Destiny 2 is full of cool stuff to grind and loot, with the pinnacle of that achievement coming mostly through Exotic weapons and armour. Despite lacking their once glorious lustre, a good Exotic can still completely change the way you play the game. They’re insanely potent tools in build crafting and can make the gameplay of Destiny so much more enhanced and refined.
Some Exotics, anyway. With the good comes the bad and Destiny 2 has plenty of underperforming or straight-up terrible Exotic armour options. Whether they’re too niche, too weak or just plain difficult to work around, there are a lot of Exotics that Guardians would rather just avoid. Why pick something more likely to fail when St0mp-EE5 is right there?
Bungie has already announced that they plan on reworking and touching up over 26 different Exotics in Season 19. We’ve previously covered the 10 Exotic Weapons that Need Buffs in S19, but what about armour? We hope that they extend some of that love to a few of the underperforming Exotic armour options that litter the game – Traveller knows they desperately need it.
Here are 12 Exotic armour options that need desperate help in Season 19 of Destiny 2.
Want more Destiny 2 content and articles? You can find more here on KeenGamer:
- Destiny 2 Season of Plunder: How it Works
- Destiny 2 Eruption: Iron Banner Guide
- What Should Be Done About Divinity in Destiny 2?
- Destiny 2 Arc 3.0 Explained: Keywords, Builds and Exotics
- Destiny 2: Who is Nezarec?
We’re going to be covering different Exotic armour broken down by class. First up are the Titans. On the whole, most Titan Exotics can stand on their own, with a few standing head and shoulders above the rest. The strength of those options, however, just goes to show how weak the less powerful Exotic armour is.
This Exotic has long been more of a meme than a useful tool, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Khepri’s Horn was introduced in Warmind and has the effect:
Solar Rampart: Solar damage kills recharge your Barricade, which unleashes a blast of Solar energy when summoned.
This Exotic aims to make the Titan Barricade more defensive and offensive, simultaneously. However, in practice, it falls quite a fair bit short. The Solar blast can take care of smaller adds just fine, but against bigger, meatier targets it’s pretty pointless. Additionally, with the addition of specific Solar 3.0 fragments, the class ability refunding element of the Exotic is comparably pointless.
To remedy this, giving Khepri’s Horn access to Solar 3.0 keywords would make a great addition. Allowing the Solar blast to Scorch enemies would make it more potent as a damaging tool, as well as allowing it to trigger certain other Scorch or Ignition-based reactions from Aspects or fragments. This would make the Exotic a far more offensive tool and a good substitute for something like the Loreley Splendor.
Mask of the Quiet One
The fact that the Mask of the Quiet One isn’t good is a real shame considering how unique this Exotic helmet looks. The horns-and-chainmail combo was in the batch of Exotics at Destiny 2’s launch and has the following effect:
Dreaded Visage: Grants ability energy when you’re damaged. When critically wounded, regain maximum health on kills.
The effect on this Exotic sounds useful and cool: getting rewarded for aggressive pushes and plays with Ability energy and max healing on kill is great. In practice, however, the healing isn’t very noticeable and is quickly overshadowed by the power of Devour, now available to all classes via Void 3.0. Alongside that, there are plenty of other areas of the game where Ability energy is handed out like candy, making the bonus from Mask of the Quiet One even more invisible.
A proposed solution would be to improve the healing portion of the Exotic. Specifically, by making it give Devour on low health kills. This would make the healing far more useful and make it synergise alongside Void 3.0 instead of fighting against it.
Hallowfire Heart isn’t a bad Exotic, per-say, but the issue is that is just outclassed by another Exotic from the same slot. This Exotic has been here since the start, with the following perk:
Sunfire Furnace: Improves the recharge rate of your Solar abilities. Greatly improves the recharge rate while your Super is charged. Provides a small benefit to the airborne effectiveness stat of all weapons.
This is a very potent, very useful Exotic… when the Heart of Inmost Light didn’t exist. Since the move to the more diverse subclasses, HoIL has overtaken any and all spotlight that Hallowfire Heart had: it works in roughly the same way, allows you to be more proactive and works on every subclass (unlike the Solar exclusive Hallowfire Heart). To bring back the desire to use this Exotic, it needs a little more to differentiate it.
