You can’t pull an all-nighter when the sun never sets.
The Scholar is a Legendary primary scout rifle.
This weapon is obtained from the Lighthouse chest and can be randomly rewarded from a Silver/Gold Package.
The good: High Impact & Range
The bad: Low Stability & AA, can’t change the perks.
Conclusion: Awesome for long-range PvE content. The score is based on the ADEPT version.
Scout Rifle (Primary Weapon)
Talent Upgrades Tree
This weapon causes Kinetic damage.
Accurized sight. For precise fire.
Precision kills with this weapon dramatically increase reload speed.
Increases Range and Accuracy.
Reloading this weapon after a kill grants a damage bonus for a short time.
Focus Lens FLS2
Agile scope. Modest zoom. Light and snappy.
This weapon has extremely low recoil.
Focus Lens FLA5
Sharpshooter scope. Long range, with enhanced target acquisition. Surprisingly light.
Precision glass for better zoom.
Whether or not you have personally had a chance to try out any of the weapons Brother Vance has made available, you’ve no doubt seen enemies and other Guardians fall to their fire. Still, many of you have been wondering if they’re worth the trouble to get.
The first weapon we’ll be reviewing is the Trials of Osiris Scout Rifle, The Scholar.
Normally, reviewing a Legendary weapon is a tricky prospect, as the rolls on non-raid variants are almost always randomized. Interestingly enough, every Trials weapon has an identical set of perks, which lets us look at them with a more consistent critical eye.
Check out this article for more information about Scout Rifles.
The Scholar is a High Impact, low Rate of Fire Scout Rifle, in the same archetype as Gheleon’s Demise & Badger CCL. It has a best-in-class base Stability, but when compared to all of the other Scouts, it’s below average.
Its base Range is very impressive and can even be increased to the max.
To compensate for the slight deduction in Range, it also has a peerless Aim Assist among the 61s, to help your bullets seek out critical spots with much more ease.
Its base Reload Speed – 2.4 seconds without Outlaw – is near the top of the pack in its archetype, but only average when compared to every other Scout Rifle.
These statistics are provided for those who like to draw their own conclusions about a weapon’s potential. The high impact Scout Rifles tend to have absurd Range, very high damage-per-shot, but an overall middle-of-the-pack DPS. Although the low Rate of Fire helps somewhat, high Stability is necessary to force reticle reset in between shots when maintaining the maximum fire rate.
They’re at their best when you’re using them at their maximum range, as no other Primary Weapon can deal with foes at such lengthy distances without facing a steep drop off in damage, accuracy, or both. Strikes such as Winter’s Run, or any prolonged encounter in which you can safely keep far away from the objective will be preferable.
The Scholar Among Scouts
Our opinion of The Scholar is that it is exactly what you should be looking for if a ‘true’ Scout Rifle is your sort of weapon. Its base Stability is much better than Gheleon’s Demise, although it doesn’t appreciate the same perk flexibility.
Vision of Confluence is a commanding alternative, sporting a 27 round Solar magazine with Field Scout, and the ability to fire off every single one of these rounds consecutively with zero trigger-finger strain with Full Auto. At 365, Vision of Confluence is currently one of the top 5 Primary Weapons available, and for anyone with a spare Etheric Light, should be a high priority for Ascension.
Fang of Ir Yût is another raid Scout that shares the mid Impact/mid RoF build of Vision of Confluence. It potentially has very high Stability, a quality Reload perk in Spray & Play, and Hive Disruptor for extra DPS against the minions of Crota.
Higher RoF competitors, many of which are newly available, include Dead Orbit’s Deadshot Luna SR1 and the Vanguard’s One/One Synesthete, which boast perk flexibility. However, many of these new Scouts exhaust their magazines quickly and have a hard time with recoil management.
How do The Scholar’s static perks match up to the competition?
Its magazine size, even considering its low RoF, is pretty sad, and there are two ways Destiny usually goes about remedying this. The first is by somehow increasing Reload Speed and, the second is by cutting out the middle man and buffing magazine size directly. The Scholar opts for the former, offering the top-tier Outlaw in the first perk slot. The Scholar is a precision weapon with a high amount of damage-per-shot and respectable Aim Assist, so these precision kills will be your bread-and-butter.
When it comes to sights, you’ll probably prefer Red Dot-ORS in 90% of the content you encounter. With The Scholar’s naturally long range, you don’t any more zoom buffs, maybe unless you’re picking your shots from across a map. The FLA5 could be used as an alternative to Send It if you desperately want to extend your killing arm a bit farther.
