‘Destiny’: How To Beat Court Of Oryx And Get The Best Loot

The Court of Oryx is the new public event space in the Dreadnaught added with Destiny: The Taken King. This guide will help PlayStation and Xbox players survive and thrive through the three tiers of the Court and earn some of the better loot drops.

Destiny players can find the Court of Oryx in the Hall of Souls on the Dreadnaught. This is easily reached by spawning in the Dreadnaught Patrol and going through the trench on the right and into the Mausoleum. Turn right after entering the Mausoleum and head to the last big entrance and follow the path to the Hall and then the Court.

Once the Court is reach, the fun begins. Up to nine players will be able to spawn three different tiered events of increasing difficulty in the Court and reap the rewards.

Destiny: The Taken King - Court of Oryx (PlayStation, Xbox)

Summoning Runes

The Court of Oryx requires a separate rune to initiate an event for the three different tiers. These runes are placed in one of the three statues on the left as you enter the court. The statue closest to the court is for the Tier 1 Reciprocal Rune, the next up for the Tier 2 Stolen Rune, and the third is for the Tier 3 Antiquated Rune.

Once a player places a Rune in one of the statues and completes whatever tiered event that was kicked off, they are given the “Summoner’s Exhaustion” debuff. This is essentially a cooldown timer to prevent a single player from hogging the court since the player who does the summoning gets the most loot.

Reciprocal Rune – Tier 1

Destiny players interested in taking on the first Court of Oryx Tier will need to pick up Reciprocal Runes through different events on the Dreadnaught as well as loot chests or purchased from Eris Morn in the tower. Players will also need to be able to handle 190 Light level enemies.

This will summon a single random boss encounter. Details on how to defeat the bosses are below.

Stolen Rune – Tier 2

Stolen Runes are more difficult to obtain than Reciprocal Runes and require players to charge them. They can be loot drops earned from Quests and completing Tier 1 Court of Oryx events. They can also be purchased from Eris Morn at Rank 5 with 1500 Glimmer and 20 Black Wax Idols.

A Stolen Rune will need to be charged before players can use them though. This requires completing three Tier 1 events in Court of Oryx.

Using a Stolen Rune will kick off a Tier 2 event with a recommended 240 Light Level and two random bosses. Details on how to defeat the bosses are below.

Antiquated Rune – Tier 3

The Antiquated Rune is understandably the most difficult to obtain. It only drops as a possible reward from successfully completing Tier 2 events, Nightfall Strikes, Crota’s Banes Reputation Packages after Rank 5, and as a reward from The Old Hunger quests. They can also be purchase from Eris Morn at Rank 5 with 1500 Glimmer and 20 Black Wax Idols.

Players will need to successfully complete three Tier 2 events to charge the Antiquated Rune. Once used, it will summon a weekly boss encounter with a recommended Light Level of 300.

Destiny: The Taken King - Court of Oryx (PlayStation, Xbox)

How to Get the Best Loot

The best loot comes to the player that does the summoning. It will typically be a mix of Rare Engrams with the occasional Legendary thrown in from beating the bosses. Since each boss counts as an ultra, there is a chance to get an Exotic item when using a Three of Coin obtained from Xur.

Even running just the Tier 1 events will result in generating tons of Engrams when summoning with still the chance for minions to drop them when not summoning. Running several Tier 1 and Tier 2 events can leave the court floor littered with Engrams. Getting in Tier 3 events seems to increase the chance of an Exotic drop combined with a Three of Coin, though the evidence is anecdotal at this point.

Don’t forget the Chest of Gnashing Teeth underneath the platform. This can be opened with a Key of Gnashing Teeth earned from using a Wormsinger Rune in the Dreadnaught Hull Breach area and defeating the Ultra boss that spawns there. It’s a random drop so players may end up with a key to another chest.

Beating Tier 1 and Tier 2 Bosses

There are six different possible bosses that can be encountered at Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 events will only spawn one set of boss and minions while Tier 2 will spawn two sets.

Alzok Dal, Gornuk Dal and Zyrok Dal

These three Hive Wizards can be tricky because they all have to be killed within a few seconds of each other. If not, any of the three that have died will respawn.

The best way to handle them is to keep them together on the platform but having players come up the stairs from both sides. Then bring their health down one at a time until you can kill all three quickly.

