Analysis, Gaming

Destiny: Analysis of Xur’s Exotic Wares for 2/13

Xur, Agent of the Nine is back again to peddle his exotic wares for Week 21, from Feb. 13 – 15.

This week Xur is selling the Ice Breaker again, but it’s not exciting considering just about everyone already has one. But if you missed out a few weeks ago, now’s your chance to join the club and absolutely wreck shop when Solar Burn is active.

Xur Wares 2-13-2015

The remainder of Xur’s gear is drab and unexciting; we have the Crest of Alpha Lupi which is pretty much bleh, along with Light Beyond Nemesis (another bleh item), followed up with the exceptional Helm of Inmost Light.

But I think just about every Striker has the helm already, considering it’s been featured on Xur’s list many times over.

Things get pretty baffling once we take a look at the upgrades. Xur is selling no less than three redundant upgrades this time around; both the Helm of Inmost Light and the Hunter and Titan flavors of the Crest of Alpha Lupi are upgradeable.

And for some mind-boggling reason the Ice Breaker is upgradeable. Just in case you felt like spending Exotic Shards instead of Strange Coins. Now I do like the idea of Bungie making items available for players who might not have enough Strange Coins or Exotic Shards, respectively.

But this feels like lazy randomization to me, and signifies yet another clumsy handling of Destiny‘s in-game structure.

To make things worse, Xur isn’t selling Heavy Ammo Synthesis. Again. How many weeks in a row is that? I’ve lost count. Oh and Exotic Engrams aren’t available either.

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For Week 21 our shadowy merchant can be found in his usual haunt far beneath the Tower, underneath the Future War Cult handler and past the Shipwright.

Interestingly enough, Bungie has seen to it that non-DLC owners will actually get to buy things this time. Xur’s full inventory is purchasable by gamers who didn’t buy The Dark Below, but as we all know, a lot of the items are unremarkable gear we’ve seen a million times over.

In any case, below we have our in-depth analysis of Xur’s exotic wares for Week 21.

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Helm of Inmost Light – 13 Strange Coins

  • Class: Titan (Striker)
  • Upgrade Mats: Spinmetal, Exotic Shard (last tier)
  • Min Level: 20
  • Light: 30/36
  • Discipline: 97/104
  • Type: Helmet
  • Defense: 407/447
  • Mod 1: Rain Blows: Increases melee attack speed
  • Mod 2: Invigoration: Reduces melee cooldown each time you pick up an Orb of Light.
  • Mod 3: Recklessness: Provides Death from Above and Headstrong for Fist of Havoc.

Should You Buy It?

Maybe. If you’re a Striker Titan and really really like wreaking havoc with Fists of Havoc, then this helm is tailor-made for you.

The only problem with this particular roll is that it’s low on Strength, so I’d only pick it up if you really want that Recklessness mod–remember since it’s tier 3 it’s at the end side of the upgrade tree–which really helps out.

The helm is great for PvP as the Striker’s super power is one of the most powerful (and quite annoying) abilities that can wipe out an entire team in one slam.

Crest of Alpha Lupi

Crest of Alpha Lupi (Chestpiece) – 13 Strange Coins

  • Class: Hunter
  • Upgrade Mats: Spirit Bloom, Exotic Shard (last tier)
  • Min Level: 20
  • Defense: 444/488
  • Light: 30/36
  • Strength: 133/143
  • Mod 1: Revive teammates faster. Spawn more orbs.
  • Mod 2: Carry more ammo for Special Weapons
  • Mod 3: Carry more ammo for Hand Cannon

Should You Buy It?

No. The Crest of Alpha Lupi might sound neat in theory; who doesn’t want to be able to respawn enemies quicker or spawn more orbs? And we both know you can never get enough Hand Cannon ammo.

But the reality is that the extra revive timer isn’t really negligible and you won’t really notice it. As for the more ammo for special and handcannons, this is just for the ammo pool itself, and it won’t raise your round ammo.

