Episode 61 Parts 1 & 2: Iron Banner & Constructive Criticism

This week we're thinking about the Iron Banner (of course), but in a bigger way we're thinking about things we'd like to see in the pipeline for Destiny 2 and ways that the game can be improved to meet the desires of the community.

Noteworthy Iron Banner Weapons

Read Mercules' full review of the Iron Banner weapons here. Below are excerpts for 3 weapons that looked worthwhile at a glance.

Rapid-Fire Pulse Rifle

The Time-Worn Spire - Kinetic

Pros - Very high aim assist. Above average mag size.

Neutral - None.

Cons - Very low range and reload speed. Below average stability, handling, and recoil direction.

  • Time-to-Kill: 1.13s (4 bursts, 9 crit 3 body ), 1.67s (5.33 bursts, 16 body)
  • Rate of Fire: 540
  • Impact: 27 (18 crit, 13 body)
  • Range: 33
  • Stability: 54
  • Reload Speed: 37
  • Handling: 33
  • Mag Size: 36
  • Recoil Direction: 60
  • Aim Assist: 79


  • Sights/Barrels - Hitmark IS, Red Dot Micro, Rifle Scope SSF
  • Magazine - Tactical Mag, Accurized Rounds
  • Set Perk - Zen Moment

Almost the opposite of The Forward Path, this is a weapon in an archetype that appears to be useless stat-wise, but in practice is actually highly effective. I do recommend running a Kinetic Counterbalance Mod with it, as the recoil direction is poor, but thankfully it comes with Zen Moment, which should help tighten up the spread after doing damage.

The magazine perks offer the ability to boost either range or stability, depending on the users preference (I recommend range first, and switching to stability if you still find it hard to control). The aim assist is insanely high, making this weapon ultra-sticky within its optimal ranges.

Possibly my favorite archetype in the game, it's actually competitive with MIDA at mid-range engagements. Highly recommend this gun.

Adaptive Submachine Gun

The Hero's Burden - Energy

Pros - High range. Very high reload speed. Above average stability, handling, and recoil direction.

Neutral - Average aim assist.

Cons - Low mag size.

  • Time-to-Kill: 1.00s (8 crits 8 body), 1.07s (17 body)
  • Rate of Fire: 900
  • Impact: 20 (13 crit, 12 body)
  • Range: 50
  • Stability: 46
  • Reload Speed: 58
  • Handling: 63
  • Mag Size: 33
  • Recoil Direction: 93
  • Aim Assist: 51


  • Sights/Barrels - SLO-10 Post, SPO-28 Front, SPO-26 Front
  • Magazine - High-Caliber Rounds, Drop Mag
  • Set Perk - Threat Detector

Normally not a fan of 900 RPM SMGs, but this sweet baby has me changing my tune. Stat-wise, it's basically all good across the board, with only a lowish mag size holding it back from being perfect.

Not only that, but it basically does not matter if you hit headshots or body shots, thanks to the times-to-kill being almost exactly the same, but it also has everyone's favorite perk: High-Caliber Rounds. IF this functions anything like it did in D1 (which I'm almost certain it will) the faster the gun shoots, the more effective HCR is. And no weapon in the game shoots faster than the 900 RPM SMGs.

On top of that, it's got a medium zoom scope to push out damage fall off and aim assist degradation, and a really amazing perk in Threat Detector, which boosts handling and stability when enemies are near (which they always should be if you're using this gun).

I know it's hard to say without having played with this weapon, but based off of the perks and stats, I think we could be looking at a new tier-1 weapon for close range PvP.

High-Impact Fusion Rifle

The Wizened Rebuke

Pros - High impact and aim assist. Above average range, stability, and recoil direction.

Neutral - Average mag size.

Cons - Above average charge time, reload speed, and handling.

  • Charge Time (ms): 860
  • Impact: 100
  • Range: 56
  • Stability: 35
  • Reload Speed: 28
  • Handling: 30
  • Mag Size: 5
  • Recoil Direction: 72
  • Aim Assist: 62


  • Sights/Barrels - Cleanshot IS, Red Dot MOA, Red Dot Micro
  • Magazine - Liquid Coils, Enhanced Battery
  • Set Perk - Backup Plan

Perhaps one of the weapons I'm most excited about for this Iron Banner, the fusion rifle is basically a clone of Shock and Awe, but sexier and better all around. Good range and stability, combined with solid aim assist and recoil direction help to mitigate the low handling and charging speeds.

In addition, it has possibly the best FR perk, in Backup Plan, which boosts handling and charge speed for a short time after switching to the weapon. The boost is massive, and basically cuts the charge rate in half, so it's really something to take advantage of.

That, plus the fact that the weapon does enough damage to kill in 4 bolts, and I think we might have a new best fusion in the game.

Constructive Criticism and Destiny 2

It's a long podcast this week, and we covered a lot of ground. Aside from the Iron Banner weapons, here are a few important notes:

We're fundamentally happy with Destiny 2. Bottom line: Bungie has launched a better game than they did 3 years ago. Graphically, mechanically, balance-wise, this is a very solid foundation for the franchise to continue to grow on. Millions of players are happy with it, blissfully ignorant of the raucous cries of the hardcore forum-going community.

But there is ground to cover: quality of life features that didn't make the jump, seemingly contradictory intentions around whether Crucible is or isn't intended to be more competitive (it feels more competitive, but without many of the usual trappings of competitive PVP games), a lack of clear direction in the endgame. We discuss some problems we see in this episode, as well as ways they might be solved, and we also talk about some features that would just be fun to have in the Destiny universe - playful PVP game modes, strike scoring (and scoreboards), and more.

We also want to clarify something: when we make recommendations, we do so based on data and experience. We don't make things up. We don't go purely by feel, but we also don't ignore it. You may disagree with us sometimes (or vice versa). That's okay.

Ultimately, this podcast is a platform for us to express our opinions about a video game. We attempt to do so honestly and fairly, without ulterior motives or any stake in it besides being gamers who are REALLY into Destiny and care about how the game actually works. We hope you enjoy and benefit from hearing what we have to say, and we really hope you take the time to let us know your thoughts in return as well.

And as always, thanks for listening.