Top 5 Legendary Scout Rifles + Pro Tips

Published on: Mar 25, 2015 @ 19:37

Scout Rifles fit comfortably in the category of designated marksman rifles, a primary weapon with ‘sniping’ qualities, encouraging users to place patient and accurate shots.

This weapon class hasn’t seen much change in the recent patches, continuing to stay fairly strong.

We also have a top 5 list for autofusion, and pulse rifles.

The Basics

As with any weapon, scout rifles can be used aggressively or cautiously, but you’ll probably do better if you try and remain at a distance.

You will not prevail through reckless engagements that you may be able to get away with while using an auto rifle. Be patient and remain concealed, try to have the drop on unsuspecting foes and your battles will be brief.

These weapons are designed for patient marksmen. They are incredibly effective when you aren’t being rained down on by hundreds of enemy bullets. When using a scout rifle it is always a good idea to try and pinpoint the major activity on a battlefield and engage it from a safe location; somewhere with plenty of cover and obstructions as well as having somewhere to run if you get flanked.

Landing your shots is incredibly easy and effective when you aren’t the focus of the target. Since each shot hits hard, missing one is more unforgiving than an auto or pulse rifle. Only engage enemies when you have the upper hand, don’t waste your shots, and take it slow.

As you’d expect, there’s a high RoF and low RoF archetype. Generally the low RoF/high Impact rifles are better suited for PvE, while the high rate of fire rifles will make taking down other Guardians a bit quicker.

The high RoF scout rifles can almost be treated like an assault weapon, but remember to be precise with your shots and methodical with your engagements.

Scopes via Garrus1138

Important Qualities

Crucible

Magazine Size

While you monitor the battlefield, you’ll want to have plenty of ammunition ready to fire. A healthy mag size is more important in PvP since other players are unpredictable as they move around the map,

Make sure your magazine size is fair, as you’ll want to supress your opponents as long as possible. Many strategic players won’t engage a scout rifle user at range as long as they have rounds at the ready.

Rate of Fire

No RoF is particularly ineffective, but you must be constantly aware of it, because if you’re in a 2v1 situation you might not be able to fire off rounds quick enough to take them both down.

Low RoF scout rifles will be at a severe disadvantage when you’re up close.

Range Stability

Perhaps two of the most important qualities. If you are going for the marksman approach, you’ll definitely want to have plenty of range to combat the damage drop-off that affects scout rifles at a certain distance. You’ll notice much more kills coming in once you use perks that increase it.

When you’re up close, a high stability just allows you to easier manage the recoil that a high rate of fire rifle will cause.

PvE

Impact + Range

As mentioned above, it’s imperative to maximize your Impact in PvE, while also trying to maximize the range so you don’t have as much damage falloff. Stability isn’t an issue because the enemies have predictable movements.

Reload Speed

A snappy reload is beneficial anywhere and everywhere, helping you get straight back into the action as quick as possible.

Best Perks

The ‘best’ perks really depend on what you are looking to maximize, but below you’ll find our top picks.

If you want a versatile and snappy rifle for medium range, you’ll want to go for mods that improve reload speed and stability. If you want something strong and reliable, you’ll want to focus on Impact, range and the mag.

Explosive Rounds

Explosive rounds deal additional damage as well as creating a small AoE damage around the shot – not nearly as much as Firefly though. This is very practical in PvE, especially as you deliver rounds in rapid succession.

Hammer Forged / Send It

Either perk is great to have, they’ll both increase the scout rifle’s range & accuracy. Like Rangefinder, the easier it is to see your target, the more damage you’ll do.

Outlaw

Outlaw grants 150% of your base reload speed after a precision kill. A powerful mod anywhere you are, chaining precision kills can give you almost no downtime between reloads.

Firefly

If you are battling against congested swarms of enemies, triggering explosions can have devastating effects on large groups of mobs. This is especially helpful in PvE where clustered enemies are all too common.

Rangefinder

Granting increased range while looking down sights, it will help negate the substantial damage falloff at longer distances.

Third Eye

While you are firing at range, you’ll be down sights most of the time scanning for targets, so this perk will keep you don’t want to get flanked. In PvE, Third Eye is much less important, particularly if you’ve got friends playing with you.

