Low-Impact Scout Rifles Review

My constant quest to find guns overlooked or undervalued by the meta has led me to try a whole host of different weapon and perk combinations. That being said, I’m not sure any has ever been as fun as the pairing of low-impact scouts and Full Auto.

I began to test this weapon archetype long before RNG blessed me with an optimal roll, but I never really felt the love for it until Banshee bestowed upon me one particular DIS-47.

This weapon changed the way I looked at low-impact scouts as a whole, and convinced me that they could be a usable (and enjoyable) weapon in the Crucible.

Stats

The Inward Lamp – Trials of Osiris

  • Recommended Perks: Full Auto, Smallbore, and any of the random perks.
  • Pros – High Mag Size. Above average Stability and Aim Assist.
  • Cons – Below average Range. Low Reload Speed.
  • Time-to-Kill: 0.93s (4 crit shots and 1 body shot)

 

NL Shadow 701X – Random Crucible drop

  • Pros – Very high Mag Size. Above average Reload Speed.
  • Cons – Low Range. Below average Stability and Aim Assist.
  • Time-to-Kill: 0.93s (4 crit shots and 1 body shot)

 

SUROS DIS-47 – Gunsmith

  • Pros – Very high Aim Assist. High Stability and Mag Size.
  • Cons – Below average Reload Speed. Low Range.
  • Time-to-Kill: 0.93s (4 crit shots and 1 body shot)

 

Touch of Malice – Hunger Pangs Quest.

  • Recommended Perks: Smart Drift Control, Eye of the Storm, Hammer Forged, Touch of Mercy.
  • Pros – Final Round does bonus damage, is continually reloaded into magazine, and decreases Time-to-Kill to 0.70s (2 crit shots and 2 body shots).
  • Cons – Average Range. Below average Stability. Low Mag Size, Reload Speed, and Aim Assist.
  • Time-to-Kill: 0.93s (4 crit shots and 1 body shot), 1.40s (7 body shots)

Perks

As you can probably tell from the snippet at the top, Full Auto is the perk that really makes this weapon class shine. Two of the four examples come with it by default (Touch of Malice and The Inward Lamp), and the SUROS DIS-47 can roll with it from the Gunsmith packages.

Unfortunately, the NL Shadow 701X can’t get it, so it becomes the odd man out of this group, and by far my least recommended example of the archetype. If you do happen to have one sitting around with a great roll, never fear, it can still be usable, although significantly harder to get the optimal time-to-kill. The Shadow can even roll with some really fun perks, including the Red Dot-OAS (my favorite sight), Crowd Control, Explosive Rounds, and Reactive Reload, but, all in all, it still comes up short.

Full Auto is such a great perk on this weapon sub-class because the rate-of-fire is surprisingly fast for a scout rifle, with one shot being fired every seven frames. This is quicker than even the Grasp of Malok when looking at the time between trigger pulls, and it’s very easy to get off rhythm, which of course hurts the time-to-kill. As far as perks besides Full Auto go, the Touch of Malice and The Inward Lamp both come with somewhat preset rolls, so it makes it easy to recommend their perks. For ToM, I like Smart Drift Control to help with the recoil, Eye of the Storm, Hammer Forged in the middle column because there are no other really useful perks, and Touch of Mercy.

The Inward Lamp has a slightly more complex perk tree, due to the last slot being one of four possible perks chosen randomly. Thankfully Full Auto is guaranteed, then we have a choice between Fitted Stock, Smallbore, and Rifled Barrel. I like Smallbore here, since it only takes two out of the already large magazine, and gives bonuses to both range and stability. I don’t feel like Rifled Barrel or Fitted Stock make much difference here, as the stability boost given by FS is minimal, and the range boost from RB is unnecessary in the Crucible. In the last slot, all four options are actually really nice to have, with Third Eye, Outlaw, Zen Moment, and Hidden Hand all being great PvP perks.

Moving on now to my personal favorite, the SUROS DIS-47. I love the SPO-28 sight on it, since it gives a nice boost to aim assist and also provides a really clear sight picture for the engagement distances that work best with this weapon. Besides Full Auto in the third column, I like to look for stability perks in the other slots. Perfect Balance would be the best in column two, or Fitted Stock if you can’t get it, then either Hand-laid Stock, Smallbore, or Injection Mold in the last column. If you are lucky enough to get one with Perfect Balance and Hand-laid Stock, then congratulations, you have a scout rifle with 100 stability!

PvP

In the Crucible, the low-archetype has two very important factors that contribute to it being a competitive weapon. The first is the time-to-kill which, although on the slow end of being competitive at 0.93s, is easily achieved with Full Auto, and doesn’t suffer from damage drop at longer distances. This allows you to engage outside most other primary weapons optimal combat zones, enjoying the full effect of every shot, while weapons right on the cusp like Hawksaw, mid-impact hand cannons, and Grasp of Malok will already have begun to drop off.

In my experience, it paired very well with a high charge rate fusion rifle that allowed me to switch and take down Guardians that had gotten inside of my comfort zone. Even in a pressure situation at close range, the fast RoF can allow you to hit a couple shots and finish an opponent off with a melee more quickly than they’d suspect. Optimal TtK is achieved with four critical hits and one body shot, so it’s almost as forgiving as the MIDA, but without the cost of an exotic slot.

The second factor is the fact that this archetype can actually flinch opponents more than any other scout rifle sub-class. Due to current flinch metrics being based mostly on the amount of bullets hitting, and less on the actual impact of the gun, the high-RoF again shines against other Guardians. Being able to put approximately two bullets into a target for every one from a low-RoF scout, I found contesting snipers to be much easier than normal, as long as I kept up an appropriate strafe. With less time for them to reset before the next bullet hits them, I surprised many opponents who would normally have been able to return fire almost uncontested, and it’s a joy to see their shots flying wildly around you.

I recommend the SUROS DIS-47 the most out of this archetype to use in PvP, mostly because it has the possibility of the best rolls. If you don’t happen to get one you like, The Inward Lamp is a decent substitute, but it will either be lacking in aim assist, stability, or both, depending on what perk you get in the last slot. I’d stay away from the NL Shadow, unless you really have a fantastic roll you want to try out. As for the Touch of Malice, I actually love this gun as a fun gimmick to run in chaotic 6v6 gametypes. If you burn all your shots down to the final round, it actually ups the damage to the mid-impact archetype’s levels, doing 61 per crit and 41 per body shot. Since it maintains the same RoF as the low-impact sub-class, it can actually kill with two body and two crit shots in 0.70s! That’s amazingly fast, but it does come at the cost of some of your own life. I suggest using it with a max-armor Titan or Ramlock with high recovery.

What do these weapons have in common?

The Good: Easy to achieve optimal time-to-kill at distances outside of most primary weapon’s optimal engagement areas, fantastic ability to flinch opponents, and overall a ton of fun to use in the Crucible.

The Bad: Time-to-kill is just a bit on the slow side when compared to the current best meta guns within their comfort zones, and it can be really hard to get the optimal roll you need.

Conclusion: Try these scout rifles! They’re a blast, and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a little something different in their Crucible experience.

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