Destiny: How to reach rank 5 in Iron Banner

By Paul Davies
28 April 2015 13:15 GMT

The Iron Banner event returns to Destiny, the toughest PvP arena the game has to offer. Here’s why you should be involved and how to bag rewards as you prepare for the House of Wolves.


From May 19 Destiny makes it personal with the arrival of Trials of Osiris. This permanent PvP fixture with its ancient Egyptian-style loot is only for Guardians that own House of Wolves DLC, meaning a hardcore crowd is guaranteed. If you want to hold your own you’ll need PvP experience alongside PvP armour and weapons. Suffice to say, Iron Banner is the place to be for all such things.

You can (and you will) reach Rank 5


The Holy Grail in Iron Banner is to attain the highest standing in order to unlock the best armour and weapons available to purchase. Many Guardians have obsessed (slightly) over how difficult it is to reach the hallowed Rank 5, but Reddit user itsnotunusual_rk has made a calculator indicating that all Guardians can make it, providing they play five games a day, each day the tournament is running. This is no skin off anybody’s nose, although the calculator does also assume that you’ve taken part previously and in possession of the various Emblems, Class Items, and Shaders. Take it from us, however, that you’re still in with a very good chance. We’ve been there and done it.

Keep your Temper


In addition to nerves of steel and the heart of a lion, the first thing you’ll need to grab from Lord Saladin in the Tower is a Tempering buff, costing one Mote of Light. This lasts precisely 12 hours, after which you must remember to replace it. The buff percentage increases each day, from 10% on Tuesday to 150% on Monday, boosting gains to Iron Banner reputation that affect rank. Since there’s minimum gain for the first few days you’re wasting effort by playing for too many hours, so don’t kill yourself trying. Conversely it is possible to begin your Iron Banner marathon at the weekend, milking the 60-150 percent buff for all it’s worth. You can reach rank 5 this way, but your teeth might fall out.

On your Marks (and Emblems… and Shaders)


Iron Banner Class Items, Shaders and Emblems further provide stacking 10 percent boosts to reputation. The first Emblem unlocks at rank 1, which takes no time at all – it’s basically one bounty. The first shader is at rank 2, which most of you will reach after a few games. The Class Item (Bond, Mark, Cloak) unlocks at rank 4, alongside an Iron Banner weapon. You’ll need all three to boost toward the whopping 8,500 total reputation points that award rank 5. If you acquired any or all of these during a previous Iron Banner, make sure they’re equipped.

Only 4 Bounties per day (out of a possible 6)


Lord Saladin offers just six bounties per day, and many of them seem quite demanding depending on your confidence in PvP. Defeating 50 Guardians (‘Anvil of Light’) is a due course thing, you’ll reach this no matter how long it takes. Earning five Headshot Sprees (‘Exacting Measures’) is very tough however. Pick battles you expect to win. The calculator mentioned above assumes four completed bounties per day in order to guarantee rank 5, so don’t get too much in a twist about it.

Re-rollin’ and a rockin’


Iron Banner weapons that are purchased or loot-dropped have perks that can be reforged, which is a great feature if you know what you’re looking for. For example, the Heavy Machine Gun Jolder’s Hammer benefits from Hammer Forged, boosting its range combined with Aggressive Ballistics to stagger foes. The Silmar’s Wrath auto rifle is sweeter with Perfect Balance and Third Eye, the latter keeping radar active while aiming down sights. The reforge process is RNG based, and costs two Motes of Light each time. Any progress you’ve made, time and shards invested, is wiped completely too. So, unless you’re very particular about a certain perk, maybe run with what RNGesus offers you in the first place. You never know, you may grow to like it…

Grinding for Glimmer


We learned this lesson the hard way at 4am on Tuesday the last time that Iron Banner was in town. Assuming that you play your five games per day, complete four bounties and ideally kill lots of Guardians before they kill you, be sure to have a war chest ready for when ranks 4 and 5 eventually unlock. The premium armour, shader and weapon that are made available are very pricey – the Gold Spiral shader alone sets you back 7,500 Glimmer. If you’ve spent the past week upgrading that lovely new Gjallarhorn and Crota raid armour, chances are you’ve not much left in the bank. Do yourself a massive favour and hit the Exclusion Zone on Mars with a bagful of Resupply Codes whenever you have 30 minutes or so to spare. We are sorry, but Lord Saladin does not accept credit cards.

With stunning Iron Banner helms in the offering this week, we can’t wait to get back out there even if we are having our backsides kicked to kingdom come. Remember that all Guardians are welcome – if your fireteam leader is level 20 or above you can go ahead and cause all kinds of upset if your skill level outshines that of your fiercest foe. Damage and armour ratings do count, though. We’re not promising miracles here. Good luck out there Guardians.

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