It has been almost a month since Bungie released Destiny, its brand new shared world shooter. Millions of hours have been poured in as players all over the world have built their legends. One of the major proving grounds for Guardians trying leave their mark in the Destiny universe is the Crucible. The Crucible is a player versus player (PvP) arena that lets you duke it out with other Guardians on an even playing field.
But what about those of you who have fine tuned your avatars into Guardian-slaying warriors? Why should your talents be reduced so that others may stand a fighting chance? Luckily for you, Destiny will launch its latest event tomorrow on October 7th: The Iron Banner.
The Iron Banner is a challenge that invites all to compete for glory and unique rewards. Removed are all limitations on your abilities, armor, damage boosts and any other stat increases earned by your equipment and subclasses. Now you will fight as your Guardians in the way that you have trained them to be. As you endeavor to prove once and for all that you are the strongest around, we have gathered some tips that will prove useful in your battles. Use them to build the best strategy that suits you and shows the world your strength.
1) Your Class Can Make or Break You
If you’re even considering entering the Iron Banner event then you’ve probably already put some time into Destiny. This means you should already understand what the classes are. Destiny presents you with the option of three classes: the Titan, Hunter, and Warlock. Your choice here is your first line of offense and defense.
While each class is relatively balanced, they have their own skills and modifiers that will make them deadly in different ways during the Iron Banner. For instance a Titan Defender is built to withstand ridiculous amounts of damage, especially with its Ward of Dawn ability. On the other hand you have builds that utilize the Hunter Gunslinger which can deal out major death with its Golden Gun supercharge ability.
Not only is the proper class and subclass important, but making sure that they are leveled up is also vital. Although you are able to participate in all Crucible activities, including the Iron Banner, once you reach level 5, it isn’t the greatest idea. While a level 5 Guardian is more than enough to tackle the standard challenge, the lack of balancing in the Iron Banner will crush you like a bug. It’s imperative that you have as many upgrades to your subclass as possible if you hope to achieve success.
While all builds are valid options, it is better to stick to one that you’re comfortable with rather than one you think is stronger. The Iron Banner is to test not only your strength but your skill. Going in with a class or subclass that you are unfamiliar with can be detrimental to your Guardian’s health. Keep this in mind when choosing who to take into the fray.
2) Strong Weapons Prevail, Smart Weapons Prevail More
As stated before, all balancing is removed from PvP during the Iron Banner event. This means your level 15 rare auto rifle is probably not going to be up to the task of downing your more seasoned competition. If you were wise you will have done your best to collect a handful of trusty legendary weapons and, if the Destiny algorithms favor you, some exotic weaponry. Legendary and exotic weapons should be your go-tos for Guardian-slaying equipment in the Iron Banner for two reasons.
For starters they do the most damage. From what’s been seen so far, a fully upgraded legendary or exotic weapon does 300 base damage. This is increased by weapon modifiers and precision attacks leading to some serious field control. Higher level Guardians possess an armor rating well over 1000 points, so precision damage is of the utmost importance.
Secondly, they provide amazing modifiers to their already-potent fire power. The ability to heal after each kill, or increase damage after certain criteria are met is invaluable. There are exotics that use special weapons as primaries and even one that turns you invisible as you aim down the sights. Any extra ability is valuable so choose weapons that suit how you play.
Fusion rifles and shotguns have seemed to be the majority’s favorite weapons for causing havoc in the Crucible. For good reason too, as both are extremely powerful special weapons with the ability to consistently provide one hit kills. If you are one of the few lucky individuals out in the world, you may have even acquired a primary exotic variant such as The Universal Remote or the Vex Mythoclast. Having them as primary weapons means no shortage of ammunition since other Guardians drop primary ammo upon death. That means no more having to search for green ammo-filled chests.
But the Iron Banner is more than just a contest of the most powerful weapons. Shotguns and fusion rifles are awesome but most require a relatively close range. Fusion rifles lose a lot of accuracy the further you are from your target and Shotguns often require you to be within arms’ reach to get the most bang for your buck. There’s nothing wrong with this but it is heavily dependent on the build you chose.
As stated earlier, different classes and subclasses provide different stats and abilities. Hunters have the lowest recovery rate of the bunch so when you mix that with powerful weapons, closed quarters may not be your favored battlegrounds. While it is completely possible for any class to succeed with up close fire power, using something that more suits your build will give you the leg up.
