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#1 Posted by Hestilllives19 (1253 posts) -

I want to preface this by saying I'm new to the Monster Hunter franchise. As I've been playing Bow mostly and just hit HR 50ish, I'm starting to try out some different melee builds (Hammer and Duel Blades so far) but don't really know what I'm doing yet so I'm interested to find out what others around here are using. I'll list my main Bow Build below.

  • Doom Shaft (working on Hazak Valos II to replace due to higher Dragon), Legia Snowfletcher, Anja Arch III, Flying Kadachi Strikebow, and Water Shot III.
  • Rath Soul Helm Beta (2 Gem, Critical Boost + Rathalos Mastery)
  • Kaiser Mail Beta (2 Gem, Special Ammo Boost x2)
  • Kaiser Vambraces Beta (1 T3 Gem, Weakness Exploit x1)
  • Rath Soul Coil Alpha (Piercing Shots + Rathalos Mastery)
  • Diablos Nero Greaves (1 T2 Gem, Normal Shots)
  • Exploiter Charm II (Weakness Exploit x2)
  • My decorations aren't great at the moment, it's mostly stacking Elemental Damage or resist depending on Monster/Bow. But ideally I'll get a Mighty Bow, Weakness Exploit, Normal Shot or Power Shot decorations soon and can vary the build a bit with those.

As a side note I also run a Mushroomancher set with Wide Range for Tempered stuff that I start with and quick swap in a tent with preset loadouts, and I also keep Dash Juice, etc on me. This build gives me an extremely hard hitting Dragon Piercer while also allowing me to hit pretty hard on Normal and Power Shots due to both the Normal Shots perk and Rathalos Mastery and exploiting x2-3 Weakness of the Monsters in any given fight. It's basically a mixed best of both world's between the two dominant Bow playstyles currently, of just Raw Dragon Piercer hitting using Cera Coilbender but not doing much in regards to Normal/Power Shots or Pushing Elemental Rathalos but not doing anything with Dragon Piercer at all. If I can just pick up the Mighty Bow Decoration, my Crits will jump dramatically due to that extra charge.

So how are your builds looking? I'd love to see a Fire and Ice Duel Blade Build, since that's something I've very interested in.

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#2 Edited by pyrodactyl (4221 posts) -

For me, end game builds are ranked on 3 criterias. Here they are from least important to most important:

-Is it good at making you not die

-Does it feel good to play

-Does it look good

I have 2 main builds at the moment. One flexible hammer build based on crits, elemental damage, custom resistances, having 200 HP and sick sliding attacks. It also looks cool as hell. Weakness exploit 3, health boost 3, focus 3, rath set bonus 1 for more elemental damage, affinity sliding, any elemental or status effect resistance 3 and knock back prevention 1. I can swap out elemental resistance for more elemental damage or faster heals depending on the situation.

The other set is based on maximum sharpness and crits. It's my switch axe build and it's definitely less flexible but also looks great and is a ton of fun.

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#3 Edited by matiaz_tapia (669 posts) -

I'm having lot of success with a mixed Uragaan Bazel beta set and different types of Lances. But still building for efficiency. I like keeping an attack +3 charm and I'm at the point where I should try and find something more suitable.

I played most of the game as a Glaive main. Using several builds mainly based on Rathian and Rathalos including the variations ( used the rathian sets to get rathalos sets). I have elemental glaives for every occasion.

At this point I'm still not sure what I'm going with for the end game. Augmenting items seem rare enough that I need to come to a decision soon. ( I'm HR48)

In part, The glaive just destroys any flying wyvern, but I'm not generally having any fun when I had to deal with Brute wyverns. Lance solves that problem for me and the Uragaan set makes that even better. (But the metallic effect on the Uragaan set is so damn ugly...)

