The Best Builds for Monster Hunter: World's End Game

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The Best Builds for <i>Monster Hunter: World</i>'s End Game

When it comes to successfully slaying the creatures of Monster Hunter: World, preparation is key. To make your hunts go smoother, you should first make sure that your gear is up to speed, and your weapon of choice will have a big impact on how you choose between each of the game’s many different armor pieces and themed weapons. These decisions might not seem all that important to begin with, but your loadout will become much more important after you defeat the final monster and unlock the wealth of extra content in the end game.

To give you a helping hand, we’ve cobbled together a suggested build for each of the 14 weapon types, from which you can freely alter and change to suit your own preferences and needs. It’s important to note however that these builds are never set in stone and almost all of them can be tweaked to better suit either your own playstyle or to help counter a particularly nasty monster with a specific weakness. Try to think of them as a template that highlights a specific niche role or strength that you can take advantage of when playing with your own weapon of choice. There may also be recommendations for several high tier jewels that you’re unlikely to find lying around until much later in the game, so be sure to slot in any useful jewels you do have while you work towards acquiring the ones you want as this will help you to understand and customize your sets later on.

Sword and Shield

MHW Sword and Shield.jpg

The Sword and Shield (commonly referred to as the SnS) paints itself as a fairly vanilla weapon, but the reality is that this mundane looking combo brings a fairly powerful niche to the monster slaying table. while it may not do much damage per hit, the SnS is great at attacking rapidly and many users take advantage of this to apply status effects to help control and subdue the monster, allowing slower weapons to align their attacks with more precision. The SnS is also the only weapon that allows you to use consumables while having your weapon drawn, so there are a few popular builds that take advantage of this combined with the Wide Range skill to run a team-wide support build for multiplayer sessions. Given its sharp rise in popularity, we’re going to go with the support build for now.

For this set you should aim for:

Weapon—Grand Barong 2 (Gobbler jewel slotted)
Helm—Mosswine a
Chest—Rath Soul b (Friendship jewel slotted)
Arms—Dober b (2x Friendship jewels slotted)
Waist—Tzitzi a
Legs—Kirin b (2x Speed Eating)
Charm—Immobilize III

Thanks to the maxed out Wide Range and Speed Eating skills, with this setup we can hope to achieve a fairly effective build that revolves around using consumables to help buff and heal you and your team members, keeping everyone healthy and in the fight for as long as possible. This build also boasts a decent chance to apply paralysis to monsters too thanks to the Free Elem skill from the chest and legs, which is then also boosted by the Immobilize charm. You could try slotting a Satiated jewel into the weapon if you feel like you’re burning through your potions and items too fast, as it activates fairly regularly, but this will ultimately come down to personal preference.


Greatsword

MHW Greatsword.jpg

The meaty blade of the Monster Hunter series, Greatswords are slow but powerful with their large sweeping strikes and long windup attacks. Many people prefer to focus on dealing damage over anything else with this behemoth of a blade, which is understandable given how much damage each strike can dish out, and with a little tweaking those numbers can easily be pushed above and beyond standard limits. There are a lot of theories surrounding the “best greatsword” build right now, with many arguing for or against the use of skills like Crit Draw, a fan favorite from previous games. Ultimately, due to a number of changes to the way the greatsword now deals out damage, the number crunchers out there have concluded that this is no longer viable, with many instead choosing to focus on boosting raw attack damage so let’s use that as a starting point.

For this set you should aim for:
Weapon—Leviathan’s Fury
Helm—Dragonking Eyepatch a (Critical Boost Jewel slotted)
Chest—Damascus b (3x Gobbler Jewels slotted)
Arms—Kaiser b (Critical Boost Jewel slotted)
Waist—Nergigante b (Fast Charge Jewel slotted)
Legs—Dober b (Sheath Jewel slotted)
Charm—Attack Charm III

The overall gist of this set is all about dishing out high numbers consistently, which is why we see boosts to critical damage here and there. We also see some quality of life improvements with the aid of Speed Eating and Sheath, since time spent healing is time you could be spending hitting the monster. Since the attacks take a fair amount of time per swing, it might also be an idea to swap this set around a bit to sacrifice some damage for the sake of getting max earplugs into the equation, as monster roars can regularly interrupt your combo and stand between you and the higher damage output you’re looking for.


Longsword

MHW Longsword.jpg

Sitting somewhere between the rapid speed of the Dual Blades and the long windups of the Greatsword, the Longsword predominantly serves as a damage dealing weapon with a reliable attack pattern causing a moderate amount of damage. Along with the typical focus on cranking up the numbers when it comes to damage output, the Longsword is great for getting those important tail slices, and as such is usually expected to focus on the back end of most monsters where possible. As with most of these builds, the Longsword does offer some flexibility when deciding what skills to amplify, but for the sake of ease we’ll be looking at something that tries to keep you in the fray for longer while pushing out respectable damage numbers.

