The Best Exotics For Hunters In Destiny 2, Ranked

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Known for flashy abilities, lengthy invisibility, and massive utility potential, Hunters in Destiny 2 are an essential part of any fireteam, both in PvP and PvE. With an unprecedented amount of flexibility, this class has a wide range of playstyles thanks to its range of subclasses and exotics.


RELATED: Destiny 2: The Best Hunter Builds For PvP And PvE

Exotics are key to making Hunters powerful, granting benefits ranging from ability regeneration to a powerful follow-up punch attack. For Guardians looking for an upper hand against the enemies of the Traveler and Guardians alike, here are the best exotics for Hunters in Destiny 2.

Updated on June 19, 2023 by Andrew Scariati: Season Of The Deep (season 21) brought plenty of updates to the sandbox. From new seasonal weapons that are among the best legendary weapons in Destiny 2 to Exotic Armor changes, particularly for Hunters. Some of the best Hunter Exotics have had their time to shine, but old favorites like St0mp-EE5 and Mask of Bakris return to the limelight for an encore. Some nerfs, particularly the one to St0mp-EE5 were rolled back in addition to new effects and buffed bonuses for Mask of Bakris. The best Hunter Exotics were already impressive, but they welcome yet another member to their ranks perfect for Glaive fans.

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11 Triton Vice*

A Hunter dons the Triton Vice exotic arms introduced in season 21 of Destiny 2.

Halberdier’s Reach: Increases Glaive reload speed and melee damage when surrounded. Glaive melee final blows overflow a round to the magazine. Glaive projectile final blows detonate if the Glaive deals damage matching your subclass type.

Triton Vice offers rare boons to Glaives that will allow you to fully build your loadout around these fantastic melee weapons. Every Glaive melee kill will add one ammo to the magazine, up to a maximum of double your normal capacity.

Much like the Surrounded weapon perk, a secondary effect triggers when three enemies are within 15 meters of you, which increases your reload speed and grants 30 percent more melee damage.

The Glaive explosion is a fantastic bonus to add clearing and boasts a four-meter radius.

PvE

Triton Vice excels in PvE, primarily due to how easily you can trigger the “when surrounded” stipulation, as you’ll frequently be swarmed with minor enemies across PvE activities. This exotic will perform well in solo or group activities across a range of difficulties.

While GM Nightfalls might pose a greater risk for Glaive users, you can find Triton Vice will put your build over the top for Dungeons, like Ghosts of the Deep.

The Halberdier’s Reach perk encourages you to charge into a group with your melee attacks. Clear the first few targets at close range, and then unleash your ranged projectile on the next cluster of foes to trigger the devastating elemental explosion with every final blow.

PvP

On paper, Triton Vice won’t provide much benefit against fellow Guardians as it’s difficult to activate Surrounded and survive to tell the tale. However, as with most weapons, you can absolutely find a niche for this exotic if you build around a Glaive.

If you’ve ever used a quick-swap build, there’s definitely some potential for one using the Glaive projectile to finish foes and cause elemental explosions. This requires a particular amount of patience and commitment to the build, but it can pull off some fun moments if you’re skilled with Glaives.

Pros

Cons

  • Allows a larger variety of Glaives to perform well in high-level content.
  • Synergizes perfectly with Ecliptic Distaff (season 20 Void ritual Glaive).
  • Incredibly niche and hard to use in PvP.
  • The opportunity cost of passing on other exotics, like Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk, for Void Hunters.

10 Aeon Swift

A Hunter wearing the Aeon Swift gloves in Destiny 2.

Sect Mods: Select one of three Sect mods, changing your armor’s Exotic perk. Ally Aeon users gain additional benefits when your Exotic perk triggers.

Aeon Swift is the Hunter version of the Aeon Exotic gloves, a class-agnostic Exotic that can fill one of three roles. This armor piece has a fifth mod slot that allows you to socket one of three Sect mods, acting as this armor’s Exotic perk. The mods do the following:

Sect of Force

Rapid precision hits grant weapon reload and handling speed.


Stunning Champions and defeating minibosses will grant ability energy to allies. Aeon allies also gain Super energy.

Sect of Insight

Rapid precision kills spawn Orbs of Power for your allies.


