Top Three Powerful Primaries in Destiny You’ve Probably Never Been Killed By


While you wouldn’t be able to tell from actually playing in the Crucible, Destiny actually has a lot of powerful primaries to choose from. Sure, your Eyasulna + Icebreaker combo is more likely to get you to the Lighthouse, but there are a bunch of different pew pews out there that can help you earn that sweet, sweet “On the bright side…” medal. So, while Destiny 1 is nearing its end, here are three primaries weapons that deserve your attention (at least, during those few seconds while your abilities are on cooldown).

1. The NL Shadow 701X

The NL Shadow is the fastest firing scout rifle in the game. Some other guns in this archetype are the Suros DIS-47, Touch of Malice and The Inward Lamp. The archetype deals 45 damage on a headshot and 35 damage on a body shot, with a time to kill of 0.93 – 1.4 seconds. This is actually on the lower end as far as primaries go, but due to the typically high magazine size and the rate of fire, this archetype is not punishing on a missed shot (compared to a slower firing scout, for example).

So, what’s the reason to use the NL Shadow? The flinch. The NL Shadow is unique in that it is the fastest firing weapon in Destiny that can roll with explosive rounds. While lacking in the stability department, if you can learn to control it, the NL Shadow is the long-range dueling king. Seriously. You will flinch your way to victory. Who needs a fast time to kill when your opponents can’t hit you?

Other perks you’ll want to look for are Zen Moment (which synergizes with ER and helps reduce your recoil) and Hidden Hand.

2. Judith-D

The Judith-D hand cannon falls in the unpopular maximum impact category of hand cannons. While it will deal an impressive 95 damage on a headshot and 64 damage on a body shot, the Judith-D suffers from the curse of a slow time to kill—1 to 1.5 seconds. But really, these hand cannons hit like a truck. Other guns in this category include the Ill Will, the Iron Banner Lingering Song and The First Curse.

So, why use the Judith-D? Well, first, like other guns in this archetype, the base range on this thing is incredible, meaning you don’t necessarily need any range boosting perks (though Rangefinder and Reinforced Barrel will certainly help). But more importantly, the Judith-D is the only current year max impact hand cannon that can roll with crowd control. What’s so special about crowd control you ask? It takes the headshot damage from 95 to 109, meaning it can two-tap any guardian without an overshield or other damage resistance. Sure, it takes a kill to ramp up to ridiculous levels, but paired with a good grenade toss, it’s a lot easier than you’d think.

As I mentioned earlier, range boosting perks are probably what you want to shoot for with the Judith-D, though keep in mind that she cannot roll with Rifled Barrel. You’ll have to settle for Reinforced Barrel (not that it matters—who needs stability when your weapon fires this slow?).

3. Stolen Pride

This gun is one you’ve likely never even heard of, but is given as a reward for ranking up with the House of Judgement (Variks). The Stolen Pride takes the cake for “non-Meta weapons that are way too hard to obtain.” First, ranking up with Variks is a massive pain, and then you’ve got the extra RNG of getting the gun to drop with a decent roll. On top of this, The Stolen Pride is a member of a pretty crummy family of hand cannons, the fast-firing kind. Other hand cannons in this archetype are the Trials hand cannons, Exile’s Student and The Water Star, as well as How Dare You, Thorn and New Monarchy’s Free Will III.

The problem with these hand cannons, however, is their range and damage. Essentially, they don’t have enough of either, making them unreliable at best. They only deal 77 damage on a headshot and 51 on a body shot. This means that, unlike the more popular Palindrome archetype, these guns require two headshots and one body shot to kill (which can be pretty hard if your weapon has low range values). If you can land your shots without damage fall-off, however, your time to kill is insanely fast at 0.8 – 1.2 seconds.

So why aren’t more people using this archetype? Again, as I’ve eluded to, the range. With lackluster base range, these guns simply aren’t consistent. Oh, except for the Stolen Pride. The Stolen Pride has the highest base range of all hand cannons in this archetype. On top of this, it is the only hand cannon that can roll Rifled Barrel, Rangefinder and explosive rounds.

I talked about the benefits of explosive rounds earlier (the increased flinch), but it also reduces damage falloff. This translates to the Stolen Pride having near best range in class and turning it into a consistent and deadly monster (as long as your aim is accurate). While it still won’t reach max range values (49 instead of 62) it can actually kill in three shots at Palindrome distances, only it’s even faster and more flinch-y.

My personal versions of these weapons.

And there you have it. Three guns that are actually really good at dumpstering Goonies in the Crucible and aren’t the Palindrome or Eyasluna. While these are my top picks, there are a lot of other great primaries out there, lurking right under the radar. Let me know what some of your favorites are in the comments below.

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