“I know you.” – Lord Felwinter
Winter’s Guile presents a unique but practical thought to the world of Destiny 2 Exotics – what if punching things makes the next punch even stronger. You wouldn’t think the intellectual space-magic wielding Warlock would need a solid melee strike but here we are.
Winter’s Guile utilises the perk Warlord’s Sigil which increases your melee damage after eliminating an enemy. This enemy can be anything, from the lowliest Dreg to the most powerful Guardian and everything in between. The Winter’s Guile will activate after every single melee kill scored, and the damage bonus will last for approximately five seconds…unless you get another kill. That’s because this Exotic stacks the Warlord’s Sigil bonus, increasing damage each and every time. The highest I managed to get was a stack of five before I ran out of enemies to punch and the damage bonus is definitely noticeable. Even simply scoring a 2x stack of Warlord’s Sigil was enough to deal a quarter health bar worth of damage to a high priority Vandal in the EDZ. It is important to note that the stacks aren’t used up if you melee a target but not kill them, which opens up a few more hits with increased damage.
The Winter’s Guile is definitely more of a PVE Exotic, with an abundance of lower level enemies to build up the Warlord’s Sigil stacks and make use out of that drastically increased melee damage. It would be especially useful in Strikes and Public Events where there are large groups of enemies charging at you, where you can build up melee damage through smaller opponents and then take out the larger ones, a flurry of Guardian sized fists.
In a Crucible setting, it is almost a waste of an Exotic slot to be perfectly honest. While there are a lot of instances throughout PVP where a winner is determined through melee attacks, you most likely would not get to use the damage bonus granted by Warlord’s Sigil if you win the altercation. If you are faced with two or more enemy Guardians, even if you manage to kill one, you would still be eliminated by the rest of the team. In a one v one scenario, it is more than likely that the timer would run out on your damage boost before you encounter another enemy. There are plenty of good Exotics to run for Crucible and Winter’s Guile is not one of them.
The Winter’s Guile can be found through an Exotic Engram decryption or from Xur if he happens to carry it in his inventory.