And although it’s a decent roll with 133 base Strength, the item’s use is very conditional and is only helpful in boss fights where you need all the health regen you can find.

Even still you don’t want to take up your only Exotic armor slot with this one; stick with the essential Achlyophage Symbiote helm that adds an extra Golden Gun shot, or even the Knucklehead Radar that lets you see your radar when aiming down the sights.

Light Beyond Nemesis

  • Class: Warlock
  • Upgrade Mats: Spirit Bloom, Exotic Shard (last tier)
  • Min Level: 20
  • Defense: 407/447
  • Light: 30/36
  • Strength : 107/114
  • Mod 1: Snap Discharge: Increases melee attack speed.
  • Mod 2: Infusion: Replenish health whenever you pick up an Orb of Light.
  • Mod 3: Keeper of the Pack: You revive fallen teammates faster and they revive you faster. Your super also spawns additional Orbs for teammates.

Should You Buy It?

EDIT: Maybe. The Light Beyond Nemesis isn’t a good helm for a Warlock in terms of DPS or support, and there are so many better helms to choose from.

Items like Obsidian Mind, which combos exceptionally well with Bad Juju to allow Voidwalkers to shoot out a ton of Nova Bombs, or the notable Skull of Dire Ahamkara.

That being said, this helm does regen health quite efficiently, which is very helpful when you’re vulnerable during Crota’s End hard runs. Warlocks in general are vulnerable, and all in all there’s better helms out there, but this could could be useful.

It’s use is conditional so I advise you to stick with your Legendary helm for now and pass this one up unless you have the coins for it. And even if you do, don’t expect it to be an all-purpose utility item.

"Please replace these components if use causes fatal damage: HEAT SINK. MAGAZINE. OPERATOR"

Ice Breaker (Sniper Rifle) – 17 Strange Coins

  • Class: Any
  • Upgrade Mats: Spirit Bloom, Exotic shard (last tier)
  • Min Level: 20
  • Attack: 302 / 331 (Solar elemental damage)
  • Magazine: 6
  • Type: Sniper Rifle
  • No Backpack: Cannot be reloaded. Regenerates ammo over time.
  • Mulligan: Missing a shot has a chance to return ammo directly to the magazine.
  • Quickdraw: This weapon can be drawn unbelievably fast.
  • Ice Breaker: Ice Breaker’s victims spontaneously combust, dealing damage to others nearby.

Should you buy it?

YES. 

Ice Breaker is a must-have, I repeat, must-have item for any Guardian. It is one of the most useful items in the entire game, and delivers on all fronts: damage, accuracy, dependability, and just about any other quantifiable measure you can think of.

The beauty of this gun is that it has infinite ammo, but it only has a six-shot magazine. The ammo slowly replenishes over time, about one bullet per 4-5 seconds, and you can’t pick up special weapon ammo packs to refill it.

Essentially it refills its rounds, not its magazine.

It’s a bit strange using the gun at first, but it truly is one of the most powerful items in the game. While it’s mostly effective against Solar shields (you really won’t do much against an Arc shield), headshots against broken-shielded enemies are incredibly devastating–in the 6k+ damage range.

If you only have 17 Strange Coins, pick this up. You don’t want to pass on this one.

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Armor Upgrades

Knucklehead Radar (Helmet)

The Knucklehead Radar is pretty useful, but don’t upgrade unless your current version has lower Strength. Remember your Exotic Shards are limited, and sure you can buy more from Xur, but you’re better off saving them to max out great items like the Ice Breaker, Achlyophage Symbiote, or the infamous Hawkmoon.

  • Cost: 7331, 1 Exotic Shard
  • Class: Hunter
  • Light: 30/36
  • Strength: 101/108

Crest of Alpha Lupi (Chestpiece)

Low Intellect stat roll, and ontop of that the item itself isn’t really that useful. Pass it up and save your Exotic Shard.

