We're about a month away from the launch of Destiny 2: Beyond Light, and with it, a series of sweeping changes to the game's world and sandbox. In addition to everything that's being removed for the Destiny Content Vault, weapon sunsetting will make some of the best legendary weapons in the game right now unusable in Beyond Light's higher-level content.
With that in mind, I've compiled a list of exotics you should definitely acquire before their related activities are removed from the game, as well as a selection of legendary weapons that will remain relevant into the next year.
How to prepare for Destiny 2: Beyond Light – the gear you need to get before November
Whisper of the Worm
Once the king of the boss killers, Whisper of the Worm's impact has been lessened through a major nerf to its main perk. Where once three critical hits would return ammo to your magazine from thin air, now it simply pulls from your existing reserves. The downside is you no longer have a theoretically infinite ammo pool to draw from. But, as long as you can land your headshots, Whisper doesn't need to be reloaded, which can be a major help in raid DPS. It's still very good, is what I'm saying.
Most exotics tied to locations or quests that are being 'vaulted' will simply move to Beyond Light's new Memorial Kiosk. Whisper of the Worm isn't. Bungie has said that it will not be available until the studio finds a new way to reintroduce it. As we have no idea how long that will take, you're best off grabbing it ASAP.
Doing so requires the completion of The Whisper, a timed mission that is part jumping puzzle, part brutal gauntlet of challenging combat. How you access the mission has changed a couple of times over the years, so first check Io's map to see if it shows as a quest located just north of The Rupture landing zone. If so, great: you can enter straight from the map screen. If not, then you'll need to wait for a public event to start in Lost Oasis. When it does, ignore it, and start scouring the map for a Taken boss. Kill it, and a large portal will open on a mesa to the north-east of the Lost Oasis landing zone. Stepping through will start the mission.
It's a tricky one to complete, even now, and I'd recommend bringing a couple of friends, or finding some other players through an LFG site or Discord. Don't expect to blast through it on your first go—even just the jumping section can lose you a lot of time as you learn its intricacies.
Whisper of the Worm’s Catalyst
Once you've completed the mission and got the gun, there's still the catalyst to unlock. Whisper of the Worm's catalyst adds an extra perk called Whispered Breathing. It functions similarly to the Box Breathing perk—where aiming down sights for a short time before firing grants increased precision damage—only it doesn't reset on firing. It's a chunky damage buff, too, and ultimately makes Whisper better at the one thing it's good at: killing bosses.
To get it, you need to complete the Heroic version of The Whisper quest, available on the Io map after you complete the normal version for the first time. It features the same route as the normal version, just with an elemental modifier that rotates each week at reset. However, your first completion will only reward a small amount of progress towards the catalyst's completion. Finishing it requires completing The Whisper's Heroic version five times, once per reset. That means, to complete before Beyond Light's release, you'll need to start it this week, before Tuesday's reset.
Luckily there is a way to speed things up. Also in the Heroic version of the mission are a number of chests that grant extra progress towards the catalyst. These are all placed before the combat section, and don't need to be opened in the same run as a full completion. That means you can go through first with your fireteam to earn that week's completion, and then return solo to hunt down the chests in your own time. By doing both the chests and the completion each reset, you can knock out the catalyst in just three weeks.
A Thousand Wings
OK, this isn't a gun, and it's not really a thing you must do, but if you're going for the Whisper catalyst, you might as well also get the best looking ship in the game. Near the location of the last chest in The Whisper's Heroic version, you'll find a Vex portal that acts as a fun nod to Destiny 1's Vault of Glass raid. Stand on the plate in front of it, and Oracles from the Vault of Glass will begin to appear. Once they've bonged their strange, musical pattern, you'll need to shoot specific Oracles in three waves.
Numbering the Oracles from one to seven, going left to right, you need to shoot them in this order:
- Wave 1: 1, 3, 5
- Wave 2: 4, 6, 7, 3, 1
- Wave 3: 7, 3, 1, 6, 4, 2, 5
Do this, and a chest will appear. Inside is a quest that asks you to complete The Whisper's Heroic version three times, once for each elemental modifier. Seeing as you'll be doing that anyway for the catalyst, this is an easy extra.
Like Whisper, this is earned via yet another difficult timed mission that mixes challenging combat and jumping puzzles. This time, though, there are vents.
