Iron Banner Weapon Reviews

The Distant Star

  • Pros – Very high reload speed. High aim assist.
  • Cons – Low range. Below average stability and mag size.

Recommended PvP Perks:

  1. Any
  2. Perfect Balance, Smallbore, Braced Frame, Hammer Forged, Injection Mold, Hand-laid Stock
  3. Full Auto, High Caliber Rounds
  4. Zen Moment, Hidden Hand, Life Support, Crowd Control, Eye of the Storm, Icarus, Firefly, Triple Tap

Recommended PvE Perks:

  1. Any
  2. Perfect Balance, Smallbore, Braced Frame, Hammer Forged, Injection Mold, Hand-laid Stock
  3. Full Auto, High Caliber Rounds
  4. Firefly, Triple Tap, Life Support, Zen Moment, Crowd Control, Eye of the Storm

A member of the MIDA-archetype, that unfortunately doesn’t posses a large magazine or decent stability, but does come with a host of great perks. The high zoom Ranged Scope is surprisingly snappy and adds aim assist, while the Red Dot has an open sight picture, and the Warrior Sight is the best for close quarter encounters.

For this scout rifle, stability is the first priority, then range, since the base stats aren’t fantastic in either. In the third column, High Caliber Rounds is my favorite, but Full Auto is also a fantastically fun perk to use. In the last column there are a ton of usable perks. I’d probably choose Zen Moment first for the stability boost, but Life Support and Hidden Hand are also tier one. Eye of the Storm is woefully underrated, and Triple Tap can help with ammo if you decide to use Smallbore or Braced Frame.


The Unbent Tree

  • Pros – Very fast TtK with body shots. High aim assist, mag size, and reload speed.
  • Cons – Very low range and stability. Below average recoil direction.

Recommended Perks:

  1. Iron Ranged Scope
  2. Braced Frame, Perfect Balance, Smallbore, Hammer Forged, Send It
  3. Lightweight, Single Point Sling, Quickdraw
  4. Counterbalance, Rangefinder, Persistence, Hidden Hand

For those of you who never managed to get a perfectly rolled Doctrine of Passing in year two, this auto rifle may be your shot at redemption. It suffers from inherently poor stability, range, and recoil direction, but makes up for it with high aim assist and mag size. If you can handle a higher zoom scope, you’re going to want to use it. In this case, the Iron Ranged Scope provides a boost to aim assist, as well as pushing back the start of damage fall off by a noticeable amount.

Braced Frame and Counterbalance is the god-roll combo you’re going to look for the help make the gun’s recoil as manageable as possible, but Perfect Balance and Smallbore can be passable secondary options. Without Counterbalance, you’ll probably struggle to handle the weapon well enough to use in PvP, but Rangefinder or Persistence aren’t too bad either.


The Clever Dragon

  • Pros – Very high aim assist. Above average mag size.
  • Cons – Low range, reload speed, stability, and recoil direction.

Recommended Perks:

  1. Iron Red Dot
  2. Smallbore, Perfect Balance, Braced Frame, Send It, Hammer Forged
  3. High Caliber Rounds, Appended Magazine
  4. Counterbalance, Rangefinder, Headseeker, Unflinching, Outlaw, Feeding Frenzy

Long story short, this might be one of the best primaries currently in the game, joining The Waltz and Grasp of Malok in the very low-impact archetype. For sights, keep in mind that the higher zoom sights will provide better damage and aim assist drop off, as well as slightly tighter burst patterns.

Smallbore boosts range and stability, but there are several other great options in column two. Perfect Balance really has no drawbacks. Braced Frame gives a massive boost to stability but drops the mag size down to 24, which is a little low for a gun with a RoF as fast as this. If you can’t boost stability, Send It and Hammer Forged can both increase range, but you won’t be able to get anything to help you tighten up the burst spread, which is unfortunate.

In the third column HCR is a great perk to combine with the fast RoF and current flinch mechanics, but Appended Magazine can work very well with Smallbore or Braced Frame. In the last column Counterbalance is the god-roll choice, since the base recoil direction leaves a lot to be desired. Rangefinder, Headseeker, Life Support, Unflinching, and Hidden Hand are all excellent perks, but you’ll probably want to make sure you have Smallbore or Perfect Balance to pair with them, or you might struggle with the recoil. Glass Half Full, Outlaw, and Feeding Frenzy all pair very nicely with Braced Frame is you didn’t get Appended Magazine in the middle slot.


The Lingering Song

  • Pros – Possibility of killing very low armor players with 2 crit shots. Very high range. Above average recoil direction.
  • Cons – Very low stability and reload speed. Low equip speed. Below average mag size and aim assist.

