At a relatively early point in the main story I'm meeting a Cardinal, and it didn't go well for me. I did see one a bit earlier on Eos, but I assumed I had entered a bit too high-level area accidentally and reloaded.

It seems that I can only target the Cardinal's Orb, and even then once I destroyed it, it just appears again shortly after. I'm out of ammo, and the orb is still there.

Are there any special rules about the Cardinal and the Cardinal's Orb? Can I prevent it from respawning/regenerating? And how do I destroy bot it and the Cardinal?

  • I haven't played this game, but might it be the case that the orb is guarding the cardinal, making it immune? Because if so then you could try just normally attacking the cardinal while it's orb regenerates.
    – Reflexive
    Mar 20, 2017 at 23:40

1 Answer 1


While the cardinal has the orb/shield out, you cannot hurt him. You must destroy the orb, and then he has a small window where he can be damaged. Take this time to deal as much damage as you can, you may have to repeat this process a few times.

If you find yourself running out of ammo just on the orb, you may have to find a better gun or target the orb better. You cannot shoot the orb through the shield around the cardinal.

Also, I recommend staying at range, when his orb is up he has an instant death attack that he can unleash on you if you are too close. Assault rifles are probably best unless you are really good at aiming with the sniper rifle.

  • You can target the orb with powers, but good luck actually scoring a hit with most of them. Mar 27, 2017 at 20:16
  • I was experimenting with the augments that change projectile types at that time. Using the plasma projectiles that deal some AoE damage did obscure that only the orb can take damage, and not through the shield. They are siginificantly easier with a Black Widow sniper rifle now that destroys the orb in two shots. Mar 28, 2017 at 7:28
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    I'd also add that when you have the orb at low health (e.g. 5-10%), it's worth getting ready for the "burn phase" on the cardinal itself. Reload your guns, and wait for powers to come off cooldown so you can do as much damage to the cardinal as possible during that small window. If you have a powerful, small-clip gun, maybe even wait for your squadmates to finish off the orb so you can make every shot count. Mar 28, 2017 at 9:38
  • So far, the most effective weapon for destroying the orb, by far, has been the N7 Hurricane SMG from close range where you don't have to lead it much. Melts it. On the other hand, high damage pistols like the Carnifex tear up the actual cardinal. Head shots will take him out quickly. Lift works on the cardinal when the orb is gone.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 29, 2017 at 16:57
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    @MadScientist I'm full biotics, so snipers are too heavy for me to carry, but I guess it wouldn't be too hard to hit the orb with a sniper rifle when it stops. Actually, that would be a good addition to the answer: before the cardinal's main attack, the orb stops while he charges the attack. This is a great time to shoot it.
    – DCShannon
    Mar 29, 2017 at 21:24

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