Episode 39: Wrath of the Machine Weapons Breakdown

This week on Destiny Massive Breakdowns, we discuss the Wrath of the Machine Raid Weapons from Rise of Iron in-depth, including a full review of stats, perks, and unique game mechanics. Join us!

Wrath of the Machine Weapons Breakdown

Originally posted on Reddit.

Note: All WotM Raid Weapons have the perk Whirlwind's Curse: This weapon does bonus damage against Fallen. Bonus Agility when this weapon is equipped. The damage bonus is 10%.

Scout Rifle


CHAOS DOGMA~ - Arc Adept

Pros - Very fast Time-to-Kill. Very high range.

Neutral - None.

Cons - Very low stability and mag size. Low reload speed and aim assist.

  • Time-to-Kill: 0.80s (2 crit 1 body), 1.20s (4 body shots)
  • Rate of Fire: 27
  • Impact: 62 (75 damage per crit shot, 50 per body shot)
  • Range: 82
  • Stability: 32
  • Reload Speed: 52
  • Mag Size: 12
  • Aim Assist: 39

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 - Linear Compensator
  • Column 2 - Triple Tap
  • Column 3 - Smallbore (PvP) or Extended Mag (PvE)
  • Column 4 - Triple Double

Although on paper this gun doesn't look great, in reality it's a beast. A member of the high-impact scout rifle archetype, think of this weapon as a Cocytus on steroids (which is exactly what it is, if by steroids you mean SIVA). Boasting a host of impact increasing barrel perks, you're going to be doing maximum damage per shot, and Triple Tap and Triple Double are going to help to make sure you're shooting for as long as possible. I think Smallbore is a fine choice in the middle tree in PvP, because boosts to stability and range will outweigh the drawback of losing a couple rounds, especially when you'll get those back the first time you activate the signature perks, while for PvE I'd go with Extended Mag. Triple Double pulls a second round from your reserves every time Triple Tap procs, so if you play your cards right, you can go a very long time without reloading. These perks have fantastic synergy with the purpose of the weapon as a DPS machine for boss fights, and that utility more than makes up for its overall lack of outstanding stats. One of the best things about this weapon is the ability to kill in 2 headshots and 1 body shot, or 4 body shots, in PvP, thanks to the barrel perks that increase impact just enough. That makes it significantly more forgiving than guns in the archetype normally are, and allows this weapon to be considered top tier, in my book.

Auto Rifle


GENESIS CHAIN~ - Solar Adept

Pros - Very high range. Above average reload speed. High recoil direction.

Neutral - None.

Cons - Below average stability, mag size, and aim assist.

  • Time-to-Kill: 0.83s (5 crit 1 body), 1.17s (8 body)
  • Rate of Fire: 77
  • Impact: 28 (35 damage per crit shot, 27 damage per body shot)
  • Range: 40
  • Stability: 44
  • Reload Speed: 73
  • Mag Size: 30
  • Aim Assist: 55
  • Recoil Direction: 75

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 - Linear Compensator
  • Column 2 - Focus Fire
  • Column 3 - Hammer Forged or High Caliber Rounds
  • Column 4 - Focused Firefly

Another raid weapon with its perks aimed with laser precision at PvE, the GENESIS CHAIN~ is begging to be used as a minion clean-up machine. Focus Fire can combine perfectly with High Caliber Rounds to keep low level enemies flinching, or Hammer Forged can help you put a little extra space between yourself and your victims. Focused Firefly is actually a hilarious perk, allowing Firefly to activate as long as Focus Fire is running. This weapon joins the very small group of fully automatic guns that have Firefly, so I think it deserves a special, if not necessarily competitive place, in late game PvE. Somewhat surprisingly, this weapon is actually very good in PvP too, at least for an AR. The version of Focus Fire is has is slightly different than other ARs, so it boosts the damage a bit less, but also doesn't slow down the RoF as much. Thanks to this, it ends up with a very fast 0.83s optimal TtK, which makes it the only high impact AR I feel like is worth using.

Note: The difference in Rate of Fire between this AR and others with Focus Fire in the same archetype is 1 frame per shot. That small difference really adds up.

Pulse Rifle



Pros - High range, stability, reload speed, and mag size. Very high recoil direction.

Neutral - None.

Cons - Very low aim assist.

