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Insect Glaive

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Weapons
Topics: Weapon TypesWeapon Mechanics

Weapon Types: Sword and ShieldDual BladesGreat SwordLong SwordHammer
Hunting HornLanceGunlanceSwitch AxeCharge BladeInsect GlaiveTonfa
Light BowgunMedium BowgunHeavy BowgunBow

Insect Glaive Weapon Trees:
MH4MH4U

Weapon Overview

Insect Rod Render
Insect Glaive (操虫棍 Sōchūkon: also known as "Insect Taming Staff", "Insect Operating Rod", "Neopteron Handler", and "Insect Rod") is a new weapon introduced in Monster Hunter 4. This double-ended rod is capable of quick, fluid attacks (similar to the the Long Sword) and allows the hunter to jump at any time in a pole vaulting fashion. The rod is also capable of summoning a Kinsect to attack monsters. The hunter can either freely send out the Kinsect in a direct flight, or first shoot out a pheromone bullet on the target that would work as a "lock on", which allows the insect to home in. When the Kinsect successfully hits an enemy, it will drain out an "essence" which varies in color and atrribute, depending on which part of the monster it hits, which can be used to power up the hunter when the Kinsect is called back. The Kinsect is always found clinging on the right arm of the hunter when it's not attacking.

Weapon Traits

The Insect Glaive's attacking style is based on the art of Bōjutsu, where the wielder employs various long-ranged techniques like thrusting, sweeping, and spinning. The techniques are not limited to just attacking, however, the rod can also be used to perform tricky maneuvers like pole vaulting to gain a high-ground advantage, or for evasive purposes. The Insect Glaive has many uses and suits both front-line players and support players. Other interesing facts about the weapon include:

  • The player can enter "aiming" mode to shoot the "pheromone" bullet to mark specific body parts of the monsters, which will allow the Kinsect to home in on the marked spot to easily get a desired essence.
  • The pole vaulting is primarily used to do a "leap-attack" that's usually possible only by jumping off ledges to stagger monsters. This is very useful, since an Insect Glaive user will be able to stagger monsters with the pole vault virtually anywhere. The vaulting leap-attack is also very useful for chasing a monster that's about to flee by flying upwards.
  • Apart from using it for attacking, the pole vault is also very useful for evasive purposes. One can vault out of the way of long-ranged projectiles like Gravios's sweeping beam, over incoming monsters like a charging Rathalos, or area of effect moves like Khezu's electrical discharge.
  • In addition to offensive and defensive uses, the pole vaulting can also be used to assist hunters in traveling more quickly, such as vaulting onto elevated platforms that would otherwise require the hunter to first sheathe their weapon and climb up.
  • The rod is a very mobile weapon, allowing the users to constantly change their positions as they attack (via the leaping attacks). Though, its shortcoming is also for the very same reason, that it might put the users in disadvantaged position whilst moving carelessly. It also has a rather long stance-recovery animation that initiates automatically after every attack (It is advisable to roll after finishing an attack to avoid said animation).
  • The Insect Glaive's unsheathe attack can be immediately chained into other attacks.
  • The rod is considered to be as fast and flurrious as the Dual Blades, while still fluid and has a longer reach like the Long Swords.
  • The Insect Glaive can deal both "Slash" and "Impact" damage. The top part of the rod deals the "Slash" damage, while the end tip (bottom of the rod) deals a "Impact" damage that also "marks" monsters with pheromone. The Kinsect's flying attack can do "Slash" type damage or "Impact" type damage depending on the insect.

Kinsect

The Kinsect is the default insect (in Monster Hunters' case, Neopteron special subspecies) which is available with each Insect Glaive. Each of them have a distinctive physiology, stats and are even enhanceable in accordance with evolving them into better forms. Although, it is not exactly sure if any of them have status effect attacks such as Paralysis or Poison.

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Each Kinsect has its own stats, very similar to any kind of monster. They have Power, Stamina, Speed and even the elemental attributes.

Enhancing

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Like enhancing the weapon itself, the Kinsects statistics can be enhanced for them to be able to evolve (in Monster Hunter terms). The hunter may need to forage or collect some materials in quests and field missions in order to enhance their stats and abilities. By continuously enhancing their stats, it will eventually meet certain conditions to level them up, further powering up the Kinsect. It can then evolve into a different type of insect, such as the speed-type Garuuhel (Garu-hiru) and the power-type Zameel Beetle (Zami-ru Bi-toru) in the Bone Glaive (Bon-Gureifu), shown in the images beside. Still, other kinds of Kinsects like the Haruki-ta and Ebomarudoron might have better stats like Stamina or elemental attributes respectively.

Power-Up Essences

When a Kinsect is used to attack (drains essence) from a monster, the body part which it hits determines what type of essence it 'stole' to power up the hunter upon its return. There are 4 types of essence, which are:

  • White = Increase the hunter's speed.
  • Red = Increase the hunter's attack.
  • Orange = Increase the hunter's defence.
  • Green = Recover a small amount of health.

The parts that provide each essence varies between monsters. What you can get from the tail of one monster, may yield a different essence from the tail of a different monster. It is very important to learn the essence locations of each monsters, to be able to use the Insect Glaive to its fullest potential.

Extract Combinations

There are 3 essence slots, one for each color (excluding the green one, since it gets used straight away), in which the hunter can mix the colors together to get certain buffs (similar to mixing the musical notes with the Hunting Horns). The hunter can gain various buffs and skills; like Earplug, Gluttony or Runner, with the right combinations. Though, the buffs do not last very long, and forces the hunter to constantly seek opportunity to steal the essences again.

