Trials can be hard, but it offers some killer weapon drops. Are any of them worth your time, though? Let’s go through each weapon available in the current Trials loot pool, and see if it’s worth the effort.
The Trials of Osiris playlist is regularly filled with the best of the best; PvP players trying their absolute hardest with the goal of going Flawless, either to help friends and followers, acquire titles, or obtain end game level loot. For those who are accustomed to playing PvP, Trials can be a pretty consistent activity for loot farming. Due to how the game type works, you don’t necessarily need to go Flawless in order to get your hands on some highly effective weapons or flashy looking armor. All you need to do is complete bounties and get wins in order to collect tokens, which can be turned into Saint-14 at the Tower at any point between Friday (when Trials launches) to Tuesday’s weekly reset. Exchanging tokens will net you Engrams containing potentially any Trials of Osiris loot you have “unlocked” (earned at least once) on your account. But this begs the question; what Trials of Osiris loot is worth your time investment? Let’s take a look at all the weapons that you can earn from playing Trials, and rank them for overall viability. My weapon priorities may differ from yours, and that’s okay! I’ll be sure to provide explanations for every decision on every weapon.
We’ll start with what weapons I consider to be LOW TIER. In this category, there is just one single weapon.
Ranked #6: TOMORROW’S ANSWER
There’s really nothing wrong with the Tomorrow’s Answer, but its Achilles’ heel is that it brings nothing new to the table in an ocean of already viable Rocket Launchers. For example, take Sins of the Past. It might be old, but it has near-identical stats. A 95 Blast Radius by default, just 1 less Velocity than Tomorrow’s Answer, and identical base Handling. The Sins of the Past also rolls with the Cluster Bomb perk by default, whereas Tomorrow’s Answer may potentially not drop with that perk. Granted, Tomorrow’s Answer can roll with a whole variety of other perks; none of them are unique or special enough to warrant Tomorrow’s Answer for being a top tier pick for PvP. On the PvE side of the fence, Rocket Launchers are currently not the go-to option for high tier damage-per-second against bosses. Ever since the auto-reload options in Destiny 2 (Titan Rally Barricades and Lunafaction Boots in Warlock Wells ) were nerfed by Bungie, Rocket Launchers have taken a noticeable backseat to Grenade Launchers, Snipers, Shotguns, Swords, and the Xenophage Exotic Machine Gun in terms of DPSing bosses. If auto-reloading ever makes a comeback, Tomorrow’s Answer could theoretically rise way up on the PvE DPS weapon tier list. For now, the weapon remains not all that special.
The next category of Trials Weapons is what I consider to be MID TIER. In this category, weapons are essentially ‘nice to have’, and are able to fill a specific niche. I wouldn’t necessarily hunt for these weapons, but I’d be happy to have any drop during Trials of Osiris, provided they have the right weapon perks and a good overall roll.
Ranked #5: EXILE’S CURSE
Fusion Rifles were hit quite hard by their somewhat recent nerf, and Exile’s Curse feels those weapon changes hard, being a High Impact Frame fusion. In fact, there’s only one reason I’m including Exile’s Curse on the Mid Tier rankings at all, and that’s because it can potentially roll with Celerity in Column 4. Outside of being able to run Celerity (which again, is only helpful in certain PvP game types that can leave you as the last player standing), Exile’s Curse is outclassed by the Erentil FR4, which remains the shining example of what a Top Tier Fusion Rifle can be. Aside from having similar stats, Erentil can be easily farmed by playing the Menagerie, which also allows you to control what weapon mod you’ll receive on the gun! By comparison, Exile’s Curse is a massive chore to acquire, all while leaving you at the mercy of RNG. Still, if you get one to drop, check to see if it has either Firmly Planted or Celerity. If you’re lucky, it might even have both. Outside of that, I’d likely run Erentil instead, each and every time.
Ranked #4: THE SCHOLAR
Next weapon in the Mid Tier category is The Scholar, a Kinetic Scout Rifle. It’s a member of the High-Impact Frame family, meaning it shoots relatively slowly, but hits hard. The Scholar has some good things going for it; because of its high damage output, it has an optimal time-to-kill of .8 seconds in PvP (provided you get 3 headshots), which is relatively fast. You need to be accurate though, because if you land only body shots, you’ll be sitting at a 2.0 second time-to-kill, which is horribly long.
