Wrath of the Machine Weapon Review

The newest Destiny raid weapons look to have taken a leaf out Year 1’s book, deciding to add extra raid-specific perks to the weapons’ intrinsic slots, as opposed to replacing something from the perk tree. This is a very good sign, as it adds to the usability of the guns instead of decreasing it.

These weapons do not appear to be dominant in all modes, instead focusing their skill trees on things that are designed to make them either go-to weapons in PvE, or competitive choices in PvP.

The actual execution of this plan varies from weapon to weapon, so let’s take a first look at what we can expect from Wrath of the Machine’s weapon rewards.



  • Pros – Very fast Time-to-Kill. Very high range.
  • Cons – Very low stability. Low reload speed and aim assist. Average mag size.
  • Time-to-Kill: 0.80s (3 crit shots), 1.60s (5 body shots)

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Linear Compensator
  • Column 2 – Triple Tap
  • Column 3 – Smallbore
  • Column 4 – Triple Double

A member of the high-impact scour rifle archetype, think of this weapon as a Cocytus on steroids (which is exactly what it is, if by steroids you mean SIVA). Boosting a host of impact increasing barrel perks, you’re going to be doing maximum damage per shot, and Triple Tap and Triple Double are going to help to make sure you’re shooting for as long as possible.

Smallbore is a fine choice in the middle tree because boosts to stability and range will outweigh the drawback of losing a couple rounds, especially when you’ll get those back the first time you activate the signature perks.

Triple Double pulls a second round from your reserves every time Triple Tap procs, so if you play your cards right, you can go a very long time without reloading. These perks have fantastic synergy with the purpose of the weapon as a DPS machine for boss fights, and that utility more than makes up for it’s overall lack of outstanding stats.



  • Pros – Very high range. Above average reload speed. High recoil direction.
  • Cons – Below average stability and aim assist.
  • Time-to-Kill: 0.93s (7 crit 1 body), 1.20s (10 body). 1.00s TtK with Focus Fire.

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Linear Compensator
  • Column 2 – Focus Fire
  • Column 3 – Hammer Forged or High Caliber Rounds
  • Column 4 – Focused Firefly

Another weapon with it’s perks aim with laser precision at PvE, the GENESIS CHAIN~ is begging to be used as a add clean-up machine. Focus Fire can combine perfectly with High Caliber Rounds to keep minions of the Darkness flinching, or Hammer Forged to let you put a little extra space between yourself and your victims.

Focused Firefly is an amazing sounding perk, with it allowing Firefly to activate as long as Focus Fire is running. This weapon joins the very small group of fully automatic guns that have Firefly, so I think it will hold a special place in late game activities.



  • Pros – High range, stability, reload speed, and mag size. Very high recoil direction.
  • Cons – Very low aim assist.
  • Time-to-Kill: 1.00s (2.33 bursts. 6 crit 1 body), 1.50

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Smooth Ballistics
  • Column 2 – Full Auto
  • Column 3 – Hand-laid Stock
  • Column 4 – Sign of Four

Arguably the most useful burst archetype for PvE, I think the Steel Medulla will be competing with No Time To Explain for best DPS pulse rifle against bosses. Smooth Ballistics helps to boost it’s only low base stat, aim assist, and Full Auto makes sure your RoF is always maximized.

Hand-laid Stock, although it will decrease a bit of range, will keep those burst patterns tight, which is perfect because the signature perk gives you increased damage on your fourth burst, as long as your first three hit the target. High recoil direction means that the burst patterns should be easy to control, and high mag size and reload speed means you should be able to keep the damage flowing.



  • Pros – Very high mag size. Above average range, stability, and reload speed.
  • Cons – Below average aim assist and equip speed. Low recoil direction.
  • Time-to-Kill: 0.86s (1 crit shot and 2 body shots)

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Accurized Ballistics
  • Column 2 – Reactive Reload
  • Column 3 – Hammer Forged or Reinforced Barrel
  • Column 4 – Quick Reaction

This is something of an enigma. Reactive Reload is generally a perk considered more useful in PvP, and the fact that it comes with a barrel perk and two possible choices that all increase range pushes it’s usefulness in the Crucible even higher. Accurized Ballistics will take away some aim assist, but it will increase the impact and range enough to be very noticeable, especially with how drastic the damage drop off on HCs can be.

Reactive Reload is fantastic for stringing kills together, and the signature perk increases your agility when it’s active, making it easier than ever to find your next target. Hammer Forged would probably be my choice in the middle column over Reinforced Barrel, simply because I’d like to keep as much stability as I can.

The recoil direction and aim assist aren’t the best for a hand cannon, but it’s nowhere near as bad as the Eyasluna, and the high base range and stability more than make up for it. All in all, I think this gun could be a monster in competitive PvP.



  • Pros – Can kill Supered Guardians with a headshot. High range and inventory.
  • Cons – Very low stability, reload speed, mag size, aim assist, and equip speed.
  • Body Shot Time-to-Kill: 1.00s (2 shots)

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Linear Compensator
  • Column 2 – Spray and Pray
  • Column 3 – Quickdraw or Injection Mold
  • Column 4 – Wait for It

Previously an extremely rare archetype of sniper rifles, Rise of Iron has brought us three new examples of the very-high impact variety. EX MACHINA may not have fantastic base stats, but the combination of Spray and Pray and Wait for It (which gives you a larger magazine if you reload when empty) may make it a tremendous weapon for doing maximum damage to bosses.

