All Exotic balance changes coming in Destiny 2 Season 17

Pick your Exotic item wisely.

Image via Bungie

Exotics are the bread and butter for Destiny 2 players. The type of exotic you use will change based on what you’re doing and what activity you’re playing with your friends, but they’re essential to making a Guardian stand out against the others they’re playing against. Many Exotics will be receiving some changes for Destiny 2’s Season 17, giving them added value. In this guide, we’re going to cover all Exotic balance changes coming to Destiny 2’s Season 17.

All Exotic balance changes

These are all of the balance changes Exotics are receiving for Destiny 2’s Season 17.

  • All Exotics that shipped before the Forsaken release now have their kill trackers visible by default 
  • Fighting Lion needed a bit more of a buff, so we improved its reload speed when Thin the Herd is active a couple of releases back, and now we’re increasing its blast radius and damage. With this change it should be easier to get the damage you need to trigger its perk. 
    • Reverted the Season 15 Breech Grenade Launcher blast radius reduction, but just for Fighting Lion, i.e., increased blast radius by 0.4m. 
    • Increased damage by 5%. 
  • Eyes of Tomorrow as a raid Exotic ought to be better against tough PvE enemies – with this change it’s a solid option in this role, particularly with the Adaptive Ordnance perk active. 
    • Increased damage vs bosses and Champions by 30%. 
  • Leviathan’s Breath always felt like it should absolutely wreck Champions, and using its first shot to stun an Unstoppable Champion without it doing much damage felt bad. Archer’s Tempo from its catalyst is significant on paper but in practice that draw speed buff isn’t as noticeable as we’d like. Overall, we hope these changes make it feel a bit better against all types of Champions and other formidable enemies in hard content. 
    • The Archer’s Tempo perk from the catalyst now has increased effect (just on this weapon). 
      • The standard draw time scalar for Archer’s Tempo is 0.75x, it is now 0.5625x on Leviathan’s Breath. 
    • Added a small delay before detonation on Champions, minibosses, and bosses – this allows the impact to stun an Unstoppable Champion and the detonation to deal bonus damage against the stunned Champion. 
    • Damage changed to be more of an even split between impact and detonation, and increased damage across the board by ~50%. 
      • Overall damage vs Champions is roughly doubled (even more compared to shooting an un-stunned unstoppable Champion). 
  • The Huckleberry had an underwhelming engagement range, updated zoom based on the change to baseline Submachine Gun zoom. 
    • Increased zoom stat from 13 to 15. 
  • Our experiment with pushing Xenophage into harder-hitting but slower-firing didn’t pan out, so we’re increasing the rate of fire and adjusting damage back to what it was. 
    • Increased rate of fire from 100RPM to 120RPM. 
    • Reduced damage per bullet to match the previous. 
    • Doesn’t benefit from the Season 17 Machine Gun damage buff vs bosses. 
  • Le Monarque is too oppressive when combined with external damage buffs, but we felt that it could be stronger in PvE – with this change combined with the damage buff change above we’ve introduced a 60-resilience gate on killing a Guardian in PvP with a crit while in an Empowering Rift or similar. 
    • Reduced poison tick damage vs players by 25%. 
    • Changed poison damage type from burn to poison (this is largely housekeeping, not gameplay-significant). 
    • Increased poison tick damage vs AI by 50%. 
  • Lorentz Driver can be difficult to fight against in PvP, in part because it does very high body shot damage. With this change, getting left super weak by a body shot should be less common, though we’re keeping an eye on how this change lands and may revisit it later.  
    • Reduced body shot damage against players by 20% (this will also prevent it from being a one-hit kill with a body shot while in an Empowering Rift, combined with that change). 
    • Body damage reverts to old behavior when in the weapon’s damage mode. 
    • Precision damage in any mode unchanged. 
  • Skyburner’s Oath felt like it didn’t have a niche, except for airborne memes, so we’ve made a bunch of changes aiming to improve its ease of use, give it some more utility and really push it into that airborne role. 
    • Increased ADS projectile speed to 9999 (i.e., this projectile is now hitscan). 
    • Both ADS and hip-fire are now 150 RPM. 
    • Hip-fire projectile no longer tracks, but arcs similar to a Grenade Launcher and has a larger detonation size than ADS. 
    • The hip-fire detonation also applies a burn to targets. 
    • The bonus range from the Masterwork has been rolled into the base stats of the weapon. The Masterwork now grants bonus reload speed instead. 
    • Has the highest Airborne Effectiveness stat of any weapon in the game (35). 
  • The Last Word plays very differently on mouse and keyboard than it does on controller, but the disparity doesn’t need to be that large. We’re keeping an eye on this one too. 
    • Reduced mouse and keyboard recoil penalty from 33% to 22%. 
  • Arbalest is more dominant than intended in hard PvE content, able to fill the anti-barrier role as well as shield breaking and boss damage. We’ve made a fairly small adjustment here but may need to look at it again in a future Season. 
    • Reduced damage vs Champions by 25% (will still break barriers in one hit). 
  • Graviton Lance’s catalyst didn’t help the weapon enough, and we wanted to give it a bit of a boost. This change gives it some interesting utility in PvE and PvP, particularly with the buff to Exotic Primary weapons in The Witch Queen. 
    • Catalyst changed from granting Hidden Hand to granting Vorpal Weapon and Turnabout. 
  • Grand Overture’s most recent adjustment switched the missiles to fire in bursts of 5, which allows for more granularity in unloading that damage, but sometimes you just want them all to fly out at once. 
    • Reduced time between bursts when in missile mode. Holding the trigger will now fire all missiles in a continuous burst, tapping will fire 5-round bursts. 
  • Coldheart: Arc damage type update, and Coldheart’s Exotic trait more or less being “is a Trace Rifle” no longer fits in a world with Legendary Trace Rifles. The ease of use on sustained damage was also pretty low. 
    • Sustained damage creates an Ionic Trace and collecting an Ionic Trace grants energy to all your abilities. 
    • Increased grace time before the damage ramp clears from 0.113s to 1.0s. 
  • Prometheus Lens: Solar damage type update, and generally this needed some tweaks to be viable 
    • Sustained damage applies a more useful burn to targets. 
  • Wavesplitter: Void damage type update, and the power-cycling mechanic was interesting but ultimately hard to capitalize on. 
    • Power level no longer cycles randomly, the default damage output is the same as the old middle tier. 
    • Picking up an Orb of Power now grants 10s of maximum power and caps at 20s, up from 5 and 10. 
    • Now suppresses targets while granted this mode by picking up an Orb. 
  • Osteo Striga’s projectile somehow shipped rotated by 90 degrees, looks a bit weird. 
    • Corrected rotation on the projectile model. 
  • Lord of Wolves is kind of a Shotgun, but has its own custom tuning. It wasn’t impacted by the previous Shotgun change, and was much too strong with Shotguns and Fusion Rifles getting reduced range, this brings it more in line.  
    • Reduced damage falloff start and end by 25%. 

There were a handful of changes to how Airborne gameplay will work in Destiny 2 following Season 17, but you can read more about that in the first half of the This Week at Bungie blog post, describing Airborne Gameplay in the first portion.