I went over all six of the different subclasses in Destiny over the last couple weeks, talking about their abilities both in PvE and in the Crucible. I’ve talked about general tactics for the Crucible as well. I went over the new Iron Banner event yesterday. One thing that I never really talked about specifically is what kind of gear and weapons you should be trying to get for use in the Crucible. I point out the Crucible because I think the build is different than PvE ones – out in the wilds, you should have a flexible set of gear depending on what enemy you’re dealing with, if you are playing with a fireteam, and which Vanguard bounties you have.
I want to approach this from the perspective of a player who’s already at least level 20, so I’m talking about legendary and exotic weapons. As for the armor, I have a different set of parameters so just legendary or exotic doesn’t really seal the deal. Before that though, quickly for players that aren’t quite level 20 yet, look for a Shingen style auto rifle as your primary. The firerate, and solid magazine size makes them really good options, at least for now while the auto rifles are still pretty powerful. Your special weapon is primarily dependent on the map – smaller maps you really want a shotgun – I like the Suros style shotguns or the Black Chasma Crucible variant. They put a lot of damage out in one pull of the trigger, and depending on the individual stats, have surprising range. For your heavy weapons, I still think a rocket launcher is a bit better option – it’s a quicker damage output than the machine guns are.
For the characters that are at a level where they’re starting to grab legendary or exotic weapons, there are a couple standouts. First is one of the legendary Vanguard rifles – Shadow Price. It’s the rifle I’m currently using in fact – it’s essentially a beefed up version of the Shingen style rifles. It’s got a solid 24 bullet clip, plenty of shots to get two kills before reloading, the recoil pattern is predictable, and in standardized damage, it’s a pretty reasonable kill speed. It also has some pretty useful upgrades – one that increases reload speed after precision kills (which you should be aiming for), second that is a straight up reload boost beyond that, and one that restores ammo and boosts reload after near death kills. This combo makes your reload about as fast as possible – and can even be boosted further using War Machine on a Defender. As always in Bungie style multiplayer, reloads are super important – long time Halo players know all about that, so having a maxed reload is a really nice bonus. A solid second option is the SUROS Regime exotic that Xur sold two weekends ago. It’s not a crazy fast rifle, but it does have one of the best upgrades for PvP – aiming down the sights increases the damage dealt. That combined with a solid accuracy makes it a very popular choice in the arena.
As for secondaries, I still think that any legendary or exotic shotgun is your best bet, unless you can’t get a hold of one. This is admittedly the weapon slot I have no real pick for, since it’s the one category I haven’t gotten a legendary or better in yet – despite plenty of Vanguard rewards, I haven’t gotten on yet. However, there are a couple standouts I’ve seen out there – Invective, the exotic bounty shotgun reward; The Comedian, the Vanguard legendary shotgun; and Universal Remote, a raid reward exotic that actually functions as a primary weapon. What you really are looking for is a weapon that has decent enough range to kill in one pull of the trigger – whether it’s a shotgun, fusion rifle or sniper, you want to maximize your kills-per-shot with special ammo. I think shotguns are best for this, mainly because fusions rifles are beaten with solid strafing skills, and snipers are limited situation weapons.
For heavy weapons, I’m a little torn. I run with Super Good Advice, an exotic heavy machine gun that you get as a bounty reward – it’s a pretty solid weapon, good damage, and a great upgrade. The Super Good Advice upgrade makes it so almost every shot that misses go right back into the magazine, extending your ammo by a lot. The problem is that the recoil pattern with it is by far the worst I’ve seen with a machine gun. Good other machine guns would be Thunderlord (which should be typed as THUNDERLORD I think), which is a Crucible reward that has a much better recoil pattern; or The Swarm, the Vanguard option, it’s got a slower rate of fire, but it has almost no recoil to deal with.
For your armor, there’s really only one thing that should adjust which pieces you wear. If you have exotic armor that boosts skills with one particular subclass, use it; regardless of stat boosts, having the extra ability boosts are always great. I prefer the Striker subclass on my Titan, but because I got the Helm of Saint-14 from an engram, I tend to run with Defender because of its upgrade that blinds enemies in Ward of Dawn. As for which legendary armor you want, from what I can tell, you want to grab the Future War Cult gear. At least as a Titan, every piece of their armor has Discipline and Intellect boosts, which are the real stat you should look at for Crucible. In the Wilds, Strength is totally worth boosting up, but in Crucible you want your grenades and super ability available as much as possible. In regular Crucible matches, the actual defense rating doesn’t matter too much, that’s more for Iron Banner. If you can get good upgrades to boost your grenades or melee cooldown on those items, that’s even better – same with ammo or reload boosts for specific weapons, but again, keep looking for Intellect and Discipline gear.