With Destiny 2 Lightfall fast approaching, many Guardians are beginning to pack their bags for Neomuna and beyond. Over the last several years we have amassed a mighty arsenal of weapons that have the potential to devastate the Darkness with the power of Light (and sometimes Dark itself).
But with so many choices comes some trepidation. What should I bring? What will be meta? You should always choose a weapon that feels good to use, but some are certainly going to be better in Lightfall than others. Especially when several different archetypes and Exotics are getting buffed or nerfed alongside some sweeping changes to build crafting and enemy design that will some options far superior to others.
Here are 10 weapons you should try to get your hands on before Destiny 2 Lightfall hits on February 28th.
Want more Destiny 2 content and articles? You can find more here on KeenGamer:
- Destiny 2 Season 19 Grandmaster Nightfall Guide
- Destiny 2: How to Get the Revision Zero – Operation: Seraph Shield Guide
- Destiny 2: How (And When) to Get Every Revision Zero Catalyst
- Destiny 2 Spire of the Watcher Secret Bonus Chest Locations
- Destiny 2: All Devilish Recording Locations in Spire of the Watcher
IKELOS_SMG (and the Calus Mini-Tool)
This suggestion is technically two weapons thanks to how similar they are, but one is clearly superior in a way we will explain. Over the last year, most other Primary weapons have been overshadowed by the IKELOS SMG and the Calus Mini-Tool. They are not only powerful picks for PvE and PvE based on their impressive perk pools and add shredding potential, but they have access to some of the most powerful perks that synergise with the Light 3.0 reworks that hit over the last few seasons. This allowed their potential to skyrocket and become must-have picks for Arc and Solar, respectively.
What’s even better is that their potential is going to only increase further in Lightfall. Elemental Verbs are going to be capable of popping Champion Shields when the Expansion hits, meaning that some of your abilities will be able to stun Champions. The same thing applies to any weapon that can output an Elemental verb like Scorch, Slow or Jolt. Lucky for us, IKELOS and the Mini-Tool can do just that: IKELOS has access to near-infinite Jolt through Voltshot and the Calus Mini-Tool has Incandescent for tons of Scorch explosions.
This means that an IKELOS with Voltshot can handle Overload Champions and the Mini-Tool can stop Unstoppables (should the Scorch from Incandescent be enough to cause an Ignition). It’s in this circumstance where the IKELOS SMG edges out over the Mini-Tool: all the IKELOS needs is a single kill on a weak add to trigger Voltshot and break an Overload, but the Mini-Tool needs you to kill a few adds around a Champion so that Scorch stacks will stun the Unstoppable. That extra clunkiness will likely make the Mini-Tool less popular. However, both are still superb weapons that should be added to your collection for Lightfall.
You can craft both the IKELOS SMG and the Calus Mini-Tool by obtaining 5 Red Border patterns of each. This can be achieved fairly easily in the last few weeks leading up to Lightfall, as all the Seasonal Vendors are offering one Red Border for purchase per day. Simply visit the Season of the Haunted Vendor for the Calus Mini-Tool and the Season of the Seraph one for the IKELOS SMG V.1.0.3.
For a while now, Kinetic weapons have long since languished in irrelevancy compared to their Elemental counterparts. While they got Voltshot and Incandescent and Chill-Clip, Kinetic got a small 5% boost to unshielded targets (which could also be used on Stasis weapons, I may add). However, that will change in Lightfall as they are raising the damage bonus to unshielded targets: 10% extra damage for Primary weapons and 15% for Special weapons.
While small on paper, this gives Kinetic weapons a bit more of a fighting chance. There are plenty of great Legendary and Exotic picks that will greatly benefit from this change, and one of those will be the Outbreak Perfect. This was already a top-tier Primary Exotic capable of decent DPS, add-clear and anti-Champion capabilities thanks to its unique perk and nanites.
With the bonus damage on top of everything that Outbreak can already do, this Kinetic damage buff will really help Outbreak stand out amongst the competition. Don’t be surprised if you see it rear its head during the Lightfall Raid or any other kind of hard content thanks to its universal appeal and high utility.
