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Here’s how Bungie revived Destiny’s long-lost Exotic swords

They brought back my favorite weapon in the best way possible

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Destiny 2 Dark Drinker 2.0 sword Season of Arrivals Image: Bungie
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

In Destiny 2, players have only a handful of Exotic swords, all of which pale in comparison to the Exotic trio of the original Destiny. After three years of players missing these beloved Exotic swords, Bungie has recreated them in the best way possible for Destiny 2: Season of Arrivals. Dark-Drinker and Bolt-Caster are back, but this time, they’re Legendaries.

The original Exotic trio

Destiny: The Taken King added swords to the Destiny universe. Players felled the Hive god Oryx and made one of three elemental swords from his corpse. Through a lot of grinding and a lengthy quest, players could transform those swords into one of three Exotics: Raze-Lighter, Dark-Drinker, and Bolt-Caster.

Each of these swords had a unique trait. Raze-Lighter could deliver a massive uppercut attack, Bolt-Caster could fling a lightning disc across an arena, and Dark-Drinker, the fan favorite, could spin in a circle to deal massive damage. Dark-Drinker became one of the de facto weapons for raiding, as it gave any player the ability to take down a tough enemy on their own. It was even the best option on the original Destiny’s final raid boss, Aksis, in the Wrath of the Machine raid.

The rebirth of Dark-Drinker and Bolt-Caster

Destiny 2 Falling Guillotine sword
The Dark-Drinker 2.0, Falling Guillotine
Image: Bungie via Polygon

Before Season of Arrivals, every sword in Destiny 2 had the same heavy attack, which mirrored Raze-Lighter’s old uppercut attack. The Worldline Zero Exotic sword lets players spin, but it’s more about moving quickly than dealing damage. Similarly, the Black Talon Exotic sword replaced Bolt-Caster, allowing players to deal damage from afar. But nothing matched the power of the original three Exotic swords.

But in Season of Arrivals, Bungie added two new swords with brand new archetypes. Temptation’s Hook has a Caster Frame, which causes the heavy attack to launch a ranged bolt and bypass enemy shields. The Falling Guillotine has a Vortex Frame, which spins the sword in a massive circle for its heavy attack. Because Frames in Destiny 2 aren’t unique to a single weapon, it’s likely Destiny players will find new Vortex and Caster Frame swords in later seasons.

What made Dark-Drinker so special?

Destiny: The Taken King - three Guardians running in the Sunless Cell strike
Destiny 1 players entering the pit on the Dreadnaught, part of the Exotic sword quest
Image: Bungie

In the original Destiny, I only had Raze-Lighter for the longest time, not realizing how powerful Dark-Drinker was when I made my once-per-character decision on the sword I wanted.

When I recently returned to the original Destiny, I went through the trouble to pick up Dark-Drinker. After using it in a single raid, I understood why some players practically never took it off. Going back to Destiny 2 to prepare for Season of Arrivals, I found a Dark-Drinker-sized hole in my heart.

It’s even better as a Legendary

Falling Guillotine lives up to the legacy that Dark-Drinker built. While not quite as powerful as Dark-Drinker, Falling Guillotine is not an Exotic, meaning it opens up a lot of potential builds. Since players can only have a single Exotic weapon equipped at once, a favored Exotic really limits players’ options.

But because Temptation’s Hook and Falling Guillotine are Legendary weapons, I can run them with the new Witherhoard grenade launcher, Thorn, or any number of other great Exotics.

Falling Guillotine makes me the most excited I’ve been about a Destiny Legendary weapon since Bungie stopped making Pinnacle weapons each season, and it’s quickly becoming my favorite weapon in Destiny 2. And, unlike the original and Exotic Dark-Drinker, I won’t need to ditch this new sword when I pick up a shiny new Exotic later this season or in Beyond Light this fall.

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