This week is the first Iron Banner Crucible event in Destiny since the big 2.2 April Update earlier this month. With the 2.2 Update I actually started playing a little bit more Crucible testing the weapon balance changes and Warlock tweaks as well. But the Iron Banner is a different beast and it’s these week long, monthly end-game PvP events that really helps shape the weapon meta in-between those patches. So with that in mind, let’s talk a little bit about this month’s Iron Banner.
The first thing that I’ve really noticed is the increased Light level really matters now. In previous Iron Banners, it really didn’t amount to a huge factor in combat. Now that Light levels vary a bunch more – I’m willing to bet a lot that there are way more players that haven’t broken 320 yet – those players that did grind to get up above 330 really can use that difference. I went in this week at 318 – probably a little low honestly – but weapon-wise I felt pretty even. It was really with the abilities that messed me up. One Throwing Knife with Burn on would kill me from full health. A charged Warlock melee pretty much did me in as well. It also impacted my Hammer of Sol – sometimes my Hammers wouldn’t net a kill, plus I was a little squishier than normal while Hammered up. Once I switched to Striker Titan, Shoulder Charge really was dictated on my targets armor build – if they ran high armor, I couldn’t get the one-shot. So if you’re coming back to Destiny for the April update and raring to jump into Iron Banner, you might want to wait a little while, or at least find a couple teammates to play with.
The two big changes with the April update in terms of the Crucible really revolve around the weapon balance and Warlocks.The nice thing with the Warlock changes is because they are probably the best all around Class, (and I main a Titan) you see them plenty in Crucible. Generally, I think I’m seeing a good mix of the three subclasses so far. It’s not full teams of Sunsingers, mainly because they’re a little squishier than they used to be. Their grenades are still amazing with a Viking Funeral build, but Voidwalker’s neutral game is much better than before, and Stormcaller has always been a solid choice. Warlocks have always been good in Crucible – Voidwalkers for those single power play moments, Sunsingers are great damage dealers and Stormcallers are good at area control/power plays. Don’t expect a major change with the Warlocks, even with all the changes they’ve had.
Weapon-wise though, the Crucible is a very different place then the last time I really played. The last time I really was involved in PvP play in Destiny, the Crucible was full of full auto Hawksaws, Ambush/Shortgaze sight snipers, Truth, and the resurgence of Thorn. It was not a fun place if you wanted to try different things – which is a huge part of the fun with PvP to me. So far this week though, I’m seeing a bit of a different mix. Sure, there are some that pop up much more frequently – MIDA, Hawksaw, Doctrine of Passing – but nothing to the point where I think it’s the only choice like Thorn used to be. I’m seeing a good mix of special weapons, including a handful of fusion rifles. Rockets are still really strong, but since we get a lot less ammo for them, being smart with the heavy is a lot more important. This is the first time in a long time with Destiny where I think if you have a primary that you really like, you can probably use it and do well. Iron Banner or Trials of Osiris might not be the best place to test that out, but general Crucible is definitely a lot better of a place right now. The Taken Spring update continues to impress me, and really has revitalized my love for this game.