Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How to get an Exotic Sword in Destiny Taken King - Updated quest

Ok so with the release of the Taken King expansion Bungie included 6 different swords (3 Legendary and 3 Exotic) that you can obtain and equip in your heavy weapons slot. Aside from being extremely fun to use these swords are also preferred in certain situations or missions because of the amount of damage they do, especially to captains and majors. The sword entices the player to use a high risk high reward strategy, which like I mentioned, is not only extremely fun but also highly practical in some situations.
***EDIT: There are now FOUR Legendary Swords you can get in Destiny Taken King after the April update. Apart from the previous 3 Legendary swords released with the Taken King, a new Legendary Sword called the Dreadfang was released along with the April update for destiny. This new sword – Dreadfang is a Void Sword with the taken cosmetic look to it. IF you want to know how to get the the Dreadfang in Destiny check my post about it here.***

SO, How exactly do you get an Exotic Sword in Destiny Taken King?

Getting an Exotic sword requires quite a bit of work and so too does properly explaining how to get one, so grab a hot beverage and get comfortable.

Step 1 –
First of all you need to get a Legendary Sword. There are 3 Legendary Swords that you can THEN get the Exotic versions of but only AFTER you get your hands on respective Legendary Swords. If you need help on how to get a Legendary sword in Destiny, then check out my previous article here.

Step 2 –
You need to INFUSE your Legendary sword to an attack of at least 280. The Legendary sword given to you by Lord Shaxx upon completion of that quest only has an attack value of 220. So the first thing you need to do is infuse it to above 280 attack.

Step 3 –
Once you have infused your Legendary Sword to an attack value of 280+ then you need to level it up either using bounties or in game activities or motes of light. Motes of light is obviously the easiest and fastest route, but if you don’t have many lying around then simply using bounties and other methods should be fine as well, it’ll just take you a bit longer.

Step 4 –
AFTER you leveled up the sword you need to then actually upgrade all the perk bubbles of the sword using glimmer, weapon parts and the appropriate material just as you would with any other weapon. Once you have completed this Lord Shaxx will have a new quest waiting for you.

Step 5 –
Speak to Lord Shaxx and he gives you the quest ‘A Sword Reforged’ which is the first step in the questline in order to obtain your Exotic Sword. Now this is the step that most people find excruciating and would much rather skip. Sadly it is the first step in the quest and must be completed to move on.

Step 6 –
Complete the requirements of ‘A Sword Reforged – Honing the Edge” which states:
“Use the Sword against powerful servants of the Darkness, and test it against Guardians in the Crucible.”
This step requires you to get 50 Major (Yellow bar enemies) kills with the sword AND 25 PvP kills in the crucible with the sword. The 50 Major kills shouldn’t be too difficult as you can go into a regular or heroic strike and obtain these kills fairly quickly. The PvP portion of this quest however, while can be extremely fun with friends can be challenging solo depending on the game mode you are playing. I personally found zone control to be a good place to accomplish this as it only took me 2-3 games to get the 25 required kills. I would hide by control points and ambush people as they came to capture a zone. I will say that having a hunter that can go invisible is EXTREMLY useful for getting sword kills as you can literally sneak up to a couple of people and kill them before they know what hit them.

Step 7 – 
Once you have completed the 50 Major kills and the 25 Crucible kills you can speak to Lord Shaxx to get the next step in the questline.

Step 8 –
This is a continuing step in “A Sword Reforged” quest called “Blade Of Night” which asks you to “Draw out and defeat Ecthar Sword of Oryx, in the Asylum on the Dreadnaught.” This sounds vague but all you really have to do is go to patrol on Saturn/Dreadnaught. Once you have spawned on patrol take the same route as the sunless cell strike where you USUALLY kill some wizards and knights before making it past a door. The only problem is that the door is locked and there is a little trick to opening the door.

In order to open the door you need to defeat the three knights (one on the left, one on the right and one right in front of the door) but there’s a catch, you have to kill ALL three knights in a limited time, I believe it is within 10 seconds of each other. To do this all you need to do is weaken each of the knights till they have very little health, being careful not to accidentally kill them. Once all three knights have extremely low health then just proceed to finish them off one after another within 10 seconds. A super is a good method for this, heavy weapons is also a good choice. A fireteam of three would make this extremely easy. 

Once you head through the door you will see the familiar environment from the strike again, but this time instead of activating the panels on the left and right side all you need to do is kill Ecthar. He will be towards the back and there will be a ton of enemies to kill. To make killing Ecthar much easier, kill all the enemies he spawns FIRST then proceed to kill Ecthar.
Ecthar again has a trick to defeating him and that is you have to damage him with a sword FIRST to lower his shield and then he can take damage normally after. Again this step of the quest is made MUCH easier by having a fireteam where someone can focus on the adds OR all of you focus on the adds and then quickly finish off Ecthar.

Step 9 –
Blade Of Day” This step requires you to talk to Lord Shaxx after you have defeated Ecthar and he will give you the next part of the quest.

Step 10 –
A Sword Reforged – Essential Elements” This quest step has two parts. One of the parts is obtain 500 Ability kills with either Solar/Void/Arc corresponding to the type of sword you are trying to get. The other part of the quest involves collecting 10 Rare Planetary Materials. You obtain Planetary Materials buy farming resources on the planet specific to the sword you are trying to get, but just farming one doesn’t net you 1. The rate for me seemed to be around 1/7 or 1/8 so for every 8 Spinmetal I collected in the Cosmedrome I seemed to get 1 Rare material. It’s not guaranteed 1/7 of course it’s just the average rate I observed while I was farming for my sword. Again the resource you have to farm depends on the sword you are trying to get and it will state that in the quest you receive.