Top 5 Legendary Scout Rifles

Here are our top 5 Legendary Scout rifles picks based on versatility, damage output, stats, & default perks.

You can help out too by sharing your opinions with us about which Scout Rifles you think are the best. The more input the better!

5. Another NitC

another nitc review

Sitting in the middle between the high and low rate of fire scout rifles, this one has fantastic base perks, and huge 20 round magazine, and balanced stats all around.

It’s got an impressive base stability and an above average aim assistance, so you’ll have little trouble connecting shots in PvP.

The default vendor perks are Outlaw and Rangefinder, both excellent choices to increase reload speed and range respectively. This is the perfect choice to take into larger maps because of its near-maximum range potential.

4. The Saterienne Rapier

With two of the best perks straight from the vendor, this weapon is hard to ignore. For anything that’s not the Crucible, there’s little question that this is one of the best vendor primary weapons you can buy. Its reload speed is also at the top of the charts, just slightly slower than Dead Orbit’s Crypt Dweller SR1. The base reload speed is 2 seconds, but as long as you’re killing enemies with precision damage, that time will be cut in half.

The range is average, but with Hammer Forged it can be increased considerably. The base range is certainly not the lowest (B-Line Trauma) but well below the highest (Proxima Centauri II).

Its tied for second place for highest base stability so Ranged Lens RLR5 and QuickDraw IS are both extremely good options.

Unfortunately it doesn’t have elemental damage like Fatebringer, but The Saterienne Rapier is arguably easier to use and an excellent alternative.

3. Vision of Confluence

vision of confluence review

A renowned and feared weapon, its reputation has been carried by Guardians ever since it first started dropping in the Vault of Glass. Being a raid primary, it has Solar damage which is helpful for Solar burn and solar shields, even though the Attack is “frozen in time” (maxed at 300).

The Full Auto upgrade makes it easier to use since many people don’t want to have to continuously pull the trigger for every shot; it feels less like a scout rifle and more like a heavy assault rifle.

With the best base stability, the highest possible magazine (with Field Scout), and extra damage against Oracles, it’s a solid choice in PvP or PvE.

2. Gheleon’s Demise

Gheleon’s Demise is an iconic weapon that defines its archetype incredibly well. When purchased from the vendor you’ll already have a great weapon, but what makes Iron Banner weapons so special is the ability to Reforge them.

Gheleon’s Demise rewards patient and precise players with massive area effect damage in PvE with Firefly and 3-4 shot kills at long range in PvP. On larger maps, this is a weapon to be truly feared; each round echoes with cries of warriors lost during the Iron banner.

With the highest Impact & range available, it’s going to be most useful in PvE.

1. Fang of Ir Yût

A very prestigious weapon that can we awarded to Guardians brave enough to defeat Crota on Hard Mode.

This weapons has many awesome mods like Third Eye, Spray and Play and Field Scout – most scout rifle users will want to have these.

Arc Damage will make short work of Captains, Harpies, Knights. Nightfall missions incorporating the Arc Burn modifier make this weapon a superior choice for those who desire a marksman approach.

On paper, its stats are average. The Fang doesn’t excel in any area, but its strength lies in being balanced.

Its rate of fire and Impact is shared by The Saterienne Rapier, Another NitC, and Vision of Confluence.

The range of 75 is actually higher than Vision of Confluence, but Badger CCL just barely trumps it.

Reload speed is above average, without any upgrades, sits at 2.15 seconds. Fortunately with the Spray and Play perk, reloading when the magazine is empty, the speed can be quickened to a hasty 1.4 seconds.

As with each of the Crota’s End raid weapons, Hive Disruptor will provide 394 additional damage to Hive Majors, making this weapon perfect to use during Hive-filled encounters.

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LATEST POSTS BY AUTHOR

  • Jonathan

    first!

  • Jonathan

    i love the fang. before i had that i used vision and i just got the IB scout with luck in the chamber explosive rounds and firefly! I’m destined to use scout rifles i guess.

