The Comedian Legendary Shotgun Review: Perks and Build Guide

Everything you need to know about the Legendary Shotgun, The Comedian! 

The Comedian is no laughing matter, originally being one of the best, and most sought after Shotguns in vanilla Destiny. Thanks to the April Update you can once again get your hands on this magnificent boomstick. At one point, the Crucible was flooded with the barking laughter of The Comedian, gunning down foes at an astonishing rate. However, when it fell behind the damage curve and new weapons were introduced many Comedians were dismantled or sat languishing in Vaults, gathering dust. While other Shotguns have now become the norm, The Comedian is ready to make its comeback.

We’ll be comparing The Comedian’s stats against its returning Year One partner, Two To The Morgue, and the ever-popular Conspiracy Theory-D.

The Comedian Base Stat Analysis

Rate of Fire - 23

For many weapons, this would be considered low. On the other hand, The Comedian isn’t “most weapons”, and instead sits high with a 23 Rate of Fire. Outclassing and outgunning both the Two To The Morgue at 14, and the Conspiracy Theory-D with an abysmal 5. We can already see why The Comedian was so often sought after… as it was one of the fastest firing Shotguns around!

Impact - 52

52 Impact is respectable for many weapons, unfortunately it does leave The Comedian lacking in comparison to its compatriots. The Two To The Morgue boasts a hefty 61, and the Conspiracy Theory-D stomps both of them with an impressive 67. This is the trade-off for the increased Rate of Fire, which is fair considering 52 Impact still offers some pretty impressive stopping power.

Range - 15

Average would be the best way to describe the Range stat of The Comedian. Shotguns are never designed to fire at extraordinary ranges (the infamous Felwinter’s Lie notwithstanding). Because of this, while The Comedian’s 15 is slightly behind the Two To The Morgue’s 18 and the Conspiracy Theory-D’s 16, the difference is negligible. Instead, you should aim to boost this stat through perks.

Stability - 39

With a Stability of 39, the difference between The Comedian and Two To The Morgue (sitting at a 42) is virtually indistinguishable. However, both have a considerable edge over the Conspiracy Theory-D with a Stability of 30. Keep in mind, Stability is not an overtly necessary stat on a Shotgun. Ideally, you want to be within perfect range of your opponent to take them out with a shot or two, which means it’s better to aim rather than aim precisely.

Reload - 39

Topping the chart, The Comedian has a comfortable Reload speed of 39. While very few Shotguns Reload quickly, The Comedian is definitely more forgiving. slightly better than the Two To The Morgue’s 34, and far exceeding the punishing 23 on the Conspiracy Theory-D. Either way, we recommend armor with perks to improve your Shotgun’s reload.

Magazine - 5

While 5 shots per Magazine is hardly below average for a Shotgun, it actually makes The Comedian the lowest on this list. Both Two To The Morgue and the Conspiracy Theory-D have 6 shots in each of their Magazines. Don’t worry about this stat too much, it only means you need to play smarter with the shots you have available. And with its increased Reload speed The Comedian will be back to full strength far quicker than its opposition.

Base Stat Conclusion

While many of The Comedian’s stats are average, there are two in particular that stand out above the other two comparative Shotguns. The increased Rate of Fire and Reload speed of The Comedian give it a crucial edge in Crucible combat, and while the Impact is slightly lacking, it’s still rather substantial. As with any Shotgun, Range-boosting perks are always desired so let’s look at what we have available.

The Comedian Perk Analysis

Unlike an Exotic weapon, Legendary weapons roll with random perks. We will be breaking these down as “Tiers”, with each Tier representing a column on the perk list. For Tiers with multiple options, we will tell you of each potential perk that could roll in that “Slot”. This are no guarantees, so we’ll be talking through each one and giving our thoughts on what works best where.

Tier 1: Ballistics (Selectable)

Slot 1 – Smooth Ballistics/Linear Compensator/Smart Drift

Control Pray you don’t get Smart Drift Control as it’s the worst possible choice for a Shotgun. Improving Recoil, but at the cost of reducing Range. Smooth Ballistics is a more viable option, boosting Range (even if it does reduce Stability further). However, if you’re truly looking for more power, hope for Linear Compensator. It will decrease Stability, but make Recoil more predictable, and simultaneously provide a boost to both Range and Impact.

