In Iron Banner matches, your gear is incredibly important, and a player that’s using Legendary and Exotic items (fully upgraded) will be extremely deadly.
It’s not required, but it’s best to be at least level 20 when participating in the Iron Banner.
Video: Iron Banner Overview
Here’s a rundown on a few important things to keep in mind:
- You can earn Iron Banner and Faction reputation by wearing a Faction class item.
- If you’re going for Rank 3, remember to swap to an Iron Banner class item.
- You don’t earn Iron Banner rep. when you lose; wins earn you 25 rep.
- The buff from Weekly Nightfall Strike does not boost your rep.
- Wearing Iron Banner Emblems and Shaders each give you a +10% boost to rep. earned.
- Wearing an Iron Banner Class item (Rank 2) grants an additional +10%.
- Iron Banner gear, even fully upgraded, will not bring you to Light level 30.
- The difference from regular PvP isn’t extreme, so it’s definitely worth trying.
It’s time to gear up!
Vanguard and Crucible Vendors
You need to have a Vanguard/Crucible reputation level of 2+ to purchase armor, and level 3 to purchase weapons. If you’re not quite there yet, finishing bounties is the quickest way to get there.
Use these vendors to pick up the remaining pieces of Legendary equipment you need.
New Monarchy, Future War Cult & Dead Orbit are the main PvP factions in Destiny. Even though they promote Crucible gametypes, gaining reputation with them can be done just as easily in PvE.
By choosing a Faction by equipping the class item they sell, completing both Vanguard and Crucible activities will add towards your Faction’s reputation. Faction vendors’ inventories never change, so you know exactly what you can purchase beforehand, so be sure to check out each of their inventories to see which is best for your playstyle.
Again, completing bounties is a great way to earn quick experience and rep.
Pick items that fit your playstyle
Making sure you aren’t carrying any blue or green items is your priority, but it should go without saying that if you have an option, pick the one that fits your PvP playing style the best.
Do you like grenades? Some armors let you carry two! Do you rely on your shotgun or fusion rifle? Consider finding equipment that lets you carry more ammo. Large clip size? High rate of fire? Explosive rounds? Melee bonuses? There are a lot of options out there, look at the entire upgrade path of an item before buying it, and make sure it fits what you’re best at.
Level everything up
Obtaining the items is just the beginning though; to make them truly effective, you’ll have to level them up and upgrade them. The difference between a weapon or armor piece you just acquired and one that you maxed out is huge, especially considering that your Light level is increased when you upgrade an item’s defense rating.
Planet-specific crafting materials are pretty easy to find when you’re out on a patrol. The high-end materials that you’ll have a harder time finding are Ascendant Energy & Shards. You’ll need to get these to upgrade your items to their fullest potential. Dismantling (energy from weapons, shards from armor) Legendary or Exotic items is the easiest way to acquire these Legendary materials.
Pay a visit to Xûr
Check out this article to learn more about your friendly Exotic vendor. Save up your Strange Coins so you can buy that missing piece of equipment before you return to the Crucible.
Video: Who is Xûr?
Know your build
Once you have all of the items you need, spend some time tweaking the skill loadout you’ll be going into the Iron Banner with. Not only should you choose the subclass that matches your PvP style the best, but you’re going to want to take the time to really examine what skills you’ve chosen, and how they work together.
Some options are geared more towards PvE, so make sure you’re only bringing in skills that will benefit you in the Crucible. Understanding how your movement, melee, and super abilities work will let you better evaluate situations, and know when you have the advantage.
There’s no cost to toggling skills on and off, so experiment as much as you can to really refine your build!
To learn more about the weapons and gear you can earn from this event, check out this article.