It may not take the place of some of the more commonly used snipers for PvE activities, but it’s good to finally see some more options available for discerning users. Linear Compensator will give a nice bit of bonus damage to each shot, and Quickdraw and Injection Mold can both help with the rather slow handling speeds of the weapon.



  • Pros – High range.
  • Cons – Very low stability and aim assist. Below average reload speed.

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Linear Compensator
  • Column 2 – Battle Runner
  • Column 3 – Smallbore
  • Column 4 – Running Interference

A member of the much sought-after Matador class of shotguns, the QUANTIPLASM~ by default should be one of the best options for shotguns in the game. Unfortunately, with the limited perks, the maximum range is below average, and the perks would probably be more appropriate on a faster RoF model of shotgun.

That said, a run-n-gun playstyle could work well with this weapon, if you’re into putting tons of damage into one target and then skirting back to cover. The slow RoF can be a detriment to engaging multiple enemies in quick succession, but the special perk of Running Interference, which grants bonus armor when Battle Runner is active, can definitely help you to survive a little longer when charging down your next opponent.

Linear Compensator will give you a good boost of range and impact, and Smallbore will help you hit it’s maximum range, but you won’t be competing with well-rolled Matador or Party Crashers anytime soon.



  • Pros – Very high charge rate, aim assist, and range. High reload speed. Above average mag size.
  • Cons – Needs 6 bolts to kill. Very low impact. Average stability.

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Linear Compensator
  • Column 2 – Army of One
  • Column 3 – Braced Frame or Smallbore
  • Column 4 – Two for One

An archetype previously occupied by only the Split Shifter Pro, the ETHER NOVA~ is a very fast charging, high range, fusion rifle that takes a skilled hand to wield. Although it probably doesn’t do enough damage to be good at more than add clean-up in PvE, in close range Crucible battles it can dominate. Needing six bolts to kill is a major drawback, so anything outside of optimal range is likely going to be a losing engagement.

Linear Compensator will help to make the recoil almost completely vertical, which makes tightening the bolt spread easier for any player. Army of One and Two for One (doubles the effectiveness of AoO) will help the lone wolf player get their melee and grenades back as quickly as possible, which harmonizes with the need to be up close and personal with this weapon.

I would choose Braced Frame in the middle column, simply because the range is already quite high, and the stability is average, but for those who want the best of both worlds Smallbore is also an excellent choice.



  • Pros – High mag size.
  • Cons – Very low range and aim assist. Below average stability. Average reload speed.

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Accurized Ballistics
  • Column 2 – Reactive Reload
  • Column 3 – Hand Loaded or Quickdraw
  • Column 4 – Quick Reaction

Not much has been discovered about the new archetypes of sidearms yet, but the ZEAL VECTOR~ is unfortunately not the shining example of this weapon class. With hardly any positives across the board, you’d probably be better off with any of the other examples.

Fast RoF can be nice, but it’s negated by low levels of range, stability, and aim assist which can make them difficult to handle. Reactive Reload and Quick Reaction will definitely help to give this weapon a niche in PvP, and Hand Loaded tries to make up for the lack of base range, but I’m not sure ZEAL will be a good choice for players looking for a competitive sidearm option.



  • Pros – Above average RoF. High velocity, inventory, and reload speed.
  • Cons – Below average blast radius.

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Warhead Verniers or Hard Launch
  • Column 2 – Spray and Pray
  • Column 3 – Javelin
  • Column 4 – Wait for It.

If you’re okay without Grenades and Horseshoes, Clusterbomb, Tripod, or Tracking, then may be an excellent launcher for you. The lack of those perks may turn off quite a few people, but the combination of Spray and Pray and Wait for It means you can easily be getting an extra rocket every magazine.

Javelin boosts the already high velocity, and the only real drawback stat-wise is the below average blast radius. You could still do worse, however, and the high inventory level means you won’t be struggling to carry as many rockets as you need. If you’re someone who values quantity of rockets above all else, you might have found your match here.



  • Pros – Very high mag size, reload speed, and aim assist.
  • Cons – Average range. Very low stability.
  • Time-to-Kill: 0.46s (8 crit shots), 0.60s (10 body shots)

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 – Linear Compensator
  • Column 2 – Triple Tap
  • Column 3 – Braced Frame
  • Column 4 – Triple Double

Simultaneously one of the most entertaining and infuriating archetypes of machine guns, the lowest-impact subclass combines the love of mowing down dozens of enemies at a time with the recoil equivalent of riding a bull. After receiving a small buff in the latest balance patch, these weapons were still feeling a bit unloved, at least until IF MATERIA~ came along.

Linear Compensator will make the recoil almost completely vertical, and Braced Frame will help to keep it under control. Normally Braced Frame would be a drawback on a machine gun, but a high reload speed and interesting perk set guarantees you won’t notice it at all.

Triple Tap and Triple Double wouldn’t be something you would expect to see on a high-RoF weapon, but the MATERIA shoots so fast you’re bound to get three quick headshots almost every time you point it at a target and pull the trigger. Since you get two bullets back into the mag every time is activates, thing of this weapon as a poor man’s Super Good Advice, without it needing the exotic slot. Although it may not be the best in PvP, it should shred in PvE!