With the slight nerf to ultra-high ROF pulse rifles putting them back in line with the old standby that is the Hawksaw/PDX-45, & huge viable range (almost as wide as that of the Clever Dragon and Grasp of Malok), this could be a go-to for every situation. With improved in-air accuracy, the Hawksaw should be even more competitive.
While some initial testing with the SUROS shows it’s not exactly a game-breaker, this gun does seem, well, viable. While I doubt it will have much of a role in competitive games, you should absolutely take a minute to try it out for yourself. It will chew through opponents at mid-range, and if you can hit your precision shots you’ll be rewarded. Plus, it still sounds so damn good. Pair it with a sidearm for when things get up close and personal.
It’s not as though the MIDA was ever bad, but now that its main competitors – mainly the Grasp of Malok and Clever Dragon – have been directly nerfed, the MIDA should see some renewed use as engagements grow further away to account for special ammo camping. With the buff to scout rifle in-air accuracy, and less flinch from pulse rifles, there’s no reason to think the MIDA won’t shine again. It can poke-shot reliably, the intrinsic Third Eye perk is still great, and the new(ish) ornaments make it look a treat.
No Land Beyond & Plan C
If you haven’t taken the time to master these, why not start now? Since Bladedancer/Last Word/Sniper has effectively been stomped on, this combination gives you the next best thing.
For an in-depth discussion of why you should already be using the No Land Beyond, click here.
Invective has three massive perks going for it: one, it regenerates ammo automatically, meaning that if you can stay alive for 30 seconds you’ll have 4 shots to work with. Two, it comes with full auto. Three, it also comes with Final Round. Note that this should work with any shotgun that comes with Final Round and Full Auto (like your max-range Matador, Party Crasher +1, or Last Ditch), but you won’t have to worry about waste as much with a shotgun that gives you free ammo. Pairing this with an auto rifle should be effective.
In some ways, the Icebreaker is even more usable than the Invective. Despite sniper rifles’ reduced role in high-level play, the fact that you get one shot every few seconds (as opposed to waiting 30 for Invective’s full clip) means that you can instantly engage. Specifically, you can instantly get a line on the enemy’s special ammo boxes, and laugh at their desperate attempts to make it out of their initial spawn. The fact that it comes with quickdraw is fantastic, and now that you’ll have fewer snipers (aside from those using the No Land Beyond) to worry about, I expect that grinding the Nightfall for the Year 3 version of this gone will quickly become very popular.
While the range on Hawkmoon still isn’t as good as it is on a perfectly-rolled Palindrome, the buff to initial accuracy could make this beast viable once more. As long as you’re taking your time to line up your shots, you’ve now got a better chance to, y’know, actually land one of those magic bullets. Will it be worth the exotic slot over a shotgun or sniper that regenerates ammo? We’ll have to see, but at the very least, I’ll be giving it a shot.
The Clever Dragon, Grasp of Malok, and The Waltz will all still be viable, especially with a pair of gauntlets to raise reload speed, so don’t give up on those.
Furthermore, although Low-ROF assault rifles did receive their own buff, and are much better in Age of Triumph, they will still have to compete with the damage of hand-cannons and the accuracy of pulse and scout rifles.
Lastly, let me know what you’ll be running in the weeks ahead. Sunsinger with Invective? Sunbreaker with a Hawksaw? Nightstalker with No Land? That said, I’ll try to contain my side-eye until we’ve all had enough time to play through the changes sufficiently.