Destiny Hunter Exotics PvE Tier Guide by aWrySharK
disclaimer: The following is opinion, and intended to be taken as such. If you disagree with any specific tier, you probably have your reasons, and I’d probably love to hear them. I fully think you should use whatever exotic you prefer. That said, I will do my best to make a case for my favorites.
No longer content to simply rate rolls, I want to give my opinions on exotics as a whole. I’m often asked whether or not [insert exotic here] is any good, and while I intend to simply stick to evaluating rolls in the Xûr megathreads, I want to make a few threads as a reference to which I can refer those curious about my exotic preferences. I’m going to start with Hunter.
First off, stat priority.
- Discipline: Get those tripmines back sooner. With Ashes to Asset on the best Exotic for Gunslinger, these grenades will translate to extra super very quick. Combine with Scavenger for insane cooldowns.
- Intellect: Almost an equal priority to Discipline. Golden Gun is your bread and butter for aggressive wave-clearing/Major takedowns. You want this high enough to benefit from Ashes to Asset/Inverse Shadow, but your mileage may vary with maxing out at the cost of another stat.
- Strength: Throwing knife is fun, but it should never be prioritized above Disc/Int for a Gunslinger in PvE. Knife Juggler/Gambler’s Dagger/Scavenger can be used in lieu of Strength quite effectively, if you really want those knives up more often.
- Intellect: Debated with this, as Discipline isn’t a bad bet either. Ultimately, although Bladedancer’s super is a little outclassed in tougher PvE content, it’s the best killing tool in the BD’s arsenal. You want this at every opportunity.
- Discipline: Not a huge fan of Bladedancer grenades, personally. Their sticky could use a power boost, and arc bolt is temperamental with chaining. Still, ranged killing power is always to be prioritized, so they come in at number 2.
- Strength: Minimal investment will be just fine for Fast Twitch, though Escape Artist fans might prefer a little more than that for leeway.
Okay that’s it. You might notice I gave Strength short shrift; that’s a theme with me. It’s a fun stat for low-stress content, sometimes, but it’s just not what you want for raids, harder strikes, etc. Melee scaling sucks – and we can’t do anything about it. Utility on certain abilities makes it worth occasional investment on specific builds, but otherwise steer clear if the option is there.
Going to go armor slot by armor slot, and give my reasoning for each tiers: S, A, B, and C. As you might guess, S is the crème de la crème, A is everything but the cherry on top, B is perfectly functional – if outclassed, and C is situational with dubious benefit and little end-game preference. I’ll be taking into account basic perk synergy, stat priority, and Exotic perk usefulness.
Achylophage Symbiote (DISC): S
Reasoning: If you don’t know by now, this is the best Gunslinger Exotic available. An extra GG shot is bonkers and great for any and all content. Ashes to Asset synergizes extremely well with the pure DISC roll and Scavenger to generate super faster, and even Fastball works for making those Tripmine placements pure precision.
Knucklehead Radar (STR): B
Reasoning: Strength is a peculiar stat for this helm, working with Light The Blade to give you your melee back sooner – meh. Sensor Pack is useful, but a definite crutch, and one that isn’t necessary in the slightest if you’re positionally aware. The only reason this doesn’t get C is Inverse Shadow, which is a potent perk on any Exotic for generating super quicker. You’d better have a lot of intellect elsewhere to take advantage of it, though, or it’s a C for sure.
Mask of the Third Man (INT): A
Reasoning: Bladedancer’s best friend. Pure INT works well to get you your super faster, and the Exotic Perk is fantastic, freeing you up to avoid Encore and commit to Hungering Blade for sustained trash disposal. Increased melee attack speed is fun but not game-changing. Orbs give health is suddenly extremely useful for Swordbearers in Crota.
ATS/8 Arachnid (DISC/STR): B
Reasoning: Split-stat Exotic roll means higher potential cumulative roll, which is a nice boost. Ashes to Asset and Light the Blade work with your grenades to simultaneously generate melee/super. Again, both pair very well with Scavenger. The Exotic perk drags these down from A – being far outclassed – but is okay for niche situations in which you’d prefer to kill at an extreme range – e.g. sniper duty.
Young Ahamkara’s Spine (DISC): C
Reasoning: Ugh, even with DISC and Ashes to Asset, these get the C. Achylophage Symbiote has both of those, and a far better Exotic perk. 30 seconds for Tripmine detonation does nothing for you in PvE, and Special Weapon Loader is not enough to justify its use.
Don’t Touch Me (DISC): A
Reasoning: Discipline roll is useful for both classes, though Intellect may have been better. Special Weapon Loader is nice too, but it’s a glove standard. Inverse Shadow is a huge boon, unique to these Gauntlets alone, and apparently stacks with a helmet with Inverse Shadow to devastating effect. The unique perk is equally strong on a Bladedancer building for invisibility, and even of some use for Gunslingers who get in trouble.
Lucky Rapsberry (INT): B
Reasoning: Heavy weapon ammo is redundant and borderline useless if you’ve got raid gear. Fusion rifle ammo gives you a boost for the Vex Mythoclast or your favorite alternative. The unique perk has its usefulness split between PvP and PvE, with the improved chaining helping with trash in PvE over the ability to respawn with grenade energy. Avoids the C for its pure INT roll working to get you more super from longer Arcbolt chains.
Crest of Alpha Lupi (STR): C
Reasoning: Nothing special in the ammo department. Exotic perk is cookie-cutter and available on all classes, useful only for content where you for some reason expect to die a lot. Some may find a couple extra orbs worth it, but as it’s also a pure STR roll, there’s really no perk synergy or anything great to be found with this Exotic. C for sure.
Radiant Dance Machines (STR): C
Reasoning: No doubt for this one, either. Strength seems like a slap in the face with the absolute garbage perk. Combine it with max agility and MIDA Multi-Tool for a laugh, then wonder why you thought being able to dodge better would be worth not wearing Achylophage or any other Exotic. Maybe if Heavy Ammo ever gets patched they won’t be a complete joke. C all the way.