Outsmart the teleporting enemies and prevent Hobgoblin sniper fire from ruining your night with our guide to the wildest of Prison of Elders arenas.
Destiny: House of Wolves – Prison of Elders: Vex arena tips and strategies
Vault of Glass veterans should be well prepared to face this rare set of rounds that seems reserved for difficulty Levels 28 and 35. The Vex arena resembles a dishevelled concert stadium, a kind of Hollywood Bowl where the stage is one colossal teleportation plate. Tougher enemies Minotaur and Hobgoblin take their starting positions on the plate while Goblins stream through the outer doors. Spatial awareness is a key skill to acquire for the fireteam, never holding down one position for long – it’s the teleporting that’ll catch you by surprise every time if the Hobgoblins don’t drop you first.
The best cheese spot in the Prison of Elders Vex arena (spoiler: there isn’t one)
Unlike the other arenas, Vex teleportation prevents any one place from being favoured as a last stand. And likewise we’d go as far to say that spreading out works better than sticking together under most circumstances, in order to present Vex with more options than one when appearing right in front of a Guardian’s gun barrel. As with the Vault of Glass Oracles and Templar scenarios, one eye must be kept on distant Hobgoblins at all times using your favoured sniper rifle while dim but deadly-if-dismantled Goblins are dropped with as few close-range shots as possible. From the air-lock, the map fans out symmetrically left and right, with walled passages that you’re going to patrol. Though this seems like extremely obvious advice, the knack is truly to keep moving, keep shooting, never assume that your position is safe because, ‘Hello Minotaur? Wait! What!’
Best routes around the Vex arena
Anywhere that’s entirely exposed is a straight-up nope, and especially this means soaring through the air. Wherever you’re heading keep those boots on the ground, only using e.g. the Titan’s thrust to cover ground at speed while still low or a Warlock’s floating capabilities to avoid dancing around obstacles. Hunters take heed that the Vex are not much fooled by Blink jumping, at least not in our experience. Besides, your choices are likely restricted by the Grounded modifier meaning that more damage is taken while airborne. So there really is only one route available, which is the horseshoe shaped gallery facing out into the arena, offering two floors though only the ground floor is safe. However it is only safe if your fireteam collectively keeps thinning out the encroaching minions.
Beating the objectives – strategies and tactics
Thankfully the Splinter Mine Critical Objective seems set as Destroy rather than Disarm, meaning the same broad-strokes tactics apply to all waves. Owing to the multi-stage way that Vex crumble under fire, the whole army is an objective-based target in itself; the golden rules are to always score critical hits against Goblins and Hobgoblins by aiming for the belly, the latter to prevent them going berserk.
You can camp beside the doors from which the foot soldiers appear, using grenades and follow-up fire to take quickly out of the picture. However the last thing you want is to find yourself wedged between Hobgoblins with Line Rifles that are fatal after two hits, or bunched up Goblins preventing movement while a Minotaur joins the party. It’s too much to handle for anyone.
So, while the tunnels offer a permanent shield against Line Rifles, remember they are a death trap if you’re not paying attention. Keep moving, and keep moving. Also, keep moving. The only time you should venture into the open area is for a gifted Scorch Cannon or Heavy Ammo, and only then after ensuring that teammates have the snipers contained and encroaching Harpies are evaporated.
Tips for best load-outs to beat the Vex
If you’re in possession of the Void damage Hand Cannon Word of Crota, this is the first choice primary. It’s a solid performer at range and perfectly suited to drop Minotaur shields followed by headshots. If not, and some of you might still be thinking ‘if only’, Fatebringer is consistently wonderful. Belly-shot Goblins explode to damage those around them, and Harpies lose their Arc shields to make them instantly vulnerable. The Exotic Scout Rifle MIDA Multi-Tool is a boon if you’re a Hunter used to making high agility count in your favour. Basically, any precision damage tool is handy, so leave the Auto Rifles in storage. Your secondary is recommended to be a Sniper Rifle, and if you’ve Praedyth’s Revenge available its Firefly perk is a bonus. But since not everyone is at ease at sharp shooting from range, best equip the strongest shotgun in your arsenal as Fusion Rifles take too long to charge when rushed. The Vestian Dynasty sidearm is still being road-tested but enough Guardians already swear by it as a precision tool meets DPS. It is fun, so your choice. Go-to heavies are of course Gjallarhorn, though it’s not target tracking but blast radius that is better suited to get teammates out of trouble. So, Truth can be awesome too. We’re even tempted to ascend a Hezen Vengeance, owing to its MIRV Mini explosive shells. Velocity and Blast Radius, this is what you want.
Class tips for the Vex arena
Hunters can be outstanding in the Vex arena because agility counts above all else, and any class is vulnerable to Minotaur bombardments and Line Rifle one-shot kills. Since we’re telling everyone to stay on the ground, Void Walker Warlocks are an awesome ally, especially with armour that favours Intellect and Discipline to keep the Vortex Grenades and Nova Bombs refreshed. It’s so pleasing to see a Minotaur crumble in a swirl of purple mist. Yet again, though, at least one Defender Titan is the ideal to summon Ward of Dawn Blessings of Light as an attack strategy as well as ‘emergency tent’ to resurrect a Guardian that took too much on board. With a fireteam comprising only Titans you can be unstoppable, using each other’s Orbs of Light to chain Ward of Dawn. This is true of any game mode in Destiny, but here it significantly speeds up the clearing up process.
Go to our House of Wolves guide.