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A friend of mine claimed the Tigrex and Seregios bows are great. I’m a skeptical guy by nature and this was against everything I knew about bows from MHFUnite, so I decided to look up his claims and thought I’d might as well create a guide out of it.

There will be a shit-ton of raw data at first. You have been warned!

First off we have the motion values which are integral to understanding bow damage.
As you probably know you unleash multiple arrows at a time when firing a bow and each arrow deals separate damage. This also means that each separate arrow deals its own elemental damage. As for the exact amount of damage, well here you go!

(The numbers represent how clumped together the hits are and the optimal range. Rapid 5 has a huge window for optimal damage while Pierce 5 wants to stand pretty far away and the damage is clumped up to the first one or two areas. Spread 5 wants to be a bit further away than Spread 3 but deals a lot more damage and the arrows are more clumped up(?).)

Rapid

  • LV1: 12 / 12 / 12 / (none)
  • LV2: 12+4 / 12+4 / 12+4 / (none)
  • LV3: 12+4+3 / 12+4+3 / 12+4+3 / 12+4+3+2
  • LV4: (none) / 12+4+3+2 / 12+4+3+2 / 12+4+3+2
  • LV5: 12+4+3+3 / 12+4+3+3 / 12+4+3+3 / 12+4+3+3

Pierce

  • LV1: 6×3, 6×3, (none), (none)
  • LV2: 6×4, 6×4, (none), (none)
  • LV3: 6×5, 6×5, 6×5, 6×5
  • LV4: (none), (none), 6×5, 6×5
  • LV5: (none), (none), (none), 6×5

Spread

  • LV1: 4+5+4 / 4+5+4 / (none) / (none)
  • LV2: 5+6+5 / 5+6+5 / 5+6+5 5+6+5
  • LV3: 4+5+5+4 / 4+5+5+4 / 4+5+5+4 / 4+5+5+4
  • LV4: (none) / 4+5+6+5+4 / 4+5+6+5+4 / 4+5+6+5+4
  • LV5: (none) / (none) / 5+5+6+5+5 /  5+5+6+5+5 /

Arc Shots

  • Focus type: 7×5
  • Wide type: 7×5
  • Blast type: 6+35

Melee

  • Bow hit 1 – 10 (13 with close coating)
  • Bow hit 2  – 13 (17 with close coating)

 

Next we have charge levels. If you unleash the arrow immediately that’s charge lvl 1. If you instead hold the attack button it’ll flash after a very short while. Each flash makes the arrow deal more damage. Charge lvl 3 is generally the highest but with the Loading skill or certain bows you can reach charge lvl 4.

Charge Level Modifications

Level    Attack   Element   Poison   Paralysis/Sleep

Lvl.1  0.4      0.7      0.5   0.5
Lvl.2  1.0      0.85   1.0    1.0
Lvl.3  1.5      1.0      1.5     1.3
Lvl.4  1.7      1.125     1.5     1.3

As you can see, in most cases charge lvl 3 is perfectly fine. Loading is a really expensive skill and you need Fast Charge as well to make it work optimally as it takes longer to charge from 2 to 3 than from 3 to 4.

The final thing you should know is that arrows deal a varying amount of damage depending on how far you are from the monster.

  • Way too close/too far ~ 70%
  • Too close/too far – 100%
  • Optimal distance – 150%

As far as I know the optimal distance only increases your physical damage. This still makes a huge difference in the long run. When you hit a monster at optimal distance there will be a large yellow flash. You should of course experiment to find the exact range for yourself as well as practice practice practice…
Anyway, the optimal distances are:

  • Spread: 0.5-2 backhops
  • Rapid: 2-3.5 backhops
  • Pierce: 3.5-6 backhops

The optimal distance for Pierce shots increases with levels, so with Pierce level 5 you can stand pretty fucking far away and still deal optimal damage.

Unlike all other multipliers, distance is not taken into account when firing arc shots.

Power Shots

Power Shots are used by pressing the alternate fire button after unleashing a normal shot. It fires a second set of arrows at one charge level higher. It cannot however fire anything higher than what your bow has. It also costs a lot of stamina to use.
The upsides should be obvious. If you have a ton of stamina (like say unlimited thanks to Dash Juices) you can almost double your damage output!

Jesus fucking fuck! You can almost double your damage output!

I played a ton of bow back in MHFUnite when we didn’t have any fancy arc shots or power shots so I haven’t thought too hard about it. But that’s bloody insane!
I guess come g-rank your bow must have Power Shot for it to be worth using. You don’t even need Fast Charge when you have Loading as you can just fire lvl 3 charges instead and Power Shot lvl 4 charges.

Coatings and status effects

Moving on to something less exciting and only slightly less relevant we have all the coatings, the thing that makes bows great for multiplayer.

Power coatings – Max 50 – Increases your physical damage by 50%. Power coatings are ridiculously important due to how damage works in monster hunter. Optimal distance and charge level stacks with power coatings for 337% physical damage. Yes, you do more than twice the physical damage if you apply power coatings and shoot from the right distance compared to just spamming lvl 3 shots. Add power shots and you do another 382% physical damage if you have Loading. That’s 719% physical damage instead of 150%.

Close-Range coatings – Max 20 – Increases physical damage by 20% and melee damage by 50%. It also extends the optimal distance so that it’s the furthest or closer. The Seregios bows boosts close range coatings so that it increases physical damage by 50%.

Paint coatings – Max 99 – Applies paint to the monster. Personally I prefer just throwing a paint ball as you need to apply a new coating mid-combat after painting otherwise.

There’s also Poison, Paralysis, Sleep, Blast and Exhaust coatings – Max 20 each – They all deal their respective status effects. The downside is that it negates the bows element if any.

Bows with Coating Boosts increases the amount of status effect applied by 50%.

Bows deal (roughly) the following amount of status effect:

O===========O=============O=============O=============O
| Shot Type |    Rapid    |   Scatter   |   Pierce    |
O===========O=============O=============O=============O
| Shot Lv 1 | 13 x 1 hit  |  5 x 3 hits |  5 x 3 hits |
|-----------+-------------+-------------+-------------|
| Shot Lv 2 |  7 x 2 hits |  6 x 3 hits |  4 x 4 hits |
|-----------+-------------+-------------+-------------|
| Shot Lv 3 |  5 x 3 hits |  4 x 5 hits |  4 x 5 hits |
|-----------+-------------+-------------+-------------|
| Shot Lv 4 |  4 x 4 hits |  4 x 5 hits |  4 x 5 hits |
|-----------+-------------+-------------+-------------|
| Shot Lv 5 |  4 x 4 hits |  4 x 5 hits |  4 x 5 hits |
o-----------o-------------o-------------o-------------o

I’m saying roughly because it’s from an earlier game but bow damage hasn’t changed much so it’s probably very close.

And for your comfort I’m reposting this:

Charge Level Modifications

Level    Attack   Element   Poison   Paralysis/Sleep

Lvl.1  0.4      0.7      0.5   0.5
Lvl.2  1.0      0.85   1.0    1.0
Lvl.3  1.5      1.0      1.5     1.3
Lvl.4  1.7      1.125     1.5     1.3

So for example a Charge 3 Rapid 4 shot applies 24 Poison per shot, if it’s boosted it deals 36 Poison per hit which is really good. As far as I know coatings apply the status with every hit, not every third hit.

I suspect Blast gets the same modifier as Poison while Exhaust gets the same as Sleep and Paralysis. It’s just a hunch, feel free to correct me.

So Pierce is generally the best at applying status effects, it’s also the best for multiplayer as the monster is often attacking other players which again means that Pierce is best for multiplayer as Paralysis is only interesting with more players.

Also remember that Poison deals damage while the monster is poisoned so you might as well use all the coatings as this extra damage is most likely higher than the amount it takes to poison the monster a second time.

 


 

And I think that’s it for raw data, but what does all this mean?

(Another data-dump incoming, if you don’t care about seeing me play with the calculator, skip ahead.)

Let’s say you’re fighting Tigrex. He takes 55% shot and 20% lightning damage to his head.

With Kama Sedition you do 384 x 0.22 x 1.075 x 0.55 x 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 / 1.2 = 140 damage, double that if you use Power Shot.

Archbeast Paragon instead does 360 x 0.3 x 0.4 x 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 / 1.2 = 121 damage plus 180 x 0.20 x 5 / 10 = 18 thunder damage, so 139 damage.
(It would deal even more damage if it only hits the head but it’s impossible to check this)

Wide Weblivion does 312 x 1.125 x 0.26 x 0.4 x 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 / 1.2 = 102 damage plus 170 x 0.20 x 5 = 17 thunder damage for roughly 119 total, double with Power Shot. If you have Wide Up you deal 132 physical with 17 thunder for 149 damage.

(I’m using Loading for all the weapons here and assumes you’ve unlocked Weblivions thunder element)

So which is he best one?