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#4 Posted by Ares42 (4359 posts) -

@hestilllives19: Dragon Piercer does not gain any effect from elemental damage, so mixing the two makes no sense. Didn't realize that myself before I was hitting late game as well. My current DP build is using an assortment of parts to make sure I have Quick Sheath 3, Crit Draw 3, Ammo boost 2, Piercing shots and non-elemental boost and my damage more than doubled from when I was matching elemental bows and using rathalos set like you're doing. Once I find the right gems I'm looking to fit Crit Boost in there somehow, but other than that I'm mostly looking for defensive stuff at this point (Health boost is insanely valuable if you can get it).

If you decide to go down the elemental bow + power/rapid shots path you should be aware of the fact that elemental damage has a cap. I've found that stacking elemental damage skills above 3/4 usually gives little to no extra damage at all. If you look at right numbers while equipping skills you can see how much it's gonna add. Also, Mighty Bow does very little for damage outside of rapid shot spamming. The only real benefit it gives is that you get to shoot 1-2-3-3 instead of 1-2-3. Charging to level 3 gives about a 5% damage increase for DP, and nothing to power shots as far as I can tell.

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#5 Posted by ichthy (1369 posts) -

@matiaz_tapia: I've also been using mixed Uragaan with Dragonking head and Nerg waist. It makes breaking horns super.

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#6 Posted by pyrodactyl (4221 posts) -

@ares42: making a lvl 3 health boost pendant is fairly easy and totally worth the weekly reward if you can't get a hang of a rathian and nergigante gem.

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#7 Edited by Ares42 (4359 posts) -

@pyrodactyl: Ye, it's mostly about finding the right source though. Been using some metal or ingot gloves to get my health up since the charm slot is so flexible. Biggest problem with the DP build is that without some essential gems you're bound to very specific pieces of gear.

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#8 Edited by Hestilllives19 (1253 posts) -

@ares42: Oh I know all of that. The thing is a pure Dragon Piercer Crit Draw build is extremely weird to use, and kind of terrible against a vast number of Monsters like Kirin, Great Giros, Kula Ya-Ku, Tzitzi Ya-Ku, Legiana, and Odogaron. Diablos and Rathalos/Rathian are also difficult at times to constantly line up Dragon Piercer. My mixed build actually stacks up pretty well when just comparing Dragon Piercer Shots, hitting for around 95-105 compared to likely 110-120 I could pump out with that build (Elements DP is garbage at only around 65, making it rather useless), but there is no doubt that build will out perform me on something like a Bazelgeuse, Barroth, or Vaal where you can just stand and deliver DP after DP. But for most fights, it's a mix of both DP and Normal/Power Shots. A full on Elements Build with Normal/Power Shot boost can again hit like a truck in that department, hitting for upwards of 50-60 per Crit and here I only hit for around 40-50, but that Crit Draw build only hits for like 30-35. It allows me to adjust to each Monster a bit better than going all in on either Build since Crit Boost (again I know it's only a 5% increase) and Weakness Exploit helps both, with Special Ammo and Piercing increasing Dragon Piercer, and Crit Element and Normal Shots increasing my Combos. Again, I know that both of the other builds excel at killing half of the Monsters faster/easier than this build, but it's also stands to reason that I can kill the other half better than the other Bow Build as well, making mine a truly middle of the road good at everything type of build. What it lacks right now stamina boosts, but that is easily made up by using Mushroomancher buffs when needed which are super cheap and using Dash Juice when the Stamina buff runs out and if running Solo or 2 player using Coral Orchestra.

I could probably build a Crit Draw Build now pretty easily and focus those other Builds on Elements Builds and then just using the playstyle of each as needed, but honestly at this point I would have to farm for a Cera Coilbender and a few other things that I would rather just focus on a Duel Blades build before I stop playing all together for awhile, and this build works very well in the current environment even up to the few Tempered Elder Dragons I've fought. I'm kinda at the point where I just want to play to help friends, rather than do anything for myself anymore.