The main way to do this is to focus heavily on the ‘while your Super is charged’ aspect of the Exotic. Focusing on buffing your neutral game and taking the attention away from your Super is an interesting way to play – perhaps tying it into Solar 3.0 keywords such as every Solar ability kill making you Radiant (as long as your Super is full) would be an enticing bonus. Alternatively, maybe the Hallowfire Heart could enhance the Hammer Super, giving it a constant radius of Scorch while active or some other effect.
This is a fun, dumb Exotic that could be great if it was given a little love. The Severance Closure Exotic chest piece was introduced in the Season of Dawn and has the effect:
Spheromatik Trigger: Powered melee final blows unleash a damaging explosion. Finishers and final blows against more powerful targets increase the radius and damage of the explosion.
The base ability of these Exotic is interesting and a fun way to make the melee-focused Titans better at add clearing duties, even if it is a bit underwhelming. However, as the game has expanded and the Light subclasses have gotten their 3.0 updates, Severance Enclosure has been overtaken by things like Volatile, Jolt and Ignitions, all of which do their job far better. Without the ability to tap into any specific updated element, it feels left behind in the past and needs a dire facelift.
That facelift could come by giving it access to those same 3.0 keywords. Similar to the update to Hunter’s Bombardiers, perhaps the explosions created by Severance Enclosure could trigger certain keywords and abilities: Slow or Shatter for Stasis, Volatile or Suppression for Void, Scorch for Solar and Blind for Arc. There’s a lot of potentials here for making this Exotic more open and wider-reaching for build crafting.
Next up on the chopping block are Hunters. Generally, Hunters have been on the unfortunate end of Exotics as of late – for the last few seasons they have received some potent Exotics come the season’s launch… only for them to be gutted soon after for their power. As such, there are a lot of underperformers that need a pick-me-up.
Choosing Blight Ranger for this list feels a bit like cheating, but that’s mainly because it is just so bad. This Exotic Helmet was released in The Witch Queen Expansion and it has been relentlessly mocked since release. The Exotic Armour effect on Blight Ranger is the following:
Voltaic Mirror: Attacks you redirect with your Arc staff deal massively increased damage and generate Orbs of Power for your allies. Guarding with your Whirlwind Guard Super does not consume extra Super energy.
This Exotic effect is a painful mixture of underpowered, completely pointless and overly consulted. The bonus damage is laughably low (a single-digit percentile increase) and there are practically no areas of the game where blocking damage in PvE is required. Even then, situations, where it could work, are overshadowed because just shooting your normal pea-shooter gun would be 10x as effective as this Exotic.
Blight Ranger needs a complete rework. The blocking damage effect is never going to be useful no matter how much they change numbers or statistics. Instead, it could be changed to be an Exotic that benefits the new Gathering Storm Arc Super. Perhaps it could turn the Tesla Coil AoE created from the Gathering Storm into an area that provides healing or Overshield. This would give it and close-range weaponry a way to exist in endgame content, without nullifying or overtaking the benefits of Well or Bubble (both of which are safer and provide damage boosts). Whatever the case, Blight Ranger needs a lot of help.
Sealed Ahamkara Grasps
The Sealed Ahamkara Grasps aren’t necessarily a bad Exotic armour piece or that their effect is bad but more that they have quietly been power crept over the years. These Exotic Gloves were first released back in the Warmind Expansion in Destiny 2 year 1 and they need a facelift. The effect of these gloves is:
Nightmare Fuel: Dealing melee damage reloads your currently equipped weapon. Provides a large benefit to the airborne effectiveness stat of all weapons for 5 seconds after dealing melee damage.
On the whole, this isn’t a terrible effect and there are plenty of scenarios where reloading on melee hit is important. However, there are now so many of these kinds of effects in-game that the Sealed Ahamkara Grasps have become pretty obsolete. Any gun that can roll with Grave Robber effectively has this Exotic built into the gun, and with newer perks such as the new King’s Fall Origin Trait Runneth Over focusing on overflowing via manual reload, this Exotic has quietly disappeared into the background. Even certain fragments and Aspects in the new 3.0 subclass trees result in a similar effect.
