Wow, it's been a while. I do apologize for my absence, life got busy.
Anyway, let's get right into it! New year of Destiny, new blog posts, hopefully. This entry will be discussing my competitive PvP loadout for Shadowkeep so far. It's been about a month since the Shadowkeep launch, so I figure this is a good time to fully document what I've been using to slay Guardians in the Crucible.
First things first, there is a solo queue playlist, and comp is now 3v3 Survival. This is a fantastic thing for me, as a mostly solo player, enabling me to match with other players who are also solo. I've made my way to Mythic 1 thus far, mostly solo. As you may imagine, this has played a role in what I've chosen as my loadout. I started the season off with a mediocre Spare Rations and Graviton Lance. Graviton Lance has wiped groups of 3 for me very efficiently in the past during Forsaken, so that was my first choice.
Eventually, I ran into some problems with this build, however: rapid-fire(540rpm) pulse rifles. This archetype received a buff in Shadowkeep, making them much more viable in PvP than previously during Forsaken. Graviton Lance, while being a consistent 3-tapper, struggled against these pulse rifles especially in their effective range. As you may imagine, most maps are not big enough for me to outrange them with Graviton Lance. Clearly, I needed another option. While poking around my vault, I stumbled across another Year 1 exotic pulse rifle. This was Vigilance Wing. It features the Harsh Truths exotic perk: "fires a 5-round burst. When a nearby ally is killed, gain health regeneration and increased movement speed." The trait for this pulse rifle is Last Stand: "Improved weapon performance and greatly increased recovery when its wielder is the last surviving member of a fireteam."
See where I'm going with this? In case it's unclear, Vigilance Wing means I regenerate health faster, move faster, and handle the weapon faster when a nearby teammate goes down, or when my entire team goes down. As far as other perks go, this is a 530 RPM pulse rifle with some good range and stability. Almost as fast as the rapid-fire pulses that were plaguing me, with a very distinct benefit: Vigilance Wing can kill a mid-resilience Guardian in two bursts. For bonus points, Vigilance Wing's catalyst(which I completed this evening) lets it fire fully-automatic.
As far as my energy weapon goes, I opted for arguably the second best hand cannon in the energy slot: Luna's Howl. I talked a bit about this hand cannon a few blog posts back, and it is consistent as ever even now. There is a new "bug" with the Magnificent Howl perk however, letting users of the Luna's Howl and Not Forgotten hand cannons 3-tap Guardians at ranges these cannons frankly have no business being in, especially after the range cap to hand cannons. Occasionally, I will switch onto my Retold Tale or even my Recluse if the map calls for it. More often than not though, I end up switching my kinetic weapon. For maps like Burnout, I'll switch to Chaperone or Parcel of Stardust.
I've rocked this build from 1800-3800 Glory in the competitive playlist, haven't had any reason to switch from it yet. It works incredibly well for the gamemode, Vigilance Wing has incredible synergy with worse teammates and Luna's Howl keeps me covered in the closer ranges. I think it's safe to say that this is my bread and butter in PvP.
This is probably a good time for me to talk about my subclass. I've tried Spectral Blades with the new exotic Assassin's Cowl helmet, which isn't terrible and is a strong build by all means. With the nerfs to roaming super damage in Shadowkeep, I immediately opted for the only Hunter super that could actively resist and reflect damage: Way of the Current, or middle tree Arcstrider. Holding my melee button lets me spin my Arcstaff in a circle, reflecting all incoming damage towards my enemies. It doesn't last as long as Spectral Blades does, but it is still incredibly lethal.
Most of what I run in comp subclass-wise has been either of these options; Spectral Blades with Assassin's Cowl or Arcstrider with Stompees. I can't say I favor one over the other, but the ability to reflect damage in the face of a damage resistance nerf makes Way of The Current more viable than ever, in my opinion.
Hopefully I can get back into more regular posts here soon.