Destiny: The Taken King – How to Get an Exotic Sword (Full Walkthrough)
What’s better than owning your own Legendary sword in Destiny: The Taken King? Well.. owning your own Exotic sword of course!
Who doesn’t want an Exotic sword after all? They look sweet, they hold tons of ammo once you upgrade them, and they can do some crazy damage.
Exotic swords come in three different flavors:
Bolt-Caster (Arc) – Heavy swing unleashes a swirling Arc beam that also leaves a damaging storm where it lands
Dark-Drinker (Void) – Heavy swing turns you into a twirling blade of death, great for taking out groups of adds
Raze-Lighter (Solar) – Heavy swing does an uppercut for huge single target damage, which is great for taking out Majors and Ultras
The one that you receive depends entirely on the sword you chose when you did the quest for the legendary version, which is why picking your first sword is so important. Want a different version? You’ve got to do the entire quest on a different character.
Just to clarify, if you chose the Arc version of the legendary sword, you’ll automatically be working on the Bolt-Caster once you get to the Exotic portion. If you chose the Solar version, you’ll be working on the Raze-Lighter, etc. There is no choice in Exotic swords once you choose your legendary sword.
How to Get an Exotic Sword
The first step is to obtain your legendary sword. Check out my guide to getting your legendary sword if you haven’t obtained one yet. You won’t be able to progress until you get a legendary sword first.
Next, you’ll need to full upgrade your legendary sword. In order to do this, you need to Infuse it over 280 attack rating, which will grant the final XP bubble to be filled. Once all bubbles are filled in your legendary sword, a new quest will open up with Shaxx called Honing the Edge.
Honing the Edge
In order to complete Honing the Edge, you’ll need to defeat 50 Majors in PvE, and 25 players in PvP.
This one is pretty straight forward, and there is no death penalty for the PvP kills (thank goodness). Just use your sword in story missions and strikes for the killing blow on Majors, and I believe you get extra completion points for getting the killing blow on Ultras as well.
For the PvP portion, you’ll want to make sure you camp the heavy ammo drops a bit, but heavy ammo isn’t even necessary. You can get kills with the hilt of your sword, however it will take two hits to get a kill with it. One trick that players have been using is to jump and swing, and then swing again right as you land, since landing cancels the swords recoil animation. I’ve seen the same trick used with sliding hits, followed up by a normal hit, which also cancels the animation.
When this part is complete, speak to Lord Shaxx again for the next step, Blade of Night.
Blade of Night
In this step, you need to go to the Dreadnought and defeat Ecthar, Sword of Oryx. Pretty straight forward, but getting there is the tricky part.
Head to the Dreadnought, and you’ll need to go to The Founts zone. Before that however, switch to your subclass that has a Super capable of dishing out multiple shots, or dishing out damage for a short period of time. Gunslinger for Hunters, Sunbreaker for Titans, or Stormcaller for Warlocks. We’ll go over why in a moment.
To get to The Founts, right as you spawn in go straight and a little to the right. You’ll end up in a trench that leads under the Cabal ship. This path will take you to the Mausoleum.
Once in the Mausoleum, go through the doorway in the back left side. This will lead you to The Founts.
Once in The Founts, you’ll see a large hole in the floor you can drop down into. Drop down here and keep traveling forward. The path will hook around to the right, and then open into a large room with a circular table in the center, and chains reaching out from it. In this area you’ll find three arc shielded Hive Knight Majors, and a handful of adds. Dispatch the adds before you engage the Knights.
In order to get to the next area with the boss, you need to kill these Knights in quick succession using a single Super. This is why we equiped the specific subclass when we spawned in, because there are three Knights that need to be dispatched within a few seconds of each other, or else the door won’t open.
All I did was get them each down to a sliver of health, bait them semi-close to each other, and then pop my super to finish them off. If done quickly enough, a large door will open granting you access to the next area with the boss. If it didn’t open, go back a zone to reset the Knights and try again.
In the next area you’ll find a bunch of adds, and the boss Ecthar, Sword of Oryx. Dispatch the adds before you begin your fight with Ecthar.
Ecthar’s shield can only be damaged by your shield, but once his shield is down you can kill him with whatever you like. Once Ecthar is dead, travel back to The Tower for the next step, A Sword Reforged (Exotic).
