Swordbreaker Review

If you’re going to face down a Knight with an ascendant blade, bring an ascendant gun.

Swordbreaker is a Legendary special shotgun.

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


The good: High rate of fire, large magazine size, fast reload speed.

The bad: Lowest Impact of any shotgun, low range (before upgrades).

Conclusion: Excellent in PvP, great perks.

Read the full review here

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

Aim Assist
Equip Speed
Recoil Direction

Talent Upgrades Tree

Void Damage

This weapon causes Void damage.

Smooth Ballistics

Less recoil. Penalty to range.


Kills with this weapon reduce the cooldown of your grenade.

Kills add 10% to grenade energy.

Upgrade Damage 1

Increases Attack Power, resulting in more Damage.

Flared Magwell

Reload this weapon even faster.

+50 Reload

Final Round

The last round in a magazine deals bonus damage.

33% bonus damage.

Upgrade Damage 2

Increases Attack Power, resulting in more Damage.

Upgrade Damage 3

Increases Attack Power, resulting in more Damage.

Accurized Ballistics

More range and Impact. Increased recoil.

+5% Damage
+10 Range
-10 Stability

Hammer Forged

Improved range and accuracy.

+40 Range

Hive Disruptor

Increase damage to Hive Majors.

Upgrade Damage 4

Increases Attack Power, resulting in more Damage.

Field Choke

More range and Impact. Increased recoil.

+5% Damage
+12 Range
-15 Stability


When held, this weapon grants +2 character Agility.

Upgrade Damage 5

Increases Attack Power, resulting in more Damage.

Swordbreaker Video Review

Weapon Review

Swordbreaker is a special shotgun 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 shotguns obtainable at the Tower vendors? Is it worth upgrading? Keep reading!

Recommended perks:

Field Choke
+5% Damage
+12 Range
-15 Stability

Hammer Forged
+40 Range

The Good

The rate of fire on Swordbreaker is actually extremely high at 35. This makes time between shots extremely low (.70 seconds), almost matching the fire rate of Found Verdict, the shotgun from Vault of Glass.

Is it going to be as quick as Invective or another full auto shotgun? Of course not. However, its got the highest rate of fire out of any shotgun, tied with Secret Handshake – which actually has very similar base stats.

The Grenadier perk really makes this shotgun viable in some PvE encounters. It takes about 7 kills to bring your grenade energy from 0-100% (each kill = 10%). The first encounter in the raid makes good work of this perk, allowing you to take out some enemies with a grenade, and then clear out a few more with your shotgun.

The Final Round perk is nice for when times get hectic as well. It will do that extra bit of damage to get you out of an encounter alive, and might just be the extra damage you need to down an enemy.

swordbreaker ads

The gun has a nice array of muzzles, allowing you to reduce some of the stability to help out with the range. The perks also allow for some customization, but Hammer Forged is the clear choice if you want more range, since the base range is low.

This shotgun has the fastest reload speed of any shotgun at roughly 4.9 seconds (without Flared Magwell). With its 6 round magazine, it’s an excellent choice for PvP.

As for the elemental damage, it’s going to be most helpful in the Vault of Glass and a Void Burn Nightfall.

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. Majors take 10% less normal damage and only 50% critical damage, but this shotgun ignores that 10% reduction for Hive Majors.

The Bad

Swordbreaker has an extremely low starting range of 9, which is the second lowest of all shotguns.

The Impact is also extremely low. While this doesn’t really affect tier 1 enemies, you will notice it when facing tier 2 or higher enemies. Hive Disruptor perk will alleviate this a bit, but that leaves out all the other PvE enemy types.

swordbreaker review


It’s an “ascendant gun” according to its description.

This weapon is adorned by bones and skulls. The skulls have a nifty feature: their eyes will light up and flash if you run out of ammo.


Swordbreaker is a decent secondary for some Hive encounters. Its low range and impact sometimes make it a difficult weapon to recommend for PvE.

In PvP its quick rate of fire and Grenadier perk make it absolutely worth using.

