Skolas is near 50% health, your team should damage Skolas thoroughly.
  • Then, when you hear the prompt for the mines (“Critical Objective / Mines Must Be Dismantled”), crouch to gain invisibility. The next player will take the debuff from you as well.
  • While invisible, run to the middle platform where the mine spawns. Use your super+R2 to regain invisibility. If the mine spawns there, just defuse it then make your way to the left side for that mine there.
  • If the mine spawns at the left side first, just super+R2 for invisibility, make your way there and defuse that. Regain invisibility and make your way to the middle, and finally back to your team.
  • If it’s Lightswitch, using Blink Strike can be risky, so just use crouch invis or super invis.
  • From Thisizexile and other users: Instead of a risky Blink Strike on a mob, just Blink Strike a mine before it is dismantled, you will gain invisibility from doing this as well. Try it out also in other rooms which have the “Dismantle Mines” mechanic (such as the Arc burn Hive/Cabal rooms) and it should make things a lot easier.

For others who may feel worried as to how a Hunter can do this perfectly? Like I said, our Hunter was doing Skolas for the first time. It took me a minute to explain to him this step-by-step process.

When the time came, he did it flawlessly – so good, in fact, that I forgot my hate for Luke Smith and wished I had a golf clap emote. Hah.

If a first-timer can do it, I’m sure even more experienced players will do great. So don’t worry, folks. Trust me, it seems hard at first but you’ll find it very easy when you get there.

(2) Why “Debuff at 20 seconds” as the Hunter’s signal to push Skolas to the next phase?

  • With a lot of testing done, I believe “20 seconds” is the best time to call out when to start damaging him. From 20 to 10 seconds, your team is burning his health to push to the mines phase. Once the timer is at 10 seconds, the prompt for mines should appear, the Hunter has crouched and gained invisibility, and the next player has taken the debuff.
  • All mines should have appeared and have been dismantled. Player 3 will also die (since the Hunter cannot make it back in time), but you’ll get an extra 10 seconds before the debuff is re-cast randomly. By the time your Hunter has made his way back to the platform, that newly-cast debuff is ready to be taken by the next guy, whoever it may be.
  • As you can see in the video, timing was picture perfect. The Warlock was sacrificed, the mines were cleared, the debuff was recast, the dead player was revived, the Hunter returned and I took his debuff as soon as he got back… All because he called out when it was at “20 seconds” before we pushed for mines phase.
  • TL;DR – “20 seconds” to callout before burning to mines and defusing, because the timing works well in any situation.

(3) I am a Warlock, what should I do during the fight using this strategy?

  • Save your self-ress for when your fireteam leader tells you; if it’s not an emergency situation or a wipe, do NOT use it.
  • You can be the third player taking the debuff.

Example – Hunter (Defuser) > Player 2 > then yourself. This means that you will die if the Hunter is still defusing mines and cannot take the debuff from you. It’s OK. Save your self-ress unless it’s absolutely necessary.

(4) I am a Titan, what should I do during the fight using this strategy?

  • Personally I use Armor of Light instead of Blessing or Weapons. The amount of splash damage you take when burning Skolas tends to be high, even when inside the bubble, so Armor of Light negates that.
  • Save your bubble for mine phases. Pop it on the platform when you’re about to burn Skolas to spawn mines. This allows you to defuse the middle mine and negate a lot of damage while ignoring the adds.
  • Either use Bastion to increase the duration, or Gift to spawn more orbs when the bubble is being shot at.

(5) What if we don’t have <insert class> in our group?

If you have one Titan, two Warlocks, and no Hunters

  • you can send the Titan to defuse the middle and far left mines. Once you hear the prompt for the mines, the Titan (without the debuff), runs along the narrow corridor. If the middle mine spawns first, head there, drop a bubble (Blessing of Light / Helm of Saint-14). Make your way to the left by jumping on the platforms until you reach the upper ledge on the left side, then make your way down to the next mine that spawns there. This lessens the damage and aggro that you take
  • alternatively, you can send one Titan and one Warlock, running the corridor and splitting up. Titan defuses middle, Warlock defuses far left. They move back to the platform. Essentially, the Warlock left behind on the right side is “sacrificed” with the debuff, allowing him to self-ress when the mine spawns there.

If you have two Titans, one Warlock and no Hunters

  • you can send the Titans to defuse the middle and the left mines, one each. The Warlock (who should have self-ress, and the debuff before the Titans run off) plays defensively and stays on the right side platform. The Warlock will die if a Titan cannot make it back in time due to the order of mines spawning, but, with self-ress, he can just revive to defuse the mine that spawns on your camping spot.

In essence, without a Hunter, you might end up running the usual “Rotate Around the Map” strategy, or a variation of that, and that might be better off rather than changing things on the fly.

However, imo, it’s generally better to just have a Hunter and there are a lot of us around anyway. IIRC stats before showed that Hunters are the most-played class, so we are not that hard to find.

