With Monster Hunter: World coming to 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.
Whilst there ain’t no Mjolnir here, I can at least supply with a hammer that’ll hit hard, has great swinging potential, and even knocks monsters out. Tried and tested like the Greatsword, this is a weapon designed to hit just as hard as it and has great maneuverability. The only downside is that you can’t cut tails, and has you aiming for the Monster’s head, which is floating in the air and much harder to hit. Good luck Hunter, I hope your golf swing can get it in one.
Diablos Shatterer II: 230 Raw + (150 Ice)
You might not see Diablos when it’s coming for your ass with its horns, but at least you probably saw this coming. Diablos, the king of raw, has a great hammer that can be pushed to white sharpness. And whilst many of the other builds shown here are designed for stunning like the boy wonder, this is a set designed to kill. Pushed to white, compared to green and bludgeoner, its damage numbers can push its damage threshold into the 500+ on the final Big Bang 5 hit. And if you’re aiming for fast times, this is a set to look at.
Whilst this has room for improvement skill wise, this is a set designed just to hit as hard as possible. With an effective raw of 464, the only way to improve this marginally is through changing the gloves from Teostra to Vaal Hazak to push to Attack 7 and dropping to Critical Boost 2. This will improve the effective raw by 1, which isn’t that big of a change, unless you wanted to also run with an extra point for Tool Specialist 3. Not that much gain, although the first problem you have is getting the extra Attack Jewels of 4 and 6 respectively. And since you’re more likely to get a Flawless Jewel to get Peak Performance 3 faster, it is recommended. But if you don’t have it, using that and getting Weakness Exploit 3 is more critical than extra points in Critical Boost. A somewhat adjustable build, but when your effective raw is 464 getting these final calculations can be difficult.
Baan Strike III - 190 Raw + 270 Sleep
Sleep boi is back, and being a cousin of Jay Leno, that mighty chin is worth smacking Monsters with that bone jaw. Unlike Diablos, its raw and sharpness isn’t the greatest. But at least its sleep isn’t something to laugh at; accounting for single hits, the Baan can hit more against a Monster once it’s asleep. For solo play, you’ll maybe send it to sleep 2-3 times without the Apothecary mantle. But that’s all you’ll need to lay in for a great hulking critical hit to the Monster’s sleeping face. Plus the beauty of this is that you don’t need Free-Element, meaning you can slot in those three skill slots for a more potent hit.
Similar to my previous Sleeper Hit Greatsword build (link), this is a build focusing on delivering a hit to wake a monster into a shocked state. As you can tell, if the Monster’s hit you, heal and then return the favour with Peak Performance active. Nergigante’s armour skill is a thing just to help with the upkeep. So if you haven’t guessed it, augment the hammer for two damage and one affinity, and, assuming Agitator 1 is active too, your crit rate is 98% thanks to Maximum Might since you’ll want to be hitting with the Upswing attack which hardest hitting move you can do without having hit the Monster prior, although you will need to work on your distancing.
Ragefire Magda Floga - 220 Raw + 420 Blast
You probably forgot about this Elder Dragon after you beat it, and whilst it’s a great fight to begin with, it’s a slog when you’re grinding for it. Believe me, I’ve made too many weapons and not enough armour pieces. But I want that armour for fashion hunting purposes. Whilst previously the others focused on raw output, this is just designed to work. Especially for HR running, the extra slots just help the weapon shine. And whilst it can’t be paired with Non Elemental Boost, bludgeoner with the incredible length of green sharpness makes this a great solid all round build.
Like the last set, this is designed without events or DLC in mind, and is as decoration lite as possible. Requiring only a Tenderizer Jewel, any of the slots can be used to your heart's desire. Personally, I’m opting for the additional Drain Jewels for making the Monsters’ exhausted faster. Granted this is a niche pick, and would be better for Hunting Horns. That’s the beauty of this set, if you wanted to redecorate this for more defensive skills this set’s base skills are pretty much all you need. Want more blast? Gem away. The only final suggestion I have for this is augmenting for affinity over damage, this is a 1 point effective raw change. But for a more consistent smacking experience, the 10% affinity change will push your crit rate to a near coin toss. Another outlook is less chance to make a feeble hit because of that negative affinity.
Devil’s Crush - 230 Raw + 210 Dragon
Some say, the pickle never grew out of its teenagehood and others say the pickle’s unending hunger accidentally confused love for gluttony. No ones truly knows if the Jho ate their crush. All we do know, we’ve somehow made its crush. Jokes aside, this is another hulking green meat meant for smacking about like a butter sock. With a few points in Handicraft, this is one of the hardest hitting hammers without the need of extra set up. The high raw and easy white easily offset the negative affinity, especially when the hammer is designed to smack a monster’s face. Maybe that’s why it’s meant for smacking monster jaws, you’re meant to crush their ability to eat.
Built for a more offensive build, this set features a solid level of Handicraft for that critical white sharpness that makes this weapon shine the most. Compared to the Diablos offering, this is easier to gem for, although in terms of raw output it’s up for discussion depending on the Monster. With an effective raw of 410 with Attack 3 using the extra slots (Nergigante Alpha gloves will just need 2 Attack Jewels), this is a close rival to the Diablos in many ways. If you wanted more damage change the charm for Attack 3. But with Slugger 3, the ability to create openings and follow it up is just a stronger sale over the Diablos. Throw in some dragon element weakness, and this becomes a stronger pick in certain cases.
Taroth Hammer "Decay": 200 Raw + 270 Dragon
Okay, stinky boi here. And yeah, this is a list containing the undead Elder Dragon: Vaal Hazak. You might argue that its original version is better, but that’s no hammer: It’s an axe that can’t cut things. And as much as you sharpen it, it’s best course of action is knocking things out. And whilst this isn’t going to be winning prizes for it, it’s a weapon that honestly keep up with Diablos and Deviljho thanks its solid performance over. Plus compared to its original offering, this can be augmented twice.
If we’re talking about peak performance, Diablos takes the win with its higher raw and easier access to an ultra-crit build. Deviljho has easy white, but it’s got bad affinity and you won’t be able to fully build for ultra-crit to fully maximise on damage. But with Decay, and Pandemonium's Root, you’re able to meet a nice in between for optimal DPS, with relatively easy white, and zero affinity. Adding Crit Boost 2 and Weakness exploit 3 is easily achievable, with Agitator 3 to help keep the effective raw at 393 (413 with attack and affinity augment). But that’s not going to topple the Pickle, the dragon is what helps set it apart. With an effective elemental raw of 40, factoring in sharpness, this is a power house pick against monsters weak to dragon. However, the main downside is the upkeep of Peak Performance and Agitator. If you augment for health instead of damage, the effective raw will drop to 405. Which are strong counter balances to picking this up, also the white sharpness will be harder to maintain. So if you find your white sharpness depleting too fast I would swap the Challenger Jewel for a Sharpness Jewel for Razor Sharp.
Phew, a bit of the technical side and it’ll only get a bit more technical with the Hunting Horn. With its numerous buffs and whole host of songs for attack rotations for increase exhaust and damage, this just a taster of what’s to come. That said, the hammer, as simple in moves set it is. Its powerhouse options to exploit a Monster’s down can lead to a chaining effect of cataclysmic damage. All I know is that at least in this Monster Hunter game, compared to its last, the names here are a lot better.
Something to note in this article especially is the use of effective raw calculations, having used a couple of them with different numbers, I’ve opted to MHW Builder as it’s (at time of writing) in active development and communications with Time Attack runners.