With the return of King’s Fall in Destiny 2, it was only natural to see the return of its most infamous exotic weapon, Touch of Malice. This life-sapping Scout Rifle has seen a few key changes since its original iteration, but that’s working to a lot of players’ advantage. If you are wondering what’s a good build to use with Touch of Malice, check out some of these suggestions.
How does Touch of Malice work?
Touch of Malice is a Kinetic slot, fully automatic 260 RPM Scout Rifle with a couple of unique perks that make it stand out. The Intrinsic Trait, Touch of Malice, has the final round in the magazine deal bonus damage and also beginning to damage the wielder’s life force on this final round and regenerating the last round. However, defeating three enemies in rapid succession, usually within one to two seconds of each other, regenerates your health back. You need to be aware that continuing to fire the weapon on this final round in the magazine will become lethal to you if you do not score these three rapid kills.
The most efficient way to utilize the Touch of Malice trait is to score the three kills to trigger health regeneration and then initiate the higher damage perk on the final rounds of the magazine to resist that damaging aspect for a few seconds. If you do not initiate the health regeneration early, the rapid-fire pace of the rifle can actually bypass the natural healing aspects of the gun.
The second unique trait of the weapon is Charged With Blight, which allows you to fire a ball of Darkness energy from the weapon after scoring 10 Precision Hits with the rifle. After building up the charge, you have the option to hold the Reload key and load in a Darkness shot. This projectile will slowly travel in the direction you fire, then it will Blind and damage the enemy for a few seconds. What Destiny 2 does not tell you directly is that upon hitting an enemy with this Darkness round, is that it will also apply a debuff that will increase the damage of any weapon classified as a Weapon of Sorrow against the target affected. Weapons of Sorrow are the exotic weapons forged by Darkness or by infamous individuals in the Destiny universe and right now there are three of them available to players: Touch of Malice, Thorn, and Osteo Striga. This debuff from the Darkness round will increase the damage done by 50% for approximately three to five seconds for these exclusive weapons.
The best Warlock abilities and armor to use with Touch of Malice
Warlocks have an extremely strong kit to synergize very well with Touch of Malice and resist the life force draining effects while the Intrinsic Trait is active. It’s best to use either a Healing Rift and or the Well of Radiance Super to help keep you healed while dealing damage. Healing Grenades from the Dawnblade subclass would also work best here for on-demand heals if you’re building for high Discipline stats. Void Warlocks have some of the best healing due to an inherent granting of the Devour effect from the class Aspect Feed the Void which triggers the effect after any Void ability kill.
Some of the best armor to use with Touch of Malice as a Warlock would be either Starfire Protocol or Sanguine Alchemy, as both of these would boost the uptime of your Rifts significantly over other builds would. Any of the elemental subclasses work well with these armor pieces, but the best two would either be Solar for the extra healing from grenades and passive buffs or Void for the Devour effect on top of healing from Rifts. Some other recommendations would be The Stag for damage reduction while standing in a rift, but this can be risky due to Rift energy only being granted when critically wounded. Secant Filaments also would be a good choice as it automatically grants Devour no matter which element subclass you use and it disrupts enemies while standing in a Rift.
The best Titan abilities and armor to use with Touch of Malice
While Titans have less direct healing effects, they do have the advantage of having several abilities and exotic armors to resist incoming damage. Most of what you want to concentrate on is sheer resistance to external damage sources over straight regeneration by using a combination of high Resilience and Recovery. However, Healing Grenades from the Sunbreaker subclass would also work best for healing if you’re building for high Discipline. Void Titans will also benefit from using the Echo of Starvation in their build for the Devour effect that’s granted when picking up an Orb of Power.
Titans have a lot less obvious armor choices to combine with Touch of Malice, but there are some builds to consider. The Crest of Alpha Lupi grants healing pulses when casting your Barricade which can provide extra protection when needing to slow down DPS to recover from critical damage. Heart of Inmost Light can be built around a Discipline or Strength stat build to have quicker uptime of Barricades and Grenades as you cycle using these abilities during a fight, but no direct healing from the armor itself. If you’re using the Solar subclass, Hallowfire Heart provides some benefits to banking your super for longer which allows Barricades and grenades to recharge more often.
The best Hunter abilities and armor to use with Touch of Malice
Hunters have a greater advantage over Titans for direct healing due to the invisibility from Void subclass abilities, but they still have to lean more on indirect things that would feed into healing rather than dealing damage with Touch of Malice and combining it with armor specialties for direct benefits. Healing Grenades from the Gunslinger subclass would be a rare choice here for quick healing if combined with a high Discipline build. If you are running a Void build, be sure to use the Echo of Starvation for the Devour effect when picking up an Orb of Power.
For Hunters, most of your healing will be coming from using your Dodge ability when combined with certain armor pieces. Void Hunters can use Graviton Forfeit for a significant boost to Recovery while invisible, especially when used with the Echo of Persistence for longer invisibility uptime. Wormhusk Crown has use on any subclass element, but it would be best combined with Solar’s bonus healing from class Echoes for that extra heal while dodging. Assassin’s Cowl works best with either Arc or Solar subclasses when scoring a kill with a powered melee attack, granting a quick burst of healing when turning invisible.
Some general guidelines
In general, Warlocks have the most varied options of all the classes in Destiny 2 to get the absolute strongest damage output from Touch of Malice with things like Devour from the Void subclass and the Healing Rift. Titans and Hunters more have to rely on ability cycling to have heals on demand, but Solar builds on both would favor both better due to the passive healing effects from Solar abilities granting heals on ability kills or use of a Super.
Any of the classes in Destiny 2 can easily get some good damage from Touch of Malice so long as you pay close attention to how often you are proccing the health regeneration after three precision kills and watching your health when the final round is in the current magazine. If you know when to immediately disengage from combat and quickly heal or protect yourself, you can expect some very satisfying damage from this newly resurrected weapon.