Black Hammer Review

“I cannot permit you to exist.”

Black Hammer is a Legendary special sniper rifle.

This weapon has the chance to drop after defeating Crota in Crota’s End.


The good: High range & Impact, no reload/ammo loss with White Nail.

The bad: Low rate of fire, stability, & reload speed.

Conclusion: Extremely strong against certain bosses.

Read the full review here

This is a Legendary Weapon
Sniper Rifle (Special Weapon)
Solar Base Damage/Upgraded300/331
Quality Lvl60
Rate of Fire
Magazine Size

Aim Assist
Equip Speed
Recoil Direction

Talent Upgrades Tree

Solar Damage

This weapon causes Solar damage.


Agile, snappy scope. Handles beautifully. Rewards a skilled hand.

+20 Stability
-15 Range

White Nail

Rapidly landing three precision shots will refill the magazine.

The critical hits must be within 2.5 seconds of each other.

Upgrade Damage 1

Increases Attack Power, resulting in more Damage.


Aiming this weapon is incredibly fast.

+30% Aim Down Sight speed


Missing a shot has a chance to return ammo directly to the magazine.

5% chance to regain a round into the magazine per shot.

Upgrade Damage 2

Increases Attack Power, resulting in more Damage.

Upgrade Damage 3

Increases Attack Power, resulting in more Damage.


Mid-zoom scope. Useful for unpredictable situations.

-10 Range
+15 Stability
+5 Reload

Flared Magwell

Reload this weapon even faster.

+50 Reload

Hive Disruptor

Increase damage to Hive Majors.

Upgrade Damage 4

Increases Attack Power, resulting in more Damage.


Mid-zoom precision scope. Increased range and target acquisition. Heavy.

+10 Range
+5 Stability
-8 Reload

Perfect Balance

This weapon has extremely low recoil.

+35 Stability
-20 Range

Upgrade Damage 5

Increases Attack Power, resulting in more Damage.

Black Hammer Video Review

*Error at 4:17 – it has the slowest base reload speed, not the fastest.

Weapon Review

Black Hammer is a special sniper rifle that can only be obtained by defeating Crota. We have a full guide to Crota’s End if you need help with the raid.

How does this compare to the other sniper rifles obtainable at the Tower vendors? Is it a worthy Ice Breaker replacement? Like Ice Breaker, Black Hammer is most useful in PvE – but is it the best PvE sniper rifle? Keep reading to find out!

Recommended perks:

+20 Stability
-15 Range
+10 Reload

Perfect Balance
+35 Stability
-20 Range

The Good

As it stands, players gaze at Black Hammer in both fear and awe; it’s as intimidating as it is respected.

It has a unique and very powerful perk: an instant magazine refill if you can land 3 critical shots in quick succession. What is even better is that this isn’t ammunition from reserve, they are brand new rounds plucked from thin air.

With Mulligan, if you miss a shot you may get one back (though this very rarely happens), giving you another crucial opportunity to land all 3 shots. If you have a steady hand, feel for the weapon and intense concentration you can keep firing on a boss from the first and last shot of the entire battle without a single reload.

This weapon hits with terrifying force too because of its extremely high Impact. In Crucible you can knock a guardian down to the last minuscule piece of health from a single shot, making it ever so easy to one shot Guardians anywhere on the body if they have been so much hit once already.

Overall the perks are excellent, but Mulligan needs a buff and White Nail is basically a PvE-only perk.

Probably the best scope to go with is the AMBUSH SLH25, which doesn’t have as much range, but helps out with stability the most. This sniper rifle has the highest base range of any Legendary sniper rifle anyway (tied with Efrideet’s Spear), so there’s not much use in the other scopes.

Unique to the raid weapons is the “Hive Disruptor” perk which increases damage to Hive Majors. You’ll be able to do about 400 additional damage to Hive Majors. However, it’s bugged, so if you buy the Hive Disruptor perk then you will not be able to take advantage of White Nail against Hive Majors!

