The 10 Worst Exotic Armor Pieces in Destiny 2 (and How to Fix Them)

With as many Exotics as Destiny 2 has, there are always bound to be some that are less useful than others. But then there are those that are hardly useful at all — you know, the Exotics you’ve had sitting in your Vault or Collections since you first picked them up, made a confused face at, and promptly forgot about. Not every Exotic in the game has to be powerful, but these ten could use a boost to take them out of laughingstock territory.

1. Oathkeeper

Oathkeeper is a Hunter Exotic that lets you draw back an arrow for as long as you’d like. That’s it. That is literally all it does. There is precisely one situation in which this is useful, and it’s when you’re trying to hold a lane in Crucible with a bow. Even then, the edge you get from not having to nock an arrow is negligible. The only explanation I can conceive of for Oathkeeper is that it was an attempt to bring down the high average quality of Hunter Exotics as a whole.

How to Fix It: Either have Oathkeeper increase arrow draw speed (maybe an Archer’s Tempo-type effect) or stick with the original idea and let it overdraw arrows to add damage and the ability to fire through multiple enemies.

2. Stronghold

While briefly relevant due to a bug that gave them powerful synergy with Ruinous Effigy, Stronghold is back to being one of the worst Titan Exotics in the game. If anything, the sword rework has actually made it worse, taking away the ability to guard indefinitely. Anyway, who guards with swords? Chumps who aren’t spinning around with Falling Guillotine like a Beyblade on speed, that’s who.

How to Fix It: Blocking just isn’t a useful action right now, so Stronghold has to make it more attractive. Extending the heal effect on well-timed blocks to nearby allies would be a simple way of doing this, especially if — and I’m not even sure if this is possible in Destiny 2‘s engine — Stronghold let Titans draw enemy focus away from their fireteam in PVE.

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3. Lucky Pants

Another weapon-specific Hunter Exotic, Lucky Pants aren’t quite as useless as Oathkeeper, though they are extremely niche. Improving the handling speed of hand cannons is nice, but the whole “precision hits load a round into stowed hand cannons” thing is awkward and not particularly impactful.

How to Fix It: Give the stowed round a bit of bonus damage, and if that seems too powerful, then make it only proc on hand cannon precision hits too. We’ve got a special hand cannon in the form of Eriana’s Vow now, so it wouldn’t restrict Hunters to using double primaries to get the most out of this Exotic.

4. Eternal Warrior

If you’re finding yourself getting killed while using Fists of Havoc, then put on Dunemarchers to close the gap more quickly. As it is, there is no reason to ever wear Eternal Warrior, which doesn’t even have an appealing aesthetic to make up for its useless Exotic perk.

How to Fix It: Make Eternal Warrior into the Titan version of Celestial Nighthawk — have it drain more energy on direct hits but deal way more damage. It wouldn’t really affect PVP, but in PVE it would give Titans a reliable DPS super ability, opening up a new playstyle for them. Oh, and give it an ornament so it doesn’t look so off-putting.

5. Stormdancer’s Brace

What if Crown of Tempests was worse, and a coat? The answer is Stormdancer’s Brace, an Exotic I have never seen equipped. Whereas Crown of Tempests extends Stormtrance’s duration and gives you improved ability charge times, Stormdancer’s Brace merely increases Stormtrance’s damage with each kill. Stormtrance is an add clear super, and Stormcallers already have a DPS option with Chaos Reach. There is just no real situation in which Stormdancer’s Brace is to be the better pick over Crown.

How to Fix It: If Stormdancer’s Brace is supposed to transform Stormtrance into a DPS super, then it should increase damage while it’s damaging enemies rather than on kills. That would make it viable for cutting down powerful enemies and doing boss DPS, and if that would make it too powerful, then Stormdancer’s Brace could simply reduce the chaining effect of the super while equipped.

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6. Aeon Safe, Aeon Swift, and Aeon Soul

The Aeon Cult Exotics are a joke. While the idea of Exotics that synergize across classes is interesting, the execution just isn’t there. Basically, each item grants ability energy to other fireteam members wearing Aeon Cult items when performing certain actions — throwing grenades for Warlocks, dodging for Hunters, and melee attacking for Titans. The Exotic does nothing for the wearer itself, and the benefit to fireteam members is small even if they’re wearing an Aeon Cult Exotic too.