Called Zero Hour, the mission asks you to foil a Fallen heist taking place at the old tower from Destiny 1. It's a cool nod to the previous game, and a fun mission in its own right. To unlock it, you'll need to first complete the questline, Enemy of My Enemy, which you can find on Titan. Once that's done, head to Tidal Anchor on Titan, and keep going through until you reach a long corridor filled with Hive wizards and cursed thralls. At the end of that corridor is a red room. In there, you should get a prompt to unlock the door on the left side, which opens to reveal a room full of computer terminals. On one of them, you'll find a new quest, called 'Fallen Transponder'.
Now it's time for some Lost Sectors. You'll need to search six for their hidden nodes; three on Nessus and three on the EDZ. The video below will show you how to find them.
With that done you can finally tackle Zero Hour. Just head to The Farm—you can access it from the EDZ map—and go down into the basement to the right from where you spawn. Down there you'll find a Fallen—the same one from the Enemy of My Enemy questline—who will start the mission.
As with The Whisper, Zero Hour is incredibly difficult to beat solo—made tougher by the fact that here the combat gauntlet is at the start, meaning you can't easily practice the jumping section first.
Outbreak Perfected’s Catalyst
Just like Whisper of the Worm, Outbreak Perfected's Catalyst comes from the Heroic version of Zero Hour. Unlike Whisper, though, Zero Hour's tougher counterpart features a remixed route to the boss room that throws in even more difficult platforming sections.
The other difference is in the puzzle that grants extra progress towards the Catalyst each week. It's, frankly, a faff, to the point that I'm not bothering with it—I'm instead going to suck it up and complete the Heroic mission five times. If you're planning to go that route, you have to start this week, before next Tuesday's reset.
If you do want to tackle the puzzle, which cuts the catalyst completion time down to three weeks, and also rewards an incredibly ugly ship, first you need to collect some keycards within Zero Hour Heroic. Then, it's the puzzle. The video below has the clearest explanation I can find on the absurd process of getting this done.
Other Exotic Weapons
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While plenty of exotic weapon quests are being vaulted, their corresponding rewards are—with the exception of Whisper of the Worm and Outbreak Perfected—being moved to a new Memorial Kiosk for purchase. Essentially, if you don't finish every quest in your log, you're fine: you can buy the guns regardless.
That said, Bungie is yet to reveal exactly how the Memorial Kiosk will work. It's possible that each exotic you buy from it will require an Exotic Cipher—an item introduced this season that lets you buy a previous season's exotic weapons from the Cryptarch. This season, you can only earn two Exotic Ciphers. If they're as rare in future seasons—a big if, although not impossible—it will be worth hunting down some of the best exotics now, so you're not having to choose between them in future. Here's a few choice options that you should unlock before November:
Izanagi's Burden: The secondary sniper rifle remains an absolute beast for the game's trickier activities. Its perk, Honed Edge, lets you spend four bullets to charge up a super-powered shot that does absurd damage to Champions in Master Nightfalls. Unlocking it is a pain, though, and will require spending a bunch of time doing Black Armory forges, a spot of grinding in the underbelly of the Leviathan raid, and even a touch of RNG. Still, if you chase just one exotic in Destiny 2, it should be this one. Here's a guide that shows how to get it done.
Also, if you happen to have a fully upgraded Chalice of Opulence, you can earn Izanagi's catalyst by completing Heroic Menagerie. The catalyst perk just makes the fully charged Honed Edge even better, and so it's well worth taking the time to unlock.
Anarchy: A unique heavy grenade launcher that fires tripmines that chain arc energy between each other, causing damage over time to whatever they touch. Anarchy is a great boss damage weapon, and, luckily, it's now easier than ever to get. It's a random drop from the final boss encounter of the Scourge of the Past raid, but this season Bungie has removed the reward cap from raids, meaning it can be easily farmed.
The trick here is, when you reach Scourge's final boss, leave the fireteam and join up with a second character. Wipe to ensure that character has the checkpoint, and then rejoin with your main character. Complete the raid, and then switch back to your second character to load in at the boss. Have the rest of your fireteam join you, then leave them, rejoin with your main character and kill the boss again. You can repeat this process—loading into the checkpoint held by your second character and then switching back to your main—until everyone in your fireteam has the gun. This also works for Crown of Sorrow's RNG exotic Tarrabah, but nobody is going to recommend that in a list of exotics you have to earn.