Overall, it shines in PvP and is worth using in PvE now that the shotguns have gotten a buff.

For PvP this weapon earns a 8.7/10 and for PvE a 9/10.

swordbreaker crota


Check out forums.planetdestiny.com if you’d like to talk to others about Destiny in a friendly and welcoming community! :)


  • Rohan Hampson

    Where did the video go? 🙁

    • had to re-upload it, it’ll be back in 30 minutes or so

  • BAMozzy69 .

    This is the worst of the Crotas End weapons in my opinion and even worse than the VoG Shotgun – Found Verdict. Aesthetically it is quite nice but then so are all the other Crota Weapons too. As for Radiant Energy, this will likely be the last thing I upgrade to the Max Level after all the other weapons inc those from the Hard Raid and also after all Armour too as I can convert Energy to Shards and vice versa

    • Mezi-Crochet

      Amen! Totally agree!
      And of course I got three Swordbreakers and still no BlackHammer 🙂

      • BAMozzy69 .

        So far I have not received the Light of the Abyss. However I have had 2 Black Hammers, 2 Song of Ir Yut, 3 Hunger of Crota and 1 Swordbreaker. Black Hammer is the only weapon I have committed Radiant Energy on (I am saving them for the Had Raid Primary Weapon drops) and the only one that I kept the spare on so far.
        I am sure you will get one eventually.

    • You speak like Found Verdict sucks, but it’s arguably one of the best shotguns in PvP…

      • BAMozzy69 .

        it is still only a 300 Shotgun and yet this 331 Shotgun is worse. At least Found Verdict still has some purpose – more than can be said about Swordbreaker….
        You still probably won’t use either for PvE and according to Reddit 80% of the people who play Destiny only ply PvE

        • Attack values don’t matter in PvP (which was my focus), and Verdict has great base stats and good perks. Even in PvE Verdict is still good due to its high impact, for the few who use shotguns. If you’re that close to the enemy anyway, 31 attack probably won’t make a huge difference in shredding him (well, Swordbreaker might have the edge against Hive majors or void shields). My gripe is that your phrasing sounded like you thought Verdict was a terrible drop in the first place, and it’s not. Or if you were basing judgment on the fact that both drops are shotguns (and therefore not oft used in PvE), that’d be a biased treatment in the first place. “Raid shotguns suck because shotguns suck” is a terrible argument to “Raid shotguns suck because they have bad stats/perks.”

          • BAMozzy69 .

            Unless you play PvP, then shotguns are a ‘bad’ drop. I agree that Found Verdict is probably one of the best Shotguns in the game even with its 300 attack but its still unlikely to be used by the majority of players. The Swordbreaker by even less.
            Shotguns in general do have a bad set of stats – mainly range and reloading – in general for PvE although some Perks may be better than others where these are concerned.
            The fundamental problem with shotguns in a PvE setting is primarily Range – which is soon to be nerfed further. The second issue is Reload speed – having to put each shell individually in. Whilst it may be fun to run around in low level patrols with a Shotgun – I know I have done this – I do have tier 3 kills with them, it is highly unlikely that you will use one in high level activities. If you want some alternative to a sniper, then you are much more likely to take a Fusion which also has a one shot kill (or even multiple kills) but to a greater range and much faster reload speeds – handy if you are being rushed by Thralls.
            As the Swordbreaker is also Void its not that great as there aren’t that many Void enemy types – just Cabal Psions and Vex Minotaurs really – certainly not Hive so wouldn’t be that effective against their shields to get the extra damage to Hive Majors/Ultras. Light of the Abyss (Fusion) again would be much more beneficial.
            Realistically speaking, in PvE – shotguns are not that useful. Even the best ones are outclassed in key areas such as range and reload speeds by Fusion rifles.
            The fact that only 2% of all kills in PvE are by shotguns – by far the lowest – only goes to show that for PvE shotguns are not great. I am sure most of these 2% are by those starting a new Titan/Warlock class (as thats what you get) or by those running around in low level patrols for something different or to upgrade one for PvP.
            If you don’t play PvP (which is around 80% of those playing Destiny) then a Shotgun drop from either Raid isn’t a ‘good’ or ‘useful’ drop. Of those Raid weapons for the ‘special’ slot both the Snipers and Fusions are better and much more likely to be used by the majority of players.
            Like I said I know Found Verdict is a good shotgun – probably the best, but that doesn’t mean it is a very useful weapon to the majority of players

