Unlock the Power of PvP: Top 10 Shotguns to Dominate Destiny 2’s Crucible

Welcome, Guardians! Whether you’re a seasoned Crucible veteran or just venturing into the realm of PvP, mastering your arsenal is key to dominance. Shotguns, with their devastating close-range power, stand as a pillar of strength. Dive into our guide to discover the top 10 Shotguns that will elevate your game in Destiny 2’s Crucible.

The Crucible Calls: Why Shotguns?

Shotguns aren’t just weapons; they’re game-changers. With the right perks, they can obliterate opponents at surprisingly long distances. Learn why mastering Shotguns is your first step toward PvP supremacy.

The Elite Arsenal: Top 10 Shotguns


1. Ragnhild-D: A Craftable Powerhouse

Ragnhild-D stands out as a formidable choice for Guardians who value customization. Craftable at The Enclave, this Aggressive Frame Shotgun allows you to tailor its perks for your specific playstyle, making it a reliable choice for close-quarter engagements. Its ability to be crafted means you can optimize for handling or range, ensuring you’re always battle-ready.

  • How to Obtain: Crafted at The Enclave after unlocking its blueprint.
  • Recommended Traits: Look for Perpetual Motion for enhanced mobility and Elemental Capacitor for increased stat boosts when using elemental subclasses. Together, they provide a versatile and responsive weapon for any engagement.

Read more Unveiling the Past: The Ultimate Guide to “Kingdom Come: Deliverance”.

The Chaperone

2. The Chaperone: Precision and Power

The Chaperone is a legend among Shotguns, offering unmatched precision and range. Its unique slug shot mechanic rewards skilled marksmen with devastating headshots, further enhanced by the “Roadborn” perk for increased range and handling after precision kills. Perfect for players who excel in accuracy and positioning.

  • How to Obtain: Complete the “Blast from the Past” Exotic quest available from Shaw Han in the Cosmodrome.
  • Recommended Traits: Its intrinsic perk, The Roadborn, grants increased precision damage, range, and handling after a precision kill, making it ideal for skilled shooters.
Astral Horizon

3. Astral Horizon: A Trials Titan

As a favorite in the high-stakes Trials of Osiris, Astral Horizon excels in handling and range. This Aggressive Frame Shotgun can come with perks like “Opening Shot” and “Surplus,” making it a powerhouse for those who can maintain their abilities. Its return has been timely, with changes in the meta making it more relevant than ever.

  • How to Obtain: Earned through Trials of Osiris matches and Engrams.
  • Recommended Traits: Opening Shot for improved accuracy on your first shot and Quickdraw for lightning-fast weapon draws. This combo makes Astral Horizon deadly in quick engagements.
Gunnora's Axe

4. Gunnora’s Axe: Versatile and Deadly

Gunnora’s Axe from the Iron Banner challenges the status quo with its slug shot capability, providing pinpoint accuracy at range. With a refreshed perk pool, this weapon can adapt to various playstyles, offering combinations like “Threat Detector” and “Opening Shot” for unparalleled precision.

  • How to Obtain: Available through Iron Banner matches and Engrams.
  • Recommended Traits: Opening Shot enhances your initial accuracy, and Quickdraw or Threat Detector boosts handling or situational awareness, respectively, catering to aggressive playstyles.

5. Fractethyst: Stasis-Infused Competitor

Originally from the Season of the Lost, Fractethyst stands as a competitive Precision Frame Shotgun. With base stats that promote balanced gameplay and a perk pool including “Slideshot” and “Opening Shot,” it’s a formidable choice for Guardians looking to leverage Stasis synergy in their loadouts.

  • How to Obtain: Previously available during the Season of the Lost. Keep an eye out for its return in future loot pools.
  • Recommended Traits: Slideshot for improved range and reload speed while sliding, and Quickdraw for instant weapon readiness. This combo is perfect for agile combat strategies.

6. Heritage: Legendary Slug Shooter

Heritage, a raid-exclusive Legendary slug Shotgun, boasts superior stats and versatility. Obtainable from the Deep Stone Crypt, its potential perk combinations, like “Slideshot” and “Reconstruction,” make it a top contender for those seeking precision at a distance.