The fancy thing about Archbeast Paragon is that you don’t need Loading nor Dash Juices to make it work and it lets you deal damage from further away so I’d say it’s the best for multiplayer. And Tigrex takes most thunder damage in his back which is easy to hit with Pierce if you can’t hit his head.

Kama Sedition is better for soloing, especially if you bring Dash Juices or similar.

There’s also Sacred Bow and Oppressor’s Wing  if you like coatings (like I do).

Let’s take another example, Black Gravios, whom elemental bowing used to be perfect against.

We’ll do Kama Sedition again. 384 x 0.22 x 1.075 x 0.3 x 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 / 1.2 = 76 damage. Once you break his belly you do almost twice that. Also Power Shot.

Great Purple Emperor also has Power Shot and Pierce 5 at Charge lvl 4. The fancy thing about Pierce shots is that it goes through his hide and into his unprotected belly. So 312 x 0.3 x 1.025 x 0.4 x 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 / 1.2 = 107 damage plus 230 x 0.40 x 5 / 10 = 46 for 153 total damage. And you can do Power Shots.

We can also, for fun do Enraged Dalamadur. 372 x 0.3 x 0.4 x 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 / 1.2 = 125 damage plus 170 x 5 x 1.5 / 3 / 10 = 42 Blight on average. You need 3 hits for a Blast which deals 200 damage so that’s 70 extra damage per hit, but this increases by 45 per Blast which is 1 more attack each time. So 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and so on. G-rank B.Gravios has 6000 health and a Defense of 0.7 which is 8571 effective health. Of course, after 50 shots your damage drops to 83 damage and you should have been able to cram in 6 blasts in that time which would be 7450 damage. On the other hand the stomach is probably broken so 372 x 0.3 x 0.55 x 1.5 x 1.5 / 1.2 = 115 damage. This is another 10 shots so maybe you’ll do another Blast and finish it off. So 60 shots? That sounds pretty fucking effective. Sadly it can’t be acquired yet as you can’t fight G-rank Dalamadur yet, only Shah Dalamadur.

Great Purple Emperor – 5350 + 2300 = 7600 and then 312 x 0.3 x 1.025 x 0.55 x 1.5 x 1.5 / 1.2 = 98 damage plus 230 x 0.45 x 5 / 10 = 51 for 149 damage. So another 6 shots? 56 shots? Sounds pretty crazy. Something doesn’t add up here, I’ll have to build this bow and try… (I did, I suck with bow against Black Gravios!)

I could go on but the point is that elemental damage is still pretty good. Kama Sedition and the lower versions are terrific all-purpose bows if you have Loading and preferably Fast Charge as well, and especially if you bring Dash Juices, but against the right enemy elemental bows are still superior as well as not requiring extremely specific skills and consumables.

But let’s move on to less data-intensive stuff.

 


 

Shot types

With Rapid shot you can often stand just outside of tail-range which makes it a lot easier to avoid attacks. It has a lot in common with bowguns that way. Rapid is also good at attacking flying wyverns as well as running ones. Shooting things mid-charge is by far easiest with Rapid as with Wide you’re likely to miss half the arrows and with Pierce you’ll have no idea what you’ll be hitting without A LOT of practice. Try it to see what I mean.

Rapid is also excellent at attacking heads and tails. It’s really good against Khezu, Rathalos and other dragons who like charging and shooting fireballs. You can often hit monsters in the head with all the arrows while it’s turning so that when it’s about to charge you’re already moving.

Also Rapid is of course great at destroying parts. The Tigrex and Hero’s bow can even put on Blast Coatings to make it even easier. For the final word in destroying parts there’s the Teostra bows, Bow of Hope and Valor & Courageous Wish. They have Rapid shot, Blastblight inherent and Power shots!

Spread shot is the most aggressive of the shot types as you have to stand at most 2 backhops away from your target. This is usually inside tail range so it’s not as impressive against dragons with tailswipes. Spread shot only deals slightly more damage per volley than Rapid but never hits only one area, unless that area is huge, like Gravios wings or Akantors face. This means Spread is good against monsters without a clear weak point, like Seregios or Seltas Queen.

The best thing about Wide is of course that you never have to aim and that you want to stay extremely close to the monster. For this reason Arc shots are probably best with Spread shot bows as it gives you a good attack for when the monster sprinted to the other side of the screen.

Spread shot is probably best when solo’ing as the monster keeps going for you meaning you have to move more so not having to aim is a blessing as well as being able to stand close.

Pierce shots  work entirely different than Rapid and Wide and requires a lot more practice. The optimal distance zone is not much wider but there’s a lot more space between you and the dragon making it harder to gauge. It’s also more important to aim so that the arrow shits all the best areas which means knowing the dragons weak points is more important. The upside is that it deals the most damage per shot and that you can reach hidden weak points/shoot through areas to hit its head etc.

Also, the fact that you should stand a bit further back works nicely in multiplayer as monster A.I gets way more random with more players. The lower focus on you gives you more time to aim correctly. Multiplayer also means coatings gets more interesting, especially Paralysis. The Dah’ren Moh’ran and Zinogre bows both have high pierce and a ton of coatings, including Paralysis.

Finally Arc Focus shots can be decent with Pierce as well since you’re shooting from afar anyway. The only ones are the Rajang, Kushala Daora and Diablos bows however.

The Arc shots are kind of awkward. They do deal good physical as well as elemental damage but only Focus shots are worth using in multiplayer. Wide arc shots cover an area as big as a Rathalos and any other player in the arrow rain will flinch. Blast arc shot is even worse as it’s a explosion that will fling other players away. The upside is that they all deal K.O damage so hitting a dragon in the head with Arc Focus shots is great. They’re also good for breaking monsters backs. With practice Arc shots can be pretty good, especially with the right element but they’re hard to hit with, doesn’t account for distance (which means 50% less physical damage) and often hits other players.

 

Playing

The most important thing when playing bow, except for learning to always be at optimal distance, is using your mobility. Since you can move while charging your shots, well, you should. While you are firing the shot you should check for visual clues and figure out what the monster is doing next. Most of the time you can start charging another shot immediately but don’t make it a habit as it’ll end with you taking a lot of hits. It takes a lot of practice to “know” whether you can move out of the way in time or not but it’s an important skill. Especially early on when you’re not chugging Dash Juices, rolling drains a lot of stamina that could be used to charge a shot instead.

In short, try to anticipate where the monster will attack and move out of the way before. This is basic stuff with all weapons but it’s extra important with bow as your stamina is your damage. One roll is pretty much one shot less before you have to recharge stamina. It also takes time away from charging.

There’s also a little trick you can learn that’s especially useful in multiplayer. After firing a shot, charge another and walk in a circle so that you’re fully charged when you’ve completed the circle. Then unleash the shot and repeat. The reason for doing this is that you take a small step forward when charging an arrow, so eventually you’ll move out of the optimal distance zone if you just stand and shoot. By doing this you’re always firing from the same range AND you’re already moving which makes it easier to react to attacks.

TL:DR – Always be moving!

Aiming should however not be disregarded. You can’t always be at optimal distance and firing from the right height at the right hitzone, so you should certainly practice aiming. The goal is to be quick enough at it that you don’t lose time.
It’s like this: Bow damage, even with all those extra modifiers still isn’t the highest in the game. It’d be pretty op if it had the highest damage and great mobility. So optimizing damage is practicing until you’re always firing as soon as you see the second flash. With enough practice you know the exact timing and will fire the exact moment it flashes instead of 0,3 seconds later or for that matter 2 seconds later because you’re aiming your shot and the dragon is moving. This leaves you with more time to move and react as well as cutting down your killing times. It’s also of course important to miss as few shots as possible. You only have 50 Power Coatings, missing 10 of them is a noticeable damage decrease.

Also, don’t skimp on using status coatings. Unless the dragon is really vulnerable to your element poisoning it is a definitive damage increase, the same with Blast coatings if you can use them. Also Paralysis coatings are awesome in multiplayer. They’re enough for at least one application, sometimes two which is ample time for the rest of the team to unload. Just make sure to remove the coatings as soon as the monster is paralyzed.

Exhaust coatings are great with arc shots and flash bombs. A exhausted monster is flashed a lot longer, and if you manage to get it into a pit trap and KO it with arc shots it’ll stay there for a hell of a lot of time.

Sleep coatings can be used if you’re bringing bombs but it’s better in solo as people have a tendency to not notice the dragon falling asleep and thus ruining your sleep bombing. Really nice against Gravios for example.

 

Armor skills

The most basic offensive skill is Fast Charge. It makes charging your shots faster… I can’t tell you exactly how much faster but know it’s noticeable. It’s not however recommended if you’re new as it leaves you with even less time to aim and move.

Loading unlocks the bows next charge. With Kama Sedition this is a must as it only has two charges but Loading is a extremely expensive skill (meaning it’s hard to slot in and talismans with Loading are really uncommon). Most of the time though the fourth charge isn’t worth the extra time it takes to fire each shot. In some cases however you’re getting another type of shot which could mean having access to both Wide and Pierce shot at high level. Basically Loading is really circumstantial and requires some know-how. So again, not for beginners.

