Celestial Nighthawk Exotic Armor Review: Perks and Build Guide

Everything you need to know about the Exotic Hunter Helmet, the Celestial Nighthawk! 

An item often found lurking in the inventory of countless Hunters in Destiny, the Celestial Nighthawk is an Exotic Helmet with a very unique and specific use. Essentially, it’s a helmet designed for Golden Gun-toting Gunslingers and works to maximize the damage output for their Super to an impressive degree. With the recent 2.3.0 Update everyone’s favorite Omnigul killing machine, the Celestial Nighthawk, has received new life and we’re itching to get looking at it.

Celestial Nighthawk Stats

With the focus on upgrading Golden Gun to such a staggering degree, no one will be surprised to know that the Celestial Nighthawk is all about the Intellect.

  • Intellect: 33-106
  • Strength: 33-67
  • Discipline: 33-67

You’re definitely stuck with Intellect on this one, as such your splits are likely stuck to Intellect/Strength or Intellect/Discipline.

Celestial Nighthawk Perks

Selectable Perk 1 – Stat Increase

The chances of rolling a Discipline buff here are slim. The first perk slot has a chance between 2/3 for Intellect and 1/3 for Strength, and the second slot has an even split for the three. This means that you’re only got a 1/6 chance of getting Discipline. Regardless, these are the available perks: Increase Strength Increase Discipline Increase Intellect You are far more likely to end up with a split boost for both Intellect and Strength, so plan accordingly.

Selectable Perk 2 – Super Energy Buff Perk

Close to the same among all of Destiny’s Exotic Helmets, we’ve listed the possible Super-boosting perks of the Celestial Nighthawk split into their respective slots.

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.

As always, we’re always a fan of Inverse Shadow for its versatility, especially when compared to the other two. However, given the choice between the other two, we would choose Hands-on due to the higher chance to roll a Strength outcome.

Slot 2

  • Second Thoughts: Gain bonus Super energy from Special Weapon kills on minions of the Darkness.
  • Heavy Lifting: Gain bonus Super energy from Heavy Weapon kills on minions of the Darkness.

Overall, we’d recommend going with Inverse Shadow if you’re lucky enough to roll it. If not, hope for Second Thoughts, as it’s also rather versatile too.

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 Orb 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. Typically, Better Already and Infusion are the better choices as they’ll heal you in a sticky situation. However, this isn’t particularly vital.

Exotic Perk – Big Game

  • Golden Gun fires one shot delivering 6x damage, while granting Keyhole for overpenetration.

Here’s where the magic happens. While you can typically only fire 3 shots with Golden Gun (4 if you use the Achlyophage Symbiote), Celestial Nighthawk brings you down to one shot… and boy does it make it count! Delivering 6 times the damage of a normal shot, and blowing your enemies away. However, this perk is only particularly useful in PvE, and even then it’s only useful for focusing fire on a single target.

The Last Word

The synergy here is strong. With the Super-based nature of the Celestial Nighthawk’s Exotic perk and the increased Intellect on top, the Exotic meshes impressively well. However, this is an Exotic best suited to PvE rather than the Crucible where it fulfils a niche role. You can’t clear crowds easily, but you can DPS. Equip your Celestial Nighthawk, jump into a Strike or mission (especially with Solar Burn), then go to town on the biggest, meanest enemy you can find.

While it’s incredibly fun to use, we’ll have to give the Celestial Nighthawk a 3/5 Exotic Engrams. What it does it does well, but it just doesn’t do a lot.

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Bungie just dropped Update 2.3.0 and the Celestial Nighthawk is better than ever, be sure to check our article for more info on the update about Destiny's class balance and weapon tuning. Bored of the Daily Heroic Mission and think it's time for a change? You're not alone! Need to brush up on your Iron Lords lore ahead of Rise of Iron? Check out this Iron Lords lore video created by a Destiny YouTuber.  

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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