For this set you should aim for:

Weapon—Extermination’s Edge
Helm—Nergigante a (Attack Jewel 1 slotted)
Chest—Kushala b (Critical Boost Jewel 2 slotted)
Arms—Teostra a (Attack Boost Jewel 1 slotted)
Waist—Nergigante b (Critical Boost Jewel 2)
Legs—Nergigante b (Tenderizer Jewel 2 slotted)
Charm—Handicraft III

The important takeaway from this build is that you’re trying to maximize the damage you do by keeping your sharpness up, while also amplifying those attack and critical damage numbers. Thanks to the Nergigante set bonus, you also get Hasten Recovery which will help to keep your health topped up as your continue to attack your enemy. Since some of these jewels are quite hard to come by, you can always replace the Handicraft Charm III with an Attack Charm III just to make sure that you’re still able to pump out decent damage numbers, although this will come at the cost of having to sharpen a few more times per fight.


Lance

MHW Lance.jpg

The aim of the game for Lance users is almost always focused on defense. Since the weapon itself isn’t all that great for dishing out damage, many people have learned to utilize the shield to allow for some fairly impressive damage mitigation, with the potential to fully negate attacks like Xeno’Jiiva’s crystal laser beams if you build it right. With that in mind, we’ll be starting with something tanky and durable as a base, but with enough potential and flexibility for you to alter and tweak as you see fit.

For this set you should aim for:

Weapon—Perdition’s Hand
Helm—Dragonking Eyepatch a
Chest—Uragaan a
Arms—Kaiser a
Waist—Uragaan b
Legs—Uragaan a
Charm—Ironside Charm III

With this combination alone, we’re already looking at a level five Guard skill, significantly reducing any staggers and stamina consumption when blocking. We also get the important Uragaan set bonus Guard Up, which allows you to to block unblockable attacks. I’ve not recommended any extra jewels here simply because the set alone provides enough to help you fulfil your main goals as a Lance user, so anything extra you slot in can be done to help you improve and amplify other areas like damage and utility.


Gunlance

MHW Gunlance.jpg

The Gunlance tows the line between damage and defense, often allowing for some impressive feats for those willing to wrap their head around its complex system of blasts and shells. There’s a big focus on building your Gunlance armor set and skills around the actual lance you take with you, so for that reason I’ll be turning to the incredibly effective build put together by Gunlance user Canta Per Me which focuses on making the most of those high numbers through repeated shelling.

For this set you should aim for:

Weapon—Royal Burst (Venom Jewel 1 slotted)
Helm—Odogaron b (Tenderizer Jewel 2 slotted)
Chest—Odogaron b (Venom Jewel 1 slotted)
Arms—Odogaron a
Waist—Odogaron a
Legs—Dodogama b (Venom Jewel 1 slotted)
Charm—Artillery Charm III

Not only does this give you both set bonuses from the Odogaron armor, helping to extend sharpness while also giving you stun on the first attack after unsheathing, this set also works to amplify the poison attributes of the Royal Burst Rathalos weapon. When combined with the Rocksteady Mantle, you can expect to see some serious and reliable damage numbers pumping out of a set like this, and you can always swap out the three Venom Jewels if you ever want to swap elements to exploit another monsters’ weakness.


Insect Glaive

MHW Insect Glaive.jpg

With its fantastic scope for mobility and mounting, the Insect Glaive (or IG for short) may look cool but many within the larger community often see it as more of a gimmick, and it’s not hard to see why given that most IG users can often be seen flying aimlessly through the air in an attempt to flail at the monster’s loftier regions. The important thing to understand about IG is that it is one of the most modular and flexible weapons out there, offering you a number of mix and match combinations between the glaive and the kinsect to help you pair specific elements and statuses to great effect. To that end, we’ll try to focus on a build that gives you a great foundation for armor pieces, so that you can freely alter your kinsect and glaive at will to better suit the task at hand.

For this set you should aim for:

Weapon—Catastrophe’s Light (Expert Jewel 1 slotted)
Kinsect—Pseudocath III
Helm—Dragonking Eyepatch a
Chest—Odogaron b
Arms—Odogaron a
Waist—Odogaron a
Legs—Odogaron b
Charm—Attack Charm III

Here we see a fairly basic build that centres on the Odogaron bonuses that help keep your sharpness up. I’ve deliberately left out a number of jewels here simply because you can use those empty slots to flex in and out on Attack and Crit boosting skills as you see fit, but since you have access to a number of areas other weapon types don’t, and almost all weak spots will be within your reach thanks to the wide range of the glaive and your vault ability, the potential to stack affinity for high critical damage is there if you want it.


