trials last man standing guide

Last Man Standing Survival Guide

Published on: Nov 16, 2015 @ 14:26

This week on Crucible Radio, Bones has a guide on how to survive as the Last Guardian Standing during Trials and Elimination. What seems like an impossible challenge is more reasonable using the right techniques.

The following short videos exhibit keen map awareness and strategy. This article will refer back to these clips throughout in order to better illustrate points.

V.1 – Sunsinger, Bannerfall

V.2 – Nightstalker, Exodus Blue

V.3 – Sunsinger, Exodus Blue

There are a few major concepts that must be utilized in order to survive a 1v3 encounter: creating 1v1s, map knowledge, patience, bravery, and gunskill. But positioning creates opportunities for the rest to exist, so that will be the main topic.


Positioning and Movement

Map Knowledge

The only way to come out on top as the LGS (Last Guardian Standing) is to put yourself – and your enemies – in the right spot. In Trials, complete map knowledge is an absolute must. If you do not know the map like the back of your hand, you will get beat. Knowing the map, common lanes, and paths either towards your teammates or control points is necessary in order to maximize your ability for survival.

Running Away

With proper map knowledge, you’ll be able to escape to the right places when needed. Running isn’t always the right move, but in the heat of battle, it’s often necessary to reposition and setup for your Alamo moment. The primary focus of running away and backing up is to put the entire enemy team in front of you. If you’re surrounded or being flanked, your chances of survival decrease exponentially. The secondary focus of running is to get the enemy to chase you. This is how you capitalize and create 1v1s.

At the beginning of V3 you’ll see Bones run to a point where he can safely turn around and prepare for engagement. He knows because of callouts from teammates and where the enemy was downed that the Sunbreaker stopped after 2 kills to pick up his teammates. Therefore, he’s put a sufficient amount of space between himself and the enemy. It’s also important to note that Bones did not flee far enough for the enemy to consider a flank. If they see red on their radar, it’s highly likely that they’ll move up for the kill.

A major thing to capitalize on while running is the fact that many teams will designate someone to “guard bodies” – so if you’re the only one up, there’s a very good chance you’ll only see 1 or 2 players come after you, at least at first.

If you give them all the time in the world to talk to each other and decide on a flank, you’re going to be flanked and pinched. If you stay on radar and toy with the idea of fighting back, only the best will confidently send one around the side. At that point, you need to start making a kill or two.


Most if not all maps in Destiny allow for circular movement throughout the map. Use this to your advantage to keep the enemy on your trail in a single file line. If you take a shortcut straight across the map (tunnel on Black Shield, up the middle on Burning Shrine), you’re really just giving them an easier route to get in front. The single file line is crucial for creating three 1v1 engagements, and by taking a shortcut you’ve allowed them to attack you from two angles.

Quick Recap of Positioning and Movement:

  • Know the map
  • Keep entire team in front of you when engaging
  • Use the circular motion of the map to escape
  • Don’t take shortcuts across the middle


Creating 1v1 Engagements

1v1: a gunfight between yourself and one other member of the enemy team, uninterrupted by any other players in the game.

So how are we doing this when their whole team is alive? Well, by using all of our positioning knowledge. There are many scenarios which can be turned into a 1v1. If they are watching bodies and send one to hunt you, you’ve got one automatically. If they’re chasing you in a row like you want, then you can create angles where only the closest Guardian can see and attack you.

In V1, you can see three 1v1 engagements that all happen very close together. The Titan and Warlock enter the area almost simultaneously, but by keeping a box between himself and the Warlock, Bones is able to focus on each enemy one at a time. A prime example of keeping one player out of the equation happens when the self-resurrecting Warlock is sniped from behind a pillar, where the weakened Hunter has no angle whatsoever.

In V3, I have them in such a tight chokepoint that unless they were standing directly on top of each other, there was virtually no way two of them could have shot at their target at the same time. As soon as Bones realized that he was out of special ammo, however, a decision to retreat further was made.


So you’ve hightailed it out of there, your teammates are dead and across the map telling you that they’re “totally safe to res”, and the enemy team is now considering their options. To ensure that the 1v1s start happening, you need to entice your opponent. Play some mind games with them – seem reachable and killable. If the last image they saw of you is your back, they might decide to sprint after you in pursuit, never once considering you might quickly turn around and blast them. If they don’t know where you are, they’ll stop and regroup, and that clock will be ticking. If they see red on their radar, the urge to finish the round will kick in.

Everything in Your Arsenal

It’s been mentioned that positioning and using the geometry of the map are key, but you’ve also got a ton of tools for holding Guardians at bay and forcing your enemy to go where you want them to go. A lot of Trials players want grenades that kill, but AoE grenades work wonders for spacing and map denial (void wall grenades, pulse grenades). Use EVERYTHING you have – grenades, ranged melee abilities, and vertical movement.

Ah, but weapons. The critical aspect of surviving any 1v3 encounter is having the firepower to do it. Yes, there are a lot of good primary weapons, but maintaining enough special ammo to finish the job is a very important component. Consider V3, when at one point Bones needed to retreat farther in order to pick up special ammo. The odds of finishing of 2 or 3 enemies with primary ammo and grenades simply aren’t very high. It’s important to keep special ammo crates on your radar – you might need to peel off and go pick some up to keep the round going.

Pop It?

Yes, if it’s viable, but only from a safe spot. If you are getting pressured by all three players and they’ve bailed on the concept of body watching, you’ll feel the need to pull the trigger and release the Golden Gun. Surprisingly often, this can backfire if all 3 players are ready for you. It’s crucial you activate super in a safe spot, and approach from a hard to hit angle. Turning a corner walking at ground level with Sunbreaker active will probably work, but one good sniper and one ready teammate with their primary trained on the door will finish a Titan off quick regardless of their additional armor.


The only way to learn how to be clutch is to put yourself into tough positions and challenge yourself as much as possible. Focusing your adrenaline and not breaking under the pressure of the moment is the only way you’ll start pulling off crazy comebacks. A good way to practice is to matchmake solo in Elimination where teammates are more likely to die – this will put you in outmatched scenarios more often, but you won’t ruin a Trials passage in the process.

If you want to be clutch, you can be. But you have to want it. You got this! Learn to thrive in that high-stakes moment. Evaluate yourself and don’t ever blame some other player or a gun. Never hesitate to make a decision, even if you don’t trust it. Just make the call and go for it because hesitating gets you killed anyways.

For more Trials discussion, advice on pulse rifles and the best perks, as well as some Clash tips from FalloutPlays, tune into this week’s Crucible Radio!

Iron Banner: November 17-23