Finishers against majors spawn Special ammo, while Champions and bosses spawn Heavy ammo. Aeon allies also gain a 35 percent damage buff when you finish a target.

Sect of Vigor

Gain classy ability energy when an ally dies. Reviving an ally refunds your class ability.


Casting your Super heals allies. Aeon allies also gain an overshield.

PvE

Sect of Insight is the only mod worth using in PvE, although its application in PvE endgame content cannot be overstated. Since most Hunter Exotics aren’t particularly great in endgame content, you can afford to use an Exotic like this.

Nightstalker is the perfect subclass for endgame content when paired with this Exotic, allowing you to safely finish Champions and revive allies in the same build. The ammo generated from this Exotic is more than enough to let your allies clear an entire Grandmaster Nightfall with just their Heavy weapon. Other Sect mods aren’t worth using in most PvE activities; stick with Insight.

PvP

Sect of Vigor is much stronger in PvP than you might expect. Every ally that dies grants about 20-25 percent class ability energy. This works with any dodge. Solar 3.0 introduced Acrobat’s Dodge, allowing you to become Radiant at will.

With this Exotic, you can have close to 100 percent uptime on your Radiant buff, allowing the likes of Ace of Spades to two-tap with a weapon damage perk active. The other mods aren’t worth using in the Crucible, but if you’re looking to spam your dodge ability in 6v6 modes, Aeon Swift is surprisingly good.

Pros

Cons

  • Gives you team infinite ammo in GM Nightfalls
  • Pairs exceptionally well with Nightstalker (PvE) and Gunslinger (PvP)
  • Only certain Sect mods are viable
  • Mediocre in 3v3 PvP modes and casual PvE activities

9 Mask Of Bakris

The Mask of Bakris Exotic Helmet sits on a table in Destiny 2.

Light Shift: Replaces your Stasis subclass Dodge ability with a longer range, faster moving Shift that partially cloaks you during use. After Shifting, your Stasis and Arc weapons deal increased damage to combatants for a short time.

This Light Shift damage buff now extends to Stasis weapons, following a change in season 21.

The Mask of Bakris replaces your Stasis dodge with Shift, a short-range teleport ability that cloaks you during its effect. When you finish Shifting, you receive a 25 percent damage bonus to Arc or Stasis weapons for ten seconds. Both effects stack with buffs and debuffs, although your Shift ability cannot recharge while these buffs are active.

PvE

Mask of Bakris is a great PvE Exotic due to its Light Shift buff. While active, your Arc and Stasis weapons will deal 25 percent more damage. Since you can now use this Exotic with either Arc or Stasis weapon damage, your options for finishing foes are greatly increased.

Pair this helmet with a good Arc or Stasis Heavy weapon – like Cold Comfort – and you’ll be able to shut down Champions with ease. It’s also a good choice for Revenant mains that want a DPS-increasing Exotic for raid content, although you’re usually better off using Golden Gun.

PvP

There are notable downsides to using this Exotic. You have to be using Stasis, it adds ten seconds to your dodge cooldown, it can’t be used in the air, and you are still vulnerable during your Shift animation. The dodge nerfs in the Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack and Season of the Seraph hit Mask of Bakris especially hard, reducing the effectiveness of Utility Kickstart while extending your base dodge cooldown. In simple terms, this Exotic extends your dodge cooldown to over 30 seconds at 100 Mobility.

Mask of Bakris now grants a six percent PvP damage bonus after previously offering no bonus in PvP.

Yet none of those negatives really impact this Exotic’s greatest strength: its unmatched mobility. The confusion this helmet creates in PvP is absurdly strong for aggressive players, especially given its added six percent damage buff to Arc and Stasis weapons.

You can use your dodge to rush targets with a Shotgun, retreat from an aggressive player, or dodge Super projectiles. When paired with the Winter Shroud Aspect, Mask of Bakris can single-handedly swing a gunfight in your favor.

But should you use this Exotic poorly, you’ll have no means of escape for what feels like an eternity. It’s a high-risk, high-reward Exotic that can fundamentally change the way you play in Destiny 2’s Crucible.

Pros

Cons

  • Allows you to teleport
  • Increases your damage output in both modes
  • Excellent for repositioning in PvP
  • Increases dodge CD by 10 seconds
  • Can only be used by Revenants

8 The Dragon’s Shadow

A Hunter wearing The Dragon's Shadow chest armor in Destiny 2.