            I still stand by my initial comment. I know that everyone who I raid with are disappointed with getting a shotgun (unless its the only weapon they need to complete the collection) regardless of whether its the best in class or not.
            My comment was that as a Shotgun, this is not great and not as good as the Found Verdict so a regression in standards. Its like saying that the Word of Crota isn’t that great and worse even than ‘Fatebringer’ which is generally regarded as true.

          • I understand where you stand on PvE shotguns. I’m not arguing against that really. (Sorry that the bulk of your comment was about this, because you’re preaching to the choir.)

            I’m annoyed with ranking raid drops by their gun types (e.g. Swordbreaker sucks because shotguns suck), and not because of the guns themselves. Every raid drops a weapon of each category, and most of them come with good perks. Invalidating a whole category of drops is a very partial point of view, not that you did that per se in your original comment, but that’s certainly how it comes across.

            There *are* only two void shield enemies, but similarly only three enemies each for solar and arc shields anyway, so it’s not a huge difference tbh. If you ever accidentally find yourself up close to a psion in nightfalls the swordbreaker is much better than Praedyth’s Revenge or a void fusion rifle.

            I do think they gave it the wrong element though, like they did for the Praetorian Foil.

            It’s tempting for me to say something about the Word of Crota because I disagree that it’s fundamentally a bad gun (certainly worse than Fatebringer, but then again many guns are worse than FB). But I’ll just leave this convo as is ^_^

          • BAMozzy69 .

            Lets be honest in PvE Shotguns do ‘suck’ and both the Raid Shotguns do ‘suck’ in PvE too. Their Elemental damage and Hive/Oracle perks are pointless as the only time these are likely to be used is in PvP. To the majority of people, they would also agree that of all the raid weapons, the shotgun is the least desirable drop. They are 9th out of 9 in terms of ‘most wanted Raid weapons’. Even if you use Shotguns you are very unlikely to use this over Found Verdict or one of the Legendary’s with better range and maybe auto-fire.
            The reason I mentioned WoC is to illustrate my original point. Certain weapons from this raid are not as good as their counterparts from the VoG. It doesn’t make them ‘bad’ just not as good as the previous raid weapons. Even in the Hardest content, you are more likely to use a 300 Fatebringer than 331 WoC. The only time you are more likely to use WoC is in a void burn nightfall!
            If I found myself that close to a psion, I would melee or use my Word of Crota.. I certainly wouldn’t be carrying a shotgun – specially not on a Nightfall.However they are most likely sniped, fusioned or killed by primaries/heavies long before they get into shotgun/melee range.

          • http://www.reddit.com/r/DestinyTheGame/comments/2×5404/sga_111_swordbreaker_absolutely_wrecks/
            Suck my d-

            No haha, I’m just kidding. Hopefully the patch changes people’s minds on PvE shotguns.

          • JonBonJovee

            I love reading this a few months after the post. This week’s nightfall is Nexus void burn, post patch, and this gun just shreds through everything. Killed Vandal majors in one shot, killed the Servitors and Minotaurs in two.

  • Ben G

    Would you use this over Found Verdict and Invisible Hand though?

    • It has similar base stats to Invisible Hand, so depending on what perks you rolled it’s your call. This is better against Hive majors ofc, but…

  • Levaticus Lord of the Fallen

    It looks so awesome though… I wish it dint suck. might use it anyway though, so cool.

  • John Rogers

    What is the name of the song at the end of the video?

  • polo4744 -_-

    is it good for thorns bounty for pvp?