Destiny 2’s Forsaken expansion brought a ton of new Exotics into the game, all of which can still be acquired today. Whether you’re looking for the best meta weapons in PVE and PVP alike or you just want some fun Exotics to use in easy Strikes, there’ll be something for you on this list. If you want to get these weapons, just go check out the Exotics Archive at the Tower to purchase them for various materials. In this article I’ll rank all 11 of them, so let’s get right into it!
I’ve ranked the Forsaken Exotics below from worst to best.
There was a time back in Destiny 1 when Truth was one of the best Exotics in the game. These days, however, Truth is nowhere to be seen. You can still use it, but I personally haven’t seen or heard of it in years. At the end of the day, Truth simply offers nothing that another Rocket Launcher doesn’t already do better, and most of them are Legendaries.
The big reason to use Truth back in the day was the homing missiles, which weren’t on many Rocket Launchers yet. Other than that, Truth doesn’t have any relevant perks. It does have Grenades and Horseshoes which causes rockets to detonate a bit earlier, but it doesn’t really have much of an effect on the game. Whether you’re in PVE or PVP, Truth is outclassed in every regard by Legendary Rocket Launchers, so there’s no reason to justify using this as your Exotic.
#10 Bad Juju
Just like Truth, Bad Juju is another Exotic that was once much better than it is now. Bad Juju is a Pulse Rifle designed for add-clear, and it’s one of the most effective at just doing that. If you really need an Exotic Pulse Rifle for add-clear, this is probably the best to go with. But Exotic weapons these days are expected to do more than just slightly better-than-normal add-clear.
Bad Juju has an Exotic perk called String of Curses, which gives it almost all of its power. String of Curses causes every kill to refill your magazine, increase damage, and grant Super energy. This effectively combines several other perks into one, but doesn’t really do much other than help with add-clear. You could just use a Legendary Pulse Rifle with Subsistence and a damage perk to get the same effect, but a more precision-focused Pulse is usually better anyway (in PVE at least).
You could still use Bad Juju in easier content, but in harder PVE content or any PVP it isn’t worth using anymore.
#9 Last Word
The Last Word is still a great PVP weapon if you’re on controller, but even then it’s still been a victim to power creep, just like so many other Forsaken-era Exotics. With the Last Word, you can fire full auto, with your hip-fired precision shots doing increased damage. This forces a style of gameplay unlike most other weapons, with the exception of the newer hip-fire oriented ones. But at the time, the Last Word was one of the most unique weapons in the game.
These days, the Last Word remains a solid pick if you’re good with it. If you’re a mouse and keyboard user you might want to avoid this one though, because the extra aim assist for controller users is basically required. Landing precision hip-fire shots with the mouse and keyboard’s low aim assist is a difficult feat, but you could still do it if you really wanted to. Personally, I’ve never had much luck with the Last Word outside of controllers, but I’m sure you could adapt to it if you put a bunch of work into it.
Is the Last Word still worth using compared to other options? Not really. But it has such a unique feel that for many players it will be. If you play well with the style the Last Word rewards, there’s no other option like it. So even if it isn’t “meta”, it’s still worth having for many people.
Thorn is one of those weapons that you see every now and then and instantly remember why it’s so good. In PVP, Thorn is fantastic since it poisons enemies and gives you burn markers which show where hit enemies go for a short period. This alone is enough to make Thorn one of the strongest Exotic Hand Cannons in PVP still to this day. Even though it isn’t quite as popular since there are so many other options, Thorn is still a great PVP weapon, but it’s also strong in PVE.
Despite being better in PVP, there are some really fun PVE synergies with Thorn. Poisoning enemies is decent in PVE, but since Hand Cannons got buffed so heavily recently, it gets a much better chance to shine. You can also make much better use of the Exotic perks in PVE, as they allow you to get short-term bonuses by killing enemies with Thorn. You can technically do that in PVP too, but it’s a lot harder.
Thorn isn’t the best weapon at any one thing, but it’s a reliable and fun option if you’re interested in what it does. Poisoning enemies is better than you might think in both PVE and PVP, so there will always be some place for Thorn, even if it isn’t the number 1 weapon.
Anarchy has had many uses since it was introduced, but it’s usually associated with boss fights in some way. With Anarchy, all you have to do to get optimum damage is just fire two shots (which stick on surfaces and enemies) then switch to your other weapons. Anarchy ticks damage over time, so you can use it and then do whatever else you need to do while it does its own thing. This is helpful for bosses where you need to stay on the move, or for doing bonus damage while you DPS with non-heavy weapons.
Anarchy has been nerfed hard enough over the years where not many people use it for actual boss DPS, but it still works in the right situations. It’s also great for fights where you absolutely can’t stand still long enough to DPS. In really hard content like Grandmaster Nightfalls or Master Raids, Anarchy can be the most reliable way to do damage sometimes. It’s also really strong for solo content, where you don’t care how long the damage phase takes as long as you survive.
And of course, there’s also a way to glitch out Kalli in the Last Wish raid with Anarchy. If you’re going to farm a bunch of Last Wish weapons, there’s a good chance someone in your fireteam will need Anarchy for that glitch.
It’s really a tragedy that Tarrabah doesn’t get talked about more than it does. As a raid Exotic, it’s largely been seen as one of the less exciting options, but it has merit as one of the coolest PVP weapons out there. The Ravenous Beast perk requires filling an energy meter to activate, which can be done by taking or dealing damage. Once filled, you can activate Ravenous Beast to simply “unleash the beast”. What it means by that is pretty straightforward. With Ravenous Beast activated, you get a huge damage boost which makes shredding through enemies in PVP far easier than ever.
