Hunters in Destiny 2 Suffer From Niche, PvP-Focused Exotics

With Destiny 2‘s Guardian Games releasing during tomorrow’s weekly reset, now is as good a time as ever to discuss the game’s three classes, as they make up the core of this seasonal event. Much like past editions of Guardian Games, Destiny 2 players will once more choose which class they should use during the event to obtain more points and medals, which is what eventually crowns one of the classes a victor. This year, regardless of the plethora of new Exotics that came with The Witch Queen expansions, Hunters are left with just a handful of viable endgame options.

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This can be detrimental to the class’ performance during the Guardian Games, but more importantly, it is a symptom of the fact that Hunters and their design philosophy are struggling to stay afloat. Hunters can currently rely on a few Exotics that remained consistently useful or powerful over the years, with some of them regaining popularity through the Void 3.0 update. Destiny 2 Players are often relegated to using the same Hunter Exotics and builds over and over in endgame PvE, and the Crucible is often where the class truly shines thanks to a healthy selection of many PvP-focused items.


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Why Hunter Exotics Need More Variety and Efficiency

There have been many discussions in the past week after Bungie decided to nerf a Hunter item that was valuable and viable in the endgame for area control or denial. This Exotic is the Renewal Grasps arms, which was introduced with The Witch Queen and saw a lot of play across the board in both PvE and PvP because of how it added a great option for team-wide damage reduction. Renewal Grasps were fun, and arguably too strong in both game modes, but Bungie nerfed them hard in a way that made the item too niche to be used effectively by PvE players and PvP fans.


As for PvE, Hunters can still use Renewal Grasps in endgame activities, but they have to fully spec into the grenade cooldown portion of the build with little diversity, mainly focusing on mods like Elemental Charge and multiple copies of Firepower. The item is not bad, but it does pose the question of what design philosophy Bungie has in mind for Hunters considering many of their Exotics are either too niche to be useful beyond very specific and convoluted combinations, or they are mainly catered to Destiny 2‘s PvP users.

Renewal Grasps defied this niche on release, and while that’s not the reason they were nerfed (it had to do with how powerful the team-wide damage reduction could be), the question as to why other Exotics don’t do the same thing remains . Omnioculus is a good example, because it provides damage resistance to the whole team and benefits the Hunters’ playstyle of spamming smoke bombs and chaining invisibility. But Omnioculus wasn’t nerfed much, and it still fulfills its intended use in harder-difficulty Destiny 2 content.


The problem seems to be that too many Hunter Exotics feel like they were designed with PvP in mind, whereas others were conceived with a single use case that wasn’t always practical, such as the Sealed Ahamkara Grasps. For Hunters to have more options across the board, Bungie should rework many existing Exotics to either have more defined use cases or have PvE relevancy as well, which would be great for Destiny 2‘s class meta.

Destiny 2 is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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