Destiny Safest Skolas Strategy

Destiny Safest Skolas Strategy by G0D_Mode

I’ll preface this by saying that I didn’t come up with this strategy, but after beating Skolas, was told to pass it along. I had multiple failed attempts at beating Skolas and was close to giving up and not bothering anymore. Through some dumb luck, I teamed up with a friend of a friend and was shown this awesome strategy.

Before entering the arena, designate each team member with a number: 1, 2, and 3. The number 1 team member will be the one that is in charge of dismantling the two farthest mines. This is where it is easiest with a Hunter using invisibility. The numbering order will be the order in which the Devouring Essence is passed off. So remember your number.

To start, this encounter is easiest with at least one Hunter capable of going invisible. It’s not impossible to do it without a Hunter, but it’s much harder.


After the cut scene, turn right and make a bee line straight for the area underneath the platform at the back right. It’s the small area with two entrances that servitors come out of. It’s highlighted in this image:

This will be your base of operations and “safe” house. It’s safe insomuch as no enemies will enter it save for the occasional Dreg or Vandal and a melee Captain that will come out of one of the two doors occasionally (when the adds are triggered). Just be on the lookout for that Captain and be mindful of the splash damage caused by Skolas’ scorch cannon. Just move to the other side of the small room if you start taking damage.


At the beginning of the fight, you’ll need to kill the servitors and damage Skolas enough that the servitors are no longer relevant. I believe that happens when Skolas has 70% health remaining, but I’m not entirely sure. It’s around that point at the very least.

Anyway, the first servitor will be waiting for you at the back right of the arena when you arrive. Kill it and do as much damage to Skolas as you can while the servitor’s bonds are broken. Keep sending one person out to find and kill the servitors (ideally a Hunter) until you no longer need to do so. The other two fireteam member’s should remain in the safe room.

Devouring Essence

Once Skolas’ health has been whittled down enough and the servitors are no longer relevant, Skolas will start marking players with the Devouring Essence. It’s at this point that the numbering order comes into play. The goal is to always stay in order when passing off the essence. When you have the essence, it is important to call out when you have 15 seconds remaining until death so the next person in line can make proper arrangements to take it from you. Any time between 5 and 10 seconds is a good time for the next person to take it.

NOTE: If the third person in the order dies and is unable to take the essence from the second person, the second person should die with the essence to reset the order. The first person in the order (or the third if they are res’d before Skolas marks his next victim), will then become marked and the order can be reset. The second person should never pass the essence off to the first person. That will throw everything off with this strategy.

For the experienced Skolas players, this may come off as too slow, but for those like me, the following methodology really allowed my team to control the pace of the remaining fight.

DPS Skolas

Damaging Skolas should only ever be done when the first person in the order has 15 seconds remaining on their essence. The object is to knock down Skolas’ health to the point where the first set of mines is summoned (when Skolas has 50% health remaining). If you can’t get the mines to summon within the final 15 seconds of the first person’s essence, STOP all DPS and cycle through the essence until the first person has it again.

ONLY damage Skolas when there are 15 seconds left on the first person’s essence. This method allows YOU to control when the mines come.

If you do not trigger the mines when DPS’ing Skolas, start to focus on the adds while you’re waiting for the essence to make it back around to the first person in the order. It may even be pertinent to skip the Skolas DPS to continue clearing adds. It is important to have as little adds present in the arena when the mines appear. If Skolas’ health is almost at the point where the mines are triggered, be careful not to damage him while clearing adds. In most cases, you’ll be able to clear all or the vast majority of the adds by the time the mines are triggered.

Mines: 1st Set

OK so you’ve got the DPS methodology down. Eventually you will hear “Dismantle mines”. If done correctly, this will occur when the first person in the order has less than 15 seconds left on their essence. As soon as you hear Variks say to dismantle mines, the first person passes the essence off to the second person and leaves the safe room and takes off along the right side of the map. In a perfect world, this will be a Hunter with invisibility. This player will be responsible for dismantling the farthest two mines in whichever order they spawn. The other two players are responsible for dismantling the mine that spawns directly on top of you on the platform. Player 1 does not ever dismantle the closest mine unless the other two are dead and it’ll prevent a wipe. Even if this mine is the first one to spawn, player 1 will still head out along the right side of the arena and be in position to dismantle mines the two farthest mines when they spawn. A good position to wait for these two mines is perched atop the high walkway at the other end of the arena just above where the servitor comes out of the door.

