Best Destiny 2 Black Armory weapons

Exotics and Legendary God rolls

By Ric Molina | May 26, 2020

Introduced a few seasons ago, Black Armory weapons aren’t the trendiest anymore, but they’re still some of the best weapons in the game.

And I don’t say this lightly. For example, Forge weapons are, in general, head and shoulders above the latest Seventh Seraph weapons. In fact, some of them are still considered top choices for PVE and PVP content.

But which ones are the best? Which ones are worth grinding for?

This guide will cover every Black Armory Forge weapon in the game. We’ll cover both Exotic and Legendary Forge weapons and the best rolls for Legendaries.

With weapon retirement on the horizon, most of these weapons now have an expiration date for end-game content. If you want one, you better start farming now.

These are the different Tier levels used for our list:

  • S Tier – Best: Highest ranking weapons in our Tier List.
  • A Tier – Strong: Very strong weapons, but not on the same level as S Tier Choices.
  • B Tier – Average: Decent choices that can be lethal in the hands of a skilled player.
  • C Tier – Weak: The middle of the pack, somewhat mediocre.
  • D Tier – Worst: Lagging behind the competition, these don’t have much to offer.

The list starts with S Tier and moves down the different tiers until it reaches the bottom D Tier.  Also, don’t forget that you can filter and sort the list however you prefer!


Destiny 2 Black Armory weapons list (as of May 2020)

 WeaponTierExcels inDrops fromExotic Perk / God rolls (in bold)Slot
Destiny 2 Izanagi's Burden

Izanagi's Burden

| Sniper Rifle
Best

S

PVEExotic Quest
Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Sunsets: NA

"Holding reload consumes the magazine and loads a round with additional range and damage."

► One of the best Exotics in the game, Izanagi's Burden is also easy to use, consistent and it never runs out of ammo (as it doesn't require Heavy ammo).
Kinetic
Destiny 2 Galliard-42 XN7568 art

Galliard-42 XN7568

| Auto Rifle
Best

S

PVPForge Completion
Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Primary | Sunsets: Season 12

Perk 1: Dynamic Sway Reduction (also good: Tap the Trigger)
Perk 2: Range Finder (also good: Moving Target)

► With the recent buff to Auto rifles, the Galliard became one of the most sought after weapons for PVP. Some call it the best AR right now and with the right perks and scope, it's a laser.
Energy
Destiny 2 Hammerhead art

Hammerhead

| Machine Gun
Best

S

PVPWeapon Frame
Slot: Void Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: Season 12

Perk 1: Dynamic Sway Reduction (also good: Feeding Frenzy)
Perk 2: Rampage (also good: Surrounded)

► The most popular legendary Heavy weapon in PVP, the Hammerhead is lethal, efficient and relatively easy to use with plenty of ammo for 2-3 kills.
Energy
Destiny 2 Jotunn

Jötunn

| Fusion Rifle
Strong

A

PVE + PVPExotic Quest
Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Sunsets: NA

"Hold down the trigger to charge up a tracking shot that explodes and burns on impact. Energy matched shield explosion disorients nearby combatants."

► Jötunn is so powerful and easy to use, it can feel like cheating. Skilled players can counter it, but most will burn to death.
Energy
Destiny 2 Kindled Orchid art

Kindled Orchid

| Hand Cannon
Strong

A

PVE + PVPWeapon Frame
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Primary | Sunsets: Season 12

Perk 1: Kill Clip (also good: Outlaw, Rangefinder)
Perk 2: Rampage (also good: Rapid Hit)

► Most weapons can roll with either Kill Clip or Rampage. Kindled Orchid can roll with both, making it an insane killing machine. It's also strong in PvP.
Energy
Destiny 2 Blast Furnace art

Blast Furnace

| Pulse Rifle
Strong

A

PVE + PVPWeapon Frame
Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary | Sunsets: Season 12

Perk 1: Feeding Frenzy (also good: Outlaw)
Perk 2: Kill Clip (also good: Rampage)

► This 4-burst Pulse rifle excels because of its raw power, accuracy, and multiple god rolls at its disposal. In PVP, it causes high flinch and has a solid TTK.
Kinetic
Destiny 2 Le Monarque art

Le Monarque

| Combat Bow
Strong

A

PVPExotic Quest
Slot: Void Energy | Ammo: Primary | Sunsets: NA

"Arrows fired quickly after a full draw become poison arrows. Precision hits with poison arrows spread poison to nearby enemies."