Slot 2 – Field Choke/CQB Ballistics/Accurized Ballistics

CQB Ballistics is not an option here. Although it may improve Stability, it massively reduces Range, which is the polar opposite of what you’re looking for. Other than that, Field Choke and Accurized Ballistics are pretty interchangeable. Both reduce Stability, but improving Range and Impact (more than Linear Compensator).

Slot 3 – Aggressive Ballistics/Soft Ballistics

It’s safe to ignore this slot. Neither possible Ballistics perks will be particularly useful. Soft Ballistics in particular is best to avoid, improving Stability at the expense of Impact. That being said, you don’t really want Aggressive Ballistics either. It enhances Impact, but reduces Range and Stability. Neither one offers a good outcome.

Tier 2: The Buff Perks (Randomly Selected)

Each of the possible perks on this list presents you with a buff of some sort, and some are far more useful than others.

The list of potential perks are:

  • Rescue Mag
  • Grenadier
  • Crowd Control
  • Battle Runner
  • Close And/Or Personal
  • Life Support
  • Full Auto
  • Army of One

Not all perks are created equal. Some on the list only have a chance to occur, and are not guaranteed, so are less desirable. We’ll start there and work our way to the good stuff. Rescue Mag and Life Support are both arguably viable. Rescue Mag can mean the difference of winning or losing a particularly nasty close-quarters battle, potentially refilling your magazine when critically wounded. In the same vein, Life Support has a chance to trigger immediate health regeneration when getting a kill while critically wounded. Unfortunately, the poor likelihood of triggering means these perks are best avoided.

Grenadier and Army of One are both desirable if you have a build focusing around your abilities, particularly high Discipline PvP builds. Grenadier reduces grenade cooldowns on kills, and Army of One reduces both grenade and melee cooldowns on unassisted kills. More useful by far than Rescue Mag or Life Support, they support a specific playstyle and are best put aside if you’re looking for something more general.

Battle Runner is an odd choice, but is more viable than many give it credit for. When making kills with Battle Runner, players are granted a brief boost to the top speed of their sprint. In Crucible this can be great for Shotgunners, closing gaps quicker and appearing in unexpected areas. Definitely worth considering. Close And/Or Personal is also strange. Upon hitting an opponent with this weapon, you gain a 25% melee bonus for a short period of time. This means that you can shoot an opponent (without killing them), and then find yourself the superior in a melee fight if necessary. Handy against other Shotgunners. Finally, we get to the three most viable options.

Crowd Control is loved on many weapons, granting bonus damage for a short period of time after you get a kill. This means your next opponent gets a facefull of super-powered buckshot if you can get to them in time. It can also turn the tide if you’re a quick shot and outnumbered. Full Auto is often sought after and the reason for this is pretty self-explanatory – hold down the trigger and watch as shot after shot is delivered. However, this has the interesting side-effect of actually boosting Rate of Fire, making the The Comedian’s already high Rate of Fire all the more formidable.

This leaves us with the last option, and likely favorite, Rangefinder. Rangefinder increases your range as you aim down the sights of a weapon, and for The Comedian this is possibly the best option here. Helping to augment the somewhat disappointing Range it possesses.

Tier 3: First Stats and Augments (Selectable)

Split once again into Slots, each perk here either augments the performance of the weapon in some way physically, or it affects certain stats on the weapon.

Slot 1:

  • High Caliber Rounds
  • Single Point Sling
  • Lightweight
  • Fitted Stock

Of the four possible outcomes, two can be discarded with little thought. While Lightweight may support certain playstyles, its utility is extremely limited. High Caliber Rounds increase stagger when shooting an enemy, and though that sounds great on paper, it’s not very functional. Most of the time, the only person close enough to really affect you with a Shotgun is another Shotgunner, and staggering them when they’re that close won’t much of a difference.

