A Supplement to our Destiny Achievement Guide
Are You Ready?
Destiny’s Vault of Glass is level 26 – your party should be made up of players at this level or higher, equipped with upgraded Rare or better weapons, and the ability to deal Void (purple) damage.
The Raid can be accessed at level 23, but any player below level 26 will incur a significant damage penalty from enemies – both to damage dealt and damage taken. Even a skilled player at level 25 will have to fight hard to stay alive and will create extra load for the rest of the team.
Make sure players have a selection of Void (purple) damage special weapons in their inventory. There are a few opportunities for shotguns and snipers, but don’t forget about the most versatile: the fusion rifle. Keep in mind that you’ll lose half of your ammo if you switch weapons within a slot, so plan to do this sparingly.
Speaking of ammo, everyone should also carry ammo synthesis (purchasable from the gunsmith) in case of emergencies. Might as well load up, what else are you going to spend your glimmer on?
Insure that your fireteam can (and hopefully will) communicate. Even once a party is familiar with the mechanics and strategies of the raid, communicating locations of enemies and calling for help is vital when trying to complete the Vault of Glass efficiently.
Finally, let the fireteam know that they should try not to die. This may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many avoidable actions result in death. In most phases of the vault there is a 30 second cooldown before a player can be revived (and none at all on hard mode). Don’t over extend yourself. A death is far worse than not getting one more kill. Get in cover and regenerate. If you’re having trouble, make sure your subclass is set to prioritize survivability.
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A Note About Hard Mode: This guide was written as a way to familiarize a team with the raid, and lay out basic strategies to effectively get through it without exploitation, on normal mode. On hard mode, enemies inside the Vault will be level 30, so your team should be at least level 29, and equipped with gear obtained from your previous raid playthroughs. In addition, fallen guardians cannot be revived in hard mode, and will only be resurrected after the team reaches a checkpoint. Although the mechanics will be the same, different strategies than those outlined here will need to be used to survive.
Progressing through the Vault of glass will reward you with four loot drop points, which can be awarded up to twice per week, once on each difficulty. There are also four raid chests, only one of which can be looted twice, and one that only appears when requirements are met. Completing the raid on hard mode first will award two loot opportunities at once.
Loot drop checkpoints and the locations of chests are detailed below in the guide. In addition to large amounts of ascendant materials, the vault also gives you a decent probability to receive exotic weapons and unique legendary weapons, gear, and cosmetic items.
It may be tempting to equip that shiny new weapon or armor you just got mid-way through the raid, but now is probably not the time to be using unfamiliar, un-upgraded gear that could potentially lower your light level!
There are five chests that have been found in the Vault, although one is simply a standard Venus chest. The remaining “raid chests” contain ascendant materials, and certain ones have a chance to contain gear instead. The gear-containing chests can be looted on both Normal and Hard modes. The second raid chest only appears if requirements are met during the preceding boss fight in Phase 4.
Note: Completing the raid on Hard mode first will award you with loot for both your Hard and Normal runs for that week. As an added bonus, both loot rolls will include items from the Hard-mode loot tables. The week resets Tuesday morning.
Phase 1 – Knocking on Hell’s Door
Maintain control of the three Sync Plates for a few minutes. Have two guardians defending each Plate – the two in the middle cover the forward spawns and peel off to defend the middle plate if needed. Praetorians are the only enemy type that can capture the sync plate. Progress will start to degrade a few seconds after one steps inside, kill him and recapture ASAP.
Your team spawns facing the large, circular door to the Vault. There are three Sync Plates located low left, middle, and high right of the door. Clear out the enemies and take some time to get a lay of the land before stepping onto the plates. In order to open the door, all three plates must be activated and held simultaneously while killing waves of enemies for about 2-3 minutes. During this time, a spire will slowly form in the middle of the area, but your progress will begin to degrade if you lose control of any Plate.
Once the Plates are fully activated (you don’t have to stay inside them while defending), enemies will spawn from four locations – directly ahead and behind of the low left plate, and directly ahead behind of the high right plate. The spawns will be goblins, hobgoblins, and Praetorians (powerful, purple-shielded minotaurs). These Praetorians are the only enemy type which can capture the Sync Plates, so they must be called out and focus fired on by the guardians in the vicinity.