► One of the best bows in the game, Le Monarque can be lethal in the hands of an experienced PVP player, especially when coupled with a Quickdraw hand cannon.
Energy
Destiny 2 The Ringing Nail art

The Ringing Nail

| Auto Rifle
Strong

A

PVEWeapon Frame
Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Primary | Sunsets: Season 12

Perk 1: Zen Moment (also good: Dragonfly)
Perk 2: Kill Clip (also good: Rampage)

► This 450 RPM Auto Rifle has always been a very strong weapon, especially for PVE. The only reason you don't see it more is because 600 RPM Autos are insanely strong right now.
Energy
Destiny 2 Stryker's Sure-Hand art

Stryker's Sure-Hand

| Sword
Strong

A

PVEWeapon Frame
Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: Season 12

Perk 1: Tireless Blade (also good: Relentless Strikes)
Perk 2: Surrounded (also good: Moving Target)

► Swords, in general, are in a good place right now. They can deal insane damage if you take risks. Legendary swords are all very similar, except the Striker's which can roll with Surrounded.
Heavy
Destiny 2 Tatara Gaze art

Tatara Gaze

| Sniper Rifle
Average

B

-Weapon Frame
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Sunsets: Season 12

Perk 1: Snapshot or Quickdraw (also good: Outlaw)
Perk 2: Killclip (also good: Boxed Breathing)

The Tatara Gaze isn't best in class, but with the right perks, it can offer things most legendary snipers can't. This is something you'd want in your toolbox.
Energy
Destiny 2 Baligant XU7743 art

Baligant XU7743

| Shotgun
Average

B

-Forge Completion
Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Sunsets: Season 12

► There's nothing particularly wrong with this weapon. There are just better options out there (such as the Felwinter's Lie or an Astral Horizon for example).
Kinetic
Destiny 2 Atalanta-D XG1992 art

Atalanta-D XG1992

| Submachine Gun
Average

B

-Forge Completion
Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary | Sunsets: Season 12

► There's nothing particularly wrong with this weapon. But as long as Pinnacles such as Recluse are out there, there's no point in using it.
Kinetic
Destiny 2 Dead Man Walking XX7463 art

Dead Man Walking XX7463

| Sidearm
Average

B

-Forge Completion
Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Primary | Sunsets: Season 12

► There's nothing particularly wrong with this weapon. There are just better options out there (such as the Last Hope for example).
Energy
Destiny 2 The Spiteful Fang art

The Spiteful Fang

| Combat Bow
Weak

C

-Weapon Frame
Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary | Sunsets: Season 12

Perk 1: Archer's Tempo
Perk 2: Rampage (also good: Explosive Head)

► The Spiteful Fang may be the only kinetic lightweight bow in the game, but Le Monarque surpasses it in PVP and Trinity Ghoul in PVE so what's the point?
Kinetic
Destiny 2 Show of Force XF4865 art

Show of Force XF4865

| Sniper Rifle
Weak

C

-Forge Completion
Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Destiny 2 special ammo Special | Sunsets: Season 12

► There's nothing particularly wrong with this weapon. There are just better options out there (such as a Beloved, Revoker, or Sole Survivor).
Kinetic
Destiny 2 Bad News XF4354 art

Bad News XF4354

| Hand Cannon
Weak

C

-Forge Completion
Slot: Kinetic | Ammo: Primary | Sunsets: Season 12

► There's nothing particularly wrong with this weapon. There are just better options out there (such as a Dire Promise or Spare Rations for example).
Kinetic
Destiny 2 Acantha-D XK8434 art

Acantha-D XK8434

| Grenade Launcher
Weak

C

-Forge Completion
Slot: Arc Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: Season 12

► There's nothing particularly wrong with this weapon. There are just better Grenade Launchers out there (such as an Interference VI for example).
Heavy
Destiny 2 Swift Ride XE8375 art

Swift Ride XE8375

| Pulse Rifle
Weak

C

-Forge Completion
Slot: Arc Energy | Ammo: Primary | Sunsets: Season 12

► There's nothing particularly wrong with this weapon. There are just better options out there (such as a Blast Furnace or Bygones for example).
Energy
Destiny 2 Tango-45 XK5094 art

Tango-45 XK5094

| Scout Rifle
Worst

D

-Forge Completion
Slot: Solar Energy | Ammo: Primary | Sunsets: Season 12

► There's nothing particularly wrong with this weapon. But as Scouts are not in a great spot right now, you'll be better off with a Pulse or an Assault rifle.
Energy
Destiny 2 Hoosegow XE5837 art

Hoosegow XE5837

| Rocket Launcher
Worst

D

-Forge Completion
Slot: Solar Heavy | Ammo: Destiny 2 Heavy ammo Heavy | Sunsets: Season 12

► There's nothing particularly wrong with this weapon. But as rocket launchers are not in a great spot right now, you'll be better off with a grenade launcher or even a sword.
Heavy

If you’re really serious about chasing god rolls, you know that scope/barrel and magazine options are extremely important too. I realize that but prefer to keep things simple and only focus on the two main perks. I do go into more detail for my absolute Top 3 below.