Single Point Sling and Fitted Stock are equally viable options for differing reasons. Single Point Sling allows you to switch weapons faster and move quicker while aiming down sights, which can be useful if you’re the type to strafe in a close duel. Fitted Stock is best hoped for if you can’t deal with the Recoil on The Comedian, as it improves Stability.

Slot 2:

  • Rifled Barrel
  • Injection Mold
  • Oiled Frame
  • Quickdraw

Immediately ignore Injection Mold and Oiled Frame. They both reduce Range, which is the last thing you could possibly want for The Comedian. Quickdraw is a so-so type of perk, allowing you to draw your weapon incredibly fast and is useful if you’re caught unaware but ultimately is something you can take or leave.

Rifled Barrel is the clear winner, increasing Range (which The Comedian definitely needs) at the expense of Reload (which The Comedian has an excess of).

Slot 3:

  • Smallbore
  • Reinforced Barrel
  • Hand-Laid Stock
  • Flared Magwell

Immediately pretend Hand-Laid Stock doesn’t exist. It improves Stability, but does so at the expense of Range. Reinforced Barrel is probably the best option, increasing Range but penalizing Stability. Smallbore is a strange beast, increasing both Range and Stability, which is a great scenario for The Comedian, at the expense of Reload speed and Magazine size.

While The Comedian can afford to lose a little Reload, it’s already behind on the Magazine size so it’s not always a great option unless you’re happy with your accuracy. That leaves us with Flared Magwell. Certainly not a terrible outcome if you like to get up close and personal with other Shotgunners, Flared Magwell is all about reloading quickly.

Tier 4 – Second Stats and Augments (Randomly Selected)

Underdog Last Resort Surrounded Final Round Danger Close Exhumed Replenish Performance Bonus Most of these perks are undesirable and function poorly. Underdog gives a boost to Range and Handling when health is low. While both stats are great for The Comedian, it’s a case of too little, too late. Last Resort is only useful for Trials of Osiris, improving handling and Reload when you’re the last man standing in your Fireteam. So unless you’re capable of carrying the team and making clutch plays, this is pretty bad.

Exhumed is also best for Trials of Osiris, gaining temporary improved Range and Handling after being revived, and is arguably better than Last Resort. Surrounded and Danger Close are somewhat similar, with Surrounded granting bonus damage when three or more enemies are in close proximity to you. In Crucible, this is an effective death sentence which makes it best suited for PvE. Danger Close is slightly more viable, but not by much, giving increase Reload and handling when two or more enemies are nearby. A similar situation, but the odds are slightly better. Performance Bonus and Replenish function along similar lines, but Replenish is the more reliable option.

When casting a Super ability, Replenish will refill your magazine. Only particularly useful if your Super is all about close-quarters and you need to pick off stragglers. Performance Bonus instead has a chance to grant you bonus reserve ammo on kills. It’s unreliable, but passive, meaning it can be useful without needing to think about it. This leaves us with the undisputed winner, Final Round, giving the last round in your magazine bonus Impact. Very reliable, very powerful, and also a fan favorite. It pairs nicely with Smallbore which reduces Magazine size, allowing you to get to the more powerful Final Round even faster.


The Comedian was once a force to be reckoned with, laughing (literally) in your opponent’s face in the Crucible. While there are some fantastic stats, average stats, and some that leave a little something to be desired, most of that can be patched over nicely through perk rolls. Nothing about this Shotgun necessarily screams that it should be used above any other shotgun (with the possible exception of its impressive Rate of Fire). It’s solid and dependable, able to duke it out with many of its new-found Year 2 compatriots, and definitely recommendable even if its not a necessity.

Much like The Comedian, Bungie has a sense of humor. Check out Bungie's top 5 pranks. However, it looks like the community gets the last laugh. Watch as this player goes on to become the very first person to solo Oryx Hard Mode! Had a poor experience in the Heroic Strike Playlist? You’re not the only one.

About The Author: Greg Pain

A member of the #TitanMasterRace, Greg likes to Fist of Havoc his way through a good book, a great punk album and the background of Reddit. But really he plays Defender. Follow him everywhere as 'NorseFenrir'. Like everywhere.

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