Ranking The 10 Best Pieces Of Exotic Armor In 'Destiny 2' (So Far)

Forbes 10 months ago

Destiny 2

Last week I wrote a ranked list of the best exotic weapons in Destiny 2. It’s a work in progress, and if I could do it over again I’d probably change a few things around (definitely swap Tractor Cannon for Skyburner’s Oath), but hey, it’s early, that’s how these things go. Remember when everyone thought Gjallarhorn would be terrible?

Anyway, I’ve had people asking me about exotic armor, and so I thought I’d make another list, albeit one that’s a bit harder to make because there is a lot of exotic armor in the game, and I don’t have some of it yet. Still, I’ve been farming like crazy and filling in knowledge gaps by watching others use certain items, and so I think I’ve got a pretty good sense of what should make the top ten. Again, this is subject to change, but for now, I’m pretty happy with this ranking order.

See if you agree, and feel free to add in your own thoughts. If you see these items, given them a whirl, and I’m guessing you won’t regret it.


10. Crown of Tempests (Warlock Helmet)

Given that I have dropped four copies of this helmet in two weeks, I feel like the game is forcing me to put it on this list. And it is pretty good. A lot of exotic armor has to do with recharge rates of powers, but this is one of the best. Any arc ability kills recharge your other arc moves, meaning a multi-kill grenade can refill itself and your melee and aura. Your aura can get arc kills with its floating soul, and recharge the others. Just generally speaking, all cooldowns are much lower with this helmet, and I’ve been using it on my Warlock for the vast majority of the game.


9. ST0MP-EE5 (Hunter Boots)

Hunters are already about mobility, but these boots take things to the next level. They’re not Bones of Eao, but they might be the closest the game has so far. You jump higher, run faster and slide further, which are pretty basic upgrades, but you will absolutely love how it feels to use these boots. And unlike many of these other items, they work across any subclass. Hunter has better boots than these overall (more on that later) but once you use these you’ll find it hard to stop.


8. Hallowfire Heart (Titan Chest)

If you’re like me and always saving your super for just the right moment (ie. 90% of a strike) then this chest might be for you. As long as you super is full, all your other cooldowns will be lower when you’re playing hammer Titan, and on top of that, this is one of the coolest looking pieces of armor in the game, by far.


7. Eye of Another World (Warlock Helmet)

This one looks awesome but is also good across all classes, which is very valuable in D2. This one will highlight targets but also just generally reduces all of your cooldowns across every class. No, it won’t do so as much as the ones that target specific classes per se like the Crown of Tempests, but it allows you to be versatile in a way other exotics can’t match.


6. Wings of Sacred Dawn (Warlock Chest)

Like Eye of Another World, this is one you could grab early on in the campaign. I was a little skeptical of it at first, as I mainly picked it because it looked amazing, but in practice? I kind of love it. Once you fully unlock your floating-based Dawnblade class, Wings of Sacred Dawn actually becomes very useful, and it’s another exotic where once you play with it, it’s hard to play without it. Hovering in midair can change engagement angles all across PvP and PvE, and I’ve even used it as a health regen trigger when fighting against melee enemies who can’t reach you. All in all, this is one of my favorite items in the game just because it totally changes how you play, which is the hallmark of a truly great piece of gear.


5. Actium War Rig (Titan Chest)

One of the Titan starters, this only is useful if you’re using assault rifles but let’s be honest, what Titan isn’t? This will greatly increase your DPS across all assault rifles, kinetic and energy, as it just keeps feeding you ammo. Pair with another exotic like Sweet Business, and you will be a tanky, damage-dealing behemoth. This is situation to be sure, but when the stars align, it’s absolutely fantastic.


4. Raiden Flux (Hunter Chest)

And here’s a Hunter starter, the one I’m guessing pretty much every Hunter picked during the campaign. This thing will make you a boss-ravaging machine as not only do your swings build up huge damage, but each of your blows will actually stagger most bosses, not allowing them to attack. This is the best item for Hunter’s new subclass, and one of the best in the game period, if used correctly.


3. Mask of the Quiet One (Titan Helmet)

I’m on my third Mask of the Quiet One, and I’ve finally understood it’s the reason my Titan almost never dies. Its base perk, getting ability energy when damaged, is good by itself. But the real winner here is that doing void damage triggers health regeneration automatically. This triggers frequently and it will turn you into a high recovery Titan even if you haven’t built yourself that way at all. Combine that with base tankiness from resilience and you will be incredibly hard to kill.


2. Karnstein Armlets (Warlock Arms)

Speaking of hard to kill, these are the arms that create what’s almost a broken Warlock build, a Voidwalker that’s unable to die. That subclass already lets you heal by eating your grenade, but these gloves, which grant bonus health recovery on melee and more grenade energy for more frequently eaten grenades, you honestly just should never be able to die if you’re managing your abilities properly. It takes a lot of work to start thinking of your grenade as food instead of a weapon, but with this build, you’ll never want to go back to being a normally fragile Warlock again.


1. Orpheus Rig (Hunter Boots)

Alright, we’ve officially arrived at an item that might just be flat out overpowered. These Hunter boots allow you to regain super energy based on how many enemies you tether with your bow. Tether even a reasonably big group, and you can instantly refill your entire super bar right after firing an arrow. It’s a total gamechanger, and fantastic for pretty much all PvE content in the game. What it does for Nightstalker is so much better than what any of these other items do for their subclasses that these boots are practically in a league of their own. I have two pair, and my Hunter is probably never going to change subclasses again.

I could probably throw in a few honorable mentions here, like Transversive Steps which have crazy team DPS, but only if your team knows you have them. I also like the new Insurmountable Skullfort, but only on lower level content where you can one-punch almost any enemy for infinite instant reloads as Striker. Anyway, feel free to let me know what you think I missed.

Follow me on Twitter and on Facebook. Pick up my sci-fi novel series, The Earthborn Trilogy, which is now in print, online and on audiobook.

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