Recommended PvP Perks:

  1. Iron Lordly Sights
  2. Braced Frame, Smallbore, Hammer Forged, Rifled Barrel
  3. Feather Mag, Explosive Rounds, High Caliber Rounds, Quickdraw, Single Point Sling
  4. Luck in the Chamber, Rangefinder, Hidden Hand, Third Eye, Firefly

Recommended PvE Perks:

  1. Iron Lordly Sights
  2. Hammer Forged
  3. Explosive Rounds, High Caliber Rounds, Quickdraw, Single Point Sling
  4. Firefly, Rangefinder, Hidden Hand, Third Eye

A definite niche weapon, The Lingering Song boasts the ability to kill very low armor Guardians in PvP with 2 crit shots, something only two other year three legendary hand cannons can do. It has one roll in particular that is outstanding for PvP, and that’s the combination of Braced Frame, Feather Mag, and Luck in the Chamber. The first two perks drop the mag size down to 4, which means LitC has a very, very high chance of activating during engagements, which mans you’ll be two-tapping people left and right.

For PvE, Hammer Forged, since you don’t need to hit the range cap as much outside of the Crucible, and Reinforced and Rifled both hurt already low stats values for stability and reload speed. Explosive Rounds would probably be the best choice in column three, followed by either Firefly or Rangefinder in the last slot. Remember that Firefly and Explosive Rounds can interfere which each other, as the explosive damage from ER will not count as a crit shot for FF.


The Laughing Heart

  • Pros – Can Revive Snipe. High stability. Above average reload speed and aim assist.
  • Neutral – Average mag size, inventory, and equip speed.
  • Cons – Can’t Super Snipe. Below average range.

Recommended PvP Perks:

  1. Linear Compensator
  2. Injection Mold, Braced Frame, Hand-laid Stock, Perfect Balance, Smallbore
  3. Column 3 – Quickdraw, Snapshot, Single Point Sling
  4. Column 4 – Hidden Hand, Unflinching, Life Support, Spray and Play

Recommended PvE Perks:

  1. Linear Compensator
  2. Braced Frame, Hand-laid Stock, Perfect Balance, Injection Mold, Smallbore
  3. Quickdraw, Snapshot, Single Point Sling
  4. Triple Tap, Firefly, Grenadier, Army of One

Excellent stats for this gun may help to boost it to prominence, but it comes from a mostly underutilized sniper archetype. Boosting an excellent low zoom scope, it’s one of the few snipers in the game that can roll both Injection Mold and Quickdraw or Snapshot, for those who want the highest levels of equip and ADS speed. If you’re looking more into taking advantage of the faster two-tap potential, then stability perks will be your best bet, with Braced Frame being the best option due to it not removing any rounds from the mag size.


The Proud Spire

  • Pros – Above average stability. Very high reload speed, mag size, aim assist, and equip speed.
  • Neutral – Average max range.
  • Cons – Below average base range.

Recommended Perks for Max Range:

  1. Linear Compensator
  2. Reinforced Barrel/Rifled Barrel
  3. Quickdraw, Snapshot
  4. Rangefinder

Recommended Perks for Run-n-Gun:

  1. Linear Compensator
  2. Rifled Barrel, Hammer Forged, Reinforced Barrel
  3. Lightweight, Single Point Sling, Quickdraw, Snapshot
  4. Full Auto/Battle Runner/Crowd Control/Life Support, Final Round, Performance Bonus, Replenish, Army of One

This one sits in the lowest impact archetype, similar to Burden of Proof XI, or Immobius. In PvE, this shotgun is sought after thanks to its ability to pump a lot of rounds into high armor enemies quickly, and it can be used very successfully when rapidly cleaning up multiple weaker targets at close range. The run-n-gun playstyle is also favored by some Guardians in more casual 6v6 modes of the Crucible.

There are two main ways to spec this weapon for combat. The first is similar to almost all other shotgun recommended rolls, in that you do everything you can to maximize range. Linear Compensator, Reinforced or Rifled Barrel, and Rangefinder will help you do that on this weapon, and then Quickdraw or Snapshot will give you that fast ADS speed to make sure that you’re getting the tightest possible pellet spread as quickly as possible.

However, first try the run-n-gun playstyle. Take Rifled Barrel in column two instead of Reinforced, because keeping the gun as easy to control as possible well be imperative for quickly moving between targets. In the third column, Lightweight is going to give you the extra agility you need to run and slide faster and farther than you thought possible, but Single Point Sling can also serve as a good substitute. In the last column, you’ll have four options that will help to make this weapon a very effective tool. Full Auto, Battle Runner, Crowd Control, and Life Support can all be incredibly useful when engaging more than one enemy in a short period of time, but which one you pick depends on what you like the most.

Full Auto makes it easy to do massive damage to high armor targets like supered Guardians or major or ultra enemies, and it no longer makes the pellet spread significantly worse than a shotgun without it. Battle Runner stacks with Lightweight to give you a massive boost to running speed, and can help you close on a second or third target before they can react. Crowd Control gives you bonus damage for a few seconds after each kill, which has the added benefit of pushing out the one-hit kill distance. Life Support can keep you alive in situations where you really shouldn’t be, and is top tier perk in PvP and PvE.


The Branded Lord

  • Pros – Very quick charge rate. High aim assist and reload speed. Above average range.
  • Neutral – Average stability.
  • Cons – Needs 6 bolts to kill. Very low impact. Below average mag size and recoil direction.

