Judgment on the unseen is best performed from a distance.
Shadow of Veils is a Legendary special sniper rifle.
This weapon is obtained from Variks.
The good: High Impact, take out shields.
The bad: Can’t Reforge, poor PvP perks.
Conclusion: Great starter PvP sniper.
Sniper Rifle (Special Weapon)
Talent Upgrades Tree
This weapon causes Arc damage.
Short-range scope. Quick to aim, with good range.
This weapon’s magazine will be refilled whenever a Super is cast.
Reload this weapon quickly.
Chance at 1 of 6 Fallen-themed perks.
Low-zoom scope. Improved range and handling.
This weapon has extremely low recoil.
Very long distance scope. Superb target acquisition and recoil control.
A larger magazine.
On the whole, the Prison of Elders arsenal has been a disappointment. The weapons that were intended to be rewards for braving Variks’ chaotic frenzy should have been head and shoulders above the crowd when it comes to versatility and power. Instead, they have lackluster stats, and have one of their perk slots replaced with a Fallen-themed alternative – many of which are borderline useless themselves.
In spite of this, there are a few diamonds in the rough, with one of the most notable being The Shadow of Veils. This rifle has a few things going for it, and is downright respectable if you score the right final perk from a Judgment’s Chance.
As always, we begin with a discussion of its base stats. There are a few big positives that deserve mention, and the first is its Impact/RoF archetype. It has the second highest base Impact among all Legendary Sniper Rifles. This combination steers you towards needing to pick your shots, but minimizes your downtime between them enough that you can follow up accurately to finish off weakened targets. In addition to this, it has a healthy base Range, which isn’t particularly useful in PvP but lets you pick shorter zoom scopes in PvE and still be able to pop skulls at a distance. Finally, the Shadow has the highest base Aim Assistance of any Sniper Rifle, a hidden bonus that begins to pay dividends when you get into the upper values.
Looking at scopes, the Shadow of Veils has three to play around with, but ShortGaze really demands your attention. Low-zoom scopes are best for when you want to use your Sniper in close(r) quarters, and while the Ambush provides a solid chunk of Stability, the guiding hand of ShortGaze is arguably superior. Of course, the LongView and SightSys are not slouches in PvE, and you may find that you prefer a greater zoom factor in certain content.
The Shadow’s first perk, Replenish, is a mixed bag. While Sniper Rifles do tend to suffer from ammunition issues, there are a lot of other perks that you have to forfeit when dedicating a slot to something like Replenish. Replenish is the only surefire way to get 4 rounds back at least two times a PvP match, or as often as you get your super up in PvE. It’s much better for PvP, where Special Ammo is on a two-minute timer and where it is often difficult to coordinate with your team for securing available reserves.
If you are poor at managing it or even remembering to look for it, you’ll take the 4 rounds gladly every time you unleash your Super. It functions in a very positive feedback loop: use your Sniper to get kills to get your Super, and your Super rewards your Sniper in return. Just be sure to empty the magazine before using your Super if you have over 4 rounds remaining, as it won’t deposit the remainder of the magazine into your reserves.
The middle row has two great options, and one appreciable one. Speed Reload gives you a bump to how fast you can swap out your mag and will almost cut the time it takes to reload in half. Extended Mag is the superior option for PvE, giving you a precious extra one round in the magazine; less time you spend reloading, the better. In PvP, you’ll almost certainly want to go with Perfect Balance. This patches up the Shadow’s Stability and makes it a laser, allowing for easy 2-shot body kills when the head is proving troublesome to acquire.
The final (PvE-specific) perk is almost certainly going to be disappointing, but there are two good options worth mentioning. The first is Vandal Burn, which gives you major bonus damage against Vandals, including Majors. The second is Disciplinarian, which eschews major damage against one Fallen enemy for a minor boost against all of them. Either of these perks are better than nothing, but do nothing for your PvP game.
Its only poor stat is base Stability. It’s not as big a deal as it would be on a faster-firing archetype, but the less kick the better, and without the benefit of scope bonuses or Perfect Balance, the Shadow has a deficit to overcome if it wants to be reliable.
