“It is my honor.” – Chalco Yong to Ikora Rey
The Dragon’s Shadow is one of those Exotics that you have to play around with for a little bit before you realise what a true power it is. When I first equipped this Exotic I thought it was a bit underwhelming, but let me tell you I could not be more wrong. The Dragon’s Shadow is an absolute powerhouse and works absolute wonders.
The Exotic perk for Dragon’s Shadow is Wraithmetal Mail, which grants increased movement and weapon handling speed for a short time after dodging. This perk will last for about 9 seconds after the dodge is complete, which is more than enough time to deal some impressive damage and/or run away screaming. The weapon handling bonus is enough to make this Exotic top tier, for the fact that handling encompasses so much in regards to firing. For those who are unsure, handling affects; readying a weapon to fire after switching, the actual act of switching weapons, ADS speed and the time it takes to aim or fire a weapon after engaging in a mobility action, such as falling, jumping or sliding. It is a convoluted stat but Dragon’s Shadow boosts it all. It provides a distinct edge in combat by allowing your Hunter to have the weapon ready and firing quicker than your opponent which will generally equal a win in your favour…unless you are a terrible shot. The movement speed boost, on the other hand, is not as dramatic and effectual as other Hunter Exotics, such as the ST0MP-EE5 but it still makes you a lot harder to hit and at times a lot less predictable.
The Dragon’s Shadow will have a use wherever there are enemies you need to eliminate, especially in higher level events such as Public Events, Nightfalls and even Raids. The dodge ability has a relatively short cooldown which combined with the length of time that Wraithmetal Mail stays active, means you can be a dangerous force on the battlefield. A weapon handling speed increase is only going to be beneficial as it will save a precious few seconds with readying and aiming the weapon and put them towards damage output, which can be instrumental in higher level encounters.
Although nowhere is this truer than in the Crucible where high paced and intense gameplay thrives, and oftentimes, he/she who fires first (Or retreats first) is the victor. Some weapons are readied quicker than others and give Guardians a distinct advantage, especially if they have just run or jumped in from another area. However, Dragon’s Shadow will give your Hunter an incredible bonus and gift every single one of your weapons, with the handling bonus. In my regard, it makes using Merciless, Sweet Business and other high powered weapons even more satisfying because it cuts off some time before firing, which allows a distinct advantage in winning firefights.
The Dragon’s Shadow can be acquired through an Exotic Engram decryption or from Xur if he happens to carry it in his inventory.