Episode 65: Trials of the Nine Weapons Breakdown

Ah, Trials of the Nine. One of the ultimate PVP challenges, and with exclusive loot unavailable anywhere else (unless you have talented clanmates). But are they good? 

Trials of the Nine Weapons Breakdown

If you're wondering where the numbers and full list of guns are, the Weapon Stats Spreadsheet has you covered.

Several things to note:

  • This breakdown is for Trials of the Nine weapons only.

  • Classes are broken down into Impact sub-classes.

  • These are strictly my opinions, so I'm very aware that a lot of people will probably disagree with them.

  • The Bolded Perk/Perks in each slot mean that I recommend using them. If there are no bolded perks, it means that I feel any of the listed perks are fine to use in the slot.

  • All Times-to-Kill are assuming Guardian has 200hp (9 Resiliency).

  • Pros and Cons are determined by comparing weapons within the same class, not by all weapons in general, and not by only the weapons within the archetype. If you would like a different or more specific comparison than what I have listed, feel free to ask and I can provide one in the comments.

Auto Rifles

Precision

Prosecutor - Energy

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

Neutral - Average handling.

Cons - Very low aim assist and mag size. Below average recoil direction.

  • Time-to-Kill: 1.07s (8 crit 1 body ), 1.60s (13 body)
  • Rate of Fire: 450
  • Impact: 29 (23 crit, 16 body)
  • Range: 73
  • Stability: 48
  • Reload Speed: 50
  • Handling: 51
  • Mag Size: 32
  • Recoil Direction: 69
  • Aim Assist: 44

Perks:

  • Sights/Barrels - Chambered Compensator, Corkscrew Rifling, Polygonal Rifling
  • Magazine - Slideways, Tap the Trigger
  • Set Perk - Hip-Fire Grip

Actually one of my favorite ARs in the game, Prosecutor tends to be overlooked due to being in the same archetype as Uriels. The range and stability are strong points here, not to mention Tap the Trigger which is a very underrated perk. Combine that with Hip-Fire for close quarters battles, and you have a weapon that functions well at all AR ranges, while other weapons in the archetype can tend to struggle at the edges. In addition to this, it's also one of the only ARs in the game that has a sight other than the typical Red Dots, as the standard reticle is very reminiscent of the Red Dot ORES from Destiny 1, which was my go-to on any full auto weapon. If you've been looking for another weapon to supplant Uriels and Last Hope in your energy weapon spot, or maybe Uriels just isn't getting it done for you, I highly recommend this one!

Pulse Rifles

High-Impact

Relentless - Kinetic

Pros - Above average range.

Neutral - Average recoil direction.

Cons - Below average stability and reload speed. Low base handling. Very low aim assist and mag size.

  • Time-to-Kill: 1.20s (2.66 bursts, 8 crits), 2.27s (4.33 bursts, 13 body)
  • Rate of Fire: 320
  • Impact: 33 (26 crit, 16 body)
  • Range: 60
  • Stability: 54
  • Reload Speed: 42
  • Handling: 32
  • Mag Size: 27
  • Recoil Direction: 65
  • Aim Assist: 39

Perks:

  • Sights/Barrels - Chambered Compensator, Full Bore, Extended Barrel
  • Magazine - Slideways, Headseeker
  • Set Perk - Snapshot Sights

Unfortunately a member of the "High-Impact" archetype, which makes it basically useless by default. The weapon just has far too slow of a RoF to pair with the current amounts of damage it does, which combines to make it both limiting in optimal engagements types and unforgiving of missed shots. Which is a shame, because the combination of solid range, Headseeker, and Snapshot Sights should have made this a fun weapon to use, but in practice, it just doesn't feel lethal or enjoyable to use. Even in the archetype, it's a weak weapon stat-wise, with it having the lowest base range and recoil direction, combined with poor stability. All in all, I'd say avoid it in any competitive gametypes, even high level quickplay.

Hand Cannons

Adaptive

Judgment - Kinetic

Pros - Above average range, stability, and aim assist. High recoil direction.

Neutral - Average reload speed.

Cons - Below average mag size and handling.

