This is it. The final test. Atheon is no joke. Before we can even begin to discuss strategies, it’s important to understand how this whole fight works.
Atheon has two states. In his attack state, he’ll move around, focus on targets (you and your team), and fire damaging purple blasts, like a more powerful version of what Servitor enemies shoot. He’s also got a neutral state, where he goes completely motionless while he teleports three players – chosen at random – to either the “Mars” or “Venus” locations from the previous step.
Atheon’s not alone in this fight. He’s also got Supplicants spawning in. These look like Vex Harpies, and they’re similarly weak (aim for the red eye), but they’ve got one notable difference: They explode. Supplicants have the standard Harpy ranged attack, but they’ll also try to get in close for a kamikaze explosion that takes out anyone caught too close to the blast. They won’t be able to explode on you if you’re standing on top of a pillar or other raised surface (or camping on the room’s central, floating platform), but their rapid-fire ranged attack is still a threat.
The strategy differs depending on which group you end up with, and we’ll look at each of them one at a time. Note that it’s very valuable to have a Titan equipped with the Defender subclass and the Weapon of Light damage boost on your team, and it’s equally important to make sure that Titan isn’t your relic-wielder.
The away team has the tougher of the two jobs. Once Atheon zaps them into the time stream, they should immediately let the home team know whether they’re in the Venus or Mars location.
Regardless of where they end up, the trio spawns next to a relic that works just like the Templar relic did. There’s no “Ritual of Negation” to worry about, but everyone who ends up time-traveling – whether they’re zapped by Atheon or voluntarily walking through a portal – slowly goes blind until the relic cleanses them. The blinding effect is constant for as long as you’re in the time stream, so the away team needs to communicate with the relic holder.
Whichever location the away team ends up in, one person should grab the relic while another focuses on shooting Oracles that start to spawn and a third focuses on taking out the handful of enemies. The relic wielder has a few seconds to sprint forward and take on the enemy spawns as well, since the cleanse ability needs to charge. Mars is easier to manage, as there are just three Hobgoblins; on Venus, you’ll find a Praetorian joined by two Goblins. There are seven Oracles to be shot in all, and the Oracle shooter should be able to handle three or four before help is required (they spawn in more quickly over time).
The relic wielder and third away team member should focus on crowd control, with that shooter switching over to focus on Oracles once the Oracle shooter shouts for help. The whole group should also start moving toward the exit portal once the enemies are wiped out, even if there are still Oracles left. Once all of the Oracles are gone — miss one and it’s game over — the away team can safely go through the portal that the home team should have opened by then.
Once the away team communicates where they’ve been taken to, the home team should head to that portal and open it. Have one player camp on top of the pillar in the middle of the capture plate. Station another near the rear wall. The third player should support the other two from the ground.
Supplicants will spawn from the center area where Atheon hangs out, and the groups will switch back and forth between swarming the Mars and Venus portals. They won’t retake any plates once the portal is open, but the pillar is still a good camping location to draw Supplicant fire from while the other two home team members take them out. The ones that spawn on the opposite side of the room will stay there; they should be the primary focus for the player stationed at the rear wall.
The home team simply has to survive and get the portal open while the away team takes care of the Oracles.
As soon as the away team destroys the final Oracle, everyone goes into a sort of overcharge mode and a timer pops up at the bottom left corner of the screen. During this period, weapons do considerably more damage and Supers/grenades recharge almost immediately. That’s why it’s a good idea for the away team to move toward the exit portal as soon as the enemies are cleared out but before all of the Oracles are destroyed. Every second of overcharge helps back in the present.
Once the away team is back, all but one home team member should head to the floating platform in the centre of the room. Supplicants can’t kamikaze that location, and it’s got a direct line of fire on Atheon. The home team that doesn’t head to the platform should focus entirely on keeping the Supplicant population down.
As for everyone else, the Titan should erect a Ward of Dawn shield near the rear of the platform. It’s a two-way shield, meaning you can’t shoot out of it, but it provides helpful protection and, more importantly, can be upgraded with the Weapon of Light ability to give anyone that steps inside it a temporary damage bonus. Everyone should get inside the Ward of Dawn shield immediately to get the damage boost.
Meanwhile, the relic-wielder should closer to the front of the platform and opens up the relic’s bubble shield. This is just a one-way shield, meaning you can shoot out and no one can shoot in. It can be kept open for the entire length of the overcharge, since the ability doesn’t drain. All of which means that players can fire away safely from inside the relic shield, while enjoying both the overcharge damage boost and the Weapon of Light damage boost.
While one player deals with Supplicants and the rest lay into Atheon, the relic-wielder should be watching the clock. Once it hits zero, the overcharge ends and Atheon does his time teleportation thing. Since the group of teleportees is always random, it’s best to just stay inside the relic shield and keep firing until Atheon does his time-travel thing. The new home team can immediately fall back inside the Ward of Dawn shield, which is probably still active, while they coordinate with the away team and start the process over again.
You just keep repeating all of the same steps from there. Atheon really isn’t that difficult once you know how he operates and what to watch for. If you’ve come this far, you should have good communication with your team nice and locked down. Just be patient, keep dishing out the pain, and before long the big guy will fall.