    • smellyjacket45

      yeah fang is my favorite scout and probably my favorite primary right now(although it will always be competing with fatebringer and vex)

      • Jonathan

        i have yet to get a fatebringer. i do have vex though.

      • Dan

        Ah the Fatebringer. I’ll be so disappointed when HoW comes out if the attack ratings go up again. The new cannon better be good!

        • BurningPlayd0h

          Guaranteed we’ll see a new Attack cap.

    • dstripedape

      I have 2 of those and that combo is just perfect, i don’t have VoC but in my mind it is the bees knees over all SRs

      • Cool_herc

        How can you possible say it’s “the bees knees” if you don’t have it”? Bizarre.

  • Benjamin

    I’ve always been a SR fan, ever since the Alpha days of Destiny. While I appreciate HC’s and PR’s, I don’t even touch AR’s now, SR’s have been and always will be my go-to.

    • Jonathan

      what do you normally pair with ur scout?

      • Jonathan

        shotty sniper?

        • Benjamin

          For everything PVE-related I normally run with my Arc Felwinter’s, or whatever I feel like using at the time. Using an SR makes using a Sniper feel redundant to me. Of course, I’ll change it up as needed, different enemies, different shields, etc.

          When I Raid, it will depend on which Raid and what encounter I’m in. Abyss in CE: MIDA and Murmur. Bridge: Fang and Ice Breaker. Deathsinger and Crota: Fang and Black Hammer.

          Opening the door in the Vault and Confluxes: MIDA and my Void Felwinter’s. Oracles and Templar: Vision and Ice Breaker. I don’t really worry about the Gatekeeper since I’m almost always one of the Relic bearers. For Atheon, Vision and Black Hammer.

  • -Unknown

    Where is the Crusader I?

    • cool_herc

      Not top-5.

    • BurningPlayd0h

      It’s wherever the other vendor weapons with potato-perk rolls are.

  • -Unknown

    It also says fusion rifles instead of Scout rifles.

    • fixed, sorry about that, a little under the weather today

  • Brad

    Well. I disagree strongly with the lack of badger ccl in the list. I rolled one with the choice of armor peircing / explosive, and firefly. It wrecks all other scout rifles.

    • Yeah with those perks I’d love it too, but its based on the default vendor perks

    • insanetrasher

      I also have one with Firefly and reload speed I think, but after playing a bit with Fang I find that the lower RoF of Badger is making a big difference. Fang is really an amazing scout overall and has arc damage, hard to beat.

      • cool_herc

        And that’s exactly the problem with the Badger and (likely) one of the reasons it’s not on this list. Nice gun, but the RoF is slow you can actually take a nap between shots. This coming from someone who has – and has used – each and every one of these scouts (including Badger).

    • Grymwulf

      I love me some Badger CCL too, I have a Badger with Zen Moment, Explosive Rounds, and Third Eye. It’s a beautiful thing.

  • Frederic Parent

    I have the Fang of Ir yut and there is no doubt my Another ntic is way better with the outlaw and firefly perk !!!

    • insanetrasher

      Almost anything with Firefly > almost anything without Firefly.

      • WowThatIsaLongName

        What about explosive rounds rodeo and firefly?

        • insanetrasher

          Rodeo and firefly are a good combo, explosive rounds is not that great with firefly though since if the mob you shoot gets killed by the AoE damage the firefly won’t trigger.

          • Kenshiro Genjuro

            Explosive rounds have one great utility and that’s as a pointer tool when directing teammates in end-game content. No joke I think people tend to “get it” a little better when they see little poofs of fire on upcoming focus points.

            That aside, even without it interfering with firefly I don’t terribly like explosive rounds because it obscures visibility when going for the almighty headshot.

    • DaFrenchGamer

      Oui, luciole est une perk plutôt malade!

      • insanetrasher

        Mais ça sonne tellement mieux en anglais :p

        • DaFrenchGamer

          You’re damn right sir!

    • BurningPlayd0h

      Well of course, but that’s still situational. On an Arc burn strike or against a small number of arc shielded enemies the Fang is the clear choice.

      • Frederic Parent

        Of course you are right !

  • exxtrooper

    Unflinching isn’t a perk that can roll on any scout rifles in the game.