  • Time-to-Kill: 1.30s (2 crit 2 body), 1.73s (5 body)
  • Rate of Fire: 140
  • Impact: 84 (61 crit, 45 body)
  • Range: 50
  • Stability: 48
  • Reload Speed: 46
  • Handling: 48
  • Mag Size: 9
  • Recoil Direction: 95
  • Aim Assist: 75

Perks:

  • Sights/Barrels - SteadyHand HCS, TrueSight HCS, HitMark HCS
  • Magazine - Slideshot, Opening Shot
  • Set Perk - Moving Target

    On console hand cannons are pretty far from the meta, but if you want to give them a shot, Judgment is a pretty solid choice. For the archetype, it compares favorably in range, aim assist, and recoil direction, and the stability is about on par. The only real drawback is the less than ideal mag size of 9, but I would say the combo of Opening Shot (increased accuracy on the first round fired from the mag) and Moving Target (increased aim assist and movement speed when ADS) more than offset it. These combine to make the gun feel a lot sticker and more accurate than most other weapons in the archetype. Due to this, I have a feeling it's going to be very popular on PC once some people get it this weekend. Highly recommend it, especially if you're finding Better Devils just isn't really the hand cannon for you.

Scout Rifles

Precision

The End - Energy

Pros - Very high mag size. Above average stability. High handling.

Neutral - Average range, reload speed, and aim assist.

Cons - None.

  • Time-to-Kill: 1.33s (3 crit 2 body) , 1.67s (6 body)
  • Rate of Fire: 180
  • Impact: 62 (48 crit, 34 body)
  • Range: 46
  • Stability: 47
  • Reload Speed: 46
  • Handling: 50
  • Mag Size: 16
  • Aim Assist: 60

Perks:

  • Sights/Barrels - Chambered Compensator, Corkscrew Rifling, Polygonal Rifling
  • Magazine - Slideways, Auto-Loading Holster
  • Set Perk - Pulse Monitor

Unfortunately, there isn't much to say about this weapon other than don't take it into PvP. The perks are, for some reason, seemingly geared exclusively towards PvE and reloading the weapon, but there are several scouts in the Precision archetype that are better in both PvE and PvP. Stats-wise it does well for itself, with solid stability, handling, and mag size, but the truth is Nameless Midnight is better against AI enemies, and Tone Patrol is better against players in the Crucible (thanks to having High Caliber Rounds). Basically, there's no reason to use this weapon.

Sidearm

Precision

A Swift Verdict - Energy

Pros - Very high range and aim assist. High recoil direction.

Neutral - None.

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

  • Time-to-Kill: .93s (5 crit), 1.40s (7 body)
  • Rate of Fire: 260
  • Impact: 51 (41 crit, 30 body)
  • Range: 57
  • Stability: 46
  • Reload Speed: 32
  • Handling: 43
  • Mag Size: 12
  • Recoil Direction: 95
  • Aim Assist: 85

Perks:

  • Sights/Barrels - Tactic SAS, Target SAS, Shortspec SAS
  • Magazine - Slideshot, Threat Detector
  • Set Perk - Zen Moment

Another disappointing weapon from the Trials set, A Swift Verdict just has difficulty stacking up against other weapons in the same class. Number 1, it's an energy weapon, which means that you'd have to give up either Last Hope or Uriels to use it, which doesn't make sense. Number 2, even if you wanted to try a different sidearm, it's in possibly the worst archetype of sidearms, killing in 0.93s but requiring 5 critical hits. Not to mention the body shot time to kill is an abysmal 1.40s with 7 shots. You'd be better off using Drang, or the Omolon or SUROS sidearms, easily. Good perks don't make up for the weak archetype, and the stats (with the excpetion or range and aim assist) aren't even great. I say stay away, unless you're looking for a challenge.

Sub-Machine Guns

Precision

Adjudicator - Kinetic

Pros - Very high range. High aim assist. Above average recoil direction and stability.

Neutral - None.

Cons - Very low reload speed, handling, and mag size.

