XûReview: Is That Worth Buying?

Item Class Subclass Buy? Strange Coin
Bad Juju Yes 19
Legacy Special Engram 29
Helm of Saint-14 Titan Yes 13
Young Ahamkara’s Spine Hunter Maybe 13
Starfire Protocol Warlock No 13

Helm of Saint-14f9c69600e83f78384365500f65dcd4da

A top-tier Defender Exotic remains as relevant as ever in Y2, as the revamped Prison of Elders begins to demand more of your attention. Saint-14 excels in controlling choke points and offering a haven from CQB, blinding anyone who passes through it for a significant amount of time. In PvE, this can single-handedly allow for certain risky strategies that would otherwise be impermissible. In PvP, occasionally someone will get cocky and fling themselves headlong into your death bubble only to realize they’re in way over their head.

Starless Night will blind any enemy (aside from bosses) that enter the Ward of Dawn bubble. Being able to blind enemies is incredibly useful in PvE and even PvP, and adds a new depth to the Ward of Dawn. When enemies enter the Ward of Dawn, they’ll be unable to consciously react. Being overwhelmed by any number of enemies is nothing this helmet can’t handle; it’s a great way to take on powerful enemies.

Young Ahamkara’s Spine2952fd2a816ee272179882d0eda41a7a

An excellent choice for PvP and a fine choice for PvE. The Exotic perk grants you an extra tripmine grenade for your Gunslinger, and also lets your tripmines linger long after you throw them, allowing your Guardian to dictate the pace and direction of battle. With enough Discipline, you can get multiple tripmine grenades up at once, leading to some very interesting scenarios. Sure, they’re build-restrictive, limiting you to exclusively tripmines, but these grenades remain the Gunslinger’s top threat anyway, so that’s hardly too big a knock. To see success in the crucible, try tossing them behind sight lines to pre-emptively control a chokepoint.

In PvE, the Exotic loses a but of luster in those situations in which there’s no obvious walls or gauntlets in which enemies rush through. In these situations, you’re left with the “extra” grenade, which quickly becomes redundant if you’re throwing your tripmine every time its cooldown refreshes. Of course, if you’re patient and economical with your other weapons, managing to save up two grenades for a beastly foe (think Heroic Ogres in King’s Fall) can be a very viable strategy. A high B tier in PvE is certainly not too generous.

Starfire Protocol941b6ef62bdb2efe7211a450fbd74b67

Starfire Protocol grudgingly remains a perfectly satisfactory option for any and all content. Its innate perk automatically grants you a second Fusion Grenade, freeing up the “Gift of the Sun” row for the option of Touch of Flame or Angel of Light. Now, Touch of Flame and Fusion Grenades seems a little silly; who needs such paltry lingering damage after a massive burst from a single Fusion?

However, with Viking Funeral, this turns a single target nuke into a way of denying shield regeneration and eking out every last bit of damage. As for Angel of Light? It remains a confusingly situational perk: deadly in the right hands for playing mind games with PvP opponents, suicide in lesser hands for painting a giant glowing target and removing you from the haven of cover. It also can be useful to avoid melee rushes from mobs like thralls and corrupted psions.

In spite of this, Sunsinger’s have two other excellent grenade options, and Starfire Protocol does nothing for these. Thus it is not a great all-around option if your needs branch out from single target damage. Because of this and the sometimes dubious utility of the perks you are freed up in using, Starfire Protocol remains a low-to-mid B tier.

Joel
I'm aWrySharK, your resident Exotic guru and lover of all things min/max. At PlanetDestiny, my perfectionism is no longer simply a matter of form over function.