Expert is pretty nice, especially with physical bows like the Tigrex or Garuga ones. A crit is another 25% damage which stacks on top of everything else. It’s just straight damage and so great for beginners.
Works wonders with Crit Element if you like elemental bowing.

Tenderizer increases the zones damage by 5% meaning if the zone takes 30% damage it now takes 35% which in this case is a ~16% damage increase. It’s less impressive if the zone already takes 50% damage but 55% is still a 10% damage increase. Tenderizer is best with Spread Shot as you seldom only hit optimal zones.

Stamina is a great early choice, it makes charging arrows cost half as much stamina and is pretty common. There’s also Constitution which makes rolling cost less stamina. Again, stamina is damage and early on it can be pretty daunting to manage.

Normal/Pierce/Pellet Up increases the damage of Rapid, Pierce and Spread shots respectively, Pellet Up by a respectable 30% while the other two increases damage by 10%.

Mycology is a strange skill that lets you eat mushrooms for various bonuses. In particular, Mopeshroom starts acting as a Dash Juice. Mopeshroom can be traded at the wyporium so it’s basically free instead of requiring Gypceros materials. You cannot however acquire it before reaching G-rank but it’s a really cheap skill when you do reach G.

Guts makes it so that you cannot die in one hit if you have more than 60 health, instead you’re reduced to 1 hp. It’s a great skill when learning the ropes and when fighting high G-rank monsters who can kill you in one hit even when you’re at 150 hp…

Similarly, Evade +1/+2/+3 helps surviving really aggressive monsters by just rolling through their attacks. It does cost stamina but with Dash Juice or Mycology… Also, you can roll through screams with Evade.

Evade Up isn’t recommended however as your mobility is plenty fine without it.

Arcana unlocks latent elements and increases all elemental damage as well as status effects. Dream-skill with Sacred Bow G, Kelbi Deershot and others but the only Gunner set with Arcana is the Gogmazios armor. Free Element is the cheaper alternative and only unlocks elements.

Earplugs +1/+2 can be decent, especially against Rathalos and in general on G-rank when monsters start being able to attack you while you’re recovering from the scream. Good with Spread as you’re always close. With Pierce shots you can usually move out of the screams area of effect instead.

 

Good early bows

Crow Bow is a good physical bow, it’s pretty much the only one with Power Coatings. It also boosts Poison which is nice.

Later on the Tigrex Bows are a good choice but eventually you’ll want to build the Seregios bows. This is however late high-rank so I’m getting ahead of myself.

Supplication, the Dahren Mohran bow is a great choice if you get the Power C+ skill as it can’t use Power Coatings.

Entbehrung, the Gore Magala bow is the only Power Shot bow with Wide shots and it has this from the start. Great weapon against anything that’s weak to dragon damage.

Scylla Fist, the first Nerscylla bow  is another Power shot bow that’s even earlier than Entbehrung but you need Power C+ for this as well.

If you can be assed, Dios Flier is the first Brachydios bow and has the Blastblight status effect inherent and fires Wide shots.

You’ll get plenty far with just the Garuga and Seregios bows but if you want to really get into bowing I suggest building a wide variety of them, preferably at least one of each element.

Really, really late-game you can get relic bows from guild quests that can have any variation of shot types. So you can get a Wide 5 Thunder bow with Power Shots. Considering the amount of variables bows has relic bows really can produce the absolute best weapons, it’s just totally random…

 

And that’s goddamn enough. I might add more at some point, if you have an idea please say so in the comments. Also point out errors if you find any.

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G-rank is the name of the highest difficulty in MH4U but there’s little information out there on how it actually works. Or well, all the info is out there but it seems no-one has compiled it. So here I am.

Most of the information has been nabbed from GaijinHunter.com who in turn have nabbed his info from various japanese sites (I don’t speak japanese so thank god for GaijinHunter). There’s also some stuff compiled from Reddit threads.

A couple of things happen once you start playing G-rank quests.

  • Monster have higher hp
  • Monsters have higher defense
  • Monsters are harder to capture
  • Monsters deal way more damage
  • Monsters have new attacks
  • Monsters have better A.I
  • There are more sub-species with new attack patterns
  • Goddamn apex-monsters

I’ll get into each of these points but first off, to reach G-rank you need to beat a ton of quests in the Gathering Hall.

Rank 1

  • Bug Burger
  • Kecha Konondrum
  • Tackling a Tetsucabra
  • The Gypceros Project

Urgent – Web Sighting

Rank 2

  • Royal Assasination
  • A Ghastly Gift
  • Zamtrios of the Deep
  • Nix the Najarala

Urgent – Dark Wings, Dark Work

Rank 3

  • Tigrex Tough Love
  • Temper Tantrum
  • Royal Audience
  • Tuff Turf
  • The Royal Guard

Urgent – Sand Sailor

Rank 4

  • Face Two Face
  • Purple People Eater
  • Buffoonish Baboon
  • Dastardly Duo

Urgent – Rathians Wrath

Rank 5

  • Writers Block
  • The Red Menace
  • Dread Locked
  • Advanced: Frenzied Foe

Urgent – Ore D’Ouvre

Rank 6

  • Bring Down the Sky King
  • Infernal Overlord
  • Ear Ache
  • Brimstone and Brachydios

Urgent – Advanced: Stop the Wheel

Rank 7

  • Advanced: Grim Tidings
  • Advanced: Storm Front
  • Advanced: Teostra Tanglee
  • Advanced: Fleet Action

Urgent – Advanced: Speartip Menace

Urgent – Advanced: Glacial Grinder

And there you go! Now you can go to the Elder Hall where all the G-rank quests are. But before you jump into them you should know a few things.
First off, all the wyverns have a lot more health in G-rank. How much more?

Rathalos for example has a base hp of 4200.
On normal rank monsters have roughly half of that, Rathalos have 55% so 2310 hp.
On high-rank it’s about two-thirds and Rathalos have 70% so 2940 hp.
On G-rank however monsters have about 130% hp, Rathalos having exactly that so 5460 hp!

Not only that, but monsters also take less damage.

Village:                  100%
Low Rank:             85-95%
High Rank:            75-85%
High guild/event:    70%

Sadly I can’t find the number for G-rank but assume it’s lower than high-rank. So yeah, not only do you have to deal twice the amount of damage to kill anything in G-rank, attacks also bounce a lot more. Add the fact that the point where monsters start limping are lower in G-rank and the time for soloing can spike from 15 to 40 minutes.

Of course, the weapons also get more powerful and you’re able to sport purple sharpness so with some work you can solo most things in about 20 minutes even on G-rank. You’re just pretty much starting over from scratch as you need G-rank weapons to not go insane.

Next up, monster damage is also way higher. There aren’t any tables for this but let’s just say that without at least 400 defense early G-rank is almost unplayable. I run with about 650 defense on G3 quests which isn’t even that high, it’s possible to reach 1500 defense and even higher with all the possible buffs. (I always use Evade 2 or 3 so while I don’t get that THAT often, I still run low on Mega Pots pretty often)

Finally, the monsters have new attacks and better A.I. All the wyverns are more aggressive, leave shorter openings and use their best attacks way more. All wyverns are constantly on the move and some of them are just plain unfair (Stygian Zinogre, Black Gravios, Tidal Najarala). You can only really experience it to get it but even a joke like Lagombi requires you to focus.

Add all this up and you’ll realise G-rank is exhausting. It’s perfectly possible to solo (I did all the quests including the elder dragons up to the final urgent Gogmazios who takes 15-20 minutes for a four-man party to take down) but you’re not really meant to as G-rank is WAY more difficult than high-rank.
You need to use the right weapon and the right skills, you must know the monsters attack patterns and you have to focus to not get reamed by a goddamn Kecha Wacha. In G-rank the game is more about the challenge than pure enjoyment as some of the new attacks are just plain cheap, some of the monsters deal an absurd amount of damage and takes a ton of time to kill. Of course, with four players it’s still not that hard before reaching the final missions but I’ll get to that later.

G-rank “ranks”

G-rank has its own slightly different way of tackling ranks at first and later a wildly different one. You start with a G1 permit and need to beat a number of quests to unlock all the G1-quests. You then beat an urgent and get a G2-permit at which point it starts over. So…

G1-permit

  • Sculptural Seltas
  • Seeing spots
  • Berserker Rage
  • Line in the Sand
  • Fashion Victim
  • Hit List: Plum Daimyo Hermitaur
  • Grand Finals Confrontation
  • Serpent Serenade
  • Hunter in Green and Red

Urgent: Seer of Swords

G2-permit

  • Course Correction
  • The Azure King and the Tyrant
  • Temper Tantrum
  • How to Zap Your Zinogre
  • Brute Force
  • Pestering Pest
  • Hollow Promise
  • Fire Drill
  • Showdown at High Noon
  • Showdown at Midnight

Urgent: Advanced: A Plague Awoken

G3-permit

  • Advanced: A Formless Fiend
  • Advanced: Icy Investigation
  • Advanced:Emperor of Embers
  • Advanced: A Storm of Steel

Urgent: Advanced: Quagmire Quarrel

(Source: http://www.rgj.com/story/life/2015/02/25/monster-hunter-4-ultimate-key-quests-technobubble-mh4g-mh4u-guide/24031323/ )

In Quagmire Quarrel you must defeat Gogmazios, the last new monster with a staggering 18000 hit points.

