When it comes to developing new Exotics for players in Destiny 2, Bungie clearly favors a certain weapon type. The Hand Cannon. An elegant weapon from a more…civilized age. Okay, maybe some of them aren’t all that elegant (looking at you, Crimson) but utilizing a hand cannon generally requires some sort of sense of precision, which makes for an even more rewarding payoff. Since the launch of Destiny 2 in 2017, there have been 10 exotic hand cannons added in the game. That’s quite a bit of pistol power! While there are certainly some that are…less than superior, a majority of these Exotic hand cannons are actually incredibly unique and make for an interesting playstyle! With some of these Exotic hand cannons making their triumphant return from Destiny 1, here is a list of our 5 favorite Exotic hand cannons currently in Destiny 2!
5. The Last Word
The Last Word is one of Destiny‘s most popular Exotic hand cannons of all time. The ability to hip-fire the weapon like a cowboy straight out of a spaghetti western makes this weapon one of the best in PvP. The boost to hip-fire accuracy along with the bonus precision damage and increased reload speed earns this the title of “Space-Cowboy gun” in my book.
The classic poison-spreading pistol, Thorn is the first weapon that allowed Guardians to wield the Darkness….kind of. While you aren’t actually wielding the Darkness itself while you blast your enemies and inflict a damage-over-time poison effect on them, it does utilize the Darkness corruption to actually inflict this poison damage. Players have been using Thorn since the Destiny 1 days and now that it’s back and better than ever in Destiny 2, it’s seen nothing but good days. Well, except maybe for other Guardians in Crucible.
The first Exotic hand cannon to be added into Destiny 2, Sunshot is perhaps one of the coolest-looking and fun to use Exotic hand cannons out there even if it isn’t the most practical in most situations. Sunshot’s Exotic perk called “Sunburn” states that “This weapon fires explosive rounds and highlights targets that take damage from Sunshot.” Its intrinsic perk, “Sun Blast” goes hand-in-hand with Sunburn stating “targets killed with Sunshot explode in Solar energy.” It also has a catalyst that required 500 enemies defeated with Sunshot and an additional 1000 enemies defeated solely through the Sun Blast explosion. Yeah, this was not a fun catalyst to grind. At least it gave the gun +27 Range and +18 Stability right? Unfortunately, with the release of Destiny 2: Beyond Light removing a majority of content from the game, the Sunshot catalyst is not currently attainable.
2. Eriana’s Vow
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep introduced a brand new enemy type known as “Champions” these include Unstoppable, Barrier, and (unfortunately) Overload champions. To counteract these Champions, Bungie implemented a new weapon mod system that included Anti-Champion mods. Eriana’s Vow was the first Exotic to implement this Anti-Champion mod system directly onto the weapon itself. Eriana’s Vow is an Exotic hand cannon in Destiny 2 that utilizes special ammo to hit enemies like a truck and also pierces Barrier Champion shields. It’s definitely a must-have if you’re looking to run Grandmaster Nightfalls!
1. Ace of Spades
Cayde-6. The absolute legend Hunter Vanguard, the witty comic-relief that just never knows when to quit, the nemesis to Eris Morn’s map-rock, and owner of the famed Ace of Spades Exotic hand cannon. The Ace of Spades is by far my favorite Exotic hand cannon in Destiny 2 and probably always will be. Introduced in Destiny 2: Forsaken, Ace of Spades made its return to the Destiny universe since it was a hunter-exclusive weapon in Destiny 1. Forsaken made this weapon available to all players regardless of Guardian class. The Exotic perk on Ace of Spades, Memento Mori, reads:
Reloading after a kill loads magazine with a few extra-damage bullets. Grants radar while aiming down sights.
While Ace has been nerfed quite a bit over the years, I still think it’s an amazing pick both in PvE and PvP. It even has a catalyst that increases the damage dealt by Firefly while Memento Mori is active as well as the “Last Hand” ornament. Unfortunately, if you didn’t pre-order Destiny 2: Forsaken, then you won’t be able to equip this super-cool ornament as it was a pre-order exclusive all the way back in 2017. I will always use Ace of Spades to pay respects to the loss of Cayde-6.
There you have it, folks! Our list for the top 5 Exotic hand cannons in Destiny 2! What do you think? Do you agree with our rankings? Which Exotic hand cannons from Destiny 2 would you put on yours?