The Sealed Ahamkara Grasps have gotten a touch recently for improving airborne effectiveness but that isn’t enough. In the right condition, this Exotic could be a great compliment to the many melee-centric builds that Hunter has. Perhaps melee damage could still reload the weapon, but instead of a straight reload it could overflow the mag like Runneth Over or Overflow. If you wanted to go one step further, add a bonus to the extra bullets in each mag, such as kills with the extra ammo generating additional melee energy. This way the Sealed Ahamkara Grasps have a place and still keep their identity – something their currently losing thanks to power creep.
This is more of a request for a reversal of a nerf than anything else. When they released, the Renewal Grasps Exotics were a potent pick for Hunters, perhaps too much so. They made both PvE content and PvP content significantly easier or more annoying, respectively. The perk on these gauntlets is as follows:
Depths of Duskfield: Your Duskfield grenades have a much larger effect radius. Allies inside the Duskfield take reduced damage and targets inside the area deal reduced damage.
When they originally launched, these things were massively overturned. After they took a pretty heavy nerf, however, they have become pretty null and void in both endgame and general content. The Exotic’s purpose is supposed to allow Hunters a more passive, supportive role in combat, with a direct debuff in the Duskfield grenade. Conceptually, this is great and opens up the sandbox from just being big damage and Well/Bubble for survivability.
To make this Exotic palatable once again, the main thing it needs is to have the cooldown nerf retracted. When these Exotics are equipped, they massively increase the cooldown of Duskfield grenades, making that supportive role even harder to play. While a semblance of their former power can be achieved through Charged With Light or Well mods, having the base cooldown reduced would do wonders. With all the ways to get damage resistance in-game right now, having a Hunter sacrifice their grenade for some rebuffing potential doesn’t sound too terrible right about now.
This Exotic just feels a little bit lost. Raiju’s Harness feels incomplete, especially after the Arc 3.0 subclasses have rolled in. The base effect isn’t terrible, but it certainly isn’t worth your Exotic slot. The effect on Raiju’s Harness is:
Moebius Current: Deactivate Whirlwind Guard early. Whirlwind Guard consumes energy more slowly when not attacking, and guarding does not consume extra Super energy.
Now that every Arcstaff can block with Arc 3.0, this does make Raiju’s slightly more appealing, specifically in PvP. In PvE, however, just like with Blight Ranger there aren’t a lot of opportunities to block damage. In most circumstances, just using the damage of Arc Staff would be far more useful.
Many people have proposed that a nice buff that would keep the identity of Raiju’s Harness would be to combine the effects of it and Blight Ranger into a single Exotic. This would make it the defacto-blocking Exotic for a Hunter who wants to specialise in that area of Arc Staff. Obviously, the bonus damage would need to be increased to make it worthwhile, but having that bonus alongside the ones already on Raiju’s may make it somewhat of a contender in endgame content (where blocking damage can come in handy). Another route is to give the Exotic a passive bonus so that it isn’t just dedicated to Super only.
Lastly, we have Warlocks. To be honest, Warlocks have a lot of good options with very few inherently weak Exotics – in most circumstances, you can make the majority of Warlock Exotics work in some way shape or form. Just like the rest, however, they have plenty of work that needs doing.
Skull of Dire Ahamkara
Once one of the best-in-slot Exotic options for Void, Skull of Dire Ahamkara has languished in obscurity for far too long. This Exotic is an iconic remnant from Destiny 1 but its effect is completely different from the original game. In Destiny 2, the Exotic Armour ability is:
Actual Grandeur: Provides additional damage resistance during Nova Bomb. Nova Bomb kills grant Super energy.
Back in the day, this Exotic (along with a few others) reigned carnage over the PvE sandbox, to the point where Bungie’s only solution was to create content built around it. A few years on a few nerfs later, and the Skull of Dire Ahamkara is just kind of ‘meh’ in today’s world. The extra damage resistance is nice but rarely useful, and the cap on refundable energy just makes it feel like a waste of an Exotic slot. When things like Nezarec’s Sin exist, why waste it on Skull?
