Well folks, the end of an era is upon us. By tomorrow, a huge chunk of content from the past 3 years will be removed from Destiny 2 to
be repackaged and sold back to us later make way for the new DLC. With it goes 5 raids (okay fine, 3 raids and 2 raid lairs), more than we ever had in Destiny 1. About 3 and a half years ago, I did a series of posts ranking the various Strike, Arena, and Raid bosses based on a simple question: How much of a pain in the ass are they to fight? Far from the most objective criteria, but worth considering nonetheless. Well, I figured I’d do the same again at the last minute before over half the list becomes completely irrelevant. So:
11) Kalli- Of all the bosses in both Last Wish and D2 raids in general, Kalli is by far the least painful. Very straightforward mechanic- look at symbol, find plate with symbol, stand on plate with symbol, shoot bitch in face, hide in closet, repeat. Kalli herself teleports around the arena, but is more of a nuisance than a threat. Occasionally the stars will align and she’ll fus-ro-dah you off your plate as it shifts or into a kill zone, but other than that the worst that happens is when your team doesn’t have a proper system for the doors and you die repeatedly during DPS. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve wiped more than 3-4 times total on genuine attempts if we weren’t doing challenge, so I feel comfortable putting her at the bottom.
10) Morgeth- Narrowly edges out Kalli on account of one thing: The whole orb-pickup mechanic, despite being semi-consistent and predictable, is Confusing. As. Fuuuuuuck. Literally every group I run this with has a different strat, and inevitably someone screws up the order or the person who’s supposed to cleanse doesn’t get there in time. Fortunately, even on a scuffed run there’s a mile-wide margin for error, and Morgeth has embarrassingly low HP for a huge Taken Ogre, so once you get to DPS pretty much anything will gut him without even needing to aim. Side note: I wonder if there’s any relation between Morgeth and Vorgeth or if Bungie just got lazy with boss names.
9) Argos- BIG SCARY HYDRA. Who was designed around a two-primary sandbox. This is the only raid I did with any consistency in Y1, so I have the most experience with him under the old system. The hard part for my teams, ironically, was DPS. I’m pretty sure you were supposed to be doing most of your damage with the skulls, so your team had to go out of their way to stockpile extra ones where you were doing DPS. I had a lot of runs end with literally fractions of a second to spare when we killed him. Still, everything else was manageable, the previous encounter was worse, and he’s a total pushover now, so I’ll put him right here. Side note: Tethering the metric fuckton of Harpies with old Orpheus Rig was one of my favorite parts of D2 raids.
8) Insurrection Prime- Metal Gear Prime is one of the coolest bosses in Destiny by far. He’s one of the few Raid bosses that’s an active threat, and you can actually play against his attacks if you can target the glowing orange bits. Tanks in a raid is still awesome (since the Drake appears so sparingly in this game despite being plastered all over the pre-release marketing). And of course, he’s still cheeseable because you’re that bad at one of the easiest bosses in the game. The painful parts: The sniper Vandals all over the rooftops. The inconsistent movement and aggro. People not understanding CAP. People not understanding that CAP changes during DPS. The fucking shield generator in his sweaty robot armpit. There’s enough here to put him over Argos, but he’s otherwise the least painful of the final bosses.
7) Shuro Chi- I like the idea of a boss who you have to face with burst DPS in several segments, rather than just one long, protracted Whisper-dumping phase while the boss stands there like a lemon. Shuro Chi herself is another low-threat boss (unless you’re doing her challenge, which catapults her to the top of this and every list), and the hordes of ads are a blast to tear through with chained supers. Of course, if you’ve done this fight you know how absolutely stupid the puzzle phases can be. I’ve bitched in the past about how randomness can kill raid teams, especially pick-up groups. Sometimes you get through both puzzles no problem, sometimes you get multiple repeated plates per room, one person steps on the wrong plate and suddenly everyone’s panicking, trying to swap places, jumping over plates and locking themselves out of them early, someone dies cause they stuck to their plate too long, your ad control players try jumping on and now it's too late your team just wiped. These situations can happen multiple times in the same attempt, and that sort of randomness can make Shuro Chi a major pain in the ass if you’re unlucky. But the opposite is true as well, and the rest of the encounter is pretty easy, so she’ll round out the bottom half.
6) Calus- Probably my least-faced Raid Boss in D2, honestly. Didn’t have much time to raid in Y1, even less time to be properly equipped for it, so I didn’t get a Leviathan run in until well into CoO, and even then we just skipped straight to Calus and I didn’t do the full raid until MoT last year to get Acrius. So uh, now that I’m done discrediting myself: Calus (and Leviathan in general) set the trend of randomized symbol callouts, one of my biggest pet peeves in D2 raid design. Fortunately, you really only need 3-4 people who know what they’re doing, the rest can just be stuck on ad control, which honestly I’ve done every time. Once you get to the damage phase, even in the Y1 sandbox it was easy to just melt him with Coldheart/Nighthawk. Honestly don’t have much else to say since I don’t have as much experience with this boss as I should, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and put him right in the middle. Seems fitting for the first raid boss to be there as a sort of benchmark.