How to Fix It: This is tougher than I think people realize, because any ability or Exotic that’s team-based in Destiny 2 is always at risk of tipping over from “useless” to “obligatory.” The fact that both Aeon Cult items and the Rat King are low-tier picks speaks to Bungie’s understanding of this problem. That said, Aeon Cult items could be made more viable and interesting if they granted class-specific buffs instead of simply giving out ability energy. Maybe activation of the Aeon Cult perk could give a temporary bonus to fireteam members’ class stats — so Hunters get bonus Mobility when I throw my grenade as a Warlock, for instance. Or invert it and have the bonus go to the class stat of the Aeon Cult user that activated the perk, so my Hunter fireteam member in the previous example would get a bonus to Recovery for a short time.

7. Promethium Spur

Exotics that boost your super without either helping you get it back more quickly or providing some other benefit are rarely useful, and Promethium Spur might just be the most useless of all. It allows you to generate healing and empowering rifts on kills with Daybreak. In PVP you and your teammates are unlikely to see the benefit from these, and in PVE, why are you using Daybreak?

How to Fix It: The simplest way to make this viable would be to have Daybreak kills create a slowing or weakening field, kind of an anti-healing/empowering rift. But that would run counter to the Exotic’s theme, so it might be better to just ditch the concept of creating rifts on kills and instead have kills generate pulses of light from your Guardian that heal and empower nearby allies for a short period of time. How about letting you regenerate super energy based on allies healed during Daybreak, too?

8. Knucklehead Radar

This one might be kind of controversial, but I just don’t think Knucklehead Radar rates compared to nearly any other Hunter Exotic. Radar is almost completely useless in PVE, and while having your radar while ADS in Crucible is nice, it simply isn’t worth the loss of any number of better Exotic perks. Plus, Ace of Spades gives you the same benefit.

How to Fix It: Have crouching grant improved radar to nearby teammates as well. It would still be useless in PVE, but would give Hunters an interesting team-assisting option in Crucible.

9. Mask of the Quiet One

I can’t think of a time when I’d rather use Mask of the Quiet One over Doomfang Pauldron or Helm of Saint-14. It just doesn’t have much of an impact, which is a shame considering how great it looks. Ability regen on taking damage is a nice idea, but in practice isn’t enough to matter, and its health regen perk literally only works on health and not shields, meaning it doesn’t do a lot to keep you alive.

How to Fix It: Proc a buff on hitting critical health that lasts for a few seconds and allows you to restore a chunk of health/shields on kills, making the perk much more useful but not as powerful as the Warlock Devour ability.

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10. Vesper of Radius

I’ve tried so hard to make Vesper of Radius work — it just doesn’t. The idea of turning Rifts into offensive weapons is a great idea, but as it is the damage is just too little to justify using it. And having Rift energy recharge faster near enemies is kind of useless considering you’re probably killing the enemies closest to you first.

How to Fix It: First off, have it increase Rift cast speed — that alone would make Vesper of Radius worth playing around with. Second, ditch the Rift recharge bonus and have the wave of damage repel and/or weaken enemies (don’t let it work with Well of Radiance if that would be too powerful).

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merritt k

merritt k is Features & Trending Editor at Fanbyte.com. She has never played a video game in her life.

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5 Comments

  1. You’re wrong about sword blocking. Based on the guard type you get 50 -80% damage reduction. Pair that with 4 -5 concussive dampeners that’s an additional 48 -55%. Basically the boss stomp is nullified by a perfectly timed block.

  2. Oathkeepers + le monarch….

    That’s what you’re missing. Le monarch has a perfectly timed arrow shot… A few seconds between when you draw and when you release that allows the poison to spread. Oathkeepers make that duration infinite. It is pretty niche still, but not useless at all

  3. The best thing about Oathkeeper is that it used to have a draw speed benefit but it ended up having weird interactions, so Bungie disabled the exotic in order to fix it, and then in a later patch instead of fixing it, they removed the text indicating it affected draw speed (essentially nerfing the exotic into complete irrelevance) and re-enabled it for use. Galaxy-brain balancing tactics from Bungle Enterprises

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