There are a lot of Exotics in Destiny 2. They range from the near-mandatory for high-level content to the almost totally disregarded, and perhaps none is historically better representative of that category than Skyburner’s Oath. It isn’t a flashy looking weapon — it’s just a Cabal rifle like every grunt in the game has — and in the past, its abilities have been pretty lackluster. When your whole deal is that you do a little more damage to a specific kind of enemy and you have a dual firing mode, you look kind of pathetic compared to, say, a bow that poisons whole swathes of foes at a time or a sniper hand cannon that pops Barrier Champions.
But Skyburner’s Oath’s time has finally come in Season of the Haunted, and I’m glad I took the time to grind out its catalyst during the content drought last season. I’ve always been a fan of the Exotic’s lore (it’s a cute little parody of CCR’s “Fortunate Son”) and now it’s actually worth using. First off, the ADS firing mode is now hitscan rather than simply firing more quickly than the hip-fire mode. The latter doesn’t track enemies anymore, but that was never really a big deal anyway. Instead, hip-fire shots arc and have a bigger explosion than ADS shots. With the tweaks to airborne gunplay, Skyburner’s Oath also now has the highest airborne effectiveness stat of any weapon in Destiny 2, which fits with the Cabal style of combat. Plus, the old Masterwork range bonus is now part of the base weapon, while the Masterwork gives bonus reload speed.
But the most important change to Skyburner’s Oath is this: the hip-fire shots apply the new Scorch debuff to enemies. That’s pretty cool in itself, giving the weapon damage over time and the ability to proc explosive Ignite effects, but it also gives it synergy with Solar 3.0 Fragments that buff or are triggered by Scorch. For instance, the Ember of Searing grants melee energy when you defeat Scorched targets, while the Ember of Singeing does the same for your class ability. Plus, Skyburner’s Oath is a Solar weapon, so it pairs nicely with the Ember of Tempering, which grants team-wide increased Recovery on kills, not to mention even more airborne effectiveness.
As a Warlock main, I’ve been combining Skyburner’s Oath and Heat Rises to really live the flying Cabal warrior fantasy. I might even pick up the Calus-themed ornament for it. Most players will likely open for Sunshot when looking for a Solar primary weapon this season, but I think Skyburner’s Oath is worth revisiting this season if you haven’t pulled it out since the Red War — or, well, ever. And hey, that extra Cabal damage can’t hurt against Calus’s Loyalists (though why a weapon would be more effective against the people who made it, I’m not sure).
If you’re looking for more help with Season of the Haunted, we have guides covering how to unlock the Solar 3.0 fragments and grenades, how to get the new Jotunn catalyst, how to farm Vestiges of Dread and Opulent Umbral Energy, all Exotics, new weapon Patterns, seasonal mods, and Season of the Haunted triumphs. In addition, we’re covering all patch notes, bugs and top issues, Bound in Sorrow quest steps, and Calus Bobbleheads. We’ve covered how to get Opulent Keys, Bound Presence in Containment, Crown of Sorrow H.E.L.M. upgrades, Iron Banner Seal Triumphs, and the Trespasser Catalyst. And lastly, we’ve written on how to find a Loyalist Commander for Battles Lines Triumph and the Cek’ik Boss.