Destiny 2 Exotic Bows Tier list: PVE and PVP ranking

by | Apr 26, 2022 | Weapons

Combat bows are some of the most polarizing weapons in Destiny 2. Many hate them, but some absolutely love them.

We already covered all the best bows in the past and concluded that no matter your personal preferences, Combat Bows have a lot to offer. Especially in endgame PvE content.

But more importantly, some of the top Exotic bows are among the best weapons in the entire game. Today, we’ll focus on Exotic bows only, starting from the not-so-great to the must-have choices.

Destiny 2 Exotic Bows Tier list for PVE and PVP

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 the S Tier and moves down from there. It also covers both PVE and PVP, with the “Excels in” column clearly identifying where each weapon shines.

NameWeaponsTypeArchetypeAmmoElementRequirementsAvailable?RankSourceObtainable?Tier rankSource ❘ DLCFinal VerdictReleasedPerks
Trinity GhoulDestiny 2 Trinity Ghoul art
Trinity Ghoul
Combat BowExoticPrimaryArcFree-to-PlayYesS › BestExotic Engram
Best

S



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Engram

Free-to-Play
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires an arrow that splits when released. Aiming down sights and fully drawing the bow both decrease the spread. Precision kills grant the next shot chain-lightning capabilities."

► Able to deal insane chain-lighting damage, Trinity Ghouls has always been a favorite when it comes to taking care of red bar enemies. And now that it received a +40% damage in PVE against ads, it became insanely powerful this season.
Season 4
Slot: Arc Arc | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires an arrow that splits when released. Aiming down sights and fully drawing the bow both decrease the spread. Precision kills grant the next shot chain-lightning capabilities."
Ticuu's DivinationTicuu's Divination Destiny 2 art
Ticuu's Divination
Combat BowExoticPrimarySolarBeyond LightYesA › StrongExotic Kiosk
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvE
Exotic Kiosk

Beyond Light
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Hipfiring this weapon fires multiple tracking projectiles. Targets marked explode upon death, or when struck again. Arrows fired while aiming down sights cause Sacred Flames to instantly detonate."

► Ticcu's Divination may require more work than Trinity Ghoul but it is nonetheless an excellent weapon capable of easily disposing of ads but also dealing serious damage to majors in PVE.
Season 13
Slot: Solar Solar | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Hipfiring this weapon fires multiple tracking projectiles. Targets marked explode upon death, or when struck again. Arrows fired while aiming down sights cause Sacred Flames to instantly detonate."
Le MonarqueDestiny 2 Le Monarque art
Le Monarque
Combat BowExoticPrimaryVoidForsaken PackYesA › StrongExotic Kiosk
Strong

A



Excels in:
PvP
Exotic Kiosk

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

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

► Le Monarque can be lethal in the hands of an experienced PVP player. It can bring a guardian down to 1 HP with a "perfect draw" headshot, making it an extremely easy clean-up kill with a Quickdraw Hand Cannon. Another strategy is to get a damage buff beforehand to easily secure one-hit-kills. Both strategies are extremely efficient and hard to counter.
Season 5
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Arrows fired quickly after a full draw become poison arrows. Precision hits with poison arrows spread poison to nearby enemies."
Wish-EnderDestiny 2 Wish Ender art
Wish-Ender
Combat BowExoticPrimaryKineticForsaken PackYesB › AverageExotic Quest
Average

B



Exotic Quest

Forsaken Pack
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "While aiming down sights with a fully-drawn bow, enemies behind walls are highlighted. Piercing arrowheads damage the target on entry and exit. One-shot can over-penetrate multiple targets."

► Wish-Ender is far from popular but it can still be useful in PVP, though, but only as part of a coordinated team that uses it to have constant visuals on the enemy, something always helpful in 3v3 modes.
Season 4
Slot: Kinetic symbol Destiny 2 Kinetic | Ammo: Primary ammo Destiny 2 Primary | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "While aiming down sights with a fully-drawn bow, enemies behind walls are highlighted. Piercing arrowheads damage the target on entry and exit. One-shot can over-penetrate multiple targets."
Leviathan's BreathDestiny 2 Leviathan's Breath art
Leviathan's Breath
Combat BowExoticHeavyVoidShadowkeepYesB › AverageExotic Kiosk
Average

B



Exotic Kiosk

Shadowkeep
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires a massive heavy bolt that staggers unshielded combatants. When fully drawn, the bolt knocks combatants back."

►Due to an extremely long draw time and limited magazine size, Leviathan simply cannot compete against several other Heavy weapons. To be fair, other weapons may be more efficient, but Leviathan's Breath is still unique and fun to use.
Season 8
Slot: Void Void | Ammo: Heavy ammo Destiny 2 Heavy | Archetype: Exotic

Exotic Perk: "Fires a massive heavy bolt that staggers unshielded combatants. When fully drawn, the bolt knocks combatants back."

Top 3 Exotic Bows in Destiny 2

In case it wasn’t clear by now, Exotic bows can be hit or miss. They’re either bad (sorry, Wish-Ender) or insanely good. In this section, we’ll cover the top 3 exotic bows, which all happen to be downright excellent.

The Best Exotic Bow for PVE:

Trinity Ghoul Destiny 2 featured bows

Trinity Ghoul

Weapon Type: Combat Bow Slot: ArcEnergy
Ammo: Primary Source: Exotic Engram

Exotic perk: Precision kills grant the next shot chain-lightning capabilities.

Catalyst perk: Lightning Rod now triggers from any Arc damage final blow.

With its catalyst, activating Lighting Rod becomes extremely easy. So easy, you can practically keep it activated until there are no more ads to kill. And by the way, the more the lighting chains between enemies, the harder it hits. Without a doubt, Trinity Ghoul’s Catalyst is one of the strongest catalysts in the game.

Why it excels in PVE: With the release of its catalyst, Trinity Ghoul became one of the best exotics in the game, perhaps even the best primary PVE weapon all-around.

The Best Exotic Bow for PVP:

Le Monarque Destiny 2 featured bows

Le Monarque

Weapon Type: Combat Bow Slot: Void Energy
Ammo: Primary Source: Exotic Kiosk

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

Why it excels in PVP: Playing against a skilled Le Monarque user can be a nightmare. The weapon does damage over time, prevents health regeneration, and allows you to keep track of your opponent thanks to the on-screen damage numbers from the tick damage. A “perfect draw” headshot can leave an opposing guardian with a sliver of health, leading to easy clean-up kills.

Le Monarque is not easy to master, it can compete against the best PVP weapons in the game.

A Top Exotic Bow for PVP and PVE:

Ticuu's Divination Destiny 2

Ticuu’s Divination

Weapon Type: Combat Bow Slot: Solar Energy
Ammo: Primary Source: Exotic Kiosk

Exotic Perk: Hipfiring this weapon fires multiple tracking projectiles. Targets marked by these projectiles explode upon death, or when struck by another Sacred Flame’s explosion. Arrows fired while aiming down sights cause Sacred Flames to instantly detonate.

Why it excels in PVE: With its ability to “prime” targets, this bow introduces an entirely different playstyle. But more than just a novelty, the detonations created by this bow are insane, making it nearly as good as ad clearing that Trinity Ghoul and much stronger at damaging Majors.

Why it can excel in PVP: Let’s get it out of the way: Ticcu’s Divination is not a top-tier PVP. But if you still give it a chance, you’ll find that tagging enemies (which is extremely easy due to the insane auto-tracking its arrows have) to then hit them with a precision shot to see them explode is extremely satisfying.

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:

  • Feel: The feel of a weapon is always important, but it makes even more of a difference with bows.
  • 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 below.

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