Wraithmetal Mail: Dodging reloads all weapons and increases both movement and weapon handling speeds for a brief time.

Yet another dodge-augmenting Exotic, the Dragon’s Shadow grants the Wraithmetal Mail buff for ten seconds after you dodge. This buff grants the following:

  • Auto reloads all of your weapons after you dodge
  • Faster sprint speed
  • Further slide distance
  • +50 Mobility
  • Faster reload speed
  • A massive increase to weapon handling (more than Quickdraw)
  • Faster reload speed

PvE

The Dragon’s Shadow is surprisingly strong in PvE, giving you a massive boost to handling while auto-reloading all of your weapons after a dodge. This can lead to some powerful DPS options like double slug Shotgun swapping or weaving Rocket Launcher shots with your Special weapon.

If used properly, you can drastically improve your DPS with this Exotic. It doesn’t beat Star-Eater Scales or other must-have PvE Exotics for raids or Grandmaster Nightfalls, but if you want a great neutral game Exotic that works with any subclass, the Dragon’s Shadow is a great choice.

PvP

Wraithmetal Mail is one of the strongest buffs in PvP. Unfortunately, this Exotic has repeatedly been nerfed through various dodge cooldown nerfs throughout the years. This Exotic’s downtime was effectively doubled with the nerf to Gambler’s Dodge and Utility Kickstart in the Bungie 30th Anniversary update and extended yet again in Season of the Seraph. You can’t maintain 100 percent uptime with this Exotic anymore, significantly hurting its rating on our list.

It says a lot about the strength of Wraithmetal Mail that Dragon’s Shadow is still on the list despite being hit by so many indirect nerfs. This buff effectively gives all of your guns Quickdraw, Snapshot Sights, and it allows you to ignore reloading entirely. Gunfights are heavily swung in your favor while this perk is active, but the nerf to dodge cooldowns in recent years have made this Exotic much less desirable.

Pros

Cons

  • Hastens everything you do
  • Auto-reloads all weapons
  • Works with all subclasses
  • You feel sluggish when the buff expires
  • Almost impossible to reach 100 percent uptime in PvP
  • Encourages dodging before gunfights, removing a vital disengage tool

RELATED: Destiny 2: Best Exotic Armor For Strand

7 Wormhusk Crown

A Hunter wears the Wormhusk Crown exotic helmet in Destiny 2.

Burning Souls: Dodging gives a small health and shield bump.

Wormhusk Crown needs no introduction. This helmet grants a flat chunk of health after you dodge, effectively causing your dodge to heal you.

PvE

Unlike most PvP Exotics, Wormhusk Crown is a surprisingly good PvE Exotic. There are very few ways of getting your health back as a Hunter in Destiny 2, most of which involve Combat Style mods or Exotic weapons. Wormhusk Crown gives you a sizable health bump for dodging, an action you’d normally perform when you’re in danger.

This isn’t the best Exotic for pinnacle PvE content, but if you’re tired of dying in more casual content, this helmet will save your life more times than you might expect. If you want to take Wormhusk into hard content, pair this helmet with Gunslinger and Ember of Singeing.

PvP

If it wasn’t clear, Wormhusk Crown’s effectiveness in PvP is the main reason we’ve rated this helmet so highly. Players typically rush Hunters when they dodge on low life. This Exotic flips those encounters on their head by granting a sizable amount of HP after a dodge, allowing you to get straight back into a duel.

These Exotics allow you to get away with much more sloppy movement and aggressive gameplay, making these an excellent Exotic if you’re new to playing Hunter. Even Hunter mains will use this Exotic for the number of aggressive plays it lets you get away with, allowing you to aggressively snipe or duel enemies in competitive modes. Simply put, Wormhusk Crown is one of the best PvP Exotics in Destiny 2—arguably the best for newer Hunters. Just be sure to spec for 100 Mobility and use Marksman’s Dodge to get the most out of this Exotic.

Pros

Cons

  • Tied to your dodge
  • Allows for aggressive gameplay
  • HP bump is mediocre in PvE
  • Tough to use other Exotics once you’re used to Wormhusk

6 Caliban’s Hand

A Hunter wears the Caliban's Hand exotic gloves in Destiny 2.

