STRIKE MISSION 02: The Summoning Pits
Recommended Level: 12
Objective: Enter hive fortress
When the strike starts, you will be plopped down pretty much at the entrance to the hive fortress. Deal with the acolytes guarding the front door (consider it your guardian's way of knocking) and enter the hive structure.
Just inside the entrance are three knights to engage, so make sure you have a housewarming gift for them in the form of hot lead. After meeting those charming fellows, head through the nearby doorway for a new objective.
Objective: Approach the gate
As you emerge into the gatehouse area, it will have a decent size group of hive troops (wizard and knight included) who open fire as you arrive. Mow them down like usual (although it may take a little longer than before as enemies from this point forward are scaled to the recommended mission level) and work your way into the next corridor.
At the far end is the chamber with the large chain and an elaborate doorway blocked by an electronic system. Guess that's why we brought a ghost along.
Objective: Open the gate
As soon as you stick your ghost into the console, get ready for the ambush. Yes, same pattern as always folks. Three waves of progressively increasing strength are here to spice up the party.
Objective: Repel the hive
The first force (thralls, cursed thralls, acolytes and knights) will come through the upstairs door to the left (left if your back is to the elaborate doorway your ghost is trying to open).
A well placed grenade can put a serious dent in the emerging enemies if you time it well. Backpedal from the thralls while firing or swinging as their melee strikes can easily overwhelm complacent guardians. Once the first wave is dealt with, you will have about ten seconds before the next wave enters through the upstairs right door.
This group contains a few yellow health enemies amongst the large number of acolytes that spawn. After the initial rush, multiple knights and a wizard will show up as well. As the enemy numbers lessen, another wizard will arrive. Once the last body hits the floor, you once again get a short reprieve before the next group strike.
The final swarm of enemies arrive from the rear of the area (opposite the elaborate gate). Thralls, cursed thralls, acolytes, knights and a yellow health wizard (Mormu, Xol Spawn) will all arrive and start busying themselves with depleting your health bar.
Due to the wizard's shield and reduction to damage received, clear the lesser enemies in the area first and then as a group (assuming you have a fire-team present) focus fire on the menacing magical malady.
Once the final enemy is down, the gate will be open (surprise, surprise. This ghost is just like cops in movies... always arriving five minutes after the massive firefight). Head on through and continue your journey.
Objective: Find the summoning pits
At the end of the next tunnel, you will stumble upon a small force of thralls, acolytes and an ogre. Stay back while using the pillars here for cover while chipping away at the ogre's health bar. With a team all working together, he shouldn't last more than a few seconds. Once you are done, keep pushing deeper into the twisted caverns of the hive fortress.
Objective: Enter the summoning pits
A path split awaits when you enter a larger area. Your little white arrow will keep pointing you the right way though. Proceed down the hall to the next group of enemies (more acolytes and a knight). A little further along, you will see the area open up (and some outside light for a little bit) as well as a hive drop ship arriving. You can actually ignore the newly spawned enemies and keep following your compass arrow.
Smack dab into two yellow health bar knights. Great. Use your super or other powerful abilities to blast your way through and into a short series of chambers before you receive your final mission objective.
Objective: Defeat phogoth
A little heads up before entering the huge room containing Phogoth. The entrance room is a death trap and shouldn't be used to hide in. Why? Because additional powerful enemies (wizards and melee knight) will continue to spawn just outside the door and attack you.
A shrieker will also continually spawn in the air above and it's self destruct shards will deal significant damage to people as well. All in all, it is far safer to remain in Phogoth's chamber as opposed to constantly dealing with these tough enemies (at least in the chamber you have room to dodge).
Boss: Phogoth (hive)
Weak spot: Stomach pouch (small glowing object held by what looks like claws just below his chest)
Well, this guy is a real handful. I've seen teams leave or just give up when trying to deal with him. He only has two attacks but boy do they hurt. His first and almost constantly in use attack is an eye blast like lesser ogre enemies. Unfortunately, this one does more damage and has a larger beam (so it is more likely to hit).
The damage it deals will not instantly kill a guardian of sufficient level but a couple of seconds of blasting will easily reduce you down to the red threshold of your health bar. His second attack is the regulation melee attack (smash) that is an instant kill for any guardians idiotic enough to try and engage him in melee (it can be done, but you need to be damn sure of your timing).
Compounding the problem posed by these attacks is the constant influx of minions into the battle. Getting reduced down to red health and then being killed by a single blast from a knight or wizard borders on insanity levels of frustration. The enemies seem to be pretty consistent but do ramp up as phogoth takes more and more damage (starting off with thralls and acolytes supported by a knight or two and then progressing to wizards and progressively more knights).
My words of advice on this battle run like this: Choose a side and stick to it as a team (either the set of walls near the entrance or on the other side of the room) as they block phogoth's eye blast. Don't stand in spawn areas (the upper ledges of the area), especially when hive ships arrive to reinforce the enemy numbers. Mainly because it is really easy to be blindsided by Phogoth while trying to deal with the newly arrived minions.
Save your powerful weaponry for the end of the fight if possible. You can burn a bit of secondary or special ammo during the fight as it will probably be refilled, but take care not to exhaust it early as the longer Phogoth survives on low health, the higher number of powerful minion waves you have to fight. After that it is just a matter of coordination, reviving quickly and keeping up the pressure. A team functioning well can take him down in just a few minutes. Disorganized teams die or take half an hour to beat the boss.
After the giant finally falls, the mission will conclude with you and your team most likely celebrating a hard won victory. Kudos.