The Bad

This is a very situational weapon. It’s very sluggish, hard to handle and maybe has more kick than it needs against weaker enemies. It’s only really effective against those bosses that are like Black Hammer: sluggish.

With the fantastic opportunity to refill your magazine from landing only 3 precision shots, you are unforgivably only given 3 shots in the first place, which means you won’t make use of the perk at all if you can’t land all 3 within about 2.5 seconds of each other. Even if you land all 3 critical hits, you’ve got to do it quickly or it won’t count towards the refill, which takes getting used to.

What makes matters even harder to land all 3 shots, you’re working with a horribly slow rate of fire; you’re going to have to prioritize your encounters if you don’t want your target to move out of sight.

In Crucible there is no justified reason to use this weapon over other more agile and snappy snipers. White Nail will hardly ever be used, and because there’s so much special ammo on the map it wouldn’t even matter anyway.

Its stability is also poor, the fourth lowest of all Legendary sniper rifles. As for the base reload speed, it’s actually the slowest, making the small magazine size hurt even more.

black hammer review


This weapon follows the same style as all the Crota’s End weapons: Bones and other seemingly living things grow out of them on various areas, as if the weapon has evolved to become like the Hive themselves.

Green lights also pop out, giving the weapon an eerie glow in the darker areas of the world. They will also light up brighter if you are out of ammo.


If you get into its rhythm and have the concentration and patience to learn its quirks, it grants an incredible and unique opportunity to be the “Gjallarbreaker of sniping” in certain situations.

It has the amazing practicality to deal an insane amount of damage by the second, and to not need to use use any ammo or reload while doing so is a huge bonus.

When it comes down to it though, Black Hammer is a niche weapon. While it can be used as an everyday sniper rifle, it is best suited when you know you can take advantage of the White Nail perk. It will truly shine against a stationary or slow-moving boss.

Using White Nail effectively will allow you to dish out more damage with this weapon than Ice Breaker or any other sniper. Should it take Ice Breaker’s PvE crown? Let us know what you think!

As far as the Crucible goes, forget it. There isn’t a good enough reason to use it over sniper rifles that fire much faster, have more stability and a larger magazine.

For PvP this weapon earns a 5.5/10 and for PvE a 8.5/10.
black hammer pvp damage


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  • Noah

    I love this gun. Never had an ice breaker but this sniper is crazy on bosses. I use it as my secondary all the time, but I have to admit it does not hold much ammo and white nail is useless on normal enemies. If I had ice breaker I would prob switch between the two for bosses. Amazing weapon though!

    • Christian

      As it stands, it will never replace icebreaker. Icebreaker is far more usable and doesn’t have many major drawbacks. But this weapon does excel past even icebreaker when you fight the right bosses. “Devil Walkers”, “Goliath Tanks”, “Speiks Prime” and the “Archon Priest” will all be a better enemy to use black hammer against, rather than icebreaker.

  • skf4

    What you say is very accurate, I took down Septic <- (what we call it) Prime with critical repeats.

  • Matthew Allen

    I believe you are wrong with the cosmetics the gun doesn’t light up when your out of ammo it lights up whenever you hold the trigger

  • Ryan

    This weapon is my favorite for bosses like sepiks prime,the devil walker,The Goliath tank, Valus tau’arc,even atheon I find it works quite well on.For Pvp though I would have no reason to use it over my Praedyth’s Revenge.

  • BAMozzy69 .

    This is a very good Sniper Rifle. It maybe ‘broken’ at the moment with the Hive Disruptor and White Nail perk but its still a very usable weapon. Its stats are very similar to the Efrideets Spear from the Iron banner but the White Nail perk sets this above that in my opinion. Obviously it comes into its own when taking on certain Bosses and enemy types – most notably the fallen walkers, cabal tank and even the Hydra/Nexus too.
    In my opinion its certainly the best weapon currently available from the Crotas End Raid and the only one I have currently maxed out. I am saving my other Radiant Energy for the Primaries when they are available

  • sbrozzi

    Wish I could get a fire team together to complete the Raid so I may be able to get this weapon… Matchmaking would be nice…

    PSN PS4 sbrozzi
    Just in case anyone is looking to raid and needs a sixth.