Once you do, the final part of MH4U opens up, namely scroll deciphering. Each time you clear a quest you get a new screen with a scroll, depending on the difficulty of the quest you get zero to five runes filled out on the scroll. The first scroll doesn’t need that many but the more scrolls you fill out the more runes you need for the next tone. Each completed scroll awards you with a new special quest.

On average you get one rune for a G1 quest, two runes for G2 and three runes for G3. Apex Monsters and similar can net you four or five runes. High-rank and lower generally give you zero runes.

Scroll 1: The Sky is Falling – Molten Tigrex
Scroll 2: Dark Domination –  Akantor
Scroll 3: 1001 Shards – Apex Seregios
Scroll 4 : Wings of Woe – Super Chaos Gore Magala (Always enraged)
Scroll 5: Eternal Emperor – Shah Dalamadur
Scroll 6: Beyond Brawn – Apex Rajang
Scroll 7: Achy Brachy Heart – Raging Brachydios
Scroll 8: Silver Cataclysm – Special Ucanlos
Scroll 9: Act of Gog – Special Gogmazios
Scroll 10: A Final Battle Cry – Crimson Fatalis
Scroll 11: Monster Hunter – Frenzied Tigrex, Apex Zinogre + Raging Brachydios, Super Chaos Gore Magala, Apex Seregios

The other Apex monsters are unlocked by “just” beating all the G-rank quests.

Apex Monsters:

Most of the gathering hall and elder hall quests are scaled for two players, Apex monsters however seems to be made for a full party.

Some facts:

  • Apex monsters take 80% less damage on most areas and have around 15% more health.
  • They take zero elemental damage.
  • They also ignore status effects.
  • Cannot be captured, flash bombed, sonic bombed etc.
  • CAN be mounted which is a pretty good tactic since it gives you ample time to unload with a Wystone.
  • They deal even more damage!

In-world, Apex monsters are monsters who have instead of dying from the frenzy (it’s rabies or something) overcome it and become even stronger. The monsters start out in Apex mode that like frenzy mode can be canceled for a little while. By completing the single-player campaign and a couple of G3-quests you get hold of Wystones, special items that help against frenzied monsters in different ways.

  • Wystone: Brace increase defense against frenzied monsters for 110 seconds and has a 90 second cooldown.
  • Wystone: Force increase your attack by 20% against frenzied monsters for 70 seconds and has a 110 second cooldown.
  • Wystone: Element lets you use status effects and elemental damage against apex monsters and increases your elemental damage by 20% for 80 seconds. It has a 90 second cooldown.
  • Wystone: Drive improve your sharpness by 16% and makes you not bounce on hardened areas. It works for 65 seconds and has a 130 second cooldown.

(Source: http://monsterhunter.wikia.com/wiki/MH4U:_Wyceum )

All wystones also makes you suppress the frenzy or apex effect. It’s calculated on your motion value so weapons that deal big physical damage are generally the best (Lance, Hammer) at suppressing frenzy. Once it’s suppressed the monster works like a normal version of it for a couple of minutes, after that it goes back to apex/frenzy mode and you have to cancel it again. This suppression effect is not applied twice if you have two wystones active so try and use one stone at a time.

Now, the first bullet-point is the most important one. Each apex monster has a few weak spots that take damage as normal while attacks bounce on the rest of the body due to only dealing 20%. Even with Wystone: Drive active you still deal shit damage on the non-weak areas so you mostly need it if you’re having a hard time hitting the weak spots. And as you see, elemental damage and status effects are terribly unimpressive unless there’s four of you and you can knock it out of apex mode consistently. Also, while you cannot mount, capture or flash a monster in apex mode you definitely can when it’s suppressed. Remember that an exhausted monster is often flashed for 30 seconds which is huge in a teamfight and it can’t switch back to Apex mode as long as it’s flashed. Status effects and element damage also works as normal when apex mode is suppressed.

All in all, apex monsters are not meant to be solo’d. They can and I have but it’s a huge pain in the ass as the suppress effects of the wystones stacks with multiple players, just like any status effects. Status effects are also sort of useless even with Wystone: Element when you’re soloing as the monster will be in apex mode way more than half the fight.

 

So all in all, G-rank is not for the faint of heart. At least not if you’re gonna solo or duo all of it. Monster take less damage, have more hp, deal more damage and have new attacks and better a.i. And when you’ve beat all of the monsters Capcom extends a big middle finger and presents apex monsters, hopped-up versions of the already way more dangerous G-rank opposition. It’s rewarding but also so very exhausting. I barely touch the game right because I’m waiting for some friends to start deciphering scrolls so we can beat up apex monsters together, because fuck soloing those assholes…

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MHWeaknesses

I love Kiranico but it’s a bit of a hassle to look up every monster separately which is why I’ve compiled a spreadsheet with all the monsters and their respective weak spots as well as how much elemental damage they take in those spots. But due to self-imposed constraints there’s a buttload of information in very little space. So to get any use out of it you need to know what you’re looking at.

Anyway, I first list the monsters weak points, the spots you should try and hit as much as possible. When I have multiple ones I use slashes and when there’s something between brackets like for example – Head(I)/Wings(C), it means the head is weak to Impact damage (Hammers, Hunting Horns) while the wings are weak to Cutting damage. When there’s an (E) it means I added that area because it’s weak to elemental damage, good for Bow, SnS and LBG users among others.
If I haven’t added any letters in brackets and there’s multiple areas they take roughly the same amount of physical damage.

Then there’s each element and if I used slashes for the weak points each area has its own number separated by the same amount of slashes.
Nerscylla has Head/Belly/Torso(E) as weak points and 15/15/25 in Fire so the head takes 15% fire damage, the belly also takes 15% fire damage and the torso takes 25% fire damage.

After that there’s the status effects where it gets really confusing as I’ve tried cramming the necessary info into just a few numbers.
Tetsucabra for example has 100+100, 60s, 240d in Poison. The first number is how much poison you need to apply the first time, the second number is how much more you need to apply after the poison has run its duration. So first you need 100 poison, then you need 200 poison and then 300 poison and so on. There’s a maximum number as well for each monster but it’s rarely relevant.

If that tells you nothing either here’s a basic rundown about status effects.

Each time you hit a monster with a melee weapon that has a status effect you have a one-in-three chance for the status to apply. If it does you do 1/10 of the weapons actual status to the monster. Hazy Caster for example has 480 Poison, extremely high for a Insect Glaive. It does 48 Poison whenever you see a small poison explosion after a hit. So on average you do 16 Poison per hit ((480/10)/3).
Poison is also special in that when the monster is poisoned, you deal the status effect as flat damage whenever poison procs i.e you do 16 damage on average per hit with Hazy Caster while the monster is poisoned.
None of the other status effects work like this.

So again 100+100, 60s, 240d means that you need 100 poison effect to poison the monster, then 100 more to poison it again and it stacks so 300 the third time, 400 the fourth and so on. 60s just means that the monster is poisoned for 60 seconds when it’s poisoned. 240d is the amount of damage it does over its duration so it’s 4 damage per second.

Sleep and Paralysis are simpler, 150+100, 40s means you need 150 sleep effect to make the monster fall asleep the first time and 100 more for every time after the first so 250, 350 etc. 40s is of course the amount of time the monster is asleep.

Paralysis works exactly the same only the monster is usually paralyzed for 10 seconds, not 40…

Blast is a simpler kind of poison, whenever you’ve applied the required amount of  Blast effect there’s an explosion and the counter is reset.
70+30, 100d does of course mean that you need 70 blast effect for the first explosion and then 30 more per explosion so 100, 130, 160 etc.

Mounting works exactly the same as status effects only I’m not sure how much Mounting effect each different jumping attack does.

And finally I added Flash Bombs as some enemies ignore them (Gypceros) or are flashed longer (Zamtrios). Do note that it’s the amount of time for a non-enraged monster. Enraged monsters are often flashed for 5 to 10 seconds longer while exhausted monsters are often flashed for 5 to 10 seconds longer. Of course, I usually flash monsters because they’re enraged and a hassle to deal with but such is the numbers.

There’s also a lot of numbers in Bold, those are the ones the monsters are extra weak to. Each monster has a element that’s bolded, with the status effects they’re sort of all over.

That’s it really, I also apologise in advance for the wall of numbers…

D.S – The file is not printer-friendly AT ALL.

 

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The Gunlance is one of my favourite weapons because it has among the best offense and defense, you just sacrifice your mobility.
Or do you? It’s actually quite easy to get around the Gunlance’s most glaring downside. But I’ll get to that later.

