After facing all of Calus’ previous encounters, you’ll enter his chamber. Time to grab as much ammo as possible for your double auto rifles and face the emperor.
Best kinetic, energy and power weapons
Different types of weapons are great for different types of battles. In this section, we’ll offer advice on what types of guns you should use and why.
Kinetic: Auto rifle
This fight involves a lot of shooting, often from medium- to short-range distances. Auto rifles excel at those distances and do consistent damage per second (DPS) on prolonged engagements, which this fight happens to have. Combine that with the countless waves of enemies, and the auto rifle pick starts to make sense. If you are going into the Shadow Realm, you need one of these for skulls.
Energy: Auto rifle
Equipping two auto rifles is not mandatory, but it is extremely potent. Those who venture into the Shadow Realm need to shoot constantly to collect skulls, which can be very draining on ammo. Auto rifles are also very good for defeating Calus. If you are out of auto rifle ammo and you only have one, you will do far less DPS with a scout rifle or a hand cannon. Find two autos you like, and equip them for this fight.
Power: Rocket launcher, sniper rifles, fusion rifles and linear fusion rifles
Some Power weapons are excellent for fighting Calus, while others can be great for defeating adds. Determine where your priorities lie. If you are in the Shadow Realm, you should be taking a Calus-damaging Power weapon (the ones we suggest below). While you should do the same on the home team, you can switch to something more comfortable if you are struggling. For damaging Calus though, you need medium- to long-range Power weapons. Rocket launchers, sniper rifles and all kinds of fusion rifles are great for that.
Sweet Business (Exotic auto rifle)
Sweet Business may seem like an odd choice, considering its unwieldy nature and strange feeling in general combat. However, when you turn it on Calus, it does staggering amounts of damage. If you do not have or like Coldheart, the current favorite weapon for Calus damage, Sweet Business, is the next best thing. It will even serve you in general combat better, considering Coldheart’s windup damage relies on hitting the same target for a comparatively long time.
Coldheart (Exotic trace rifle)
This is the Calus-killing weapon. Coldheart is a very strange gun that isn’t really used for much. However, consider its Exotic perk, which causes it to shoot in a beam and deal more damage to a target the longer it stays on them. Because you are able to damage Calus for so long, you can hold down the trigger on his head for extended periods of time, making this very powerful. It is also the best option for skulls, as it has no damage drop-off.
The Long Walk (Legendary sniper rifle)
The Long Walk and other high-impact sniper rifles are a good choice for this fight, although only if you don’t need a Power weapon for anything aside from Calus. When turned on the boss, The Long Walk deals very high damage in a small window of time. However, it may be difficult to use inside the room due to the short distances. If you don’t have a decent rocket launcher or Merciless, a good sniper rifle will net you similar damage with less convenience.
Merciless (Exotic fusion rifle)
If you know how to use Merciless correctly on this fight, you will dominate Calus. Useful for damaging the boss and holding off the room, Merciless can hold a lot of ammo at once and fire it all extremely fast. However, you have to use it properly.
Use Merciless only if you are on the two plates closest to Calus, Sun and Cup. Otherwise the damage falloff will hurt your overall DPS. You also want to aim for Calus’ upper chest, not his stomach.
Merciless deals increased damage to Calus’ head, despite being a fusion rifle. If you aim for his head, you will miss shots. If you aim for his chest, you will hit all of your shots and some may hit his head. The damage here isn’t necessarily consistent but it’s either very good or fantastic. Merciless is never a bad choice for this fight.
Sins of the Past (Legendary rocket launchers)
Sins of the Past is exceptional for this fight. It does very high damage to Centurions and groups of adds while also being one of the highest potential damage weapons for Calus.
If you are able to shoot off five rockets in a single plate (using a Titan Rally barricade), you’ll deal a massive amount of damage to Calus. Even better, you can get around needing to reload at all if you don’t have a Titan. Simply stow the rocket, fire at Calus with another weapon, pull it out again and fire again — thanks to automatic reload. Best of all, Sins of the Past doesn’t require an Exotic slot, meaning that you are free to use this with Coldheart or Sweet Business.
Titan Striker, Code of the Earthshaker
If you aren’t running double Pulse grenades on Striker in this fight, you are making things much harder than they need to be. Pulse grenades are incredible for damaging the boss or simply killing every enemy that comes out of a door. Fists of Havoc is also amazing for Orbs of Light generation as well as general room clearing.
Actium War Rig (chest)
Most people will probably be running double auto rifles in this fight. The only problem with auto rifles is that they occasionally have to reload and can run through their magazines quickly. Thankfully, Actium War Rig steadily reloads a portion of your equipped auto rifle’s magazine every few seconds. Being able to dump round after round into skulls and Calus makes this chest piece an incredible choice. It will increase your damage per second in a meaningful way, which isn’t something that many Exotics can claim.
Hunter Gunslinger, Way of the Sharpshooter
No matter how badly you want to play Nightstalker, resist the urge and grab a Golden Gun. Your Super on Gunslinger melts Calus, and your grenades are great for trapping enemies in doorways. Save your Super until the damage phase, aim for the head and generate orbs for everyone.
If you have multiple Hunters running this fight as Gunslinger, you can generate enough orbs on plates to Super multiple times per damage phase. We were able to do this for a Hunter that used his Celestial Nighthawk five times in one damage phase. That is a lot of damage. And speaking of Celestial Nighthawk …
Celestial Nighthawk (helmet)
If you plan to raid regularly on your Hunter, you should have this helmet. It is extremely powerful, which is why we recommend it for every fight. Celestial Nighthawk turns your Golden Gun into a single shot instead of three. However, this single shot does far more damage than all three shots combined.
While it is strong in the other encounters, this is by far Celestial Nighthawk’s best fight. Calus damage is supremely important, so being able to generate over a million DPS on a good run can make you a critical member of any team. Never take this thing off (unless you are playing PvP).
Warlock Stormcaller, Attunement of the Elements
Stormcaller is unbelievably helpful for this fight. You can use your Super to clear adds and generate tons of Orbs of Light for your ally’s Super regeneration You have Pulse grenades, And, most importantly, your Rifts can provide Arc Souls, which are like little turrets that add even more damage for your teammates. Stormcaller is your best option by far.
Crown of Tempests (helmet)
If you are running Stormcaller by default, why not grab the Exotic that buffs it? Crown of Tempests will essentially refund you some ability cooldown for every Arc attack you make. This is a great helmet for this fight and will give you even more grenades and melee attacks. Use this if you are on the home team.
Lunafaction Boots (boots, obviously)
If you are in the Shadow Realm and you do not have a Titan, trade in your fancy helmet for these powerful boots. Being able to reload instantly when shooting skulls is very helpful, so make sure you lay your Rift down and strafe when the time comes.