  • Cost: 7547 G, 1 Exotic Shard
  • Class: Titan
  • Light: 30/36
  • Intellect: 121/129
  • Defense: 444/488

Helm of Inmost Light (Helmet)

Don’t upgrade. Just buy the same exact helm from Xur and dismantle your previous helmet and get the defense upgrade and an extra Exotic Shard to boot.

  • Cost: 7451 G, 1 Exotic Shard
  • Class: Titan
  • Light: 30/36
  • Intellect: 113/121
  • Defense: 407/447

Crest of Alpha Lupi (Chestpiece)

As with the case of Hunter’s Crest of Alpha Lupi, just pass this up. I don’t see why Bungie has three different variations of the same piece of armor on Xur’s inventory, but that’s what happens when they just randomize everything, right?

  • Cost: 7547 G, 1 Exotic Shard
  • Class: Titan
  • Light: 30/36
  • Intellect: 121/129
  • Defense: 444/488

Apotheosis Veil (Helmet)

Really this helm is only good for certain situations, perhaps boss fights or Nightfall runs where staying alive is key. But since it’s an item with such conditional use, I wouldn’t pick it up unless you really want it or see a specific use for it right away.

  • Cost: 7013 G, 1 Exotic Shard
  • Class: Warlock
  • Light: 30/36
  • Intellect: 100/108
  • Defense: 407/447

Sunbreakers (Gauntlets)

Incredibly bad Intellect roll. The defense upgrade isn’t worth being stuck with these bad stats–and you also lose out on an Exotic Shard if you upgrade. Stick with the pair you have.

  • Cost: 7549 G, 1 Exotic Shard
  • Class: Warlock
  • Light: 30/36
  • Intellect: 77/83
  • Defense: 407/447

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Weapon Upgrades

The Last Word (Handcannon)

The Last Word is a fantastic handcannon for all uses, and is an excellent PVP weapon that has high-damage output along with ultra-fast firing. And it barely has to be aimed when it’s fully maxed. Pick this up.

  • Cost: 7559 G, 1 Exotic Shard
  • Attack: 302/331
  • Magazine: 8

Ice Breaker (Sniper Rifle)

  • Cost: 7477 G, 1 Exotic Shard
  • Attack: 302/331 (Solar damage)
  • Magazine: 6

There’s absolutely no reason to waste your Exotic Shard and the 7.4k Glimmer on upgrading your current Ice Breaker. Just buy a fresh one from Xur. Again, this is another redundant item (that makes three for this week).

Patience And Time (Sniper Rifle)

This sniper is pretty conditional too. You really want to save your Glimmer and Exotic Shards for surefire bets, items that you can use often and frequently rather than gear that will only help you out in certain situations.

I’d pass it up, and we’ll likely see this sniper up again sometime soon.

  • Cost: 7561 G, 1 Exotic Shard
  • Attack: 302/331 (Arc damage)
  • Magazine: 4

Super Good Advice (Machine Gun)

This is one of the best Machine Guns out there, so do yourself a favor and buy an upgraded version. When the Weeklies have Solar burn you will be wrecking shop and destroying enemies in droves. Plus it makes for a good utility weapon for PVP.

  • Cost: 7817 G, 1 Exotic Shard
  • Attack: 302/331 (SolarArc damage)
  • Magazine: 58

Gjallarhorn (Rocket Launcher)

Not much can be said about Gjallarhorn besides it’s awesome. The launcher’s rockets splits into clusters that literally track enemies, making it near-impossible to miss.

  • Glimmer Cost: 7933 G, 1 Exotic Shard
  • Attack: 302/331 (Solar elemental damage)
  • Magazine: 2

Truth (Rocket Launcher)

Skip it. The novelty wears off fast, and you really don’t need that damage upgrade as the launcher does good enough damage on its own.