The best Destiny 2 Forge weapons

As with all things D2, when I say the best, I mean the weapons I think are the best. But make no mistake, even if this list is based on my personal opinion, it also takes into account their usage in end-game activities and reviews from the most talented D2 players out there.

For the record, this Top 3 only includes weapons that can be farmed using Weapon Frames (more on that later):

 

Destiny 2 Hammerhead featured

Hammerhead

Weapon Type: Machine Gun Slot: Heavy
Ammo: Heavy Source: Weapon Frame

The Hammerhead is not as powerful as it used to be, but it’s still THE most popular Heavy weapon in the Crucible. This is probably because of its insane range and power. A Hammerhead feels like a laser and can dispose of opponents across the map. It also helps that it gets enough ammo in PVP to easily kill two opponents, three if you’re efficient.

Absolute god rolls:

  • Barrel: Hammer-Forged Rifling for M&K users or Arrowhead Brake for controller users
  • Magazine: Ricochet Rounds for PVP, Extended Mag for PVE
  • Perk 1: Dynamic Sway Reduction or Quickdraw for PVP, Feeding Frenzy for PVE
  • Perk 2: Rampage

We covered the preferred perks before, and while I have a Feeding Frenzy / Rampage roll, I am currently grinding for a Dynamic Sway Reduction / Rampage in anticipation of the upcoming perk changes.

 

Destiny 2 Blast Furnace featured

Blast Furnace

Weapon Type: Pulse Rifle Slot: Kinetic
Ammo: Primary Source: Weapon Frame

An all-time favorite, the Blast Furnace is an aggressive 4-burst Pulse rifle known for its raw power. In PVE, it can quickly dispose of enemies because of its many damage-based god rolls, while in PVP it causes a lot of flinch and a fast TTK.

Absolute god rolls:

  • Scope: Depends on how much zoom you prefer
  • Magazine: Accurized Rounds for PVP, Tactical Mag or Appended Mag for PVE
  • Perk 1: Dynamic Sway Reduction or Quickdraw for PVP, Feeding Frenzy for PVE
  • Perk 2: Kill Clip or Rampage

The Blast Furnace saw a lot of play last season when anti-barrier mods could be used on Pulses. This season, pulse rifles became less popular for one major reason: The insane buff to 600 RPM Auto Rifles.

That said, high-impact Pulse rifles are still competitive thanks to a recent PVP-only buff. If you’re a fan of pulses, you should definitely take the brand-new Cold Denial for a spin in the Crucible.

 

Destiny 2 Kindled Orchid featured

Kindled Orchid

Weapon Type: Hand Cannon Slot: Special
Ammo: Primary Source: Weapon Frame

Finally, the Kindled Orchid is another fan-favorite that can excel in both PVP and PVE. In PVE, it’s the only weapon that can roll with Kill Clip and Rampage, making it a beast at killing minors. In PVP, it can hold its own, but it’s hard to compete with the excellent Spare Rations hand cannon from the Reckoning.

Absolute god rolls:

  • Barrel: Hammer-Forged Rifling (also good: Small Bore)
  • Magazine: Accurized Rounds for PVP, Tactical Mag or Appended Mag for PVE
  • Perk 1: Kill Clip (also good: Outlaw)
  • Perk 2:  Rampage (also good: Rapid Hit)

In PVP, 140 RPM hand cannons are considered inferior to 150 RPM hand cannons, but the Kindled Orchid is so good, it still sees a lot of usage. This is especially true since the Astral Horizon shotgun was introduced and finally offered a viable alternative to the Spare Rations / Mindbender combo.


Destiny 2 Forges: How to farm god rolls

Before we get started, there are two different types of Black Armory legendary weapons: those that drop randomly and those that drop from Weapon frames. The column “Drops from” in our Tier list above will tell you where each weapon drops.

Random drops

Let’s get random drops out of the way. If you want a Galliard-42 XN7568 (which is the only random drop worth the immense grind), I have bad news for you.

Farming a good Galliard is nearly impossible.