Roast ‘Em: Your Proximity Knife scorches targets it damages with its explosions, or ignites targets on a direct kill. After throwing a Proximity Knife, you gain increased melee regeneration until the knife explodes.

Caliban’s Hand is a fantastic Exotic for giving your Gunslinger spec some additional add-clearing potential. This Exotic allows your Proximity Knife to Scorch targets. Should the knife kill them, they’ll trigger an Ignite that deals immense damage over a wide area.

PvE

Caliban’s Hand is the best Exotic for Gunslingers. Now that Knock ‘Em Down works with Caliban’s Hand, this Exotic has quickly turned into a powerhouse for most builds. Throwing a knife and a grenade will cause any target to Ignite, dealing massive damage over a wide area.

This isn’t a niche Exotic for low-level content. Ignites scale well into Master and even GM content. And with the strength of Knock ‘Em Down, it’s possible to keep chaining these high-damage Ignites in low to mid-tier content. Young Ahamkara’s Spine might help recharge your grenade, but Caliban’s Hand makes it incredibly easy to Ignite targets in all forms of content. Caliban’s Hand is an excellent pick for Gunslingers across all PvE content.

PvP

Multikills are incredibly easy to get with Caliban’s Hand. Your Proximity Throwing Knife will inflict 60 Scorch onto the target. With a Fusion Grenade and Ember of Ashes, you can easily trigger an Ignite with your grenade and knife. Any enemy tagged by the grenade will die from the Ignite. Caliban’s Hand is a powerhouse in 6v6 modes and quite strong in 3v3 playlists.

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent add-clearing potential
  • Can get multikills in PvP
  • Requires your grenade to Ignite reliably in PvP

RELATED: Destiny 2: A Complete Guide To Armor 2.0

5 Omnioculus

A Hunter wears the Omnioculus exotic chest armor in Destiny 2.

Beyond the Veil: You gain a second Smoke Bomb charge and heave damage resistance while invisible. When you make an ally invisible, they gain damage resistance while invisible and you gain melee energy.

While playing Nightstalker, you have two melee charges instead of one. Anyone that becomes invisible from your Smoke Bombs will gain Resist x4 while invisible. You also gain 50 percent Smoke Bomb energy for each ally you make invisible.

PvE

Omnioculus lets you bypass the Gambler’s Dodge nerf in the Bungie 30th Anniversary Pack since it gives you melee energy outright. Making two allies invisible is fairly easy in content where it matters, allowing you to spam infinite Smoke Bombs to give allies extra damage resistance.

Damage resistance might seem redundant when you’re invisible, but this DR can be a lifesaver when going up against AoE attacks. It also stacks with other DR sources like Well of Tenacity and Concussive Dampener, making your team much harder to kill. Overall, Omnioculus is a powerful endgame Exotic for Nightstalker Hunters that gives you on-demand invisibility and damage resistance. If you run Grandmaster Nightfalls or raids at all, you need this Exotic in your inventory.

PvP

Omnioculus does lose some value in PvP but is far from useless. Going invisible will wipe you from the enemy’s radar and offers a sizable damage resistance increase — even after various nerfs. That DR buff is enough to alter the TTK of just about every meta weapon in the Crucible. While niche, Omnioculus can be a powerhouse in the Crucible when used correctly.

Pros

Cons

  • Gives you nigh-infinite Smoke Bombs in PvE
  • Has excellent synergy with Nightstalker
  • Makes you much tougher to kill in PvP
  • Lackluster for solo content
  • Smoke Bomb invisibility takes two seconds to work in PvE

4 Assassin’s Cowl

A hunter wears the Assassin's Cowl exotic helmet in Destiny 2.

Vanishing Execution: Powered melee final blows grant invisibility and restore a portion of health and shields. Finishers and final blows against more powerful targets increase the duration of the invisibility and the amount of health and shields restored.

Assassin’s Cowl grants nine seconds of invisibility and partial healing upon defeating a target with a melee ability. Finishers and kills against majors and bosses increase the healing effect and boosts the invisibility duration to 15 seconds.