If you have no Titans in the group

  • I’ve had easy clears with randoms even without Titans; proper spacing is still the key, and you will not miss not having a bubble as long as your team is spread out properly and playing defensively while still racking up kills
  • the only risk however is when it’s time to focus on Skolas and burn him, and not because of the damage you take, but because it’s in our nature to go for broke in this situation (neglecting everything else that goes on); so, for the most part, try to be more cautious
  • generally however, a bubble is still welcome owing to its defensive benefits against splash damage, especially if you have teammates who may not be too careful with spacing and positioning

If you have no Warlocks in the group

  • as seen in the video, the Warlock was “sacrificed” (allowed to die since the mine defuser was still away), but he had self-ress available
  • even then, I told him NOT to self-ress since it was not necessary
  • there are very few situations, outside of a glitch or being completely overwhelmed by mobs (which happens when teammates panic or forget to shoot), where you will actually feel the need to “panic self-ress”
  • this means that any class can be “sacrificed” to the essence, if in case your mine defuser is not back in time to retake the debuff

(6) Anything to add about the positioning?

  • Again, it’s best to be properly spread out. One player in each barricade and a third over on the side or jumping down (provided mobs just down below are cleared; and watch out for the Sword Captain as well)
  • Staying in the middle of that platform (between the barricades) for a long time is a bad idea. If Skolas shoots that very spot, it will cause splash damage for several players.
  • The best idea is to hug the barricade and edge a bit to clear out adds.
  • As you can see in the video, I’m the “runner” (the guy moving a lot), and it’s always a good idea to do a call out where Skolas has teleported in case a team member may not be aware.

(7) What’s the best way to pass the debuff? Timing? Callouts? Etc?

  • The best tip I can give you is to simply be aware of your timer. When it’s at 11-15 seconds, you should be mindful enough that it needs to be passed to another player.
  • The best callout I tell my teams is simply: “I am at 10” – which means it’s time for the next guy to take it.
  • Do NOT panic and just be cool. It will help out your fireteam if you can play and react well under pressure instead of screaming “OMG OMG! TAKE IT NOW!” – that can cause some serious mishaps.
  • When passing the debuff on that platform, if you have the debuff and are low on health, stay where you are and tell the next guy to come to you. Never bunch up in one spot when passing it around due to splash damage.

(8) What should I do about the jumpers? How many of them are there?

  • There is usually only a trickle of jumpers/mobs hopping on the platform.
  • They range from vandals, dregs, shanks and captains; proper awareness and callouts. It takes these mobs awhile to jump up and begin to attack you, so a few well-placed shotgun blasts will finish them before they can do damage.
  • There is a bug that can occur (but very rarely) and that is a Captain can sometimes teleport on that platform and surprise everyone, but again, this happens very rarely to the point that you’d probably have a laugh at it while blasting it with a shotgun

(9) What is the best weapon loadout?

For Primaries:

  • your best bet would be Fatebringer or Fang of Ir-Yut; Arc Damage will help in bringing down Captain shields; substitutes without these two would be Vision of Confluence, or any decent Scout Rifle or Handcannon
  • Red Death can also be used if you do not have a better exotic weapon to take up the slot; especially if the modifier is “Small Arms”, Red Death gives you a lot of kills and replenishes health

For Specials:

  • I find that everyone using shotguns (preferably Arc damage, like Found Verdict) is great; it allows you to take out jumpers easily, as well as any mobs that may cluster just below the platform
  • Alternatively, one guy (killing jumpers) uses a shotgun; the other two players using sniper rifles (to stunlock and damage Skolas, if you don’t wish to use rockets or primaries)

For Heavies:

  • I can tell you that I’ve cleared this with randoms, none of us had a Gjallarhorn (10-15 minute fight). It helps, but it is not mandatory, that is for sure. The fight is all about timing, communication and spacing; sometimes, Gjallarhorn might even hinder you, instead of being able to properly coordinate when to push Skolas to the next phase based on his HP, one Ghorn rocket can push him beyond a threshold and you’ll be unprepared
  • Any rocket is great, better if it has tracking or grenades/horseshoes, and if you have a surplus of synths, use them freely on mobs if they are clustered

My Personal Loadout

  • I just swap a Fatebringer, Found Verdict and Hunger of Crota between my characters for the fight
  • I have been playing since launch and never got a Gjallarhorn, and my Fang of Ir-yut has been in my vault since January

(10) How long have you been doing this? How effective is this?

  • I have been doing this particular strategy since the patch. I join random groups from LFG having trouble at Skolas, and sherpa them through the fight using this strategy.
  • Some groups I’ve joined have been there for 3-5 hours, wipe after wipe. After explaining this strategy, we were able to kill him on the first try within a few minutes.
  • The video linked above is with two first-timers. It was their first attempts at Skolas. They found this strategy very easy as well, and even the Hunter found his new role as the solo-defuser “exhilarating but easy to learn”.

These are examples of past fights (you can actually check out my tracker page). You can see players with hundreds of kills, or DNF (did not finish).

I only had a few kills since I was only there for one attempt, where we managed to kill him using this strategy.

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