Destiny 2: Iron-Handed Diplomacy Quest Guide

It wouldn’t be a new Destiny 2 season without the return of Iron Banner. This monthly PvP mode is an alternate variant of Control, featuring Power level scaling and a lockout mechanic for capturing all three zones. To make up for the harsher sandbox, Iron Banner contains a unique loot pool that rolls with exclusive perks.

Before you can access Iron Banner’s new suite of guns, you’ll need to complete a seasonal quest first. Iron-Handed Diplomacy will require mastery of certain weapon archetypes, capturing zones, and defeating Guardians with abilities. You have the entire season to complete this quest. Let’s go over how to complete each quest step.

Leverage The Void

Leverage the Void: In the Iron Banner, during Season of the Splicer: defeat opponents, capture zones, and get Arc or Void ability final blows.

Leverage The Void Objectives

  • Defeat 10 Guardians with Void or Arc abilities.
  • Capture 10 zones.
  • Defeat 30 Guardians.

You’ll have to equip a Void or Arc subclass for the ability kills to count. Hunters can play bottom tree Arcstrider and use either Shinobu’s Vow or Lucky Raspberry to land grenade kills. Warlocks might find success with top tree Stormcaller and Crown of Tempests. Titans can use any Striker subclass path they prefer, using either Heart of Inmost Light or An Insurmountable Skullfort to help with ability generation.

Beyond that, just remember to capture a point a few times throughout the game. If you play your cards right, this quest step can be completed in three or four games.

Negotiation By Force

Negotiation by Force: In the Iron Banner, during Season of the Splicer: complete matches, capture zones, and get Hand Cannon final blows.

Negotiation By Force Objectives

  • Complete 6 matches.
  • Capture 20 zones.
  • Land 20 Hand Cannon final blows.

Despite their recent nerf, 120 RPM Hand Cannons are still absurdly powerful. They’re the dominant Primary weapon archetype in the PvP sandbox currently, so don’t be afraid to use them.

If you don’t have a good Igneous Hammer or Bottom Dollar, Sturm is an excellent 120 RPM Hand Cannon with more range than most of its competition. Adaptive Frame (140 RPM) Hand Cannons are also competitive. Ace of Spades, Thorn, Palindrome, and Dire Promise are great 140s that can compete with 120s at close to mid-range.

Besides the Hand Cannon kills, capturing 20 zones is something you’ll have to actively pursue. Stick to your team, try to push zones with others, and never let the enemy team capture all three zones.

Adversarial Relations

Adversarial Relations: In the Iron Banner, during Season of the Splicer: defeat opponents, capture zones, and get Sniper Rifle final blows.

Adversarial Relations Objectives

  • Capture 30 zones.
  • Defeat 100 Guardians.
  • Land 10 Sniper Rifle Final Blows

Sniper Rifles are known for their one-shot headshots and high-skill floor. While that’s mostly true, you can make Sniper Rifles much easier to use with a few tricks.

Equip any Aggressive Frame Sniper Rifle (72 RPM). If you’re a Warlock, run Empowering Rift. If you’re a Titan or Hunter, use Whisper of Hedrons and Coldsnap Grenades. When you activate a damage buff that’s 20% or greater, your Sniper Rifle will one-tap to the body. This makes snipers much more forgiving to use. If you don’t own a good 72 RPM sniper, you can use Borealis.

Izanagi’s Burden also works, as Honed Edge x4 one-shots Guardians as well. Just remember to use sniper scavenger mods if you’re using Izanagi’s, as you’ll need four sniper shots to pull this off. On the upside, Izanagi’s Burden doesn’t need a damage buff to do this; you only need Honed Edge x4.

For the kills and zones, just focus on capturing zones every game. Don’t worry about the kill requirement. That’ll complete itself with time.

Hostile Takeovers

Hostile Takeovers: In the Iron Banner, during Season of the Splicer: get Melee final blows, capture zones, and get Shotgun final blows.

Hostile Takeovers Objectives

  • Get 10 Shotgun final blows.
  • Defeat 15 Guardians with your melee ability.
  • Capture 40 zones.

Despite recent nerfs, Felwinter’s Lie is arguably the best PvP Shotgun in Destiny 2 still, a close second being Astral Horizon or Seventh Seraph CQC-12. Most players should be comfortable with Shotguns at this point, so there isn’t much advice to give. Be fast, use your abilities, and stay aggressive.

For melee final blows, we have a few recommendations:

  • Hunter: Withering Blade (Revenant) is S-tier. Bank the blade around corners to kill weak enemies. Bottom tree Gunslinger, when paired with Athrys’s Embrace, is absurdly strong as well, capable of killing enemies halfway across the map with no issue.
  • Warlock: Celestial Fire (top tree Dawnblade) is your best option, as most Warlock melees are horrible. Spec for Strength and reduced melee cooldown through armor mods.
  • Titan: Either Seismic Strike (top tree Striker) or Throwing Hammer (middle tree Sunbreaker) work here. For Striker, use Insurmountable Skullfort for constant melee charges. For Throwing Hammer, Heart of Inmost Light and Wormgod Caress are good choices.

Pair any of the above recommendations with Monte Carlo to have your melee ability always available.

Gunboat Diplomacy

Gunboat Diplomacy: In the Iron Banner, during Season of the Splicer: get Super final blows, Machine Gun final blows, and earn match points. Earn 3 match points for a win, and 1 for a loss.

Gunboat Diplomacy Objectives

  • Land 3 Machine Gun final blows.
  • Earn 25 match points.
  • Kill 15 Guardians with your Super.

You read that right: Bungie added a Heavy weapon quest objective yet again despite player backlash. It’s only three Machine Gun kills this time, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be easy.

Camping Heavy ammo will be your best option here. Stick with your team, anchor near the Heavy spawn, then use your Heavy ammo to land a few kills with your Machine Gun. Nearly every Machine Gun will work here, with standouts including Commemoration and the new Shattered Cipher Machine Gun.

For the Super kills requirement, consider using a roaming Super—a Super that you channel for a period of time. Glacial Quake, Golden Gun, and Chaos Reach are a few good options. Use whatever Super you’re comfortable with.

If you want to win more frequently to earn more match points, either get a premade fireteam together or capture zones. Capturing three zones will start The Hunt, causing a snowball effect on the scoreboard that will significantly increase the chance of your team winning that match. Just be mindful of where allies and enemies are spawning, as you don’t want to accidentally get your team spawn trapped by playing too aggressively.

Reaping Rewards

Reaping Rewards: Return to Lord Saladin.

Reaping Rewards Objective

  • Speak to Lord Saladin at the Tower.

You’ve finished all of the legwork. Speak to Lord Saladin to finish this quest. Feel free to spend tokens after this, as Season of the Splicer’s new Iron Banner guns are in Saladin’s loot pool.

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