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Austin Wood

Destiny 2 just giga-buffed one of its oldest Exotics and now it's destroying everything

Destiny 2's Graviton Lance rifle

Destiny 2 just dropped a sizable but fairly standard weapon balance patch, and it's had at least one massive winner: Graviton Lance, one of the oldest guns in the game.

Graviton Lance is an Exotic Void pulse rifle that's been around since the earliest days of Destiny 2. In fact, it was one of the Exotics you could get for free just by finishing the Red War campaign at launch – the same campaign which has now been lost to the Destiny Content Vault. Through years of pulse rifle tweaks, Graviton Lance has ebbed in and out of the meta, often getting by on the strength of its rare two-shot burst. It's long been regarded as a fine weapon, but after this patch, it's jumped several tiers to the realm of absolutely monstrous.

Destiny 2 update 7.1.5 is chock-full of relatively minor changes. Reduced auto-aim here, increased accuracy there. Then you get to the Graviton Lance shortlist in the patch notes, which opens with: "Increased PvE damage by 67%." Sixty-seven percent. This already competent gun is now dealing two-thirds more damage to everything that isn't a Guardian. Holy shit.

Exotic primary weapons have been in the spotlight for a while since they're often the only primaries outside a few archetypes, such as Legendary SMGs and sidearms, that still feel strong after the balance changes in Lightfall. Graviton Lance was also already being used for its free Void AoE on headshots, recently improved recoil, and exceptionally high effective range (for a pulse rifle). And now it's 67% better. That's one of the biggest singular buffs I've seen in all my time reading Destiny 2 patch notes, and reader, that's been far too much time. 

Players and content creators (like Destiny veteran Datto, who's done a handy review) were quick to pull Graviton Lance out of their Vaults and put it through its paces. Surprise, surprise: a solid gun that's now two-thirds stronger is going to embarrass almost every other primary option when it comes to killing red-bar enemies. There are stronger choices for tankier targets, but that's not really what a primary is for. 

Warlocks can run this beast with Nezarec's Sin, Hunters have obvious synergy in Gyrfalcon's Hauberk, and Titans are proof that you don't need an obvious Exotic pairing for this thing to wreck shop. Even weapon-agonistic, non-Void builds can get a lot of mileage out of Graviton Lance, and quite frankly it does my heart good to see this old relic shining so brightly. 

Destiny 2 servers have been on fire for months, and that won't stop anytime soon. 

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