Iron-Handed Diplomacy Quest Guide

Learn what you need to do to complete Iron-Handed Diplomacy and get your hands on the new Iron Banner weapons.

The first Iron Banner for Season of the Splicer is here and Lord Saladin has a new quest chain for Guardians to complete. Completing the Iron-Handed Diplomacy quest will let you get your hands on the new Iron Banner weapons that were introduced this season.

new iron banner weapons season of the splicer

Disclaimer: The Riiswalker shotgun and Archon’s Thunder machine gun are currently only available from their respective quest rewards. You can’t get them from engrams right now so don’t be too hasty in dismantling them if you don’t get the roll you want. (And don’t waste your Iron Banner tokens either.)

lord saladin tower

Iron-Handed Diplomacy Quest Chain

To start this quest, you’ll need to stop by the Tower and talk to Lord Saladin. He’s in his usual spot overlooking Shaxx’s area in the Tower. Speak with Saladin and accept the Iron-Handed Diplomacy quest.

There are 6 steps to this quest chain and each step has a different set of requirements. And unlike previous seasons, if you make progress on the requirements for future steps of the quest, that progress will be carried forward so you don’t have to start with a clean slate each time!

The only exception for that is the final blow portion with specific weapons. You’ll start at 0 for them, but they’re all less than 20 defeats so they aren’t impossible to complete.

iron handed diplomacy step 1

Step 1

  • Defeat 30 Guardians in Iron Banner
  • Capture 10 zones in Iron Banner
  • Get 10 final blows with Arc or Void abilities

The final blows with Arc or Void abilities will, potentially, be the most difficult part of this step. I highly recommend that you use any subclass or exotic that gives you an additional ability charge, i.e. Shinobu’s Vow, top tree Striker, Armamentarium, Claws of Ahamkara, etc. While 10 ability kills may not sound like a lot, it can be the biggest pain point if you aren’t using your abilities wisely.

finite impactor iron banner hand cannon

Completing this step of the quest chain will reward you with Finite Impactor, a 140 arc hand cannon. This hand cannon is in the same archetype as Palindrome and would be a good substitute if you haven’t gotten a good roll just yet. It isn’t nearly as Palindrome, but if you’re looking for a good 140 for the energy slot, Finite Impactor is the weapon for you.

iron handed diplomacy step 2

Step 2

  • Complete 6 Iron Banner matches
  • Capture 20 zones in Iron Banner
  • Get 20 final blows with hand cannons in Iron Banner

It should be no surprise that final blows with a hand cannon is going to be the big hang-up here. Hand cannons are a high skill ceiling weapon with some of the fastest times-to-kill (TTK) in the game if you can land all of your shots. However, if you miss, your TTK just got a lot longer.

If you have trouble using hand cannons in the Crucible, make sure that you stay close to your teammates and do your best to team fire their targets. This will be the quickest way for you to get past this roadblock.

occluded finality iron banner sniper rifle

Completing this step in the quest chain will award you with Occluded Finality, a high-impact sniper rifle that deals arc damage. If you’re going to chase a single weapon this Iron Banner, this is it. I highly, highly recommend that you spend your Iron Banner tokens to get the god roll (corkscrew rifling, ricochet rounds, snapshot sights, opening shot).

You will be hard pressed to find a better sniper for PvP and especially one that you can get just by turning in tokens.

iron handed diplomacy step 3

Step 3

  • Defeat 100 guardians in Iron Banner
  • Capture 30 zones in Iron Banner
  • Get 10 final blows with sniper rifles

With how fast the Crucible is right now and how easily sniper rifles are flinched, many players are going to struggle to get final blows with sniper rifles. I had to play an extra half dozen games to finish this portion of the quest and I’m fairly skilled with a sniper rifle. My advice, be patient. Stay near high traffic lanes. Hard scope if you have to. But most importantly, be patient.

riiswalker iron banner shotgun

Completing this step will award you with Riiswalker, a brand-new lightweight shotgun that goes in the kinetic weapon slot. This should come as a huuuge relief to Bottom Dollar and Igneous Hammer users. The kinetic special weapon selection has been incredibly thin until now. Even though Riiswalker is a lightweight frame instead of a precision or aggressive frame, it is still a reliable workhorse that can serve you well with the right roll.

iron handed diplomacy step 4

Step 4

  • Get 15 final blows with melee abilities or melee attacks
  • Capture 40 zones in Iron Banner
  • Get 10 final blows with Shotguns

Strap on Felwinter’s Lie if you haven’t already. That’s it. That’s the advice. Get in there and ape to your heart’s content. Rip and tear until it is done.

archon's thunder iron banner machine gun

Completing this step of the quest will award you with Archon’s Thunder, a high-impact solar machine gun. Think of this as a Solar version of the Seventh Seraph SAW, but without the ability to make Warmind cells.

While Iron-Handed Diplomacy is a long quest chain with some difficult steps, I recommend that you stick it out just to get Archon’s Thunder. There is only one other solar machine gun in the game and that’s Thermal Erosion, which is a rapid-fire frame that you can get from the repeatable quest on Europa from Variks.

Rapid-fire machine guns are inaccurate bullet hoses right now so if you’re looking for a solar machine gun, Archon’s Thunder is literally your only other option.

iron handed diplomacy step 5

Step 5

  • Get 15 final blows with your Super in Iron Banner
  • Ear 25 match points in Iron Banner
  • Get 3 final blows with machine guns

Machine guns definitely aren’t in a good place in the Crucible right now. They have marginally better TTKs than the best primary weapons and you don’t get many rounds from power bricks. Luckily, you only need to get 3 final blows here.

As for which machine gun you should use, Heir apparent is definitely your best option to get the final blows for this part of the quest. The overshield will protect you from enemy fire and give you the breathing room you need to get your final blows in.

iron handed diplomacy step 6

Step 6

Return to Saladin to finish out this quest chain. He’ll reward you with the Canis Coat shader as the final reward for completing Iron-Handed Diplomacy.

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Kenny Empey

Kenny is a lifelong gamer that enjoys writing in-depth guides for RPGs, JRPGs, strategy, and FPS games. You can follow him on Twitter, YouTube, or Twitch to stay up to date with the latest content and guides from