Praetorians have no weak point, but can be briefly staggered by shooting off their face plate. After this happens, they will charge the nearest guardian, which can be used as a tactic to prevent them from heading towards the Sync Plate.
If a Praetorian does make it to the sync plate, the message “The Vex are taking control of a Sync Plate” will appear, and you only have a few seconds to take him down before “The Vex control a Sync Plate” appears and the spire will begin to degrade. Kill him ASAP and step back on that Plate!
The formation for this phase should have two guardians on each Sync Plate. Low left is better for close-range players, and high right for mid-range. The middle two guardians should get up close to the forward spawns, and support the further back spawns when possible. But, they must also be ready to peel off and defend their middle Sync Plate together if the forward-spawning enemies decide to head up there.
After the spire fully forms the door will begin to open and you have reached your first checkpoint. Checkpoints are saved personally, and in a group you will resume the raid from the furthest checkpoint that the fireteam leader has reached (until the weekly reset). You can reset your checkpoint by selecting the raid with X while on the map.
This one’s hard to miss.
Head down the path, sticking to the left, as you decend into the Vault. You will pass by the first loot chest near a ledge. Unlike other chests in Destiny, these don’t disappear shortly after opening, but it’s still a good idea to regroup near them and make sure everyone’s together. This one contains ascendant materials.
Phase 2 – Goblins and Fanatics and Confluxes, Oh My!
Vex will try to reach Confluxes that you must defend. There are three stages, each adds an additional Conflux. Maintain the teams of two. Fanatics leave a puddle when killed that will mark you if stepped in. Cleanse yourself in the center of the arena or you’ll die. Just avoid the Templar lurking in the back, you can’t damage him yet.
After continuing downwards you will reach a stone platform overlooking the next arena. Once someone jumps down, a spire-like Conflux will appear – and vex will begin spawning in an attempt to sacrifice themselves by reaching it.
A few vex (4 per conflux per phase) can sacrifice themselves before you fail, so don’t get all heroic just to stop one.
In addition to goblins, hobgoblins, and minotaurs, you will have to deal with a new enemy type. Fanatics will leave a pool of green goo behind when killed. Although they are not too strong (and have a similar weak spot as goblins) touching their goo will “mark” you. Periodically during this fight the message “Ritual of Negation” will appear – and any guardian who is marked at this time will instantly be killed. So don’t get the goo on you. But what if you do? In the center of the arena there is a glowing white circle which will “cleanse” you when stepped in. There is often a lot of ammo down there as well, but don’t linger. The cleansing circle can only be used a limited number of times before disappearing.
When marked, you will be notified with status text above your super bar, your screen will be tinted green, and other players can see a red haze above your head.
Note: In the back of the arena you will also notice the Templar (a huge Hydra) hanging out with an impenetrable shield. He can shoot you (especially guardians defending the middle lane) but you can’t damage him until later, so just avoid his fire for now.
This phase is broken up into three stages, each time increasing the number of Confluxes that must be defended. First the center, then the left and right, and finally all three at once.
In between each stage the Templar will “call for his legions” and a few major harpies will spawn on each side, while the middle lane gets flooded with fanatics.
Although the confluxes change, the team formation doesn’t need to. Maintain teams of two, mid-range left, middle, and close range right. A single guardian can usually handle the middle lane alone, so their second can float left and right helping when needed.
Phase 3 – The “Kicking Hot Oracle Butt” Phase
Listen for and destroy the Oracles as they appear or your whole team will get marked. Then clear out the Hobgoblin snipers while continuing to kill additional enemies until the next wave of Oracles.
At this point there will be a short musical interlude, and you will be shown the possible position of seven Oracles. Oracles are glowing cubes of light which play a distinct note when they appear and grow in size the longer they are alive. They should be killed as soon as they are located – if they are not, the entire fireteam will be marked and become susceptible to the Ritual of Negation until cleansed. Oracles can be killed quick enough by a single guardian, but try to focus fire if you can. Stay in teams of two like the previous phase and keep a close eye on your section, while calling out their positions in other sections if you see their glow from a distance.