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#9 Edited by matiaz_tapia (669 posts) -

@ichthy: That might be a good idea! The only waste on that set is that obligatory lightning defence on the helmet ( and good crit and extra damage is always good). Still farming for that Uragaan ruby to start making the partbreaker chest piece tho.

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#10 Posted by Ares42 (4359 posts) -

@hestilllives19: Are you saying that without a Coilbender, non-elemental boost and only +50% affinity vs weak parts vs +100% affinity to everything you're only doing 15% less damage ? I can identify with wanting to change weapons though. Bow has been my second main build, and I learned a lot of new stuff figuring it out which heavily revitalized my interest in the game. Before that I was focusing on a Dragon Hammer build using Vaal Hazak armor with Peak Performance and regen. Was pretty fun, but being my first build I obviously made quite a few bad assumptions about how things worked.

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#11 Posted by indure (104 posts) -

I am maining insect glaive. Striving to put together:

Dragonking eye patch

Xeno chest b

Xeno gloves a

Nerigante waist a

Xeno legs a

With a xeno glaive.

Not sure what's best for bows, but the xeno set's bonus seems really helpful for bows as well.

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#12 Edited by Hestilllives19 (1253 posts) -

@ares42: I didn't have the ability to utilize Non-Elemental Boost until I got that decoration yesterday so that wasn't really much of a factor, and using Anja Arch III (Bow I use the most, and my first two Shafts are going towards Affinity) at 240 the base damage is rather close to Cera (which I still don't have yet due to parts, Diablos/Black Diablos are my nemesis in this game and I hate fighting them due to their illogical hitboxes). And when Affinity Booster is up, you pretty much Crit all the way through except maybe 1-2 shots on a 12 shot Head to Tail. All that being said, now that I do have Non-Elemental Boost I probably will try to craft the Cera, since I feel like that is more or less the make it or break it decoration for that build, and it will be great to utilize it for certain Monsters like Bezel or Vaal (who you literally put up your weapon to run behind most of the fight anyways). It does however feel like a massive waste to use Rath Soul Coil until I get a Piercing Shots Decoration because outside of Piercing Shots that Armor kinda sucks since it doesn't have a Decorations slot and Windproof is probably one of the worst perks in the game because it doesn't even really work, and figuring out an entire new set and stuff for a Crit Draw build seems a bit like a pain, though I probably have already built half the stuff for it that I use in my other build or will use it in crafting this one. Either way, I'm getting to the point that if anything else is out I'll probably be drastically slowing down Monster Hunter play soon, but Ni No Kuni looks like the next game I'm interested in and it's a bit away.

Edit: So for some actual numbers, I did some testing now that I was able to obtain a few better Decorations and built the Cera Coilbender.

Using Cera, Sheath Charm III, Dragonking, Kaiser Mail Beta, Bezel Vambraces Beta, Rath Soul Coil Alpha, and Diablos Nero Greaves Beta with Attack, Tenderizer, Critical, and Elementless here are the following numbers (all using Power Coatings).

  • Charged Normal Shot x2 - Max Crit 40, but the vast majority of shots were 31.
  • Power Shot - Max Crit 31 (probably weird luck, thought I tested about 20 separate shots, without a single 40).
  • Charged x2 Stun - Ticks of 4.
  • Dragon Piercer - 113 on Draw, mostly 88 without using Crit Draw.

Using Anja Arch III, Exploiter Charm II, Rath Soul Helm Beta, Kaiser Mail Beta, Xenojiva Claws Alpha, Rath Soul Coil Alpha, and Diablos Nero Greaves Beta with Attack, Tenderizer, and Blaze here are the following numbers (all using Power Coatings).

  • Charged Normal Shot x2 - Max Crit 52, a lot of shots were 39 (probably 40/60).
  • Power Shot - Max Crit 52, but some shots still hit for 39 (half and half).
  • Charged x2 Stun - Ticks of 4.
  • Dragon Piercer - 104 often, but 78 on occasion.

