Now that you’ve destroyed all of Val Ca’uor’s ships, you’ll be ready to take the boss on for real. This is inarguably the most difficult raid encounter in Destiny 2’s first year, and it will take some serious group coordination to complete. There are many stages before you can lower the boss’ shield, and more to do still after that.
While you can technically take on Val Ca’uor earlier, we recommend that the entire fireteam is 373 power or above. If not, Val Ca’uor’s minions will be far tougher and deal more damage to you.
In better news, much of this boss fight is a slight variation on the first part of the Val Ca’uor boss fight. However, there is still plenty to learn. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to consistently defeat Val Ca’uor, Destiny 2’s most difficult boss.
Phase 1: The Cleanse
To start the encounter, you’ll need to jump up on the middle platform in front of the dead Calus robot. This will summon Val Ca’uor, who will crush you if you don’t move away quickly.
Once the fight has started, Cabal will start swarming the room. This is a miniature add clear phase, so run around the room and kill all the Cabal, replenishing your ammo reserves.
Once the Cabal are all dead, Val Ca’uor will begin to glow purple, explode, and cause every player in the raid to be Engulfed. Once Engulfed counts all the way down, the debuffed player will die. However, when Val Ca’uor corrupts the raid, a ball will be shot out onto one of the platforms. Have the closest player pick up the ball and have the rest of the raid group up near the room’s entrance.
Once the ball is in a player’s possessions and the raid is together, the raid will need to pass the ball back and forth. Every player must touch the ball in order to cleanse themselves of the debuff. Think back to Space Jam and just do that.
Once the last Engulfed player has touched the ball, they’ll need to throw it at Val Ca’uor. This can be a little touchy, so the goal should be to aim for his big chest. If you aim too high, it’ll go over his head. If you aim too low, it’ll go under his feet. If the ball expires, you’ll need to restart the cleanse, so don’t miss.
Phase 2: Scouting
This scouting phase is fairly similar to the part 1 version. Once Val Ca’uor has been hit with the ball, have the four assigned plate holders return to their plates — you should use the same assignments as in part 1. However, do not stand on your plate, or you’ll die.
Red beams will point down at each plate, and a Cabal drop pod will land, complete with a Gladiator in tow. Use your power ammo to kill them quickly — you’ll usually get power ammo in return.
Once the Gladiator is dead, figure out who has Superior Retainer and make the necessary moves to ensure that someone can go up the tractor beam. Once your scout has been selected, have the plate holders activate the tractor beam and send the scout to space. There will now be two symbols to call out, not just one.
Once the symbols have been called, get off your plate and prepare to arm two bombs.
Phase 3: Arming
Once again, the arming phase is very similar to its part 1 counterpart. However, just like scouting, you have double the work this time around. Two balls will now spawn, requiring two arming throws. Have your symbol holders move to the plate and prepare for the arming players.
The floaters should ideally grab the balls — although plate holders can also do this job in a pinch — and head to the two doors that need arming. Be sure to engulf each ball before you attempt to arm, or the phase will be wasted and the group will wipe. Once the balls have been engulfed and the arming bays are open, have the ball holders arm each weapon.
This takes one ball per weapon, and it will always be two different weapons. Once you see the pop-ups declaring the two symbols have been armed, all players should return to their plate-holding jobs from the scouting phase.
Phase 4: Firing
You’ll now need to send up two players with the Superior Retainer buff, which is much more complicated.
Move around the plate holders so that only one holder has Superior Retainer — ideally the highest light of the three, as they’ll have to deal with waves of enemies.
Once the firing players have been selected, have the plate holders activate the tractor beam. The firing players will need to grab the two balls in the arena, engulf them around the center podium, and take the tractor beam up.
It’s important to be very careful when entering the tractor beam. Players either need to go up at the same time or stagger by a few seconds. When you enter the beam, the boss will prepare to stomp. If you’re the one who activated the stomp, it’ll miss you. But if you’re trailing just a bit behind the first player, you’ll likely be killed.
Once the two players are safely up in space, communicate who is throwing at what ship. If you skip this step, both players could throw at a single ship and waste an arming charge, forcing them to go back up into space after engulfing another ball.
When both ships have been destroyed, it’s time to play hot potato.
Phase 5: Hot potato
When the ships have been destroyed, the room will flood with enemies once again, and a single ball will fall on a plate. Have a player pick up the ball and engulf it as quickly as possible. This is where hot potato starts.