If you didn’t manage to get yourself an Outbreak Perfect during Season of the Drifter, visit the Monument of Lost Lights in the Tower. Outbreak Perfected is available from the Red War Exotics section for 150,000 Glimmer, 1 Exotic Cipher, 250 Legendary Shards and 2 Ascendant Shards.
As per usual, a few Exotic weapons are getting a touch-up for the expansion, whether it be more damage, utility or some Light 3.0 synergy. A few of these additions stand out but one sliding under the radar right now is Polaris Lance. This Exotic has been here since the Warmind Expansion and, while fun and pretty good at launch, it has since dwindled into essentially nothing outside of Momentum Control.
The buff it is getting in Lightfall will change the burn damage from the Perfect Fifth perk to Scorch stacks instead. The Perfect Fifth triggers upon hitting four precision hits where your next shot will be substituted for a delayed Solar explosive round which will now deal 40 (+20 if you have on Ember of Ashes) Scorch stacks. Paired with Polaris Lance’s decent rate of fire and the fact that precision hits return rounds to the magazine, this weapon will become a Scorch and Ignition machine by simply hitting headshots.
This new buff essentially gives Polaris Lance a modified form of Incandescent which can spread Scorch without the need to kill an opponent (which is the biggest downside of Incandescent, as it makes it relatively useless against high-health targets). With this, Polaris Lance becomes an amazing pick for Solar builds that rely upon and use a lot of Scorch.
As of Season 19, Polaris Lance can be earned by purchasing it from the Monument to Lost Lights kiosk in the Tower. You will find it in the Red War Exotics section of the Monument for 1 Exotic Cipher, 150,000 Glimmer, 250 Legendary Shards and 2 Ascendant Shards.
Released a few seasons ago, Riptide is a Stasis Fusion Rifle that was met with a moderate amount of fanfare. It had a nice perk pool, could be obtained very easily from Crucible and was quite fun to play with if a bit unremarkable compared to some of the other offerings at the time. With the announcement of some build crafting changes coming to Lightfall, however, Riptide has suddenly shot up the list of most desirable weapons.
The main reason to pick up Riptide is that it has the potential to be a Champion-killing monster next season. In Lightfall, Elemental Keywords will be capable of stunning specific Champions alongside select weapons and armour pieces. Riptide just happens to be one of the very few weapons with some kind of access to every Champion type (and it only needs 1 specific perk to do so).
With Chill-Clip, Riptide has access to Slow and Freeze (Slow on the initial hit and Freeze on any follow-up hit). Slow stuns Overload Champions and shattering Freeze will stun Unstoppable Champions. Even with just that, this is already an excellent weapon to take into Champion-heavy activities like GMs or Master Raids but, amazingly, Riptide has access to a third Champion type. You can run Chill-Clip on any subclass, including Solar where you can easily make your weapons Radiant and give Riptide Anti-Barrier capabilities. Stick on Auto-Loading Holster to pair with Chill-Clip and you’re golden.
What makes Riptide the best option to go for over other weapons is the ease you can farm it. Simply head over to Shaxx once you’ve gone through a few Ranks of Crucible and focus on Riptide directly from the vendor menu. This is pretty cheap at 25 Legendary Shards so you should have plenty of time between now and Lightfall to pick up a great Riptide for your loadout.
Lingering Dread is similar to Riptide in a lot of ways: they’re both Special weapons in the Kinetic slot that do Stasis damage, they both roll with Chill-Clip and they both have access to multiple Champion types next season. One may be a Fusion Rifle and one may be a Breach Grenade Launcher, but in most compositions, they will serve a similar role.
So what reason is there to go for Lingering Dread over Riptide, especially when the latter is much easier to farm? Well, Blinding Grenades (known as Disorienting Grenades in Lightfall) for a start. While they won’t deal Blind, they will slow enemies to a crawl and stop them from attacking you, which pairs with Chill-Clip to halt the enemies even further. Everything we just said about Chill-Clip’s ability to Slow and Freeze Champions applies to Lingering Dread, too (although it may be a bit clunkier due to how Chill-Clip works on Grenade Launchers), making it another great Champion choice.
