Destiny: House of Wolves – Prison of Elders: Cabal arena tips and strategies

By Paul Davies
25 May 2015 11:14 GMT

Throw everything you’ve got at these heavily-armoured giants to crush their defences and create safe routes to the most treacherous Critical Objectives in the Prison of Elders.


Destiny: House of Wolves – Prison of Elders: Cabal arena tips and strategies

Single-minded teamwork combines with a varied Legendary/Exotic arsenal to clear overwhelming waves of walking-tank Cabal. These Mars brutes transform their hellish enclosure into a firestorm within seconds of arrival, serving rocket salvos with a side order of psychic shockwaves. Taking the battle to the trenches is a last resort against the shielded Phalanx and elusive Psion, meaning that Guardians must hole-up to lure the whole gang into a mosh pit then let loose precision fire.

The best cheese spot in the Prison of Elders Cabal arena


The shelter immediately outside the air-lock is one of two solid places to fight from as a 3-man unit, its proximity to Splinter Mine locations an added benefit. However, this is not nearly the stronghold offered by a blast-shielded and stair-cased refuge found in the far-left corner away from the air-lock. The second location is where Guardians stand the best chance of outlasting Val Aru’un. It’s also a slower but sure area to defend on the whole. Psion Shockwaves are the biggest threat after missiles from a Cabal Colossus, the effects travel far along the ground to the entrance of this chamber. Your chances of survival are greatly increased if you remain constantly aware of this threat. When faced with Critical Objectives, a darkened corner in the far-right of the map behind a small hut is the most effective starting position from which to disable Splinter Mines; risky but assured with RPGs in force.

Best routes around the Cabal arena


On level 28 solo Guardians can have fun running the gauntlet of trenches and stairways, taking a shotgun to drop a Psion in an instant while dodging shielded Phalanx and leaping Centurions. This kind of behaviour isn’t viable on higher levels, and as with the Hive arena your safe routes are those created by at least two guardians that buddy-up to clear the way while number three sends in RPGs. Generally it’s the smaller Psion enemies that thwart any heroics, their shockwaves forcing you out of cover to greet a barrage of missiles. They take a while to lock on however, and if you’re smart you can dash out of the way while they’re still occupied to reach that precious ammo drop or revive a fallen teammate. Safe routes are basically those where the largest number of enemies last fell.

As opposed to the Vex arena, last ditch attempts at losing heat are better taken on higher ground since the slower moving Cabal tends to congregate in the trenches. You’ve at least some time to react if a Centurion decides to give chase.

Beating the objectives – strategies and tactics


As mentioned above, the blast-shielded shelter (far left of the map from the air-lock) is where you opt to be deliberately pinned down. It’s not really the greatest place to offer the mobility required to reach Splinter Mines on a rapid count-down. Also, line of sight is poor to aid distant Guardians trying to disarm a mine solo even while invisible. With our backs against the wall, we learned the hard way that thinking on your feet while defending the far-right pillbox tower is the fastest way to survive a Critical Objective wave. You’re right on top of one of the Splinter Mine locations and in clear view of the one that appears centre stage. There’s also a cheese spot hidden beneath the stairs from which to distract enemies, though you’re relying entirely on invisible Hunters to do the dirty work above. Put it this way, on a Level 34 run through an experienced team found it best to stay above ground here with a healthy supply of rockets to stun if not immediately annihilate encroaching Cabal.

Tips for best load-outs to beat the Cabal


For the most part the Cabal are vulnerable to solar damage, meaning that Vision of Confluence plus Icebreaker plus Hunger of Crota (or any other Legendary-class solar RPG) is a great combination. Given the heavier shielded units’ tendency to kneel down and take cover, grenades that deliver area-of-effect damage can disable clusters of Cabal approaching beneath the stairways. Precision rifles of any description can then chip away at exposed shoulders, arms and legs to make Phalanx flinch for headshots. Sustained fire from Pulse Rifles, in particular Oversoul Edict, can stagger Psion majors long enough to prevent them unleashing those problematic shockwaves. We’re still running Guardians that swear by the explosive effects of a level 331 Fatebringer too, again capitalising on the Cabal group hugs. Guardians that volunteer to disarm Splinter Mines have some stories to tell involving The 4th Horseman shotgun else Found Verdict. You already know the ideal RPG.

Class tips for the Cabal arena


The Cabal arena is a great argument for a varied team comprising a Bladedancer Hunter, Sunsinger Warlock and Defender Class Titan. The Bladedancers can do the sneaking while invisible, though with so much splash damage and shockwaves they’re not invincible. Therefore, Solar Grenades from a high Discipline Warlock are a great ally to have to control the pace and keep enemies at bay. And, yes, there is always Fireborn to fall back on when Last Guardian Standing, only it’s more effective against the Cabal because of all that fire to chuck around while sprinting to one of the safe spots.

When holding that far-back corner a Ward of Dawn Blessings of Light gives the team confidence to pop in and out with rockets while Guardians of any class can take onboard disarming duties. Ward of Dawn plus the Starless Night perk of a Helm of Saint-14 allows Titans to stand right next to enemies and fire point-blank with shotguns, including the toughest bosses. There isn’t one single saviour to mention here, if you can gather a varied team this is the ideal though two of any class plus the Titan can muddle through. But even a Titan is weak without the super fully charged, lacking the agility of any Hunter and self-preservation smarts of a good Warlock.

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