Eriana’s Vow once dominated Destiny 2’s PvE meta—now players are desperate for a buff

Eriana’s Vow was once omnipresent in endgame PvE for Destiny 2. If an activity had Champions in it, Eriana’s Vow was practically mandatory. Yet in 2024, as more weapons have colonized its role, the Exotic has become a shadow of its former self, to the point players are demanding buffs.

“It’s such a unique weapon, it’s a shame that it hasn’t seen any buffs in the last years,” reads one recent post to the Destiny 2 subreddit, which had a simple solution to kickstart its recovery in the sandbox: allow Eriana’s Vow to destroy Barrier Champions’ shields in one hit. After all, it’s now one of the only anti-Barrier weapons of its kind that can’t. Eriana’s Vow was strong back when it was the only Exotic that could easily dispatch barriers, but weapons like Arbalest have been buffed over the years to the point they now all outclass the original tool built to take down those enemies.

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You won’t be seeing many people using Eriana’s Vow these days, and for good reason. Image via Bungie

The conversation has been reignited by the recent addition of Rocket-Assisted Frame sidearms in season 23, a unique archetype that uses Special ammo and can break barriers in a single shot. Eriana’s Vow’s inability to do so to this day is even more glaring in the face of Legendary weapons that can. As one commenter pointed out, there’s now “zero reason to keep it underperforming.” With the advent of power creep, there’s very little risk of Eriana’s Vow returning to the perch atop the throne it once held. All its current lack of buffs since 2020 has done has allowed it to steadily decline into total irrelevance.

But buffing it isn’t simple, either. “Making it ‘Arbalest but Solar’ isn’t going to make people start using it,” reads another reply. It’s a take that comes with some precedent. Unless you’re running a Strand or Stasis build, the Kinetic weapon slot is almost exclusively reserved for a Special weapon in PvE.

With how important synergy between the energy type of your weapon and your subclass has become since Light 3.0, players prefer to keep a Primary weapon locked to their energy slot. Eriana’s Vow has to offer something more than a Kinetic competitor like Arbalest does to make Guardians break from this habit. The commenter suggested implementing an intrinsic version of the Revitalizing Blast Artifact mod onto Eriana’s Vow, which would cause a Solar Ignition after stunning a champion. Not only would it be a hefty chunk of bonus damage, but it would also allow Eriana’s Vow to more consistently proc Solar Fragment benefits.

Comparisons to Arbalest are inevitable and necessary. When Arbalest received intrinsic anti-Barrier in season 15, Eriana’s Vow’s usage dropped instantly. Both weapons now fit the same role, meaning that a buff to the hand cannon would need to also rework its current identity until it has its own niche to fill. Without it, players don’t have a reason to use Eriana’s Vow—a difficult fate for any Exotic to face, especially one that used to be so dominant.

Unfortunately for those hoping to see the gun’s return, they’ll at least be waiting until The Final Shape, if not beyond it. All of Bungie’s attention is currently on the suite of classic weapons being refreshed for Into The Light, which look to be some of the strongest Legendary weapons Destiny 2 has put out.

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