Since the launch of Rise of Iron in September 2016, Destiny’s Crucible has become overrun with shotguns, particularly the Matador 64. While countering these with a sidearm or fusion isn’t impossible, the lack of primary weapon options to halt shotgun wielding guardians has made it the special weapon of choice in the current meta.

In the 26th January This Week at Bungie, Senior Designer Josh Hamrick announced the company was to address the issues with the current meta in the upcoming Hotfix, which is due to go live on Valentines Day next week.

The main goals of this hotfix were to:

  1. Promote alternatives and counters to Shotguns
  2. Align potency of Primary Weapons with surgical changes
  3. File down a couple of issues from each class
  4. Fix some issues with a sampler platter of Exotics
  5. Supporting adjustments to Special Ammunition

Special Weapons

Is this the end of the Matador 64?

This past week, Bungie’s Community Manager Deej hosted a live stream on Twitch with two of the game’s developers to discuss the changes. As expected, shotguns have received a blanket nerf, making using them while mid-flight and without really aiming particularly difficult.

Aside from several other shotgun specific nerfs, the stream also unveiled some major changes to special weapon ammo economy in the Crucible. As of next week, if you die, you lose any special ammo you have accrued, just like heavy ammo. The change applies to all game modes, including Trials of Osiris, so special ammo will be completely reset for both teams from the second round.

Primary Weapons

Ammo changes to the Clever Dragon will extinguish its fire power

To align the potency of primary weapons with surgical changes, the hotfix will introduce a range of buffs and nerfs to different weapon archetypes. Auto rifles have received a blanket buff, with headshot multipliers increasing and the lowest rate of fire archetype (Suros Regime, Grim Citizen) have also received a damage boost.

The highest impact pulse rifles (Spare Change.25, Parthian Shot) have also received a buff, with their fire rate increasing, while the lowest impact (Clever Dragon, Grasp of Malok) have had their rate of fire decreased, reducing their potency in the crucible. As well as having its fire rate decreased, the Clever Dragon has also had its magazine reduced to 24 in an attempt to make the weapon less commonplace in the Crucible.

Scout rifles were not mentioned during the stream and initial shot accuracy will be improved on hand cannons, as well as a more severe damage drop off from longer ranges. While these changes don’t fully address some players issues with bullets not hitting their target when firing quickly (AKA bloom) it is a step in the right direction.


Stormcallers will need to be closer to get you with their tickle fingers

Unbalanced subclasses in the Crucible has long been a matter of contention for PvP focussed guardians. By combining different perks, exotic armour and weapons, guardians can develop their own playstyles and in each meta, one or two of these will always rise to be the most dominant.

In the current meta, Striker Titans running the Juggernaut perk which gives a protective shield, Stormcaller Warlocks using the Amplify perk which gives an extended melee attack and Bladedancer Hunters using the Shinobu’s Vow gauntlets which vastly improve the potency of Skip Grenades, have been among the most used builds. Each of these was mentioned during the stream, with a number of nerfs coming their way, including:

  • Striker Titan Juggernaut shield to vanish while in the air, and it won’t trigger if airborne.
  • Stormcaller Warlock melee range reduced, and Stormtrance length to be reduced when combined with the Landfall perk
  • Bladedancer Hunter’s Hungering Blade perk no longer triggers shield regeneration and instead just restores a portion of the shield

The Hungering Blade nerf seems a little out of place, as it wasn’t a perk which really seemed over powered, especially when considering each class has its own version (Sunbreakers with Cauterize and Voidwalkers with Energy Drain).

The Last Word

Overall, a new meta is long overdue

While it’s fair to say that the changes haven’t been met with unified positivity on Reddit and the forums, the changes will at least shake up what has been a pretty stale meta for some time now. Hitbox Gaming is excited to see which new builds and weapons will rise to dominance in the new meta.

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