The real problem with Tarrabah is that it’s inconsistent and doesn’t offer too much outside of the Ravenous Beast perk. When compared to more meta SMGs like The Immortal or Unending Tempest, Tarrabah has a hard time justifying its Exotic status. But if you like the Ravenous Beast perk and get good at optimizing for it, you can absolutely carry your team through any match with this weapon.
You can also use Tarrabah effectively in PVE, but it doesn’t really seem worth the Exotic slot to be honest. It will be much easier to activate the Ravenous Beast perk, but it’s not nearly as impressive as it is in PVP.
Lumina remains a relevant Hand Cannon after all these years because of its ability to actually support your team. There are very few ways to feel like you’re actually fulfilling the support role, but Lumina allows that by letting you heal teammates. Using the Noble Rounds perk, you can absorb a Remnant (which enemies killed with Lumina drop), which allows you to hip-fire a “Noble Round” which will seek allies. Using a Noble Round on an ally will heal them and give you both a short-term weapon damage boost, which is great in both PVE and PVP.
Lumina works especially well on Warlocks thanks to the Boots of the Assembler Exotic. This Exotic allows you to create Noble Rounds without killing anyone, which makes them more reliable in PVE and viable at all in PVP. It also gives an airborne effectiveness boost to Lumina specifically, so they really are the perfect pairing.
Every Warlock player should own Lumina, if for no reason other than it’s not hard to get and has some really interesting effects. You can make Lumina work in any content, but it is at its best in raids or other multi-person activities.
Nobody can deny that owning Jötunn is basically required for every Destiny 2 player. If there’s anything everyone should experience, it’s the thrill of blowing up enemy Guardians in the Crucible with this stupid weapon. If you haven’t already experienced it, Jötunn is a Fusion Rifle that tracks enemies and one-shots in PVP. It is a special weapon, though, so you only have two shots each life. But that’s more than enough to get a free kill and still have a shot left to horribly miss when the tracking doesn’t work right.
I won’t pretend that Jötunn is an S-tier weapon, because it’s not. But it is pretty strong in PVP unironically, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun to use. And sometimes that’s really all this game comes down to. A Warlock floating around with Jötunn has just as much a shot at a flawless Trials run as a Titan with a Shotgun. (Most of the time.)
In PVE, Jötunn doesn’t really do a ton, to be honest. It does do respectable damage, but not enough to justify using. It has decent synergies with Solar builds, but there isn’t much of a reason to use it over any other more reliable Fusion Rifle. In PVP, though, it remains a very strong pick.
#3 Izanagi’s Burden
There was something about the Exotic weapon design back during the Forsaken era that really made the weapons stand out more than a lot of the ones today. Izanagi’s Burden is a perfect example of this, as it isn’t super complicated, but it still feels unique and has a ton of power. What makes Izanagi’s Burden stand out is the Honed Edge perk, which allows you to re-reload the weapon to combine the standard 4 shots in the mag into one more powerful one. Plus, it makes a really cool sword sound effect. The fully powered Honed Edge shot does a massive chunk of damage–well over 100k to bosses.
In situations where you need a high-DPS Sniper Rifle, Izanagi’s Burden is one of the best to use. It benefits from being in the Kinetic slot, so you’ll still be able to use an Energy primary, which most builds want these days. And there are more than enough strong legendary weapons in the heavy slot, so you won’t feel like you’re wasting your Exotic at all.
One thing to remember about Izanagi’s Burden, though, is that you need the Worldshaper ornament (the one pictured above). The normal version of Izanagi’s is just a standard Sniper Rifle, but Worldshaper turns it into a big Final Fantasy type sword.
#2 Le Monarque
It’s easy to explain why Le Monarque is so good–it’s fast and does AOE poison damage on precision shots. That’s really all there is to it. If you enjoy using bows in either PVE or PVP, Le Monarque is the ultimate bow experience. Since it has Snapshot Sights on top of its good base handling, you’ll be able to take out enemies faster than ever without worrying about the long draw time of many other bows. But the poison arrows are the main reason to use Le Monarque. When you fire arrows, as long as you release them shortly after drawing fully, the arrow will do its poison damage.
Poison damage in PVP is always helpful, as it allows you to track where your opponent moves after being shot. It is worth noting that this was nerfed on Le Monarque recently, but it’s still strong. If nothing else, it allows you to see what direction they start going right after being shot. Then there’s the damage of the bow itself. With the arrow plus the poison damage, Le Monarque is a very easy two-shot kill in PVP as long as the first shot is a precision one. And in PVE, it’s great for both add-clear (thanks to the AOE) or taking out high-HP enemies like Champions or mini-bosses.
For the average PVE player, Le Monarque is the best weapon from the Forsaken expansion to buy. However, PVP players have one more option they might prefer.
#1 Ace of Spades
If only one weapon could represent all of Destiny 2, it would probably be Ace of Spades. After being first introduced as Cayde’s weapon, it eventually made its way to the Guardian. What makes Ace so memorable is that it doesn’t do anything over the top, but it does have enough mechanics to make it able to represent what Destiny gameplay is all about. Getting kills before reloading gives you bonus power shots, it keeps radar active while aiming down sights, it has Firefly, and it feels perfect on all three classes. For the sake of PVP, at least, Ace of Spades is the best weapon from Forsaken.
In PVE, however, it is a different story. Ace of Spades does have Firefly, so it isn’t entirely worthless in PVE, but it isn’t great. The perks on the weapon and how it feels just makes more sense in the Crucible than anywhere else. That being said, though, you can definitely make PVE Ace of Spades work if you really, really want to.
As more and more Hand Cannons get released, Bungie never manages to release one that truly surpasses Ace. Sure, there are times when other options become more meta, but that’s usually because they don’t take up the Exotic slot. But if you’re wanting an Exotic primary weapon that will win you the majority of your fights, Ace of Spades is perfect.