Episode 83: Mercules Returns! Patch 2.0.0 Discussion!

Let's talk about the new sandbox! Mercules returns from his time at Bungie HQ, and we discuss the updates to damage and time-to-kill, as well as some general impressions of life and work at Bungie. 

Massive Breakdown Weapon Stats Spreadsheet has been UPDATED for 2.0.0! Includes Times-to-Kill (with a new Calculator that can take into account Resiliency Levels and Damage/RoF altering perk effects), and other relevant stats!

Massive Breakdown Weapon Stats Spreadsheet

I'm very excited to introduce a new feature to the Weapon Stats Spreadsheet: The Archetype TtK Comparison Tool! Yes I know it needs a new name. In order to get it to work you just need to download yourself a copy of the spreadsheet, and then it will allow you to change the displayed Resiliency Level, which will show you the given TtKs and shots-to-kill for each archetype (and a lot of exotics) versus the given Resiliency. Not only that, but I've also included calculations for a great many RoF and Damage altering perks (like Kill Clip, Rampage, Dual Speed Receiver, Accelerated Coils, etc.). If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know!

If you want to download just the Tool and not the entire spreadsheet, I've got it separated on its own here:

Archetype TtK Comparison Tool

A couple caveats, as always:

  1. Displayed damage numbers are always rounded up. Therefor the display damage is either equal to or greater than the actual damage. For weapons like scouts and hand cannons that do high damage per bullet, this usually has little effect. However for weapons that fire a lot of with low damage, this can mean that they take an extra shot or two to kill. Thankfully the difference in TtK is usually not very great, because low damage means high RoF.

  2. The listed Resiliency HP values are my best estimations, rounded to whole numbers. I got these by shooting a player at all Resiliency levels with a sniper body shot, and then HC headshots at various stages of damage drop off. I've included the results below for transparency's sake. In all likelihood these are close but not perfect, but they should hopefully give you an idea of what the maximum level of Resiliency you need to run to survive certain weapons. In some cases (maybe more than some) you may be able to run a point or two less than it says and survive, but I'll have to work on the numbers more in the future to narrow these down.


A number of changes have been made to the sheet:

I've done my best to increase the readability of the sheet by switching up the colors used in the formatting. I've also made the decision that individual weapon pages will now compare TtK to only those other weapons in the class. If you wish to compare TtKs across weapon classes, thankfully the Archetype TtK Comparison Tool is there now! I may revert this decision in the future depending on user feedback.

Now on to the meat and potatoes of why you read Massive Breakdowns:

Initial Weapons Recommendations:

This is not meant to be an all encompassing list, just what I've seen from crunching the numbers and the 25 PvP games I played yesterday. Things will change as the meta shapes out and players get more experience.

  1. Adaptive Pulses play very well. Not the fastest TtK (around 0.93s), but decent, and very forgiving (only requires 1 shot of the third burst if you hit all crits in the first 2 bursts, but the body shot TtK is also very fast at 1.40s) with a wide optimal engagement range. Inaugural Address may be the best of the bunch thanks to Outlaw and Kill Clip. If you're looking for a comparison to other PRs, I know that High Impacts have a chance to 2-burst 7 or lower armor (with 100% crits), but I have a feeling players are going to realize that and start speccing into it. Lightweights can kill a little faster, but they require more precision and are less forgiving, and have less range. And Rapid-Fires are decent against low armor too, but they just take a lot of shots to kill for the current sandbox. I'll keep playing around with all of them though and see how I feel.

  2. SMGs and aggressive play in general are strong right now. Sidearms are also very powerful. And this is a good thing because shotgunning is definitely back in force. Almost all very close range weapons got noticeable buffs (even the 720 RPM ARs). The wonderful thing is almost none of the archetypes are definitively useless. For SMGs, they all kill within 2 frames of each other optimally (0.73s to 0.80s), and within 4 frames (1.07s to 1.20s) on body shots. What that means is basically use an SMG, but the choice of which one is going to come down to personal preference and a lot more testing. Same thing with Sidearms, where the optimal kills range from a blazing fast 0.67s (SUROS Rapid Fire with 6 crits) to a still very fast 0.73s (Omolon Burst with 5 crits 2 bodies). If anything I think Sidearms may actually be the stronger of the two options, but they require a different skill set than SMGs for sure.