Once the first wave of Oracles is down, additional enemies will begin spawning – including Hobgoblin snipers on the far edges of the map. At this point a few guardians (including the middle lane floater) should be equipped with long-range weapons and begin to engage the snipers while the other players continue what they were doing. As long as you don’t stand still, the snipers aren’t much of a threat, but they’ll tear you up if you forget.
Continue doing this for five waves of seven Oracles each, and then take a breather.
Phase 4 – Honey, I Shot the Templar
Somebody pick up the relic, charge it by killing enemies, then hit the Templar with it’s Super. Everyone else breaks out of their bubble and proceeds to wail on the Templar. Step inside the beacons to prevent the Templar from teleporting, and watch out for occasional Oracles.
A relic will appear in the center of the map that can be picked up by a guardian. Not only is it a very powerful weapon, but it can cleanse nearby teammates if marked and is the key to removing the shield from The Templar. If the relic is dropped, it must be picked up within a few seconds or the team will wipe. This makes a Warlock with self-resurrection a good choice for a relic holder.
The relic may look like a shield, but don’t call it that. There are already a number of different shields in the game that you could be referring to, so call the relic a relic.
Here are the default controls when holding the relic:
LB: (Hold) Create cleansing shield. This must recharge before use and should be held for the minimum amount of time to cleanse the party. During the Templar fight, using the cleansing shield also drops a bubble shield.
RB: Quick melee. Can be used repetitively, but often inferior to the Shield Bash.
RT: Shield bash melee. Rush forward and deal a large amount of damage. Your primary attack.
RT: (In air) Ground slam attack. Useful when 2+ enemies are nearby, and on stairs when shield bash isn’t working.
LB+RB: Shoots a burst of light which does huge AOE damage. Takes a moment to charge up. Must be used to temporarily disable the Templar’s shield.
Once the relic is picked up the fight begins, and the relic holder needs to get to a safe spot and begin killing all the nearby enemies so as to quickly charge their Super Attack. Once charged, fire it at the Templar (similar to a very long range Warlock’s Nova Bomb), being careful not to hit any Harpies or walls in the way.
With a successful hit, the boss’s shield disappears, but players may also become trapped in detention bubbles. These bubbles must be broken before they can be fired out of, so don’t go launching rockets prematurely and blowing yourself up. If your fireteam groups together, you can break the shared bubble quicker and begin hitting the boss earlier. Everyone should direct maximum DPS at the Templar’s central eye (don’t forget grenades!) during this time while the relic holder builds up another Super.
Leaving a detention bubble will kill you in a few seconds if you don’t break it quickly. As the relic holder, be careful not to Shield Bash yourself outside of it.
After a short period of time the Templar will “Attempt to Teleport”. His two possible destinations are marked with beacons, which can be blocked by stepping in them until they disappear. If blocked from teleporting, the Templar’s shield will not regenerate, but he will call in additional minotaurs. Blocking the Templar from teleporting is optional, but will allow your team to kill him much quicker.
If you take too long on this boss fight, the Templar will become enraged. If this happens, many additional enemies will begin spawning and a whole lot of damage will start coming your way, quickly wearing down even a strong fireteam.
Note: Successfully blocking the Templar from teleporting during the entire boss fight will allow you to access a bonus raid chest!
If the boss does manage to teleport,his shield will go back up and it’s simply a matter of rinse and repeat.
During this encounter Oracles will occasionally appear. Note that the cleansing circle in the middle of the arena is no longer available in this phase, the only way to cleanse is to spend a moment under the relic’s cleansing shield. This means that it is very important to get the Oracles – it is difficult for the relic holder to cleanse everyone when spread out.
The Templar has a quick and fatal melee attack. Don’t get near him.
If you don’t mind passing up on a raid chest, a sound strategy for this fight is to group everyone together in a safe spot, allow the relic holder to kill adds and build up supers quickly, and ignore the oracles, simply cleansing everyone at once. As long as the team is maximizing DPS while the Templar’s shield is down, you should kill him around the time he enrages.
Attempting to prevent him from teleporting is another matter, and requires the team to spread out and have specific roles. Divide the team in half, three on each side, left and right. One guardian on each side focuses on killing enemies, one on occupying the teleportation beacon, and the third damaging the boss and helping where needed. On the right side the relic holder should be the minion killer, and a shield titan is very useful as the teleportation preventer. The left side is a bit less intense, and the third guardian on this side can hang out in the back of the arena damaging the boss.
