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Igneous Hammer is Still the Perfect Hand Cannon in Destiny 2

What else can I even say about it? It’s the best to an unfair degree.

Igneous Hammer is the long-standing king among Legendary Aggressive Frame hand cannons and it just received a perk refresh in Season of the Witch with its reintroduction to the Trials of Osiris loot pool. It can do almost everything be it PVE or PVP and its head and shoulders above its competition — aside from a few more niche use cases. Let’s dive in!

This article is part of a weekly series of deep dive weapon breakdowns from Stardust, one of the people behind Clarity - D2 Research, a Destiny 2 project which provides highly trusted explanations of perks, mods, and more for websites like Destiny Item Manager (DIM), Light.gg, Foundry, and more!

How to get Igneous Hammer in Destiny 2

It being a Trials of Osiris weapon, acquiring Igneous Hammer is quite simple — though not exactly easy. You will have to complete Trials matches and you’ll have a chance of one dropping after every win. Additionally, round wins (without a need to win the entire match) will reward you with Trials Rank points. As you increase your Trials Rank, you’ll be rewarded with Trials Engrams that you can then focus into weapons of your choice at Saint-14 in the Tower.

For the Adept version, you will have to go Flawless and visit the Lighthouse when Igneous Hammer is the weekly weapon. After that, you’ll be able to exchange a Trials Engram and any 7-win card at Saint for another chance at the Adept gun.

Destiny 2 Igneous Hammer.jpg

Starting next season, flawless cards with at least five wins on them will also grant you a random Trials weapon drop once a week once they become flawed. This should help a small amount by providing additional chances at snagging the guns you’re hunting for.

The best of the best — for good reason

Even ignoring the perk pool, you don’t have to look far to see why this gun has stood out from the rest ever since its introduction way back in Season of the Chosen (Season 13): the stats. Its base stats are unreasonably higher compared to its competition and I think one of my friends put it the best way: “It’s like it has the stats from Ricochet Rounds and Corkscrew Rifling built-in.”

But naturally, the beatdown doesn’t just stop at the stats. The perk pool is also among the best in the entire game for both PVP and PVE scenarios. Due to this — like with my recent Brya’s Love Breakdown — I naturally won’t be able to go over every single viable roll available but I’ll do my best to highlight the most notable options.

Before that, however, I still have one more thing to go over that many folks in the community seem to be forgetting: recoil. As with all weapons introduced with Season of the Witch, Igneous Hammer also benefits from the revamped recoil system with it being much more deterministic.

So with that in mind, I jumped into a private match to do some quick tests with my roll to see how things feel and what the recoil is like. You can see my results below for each Stability and Recoil stat. The recoil pattern is clearest in the leftmost screenshots where you can see more clearly how the Recoil Direction stat straightens the pattern out. Based on my tests, I’d say that if you’re above 50 Stability, you’ll have no problem hitting follow-up shots with minimal recoil control. And beyond 80 Stability, the gun barely even moves as you can see from the bullet hole… blobs?

Destiny 2 Igneous_Recoil_Testing.png
Tested with no recoil compensation on M&K (mouse and keyboard) input using the Full-Auto Firing setting.

The undisputed king of PVP

Alright, it’s a Trials weapon so I naturally have to start with the PVP breakdown of the gun. Since we’ve already gone over the benefits of Recoil Direction and Stability above, let’s talk about the perks next! As we have quite a few solid options in both columns, I’ll be breaking them out into two rolls for higher-level and more casual gameplay settings.

And to get ahead of the questions, I didn’t recommend Eye of the Storm because 120 Hand Cannons don’t actually benefit much from it. But if you like it, don’t let me stop you from using it.