  3. SUROS Regime is back??! Is it possible? In this case I think it is! I found it to be pretty strong with either Spinning Up or Dual Speed Receiver, but personally I really enjoyed DSR more. Only requiring 6 Crits to kill, it gave me the feeling of a true precision auto rifle, despite technically being a member of the High Impact Archetype when ADS. It's optimal TtK of 0.83s puts it not only at the top of all ARs in terms of lethality, but also makes it very competitive with the wider field as a whole, which seems to be focused right around 0.80s.

  4. Snipers are very, very sticky, and if you can find one with Opening Shot it's a monster. Opening Shot got a pretty solid buff that now not only increases accuracy, but also pushes the range out, and boy can you feel it. I'm going to say right now that OS is the new hotness on Snipers, Slug Shotties, and Hand Cannons. It activates for each shot that is fired after a few second cooldown, which means on one-shot-means-a-lot weapons it can be very, very important. I found the Anniella from Dead Orbit to superb with it. Something to keep an eye on come random rolls.

  5. Trace Rifles are potent, but severely limited by ammo. You may notice this if you look at the spreadsheet, but it would seem that Trace Rifles got a massive buff to damage! The good news is, they did. They bad news is, they now take green ammo and they are extremely stingy with the shots they get. I found Coldheart in particular to be an excellent counter to the constant threat of shotgun rushers, but I also found myself having to pick up a box or two or green ammo from the ground before I could use it without worrying about running dry. Still though, critical hits with Coldheart felt like they melted opposing players before they could even react, and I loved it.

  6. Vigilance Wing is still quite good. Graviton Lance, not so much. This may be a relief to a large portion of the playerbase who stuck around during the, I guess we'll call them dark ages, of the PvP sandbox. VW got a nice little damage buff that made it no longer require all 10 crits from 2 bursts to kill, now only needing 8 crits and 2 bodies, but the truth was the TtK was already fast enough to make it not only competitive in the new meta (.83s optimal, 1.33s body) but I'd go so far as to say still top notch. Graviton Lance, on the other hand, has pretty darn near been surpassed, at least in my eyes. Now that MIDA and other Lightweight archetype scouts can kill in 4 headshots (in 0.90s to boot), I'm just not sure I have a reason to run Graviton anymore. It was nice for awhile that they could three burst, but most pulse rifles can now, and high impact can even two burst against mid to low resiliency targets, so I'm just not feeling the draw. We'll have to see if the population as a whole feels the same was as I do.

  7. Sweet Business when it gets revved up is insane. It's truly a chainsaw now. I believe they buffed the baseline damage archetype from comparable to an old Lightweight SMG (14 crit, 11 body) to now being similar to an Adaptive AR (21 crit, 13 body) and it makes a world of difference. According to my preliminary tests, it takes about 12 shots, or a little under 1.5s, to fully rev up, and then after that every shot comes out at 900 RPM, giving it a blazing fast TtK of 0.60s. Definitely give it a shot (or 20), you won't be disappointed.

  8. Telesto is the besto. Straight up. Might be the most competitive fusion rifle in the game, and that's saying something because fusions are still pretty good. The downside to Telesto is, of course, that there is a delay between hitting the target and the bolts detonating, but I honestly don't think it matters. It's one the few fusions that is still capable of killing in 4 bolts, and on top of that has a lightning fast charge rate and all the stickiness we came to expect from fusions while they were in the heavy slot. Definitely going to suggest this if you're looking for an Elemental Exotic to try out, or just love fusions.

  9. Sleeper Simulant is a beast at heavy, if you don't mind using an exotic slot. It does 1080 damage to the head! And 500+ to the body! It can literally body shot kill any super in the game, and that right there is almost all the reason I need to suggest it. In a world where the heavy weapon slot has become somewhat underwhelming, this is one option that still lives up to the billing.

