Once a year, Destiny 2‘s Guardians compete to claim the top prize: bragging rights on which class is the best. That’s what we’re set to do now that the Guardian Games 2021 event is live during the Season of the Chosen. Players will earn medals and laurels, fill up their podium to see their class’ ranking, and earn special rewards. Will Titans get another runaway victory, or will Warlocks and Hunters finally make a stand? Here’s our Destiny 2 guide to help you with the Guardian Games 2021 event, as well as acquiring the Heir Apparent exotic catalyst.
Note: For more information, check out our Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen guides and features hub as well as Bungie’s official page for the Guardian Games 2021 event. Moreover, remember that the Guardian Games event is available to all Destiny 2 players and runs from April 20 through May 11.
Destiny 2: Guardian Games 2021 event guide
Bounties, Laurels, Medals, and Contender Cards
Destiny 2‘s Guardian Games 2021 event follows the same core concepts that we’ve seen last year, though there are a few noticeable differences. Let’s dive right into the details, shall we?
To start participating in the Guardian Games 2021 event, just visit Zavala at the Tower to get your class item. Make sure your character is wearing the new 2021 class item to earn progress.
Note: The class item from Zavala is at a lower power level. You’ll want to grab the one with a higher power level from Eva Levante instead.
Speaking of Eva, she sells bounties, Contender Cards, and various rewards. Regarding the bounties, only the weekly bounty will provide some laurels. Here are the weekly bounties right now:
- Long-Running Competitor – Complete 3x playlist strikes; earn 300x weapon final blows in strikes; must have the event class item equipped.
- Big-Game Competitor – Defeat 3x bosses in playlist strikes; get 50x ability final blows in strikes; must have the event class item equipped.
So, what exactly are laurels? Well, apart from being awarded when you complete Eva Levante’s weekly bounties, these appear as little motes that drop from kills. You gain extra laurels, too, if you pick up the ones pertaining to your current class. As such, it’s better to run activities with teammates using the same class.
If you’re playing Gambit or Crucible, laurels go straight to your inventory (a welcome change this year). If you’re playing other activities, though, you do need to pick them up.
Note: You can only generate laurels or earn progress in event bounties if you’re wearing the Guardian Games 2021 class items. Wearing last year’s version simply won’t work.
Medals, meanwhile, are awarded whenever you complete certain activities, triumphs, or Contender Cards.
These are stored in your Quest inventory and are used to increase your class’ score via the Guardian Games podium (which I’ll get to later in this guide).
Since I mentioned Contender Cards, these provide the aforementioned medals. Think of these as tallies with random objectives that need to be done in a specific activity. You can purchase these from Eva using the laurels that you’ve acquired:
- Platinum Card: Trials and Platinum Card: Nightfalls – Award platinum medals.
- Contender Cards: Strikes, Contender Card: Crucible, Contender Card: Gambit – Award platinum medals.
Note: Should you complete a Platinum Card, you’ll also be considered an “All-Star” and you’d receive a platinum glow for the week.
Rewards: Eva’s items and the Heir Apparent exotic catalyst
Destiny 2‘s Guardian Games 2021 event has the Heir Apparent exotic catalyst as a reward, among many other items:
|Rival Shells (class-based legendary ghost shells)||350x Laurels||Buy these from Eva Levante.|
|Color of Speed (legendary sparrow)||Triumph completion||Complete the “World-Class Point Scorer” Triumph (earn class points during the event).|
|Heir Apparent exotic machine gun||Quest completion||The quest will only be available if you haven’t obtained this item yet.|
|Heir Apparent exotic catalyst||Gold or Platinum medals||If you already have the Heir Apparent weapon, then banking Gold or Platinum medals via the Class Podium will give you a chance to get the exotic catalyst to drop.|
The Heir Apparent’s exotic catalyst effect provides “Legion’s Bulwark.” It’s a perk that increases the durability of your Arc shield while partially reloading the weapon’s magazine if the shield is broken.
There are also additional objectives that you’ll need to complete in order to masterwork the Heir Apparent after obtaining the catalyst. These are the steps as data-mined by Light.gg:
- Earn 50x points from medals. You gain extra points from high-tier medals (i.e., banking a bronze medal grants a single point while a platinum medal gives 15 points).
- Complete 3x Contender Cards (mentioned above).
- Amass 90x Competitive Spirit by getting kills with any machine gun in the Guardian Games strike playlist; precision kills grant extra progress.
- Get 700x kills with the Heir Apparent exotic machine gun.
The Guardian Games Class Podium
As for the Guardian Games Class Podium, this is where you’ll bank any medals that you have amassed to provide points to your class/team. As time passes throughout the day, you might notice a few gains showing which class/team is currently leading (based on the number of medals that have been banked by all players). A calendar will also show which team won at the end of the day prior to the reset.
Whichever team had the most points is declared the winner. Make sure you stick to your chosen class since there are additional buffs, cosmetic glows for your Guardian Games class item, and even some penalties.
Note 1: The class that comes in at third place for a particular day will have a 10% bonus for the points earned the next day.
Note 2: It seems that there’s a bug that prevents you from banking medals that are obtained in the Tower if you’ve already banked those of the same rarity. You’ll need to go back to orbit and head back to the Tower which is a bit annoying.
As for the modifiers (buffs and debuffs), these are active in the Guardian Games strike playlist only:
|Gold||Increased health, shields, and recovery; kinetic weapons deal more damage.||Both silver and bronze penalties will be applied to that particular class.|
|Silver||Increased melee recharge rate, elemental damage, and heavy ammo availability.||Hunter: Radar is disabled; enemies don’t flinch when damaged.|
Titan: Significantly increased melee damage from enemies.
Warlock: Significantly increased damage while airborne.
|Bronze||Increased grenade damage and recharge rate, as well as increased elemental damage.||Hunter: Radar is disabled.|
Titan: Enemies have increased melee damage.
Warlock: Incoming damage is increased while airborne.
As you can see, winning for a particular day also means there will be a downside when you’re out and about fighting. I guess these advantages (and disadvantages) are Bungie’s way of promoting a catch-up mechanic for classes/teams at lower ranks.
Regarding the ceremony at the podium, this occurs each Friday. The rankings will determine the type of class item glow you’d receive (i.e., third place gets a bronze glow, second place gets a silver glow, and first place gets a golden glow). The only exceptions are those who’ve attained an “All-Star” moniker for completing the Platinum Contender Cards as they’ll receive a platinum glow instead.
Lastly, bear in mind that although Destiny 2‘s Guardian Games event continues until May 11, the closing ceremony will actually take place on May 7 (the Friday before the weekly reset that ends the event). During the closing ceremony, the winning class will be recognized. There will be fireworks in the Tower and a statue will showcase the class on display throughout the year.