    • Ah sorry about that, fixed

      • EnderCreeper01

        Ryan do you think you could have someone do reviews on the VOG weapons like vision of confluence?

        • Should be able to, it’s often requested so eventually we will do at least some of them

          • EnderCreeper01

            Thanks Ryan 😀

  • Drakan

    I hated scout rifles until I got Vision of Confluence. What a gun. It has been my go-to weapon for a long time.

    • Dan

      It’s just so buttery smooth to use and vicious to be on the other end of

  • Dan

    Well this is basically like reading a list of my favorite weapons in the game! Great list and I agree with all choices, though I don’t have a NITC myself. Fang, Vision, and Saterienne/Gheleon’s are the default primaries equipped on my 3 characters

  • way51

    I have a Crypt Dweller (Dead Orbits SR) and was my favorite gun for a while. It has Explosive Rounds, Firefly and Final Round. I’m surprised it hasn’t been metioned more.

    • Kenshiro Genjuro

      I have one of those with firefly. Not too shabby. Decent RoF and impact isn’t as low as B-line (one of my other firefly scouts) meaning Thrall aren’t the only enemies that it can one-shot. Also have a Crusader with firefly and I’m not at all unhappy with that either.

  • Christopher Laffoon

    I have 3 of the 5 and totally love them. Fang of Ir-yut is next on my list. Received Word of Crota yesterday so I’m digging on it right now but I’ve always loved my Scout Rifles. Gheleons Demise will probably never happen since I avoid PvP except for exotic bounties.

    • dstripedape

      Don’t have VoC but 2 of 3 my character have GDs that are my main pve weapon. When IB comes back with Gd again I’m gonna go through it again for the 3rd

  • Grymwulf

    I know this is about legendary scout rifles, but I just want to say how much I love the MIDA Multi Tool. I just got it last week in the Nightfall and it is soo much fun. It’s just OK in PvE, but in PvP, it wrecks! Everything about it is just so fast…ADS speed, reload speed, equip speed, Rate of Fire – plus, it makes you move faster!

    The impact could be better, but with such a high rate of fire, it’s almost like a slow firing auto-rifle. The Third Eye perk on it is extremely useful as well for picking a spot on the battlefield and basically sniping fools. I use a shotgun as my secondary, and when anyone gets too close for comfort, boom. It’s such a fun combo.

  • ORB1T4L

    I wish Fang of Ir Yût was full auto… 🙁

  • EnderCreeper01

    Does explosive rounds count as solar damage in pve and will they cause more damage with solar burn?

    • SGT_Pannenkoek

      nope, just explosions 😀

  • ResidentHawk90`

    No explosive rounds don’t. However firefly explosions disintegrates enemies in what ever damage type color they do, my sniper does arc damage and the explosion deals arc damage. Also Firefly deals more damage to other enemies in a larger radius than the icebreaker’s combustion.

    • MakkinjeM

      Exactly. I’ve noticed that bigger radius of Firefly versus Ice Breaker (perk) as well.

  • ForeverLaxx .

    Strange to not see Badger CCL on this list outside of a casual reference to the range stat. To be fair, the vendor perks aren’t great if I recall correctly. However, I ended up getting one as a drop with Luck in the Chamber, Rangefinder and Send It. Never looked back. It’s great in both PvP and PvE, since Luck ups the DPS on bosses, the extremely high range let’s me compete with snipers without losing damage at all, and the impact rating is a 3-shot kill.

    The weapon should have at least earned an honorable mention.

    • Kenshiro Genjuro

      I prefer Badger too, but they’re talking about as-purchased from vendor, in which case NitC has Outlaw while Badger’s stock perks are pretty meh. Although for myself I prefer Badger anyway. I have one for every profile.

      Ghelion’s Demise is essentially a Badger with Firefly and Outlaw and gets rated higher than Saterienne Rapier, essentially the Firefly/Outlaw version of NitC. One day I’m probably going to have to resign myself to doing that Iron Banner thing just to get that scout. I have four scout rifles right now with Firefly but none of them are Badgers. Yet.

      • ForeverLaxx .

