Iron counter shield is one of the new shaders added in Destiny 2: Season of the Seraph, but this one is a bit special – more so than the new Dawning shaders anyway. Any armor you apply it to will take on a chainmail texture, which is perfect for some of Destiny 2’s more chivalrous and medieval-looking armor sets, of which there are plenty.
Along with the returning Iron Banner armor sets, this shader is quite desirable, but unfortunately it’s very hard to get your hands on. If you’re new to the season of the Seraph, you might be curious about the new craftable Exotic, Revision zero (opens in new tab)or want to know everything Locations of resonance amplifiers (opens in new tab) to collect some Ikelos weapons with red trim. Otherwise, here’s how to unlock Iron Countershade and how long it takes.
How to Unlock Iron Countershade
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To unlock Iron Countershade, you must reset your Iron Banner rank once and then arrive place 16 again to claim it. This is because the shader is the penultimate reward on the prestige reputation track. Normally this would mean quite a bit of play, but there are a number of factors that make this prospect even more difficult.
Firstly, there are only two weeks of Iron Banner this season, as opposed to the normal three, which means you’ll need to achieve 17-ish ranks each week the event is active. Secondly, the new area control game mode, Fortress, is often quite close, so matches go full time and take even longer to complete. However, if you’re determined to get the shader, here are the ways you can increase your Iron Banner rep gains:
- Gain 100% more rep for each Iron Banner Daily Challenge (opens in new tab) you complete, for matches played in that week.
- Have five Iron Banner weapons or pieces of armor during matches. Iron Banner armor pieces with Iron Banner transmog ornaments applied count for two, so you can also wear an Exotic.
- Equip an Iron Banner decal if you have one. You can use the Golden standard emblem by claiming a gold Iron Banner medal.
All told, this gives you an 11.0x boost to your Iron Banner reputation, which is as much as you can speed up the process. A win in Iron Banner gives you 300 xp, a loss gives you 220 xp, and each game usually takes about 10 minutes, if you also count the time in line for a match etc.
If you’ve won 34 games and lost 40 (losing more than wins is likely in this mode), that equates to about 12 hours to get what you need for the shader. No wonder players lose matches on purpose to earn that 220 xp to spend less time on it. If past Iron Banners are anything to go by, this shader will probably no longer be available either.
On the plus side, it’s not as bad as some of the armor drop rates. It took our resident Destiny 2 aficionado, Tim, “Two resets and to Heroic III on the 3rd” to get full sets for all three classes, and that’s quite a bit over 12 hours.