As far as perks are concerned, it’s not that any of the Shadow of Veils‘ perks are particularly worthless, they simply don’t possess much synergy or usefulness in all content. Whereas old perks like Feeding Frenzy or Field Scout were great for any situation, Replenish and the Fallen burns are situational. Replenish will not be all that great in PvE; special ammo is hardly rare, except in cases of Juggler and straight-up bad luck. Even in PvP, you can only count on it 2-4 times in a match whereas an alternative like Hidden Hand is consistently reliable.
Speed Reload is nice, but just as easily could have been the better Flared Magwell. Extended Mag gives you an extra round in the magazine, but does nothing for your total reserve ammunition. Perfect Balance thankfully has no downside and is our PvP recommendation.
Finally, although you could land Vandal Burn or Disciplinarian, you just as easily could wind up with the hilariously bad Shank or Dreg Burn, or the why-bother Captain-specific Demotion or Suppressor. None of these perks are going to change your playstyle or improve your game against the Fallen. Demotion should theoretically be okay, but a high-impact Sniper staggers Captains anyway, and a Shotgun is better suited for them when all is said and done.
There’s not much to be said for the Shadow in PvE, sort of ironic. The main benefit it has over many other easily acquired Snipers is its RoF/Impact class. The well has dried up considerably concerning high-Impact Snipers. The days of a dime-a-dozen LDRs and Longbow Syntheses are over. To that end, having a Sniper with high Impact and potentially 5 rounds in a magazine is an attractive proposition by itself. Unfortunately, if you asked 10 Guardians what their dream perks were for this weapon, 0/10 would say “Replenish and Shank Burn!”
For PvE, you’re better off using anything from before HoW with Field Scout, or the Black Hammer. There are plenty of new Guardians coming to Destiny every week though, and if your Sniper collection is lacking, picking up a Shadow of Veils would be a godsend. As for the rest of us? We probably already have a few go-to’s.
Here, this sniper is much more at home. While its cookie-cutter perks hamstring it in PvE, they aren’t such a bother in PvP, where the main concern is having the right scope, Impact, and Aim Assist. Thankfully, the Shadow has all three, making it an excellent choice for all manner of Crucible modes. As discussed thoroughly in our Ultimate Sniper Guide, the Shadow of Veils belongs to an envious RoF/Impact class that can one-shot Guardians with overshields and recently self-resurrected Sunsingers. This suits it beautifully to Trials of Osiris, Skirmish, and even more competitive Iron Banner matches, where you can bet your opponents will be using every trick in the book to get a leg-up on you.
The default ShortGaze scope pushes the Shadow’s best-in-class Aim Assist to dizzying heights, and its other scopes add even more AA. Before you get too excited, know that Aim Assist is not a cure-all for aiming woes. You’ll still have to practice to be able to sweep and hit your headshots when they count. What Aim Assist does is help you keep that reticle on target when you have your prey in your sights. Unfortunately, this can cut both ways; too high an Aim Assist and expect your scope to pull suddenly when another Guardian enters your FOV. Try out a couple of Snipers with Hidden Hand to really get a feel for how Aim Assist functions!
As we mentioned above, you’ll probably want to go with Perfect Balance in the second row. While Extended Mag and Speed Reload have their uses, the immense buff that Perfect Balance grants shouldn’t be underestimated. Vendor Snipers and reforgeable alternatives can no longer roll Perfect Balance, so a stat boost with no downsides is that much more valuable.
The main problem with this weapon is that it doesn’t improve too much when taking its perks into account. Replenish is not the worst thing for PvP, but The Fallen perks are quite literally useless, and will obviously never activate in the Crucible. This is a wasted perk slot and you’ll be seriously considering seeking out a customizable Sniper like Her Benevolence, with perks you can (eventually) mold to your liking. With a ShortGaze scope, Hidden Hand, and Unflinching, you’ll have what is widely considered to the best PvP Sniper roll.
To summarize, the Shadow of Veils is a breath of fresh air when considering the doldrums of the PoE loot table. It may suffer from a few of the same problems, but is built sturdily enough that it can shrug them off and help Guardians excel in the Crucible, while still proving capable for PvE. Though its perks don’t specifically cater to anything, they can come in handy when the time is right.
For those who are looking for a new Crucible sniper, you may have found it with this one. With its peerless Aim Assist, impressive Impact, and Perfect Balance to fix its stability weakness, the Shadow is a deadly sniper in the right hands.
For PvP this weapon earns a 8.5/10 and for PvE a 7/10.