PvE

Assassin’s Cowl fundamentally changes how you play as a Hunter. Melee ability kills or finishers give you a way of disengaging from a fight, allowing you to recover your health or reload your weapons. It does mean you’ll need to stay at close range, yet the healing this Exotic provides is more than enough to keep you in the fight in most activities. And since you can proc Assassin’s Cowl on finishers, it gives you a safety net in just about every PvE encounter with fodder enemies.

This Exotic really shows its potential on Arcstrider and Revenant. The former allows you to frequently punch targets to death, becoming invisible while restoring almost all of your health upon doing so. The latter turns you into an ice ninja that acts as a synthesis of the Nightstalker and Revenant playstyles. Use your grenade to freeze or shatter targets, then throw a Withering Blade on a weakened target to get out of a gunfight. If you love playing aggressively or main Arcstrider, you need to give Assassin’s Cowl a try.

PvP

While this Exotic does work in PvP, its usefulness is limited at best. Enemies can still see you while you’re invisible, and it doesn’t hide you from enemy radar while double jumping or when you begin to sprint. Unless you have some type of ranged melee attack, getting this helmet’s Exotic perk to activate is incredibly risky. Most players are better off using something else.

Pros

Cons

  • Works with any subclass
  • HP and shield restore is substantial
  • Invisibility has a long duration
  • Tough to activate in PvP
  • Aggressive playstyle is hit-or-miss for GMs and Master raids
  • Lackluster for certain Subclass specs

RELATED: Destiny 2: Armor Mods And Armor Charge Explained

3 Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk

A Hunter wears Gyrfalcon's Hauberk exotic chest armor in Destiny 2.

See Me, Feel Me: Your Void weapons gain volatile rounds after you emerge from being invisible. When you are invisible and defeat a combatant while using a finisher, all of your weapons gain bonus damage; you and your nearby allies gain a reserve overshield and improved class ability regeneration. These reserve overshields can be deployed by using a class ability.

Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk originally gave a massive damage buff after breaking out of invisibility, but this broke PvP balance so Bungie reworked it a season later. This Exotic now grants Volatile Rounds for ten seconds upon breaking invisibility. The finisher effect now grants a six-second damage buff and, if performed while invisible, grants a reserve overshield to you after using a dodge.

PvE

The rework Gyrfalcon’s Hauberk received was arguably a buff for PvE players. Nightstalkers struggle with ability energy without external sources like Elemental Wells, so being able to access Volatile Rounds so easily is a major boon for this subclass.All of your Void weapons fire explosive bullets that deal high damage, enhance the add-clearing potential of your guns, and adds some additional DPS to Heavy weapons.

Simply put, this is an S-tier Exotic that’s a sidegrade to Omnioculus in endgame content. Pairing this Exotic with Stylish Executioner gives you 100 percent uptime on Volatile Rounds, even in GM Nightfalls. Your Primary Void weapons become decent options for difficult content, and your Void Heavy weapons dish out even more damage. The finisher effect is unfortunately too short to make any real use of, yet the Volatile Rounds effect is so powerful that it doesn’t matter.

PvP

While you don’t get an easy damage buff in PvP anymore, buffing your Void guns with Volatile Rounds is still useful. Volatile Rounds can be used to damage groups of enemies in 6v6 modes, apply pressure to more passive playstyles, and trigger weapon perks like Repulsor Brace. It’s an Exotic you’d mostly use for 6v6 playlists to benefit from the Volatile explosion. Pair this Exotic with Echo of Expulsion for a fun time. That said, you’re better off using Omnioculus or something else entirely for 3v3 modes.

Pros

Cons

  • Gives 100 percent uptime on Volatile Rounds
  • Buffs add clear and boss DPS with no micro-management
  • Can be used to trigger perks in PvP.
  • Finisher damage bonus has extremely limited uptime.
  • Volatile is less useful in PvP
  • Volatile only works with Void weapons

2 Star-Eater Scales

A Hunter wears the Star-Eater Scales Exotic Boots in Destiny 2.

Feast of Light: You gain additional Super energy from Orbs of Power you pick up. While your Super energy is full, picking up an Orb of Power overcharges your Super, causing you to gain a burst of healing when cast and a bonus to your Super damage. At maximum overcharge, you also gain an overshield.

There’s a lot is going on with this Exotic, so let’s break it down.

