The release of Shadowkeep is almost upon us and with this new update comes a whole swathe of weapon changes that could shift the meta for both the player-vs-player and player-vs-environment sections of Destiny 2.
Destiny Tracker has put together a list of the top ten weapons you should be grabbing before the release of the next major expansion to make sure your Guardian is fully prepared for whatever may come when Bungie's flagship series returns to the now-haunted Moon.
Dust Rock Blues
Dust Rock Blues (DRB) was introduced in Destiny 2’s Forsaken expansion and so far is the only randomly rolled Precision Frame Kinetic Shotgun available to Guardians. DRB has seen a large amount of use in the Crucible due to its ease of use and ability to one-shot fellow Guardians from a respectable distance. This is due to its already high base Range stat of 68 and the ability to stack many range-enhancing perks to increase that one-shot kill distance. DRB can be easily farmed from the Menagerie by slotting a blue Wealth rune and any other blue run into your Chalice or by killing the ‘WANTED’ bosses in either The Weep or Pathfinders Crash in the EDZ. For DRB to be as deadly as it can then try to go for perks that increase the range stat such as Rifled Barrel, Accurized Rounds, Slideshot and a Range Masterwork.
Whisper of the Worm
In the Shadowkeep patch, Bungie is reworking Lunafaction Boots and Rally Barricade to only give a large reload speed increase instead of instant reloads. This means that any weapon or exotic that can still take advantage of instant reloads will be heavily favoured when trying to pump out as much damage as possible within a short period. When landing three rapid precision hits with Whisper the magazine will be automatically reloaded from reserves allowing the user to continually shoot without the need to waste time reloading. Be prepared for this weapon to make a resurgence when Shadowkeep drops. Whisper can be acquired through a special mission on Io called “The Whisper”. This mission can be started by killing one of three Taken lieutenants during any public event in the Lost Oasis are on Io.
Redrix’s Broadsword is a hard-hitting, High Impact pulse rifle that has long been overshadowed by its more consistent counterparts of Bygones and Blast Furnace. With the release of Shadowkeep, High Impact pulse rifles are getting a small bump to the damage they deal within the Crucible. The increase may not seem like much with the precision damage only increasing from 32 to 33.6 but this means that the Broadsword will be able to two-burst a Guardian with any amount of Resilience. This change makes the Broadsword much more forgiving than it previously was and will drastically increase its viability within the Crucible. Redrix’s Broadsword is acquired through a lengthy Crucible Pinnacle that focuses on Valor gains.
Rapid-Fire Pulse Rifle
Similarly to High Impact pulses rifles, Rapid Fire pulse rifles have been overlooked when compared to the consistency of Adaptive and Aggressive Frame pulse rifles. Like the High Impact pulses, Rapid Fire pulses will be getting a small bump in damage within the Crucible with the release of Shadowkeep. At present, Rapid Fire pulse rifles deal 13 damage to the body and 21.4 damage to the head per bullet in the 3-round burst. This value will be changed to 14 body-shot damage and 23.8 precision hit damage.
With this change, it will still take three full bursts to kill an enemy Guardian but instead of all 9 shots needing to be precision hits, now two of those bullets can hit the body and still result in a kill. At the moment there are only three Legendary Rapid Fire Pulse Rifles in Destiny 2 that can roll with random perks. These are Horror’s Least from the Nightfall version of The Corrupted Strike, Outlast from The Reckoning and Claws of the Wolf from Iron Banner. Top perks to look for when hunting for these weapons are Ricochet Rounds, High Caliber Rounds, Rangefinder, Kill Clip, Moving Target, or Full Auto.
With the recent changes to weapon drop rates within The Reckoning, many of these weapons have become highly sought after with how easy they are to farm for a good perk roll. Chief among them is a Legendary Sniper Rifle known as Sole Survivor. When looking at the weapons base stats nothing stands out when compared to other Adaptive Frame Sniper Rifles but it is its unique perk Firing Line that makes the weapon top tier.
Firing Line increases Sole Survivor’s precision hit damage by 25% when standing near 2 or more allies, making it an outstanding weapon for Raids. This is due to most damage to bosses being done while standing near the other 5 members of the fireteam. Great perks for this weapon include any that increase magazine size, perks like Triple Tap and Fourth Time’s the Charm that returns rounds to the magazine and of course the above mentioned Firing Line.
