Recommended Primary Vendor Weapons

This article will overview the best weapons to pick up from the Tower vendors, but will also suggest the optimal perks to look out for if you’re able to get them from a package. The great thing about all of these weapons is that their default rolls aren’t too bad either.

Auto Rifles

Extremophile 011 –  Dead Orbit

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

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Reflex
  • Column 2 – Hip Fire
  • Column 3 – Perfect Balance
  • Column 4 – Persistence

I know auto rifles aren’t really in the meta right now for either PvE or the Crucible, but the first two weapons on my list both deserve some consideration. Boasting very nice stats almost across the board, the Extremophile 011 not only looks good, but plays well too. Reflex is the recommended sight here for the boost to aim assist, and Hip Fire is there to help you out with those close range panic situations.

Perfect Balance and Persistence will combine to make this gun both stable and accurate during the drawn out engagements that auto rifles flourish in. The only drawback to this weapon is a less than optimal recoil pattern with some noticeable sideways movement, but that can be made up for with practice and a controlling thumb.

The Continental – Vanguard

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

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Your choice of sight
  • Column 2 – Eye of the Storm
  • Column 3 – Rifled Barrel or Perfect Balance
  • Column 4 – Hidden Hand

Nearly the mirror image of the Extremophile in every way statistically, the Vanguard Continental has a lot more options when it comes to perks. Depending on whether you want more stability or better damage fall off and range, you can choose between the SteadyHand IS, Red Dot-ORA, and OEG sights. OEG and ORA are better options for someone who wants to stretch the optimal engagement distances out to their maximum potential, but SteadyHand offers more benefits for controlling the recoil at close range.

Depending on what you pick in the first column, your third column perk can either complement or supplement your original choice. Rifled Barrel can help a SteadyHand weapon out with a range boost, or it can maximize the distance at which an OEG user can attack a target.

Similarly, Perfect Balance can make a weapon using the SteadyHand sight into a close range laser, or it can help someone looking through the ORA sight stay on target at longer distances. Hidden Hand and Eye of the Storm round out the perk trees, boosting both the accuracy and aim assist to very comfortable levels.

Assembly II – New Monarchy

  • Pros – Very fast TtK with body shots (1.07s, 17 body shots to kill). Very high aim assist. High mag size. Above average reload speed.
  • Neutral – None.
  • Cons – Very low range and stability. Below average recoil direction.

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Your choice of sight
  • Column 2 – Quickdraw or High Caliber Rounds
  • Column 3 – Perfect Balance
  • Column 4 – Counterbalance

RoI marks the first time a 100/2 archetype auto rifle has ever been sold at a full time vendor with the much coveted Counterbalance+Stability Perk roll. It’s not quite as good a Braced Frame or Hand-laid Stock DoP, Arminius, or Soulstealers, but this is still an excellent option for anyone looking to get into using this type of weapon. Just like with the previous ARs, your choice of sight will depend on whether you want to boost stability or push out the range with higher zoom.

I recommend stability first and foremost, because all the zoom in the world doesn’t help when you can’t stay on target. Neither Quickdraw nor High Caliber Rounds are going to make or break this roll, so you can choose between them based off of whether you want the small range boost that HCR now provides or faster equip and ADS speeds. Perfect Balance will do its best to keep the recoil under control, and that combined with the purely vertical pattern of Counterbalance should be enough for most people to handle it.

Scout Rifles

Keystone 01 – Dead Orbit

  • Pros – Very fast Optimal Time-to-Kill. Very high range.
  • Neutral – None.
  • Cons – Very low aim assist and stability. Low mag size. Below average reload speed.

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Focus Lens FLA5 or Red Dot-ORA
  • Column 2 – Lightweight
  • Column 3 – Perfect Balance
  • Column 4 – Crowd Control

My personal favorite archetype in the entire game, high-impact scout rifles have been making something of a resurgence of late, with great rolls being sold by vendors in both TTK and now ROI. Although statistically this isn’t the best of the bunch, it does come with a much needed stability perk, in Perfect Balance, and the ever-popular Crowd Control, which will allow you to kill in 2 crits and 1 body shot immediately following another kill.

