With Monster Hunter: World out on PC, I thought I’d take the time to showcase some top weapons to build for. May the streamstones ever be in your favour. But really, with a little bit of thinking and Athena’s ASS (Armor Skill Search) you too can have equipment to chase for. In this list, I’ll feature three weapons that were part of initial launch, with the last two being event or DLC dropped weapons post-launch. A quick note, the values I list here are the Raw weapon values. The ones you see in-game are often referred as bloated values, factoring the motion value or the “power” behind each attack. Also, it makes it a lot easier maths wise to compare the raw over the bloat values.
Before any updates, Gunlancing wasn’t great, with the gun portion holding the weapon back. Eating your sharpness faster than a Dual Blade user doing a Demon Dance, it just wasn’t sane to blast away. Then the update came, and Gunlance shelling didn’t devour like the Deviljho of last who’d nom on meat left out. Something that’s worth mentioning though is that unlike before, shelling is now actually viable in High Rank and won’t be a negative. Plus there’s no heat gauge upkeep, for negligible attack boosting, but I digress.
Royal Burst - 190 Raw + 330 Poison
Before Kulve Taroth dropping, there was a Gunlance to surpass them all. For before our Golden Queen, there was the Lady in Pink who’d dazzle Hunters alike with her pirouette of poisonous intent. Glamourous language aside, the Royal Burst Gunlance was king of Gunlance damage with using said Gun and whirling the Lance like a Rathian’s tail swipe.
So what makes this a good set? Well it’s a nice mid-point between shelling and stabby-stabbing. Even if this weapon didn’t have white sharpness at Handicraft 5, I’d still recommend it for that weapon model alone. If you have the Artillery decorations, this will be more geared to shelling without too much of a loss in Effective Raw. Otherwise, this is a set more geared towards dishing raw damage with the option to deal shell damage without too much harm towards your Sharpness.
Bazel Buster II - 200 Raw + 210 Blast
I will add that Jyuratodus and Barroth’s offering were on the table for the Wide Gunlance slot on here. What they have going against it are that Jyura Buster III is 10 less Raw and only has white sharpness with Handicraft 4. Whilst you can build for the Water Element, and maybe Critical Element with white sharpness/Protective Polish skill too, with Artillery 3 on top. It’s still an edge case with Water weak Monsters, of which you’ll face: Teostra, Lavasioth, and Uragaan when Tempered/Decoration farming. Barroth was definitely going to trade blows with its similar Raw and locked 390 Paralysis. However, Wide Gunlancing is meant to have thrust then explode rhythm. This means having to rely on your Raw more. And as much as the Paralysis proc is going to aid in terms of damage openings, it’s not going to outpace the rate Blast can proc over the duration of a hunt. Plus, if wanted to opt for a no Gun Gunlance playstyle this is an option.
In terms of balancing the decorations, this was a tough one between being able to shell and smash effectively. Instead, I opted to focus on shelling. If you have the Artillery Jewels though, swap the charm for Handicraft 3 Charm. Augmenting for Affinity will also see a drop of two Expert Jewels, so that’ll leave you with four Lv1 slots to play with in total. Restricting the gear to Vanilla was tough, as will the grind for the corvette Decorations.
Earthshaker Magda Lahat - 200 Raw + 450 Blast
Zorah’s back, and his Gunlance weirdly makes sense. Sluggish in nature, but once erupting hits hard. I guess that’s the point of Long shell type Gunlances. Personally never been that big a fan, it’s like the middle sibling between one who wants cash out all at once and another who’s just cashing whenever they want. I didn’t know this but Focus will speed up the charge rate of Long so that it’s not that painful anymore. At least we know Long Gunlances dish out the highest damage per shell.
It’s actual raw isn’t that great and it’s kinda just middling overall in the grand scheme of things. But being the only Long Lv4 in vanilla and its other contender being Anjanath and Vaal Hazak, it would be a toss up if you wanted to mix the two attack methods together. Quite easily dethroning Zorah’s offering since its Raw is somewhat lacklustre and would lose out to the white sharpness of Hazak Spysa II and 10 Raw/450 Fire of Anja Cannon III. The high Blast does kinda make up for it, but really if it had 10 or 20 more Raw this would most likely sit on top of its Long throne.
Taroth Buster "Sleep" - 190 Raw + (450 Sleep)
Once again, I couldn’t help but throw in a gimmicky set/weapon. If you were serious with the damage, or a zero shell playstyle, you’d opt for the Rarity 8 “Poison” since that can have Non-Elemental Boost to raise its Raw to 220 and build an Ultra-Crit set that takes advantage of its slam and wide slam attacks. But here we are with another sleep bomber style build, it’s basically the Royal Burst but with Sleep. Not as insidious as the Lance version, but when the wide slam hits for as hard as it does and the nature of sleeping Monster’s. The amount of sneak damage as the Monster sleeps is high.
Now for the following if you don’t AT Kirin armour pieces, swap it for the Beta Legs and have Kushala’s Beta Chest to swap the skills around. You’ll lose two Lv1 slots and get a Lv2 in its place, so if you could even slot in for a Sharp Jewel for Protective Polish and throw in a Grinder or Enduring Jewel to make the sharpening process better.
Empress Howl “Styx” - 190 Raw + 240 Blast
What’s that? You’re sick of Lunastra and Xeno Jiva grinding? Tough, their weapons are just that good. So you know how the Bazel like exploding? Well this one REALLY like exploding and wants to see lots of explosions. So let’s get someone to just explode away the night. We’ll make the explosion count go so high we’ll reach the dark side of the moon.
On a more serious note though, this is great for extended hunts where you can’t be bothered to sharpen your weapon and if you lack the Ironwall Jewels. You can easily slap on a Health Boost 3, Protection 3, and augment for Health for what will be a incredibly tanky set without a lot of weaknesses since dragon damage from Monsters is mainly restricted to Deviljho, not any Elder Dragon go figure. If you wanted to make it more melee optimised, I would opt for the Lunastra Beta to slot in a Critical and Tenderizer Jewel.
Seriously though, if we’re slapping a gun to any weapon can we get it on a Insect Glaive for a Gunglaive weapon Capcom? Or even a Gunsword, that’d be pretty cool. Jokes aside, Gunlance is honestly . The damage scaling currently works great and I can’t wait to see what a G Rank version holds. But with the lack of weapons currently, it shows on the Gunlance lacking enough diversity that can trade blows from Non-Element counter parts. Also, Nergigante’s Gunlance is gimped at Wide Lv2. It makes you wonder how the MonHun team do their weapon balances. Happy Blasting though Hunters and I’ll see you in the Axe section next. Until then, Happy Hunting Hunters.