Crimson is an exotic weapon that is unique in that it is technically a Hand Cannon but fires in a 3-round burst like a Pulse Rifle. For a significant amount of Destiny 2’s lifespan, the Crimson has been an unpopular weapon in the Crucible with its statistically slow time to kill making it a poor option when compared to Pulse Rifles and Hand Cannons.
With the Shadowkeep patch, Crimson will be getting a meaty buff to its damage within the Crucible with a change from 13.76/24.75 body/precision to 19/30.5. This will cause the time to kill on the weapon to be lowered significantly and since Crimson is already an easy weapon to use with its ability to heal the user on a kill expect it to take the Crucible by storm.
Grenade Launcher w/ Spike Grenades
Grenade Launchers have long been the king of player-vs-environment damage and it seems like this will still somewhat remain the case with Shadowkeep. In late August, Bungie community manager Dylan “dmg04” Gafner tweeted “There are no nerfs to Grenade Launchers (Including MT/Wendigo) coming in Shadowkeep,” but they are getting an indirect power decrease with the reworking of Lunafaction Boots and Rally Barricade.
Even without auto-reloading Grenade Launchers are still outstanding when it comes to large amounts of burst damage. Be sure to aim for the two Aggressive Frame Grenade Launchers that can roll with Spike Grenades, Outrageous Fortune and Swarm of the Raven, as these both fire the most rounds per minute and have the highest damage. Outrageous Fortune is acquired from Zavala when turning in Vanguard Tokens while Swarm of the Raven is acquired from Iron Banner.
The Grenade Launcher Wendigo GL3 is a Vanguard Pinnacle weapon that comes with the unique perk Explosive Light. When picking up an Orb of Light, generated either by an ally or yourself, high damage, high blast radius grenade will be loaded into the Wendigo which can stack up to 6 times.
The Wendigo can serve as a good replacement to the above Grenade Launchers with Spike Grenades as the Wendigo does more damage per grenade than these weapons if it has a stack of Explosive Light. Unfortunately, once the Explosive Light grenades have been expended the Wendigo’s damage severely declines so be sure to be continually picking up Orbs of Light to drastically increase your damage output. The Wendigo quest is acquired from Zavala and requires a large number of kills and multi-kills with Grenade Launchers within the Strike playlist.
The Recluse Submachine Gun is considered to be one of the most powerful weapons in Destiny 2’s history with it being a powerhouse in both player-vs-player and player-vs-environment arenas. The Recluse’s signature ‘Master of Arms’ gives it a large damage boost after a kill with any weapon but what the perk doesn't tell you is that the increase to precision damage is only 50% while its body shot damage is increased by 150%.
This makes The Recluse a very easy to use weapon but unfortunately, it is locked behind the Fabled rank in Competitive as it is a Crucible Pinnacle weapon. Interestingly, at the time of writing, The Recluse is one of the few weapons not seeing a decrease in its damage from the precision hit multiplier fix that Bungie is deploying with Shadowkeep. This is due to The Recluse relying on body shots to deliver its damage and so it is not as affected when it comes to a lowering of headshot damage. If The Recluse is not hit with some last-minute changes, prepare for it to continue to be a top tier weapon in Shadowkeep.
Izanagi’s Burden is an Exotic Sniper Rifle within the Kinetic slot that has an Intrinsic perk called Honed Edge. The perk description reads “Holding reload consumed the magazine and loads a round with additional range and damage.”. The damage increase is 100% per round consumed so with a full magazine of 4, the increase to that high-powered round is an extra 400% damage.
The problem with Izanagi’s Burden is that you have to reload twice, once to load a fresh 4 rounds into the magazine and a second time to load the high-powered round. There is no real way to avoid this reload time and so in a meta of auto-reloading, which Izanagi’s Burden can't benefit from, the weapon was considered fairly poor for optimal damage. With Shadowkeep, auto-reloading from Lunafactio Boots and Rally Barricade is being changed to increased reload speed which will greatly improve the downtime inherent within Izanagi’s Burden.
There is still just over a week left to make a last-minute break for some of these must-have weapons so get to it, Guardians. Shadowkeep releases October 1.