The Season of the Drifter has arrived, along with the new competitive co-op mode Gambit Prime. Bungie promised raid-like systems for Primeval bosses in this high-intensity single round PvE/PvP hybrid, but after just a day the community is already finding ways to burst down Primevals with ruthless efficiency. Here's what we've learned so far, starting with the basics.
Kill the Envoys
Once you have banked enough motes the Primeval appears with a horde of Taken and three Primeval Envoys. To drop the white invincibility shield around the Primeval you must first kill those three Envoys. You can't miss them. They are huge hovering wizards marked by red icons. Once their shields (which have random elements, unlike vanilla Gambit which were always void) are down, they tend to die fairly quickly.
Stand in the pool of light
When the Envoys die a pool of light appears. Step into the pool to pick up the Primeval Slayer buff, and then fire on the Primeval for tons of damage. The most common mistake new players make is to ignore the pool,
Beware, though. It's worth being aware than an invader can wreak havoc when a team is closely grouped in the puddle, so be prepared to scatter rather than die and watch your Primeval heal up and undo your good work. The buff lasts for 22 seconds, so you can move around a little while still doing damage.
Work around the Primeval's multiple phases
You can't kill the Primeval in a single phase of damage from the outset. At one-third health the Primeval becomes invincible again and you have to kill new Envoys to spawn a new pool of light.
For every phase you complete, the Primeval Slayer buff stacks. This happens even if you deal no damage to the Primeval in the first phase. Gladd's excellent strategy (video below) recommends largely ignoring the first phase, effectively rendering invaders useless as your team cycles to the second phase. Then you unleash your supers and pull out your most powerful boss-killing weapons.
Bring the right guns, if you have them
Head into your vault and see if you have a Wardcliff Coil lying around. This rapid fire rocket launcher received a 115 percent damage buff in the Season of the Drifter patch, and is now one of the best ways to deal single-target damage.
The raid fusion rifle One Thousand Voices can also fill the role now that Thunderlord and Whisper have had their boss-killing potential dampened. The Chaperone shotgun is also attracting attention on Reddit (opens in new tab) for its high damage output. Combine top tier boss-killer weapons with the usual suitable subclass abilities like the Hunter's Shadowshot for even more damage from special weapons, and Titan's Melting Point or the Tractor Cannon power weapon, which both also apply debuffs.
A further thought: If you're a veteran of The Last Wish raid, you may want to use some of the anti-Taken mods you've probably acquired. Taken Spec applied to a weapon will cause around 10% extra damage to all taken enemies, including the Primeval, making it a better bet than more restrictive mods such as Minor or Boss Spec. Arguably even better is Taken Armaments, which grants power ammo every time you kill a taken enemy with a grenade. Handy, given the amount of taken blockers that will be hanging around your bank. Finally, Taken Barrier grants a whopping 20% damage reduction from taken enemies after you receive initial damage from one. Happy baking!