Y2 Exotic Armor Preliminary Review

Published on: Sep 10, 2015 @ 00:15

We might only be a week away from getting to try out The Taken King’s new Exotics for ourselves, but let’s face it, not all of us can wait that long. For those of you who have been eagerly absorbing every piece of news there is, we’re continuing our speculative analysis of the new Exotics in the database with this article.

We covered Exotic Weapons yesterday, so today we’ll be taking a look at Exotic Armor! There’s a few exciting pieces that caught our eye, so we’ll try to highlight the potential in each for your consideration.

The perks we’re most concerned with in this review are those that are innate or unique. Each can roll a random stat boost, and two variant-specific perks such as Special Weapon Reloader, so it’ll be up to you to decide what is most valuable for your playstyle there.

Warlock

stormcaller class guide

Helms

THE STAG1aee2cb010a0bebda7eb3387b0c5c948

DOE OR DIE – Once per life, your Super charges faster when your teammates are dead. Chance to respawn with an overshield.

Samuel Johnson once said puns are one of the lowest forms of wit, so we suppose he wouldn’t have looked too fondly upon the stag. “Oh Deer Goodness!” warns the flavor text, and the innate talent “Doe or Die” boasts a very creative perk indeed. Once per life, assuming all your teammates are down, your Super will recharge much more quickly than usual. While this is borderline useless in PvE, it seems designed to create unbelievable comebacks in something like the Trials of Osiris, where 1 vs. 2 or 3 is a very common occurrence.

Not only this, but you have a chance to respawn, anytime, with an Overshield. In something like Rumble, this could get out of hand quickly if it lasted too long, so we’ll see if Bungie anticipates some problems and reworks it prior to launch.

Astrocyte Verse2e596038c90c4f0c16828d12eb66ae49

TELEPORTATION – Reduces Blink cooldown and increases travel distance.

It seems a little odd to have an Exotic that features a buff for something that was just nerf’d for being overpowered, but the Astrocyte Verse is what it is. It reduces the cooldown between Blinks, and increases the distance traveled with each one.

warlock exotic helm Astrocyte Verse

You’ll still have a little extra activation time, and your enemies will be able to track your flight path better, but that won’t matter when you’re crossing a room in a single instant to be on top of them with a Shotgun. You’ll have to give up another Exotic to do it, but that trade may be worthwhile for a lot of Crucible players.

Chest

Alchemist’s Raiment0981f8d53d9555871e787247c700e29c

IRON TO GOLD – Chance to gain Glimmer on Primary Ammo pickup. Orbs collected when your Super is full recharge your grenades and melee.

Since it’s a piece of Chest Armor, you’ll have reduced damage from one random source of elemental firepower. See our review from Bungie’s Instagram reveal.

Gauntlets

Ophidian Aspect77aa743f87be6ef950fe0b04d6ca2f0b

VIPER TOTEMIC – Improved Siphon, and weapons ready/reload very quickly.

While Viper Totemic’s “Improved Siphon” is a bit vague, we take it to mean that the Voidwalker “Energy Drain” will be buffed in some way by its effect. This could mean it lasts longer, or recharges your Grenade more quickly. Either way, you’re also provided a buff for your weapon handling, that allows you to reload and ready your weapon near-instantly. Without more information, it’s hard to take a guess at their worth, but they look cool, so that’s enough for now, right?

The Impossible Machines6eb83e602efd0261945f7205b2df2775

LIGHTNING ROD – Unlocks the Stormcaller subclass node Landfall for free. On casting Stormtrance, fire a bolt of lightning into the ground, creating a devastating shockwave under

These sleek and stylish gauntlets provide “Landfall” completely free of charge. As you know by now, this frees your tree up to select one of either Ionic Blink or Superconductor. Landfall is undoubtedly cool, even if it’s not a must-have, and the peace of mind to know that you’ll get a little breathing room upon activating your Super is definitely worth the price of an Exotic.