Recommended Perks:

  1. Linear Compensator
  2. Hammer Forged, Rifled Barrel, Smallbore, Perfect Balance, Braced Frame
  3. Quickdraw, Lightweight, Single Point Sling, Accelerated Coils
  4. Rangefinder, Life Support, Eye of the Storm, Performance Bonus, Replenish, Hot Swap, Battle Runner, Unflinching

An archetype previously occupied by only the Split Shifter Pro, this fusion rifle has a very fast charge rate and high range. Needing six bolts to kill is a major drawback, so anything outside of optimal range is likely going to be a losing engagement. Linear Compensator will help to make the recoil almost completely vertical, which makes tightening the bolt spread easier for any player.

The range is already quite high, and honestly you shouldn’t be engaging people outside of close-quarters with it, so I’m going to recommend stability perks most highly in the second column. Braced Frame, Perfect Balance, and Smallbore are your go-to choices, in that order. If you can’t get stability, range can still help, but needing six bolts to kill means you’re really going to have to control the bolt spread well. Rifled Barrel and Hammer Forged are the two options for range perks you’ll want to look for.

Thankfully, the gun comes with Linear Compensator which improves the recoil direction and will help you to keep the bolts tight. The middle column as a couple basic perks like Quickdraw, Single Point Sling, and Lightweight, but it also has Accelerated Coils. Accelerated Coils is going to drop the damage per bolt down to 33, which means you’ll only do 198 with 6 bolts, but the charge rate will be lightening fast. For a more consistent fusion rifle, try Saladin’s Vigil!


The Binding Blaze

  • Pros – High mag size. Above average reload speed.
  • Cons – Very low range and aim assist. Below average stability.

Recommended Perks:

  1. Iron Lordly Sights
  2. Hand Loaded, Fitted Stock
  3. High Caliber Rounds, Quickdraw, Appended Magazine, Lightweight
  4. Rangefinder, Hidden Hand, Zen Moment, Crowd Control, Reactive Reload, Hot Swap, Battle Runner

Even though this sidearm is hitscan, it doesn’t have an optimal time-to-kill, and the lack of impact increasing barrel perks means that there’s no way to improve on that. Low range, stability, and aim assist values also combine to pile on the reasons why this won’t be a sought after sidearm.

As far as perks go, use the Iron Lordly Sights for the AA bonus, and either Hand Loaded or Fitted Stock in the second slot. Although it doesn’t look like they do much in terms of additional stats, sidearms are very sensitive to even small changes, and Fitted Stock and Hand Loaded both make noticeable differences. In the third column High Caliber Rounds is and will probably always be my favorite for sidearms, but I know quite a few people who swear by Quickdraw. Appended Magazine is also a solid option, particularly if you get Crowd Control in the last column. Speaking of the last column, as is tradition with the Iron Banner weapons, there are a lot of good options.


The Titanium Orchid

  • Pros – Above average RoF. High velocity and fast reload speed.
  • Neutral – Average mag size.
  • Cons – Low blast radius and inventory.

Recommended Perks:

  1. Hard Launch or Aggressive Launch
  2. Heavy Payload, Javelin
  3. Speed Reload/Flared Magwell, Quickdraw, Snapshot, Single Point Sling, Lightweight
  4. Grenades and Horseshoes, Tracking, Tripod, Clown Cartridge, Cluster Bomb

This rocket launcher has a couple things that may turn people off. First off, it can’t roll with Tripod and Grenades & Horseshoes at the same time. Also, inventory size and blast radius is low. Aggressive or Hard Launch can both help out, depending on whether you want a large boost to blast radius at the expense of some velocity, or smaller boosts to both blast radius and velocity. I’d go with Hard Launch, personally. In the second column you’re really only looking for two perks, Javelin and Heavy Payload, with Heavy Payload being preferred.


The Silvered Dread

  • Pros – Very high range, reload speed, and recoil direction.
  • Neutral – Average mag size.
  • Cons – Below average aim assist and stability.

Recommended Perks:

  1. Linear Compensator
  2. Perfect Balance, Hammer Forged, Smallbore, Braced Frame
  3. Field Scout, Extended Mag, Speed Reload, Quickdraw, Single Point Sling
  4. Hidden Hand, Rangefinder, Life Support, Persistence, Grenadier, Army of One, Spray and Play, Counterbalance

Arguably the best machine gun. Linear Comp by default, which means we get a barrel perk that increases impact (dropping both the optimal and body shot times-to-kill) and improves the recoil direction (bringing it to 97, which is basically perfectly vertical). In the second column, Perfect Balance is the best perk here, although Smallbore and Braced Frame are also decent.

In the middle column, Field Scout ups your inventory size and allows you to pick up more ammo, so it’s definitely my first choice. If you do get Smallbore or Braced Frame, Extended Mag or Speed Reload can help you offset that penalty. In the last column Hidden Hand is my first choice, since one of the only real drawbacks on this gun is the below average aim assist, but Rangefinder and Life Support are awesome too.