This week marks one of my favorite things about Destiny, the Iron Banner. For those of you that are new to Destiny, Iron Banner is a monthly PVP event that focuses on one particular game type. Sometimes it’s Clash, or Supremacy, or Rift — and this month it's Control. Unlike normal Crucible Matches, in Iron Banner your Light Level does matter. That means a Level 400 is going to do more damage to a 350 than the 350 can do to the 400. Does this mean you can’t play if you are a lower Light? No! Not only can you still defeat high Light players through skillful play, but you can also earn the gear you need to increase your Light. Playing Iron Banner is how I raised my Light to power up for my first Wrath of the Machine Raids, and it’s also a great path to Max Light.
Like I mentioned, the current Iron Banner mode is Control. Following a standard multiplayer format, there are three control points. The longer you hold those points, and the more of the enemy you kill, the quicker you’ll win. While it is possible to capture all three points, generally the preferred strategy is to just hold two. Most of the time you’ll want to get point B and then either A or C, although there are a few maps where it works out better to go for points A and C.
As with most game types, Control works best when you are working together as a team. If your opponents have captured B, instead of going all “Leroy Jenkins” and charging it by yourself, coordinate with your team to push together. Call out when you are capturing points, and let your team know when the enemy is grabbing one of your zones. For example if five of the bad guys are taking C, it might be a perfect time for one of your teammates to activate their Super and annihilate the them while they are grouped up. Coordination and communication are the keys to Control!
Speaking of teammates, one of the things that I love most about Iron Banner is playing with my friends. It’s a week of concentrated PVP that will bring even the most die-hard Raiders back to the Crucible. There’s nothing quite like rolling with a full squad of six through the matches. You share in the fun of victory and the pain of defeat together. You crack jokes, laugh, and catch up, all while earning some sweet loot. It’s always fun to see who gets the better roll during the post-game drops, and to see who did the most damage. If you don’t have a group to play with, there are a bunch of places you can go to find other like-minded Guardians. Check out the Recruitment section on Bungie.net or on the Destiny Companion app to find a team. Or search “Destiny Looking For Group” on the web, as there are a bunch of sites devoted to helping players find each other. Who knows, you might end up making a IRL friend out of it!
Iron Banner is also a great place to get new gear while you raise your Light. There are three main ways to do this. First are the post-match drops. After each game players have a chance for rewards, and the chance of getting Legendary Gear increases significantly during the event. And with the promise from Bungie that the rewards in Age of Triumphwill be “generous as heck”, I can only assume that Iron Banner will be even more lucrative than before.
Keep in mind, that these drops will be at or above your current light level. So, make sure to equip your highest level gear BEFORE the matches end. If you don’t like the roll on the gear you get, infuse it right away into something you do. That way, your next drop will be a bit higher. It’s worth stocking up on Armor Materials, Weapons Parts, Exotic Shards, and Motes of Light before playing!
The next way you can earn loot is by using a Three of Coins. These consumables can be purchased from Xur and give an increased chance at receiving an Exotic Engram. Pop one at the beginning of each match and cross your fingers. No one has ever nailed down the exact drop rate, but it averages out to be about one in ten.
Finally, there are the Iron Banner bounties available from Lady Efrideet. Completing these will award you a Legendary Armor piece of Weapon. Like the post-game drops, these will be based on your equipped Light Level, so make sure your best gear is on.