So basically, Cera Crit Draw vs Anja Crit Element means about 1130 vs 936 on DP (and Cera's took longer since it had to Draw) and 532 vs 754 on every Charge, Sidestep, R2, O, Sidestep, R2, O Combo.

For fun I even tried a Cera unlocked build which was pretty terrible, 105/81 DP (Mostly 81 due to it's low Affinity), and 42/32 Charged Normal Shots. Problem is most Ice Weak Monsters don't work very well with DP, so Legia is way better due to a much higher Normal/Power Shot Combo Damage. One interesting thing I noticed is that for whatever reason, that -20% vs -30% where Anja doesn't really have much of a problem hitting Crits also seems to be where Cera can't hit them at all. Conversely Legia and especially Kadachi seem like they can't miss a Crit on a Weak Spot. Disappointingly though, I'm told Shaft Streamstones only upgrade Affinity 10% on the first try, then 5% thereafter, making you use all 3 slots on Affinity if you want to fully remove Anja's negative Affinity. I also noticed Legia doing really well on Normal/Power Shots (as high as Anja just more frequent Crits) and Doom Shaft hitting as hard as Anja on DP (at 240 base that makes sense). I'm think Daora, Hazek, and Rathslinger might be some of the better Bows for this type of Elemental Build after this testing, since you want high base Attack, High Element Stacking (at or above 240 so you can get it over 300 with Decorations), and as good of a base Affinity as possible. And Gem/Augmentation Slots are a huge bonus. Which makes those should make Daora, Hazek, and Rathslinger 3 of the best Bows possible.

Note: While fighting a Barroth, I was routinely hitting for low 60's with Anja on Normal Charged x2 Shots.

Edit 2: After finishing my Hazek Dragon Bow I can confirm that it is an absolute animal for this type of build like I thought it would be. Hits for 99 in DP shots and 47/37 (mostly 47) on Normal/Special. And still has Normal Elder Seal, so it should be very helpful going after most of the Elder Dragons. Even though it hits a bit less than Anja, it has an extra T2 Gem slot so I can run Stamina Surge as well as Crit and Weakness Exploit, and it hits Crits more frequently due to the higher Affinity.

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#13 Posted by TobbRobb (6583 posts) -

I've pretty much only used Odogaron+Dragonking eyepatch ever since I hit High Rank. It's just a good general purpose setup that minimizes sharpening time and does generally pretty good damage. And most of the weaknesses I can get around just by playing better or using mantles and consumables. Also looks pretty cool as long as I have helmet set to not show :P.

I would make a different build or specialize harder, but I swap weapons so often and it's kind of a pain to switch out all the gear (I know about loadouts). But yeah, it's nice to have armor that just works.

I am looking into the Vaal Hazak stuff though, kinda want to make a lifesteal build and that's a cool set too.

Sometimes when I've helped out on low rank quests with a friend I'll be a cute lil butterfly. That's a good time!

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#14 Edited by BoOzak (2595 posts) -

I got Nerg's gear and the eyepatch. I mostly use Extermination's Edge (Long Sword) and Vice. (Insect Glaive) I just got some Kirin armour since I heard you need to fight a tempered one at HR 49. (41 atm)

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#15 Posted by whur (216 posts) -

Honestly your gear changes so much when you get better decorations, assuming you continue to play that long. One good decoration drop could change your entire build including decorations that give you set bonuses.

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#16 Posted by Strangestories (424 posts) -

I main great sword and SnS but I’ll just mention my GS build.

Purgation’s Atrocity

6x attack boost (just need another gem for 7x)

3x weakness exploit

3x Focus (I know whether Focus is still good for GS is contentious, but you can’t just shoulder charge out of everything. You still have to charge attacks at some point. Focus also means that when I want to get out a decent amount of the full combo, I actually have time to)

4x defense up (just cause I could with the free gem slots)

1x free meal skill (thing with 25% chance that you won’t use a consumable potion

2x Dragon damage just to get every bit of damage out of the GS

I know it’s not optimal yet, but I’m just happy that I can hit Rathians in the head with the true charge for 634 damage.