In the middle row, you have Send It, Perfect Balance, and Custom Optics to work with. Really, Perfect Balance should be the only option you seriously consider. It’s a no-brainer, and actually serves to increase accuracy at even longer distances, where the reticle bounce represents a more drastic climb than up close, and your targets are much smaller.
The last perk is Reactive Reload and it’s well-suited to The Scholar for a couple of reasons. The first is its synergy with Outlaw. Outlaw only procs following a headshot kill, in which case Guardians should immediately consider reloading if there are no more enemies that need rapid disposal. Upon reloading, you’ll immediately be given about 3 seconds in which you’ll do 33.3% more damage to any enemy. This isn’t a monumental increase, but can be noticeable.
In the Crucible, it turns the Scholar into a two-shot headshot killer for those few precious seconds. If you are quick, the next Guardian rounding the corner might only have time to blink before he’s on the ground, having been killed from the opposite end of the map.
PvE vs PvP
The Scholar isn’t as well suited to PvP, despite being from Trials. Scout Rifles can be pretty scary in the right hands in the Crucible, but the high Impact variants are too high of a risk to really warrant a strong recommendation. You’re going to have a tough job going toe-to-toe with the ubiquitous Exotics as they’ll outpace your killing time, and likely throw off your accuracy.
The low RoF is also a little tricky to get used to, as you’ll have to be proficient at almost leading your target waiting for the next round to be ready to fire. Enemies can cover a lot of ground in the time it takes to get a kill. At mid-to-close range, you’ll struggle to get fast damage on your pursuer, and be outclassed and killed by Hand Cannons and even Pulse Rifles, and at close range, you can all but forget about getting those headshots before you’re blasted in the face with a Shotgun.
PvE is much better. Its naturally high impact makes it excellent at killing Tier 1 enemies; they will drop to a single precision shot in most engagements. Cabal are a little burlier, and 34 units are similarly bulky, but the strength of The Scholar is that it need not worry about DPS when it one-shots so many enemies. After plugging a few craniums, get off a quick reload and keep the fire on with a few extra seconds of more damage, and you’ll quickly find that The Scholar is conducive to developing a strong rhythm in PvE.
You may want to use it as an all-purpose weapon, but be aware that it is not the best choice for mid-to-close range content. Unfortunately, most of the Prison of Elders falls into this. Unless you’re actively re-positioning to long range and kiting appropriately, you’re going to feel cramped with this weapon. Scholars are known for their wisdom, and you would be wise to only pull this beauty out when the challenge is appropriate.
A flawless (9-0) Trials of Osiris run will get you access to The Lighthouse. Upon opening the loot chest, you may be rewarded any of the Trials weapons with a random element assigned, signified by the designation (Adept). The Scholar has the potential to roll either element – and any of these can drastically improve its utility.
Solar: It’d arguably be the most useful, if it weren’t competing with the Vision of Confluence. Wizards, Cabal Centurions, and Epic Shanks are real pains, as anyone who has faced Nightfalls can attest to. All three dare you to take them on up close, but you really shouldn’t, as Wizards can poison you and strafe to safety, and Centurions have heavy siege weapons to take you down to red health very quickly. Solar damage at a distance is therefore excellent for taking care of their shields, and Wizards especially have low health pools after their shields are gone. If you roll a Solar Scholar, and haven’t Ascended your Vision of Confluence, you now have your go-to Solar weapon for all content.
Arc: This could be argued as the best option, perhaps tied with Solar. Fatebringer is obviously the best Arc Primary available, but The Scholar could easily be a close second for you. You may prefer the mammoth single shot impact of The Scholar, especially in Arc Burn situations, where even three or four shots could do in most Tier 2 Majors.
Void: Not the best for most content. Only one Void-shielded enemy can be killed with precision, which places Void shields outside this weapon’s wheelhouse, as it relies on precision kills to make the best use of its perks.
Ultimately this Trials Scout Rifle isn’t anything to scoff at. High Stability with Perfect Balance eliminate most of the frustrations. It shouldn’t be your go-to for everything, but may in fact be the best option when you’re trying to stay alive while doing some damage at range.
It’s more PvE focused, but as always we include the caveat that the right PvP player may do well with it in The Crucible. The Adept variants have a chance to up the utility to new heights, with every element being stellar for Prison of Elders, though Solar and Arc edge out Void for usefulness in regular content.
Overall, if you managed to snag it, we highly recommend upgrading it fully and seeing how it feels in the field. It comes at 365 ATK – no Etheric Light or assembly required – so happy hunting!
For PvP this weapon earns a 8.1/10 and for PvE a 8.9/10. The score is based on the ADEPT version.