Destiny The Last Word Guide



Destiny The Last Word Guide by versi0n

The Last Word. The hand cannon that can very much make or break how great your Destiny experience will be. To all those who have been graced with rotating, yellow, square frames depicting a third of the very model of the Golden Gun itself, I say, you don’t know it top to bottom, with its ins-and-outs deeply engraved in your inner-Guardian. Not as much as me. And prove me wrong, because if by the end of this guide you are not using your Last Word as if its your last gun, quit this game. Bungie doesn’t want ungrateful swine (they deal with enough, cough). And for those who haven’t, one way or another, you will obtain one.


Seeing as how there are no confirmed stat values or hitbox systems from Bungie, these won’t be 100% accurate, and might even be mistaken. However, it is data taken directly from gameplay, so it will give you a gist of things. For instance, percentage differences will not line up with damage values, but they may rely upon certain factors such as armor or range differentiation. I am not an expert on Destiny’s gun mechanics, so just use this as a guideline. I simply decided to choose actual damage values from in-game, rather than tweak percentages down to their finite decimal value. Besides, the only time a few damage points make a difference is in PvP, but I will get into that as well.


Perk Rundown

  • soft ballistics (SB) – ~66% impact, ~14% range, ~40% stability
  • smart drift control (SDC) – ~70% impact, ~6% range, ~50% stability
  • aggressive ballistics (AB) – ~75% impact, 9% range, ~25% stability
  • hip fire – bullets simply stay within the outer-most frame of the reticle
  • single point sling (SPS) – reduces the gun spin animation time by 50%, can sprint immediately after switching weapons (delayed without)
  • high caliber rounds (HCB) – 3% boost to impact, stagger on flinching mobs
  • perfect balance (PB) – 33% boost to stability
  • last word – bonus damage and stability (see below for numbers). it seems to be that a random bullet does bonus damage, given the ADS headshots sometimes having a bonus

Damage Values

tested on Level 28 Elite Cabal Phalanxes/Legionaries in Nightfall, all shots are point-blank

  • SB: ~515 body shot; ~915 ADS head shot; ~1208 hip fire headshot
  • SDC: ~538 body shot; ; ~962 ADS headshot; ~1268 hip fire headshot
  • AB: ~592 body shot; ~1057 ADS head shot; ~1395 hip fire headshot

To Stability or Not to Stability (in both PvE and PvP)

The absolute lowest stability on TLW is around 25% (AB + no PB). With both SDC + PB on, it will give you around ~83% stability, and the difference is quite noticeable. Standing from a wall about 10-12 meters shows that a full clip with SDC + PB covers approximately half the height of AB + no PB.

While the difference is noticeable in these two comparisons, interchanging perks to give you anywhere between 40-60% total stability do not suffer too much more from any noticeable recoil than having max (83%) stability. If I could pick out anything from my testing, it would be that the first 3-4 shots were in a slighty tighter spread, but the rest of the clip would follow the same height. My recommendation is to not use PB if you can spare because of how entirely useful the other perks can be in certain situations and game modes. If you are a huge fan of the “shoot first, ask later” style of FPS, by all means equip some gauntlets that increase HC reload speed on your Gunslinging Hunter, and max the stability to fully enjoy the fan-fire perk. If you are a selective shooter that peeks and hides and prefers to ADS while manually shooting each bullet, put the High Caliber Rounds on, because those few damage points in the Crucible will be the difference between kills, deaths, and assists. I cannot stress this enough, but like I said, useless for those who like to shoot at any cost, which is completely suitable for a gun like TLW. And if you are a Bladedancing Hunter who switches from gun to gun in CQC, the Single Point Sling will also be the difference between kills, deaths, and assists. The gun is designed to tailor to your hand cannon needs.

Range Values

  • dropoff at ~6/11/18 meters, and about 3 damage points every step back

So how do I own with this thing

In PvE you want to obviously equip gear that is beneficial to hand cannons, and you want to hip fire as much as you can. Bump up your armor and recovery and watch ultras fall like level 4 dregs. The downside of hitting more body shots are easily accounted for in its near 50% damage boost on hipfire headshots, and it expands on what this gun adds to your gameplay. It does take some time to get used to the higher sensitivity of hip fire aim, but it will improve you in more ways than one when you switch back to any other primary weapon. Just remember, this gun can be played in pretty much any way you like and you still won’t have as much trouble as shooting an Unwilling-Soul with no stability/accuracy perks on it. It can act as a very short range scout rifle, and even if the range seems to be nonexistent on this gun, the impact will surprise you. At the same time, it can act as a mini-Invective, so just be open to the powers at your disposal.

In PvP you rarely want to hip fire, but that does not mean you shouldn’t try. It is much more effective when it is aimed down sights, simply because it whops for 50+ damage at a very decent range, and the stability is surprisingly controllable, as stated above. With TLW, shooting once every half second will net you many more kills than holding the trigger down. This isn’t to say that this gun is limiting, because you very well can net a frag by unloading 6 quick bullets, but unless you’re playing very conservatively, you won’t be netting more multi-kills, which are already near impossible to get with this clip already. Single out targets, use your recovery, and be aggressive! Only the Invective and fusion rifles can challenge this gun, and even then, you are given many more options to counter. Plus, the few times here and there where you do net a 2-shot kill (yes, it is possible) will give you more satisfaction than any number of Exotics weapons and gear can amount to.


The un-upgraded gun is blatantly and famously strong, but its perks provide a lot more fun than you would expect. It also has its uses in every game mode. So go wild with it! Because from my experience, I still have not found as much fun in this game with any other gun, even pre-patch Suros Regime.

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