To help you pick a weapon for pairing with your Lion, we’re going to do look at 3 things:

  • Preferred Engagement Distance and Playstyle
  • Archetypes
  • Perks

And then end with some of my favorites.

Distance & playstyle

The Getting Started page was all about Lion’s strengths for distance and playstyle. But if you want to become a master, it’s important to understand Lion’s weaknesses, as well as its strengths.

  • Lion is weakest in close quarters. It cannot be remoted detonated within 15 meters or 0.5 seconds of firing. But don’t worry, direct hits will explode. But with a requirement to get direct hits and a 2.5 second (minimum) reload time, you must have something in your back pocket to deal with apes. Sidearms and SMGs are great options, and so are shotguns, but you can also rely on your subclass abilities of grenades and melees to supplement. Even if you want to play long range, you must be prepared for apes.
  • Lion is second weakest at long ranges. A 2.5 second reload time is often enough time for enemies to disengage and begin recovery. A long-range weapon such as a sniper or even pulse rifle can supplement here.

Fighting Lion is incredibly versatile and can be used with just about any playstyle. So consider your own preferences as well as those weaknesses and start building your loadout.

  • Lion is most comfortable at close-mid range where you are the aggressor. Put in shots until you tag the enemy and push with your kinetic.
  • Lion is a team play gun. A Lion round that hits while a teammate hits with a single hand cannon head shot is INSTANT death.

Lastly, triple grenade launcher isn’t just a meme.

It’s real and big and is my friend.

One last thing to note. Fighting Lion is very viable as part of a Double Primaries Loadout. Double primary has the advantage of starving your enemies of Special ammo. That means it costs them ammo to kill you.


A perfect Lion shot in PvP will result in 166 damage. But it’s also possible to get as low as say 40 damage. There are two schools of thought to how to clean up the Lion:

  • Big damage follow-up
    • Think something like a sniper/grenade launcher. These are very effective clean-up options, but they do take special ammo. Primaries can also work, but for big damage clean-up you’ll be limited to just a few archetypes. A good example is a 120 RPM hand cannon’s damage will do the job.
  • Small damage follow-up
    • Picture Recluse: its fast 900 RPM firerate means that regardless of target health, you’re spraying them down and can get a good fast TTK. The difference is that instead of instant TTK from a 120rpm Headshot, you have to have more shots. There aren’t any big break point penalties either, so your TTK is more consistent and even faster than slower RPMs.

Using Mercules’ Massive Breakdown Weapons Stats Spreadsheet, I modified it to determine Shots to Kill (STK) and Time to Kill (TTK) for various RPM handcannons. The below charts will show the effect between Big & Small Damage follow-ups:


As you can see:

  • You’re less likely to need a follow-up shot with a 120rpm, but if you need that second shot, it’ll take forever.
  • You’re more likely to need a follow-up shot with a 180rpm, but it’ll be ready sooner.
  • Included, for reference, is a Lightweight RPM SMG(like Recluse), shooting at 80% accuracy, so you can see the effect of the fastest RPM gun and how strong a fast flexible choice is as well.

Of course, there are other options to consider such as handling, engagement distance, whether you want to prioritize accuracy or number of shots, etc. But with this information, you can make an informed choice.


A reminder of Lion’s Chimera Perk

The Masterwork is essential to using the Lion in Crucible! Not just for the massively improved reload, but for the new perk:

Chimera - After this weapon fires, equipped Kinetic and Power weapons gain a brief period of increased handling and accuracy.

Chimera lasts for 3 seconds after firing the Lion and gives the same bonuses as Quick Draw, Snapshot Sights and Opening Shot

Look at difference with a low handling Redrix’s Broadsword:

credit: u/gameralways123’s post on r/CruciblePlayBook

Let me say that again. Fighting Lion’s Masterwork perk gives your Kinetic weapon the following perks:

Chimera Perks

Other perks

  • Mobility Improving

    • Lightweight Frames, gives +20 mobility.
    • Moving Target, Hipfire Grip If you prefer to ADS or hipfire, these will help with your strafe speed greatly.
    • Air Assault lmao, I dunno, I kinda want to try it with an Austringer.
  • Damage Perks

    • Kill clip, Rampage, Swashbuckler

Utility perks

  • Auto-loading holster is a solid choice for your kinetic, especially if it doesn’t have a damage boosting perk that requires a reload. With an auto-loading holster kinetic, you basically never need to reload.


  • Range (for PC) and Stability (Console) are mainstays, but Range is less important for a lot of weapons now.
  • Handling masterworks are somewhat redundant thanks to Fighting Lion’s Chimera but it only works one way. If you want quick swap back to your Lion, handling is good.
  • Reload masterwork is underrated for Lion users. If your Lion doesn’t auto-reload itself, you’re potentially looking at reloading both your kinetic and your Lion, so anything that cuts that down is nice. However, because Lion gives your kinetic Quickdraw, Snapshot sights and Opening Shot, you likely have more perk choices can take a Reload perk making a Reload masterwork redundant.

Specific PvP Recommendations

Primary options

  • Steady Hand 120rpm Hand cannon with Swashbuckler/ Iron Gaze
  • True Prophecy 120rpm Hand cannon with Opening Shot/Rangefinder, Rampage/Explosive Payload
  • The Messenger High Impact Pulse with Kill Clip or Desperado
  • Sacred Provenance Aggressive Pulse with Rapid Hit/Outlaw and Kill Clip
  • Biting Winds Precision Bow with Moving Target, Swashbuckler
  • Multimach CCX Lightweight SMG with Kill Clip
  • Friction Fire Precision SMG with Killing Wind and Well Spring
  • Extraordinary Rendition Aggressive SMG with Surplus and Tap the Trigger/Rampage

Special options

  • Heritage Precision Shotgun with Reconstruction and Thresh
  • Blasphemer Precision Shotgun with Quickdraw and Rampage/Thresh/Opening Shot
  • Astral Horizon Aggressive Shotgun with Auto-loading holster/Pulse Monitor and Opening Shot
  • Bite of the Fox Aggressive Sniper with Opening Shot/ Rampage