The Impossible Machines exotic armor

Combine it with Superconductor to be deadly in all phases of your Super, or Ionic Blink to be immediately elusive following your devastating thunderbolt.

Boots

Transversive Steps0ddf279bb413e3d18555dfa1cd5ebadb

STRANGE ANGLES – Gain faster movement speed while crouching. Picking up ammo automatically reloads the weapon matching that ammo’s type.

While the fist half of the innate Exotic perk isn’t anything to write home about (increased crouch movement speed, really?), the second is a little interesting for some situational builds. Any Hand Cannon, Shotgun, Sniper Rifle, or Rocket Launcher that has a very low innate Reload Speed, will appreciate being primed and ready to go when you simply step on its matching ammunition. This could lead to some interesting strategies of keeping drops on the ground for periods of sustained DPS, but will be otherwise hard to make use of without some troublesome micromanagement.

Class

“Light Beyond”, “Circle of War”, “The Age to Come”

THE LIFE EXOTIC – This piece of Exotic armor can be equipped at the same time as other Exotic armor.

PATHFINDER Increases X reputation gains, and adds a X effect on spawn.

These three Warlock Bonds are the Exotic Class Items for each of the three factions: Dead Orbit, Future War Cult, and New Monarchy, respectively. They all have a chance to roll two perks randomly, in addition to the innate talents that boost reputation gains and allow for two Exotics (one must be the Class Item) to be equipped simultaneously.

One of these perks will be a stat boost, and the other will be an experience booster, that increases the rate of experience gained from all weapons of a certain subclass. Apparently, Bungie also programmed a nifty faction-specific spawn animation for each, too.

Titan

sunbreaker best pvp super

Helms

Empyrean Bellicose493599296d61c6e22e175e4e67a38834

ANTIGRAV THRUSTERS – Aiming weapons while in the air will hold you in place for a short time, and Orbs collected while your Super is full will recharge your melee ability.

See our review from Bungie’s Instagram reveal.

The Taikonautf28523f56de25b2f6c5c56acb9d4b9a5

AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL – All Rocket Launchers gain tracking, radar remains visible while zooming with Heavy Weapons, and Heavy Ammo drops increase when using a Rocket Launcher.

Bungie must have thought Ruin Wings needed a friend. The Taikonaut is the ultimate for Rocket fiends. It automatically grants tracking to any RL you have equipped. On top of that, your Radar stays active while ADS with one, and Heavy Ammo has a chance to drop more often! It also has Heavy Lifting as one of its preset perks, which makes perfect sense for this Exotic. We expect it to be a strong favorite for anyone who wants to add tracking to a RL that is balanced in other ways, and it will thrive in PvE and even work in PvP to turn any G&H RL into a Truth-Lite.

Chests

Twilight Garrison85d652ff6efd5b96625d308cb4a60f2c

TACTICAL AIR SUPPORT – Press (button) while airborne to evade.

Destiny gets a taste of Super Smash Brothers with its first ever in-air dodge mechanic. Strangely enough it will be given to the least mobile of all classes – who actually could probably use it the most. By pressing a button, the Titan will make a maneuver in mid-air to avoid incoming fire. While of only modest benefit in PvE, this will make the aerial Titans that grace our sky that much more annoying. With tricky skating, or outright air travel with Improved Lift, the Titan just got a lot harder to pin down. It’s also worth noting that as a piece of Chest Armor, this Exotic can roll one of the new damage reduction talents, to reduce incoming elemental damage of a certain type.

Gauntlets

Immolation Fists59ba2adf492fac4282397efc257a4f8e

ACCELERANT – Unlocks the Sunbreaker subclass node Explosive Pyre for free. Enemies brought down by your hammer explode, chaining fiery Solar damage to other enemies.

