Let’s get started.

Here is the official entry page for the Fighting Lion.

Delayed Gratification

Delayed Gratification

Grenades bounce. Delayed detonation.

Thin the Herd

Thin the Herd

Direct hits do more damage to enemy combatant shields. Rapid kills against grenade-damaged enemies refill the magazine. Kills always drop Primary ammo.


Masterwork Perk: Chimera

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

The Stats (modified from light.gg)

If you’re curious about the bonuses of individual perks on the gun, they are below: Countermass Rounds:

  • Stability + 9
  • Recoil Direction + 30
  • Handling + 9
  • Bounce Intensity - 10

Implosion Rounds:

  • Velocity + 9
  • Stability + 13
  • Blast Radius - 5

Short-Action Stock:

  • Handling + 14

The Basics

Fighting Lion is an Exotic Break Action, Breach Loading Void Energy Slot Grenade Launcher.

Exotic perks and Archetype

The “Exotic” perk is Delayed Gratification, which is the same perk as Lightweight Frame from legendary single shot grenade launchers:

One-shot handheld Grenade Launcher with remote detonation. Hold to fire, release to detonate.

Like all Lightweight Frames in Destiny 2, it offers an intrinsic Mobility bonus, +20 on the Shadowkeep scale.

72 90 RPM like all Lightweight frames

Misleading, RPM is gated by reload speed, not firing rate. The practical RPM of Fighting Lion is dictated not by frame RPM, but by reloading. Testing by the Fighting Lion community pegs the actual RPM as 40.5 RPM.

With that out of the way, it’s worth looking at the actual exotic perk: Thin the Herd. There are three full distinct parts and each of them is more than can be discussed in a short list.

  1. Direct hits do more damage to enemy combatant shields.
    • In Crucible, this is not applicable. In PvE, Void damage naturally does a huge amount of damage. Solar and Arc both do the same and larger amounts of damage. See Detailed Damage for more.
  2. Rapid kills against grenade-damaged enemies refill the magazine.
    • This aspect of the perk is badly worded.
    • If you do damage with Fighting Lion, getting a kill (against any target), will refill the magazine.
    • A rapid kill after or before causing damage with the target will refill it. See Techniques for more.



+27 Reload speed from 10 to 27. However, there is an additional +70 bonus that lasts for 7 seconds whenever you hit any target.

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.

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

Chimera Perks

Here’s what a swap & ADS test with a Quickdraw 110rpm vs a non-Quickdraw 110rpm Hand Cannon looks like: chimera test

27 Handling Home for the Lost with Quickdraw and a 26 Handling Crimil’s Dagger. Click here for video.

It’s essentially Lucky Pants 2.0 but for every weapons type. It’s better than Ophidian Aspect, but can be stacked with Chimera. Dragon’s Shadow is faster, and cannot be stacked with Chimera.

For more information, refer to this CruciblePlayBook thread and this video by Drewsky.

Using the Gun


  • Hold to Fire, Release to Detonate
    • 90% of your hits will not be full damage, but that is okay.
  • How long can you hold for detonation?
    • You can hold a grenade for 6 seconds before it times out and detonates on its own.
  • Hipfire!
    • Lion is a gun that is meant to be hip-fired. The iron sights are there, but you should avoid using them. Learn the arcs and distances without it and you’ll be a stronger player. Especially because hipfiring skill carries over to other guns like The Last Word, sidearms, etc.
  • Too close to arm
    • The Fighting Lion grenade needs 15 meters (or about a 0.5 seconds) to prime itself before it can be detonated (unless it’s a body hit). This means you can’t do an in-air detonation in close proximity to yourself.

Inverted Lion

The Thin the Herd perk says “Rapid hits against Grenade Damaged Targets Refill the Magazine”.

This is wrong. On almost every level.

The kills don’t have to be against grenade damaged opponents for starters. But also!

You can get the kill first! Behold, the Inverted Lion!

This didn’t use to work in Crucible, but since Season 11 it does.


Check out Armor: Mods & Stats for more information on reload speed mods.

But that’s only part of the story! Fighting Lion will automatically reload after the round you’ve fired detonates. However!

Reloading is special with Fighting Lion as you can manually begin a reload immediately after firing, even while holding to detonate the fired round.

This process is referred to as Manual Reloading. This removes the entire recoil animation and allows for reloading nearly 2x as fast. Reload mods do help even if you’re doing manual reloads.

manual reload

As you can see, Manual Reloading significantly cuts down on recoil & return, and eliminates the cooldown. It’s still not anywhere close to 90 rpm, though.

The Manual Reload button sequence is: Fire (mouse 1 or RT) and while holding, Hit Reload, Release Fire (m1/RT).

Manual reloading: Practice hitting reload after you fire the weapon. Don’t wait until after detonate the round! However, with the new reload bonus, you want to only manually reload after you get the initial hit reload bonus. Before then it will be slow.

It is tricky to get the perfect timing to pull this off however. The community has developed a macro for this purpose, but even that can be inconsistent. The Macro is really for instructive purposes only. It’s cool script, but it’s not feasible to use in Crucible for any real means.

Auto-Lion Script

Disclaimer Bungie’s stance on scripting is really unclear since Titan Skate macro users weren’t punished in any way, and manual reload is technically possible without the script. There’s nothing in here about aiming or exploiting code. Using a macro, you risk anti-cheat measures from Bungie. That said, this script is relatively benign and doesn’t break anything or do anything a human can’t do. Use with caution.

The Details

Ammo Management

Fighting Lion is a primary ammo weapon and thus has infinite ammo. The price we paid for that is a reload stat of 0.

Grenade Health

It is possible to have your grenade shot out of the air.


Scumbag Lion round. Deals 168 damage, can’t even take 10.

The Fighting Lion grenade has <=11 hp in Crucible, (as tested by a rapid fire SMG.)


Disclaimer These are very rare, and/or hard to exploit, so don’t freak out.

Double Increased Damage after death

Watch close and you can see the Lion did 180+33, killing the Golden Gun Hunter.

If you fire your round and are killed before you detonate it, it will detonate on impact with a guardian or the timer. Instead of the normal 128+22 damage, it will instead be 154 + 27. It happens rarely and mostly when I engage with long-range, insta-kill targets such as snipers or Golden Guns.

This used to be literally double damage, but since patch 2.8.0, it’s merely +27% damage, and since Y4 it’s down to +22%.

Murder Friendly Fire

Because Fighting Lion is a projectile, you can cause people in ManCannons (lifts) to receive too much change in velocity and the Architects will kill them. Only really doable in The Haul in Recknoning and Public Event lifts, and such. Sorry,,,

Double Impact

Fixed in patch 3.1.0

Double Impact Glitch

Happens when someone is touching a wall and the grenade hits them twice.