The main disparity between the two will be how much worth you see outside of the Champion capabilities. Riptide has less crowd control potential and less range but more consistency in terms of damage. Meanwhile, Lingering Dread can rule over an entire area and stop enemies from damaging you with Blinding Grenades, with the caveat that you have to be a bit more conscious of how you use it. It’s mostly down to personal preference but, if you can, you should try and pick up both of these weapons for Lightfall.
You can get Lingering Dread from the Duality Dungeon released in Season of the Haunted. The easiest way to farm it is to repeat the first encounter against Ghalran over and over as this encounter can only drop either armour or the Lingering Dread and Epicurean Fusion Rifle.
We previously discussed the upcoming Kinetic damage buff with Outbreak Perfected, but we didn’t discuss its viability on Special weapons. While the damage bonus will certainly help Primary weapons find their footing a bit more, the extra 15% to essentially all bosses and mini-bosses in the game will certainly pique the interest of many. And none deserve it more so than Izanagi’s Burden.
Originally released in Season of the Forge, Izanagi’s Burden is an Exotic Sniper Rifle with a unique interaction that made it a top-tier pick for boss and Champion killing. Instead of firing each round separately, you could chamber 4 rounds at once for a single massive burst of damage. This was still a pretty good source of damage even today, just outclassed by many other Heavy weapons, but the Kinetic damage bonus has the potential to rectify that.
With Heavy Grenade Launchers and Rocket Launchers likely becoming the new DPS meta in Lightfall, it opens the door for some complimentary Special and Primary options to go alongside them. Izanagi’s is in a great spot to pair with a Legendary Grenade Launcher, providing long-range, high DPS that can tackle nearly every part of the game.
You can get Izanagi’s Burden from the Monument of Lost Lights. It can be found in the Forsaken Exotics section for 1 Exotic Cipher, 150,000 Glimmer, 250 Legendary Shards and 2 Ascendant Shards.
The king is back. As part of the Lightfall update, Heavy Grenade Launchers are getting a substantial buff. They’re getting increased damage against basically everything in the game (40% against Minors and 20% against Champions, bosses, mini-bosses and vehicles) as well as increased blast radius and projectile collision for ease of use. After laying dormant for several years at this point, Grenade Launchers seem to finally be making their way back to the DPS meta in Lightfall.
All Exotic Grenade Launchers (aside from Parasite) will receive all of the above-mentioned buffs, and Anarchy is perhaps the weapon people are most looking forward to taking back out of the Vault. Anarchy was the Scourge of the Past Raid Weapon and quickly became the defacto best-in-slot Exotic for… basically anything: whether it was add-clear, boss damage, or Champion killing, Anarchy was the best at everything.
It got a swift nerf last year that reduced its effectiveness significantly, but this new Heavy Grenade Launcher changes seem intent on putting Anarchy back on its throne. It will be great to pair alongside some lesser-used Legendary Special (or even Primary) options for DPS and has great Champion-stunning capabilities that will make it a very attractive pick for your loadout. That isn’t to say anything about Anarchy’s fun factor, either, which was top-notch and well worth equipping for that alone.
If you didn’t manage to get Anarchy back before Beyond Light, you can acquire it at the Monument of Lost Lights at the Tower. It’ll cost you though, so come ready and with full pockets. You’ll need to bring 1 Exotic Cipher, 150,000 Glimmer, 240 Spoils of Conquest and 2 Ascendant Shards.
If you’re more in favour of a Legendary Heavy option but still want to benefit and try the Grenade Launcher changes, then Wendigo GL3 is the gun for you. Previously released back in Season of Opulence as a Pinnacle weapon, Wendigo was a top-tier option for Heavy weapons. Like Anarchy, Wendigo could be used anywhere to a good degree of success.
