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Your Weapon and You

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This blog is a series of notes about the weapons in MH3, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and tips on how to use them effectively. The idea came to me as a result of submitting a number of monster guides; I noticed that there were certain characteristics of each weapon that I kept drawing upon, so I want to collect all that information in one place. Suggestions/additions are welcome.

General

  • Many weapon attacks will leave you prone. However, you can avoid this by dodge-rolling immediately after the attack. You can then sheathe the weapon immediately after dodging.
  • Be aware of how your weapon affects fellow players. Be considerate, and be smart. Most of the time you don't want to knock people around. The one exception is to save them from an attack when prone, such as when they are cowering from a roar and you know the next attack will hit them.
    • The same applies to interrupts, speciall for hunters with a lance/hammer.


Great Sword

Stats

  • Movement Speed: Slow
  • Attack Speed: Very Slow to Medium
  • Attack Range: Medium/Long
  • Damage: High
  • Damage Type: Slash
  • Elemental/Status: Favors Physical
  • Sharpness/Sharpness Loss: Very Sharp/Slow (attacks) Fast (blocking)
  • Block/Block Damage: Yes/Some
  • Team Hit: Knockback

Notes

  • The GS's fastest attack is the draw attack.
  • You can create an unending combo chain of attacks by alternating between the overhead slash and the wide slash.
  • Generally least dependent on whetstones.
  • The GS favours one-off attacks. No gauge means not having to attack every N seconds to keep the gauge up, and no phial means you don't feel like you're wasting your weapon's potential.
  • While blocking with the GS is not as practical as with the lance, it can be the difference between taking a small token amount of damage and being burnt to a crisp by a fireball.
  • GS is the best weapon to use with the critical draw skill. Of all draw attacks the GS has the highest damage ratio. Draw into a charged attack for extra damage!
  • Avoid the upwards slash in crowded situations. Players generally don't enjoy being knocked around.

Sword and Shield

Stats

  • Movement Speed: Fast
  • Attack Speed: Very Fast
  • Attack Range: Short
  • Damage: Low
  • Damage Type: Slash/Blunt
  • Elemental/Status: Favors Status
  • Sharpness/Sharpness Loss: Sharp/Very fast rate
  • Block/Block Damage: Yes/Some
  • Team Hit: Interrupt

Notes

  • The spring attack is good at quickly closing the distance between you and your target.
  • Will eat whetstones like candy.
  • Being able to hold a torch while attacking lets you make quick work of Bnahabra and keeps Jaggi, Baggi, Ludroth, and Giggi at bay.
  • Needs research: How does holding a torch affect the shield bash? Does it add a fire element to the attack?
  • The shield bash can knock out Kelbi.
  • Can draw into shield stance.
  • Can use many items with the weapon drawn.

Lance

Stats

  • Movement Speed: Very Slow
  • Attack Speed: Medium/Fast
  • Attack Range: Long
  • Damage: Medium-Low
  • Damage Type: Slash/Blunt
  • Elemental/Status: Even
  • Sharpness/Sharpness Loss: Sharp/Normal rate
  • Block/Block Damage: Yes/None
  • Team Hit: Interrupt/Knockback

Notes

  • Keep moving while blocking to restore your stamina.
    • Attacking while blocking works too.
  • Paired with the Guard Up skill, lances are the best weapon to draw monsters into a trap.
  • The lance's shield will not protect you from the Gigginox's poison cloud.
  • Combine a jab with the backstep to emulate an attack similar to the long sword's fade slash.
  • Use the backstep after a triple jab to return to the shielded stance faster.
  • The triple jab combo will move you forward. Perform a backstep between combos to maintain your general position.
  • Problems with your jabs hitting team mates? Try the upwards jab.
  • Need to move away from a monster quickly? Triple backstep.
  • Use the dash attack to quickly close long distances.
  • Avoid jousting into other players. They generally don't enjoy being knocked around.
  • Joust is a surefire way of ruining a weapon's sharpness.
  • Lances and their jabs do a superb job at breaking horns.
  • Lancers gain a brief period of invulnerability immediately after blocking, similar to the evasion mechanics. For this reason it will appear to a hunter blocking the Uragaan fire burst that it has only two waves - In reality only two are blocked, the others are evaded.
  • While lances have lower overall damage, they can keep up with other weapons because they allow their wielders to stay in close range of their target.