  • Glimmer Cost: 7039 G, 1 Exotic Shard
  • Attack: 302/331 (Void elemental damage)
  • Magazine: 2

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Curios

  • Scout Rifle Telemetry – 1 Strange Coin /5 stack
  • Handcannon Telemetry – 1 Strange Coin /5 stack
  • Fusion Rifle Telemetry – 1 Strance Coin / 5 stack
  • Plasma Drive Vehicle Upgrade – 23 Strange Coins
  • Emerald Coil Vehicle Upgrade – 23 Strange Coins
  • adam

    The author said not to purchase the helmet Light Beyond Nemesis for the warlocks, but if you play hard Crota raid, you will need this helmet for the perk with picking up orbs regenerates health. Therefore it is an essential helmet for hard Crota battle.

    • Jay Clinard

      Im glad someone else thinks this too, I have wanted it on my lock for some time.

    • Thanks for letting me know! I myself have titans and haven’t seen anyone really use the helm as locks (everyone seems to be about DPS in the raid) but I appreciate your thoughts. Lockd are pretty squishy at times and those orbs turning into health could definitely help.

  • Jason Anstey

    It is quite obvious that the author is biased here. Biased towards the “hot” items. The ones that everybody knows everybody wants. Except me. I do not want Icebreaker. It’s impact is higher than Patience yes. But you can (and you will) run out of ammo using it in any crucial situation. Such as a Boss fight or any Raid. So how much difference does 5 seconds of no ammo mean in those cases? Life and Death. Which leads us to his dismissal of the usefulness of faster revives, additional orbs for teammates and picking up orbs regening health. Now if you never actually bother to revive your teammates, which many players I have been randomly stuck with do not I have observed, then I imagine you could care less about being able to do it faster. However if you are doing say The Will of Crota strike? The one where you need to kill Omnigul? And the entire Fireteam is getting killed many times over every few minutes it just might save the mission. And as others have pointed out Crota’s End on Hard. I defy you to dismiss the advantages The Light Beyond Nemesis Helm and or Crest of Alpha Lupi can give you during that freaking Nightmare. Also I have to point out that the author does not know was much about the game as he thinks he does. For example Icebreaker has shown up at least twice in the short time I have been playing this game (less than 3 months I think). Patience and Time which he states ( he has no way of knowing btw) will be seen again sometime soon? Only once. And neither the Nemesis helm nor Lupi chest I have seen Xur offer in all my time playing. Also both of these items are tres wicked looking. And if you attempt to say that does not factor into your desire for gear than you are lying to yerself man.

    My advice for you is this. If you want to believe the hype. And only care about PvP listen to this dude. It appears that is where his knowledge lies. If that is the type of Destiny player you are then buy Icebreaker. And enjoy play killing yer Sister and Brother Guardians in the Crucible. For bragging rights and mayhaps some crappy gear. Perhaps an ugly shader. Though more often than not you will receive absolutely nada. If you actually play PvE and enjoy working with your fellow Guardians fighting the true Enemy? Consider the two items the author dismisses as being worth your strange coins.

    • Hey Jason, thanks for commenting and giving your impressions. I always like to hear from gamers in the articles I write, and I enjoy it when people like you share your feelings on the matter–whether its what Destiny item is worth buying or which game looks best in 2015.

      One of the reasons I told locks to not pick up the Light Beyond Nemesis is that it’s conditional, not a utility helmet. I’ve always seen locks (at least voidwalkers) as DPS roles, but Sunsingers are support, so it could fit.

      In my experience playing with people who have the helm, they’ve said the buffs aren’t that noticeable. I myself have used the Alpha Lupi for a long time (I bought it from Xur a whiiile back) and really its just a defense sink for Titans not much else.

      But of course it all depends! This is just my point of view on whether or not I think it’s worth you buying, as a whole, like out of all possible items.

      And of course I could be totally wrong, as what I think is best for you is completely off. All in all though I’m glad you took the time to discuss what you see as worth buying, and argue the merits of the items.

      I admit I try to look at the best possible scenario for Guardians in terms of all around use, but that’s not saying every item isn’t useful in its own way!

  • Jeremy Berven

    Where is this week’s inventory (2-20)? You should keep up on this week to week, no one else has this kind of detailed information.