The Templar will cycle through the same two teleportation points, each on a raised platform on the left and right. The left side is flat enough that a guardian can strafe to avoid fire while standing on the beacon. The right side, however, is frustratingly lumpy and hard to survive on without some sort of shield.
The Templar will attempt to move out of the way of certain grenades (notably the Warlock’s damage over time ones). You can use this to your advantage, and force the Templar into a more manageable spot, such as directly to the left of the right teleportation beacon.
Down the secret passageway in the Templar arena. Only appears if you prevented him from teleporting throughout the fight.
Once the Templar is defeated, head up the first set of stairs on the left side of the arena (towards where the enemies were spawning). When standing on the landing between stairs, look to the right and about ten feet up this wall is a hole that can be jumped up into. There is a chest up here, although it is only a standard one and contains the typical contents you’d find on Venus.
In this room is also a small passageway that leads down to a raid chest that only appears if you prevented the Templar from teleporting during the entire boss fight. Alternatively, you can go through the circular door that has opened behind where the Templar was. This door leads to the big drop, which is fun, but prevents you from reaching the bonus raid chest.
If you take the secret passageway you will have to traverse many steep drops before passing through a room with a well-lit wall. Instead of continuing to the left, look to the right to find a very small, dark entryway which leads to a room where the chest (if the requirements were met) is hiding behind some Vex scaffolding. This chest, like the next one, can provide ascendant materials OR gear, and can be looted on both Normal and Hard difficulty, once per week. (Looting on Hard first will provide you with the contents of both difficulties at once.)
Jump up into the cave to the left of where you land.
Players who took the secret passageway will drop down directly at the entrance to this chest room. If instead you took the big drop, take a look to the left of where you land. Look up the center of this rocky alcove to find a gap that can be jumped up to. Use the ledges to jump up and land in it, walk through and follow the cave to the room with the chest. This one can contain ascendant materials OR gear, and can be looted on both Normal and Hard modes. (Looting on Hard first will provide you with the contents of both difficulties at once.)
Hug the right wall of the Labyrinth to find a room with a raid chest in the center.
There are a few pathways that can be used to reach this room on the right, the most direct is to follow the right wall until you enter the room with the chest on a platform in the center. The safer alternative is to follow the river until it terminates in a small alcove which you can hide in. Turn around and wait until a Gorgon heads away from you to the left, and then follow behind him (you’re now hugging the left wall) keep going straight and you’ll see the entrance to the room with the chest.
Phase 5 – The Gorgons’ Labyrinth: Stealth Action Redefined
Once you’ve got your chests, quickly sneak forward to find a cave that leads out. If anyone gets seen, everyone dies. Causing the team to wipe will reset the timing of the Gorgon’s patrols.
You may have noticed by now that if anyone is seen by a Gorgon, the entire party dies. The main way your team will be detected is simply by wandering across their line of sight. However, firing a shot, using abilities, etc. also has a chance of alerting nearby Gorgons. You can sprint and use your jumping ability fairly safely if none are nearby. Gorgons also have trouble finding you if you’re up on a rock, so use these vantage points to get a lay of the land and watch the Gorgon’s movement patterns. The pitch of the sound they make will rise as they become closer to detecting you.
You can kill the Gorgons if the entire team focus fires them down as soon as they are spotted. If the Gorgon is killed before about 7 seconds are up, the team will NOT die from being detected. However, they have extremely high health and firing shots will alert any nearby Gorgons as well, so it’s much easier just to avoid them.
You will most likely want to stick together at this point, as compact as possible, but be mindful not push each other off of rocks or interfere with other’s jumps.
You can reliably reset the timing of the Gorgon’s patrols by getting seen and causing the team to wipe. The following path assumes you have just respawned at the checkpoint…
From the start of the cave, head down the center to find the first Gorgon heading away from you. Creep behind him and he will eventually turn to the right and behind a rock. At this point continue forward-right and hop over the low point of the large rock formation ahead of you. If your team is still together at this point, keep going! It’s much easier to finish this section all in one go. Continue heading forward and begin to hug the right wall. You will curve around right and wind up in a small cave that leads out of the labyrinth. Don’t go straight for the well lit area or you will miss the cave entrance.
