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Destiny 2: The Witch Queen brings with it dozens of new weapons, a handful of new mods and a complete overhaul of abilities for Guardians everywhere. If previous seasons and expansions are any indicator, though, one thing is clear: The best exotic you have might be one you already have in your inventory or vault.

There’s still a bit we don’t know about what Bungie plans to do with weapon mods in The Witch Queen. For one, the dev hasn’t announced what weapons will get the Unstoppable champion mod, other than glaives and exotics that inherently get the mod like Bastion. And while Bungie has said it is shying away from the debuff mod meta that came with Particle Deconstruction (linear fusion rifles) and Breach and Clear (grenade launchers), there’s always a chance that new additions to the mod pool will make something silly like Jotuun a strong DPS choice.

There are new realms to explore and new tools of destruction incoming, but it’s time to pick through what you have left in your collections, even as The Witch Queen’s weapons come pouring in. Here’s a tier list of the exotic weapons you should definitely keep in mind for higher-tier content in Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, as well as which weapons would be better off staying in the vault.

Destiny 2: Witch Queen weapons tier list
Here’s a tier list of the exotic weapons you should keep in mind for higher-tier content in The Witch Queen. | provided by Tiermaker.com

S Tier: Death, taxes and a broken Telesto

The choices in this tier all have one thing in common: They can stun champions of some form and have extra value to the other Guardians alongside them.

Arbalest, complete with its catalyst, can decimate Barrier champions, and the Genesis perk makes it a top choice for DPS on those tougher opponents. Divinity is a must, both for stunning Overload champions and for the debuff it gives its targets. And the buff to trace rifle damage will likely make this weapon do a sneaky bit more to foes in its own right, too. Those two, along with Gjallahorn in a world with no weapon archetype debuff mods, will be big parts of The Witch Queen’s endgame meta, particularly Nightfalls.

And yes, Telesto belongs in the S Tier. True to tradition, this fusion rifle will let Guardians build up super when the projectiles hit Hive Ghosts or something like that. This gun will do something stupid, and it will be discovered within hours of launch day. Count on it.

A Tier: Add clear and auto rifles

This next group of exotics includes a couple old standout DPS options like Izanagi’s Whisper of the Worm and Sleeper Simulant, but the tier is mostly reserved for weapons that will take anti-Barrier and Overload mods in The Witch Queen.

Suros Regime, Dead Man’s Tale and Huckleberry don’t make it into this tier without Bungie’s 40% buff to exotic primary damage against minor enemies. With champion-disruption mods and stronger add-clear, primary exotic weapons don’t feel so much like a waste, as they did before The Witch Queen.

Polaris Lance, Riskrunner and Tarrabah are going to be great options for the same reason. And, as someone who once ran Hard Light during Trials of Osiris (and almost went flawless!) I can confirm that the utility of that gun, plus an Overload mod, will be great as a support weapon option.

The rest of the group, including Anarchy, Witherhoard and our trio of anti-add and anti-Barrier bows, will remain among the top options for both clearing a room and doling out single-target damage.

B Tier: What is and what could be

Thunderlord, One Thousand Voices and Tractor Cannon all land here because they’re a step behind their heavy counterparts in the first two tiers. Much of the rest of this group, meanwhile, depends on what Bungie does next.

If hand cannons get Unstoppable mods, then Thorn and Malfeasance, and Lumina post-buffs, could probably be A tier. Crimson would be good for solo content as well situationally. If pulse rifles get Unstoppable, meanwhile, then Graviton Lance is the best add clear tool you can get that will also save you from thick-with-two-c’s Ogres.

Vex Mythoclast has been nerfed, and it’s not as good without Particle Deconstruction, but it still will slap. I’m also very much looking forward to bringing an anti-Overload Sweet Business into a Grandmaster Nightfall and never letting go of the trigger.

C Tier: The “do it for the content” tier

In this group, we’ve got some pretty fun DPS options, as well as a few exotics that have inherent mods but pretty niche use cases — like Bastion, Devil’s Ruin and Leviathan’s Breath. Shoutout to the person who does all those TikTok clips of using Leviathan’s Breath in Crucible, by the way. Please keep those coming. Destiny 2 Zoomer content is the best content.

Anyway, the trace rifle buff might make Prometheus Lens and Coldheart good add clear options, though I can’t imagine using that as my one exotic weapon in Witch Queen. Hawkmoon can give us some “CLIP IT” moments if it gets Unstoppable and you get to click an enemy’s head for free for an entire clip. And Bad JuJu, my first-ever-exotic in Destiny 1, will be back in my inventory — other weapons be damned if Witch Queen comes with Unstoppable for pulse rifles.

D Tier: You must be a PvP main

Welcome to the home of Chaperone (finally nerfed), Duality (somewhat nerfed), Last Word, Ace of Spades and several sniper rifles that could be good, particularly Cloudstrike, with an anti-champion mod. It speaks to how awful Cerberus+1 is that it can stun and has a damage buff but still, pretty objectively, belongs in the deepest confines of your vault. Jade Rabbit, the menace of Momentum Control, still doesn’t bring enough in PvE to make it worth using over pretty much any other scout rifle.

F Tier: The Brave Little Toaster

Remember back when Merciless was the best DPS tool for the Pleasure Gardens in Leviathan? Or how exciting it was to get a Stasis exotic? Or how great it was to turn a corner and get melted from 30 meters away by pre-nerf Lord of the Wolves?

Welcome to the home of good memories and bad guns. Jotuun, my friend, I promise I’ll use you again some day. Probably in Trials while drunk. Ah, good times.

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