Well, let's not say Bungie doesn't surprise from time-to-time - the studio pushed live the first Wrath of the Machine Challenge Mode with little fanfare, giving Raid-goers a little extra challenge only a couple of weeks after Hard Mode debuted.
Like King's Fall before it, it requires players to play a boss a specific way in order to get additional (and exclusive) loot drops. But unlike King's Fall, there is only two Challenges to contend with, focusing on the opening and final adversaries.
Wrath of the Machine Challenge Mode - Vosik Strategy
The Vosik Challenge Mode (whether on Normal or Wrath of the Machine Hard mode) has you occupy all four Clean Rooms and close them using the bombs that drop during the damage phase before killing Vosik.
There are mixed reports whether you can do this across more than two phases, so right now the most common (and fastest!) strategy to complete the Vosik Challenge Mode is as follows:
- During the Clean Room phase, players occupy two rooms at once, and use the two bombs that drop during the damage phase to close them
- After two phases, all four Clean Rooms will be used for good
- On the third phase, Vosik must be defeated
How this should be organised is during the damage phase, the team splits into two, each with a bomb carrier. When you need to move to a Clean Room, grab a bomb each (designate the teams and a bomb carrier per group so there's no confusion) and each occupy a Clean Room.
On the second phase, only Clean Rooms available are those that weren't occupied last time. On the third damage phase, you then have to take him down (feel free to use the bombs that drop during this third and final stage for damage) as there are no Clean Rooms to escape to.
While you have to decide on teams and split up, organising who goes with each runner will make things easier. Whether you want just a single person in one room and five in another, or an equal three and three split, is entirely up to you.
If you're struggling to spot rooms and mobilise in time, a possible strategy is to assign each 'team' a side so know which part of the room to go to. While a problem here is when Clean Rooms are both on the same side (which is unlikely, but possible) we'd argue it's better to play to this scenario and wipe if you're occasionally unlucky - especially since you only have to play to the end of the first phase - then scramble like mad each time. It ultimately depends on how organised your Raid party is.
Either way, the difficulty comes into finishing the encounter in three damage phases, made worse by the fact you won't be using bombs for damage during two phases. As always, learning how to deal damage quickly will help greatly here; having a Warlock use a Weapons of Light Super to deal extra damage, Hunters with Celestial Nighthawk and / or Tether, and simply everyone having as close to 400 Light Level will help.
Wrath of the Machine Challenge Mode - Aksis Strategy
The Aksis Challenge mode (whether on Normal or Wrath of the Machine Hard mode) has someone on the team supercharge before stunning Aksis on each teleport. Not just once per phase - but every time Aksis moves.
What is supercharging? While not essential to defeat the boss usually, during every teleport one of the three 'plates' on the left, back middle and right areas - where the Servitors will make their way to during the prior bomb phase - will be lit up.
If you are empowered, you can discharge your energy onto one of these 'plates' and supercharge the entire team's Supers. It's a great way to get extra damage in the short window of each teleport, and in the Challenge mode, it's required every time he shifts place.
Some useful things to know about each of these 'plates'; only one of three plates will light up every teleport, and they won't appear on the same side as where Aksis will teleport to. So if he's on the left, the 'plate' will be on the right or in the middle. Remember this to help narrow down your focus.
As with playing the encounter regularly, players must position the empowered players to left, middle and right, covering where Aksis could possibly teleport to. It's these positions that will also help you cover the 'plates'.
However, as Dukaness explains on the Destiny sub-Reddit, a useful small tweak that'll help you cover all of them effectively is positioning the 'middle' player on the back right steps, almost halfway between the back middle and right areas.
As usual, wherever Aksis teleports to left, back middle or right the closest player will stun. When it's front middle in particular, as before, you'll want one of the front players to cover, and make sure it's right player, with the middle player keeping an eye on the middle and right 'plates'. If it's the middle or right, they are in position to easily reach either one. Left should always focus on the left.
For those familiar with the encounter, you'll know the window of opportunity to stun with each teleport is tight. You need to make sure the supercharge happens before the dunk slam, and it's best to have the dunker almost about to dunk but wait until the supercharger calls out before doing so. The team can also get a small heads up of where Aksis is moving to by seeing the 'SIVA particles' shift just before he teleports - which could make the difference between success and failure.
Wrath of the Machine Challenge Mode rewards
Once you have completed the Vosik challenge mode, you'll receive the following (thanks to the Destiny sub-Reddit for helping fill the gaps in these):
- An additional chest with a bonus loot drop from either difficulty (though still capped to the difficulty you're running - up to 385 in Normal, 400 in Hard mode)
- Vosik's Venom Emblem (Normal or Hard, one time only)
- SIVA Ornament (Hard mode only, to use in Hard Mode armour drops)
- Exotic Engram (Hard mode only)
Want more Destiny: Rise of Iron guides, tips and tricks? Then read our Wrath of the Machine walkthrough and guides, complete list of all Dormant SIVA Cluster locations, tips on how to reach Destiny's max Light level, how to complete the Exotic Gjallarhorn Quest, Khvostov 7G-OX Quest and Thorn Quest and new modes Vanguard Elite Strike Scoring and SRL.
Other things to know about Wrath of the Machine Challenge Mode
- Each Challenge Mode will alternate each week upon the server reset, and you can see what's available currently by hovering over the Raid in the Director.
- Unlike King's Fall, no Dormant SIVA Cluster collectibles are gated behind Challenge Mode completions - you're able to get all of them without it. In short, it seems the only benefits are collecting SIVA Ornaments and getting extra loot, which is actually beneficial since these can be difficult tasks to complete.
- The SIVA Ornament you receive can be dismantled to 1 Silver Dust, according to the Destiny sub-Reddit.