Sniper rifles, hand cannons, pulse rifles…there are many types of weapons at your disposal. When put into the right hands, even the most unseemly hardware can put you in first place. Sniper rifles require a restrained touch with their recoil and necessity of patience. But there are some, like Patience and Time, which give you abilities that make them a powerful option. Hand cannons also have a rather lengthy range and are extremely powerful.
Coordinate your weapons to ensure that you are prepared for anything as well. Fast, powerful primaries are best paired with specials that provide a little more oomph that may sacrifice a bit of speed. Even if you are a ranged fighter it’s good to have a backup that is suited for those up close dirty fights. Pay attention to what other Guardians seem to favor and learn their weaknesses. Use their range or lack thereof to your advantage and you’ll dominate the Iron Banner with an iron fist.
3) Dress to Kill
Just as with your weaponry, the Iron Banner lifts all limitations off of your armor. This is one of the main reasons lower level Guardians are recommended not to enter. While weaponry is important, it can be avoided. A player highly skilled in traversal can dodge most bullets. But what happens when you can’t dodge? This is where your attire steps in.
As with your arsenal, legendary and exotic armor should be the uniform for the event if you can manage to collect some. Most high level Guardians will will have an armor rating well over 1000 making it much more difficult to kill them. Instead of getting upset over their lack of dying, you too can become nearly unkillable just like your foes. This will require a lot of grinding.
Exotic and legendary armor require ascendant shards in order to upgrade them to their fullest potential. Ascendant shards are an extremely rare material that got upgraded to legendary status during the last Destiny patch. They can be obtained by completing the daily heroic mission on a higher difficulty, playing the Vault of Glass, salvaging legendary armor, rare or legendary armor engrams, or rarely through public events. The only method that guarantees shards, however, is the salvaging of legendary armor.
Once you have your shards and other necessary materials, it is time to upgrade. This is where your strategy should differ from weapons the most. It is recommended that you upgrade all weapons you use so that you are prepared for any situation. Due to the increased rarity of legendary and exotic armor (as opposed to weapons) it’s recommended that you focus on armor that you know you are going to keep. You can only equip one piece of exotic armor at any given time so choose wisely.
What makes exotic armor so special is that they have subclass specific boosts. This is a great way to really fine tune your build as you prepare for the Iron Banner. Once you have your subclass locked in, just pick the piece of armor that has the boost you want and upgrade. These invaluable boosts range from an extra shot with the Hunter’s golden gun, to your Warlock instantly recovering all its health upon activating their supercharge ability.
Aside from the subclass specific bonuses some things to keep an eye out for when choosing armor are the intellect, strength and discipline stats. Intellect affects your super abilities’ cool down timer so if your super is an integral part of your strategy look for armor that boosts this particular stat. Strength focuses on your melee ability and Discipline focuses on your grenades. While it may be difficult to cherry pick exactly what stats you want, you should always keep an eye out for the next best thing.
There are also other boons to your Guardians such as cool down bonuses for certain actions, and the ability to carry more of specified ammunition types. For all of you special and heavy weapon aficionados, these are bonuses you should definitely keep an eye on. Being able to carry extra ammo for your favorite weapons means more slaying with less ammo hunting.
Since exotics and legendaries are difficult to come by you can always save up your hard-earned Vanguard and Crucible marks. If you are at least reputation level 2 with whatever vendor accepts these marks as payment, you will be able to purchase legendary armor. For exotics, save up your motes of light and strange coins for Xur who appears in the tower every weekend with select exotic pieces for sale. He always has one piece of armor for each class priced at 13 coins, a weapon for 23 coins and an engram for 23 motes of light.
Whatever it takes you must make sure that you equip the best possible armor you can if you want to succeed. While the Crucible focused solely on skill with its leveled playing field the Iron Banner will not be as forgiving. Your armor will make all the difference if you are forced into a direct confrontation. So dress the part and destroy any Guardian who crosses your path.
4) You Are Now Ready For The Iron Banner
If you’ve followed the above steps you are now properly prepared to enter the battlefield. While participating, you will earn reputation that will allow you to purchase items exclusive to the Iron Banner event. Seek out Xander 99-40 for some event bounties to expedite the reputation process. Once you’ve garnered enough respect, seek out Lord Saladin just beyond the gates behind Xander and you’ll be able to make your purchases.
Gaining this reputation will not be an easy task for some of you but do not give up. With dedication and the right set of tools you will be able to stand tall amongst the most powerful of Guardians in the Iron Banner. As you fight you will earn rewards for your exploits as proof of your participation. This event will only last one week so prepare yourselves for the challenge you’ve been patiently awaiting.
Safe travels, Guardians.