  • Time-to-Kill: 1.00s (2.25 bursts, 7 crit 2 body shots), 1.50s (3.25 bursts, 13 body shots)
  • Rate of Fire: 66
  • Impact: 14 (23 damage per crit shot, 16 damage per body shot)
  • Range: 51
  • Stability: 71
  • Reload Speed: 73
  • Mag Size: 33
  • Aim Assist: 36
  • Recoil Direction: 80

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 - Smooth Ballistics
  • Column 2 - Full Auto
  • Column 3 - Hand-laid Stock
  • Column 4 - Sign of Four

Coming from arguably one of the best PvE pulse rifle archetypes in the game, I the Steel Medulla solidly competes with No Time To Explain for the best DPS pulse rifle against bosses. Smooth Ballistics helps to boost it's only low base stat, aim assist, and Full Auto makes sure your RoF is always maximized. Hand-laid Stock, although it will decrease a bit of range, will keep those burst patterns tight, which is perfect because the signature perk gives you increased damage on your fourth burst, as long as your first three hit the target. High recoil direction means that the burst pattern is easy to control, and high mag size and reload speed keeps the damage flowing.

Note: Sign of Four adds an additional 25% damage bonus onto the fourth burst against a single target. If you empty your whole magazine into a single enemy, you'll gain a net 6% damage bonus from this perk. 

Hand Cannon



Pros - Very high mag size. Above average range, stability, and reload speed.

Neutral - None.

Cons - Below average aim assist and equip speed. Low recoil direction.

  • Time-to-Kill: 0.86s (1 crit shot and 2 body shots)
  • Rate of Fire: 22
  • Impact: 87 (86 damage per crit shot, 57 damage per body shot)
  • Range: 35
  • Stability: 41
  • Reload Speed: 43
  • Mag Size: 11
  • Aim Assist: 65
  • Equip Speed: 50
  • Recoil Direction: 85

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 - Accurized Ballistics
  • Column 2 - Reactive Reload
  • Column 3 - Hammer Forged or Reinforced Barrel
  • Column 4 - Quick Reaction

Here we come to a weapon that is something of an enigma. Reactive Reload is generally considered more useful in PvP, and the fact that it comes with a barrel perk that boosts range and the choice of either Hammer Forged or Reinforced Barrel seems to cement the idea that this gun was designed with the Crucible in mind, despite being a raid weapon. Accurized Ballistics will take away some aim assist, but it will increase the impact and range enough to be very noticeable, especially with how drastic the damage drop off on HCs can be. Reactive Reload is fantastic for stringing kills together, and the signature perk increases your agility when it's active, making it easier than ever to find your next target. Hammer Forged is in competition with Reinforced Barrel in the third slot, and you'll have to decide if pushing out the damage drop off is worth the stability penalty. The recoil direction and aim assist aren't the best for a hand cannon, but they're nowhere near as low as the Eyasluna, and the high base range and stability more than make up for it. All in all, I think this gun is to use in casual PvP, but not seriously competitive with the limited perk selection. In PvE it loses out pretty easily to Fatebring and other weapons that can roll with explosive perks.

Sniper Rifle

Very-High Impact


Pros - Can kill Supered Guardians with a headshot, and 1-armor Guardians with a body shot. High range and inventory.

Neutral - None.

Cons - Very low stability, reload speed, mag size, aim assist, and equip speed.

  • Body Shot Time-to-Kill: 1.00s (2 shots)
  • Rate of Fire: 12
  • Impact: 38 (463 damage per crit shot, 186 per body shot)
  • Range: 87
  • Stability: 23
  • Reload Speed: 52
  • Mag Size: 3
  • Aim Assist: 25
  • Inventory: 55
  • Equip Speed: 22

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 - Linear Compensator
  • Column 2 - Spray and Pray
  • Column 3 - Quickdraw or Injection Mold
  • Column 4 - Wait for It

Previously an extremely rare archetype of sniper rifles, Rise of Iron brought us three new examples of the very-high impact variety. EX MACHINA may not have fantastic base stats, but the combination of Spray and Pray and Wait for It (which gives you a larger magazine if you reload when empty) may make it a tremendous weapon for doing maximum damage to bosses. If you don't want to blow an Exotic slot on Black Spindle, and you haven't been lucky enough to get a Casket Mag/Triple Tap sniper from the Gunsmith or drops, then this is probably your best choice. Linear Compensator will give a nice bit of bonus damage to each shot, and Quickdraw and Injection Mold can both help with the rather slow handling speeds of the weapon.


Very-High Impact


Pros - High range. Above average inventory size.

Neutral - Average mag size.

Cons - Below average max range and reload speed. Very low stability, aim assist, and equip speed. Low RoF.