  • Time-to-Kill: 0.90s (10 crits), 1.20s (13 body)
  • Rate of Fire: 600
  • Impact: 25 (20 crit, 16 body)
  • Range: 60
  • Stability: 46
  • Reload Speed: 24
  • Handling: 29
  • Mag Size: 27
  • Recoil Direction: 93
  • Aim Assist: 54

Perks:

  • Sights/Barrels - Chambered Compensator, Corckscrew Rifling, Polygonal Rifling
  • Magazine - Slideways, Hip-Fire Grip
  • Set Perk - Dynamic Sway Reduction

Although I'm not a fan of the 900 RPM SMGs at the moment, I very much love the 600 RPM ones. Better range, damage, time-to-kill, better stability, they basically run the gauntlet of stats and come out on top in most circumstances, with the exception of mag size, reload speed, and handling, which I can deal with. So that being said, even though the Antiope is by far the more popular of the two, I wouldn't sleep on the Adjudicator. Primarily, it has better stability and recoil direction than the Antiope, and the Hip-Fire Grip and Dynamic Sway Reduction combo means you're very accurate firing from the hip or ADS. It won't be able to compete at the ranges that the Antiope can, but inside it's own optimal engagement distances I actually feel it's the stronger weapon.

Sniper Rifles

Aggressive

The Long Walk

Pros - Very high range. Above average inventory.

Neutral - None.

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

  • Time-Between-Shots: 0.83s
  • Rate of Fire: 72
  • Impact: 90 (394 damage per crit shot, 158 per body shot)
  • Range: 80
  • Stability: 28
  • Reload Speed: 41
  • Mag Size: 3
  • Aim Assist: 48
  • Inventory: 41
  • Handling: 33

Perks:

  • Sights/Barrels - Chambered Compensator, Corckscrew Rifling, Polygonal Rifling
  • Magazine - Slideshot, Outlaw
  • Set Perk - Quickdraw

Possibly one of the best snipers in the game due to a singular perk: Quickdraw. Sniper rifles were hit very hard in D2 with an overall handling nerf, and most of them (outside of the Lightweight archetype) can be difficult to use without a Power Weapon Handling mod on your armor. The Long Walk completely bypasses, that, giving you Quickdraw right off the bat for guaranteed snappy ready and ADS speeds. On top of that, it does a solid amount of damage per shot, making it fairly easy to body shot Guardians who already were hit by a teammate, and the ability to boost range and stability, as well as partially refill the mag by sliding helps as well. Stats across the board are not great, but that's to be expected from the Aggressive archetype of snipers, and none of it worries me. If you like sniping in PvP, I definitely recommend this weapon.

Shotgun

Aggressive

A Sudden Death

Pros - None.

Neutral - Average range, reload speed, inventory, and mag size.

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

  • Time-Between-Shots: 1.33s
  • Rate of Fire: 80
  • Impact: 80 (24 per pellet, 9 pellets to kill, 288 total)
  • Range: 32
  • Stability: 33
  • Reload Speed: 39
  • Mag Size: 5
  • Aim Assist: 30
  • Inventory: 38
  • Handling: 32

Perks:

  • Sights/Barrels - Chambered Compensator, Barrel Shroud, Hammer-Forged Rifling
  • Magazine - Slideshot, Snapshot Sights
  • Set Perk - Threat Detector

I've actually found my recommendations have flipped 180 degrees from D1 in terms of what type of shotguns I usually recommend for PvP. I used to say go high-impact or go home, thanks to them having by far the best one-shot-kill distance, and using low-impacts for their faster RoF wasn't even close to a fair trade-off. Now, however, Bungie has switched things around on us and started giving low impact shotguns like Hawthorne's higher range, even though they do less damage. This has the intended effect of bringing their one-shot-kill distances of high impact and low impact weapons much closer together, although the Aggressive archetype (like Sudden Death) can still kill in fewer pellets from a blast (9 compared to 10 for Hawthorne's). If you do choose to forgo the increased RoF for a weapon which hits a little harder, than A Sudden Death is an excellent option. I really like Slideshot as a perk on shotguns (since I spend most of my time with them sliding anyways) as it boosts the stabiliy and range immediately following a slide, which is a match made in heaven. Threat detector allows you to ready the weapon faster when enemies are near you, which is also a nice bonus. Unfortunately the stats for the most part aren't top notch, which is probably necessary otherwise the gun would be hands down one of the best shotguns out there. Range, reload speed, inventory and mag size are all average when compared to shotguns as a whole, but within the Aggressive archetype they look much more favorable, placing first or second across the board. Aim assist is a little worse, but on a shotgun that's not a huge deal. Overall, if you've been looking for a shotgun with a little more oomph (perhaps to take down the roaming supers) I definitely recommend this weapon.