Crucible Weapon Reviews

Cryptic Dragon

  • Pros – High stability and mag size. Above average reload speed and aim assist.
  • Cons – Slow optimal Time-to-Kill. Below average range.

Recommended PvP Perks:

  1. Red Dot-OAS, Red Dot-ORES, Red Dot-ORS1, TrueSight IS
  2. Crowd Control, Zen Moment
  3. Braced Frame, Hand-laid Stock, Injection Mold, Explosive Rounds, High Caliber Rounds
  4. Reactive Reload

Recommended PvE Perks:

  1. Red Dot-OAS, Red Dot-ORES, Red Dot-ORS1, TrueSight IS
  2. Triple Tap, Crowd Control, Zen Moment
  3. Hand-laid Stock, Injection Mold, Explosive Rounds
  4. Firefly, Outlaw

Highly recommended! Looking at PvP first, the time-to-kill on the slow side, sitting at 1.00s, which puts it outside of the window to be used in highly competitive settings. For comparison the Chaos Dogma archetype is at 0.80s, and the MIDA is at 0.90s. However, that being said, at lower or more casual levels this gun is very easy to use, considering that only two out of your four landed shots have to hit the head for you to still get the optimal TtK.

Play with the perks that increase damage like Crowd Control and Reactive Reload, in an attempt to bring down the number of shots to kill in order to make the gun more competitive. As far as sights go, OAS first, for the benefits to stability and aim assist. ORES is also good for stability, ORS1 for range, and TrueSight if you’re looking for more of a close-quarters option.

In the middle column I try to improve stability first and foremost, just to make it easier stay on target when maximizing RoF. Braced Frame is the optimal choice thanks to the high mag size, but if you don’t mind decreasing the range stat then either Hand-laid Stock or Injection Mold will work.

For PvE, this gun is among one of the top archetypes that see a ton of use, the mid-impact scouts. Sight-wise I would go with the same recommendations as PvP, but it’s more of a personal preference thing, so anything you get that you like will be fine. Since a huge part of PvE is trying to get as many shots off as possible without reloading, Triple Tap is the golden standard in the second slot, with Crowd Control in second. In the middle column I’d again like to go with increased stability, but we should avoid decreasing the mag size, so HLS or Injection Mold will be the top two options.

Explosive Rounds is also a good perk, but only if you don’t get one of the two perks that are recommended in the last column: Firefly or Outlaw. Both of those perks require critical shot kills to activate, and Explosive Rounds has some issues affecting what counts as a crit kill and what doesn’t. Basically if the damage from the explosion kills the target, even if the bullet hit the head, then it won’t count as a crit kill and Firefly and Outlaw won’t activate. However if you don’t get either of those perks then Explosive Rounds is a great selection, or if you’re mostly using it against enemies that don’t have a crit spot.

Hex Caster ARC

  • Pros – Very fast TtK with body shots (1.07s, 17 body shots to kill). Very high mag size. High reload speed. Above average aim assist.
  • Cons – Very low stability. Below average range and recoil direction.

Recommended Perks:

  1. Red Dot-OAS, Red Dot-ORES, Red Dot-ORS1, SureShot IS
  2. Persistence, Rangefinder
  3. Perfect Balance, Smallbore, Fitted Stock
  4. Life Support, Third Eye, Feeding Frenzy

Like most ARs in the 100/2 archetype, this gun is focused more on putting a lot of rounds into targets than it is on pure accuracy. Unlike the other weapons, it can’t roll Counterbalance push up the recoil direction, which makes it very difficult to actually control. With that being said, I can’t really recommend this gun for any situations, with every other weapon in its class being superior. If you’re still looking for perks, go with OAS for the increased aim assist and stability, Persistence for the increased accuracy as you maintain fire, Perfect Balance for more stability, and Life Support.

For advanced players, ORS1 will give you the best combination of optics and damage fall off, with Rangefinder to increase zoom a bit, and Smallbore to boost range at the cost of a few rounds from the magazine. You might not be able to hit very much, but you’ll be doing maximum damage out to pretty decent distances, at least for the archetype.

To get another version of this ASAP, the Assembly II  from New Monarchy is a good bet. It comes with Perfect Balance and Counterbalance, so you’ll be good to go right off the bat.

Hopscotch Pilgrim

  • Pros – High range. Above average stability and mag size.
  • Neutral – Average recoil direction.
  • Cons – Below average reload speed and aim assist.

