Destiny Best Legendary Weapons: Our Guide To The Top Purple Tier Guns In Each Category

By Matthew Buzzi , Updated Jan 29, 2015 07:56 PM EST

Exotic gear in Destiny will highlight your arsenal and act as your signature pieces, but Legendary items will serve as your foundation. With the limit of one Exotic weapon and one Exotic piece of armor allowed at any given time, your Legendary gear will need to be up to snuff if you want to take on the game's highest-level sections.

Our Guide To The Top 5 Exotic Weapons In Destiny

Our guide below consists of the best Legendary weapons you can acquire across the different weapon types, giving you plenty of options to choose from. Specific guns are definitely more useful than others in certain scenarios, and it pays to have a varied arsenal. The list includes one of each weapon type, so that you know which are the go-to guns for each category:

1. Fatebringer is a good enough Legendary Hand Cannon to rival some Exotics--if its Attack was at 331, it would be absolutely lethal. Instead, we're still left with an extremely effective PvE weapon that deals very high impact, Arc damage shots. Its Firefly talent causes enemies to explode, you can equip explosive rounds, precision kills 'dramatically' increase reload speed, and it deals bonus damage to Oracles for The Vault of Glass. Other than a bump to 331 Attack, which would almost be unfair, there's really no downside to this appropriately-named weapon.

2. Black Hammer, a Sniper Rifle that makes a strong case for replacing Exotics, is a formidable newer weapon that only drops in Crota's End. The weapon handles well, has 331 Attack, and deals Solar damage, which already puts it ahead of most guns. Its White Nail talent, however, can really set it apart from the pack. Landing three precision shots rapidly will refill the whole magazine, allowing you to continue firing on your enemies. This is potentially a lot of damage per second with good aiming, and automatically makes it one of the best Sniper Rifles, if not the lone top dog.

3. Vanquisher VIII is an extremely well-balanced Auto Rifle with good accuracy, a high rate of fire, and better than average impact. Most guns that shoot fast don't have the highest impact shots, but Vanquisher VIII (the upgraded, post-The Dark Below version) maintains its accuracy while dealing good damage. You could probably make the case for the Abyss Defiant here, and I also like Up For Anything quite a bit, but the overall balance of Vanquisher VIII earns it the spot.

4. Shotguns arguably find more use in the Crucible than PvE, but if you're looking to use one, Judgment VI is very appealing. Swordbreaker (another Crota's End drop, and thus more unlikely for most players to have) is also a good shout--it shoots faster with two more bullets in its magazine and deals Void damage--Judgment VI has superior impact and range. The slower fire rate might be a turn off, but the impact and range make it useful in more situations. Given it's easier to acquire and you have more uses for it, Judgment VI edges Swordbreaker for this list.

5. Light of the Abyss, one of the Raid drops from Crota's End, is a very good Fusion Rifle. It charges quickly and deals high impact Arc damage. The range isn't amazing, but it also disrupts Hive Majors and can fire from the hip more accurately. It's not an overpowered Exotic, but it is an effective Legendary gun if you fancy Fusion Rifles.

6. The Scout Rifle category is a bit more debatable, but the Bagder CCL is a very safe bet. Its effectiveness depends on which talent roll you get, but at its base, it's still a strong weapon with very high range and impact. It fires pretty quickly, and with Firefly, Explosive Rounds, and a few other combinations, Badger CCL can be deadly in a variety of situations. Strong arguments can be made for what was originally the hands-down best Scout Rifle, Vision of Confluence (still up there), the newer, similar Saterienne Rapier, and the Crota's End Hard Mode drop Fang of Ir Yut.

7. Pulse Rifles are generally underwhelming on the Legendary level, but I've included them regardless. Three Little Words is probably your best bet due to its decent impact and high fire rate, and it can roll useful talents such as Third Eye and Glass Half Full. Coiled Hiss is another good option, but you'll likely have better alternatives to Pulse Rifles at the Legendary level.

For Heavy Weapons, the same holds true as it does in some of the above categories--the Crota's End Raid drops are the best. That means Hunger of Crota and Song Of Ir Yut, which are pretty devestating in their respective weapon classes. If you can't get your hands on those, One Way Ticket 000 and MG18A Harm's Way are very solid weapons.

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