…so bad players can use the gun and realize that they're still bad.
Now that my inflammatory statement is out of the way, let's get into the meat of my post. The top comment thread in the top post on this sub (praising the lack of Mountaintop in Iron Banner) suggests that Felwinters is the new Mountaintop. With all due respect, that's one of the worst takes I've ever heard.
Before diving in, let's settle the facts – Felwinter's Lie is an amazing shotgun. Shot Package makes it an aggressive frame shotgun with insane consistency. Full Choke, Accurized Rounds, Quickdraw, and Opening Shot constitute the quintessential god roll for a PvP shotgun. And it even has Vorpal Weapon for hotswapping to enable super shutdowns (maybe just on PC). But it doesn't deserve all the hate that it gets.
1) It's still a shotgun
Shotguns have historically gotten the most hate out of all specials, even when Mountaintop was still in its most broken state. It's regarded as a no-skill weapon that anyone can do well with. And that's certainly true to an extent. But the fact of the matter is that it's also really easy to play against shotguns using other tools that Destiny gives players – radar, vertical play, and now stasis. There's a reason why top tier shotgunners (I'm talking Trials flawless regulars and better, based on my own experience as a Trials flawless regular) main their primary first and foremost – unlike snipers, you can't win a match with shotguns only. Top players use shotguns as a cleanup or defensive tool, and rarely have a shotgun out prior to an engagement except when pushing a preoccupied target. Fortunately for the vast majority of crucible players, your average quickplay shotgunner is a sliding ape who doesn't know what a primary is. Shotgun aping might have a low skill floor, but shutting down a shotgun ape doesn't demand much more skill either.
2) It's not a significant outlier compared to other shotguns
Felwinter's Lie consistent OHK range is 8.5m, not 10+ as people like to think. (It's also far less than shotgun OHK range in Forsaken, if case people have forgotten). This range is easily achievable by a god roll Astral Horizon or Mindbender's Ambition (outside of Trials/IB, which is where most players play anyway). The strength of Felwinter's is its consistency – if someone is 8.5m in front of you and you have your Felwinter's Lie ADS'd center mass, you'll get the kill 99% of the time. Now it seems like a lot of people dislike how consistent it is – "shotguns need rng to be balanced". I ask, why? On one hand, you have a shotgun that'll kill you every time at 8.5m but no more. On the other hand, you have a shotgun that might leave you at half health at 8m, but might also OHK you at 9.5m. I know which one I'd prefer to play against. Learn your 8.5m distance like the back of your hand and you'll be golden, considering that the average quickplay shotgunner mentioned above doesn't know that distance themselves.
So what's the takeaway?
It's a good thing that Bungie is making this shotgun reobtainable to level the playing field. And it's a good thing that this shotgun is more consistent than others, because less RNG = better PvP.
But it won't suddenly make you a great player. It won't make it any easier for you to mindlessly ape players who know what they're doing. And what many of you probably care most about – it won't ruin your crucible experience. Because while you will see more Felwinter's Lie in your kill feed, most of the time you would've been killed by another shotgun anyway. The players who can actually take advantage of the added consistency between 7.5m – 8.5m are extremely uncommon in quickplay.
As an addendum, I do wish Bungie would introduce a top tier energy 140, either exotic or legendary. I personally prefer my Astral Horizon because the ADS sights are a more accurate representation of where the spread will go on average, and my roll has Rifled Barrel which means I do not need to be fully ADS to take advantage. Granted, I am one of the lucky few to roll Rifled Barrel + Accurized Rounds + Quickdraw + Opening Shot + Range MW. But without that same luck on a Nation of Beasts or Ancient Gospel for PvP, I am stuck using my JQK3 which will sunset at the end of this season. Ultimately, the solution to the oversaturation of Felwinter's Lie (and other meta weapons) is new loot in competitive archetypes/slots.
Felwinter's Lie is an amazing shotgun, but it doesn't break the game. It's still a shotgun, and the majority of its users are one-dimensional and easy to shut down. It's strength lies in its consistency, which is a good thing for everyone. And making it reobtainable further reduces RNG in PvP, which levels the playing field.
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