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House of Wolves: Which New Exotic Weapon Should You Choose?

House of Wolves has been out for a few weeks and by now you have either gotten an Elder Cipher Exotic Bounty or you’ll have one soon. So the dilemma becomes which weapon should you pick first. Well since I play this game wayyyy too much and my RNG has been strong lately, I have all three and I’m here to give you the run down on them and help with which one to get first.

It should be noted that it was rumored that there would be five new exotic weapons but the Fate of all Fools and 347 Vesta Dynasty seem to be no shows. Some speculate that they are just well hidden as Fate of all Fools was suppose to be from an exotic bounty involving Trial of Osiris, but after 3 weeks no one has gotten it. Then there’s the fact that there wasn’t a Grimoire Card added for the 347 Vesta Dynasty, so they have probably been held back for The Taken King expansion or a future update. They would have been nice but oh well, just three it is.

The Elder Cipher

Ok so a quick rundown of how to get one of the sweet new Exotics. First you’ll need RNjesus to be on your side and get an Elder Cipher to drop from beating the final boss on either a level 34 or 35 Prison of Elders (P.o.E.). Then you take that to Variks at the awesome new Reef social space and you’ve completed step one (for some reason he’ll ask you to select which weapon you want but it doesn’t matter what you pick because he’ll just ask you again when you’ve completed the bounty). Next you need to get the Queen’s Cipher from the Queen’s chest (the big chest in the P.o.E. loot room). Obviously you’ll need a treasure key for this and you must open it in a level 32, 34, or 35 arena, not 28! For me and everyone I know the Queen’s Cipher drops right away on the first chest we opened but I’ve heard rumors it may take more than one. Now we take that to Variks as well and then the fun begins….. waiting. He says he’ll summon you when the Cipher is ready, this takes between one and… well I’ve heard of someone that took nine days but usually it’s no more than three. For me the first was one day and the other two were two days. So once he summons you we're off to the last step, earning 1000 points in the arena. The level 28 boss is worth 75 points, level 32 is 200 points, level 34 is 350 points, and lastly the 35 boss is 450 points. Any and all sub bosses are worth an extra 75 points each, so have fun. Once you have your 1000 point you take the Cipher back to Variks one last time to collect the exotic gun of your choice: Queenbreakers’ Bow, Dreg’s Promise, or Lord of Wolves!

Queenbreakers’ Bow

So we’ll start with the Queenbreakers’ Bow which was my least favorite of the new weapons. It is an Arc damage sniper/fusion hybrid with two types of scopes to choose from. The short range scope has a shorter charge rate but less impact and the long range scope has a long charge rate but more impact. Simple and easy to remember. It also has the hip fire perk, (bonus accuracy when fired from the hip) for when you get run up on. Then you have your choice between single point sling (switch weapons faster, move quicker when aiming), Flared Magwell (reload faster), and Send It (increase range and accuracy) that’s the one I went with. The final perk is Hidden Hand (better target acquisition) though I’ve never noticed a difference when using this perk on any weapon.

Problem with this weapon is that being a hybrid of two guns means it’s not as effective as either individually. Why would you want a sniper that has to charge, especially in PVP? Just use a regular sniper and fire away, you’re not gonna quick scope anybody with this gun. In PVE it’s too slow as well as usually you want quick crits on the tougher enemies and bosses. The combats sights aren’t any better as, unless you’re pulling constant head shots, there’s just not enough impact on it. In PVP you leave them with at half health most of the time. Just use a regular fusion rifle and bam, done. It does look pretty cool but it’s just not practical.

Dreg’s Promise

Next we have Dreg’s Promise one of only two new sidearms that were added with this DLC. Why only two? Who knows, maybe they were just testing the waters with them and will add more sidearms with The Taken King. For some reason these are put in the special weapon category even though they feel more like primary weapons. I guess because of hand cannons they felt like they had no choice with this but I digress. One of the cool things about sidearms is that they come standard with the reserve ammo perk to always have ammo on respawn which is quite nice in PVP especially.

Dreg’s Promise has an Arc burn and for perks we have your choice between Soft Ballistics (less recoil, but less impact), CQB Ballistics (greatly reduced recoil, but penalty to range), and Aggressive Ballistics (better recoil, higher impact, less range) which is what I use. Then there's Grave Robber (melee kills with the weapon equipped have a chance of refilling the clip) which is nice in both PVE and PVP. The next tree of choices are Snapshot (fast aiming), Field Scout (max ammo capacity), and Perfect Balance (very low recoil). I go with Field Scout because this weapon burns though ammo and the stability is very high anyway so perfect balance isn’t really needed. The final perk is Shock Rounds (high ricochet shock rounds with enhanced target acquisition).

This gun is my second favorite of the three in terms of effectiveness but I think it’s the most fun to use of the three. It fires so fast and the blue bullets bouncing everywhere make it a blast. Despite its low impact it is surprisingly effective, even in PVP, because of its good range and high rate of fire. For once high rate of fire is a good thing. Take notes Auto Rifles!!

Lord of Wolves

So here we go, Lord of Wolves, it was the last gun I picked but it should have been the first. Like many when the stats were first leaked I thought “look at that range, what garbage”. It’s very deceptive and this gun is a beast but first the perks. Lord of Wolves is a Solar Shotgun that’s been spliced with a Pulse Rifle. On the first perk tree we find Smart Drift Control (less recoil, penalty to range), Soft Ballistics (less recoil, penalty to impact), and the one I go with Linear Compensator (more recoil, boost to range and impact). Next there is Hip Fire (bonus accuracy when fired from the hip). Then the following tree has Speed Reload (faster reload), Extended Mag (a larger mag and not to be confused with field scout, your reserve ammo is the same), and the one I use Perfect Balance (extremely low recoil). The final perk is Devil’s Touch (kills rally allies with +3 recovery for 30 seconds) which sound cool but didn’t seem that great in practice.

Lord of Wolves is good in PVE but really shines in PVP. I was droppin fools left and right as the range is 10 times better than the stats make it look. The rate of fire is deceptive too as it fires in bursts and will drop an opponent in one pull of the trigger if all the shots hit. The weapon looks amazing too, complete with flames coming out of the front of it. So if you’ve just gotten your first Elder Cipher this is the one I recommend getting first.

The Problem

While all the new Exotic weapons looking very cool, and a couple are fun to usem the real problem is that it's hard to pick one of these over the existing Exotics that you probably already have. In PVE if you have a Gjallarhorn why would you put it away for Dreg’s Promise or any of these? No matter how fun Dreg’s Promise is to use, Gjallarhorn is better. Or why use Queenbreakers’ Bow over an Icebreaker? Other than novelty you don’t. On the PVP side it’s no better. The Lord of Wolves is sweet but if you use it that means no Thorn, Last Word or Vex. Plus with Felwinters Lie, Matador 64, and Party Crasher +1 out there to one shot people, it’s just not a necessity. So when it comes down to it after a few days when the newness wears off they’ll just be gathering dust in your Vault but lets face it who doesn’t want a new shiny Exotic toy for their collection, so we’ll get them anyway.
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