One player will need to hold the engulfed ball until they absolutely cannot any longer — around nine or even 10 stacks of Greed. They then need to pass the ball to someone with fewer Greed stacks. Once the first ball has been engulfed, the second will spawn. Once the second has been engulfed, so too will the third.
When three balls are out and engulfed, the Calus robot will raise into the air. By this time, the Greed stacks should be getting difficult to manage, so communication is key. All three balls need to be thrown to Calus’ hand when it starts glowing purple. Successfully hitting all three balls will result in Val Ca’uor’s shield going down.
The strategy for this section is fairly simply. Pair players up in groups and have them pass the ball between them. Greed stacks up faster than it falls, but it should still work out in the end. The key is to not be a hero. Throw the ball on the ground or to your partner before you die — it isn’t worth the risk of losing a player.
Once Val Ca’uor’s shield is down, you can finally start dealing damage.
Phase 6: Damage
Once Val Ca’uor’s shield goes down, it’s time to actually start hurting the boss.
Have the right and left side plate holders and floaters move forward in the arena, to the small rooms that enemies spawn out of opposite the plates.
Take a moment to clear out the enemies here, and then stand back to where you can barely see the tip of the boss’ backpack. If you move too far forward, his missiles will kill you. Once you’re in position, start shooting his backpack — not his head — with precision weapons. Sleeper Simulant and DARCI are great for damage here, although we recommend Sleeper for the rest of the encounter.
The boss has less health but fewer phases than many other final bosses. You need be taking out at least one-third of his health bar each time you enter the damage phase, or you won’t finish the boss fight.
There are a few key ways to help you deal maximum damage to the boss.
First, using a Sunbreaker Titan’s Hammer Strike melee ability. This can be a bit tricky to use as it involves meleeing the boss. The Titan will need to have their super up and getting a running head start.
Aim for the chest and melee the boss — you’ll know it worked if he glows orange — and immediately pop your super and start throwing them at the boss while you make your way to your teammates. This will add some significant damage and keep you healthy.
Warlocks should be using an Empowering Rift here in the room, as it’ll boost player damage. Since players will already be standing still in a Rift for the entire phase, Lunafaction Boots are a perfect Exotic to use. Pairing a Nova Bomb with the Hammer Strike ability will also deal a great deal of damage.
Hunters probably want to take Golden Gun and Celestial Nighthawk, as usual. This super paired with Empowering Rift and Hammer Strike will deal a ton of damage to Val Ca’uor.
Finally, you want to take a look at any Raid armor you have available to you. The new mods allow you to up your damage after a melee kill and increase all elemental damage by 25 percent. When paired with a solar mod, Golden Gun can decimate Val Ca’uor’s health.
Once his shield comes back up, it’s time to reset. If he isn’t at least a third of the way dead, save yourself some time and wipe the raid so you can try again.
Phase 7: Reset
Once Val Ca’uor’s shield has returned, it’s time to reset. Run back to your original positions and prepare to start over at phase 1. You have three total chances to kill Val Ca’uor. You’ll get a warning that Val Ca’uor is about to Enrage, when all six ships have been destroyed. After you drop his shield for the third time, he’ll enrage, meaning that your raid won’t get a fourth chance to swing at him.
Even after you drop the boss’ health to zero, you still have one more thing to do.
Phase 8: Final stand
Like Calus and many other Destiny bosses, Val Ca’uor has a final stand. But unlike other raid bosses, this one is very easy to fail.
Val Ca’uor will gain a mega shield after his health hits zero. He will simultaneously release about eight balls into the arena. The raid will need to scatter, pick up the balls, and throw them at Val Ca’uor.
However, there is a catch: Each subsequent ball thrown by the same player will deal significantly less damage. At least five of the six raid members needs to throw a ball at Val Ca’uor — in our experience, although it seems a tad inconsistent — or the shield will not break. You can use conventional weapons to try and bring it down, but it barely moves the health bar at all.
Finally, it’s worth noting here that you can also miss these balls, just like you can during the cleanse and hot potato phases. If you miss, you need to grab one of the extra balls or retrieve yours. But, if Val Ca’uor is in his mega shielded state for too long, he’ll wipe the raid. The best way to beat Val Ca’uor here is to take your time, line up your shot, and don’t miss.
Once Val Ca’uor’s fourth and final shield has fallen, he will erupt into flames. Claim your loot from the chest that spawns in front of him and pat yourself on the back. Congratulations on taking down Val Ca’uor. Now do it in Prestige mode.