Combat in the Mothyards Onslaught mode in Destiny 2
Image via Bungie

How the BRAVE Arsenal Weapons Earned Legendary Status in Destiny 2

Almost every weapon in the BRAVE Arsenal in Destiny 2 Into the Light is legendary in some way.

With Destiny 2 Into the Light, Bungie brought back some of the most legendary weapons in the franchise, and almost all of them are from much earlier parts of the series’ history. If you started playing Destiny 2 with the Beyond Light expansion, you’re probably unaware of the legends surrounding these weapons. Let’s go over a few to show why the BRAVE Arsenal weapons are as iconic as Bungie claims.

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Why Are the BRAVE Arsenal Weapons So Legendary?

There are two reasons the BRAVE weapons are back in Destiny 2 Into the Light. First, they gained a legendary reputation, either as the most powerful weapons in the game — not just their class — or as a massive meme. Second, they were at the top of their class but were beloved by the community for one reason or another. Some were also memes, but we’ll get to that.

Midnight Coup: The OG

The Midnight Coup Hand Cannon in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Probably the biggest returning name in the entire Arsenal is the Midnight Coup. On the surface, it appears to be a solid 140 RPGM Hand Cannon with a fantastic set of perks. However, let me paint you the horrid picture of Year 1 of Destiny 2.

When Destiny 2 first launched, Bungie made the incomprehensible decision to make every weapon have a static roll. There were no god rolls, no randomization; there was no farming for something beyond your first drop. Once you had a weapon, it could only do what it could do. There was no way to make it better, alter its stats, Masterwork it, nothing. And while Midnight Coup was no exception, it had everything else going for it.

The OG Midnight Coup came with the Outlaw/Rampage perk combo, possibly the best option in the game at the time. It also hit like a truck and handled far better than the other Hand Cannons we had back then. The one caveat is that you had to farm the Leviathan Raid to get it. For a lot of us hardcore fans, we were happy just to have a viable path to endgame rewards that wasn’t Lost Sector or Public Event farming. And yes, that was about all we had.

So, Midnight Coup became synonymous with power, prestige, and overall value. If you were watching a Destiny 2 stream, odds are the weapon was in their hands. To this day, The Midnight Coup remains my third most used weapon, behind only Fatebringer and Better Devils, and then only because Fatebringer wasn’t sunset, and I preferred how Year 1 Better Devils felt.

The Guns That Shattered Destiny 2

The Recluse SMG in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

That’s why Midnight Coup is back, but what about The Recluse and Mountaintop? Well, they’re around for historical reasons. After the launch of Forsaken, the expansion that saved Destiny 2, Bungie started adding Ritual weaopns to the game, guns tied to specific core game modes. Both Recluse and Mountaintop were only obtainable in The Crucible. In their original forms, they were so busted that if you weren’t using them, you were actively nerfing yourself.

The Recluse was, bar none, the best Primary weapon in the game. It had massive damage output and add-clear potential via its Master of Arms perk. It had one of the largest magazines in the SMG category. It was Void, an incredibly valuable element at the time. And, most importantly, Master of Arms stayed active as long as you continued to get kills with it. This was true in both PvE and PvP.

The Mountaintop Grenade Launcher in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Now, Mountaintop comes in. Capable of effortless one-hit kills in PvP, it was a Kinetic Special, which meant you could use it and Recluse at the same time. The plan of everyone using the combo in the Crucible was: Get one kill with Mountaintop (a cinch) and then use Recluse until someone else using the combo killed you.

The situation was so bad that Bungie literally couldn’t make any other weapons of the caliber of Mountaintop or Recluse without shattering any remaining semblance of balance Destiny 2 had left (and there wasn’t much). They’ve returned in Into the Light in much reduced states, but are still incredibly powerful.

As for the remaining weapons, only one bears a longer additional segment: Edge Transit. On its own, the original Edge Transit wasn’t anything to write home about. But it had one thing going for it: It was everywhere. As a world drop weapon in a relatively small pool of them, it still felt like Bungie had overtuned the Transit’s drop rate. Players would literally fill entire screens of their Vaults with it simply because they could, and while they rarely used it in the sandbox at the time, everyone loved the weapon like that one friend you have with you everywhere. It was just fun to be around.

The Best of the Rest

The Blast Furnace Pulse Rifle in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

The other weapons all have their own stories, too. The Blast Furnace Pulse Rifle from Black Armory was known as the Dad Furnace for how easy it was to use. The Hammer Head Machine gun from Black Armory was the best one in the entire game. Both Succession and Forbearance are Raid weapons made available to a much larger audience, and Falling Guillotine was the reintroduction of spin-to-win Swords. Elsie’s Rifle was once called The Stranger’s Rifle, as was the reward for beating the vanilla Destiny 1 campaign.

I should make a minor mention of the Luna’s Hown Hand Cannon. While not quite as all-powerful as its big brother Not Forgotten, it could still two-tap enemies Guardians in the Crucible, a power reserved for it an NF alone. Worse, to get it, you had to play the Competitive mode, a sweat-fest of cheaters, people grinding for weapons, and absolute chads few enjoyed. For those who didn’t have Luna’s Howl, it was a menace. For those who did, using it was the reward for grinding.

Oh, and Hung Jury is here for the thousandth time. No one is clapping, Bungie.

Thanks for going down this nostalgiac journey with me into Destiny history. There aren’t many other weapons in the franchise with as much lore behind them, and I could go a few thousand more words about the particulars of the time in which they existed and why they’re important to the game. For the sake of your patience, I will not. Just know that if you’re a newer player, you should try to grab the BRAVE Arsenal weapons because even if you don’t know their stories, they’re damn good to have in your…arsenal.


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Author
John Schutt
John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.