Just got it done. Man, what an exhilarating experience! My heart was racing during the final encounter. I have to say, this ended up being one of the most rewarding Destiny experiences I've had and I will be keeping this emblem on for a long, long time.
Soloing Prophecy was one of the few activities that truly rewarded my past effort: grinding for taken and hive mods, getting Mountaintop and Anarchy and a bunch of other super helpful gear, leveling up this season, grinding for lots of armor, etc. All that stuff paid off because the experience was so intensely difficult that I needed every edge I could get. And, of course, learning and conquering the dungeon itself was super rewarding. My personal skill growth was quite significant in a short amount of time.
If you are at all tempted by that sweet emblem, I encourage you to read up on strategies and give that first dungeon encounter a try. If you can stick with it and finish it, that means you have the potential to solo it all.
A big part of this is the belief that you can even do it. Soloing content requires different strategies and a fair amount of patience. I had to go on a bit of a mental journey to get it done. For those curious, I'll share how my progression went in the next section. Skip that and read the following section if you'd just like to see what strategies and gear I used.
From Impossible to Done in a Month
A month ago, I was made curious by the solo prophecy posts here that I decided to give it a a tentative try. I didn't read up on any strategies and just dove in the Phalanx Echo encounter. After about 2 or so hours or trying and not even getting close, I concluded that the task was impossible and set it aside.
Maybe a week later, I was in running Shattered Throne solo just to gather Ahamkahra bones for my seal. I eventually realized that I was fairly well into it and that a solo completion w/ deaths would net met me a sweet emblem. So I stuck it out, died a bunch, and kept pressing forward. I hit a brick wall with Vorgeth, so I stopped and read up on strategies for that encounter. It was HARD, but I improved a lot just by trying it over and over and really optimizing my loadout, movement and target prioritization. I think in the end it took about 4-5 hours for me to complete the dungeon.
I got a rush from that accomplishment and started to reconsider a solo, non-flawless run for Prophecy. I later read up on strategies and decided to give it another try. To my surprise, I was able to clear the 1st encounter after a few attempts, a night and day difference from my past performance. My Shattered Throne experience + proper mod usage + new knowledge of encounter strategies was hugely impactful and transformed the experience. After another 4-5 hours, I finished it all and got my sweet prophetic bunny ghost.
At that point, I KNEW I had to go for my flawless. All the ingredients were in place. I just needed to execute with consistency. I went for it 2 weeks later.
On my first flawless attempt, I got up the final encounter without dying but quickly choked. My memory was a bit hazy on the final encounter specifics, and I paid dearly for it. I realized that I needed to practice this section a few times rather than try repeated runs from the start, so I ran it a couple times for practice. I highly recommend running each dungeon encounter multiple times until you can clear it with some degree of comfort.
My second flawless attempt ended when I fell into a pit in the Cube. Kind of a freak accident, but I was careful to make note of any depressions from that point forward.
My third attempt took me to the Kell Echo fight again, but I quickly died during the 1st DPS phase. I was surprised as I hadn't had that issue before. I realized that I wasn't sufficiently prioritizing survivability, which is what you need in that fight with multiple DPS phases. I ran the encounter 3 more times for practice, until eventually settling upon a more comfortable rhythm in the DPS corridor section by always targeting the snipers first.
My fourth attempt was the one where everything came together. My new approach for the boss worked, and I got it done in three damage phases. Simply an amazing feeling. My body was vibrating.
Strategies for a Solo Warlock
Many of these approaches have been widely reported. I made some minor modifications from things I read to suit my playstyle.
- 3 Legendaries that accept Taken Mods
- 1 Legendary that accepts Hive Mods
- Transversive Steps for faster sprint and reloads while running
I did use other pieces like Phoenix Protocol and Nezrec's Sin in past runs, but I found them unnecessary and liked not having to change my armor in the middle of the run.
- Concussive Dampener x2
- Major Resist x2
- Boss Resist x1
- Special Ammo or Grenade Launcher Ammo Finder x2
- Enhanced Grenade Launcher Loader
- Enhanced Bow Loader
- Grenade Launcher Reserves x2
- Grenade Launcher Scavenger x2
- Oppressive Darkness
- Taken Armaments (absolutely necessary for heavy regen)
- Taken Barrier
- Hive Barrier (stacks with Taken barrier for Taken Knight damage, hugely beneficial)
- Taken Repurposing (can be useful for getting grenades back on finishers, not needed though).
