Exotic choices will favor one of three things:

  • Reloading and/or Dexterity (for Weapon Swaps) (like Transversive Steps or Dragon’s Shadow)
  • Synergies with melees or grenades (Like Titan overshields)
  • Mobility, but especially vertical play (like St0mp-335)
  • Utility, like damage buffs or other exotic perks (like Nezarec’s Sin using Lion’s void damage)

Disclaimer I’m a warlock main.

Warlock Exotics

Warlock Exotics

  • Ophidian Aspects Melee Reloading/Dexterity

    • If you prefer a strong neutral game, then Ophidians are for you. Giving +30 reload and strong handling bonuses, they’re a natural fit for Lion’s blint play style. That inherent reload speed buff is approximately 50% of the Fighting Lion’s reload cap. And you can stack mods to increase it. Don’t forget about the extended melee range!
  • Transversive Steps Reloading Mobility

    • Sprint faster, after sprinting for 2 seconds, your currently equipped weapon is reloaded. Lion has a ~ 2.5 second reload animation, so this is already a savings. This benefit is an incredibly strong choice for Trials/Survival where you need to quickly re-engage and don’t always have the time for Lion’s long reload.
  • Claws of Ahamkara Melee

    • A second melee charge. Nothing fancy. Can help with Top Tree Dawnblade’s Celestial Fire melee (33 damage x 3) or middle tree Stormcaller’s Ball Lightning (70 splash + 31 direct hit damage).
  • Nezarec’s Sins Utility

    • The pinnacle of Lion exotics for PvE, this exotic synergizes with Lion’s void nature. Void kills increase ability regeneration. For Grenades, a void kill, such as from the Lion, reduces 7 seconds from your cool down. For comparison, Eye of another World is a flat 30 second cooldown reduction. NB: Abyssal Extractors only activates for 2 seconds for a single grenade (even on multi-kills) if the user doesn’t have AE currently active; it can stack properly on multikills from single grenades while Abyssal Extractors is active.
  • Getaway Artist Utility

    • Consuming your grenade creates a turret that fires out five (5) burst that do 11 damage each. It lasts for 20 seconds and makes it excellent for helping with clean-up. NB: Arc buddies will proc Thin the Herd’s autoreload on your Lion.
  • Contraverse Hold Melee

    • Sadly the Handheld Supernova is nerfed, but it’s still a strong ranged melee for clean-up. Contraverse lets you get your grenades back faster and gives you a shield. In today’s crucible, a charged Axion Bolt grenade can prime enemies for a quick Lion cleanup.
  • The Stag Utility

    • Empowering Rifts give a 20% damage buff, and as of patch 2.8.0, it buffs direct hit damage as well. That means a direct hit will do 172+26, or 198, enough to kill all resiliencies. If you want to play a more Rift centric style, then use The Stag.
  • Lunafaction Boots Reloading

    • Another victim of nerfs. Lunafaction rifts used to allow Lion users to become Siege Tanks and shell the blam! out of enemy targets. Sadly, they now only give an increase to reload speed.
  • Verity’s Brow Utility

    • Recently reworked in 2.8.0. Energy weapon kills give up to 3x stacks. Each stack gives 10% damage to grenades. Throw a grenade to refresh your teammate’s grenade recharge rate. There’s still testing to be done, but the timing and damage boosts seem lackluster in Crucible.
  • Wings of Sacred Dawn Mobility

    • Aiming down sights holds you in place in mind-air and gives you incoming 15% damage reduction. But, you are incredibly exposed while this happens, so it has a very high risk component. The choice for Snipelion users. Use the hold perk sparingly and with a hip-fire weapon as possible. Use top tree Dawnblade and Strafe glide to expand your maneuverability when not holding in air. All that said, you can do some very cool plays such as holding above door frames and choke points. Don’t activate in the middle of the open of Bannerfall’s courtyard. Disclaimer: the visual effect while active makes you stick out massively, so beware if enemies are watching the skies!
  • Others

    • Sunbracers are top tier for PvE, because with an airborne playstyle with Lion, you’re constantly refilling your grenades and melees.
    • Before the 2.8.0 patch, Sanguine Alchemy used to mark all targets in 30 meters if you stood in a rift. This allowed for some very fun Duck Hunt shenanigans. It’s new perk of allowing indefinite rift duration with continual damage is sadly, no longer a top-tier choice for Lion users.

Titan Exotics

Titan Exotics

  • Insurmountable Skullfort Melee

    • Melee synergy with Arc health regeneration.
  • Synthoceps Melee

    • Melee synergy with long range melees, and extra melee damage while surrounded. Very fun choice with middle tree Striker.
  • Ashen Wake Grenade

    • The new Titan terror. Getting a kill with a sticky Fusion grenade recharges your grenade. And since sticky grenades do 140+ damage, they’re perfect for clean-up. Don’t forget Fastball perk on your gloves.
  • Doom Fang Pauldrons Melee

    • Melee synergy with Super regeneration.
  • Lion Rampant Mobility

    • Okay, so it’s not Ramparts, it’s Rampant. Look at the lion on the side of the them!
      • img
      • In Heraldry, Rampant means a Lion rearing up on its rear legs, which fits this exotic perfectly.
    • Gain what is effectively the Warlock’s Strafe Glide jump and increased in-air accuracy. An excellent choice for Fighting Lion users.
  • Peacekeepers Reloading/Dexterity

    • SMGs are a great pairing with Lion, so getting auto-loading SMGs is perfect.

Hunter Exotics

Hunter Exotics

  • Dragon’s Shadow Reloading/DexterityMobility

    • Top-tier choice for Hunters. Reload all weapons and gain MAXIMUM bonuses to handling and increased agility. Start here.
  • Ophidia Spathe Melee

    • An extra knife charge is a strong way to clean up Lion kills. Great pairing with middle tree Gunslinger’s Play with Fire perk.
  • Young Ahamkara’s Spine Grenade

    • If Fighting Lion is all about using geometry, then this exotic is the same. Use your sticky Tripmines on walls and floors to start or clean-up Lion kills.
  • Mechaneer’s Tricksleeves Reloading/Dexterity

    • A year one exotic for Sidearms that’s never been meta. But they’re a great fit for Lion. Increased swap & reload time for sidearms is good enough, but that’s the basic stuff. The bonus is that your sidearm gets extra damage if you swap while critically wounded, which is a common use case for Fighting Lion.
  • FR0ST-EE5 Mobility

    • An underrated exotic, but sprinting increasing abilities is a great synergy.
  • ST0MP-EE5 Mobility

    • Another top-tier choice. Increased jump height is perfect for using Lion and other hip-fire/Icarus weapons.