Double Up

By combining two types of essence together, the player can gain beneficial buffs momentarily; for example: White and Orange essences will grant the hunter a "Defense Up" buff and the “Earplug” skill, which grants immunity against some monsters' roars. There are 2 different "Double Up" in total:

  • Red + White
  • White + Orange

Triple Up

This is the ultimate power up, gained through the combination of all 3 different essences, also know as the "Full Power Mode" which grants all the buffs: "Attack Up", "Defense Up", and "Speed Up" along with various skills such as "Earplug" and "Quake Resistance". In this state, the hunter will glow in 3 different colors, ranging from red to orange and white. The hunter's basic attacks also get an upgrade in this mode, with a faster rate of attack, and an extra combo for each attack; like the basic vertical slash will now slash twice.

Controls

Stationary Attacks:
X = Vertical Slash
X・X = Vertical Slash / Diagonal Slash
X・X・X = Vertical Slash / Diagonal Slash / Roundhouse Slash
A = Side Slash
A・A = Slide Slash / Frontal Slam
X・A = Vertical Slash / Frontal Slam

Mobile Attacks (With a combination of analog control in any directions):
X = Stab
X・X = Stab / Diagonal Slash
X・X・X = Stab / Diagonal Slash / Roundhouse Slash
A・A = Front Flip Slash / Frontal Slam (can chain into the infinite combo)
X・A (whilst holding backwards) = Stab / Back Flip Slash
X・X・A (whilst holding backwards) = Stab / Diagonal Slash / Back Flip Slash

Attack Up Mode & Full Power Mode:
X・X・X = Double Vertical Slashes / Double Diagonal Slashes / Double Roundhouse Slashes
A・A = Diagonal Slash / Leaping Roundhouse Slash
A (whilst holding forwards)・A  = Frontal Slam / Leaping Roundhouse Slash
X (midair) = Do a double downward slash that can stagger monster (equivalent to the leap-attack off the ledges).

X・X・A・X・X・A・X・X・A... = Vertical Slash / Diagonal Slash / Side Slash /  Vertical Slash / Diagonal Slash / Side Slash /... (infinite combo, requires red essence)

Other Insect Glaive Functions:
R = Make your Insect Glaive shoot out a pheromone bullet that lets your Kinsect home in where the shot lands. Very useful for draining the essence from hard to reach spots.
R (after any attacks) = Strike with the end-tip of the rod for an "Impact" type damage that also leave a pheromone mark where the hit lands.
R (hold) = Control the aiming reticule for the pheromone bullet shooting mode.
R + X = Send your insect out in a direct path.
R + X (hold and release after charge) = Charge up a bug release that does more damage than normal.
R + A = Call your insect back instantly.
R + B = Do a forward pole vault-jump
R + B (whilst holding backwards)  = Do a backward pole vault-jump
X (midair) = Do a downward slash that can stagger monster.
A (midair) = Shoot a pheromone bullet in midair. Since the firing's recoil pushes the players backward, this move can be use as an evasive maneuver when the players sense an attack coming from the monsters in front.

Trivia

  • The Insect Glaive's initial designs depicted it as either a spiked club, or a musical instrument.
  • The initial designs also show that the hunter can control a swarm of small Neopterons, like giant hornets, instead of a single large one.
  • Early scrapped armor designs for earlier games included using large bugs as shields and a suit of armor that resembles a beekeeping suit, which is covered in countless pill bugs. The wearer seems to be able to send out the pill bugs to roll and ram the enemies. Though these ideas were scrapped, the pill bugs live on in the form of the Insect Glaive (and the Konchu).
  • In each upgrade tier, the Kinsect must be fully fed first, before the Insect Glaive itself can be upgraded further.
  • Depending on what the player feeds the Kinsect, the player may be able to make a weapon with multiple elements, even of opposing ones like Fire and Water, on top of the Insect Glaive's abnormal status property.
  • The Kinsect's wings' color changes depending on the element it's tied to. For example, if the Kinsect's element is fire, the color will be red (if it has multiple elements, the color will be based on the one with the highest value).
  • When calling the Kinsect back, the process can be cancelled by sending it out to attack again. If the player repeats this multiple times it seems to confuse the Kinsect, which flies wildly for a while, ignoring any further commands.

Advantages/Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Has great speed and power.
  • Can attack fluidly like a Long Sword and as fast as the Dual Blades.
  • Has a jump move that can be used for a mounting attack or evasive actions.
  • Kinsect has multiple uses.
  • Can inflict status effects such as poison, paralysis, and sleep with ease.
  • Getting all three buffs can power up the hunter in speed, attack, and defense.
  • Mixing Kinsect essences can give Earplugs and extended combo attacks.

Disadvantages

  • The leaps made by the Insect Glaive do not grant invulnerability like a 'true evasion' does, so certain attacks of large monsters like Akantor can strike the wielder mid-air.
  • The lack of shield makes the wielder of the Insect Glaive reliant on evasion, placing the wielder in danger of attacks too close, fast, or wide to be dodged.
  • Though the leap attack itself ignores stagger threshold, every leap attack does not yield a guaranteed stagger from the monster every time.
  • Each mounted attack considerably increases the monster's resistance to any further mounted attacks. Therefore, the sole, rapid use of leap attacks to force the monster to a 'mounting/stagger headlock' within a long timespan has a significantly weaker damage output than unleashing combo attacks without mounted attacks within the same timespan.
  • Obtaining different essences from monsters and maintaining the effects can be quite the chore, especially when the wielder is facing agile monsters.
  • The buffs may be similar to the Hunting Horn's, but are shorter in duration than the latter's buffs and are personal only.

Gallery

Kinsects

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