This here is a guide that aims to cover just about every aspect of Gunlancing, from attacks and shelling to what armor skills that work best, what monsters the GL is good and bad against and even a little bit about what food you should eat. This’ll be long so grab a cup of tea/can of beer or whatever, I know I am when writing this.

Before I begin I’m gonna post some raw data, and first off is damage percentages.

  • Forward+X – Charge – 32%
  • X+A – Upward Swipe – 28%
  • R+X – Guarding stab – 18%
  • X – Forward stab – 24%
  • Slam – 40%
  • Jumping slam – 34%
  • Jumping stab – 19%

So if you do a Charge-Stab-Stab-Swipe with a Rampage Firebelcher (644 atk) on Rathalos feet you do 118 (35+26+26+31) damage. If you did that combo on his head you’d do a little more than twice that.

Now shelling instead deals a set amount of physical damage plus a smaller amount of fire damage. The physical damage ignores defense while the fire part is calculated as usual.

  • Normal: 1 – 10+4f  / 2 – 14+5f  /  3 – 18+6f  /  4 – 21+7f  / 5 – 24+8f
  • Long: 1 – 15+9f / 2 – 21+11f / 3 – 28+14f / 4 – 32+16f / 5 – 38+18f
  • Wide: 1 – 20+6f / 2 – 30+8f  /  3 – 40+10f / 4 – 44+11f  / 5 – 48+12f

And finally there’s Wyvern Fire which instead of being based on the lances type of shelling only scales with its level (also, Long type does an extra 20% damage with it). Wyvern Fire has a cooldown of 120 seconds, you can literally see the weapon cooling down, an exhaust port or similar is open and smoke streams from the lance during the entire time.
The damage is as follows:

  • Lvl 1 – 120 (144)
  • Lvl 2 – 135 (162)
  • Lvl 3 – 160 (192)
  • Lvl 4 – 180 (216)
  • Lvl 5 – 200 (240)

Now it gets wonky when you add the Artillery skill but it’s the most Gunlancy skill of them all so here it is.

  • Artillery Novice (10 points) increases Shelling and Wyvern Fire damage by 10% (x1.1)
  • Artillery Expert (15 points) increases Shelling and Wyvern Fire damage by 20% (x1.2) and lowers the cooldown of Wyvern Fire to 90 seconds.
  • Artillery God (20 points) increases Shelling and Wyvern Fire damage by 30% (x1.3) and lowers the cooldown of Wyvern Fire to 80 seconds.
  • Felyne Bombardier (Meat + Milk + Steam) increases Shelling damage by an extra 10%. It does seem to scale with the Artillery skills so it’s pretty much what you always should eat since with both Artillery God and Felyne Bombardier you get an extra 40% Shelling damage.

The three special types of Shelling are Charged Shots, Full Burst and Wyvern Fire.

Charged Shots are done by holding R while Shelling with A. It deals 20% extra damage with Normal and Long and 45% extra damage with Wide.
That means 97 physical damage and 24 fire damage with Artillery God and Felyne Bombardier with a charged Wide 5 shot. This is huge, it’s as much as three charges or about six guardstabs on Rathalos head with one of the most powerful Gunlances and you do this much damage no matter where you hit.

Full Burst can only be done after a slam but it unloads your entire mag in one go. Normal shots deal +10% damage with Burst while Wide deals -10%.
So a Normal 5 Full Burst with Artillery God and Felyne Bombardier deals 184 physical damage and 61 fire damage. Again, this is huge damage for one almost instantaneous attack and is at the heart of the Normal type Gunlances. Remember, that big honking combo I calculated at the top did 118 damage so it’s ALWAYS the best choice to do a Full Burst with a Normal type Gunlance if you can.

Wyvern Fire is done by pressing X+A while guarding, X+A after slamming or X+A after a Full Burst. Again, Long Type deals an extra 20% damage with Wyvern Fire which means a lvl 5 Long type Wyvern Fire with Artillery God and Felyne Bombardier deals 336 damage! I have to stare a bit at that number because it is insane! It’s the equivalent of about 13 forward stabs to Rathalos head! If you do this once every two minutes that’s 1600 damage in 10 minutes. A Brachydios has a base hp of 4600, in 15 minutes you can do half of that with only Wyvern Fires, more if you time them better. So unless you’re up against Shagaru Magala, your Wyvern Fire should always be on cooldown.

 


 

 

Welcome to my Gunlance guide! All of the above text was just to get you an idea of the amount of damage you can do with just shelling. Gunlance is a decent physical weapon but Shelling is, especially now, its strong point. Lance is a amazing weapon as well so if you want to stab things primarily I’d recommend building a few of those instead.

Anyway, depending on your shot-type you’ll want to play the Gunlance a bit different since they’re good at different kinds of shelling. But I’ll get to that shortly…

Combos!

(An important note is that you can do a quick reload by pressing A again immediately after shelling which fills up just one shell. After a quick reload you can press X to Slam. After a Slam you can either do a Full Burst by pressing A or a Wyvern Fire by pressing X+A.)

  • Your best attack is the upward swipe (X+A). It’s quick, deals good damage and has great vertical range, letting you hit and Shell flying wyverns.
    X+A can be used from a normal stab (X) or as your first attack in a combo. If you did it as your first attack you can follow up with a Guarding Stab which means you can immediately Guard after that, nifty if hitting an angry dragon for example. If you do two stabs after a swipe and click X again you’ll do a Wyvern Fire. If you instead do X+A – X – X+A you can slam after that and then do full burst. So…

X+A – X – X (+R (Guarding))
X+A – X – X – X (Wyvern Fire)
X+A – X – X+A – X (Slam)
X+A – A – A (Quick reload) – X (Slam)

  • Your charge (Forward+X) is a great initiator that you either follow up with a normal stab or a shell. The normal stab can then be chained into a swipe or another stab where-after you can either do a swipe or a slam. That’s confusing so here you go…

Forward+X – X – (X) – X+A – X (Slam)
Forward+X – X – X – X (Slam)
Forward+X – A – X(+R)
Forward+X – A – X – X+A – X (Slam)
You can of course just forgo the charge for a quick stab if the monster is a little closer.

  • There’s also the Shelling Charge that can be done while guarding (So R+Forward+A). The fun part is that you can charge it (Which means R+Forward+A – Hold R+A) and/or do a quick reload followed by a slam etc.

R+Forward+A – (Hold R+A) – A – X (Slam)
R+Forward+A – X – X+A – X (Slam)
R+Forward+A – X – X+A – A – X etc…

Lastly we have the jumping attacks. If you press X while jumping with the weapon sheathed you do a stab that’s generally unimpressive. Press X+A instead to slam midair which means, yes, a Full Burst or Wyvern Fire when landing. You also do the slam by doing a charge (Forward+A) over a ledge.

Remember that you can always shell after any attack and you can charge it by holding R+A.
You can do huge chains by doing a few attacks, shelling and doing a few more, shelling again etc.

Special tip – You can reload not only by pressing A while guarding, you can also reload by pressing A after a dodge in any direction.

Shelling tips!

As you know shelling ignores defense which means that wyverns that take low physical damage or has hard to reach weak points are really vulnerable to shelling.
Rathalos for example takes only 30% cutting damage on his feet but 65% on his face.
For an earlier example Congalala also takes 65% damage on his face and 36% on his legs.
For a much later example Fatalis takes 80% damage on his face but only 20% on his feet and belly.
But again, Shelling always deals the same amount of damage no matter where it hits, so if you can hit the monster in the face its usually better to do some quick stabs and swipes and in all other circumstances shell as much as possible.

Now the one big problem with shelling is that you can’t dodge or guard after it so it’s very important not be too greedy. While it’s quicker to shell after a forward stab it’s generally the worst strategy. If you shell after a swipe (X+A) or a charge (Forward+X) you can do a guarding stab and immediately guard after. While guarding you can do a guarding stab followed by a shell, a stab and then you can guard again if needed.
While the charge shelling often does more damage (especially if you charge it with a Wide-type) it’s also much more risky as you need to do a stab to a dodge or a stab, swipe, guard-stab, guard…

Finally talking about playing!

Actually playing the Gunlance comes down to a buttload of charges and dodges. While nearby the monster your mobility actually isn’t that bad if you constantly charge and sidestep. If possible, always aim for the head or weakpoint. If your attack connected with the weakpoint and the monster is still doing an attack, keep stabbing. If it finished its attack, sidestep away from the head because if it’s about to charge this means the monster has to take a little bit more time to turn around, which is all you need to guard in time.

If you are instead behind the monster, charge it (Forward+X) and shell and preferably charge the shot. If you have plenty of time (Rathian is fireballing your cats) you can probably do a quick reload to a slam to a full burst or wyvern fire. If you see the monster is about to turn and face you, instead do a stab and guard.