  • Rate of Fire: 8
  • Impact: 68 (23 damage per pellet)
  • Range: 20
  • Max Range: 25
  • Stability: 16
  • Reload Speed: 33
  • Mag Size: 5
  • Aim Assist: 12
  • Inventory: 40
  • Equip Speed: 30

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 - Linear Compensator
  • Column 2 - Battle Runner
  • Column 3 - Smallbore
  • Column 4 - Running Interference

A member of the much sought-after Matador class of shotguns, the QUANTIPLASM~ by default should be one of the best options for shotguns in the game. Unfortunately, with the limited perks, the maximum range is below average, and the perks would probably be more appropriate on a faster RoF model of shotgun. That said, a run-n-gun playstyle could work well with this weapon in PvE, if you're careful, but the slow RoF can be a detriment to engaging multiple enemies in quick succession. Thankfully the special perk of Running Interference, which grants bonus armor when Battle Runner is active, can definitely help you to survive a little longer when charging down your next opponent. Linear Compensator will give you a good boost of range and impact, and Smallbore will help you hit it's maximum range, but you won't be competing with well-rolled Matador or Party Crashers anytime soon in PvP.

Fusion Rifle

Low-Impact (70-79)


Pros - Very high charge rate and range. High reload speed and aim assist.

Neutral - Average mag size.

Cons - Needs 6 bolts to kill. Very low impact and recoil direction. Low stability.

  • Charge Rate: 34
  • Impact: 75 (39 damage per bolt, 6 Bolts to Kill)
  • Range: 50
  • Stability: 36
  • Reload Speed: 83
  • Mag Size: 5
  • Aim Assist: 65
  • Recoil Direction: 47

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 - Linear Compensator
  • Column 2 - Army of One
  • Column 3 - Braced Frame
  • Column 4 - Two for One

Stuck in an archetype that's basically been an afterthought for fusion rifle users, the ETHER NOVA~ is a very fast charging, high range, fusion rifle that takes a skilled hand to wield. Although it doesn't do enough damage to be good at more than add clean-up in PvE, in close range Crucible battles it can dominate, provided you have the ammo. Needing six bolts to kill is a major drawback, however, so anything outside of optimal range is likely going to be a losing engagement. Linear Compensator will help to make the recoil more vertical, which makes tightening the bolt spread easier for any player. Army of One and Two for One (doubles the effectiveness of AoO) will help the lone wolf player get their melee and grenades back as quickly as possible, which harmonizes with the need to be up close and personal with this weapon. I would choose Braced Frame in the middle column, simply because the range is already quite high, and the stability is average, but for those who want the best of both worlds Smallbore is also a choice.




Pros - Hitscan. High mag size.

Neutral - Average reload speed.

Cons - Very low range and aim assist. Below average stability.

  • Time-to-Kill: 0.67s (1 crit 4 body), 0.83s (6 body)
  • Rate of Fire: 98
  • Impact: 8 (49 damage per crit shot, 39 damage per body shot)
  • Range: 25
  • Stability: 74
  • Reload Speed: 88
  • Mag Size: 15
  • Aim Assist: 55

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 - Accurized Ballistics
  • Column 2 - Reactive Reload
  • Column 3 - Hand Loaded or Quickdraw
  • Column 4 - Quick Reaction

When I originally reviewed the ZEAL VECTOR~, I was not impressed. Stats wise, it's lacking in almost every necessary area. Range, stability, and aim assist are all poor. With that being said, it does have one thing that not many other sidearms do: The ability to decrease its times-to-kill with an impact increasing barrel perk. If you use Accurized Ballistics, you can actually drop the optimal TtK down to 0.50s (4 crits) and the body TtK down to 0.67s (5 body shots). Both of those are top of the line, and makes this gun much more attractive than I found it to be previously. As far as perks, Reactive Reload and Quick Reaction are an interesting combination, giving you boosts to booth damage and agility when you reload after a kill. In reality, they're pretty niche bonuses, but players who use them correctly will definitely be rewarded. Due to the very low base range, I would stick with Hand Loaded in the middle column, but I know some players love Quickdraw, which is also an option. Overall, I find the perks to be slightly lackluster. Even with the barrel mod increasing impact enough to bring down the TtK, I'm just not seeing this gun as being top-tier for sidearms, especially with god-rolled Wormwoods around every corner.

Note: With both Reactive Reload and the Impact buff from Barrel Perks active, this gun can land a 4 body shot kill in .5s against most Guardians within its effective range (~8-9 meters).

Rocket Launcher



Pros - Above average RoF. High velocity, inventory, mag size, and reload speed.

Neutral - None.

Cons - Below average blast radius.

