Recent Destiny patches appear to have removed common sources of Ascendant materials (Ascendant Shards & Ascendant Energy), which are still required to upgrade old gear.

From Destiny Patch Notes:

  • Newly acquired Faction reward packages will no longer produce Shards
  • The Cryptarch will no longer convert newly acquired Legendary Engrams to Shards (possibilities include gear/weapons or Exotics)
  • Expansion II featured Daily Heroic activities will produce Motes of Light in lieu of Shards

Though it doesn't appear to be specified in the Patch Notes, I've also noticed that certain other events (e.g.: your first gold-tier Public Event each day) appear to generate Motes instead of Ascendant materials.

What options remain for those who still want/need to get Ascendant materials?

  • 2
    My best guess is you'll need to do the Vault of Glass raid, which was the most abundant source of Ascendant shards and energy before this DLC. I can't say for sure without testing though. Commented May 20, 2015 at 15:28
  • Having to go through a Raid, for something that was (relatively) commonly available with much less difficulty before HoW? May as well just do HoW and the Trials/Prison.
    – Iszi
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 15:38
  • Vault of Glass may be your only hope.
    – Travis J
    Commented May 24, 2015 at 20:02
  • Destiny have made Ascendant materials near useless now, although they do contribute towards Fatebringer or Atheon's Epilogue attack damage.
    – Wulfinite
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 15:02

5 Answers 5


Assuming you have installed House of Wolves, here are the locations I know of that you can still earn ascendent materials:

  • Daily Story mission (for missions from the base game and The Dark Below; missions from House of Wolves give motes)
  • Chests and bosses in the Vault of Glass
  • Dismantling old (pre-House of Wolves) gear

The Speaker can convert between Ascendant Shards and Ascendant Energy, but this assumes you have enough of one material in order to convert it into the other.

Prior to the House of Wolves, you could also get ascendent materials from the following:

  • Completing a Public event
  • In Public event packages
  • Completing the Weekly Nightfall Strike
  • Decrypting Legendary Engrams
  • Dismantling legendary weapons and armor
  • Rarely from chests during patrol
  • Can you provide a reference for confirmation (particularly for the "after House of Wolves" part, or have you verified this with your own activities?
    – Iszi
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 0:18
  • @Iszi Those are the ways that I know of to get ascendent materials now. I haven't ran Vault of Glass since House of Wolves was released, but I'd be very surprised if ascendent materials didn't drop there anymore (since the gear that drops there requires them for upgrades).
    – Adeese
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 16:52
  • If anyone with House of Wolves installed can verify some or all of this, please comment and up-vote. I generally prefer to have some amount of verification or correlation for an answer like this before accepting it, but some of the sources are obscure or rare enough that it will probably be quite some time before I will get Shards/Energy from them - and quite some time before I can be sure I'm not claiming any false-negatives.
    – Iszi
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 19:48
  • @Iszi FWIW, I do have House of Wolves installed - but I can understand wanting confirmation. :)
    – Adeese
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 21:00
  • I opened the Gorgon chest in the Vault of Glass today, and I got ascendent materials. So I can confirm that you can still get ascendent materials there.
    – Adeese
    Commented May 30, 2015 at 17:25

The only way I have found to get ascendant/radiant shards/energy (which you can swap between shards/energy) is to do Vault of Glass for ascendant, and Crota's End for radiant.

Dismantling year 1 weapons now only gives motes of light, and NOT shards/energy, as far as I can tell, which is good for every day, but annoying when you have a Y1 weapon you may still want to upgrade.

As for the raids, they are extremely easy, laughable almost with being overpowered now, especially with the new subclasses (nightstalker mostly) that they were not mechanically designed for. This is coming from someone who didn't get into raids until Oryx. The most difficult part would be finding people, which you don't really need a full fireteam.


Those still in the expansion The Dark below to still be able to have Shards drop. This I can confirm because I still havent gotten the second Expansion. Public events and Heroic Level 30 and 26 Storylines will drop these.

  • I'm not sure that not having the second expansion really qualifies you to comment on this issue - logically, it should disqualify you.
    – Iszi
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 0:14
  • It's answer that is both viable and logical in terms of what tour asking.
    – Virusboy
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 0:17
  • It's also logical that the Shard/Energy drop limitations may only apply to users who have House of Wolves, since users without it will more critically be impacted by them.
    – Iszi
    Commented May 29, 2015 at 0:20

Now that you can exchange Asc energy for Asc shards, one new way is to level up purple weapons and then discard them in exchange for Asc energy which you can swap for Shards.

  • 2
    The new weapons dismantle into motes.
    – Travis J
    Commented May 24, 2015 at 20:01

You can still get Ascendant shards and energy from Vault of Glass, as well as the daily (if it's a HoW mission). But what the patch notes are saying is that you can't obtain shards from engrams and faction packages (Vanguard, Crucible, and the Factions). Now the speaker is selling Ascendant shards for energy. If you are running low on shards and have a lot of energy, then you can always change energy for shards.

I hope this helped. Good luck Guardian.

  • Don't you mean "if it's not a HoW mission"?
    – Iszi
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 13:49
  • No, i have been playing destiny for a while and ever since that update i haven't see any shards for a vanilla destiny mission.
    – zuno987
    Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 22:20

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