Destiny: How to defeat Warpriest challenge mode

By Matt Martin
22 December 2015 09:40 GMT

The first real test of a team’s mettle in the King’s Fall Raid has a much stronger bite in Challenge Mode. There’s next to no margin for error, so pay close attention.


Guardians knee-deep in the Destiny End Game are routinely ending Warpriest in record time lately; and likely within the first two rounds. It can get sloppy, but it gets done, then onward with your new Harrowed heavy or sniper rifle (but usually mouldering shards). In Challenge Mode you need to sharpen up, because the key is that Guardians may only take the Aura of the Initiate once.

The tl;dr is that your Initiates cannot die. But here’s the drill in a little more detail for posterity.

Choose your team


Your most effective six requires at least one Defender Titan, but this goes far better with a duo for combined of Blessings and Weapons of Light. Since you’re aiming to do this fast – over within the first two rounds, or with nothing much to worry about for the third – you’re wise to bring at least two Nightstalker Hunters running Black Hole Shadowshot for extended tether damage. Take your pick of the Warlock subclasses, but bear in mind that self-revive won’t solve the problem of passing along the Aura upon dying. That said, Sunsinger is the best choice for protection and adds control. DPS weapons of choice are high impact snipers, Sleeper Simulant or Touch of Malice for the brave.

Arrange your team


Again, the emphasis is on speed but for the sake of ‘in theory’ feel free to elect four Guardians as preferred Initiates. You’re really aiming to do this inside of three rounds, two if all goes to plan. You’ll have two Guardians take responsibility for right, middle and left as usual. The guys in the middle stand below Warpriest, watching each other’s backs as the adds leave their doors.

It doesn’t matter much where each class or subclass stands, but you should position your first Initiate on the right-hand side because the sequence is going to run right, middle then middle once more. It’s best if Initiates are not Hunters, making it easier for them to tether during the DPS stages.

Other than that, for the first two rounds at least, nominate one Guardian to read the glyphs from behind. Obviously it makes the most sense for this to be one of the guys already in the middle. When it gets to the third round there are Taken adds to deal with and the ‘mosh pit’ becomes a no-go area, but with two glyph stones already melted, the sequence is easy for all to see (two are huge flames).

Hive adds, then Knights


After stepping on the three plates to trigger the event, two-man teams simply clear any adds that fall into view, being careful not to kill the Adept Acolytes before their minions are down. Regular Acolytes enrage upon the death of their glorious leaders, gaining the ability to Eye Blast. The adds top-right have a tendency to take cover, but be sure to take them all because any that remain cause trouble during the DPS rounds. This is especially true at the right and middle, which is where all your DPS gets done for this Challenge. Assuming all is under control, take down the Hallowed Knights.

Aura of the Initiate, right side


Usually the Glyph Sequence gives you top left before tossing a coin between middle and right, but prepare for anything. The important point to remember is that whoever takes the Aura is heading to the right-hand side, to take cover behind the small barrier beside the activation plate. If you’ve only one Titan, Weapons of Light is required first of all, positioned a couple of steps behind the activation plate. A second Titan’s Blessings of Light is helpful but not essential. Get one Hunter’s tether on Warpriest asap, then headshot the boss hard as you collectively can. The Titan bubble lasts for the duration of the DPS round, but a second tether is helpful. Get ready to run from the Darkness Blast that follows immediately after the Oculus melts the first stone.

More Hive, more Knights, added Darkness


The second phase is almost exactly as before, with regular Hive to contain. The two-man teams at left and right need to take special care to avoid Warpriest’s newly acquired Darkness Blast. Since the next DPS round is taking place in the middle, be careful not to evaporate every single Acolyte and Thrall on the floor because they’re Aura fodder for your next Initiate.

Aura of the Initiate, centre-back 1


Weapons of Light is the best choice for experienced teams during this second DPS stage, and should be placed at the back by the entrance, allowing space for the team to position for best line of sight. The Initiate uses the barrier between the door and activation plate for cover while targeting adds. Time the Hunter’s tethers as best you can to get the full benefit and make every headshot count. There is a good chance Warpriest will crumble just within the final time extension if timed well.

Missiles, the Taken cometh


After absorbing the energy from the centre Glyph stone, Warpriest acquires the Taken Hobgoblin’s tri-missile powers – unleashed whenever he takes damage. This doesn’t trouble the team too much in the adds phase, since the focus is on Taken Hive that flood the room. In Challenge Mode there are more to contend with, and your guys in the centre may need additional support, forced back onto the stairs on the right-hand side to throw area-of-effect grenades to calm things down. Remember that the Taken Knights appear beside the three activation plates this time.

Aura of the Initiate, centre-back 2


Warpriest should be down to much less than a quarter energy. Victory is in sight – but not secured. Assemble everyone as before during the previous DPS stage, rallying in front of the entrance portal. The essential Titan bubble is now Blessings of Light, though an associate’s Weapons is also welcome. Pressure is on your third, ideally final, Initiate to extend the Aura while staying alive under missile bombardment. On the bright side, there are countless Taken adds for the Initiate to choose from. You may wish to instruct your Titan with the Blessings bubble to just stay out of harm’s way, because as soon as that Blessings bubble is gone, the whole team is vulnerable. Caution earns you the spoils.

This really should be the end, but if by some cruel judgement of fate the fight looks set to continue, the entire team needs to stand in the shadow of the last remaining Glyph stone to avoid being wiped by the Oculus glare. Warpriest gains the power of Golgoroth’s target tracking Axiom Bolts, and these are much easier to deal with than the missiles. Although it is desperate by now, you’re good as done.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our policy.

VG247 logo

Buy our t-shirts, yeah

They're far more stylish than your average video game website tat.

VG247 merch