  • How to Obtain: Drop from the Deep Stone Crypt raid, also craftable at The Enclave.
  • Recommended Traits: Reconstruction slowly reloads the weapon over time, doubling its magazine size, and Recombination, where elemental final blows increase the damage of the next shot, making it highly effective in sustained fights.
Found Verdict

7. Found Verdict: Adept and Agile

Found Verdict, resurrected from the Vault of Glass, is an Aggressive Frame Shotgun that shines with its adept version, allowing for enhanced stats through Adept mods. Its combination of range, handling, and potential perks like “Opening Shot” makes it a favorite for aggressive playstyles.

  • How to Obtain: Acquired from the Vault of Glass raid (Conflux, Oracle, and Gatekeeper encounters).
  • Recommended Traits: Full Auto Trigger System for a higher rate of fire and Opening Shot for increased accuracy on the initial shot. This makes Found Verdict a formidable choice for rapid engagements.
Imperial Decree

8. Imperial Decree: Craftable Consistency

Imperial Decree offers a blend of power and ease of acquisition. This Aggressive Frame Shotgun, craftable and obtainable through focused engrams, brings consistency to your arsenal with perks that enhance its lethality in close combat, making it a go-to for quick and decisive encounters.

  • How to Obtain: Craftable and available through Season of Defiance Engram focusing.
  • Recommended Traits: Threat Detector for increased reload, stability, and handling when enemies are close and Trench Barrel which boosts damage, handling, and reload speed after a melee hit, ideal for aggressive close-quarters combat.
Matador 64

9. Matador 64: Airborne Precision

Returning from the original Destiny, Matador 64 has reclaimed its place in the meta. Its Precision Frame and perks like “Opening Shot” ensure that it excels in aerial combat, providing Guardians with a reliable option for dynamic engagements.

  • How to Obtain: Found in the Grasp of Avarice dungeon loot pool.
  • Recommended Traits: Rifled Barrel or Full Choke for range and precision, Accurized Rounds for additional range, and Opening Shot for an accuracy boost on the initial fire. Snapshot Sights is also valuable for quick aiming.
Conditional Finality

10 Conditional Finality: Exotic Meta Challenger

Conditional Finality is the exotic key to countering the meta. This unique Shotgun, obtainable from the Root of Nightmares raid, fires Stasis and Solar shots that freeze or ignite opponents, respectively. Its versatility and high handling make it a strategic choice for players looking to disrupt and dominate in any PvP scenario.

  • How to Obtain: Dropped in the Root of Nightmares raid.
  • Recommended Traits: Its unique Exotic perk set includes Stasis Shot and Solar Shot, making specific trait recommendations unnecessary. Focus on mastering its dual-shot mechanism to freeze and ignite opponents for tactical advantages.

By targeting these Shotguns and optimizing their perks, Guardians can significantly enhance their performance in Destiny 2’s Crucible, tailoring their arsenal to their preferred combat style and strategies.

Mastering Your Weapon: Perk Combinations and Strategies

Unlocking the true potential of your Shotgun in Destiny 2’s Crucible isn’t just about selecting the right weapon; it’s about optimizing its perks for your playstyle to enhance its effectiveness in combat. Here’s how to make the most of your Shotgun with strategic perk combinations and gameplay tactics.

Enhancing Range

  • Key Perks: Full Choke, Rifled Barrel, Accurized Rounds, Opening Shot
  • Strategy: Shotguns with enhanced range can hit targets from further away, making them more versatile in various PvP scenarios. Full Choke tightens pellet spread at the cost of precision damage, while Rifled Barrel significantly increases range. Combine these with Accurized Rounds for even more range and Opening Shot for increased accuracy on your opening salvo. This setup is perfect for Guardians who engage at the outer limits of close combat.

Maximizing Handling

  • Key Perks: Quickdraw, Snapshot Sights, Lightweight Frame
  • Strategy: Handling affects how quickly you can draw and aim your weapon. Quickdraw allows for almost instantaneous weapon swaps, perfect for reactive playstyles. Snapshot Sights significantly reduces the time to aim down sights, crucial for fast-paced engagements. Weapons with a Lightweight Frame inherently boost movement speed and handling. This combination suits aggressive players who thrive on speed and fluidity.