Similar strategy for Hunter defuse from /u/el2mador:

Players 2 and 3 can both dismantle the closest mine if they want or one of them can jump up there to do it. Just keep in mind that player 2 has the essence at this point and will likely need to pass it off to player 3 very soon. Defender Titans make dismantling this mine a piece of cake.

Mines: 2nd Set

OK so you’ve dismantled the three mines and are all back in the safe room. Keep up your essence transfer order and repeat the DPS Skolas methodology. Keep on top of the adds while waiting for the time to DPS Skolas. Just like before, you’ll hear “Dismantle mines” once Skolas’ health is down to 25%. This is the second and last set of mines that will need to be dismantled. Follow the same exact strategy as the first set. Always keeping in mind the Essence transfer times.

Note: there’s a chance that if the two farthest mines don’t spawn right away that the time will come that player 1 will need to take the essence from player 3 but will be out in the arena dismantling the mines. At this point, it’s best that player 3 just die with the essence safely under the platform and wait to be revived by one of the other two players. Don’t rush out and try to get to player 1 to allow them to take the essence.

Kill Skolas

Congrats, you’ve completed the hardest part of the encounter with Skolas. Now that all mines have been dismantled and you’re all back in the safe room, you can kill Skolas at your leisure. Remember to keep up your essence transfer regiment, keep an eye out for the melee captain and give Skolas all you got. No holding back at this point.


This method is easily doable with no Gjallarhorns at all. Albeit it’ll take a bit longer.

Always call out when you have 15 seconds remaining on your essence.

Always keep an eye out for the melee Captain that will come out of one of the doors of your safe room. This is a red health Captain.

Communicate! Let your team know if you’re about to die while dismantling mines. I was able to dismantle mine B when the rest of my team died and then was able to res them to continue with the strategy. I was only able to do this because Player 1 let us know that he wasn’t going to be able to make it to mine B.

Relax! This strategy is meant to give you as much control over the pace of the fight as possible.

I hope this strategy helps anyone that has been struggling to kill Skolas. I especially hope that this strategy gives hope to those without Gjallarhorns as they aren’t needed whatsoever for this!

EDIT: Just for those wondering, Skolas and the adds will stay in the little “courtyard” outside of the safe room making them easier to kill/DPS when the time is right.

EDIT 2: I didn’t mean to imply that the mines aren’t controlled by the players if it came across that way. I just wanted to highlight that this strategy allows the players to pace themselves and summon the mines when they’re ready.

EDIT 3: A good weapon loadout is your strongest primary that you’re comfortable with, a strong shotgun and your most powerful rocket launcher. The primary is used for clearing adds. The shotgun is used to team up on the melee captain and the rocket launcher is preferred over a machine gun because you want as much DPS as you can do in a very short period of time. You just don’t have enough time to shoot Skolas with a machine gun as his scorch cannon will make short work of you if you expose yourself for too long.

Also, this week can be a pain with the Lightswitch modifier. That melee captain becomes much more dangerous. As el2mador points out, the captain will spawn about every 10% of Skolas’ health taken off. If you start seeing new adds, the captain will be coming soon.

EDIT 4: As churros414 pointed out, the mine letters change depending on spawn order. So when I say “mines A and B” I mean the two farthest mines from the safe room and when I say mine “C”, I mean the mine that spawns right on top of the safe room on the platform.


  • Keeping with the Lightswitch modifier, ini5o made a good point that a Defender Titan with Helm of Saint-14 would be a good addition to the fireteam for this week. Keep an eye on the radar and when you see the captain about to emerge from one of the doors, throw up the blindy bubble and move away from the door. Makes dealing with that captain much easier while Lightswitch is active.
  • Good tip for the melee captain with the Lightswitch and Small Arms modifiers from Suicidal_pr1est: Stick him with a grenade when he first comes out. He will crouch down and not move allowing you to primary the crap out of him.

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