5) Constipated Mind- Supplicants. It had to be Supplicants. Just… Supplicants. Despite my hatred of blind callouts, I pretty much always take the eyes team because it's easy. The weird, inconsistent Minotaur spawns are annoying, but it's easy enough to spray them down when you do find them. The Constipated Mind itself is pretty easy to DPS, especially with Divinity. But SUPPLICANTS. Most of my deaths, wipes, and failed runs have come from going around a corner and getting blown up by a Supplicant, or a horde of the running me down when I have no teammates nearby. At least in Atheon you could hide on top of a pillar and they couldn’t hurt you, but good god are they awful here. As for the rest of the encounter: It's a bunch of moving parts that require a bit of precision (few things are more irritating than running out of your buff as your teammate is running the mile from center to the relay), but it's nowhere near as punishing as the rest of the top half of this list. Oh yeah, and for some reason the giant Harpy has a stomp attack, because Bungie is just so proud of that revolutionary mechanic every boss gets.
4) Big Chungus- This reminds me of the Oryx fight, on account of just how many moving parts there are throughout this fight. You got the waves of mixed blessed/normal ads. You’ve got the Crystals constantly rotating around the room. You’ve got the Ogres. You’ve got the mini Big Chungus that requires both players to melee at the same time, then shoot the boss’ hand while he’s attacking to get him to kill it. And don’t forget to swap your buff every minute, and don’t forget to refresh your other teammates’ buffs after they melee their mini Big Chungus. And then you gotta go to whichever boss is the ‘real’ one, and then you gotta remember to destroy the Crystal which is still up, and then you gotta remember to switch again, and then you gotta shoot his hands, and then not shoot his face, and then, and then, AND THEN- And on top of all this, the entire raid is built around three teams of two, which gives a higher chance for one team screwing up, and makes it harder to support a team that’s struggling. So even if you and your partner are doing fine, one guy screwing up can screw the whole team harder here than most other encounters. Raid bosses are meant to be culminations of a Raid’s mechanics, and Big Chungus does so in one of the most painfully literal ways.
3) Riven- Hoo boy am I gonna catch some flak for putting her at number 3 (I said the same about Atheon at number 8 in D1). Yes, I know if you do her legit she’s one of the most mechanically complex bosses in both Destiny games. There’s blind callouts, symbol reading, buffs, debuffs, ordered ad clearing, platforming, and tiny mistakes will instantly wipe the team. But it should go without saying (even though I’m gonna say it anyways) that she’s just so ridiculously easy to cheese. At least pushing off Atheon relied on his not-always-consistent movement and having a lot of AoE grenades, and pulling the cable on Crota involved a lot of waiting while you reconnected the host. Riven is just ‘stand here, dump rockets/grenades/THE GUILLOTINE down her throat.’ Followed by some basic platforming. Even if you get the wrong side you just use the ‘Joining Allies’ spot to hop over to the other side. I struggle to even call it cheese since it isn’t really an exploit of mechanics (other than ‘Joining Allies’ which isn’t even always necessary), this massive magical space dragon just has the toughness of a wet paper towel. She’s the ‘Parrying Lord Gwyn’ of Destiny (hyped ultra-difficult boss trivialized by basic game mechanic). That said, pretty much every tool for cheesing her has been nerfed (until spin-to-win sword came out this season which is now getting nerfed too), so it could actually be kinda annoying trying to cheese her- my last LW run with my clan had us literally spend like 45 minutes on her because we just couldn’t get that last 5 percent of her health. So I’ll still treat her with the respect she deserves (as much as I can, ranking bosses on how much of a pain in the ass they are) and put her in the top 3.
2) Sanctified Mind- Is it easy? Yeah, kinda. Is it tedious, frustrating, inconsistent, random, constricting, overly long, and checks damn near every box for an annoying-ass boss fight? Absolutely. Whether it's motes falling off the edge, the worst possible platform being destroyed (my least favorite mechanic in any boss by far), a random shot from a Cyclops OHK’ing from a mile away after it dies, Goblins teleporting a half mile straight to the pylon, the general slowness of the Tether and it's tendency to pick up extra players, several people shooting and turning on/off the tether boxes at once- basically every phase and mechanic in this fight is specifically designed to be as stressful as possible at every moment. And he gets bonus points for having what is probably the single stupidest, most tedious, biggest pain-in-the-ass Raid triumph, challenge, or achievement ever in Stop Hitting Yourself. I don’t care that you and your MLG pickup group got it flawlessly first try without any real strategy, it's still bullshit.
1) Val Ca’our- Look, even if you think Riven was too low at #3, it's hard to deny that even she isn’t anywhere near as much of a pain in the ass as Val Ca’our (I’ve found my hill and I will die on it). This encounter has a ridiculous amount of precision needed from every player, blind callouts, randomly selected roles, mechanic after mechanic after mechanic, standing on plates with no cover, hordes of ads flooding every square inch of the arena, timed orb passing, and a wipe timer leaving no margin of error whatsoever. Even if the DPS phase itself is easy (just shove Wardcliff deep up inside his rectum), just getting there is a massive pain in the ass- and God help you if one of the balls decides to just clip through Calusbot’s hand when you finally get all the mechanics down. Or miss a single ball after you successfully DPS. I never did Spire of Stars in Y1, so the fact that I still struggle with him much more than Argos or Calus should be pretty telling. Fuck you Val Ca’our, fuck your ships, fuck your ads, fuck your orbs, and FUCK YOUR WHOLE FUCKING RAID FOR NEVER DROPPING ME THE FUCKING SLEEPER CATALYST.
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