Witherhoard: A special grenade launcher that creates blights that inflict damage over time. It's good, and, if you're looking at this guide, you've almost certainly got it. But just in case: you earn Witherhoard through the season pass. You can grab it immediately if you've bought Season of Arrivals from the Premium Rewards package, and at level 35 if you haven't.
Eriana's Vow: A strange combination of hand cannon and sniper rifle that I'd argue suffers from some of the worst traits of both. Nevertheless, Eriana's Vow stands out mostly because of its ability to take down Barrier Champion shields, giving you a reliable source of stuns without being at the mercy of the seasonal mod system. It's good in Nightfalls, basically, which is useful given that they're the primary source of Ascendant Shards. Eriana's Vow was a previous season's exotic, but if you didn't pick it up, you can now grab it from the Cryptarch for the cost of an Exotic Cipher. You can pick one up through the season pass, and another from a short quest on Mars.
With sunsetting shaking up our loadout—blocking Year 2's OP weapons from being infused up to Beyond Light's power cap—it's worth hunting down some of Season of Arrival's best guns. From Beyond Light on, each Destiny 2 legendary will be infusable for a year after release. That means any weapon added this season will be good for until the release of 2021's expansion, The Witch Queen. Here's what you should take the time to farm:
Falling Guillotine: Swords are the in thing this season—seriously, there are very few problems in Destiny 2 right now that can't be solved with swords. And you can easily get the best sword, Falling Guillotine, from the season pass at level 30 on the free track. The roll is perfectly fine, too, as it has the Whirlwind Blade perk that increases damage on rapid strikes. If you really want to get nutty, though, use Umbral Engrams to farm a version with Whirlwind Blade, Relentless Strikes and Jagged Edge. In a Charged With Light build that incorporates the Lucent Blade mod, you're laughing.
Gnawing Hunger: Adaptive Frame autorifles are strong, right now, especially in Crucible, although I'd expect that to change with Beyond Light's inevitable sandbox update. Still, you'll rarely go wrong with a good Gnawing Hunger, which you can pick up from Lead-Focused Umbral Engrams. There are loads of perks here, depending on whether you're planning to use it in PvE or PvP. For the former, pairing a stability perk like Tap the Trigger or Zen Moment with a damage perk like Rampage or Demolitionist will do the business. For PvP, look for Kill Clip and the range-extending Accurized Rounds.
Ikelos_SMG_V1.0.2: If you're looking for a replacement for The Recluse, this ain't it—let's be honest, nothing will be. Still, as SMG's go, the new Ikelos variant that drops from CQC-Focused Umbral Engrams is strong. Its chief benefit is it's classed as a Seventh Seraph weapon, meaning it will generate Warmind Cells that interact with the Warmind mod system. These are slept on by most players, in part because Bungie did a bad job of explaining seasonal mods. With the right build, though, a good Warmind build can absolutely slay. Invest in Warmind Cells today.
First In, Last Out: Also from the CQC-Focused Umbral Engrams, First In, Last Out is a slug shotgun that I've been getting a real kick out of using in Crucible. Your mileage will vary here, as slug shotties are already pretty niche in PvP (you have to actually aim!) and this one can't roll with perks like Quickdraw or Snapshot Sights that most players swear by. But I slapped an Icarus Grip mod on an Opening Shot and I've got no complaints about the result. Give it a shot: the extra range of slug rounds can easily catch an opponent off guard, and the worst that can happen is you'll be repeatedly killed and bagged by everyone using Felwinter's.
Martyr's Retribution: An older seasonal grenade launcher, still available from Dawn-Focused Umbral Engrams. This one has a unique frame that releases a wave of solar across the ground. I'll be honest: I picked this up months ago in Season of the Dawn and used it exactly once, but when I ran this list by Tim, he added it in—suggesting a Demolitionist/Auto-Loading Holster roll. Frankly, who am I to argue?
That feels like a solid amount of Destiny homework to be getting on with before Beyond Light's launch, but feel free to suggest your own must-have weapons in the comments below. I'll add in any sensible suggestions throughout the next month.