A Sword Reforged (Exotic)
This step is fairly time consuming, so be prepared for a bit of a grind.
In this step, you need to collect 10 rare planetary materials, and get 500 ability kills that match the element of the sword you’re working on.
The rare planetary materials can only be found in actual resource nodes, they can’t be found in chests. They also have a drop rate of about 5% to 10%, so you’ll be farming these for a bit. If you’re going for the Raze-Lighter you’ll be farming from Helium Filament nodes on the Moon. If you’re going for the Dark-Drinker you’ll be farming from Relic Iron on Mars. If you’re going for the Bolt-Caster, you’ll be farming from Spinmetal nodes on Earth.
My best tip to speed this up is to make sure you have the proper material finder on your Ghost. With this equipped, nodes will show up on your HUD when you’re close by. You can also zoom in with a Sniper Rifle to find nodes that are much farther away. The Nightstalker perk Keen Scout helps quite a bit too if you’re a Hunter. You can literally just blast around the map on your Sparrow and hop off when you see a node nearby on your mini-map. I got this step done in about an hour to an hour and a half on my Nightstalker.
For the ability kills, you have to equip a subclass that matches the element of sword you’re after. For example, if you’re going for the Raze-Lighter which is Solar and you’re a hunter, you’ll only progress with ability kills using the Gunslinger, etc. If you’re a Titan working on the Dark-Drinker then I feel bad for you, because the bubble gets zero ability kills, even with Weapons of Light.
I farmed the Dark Beyond mission for this, non-heroic. Get to the “We’ve woken the Hive” part, and go to town. Make sure you don’t kill the Knight or you risk losing your checkpoint. A couple times when I killed him on accident some of the Acolytes were still alive so I didn’t lose my checkpoint. Kill as many Thralls as you can with your grenades, super, and melee abilities, then let the Knight kill you and repeat. This is going to take some time, so hunker down and grind it out.
When you’re done with this step (finally!), head back to Lord Shaxx and he’ll give you the next step, which unfortunately is waiting for the next Armsday (Wednesday). There is some fluff about waiting for an Armsday shipment.. blah blah, I see your time-gate Bungie! Once Armsday arrives, the next step will be final step.. Sealing the Blade!
Sealing The Blade
On this step, you’ll need to complete a light 300 version of The Sunless Cell strike, with a little twist at the end. You’ll probably want to bring a couple friends for this one.
Basically what happens differently in this strike, besides the fact that it’s light level 300 (which means the mobs are more of a bullet sponge), three Hive Knight Majors spawn in the boss room along with the boss, each with a different elemental shield. Your objective is to kill the one with the element of sword you’re working on, and then kill the boss within 30 seconds of this.
Your strategy here will be to burn down the other two Knights first and foremost to get them out of the way. After this, simply burn down the last remaining Knight and the boss to just have a sliver of health. Make sure the boss isn’t near one of his teleport phases, then burn down the remaining Knight and finish off the boss. You’ll probably want to save your biggest guns until the end.. supers, rockets, swords, throw whatever you’ve got left at them to make sure you kill them within 30 seconds of each other.
Once you complete this, CONGRATS! Head back to Lord Shaxx for your shiny new Exotic sword.
Want More Exotic Swords?
Here’s a protip that will save you a ton of time once you start working on the other Exotic swords.
You already know that you have to do the entire quest chain again on a different character in order to obtain the other Exotic swords right? Well, almost.. do this trick and you can skip some of the more painful sections of the quest.
So you got your first sword on one character, and you’re getting your Legendary sword on another character. Once you get your Legendary sword, transfer it back to the character that has already completed the Exotic quest immediately before you do anything else.
Once you fully upgrade and Infuse the Legendary sword on a character that’s already completed the Exotic quest, it will immediately jump to the part where you need to collect rare materials and get ability kills, completely skipping the Major kills, Crucible kills, and defeating Ecthar. You still have to do the remaining steps, but this skips a large section of the quest so you don’t have to do it again.
You can even do your two remaining swords at the same time using this method from what I understand (I haven’t done this personally, but I have read several reports of this working).
Question or Problems?
Let me know in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to help you out.