Destiny Titan Exotics PvE Tiers Guide
Destiny Titan Exotics PvE Tiers Guide by aWrySharK
EDIT 1: I was mistaken about CoAL in its orb generation for Defenders. I will leave the tier as it stands, perhaps because of the Intellect roll, while removing the implication that it somehow allows for greater orb generation in several facets.
Disclaimer: As usual, this is for PvE consideration only. I welcome PvP discussion, but will not respond to tier challenges on PvP arguments alone. These are my opinions, but I have a lot of experience and can usually defend them. Please don’t mistake my responses to your comments as hostile or defensive – I simply enjoy a good debate!
Okay, this took way longer than expected. I’ve been very busy and also not fully sold on my own assessments of Exotic worth. However, my preoccupation with tier qualms should not preclude my helping out anyone who needs a basic portrait of what to look for in a Titan Exotic. Let’s get right to it.
- Discipline: Strikers have the best PvE grenades in the game, bar none. Flashbang is an extremely potent equalizer in the right hands, and both Lightning Grenade and Pulse Grenade can be used to dizzying effect as simultaneous Crowd Control and DPS. Perks can be geared towards grenade longevity, and they’re the ultimate tool in making a Titan a gamechanger on the PvE battlefield. You want these up constantly.
- Intellect: Although Fist of Havoc’s range is limited, it does massive damage and can be perk’d to also provide emergency CC; there’s a reason they call it Fist of Panic. It is a fairly dangerous proposition in end-game content – exposing you to the fire and melee reach of high level enemies – and darn near useless against any bosses with gimpy melee insta-kills, so it is not nearly as desirable as grenades. Still, it’s way better than…
- Strength: For a class and meme subculture that has gravitated around “Punching”, Striker Titans have objectively the worst melee in the game. Abysmal range, sincerely confusing and underwhelming perks, and an unforgiving special melee proc add up to Strength being a dump stat for an effective Titan. It has a bit of value in very low-stress content, specifically solo play, as even the scaling on 3-man Roc Strikes prevents a one-hit melee kill on anything over thrall/dreg level foes. It is simply not practical to weaken a vandal to snag your “Amplify” bonus – Overload and Discharge are gimmicks at best, downright stupid bad at worst.
- Intellect: The Ward of Dawn is the Defender’s best tool to justify the class selection. The majority of his or her perks are molded around making the bubble an unpredictable and versatile tool against the Darkness. Uptime, cooldown, buffs – all useless if you don’t get that Bubble up early and often. Pad this stat as best as you can to take advantage of your Defending prowess.
- (3) Discipline: Although the Defender can’t match the raw offensive power of the Striker’s grenade set, he is no slouch here. Magnetic grenades are excellent stickies with great single-target damage. Suppressor grenades do passable AOE damage while limiting the abilities of nasty enemies like Knights and Wizards. Spike grenades pale in comparison a bit to Lightning grenades, but can be effective for moderate damage and CC. A healthy amount of discipline will keep your enemies off guard. Unfortunately, the Defender’s perkset does not seem to encourage grenade use, so I could also see this stat earning last place for priority on certain builds.
- (2) Strength: Not nearly as bad for Defenders as Strikers, Strength is a bit more usable here. Disintegrate benefits from a healthy perk selection and interesting buffs. War Machine grants insane reload and ADS speeds, in addition to the basic overshield, and Unbreakable ensures that shield holds for the duration of the buff. Gift of Light can be useful with support groups to get orbs galore from a group of thrall. What saves this stat is the Defender’s unique ability to not expend his or her special melee on a single strike. Although Disintegrate requires a kill to proc, it is impossible to waste it, putting it leaps and bounds ahead of Striker’s finnicky punch. It is quite useful in low-to-medium stress content, and even finds a place in end-game, while falling a tad short of the bar set by Sunsinger’s Flame Shield.
Strength takes a collective last place for Titans, which just shows how underpowered a stat it ultimately is in Destiny. Still, Defenders should not feel bad with a healthy amount of Strength, while Strikers should do everything in their power to make sure it receives no special attention.
Going to go armor slot by armor slot, and give my reasoning for each tiers: S, A, B, and C. As you might guess, S is the crème de la crème, A is everything but the cherry on top, B is perfectly functional – if outclassed, and C is situational with dubious benefit and little end-game preference. I’ll be taking into account basic perk synergy, stat priority, and Exotic perk usefulness.
An Insurmountable Skullfort (DISC): B
Reasoning: It has good use in Crota HM, as transfusion can be used with a careful melee on a thrall to reliably recover health, and Infusion takes advantage of others’ orbs – but you should be running Defender there anyway. Fortunately, Infusion would work when playing Defender, as well. Impact Induction is excellent with its Discipline, working to speed along grenade recovery. Its signature perk is not bad, freeing you to select the useful Aftershocks or underwhelming Headstrong, but its ultimate melee-centric focus hurts it a bit for Nightfalls and non HM Crota-CP raids. At least Shoulder Charge procs Transfusion!
Helm of Inmost Light (STR): C
Reasoning: Debated going B for this, and could possibly be talked into it, but the rationale is more important than the letter. Rain Blows is fun for the Punchbro Lyfe, but consumes a valuable Helmet perkslot. Invigoration is useless for solo content, and even with an orb-happy group only works to give you your melee back – another waste of a perkslot. The pure Strength roll also only works to your melee’s benefit. It’s clear this helmet was designed for the punch-happy titan, but unfortunately such a titan is outgunned in that role in almost all content. The Exotic perk is fun, allowing for perk flexibility in two more rows, but ultimately only allows safer Super use while having no synergy with its melee-heavy perkset. I have to go with a “C” for PvE.