Igneous Hammer Endgame PVP God Roll.png
Image courtesy of D2Foundry.gg

Endgame PVP God Roll

  • Smallbore or Fluted Barrel
  • Ricochet Rounds
  • Keep Away
  • Precision Instrument / Opening Shot / Golden Tricorn / Frenzy
  • Range or Stability Masterwork
  • Alacrity (excellent origin trait for when you’re the last one alive)

Alright. Before anyone thinks I’m crazy for a certain couple of my 4th column picks, let me defend my case with them. I promise there’s a reason for every option mentioned.

Let’s start with Precision Instrument. The perk itself might seem a bit redundant at face value because it doesn’t add any forgiveness to the weapon but in the PVP endgame, that changes quite significantly. With the prevalence of overshields (especially in the Dominion game mode of Trials), the perk essentially counters the meta by allowing you to kill people with overshields in just three crits even if the enemy is above Tier 7 Resilience — which most titans are nowadays. Outside of this use case, though, it falls quite flat as you would expect.

Next up is the perk I’m still hunting for a solid roll for: Frenzy. It’s a very niche perk that’s certainly not for everyone. The appeal is mostly for solo players like myself who often find themselves having to carry games a bit harder than they’d like to. This usually results in frequent damage exchanges that make activating Frenzy relatively easy. From then on, you can turn around with a free 15% damage buff and maxed Handling and Reload Speed stats to clutch up. The perk has a steep learning curve but it’s quite worth it in my opinion.

Opening Shot is a perk that I don’t think needs any justification. It’s solid, it’s been solid, and it will be solid. You can’t go wrong with it unless you want to use it on a burst-fire weapon. And then finally we have Golden Tricorn which gives you the same 15% damage buff as Frenzy but with a much simpler trigger condition: getting a kill. Due to this, it’s going to be the stronger perk if you have teammates who can back you up if going in for the double or triple kill doesn’t work out.

Igneous Hammer Casual PVP God Roll.png
Image courtesy of D2Foundry.gg

Casual PVP God Roll

  • Fluted Barrel or Smallbore
  • Ricochet Rounds
  • Keep Away (or Rapid Hit)
  • Opening Shot or Golden Tricorn
  • Range or Stability Masterwork
  • One Quiet Moment (as Alacrity is useless when any teammate is alive)

The goal of this recommendation is simple: to make it as easy as possible to perform well consistently. And it most certainly will do just that! Go with Opening Shot for pure consistency or with Golden Tricorn for 1v2+ situations. The gun will serve you well either way.

And while I didn’t want to put this into my recommendation, you might find some success with Incandescent as well surprisingly. The initial explosion and the subsequent Scorch ticks after killing someone near enemies will tell you exactly where they are and will even weaken them up to make snagging a kill a bit easier.

It’s definitely something worth trying out if you’re in a casual or even competitive setting. After all, I’ve been running Incandescent on my crafted Beloved for a few thousand kills. The perk is excellent, and I can’t help but love the explosions, not to mention its Solar synergies.

Just a really solid PVE option

As with its PVP performance, Igneous doesn’t disappoint in PVE either. It’s an all-around workhorse and it feels really good to use. There’s not much else to say but before I go over my recommendation, let’s first address Precision Instrument. That perk is completely useless in PVE on Igneous. It averages out to a lower damage buff than Frenzy but requires only hitting crits even for that, not to mention you lose it every time you reload. Don’t even bother.

Destiny 2 Igneous Hammer PVE option.png

  • Smallbore of Fluted Barrel
  • Flared Magwell or High-Caliber Rounds
  • Rapid Hit
  • One of the following depending on the use case:
    • Frenzy — more passive buff for when getting kills in 2-3 shots isn’t consistently possible
    • Incandescent — Solar synergies and explosions mostly for enemy-dense content
    • Golden Tricorn — 50% refreshable damage buff if you can loop solar ability kills
  • Reload Speed or Range Masterwork
  • One Quiet Moment (unless running solo)

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About the Author


Stardust is one of the people behind Clarity - D2 Research, a Destiny 2 project which provides highly trusted explanations of perks, mods, and more for websites like Destiny Item Manager (DIM), Light.gg, Foundry, and more!