Weapons of the Elders Review (Pt. 1)

 Through the Challenge of the Elders, Variks is awarding 10 revamped Prison of Elders weapons. Thoughts on the remaining 4 are coming with a second article. 

Her Memory


Low rate of fire, high impact auto rifle – one of those that received a small but significant damage boost in the April Update, making them once again a viable choice for a variety of game modes. Their relatively high range and low recoil reward mid-range combatants and have a pretty consistent time to kill even with body shots, but lower rate of fire means they inflict less flinch than other auto rifles and may not do as well in close quarters.

For Sights, you could land Reflex or Sureshot IS (or both) to enhance your Aim Assist right off the bat, but the range-enhancing OEG Riflescope is also on the table.

The perks to watch for on the first node would Persistence and Rangefinder, to keep you on target at a distance. Spray and Play is the only real reload perk on the gun though, and the small mag means you can actually take advantage of it. Crowd Control is always handy as well and will save you a fraction of a second on follow up kills.

In the selectable middle column, I would hope for Rifled Barrel or Smallbore to extend your effective range – both would greatly benefit from Spray and Play to make sure you never run empty for long. If you already have Rangefinder or Persistence though, you might benefit more from a utility perk like Speed Reload in this slot.

Rounding us out, I would hope for the ever-helpful Hidden Hand or Third Eye perks, but PVE players may prefer Glass Half Full (not great with Smallbore, but wonderful with Spray and Play).


Lethe Noblesse


Lethe Noblesse is a mid rate of fire Scout Rifle awarded by Variks in memory of the Queen. Lethe is the name of a spirit of forgetfulness and oblivion in Greek mythology, while Noblesse refers to the nobility – an aptly named weapon. This mid Rate of Fire / mid Impact archetype is extremely reliable at a variety of ranges and very easy to use. While it can’t match the time to kill of other Scout Rifles, it’s not bad. Hung Jury or the Tuonela are still both better weapons though.

As far as perks, the Reflex scope will enhance Aim Assist, but one of the several Handling-boosting sights is fine, too. In the first perk column you have a few good options: Triple Tap means free ammo (especially in PVE where it’s easy to use) and Life Support helps you recover between firefights. But you could also be happy with Crowd Control or Eye of the Storm – there are a bunch of decent perks here.

Moving onto the selectable middle column, you have a few standout choices. Any of the several Stability boosters here would be nice (Perfect Balance, Braced Frame, even Hand-Laid Stock or Smallbore), and would make the Noblesse much easier to handle. Explosive Rounds is always fun too, though.

Finally, the third column could result in a solid utility perk like Outlaw for instant reloads or Third Eye, or we could land something that directly helps you get kills like Hidden Hand to max out your Aim Assist or Reactive Reload for a huge damage buff when you reload after a kill.

The thing to remember here is that while this is a decent scout rifle, there are better examples of the archetype readily available from Dead Orbit and the Gunsmith, and it’s not a top tier archetype to begin with. It does make for a fine PVE weapon though, if you need to push your light up.


Final Duty


A mid Rate of Fire Pulse rifle after the fashion of Red Death, Final Duty suffers the same drawbacks of other members of the archetype: it kills less slowly than faster Rate of Fire pulse rifles without being significantly more reliable or accurate. Final Duty does bring solid range and stability to the table though, so if you keep your distance with it you can have some success.

The Reflex and Truesight IS scopes are your Aim Assist boosters here, and this Pulse Rifle probably needs a bit more of that. There are also a few key perks to watch for in the first column – Rangefinder helps you land shots at extreme range, Counterbalance straightens out the recoil pattern for you, and Secret Round makes it so that you only use 2 rounds for every 3 shots fired, unless one of them misses in which case you fire a 4th round (yeah, the description is somewhat lacking).

From the selectable column I would look for Smallbore as your first choice, but Perfect Balance is good too. Avoid penalizing your Range or Stability, whatever you do. And our final column is a narrow field too. Third Eye is the best choice since you’ll spend a lot of time aiming down sights, but you could do worse than Spray and Play.