    • insanetrasher

      You don’t need matchmaking on PS4 : (or .com but .net is better imho)

      On PS3 though… there is like 10x less people of those websites making it very hard to get in a fireteam, I lost about an hour doing so on saturday around 9pm looking for any activities and I only managed to get into a hard VoG… But on PS4 there is a lot of players out there, no issue finding a team, but it sucks that there is no tool in-game to help you do so..

      • Mezi-Crochet

        Personnaly, I don’t want a matchmaking raids. You need skills and communication to perform in Raids… I prefer to choose and recruit the right guardians! 🙂

        • boostedskyline

          I hate getting called into a raid and some random guy that somebody else invited either can barely be understood because of a thick accent, or just doesn’t give two shits and is just messing around. I’ve noticed that the brits/english dudes have been douchier than anyone else

          • Ma TA H

            Funny, I always find the Americans are ‘douchier’.

          • boostedskyline

            You must be English and/or British.

        • insanetrasher

          The choice is very relative… you don’t know the real deal once youre in-game with the players so… Matchmaking as we know would be bad for Raids, but at least there could be tools like in-game to help us find players.

  • Mezi-Crochet

    I really really like the raid weapons reviews Planet Destiny! Keep going and so far, very accurate and useful informations

  • Mezi-Crochet

    Didn’t know the Mulligan was ONLY 5%. Is it the same for every weapon that have Mulligan Perk or Only the hammer?

    • Micah White

      all of them. its a pretty worthless perk imo

  • Abstract

    With the reduced recoil perk it is more stable and easier to use than Icebreaker. I swap that out for the reload perk when fighting crota for the oversoul.

  • Vgoth11

    Comparative to Ice Breaker, yes. Major difference, it’s not exotic. I would much rather have Black Hammer and Gjhorn equipped than Ice Breaker and a legendary heavy. Plus, no reload, no ammo pickups or waiting for ammo to regen with white nail perk. Find a perch and blast away.

    • Mezi-Crochet

      Icebreaker + Hunger
      BlackHammer + Gjallahorn…

      Hummmmm. Nice debate here…

      • Asceric21

        Yep, these are pretty much the loadouts I’ll be switching back and forth between. Black Hammer + Gjallarhorn is almost exclusively for boss fights. Where I’ll use Icebreaker and HoC for general encounter things. The ability to just reliably pop off 4-6 rounds into a pack of enemies is just too good on icebreaker. And Hunger of Crota deals with a group of enemies just as well as Gjallarhorn does.

        But Black Hammer + Gjallarhorn undoubtably deals more damage to bosses than Icebreaker + Hunger of Crota. Gjallarhorn’s wolfpack rounds just bring too much to the table, along with the white nail perk on black hammer (given the situation lets you take advantage of it).

        • Vgoth11

          The tracking clusters on Ghorn are awesome, but I need a Hunger to compare! Last night to cheese Crota before the update … maybe I’ll get lucky.

        • Mezi-Crochet

          100% agree with you!

  • MarcOfWill

    If I was to sum it up I would say this: Use Black Hammer when you can continually critical an enemy. If not, take Icebreaker.

  • GK

    It seems like the bug would be easy to fix, just make the hive disruptor perk crit damage, then it works FOR you instead of AGAINST you.

  • I actually had a lot of success during Iron Banner with the Black Hammer. I’m not the best Crucible player, but I was managing very well with BH. Worked great to take out slightly damaged opponents like you said, but I hit a lot of headshots with it as well. It’s my go to in PvE, so I am quite used to it, probably why it served me well in PvP.

  • Splits

    For some reason the version I got does not have the hive disrupted perk. What’s up with that?

    • QwesZ

      They removed that perk I think. Wasn’t working all the time