Hammer

Stats

  • Movement Speed: Medium
  • Attack Speed: Medium/Fast
  • Attack Range: Short
  • Damage: High
  • Damage Type: Blunt
  • Elemental/Status: Favors Elemental
  • Sharpness/Sharpness Loss: Blunt/Slow (super smash), Normal (combo smashes)
  • Block/Block Damage: No/-
  • Team Hit: Knockback

Notes

  • Best elemental damage overall.
  • Hammers are great for stunning. Aim for the head.
  • Need Kelbi horns? This is your weapon. Draw attack + forward roll + regular overhead attack = KO'd Kelbi. Just don't use a hammer that is too powerful.
  • The side smash is good for knocking back minions.
  • Generally lowest overall sharpness.
  • Hammers are the second best choice for the critical draw skill, for the same reason as the great sword: Charged draw attack. If mobility while charging is an issue, hammers are the best choice.
  • If the superpound keeps getting interrupted after the swing but before the pound (either by monsters or by incosiderate players using a long sword - Yes, I am bitter) try the long windup attack. It leaves you prone after, but it is especially effective at generating multiple hits over a significantly large area. I have no concrete evidence to support this, but I also suspect that players gain a brief period of invulnerability during the early portion of this attack.
  • Time yout superpound to land after other players' attacks. You don't want to antagonize them by knocking them back before they get their hit in. Unless of course they keep interrupting your charged attack. Then feel free to exact revenge - They deserve it.

Bowgun

Stats

  • Movement Speed: Normal/Very Slow
  • Attack Speed: Medium/Slow
  • Attack Range: Ranged
  • Damage: Low/High
  • Damage Type: Blunt/Slash
  • Elemental/Status: Favours Elemental
  • Sharpness/Sharpness Loss: N/A
  • Block/Block Damage: Special
  • Team Hit: Special

Notes

  • The Bowgun lets you configure its parts to match your needs. Notable exceptions are the shard bowguns, which are one piece.
    • Your movement and attack speed will depend on the configuration used.
  • You can pick your ammo to target the monster's weaknesses.
  • You do not have to worry about sharpness.
  • Ammo other than Normal S 1 is not infinite.
  • Ammo use can be expensive. However, upgrades are less costly material/wise.
  • Some ammo such as Recovery S can aid your team mates.
  • For status effect runs, ask your teammates to bring ammo or mats. This will make you the most useful status effect teammate.

Switch Axe

Stats

  • Movement Speed: Normal/Slow
  • Attack Speed: Medium/Fast
  • Attack Range: Long
  • Damage: High
  • Damage Type: Slash
  • Elemental/Status: Favors Elemental
  • Sharpness/Sharpness Loss: Sharp/Normal (Axe), Fast (Sword)
  • Block/Block Damage: No/-
  • Team Hit: Knockback

Notes

  • The rising slash usually has a lower chance to bounce than regular axe attacks.
  • Of all the melee attacks, the switch axe's rising slash has the highest reach. It is also capable of knocking a weakened hovering wyvern out of the air.
  • Pestered by Bnahabra? Use the rising slash. It not only has great frontal and vertical reach, but it can also hit monsters behind you on the descent arc.
  • Take advantage of the sword-mode weapon draw.
  • The SA favours burst attacks. Deplete the phial, recharge it, wait for it to be full again. Rinse repeat.
  • You won't make many friends if you keep knocking players around with the upwards swing in axe mode, or if you interrupt charges with the axe frenzy or the horizontal sword slash. Make sure that you have enough room to not hit anyone with the upswing, and try to use the more compact vertical slash in sword mode.
  • Switch axes tend to overswing underwater.

Long Sword

Stats

  • Movement Speed: Normal
  • Attack Speed: Fast/Very Fast
  • Attack Range: Medium/Long
  • Damage: Average
  • Damage Type: Slash
  • Elemental/Status: Favors Elemental
  • Sharpness/Sharpness Loss: Very Sharp/Fast rate
  • Block/Block Damage: No/-
  • Team Hit: Interrupt

Notes

  • Use the fade/moving slashes where you would use an attack/dodge combo with other weapons.
  • Level up your weapon's gauge? Spirit blade, spirit blade, spirit blade, step slash.
  • You can prolong your gauge's lifetime by connecting any regular attack (this includes fade/moving slashes and draw slash).
  • Once activated, the white and yellow power levels on your blade will not fade even after the spirit gauge drains. This persists until you raise the power level to red. If you know that you will not be able to connect hits consistently over a long time, keeping your blade at yellow will maximize your damage output. Only use the red blade as a finisher.
  • The LS favours constant attacks. If you wait too long you risk losing your accumulated gauge power.
  • Longswords have the greatest evasive distance over short time. Consider any weapon attack followed by an evasive maneuver. With the moving slashes these two actions put you two siderolls away.
  • If you use a long sword without consideration for fellow players, then you are no friend of mine. Why do you need to stand behind two other players so that they both get interrupted? Monsters are big, and you move relatively fast. Move to a different position!
    • On the other hand, of the advantages of the LS's wild swings is that they hit a wide range of targets on monsters. It is actually easier to break Gigginox jaws and belly with this type of attacks.

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