The Taken aren’t just regular enemies going through an emo phase. Find out what you need to know to face off against Oyrx’s forces.
Destiny: The Taken King – get to know Oryx’s forces
Oyrx isn’t an ordinary Hive leader. In addition to his enormous command centre, the Dreadnaught, he leads a group of elite forces known as the Taken. Drawn from the best the Cabal, Fallen, Hive and Vex have to offer, the Taken have new abilities thanks to their reforging in Oryx’s inter-dimensional portals. Here’s the skinny on each of them.
You should never underestimate Psion, which can be deadly if they get close enough to use their cover-penetrating telekinetic blasts, but Taken Psion are something else. These little buggers reproduce at a terrific rate by splitting off doubles of themselves; if you see one, it’s almost guaranteed there’s at least one more – and if you don’t put them both down immediately, you’ll soon be overwhelmed.
The best defence is a controlled offence – snipe them down with rapid but precise headshots before they have time to respond by splitting. Spraying a group with body shots will only make them reproduce more quickly. If you do end up facing a pack, don’t let them pin you down in place – keep mobile so they can’t flank you.
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a regular Phalanx’s melee you know those big shields are good for more than blocking your fire. Taken Phalanx up the ante by using these shields to fire bolts of energy from a short distance, hitting very hard and in worst case scenarios knocking you off ledges and into the void.
The bolt takes a brief moment to charge so if you see a Phalanx plant its shield and a glowing orb appear, get into cover. Alternately, jump right over its head, or otherwise get behind it, and take it out from behind – they won’t move while charging the shot.
About as much of a nightmare as a regular Centurion can be, what with that thick elemental shield and hard-hitting weapons pack, but equipped with an even nastier boomstick than usual. Taken Centurion fire a slow-moving but inexorable single spherical missile that will track around cover to find you, and they’ll use this to keep you distracted while they pop out of view to recharge their shields.
Luckily, there’s an easy counter-measure – shooting the missile before it approaches will detonate it harmlessly, allowing you to redouble your attacks on the Taken Centurion foolish enough to attack you. In group battle situations it is safe to put cover between yourself and the Taken Centurion and leave it for last, as long as you keep an eye out for its occasional missiles.
Significantly more deadly than the vanilla Thrall, Taken Thrall move slowly but teleport short distances in a janky, disjointed matter which is a little unsettling to behold. They close the distance much more quickly than you’ll be used to.
You can’t mow down a row of Taken Thrall as you would their generic cousins; they teleport individually, evading your shots and breaking their formation. Take them seriously and pop each one down with headshots, focusing on them as individual foes rather than a pack.
Acolytes are nothing to worry about unless the come with Boomers – which Taken Acolytes sometimes do, unfortunately. A worse threat is their new ability to set small spherical turrets in midair. These’s Acolyte’s Eye units go up quickly and hit hard.
Luckily, they go down easily. Hit it with primary fire as soon as you see it, then pick off the Acolyte at your leisure. They don’t stray too far from their pets, which seems like a waste of what might otherwise be a deadly strategy; lob a decent area of effect attack at the Eye and you’ll likely hit its master, too.
A regular Knight can be a headache but a Taken Knight is a migraine. The key problem is a new weapon which lays down a line of area of effect solar damage, which can set you on fire. The Knight will almost certainly smash you with this if you get too close, but will also use it as a distance, hemming you into corners while it takes pot shots with its other weapons or leaves you to the Thrall.
You can jump the flames, happily, and Taken Knight have a short cooldown on this devastating new ability – so if you can trick one into dropping its silly firewall without damaging you, slip in close for a few shotgun blasts to the face. It won’t like that, but I don’t like being set on fire, so I think we’re even.
Apart from the annoyance of a new elemental shield type to consider, the most dangerous thing about Taken Wizard units is that they spawn Shadow Thrall to protect them.
You can either hit the Taken Wizard hard and deal with its babies afterwards, or use cover to take down the Shadow Thrall and pop a few hits at the Taken Wizard between waves – a slower option for those of conserving your Heavy Ammo. Otherwise, standard Wizard tactics apply. If you have friends to draw its fire, slipping out of cover to aim a few shotgun blasts at its face is always fun.
No kidding, one of the most dangerous units on the battlefield: the Taken Goblin can change the shape of an encounter in seconds by granting an impenetrable shield to another Taken unit. That’s fine when there are two Taken Goblins in an arena, but when the other unit is a Taken Minotaur or Knight, things get very nasty, very quickly.
Obviously, you need to kill the Taken Goblin as a matter of priority. This can be harder than it sounds as the shield charge distance is long enough that the Goblin can be in cover while the rest of the Taken pour down on you. Make the shielded unit a pariah and clear everything else in your path as you charge the Goblin, then quickly get into cover and reassess.
Hobgoblins are absolute shitheads and Taken HobGoblins are somehow worse. They won’t do that annoying shielding thing that makes their vanilla cousins so tiresome, but they will fire triple bolts of goodness knows what fresh hell at you, both at will and when they die.
The best way to deal with Taken Hobgoblins is to smash them as soon as you see them – but from a distance, and with a mind on your nearest source of cover. This will give you a chance to avoid their triple energy ball attacks. Don’t let them swarm you under any circumstances.
Taken Minotaur aren’t that big a deal. Like the standard unit they can hit hard, but I don’t remember ever seeing them do anything particularly concerning, and the usual Minotaur tactics of smashing their shields with rapid-fire weapons then following up with close range shotguns while they’re still firing their cannons works very well.
The key complicating factor here is the possibility of a Taken Goblin shield. if you see a glowing green Taken Minotaur, run – it will charge you, and it will hurt you. Take down its buddy then unleash hell.
Of all the shitty little bastards you are likely to curse at while playing The Taken King these are the most excrement-smeared. Vandal have always been massive jerks, what with their guns that magically shoot round corners and uncanny sniping accuracy, but Taken Vandal can cast a bubble like a Defender. Unlike a Defender, a Taken Vandal’s bubble heals enemies and lets them shoot out, while blocking incoming fire.
“Kill them before they can bubble” is the best response to Taken Vandal threats. Headshot them on sight, as a matter of priority, before they can offer support to the rest of their allies. If you end up with a nest of them all healing each other, try to use cover to get in close, then break into the bubble zone with shotguns. Don’t use rockets!
House of Wolves gave us a new respect for Captains but Taken Captains are really something else. Terrifying, resilient and unpleasantly populous, these leadership units fire enormous energy balls that tear across the battlefield, ignoring cover to not only smash your pitiful body but temporarily blind you.
I have found no better tactic to utilise against Taken Captains than to hit them with everything I have, on sight. If you know a Major or Ultra Taken Captain is coming, refill your heavy ammo, keep your Super and grenade charged, and be ready to go all out on it. The alternative is death.
There are a few other Taken units which behave the same as their vanilla counterparts or appear only in boss encounters – but you’ll know those when you see them, believe me.