Recommended Perks:

  1. Red Dot-OAS, Red Dot-ORES, Red Dot-ORS1, SureShot IS
  2. Counterbalance, Rangefinder, Headseeker
  3. Perfect Balance, Braced Frame, Smallbore
  4. Third Eye, Glass Half Full

For a brief time one of the kings of the Crucible, the Hopscotch Pilgrim suffered a disappointing fall from grace when Bungie switched its archetype from high-impact to mid-impact. At this point in time mid-impact PRs are all but unusable in the Crucible, with little to no upside compared to weapons like The Clever Dragon, Grasp of Malok, and SUROS PDX-45. In PvE they do slightly better as far as pulses go, but I just haven’t really found a reason to use them over scouts and hand cannons.

OAS is my favorite, with ORES being backup for stability, ORS1 for range, and SureShot for aim assist. In the second slot you can choose between Rangefinder, Headseeker, or Counterbalance. Although Counterbalance is the conventional first choice for most PR users, the Hopscotch Pilgrim is lucky enough to have a decent recoil pattern on its own, so I don’t find it to be necessary.

In the middle column, Perfect Balance gives a great stability boost with no downsides, but the high mag size means that Braced Frame and Smallbore are both decent options. In the last column, none of the choices are great, but Third Eye for PvP or Glass Half Full otherwise.

Ill Will

  • Pros – Very high Impact, possibility of killing low armor players with 2 crit shots and a TtK of 0.50s. Very high range.
  • Neutral – Average recoil direction.
  • Cons – Very low RoF, stability, reload speed, mag size, equip speed, and aim assist.

Recommended Perks:

  1. SureShot IS, TrueSight IS, QuickDraw IS
  2. Rangefinder, Outlaw
  3. Braced Frame, Feather Mag, Hammer Forged, Reinforced Barrel, Rifled Barrel,
  4. Luck in the Chamber, Reactive Reload, Third Eye

It’s mostly a gimmick now. Due to the high impact, it can actually two-tap Guardians in the Crucible who have 3 armor or less, provided you hit two crit shots. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen nearly enough to be reliable, and functions more as a happy surprise.

Play into that gimmick and just go all out trying to maximize your chance of two-tapping. To do this, you’ll want to grab Luck in the Chamber in the final perk slot, and either Braced Frame or Feather Mag in the middle column. Both of these perks decrease mag size, with BF increasing stability and FM increasing reload speed. If you don’t get LitC, then Reactive Reload is a passable but not nearly as fun substitute, which obviously pairs best with Feather Mag.

The second slot is usually best for Rangefinder. SureShot IS and TrueSight IS are the best for the increase to aim assist, but Quickdraw IS can also be used to speed up reloads. If you decide for some reason you want to treat this weapon like a normal hand cannon and work to max out range, be aware that it already has a very high base stat of 50, so a perk like Hammer Forged can basically put you as high as you need to go without any drawbacks. Rifled Barrel and Reinforced are still options as well, but they both decimate already low reload speed and stability stats, respectively. But really, The Palindrome or The Lingering Song is what you want.

20/20 AMR7

  • Pros – Very high reload speed and equip speed.
  • Neutral – Average mag size.
  • Cons – Below average inventory. Very low range. Low stability and aim assist.

Recommended Perks:

  1. ShortGaze SLH10, LongView SLR10, Ambush SLH25
  2. Unflinching, Life Support
  3. Skip Rounds
  4. Hidden Hand

Long story short, don’t use this weapon. It requires three body shots to kill even the lowest armor Guardian in the Crucible, and it’s poor inventory and average mag size stats mean that it can’t even carry more ammo than other weapons that hit for more damage, which makes it useless in PvE.

ShortGaze doesn’t change aim assist but has 4.9x zoom, LongView SLR10 adds +3 to aim assist but has slightly higher zoom of 5.2x, and then Ambush plummets aim assist by -25 but has 4.9x zoom and adds a lot to stability.

In the second, Unflinching and Life Support are both very good perks. In the third, Skip Rounds offers increased inventory size.

Matador 64

  • Pros – Above average inventory. Very high base and max ranges.
  • Neutral – Average mag size and aim assist.
  • Cons – Very low stability and reload speed. Below average equip speed.

Recommended Perks:

  1. Aggressive Ballistics, Linear Compensator/Accurized Ballistics/Field Choke, Smooth Ballistics
  2. Performance Bonus, Full Auto
  3. Reinforced Barrel/Rifled Barrel, Hammer Forged, Smallbore
  4. Rangefinder, Crowd Control, Final Round

Perhaps the best shotgun in the game right now, the Matador 64 is the crown jewel of the current crop of Crucible rewards. Every player who enjoys shotguns should strive to own a well-rolled version of this weapon, since the combination of max range and damage with a slightly faster RoF than normal for the archetype is the perfect combination for PvP.

The base range is so high that it can eat the range penalty from Aggressive Ballistics as long as you have either Reinforced or Rifled Barrel in the third column. This has the added benefit of pushing the damage per pellet up to 24. This is something that neither the Party Crasher nor Conspiracy Theory could do, with both capping out at 23 damage and 32 range.