Phase 6 – Jump(ing)
Head down and right to the lowest nearby platform. From here, time your jump so that you can kick off one of the disappearing platforms part way through and land on the ledge on the far side.
Given that everyone on the fireteam either has a jetpack or can jump in mid air, this foray into platforming isn’t as difficult as it may seem at first. Take a look across the chasm to find your destination – a small ledge on the right side of the wall ahead. The series of stone platforms appear and disappear in a repeating pattern leading down to this ledge – but most of the time it’s easier to take a shortcut.
Look down and to the right and drop down a few steps to the second to lowest one. From here a titan or warlock can actually make it to the other side in one full-burn leap, but it’s safer to wait for a platform to appear mid-way across and quickly get a fresh jump before heading for the other side. You can memorize which platform appears before the one you want to land on and jump early.
Remember, certain weapons can be equipped, and some subclasses can be changed around to allow for greater mobility.
Be careful not to interfere with other player’s jumps, and take your time with those who have trouble. If a player makes it to the far platform but dies on landing, they can be revived on the spot (respawning will result in having to cross the chasm again). Head forward along the skinny ledge, and be aware that there are a few spots where you will have to jump outwards and back to avoid falling off. Meet up in the dark cave off to the right which contains the doorway to the final arena.
Phase 7 – The Gatelords Ate My Homework
Two portals, entered one at a time. One team keeps the door open, the other goes inside. Kill the gatelords, take the relics, stay cleansed, then defend the central conflux. Watch for Oracles outside.
The final two phases of the Vault take place here, so get familiar with the area. Upon entering, your first task should be to clear out the major snipers (keep strafing!) and goblins, followed by the single gatelord who’s teleporting around. Additional goblins will continue to spawn but don’t pose a threat.
There are two gateways in this area, both opened by a single Sync-Plate in front of each. The left gateway leads to a small Mars environment, and the right to a small Venus environment. Decide early how you will identify these, as it will come into play later.
There is a gatelord (along with additional enemies) in each portal. After the gatelord is killed, a relic will appear behind him. The team should split up and grab the relic from one portal at a time, the portal team going through and the outside team keeping it open by maintaining control of the Sync-Plate.
But here’s what makes this difficult:
- After the first gatelord is killed (either one) a conflux will appear in the center of the outside arena and a steady stream of Praetorians will begin spawning trying to sacrifice themselves to it.
- In addition, if a Sync-Plate is lost while the portal team is inside, red Oracles will appear outside above the two portals which must be killed or the team will wipe.
- And finally, any guardian who steps inside a portal (even if it’s a member of the outside team accidentally touching it) will be marked. This mark slowly causes the player’s screen to go black, resulting in eventual blindness.
So let’s do this. The three members of the outside team should be ready to deal with shielded minotaurs, as well as quickly killing the Oracles above the portal if they lose a plate. The remaining three will be the portal team, two of which should be familiar with handling the Relic. Only open one gate at a time and make sure the portal team is ready to enter, otherwise more enemies will spawn and spread out inside. Focus fire enemies and move forward, ready to grab the relic at the top of the platform once the Gatelord goes down.
Like other Hydras, the Gatelord will fall to the ground and explode once killed. Give that smoldering wreckage a wide berth when running to grab the relic.
As soon as the relic is picked up, head straight for the exit (which is hopefully still open). If you move fast enough, no one will go blind inside the portal and you can simply cleanse once everyone has exited. Pick a meeting spot (like the nearby Sync-Plate) to group together and cleanse. You are constantly marked when inside the portal, so the final cleanse must be done outside anyway. The relic holder must exit last.
A note about exiting the portals: The gateways are a bit finicky at the time of writing, so there are a few best practices to insure you make it through. Go one at a time, not sprinting, through the center and do not stop part way. Continue forward until you reach the Sync-Plate and wait to be cleansed. Remember that the relic holder needs to exit last.
So the portal team is outside and cleansed, and things start getting crazy. Everyone should now shift to other gateway, and do the same thing over again. The only difference is that the outside team now needs to spread themselves thin – defending both the new Sync-Plate and the conflux that has appeared in the middle.
