Once you have opened the hound door in the Castellum of Destiny 2’s Leviathan Raid, you will head down a hallway and into the Pleasure Gardens, a lush jungle filled with Cabal War Beasts. When you arrive, you will be hit with some visual overload, with light beams hitting platforms and fog everywhere. You will learn this room very well soon, so focus on clearing out the Loyalist War Beasts and the Beast Handlers before you go exploring.
Once all the enemies are down, you will notice two large crystals spawn at the back of the room, near the gigantic Calus statue. At the foot of the statue, there is a large, round door. This leads to the Safe Room, which is crucial mechanic in this encounter.
Before the fight starts, break your team up into groups of two and four:
- Four Roamers will grab spore balls and sneak around on the ground
- Two Spotters will jump on platforms with crystals and guide the Roamers
This encounter is fairly simple to explain but difficult to execute properly because of the high amount of communication required. The gist is simple, so let’s take it one step at a time:
- Spotters grab crystals and stand in the light on the rock platforms above the ground, while Roamers sneak past patrolling hounds to reach glowing spores.
- When the Roamers make it to a spore, Spotters shoot light at spore, and the spores explode. That grants a damage buff called Empowering Spores to the entire party. (The hounds are extremely difficult to defeat without the buff. Every time you collect a buff, your damage against the hounds increases.)
- Do this as many times as you can before the hounds begin attacking you out of restlessness (a timer) or before a hound spots someone.
- Kill all of the hounds to win.
Let’s break it down by loadout and group.
These are the only weapons that really matter here, as there is very little combat in the Pleasure Gardens. Grab a rocket launcher like the Curtain Call or Sins of the Past and shoot under a hound’s legs. The Merciless fusion rifle is also very good.
Any Exotic armor that grants movement speed is great for Titans and Warlocks (Dunemarchers and Transversive Steps, respectively). For Hunters, use Celestial Nighthawk for hound damage.
Pleasure Gardens map
There are eight spore locations in Pleasure Gardens:
- Cave (No hound howling)
- Bottom right (next to the Safe Room)
- Bottom left (next to the Safe Room)
- Middle left (Plates, no hound howling)
- Middle right (Drain)
- Back or far left
- Back or far right
Roamers (on the ground)
When the fight starts, the Roamers should be standing on top of the Safe Room door, preparing to drop in. When Spotters grab the crystals, the hounds will enter the area, and the Safe Room will open.
All four Roamers need to hop down and grab a spore ball from the back of the Safe Room. Once everyone has a spore, group up into a tight pack and wait for your Spotters to call out spore locations.
Sneaking to spores and avoiding the hounds
Walk around the jungle toward the spore that your Spotter is calling out to you. Stay in a pack together to be sure that all spore ball holders make it to the glowing spore at the same time. You don’t need to crouch, but you should rarely sprint.
If spore holders wait by a glowing spore too long without the Spotter shooting it, the spore will stop glowing, and you won’t get a buff.
Listen to your Spotters call out the hound locations and use your radar as well as the hounds’ little glowing footprints to keep track of where they are. Never cross in front of a hound, and be very careful when moving around the sides or closely behind.
It’s worth noting that the hounds have extremely poor vision, and will not see you if you are far enough in front of them. Getting comfortable with their vision cone will take time and practice.
Stacking the Empowering Spores buff
Once the Roamers reach a spore, huddle up around it and call for the Spotter. When the Spotter shoots the spore, you will gain three stacks of Empowering Spores per spore ball hit, which should ideally be all of you (12 total stacks). Repeat this process until one of your team is caught or the hounds begin howling after becoming restless.
Ideally, you should get at least 36 stacks of Empowering Spores every time, with the goal being 48. If you are able to achieve 60, you should be able to kill your dogs in only one round. If you are struggling to get to 36 stacks regularly, keep starting the fight over until your team is able to reliably reach that number.
Keep in mind that spores spawn in twos, one on each side. However, if you are destroying the second spore in the pair, there will be another spore on your current side, hopefully close to you. Gathering information from your Spotters and making judgment calls on which spores to go for is a valuable skill to train.