Step 11 –
Once you have obtained the 500 ability kills and collected 10 Rare Materials then you have speak to Lord Shaxx again and unfortunately he will tell you to wait until the next Armsday. Note that handing this quest in on Wednesday means you have to wait a WHOLE week again so plan accordingly.

Step 12 –
Once you have waited for the next Armsday the quest should pop up and you have to talk to Lord Shaxx again when he tells you the required materials have arrived and gives you the final step in the questline.

Step 13 –
Sealing the Blade” This is final task you have to complete in this questline and all it requires you to do is complete a special 300 Light Level version of the Sunless Cell Strike while meeting certain requirements. This is like the normal Sunless Cell Strike until the last part where 3 different knights or Wardens spawn. These wardens each represent an Element: Arc, Void or Solar and spawn in that order. In order to complete this part successfully you need to defeat YOUR corresponding Warden/Knight (Meaning the one associated with the sword you are trying to obtain) and Alak-Hul (who is the strike boss) both within 30 seconds of each other. 

A simple way to accomplish this is kill the 2 Wardens you DON’T need while keep the one you DO need alive with very little health left. Then continue to damage Alak-Hul until he ALSO has very low health and then proceed to kill the knight FIRST and then Alak-Hul all withing 30 seconds. If you do this in the opposite manner you will fail the quest and have to re-do the strike. IF you take longer than 30 seconds from the time the knight dies to killing Alak-Hul, again you will have to redo the Strike.

I would advise bringing a fireteam to help you with this part of the quest as the last part is a bit difficult. Note that surprisingly there is also matchmaking for this but this leads to frustration more often than not because everyone might be going for a different sword than you. Hence it helps if people in your fireteam are either going for the SAME sword OR they don’t require the sword and are just there to help you finish the Strike successfully.

IF for some reason you have a fireteam consisting of two different swords or god forbid all three swords are different, then I suggest doing the Strike 3 times unless everyone in the fireteam is a high Light level, somewhat experienced/skilled and open to communication as keeping all three knights alive as well as the Boss is extremely difficult without proper communication and teamwork.  So if done incorrectly can lead to multiple failures and at that point it is probably easier/faster to just do the Strike 3 times for 3 different swords.

Step 14 –
A Blade Reborn
This is the FINAL step after you completed the special version of the Sunless Cell Strike and kill your knight and Alak-Hul within 30 seconds. All you have to do for this step is talk to Lord Shaxx and he gives you your exotic sword provided you completed the Strike properly.

That’s it! Pretty simple right? If you are reading this and are overwhelmed by the sheer number of steps required to obtain an Exotic sword, let me tell you first of all that it is ABSOLUTELY worth it. An exotic sword in Destiny is one of the FEW exotics that actually FEELS like an exotic since the Taken King expansion. Just take your time with the quest while you do your regular activities and you should be able to complete the quest eventually.

How many Exotic Swords are there in Destiny Taken King?

There are a total of Three exotic swords in Destiny Taken King, one for each damage/burn type: VOID, SOLAR, ARC.

Dark-Drinker: This is the Exotic Sword with VOID burn and its special or ‘R2’ attack is a spinning area of effect attack that lasts 2-3 seconds when triggered. 

How to get The Dark Drinker in Destiny Taken King?
In order to get this sword you need to upgrade its Legendary Sword counterpart, the Void sword known as The Void Edge, and follow the questline and eventually kill the Void knight within 30 seconds of Alak-Hul in the special 300 Light Level Strike.

Bolt-Caster: This is the Exotic Sword with ARC burn and its special or ‘R2’ attack lets you fire an Arc disk at range that leaves a trail of Arc damage. This is the only Exotic sword that has a ranged attack and it is pretty effective over longer distances.

How to get the Bolt-Caster in Destiny Taken King?
In order to get this sword you need to upgrade its Legendary Sword counterpart, the Arc Sword known as Arc Edge, and follow the questline and eventually kill the Arc knight within 30 seconds of Alak-Hul in the special 300 Light Level Strike.

Raze-Lighter: This is the Exotic Sword with the Solar burn and its special or ‘R2’ attack lets you unleash a devastating uppercut to an opponent.

How to get the Raze-Lighter in Destiny Taken King?
In order to get this sword you need to upgrade its Legendary Sword counterpart, the Sol Edge and kill the Solar knight within 30 seconds of Alak-Hul in the special 300 Light Level Strike.

While each of the three swords have their own unique attack, everything else stat wise is the same about them. They also all have the same ammo capacity. Each of the swords have their strengths when facing enemies with their respective burn as well as in certain situations. The Arc sword for example can use ranged attacks as mentioned but its attack might not be as strong as say the uppercut from the Solar Exotic Sword. The Void Exotic Sword is probably the most effective when there are a lot of enemies in close proximity.

If there is ANY part of this quest that seems unclear or you don’t understand, please feel free to leave your questions in the comments section below and I will do my best to answer them as soon as possible. I was lucky enough to have friends to do this quest with so it didn’t seem that daunting of a task but it still took me quite a while to get the whole thing done.

This was somewhat an unusually long post for me as it is more of a guide to getting an Exotic sword than anything else, so if some of you Destiny veterans out there find that I made any mistakes please feel free to point them out asap and I’ll make sure to correct them immediately. Also if anyone has done this quest multiple times and knows any tricks or tips that would be beneficial to the Destiny community, also feel free to add them to the comments section and if they are extremely useful I will again add it to the post as well.



  1. At the essential elements part of the quest, do the ability kills affect the type of sword you get? For example, I have to get arc ability kills. Does this mean I can only get the arc sword?

    1. not at all, you can get any kind of ability kills as long as you ALSO get the required amount of ability kills for the sword you are trying to get. You can also get all 3 swords regardless of which one you get first

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