        I understand that, but when you make a list about the Top Anything, you can’t ignore the random mods from drops without putting that caveat somewhere. The only reason to ignore random mods would be to prevent the list from having too many functional clones, but no such concession was made. If it were a battle of vendor guns, then VoC shouldn’t make the list. Ghelion’s is only on here because the IB had it for sale with those mods, though I’m sure it would have still made the list since IB weapons can be rerolled.

        With Badger, you have to hope for a good random roll since the vendor version isn’t very good and it’s the only reason I can see for excluding it. I just don’t think that reason is good enough. Plus, too much emphasis is put on Outlaw/Firefly. Yes, they’re great mods for generic PvE mob slaying, but aren’t spectacular anywhere else while doing basically nothing against bosses. They’re a niche, albeit strong, combo for weakling waves. Lucky or Final Round with Spray and Play works better on boss fights, but no one talks about that. Hell, I’d value that combo more since the waves of trash aren’t generally difficult to begin with.

        • Andrew

          It isn’t a battle of vendor weapons though. It is a battle of stock legendary weapons. And VoC will still beat most scouts, especially due to Solar Damage, Field Scout, and Full Auto. Badger CCL comes with crap by default. It can randomly drop with god-tier perks, but they aren’t guaranteed. That is the key. I can guarantee that Another NiTC will have better perks that Badger.

          But you encounter maybe 1 boss like that in a mission. Whereas you encounter tons trash mobs. Outlaw/Firefly makes the entire mission easier and don’t lose much to Luck/FR/S&P. Especially considering snipers, rockets or HMGs are better at boss fights than the scouts. Since 90% of the game is PvE and you fighting trash mobs, perks that deal with those trash mobs effectively are ideal. This is why Outlaw/Firefly is so valued. They acknowledged that it isn’t what you want for PvP, but it is pretty much what you want in PvE. I would take that any day over Luck/S&P.

          • ForeverLaxx .

            Stock Legendaries makes more sense, but I still feel Ghelion’s shouldn’t count despite it being for sale with the Outlaw/Firefly perks because of the limited duration availability. And yes, I acknowledge the power of the almighty PvE precision combo, even if it only ever seems to matter against Thralls or when camping a spawn door. I still feel it’s over valued.

            The again, I tend to prefer weapons that perform well enough in both PvP and PvE, since I don’t like swapping primaries constantly. I got a decent Badger, and I still think it should have made some kind of honorable mention. Plus, as far as Scouts go, I’d place almost any roll of the high impact/low RoF above the low impact/high RoF unless the low impact Scout rolled mods that are too good to ignore.

          • Kenshiro Genjuro

            Well can’t argue that mobs of thrall is where Firefly really shines. When three well-placed bullets can wipe out a dozen thrall you can really smooth out the grind. But it’s utility definitely helps elsewhere too. With other low-level enemies those miniexplosions also stall surrounding enemies, so they shoot less while also making them easier pickings.

            It is true that having the impact and range of Badger has more apparent utility against majors and bosses. It’s why I want a Badger with Firefly as bad as I do, because that’s the best of both worlds. One of those with Outlaw and selectable between Field Scout, Send It, and either of the impact-enhancing perks would be damn near Scout Rifle Nirvana.

    • Tobias W.

      I agree. I have a maxed out Badger CCL with Rodeo, Explosive Rounds and Firefly. With those perks, I’d rate it within the top three of above list. Range and impact are awesome, stability with Rodeo is awesome. Only thing missing is non-ballistic damage, but hey, you cannot have everything!

  • gsco

    It seems like I am always using VOC when it really matters (nightfalls/raids). Outstanding weapon.
    I just got an engram that gave me Badger CCL with outlaw, firefly, and either explosive rounds or armor piercing. even without full leveling, it is awesome. Perks make such a huge difference. It seems like any of the scouts are good if you get the right perks. If not, trash it and look for the next one.
    I drifted away from scouts for a bit as I tried out autos and pulse but think I need to go back with this thing, VOC, and MIDA for one of my characters at least.
    With the shotgun buff in PVE, it makes for a good combo.

