Should I keep my Iron Keys or use them before the update hits?

First, Kingdom Tribute chance is determined by your Kingdom level, which costs Gold. Having Double Tribute chance isn’t very meaningful if you only have a 1 or 2% chance of it popping. Which means you want to get your Kingdoms upgraded before you get the 2x tribute chance/rewards.

Second, you can’t upgrade troops to level 19 unless they’re ascended. You can’t ascend them to Legendary without a ton of copies. The only reliable way to get those copies is spending gold on Gold Keys and the Glory Keys guild task. All gold intensive.

The other thing to bear in mind is that Gold is much easier and more frequent to come by and in very large quantities. PvP is a super efficient place to get Gold and there’s no real equivalent for Souls. Essentially, you’re multiplying Gold by 2.5 at 1k gold a fight vs 40 souls a fight, max. So effectively you’ll get the Gold you need WAY more quickly. (It’s also a lot more fun to do PvP battles than it is to grind challenges.)

All in all, it’s far more efficient to focus on Gold first both in terms of how essential gold is to maxing out your team and how much easier it is to acquire.

Ideally, though, you’d own both and switch to the Celestial for when you’re Soul grinding.

There are a few things you want, and they compete with one another for your time and resources.

For me, maximizing GLORY + GEMS was the most important thing, so I used gold to level ALL my kingdoms to 5. That gives me a pretty optimal return rate per gold invested. (1%-2% is the same tribute increase per unit time as 9%-10%, but it costs 1/20th as much)

This also gives you good chance for multiple tributes, which gives gems & keys.

Now, obviously getting to level 10 is important for the stat bonuses. But that’s a different goal, and how you weight it against overall economic gain is a personal decision.

Finally, getting kingdoms to 1 gold star (and eventually 3?) requires a ton of souls. Focusing on your tributes will really help with soul generation.

My point is - getting celestial armor still allows you to do MOST of the economically beneficial things you should be doing - it just slows down your ability to get kingdoms from level 5 to level 10.

If you focus on maximizing tribute chances across all kingdoms early on, the gems income will, eventually allow you to get both Dragon & Celestial armor. Plus spend gems on keys, etc!