Destiny's most divisive weapon is back thanks to the Thorn Quest in Rise on Iron. While the Year 1 version continued to have its uses during Year 2, thanks to most Crucible playlists not taking Light into account, getting your hands on the Year 3 edition means that it once again becomes a viable prospect in Iron Banner, Trials of Osiris, or if you simply want to maintain the best possible Light as you aim to get high level loot drops.

Be warned it might be a little less effective these days, thanks to a base range nerf and a new Rise of Iron Artifact that can really limit its damage over time perk, but it's still got a place in our hearts - and our primary inventory slots - when it comes to multiplayer.

Once you're got it, you can apply appearance-changing Ornaments to make it your own. It's also one of many Exotic weapon questlines in Rise of Iron, such as the Khvostov Quest, Gjallarhorn Quest and Overload Prime Quest, which also helps fill out an entry in Rise of Iron's Record Book.

How to get Year 3 Thorn in Rise of Iron

In a nod to the original Thorn Exotic Quest in Destiny's first year, the path to getting your hands on the Hand Cannon is a blend of killing Fallen, running Strikes and spending plenty of time in the Crucible:

  • Redeem specific Bounties until the Quest appears
  • Run the Wretched Eye Strike
  • Kill Fallen in the Plaguelands
  • Kill players in Crucible with Void damage
  • Consume 5 Motes of Light to 'cleanse' the weapon
  • Use a Skeleton Key at the end of The Abomination Heist Strike

Thanks to both the Destiny sub-Reddit and WillisGaming on YouTube for help with detailing these steps.

Getting the Year 3 Thorn in Rise of Iron step-by-step

The first - and most unpredictable part - is actually starting the A Light in the Dark Quest itself. Similar to Thorn back in vanilla Destiny, the Quest will begin at random when you complete a Iron Lord Bounty from Iron Tower vendor Shiro-4. There's also a report that it'll drop from a Weekly Crucible Bounty, too, but those are harder to come by.

With a spot of luck, this could be yours!

The drop rate for this Quest isn't clear; even after clearing a fortnight's worth of Bounties from Shiro-4 (so eight in total) it had yet to unlock for us, and there's nothing much more you can do aside from picking up his Bounties, heading to The Plaguelands and handing them in when completed, so get used to running Patrol Missions and teaming up with others in Archon's Forge until it finally drops.

When it eventually unlocks, the first proper Quest step in A Light in the Dark is running The Wretched Eye, which is Rise of Iron's sole new Strike. You can do this on any difficulty, and won't take you 20 minutes to complete it. (Remember to pick up a few Dormant SIVA Clusters you're missing while you're at it.)

After that is Harvest of the Lesser where you kill Fallen in the Plaguelands. It apparently ranges at around the 500 range, which is no small figure. Thankfully Fallen are pretty much everywhere in Patrol, and might be worth doing this over a handful of days while doing other Bounties and Quests to tick few boxes off at the same time.

After that, you have to do the Feast Upon the Light stage by venturing to the Crucible and take down other players with Void damage. This is a percentage-based objective, and according to the Destiny sub-Reddit, you need to take down 125 players. This covers both Void weapons and Void sub-classes, of which you should hopefully have plenty of now; if you're struggling, remember that Light level doesn't count in the Crucible, so Year 1 gear will do just fine (Word of Crota will help here, if you have it!).

Apparently dying doesn't impact the progress of this stage, nor which playlist you use (though Private Matches are a no go) so play with whatever you're most comfortable with, ideally also running Daily or Weekly Crucible Bounties that, again, makes the effort much more worthwhile, and it might be a good opportunity to complete the new Supremacy Questline if you've yet to finish it too. Ultimately, killing over 100 players can be a long step, depending on your ability, so do whatever it takes to make it enjoyable.

Want more Destiny: Rise of Iron guides, tips and tricks? Then read our Wrath of the Machine walkthrough and guides, complete list of all Dormant SIVA Cluster locations, tips on how to reach Destiny's max Light level, how to complete the Exotic Gjallarhorn Quest, Khvostov 7G-OX Quest and Thorn Quest and new modes Vanguard Elite Strike Scoring and SRL.

The second-to-last stage has you 'cleanse' the weapon with Motes of Light. You just need five of these to do the trick, so pop into your inventory and redeem them. If you have run out, then keep playing until you level up, or decrypt Engrams, to get the amount you need.

Finally, in another nod to the original Thorn Quest, the Where It Began step has you run The Abomination Heist (also known as the revamped, level 320 version of The Summoning Pits) and use a Skeleton Key on the chest at the end when the boss dies. Our Skeleton Key and Strike-specific loot page gives you details on where to get the consumable, but chances are you'll have one already from completing the 'None are Perfect' Quest. Remember you can choose this Strike from the Director.

Once you've done that, the Year 3 Thorn will drop! It's a lot easier to get than the Year 1 variant, but unlike the Year 1 version that's gathering dust in your Vault, you can boost the Light level of this one up to the new cap through Infusing, making it a much more attractive prospect than the original.

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Matthew Reynolds

Matthew Reynolds

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Matthew edits guides and other helpful things at When not doing that, he's out and about playing Pokémon Go or continuing to amass his amiibo collection.

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