If you’re next to the monsters face while guarding, wait and see what it does next. If it charges you, turn around after guarding and see if it charges you again immediately. If it doesn’t and instead sprints over the entire field, sheathe. If you’re quick, you can actually sneak in a quick hit by turning around and doing a guardstab immediately after the guard “connects” with the attack. You can’t be hit by the same charge more than once. There are multi-hitting attacks but never charges.

If you are instead below the dragons butt or just next to a Najarala or something, start stabbing and shelling while checking what it’s doing. Try swiping the tail and shell if it connects, otherwise sidestep and quickly check what the dragon is doing, otherwise repeat.

It really is important that you sheathe often. Your mobility is awful over longer distances and the wyverns charges often rush past you so it’s better to sheathe, dodge the charge and run after it to do a charge of your own when it finishes the attack.

And always move. Often try re-positioning yourself a bit to hit better with your swipe or charge. Do backhops and sidesteps to reload or to get a better angle for attacking. Always try attacking immediately after dodging and know that you can change angle slightly after dodging

Normal Type Gunlances often has higher physical power to offset its low shelling damage. This means it’s great against monsters with easy to reach weak spots and Shelling turns into a way to do bigger chains. Of course, Full Burst is incredibly powerful with Normal Type so chaining into slams becomes very important when you can’t reach the weak spot. Forward+X – X – X+A is your bread and butter.

Wide Type instead focuses on Shelling above all else as it does twice the damage of Normal Shelling and charging the shots increases that by even more. Slams are a lot less interesting here since Full Burst is so crappy, it only does a little more damage than a charged shot AND Wide Type Gunlances often have a little less physical attack. So you’ll do a ton of quick attacks followed by charged Shellings and if you can, quick reloads. Remember that you reload one shot when you charge over a ledge. If you need a comparison again, if you stab Rathalos twice in the legs you do about 50 damage with a Hounding Grisgun (644 atk). One charged Shelling does almost twice that (97 physical + 24 fire) in roughly the same amount of time. After that, you can quick reload and do another charged Shelling. Wide Type is in another word amazing against all monsters that take low physical damage such as Dalamadur, Tidal Najarala, Diablos and Gravios.

Long Type Gunlances tie into Wyvern Fire. Wyvern Fire takes about three seconds to charge which is a freakin lot in monster hunter, but it is imperative that you learn to use it. One Wyvern Fire deals about the same damage as 5-6 shellings with Long type and 8 with Normal type. It’s only about 2 Charged Shots as Wide but it’s still a good idea if the monster is for example limping in your direction or just about to land. The thing is that you get complete Wind Protection while charging Wyvern Fire which is 3 seconds of wind prot so it also works after Rathian has done her second flip and is about to land. Whenever a monster falls over, do a couple of attacks and then Wyvern Fire. If a monster has gone to sleep, Wyvern Fire its face for extra damage. (Attacking a sleeping monster makes the first hit do three times the damage but Wyvern Fire is actually four attacks so only the first attack gets x3 damage i.e 3×50+50+50+50, so 300 damage or 150% damage. With Long and the bonuses it’s 3×84+84+84+84=504 which is still pretty high) The big downside is of course that you’re left wide open for about two seconds after firing it so a Wyvern Fire is five seconds of you doing the sweetest attack in the whole game while hoping the monster won’t attack you. But again, you must learn how to use it considering how much damage it does. Practice practice practice.

 


 

 

Gearing choices – Early lances

Gunlance when played correctly doesn’t do all that many direct hits with the lance, at least not anywhere near a Lance or a SnS, so elements aren’t that great. Exceptions are crazy stuff like Luna’s Sun with its 720 Fire and True Fatalis Gunlance with 620 Dragon. You’ll play a little differently with those, focusing a bit more on trying to hit weak-points. But since the weapons strong point is that it doesn’t care about where you shell things it’s a bit awkward.

Status Effects on the other hand is terrific, especially poison. Two applications of poison is still easily done with a Gunlance and is often around five-six hundred damage. It adds up. Paralysis has the problem that there’s only one good of those weapons and it’s only accessible on G-rank, it’s otherwise a stellar choice in multiplayer and lets you pull off all the Wyvern Fires and Full Bursts you need.
Sleep is only interesting if you’re sleepbombing and if you are, why play with Gunlance?
Finally Blast is another fine choice as Poison isn’t always that effective but it needs more active application than poison. But just as with poison, it adds up and it’s way cheaper to just have one poison and one blast-lance instead of one of each element.

Really early on Average Hitter (http://kiranico.com/en/mh4u/weapon/gunlance/average-hitter) is a good choice as it has huge early poison and is a Long type weapon. A little later on there’s Princess Panoply with much better sharpness which gets important quick. Sharpness is actually extremely important with Gunlance as you can’t shell after your attack has bounced and charging is your best way of approaching things.

The best early Wide type GL is Tiger Blast (http://kiranico.com/en/mh4u/weapon/gunlance/tiger-blast). There’s also the Lagombi weapon but it has shittier sharpness and way lower attack.

For Blast there’s pretty much only the Brachydios Gunlance which can be fought in really late Normal. It is however a terrific weapon if you can be assed to farm Brachy. The other Blast Gunlances all need the FreeElement skill.

Those are my early tips, you can find all of the Gunlances here – http://kiranico.com/en/mh4u/weapon/gunlance

Gearing choices – Early armor

If you need a extremely early armor, I’d go for the Alloy set. It gives you 10 Wind Res and 10 Defense which is nice I guess.

After that there’s the Tetsucabra armor which is in general a terrific set for a new player as it has almost +15 health skill, so with one gem you get the full +50 hp, really handy when your kitchen hasn’t been leveled yet. It also has a lot of defense and the defense skill. To be honest, I used this set for the entire normal difficulty and then on High rank I built Tetsu S and used it until I reached the highest missions there.

If you want to stay on normal for a bit longer however I recommend the High Metal set as it has 10 Artillery and five slots so you can get Artillery God. It is most definitely the earliest you can get Artillery God. If you’re ok with farming a little more there’s the superior Seltas set with Sharpness AND Artillery, you won’t get better skills as a Gunlancer on normal.

Gearing choices – What skills are the best?

Once you reach High-rank individual sets get less interesting to talk about since you can gem Artillery in almost anything with a decent talisman. So instead I’m gonna talk about how interesting the various skills are for Gunlance.

First off Artillery is obviously really important. I’m not saying you must have it but playing without it is like using Dual Blades without Sharpness and/or Handicraft, just generally sub-optimal. Thankfully the jewel gives +2 artillery for one slot and is really cheap to make so gemming at least +10 or +15 artillery is always doable.

Handicraft powers up your sharpness bar, often adding the next color which increases your physical damage. While this is nice it also has the effect of making your attacks bounce a lot less and giving you more sharpness to work with before you have to take out a whetstone again. Like with all Blademaster weapons it’s a great skill and easily the second best offensive one after Artillery.

Attack Up and Expert are both instead kind of meaningless. Neither boosts your shelling and they don’t increase your physical damage by much unless you invest a ton of points into it. Expert 30 is a huge attack boost for Lance or Hammer, not so much for Gunlance.

Guard is question of taste, personally I never build sets with Guard because it incites me to block which I think is a waste of time. I feel that if I block a lot it means I’m playing badly, blocking is you standing in the way of one of the wyverns attacks. Why not position yourself better and attack instead of standing there with your shield up? There’s obviously ways to play with it smart and get openings by blocking, stabbing and shelling, I just think a play-style based on blocking is boring.

Guard Up lets you block previously unblockable attacks like Gravios beams and uh, Gravios farts. Really, it’s a great skill against Gravios as shelling is awesome against him but your big weakness is your immobility once he starts farting fire and sleep gas. Against other dragons with huge unblockable attacks I suggest you get better skills, sheathe and duck for cover.

Evade Up fixes your mobility while unsheathed by making your backhop and dodges go more than twice as far. I think it’s an amazing skill to have but it doesn’t exist in a lot of good sets.

Evade is my favourite skill, just in general. It makes you invincible for an increasing amount of frames when dodging. Evade +3 (20 points) lets you dodge through pretty much any attack. With both Evade Up and Evade +3 you can dodge backward through charging dragons. This is the reason I think guarding is for chumps, I dodge through the attack and stab the dragon instead. Evade-lancing is however not easy to get into since you’ll have to learn to dodge straight into attacks instead of trying to move away from them. It’s on the other hand extremely fun and rewarding.

Sharpness is handy as it makes your weapon lose half as much sharpness when attacking and it includes shelling. Shelling drains a ton of sharpness, especially with Wide type shots so again, it’s handy though not exactly mandatory.

Loading is really rare in Blademaster sets but it gives you an extra shell in the mag. This is only interesting with a Normal type GL, it increases your Full Burst damage by 20% after all. It’s still a waste of skillpoints as it’s rather expensive.

Fencing is another real handy skill as it makes your attacks unable to bounce. It’s good against stuff like Gravios, Fatalis, Ucanlos and other dragons that take extremely low damage in certain areas.

