Destiny 2: Guardian Games 2021 – Earning Medals, Laurels, And How To Obtain The Heir Apparent Catalyst

Guardian Games has returned in Destiny 2 this year, giving each class a chance to show off their superior skills. Unlike other events that stay mostly the same each year, Guardian Games has seen some major changes since the last time it arrived.

On top of obtaining Laurels through Eva’s bounties, Guardians will compete for points by participating in a new Guardian Games Strike Playlist, matchmaking players of the same class together. New modifiers, cosmetics, and the Heir Apparent Catalyst culminate into an event that most players won’t want to miss. Let’s go over how this year’s event works.

How Guardians Games Works

In essence, Guardians Games is the Olympics of Destiny, pushing each class to their limit through a series of challenges. This involves competing in the new Guardian Games Strike Playlist and completing Contender Cards.

Classes are rated daily while Guardian Games is active, the rank of each class displayed by their respective banner in the Tower. On the weekend, players will earn a unique glow to show off how well their class is doing. The class that wins the Guardian Games will get a podium in their honor for the remainder of the year.

Guardian Games lasts from April 20 to May 11.

How Scoring Works: Medals And Laurels Explained

There are two currency types associated with the Guardian Games that you’ll need to get familiar with:

  • Medals: Obtained from Triumphs, Contender Cards, and activity completions. Medals are stored in your quest tab under the “Medal Case” item. Turn these in at the Tower to score points for your team.
  • Laurels: These drop from other players during the event in any activity. Use Laurels to purchase repeatable bounties, Contender Cards, and other goodies from Eva Levante.

The gist is you’ll want to grab as many Laurels as possible to obtain Medals for your team.


You can play virtually any activity to earn Laurels, but the most efficient way will be playing Guardian Games strikes. Laurels look like colored Motes, so pick them up whenever you see them. Any Laurel generated by your class are worth extra.

Laurel Colors

  • Hunter: Blue
  • Warlock: Yellow
  • Titan: Red

To generate Laurels, you must have a Guardian Games class item equipped. You can grab one by speaking to Zavala in the Tower. He’ll give you one for free at the start of the event. Should you misplace it, you can buy another one from Eva Levante at any time.


Going into Medals, there are four different Medal types this year, each granting the following points for your team:

  • Bronze: 1 Point
  • Silver: 2 Points
  • Gold: 5 Points
  • Platinum: 15 Points

Whenever you obtain a Medal, you can deposit them at the Tower at your class podium (it’s right next to Eva; you can’t miss it). There are no class weightings for this year, meaning Hunters earn points at the same rate as Warlocks and Titans, unlike last year. With that said, there is a catchup mechanic: the class that loses in a given day will get a permanent 10% Medal point bonus for the rest of the event.

You will earn Medals from Guardian Games Triumphs, Contender Cards, and completing any activity. Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals are most notably obtained from activity completions. Platinum Medals, new to this year’s Guardian Games, are earned through Contender Cards.

Guardian Games Strikes

Introduced in 2021’s Guardian Games is the Guardian Games Strike Playlist. Found in the Tower’s directory menu, this will be the definitive playlist for farming Laurels. There are two key differences between the normal strike playlist and this one:

  1. You will be matchmade with your own class type. Hunters match with other Hunters, Warlocks with other Warlocks, and Titans with other Titans.
  2. Modifiers present in this playlist are based on class performance the previous day.

Note: Every player in the playlist must be of the same class, even if they’re in a pre-made fireteam. This means that if your friends or clanmates don’t play the same class as you, you cannot enter this playlist with them.

Strike Modifiers

There are both beneficial and detrimental modifiers in this playlist. Every class will get beneficial and detrimental modifiers, regardless of how well they did the previous day. Classes that are in second or first place will receive negative modifiers, determined by class placement.

