Destiny 2

A Bow Guide – For all Levels

destiny2 3 - A Bow Guide - For all Levels

Here are some tips for those of you who are starting out with bows, or maybe wanting to learn more about them, from someone who has over 31,000 crucible final blows with them over the course of the 2 or so years that they've been in the game.If there's something I've missed, I'd like to know in the comments so that I can add it to the post, or at the least to my own knowledge.

In general, there are standard rolls that are perfect for lightweight and precision frame bows.

Lightweights have a few more options for you, and it depends on how you are using them.

The only thing that persists across all of the bows is that you're aiming for Fiberglass Arrowshaft as your second column perk


The String and Masterwork

The string and masterwork are very much tied together on these frames, and it depends on what you're going for.

There's a draw time cap of 540 on lightweight frames (even the perk archers tempo only reduces this to around 536) – If you have Elastic String, I would recommend an Accuracy Masterwork, however, you can get away with a Reload Masterwork if you have Moving Target, or another accuracy increasing perk available. For the strings with a higher draw time, you'll want a draw time masterwork almost every time. If you're wanting handling, go with Flexible String – It's an absolutely solid choice on the Arsenic Bite, but if you want to increase your accuracy, Polymer String is the play.

Precision Frames

The String and Masterwork

You're always going to want Elastic String on these frames. Choose between a Draw Time or a Reload Masterwork.

I personally prefer the Draw Time of 576, over the reload bonus, which can be catered to with mods and exotics

Legendary Damage Numbers and Perks

Draw TypePrecisionLightweight
No Draw Body↓ 61↑ 71
Quarter Draw Body↓ 67↑ 76
Half Draw Body↑ 91↓ 81
Full Draw Body↑ 101↓ 86
Over Draw Body↑ 95↓ 84
No Draw Precision↓ 91↑ 113
Quarter Draw Precision↓ 100↑ 121
Half Draw Precision↓ 109↑ 129
Full Draw Precision↑ 152↓ 138
Over Draw Precision↑ 143↓ 134

Explosive Heads will take half of the damage from the original arrow and put it into a blast radius, instead of being a flat damage number – this means that the more you draw back, the more your explosion will do. This can range from 31-51 (precision frames) and 35-43 (lightweights).Note: Explosive Heads themselves are unaffected by Rampage, Swashbuckler and other damage related perks.

Rampage on precision frames will 1 tap at 3x, or at 1x with most other damage buffs. On lightweights it's used to up the weapon consistency. 2 bodyshots with 1x rampage will kill 4th tier resil and less, and 2x will double body any guardian.

Dragonfly will do around 49-56 damage while I was testing, and when you add dragonfly spec, it increases to 95.

Swashbuckler is quite possibly the most broken damage perk on bows. Pair with a damage buffing melee (or any other damage buff) on lightweights to one shot kill (before the buff it will do 183 to the head at x5). Precision Frames will deal 202 on a perfect draw at x5, killing every guardian.

Rapid Hit is pretty much a dead perk if you have bow reloader, as it will go up to around x3 before it stops having an effect. If you have anything else that enhances reload speed (ophidian aspects come to mind as a great one) then it really becomes useless.

Archers Tempo is a risky perk to have. You'll want it on a bow with a draw time that is greater than its archetypes minimum to get any noticeable effect out of it, but if you feel like you need more accuracy and prefer a longer draw because of that, then this will be the perk for you. I’ll be trying to get some more numbers for this over the next week or so.

Moving Target and Surplus are two neutral perks that are fantastic. If you use your abilities often, I'd go with moving target, but a heart of inmost light titan or someone more conservative with their abilities may prefer surplus.

Snapshot Sights is a great perk on bows, and will give you a good transition point if you're used to Le Mon's ADS speed.

Opening Shot is a fantastic perk if you're having issues with the accuracy (perhaps you don't have Fiberglass in the second column) – and even if you do, this will make your shots crisp as all hell at a distance.

Killing Wind is absolutely a fantastic perk to go for, and going for Natural Fletching instead of Fiberglass can be recommended in this case, as the stability + the extra weapon aim assist range will doubly effect the accuracy cone

Lightweight Frames

A no draw headshot and no draw body shot will kill at 2nd tier resil, but a quarter draw is needed above that for 1 of the arrows – preferably the head to cover most resilience tiers, but a body should cover 6th tier and less.