The Titan Sunbreaker’s Hammer of Sol with the Funeral Pyre Perk works extremely well to bring down the Wizard’s Solar Shield and cause explosions that damage all the Wizards when grouped close together. The Hunter Nightstalker’s tether is also an excellent option to tether the three together. Rocket Launchers works as well.

Bracus Horu’usk

This Taken Cabal literally depends on his minions for protection. His shields drop and he becomes temporarily stunned once all of the minions that spawn have been killed. This gives a brief window of a few seconds to deal damage to Bracus before a new set of minions spawn and his impenetrable shield returns.

This one is rather simple. Just wipe out all the minions as quickly as possible and then unload into Bracus with your best weapons.

Cra’adug and Mengoor

One is a Hive Knight while the other is a Taken Knight. Apart they are invincible thanks to an impenetrable shield. Bring them together though and their shields disappear.

This fight requires a little more communication between Destiny players in the Court to draw the two Knights together. The Hunter Nightstalker’s super ability to tether them close together is an excellent option to do massive amounts of damage while their shields are down.


This big Ogre is another with an impenetrable shield. His twist is that exploding Thrall near him will bring the shield down.

The strategy for Krughor should be to hang back after he first spawns and draw him down the stairs. A pack of exploding Thrall will spawn at the base of each staircase so you want him to come down as quickly as possible. Once he gets close, kill an Exploding Thrall to bring down his shields and then unload into him.


This Hive Wizard’s trick is to teleport around the court at random. However, she gets a little tired after each teleport which leaves her open to being shot.

The biggest issue with Lokaar is locating her after she teleports and avoiding the minions. Just keep shooting.


This Hive Knight is possibly the easiest of the six bosses. His shields rotate to a different element each time they are brought down and come back up. It’s not that difficult to deal with as long as players have the right mix of elemental weapons.

Destiny: The Taken King - Court of Oryx (PlayStation, Xbox)

Beating Tier 3 Bosses

These are the most difficult of the Court of Oryx bosses and a new one rotates in with each Weekly Reset on Tuesdays. At least a full Fireteam is recommended as this is a Light Level 300 encounter, though some players that are higher than that have soloed this event.


The Wizard Balwur may be the easiest Tier 3 boss to appear in the Court of Oryx yet. The hook with her is the floor of the court is covered in poison except for the area underneath the platform. Balwur spawns on top of the platform while Major Acolytes, Knights, and Thrall will spawn and move around the arena. The platform is poison free, but obviously dangerous because Balwur will shoot players and drop poison clouds.

Players will need to kill Major Acolytes to create temporary poison-free spaces outside of the safe zone underneath the platform. Players can then move out from the underneath the platform, into the poison-free areas, and shoot Balwur. Repeat as many times as necessary to bring her down.


This is one of the more challenging boss fights in Court of Oryx simply because there’s lots going on between dealing with multiple minions, including Ogres, and attempting to gain buffs.

Kagoor is immune to damage until the Servite Ogre is defeated. This Ogre has loads of health though and other Ogres to help it along with Devoured Shadows and Maleficent Eyes. Destroying the Eyes gives a buff called Ogre’s Fury that stacks up to three times and increases the damage done to Ogres.

Players will need to use the rocks and pillars to avoid the Servite Ogre’s attacks and bring it down. Once the Servite is dead, attack Kagoor quickly with heavy weapons and super abilities to bring him down.

Thalnok, Fanatic of Crota

This mini-Crota boss plays similar to the final The Dark Below Raid encounter with a couple of twists. It will require team work as well. Like Crota, the only way to kill Thalnok is to bring his shields down to force him to kneel while a player whacks him with a sword dropped by a Knight.

Thalnok will spawn with a pair of Wizards on either side of him on the platform along with various mobs on the ground and a Swordbearer Knight in the middle. Players should take out the Wizards first since they help sustains Thalnok’s shield and can do serious damage to the Fireteam. Minions should be cleared out once they are down and only then should the Swordbearer Knight be killed.

Once the Swordbearer Knight is down, one player (preferably the one with the highest Light Level) should pick up the sword while the others shoot Thalnok with rockets to bring down his shield. The player with the sword should be able to get in two to three heavy attacks before needing to back off and repeating a second time.

Thalnok will stand back up and all of the minions will respawn including the Wizards and Swordbearer Knight. Simply repeat the same steps until Thalnok is destroyed.

[Images via Bungie]

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