The innate perk Accelerant grants Explosive Pyre. Exotics that give a free class talent are always a wild card: if it’s a quality perk in a useful tree, then it’s one of the best options you can get (example: Khepri’s Sting); if it’s a perk whose alternatives are not synergistic, then you’re better off with something else (example: Starfire Protocol). Explosive Pyre is thankfully a very appealing perk for a Sunbreaker, and Flameseeker and Fleetfire are powerful enough in their own right to be worth slotting. If you choose the former, you’ll get a dual stat boost, and deadly accurate hammers; the latter will give you a stacking Agility/Reload Speed buff. Both play very nicely with the Hammer of Sol, so the Immolation Fists get an early thumbs up.

Thagomizers5985a184214d8bc8f39c88aa13f01737

ONE-TWO PUNCH – Fist of Havoc kills recharge your melee and melee kills recharge Fist of Havoc. Gain an additional melee charge.

Their built-in perk, One-Two Punch, creates a positive feedback cycle between the Striker Melee and Super. Kills with either recharge the other. While we can’t expect a simple Storm Fist to fully charge the Super meter, it’s very possible it will function the other way around. As you also get an extra melee charge, you’ll be able to use the Striker’s (admittedly lackluster) melee to proc Transfusion and/or Amplify that much more frequently.

We definitely recommend Amplify if it turns out to stack with One-Two Punch – but Overload could potentially be viable if a multi-kill adds more Super Energy. Funnily enough, the best use of these might be on a Sunbreaker running Melting Point. While he or she won’t be able to abuse the extra Super Energy, the extra charge on the Melee will be invaluable for always having a boss debuffer up and ready to go.

Boots

Dunemarchers11f301cb8d8ec148f8d8719e64080c83

SPEED DEMON – Increased sprint speed, extended slide distance, increased movement speed while aiming your weapon, and tighter turn radius while sprinting.

Suck it, Radiant Dance Machines! The Dunemarchers are vastly superior, giving sprint speed, slide distance, and a tighter turn radius while sprinting, in addition to the RDM’s standard ADS movement speed. It looks like Titans might be the kings of speed, as anyone who has played around with Increased Control has long suspected is already true.

These will be a perfect utility PvE Exotic or an aggressive tool for a high-risk/high-reward Crucible strategy. It’s worth noting that Exotic boots can no longer roll +Heavy Ammo, but instead give extra ammunition to one Special Weapon, and one Heavy Weapon instead. If you get Rocket Launchers, you’ll be out of luck with LMG reserves.

Class

Mark of Oblivion/Mark of the Circle/Mark of the Executor

THE LIFE EXOTIC – This piece of Exotic armor can be equipped at the same time as other Exotic armor.

PATHFINDER Increases X reputation gains, and adds a X effect on spawn.

This is the Titan trio of Exotic Class Items that essentially follow the Warlock’s to a tee. You get the faction-specific respawn animation, a stat increase, and an experience booster – all in one easy-to-wear buttcape.

Hunter

nightstalker guide review

Helms

Skyburners Annex8337580d246e517903ef8d2f5b87bbe2

VERSATILE SHOOTER – Heavy Weapon kills have a chance to create Orbs. Orbs collected when your Super is full have a chance to grant Special ammo.

The most recent addition to the “could be good if the chance is high enough” pile, the Annex’s innate perk has a chance to create Orbs for your team when using your Heavy Weapon. This perk is generally considered lackluster in its unreliability, even on a properly spec’d Defender, but the helmet does offer one extra benefit; namely, orbs can be “collected” when your Super is full, for a chance to refill some Special Ammo.

It’s simply too odd and theoretically niche to have any excitement at this point, though it could supposedly have some synergy with Simmering Flames for further incentive to withhold your Super. The helm also sports the new Heavy Lifting, which is basically just an inferior Inverse Shadow that only works with Heavy Weapon kills. Unfortunately, the Annex is not promising.

Graviton Forfeitb253e96565354b897a22fd53ebbbe54f

ELUSIVE SHADOW – Unlocks the Nightstalker subclass node Shadestep for free.

