the fighting lion exotic review

The Fighting Lion Review

The Fighting Lion is an Exotic single-shot grenade launcher that can be equipped as an Energy weapon. But should you use it? Probably not.

  • The good: Grenade launcher in the Energy Weapon slot.

  • The bad: Everything else. Low damage, small blast radius, not worth its Exotic status.


  1. Delayed Gratification: Grenade projectiles will bounce off surfaces. Hold to fire, and release to detonate.
  2. Countermass: This weapon is weighted for vertical recoil. Greatly controls recoil. Increases stability. Increases handling speed.
  3. Implosion Rounds: This weapon’s projectiles travel faster and have a controlled explosion. Increases projectile speed. Greatly increases stability. Decreases blast radius.
  4. Thin the Herd: Direct hits with this weapon do more damage to shielded enemy combatants. Rapid kills against grenade-damaged enemies will refill the magazine.
  5. Short-Action Stock: This weapon is especially easy to grip. Greatly increases handling speed.

The velocity of this weapon is great. You can shoot and detonate it before anyone really has the time to move. However, the blast radius is so small, that the round has to explode right next to someone. Against easy-to-kill enemies in PvE, this is fine. If you bounce a round into the middle of a group or hit an enemy directly it does kill them outright. If you do damage to an enemy, without killing it, and then it gets killed by yourself or a teammate, the ‘Thin the Herd’ perk activates, refilling the magazine instantly.

My favorite way to use this is in combination with a rally barricade, allowing you to just dump a bunch of grenades down range very quickly. So against trash mobs, it’s effective.

Against majors, there is no reason you would want to use this. The Fighting Lion does not compare to a normal grenade launcher, but it’s not supposed to. But it’s not even better than any number of Legendary Special weapons. It’s a pea shooter that might run out of ammo before even taking out a Major’s shield.

In Crucible, the story gets worse. Even direct hits only take down about ⅓ of a Guardian’s shield. A direct hit at medium range does ~56 damage. By the time you reload, your target is gone or their recovery is about to kick in. It’s just way more efficient to stick with a traditional Energy weapon.

If you’re trying to use this for anything else besides trash mobs it is completely inefficient. You will waste more time battling a major’s shield from regeneration than you will be doing actual damage. Add the fact that if you miss a shot, the rounds bounce away so fast due to its velocity and with such a small blast radius. Thin The Herd perk is good in theory, but in practice, it’s hardly worth the effort.

The idea of this Exotic is solid, but right now it’s just eye candy.