Constitution is for those of you who can’t manage your stamina. It reduces the amount of stamina lost when dodging and blocking by a large amount, especially Constitution +2. But it’s better you do without, I personally never have issues with stamina when playing Gunlance.

Earplugs is a weird skill. It used to be mandatory as angry wyverns often had shorter scream animations than the time players were cowering from the screams so every scream meant a guaranteed hit from the dragon which in a lot of cases would mean getting carted. These days only Rathalos and the Blos wyverns pull off crap like that. There’s also the fact that simply blocking stops all screams. So the one upside is that you can do a uninterrupted Wyvern Fire while the dragon is screaming, if you timed it right. If you only have one set, it has hearing and you can gem in Artillery anyway, it’s an alright skill but don’t seek it out unless you’re playing Longsword primarily.

Wind Protection is honestly sort of useless. Your forward charge as well as Wyvern Fire has complete wind protection already so just learn to use those attacks properly and wyverns flapping their wings will be at worst a minor nuisance.

All the Element skills are obviously a waste of points unless you’ve built Luna’s Sun. Having over 1000 Fire element sounds pretty alright.

 

I think that’s all for now. If you read all this and enjoyed the guide but have an idea on how to improve it, please leave a comment!

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I’m halfway through G-rank now and man does the game hate my guts. Everything does an absurd amount of damage on top of all the monsters being more aggressive and a bit smarter. I have a full rarity 9 set with almost maxed defense (the last armor stone type adds like one or two points, huzzah) and first it was Seregios who could take my hp from 150 to 20 in seconds. I’m running with Evade +3 now so that happens very rarely.

After that we had Tidal Najarala whom melee is almost useless against. It takes the least amount of damage on its body and is just constantly flipping around like it’s hopped up on LSD. Took me three tries, I’m doing him as ranged from here on.

Next it was Black Gravios with his new bullshit move where he moves towards you while puffing fire with his stomach and shooting goddamn laserbeams at your ass. The laser does the by far most damage so occasionally I just dive straight into the fire so I can stay on the ground a few seconds after getting hit. It’s safer than trying to evade him anyway. If I manage to dodge the whole thing and strafe him he just cancels it immediately so my fancy footwork only meant I didn’t take a ton of damage, not that I could actually attack him. And I am of course playing ranged against him, melee-ing Black Gravios is just stupid. This move is of course on top of his usual constant beaming, tailswiping and so on. Fun fun fun…

But it doesn’t end there! Now it’s Brachydios and Stygian Zinogre in the same goddamn quest. If I could kick the guy who created this quest in the balls I would. Two of the most aggressive monsters in the game in the same quest and they often move into the same room. There is no goddamn way you can fight these two at  the same time. Yes, I bring Dung Bombs, I’m not stupid. I’ve failed twice now after about 40 minutes each. Brachydios fascinatingly enough isn’t the problem, I can handle him fine at this point. It’s that freakin Jinouga and his red balls of death. Dragon Blight makes sure you deal sort of shitty damage and those balls he sends out makes sure you can’t deal any real combos on him. So you’re stuck doing a hit here or there while he spams his massive high-damage attacks, often in chains. I run out of pots, and I bring 10 honey. I down 20 mega pots and 8 first aid+ and then I die. Well not quite, I often die before running out of pots.

And I can’t craft any great weapons. I’m stuck with Kecha Wacha and Tetsucabra stuff, all the big weapons requires elder dragon materials which I can get at the next G-rank. And while Honing is cool you need to beat Apex monsters to get the mats which means the difference between the weapons I have now and the weapons I can get at the next star is huge. It’s weird design since at high-rank not that many weapons require rare mats from special monsters. You use rare materials, lots of claws etc, not a freakin Chemeleos Horn to build a Los/Ian Switchaxe. I have a ton of weapons but they all blow since I need the mats from the highest quests.

Bah, I’m just frustrated. S.Zinogre is a big pile of bullshit. Maybe I should look up water duals…

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In Monster Hunter it’s extremely important to bring the right items along when fighting the various monsters. If you’re not sure what the various items are good for then you’re in the right place. And if you’re not sure when to bring the items along you’re also reading the right guide.

 

The Basics

You should always have;

  • 10 Potions
  • Paintballs (Sap Plant + Paintberry)
  • 20 Whetstones if you’re melee
  • 5 Pickaxes, not Old

Extremely early on 10 Herbs instead of Potions is good enough but they’ll quickly get irrelevant. And Paintballs are mandatory, don’t try guessing what way the monster is going. Try re-painting it before the timer runs out, every other room is often good enough. And running out of Whetstones is the worst thing that can happen, just take 20 with you so you’ll never have to worry about sharpening.
Pickaxes. You might think it’s unnecessary or a hassle but you should mine as much as possible early on. Always try mining a bit while finding the monster and always mine after the objective is done. 60 seconds is often 2-3 nodes. I promise it’ll save you a ton of farming later on.

Next up is stuff that’s highly recommended if not mandatory once you start facing more serious monsters.

  • 10 Mega Potions (Potion + Honey)
  • 10 Antidotes
  • 10 Deodorants
  • 10 Nulberrys (Get from the Wyporium)
  • 10 Dung Bombs (Get from the Wyporium)
  • Well-done Steaks

Mega Potions are really important, especially later on since 10 Potions often won’t be enough healing. You get a ton of honey from the Wyporium and the more you send out merchants the better the markets get.

Antidotes cures poison and toxic, both frustrating and the second is quite lethal. Unless you’re down on one fifth of your health or less, cure poison and especially toxic first and heal after.

Deodorants cleanses the poop condition that blocks healing as well as Blastblight. The first should obviously only be cleansed if you really need to heal. Blastblight on the other hand should be cleansed ASAP. The icon is a bomb with a skull on and it’s inflicted by Brachydios, Teostra and Molten Tigrex. They all show up late but having Deodorants handy when you face them is really important. Blight takes a huge chunk of your health if it’s left alone or if you get a second application of it. Most dangerous of the conditions along with toxic.

Nulberrys cleanses all the other blights and lowers the Frenzy Virus bar. They’re not as important as the other cleanse items but they’re very useful so I always keep 10 in my bag.

And Dung Bombs makes the monster hit change area much sooner. They’re really important on quests with more than one wyvern or in case you get a wandering monster. Having two wyverns in the same room is just unnecessarily tough, throw a Dung Bomb on one of them instead.
You can also use a Dung Bomb when a monster has pinned you to get out instantly. When you’re up against Deviljho you’ll need this.
The recipe for Dung Bombs is: (Sap Plant + Stone = Bomb Casing), (Bomb Casing + Dung = Dung Bomb)

You really should keep all these items around as standard, otherwise you’ll often forget Antidotes against Rathian or Nulberrys against Gore Magala. If you just have a item set with all these it’ll make your experience with the game much less frustrating.

I actually keep even more than these around as standard and I’ll take you through them.

  • 3 Psychoserums
  • 2 Max Potions
  • 2 Dust of Life
  • Powertalon (Powercharm + Deviljho Talon)
  • Armortalon (Armorcharm + Deviljho Talon)
  • 5 Flash Bombs (Bomb Casing + Flashbug)
  • 1 Farcaster (Bomb Casing + Excitshroom)
  • 5 Tranq Bombs (Bomb Casing + Tranquilizer)
  • 1 Shock Trap (Trap Tool + Genprey Fang/Thunderbug)

The entire recipe for Max Potions is; (Blue Mushroom + Godbug = Nutrient), (Nutrients + Honey = Mega Nutrient), (Mega Nutrient + Dragon Toadstool = Max Potion)

That’s quite a few items. What are they all for then?

Psychoserums lets you see all wyverns on the map as if they had been painted and which lasts for maybe 15 seconds. They have saved me a ton of frustration really. You can occasionally buy them from the Wyporium for 360 Caravan Points, so not cheap but totally worth it.

Max Potion maximizes your health bar and fills it up. You use it after dying and there’s no reason not to keep two around at all times once you reach high-rank.

Dust of Life heals you and everyone in the room for something like 100 health. They cost 500 Caravan points each and you can buy them from a unlocked store in Dundorma, very late in single player. I like having them for emergencies such as Gravios managing to beam the entire team at once.

The talons increase your attack and defense by a bit just by being in your inventory. You can of course keep the talons and charms in your inventory as they stack but I’ve opted not to, the charms makes such little difference.

Flash Bombs does a huge explosion of light and has to detonate in front of the monster to work. If it does the monster will be confused for 5 to 30 seconds depending on what monster it is. It’s more often long than short. They’re good for getting a breather or making it easier to cut tails. I like having them around because you never know when you might want to use one.

Farcaster teleports you back to the camp. In high-rank you start in a random room instead of the camp and the supplies takes a little while to arrive. When they do and I’m damaged I use it for a little strategic retreat. It’s a bit of a vanity item as it just save you time but I like it, running back and forth from the camp is just a big fucking hassle.

Tranq Bombs are used with traps to capture monsters. I keep 5 because when you’re on a Capture quest, you get 3 in the box and 8 is the cap. I’m cheap like that.

