Best Exotics to get for Season 18 based on Sandbox Changes in Destiny 2

Season 18 is nearly upon us, and with the new season, we have Arc 3.0 plus a whole host of sandbox changes coming to Destiny 2. Today I’m going to look at a selection of the best exotic weapons to get in the game, so you’re Arc 3.0 ready, plus taking into account those sandbox buffs too.

Before we get into today’s topic, let me know in the comments which exotics you are looking forward to most, and which changes are you most excited about?

Without further delay, let’s dive into the changes, plus what to get next season.


Symmetry is an Exotic Energy Scout Rifle that fires arc damage. It comes with the perks:

  • Revolution – This weapon fires full auto. Swap to Arc Seeker mode. Arc Seekers track toward combatants you target.
  • Dynamic Charge – Precision hits build up Dynamic Charge. Swapping to Arc Seeker mode increases damage and partially reloads the magazine based on the number of charges.

Why use it in Season 18?

  • Bungie felt Scouts could still use a bit of love in PvE.
  • Increased damage of all Scout Rifles vs. Minor enemies (red bars) in PvE by 10%.
  • This change is in addition to the baseline damage buff given in the Solstice balance patch.

Symmetry is going to be good for Arc 3.0 builds, plus taking advantage of those Scout Rifle buffs in PVE.


This is an exotic heavy machine gun, which delivers arc damage, and has the perks:

  • Reign Havoc – Kills with this weapon generate lightning strikes from above.
  • Feeding Frenzy – Each rapid kill with this weapon progressively increases reload speed for a short time.

Why use it in Season 18?

  • Added intrinsic Overload

Thunderlord is going to be useful for Arc builds, plus you have that intrinsic Overload feature now. I imagine use of Thunderlord is going to pick up a lot in Season 18.

Legend of Acrius

This one is a rare Exotic Power Shotgun, plus the original Destiny 2 raid weapon from the Leviathan Raid. It comes with the perks.

  • Shock Blast – This weapon fires blasts of high-damage Arc energy that overpenetrates enemies.
  • Long March – Detect enemies on your radar from farther away.

Why use it in Season 18?

  • Has fallen far behind other Heavy, short-range weapons and warrants a buff.
  • Catalyst now grants the Trench Barrel perk in addition to its other effects.
  • Different versions of the Exotic Paired Legendary Weapons didn’t have matching stats, so we have brought them up to parity.

Trench Barrel is really going to improve this one. As a reminder, here’s what trench barrel does – After a successful melee hit, this weapon gains increased damage, handling, and reload speed for a short duration—or until three shots are fired. This is going to be great for Arc 3.0 builds, plus I can see Guardians deleting bosses in PVE with this one.

You can get Legend of Acrius from the Monuments to Lost Lights in the Tower.

Le Monarque

This one is an Exotic Energy Combat Bow, which you can get from the Monument to Lost Lights. It has the perk Poison Arrows – Arrows fired quickly after a full draw become poison arrows. Precision hits with poison arrows spread poison to nearby enemies.

Why use it in Season 18?

  • Added intrinsic Overload to Poison Arrows.

Le Monarque is already a very good bow, and now it’s got even better with intrinsic Overload.

Ticuu’s Divination

This one is an Exotic Energy Combat Bow with the perks

  • Sacred Flame – Hipfiring this weapon fires multiple tracking projectiles.
    Targets marked by these projectiles explode upon death, or when struck by another Sacred Flame’s explosion.
  • Causality Arrows – Arrows fired while aiming down sights cause Sacred Flames to instantly detonate. Precision hits with perfectly drawn arrows increase the power of this detonation.

This is another good exotic bow. This is going to get the benefit from the Ligthweight bow changes, which are as follows.

  • Reduced base draw time by 5% (from 612ms to 580ms).
  • Increased the “perfect draw” window (how long you can hold the drawn Bow before you begin to lose accuracy and damage, stability modifies this window).
  • From .30s to .50s on the low end.
  • From .55s to .80s on the high end.

Why use it in Season 18?

  • Gets a free, small buff from the global lightweight Bow changes.
  • Draw time decreased from 612 to 580.

You can get this from the Monuments to Lost Lights in the Tower.

Fighting Lion

Why use it in Season 18?

  • Season 17 5% damage buff was rolled back as part of a fix for a larger bug, this is being reintroduced and increased.
  • Now receives the intended buff, increased from 5% to 8%.
  • Increased the grace time for the instant reload effect of Thin the Herd from 5 to 6s.

You can get this one from Xur or Exotic Engrams.

Dead Man’s Tale

Why use it in Season 18?

  • The Cranial Spike perk was causing issues with unintended damage scalars against players, and generally felt unpredictable both to use and to fight against. It also wasn’t quite landing the “hip-firing cowboy rifle” fantasy as strongly as we wanted to, so we reworked it to lean more into fast-firing hip-fire.
  • Changed Cranial Spike’s effects:
  • Cranial Spike no longer buffs damage vs. players, instead it grants increased reload, aim assist, and range per stack.
  • It still grants additional damage vs. PvE combatants.
  • Upon reaching max stacks of Cranial Spike, the catalyst will now increase hip-fire RPM by 50 (i.e., it will fire at 180 RPM) but will deal reduced damage per bullet (20% decrease).

You can get this one from Xur or Exotic Engrams.

Collective Obligation

Why use it in Season 18?

  • We are aiming to make the Exotic perk effects easier to activate and more effective in PvE.
  • Increased Void Leech timer to 15 seconds in PvE activities.
  • PVP remains at 10 seconds.
  • Removed the cooldown.
  • Added a 20% damage bonus against PvE combatants only while Void Leech is active.
  • Takes less hits to fully charge Void Leech.
  • Kills against debuffed targets instantly charge Void Leech.
  • Void Leech is also instantly charged when your character is affected by Void debuffs.
  • Does not work if hitting yourself with your own Suppressor Grenade.
  • Fixed a bug where Umbral Sustenance was activating with non-Void overshields.

You can get this one from the Vow of the Disciple Raid as an exotic reward.

Glaives with Exotic Armor

ACD/0 Feedback Fence Exotic Titan Gauntlets

Fury Conductors – Melee hits build energy. Being struck by a melee attack reduces incoming damage and unleashes the energy in a devastating explosion.

Karnstein Armlets Exotic Warlock Gloves

Vampire’s Caress – Melee kills instantly restore a large amount of health and continue to restore health afterwards for a short duration.

Necrotic Grip Exotic Warlock Gloves

Grasp of the Devourer – Damaging combatants envenoms them with poison that deals increasing damage over time. Defeating a poisoned combatant spreads the condition to nearby combatants. Provides a moderate benefit to the airborne effectiveness stat of all Weapons of Sorrow.

Let me know what you think of the changes coming in season 18 and let me know what you are looking forward to using.

That’s it for this look at the best exotics to get for Season 18 in Destiny 2. For more Destiny 2 content like this check out This Week In Video Games on YouTube and subscribe today.