- Taken Spec (best weapon bonus damage mod – use on all weapons)
Class Ability: Healing Rift (always)
Grenade: Vortex or Solar Grenade
Jump: Strafe Glide – useful for trying to stay alive when knocked off a platform or during the rainbow road sequence.
- Middle Tree Dawnblade
- Weapons: Mountaintop, Trinity Ghoul w/ catalyst, Falling Guillotine
- Mountaintop was my primary weapon for killing Taken Knights. With Taken Spec and Spike Grenades, knights go down in two hits. Get used to aiming accurately with it and learning how to pop off quick shots. This weapon gives us a big advantage in the final season before it gets sunset, so use it!
- Trinity Ghoul is the hero of this dungeon. I tried a number of different weapon combinations, but Trinity was the one that allowed me to reliably tame each encounter. Its ad clear ease of use lets you focus on positioning and movement to stay alive while easily clearing out weak enemies. There are lots of rooms that begin in a chaotic state, and this weapon lets you get it under control. For extra reliability, always try to keep your bow in a charged state so you can take out groups the moment they spawn.
- Falling Guillotine is used in this encounter to 1-phase the boss. Just pop a well and go to town on him. Don't worry about the ads trying to shield the boss. As long as you are within your well's bounds, you'll continue to do full damage on him.
- Healing nades will keep you alive in this section.
- Always keep moving and keep your distance from the Phalanx, as getting stomped off the platform is a common way to die in the beginning.
- Prioritize the ads first and clear them with Trinity. If you need it, kill one of the knights early on to give yourself some breathing room.
- If you are low on health and don't have a healing nade, run and stand behind one of the large walls around the rim of the platform. Jump up to its top if you are being chased. The time it takes to run behind one and rise to the top is often enough to get back some critical health.
- Always run behind a large wall and jump to its top before trying to cleanse a light/dark pillar that is at high elevation. Much safer this way.
- The moment you've cleared all four pillars, rush to the boss and throw down and well and go to town. You should be able to comfortably 1-phase.
- Bottom Tree Voidwalker
- Weapons: Whispering Slab w/ Demolitionist, Gnawing Hunger w/ Demolitionist, Xenophage
- Whispering Slab is used to take out the distant snipers, but feel free to sub in any other kinetic bow. In each of the sections, always prioritize the snipers first.
- After that, proc Devour by consuming your grenade and kill the thralls. Throw grenades as often as you need to proc Armaments and refill your heavy ammo.
- Anytime one of the majors comes into view, quickly take them out with Xenophage.
- If one of the giant invisible guys wanders close to a blighted area, peel off from the main engagement and find a safe spot to Xenophage it to death. This isn't strictly necessary, but does bring peace of mind to know you have one less thing to deal with.
- Once everyone is mopped up, take out the blights and then move on to the next section.
- That's basically it. This section is pretty easy once you know what to do. Just remember not to get too excited and die by taking your sparrow out of bounds. I made that mistake once.
- Bottom Tree Voidwalker
- Weapons: Mountaintop, Trinity Ghoul, Grenade Launcher w/ Auto-Loading Holster
- There are different heavies that can work fine here, but I liked grenade launchers as they allowed me to keep distance from my enemies while having decent damage output. Auto-loading holster lets you focus on moving to safe locations rather than manually reloading.
- Proc Devour as enemies spawn into the room. Immediately take out all ads with Trinity Ghoul. Focus on them first.
- Take cover to ensure that the snipers above can't get you. It's ok to pause and take them out with Mountaintop as long as the ad situation on the ground floor is under control.
- Each time you take out a sniper, a taken knight spawns. Each time you take out a taken knight, a sniper spawns above. After you eliminate the ads, kill both snipers. Knights are easier to dodge.
- Use Mountaintop to take out the knights. After you take out one of them, kill the next sniper that spawns in. Another knight will spawn in, but again, he's much easier to handle than a sniper. Gather the fallen motes.
- Kill the next knight. If another wave of ads spawns in before this, take them out first before killing the knight. Every time ads spawn in, consume a grenade to proc Devour. It won't always feel necessary, but is a good safety measure. Of course, use Devour anytime your health starts to get low.
- Grab the remaining motes and cleanse the light/dark pillar. Rinse and repeat for each room.
- When facing the Centurion Echos, immediately throw a super at 1 and a grenade launcher shot or two to take it out quickly. After you do this, ads will spawn in.
- Proc Devour and take out all the ads with Trinity while also shooting down any seeking orbs sent by the Centurion.