If the outside team can’t handle the defense of the central conflux, the first relic holder can swap places with a member of the outside team and defend it easily. But – this means the team going into the second portal will have to move fast to avoid going blind!
Once the portal team exits and cleanses with the second relic, everyone shifts to the center to join in defense of the conflux. A lot of enemies will be getting thrown at you from all sides, but with the full fireteam and two relics on your side it shouldn’t be too difficult to hold for the short amount of time required.
Phase 8 – Atheon, We Hardly Knew Ye’
Atheon will randomly teleport three guardians into one of the two portals. The outside team stays on high ground and opens the proper gateway while the portal team takes out seven Oracles before exiting. “Time’s Vengeance” will then be activated for 25 seconds, Shoot and grenade for maximum DPS.
Atheon, the final boss, will appear in the center of the arena shortly after completing the previous phase. Although you can begin to damage him immediately, it’s important you stay alive while Atheon is firing at you. Have cover nearby and beware the splash damage.
Throughout the fight Atheon will randomly teleport three guardians into one of the two portals. He will then begin summoning Supplicants, which are fast-moving Harpies that will self-destruct in your face if they get too near. Those who remain outside can jump onto pillars at this point (or on top of the gateways) and pick off the harpies from relative safety. The boss won’t fire on you at this point, so the outside team’s job is simple and important: keep the harpies under control, and the correct gate open. Stay spread out and on high ground.
Once teleported, the randomly formed portal team should follow a specific sequence of events:
- Pick up relic, call out location. Someone pick up the relic and call out which area you are in, so that the outside team can make sure the correct portal stays open. Remember: Left / Mars and Right / Venus
- Kill minions ASAP. Relic holder heads down the stairs to engage the few enemies that will be there. Supporting guardians throw grenades, shoot, or use a super attack to make this quick, but don’t go down the stairs.
- One guardian on Oracles as soon as they appear. As the enemies are getting finished off, the first Oracle will appear above the top of the stairway (look up!). One guardian should immediately begin firing on it.
- Two guardians on Oracles, begin cleansing. By this time the ground enemies should be dead and the relic holder can head back up the stairs and cleanse. The second guardian can also begin to focus on Oracles
- Move forward, taking out Oracles. Six more Oracles will spawn, progressively farther away, forming a path to the exit portal. Move as a group focusing them down, while the relic holder keeps everyone cleansed.
- Exit and cleanse. Once the seventh Oracle is killed, the portal team exits through the portal (relic holder last) and cleanses at the Sync-Plate as before.
- Reposition, damage boss, do it again. The relic holder can hold up his shield indefinitely, so the entire team can group together and damage the boss without taking damage.
After the seventh Oracle is killed in the portal, the entire team gets buffed by “Time’s Vengeance”. This lasts for 25 seconds and substantially increases damage output (4-5x), as well as lowers all of your cooldowns. These 25 seconds are the team’s opportunity to do a great deal of damage to the boss, firing into his critical spot and throwing grenades like crazy. If the outside team has done a good job clearing the Supplicants there shouldn’t be too many left – otherwise assign a player to stay on watch and kill the remaining minions.
It may be tempting to use your super attack while Time’s Vengeance is active, but shots and grenades will damage the boss much more.
While the buff is active, the relic holder can hold up his cleansing shield indefinitely. This is a good opportunity for the entire team to group together under the protection of the shield (it can be fired out of). A good place to do this is on the platform in the center of the arena. Once Time’s Vengeance ends, the relic will disappear, so be ready to scatter when the shield disappears! Atheon will fire a few more shots before teleporting three more random guardians.
The final upgrade to the Titan’s shield provides a temporary damage boost to anyone who steps inside it, which stacks with Time’s Vengeance. Position this shield behind the relic holder and guardians can dip in and out.
Once players begin to have experience on both teams everyone should start getting in the groove and quickly fitting into their places once teleported. After around five cycles the boss’ health should be getting low. Keep on it and Atheon will go down before he enrages.
Upon beating Atheon, your team may experience a glitch where the game will not end. Even though the final screen won’t show up, you can safely exit to orbit and will still get your loot.
Congratulations! Now on to hard mode!