Dual Blades

MHW Dual Blades.jpg

My current weapon of choice, the Dual Blades are versatile and can be modified to fit a couple of specific but significant roles. Thanks to their incredibly fast attack speed, Dual Blades are ideal candidates for applying status effects to monsters. It’s also possible to step away from elemental effects and focus entirely on boosting raw damage with the help of the Elementless Jewel, but since there are so many other weapons here that focus purely on damage, we’ll take a look at the foundations for a element heavy Dual Blades build for now.

For this set you should aim for:

Weapon—Monarch
Helm—Rath Soul b
Chest—Rathalos b
Arms—Kaiser b
Waist—Odogaron b
Legs—Death Stench b
Charm—Handicraft Charm III

Since Dual Blades hit quite regularly, maintaining your sharpness is key. Thankfully this set generates an innate Handicraft skill of five without the aid of any extra decorations. The other significant bonus about this setup is that you unlock the Critical Element skill from the Rathalos armor set, which will augment your elemental damage whenever you land a critical hit. Since the goal of this build is to apply and ramp up elemental attacks, the ideal decorations to fill those empty slots would be things like an Expert or Critical Boost Jewel which will only serve to amplify those critical damage spikes. You could always swap out those crit jewels for specific elemental jewels based on the weapons you’re using, but the numbers may vary.


Hammer

MHW Hammer.jpg

These cumbersome mallets may not hit as hard as their similarly large counterparts, but they serve an important role when it comes to locking down large monsters. Since hammers deal blunt damage, they possess the unique ability to cause the stun effect when attacking a monsters head, which can help you keep it in place for extended periods. As such, hammer builds are often focused on dealing high damage numbers, so that’s what we’ll focus on here.

For this set you should aim for:

Weapon—Diablos Shatterer II
Helm—Dragonking Eyepatch a
Chest—Dober b
Arms—Nergigante a
Waist—Nergigante a
Legs—Nergigante a
Charm—Challenger III

I’ve intentionally left this set without any jewel recommendations because there are a number of useful options for you to choose from. The focus with this setup is to maximize raw attack damage the damage you do with the help of Agitator, increasing your damage when enemies enrage, on top of the extra damage from the Attack Boost skill too. In an ideal world you would want to slot in an Elementless Jewel 2 into the Diablos hammer too, but the base set will perform modestly until you manage to unearth one. If you find that monster roars are getting in the way of your assault then it could also be worthwhile to sacrifice some damage or utility in favor of an Earplugs Jewel 3 slotted into either the helmet or chest.


Charge Blade

MHW Charge Blade.jpg

The Charge Blade is easily thought of as swiss army knife; it’s a sword and shield that can be morphed at will into a large cumbersome axe. It comes with a number of gauges and functions, allowing you to store damage and unleash it at will, while also offering a number of technical abilities like point guards with the shield and the devastating Super Amped Elemental Discharge. In truth it can all get pretty overwhelming, and with so many different factors at play, for now we’ll focus on a set that has already been proven to crunch out some serious damage numbers by Charge Blade Reddit user BlackTorito.

For this set you should aim for:

Weapon—Devastation’s Thorns
Helm—Dragonking Eyepatch a
Chest—Dober b
Arms—Kaiser b
Waist—Nergigante b
Legs—Dober b
Charm—Critical Boost III

As BlackTorito mentions in their own theorycrafting for this build, a lot of the numbers crunched are approximates and should never be considered as final and ultimately “the best”. With that said, this gear offers some great boosts to the Attack and Weakness Exploit skills, which will help you make the most of the those large SAED strikes. It’s also key that we find a place to get Artillery into this build too, as the damage boost also affects your phial charges, so try to slot those somewhere into those free jewel slots when you’re able to.


Switch Axe

MHW Switch Axe.jpg

The Switch Axe is another morphing weapon that can be altered at will to change your playstyle for the situation at hand. Although it doesn’t boast as much flexibility as the Charge Blade, the Switch Axe makes up for it in power, and as such, we’ll be focusing on a set that highlights high damage so you can crank out those big numbers.

For this set you should aim for:

Weapon—Axe of Demons
Helm—Dragonking Eyepatch a
Chest—Nergigante a
Arms—Nergigante a
Waist—Nergigante b
Legs—Death Stench b
Charm—Handicraft Charm III

Here we see an innate maximized level five Handicraft skill, combined with the a few levels of Weakness Exploit, Attack up and Stamina Surge. All of these combine to produce some fairly consistent damage numbers without having to worry too much about slotting any extra jewels, so you’re free to swap out the Axe of Demons if there’s a particular element you want to hunt with. We also get a couple of levels in the Agitator skill, which will help to bump up your damage slightly whenever a monster enrages, which happens quite frequently when hunting higher-tier monsters.


