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Aggressive Hand Cannons, Quickdraw nerfed: Bungie unveils upcoming Season 14 balance changes

Will these upcoming nerfs change the PvP meta?

Season of the Chosen will soon be coming to an end in a few short weeks and Season 14 will then begin on May 11. The start of Season 14 will also see a significant balance patch that aims at reigning in or buffing some of the outlier weapons and perks. In the latest ‘This Week at Bungie’ blog post, a list of upcoming nerfs was announced. Here are the most important changes:

Aggressive (120 rpm) Hand Cannons

  • These weapons will now have damage and aim assist falloff distance reduced by between 2 and 4 meters, based on the Range stat.
  • This roughly halves the range buff they received in Beyond Light.

While this will slightly cut down their effectiveness over long ranges, a big strength of 120RPMs is that with almost any kind of damage increasing perk they are able to two tap enemy Guardians. Since this interaction has not been touched, expect these Hand Cannons to still be strong in PvP, just not as dominant.


  • The Handling bonus is now removed one second after switching to this weapon, or upon aiming down sights.
  • Replaced Quickdraw with Surplus on new and existing drops of Felwinter’s Lie and Astral Horizon.

While this is a heavy nerf it is the right approach to take. Quickdraw granted a significant passive buff to the weapons Handling while also giving a quicker swap speed. This completely negated the weakness of Shotguns and Sniper Rifles which isnt healthy for the game’s balance. This doesn’t completely kill the perk as it will still be useful in close-range panic situations when you need higher swap speed, the perk just won’t give the passive bonus.

The replacement of Quickdraw with Surplus on Felwinter’s Lie and Astral Horizon is another step in the right direction of attempting to curb the extremely high use of these weapons in the Crucible. Surplus is still a fantastic perk though and gives significant bonuses to handling, reload speed, and stability for each charged ability.

Reservoir Burst

  • Now increases magazine size in addition to its other effects, reduced full battery bonus damage from 33 percent to 25 percent.
  • Upcoming content requires revisiting the Power Level of a damage perk that can be activated simply by having a full magazine.
  • Wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more...

This here is an interesting note that has caused a fair amount of speculation within the community. This perk was originally from the Pinnacle Fusion Rifle ‘Loaded Question’ and since that weapon is sunset there is no reason to touch this perk unless it was returning soon. It’s possible that the Vault of Glass Fusion Rifle ‘Praetorian Foil’ could roll with this perk? Or maybe a new Seasonal weapon?

Here are the rest of the notes for the upcoming patch:

Weapon Archetypes

  • Vortex Frame Swords -- With Falling Guillotine now viable forever, we need to adjust it a little, as its damage output is flat out higher than all other Legendary swords. With this change, we allow it to keep its high damage output but are reducing its full-reserves damage output by reducing the number of Heavy attacks you'll be able to perform.
  • Full energy Heavy attack ammo cost increased from 4 to 6.
  • Chip damage -- Certain weapons (Swords and Bastion) bypass shields by varying amounts, which has caused numerous issues with Stasis-encased enemies, encounter mechanics, and other content.
  • We have removed chip damage from Swords and Bastion.


  • Frenzy -- This perk has extremely high uptime in PvE, to the point where it is clearly a better choice than most other damage perks. We like the high uptime and want to preserve that, but want it to award less damage than harder to activate damage perks
  • Reduced bonus damage from +20 percent to +15 percent.


  • The Lament -- This weapon is a clear outlier for Sword damage, so for the health of Heavy weapon diversity, we're pulling it back a bit.
  • Reduced damage of revved Heavy attack by approximately 16 percent.
  • Note that The Lament retains standard anti-barrier despite removing chip damage.
  • Bastion -- Since we're removing chip damage, Bastion gets something else instead. We’ve noticed increased feedback on Bastion and higher than normal usage in PvP, so are making a small change here and will revisit Bastion later.
  • Intrinsically staggers Unstoppable Champions.
  • Increased spread angle by 13 percent.

In the TWAB it was revealed that in an upcoming TWAB, likely later this month, Bungie would be revealing some buffs that would be coming to Destiny 2 in the same patch as the above nerfs. Bungie Community Manager Dylan ‘dmg04’ Gafner states that a lot of these buffs will target underused perks and weapons such as Linear Fusion Rifles. Threaded Needle meta incoming?

Season 14, and the above changes, are slated for May 11.


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