  • Rate of Fire: 11
  • Blast Radius: 68
  • Velocity: 75
  • Reload Speed: 72
  • Mag Size: 3
  • Inventory: 60

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 - Warhead Verniers or Hard Launch
  • Column 2 - Spray and Pray
  • Column 3 - Javelin
  • Column 4 - Wait for It

If you're okay without Grenades and Horseshoes, Clusterbomb, or Tracking, then this may be an good launcher for you. The lack of those perks may turn off quite a few people, but the combination of Spray and Pray and Wait for It means you can easily be getting an extra rocket every magazine. Javelin boosts the already high velocity, and the only real drawback stat-wise is the below average blast radius. You could still do worse, however, and the high inventory level means you won't be struggling to carry as many rockets as you need. If you're someone who values quantity of rockets above all else, you might have found your match here. I mostly suggest using this launcher against ADDs or non-mobile bosses.

Machine Gun

Very Low-Impact - Barrel Perks which increase impact have no effect on TtK, but Soft Ballistics can increase the crit TtK to 0.53s (9 crit shots) and the body TtK to 0.67s (11 body shots).


Pros - Very high mag size, reload speed, and recoil direction. Above average aim assist.

Neutral - Average range.

Cons - Very low stability. Below average inventory.

  • Time-to-Kill: 0.46s (7 crit and 1 body shots), 0.60s (10 body shots)
  • Rate of Fire: 100
  • Impact: 27 (26 damage per crit shot, 21 damage per body shot)
  • Range: 21
  • Stability: 35
  • Reload Speed: 47
  • Mag Size: 70
  • Aim Assist: 70
  • Inventory: 20
  • Recoil Direction: 80

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 - Linear Compensator
  • Column 2 - Triple Tap
  • Column 3 - Braced Frame
  • Column 4 - Triple Double

Simultaneously one of the most entertaining and infuriating archetypes of machine guns, the lowest-impact subclass combines the love of mowing down dozens of enemies at a time with the recoil equivalent of riding a bull. After receiving a small buff a few patches back, these weapons were still feeling a bit unloved, at least until IF MATERIA~ came along. Linear Compensator makes the recoil almost completely vertical, and Braced Frame helps to keep it under control. Normally Braced Frame would be a drawback on a machine gun, but a high reload speed and interesting perk set guarantees you won't notice it at all. Triple Tap and Triple Double wouldn't be something you would expect to see on a high-RoF weapon, but the MATERIA shoots so fast you're bound to get three quick headshots almost every time you point it at a target and pull the trigger. Since you get two bullets back into the mag every time is activates, think of this weapon as a poor man's Super Good Advice (that's actually better), without it needing the exotic slot. Although it may not be the best in PvP, it absolutely shreds in PvE!

Note: This gun can fire up to 260 consecutive rounds with perfect shooting and a big-crit spot on a boss, before you would need to reload.

Outbreak Prime

Obtainable from the Channeling the Corruption quest.

Pros -Above average Magazine size, Reload Speed and Aim Assist. Easy to use mid-RoF Archetype.

Neutral -Mediocre Recoil Direction and Range

Cons -Poor selectable Perks and very bad Stability.

  • Time-to-Kill: .87s (8 crits), 1.33s (12 body shots)
  • Rate of Fire: 73
  • Impact: 7
  • Range: 36
  • Stability: 48
  • Reload Speed: 76
  • Mag Size: 33
  • Aim Assist: 66
  • Recoil Direction: 60-80

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 - Smart Drift Control
  • Column 2 - Outlaw
  • Column 3 - Hand Loaded
  • Column 4 - Virulence

Outbreak Prime also has the intrinsic Exotic Perk The Corruption Spreads. Here's how it works. Enemies that take repeated hits from this weapon spawn SIVA nanites that attack other enemies. Fallen take extra damage. This perk requires 4+ bursts to activate, rendering it PVE for many players. That said, we were able to find a few PVP uses for it.

  • will activate when shooting tethers
  • may activate when team shooting armored supers if you live that long.

Virulence is another perk that can be confusing. Here's how it works: Precision kills release a SIVA nanite swarm that attacks other enemies. The Swarm works similarly to a Swarm grenade in terms of tracking, dealing 4 damage per Nanite impact. Very small AoE & short window of activation (only a few seconds). This perk can be triggered only once every 10 seconds, which is highly limiting, and honestly pretty disappointing.

As far as your perk selection goes, Smart Drift Control will straighten out the recoil and add some Stability - a must given the weak base stat - and Hand Loaded makes up for the Range penalty. You could stack on Fitted Stock for even more Stability, but that leaves your Range fairly low for a pulse rifle. Overall, this is a solid gun and a very entertaining Exotic with some really unique mechanics, but it's not a weapon that stands out as over-powered for any particular game mode, or even as a top tier choice for most situations. Mediocre stats and niche perks aside, it's questionable if the extensive quest-line is worth the reward here, although the sense of accomplishment may make up for any failings of the gun.


Thanks for listening and reading this week, Guardians. Stay Massive!

-Kyt_Kutcha & Mercules904