Destiny Ascendant Shards Basic Guide

Destiny Ascendant Shards Basic Guide by Elivercury

So it seems to me that a lot of people are struggling to get ascendant shards, with some people stating they’ve not managed to get more than 1-2 despite weeks of playtime. I am assuming that the majority of this isn’t just bad luck (although I do have a friend who got nothing but ascendant energy for every single boss/chest reward in VoG) but that people don’t realise how many ways there are to get ascendant energies. This will most likely be common knowledge for most, but hopefully some will find it helpful.

What are these “ascendant material things?”

So let’s start from the beginning, what are ascendant materials and why do you want them? Well ascendant materials refers to two items, ascendant shards and ascendant energies. You use the former to upgrade your legendary/exotic armour and the latter to upgrade your legendary/exotic weapons respectively. As upgrading your armour/weapons gives increased defence, damage and light, this is obviously something you want to do and will be essential to reaching level 30 and completing the most challenging game content.

So I want some, how do I get them?

So there are numerous ways to get them, with varying difficulties.

Any level:

  • Public events – every time you complete a public event (gold tier) you’ve a chance to get a mote of light, strange coin, ascendant shard or ascendant energy. You can easily keep track of these using this website
  • Daily public event – For your first public event of the day you’ll get some guaranteed materials from the postman. After you get your gold tier, go to the post master and he’ll have a little package that’ll give you either ascendant shards, energies, strange coins or a mote of light.
  • Chests – Chests have a chance to reward you with rare materials. It won’t happen often but it will happen.
  • Crucible – Again there is a random chance to get a rare material in addition to engrams.

Personally I recommend making two additional characters if you haven’t got three already and taking advantage of this daily. Even if you don’t get shards, you’ll get energy or motes of light – all it which is handy.

Level 20+

  • Dismantle legendary equipment – if you happen to be rolling in exotic/legendary gear then feel free to dismantle it and get 1-3 energy/shards depending on whether it was a weapon/armour that you dismantled. If you’ve just replaced your legendary with an exotic, I’d probably hang onto the legendary just in case you get another exotic you’d prefer to equip and suddenly have to farm yourself another legendary to fill the void. (Note queen’s wrath equipment no longer rewards ascendant shards – uncertain if the sniper will give ascendant energy as it’s much rarer)
  • Replace your legendary head/body with queen’s wrath gear. Ok so you can’t dismantle the queen’s wrath gear and get anything from it, but you can replace your existing head/body with queen’s gear and dismantle your existing legendary gear for 3-6 shards. You’ll be replacing it with raid gear as some point anyway right?
  • Farm crucible/vanguard marks – So it’s not going to be quick, but a guaranteed way to get shards is to buy a piece of armour for 65 marks or a weapon for 150 and dismantle it. In reality you will probably prefer to use the marks on getting yourself new shiny weapons (can you ever have too many?) but if you are happy with your selection/don’t have sufficient rank and are going to hit the cap then this is an option to get a few extra shards/energies.
  • Rank up those factions – Every time you get rank up a faction from 3 onwards you’ll get an assortment of items as a gift from them, consisting of legendary weapon, armour, rare/legendary engrams and/or legendary materials (shards/coins/energy) as well. If these are duplicates you can of course dismantle them for energy. (credit to rxninja for reminding me of this)

Level 23-25

  • Daily heroic mission – if you do the daily heroic it’ll award you 5 vanguard marks at level 20, however you can also bump the difficulty to level 24 or 28 and this will reward you with 1 or 2 ascendant materials respectively. If you’re not high enough you can always ask a higher level friend to carry you through, but to my knowledge you’ll still need to be within 3 levels or it will not let you enter.
  • Level 24 “Tiger” strike playlist – As of patch 1.02 (which should land this week sometime) they are apparently greatly increased the odds of getting engram and legendary drops from doing this strike playlist. The engrams of course have a chance of giving all four rare materials (shards, energies, motes of light and strange coins) AND are now guaranteed to give at worst the colour of the engram, with an increased chance of getting the tier above (i.e. legendary from a rare engram). (credit to rxninja for suggesting I include this update)

Level 25+

  • Weekly Nightfall mission – Ok this won’t give you shards You can get 10 ascendant shards, energies and coins, exotic armour or exotic/legendary weapon. If you don’t need said weapon/armour you can dismantle it for energy/shards. (credit to rxninja for pointing out you can get material and armour drops from nightfall)
  • Vault of Glass – every time you hit a checkpoint or open a chest you’ve a chance to get 2-3 ascendant materials, a weapon or a piece of armour. By my count there are 3 chests and 4 checkpoints giving you 7 opportunities to get the materials (potential 21 in a raid). Obviously this isn’t easy and already requires you to be fairly geared up (and at 25 you might not be able to get more than halfway unless you have higher level allies), but it certainly offers good rewards.

Save your shards

It has been mentioned a few times in comments so I thought I would add it. Normal legendary armour from factions/engrams and every other non-raid source caps at 27 light, meaning you’re unable to get level 30 with is (as you need 120 light which is 4*30). Raid armour and exotics cap at 30 light allowing you to hit the maximum level.

What does this mean? Well it means you should probably upgrade your exotic as a priority. It will also only cost you 16 shards rather than 18 for a legendary. Once you’ve got your 3 legendary pieces to 22 light and your exotic to 30, this will put you at 96 light, just 2 points short of level 28 (the optimum level for raiding). At this point it’s your option at to whether you throw 8 shards at a piece to get yourself level 28 and make your life slightly easier or hang onto them until you get some raid armour drops. Regardless I would not waste shards on “normal” legendary armour.

In summary, I have probably just given you a lot of information you already knew, but hopefully I’ll have let someone know some extra ways to get ascendant materials.

Incidentally, by my calculations you can potentially get up to 73 ascendant materials per week (28 from first public event daily, 14 from 28 heroic daily, 10 from weekly nightfall and 21 from weekly VoG) and 219 if you manage to do it on all three characters (and have the luck of the gods). This is not factoring any you might get from dismantling or public event farming. If I get even 20% of that I’ll be pretty damn happy for the week.

Criticism/corrections are of course welcome, also this is my first attempt at some sort of guide so please be gentle :)

Already I’d like to add a big thanks to rxninja for several excellent contributions I’d forgotten about.

Happy hunting!

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3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    You should look up a destiny public events tracker Mars is the best you can do infinite public events.

  2. Jay says:

    Can someone explain or list the caps for rewards. Like how many reward items can you get in a day? Or in a week? If Replaying the strike playlists over, will it get good rewards? Or until the weekly reset? Etc..?

    For example: for the weekly nightfall strikes…if you complete it once, you will not get any more rewards until the weekly reset or will you be able to get rewards still?

  3. Vicki says:

    Appreciate the article. I was trying to find more about the randomness–or not–of being rewarded for the public event after the first one. I’m getting really frustrated since for the past two days I haven’t gotten one thing, while others in the party have — one guy even got two things while I got none. So, I’m beginning to question whether the rewards are random, although for one today I believe I did the most damage, but no reward. There are certain aspects of the game I do find annoying or frustrating at this point, although there is much I like or I would not be playing!

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