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How To Beat Calus In Destiny 2: Lightfall Legendary Campaign's Final Boss Fight

The Desperate Measures mission includes an extremely challenging final fight, so here's some advice on how to defeat Calus (and a cheese option, too).


The final boss fight against Calus in Destiny 2: Lightfall--particularly on Legendary difficulty--can be a real challenge. At the end of the mission Desperate Measures, you're in for a tough fight in which you'll be thrown to your death countless times if your experience is anything like ours. Luckily, there are strategies for better dealing with Calus and his Tormentor companions. Here are some tips on how to beat Calus (as well as a cheese technique if you really can't kill him).

Desperate Measures spoilers ahead.

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Now Playing: Destiny 2 Lightfall - Legendary Difficulty Final Boss Clear

Recommended gear

This fight sees you finally squaring off against Calus in a circle-shaped arena. You can check our Lightfall Legendary campaign guide for more general tips and Exotic armor suggestions, but as for weapons in this fight, I'd recommend Osteo Striga, a void fusion rifle, and a linear fusion rifle (I used Cataclysmic, the origin trait of which can grant you health when reloading). Osteo Striga is great at both dealing with the many enemies you'll encounter and damaging Calus. The fusion rifle is good for killing the green-shielded enemies (who should be prioritized due to their knockback ability) and other tougher enemies, as well as melting the overshield that Calus periodically receives.

Using Strand

You're able to equip Strand before the fight, and while that might feel like a disadvantage in combat at times, I'd argue it's essential. The biggest threat in this fight is not being shot by Calus and company, but by getting knocked off the map. Strand's grapple is capable of some clutch saves, and using it will give you a chance to save yourself if you're falling to your doom. Because of that, it's important that you always have your grapple cooldown available; try not to use it unless you're specifically grappling to a Tangle (in which case the cooldown is immediately reset).

Phase 1

There are two phases to the fight, and during the first, you'll want to exclusively stay on the outside platforms. Groups of enemies will periodically move to these square platforms, so deal with them quickly. Calus will launch homing projectiles and fire his weapon at you; the projectiles can be shot and destroyed, while the vertical barriers at the front of the platform can block his weapon fire, giving you something of a safe space. On occasion, Calus will launch a pyramid tech-looking attack on these platforms, and you'll need to rush away to avoid a guaranteed death. I'd recommend using the higher-elevation curved platforms that connect the four outer square platforms (move toward the middle to get cover from Calus's gun). By doing this, rather than moving into the middle, you can keep some distance between you and Calus.

These platforms are where you should spend most of your time during Phase 1
These platforms are where you should spend most of your time during Phase 1

You'll want to save your Heavy ammo as much as possible, so stick behind those barriers on the square platforms and deal damage to Calus with Osteo Striga, killing any other enemies you encounter as needed. Once you've dealt enough damage, Calus will gain an overshield and a Tormentor will spawn. The Tormentor should become your immediate focus. Because they can knock you back and suppress your grapple and jump abilities, they are very likely to be your cause of death as you attempt this fight. Use your linear fusion rifle to take out their weak points and ensure you keep your distance to avoid that suppression effect. As soon as you're able to use your finisher, I'd recommend doing so if they're within range--don't risk giving them a chance to suppress you.

Once they're dealt with, you can take out Calus's overshield and continue dealing damage to him; remember that a hard-hitting weapon like a fusion rifle, or throwing a Strand Tangle, will deal with his overshield much more quickly than a kinetic weapon. Also note that this overshield will return if you go too long without damaging him.

Once you've dealt even more damage to Calus, another Tormentor will spawn in; rinse and repeat until you reduce Calus's health bar all the way. Just be sure you've killed the Tormentors--you don't want them lingering for the second phase of the fight.

Phase 2

This second phase reduces the size of the arena, pushing you into the central platform with Calus, who now becomes a melee fighter. Again, your top threat is knockback, as you can fall off the map or be slammed into an object that kills you. There's no checkpoint here, so you'll need to restart the entire encounter if you die.

This phase essentially consists of a lot of backpedaling while damaging Calus and trying to avoid his attacks. There are Tangles around the arena to let you navigate more quickly, just be sure you actually connect with one--you don't want to risk your cooldown not resetting if you grapple to any non-Tangle point. Hopefully, you've been able to save up Heavy ammo to target Calus's head and have your Super to hit him hard. Additional enemies are relatively limited, save for some Psions that can lift you into the air but otherwise serve as ammo fodder.

Calus hits hard, but it's the knockback that is the real threat
Calus hits hard, but it's the knockback that is the real threat

This is largely a one-on-one showdown that centers around your ability to keep distance between you and Calus. It's a tough fight, but there are no gimmicks around his health bar, so just keep damaging him until he's dead.

If you truly can't deal with Calus--and I get it, as someone who spent hours on this fight--there is a cheese method that involves placing you out of Calus's reach during the second phase, as detailed in this video.

With this fight done, you're entitled to some great rewards if you played through the entire campaign on Legendary, including 1770 Power gear, a new piece of Lightfall Exotic armor, and the ability to unlock Strand as a proper subclass. Be sure to check out our other Lightfall and Season of Defiance guides for more tips, including where to find Neomuna's regional chests and how to increase your Power level quickly.

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