After being sunset in Beyond Light, a revised version of Wendigo is now dropping from Nightfalls alongside weapons like Hung Jury and Horror’s Least. This also means that you can get your hands on an Adept version of Wendigo (boasting the ability to slot Adept mods and an across-the-board stat boost after Masterworking it) by completing Grandmaster Nightfalls during the week Wendigo is available.
This new version of Wendigo can roll with several different perk combinations (unlike the original which was static for everyone). It can no longer roll with Blinding Grenades (much to everyone’s ire) but it still packs a punch with its signature perk Explosive Light. Orbs will be easier to generate next season with the new mod and armour changes, making Explosive Light a great pick on Wendigo that can pair extremely well with other perks like Auto-Loading Holster or Clown Cartridge. There’s also the option of running Full Court or Cascade Point if you want to play a bit differently than usual.
Unluckily, Wendigo is slated to run on the final week of Season of the Seraph – February 21st to February 28th, to be exact – so it’ll be a little down to the wire if you want to farm out a good one for Lightfall. Even if you can only get one roll, though, Wendigo seems to be well worth it will a good suite of perks that will only get better next Season. If you want some guidance on how to tackle the Grandmasters this season to give yourself the best chance at netting that God-Roll Wendigo, check out our guide on the Season 19 Grandmasters here.
Leviathan’s Breath is an Exotic Bow and the only Bow currently in the Heavy slot. It shoots slow, hits hard and has an explosion on hit. On release, it was novel and interesting, but nothing spectacular.
After already receiving some hefty buffs in Season of the Seraph that made it one of the best general Champion weapons in the game, Lightfall is set on making Leviathan’s even better. On top of the extra damage it received a few seasons ago, Leviathan’s will now natively apply Volatile on a perfect draw as well as have bonus damage in PvE and PvP (30% extra damage against Champions and the ability to one-shot headshot every Super in the Crucible).
At current, Leviathan’s Breath is incredibly slept-on in terms of DPS and Champion stunning. It deals absurd damage and the blowback is enough to combat hoards of adds if need be. The Catalyst makes Leviathan’s a great boss damage weapon, too: while it won’t be hitting the same damage numbers as a Linear any time soon, it’s nothing to be slept on and provides plenty of utility. Watch out for Leviathan’s Breath come Season 20.
If you don’t happen to have Leviathan’s Breath yet, check out the Monument of Lost Lights in the Tower. You can purchase it here in the Shadowkeep Exotics section for 1 Exotic Cipher, 100,000 Glimmer, 150 Legendary Shards and 1 Ascendant Shard.
Bump in the Night
The last Heavy weapon recommendation is going to be for a Legendary Rocket Launcher. Rockets are already a great substitute for Linear Fusions in certain boss encounters and DPS phases, and their potency will only increase next Season with Linears taking a significant nerf. You’ll want to pack a good Rocket Launcher for whatever you’ll face on Neomuna and if you don’t have an Adept Hothead lying around you may want to invest in a good Bump in the Night.
This is a Stasis Legendary Rocket Launcher that arrived in Season of the Haunted. It has a very interesting perk pool containing staple picks like Auto-Loading Holster and Frenzy, but the most interesting (and most useful in Lightfall) is Chill-Clip. This is one of the few Heavy Weapons with this perk which, in Season 20, will be capable of stunning Overload and Unstoppable Champions (with Slow and Freeze, respectively). Even outside of the Champion capabilities, Chill-Clip offers a unique interaction in DPS phases with the bonus Freeze and Shatter damage it can produce. Together, this makes Bump in the Night an easy-to-pick-up Rocket Launcher that is good for DPS or mini-boss clearing with minimal investment.
Bump in the Night is fully craftable once you obtain 5 Deepsight Patterns (something you can easily do leading up to Lightfall as each Seasonal vendor is offering a Red Border weapon for purchase once per day). This makes it a great, reliable pick on top of the bonus damage it can deal with Freeze and Shatter as you can pick and choose the exact perks you want to get. Act fast, though, as Bump in the Night will become unavailable with the launch of Lightfall and the removal of Season of the Haunted.
Those were the weapons you need to get before the launch of Destiny 2 Lightfall. See any weapons we missed? Leave them in the comments below.