Considering that Bungie has nerfed Super generating Exotics across the board, it’s clear that asking for a reversal of the nerf is out of the question. As a result, moving away from the Destiny 2 perk and more towards something similar to the Destiny 1 variant may be more useful. Back in the day, it improved Voidwalker’s ‘siphon effects’ like the powered melee, so perhaps it becoming an Exotic that improves Devour (similar to how Graviton Forfeit enhances Invisibility on Hunter) could be the play.
Vesper of Radius
What makes the state of Vesper of Radius even worse is how good it looks. This Exotic chest armour was released in Curse of Osiris and has the following effect:
Planetary Torrent: Rifts release an Arc shockwave when cast. Rift energy recharges faster when you are surrounded by enemies.
The main issue with this Exotic rests in both how underpowered this effect is and how situational it is. While it does have nice synergy with Stasis’ freeze Rift, that is seldom useful outside of killing low-level adds in Strikes. The Arc pulse doesn’t go far enough or do enough damage to be anything worthwhile. If buffed correctly, Vesper could turn Warlock Rifts into an even more viable aggressive option.
There are two core ways to go about this. The first is to go hard into the Arc aspect of the armour, giving it access to either Jolt to make aggressive pushes more rewarding. Buff the radius of the shockwave and you’re golden. Meanwhile, the other is to go the Bombardier route, switching the Arc shockwave for the currently equipped subclass. These elements would then use 3.0 keywords like Scorch or Volatile alongside the shockwave, making it useful on more subclasses.
Sanguine Alchemy is a really good idea for a Rift-based Exotic… if anything was interesting about the Rift. This Exotic was released in Warmind and underwent a rework after a brief stint in the Crucible. The Exotic armour perk on Sanguine Alchemy is:
Blood Magic: Weapon kills while standing in any rift pause the rift’s countdown, extending its duration. Further kills maintain and extend the length of the pause.
On paper, this is great. Even in-game it’s pretty good. There’s a limit to how long you can extend it (which is a bit meh) but other than that, it all works as intended. The only issue is that extending a normal Empowering or Healing Rift just isn’t that fun – sure, extra damage is always nice, but when there are so many other sources of it in the game, why use this Exotic? Alongside the Rift extension, it needs a little *oomph* to make it worthwhile.
Some have suggested that the spark it needs is that kills in the Rift grant healing. Unfortunately, there’s already a better version of that in the Selicant Filaments, which grant Devour on kill. Instead, perhaps kills inside the Rift could increase the duration alongside providing a stackable buff that gives ability energy or some other kind of effect. The base Rift isn’t enough to warrant using Sanguine Alchemy, so this or some other benefit would make it much more viable.
Last (and certainly least) are the Promethium Spurs. I wouldn’t be surprised if you said that you didn’t know that this Exotic existed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it used. Ever. Since its release, word has been deathly silent about this Exotic armour piece. The ability of the armour is:
Embers of Light: Defeating combatants or Guardians while Daybreak is active creates healing and empowering Rift at their location. While standing in any rift, [Solar] Solar weapon final blows grant Rift energy. When your Rift energy is full, final blows consume your Rift energy and create a healing and empowering rift at the target’s location.
The main issue with this Exotic is just… why? Why would you use this? The healing/empowering Rift combo is cool, but only having it spawn where you kill someone isn’t as great. It tries to promote aggressive play but it doesn’t work in practice. The cost of your normal Rift on every kill is very steep and Dawnblade doesn’t last long enough to be a good enough tool. Overall, the benefits are high with this Exotic but due to the convoluted nature of the effect, it is rarely used and has been forgotten by the community.
Bungie doesn’t just want you placing down combination Rifts at will as that would be far too strong. There needs to be some trade-off of some sort. I’ll be honest that figuring out a way for this Exotic to work in the current sandbox while maintaining its current identity is pretty difficult. Perhaps something to do with a stacking buff after Solar kills which gives you the ability to deliberately place a combination Rift outside of Super. Or, they could alter the effects so that these special Rifts give Restoration and Radiant when you run through them, allowing them to preserve over time.
There are plenty of other options but those were 12 Exotic Armour pieces that need buffs in Season 19 of Destiny 2.