  • HotWingNinja19

    I don’t have the top three, but I prefer Badger CCL with Firefly and Flared Magwell over my NITC and Rapier. A lot depends on the perks, but there is a satifying feeling with the Badger.

  • Thiago123

    My top 5:
    1) Visions of Confluence
    2) Fang of Ir Yut
    3) Gheleon’s Demise
    4) Badger CCL (non-vendor)
    5) Saterienne Rapier

    As the only full auto scout rifle in the game, VoC is still the king. Everyone is high on Fang due to the focus on Crota raid (and add in this week’s Arc Hive nightfall) where it surely is superior…but on a day to day kind of thing, VoC is #1.

    Also, the Badger has been my trusty 331 scout from day 1 with TDB. RNG dopped 5 of them for me (thanks…?) so I had my pick. Mine with Firefly, Luck in the Chamber, and the option to turn on explosive rounds for VoG make it a beast. You can easily say that Gheleon’s potential is better, and make an argument for the Rapier’s vendor perks, but there is no way that Bager is not on this list. Another NitC is a great weapon, but nothing about it is superior to the other 5.

    • BurningPlayd0h

      What benefit does full-auto really give the VoC? Compared to the Fang full-auto and solar instead of arc damage is all youre getting while losing damage (unless you’re shooting Oracles obvioulsy).

      To each their own but I find with FA I am less “in sync” with the weapon. When fired in semi I know exactly when it will fire which helps with landing crits.

      Badger is not on the list because the vendor perks are lackluster and the TTK is not really any lower than NiTC or Rapier while having a smaller magazine than the former and a lower ROF which means you aren’t as effective taking on trash mobs.

      • Thiago123

        Full auto spits in the face of the limitations of a scout rifle, much in the same way that TLW laughs at other hand cannons in pvp. It is why you don’t see it on any other scout.
        Unless you are a machine, FA maximizes your rate of fire and mitigates any movement of your crosshairs from the mechanical action of pulling the trigger on the controller over and over. That is not something to discount, particularly when the gun has maxed out stability. That’s what all it really gives the VoC. I’ll take that stability and accuracy increase over perks limited to Hive majors or a useless marking ability 90% of the time (except where Arc burn is needed or a Hive based mission/raid, etc, duh).

        As for the Badger, I stand by my list.

    • dstripedape

      I would place the fang below GD and the Rapier, the firefly perk just owns in pve

  • RiverWolf13

    I love these top 5 articles. Here’s hoping for a top 5 shotgun and handgun list soon!

    • Thiago123

      I guess the problem with doing a hand cannon list is that I think there are only 6 legendaries with fixed/vendor stats that you can get right now, since 2 of the factions aren’t selling theirs currently…

      Fatebringer
      Word of Crota
      Timur’s Lash (assuming the perks are the same during the next time it sells…?)
      TFWPKY
      The Chance
      The Devil You Don’t

      …and a list of top 5 legendary hand cannons which doesn’t include Red Hand IX, is no list at all!

      Edit: Did not intend it that way, but I guess that’s pretty much how they are ranked, 1-6.

      • DrKrFfXx

        Vendor The Chance sits above anything but Fatebringer for PVE content in my book.

        TFWPKY, WoC and TDYD are lackluster to say the least.

    • MakkinjeM

      Well Felwinter’s Lie is gonna be number one for the Shotguns, That’s for sure.
      Swordbreaker second and Secret Handshake 3th. Most likely Found Verdict as the fourth one, which only keeps number 5 to be a mysterie!

  • EnderCreeper01

    I cant wait for the Trials Of Osiris, I want the fate of all fools so bad. Does anyone know when The Trials Of Osiris comes out?

    • SGT_Pannenkoek

      It’s not yet confirmed, but it may come out together with house of wolves 🙂

  • Andy

    You guys do great work. It is much appreciated.

  • Guest

    I think there should be separate lists for pvp and pve. Overall I think that the list quite accurate.

  • MakkinjeM

    Genuinly surprised Crypt Dweller from the Dead Orbit faction isn’t mentioned in this list. It has great Stability, Impact ánd range. The only downside is it’s high RoF versus it’s low magazine size of 13.