Lightweight is my choice in the second column, simply because I can hardly ever say no to increased agility, but I’m not a fan of the sights that are offered. Focus Lens improves target acquisition but the zoom is a bit much for me, and ORA I just dislike in general due to what I feel is a cramped sight picture. All that being said, if you’re looking for a great stop-gap weapon until you can get your hands on the raid’s CHAOS DOGMA~, the Keystone will serve you well in both PvP and PvE.

The Wounded – Future War Cult

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

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Reflex
  • Column 2 – High Caliber Rounds
  • Column 3 – Perfect Balance or Outlaw
  • Column 4 – Zen Moment

I don’t think I can recommend this weapon enough for anyone who wants to start using scout rifles. Although the TtK is too slow to be used in ultra-competitive Crucible, the ability to kill with two crit and two body shots is fantastic for players who need a more forgiving weapon to try out. On top of that, in PvE there are almost no drawbacks to using it, and the vendor roll is fantastic.

Reflex is my favorite sight out of the group, giving a small boost to aim assist couple with an open sight picture. High Caliber Rounds will keep your opponents staggered or flinching, while the combination of Perfect Balance and Zen Moment will turn the gun into a pinpoint-accurate laser. If you think Zen Moment is good enough for you (since the gun already has high base stability) then Outlaw can be used to speed up any reloads after critical kills. This may be one of the best all around weapons in the game (outside of high-level Crucible play).

Angel’s Advocate – Vanguard

  • Pros – Very high reload speed. High aim assist.
  • Cons – Low range and mag size. Below average stability.

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Any
  • Column 2 – Outlaw
  • Column 3 – Explosive Rounds or Smallbore
  • Column 4 – Reactive Reload

A member of the intriguing MIDA-archetype, this is the first time we’ve seen a legendary gun of this sub-class since year 1. Although I like the combination of Outlaw and Reactive Reload (which allows this weapon to kill in three shots in PvP after reloading following another kill), I’m not really a great fan of the rest of the weapon. High aim assist is nice, but it’s hindered by low range, below average stability, and a small mag size.

I don’t like any of the sights it comes with, and Explosive Rounds and Smallbore both have their own issues, too. Explosive Rounds can cause Outlaw not to activate it the damage from an explosion kills the enemy instead of the actual critical hit, and Smallbore decreases the already low magazine capacity and slows down reload speed. Neither of these perks mesh well with RR, which is unfortunate, to say the least. All in all, I still recommend giving it a shot, but I think you could probably do better with a random roll.

Pulse Rifles

Parthian Shot –  Vanguard

  • Pros – Fast optimal TtK. Very high range. High recoil direction.
  • Cons – Very low aim assist. Low mag size. Below average stability and reload speed.

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Steadyhand IS
  • Column 2 – Life Support
  • Column 3 – Perfect Balance
  • Column 4 – Headseeker

Now here’s a subclass we haven’t heard from in a long time. For a brief period they were the rulers of the Crucible, but high impact pulse rifles were cut down by one of Bungie’s infamous nerfs, and since then they’ve struggled to see the light of day.

This gun looks to lead the resurrection, with a fantastic recoil pattern brought about by the high recoil direction stat. On top of that, the vendor roll comes with SteadyHand IS and Perfect Balance to add some more stability and tighten up the burst spread, and Life Support and Headseeker are the icing on this already excellent cake. Although it’s difficult to get the optimal two burst kills with this class, it is possible, and I think skilled players might be able to put this to good user taking down other Guardians well before they can get into closer ranges.

B-29 Party Favor – Crucible

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

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Red Dot-ORA2 or OEG
  • Column 2 – Partial Refund
  • Column 3 – Smallbore
  • Column 4 – Glass Half Full

A member of the ever popular Hawksaw/PDX-45 archetype, this Crucible sold variant is basically just a poor man’s version. Compared to other similar weapons, the range isn’t bad, but the stability and mag size leave something to be desired. The aim assist does a valiant job attempting to make up for it, but in a world populated by god-rolls, the perk options here fall short.

