[fusion_widget_area name=”avada-custom-sidebar-ctomashot” background_color=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][/fusion_widget_area][fusion_text]Thorn was arguably once the best gun in Destiny during a large part of year 1 and continued to appear in high-level PvP play through year 2 despite the nerfs it has faced since its heyday. At the beginning of year 3 though Bungie once again nerfed the weapon by lowering the most important stat for hand cannons in Destiny, range. The nerf was obviously worrisome for fans of Thorn especially on the eve of its return with the release of Rise of Iron. So the question is, did this nerf take Thorn out of the top tier weapon conversation or does it still have the potential to be feared in the Crucible?
Where to find it:
Just as in year 1 of Destiny, you obtain the quest to get Thorn through luck when turning in bounties. There is word going around the community that the Shiro bounties have a higher chance to provide players with the quest, and one of his bounties did provide me with the quest, but I cannot confirm if they do have a higher success rate. Once you have obtained the quest it will ask you to complete The Wretched Eye strike on any difficulty, kill Fallen in the Plaguelands, kill Guardians in the Crucible with Void damage, “cleanse” the weapon with five motes of light, and use a Skeleton Key to open the chest at the end of The Abomination Heist strike. These steps pay homage to the original Thorn quest in year 1 but the year 3 version is much easier as the strikes can be completed on any difficulty and deaths in the crucible do not cause you to lose progress. I completed this quest over one extended play session and found it to be an appropriate challenge that is a fun reminder of the work I put in during year 1.
The most unfortunate part about Thorn may be its perks. Final round and Mark of the Devourer are great static perks, and the extra damage of final round can even allow players to two shot kill enemies in the crucible. With the other perk columns though that promise flexibility to the player, there is realistically only two options to maximize Thorn’s effectiveness. Due to nerfs to the range of hand cannons and Thorn, Accurized Ballistics is the only competitive choice in the ballistics column. Field Choke has a lower stability, and Aggressive Ballistics does increase the impact but at the cost of too much range causing both of these to do more harm than good for the user. In the variable perk column Send It is the far and away the best option. While snapshot and perfect balance provide faster aim down sights speed and stability respectively, the range boost of send it is too vital especially after the latest nerf to Thorn’s range.
Even when Thorn was at in its prime, it was never known for its ability to perform in PvE as other non-hand cannon primaries have better DPS due to larger magazines and ammo reserves. In relation to other hand cannons though I do think that Thorn is probably the best PvE hand cannon in the game, and I was able to feel capable using the gun in strike playlists. This is due to Thorn’s damage over time effect and final round perk helping to make up for DPS loss against Destiny’s tougher shielded adds. Ultimately, when you are trying to complete end game level PvE activities, you should be using a more PvE focused weapon.
PvP is where Thorn built its reputation, and I think that it is still a powerful weapon to take seriously in the Crucible. With the damage over time effect, Thorn can kill most enemies, depending on their armor, with one headshot and two shots to the body making it arguably on par with or even better than the slower firing higher impact Palindrome archetype from a time to kill perspective. It is worth noting that the damage over time effect has been lessened since year 1, but it still is a powerful tool for keeping shields from recovering and tracking tagged enemies. The main issue with Thorn though is that to harness all of this potential the player using it must be skilled with hand cannons. Thorn has both a fast fire rate and a somewhat small range stat, meaning that the gun’s shots must be paced to avoid ghost bullets. With this issue in mind, those who are not comfortable with hand cannons should take the time to learn the weapon type on the more accessible and forgiving Palindrome. I would also say that when playing in Trials of Osiris or a serious competitive environment, you are probably better off using a Palindrome or Eyasluna. These weapons feel much more consistent as they can roll with a higher range stat.
At the end of the day, Thorn is still an excellent weapon in year 3 that is well worth a spot in any Guardian’s arsenal, even if it does not live up to the panic educing memories of year 1 players. When considering the highest levels of PvP in Destiny the Palindrome and Eyasluna may just edge out Thorn, but the damage over time effect is still very effective and makes the weapon feel truly exotic. I would like to see Bungie take another look at Thorn’s place in the meta and find a way to buff the weapon so that it can be more competitive with the top tier hand cannons in Destiny.[/fusion_text][fusion_widget_area name=”avada-custom-sidebar-ctomashot” background_color=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][/fusion_widget_area]
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