The Glasshouse (INT): A
Reasoning: One half of the stellar Defender helm duo, The Glasshouse adds another useful talent to the myriad available for the Defender to buff his or her WoD. The pure Intellect roll is exactly what is called for here, offering a healthy CD bonus to help those WoD recharge times. Quintessence Transfer is excellent as well, as it grants increased Super from Grenade kills to also speed along that sweet WoD cooldown. Its Exotic Perk can be supremely useful with a coordinated fireteam. Most evidence reports a 50% increase in Blessing/Weapons of Light uptime, which means increased survivability/DPS from the lot of you for the duration. Its use is a bit gimped in solo play, where the bonus can’t compound with multiple users, but this is hardly a mark against it. Atheon Beware.
Helm of Saint-14 (INT): S
Reasoning: The iconic senator’s plume says this helmet means business – and boy does it. Everything about this Exotic is perfectly aligned. The INT roll, like the Glasshouse, is necessary to drive you quicker and quicker to your bubble. The Exotic perk Starless Night is the real selling point here though. Any enemy that enters the bubble is completely incapacitated. This effect can be applied an unlimited amount of times, and lasts for a very respectable duration, making the WoD into a potent offensive CC tool and allowing the Titan Pawnch to finally shine. Rain Blows – otherwise generally outclassed – does just fine here, also allowing for quicker activation of Disintegrate’s shield and maximum Thunderdome throwdown damage. Inverse Shadow is just an unfair cherry on top – the cream of the crop for Helmet perks landing on an already overpowered beauty. The Bubble loses a little efficacy in certain boss fights, but Saint-14 still earns the S.
No Backup Plans (STR): C
Reasoning: The “Glasshouse” of Melee, its tier suffers predictably. It’s a load of fun in low-stress content, especially solo play, where Disintegrate uptime can be almost constant with a high enough Strength and Relentless. Special Weapon Loader ain’t bad for Shotgun builds and pairs well with an overshield for in-your-face death. Rain blows works well with Gift of Light, but you might otherwise prefer Impact Induction. Unfortunately, anywhere where melee is impractical, so too is this Exotic.
Ruin Wings (STR): A
Reasoning: First off, if these worked consistently and predictably, they’d earn an S. But anyone who uses them knows this is quite often not the case. There is anecdotal evidence that they can spawn more heavy for other fireteam members, but this is difficult to prove and therefore unreliable and unworthy of stating as fact. Pure Strength is unfortunate, though Impact Induction is a welcome boon to increase your overall armament potency. Special Weapon Loader is typical par for the Exotic Gauntlets course, but its the Exotic Perk here that makes it. Free Surplus on all Heavy Weapons is a godsend when it works, trivializing any and all content. As Heavy Ammo is no longer bugged, it’s even more valuable in Crota’s End, etc. “Dropping more frequently” is peculiar and possibly occasionally bugged, but there’s no doubt that when it’s feeling generous, this is an S-tier exotic all the way. Don’t bite my head off.
The Armamentarium (DISC): S
Reasoning: Possessing the ability to grant the most of any given stat, a pure Discipline chestpiece is perfect for Striker and Defender Titans alike. Two grenades is absolutely bananas, especially for Strikers, and leaves you able to handle any and all PvE situations. The absurd Discipline will make sure you have them up as often as possible, and the extra Special and Heavy ammo ensures you’ll never stop firing in between grenades. You can even swap out your Crota’s End boots for Iron Banner now! I can’t oversell this exotic. We were spoiled with it a lot early on, and some people are only now starting to realize its true potential. Let the Chest Engram roulette roll.
Crest of Alpha Lupi (INT): B
Reasoning: The first of the “Keeper of the Pack” exotics to earn higher than a C. The massive pure Intellect roll likely saves it from the doldrums of C territory, being infinitely preferable to Strength in its Warlock and Hunter cousins. However, this chestpiece is actually not entirely worthless regardless.
Its niche lies in a Defender’s multitude of orb-spawning abilities. For a fireteam that wants them, boy can it deliver: Popping WoD grants 3 instead of 2; Gift of Light can grant 2 on a melee kill; 3 to 4 for damaging WoD with Gift of the Void; 1 to 2 for chance Heavy kills with Iron Harvest – are you starting to see where i’m going with this?(EDIT 1: I was mistaken – none of this is seemingly true. While Defenders are able to generate orbs in many ways, CoAL only contributes to the initial WoD deployment). Still, for solo play its only use is ammo and Intellect, and if you’re in a PuG, you’re going to have a hard time ensuring its unique role is valuable to justify its use over Armamentarium/Saint-14.
MK. 44 Stand Asides (STR): C-
Reasoning: C- Tongue-in-cheek aside, these are the most worthless exotics ever invented for PvE. They grant bonus Heavy Ammo, but so do the raid boots. They have a pure Strength roll, which is awful unless you’re a Defender…where you don’t have Shoulder Charge. Their signature perk should have never made it past the Destiny drawing board, and the guy who green-lit the idea should be condemned to the Sisyphean toil of capturing point A only to see his team lose indefinitely. They give you 3 extra seconds in which to use Shoulder Charge. Yes, you can cover 3 more seconds of ground, or run in a circle for 3 more seconds of sublime panic before throwing your weak shoulder or knee into a Major and promptly dying to Lightswitch. If you use these in PvE, I sure hope it’s because you have no other Exotic options.