Spotters (on the rock platforms)
Spotters an entirely different job in this encounter. Ideally, your Spotters should have very good Power weapons, as they have the easiest access to ammo refills.
- Grab the crystal to start the encounter and jump to one of the platforms with a pillar of light on around your assigned side. (Assign one spotter each to the right or left side of the map, based on their crystal pickup location.)
- Immediately start looking for the one glowing purple spore on your side and call out its location to your Roamers. (For example, “Front left,” or “Cave” or “Mid right.”)
- While you are waiting for Roamers to move, keep an eye out for hounds and communicate with your allies about their locations.
- Once the Roamers are all in place and packed in tight around the glowing spore, use the right trigger to shoot a beam of light at the spore, causing it to grant the Roamers stacks of Empowering Spores.
- Shoot the Beast Handler who enters from one of three doors on either side of the Pleasure Gardens. Some Beast Handlers will be snipers and stand on the doors on the left and right of the arena, attempting to kill your Spotter partner. Others will jump into the arena and chase after your Roamers. Simply aim with your crystal and shoot them like you would a spore. They die very quickly and also drop guaranteed heavy ammo. Just remember that you must be standing in a beam of light to shoot.
- Your Roamers will then rotate to the other side of the map and become the other Spotter’s problem (or vice versa depending on whether you are popping the first spore or second).
- Once two spores have been detonated, each side will gain a new location. Help your Roamers navigate their way to the next spore and repeat the process as many times as possible.
Killing the hounds
Once one of your teammates have been spotted or the invisible timer runs out and the hounds grow restless, it’s time to damage the hounds. They will begin howling, and the damage phase will begin.
Regardless of your role before, you are dealing damage now. Your team gains bonus damage based on how many stacks of Empowering Spores you were able to get, so keep that in mind when fighting.
Each hound always goes to a spore, and there will be a hound howling at every spore location except far left (Plates) and middle right (Cave). (See our map above for hound locations.) Assign specific locations to your teammates before the fight begins, so that everyone is damaging a hound during this phase.
Here’s how to assign players to hounds:
- Spotters should take their respective side’s far left and far right hounds. Because they’re on the platforms above the ground, they can get into position quickly. Ideally, these should be your highest power level players, able to take care of their dogs quickly and still have enough time to reach the Safe Room.
- Your two most experienced or powerful Roamers should go to middle right and forest (or trees). These locations are tough to find, and knowing the map is a huge advantage.
- Your weakest or least experienced members should get bottom right and bottom left. New players frequently struggle with knowing when to stop fighting and return to the Safe Room, so sticking them close to home makes learning easy. Similarly, new players often get (understandably) lost in this room. Since the crystals have icons on them, these are easy to find.
Once you are at your assigned dog, hit them with your power weapons and grenades to lower their health — but don’t kill them.
Killing a hound makes the paths easier to navigate but causes the hounds to become restless far faster. To counteract that problem, do not kill the hounds — just lower their health to about one shot or so (or less than one yellow bar of health). Spend the first two or three rounds lowering their health and the final round executing the hounds. With 48-60 stacks, you can kill hounds in one or two rounds.
After about 20 seconds or so, every member of the Fireteam needs to make their way back to the Safe Room and jump in the round door under the statue.
Beware of the other hounds that arrive during this phase. While they don’t pose much of a threat to your health, they will knock you around and make getting to the Safe Room harder.
Once the hounds have been howling for about 30 seconds, the door above the Safe Room will close, and anyone left outside will die. Those alive need to revive the dead, but keep in mind each player only has one revive token in Pleasure Gardens.
Once the door opens up again, the Spotters need to jump up and grab their crystals, starting another round.
You can get into the Safe Room three times, meaning that you have four total phases to kill the hounds.
Once all six hounds are dead, the encounter will end and your chest will spawn by the Safe Room. Congratulations Guardian, you just completed the most confusing fight in the Leviathan Raid.
The Prestige version of the Pleasure Gardens adds new mechanics:
- Eight hounds now patrol at once and all eight must be killed before the fight ends
- The hound’s routes change drastically
- Enemies deal more damage
Check out our guide to the Prestige Pleasure Gardens for strategies.