  10. It looks like Explosive Rounds got a pretty significant nerf, but for some reason it seems like my OG Better Devils wasn't affected, at least to the extent that Sunshot was. I'm not actually sure was this is. Lightweight HCs (which I think are going to be very solid, at least if the weird recoil that was added in on PC was a glitch and gets fixed) now do 68 to the head, except Sunshot which does 63. This is a crying shame, because I was very, very excited to give it a shot, and it's even worse when you compare it to Better Devils, which does the same amount to the head as its non-Explosive Payloaded counterparts! Not sure if this is intended or a glitch.

  11. With the faster TtK, damage boosting perks like Rampage and Kill Clip are better than ever. Get em. Pretty self explanatory here, but Kill Clip can really turn up the heat on a number of weapons with that 33% damage boost. Adaptive Pulses I already mentioned benefiting from it, but SMGs love it too, and Rampage on HCs is a blessing.

  12. Fusions are still very good in the special slot. Try to find one with Acc Coils or Liq Coils, to get either the Bolts to Kill down, or the Charge Rate up. I already talked about this a little bit with Telesto, but fusions are still very, very good. I especially found that Main Ingredient and Emperor's Envy with Liquid coils were phenomenal, giving them just enough juice to 5 bolt kill most targets. There are also several High-Impact offerings like The Wizened Rebuke and Erentil that can equip Liquid Coils and move into 4 bolt kills against most targets. I recommend using Liquid Coils if you think it can get the bolts down, or using Acc Coils if you know it won't increase the number of bolts needed. I'll do some more testing on these tonight and see if I can't nail down the perfect combos.

  13. Aggressive shotties seem like the may be king again. I havent done any range tests just yet, but it's what I've been killed by the most, and I had very few issues using one myself even though I'm primarily a fusion rifle player. It didn't seem like the range was as bad as it was in D1 or when they were heavies in D2, but I certainly didn't feel limited when I had Baligant in my hands!

  14. Running higher Resiliency is more important now than it ever has been. Redrix can two tap you if you're under 7 Resiliency, and Jade Rabbit can three tap at the same level. Run higher Resilience to prevent those pesky crits from resulting in easy kills! Right around 7-8 seems to be the optimal spot to sit, with both Adaptive Burst sidearms and Rapid Fire Pulse Rifles also getting significant TtK decreases on targets at 7 Resiliency or lower.

  15. Last but not least, looks like MIDA is back on the menu, boys! It's not quite as potent as it was in the early D2 "let's all camp this lane" stages, but it does have the ability to kill in 4 crits, and that makes it feel oh-so-good! Any Hunters up for some Foetracer and MIDA matches?? Let's bring it back!


  1. Adaptive Pulses - Inaugural Address in particular

  2. SMGs or Sidearms - I personally like the Adaptive Burst sidearms still, but you seemingly can't go wrong with any of them

  3. SUROS Regime - I recommend Dual Speed Receiver and go for crits

  4. Snipers - Anniela with Opening Shot

  5. Trace Rifles - Cold Heart and go for crits. Make sure to watch your ammo

  6. Vigilance Wing is still good. Vault that Graviton Lance though

  7. Sweet Business - Prefire it for a bit under 1.5s, then shred

  8. Telesto - is the Besto

  9. Sleeper Simulant - Body shot all the supers

  10. Explosive Rounds - No bueno on Sunshot, muy bien on Better Devils

  11. Kill Clip/Rampage - Kill Clip is a hard yes, especially on Adaptive Pulses and SMGs. Rampage on HCs is real nice for making them feel D1-lite.

  12. Fusions - Main Ingredient and Emperor's Envy with Liquid Coils

  13. Aggressive Shotties - Not quite Felwinter's Lie, but still very good

  14. Run High Resiliency - I'd run 8 just to be safe, but you may be able to get away with 7 depending on how the damage rounding works

  15. MIDA - Back on the menu with those crispy 4 taps