Gjallarhorn (Year 3)
It should come as no surprise that the Gjallarhorn is on this list. Many were wondering how this long-awaited returning Exotic would perform in Year 3 after its unceremonious exclusion from Year 2 and everything involving The Taken King. It turns out that this is still one damn good exotic weapon to have, particularly for PvE.
Depending on your Light Level, a blast from this can take out most yellow-barred enemies in Destiny: Rise of Iron, and is perfect for clearing out small groups. The tracking is pretty standard, but it’s the return of the Wolf Pack rounds (which are now slightly weaker) that really put this a weapon on your radar. Wielding cluster bombs that either add more damage onto a target or seek out nearby minions once your primary target is dead is invaluable when going up against powerful SIVA-infested enemies.
Welcome back, Gjallarhorn.
Who would’ve thought that a weapon would prove to be so impactful on the community that Bungie would have to return and make it even more special. And this isn’t some exotic that was snubbed in Year 2 like Gjallarhorn or Thorn. This is actually an exotic version of the very first weapon you get in the game, an item the community has jokingly envisioned for a long while.
While it doesn’t have any perks like Wolf Pack Rounds or an elemental burn, what makes this weapon special is the customization options. You can set this weapon to fire in either full-auto, burst, or semi-auto, and can even alter the firing speed. It’s one of the more versatile primaries, capable of fulfilling your needs in Destiny: Rise of Iron’s PvE and PvP.
If you want one for yourself, here’s how to get it.
The Nemesis Star is Destiny: Rise of Iron’s newest heavy weapon Exotic. It has a Solar burn just like Super Good Advice, only you may want to swap out that Year 1 exotic for this bad boy. For starters, the weapon looks incredible. While many of Destiny’s Exotics look just like regular guns with either a nice paint job or some okay perks, this one looks like it belongs in a game about space wizards.
But the look of a weapon isn’t what makes it great; it’s the abilities that really matter, and that’s where Nemesis Star shines. This weapon is all about range, stability, and a lot of damage. Its first burst of fire is enough to melt through most opponents in PvP. While holding the trigger, the gun slows down to provide more accuracy and range, similar to how SUROS auto rifles work, making for some interesting encounters. That amount of control with a weapon as powerful as this is pretty unmatched. Make your Legend be known.
Thorn (Year 3)
Thorn was the bane of many a Guardian’s existence back in Year 1. This potent hand cannon may not have been the best option during PvE activities, but when it came to PvP there was no match, and there still isn’t. Its damage over time effect, plus its powerful last round make it a menace no matter where on your enemy’s body you hit them.
Like in Year 1, though, you’re going to have to go through a pretty tough quest to grab a Thorn. But trust us, if you’re a lover of hand cannons and like to test your mettle against other Guardians, you need to have this weapon in your collection.
As it stands right now, Zhalo Supercell is the only Year 3 Exotic primary weapon that has an elemental burn (Arc). It’s an auto rifle with some decent stability and reload speed, but it’s the ability to spread damage against bunched up enemies that really makes this a standout.
While it may not be the most useful option in PvP (players tend to prefer scout or pulse when it comes to rifles, and some specific perks), it’s definitely something to consider for PvE encounters. This is especially true during Heroics or Nightfalls when you have an Arc Burn. While specials and heavies were always an option, being able to have some extra electricity in the primary slot as well is nothing to scoff at.
Here’s to hoping that Bungie adds some more burns to primary weapons.
Fabian Strategy, a Titan-exclusive exotic auto rifle, did not have a good time when it first released. You would think that it would support tanky gameplay, but that wasn’t the case when TTK first released. Fast forward to Destiny: Rise of Iron and you have a weapon that is the envy of all classes thanks to the auto rifle buff released just ahead of this latest expansion.
On top of improved damage, Crowd Control and Life Support make Titans an unstoppable force. The first buff grants increased damage with each kill, making it an excellent front-line weapon. Life Support is where this weapon shines, though – kills will heal you when you’re critical. Now a Titan doesn’t have to run for cover just because a situation gets hairy. It took a year, but the Fabian Strategy is now one of the best weapons in the game.
The Taken King’s ace up its sleeve was a fusion rifle that actually equipped to the heavy slot. While it wasn’t the next Gjallarhorn like most players were hoping for, it definitely did manage to become a useful tool, especially in the King’s Fall raid. Its ability to focus a tremendous amount of damage on a single point, as well as ricocheting rounds (that can kill you as well) make it a beast.
It is literally a gigantic laser beam that you wield in order to teach the darkness pain. If you want to get one for yourself, here’s how.
Back when The Dark Below was a new thing, there was one really good sniper rifle you could get from its raid, Crota’s End. Everyone loved that weapon, so an exotic form was made for The Taken King called Black Spindle. That weapon is still kicking ass and taking names in Destiny: Rise of Iron.
There are plenty of enemies for you to face in this new expansion, and a lot of the bounties, including a portion of the Record Book, require that you take out a ton of SIVA. What better way to take out the big baddies than with arguably the best Exotic sniper rifle in the game.
Queenbreaker’s Bow is not a weapon players normally go for in Destiny, but those who know how to use it can make miracles in Rise of Iron. It’s a solid option for those who like to run fusion in PvP, even though it isn’t the fastest of the bunch. The Hidden Hand and Hip Fire perks make this a fusion rifle that you can run with without having to sacrifice speed for aiming.
Again, it’s not for everyone, but you definitely should not overlook this weapon.
Swords just will never stop being awesome. Here are melee weapons imbued with fantastic power that not only make you look like a badass, but also are able to tear through the most powerful of opponents. Destiny: Rise of Iron introduces another sword into the fold called The Young Wolf’s Howl, which leaves an area of fire on the ground while knocking enemies up and back, similar to the hammer relic that appears out in the Plaguelands.
Swords are pretty tricky to take advantage of in PvP, though some skilled players can do it, but in PvE there aren’t many better ways to take down large groups or a boss. Players who worked hard on the Black Spindle quest are already aware of this, as are those taking down Omnigul.
If you’re interested in the new exotic sword, here’s how to get it.