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I've finally done it, the one task that would actually let me call myself a true hunter for Monster Hunter. I've finally taken down my first Rathian. And let me tell you something, I went prepared.
First things first, I had to prepare my armor. My useful Ludroth armor was nice, but it's horrid fire resistance was a bit of a warning sign. Digging in the armory, I found that the only armor with decent Fire Resistance was the Qurupeco set. Nothing hard to get, in fact, I only need one more part to make it. So a quicky hunt with my Spiral Lance (see A Royal Pain, hehehe...) got me the armor set. Unfortunately, I only had enough Armor Spheres at the time to upgrade it once, but that was enough. Thanks to it's Defense Up (S), it had nearly the same defense as my ol' Ludroth set, which was upgraded twice.
Next, I had to prepare a weapon. I had been using lances a lot, but I decided that it was both a little TOO defensive and a tad slow. I heard that Rathians like to move a lot. That scratched out Great Swords too, even though I could've easily made one with Water Element to get my point across. Swords and Shields? To short ranged, and hammers weren't a whole lot better in that department, and would leave me in a dangerous spot on the Rathian all the time (though in hind-sight, there's very few areas on a Rathian that AREN'T dangerous.) Bowguns? Out of practice, I spend too much time in Moga Woods, which is not economically friendly to Gunners. Maybe a Long Sword? Sure, all I had was one, and I killed a Royal Ludroth nicely with it while practicing, but I still couldn't get the hang of hitting with it's sweet spot. Switch Axe? All that's left.
So I looked at the two Switch Axe's I had, a Bone Axe+, and that lightcrystal axe, I can't remember the name. Sure, that second one was nice, with some good power and a Dragon Phial for sword mode, but its small green sharpness put me off. Bone Axe+ wasn't much better, until I noticed that I only needed one more Barroth Claw to upgrade it to an Assault Axe. Grabbin' my lance (the only weapon I feel comfortable hunting a Barroth with,) I went on a Barroth Hunt. Twenty minutes later (yeah, I'm slow...) I had my claw, and upgraded my axe. To my surprise, I already had all the Barroth parts and Paralyze Sacs needed to upgrade it one more time. Only my zenny was running low. Luckily, smart me had a mass of Stormrender Seeds (or whatever they're called,) growing in the Farm. Just needed to spend some time until they finished growing some. Got plenty of Zenny, and rushed to upgrade. Ah, such a sweet axe, the Assault Axe+, with it's Paralyze Phial (which I haven't the foggiest idea how much Paralyze Attribute it provides while in sword mode.) I was now ready. Oops, forget decorations. Too late, already in the quest.
Took me a bit to find her at first, I didn't have Cha-cha wearing his Bunny Mask. And when I found her, I somehow missed with BOTH Paint Balls I was given. She now became a very interesting hunt. Now, with my Axe, and Cha-cha's leet distraction abilities, I focused on her tail. Not only was it a sub-quest, getting rid of that poison inducing weapon, or at least shortening it, was my priority. Chased her around a couple of areas before I could finally do it. Next, well, I shifted to a more offensive style, she was acting more like an over-grown Kut-Ku than I thought she would, so I got risky. Payed off though, I broke whatever it is you break when you attack the head. She was getting really t'd off at me, slipping into rage mode and taking flight a lot more than she used to. She was even doing that huge explosive fireball shot (which, amusingly, kept frying Cha-cha.) Ya know, the one that looks like she launched an over-sized Clust Shot from her mouth. I really enjoyed my axe when she was flying, it's great vertical attack reach actually smashed her down a couple of times, letting me go to town with sword mode on her, though I wasn't really aiming, and ended up breaking a set of wing claws on accident. Never did paralyze her. Ah well. When she finally limped off, I chased her around, and killed her in Area 7. All in all, I was rather proud of myself, using only a couple of the Mega Potions I brought along. I felt like a true Hunter at last, and I even unlocked Cha-cha's Torch Mask to boot.
I also managed to down my first Lagiacrus, though since that's a Third-Gen monster, it didn't feel as big of a deal as taking down that Rathian. Ah... good times. Next up, time to get my first Rathalos kill... when I unlock him, of course.