Destiny - Prison of Elders Tips - Prima Games

Destiny – Prison of Elders Tips

by Prima Games Staff

This page will give you some tips to help you work your way through the Prison of Elders, a PvE game mode that was introduced with the Destiny: House of Wolves expansion.

Prison of Elders might be one of the coolest things that we’ve ever done in Destiny. Raids are great, but there is something amazing about the fight that you go through when you are taking on a boss with your two most trusted Destiny pals. Communication and skill are key, and even the smallest error can send you back to the airlock licking your wounds.

We’ve put ourselves through quite a few runs in the Prison of Elders, and although some aspects require specific formulas and guides, we wanted to focus on a list of tips that can help anyone, during any of the levels that they choose to compete at.

Round Modifiers

Prison of Elders will typically consist of five rounds, and each round is made up of three waves. If one of the rounds is a boss fight, that will be the only wave. It changes from week to week depending on the level that you choose to play at, but what doesn’t change is that each round will have a modifier. These modifiers can have both positive and negative impacts on your game, and you will first hear about the modifier you will face when you are in the airlock. If you miss the prompt, summon your Ghost and you can check on the current modifier there.

It’s important that you adjust your strategy or plan for these modifiers. For example, if Solar Burn is on, you will want to use weapons that deal Solar damage, such as Gjallarhorn or Ice Breaker. If your Grenade cool down has been reduced, plan to throw a lot of Grenades at your foes. Just always be on your toes and ready to adjust your approach to the current round to meet the modifier.

The Bladedancer

This might have to do with preference, but we have had huge success playing Prison of Elders using the Hunter’s Bladedancer Subclass. The reason being that this allows players to go invisible in three different ways.

  • Use of their Super Ability
  • A melee attack against an enemy
  • Crouching for a brief moment

The point of going invisible is that you can move around the arena without your foes being able to detect you. This is useful if you have to revive a fallen teammate who is in a tough spot, or even if you need to sneak out and dismantle one of the mines. Just be sure that you configure your Subclass to allow you to use these perks, as they aren’t necessarily ready for use by default.

Gjallarhorn + Ice Breaker

Not every Guardian has these weapons, but the ones that do should be bringing them to any fight they pick in the Prison of Elders. If this is all three members of your Fireteam, great. If it’s one, that’s better than none. The Gjallarhorn is an absolutely devastating weapon, but since Heavy Ammo is hard to come by, bring some with you. The Ice Breaker, however, will automatically replenish its own stock until it has six rounds in it.

To give you an idea of how effective these can be, three Guardians with Gjallarhorns can take down Qodron in about 30 seconds. We managed to do it in about eight minutes with two Guardians using fully upgraded Ice Breakers. If you don’t have a Gjallarhorn, keep checking with Xur to see if he decides to sell it, or head into the Vault of Glass and hope you get one to drop.

Know Your Role

If you are completing the level 32 (or higher) Prison of Elders, you can check on the Destiny Reddit to see what the rounds and modifiers are reset to each Tuesday. This is an important part of the process, as it will allow you to designate roles to each of your Fireteam members. Going back to Qodron, we had one Guardian who was focusing on damaging the boss, one who was worrying about Qodron’s Eye, and the other who was doing secondary damage and taking care of Qodron’s Vex minions. The moment that one role isn’t being taken care of, the entire process falls apart and you’re headed back to the airlock with your tail between your legs. Look over the details of the battle beforehand, assign Classes and Subclasses to each member of the team, and bring the weapons required to overcome the modifiers.


It should really be communication and a positive attitude, as we know all too well how frustrating things can get in the Prison of Elders. For all the planning you can do, nothing can replace solid communication and a positive attitude when you have every reason rage quit.

If at all possible, make sure that you can communicate through the in-game microphone. You could even invite your teammates to a party so that you can chat on your console’s voice chat. Our team uses a program called TeamSpeak, although it is far more popular for PC gamers.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you use, as long as you can chat and hear your Fireteam. Talk to them about what you see, what you’re doing, and what you need. Keep the mindless chatter to a minimum, leaving the channel open for essential information only. If you can do that (and bring three Gjallarhorns), no Prison of Elders mountain will be too high to climb.

If you’re looking to take part in other activities, be sure to scroll through our Destiny: House of Wolves Walkthrough and Guide. We’ll help you with the Story Missions, Bounties, and even the Strike.

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