- Once the way is clear, launch heavy grenades at the remaining Centurion until it is dead.
- Top Tree Dawnblade
- Weapons: Mountaintop, Any Energy Bow, Xenophage
- Your bow will do most of the heavy lifting here. Clear out any enemies you see from a safe distance. If you take any of the platform paths, use Xenophage to clear out any of the trickier foes quickly, or use Mountaintop if heavy ammo is low.
- There are many ways through this. I ended up taking the ribbon road on my sparrow without ever boosting. I'd stop along the way to clear any ads I see on platforms.
- Once I got to the point in which the ribbon road corkscrews, I got off the road and took the platforms the rest of the way down.
- Dawnblade gives you some room for error. Between eating your grenade for enhanced flight, aerial dodges and your super, you have some extra chance at survival if you fall of an edge.
- Bottom Tree Voidwalker
- Weapons (First Room): Mountaintop, Trinity Ghoul, Falling Guillotine
- Weapons (DPS Phase): Mountaintop, Any Energy Bow, Anarchy
- Mountaintop is for the Taken Knights. Trinity Ghoul is for the ads. Falling Guillotine is for quickly taking out the Ogres or Knights.
- The room is very chaotic to start, so you need to bring it under control ASAP. As enemies begin to spawn in, eat a grenade to proc Devour. Position yourself next to a knight spawn location and instantly take it out as it appears to give yourself some breathing room.
- Immediately run to one of the sides of the room for better cover, but generally keep moving. Use Trinity Ghoul to now take out ads. Clear the room of all ads next.
- Two Knights remain. Kill them and cleanse the next light/dark pillar. If you mess up and get the wrong type of mote, just keep calm and get ready to do it all over again. You will be in a much better position to take care of threats as they spawn in, anyway.
- After cleansing a light/dark pillar, quickly put yourself behind some nearby cover and stay out of the way of enemy fire. As the ogre spawns in, instantly use a sword heavy attack to kill it.
- Now that this corner has been cleansed, use it as a safe point. Continue this process for the rest of the room until all 3 light/dark pillars have been cleansed.
- Switch your weapons for DPS phase. Wait for ads to spawn back in and kill them with grenades to proc Armaments and get your Anarchy ammo up. Do this until your ammo is full. I often use Gnawing Hunger w/ demolitionist to get my grenade back quicker here (just don't forget to switch back to an energy bow when you're done). You can also finish any ads here with Taken Repurposing to get your grenade back instantly, but only do that if you can isolate your target.
- Wait for your grenade, rift and super to be fully charged before jumping on to the central platform.
- As you land and see the boss in the distance, jump forward and throw a grenade to proc Oppressive Darkness. Before you land, also throw your super.
- Land and jump to the platform on your left. Pop off two anarchy shots on the boss and immediately throw down your healing rift.
- Strafe left and right to dodge his fire while shooting Mountaintop. When Anarchy expires, fire off 2 more shots. Try to be consistent with this, as this tick damage is hugely beneficial. Always try to get some anarchy shots on the boss before he teleports.
- The moment the snipers spawn in on the platforms ahead, take them out with your bow. ALWAYS prioritize them first to make your DPS phases less prone to sudden deaths.
- Keep up with the Kell, firing Mountaintop and Anarchy at him at all times so long as snipers are down. Take cover behind any raised walls to avoid being teleported by his attack.
- If you do get teleported, wait a moment until you get your bearings before running forward. You can easily fall off an edge if you hold run during the process.
- If you are ready for him as he appears at a new platform, throw a grenade to take advantage of oppressive darkness for extra damage.
- When running from one platform to the next, use Tranversive Steps to keep Anarchy loaded. Whenever you see Anarchy run low, take one running step forward and then jump to the next platform. Your air hang time will count as "running" and will result in Anarchy being reloaded.
- After he teleports away on the final platform, switch to your original loadout and wait for your grenade and class ability to recharge before teleporting back to the first room.
- If you do this correctly, you should be able to comfortably do this in three damage phases. If you need to go longer, that's not a problem. Never do anything risky to try and do extra damage on the boss. Survivability and consistency is the most important.
- Take deep breaths and tell yourself you can do it. If you can make it this far, you absolutely can solo flawless this dungeon. If you find yourself having inconsistent performance on this encounter or any other one, do practice runs and focus on survivability and consistent, repeatable strategies. That was my key for getting it done.
TLDR: I loved this experience and had to write about it. Hopefully some of the above is useful or may inspire others to give solo flawless a try as well.
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