Smallbore decreases an already low mag size, but you really need to the range and stability boosts, and fortunately Partial Refund offers some help. Glass Half Full is nice perk to have, but realistically does very little in the Crucible. I’m not a fan of the sights, either, but you take what you can get. If you missed out on the previous Hawksaw, and you’re waiting for a great PDX-45 from the Gunsmith, you might as well pick this up to use in the meantime.

The Waltz – Future War Cult

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

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – SteadyHand IS
  • Column 2 – Lightweight
  • Column 3 – Perfect Balance
  • Column 4 – Rangefinder

Finally, we get more weapons in this highly sought after archetype! The sole previous member, the Grasp of Malok, was getting lonely, and it looks the The Waltz may well turn out to be the perfect companion. Stat-wise the two guns are very similar across the board, with The Waltz lagging just a bit behind in most categories. The vendor sold version won’t quite be a game changer straight out of the box, but it does come with a decent combination of perks.

SteadyHand and Perfect Balance will help to neutralize the difficult to control recoil of the high RoF weapon, and Rangefinder gives it that little extra boost needed to keep it competitive in the middle ranges. Lightweight, as always, is a perk I enjoy, but it doesn’t do much for this weapon. If you haven’t managed to snag yourself a well-rolled Grasp, then this can be a good placeholder until you do.

Hand Cannons

The Palindrome – Crucible

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

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – TrueSight IS
  • Column 2 – Spray and Pray or Mulligan
  • Column 3 – Rifled Barrel
  • Column 4 – Rangefinder

I think this weapon is going to be very, very popular in the Crucible. Perhaps even the most popular. With a near perfect roll right out of the gate, on top of fantastic base stats, this gun could surpass the Eyasluna as the most popular hand cannon in PvP.

Comparing them head-to-head, the only places The Palindrome falters are the lower base stability (39 to 51) and equip speed (46 to 59), but it more than makes up for it with significantly higher aim assist (76 to 50) and much better recoil direction (94 to 60). In addition to that, it’s sold by the vendor with an AA boosting sight, Rangefinder, and Rifled Barrel. It doesn’t get much better than that. Spray and Pray or Mulligan will round out your perk tree, and you can choose either one.

The Wail –  Future War Cult

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

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – SteadyHand IS
  • Column 2 – Hip Fire
  • Column 3 – Hammer Forged
  • Column 4 – Firefly

Completely overshadowed by the superior Palidrome, The Wail does offer decent base stats. This is much more of a jack-of-all-trades hand cannon, and possibly may be put to better use in PvE. With the exception of a startlingly low mag size, the stats are decent, and the perks provide a little bit of everything.

SteadyHand works for stability, Hip Fire helps with the close range panic situations, Hammer Forged boosts range, and Firefly is probably the best hand cannon perk for dealing with adds. I’d struggle to recommend it over The Palindrome in most situations, but if you’re looking for something a little less focused on the PvP meta, than this is your gun.

Free Will III – New Monarchy

  • Pros – High RoF. Above average recoil direction, mag size, and stability. High reload speed and aim assist.
  • Cons – Low range.

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – SteadyHand IS
  • Column 2 – Explosive Rounds
  • Column 3 – Hammer Forged
  • Column 4 – Rangefinder

Although the low-impact hand cannons aren’t really in favor right now, this gun is trying its best to change that. With a fantastic stat line, the only area it’s not capable in is range, and the vendor sold perks more than cover that. With two range boosting perks, good sight in SteadyHand, and Explosive Rounds, you should be able to do quite well in most head to head match ups.

Although it won’t be as forgiving as it’s mid-impact brethren, if you can utilize the Explosive Rounds perk to shake off your opponents aim, you can easily force them to retreat or outright kill them before they know what’s happening.

Mercules904

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