Thursday, 20 October 2016

BattleStrats Vs Aksis - A Strategy Refined

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
As per the BattleStrats mantra, we have been honing our Aksis Phase 2 strategy. Collectively we have now got a very firm grasp of the fight and we can knock the Normal mode fight in one go!

BattleStrats Aksis Phase 2 - Strategy Overview & Kill

The most important points to consider here are:
  • Jordy had NEVER even attempted this fight before
  • We made a handful of mistakes but still succeeded
  • Explaining the strategy and killing Aksis took us less than 20 minutes
Practice (or rather deliberate/perfect practice) has been the secret to our success. Let's look at how exactly we practiced...

Know Your Enemy
Getting to know all the details on the opponents you are facing is invaluable. For the majority of us this will consist of doing research on Reddit and Youtube. Notice at the start of the fight I only explain the key points as everyone has already seen/read about the fight.

Muscle Memory
Another great thing to note from the start of the video is how we practiced the empowerment slams before we started the fight. Building up that muscle memory makes it a lot easier to pull off when the chips are down.
Master the Fundamentals
The raid isn't something to take lightly. You need a firm grasp of all your Destiny basics to be able to tackle it successfully. This means you absolutely have to learn how to jump with your character and have good communication skills.

This is the most important factor of the fight. If you get this right then you are most of the way to kill Aksis. When people are empowered they must call it out and then figure out who is going where themselves. As mentioned above, you have to take ownership of a position. Remember if you are on left/right then you can happily cover the middle as well.

The first time people do this fight it will be confusing and communication can be a bit flaky under stress. I fully expect people to get used to this and refine their callouts in future runs :)

Use Cover, Stay Alive
One thing that shouldn't have to be said but is surprisingly common is that everyone should be able to make full use of cover and generally NOT DIE :)

Knowing where to find cover is key here. If you are in the middle then use the left/right pillars by the stairs going down into the pit. On the left/right side you need to use the pillar by the stairs going up towards the "Servitor Discharge" platform.

As Aksis teleports around the arena, you want to adjust yourself to ensure there is no line of sight between you and him. This way the SIVA clouds will end up hitting the otherside of the cover you are using :)

If you are finding yourself always running self-rez then you need to rethink what you are doing. Find out what it is that YOU are doing to get yourself killed and fix it. Remember, Guardians make their own fate.

Aksis has over 10M HP so making the most of your damage phases is incredibly important. Remember that you can damage Aksis anytime after his shield goes down. This means getting those body shots whilst he is being slammed/his head rears up.

Before the Hard mode raid came out, the "best weapons for DPS" consisted of:

  • Canon
  • Dark Drinker
  • Sleeper Simulant (headshots)
  • Black Spindle (non-stop headshots)
  • Gjallarhorn and High/Very-High Impact Sniper headshots.

The higher your light level, the more damage you do with the canon. This means your party wants to assign the highest light Guardians to take the canons. Remember to fire and hold charge until you activate the higher damage (only a few seconds needed). However if you have 4 or more Guardians that are 375+ then you might want to account for the Exotic weapons that people have. My Dark Drinker is a beast so I regularly defer the canon to someone else :)

Adaptation - Mistakes Will Be Made
An important skill to have is the ability to adapt. Unless you have become the ultimate master, mistakes will always be made. These are some typical mistakes that happen in this encounter:

  • The Captain nails you.
    • Lesson learnt: reduce risk!
    • Use a grenade to suppress/disorient the Captain
    • Sticky grenades will make them duck
    • Engage the Captain from distance (Gjallarhorn and Nova Bomb are ideal for this)
    • Ask for help from another Canon Runner (1 charged shot will kill the Captain).
  • Shanks flank you.
    • Set yourself up to shoot them as they come in.
    • Always clear Shanks before you engage the Captain (reduce risk).
  • Empowered out of position.
    • The last bomb thrower needs to call it out so that empowered have time to position themselves.
    • Remember: it is better for empowered people to get in position early then it is for them to get a few extra seconds of DPS.

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