Episode 21: Iron Banner Rift Tips and Tricks, IB Weapons Discussion, The Dawning

This week on Destiny Massive Breakdowns, we're talking Iron Banner Rift, Iron Banner Weapons, and The Dawning!


  • Rise of Iron Weapons
  • Iron Banner Rift Strategy
  • The Dawning Exotic Weapons and Ornaments
  • The Dawning Quality of Life Updates
  • The Dawning Strike Updates (SPOILER WARNING)


Show Notes

Iron Banner Weapons

The Distant Star

Pros - Very high reload speed. High aim assist.

Neutral - None.

Cons - Low range. Below average stability and mag size.

  • Time-to-Kill: 0.90s (3 crit shots and 1 body shot), 1.50s (6 body shots)
  • Rate of Fire: 52
  • Impact: 37 (57 damage per crit shot, 38 per body shot)
  • Range: 59
  • Stability: 40
  • Reload Speed: 76
  • Mag Size: 14
  • Aim Assist: 70

Recommended PvP Perks:

  • Column 1 - Iron Red Dot or Iron Warrior Sights, Iron Ranged Scope
  • Column 2 - Perfect Balance, Smallbore, Braced Frame, Hammer Forged, Injection Mold, Hand-laid Stock
  • Column 3 - High Caliber Rounds, Full Auto
  • Column 4 - Zen Moment/Hidden Hand, Life Support, Crowd Control, Eye of the Storm, Icarus, Firefly, Triple Tap

Recommended PvE Perks:

  • Column 1 - Iron Red Dot or Iron Warrior Sights, Iron Ranged Scope
  • Column 2 - Perfect Balance, Smallbore, Braced Frame, Hammer Forged, Injection Mold, Hand-laid Stock
  • Column 3 - High Caliber Rounds, Full Auto
  • Column 4 - Firefly/Triple Tap, Life Support, Zen Moment, Crowd Control, Eye of the Storm

A member of the intriguing MIDA-archetype, this is only the second time we've seen a legendary gun of this sub-class since year one. Unfortunately, unlike the MIDA it doesn't posses a large magazine or decent stability, but it does come with a host of usable perks. As for sights, I really have no strong recommendation one way or the other. I've played with all three and I feel they each have their own positives and negatives. The high zoom Ranged Scope is surprisingly snappy and adds aim assist but the zoom is a little much for most PvP maps, while the Red Dot has less zoom and an open sight picture, and the Warrior Sight is the best for close quarter encounters. The gun doesn't necessarily need the aim assist, especially if you get Hidden Hand, so I would probably recommend Red Dot or Warrior as the primary options. In the second column, I'd prioritize stability first, and range second, since the base stats aren't fantastic in either. Stability comes first because it'll help you maintain maximum RoF and accuracy, and I like Perfect Balance as the primary perk choice. Secondary is range, since you're going to lose some of the reticle stickiness at longer distances without any type of boost to it, even if the damage drop off isn't that severe. For this reason Smallbore is my second choice. Braced Frame is third, but be warned it's going to have a severe effect on the already low mag size. Hammer Forged is the last of the good perks, before we get to Injection Mold and Hand-laid Stock, which I don't really advocate as highly because they both decrease range. 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 or Hidden Hand first for the stability or aim assist boosts, but Life Support is also tier one. Eye of the Storm is woefully underused but actually very nice perk, and Triple Tap can help with ammo if you decide to use Smallbore or Braced Frame.

For PvE, the first three slots' worth of recommendations are the same, but in the last column Firefly and Triple Tap are the decidedly best options.

The Branded Lord

Pros - Very high 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.

  • Charge Rate: 34
  • Approx. Charge Time: 0.67s
  • Impact: 74 (38 damage per bolt. 6 Bolts to Kill)
  • Range: 42
  • Stability: 47
  • Reload Speed: 82
  • Mag Size: 4
  • Aim Assist: 74
  • Recoil Direction: 58

Recommended Perks:

  • Column 1 - Linear Compensator
  • Column 2 - Braced Frame, Perfect Balance, Smallbore, Rifled Barrel, Hammer Forged,
  • Column 3 - Quickdraw, Lightweight, Single Point Sling, Accelerated Coils
  • Column 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, The Branded Lord joins it as a very fast charging, high range, fusion rifle that takes a skilled hand to wield. Although it probably doesn't do enough damage to be good at more than add clean-up in PvE, in close range Crucible battles it can dominate. Needing six bolts to kill is a major drawback, however, 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, needing a seventh to kill full armor targets, but the charge rate will be lightening fast. I wouldn't recommend it for competitive game modes, but it could be really fun is casual Crucible. In the last slot there are a ton of decent perks, but my favorites will be Rangefinder for the increased zoom and tighter bolt spread, and Life Support. Eye of the Storm, as I've mentioned before is quite nice situationally, and Performance Bonus and Replenish can help you out with ammo management.

Iron Banner Rift Strategy

Click the Title to view a separate article discussing Rift.

Exotic Weapons and Ornaments

The Dawning is bringing 3 Exotic Weapons to Year 3 Light Levels for the first time.

Strikes Returning

There are three Strikes coming back with new mechanics in The Dawning: The Shadow Thief (Taniks Perfected), The Will of Crota (Omnigul, Redux), and The Nexus Mind (Taken Sekrion). If you read on, you're going to get some spoilers - you've been warned!


  • Taniks Perfected: It's got SIVA traps, SIVA Fallen, and a SIVA Spider Tank. Taniks himself gets the same treatment, but plays essentially the same. Now we're just left wondering when the Cabal and Vex will take their shots at his Ketch.


  • Omnigul Redux: She's back, in black, and she brought some mechanical updates with her. The first thing to know is that this Strike now has the new RoI slow gas throughout its opening stages, so be aware of your surroundings and don't get caught in the open. The second is that Bungie has figured us out: we're great at slaughtering hordes of weak enemies. Out of respect, you're going to find some tougher foes spawning in - examples I saw include Ogres and tons of Wizards in the first Add Room, and a new Yellow Bar Knight named "Protector of the Will" guarding the entrance to Omnigul's Lair. Finally, the boss fight: the main battle doesn't begin until you enter the boss room, at which point the doors will close behind you - no more safe room! To compensate, the add waves look a bit smaller, and Omnigul herself also disappears during these waves, returning only once you've wiped the enemies.


  • Nexus of Glass: The Nexus Mind gets the Taken treatment, and also returns with two alternate endings! The strike itself isn't much changed, aside from fighting Taken enemies instead of standard ones, but the boss fights look fantastic. Taken Sekrion: This version of the ending features The Nexus Mind with a total invulnerability shield, a la the Templar fight in Vault of Glass. Just like in the Raid, you'll need to grab a shield-like artifact that spawns and charge it up by beating down enemies. Once it's fully charged, aim at Sekrion and activate your Super to blast his shield down for a brief period of DPS, then do it all again. Oracle Sekrion: This Nexus Mind has the standard rotating partial shields of other Hydras, but also Marks you a la the Oracles, requiring a cleanse in various pools of light that will spawn. Bubbles and invisibility look like they’ll be very handy here as the cleanse leaves you exposed to enemy fire in at least some cases.

That's all for now, folks! Thanks for tuning in.