Iron Banner Review

Published on: Dec 22, 2014 @ 14:51

The latest Iron Banner wasn’t necessarily well received by many people. Some asked, “what’s the point?”

Was this Iron Banner event too early after the last one? rewarding enough? This article will explore how the event could be improved.

If you missed out, check out our preparation guide for the next time it’s available.[divider]


Before we get into the pros and cons of the Iron Banner and ideas for improvement, let’s first overview what the rank/XP means for you.

Tempered, Gear, and Iron Medallions

The Tempered buff, which costs 1 Mote of Light each, is an investment buff that accelerates reputation gains every twelve hours. The table below shows how much you would benefit each day:

Day Potency
1 10%
2 15%
3 25%
4 40%
5 60%
6 100%
7 150%

Each win will earn you 50 experience. With an Iron Banner class item, shader, and emblem equipped – which give a stacking bonus to reputation gains – this will increase to 66 experience.

Without the 10-30% buffs, or Tempering, it’ll take about 140 games to reach Rank 5, starting from Rank 0.

If you didn’t win, you still won Iron Medallions. With these, you’re able to convert up to 5 losses into wins. The Tempering buff also works for these Medallions!

You gain 40 experience for the Medallion, so when you’ve won your next game, you’ll get not only the experience for the Medallion but also the experience for winning.

[divider]What’s Good

Gear matters, skill rules. Nothing was more evident in Iron Banner than player level and gun damage.

Players with maxed gear; 1463 Armor rating and 300 damage weapons, definitely ruled the field over their lesser geared counterparts.

The same principle applies with your Guardian’s light level. The higher it is, the more bullets you can soak up and the more damage you can deal. It’s designed to be merciless against those that are ill equipped, while stronger players dominate the field.

The gear that’s available with the Iron Banner is powerful, but is it enough? We’ll discuss more on that below. It’s worth noting that the end-of-match rewards are more prevalent in the Iron Banner.

Iron Banner also has its own unique bounties, which grant plenty of XP; another great opportunity to charge through your upgrade trees.

[divider]What’s Not So Good

It seems the controversy with the Iron Banner is that most people don’t feel it’s worth participating in. People say “what’s the point?” or “why bother?” – and why is that?

All of our ranks have been reset, which of course was expected, but the new loot that we can earn when we finally rank up again just doesn’t seem useful enough.

I believe people are more concerned about the rewards for participating, and because they’re few and far between, it’s causing them to question why to even participate at all.

Another big problem is the bounty variation (or lack thereof).

iron banner review

[divider]Possible Improvements


There should be an acceleration system for those who have reached the rank 5 in a previous event, instead of a hard reset, where everyone is completely equal.

Players who have already put in the time and effort in the previous event should have an easier way to get ahead. It could be a purchasable buff only available to them.


A skill-focused reward system in Iron Banner would also be appreciated. Currently the match rewards in IB are random, but they do have a higher chance at rewarding items.

In addition to the higher drop rate, how about also giving players who preform exceptionally well, a higher chance at receiving rewards.


Speaking of rewards, there should be at least double the amount of items available for purchase. By the time the week is up, just about everyone is able to buy the gear that’s for sale, but a lot of people don’t even find that gear useful.

It’s clear that people want meaningful rewards for participation. While I personally would play simply because it is enjoyable, Destiny is centered around loot, and the IB vendor loot is too limited.

iron banner rewards


It’s safe to say that the attack and defense mechanics in the Iron Banner feel good, and prepared players are benefiting from the experience. The bounties are easy enough and very rewarding, and it’s not hard to rank up each week.

What’s up for debate is the frequency of rewards, and the amount of loot available from Lord Saladin. Thankfully DeeJ is going to share these concerns with the design team,

Interesting feedback about what compels you. Very few comments about enjoying the fact that Attack/Defense ratings are more of a factor. I’ll pass along feedback about rewards.

So what do you guys think? Are you happy with just playing the Iron Banner for the fun of it, or do you need more rewards to make it worthwhile?