The Scholar comes with a lot of incredibly viable perks for both PvP and PvE. In Column 3, you can roll either Quickdraw, Full Auto, Opening Shot, or Slideways. Quickdraw gives you an insane weapon swap speed, Full Auto makes pumping out shots far easier, Opening Shot, as we’ve discussed, can give you improved shot accuracy, and Slideways can help you auto-reload your weapon via sliding (which also comes with a Handling and Stability buff). In Column 4, you have great options as well, including Vorpal Weapon, No Distractions, Snapshot and Celerity. Again, Celerity is one of the best perks in Trials. No Distractions also reduces flinch, but not to the degree of Celerity. There’s upside to No Distractions, though; you don’t need to be in Trials to have it activate. Snapshot provides the always beneficial fast ADS time, and Vorpal can help you deal additional damage to enemies in their roaming Supers. As far as PvE weapons go, I really enjoy Scout Rifles, and Vorpal Weapon’s ability to also deal additional damage to enemy bosses in PvE is greatly appreciated. If Scout Rifles had a more generous time-to-kill in the body, and were a more ‘forgiving’ weapon archetype overall, then the Scholar would likely be ranked higher in my eyes.
Ranked #3: EYE OF SOL
The last weapon in the Mid Tier category is the Eye of Sol, a Kinetic Sniper Rifle. The Eye of Sol is a member of the Adaptive Frame family, essentially meaning a ‘medium rate of fire and medium damage’ for a sniper. The Eye of Sol can drop with some very enticing perks for PvP usage, which I’ll quickly go through.
Firmly Planted and Snapshot are both available in Column 3 of the weapons perk pool. Firmly Planted grants better Accuracy, Stability, and Handling when firing while crouched. This perk can be activated via sliding, which happens a lot at high level play. Having better Accuracy, Stability, and Handling is no joke, and can mean the difference between you landing a headshot and potentially missing. Snapshot grants faster time to aim down sights. PvP snipers everywhere continue to praise the glory of Snapshot, and for good reason. Faster ADS time can lead to quick, snappy kills, and being to react to an enemy before they can react to you is always going to be a big deal in Crucible.
Vorpal Weapon, Box Breathing, Celerity, or Opening Shot are in Column 4. Opening shot grants additional Accuracy on the opening shot of attack, which is essentially always going to come into play and can help get you headshots that you may have otherwise missed by a hair. Celerity is a fantastic perk if you plan on playing a lot of Trials, as it gives you better target acquisition, Handling/reload, and reduced flinch from incoming fire. Granted, you have to be the last living member of your fireteam for Celerity to activate, but it’s an overall Top Tier weapon perk in the Trials playlist. Box Breathing and Vorpal Weapon both serve one real purpose in PvP: allowing you to one-shot roaming Supers. Vorpal Weapon just barely wins over Box Breathing, though; Vorpal requires no time to activate, whereas Box Breathing takes just a little over a second to turn on. Eye of Sol may eventually be ranked higher if the Revoker Sniper ever receives a nerf, because given the choice between the two Kinetic Snipers in a PvP setting, I’m going to go with the one that refunds my ammo on a miss.
Finally we come to the TOP TIER of Trials of Osiris weapon drops. In my opinion, there are only 2 weapons currently worthy to be in this category.
Ranked #2: THE SUMMONER
The #2 weapon in the Top Tier category is The Summoner Auto Rifle. The Summoner is a 600 RPM Auto Rifle, which is the current PvP sweet spot. Sporting a painfully effective .70 seconds optimal time-to-kill, the Summoner has a handful of effective stats: a 46 base Range, a 47 base Stability, and a 73 base Handling (all very respectable for the weapon archetype.) Its selection of weapon perks is also impressive: Moving Target, Zen Moment, Dynamic Sway Reduction for Column 3, and Rampage, Rangefinder, and Celerity for Column 4. Every one of these perks is very effective at helping the Summoner be even deadlier. Add on the fact that The Summoner’s number one competition, Hard Light, was recently nerfed– and you have a top tier PvP Auto Rifle on your hands. Any day where The Summoner is available for drop would be a day I’d recommend playing Trials for a potentially good roll.
Ranked #1: ASTRAL HORIZON
The number one weapon in the Top Tier category of Trials loot is the Astral Horizon Kinetic Shotgun. By all accounts, this weapon is a monster, and it performs very well in PvE and in PvP. Aggressive Frame Shotguns are the go-to weapon for close combat fighters in the Crucible, and Astral Horizon has everything you would expect from a God Tier Shotgun: high Impact, high Range, and access to killer PvP perks. It can roll both Assault Mag or Accurized Rounds in Column 2 (for either slightly more Range/target acquisition, or faster rate of fire, dealer’s choice), as well as Slideshot, Quickdraw, Celerity, and Opening Shot. And while most players should be very happy with any combination of those perks, the true rarity in my opinion is both Opening Shot and Quickdraw together, which no other Aggressive Frame Shotgun in the game is capable of rolling. With these two perks together, you can swap to your Shotgun with blinding speed and put down an enemy from absurd ranges. While not incredibly flashy on paper, the combination is very consistent, and in my opinion makes Astral Horizon the best weapon to chase after in the Trials loot pool, hands down.
All in all, Trials of Osiris drops some excellent loot! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled each week on what weapons are being offered up on 3, 5, or 7 wins on your punch card. If any top tier weapons are ever offered as a guaranteed drop, get in there and give ‘em hell!