Destiny 2 Galliard 42-XN7568 (1)

The Auto Rifle everybody wants: The Galliard 42-XN7568

It can only drop from Forge completions or killing a Forge saboteur roaming in the open world. In both cases, weapon drop rates are very low. And if you get a weapon, it could be any of the other random drops. And then you need to get a good roll on it.

This means your RNG will be terrible, and in my opinion, not worth the grind, especially with weapon retirement on the horizon. But I have good news. With the exception of the Galliard, all of the best Forge weapons can be easily farmed via Weapon frames.

Black Armory Forge weapon frames

Ryan Gilliam at Polygon did a great guide on how Weapon frames work. In a nutshell:

1. Go to Ada-1 in the Tower

2. Grab a Weapon Frame (which is some sort of a quest/bounty)

  • If it’s the first time that week, you’ll need a Ballistic Log, which you can get from completing Weekly bounties from Ada-1.
  • After that, you can repeat that same frame using Modulus reports, which you get more easily from daily bounties and forge completions.

Legendary frames from Ada-1

3. Do the Frame by getting kills with that weapon type, killing powerful enemies and picking the “seeds” they drop. This can be done anywhere, but you can speed this process solo in the Leviathan Raid first section.

 4. Take your completed Frame to Ada-1 (a completely useless Step I hope Bungie will remove soon)

5. Complete a Forge to forge the weapon.

How to optimize your farming?

This massive Blacksmith title guide from Redditor Dj_Nu12 covers the best way to farm Forge weapons:

  • Obtain Weekly Bounty for forge ignitions
  • Complete 2 forges to obtain a Ballistic log
  • Purchase Weapon Frame of Your Choice
  • Charge weapon frame while completing 2 forges (4 reports).
  • Return to Ada for Radiant Frame
  • Complete Forge again to obtain weapon (2 reports)
  • Repeat from Step 3 (which required the 6 reports you already have)

So there you have it. Chose the weapon you want to chase, grab that Weapon Frame as soon as the week resets and grind away!


Destiny 2 Black Armory Exotics: How to get them

Chasing the Black Armory Exotics is an entirely different affair.

Destiny 2 Black Armory Exotics

The 3 Black Armory Forges Exotics: Le Monarque, Jötunn, and Izanagi’s Burden

Jotünn and Le Monarque

Acquiring both Jotunn and Le Monarque used to be a pain. But with the release of Shadowkeep in September 2019, the process has been streamlined and made easier.

Diego Arguello at Eurogamer does a great job explaining the new process. In summary:

1. Grab the two Exotic quests from Ada-1 at the Tower.

2.  Get the kills needed (the easy part)

3. Forge 10 Legendary frames (the long part): This step often leads to confusion. To complete it, you’ll need to:

  • Complete the 2 weekly bounties from Ada-1 to obtain the two Ballistic Logs.
  • Use those Ballistic Logs to forge 2 different legendary weapon frames.
  • Repeated Legendary frames won’t count until you have them all unlocked.
  • This means you’re stuck at 2 frames per week: 5 weeks total…

4. Enjoy your new Exotics.

To be clear, these quests are not difficult, they’re just long and grindy. This is especially true because forging Legendary frames requires you to find Weapon Cores which drop from forge saboteurs. If you’re having issues with that step, this video explains the process.

Izanagi’s Burden

Getting Izanagi’s Burgen is both long and difficult. This is a process that can take weeks and will require a fireteam for a step or two. But trust me, it’s worth it. Izanagi’s Burden is still one of the best exotics around.

There’s no point explaining the process here, as Datto’s video is excellent.


Ranking criteria:

For the record, as much as I try to keep this list as objective as possible, it’s still based on my personal experience playing the PC version of the game.

Also, even with hundreds of hours of playtime, I’m far from being neither an expert nor an amazing PVE/PVP player. That’s the whole point of this site. I’m just a blueberry who loves this game and wants to share everything I’ve learned so far!

Finally, if you’re wondering what criteria was used to build this Tier list, these are the main factors I took into account:

  • Lethality: The higher the effective DPS and usability, the higher the ranking.
  • Consistency: Some weapons may not have the highest DPS numbers, but they are so consistent, they more than make up for their lower DPS numbers.
  • Ease of use: Similar to the point above, some weapons are very effective because they are easy to use and don’t require too much skill or setup. This is also rewarded with higher rankings.
  • PVE/PVP Performance: High lethality in either PVE or PVP is equally valuable. However, a weapon that is good at both PVE and PVP should rank higher than one that is slightly better on only PVE or PVP.
  • Fun factor: Not the most important factor, but it also helps if the weapon is damn fun to shoot with!

If you strongly disagree with some of the rankings here, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.