The Taikonaut is an interesting and somewhat odd addition to the arsenal of Destiny’s Titan class. Named for the Chinese equivalent of our own astronauts, the Taikonaut is a bulbous, hilarious, and slightly intimidating Exotic helmet that is useful and applicable for any of the three Titan subclasses. Beloved by the Crucible community, the Taikonaut is a unique piece of Exotic armor due to its unusual Exotic perk. However, before we delve into the Taikonaut’s Exotic perk, let’s take a look at its stats.
What we’re looking at here (which is rather common in Destiny) is an Exotic helmet that is “stat-locked” to Intellect. Despite this, the values are all the same, meaning that you’re guaranteed an Intellect roll, if not an Intellect bonus.
- Intellect: 33-67
- Strength: 33-67
- Discipline: 33 -67
Despite the equal value weightings, you’re still stuck with Intellect. There’s a slight chance you could roll (through the Stat perks) a Taikonaut with all three stats. However, the most likely outcome is Intellect/Strength, followed by Intellect/Discipline.
Selectable Perk 1 – Stat Increase
The chances of rolling a Discipline buff here are slim. The first perk “bubble” has a 1/3 chance of rolling Discipline, but a 2/3 of rolling Intellect. Whereas the second perk slot also has a 1/3 chance of rolling Discipline, but a 2/3 chance of getting a Strength bonus. Increase Strength Increase Discipline Increase Intellect It’s far more likely that you’ll end up with a split boost to both Intellect and Strength, so plan accordingly.
Selectable Perk 2 – Super Energy Buff Perk
One of these is actually fixed for the Taikonaut, which is slightly different compared to the norm where the perks are almost entirely random for most Exotic helmets. Slot 1 Inverse Shadow – Increased Super energy gained from killing minions of the Darkness.
- Ashes to Assets: Gain bonus Super energy on Grenade kills.
- Hands-on: Gain bonus Super Energy from melee kills on minions of the Darkness.
Those are the three possible outcomes in the first perk slot. Speaking frankly, we would recommend Inverse Shadow for this slot and tier above all others (provided you’re lucky enough to roll it) as it’s simply the most versatile of the bunch. Slot 2 Heavy Lifting – Gain bonus Super energy from Heavy Weapon kills on minions of the Darkness. We would still recommend Inverse Shadow for this tier if possible. If not, Heavy Lifting is a great choice due to the synergy it shares with the Taikonaut’s Exotic perk.
Non-Selectable Perk – Orb of Light Buff
There are 4 possible outcomes for this final, non-selectable slot:
- Innervation: Bonus grenade energy on Orb pickup.
- Invigoration:Gain bonus melee energy on Ord pickups.
- Better Already: Shields start recovery immediately after Orb pickup.
- Infusion: Replenishes health each time you pick up an Ord of Light.
These are all perks that typically function best in PvE due to the increased generation of Orbs of Light from PvE Supers as opposed to the Crucible. We would immediately recommend hoping for either Better Already or Infusion, due to their health and shield regenerating abilities. While this perk is still random, those would certainly be the two perks that would best accompany the Taikonaut. However, if you happened to roll either Ashes to Assets or Hands-On in the previous category, and by sheer chance they line up well with Innervation and/or Invigoration, then matching up can be particularly formidable.
Exotic Perk – Air Traffic Control
Air Traffic Control: All Rocket Launchers gain tracking, radar remains visible while zooming with Heavy Weapons and Heavy ammo drops more often.
If there’s one thing the Taikonaut loves, it’s rockets. The Taikonaut will automatically give any Rocket Launcher without the perk the sudden ability to track opponents, while simultaneously giving the Third Eye perk when using a Heavy Weapon. This is what makes the Taikonaut a much-loved Crucible Exotic, as it allows the user to make use of Tracking on a Rocket Launcher which might also have other desirable Rocket Launcher perks such as the proximity detonating Grenades and Horseshoes. For PvE, you can expect to see more bricks of Heavy Ammo lying around making the Taikonaut a solid Exotic all around, even if it retains slightly more credibility in the Crucible.
Word Of Warning: If you are using the Taikonaut with a Rocket Launcher that already has tracking, it will disable the tracking ability for that Rocket Launcher. Keep this in mind!
The Last Word
Besides making you look like a long-lost member of Daft Punk, the Taikonaut has several other positive qualities. While we typically prefer an Intellect/Discipline split, we’re always willing to make an exception for the Taikonaut and the raw power it’s able to output with its multi-faceted Exotic perk. We can’t help but marvel at the different bases this single Exotic helmet and its Air Traffic Control perk are able to cover. While it may not be the first choice for a PvE encounter, there are few Exotics with a clearer specialty for the Crucible.
For this reason, we’ll be giving the Taikonaut a solid 4/5 Exotic Engrams!
Wondering how the Taikonaut tallies up against other Titan Exotics? Check out our Top 10 Titan Exotics! Looking into getting your hands on a new Heavy Weapon? We review the Zombie Apocalypse WF47 Legendary Machine Gun. What does the future hold for Destiny? Check out our speculation on the future of Destiny at E3 2016 and beyond!