Episode 20: So You Want to be Anti-Meta, Do You?

If you're looking for more Off-Meta Primary and Special Weapon recommendations, congratulations: You're in the right place. Listen or read to learn about our favorite non-meta weapons and where to find them.

Off-Meta Primary Weapon Recommendations

  • Chaos Dogma~
    • This High Impact Scout Rifle hits even harder than other guns in the same class when used with Impact-increasing Barrel Mods which also improve it's damage to make triple-tapping enemies easier. Since you need only 2/3 crits instead of 3, this one's a clear winner. The downsides are abysmal Stability, a small mag, and a high learning curve, but if you can stick with it, it's very rewarding. You'll find it in the Wrath of the Machine raid.
  • Water Star / Stolen Pride
    • These Low Impact Hand Cannons have the same TTK (and shots needed) as the HI Scout Rifle we just discussed, but where that gun excels only in long range engagements, these are lethal close-up tools. Both Hand Cannons have best-in-class base Range, solid perks, and ridiculous Aim Assist, making then excellent pick-ups if you can find them. Downsides include poor Range overall for the class and the high bloom HC's are known for, along with relatively difficult optimal TTK compared to other Hand Cannons. You'll find the Water Star in Trials of Osiris Gold Packages and Stolen Pride drops from House of Judgment.
  • Ill Will / Lingering Song
    • These High Impact Hand Cannons shine because they can roll Luck in the Chamber. When combined with small base mags and Feather Mag or Braced Frame to reduce them further, this powerful damage booster gives you a 40+% chance of a terrifying .5 second double-tap kill on any non-supered Guardian with crits. Even if you miss your headshot, LitC and Feather Mag also give this gun a 60+% chance of dropping your enemy with 3 body shots in 1s flat. You'll find Ill Will dropping in the Crucible playlist, and the Lingering Song drops from Iron Banner.
  • Low Impact Auto Rifles
    • Although they no longer dominate the meta the way they did at the beginning of the year, these rapid-fire weapons still make excellent defensive tools for controlling lanes and hosing down rushing shotgunners, especially when combined with a sniper rifle or a longer range Fusion (in Supremacy, for example). Although they require considerable commitment, since you have to stay on target for the entire time to kill, the flinch they apply also makes them a solid 1v1 primary choice. Notables from this weapon type include Soulstealer's Claw from House of Judgment, Doctrine of Passing from the Trials Gold Bounties, and Assembly II from New Monarchy.
  • Monte Carlo (Mid Impact Auto Rifle)
    • This Exotic AR has seen a resurgence in the last few weeks, making it onto top 10 lists throughout the Crucible after lurking in relative obscurity for a long time. So what's behind the rise of the MC? Well, aside from the constant Melee recharges, which work incredibly well for a number of classes and make it an impressive combo killer for aggressive players, it also has killer stats. With a Range of 46, it's a full 15 points ahead of the next best Range in the Mid Impact AR class, and it doesn't pay for this with poor stats elsewhere, either. The only disadvantage it has is a slightly slower and more difficulty to achieve optimal TTK, requiring 10 consecutive headshots. You can get it anywhere you get Exotics (Xur, 3 of Coins, various Raid Chests, Nightfalls, and Crucible Weeklies).
  • No Land Beyond (Primary Sniper Rifle)
    • We can hardly believe it either, but No Land Beyond is experiencing a sudden rise in popularity right now as well. Aside from the occasional bumps that weapons get when used successfully by popular streamers, there are a few good reasons to consider NLB one of the ultimate anti-meta weapons. First, it seems to flinch less under fire than regular Sniper Rifles, perhaps due to its unique position as a Primary. This is really helpful for landing close-up headshots, as is the very low zoom scope. Second, it has the damage you need to hit those revive snipes, making it a handy weapon for all playlists. The main drawbacks to the weapon are in interminable Reload animation (which you can learn to cancel using Sprint, with practice) and a generally unique feel that results in a very high learning curve for most players. This is another Exotic, so you can get it all over the place.

Off Meta Secondary Weapon Recommendations

  • Plan C
    • You already know about this one, unless you're brand new to Destiny (and we're glad to have you, if you are), so let's not mince words. The gun's stats are incredibly solid, and the Exotic Perk's near-instant Charge on swap makes it downright nasty to go up against. When used well, it makes a terrifying hold-out weapon, and can be used for some powerful offensive strategies as well. You'll find it anywhere you can get an Exotic.
  • Saladin's Vigil
    • The Archon's Forge Fusion Rifle has a best-in-class charge rate for Fusion Rifles that kill in 5 bolts or less (leaving aside Plan C, naturally) and the rest of its stats are either the best possible, or nearly-so. If you don't have one, you need to visit the Forge in the Plaguelands and get to farming!
  • Trespasser
    • This Exotic Sidearm has the potential to double-burst most opponents in just .53 seconds. While the learning curve is steep, and the effective range is low, it's still a solid defensive choice if you want to avoid playing a Shotgun or just want to experience something totally unique. Unfortunately, the Exotic Perk is not very good, as missing with it makes you incredibly vulnerable, but it's still a fun gun. You should already know, but this is an Exotic and drops from a number of sources.
  • Crow's Eye / The Wormwood
    • These are our two choices for Legendary Sidearms, but there are a number of good ones. The Wormwood stands out for having a really solid Vendor roll at Future War Cult right now, making it an easy and reliable choice. Crow's Eye, meanwhile, drops from House of Judgment (Variks makes some solid weapons), and stands out for having Barrel Mods that increase damage. With Linear Compensator, Accurized Ballistics, or the like, this gun hits its optimal TTK of .7 seconds with just 4 body shots - no crits needed!
  • Chaperone
    • The Quest to obtain this Exotic slug-throwing Shotgun can be a grind in the truest sense, but we have some recommendations in the podcast for those struggling (pro-tip: SRL is coming). It's not a great weapon, but getting kills with it can be extremely rewarding and it's a lot of fun to use something that not only plays so differently, but also looks this bad ass.
  • Invective
    • Invective is one of those weapons that everyone knows about, and sort of forgets to take advantage of in the rush to play the meta. This Exotic Shotgun has Full Auto, Final Round, and regenerates 4 round every 30-40 seconds, which makes it a powerhouse in 6v6. When maxed out, its range rivals that of high impact Shotties, and full auto combined with no ammo worries mean you can easily and near-instantaneously double tap from outside that range to really tick people off. It's also great for clearing out groups of enemies when you get the drop, and FA plus Final Round make it an excellent tool for taking down roaming Supers like Bladedancers and Sunbreakers.
  • Defiance of Yasmin
    • This Raid Sniper Rifle from King's Fall (The Taken King Raid) is Mid-Low Impact, giving it a faster rate of fire than 1k-YS and other popular Mid-High Impact Snipers. Most guns in this class have objectively worse stats than their Mid-High Impact cousins (such as LDR, 1k-YS and Longbow Synthesis), but not the Yasmin! The gun is stacked across the board with best-in-class stats and has one of the lowest-zoom and most open scopes in the game. It's probably the best reason to run King's Fall right now, and drops from the Warpriest, although you also have a chance at it if you beat Oryx with 20 Mouldering Shards in your inventory. The only real weakness is lackluster reload speed (but the guaranteed Cocoon perk reloads it every time you stow it, so no worries there).
      • Contrary to what we said in the podcast, this gun can definitely revive-snipe - our apologies for the mistake! (Y1 habits die hard, they say.)

That's all we've got, Guardians - get out there and get NLB-pro!