For example, if Titans were second place and Warlocks were third, every class would deal with significantly increased combatant melee damage and take extra damage while airborne. The beneficial modifier is based on how your team did the previous day. In this case, Hunters would get Gold benefits, Titans would get Silver, and Warlocks would get Bronze.

All modifiers tied to this playlist are listed below:

Positive Modifiers

  • Bronze: Grenade abilities deal more damage and recharge much faster. Elemental damage increased from Guardian sources.
  • Silver: Melee abilities recharge faster. Elemental damage increased from Guardian sources. More Heavy ammo available.
  • Gold: Health, shields, and recovery are increased. Kinetic weapons deal more damage.

Negative Modifiers (Hunter)

  • Bronze: Radar is disabled.
  • Silver: Radar is disabled, and combatants don’t flinch when damaged.

Negative Modifiers (Warlock)

  • Bronze: Incoming damage increased while airborne.
  • Silver: Incoming damage significantly increased while airborne.

Negative Modifiers (Titan)

  • Bronze: Combatant melee attacks deal more damage.
  • Silver: Combatant melee attacks deal significantly more damage.

Contender Cards

Similar to Trials of Osiris, Guardian Games has a unique card type named Contender Cards. These cards are the only way of obtaining Platinum Medals throughout the event, giving you the exclusive Platinum Glow regardless of how well your team is doing.

Contender Cards can be purchased from Eva Levante for Laurels. Different Contender Card types task you with completing unique objectives in core playlists (strikes, Crucible, and Gambit). The Platinum Contender Card gives the best Medals but is tied to Nightfalls, competitive Crucible, and Trials of Osiris. Should you complete the objectives on the Platinum Card, you’ll earn what’s called “All-Star” status and earn a unique reward at the next podium ceremony (which occurs every weekend). If you want to ensure that your class wins, you’ll want to complete as many Contender Cards as you can.

New Loot

What’s the point of going through all of this trouble? For the loot, of course! Besides a standard Eververse refresh, Guardians of all classes will be able to earn massive amounts of XP, Bright Dust, and the Heir Apparent Catalyst during this event.

Here’s the loot you can expect from the 2021 Guardian Games:

  • New Emblems
  • An Exotic Sparrow
  • Heir Apparent’s Catalyst
  • A new Guardian Games class item (remember, transmog is coming next season)
  • New Eververse goodies, including a new ornamental armor set
  • Additional XP and Bright Dust via Eva bounties

How To Earn The Heir Apparent Catalyst

By far the most valuable reward this year is the Heir Apparent Catalyst. Both the Catalyst drop location and Masterwork requirements are all tied to Guardian Games. If you don’t complete them during the event, you’ll need to wait until next year for another chance at Masterworking it.

What The Catalyst Does

Grants Legion’s Bulwark: Increases the Arc Shield’s durability and partially reloads the magazine if it’s destroyed.

Where The Catalyst Drops

Turning in Gold and Platinum Medals has a small chance of granting the Heir Apparent Catalyst. Completing Contender Cards is the best way of earning these Medals and, therefore, earning the Catalyst.

Masterwork Requirements

Four objectives must be completed before you can Masterwork Heir Apparent. They are the following:

  1. Earn 50 points by obtaining Medals. Higher tier medals are worth additional points.
  2. Complete 3 Contender Cards.
  3. Collect 90 Competitive Spirit by landing Machine Gun final blows in the Guardian Games Strikes Playlist. Precision Blows grant bonus progress.
  4. Land 700 final blows with Heir Apparent.

Thanks to @DestinyNewsCom for the information provided above.

Next: Destiny 2: Beyond Light Complete Guide And Walkthrough

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Charles Burgar is an expert on all things tech and gaming. Graduating from Pikes Peak Community College in 2018 with an Associate of Science, Charles has spent his time dissecting popular video games, movies, and technology. With an understanding of games for as long as he can remember, Charles has a large interest in understanding what makes things fun. He is currently a Freelance writer for TheGamer and Game Rant.

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