This Exotic provides Shadestep, and that’s about it. Thankfully, Shadestep looks like it will be a strong contender for the must-have PvE and PvP perk for Nighstalkers who want to avoid damage or befuddle their enemies. It also frees you up to take Keen Scout, for target acquisition and tracking, or Predator, to allow you to tether your enemies remotely. With its understated, dark void look, this helmet could become popular pretty quickly.

Chests

ATS/8 Tarantellaa6dc3ead3f63c5de5f6601e46a6d9298

THE TARANTELLA – Take reduced Arc damage from minions of the Darkness; Arc Grenades and Arc Blade recharge faster.

Hmm, wonder if this company makes anything not about spiders. This piece of Chest Armor innately packs defense against Arc damage, and simultaneously improves the recharge speed of both Arc grenades and Arc Blade. For an offensive Bladedancer who wants to be able to sponge some otherwise deadly fire, it’s a perfect pick.

taken king exotic Tarantella

If you’re not convinced, take a look at the last two perks, which provide additional defense against Arc burns, or just free Armor for a Bladedancer using them. Looks like The Ram has some competition!

Gauntlets

Sealed Ahamkara Grasps4a5253f3aa8cf3736224d0a9e23790e0

NIGHTMARE FUEL – Gain an additional melee charge. Melee damage has a chance to automatically reload your Primary Weapon.

See our review from Bungie’s Instagram reveal.

Shinobu’s Vow08039f5a8224bdefa0dae928266d7e9d

NEW TRICKS – Improves Skip Grenade and you gain additional Skip Grenade charge.

Just like a stealthy ninja to keep his tricks well up his sleeve. Aside from the cryptic “Improved Skip Grenade” on the suitably named innate perk New Tricks, we really don’t know what this one is going to do. As it grants a second charge for your Skip Grenades, the buff to the underused Bladedancer projectile is hopefully the Hunter equivalent of what the Nothing Manacles did for Scatter Grenades. We’d love a reason to shuffle our builds, and with the nerf to Arcbolts, Shinobu’s Vow might be as compelling an argument as any.

Boots

Fr0st-EE56b9d54463a053e129762fdb973a7baaf

RAPID COOLDOWN – Tighter turn radius while sprinting. Increased grenade and melee regeneration while sprinting.

The third pair of Hunter Exotic Boots are conducive to a fast and loose playstyle. If you’re sprinting, your turn radius is tightened, and your Grenades and Melee will both recharge faster. Depending on the extent of these CD decreases, this perk could be very potent in the right hands. Of course, you can’t fire with your weapon while running, so be especially wary of leaning too heavily on its special gift when moving into enemy territory. If you’re looking to get this pair of boots for a specific Hunter subclass, try to match “Arc/Void/Solar Double Down” to your chosen one, to get an Agility boost following elemental double kills.

Class

Cloak of Oblivion/Chaos Cloak/Cloak of the Rising

THE LIFE EXOTIC – This piece of Exotic armor can be equipped at the same time as other Exotic armor.

PATHFINDER Increases X reputation gains, and adds a X effect on spawn.

You know the drill by now: Exotic Class armor that you can wear in addition to your other Exotic armor piece, extra stats, extra experience. But for Hunters this time.

Exotic Enough?

That wraps up the new TTK Exotics. Bear in mind that the database entries could be misleading or relics that Bungie has scrapped or fine-tuned, but at this juncture it’s a fairly safe bet that many of these Exotics will appear in the game as you see them here. For more gear previews, check out our new King’s Fall video.

Having seen all of the new armor, what jumps out to you? Is there anything that you think could be improved? Let us know which Exotic you’ll be going for first!

Joel
I'm aWrySharK, your resident Exotic guru and lover of all things min/max. At PlanetDestiny, my perfectionism is no longer simply a matter of form over function.