The unfortunate final word here is that mid Rate of Fire Pulse Rifles don’t have a clear niche right now, and there’s not much to recommend this one over other weapons.


Her Revenge


Her Revenge is a mid Rate of Fire, mid Impact Hand Cannon and can be really good with the right perks. This archetype of Hand Cannon is the only one viable for PVP thanks to their ease of use solid time to kill. They also perform well in PVE where the new reserve ammo buff resolves the previous shortages we faced with hand cannons.

Sureshot IS is your best Aim Assist scope here, and pretty light. Handling bonuses are also really helpful on Hand Cannons though. In the first perk slot, Rangefinder should be your go-to choice, but Underdog, Triple Tap, or even Rescue Mag can have a place as well.

Range is king in the center slots – if you don’t get Hammer Forged, Reinforced Barrel, or Rifled Barrel, I would turn this weapon into Chroma. The accuracy problem with hand cannons remains in full effect, and even a highly accurate one like Her Revenge suffers from enough bloom after each shot to make follow up rounds “ghost”. Smallbore can also work, but you do lose out on precious rounds.

In your final perk slot, Luck in the Chamber can give you occasional double tap kills, but with 10 in the mag it won’t happen often. Reactive Reload could also result in a double tap kill if you can land both shots inside the bonus period. More consistently useful perks include Third Eye and Hidden Hand though.


Her Fury


A high Impact Sniper Rifle similar in many ways to the Thousand Yard Stare, though with a bit less Range and Stability. These hardest-hitting sniper rifles are still top notch for damaging bosses and taking down supers, but they have a lot more competitions from their faster firing brethren these days.

Her Fury has the classic scope options, so you’ll want a Shortgaze SLH10 or Longview SLR10 for most purposes. The Ambush SLH25 offers a nice Stability boost but penalizes Range and Aim Assist. In the first perk slot, Triple Tap is ideal for hitting bosses, but otherwise nothing stands out except Eye of the Storm, handy for hitting headshots when you’re low on health.

In your selectable column you could definitely look for Casket Mag to combo it with Triple Tap for 7 rounds per mag against bosses. Otherwise I would look for Quickdraw to boost your handling, or Smallbore for a nice bump to Range and Stability both (don’t worry – your mag can’t get smaller than 4). Spray and Play would finish out your DPS machine if you’re looking for perfection there. Hidden Hand and Unflinching should be your hope in a PVP weapon of course.

Ultimately this is a fine Sniper Rifle and you’ll want to make sure to check your perks before adding it to your Chroma stockpile.


Queen’s Choice


A Chroma-infused revamp of the Vestian Dynasty – albeit with somewhat less Stability and Aim Assistance – the Queen’s Choice should be yours, as well! It compares favorably with other Sidearms and brings some great perk possibilities to the table.

Look for Aggressive Ballistics if you land a Range-boost to bump your damage up nicely, but really any of them can work. Following that up, Rangefinder is perfect for maxing out Range and pushing out your damage drop-off. Reactive Reload can be really strong as well thanks to quick reload speed – get a kill, reload, and keep rolling!

In the selectable perk slot, watch for Hand Loaded if you didn’t get Rangefinder. Quickdraw or Snapshot would also be welcome, as would Appended Magazine (as long as it’s not paired with Reactive Reload).

Hot Swap makes this the ultimate panic button – just equip and shred any shotgun warriors charging in. Mulligan will actually trigger a lot here, with the number of rounds this thing pumps out (assuming you miss), so you could do worse.

Queen’s Choice is a great Sidearm, regardless of the perks – but they do help! Anyway, if you land one, definitely consider hanging onto it. Sidearms have a solid place in the new Special Ammo economy in the Crucible since they never really run out. Swapping may be gone, but the value of having a reliable secondary weapon shouldn’t be underestimated.