I keep the Shock Trap around for the occasional capture quest or if I don’t need the basic mats of a monster. When you capture things you get less scales, shells and so on and instead has a higher chance for rare materials. Generally. It also speeds things up a bit which is always nice.
You can also the Shock Trap to cut tails or just get the team 10 seconds of free attacks.
There’s also Pitfall Traps but you need Nets (Ivy + Spider Web) to create them which are harder to come by than Genprey Fangs. I do however believe the monster is stuck a lot longer than with the Shock Trap so there’s that, but you can’t cut tails as it’s always at the bottom of the pit.

 

These are all the items I keep around but there’s even more items that can be handy, but either I’m too cheap or they’re very conditional.

Sonic Bombs (Gunpowder + Screamer) are great against Monoblos, Diablos and Cephadrome. When they’re below ground, throw one on top of it and it’ll pop up completely dazed for a little while. NOTE: Doesn’t work against an angry Monoblos/Diablos. I always take along 10 when fighting these. Sonic Bombs works against a lot of other monsters but they’re not powerful enough to worth the mats in those other cases.

Immunizer (Catalyst + Dragon Toadstool (Honey + Bitterbug = Catalyst)) that makes the red portion of the damage go up way faster, I think 4 times the usual speed. It’s a pretty decent item but it still requires you to wait for your health to go back up instead of just healing it. Considering how expensive it is to make (Honey, Catalysts and Dragon Toadstool are all hot commoditys) I just don’t bother.

Mega Dash Juice (Well-done Steak + Dash Extract) fills up your stamina bar and gives you unlimited stamina for 5-10 minutes (I don’t remember, I don’t use it). It’s great if you’re using Bow or Dual Blades, especially the latter but I just don’t care. Farming Gypceros for Dash Extracts is so freakin boring that I refuse to do it. Still, great item if you can be assed.

Cleanser immediately removes the snowball and webbed conditions. Again, I don’t really care. Just mash all your buttons and roll away and you’ll be fine.

Might Seed, Demondrug, Mega Demondrug and Might Pill all increase your attack power for a little while. The problem with all these items is that you need to use an absolute ton of them to be worth it. Popping one per combat after the monster switches area the first time is the absolute minimum but again, I just don’t care.

Adamant Seed, Armorskin, Mega Armorskin and Adamant Pill is the same thing for defense, so basically useless.

Lastly we have bombs. All bombs deal a set amount of damage when they detonate, ignoring all defense. Barrel Bomb L+ (Barrel Bomb L + Scatterfish) is the biggest of the lot and does deal a ton of damage. Remember to either take along small bombs or use a shielded attack when detonating them as you take damage yourself, quite a lot in fact. You can only take along 2 Barrel Bomb L+ and 3 Barrel Bomb L but you can also take 10 Large Barrels, 10 Gunpowder and 10 Scatterfish as well as four combo-books. This way you can have 15 large bombs in one fight. It’s expensive as hell but if you really need to kill something big like Dalamadur or Dharen Mhoran it’s a working strategy.

Bounce Bombs (Barrel Bomb S + Bnahabra Wings) fly straight up before exploding and are mainly used for getting Khezu down from the ceiling. You can use them against Rathalos as well for example but I’m not farming Bnahabras so I can take out Rathalos a little bit quicker. Fun but not really worth it.

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Picking the right skills for the job can be a bit confusing in Monster Hunter as the descriptions alone doesn’t really tell you the whole story.

To understand exactly how the skills work you need a basic understanding of damage calculations, which so far has been –

[ATP x TYPE x SHARP x HITZONE / CLASS] + [ELEMENT x SHARP x ELMZONE / 10] = DAMAGE

So when attacking the game takes into account;

– The ATtack Power of your weapon.
– The particular attacks damage.
(Each and every attack in monster hunter has a percentage from a SnS piddly 14% to a triple-charged Greatsword attack which has 115%)
– The weapons current sharpness.
(Red is 0.50, Orange 0.75, Yellow 1, Green 1.05, Blue 1.20, White 1.32 and Purple 1.45)
– The particular area you hit
(Every large wyvern in Monster Hunter has a number of hit zones that take different damage from different attack types,
the types being Cut (Swords, Axes, Lances), Blunt (Hammer, Hunting Horn) and Shot (Guns and Bows))
– And finally every weapon type has a number that everything is divided by.

SnS & Duals – 1.4
Lance & Gunlance – 2.3
Insect Glaive – 3.1
Charge Blade – 3.6
Great Sword & Longsword – 4.8
Hammer & Hunting Horn – 5.2
Switchaxe – 5.4

Bow – 1.2
Light Bowgun – 1.3
Heavy Bowgun – 1.5

(NOTE: You can take your weapons attack power and divide it by the types number to get the actual power.)

The elemental damage is as you see calculated on its own but I’ll get to that later.

 

Attack:
The most straight-forward of the offensive skills is Attack which works by multiplying the weapon types number.

Name                Points      Multiplier
Attack Up XL     25                25
Attack Up L        20               20
Attack Up M       15                15
Attack Up S        10                10

So even with Attack Up XL, you only get 35 attack power when using Duals while a Switchaxe gets 135 attack power.

In other words, you want a weapon with a high multiplier and quick attacks.
The Insect Glaive and Switchaxe are probably the best examples but Hunting Horn and Longsword are also good.
On the other side of the spectrum Great Sword and Gunlance really doesn’t care for it.

 

Artisan:
The generally best skill for Blademasters (Melee), Artisan increases the weapons sharpness bar and usually adds the next color.

I’ll type up the differences here again;

Red Orange Yellow Green Blue White Purple
0.50    0.75        1.00        1.05     1.20    1.32       1.45

As you see here having Blue instead of Green sharpness on your weapon is a whopping 15% damage increase, which is absolutely huge.

For Elements it’s irrelevant until you reach White with 1.125 damage and Purple with 1.20.

You should also gather from this that getting a weapon with blue sharpness makes a big difference and that you should always sharpen your weapon once it drops below Blue.

 

Element Up:
Basic knowledge of elemental damage is that it’s calculated separately from the physical damage, which means it deals the same damage per hit no matter what attack you use. So in essence, the more attacks you do the more elemental damage you deal.
With the quicker weapons like SnS, Duals, Insect Glaive and the Charge Blades elemental discharge elemental damage can be a huge boon when used against the correct monster. So you need a weapon of each elemental type and knowledge of what monsters take the most elemental damage and what areas are the most vulnerable.

For example, Black Gravios takes 15% water damage on his wings and face but 35% water on his belly and 45% once the belly plates are gone.

Silver Rathalos takes 5% thunder damage on his tail but 30% on his face.

So Elemental Damage can be a bit tricky to use. Now, the Elemental (Fire, Water etc) Atk skills increase one particular element by quite a lot, Fire Atk 20 is a x1.15 increase plus an additional 90. So against a vulnerable monster that could mean ~10 extra damage per hit, which is pretty big with a SnS.

The problem is of course that you need an entire armor set for each element which seems like a huge waste of time on Normal Rank quests, unless you’re building a set to farm a particular monster. In my opinion, the element skills are G-rank business. Water Atk 20 with Purple sharpness is a lot of extra elemental damage.

 

Expert:
Finally, you may be disappointed to learn that critical strikes in Monster Hunter is an extra 25% damage, or 1.25 when calculating.
Each 10 points of Expert gives you a 10% chance to crit which is generally a 2.5% increase in physical damage.

However, if your attacks have big percentages like Hammer or Greatsword that 25% extra damage can turn into a lot. Getting a crit on a golfswing to a monsters face is a big damage boost. Expert is also great with Heavy Bowgun as it primarily deals physical damage and each hit can crit separately.

Secondly, Long Sword craves Expert. The reason is that the Spirit Bar is filled up based on the damage you do, so each crit is a 25% increase. Also, once the bar is filled up you get a 1.12 damage increase that of course stacks with your crits.

Thirdly, there’s a skill called Crit Draw that makes the first attack when drawing your weapon automatically crit. This is obviously huge for Greatswords.
Sheathe your weapon, prance around a bit to find an opening and unleash a charged auto-crited monster-hit.

 

So, to summarize.

Artisan or Handicraft as it’s called now is generally the best skill as it increases damage and elemental damage, especially when you reach G-rank and can get Purple sharpness.

Attack is a great skill when using Insect Glaive, Switchaxe and Hunting Horn but gets less interesting in G-rank since it’s the same damage bonus in all difficulties.

Element Atk is better in G-rank when you have really high elemental numbers and can get Purple Sharpness. It’s still mainly for SnS, Duals and Insect Glaive as well as Bow and Light Bowgun.

Expert is great with big weapons like Hammer, Longsword and Greatsword. Crit Draw makes you always crit when unsheathing a weapon which is awesome for Greatsword.

But what about Lance and Gunlance? Well, Artisan is always awesome and Sharpness, the skill that makes weapons go dull half as fast also works for shelling with Gunlance. Other than that, well I’ll get to that some other day…

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