Boosting Firepower and Reload Speed

  • Key Perks: Slideshot, Auto-Loading Holster, Trench Barrel, Assault Mag
  • Strategy: Enhancing firepower means increasing your damage output and reducing downtime between shots. Slideshot partially reloads your weapon and boosts range and accuracy for a short time, great for sliding into engagements. Auto-Loading Holster automatically reloads your Shotgun after a short period, allowing for seamless transitions between weapons. Trench Barrel, activated by a melee hit, increases damage, handling, and reload speed for a brief period, making it deadly in close quarters. Assault Mag increases both the rate of fire and reload speed, keeping you ready for action. This setup is ideal for players who like to be in the thick of the fight, maximizing damage and minimizing reload times.

Utilizing Tactical Advantages

  • Key Perks: Demolitionist, Elemental Capacitor, Dragon’s Shadow (Armor perk)
  • Strategy: Some perks offer tactical advantages beyond the basic stats. Demolitionist grants grenade energy with each kill and reloads your weapon from reserves upon grenade use, perfect for builds focused on ability synergy. Elemental Capacitor provides significant stat boosts depending on your subclass, offering versatility in your loadout. For Hunters, pairing Dragon’s Shadow armor with these perks can vastly improve weapon handling and reload speed after dodging, enhancing mobility and lethality. This approach favors Guardians who use their abilities and mobility to outmaneuver opponents.

Balance Changes and Meta Evolution

Stay ahead of the curve with our analysis of the latest PvP balance changes. Discover how the decoupling of range and zoom and other adjustments have reshaped the Shotgun landscape.

Shotgun Archetypes Explained

From Aggressive Frames to Precision and Rapid-Fire, understand the unique strengths and ideal scenarios for each Shotgun archetype. Our detailed breakdown helps you choose the right Shotgun for your playstyle.

Impact on Shotgun Archetypes

  • Aggressive Frames: Known for their high damage output at close range, Aggressive Frame Shotguns have seen a slight shift in utility. While still powerful, the focus has moved towards optimizing other stats like handling and reload speed to compensate for the reduced range advantage.
  • Precision Frames: These Shotguns, which traditionally benefited less from zoom levels due to their inherent accuracy, have become more appealing. The consistent performance of Precision Frame Shotguns, coupled with the right perk combinations, makes them a formidable choice in both open engagements and tight quarters.
  • Lightweight Frames: With the meta shift, Lightweight Frame Shotguns, which offer a balance of mobility and speed, have gained traction. Their intrinsic bonus to movement speed now plays a more critical role in aggressive playstyles, making them a viable choice for players who prioritize maneuverability.
  • Rapid-Fire Frames: This archetype, while not typically favored for its range, benefits from the balance changes due to its high rate of fire. Guardians can leverage these Shotguns in fast-paced, close-quarter engagements where quick follow-up shots are crucial.

Strategy Adjustments

In light of these balance changes, Guardians must adapt their strategies to the new Shotgun landscape. Consideration of map layout, engagement distance, and team composition has become more critical. Players should focus on mobility and positioning, using environmental cover and vertical space to close distances or create advantageous sightlines.

Experimentation is encouraged; finding the Shotgun that best matches your playstyle and complements your overall loadout is more important than ever. Pay attention to the evolving meta, as community discoveries and competitive trends will continue to highlight effective weapon and perk combinations.

Conclusion: Your Path to Crucible Domination

Armed with knowledge and the right Shotgun, the Crucible is yours to conquer. Remember, the right weapon is a companion on your journey to glory. Embrace the challenge, Guardian, and let your legend grow in Destiny 2’s PvP arena.

Latest Update on the Crucible’s Shotgun Arsenal

As of October 14, 2023, the PvP dynamics in Destiny 2 have undergone significant transformations, especially with the Season of the Witch bringing pivotal balance changes. Among these, the separation of range and zoom attributes for Shotguns stands out, tweaking their performance in the Crucible. Despite these adjustments, the core lineup of meta-relevant Shotguns continues to dominate across various game modes, underscoring their resilience to the ebb and flow of balance updates.

In light of these developments, our curated list of top-tier Shotguns has been meticulously revised to mirror the current state of the PvP sandbox. Notably, we’ve introduced Conditional Finality and Imperial Decree into our recommendations, acknowledging their rising prominence and effectiveness in competitive play. Concurrently, we’ve phased out several options that no longer meet the heightened standards of today’s Crucible encounters.

Moreover, we’ve refined our perk suggestions to align with the latest meta shifts, ensuring that our advice remains relevant and impactful for Guardians looking to optimize their loadouts. This update reaffirms our commitment to providing the most accurate and helpful guidance for mastering the Crucible’s challenges.