Precision Frames

You're gonna need to flick shot the head twice at a quarter draw or more, or fully draw and hit the head before you can flickshot an arrow into someones body. Note: A guardian at max resilience will survive the double quarter draw flick approach


Exotic Damage Numbers

Draw TypeLe MonarqueTrinity GhoulWishenderLeviathans Breath
No Draw Body6121×361+3051
Quarter Draw Body6723×365+30100
Half Draw Body9125×368+30143
Full Draw Body101+2435×372+30343
Over Draw Body9533×371+30300
No Draw Precision9131×3109+3091
Quarter Draw Precision10034×3116+30159
Half Draw Precision10937×3122+31228
Full Draw Precision152+2452×3129+30548
Over Draw Precision14349×3126+30479

Vorpal Weapon (Precision Frame) Damage Numbers

Chaos Reach14597
Blade Barrage12483
Well of Radiance12181
Nova Warp11979
Spectral Blades11778
Arc Staff11476
Burning Maul11476
Tether (while tethering)11476
Spectral Blades (Invis)11174

The Reticle and Draw Length

⊙ | | | – This is what the reticle looks like when you aren't drawn back (well, this is sideways, but you get the idea) – when you draw back your arrow, the bottom lines will be accurate for a quarter draw and the lines will get closer together past the half draw mark to keep accurately representing the flight distance – ⊙||| – before disappearing entirely when you're fully drawn back and you no longer have to lead your target –

If you're sprinting towards a target, tap/pull back in the opposite direction to be able to get that reticle back (same as every weapon in destiny) so you can judge the distance to draw time and actually start drawing back your bow without having a small delay or whiff entirely because of it cancelling your sprint instead of drawing

When you're aimed down sights, there is a line at the bottom of the reticle, that will be accurate up to around 15 and 20 meters before you have to judge additional falloff height (precision and lightweight no-draw ranges respectively) this distance will increase the longer that you draw.

Draw TypePrecisionLightweightLine
No Draw↓ 12m↑ 18mBottom
Quarter Draw↑ 24m↓ 20mMiddle
Half Draw↑ 31m↓ 25mTop

Full draws and near perfect draws will tend towards being on target to the center of the reticle – and it's just about practice (note, when I'm using quarters and halves, it's more about where the string is drawn back visually, rather than how long you've been drawing back, as that depends on what string you have).

The lower draws can be effective, but they do require learning of how your draw time effects the flight path and where you have to release your shot to get the best accuracy – if you want to rely more on flick shots and getting your accuracy down, you could go for a higher draw time lightweight frame to train with before increasing the draw time when you’re able to judge your shots better.

A perfect draw isn't when the bow starts glowing, there's about an 8 frame window just before where the arrow will release silently and do full damage. That's the perfect draw.


Get Down Mr President

  • Biting Winds with Swashbuckler
  • Insurmountable Skull Fort on Top Tree Striker

Simply shoulder charge your way to 1 tap headshots

But I am the shotgun…

  • One Two Punch shotgun in your kinetic slot
  • Liars Handshakes
  • Top Tree Arc Strider
  • Trinity Ghoul

Shoot with the shotgun, 1 down, punch the next, 2 down, dodge and switch to Trinity Ghoul, punch again, 3 down, shoot the floor with trinity and carry on punching… FANTASTIC WORK You now have all of the combination blow, so just trinity the floor and punch away

Thomas the Siege Engine

  • Khepri's Horn
  • Deafening Whisper
  • Whispering Slab with Swashbuckler
  • Sunspot Titan with Thermite Grenades

I'm not sure if this one even needs explaining – but when you make a sunspot, stand in it and have swashbuckler, you'll one tap

Wrath of Cupid

  • Top Tree Dawn
  • Karnstein Armlets
  • Biting Winds with Swash

Like with the first build, except you can deliver the punch down the hallway heal from it, pop heat rises for perfect in air accuracy and kills to get your melee back to start the entire process again

Corrosive Sting

  • Le Monarque
  • Khepri's Sting
  • Middle Tree Night Stalker

Invis when you're crouching and get that precision final blow, poison clouds everywhere and the ability to melee yourself out of most situations, this will be the build for you if you like watching your opponents suffer in their final moments. Also, note, if you hit someones face with your smoke from a distance and they stay in the cloud, they're probably going to die from that alone

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