Rangefinder in the last column is still the best option, but perks like Crowd Control and Final Round which increase damage can sparingly push the maximum one-hit kill distance out.

In the second column, none of the perks are required for the perfect roll, but in my opinion Performance Bonus is the best choice for someone who just wants to really get the maximum distance that a shotgun can kill at. This is specifically because Full Auto, although it had its pellet-spread penalty toned down drastically, does take a bit off your one hit kill distance. It also makes the RoF twice as fast!

77 Wizard

  • Pros – Can kill in 4 bolts. Very high impact and range. High recoil direction.
  • Cons – Low mag size. Very low aim assist, charge rate, and stability. Below average reload speed.

Recommended Perks:

  1. Red Dot-OAS, Red Dot-ORS1, Red Dot-ORES, TrueSight IS, SureShot IS
  2. Rangefinder, Hip Fire, Performance Bonus
  3. Braced Frame/Rifled Barrel
  4. Kneepads, Grenadier

Very similar to the Darkblade’s Spite, this fusion rifle comes with a host of wonderful options, including the ever popular Red Dot-OAS. If you can’t get OAS, then ORS1 increases stability and range, and ORES increases stability, handling, reload speed, and range. TrueSight and SureShot both increase aim assist, reload speed, and handling by a decent amount, with small boosts to stability on top of that.

Rangefinder in column two is the best because of the the tightened bolt pattern that comes with its increased zoom. Hip Fire isn’t awful, although not recommend. 77 Wizard is one of the few FRs in the game that can kill in 4 bolts. Accelerated Coils increases the charge rate, but also decreases the impact, and will make it need 5 bolts to kill. As such, Braced Frame or Rifled Barrel are the better choices.

Braced Frame massively increases stability (which decreases the bolt spread when firing) without sacrificing any range. If you believe you can control the recoil without needing Braced Frame, then Rifled Barrel is the best option, giving you a huge boost to range.

Steel Oracle Z-11

  • Pros – High RoF and inventory. Very high blast radius.
  • Neutral – Average mag size.
  • Cons – Low velocity. Very low reload speed.

Recommended Perks:

  1. Warhead Verniers/Hard Launch (+ BR and Velocity), Soft Launch (+ Velocity), Linear Compensator (+ Velocity, – BR), Aggressive Launch (+ BR, – Velocity)
  2. Tripod, Life Support
  3. Field Scout, Javelin, Heavy Payload, Flared Magwell
  4. Grenades and Horseshoes, Tracking, Cluster Bomb

Steel Oracle isn’t a bad launcher, and it has some of the best possible perk options, but RNG is working against you getting one with a great roll. Ideally you’re looking for a barrel perk that will increase velocity primarily, and blast radius as a luxury.

Tripod is the perfect perk since it will enable us to get more rockets per brick in PvP (three with Field Scout or rocket launcher boots).

In the third column, if you get Tripod, Field Scout is the best choice, since then you won’t need to use rocket boots to get three rockets per brick. If not, or if you don’t mind using boots, Javelin helps the most.

Finally, Grenades and Horseshoes has always been the best PvP perk, with Tracking being the most useful for PvE. Cluster Bomb got a slight buff recently, but it’s still not optimal.

Unending Deluge III

  • Pros – High range, stability, and inventory size. Very high mag size. Above average reload speed.
  • Neutral – Average recoil direction.
  • Cons – Low aim assist.

Recommended Perks:

  1. Linear Compensator, Accurized Ballistics, Field Choke, Smooth Ballistics
  2. Eye of the Storm, Counterbalance, Spray and Play
  3. Perfect Balance, High Caliber Rounds, Armor Piercing Rounds, Smallbore, Braced Frame, Quickdraw
  4. Rangefinder, Persistence, Surplus, Hot Swap

Something of a dark horse because it comes from a not-very-common archetype of machine guns, the Unending Deluge is basically a year three Corrective Measure. It boasts an absurdly high mag size of 70, along with generally great stats across the board, with the exception of aim assist. Even though the impact increasing barrel perks don’t help much, the increase to damage and range does prevent it suffering outside of its optimal engagement distances.

If you do get LC in the first slot, you won’t need Counterbalance at all in the second one, so Eye of the Storm is the best option, although it’s mostly just a situational boost that’s nice to have, as opposed to a legitimately great perk.

On these machine guns, Perfect Balance helps a lot due to the extra stability with no drawbacks. Normally perks that decrease the size of a machine gun’s magazine aren’t needed, but with Unending Deluge having such a ridiculously large base size, Braced Frame and Smallbore are more acceptable.

Mercules904
Author of Massive Breakdowns, Crucible enthusiast, recovering re-roll addict.