  1. Grabbing an Orb of Power grants twice as much Super energy, even Masterwork Orbs.
  2. When your Super bar is full, grabbing an Orb of Power grants one stack of Feast of Light. This buff increases the damage of your Super and heals you when you cast your Super.
  3. If you reach x8 Feast of Light, the buff’s cap, you gain an overshield upon casting your Super.
  4. You lose all stacks of Feast of Light when you cast your Super or die.
  5. At x4 Feast of Light, your Super deals 55 percent increased damage.
  6. At x8 Feast of Light, your Super deals 70 percent increased damage.

PvE

If a perk or Exotic description is a paragraph long, there’s a good chance it’s good. Star-Eater Scales is no exception. These boots allow you to cast your Super much more frequently, and it boosts the strength of your Super if you decide to hold onto it.

You can use these boots in one of two ways:

  1. Gain your Super much faster, allowing you to spam your Super more frequently.
  2. Hold your Super to create a supercharged version by grabbing Orbs.

The former is excellent for general PvE content, while the latter is much more suited for raids and pinnacle PvE content. Star-Eater Scales has a level of versatility that makes them a great choice in PvE.

Every build can take advantage of these boots, and those that build around Star-Eater Scales can expect a ludicrous amount of damage or Super spam — especially with Blade barrage. They make Golden Gun stronger, allow Moebius Quiver to compete with DPS Supers, and it turns Blade Barrage into the single best burst DPS Super in Destiny 2.

Why not Orpheus Rig?


Orpheus Rig is a fantastic Exotic for Nightstalkers, provided you’re using Moebius Quiver. It’s more of a sidegrade to Star-Eater Scales, sacrificing raw strength for consistency. Since Star-Eater Scales works with every subclass and not just one, it won a spot on this list.

PvP

Gaining twice as much Super energy from Orbs of Power is incredibly strong, yet PvP arenas typically aren’t littered with Orbs. These boots are serviceable in 6v6 playlists, but they don’t offer the neutral game benefits that other Hunter Exotics provide.

Pros

Cons

  • Doubles Super energy from Orbs of Power
  • Enhances every Super
  • Enables Super-spam builds
  • Lose all stacks on death
  • Limited use in PvP
  • Opportunity cost for PvP

1 St0mp-EE5

A Hunter wears St0mp-EE5 exotic boots in Destiny 2.

Hydraulic Boosters: Increases sprint speed and slide distance. Improves High Jump, Strafe Jump, and Triple Jump.

Bungie has rolled back the -50 Airborne Effectiveness penalty on St0mp-EE5 in season 21. You will now only gain improved speed, slide, and jump abilities only when your dodge energy is full.

Mobility is king in Destiny 2, both for PvE and PvP. St0mp-EE5 is all about enhancing your mobility, causing your jumps to become stronger while increasing your sprint and slide speeds.

PvE

Movement Exotics are entirely subjective in PvE. They prevent you from using a Super-enhancing Exotic like Celestial Nighthawk, although the movement enhancements can make the difference. St0mp-EE5 are as powerful as they come in terms of movement Exotics, making your jumps and overall mobility much stronger while your class ability is charged.

You can avoid enemies more easily, slide to cover much faster, and be able to traverse the battlefield more quickly than others. It’s up to you if that’s worth it over other top-tier PvE Exotics. You’ll at least want to have a pair of these boots in your inventory for when you encounter a platforming section.

PvP

You won’t find a better movement Exotic as a Hunter. St0mp-EE5 has everything you’d want from a movement Exotic: faster sprint speed, further slide distance, and much stronger jumps. These boots transform your movement game, allowing you to traverse maps in the blink of an eye. These boots are what allow the ‘hoppity Hunters’ playstyle.

However, now with the class ability energy requirement, you must choose to engage enemies or escape them. This makes St0mp-EE5 a movement tool and not the instant-win button they once were. However, the extra agility you get is nothing short of S-tier.

You can reposition so much faster than any other Hunter in the game, giving you a massive advantage in just about every gunfight.

Pros

Cons

  • Drastically improved agility
  • Enhanced jump is fantastic for jumping puzzles and PvP
  • Great for all game types
  • Tough to use other Exotics once you get used to them
  • Doesn’t offer many benefits in PvE

NEXT: The Best Exotics For Titans In Destiny 2, Ranked

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