A high-quality render of the Outbreak Perfected in Destiny 2
Image via Bungie

Destiny 2 Exotic Tier List — Best Exotic Weapons for The Final Shape

Looking for the best Destiny 2Exotic weapons to take into The Final Shape? You found them.

The Final Shape draws near in Destiny 2. While there are bound to be new Exotics or updates to existing Exotics that will shake up the meta, in this tier list, we’re going over the best Exotics to take into The Final Shape so you can conquer the campaign and everything beyond.

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S-Tier Exotics for Destiny 2: The Final Shape

There are tons of fantastic, top-tier weapons available in Destiny 2 that will work wonders in The Final Shape, but three immediately come to mind as truly S-tier. These weapons are not only some of the strongest in their class, but they also play well alongside the new Prismatic subclass in one way or another.

Gjallarhorn

In-game side view of the Gjallarhorn Rocket Launcher in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

I can’t start a Destiny 2 tier list without mentioning the greatest weapon in franchise history. While Gjallarhorn isn’t the world-beater it was at the beginning of Destiny 1, it remains one of the best rocket launchers in the game for solo and team play. Its damage is competitive with other best-in-slot launchers and makes other Legendary options better just by shooting near them. Also, the Wolfpack Rounds will look cooler come the expansion.

Conditional Finality

The Conditional Finality Exotic Shotgun in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

I’ve sung the praises of Conditional Finality since its release, and unless it receives a major update during The Final Shape‘s expansion year, it will remain a truly S-tier weapon. It deals Stasis and Solar damage, giving it synergy with both Darkness and Light subclasses and making it a fantastic fit for Prismatic. It can also trivialize every type of Champion and deal respectable single-target damage in a pinch.

Outbreak Perfected

The Outbreak Perfected Exotic Pulse Rifle in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Newly minted as a craftable weapon now that the Zero Hour mission is back, Outbreak Perfected can reclaim its place as one of the go-to Primary weapons in Destiny 2. Not that it’s ever been a bad choice, but almost every Pulse Rifle is getting a 20% PvE damage buff in The Final Shape, and if that bonus extends to Outbreak’s SIVA nanites, I can only imagine the horrors it will unleash. Outbreak Perfected is also one of the coolest-looking weapons in Destiny 2, so add it to your collection today.

A-Tier Exotics for Destiny 2: The Final Shape

The three weapons listed here might not be the cream of the crop, but you won’t regret having them by your side as you face down the dangers in the Traveler’s Pale Heart.

Graviton Lance

The Graviton Lance Pulse Rifle in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Void builds are a bit more niche than Solar or Strand these days, but Graviton Lance has almost always thrived within that niche, especially so after the Void 3.0 update. The like half dozen buffs it’s received help to. It doesn’t have the same endgame DPS potential as Outbreak Perfected, but if you build into its add clear and Void ability activation potential, it can be an absolute monster.

Eriana’s Vow

The Eriana's Vow Exotic Hand Cannon in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

In one of the bigger twists coming to Exotic weapons in The Final Shape, Eriana’s Vow now not only breaks shields like a beast, but if that shield is Solar or staggers a Barrier champion, that enemy now Ignites. Eriana’s was the anti-Barrier Champion weapon for a long time, and the addition of the Ignition could very well put it back near the top of the heap.

Dragon’s Breath

The Dragon's Breath Exotic Rocket Launcher in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Sensing a bias for Solar weapons? Couldn’t be me. In any event, Dragon’s Breath, available for a whopping nine months as the seasonal weapon for Season of the Wish, is probably the most effective PvE-heavy weapon in the game. You hit an enemy with one rocket, and a large portion of their health vanishes. It also makes Ignitions effortless, especially so with the Exotic Catalyst. I have no doubt it will work wonders for more cautious players in the Legendary campaign.

B-Tier Exotics for Destiny 2: The Final Shape

The Exotic weapons in this section will all be getting major buffs to their effectiveness come The Final Shape, so whether they’ll actually be good is up in the air. But if the buffs do as much as fans of these weapons hope, B-Tier might be overly conservative.

Cerberus+1

The Cerberus +1 Auto Rifle in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Don’t pin me to the wall just yet. I’m putting the much-maligned Cerberus+1 as a potential B-tier Exotic because its Catalyst is getting some equally needed love. When The Final Shape releases, rather than being constantly active, the Catalyst will activate after a special reload following a kill and no longer reduce the range or rate of fire. The Cerberus+1 is hamstrung not only by its damage but by there being so many other, far better, and more consistent options to choose from. Should these changes put it in line with other top-tier Auto Rifles, I’d love to see the damage tests that come out.

Bastion

The Bastion Fusion Rifle in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Kinetic Fusion Rifles, and the Fusion Rifle weapon class more generally, haven’t been at the top of the heap for some time, and Bastion has long been at the bottom of the pile, even among its own kind. With the incoming rework to its perk making its damage and effects melee-focused, there’s a non-zero chance it becomes a worthwhile secondary DPS option, should you need one.

Deterministic Chaos

The Deterministic Chaos Machine Gun in Destiny 2
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Rounding out my trio of buffed Exotics in The Final Shape is Deterministic Chaos, a weapon almost everyone in Destiny 2 who played Lightfall probably forgot about. It should now be much more consistent at applying the Volatile debuff to enemies, needing only four shots to do so. Every 16 shots weaken foes, as well, and the weapon is also now intrinsically anti-Barrier Champion, which is nice. Volatile is usually better on faster-firing weapons, but here’s hoping these buffs go some way toward making a forgotten quest Exotic worth using again.

There are bound to be dozens of new and old Exotics worth testing with all the shiny new mechanics coming in The FInal Shape, Prismatic especially. I’m looking forward to all of it, and if you need more Destiny 2 content, check out our dedicated Destiny 2 guide hub.


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Author
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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.