Season of the Splicer featured the return of the year 1 Future War Cult weapons. While the support for the faction has been rapidly declining due to recent in game events, their weapons can be quite powerful. The main contender for this is the Stochastic Variable. This is the first Lightweight SMG to feature powerful damage perks since weapons were sunset back in Beyond Light. This guide will go over the weapon, recommended perks, builds, and Exotic pairings.
To start off, lets talk perks. Stochastic Variable features powerful perks across the board, but mainly focuses on reload perks in the left column, and damage on the right. In the left slot, feeding frenzy will be your best choice, while surplus and ambitious assassin are decent alternatives if you are still hunting for better rolls. On the right, perks like the recently buffed Unrelenting or Dragonfly can prove useful, but Multikill Clip is by far the best option here. For your other slots, you want to prioritize reload, then handling. Flared Magwell and Light mag will both prove very useful for this. You may run across this weapon's unique perk, Phase Magazine. If you have issues with stability, this could be a good option, but it will lower your damage overall. For barrels, nothing can help you with reload, but Fluted Barrel can help you with handling. Arrowhead Brake is also a good option as it gives you both handling and recoil direction, making the weapon easier to control. For Masterworks, I would go for reload, then handling, then range. When you first start with this weapon, the main thing you will likely notice is the low reload speed. This is the main thing dragging the weapon down. I recommend using at least one until you can get a better roll. When you get a better roll, you can hit the reload speed cap with as little as 3 stacks on Feeding Frenzy. This conveniently lines up with the 3 kills needed for the max 50% damage buff from Multikill Clip x3, the highest in the game. This max reload speed also cuts .84 seconds off the reload, which is about 40%.
To accompany this, there are a few options. I opted to make full use of the Charged with Light mod set, centering around generating a ton of stacks quickly, and using them on . To get charged, Taking Charge is always a reliable option, allowing gaining stacks from picking up orbs. On top of this, Swift Charge allows you to gain stacks passively by getting kills with the weapon. Combined with Stacks on Stacks to double the charges you get, and Supercharged to increase your capacity from 2 to 4, this simple build gives you a near permanent 20% damage bonus with the weapon, and requires little to no thought to use during combat.
For Exotics, Warlocks can make full use of the Mantle of Battle Harmony in combination with Chaos Reach to generate quick supers and gain another damage boost when their super is charged. Titans don't get as big of a bonus from their exotics, but if you want to build in more, Peacekeepers can be useful. Hunters don't have any exotics that substantially benefit this SMG, but you can certainly make do with other Exotics, like the Star-Eater Scales or Celestial Nighthawk. This weapon has been extremely fun to use, and has proved to be extremely powerful. After getting my first Feeding Frenzy, Multikill Clip roll, I quickly put in almost 3,000 kills in about 2 days. If you've been looking for something in the absence of The Recluse, this could fill that hole.
Follow me on Twitter for thoughts, streams, tips, and other things. Feel free to message me with questions or feedback!