Welcome to Discussion of the Week: Sword and Shields!

This week, as I'm sure you can guess, we'll be covering Sword and Shields. These, along with Greatswords, are arguably one of the most definitive weapons in the MH series as a whole. As before, the discussion in the comments can take any direction, but I'll be posing some questions to try and get the ball rolling.

2ndGen-Sword and Shield Equipment Render 001


The Sword and Shield, also known as SnS, were first introduced in Monster Hunter. These weapons are small and accompanied by a shield that allows the Hunter to block most attacks. Although they deal relatively low damage in one strike, they are very quick, and it is possible to perform fairly long combos. In Monster Hunter 2 it became possible to use items while the Sword and Shield is drawn. Many Sword and Shields are infused with Status or Elemental effects (Poison, Stun, Sleep or Fire, Water, etc...) that help to compensate for their low attack. In third Generation games, they gained the ability to K.O monsters with a shield bash.

Specific Games

Monster Hunter: ?
Monster Hunter Freedom: I think most people agree that SnS are certainly top-tier in this game, if not completely broken. Unfortunately they've not really approached this level of glory again since...
Monster Hunter 2: The 'use items while the weapon is out' thing was introduced, although I can't help but feel it wasn't a massive change. It just made them better at support, really.

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite: Again, unfortunately over-shadowed and out-damaged by most other weapon types. On the brightside, there was a good end-game elemental SnS for every occaision, and even the Midnight Blades were usable (if stupidly named - there's only one sword!). The Ukanlos SnS was probably the worst of the Ukanlos weapons, though.

Monster Hunter 3: Sword and Shields underwater for the first time! And of course they could KO for the first time with the new shield bash attack. But did they get better and smoother in this game, or was it a step back? No matter what, though, the Shield Bash KO made that Kelbi Horn mission easier.

Monster Hunter Portable 3rd: I don't think there was anything new added from Tri. Did anyone use much other than the Jinouga SnS for Deviljho and the Alatreon SnS for everything else?

Monster Hunter 3 G: Hahahah, Bracchidios SnS. People sure do love that Slime Element.

Monster Hunter Frontier: There are lots of people who understand better than me how SnS are modified in Frontier. The new sliding move is cool as hell, though.

Video Tutorial

Monster Hunter Tri - Sword and Shield Tutorial06:16

Monster Hunter Tri - Sword and Shield Tutorial

Title MH3: Sword and Shield Tutorial
by SocialDissonance


  • What monsters do you find Sword and Shields work well against?
    • Have you ever tried them against something on a whim, and found it to work surprisingly well?
  • What monsters do SnS really not work on? (I'm thinking Lao-Shan Lung or Shen Gaoren, because you'd loose Sharpness quickly and it's hard to get the damage output up high enough to kill them.
  • What game do you most enjoy using Sword and Shields in?
  • What's your favourite Sword and Shield to use, for any reason?
  • Which would you say the best-looking Sword and Shield from any game is? Suggest it, and I'll upload the image to this blog.
  • How do you feel Sword and Shields compare to other weapons? Do you enjoy using them?
  • Another weapon, another naming controversy. They're known in Tri as 'Sword and Shield' (I think), that's what we've always called them, yet in Unite the game just calls them 'Swords'. Nevermind!

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