Bow

MHW Bow.jpg

Probably the most common of the ranged weapons, the Bow allows for high mobility and middling damage at the expense of fire rate. If the Light and Heavy bowguns sit at either ends of the spectrum when it comes to damage versus speed, then the bow sits somewhere in the middle. In Monster Hunter: World bows can fulfil a number of roles, and it will ultimately depend on whether or not you want to focus on dishing out damage or doing something more technical and precise by applying statuses or aiming for hard to reach breakable areas like horns. The biggest debate surrounding Bows right now centers on whether or not you should maximize Focus, a skill which reduces charge times. Ultimately, while this may have been useful in previous games, the majority of users now believe that it’s much better to ignore Focus altogether, instead opting for a set that boosts Constitution so you can keep attacking and dodging without worrying about running out of stamina.

For this set you should aim for:

Weapon—Cera Coilbender (2x Trueshot Jewel 1 slotted)
Helm—Dragonking Eyepatch a (Pierce Shots Jewel 3 slotted)
Chest—Nergigante b (1x Might Bow Jewel 2 & 1x Attack Jewel 1 slotted)
Arms—Kaiser b (Normal Shots Jewel 3 slotted)
Waist—Nergigante a
Legs—Lavasioth b
Charm—Fitness Charm III

There are a few taxing items to acquire to fully setup this build, but when you finally get everything together there’s the potential to deal a high amount of damage consistently with minimal downtime thanks to a level three Constitution. This build can also be tweaked if you want to swap out the Cera Coilbender Bow for something with an element, slotting either a Crit Element or Elementless jewel into the legs slot as needed to boost your weapon of choice.


Light Bowgun/Heavy Bowgun

MHW Light Heavy Bowgun.jpg

Light Bowguns excel in dishing out moderate damage from medium to close range with little charge up, while Heavy Bowguns offer a different take that packs a bigger bunch at the cost of its rate of fire. while each of these weapons can easily hold its own out in the field, their use is often stigmatized because of how many different factors are involved in using them. From a number of different ammo types to the various mod slots you can equip onto each weapon to alter performance, there’s a lot to take in, so for this build we’re going to focus on simply getting some damage out there while making sure you’re not wasting too much time reloading or crafting new ammo between each encounter.

For this set you should aim for:

Weapon—Cataclysm’s Trigger (Light Bowgun) / Legia Shattercryst (Heavy Bowgun)
Helm—Dragonking Eyepatch a
Chest—Xeno’Jiiva b
Arms—Xeno’Jiiva b
Waist—Xeno’Jiiva b
Legs—Laviasloth b
Charm—Awakening Charm III

By grabbing three pieces of the Xeno’Jiiva set here, we trigger the Spare Shot skill which has a chance to not expend ammunition when firing off your various ammo types, which makes using the bowgun much more economical and saves you a ton of zenny in the process. You do end up getting some extra skills in the process which don’t necessarily help out much, but there’s plenty of jewel slots here for you to flex in extra skills as needed. The Awakening charm is also important here as it will expand some of your clip sizes, allowing you to dish out more damage between reloads.


Hunting Horn

MHW Hunting Horn.jpg

Perhaps one of the most under-utilized weapons in the game, the Hunting Horn is often disregarded as an afterthought that could be filled by another damage dealing user. This is absurd of course, and the potential for Hunting Horn users to boost the effectiveness and speed at which a group of players can clear a fight is worth taking note of.

There’s also a debate currently going on within the community about whether or not Hunting Horn users should go down a similar route to the support Sword and Shield users, maxing skills like Wide-Range and Mushroomancer to help further support the team. while this would technically be viable, it would mean that you would be spending a lot more time away from the horn and the songs you should be maintaining, so for this build we’re going to focus on making sure you’re keeping the tunes going while dealing a bit of damage and utility on the side.

For this set you should aim for:

Weapon—Desolation’s Overture (Protection Jewel 1 slotted)
Helm—Guild Cross b
Chest—Vaal Hazak b
Arms—Vaal Hazak b
Waist—Vaal Hazak b
Legs—Kushala b
Charm—Exploiter Charm

The focus with this setup isn’t necessarily to focus on any one thing. Instead what we are trying to do is provide an all-rounder that can act as a foundation for you to tweak and alter depending on what you’re hunting, as well as who you’re hunting with. For example, with this set and this specific horn, you can easily apply a level five Earplugs buff to the entire team, which will do wonders when fighting roar-prone monsters. If you’re looking to fill up all of those extra jewel slots, try throwing in Attack and Vitality Jewels to give yourself a top up on damage and health, as well as any resistance gems required if you’re going up against a particularly nasty monster.


Andy Moore is a gaming freelancer based in the UK. When he’s not writing, he can be found staring blankly out of the nearest window, or spending way too much time on Twitter.

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