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Destiny 2 is nerfing the pants off Izanagi's Burden, The Last Word, sniper rifles, and more

(Image credit: Bungie)

Bungie will nerf (opens in new tab) several dominant weapon archetypes and Exotics in the next season of Destiny 2, which is looking more and more like the Season of the Worthy (opens in new tab). This includes longtime mainstays like Izanagi's Burden and The Last Word, not to mention broader PvE staples like sniper rifles and grenade launchers. 

Izanagi's Burden has been the top dog for DPS since the release of Shadowkeep, so it's getting two nerfs. Firstly, its Outlaw perk is being replaced with No Distractions. No more instant reloads. In a similar vein, the speed of its special Honed Edge reload will no longer be affected by the reload stat or, seemingly, reload buffs like the one from Lunafaction Boots, though the latter is unclear. Together, these two nerfs will dramatically reduce the weapon's sustained DPS. 

The Last Word, meanwhile, is being reigned in as the top short- to mid-range death dealer. Bungie's issuing several changes to push it toward its hip-fire cowboy fantasy and limit its mid-range effectiveness. For starters, its range has been reduced across the board, and aiming the weapon will no longer add additional range. PC players will also experience more recoil when playing with mouse and keyboard. For buffs, the damage values of hip-fire shots have been improved, and the weapon's hip-fire accuracy has been increased. 

Speaking of PvP bigwigs: Lord of Wolves is also getting a well-deserved nerf. Its special Release the Wolves reload, which doubles the weapon's burst size and dramatically increases its lethality, is being nerfed once again. This perk will now "significantly reduce" the gun's accuracy, meaning it will be less effective at longer ranges. You know, like shotguns are supposed to be. 

(Image credit: Bungie)

Those are the targeted nerfs. Bungie's also hitting several archetypes, starting with sniper rifles, which have also risen to top DPS slots since Shadowkeep. Simply put, Bungie's reverting the buff they got in Shadowkeep: sniper damage to orange- and yellow-bar enemies is being reduced by 20%. But that's not all; adaptive snipers and rapid-fire snipers will also deal less precision damage and less base damage, respectively. This change is meant "to make the differences in the sub-archetypes more impactful again as well as to give some amount of parity with the adjustments to shotguns and fusion rifles."

This brings us to the other special weapon nerfs. Shotguns are first on the chopping block. Aiming shotguns will no longer increase their effective range, and the spread of their pellets will no longer be affected by the range stat. This change should demand more accuracy from players and compress shotgun range overall. However, there is some good news. Target acquisition for non-slug shotguns has been improved, so it should now be easier to aim for center mass, which you'll need to do if you want to get good mileage out of your newly nerfed shotgun. 

Fusion rifles, meanwhile, are getting some range nerfs in the form of increased damage falloff and reduced optics magnification. To top it off, the Backup Plan perk which makes fusions so lethal in PvP is being changed to mirror the impact of rapid-fire fusion rifles as well as their charge time. This change should help distinguish high-impact fusions like Erentil and make them less forgiving to use. 

Finally, grenade launchers, which have topped boss DPS since time immemorial, are being nerfed. All aggressive frame grenade launchers have been replaced with rapid-fire frames, and their damage has been reduced by 20% to match. Grenade launcher damage to orange- and yellow-bar enemies has also been reduced by a whopping 20%. Curiously, there have been no changes to machine gun or rocket launcher boss damage, however. 

That is a lot of nerfs. The most popular non-primary weapon archetypes in Destiny 2 are all getting nerfed, and three of the strongest Exotics in the game are also getting hammered down. This definitely feels like a proactive change on Bungie's part. The Season of the Worthy is said to be a PvP-focused experience based on the return of the Trials of Osiris, and with most of these changes affecting the PvP meta, it's safe to assume Bungie's preparing to send us into the Crucible. 

Relatedly, Destiny is buffing the pants off armor customization (opens in new tab) by adding universal seasonal mod slots and elemental affinity swaps. 

Austin Wood
Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.