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#17 Edited by AtheistPreacher (106 posts) -

I play three weapons in this game: Lance (my main for most of the series), Hammer, and Bow. In all cases I tend to prefer defensive and utility skills over damage skills, with the exception of weakness exploit, since that is a lot of return (+50% crit) for a rather small investment. My basic thought process is that aside from 15-minute elder dragon investigations (which I can certainly do, but not always comfortably), I never really feel any time pressure, so I don't really feel a need to kill things any faster than I do already. I'd rather have skills that keep me alive or change the gameplay in a fun way.

The following universal skills tend to show up on most or all of my builds: Weakness Exploit (already mentioned), Stun Resistance (being stunned sucks and will get you killed against powerful monsters, and I usually have three 1-slots to spare to gem this in), for melee weapons one level of Flinch Free, which keeps me from being staggered by small teammate attacks (especially crucial for Lance), and lastly (and again for melee weapons) Handicraft if the weapon I'm using will seriously benefit from the extra sharpness.

For Lance, maxing out the Guard skill is a must for me; doing so decreases chip damage through blocks, decreases stamina usage from blocks, and (most crucially) decreases knockback from blocks (and too much knockback means you won't be able to counter). There are 1-slot decorations for Guard, but they're very rare. Beyond that one crucial skill, it will depend on what lance I'm using. I make frequent use of a paralyze lance that requires awaken when I'm playing in a group; I sometimes throw some levels into evade window, because that's always nice to have.

For Hammer, the only indispensable skill for me is Earplugs. Maxing that gives the hammer so many more opportunities to get big combos on the head that it's just disgusting. Playing Hammer without Earplugs just seems crazy to me. Beyond that, I like Evade Window, since dodging is the Hammer's main defensive maneuver. I'll also often gem in affinity sliding (+30% affinity for a short time after sliding), since the slope attack spam with the Hammer is seriously hack.

For Bow, Constitution and Stamina Surge (but especially the former) are pretty crucial to allow you to keep on firin' without a lot of down time waiting for your stamina to replenish. Also key is getting your hands on a "Mighty Bow" decoration (they're pretty rare) that will give your Bow a whole extra charge level ("Bow Charge Plus," same skill as the Legiana set bonus). Beyond that, I actually really love Mushromancer for the Bow, a three-point skill which will allow you to consume mushrooms for heals/buffs. Mandragoras become max potions (and you can carry ten of them), Devil's Blight will max your stamina and temporarily cut stamina use by half, Blue Mushrooms will become potions (but instant-use, no waiting for your health to slowly fill), Nitroshrooms and Parashrooms will become offensive and defensive buffs. The problem is that Fungiform decorations are very rare, and you'll probably want two of them, along with the Dober Vambraces Beta, which have a point of Stamina Surge, a point of Mushromancer, and two 1-slots.

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#18 Posted by matiaz_tapia (669 posts) -

Ok I think I finally got mine. Now it is NOT an all damage affinity build like most people's, but I really liked the pink rathian set and I wanted to find a way to make it work somehow. So here:

-Royal Burst (GL)

-Artillery Charm III

-Rocksteady Mantle/ Vitality Mantle.

-Rath Heart set Beta with an alpha helmet.

With decorations the skills end up as: Poison attack 3, Artillery 3, Evade Extender 3, Tool Specialist 3, Windproof 1, Healthboost 1 and handicraft 1.

Now this is not the most damage efficient set like I mentioned, but tool assists means that you get to use the rocksteady mantle often enough to make up for it. Evade extender allows you to easily flank and you'd be doing most of the damage with artillery thanks to the burst part of the royal burst. Plus easy poison.

In general I'm happy I made something out of what I wanted rather than what the game wanted me to funnel me into for efficiency...But I do have the usual builds anyways to counter each elder dragon. So naturally I'll have attack 7 or elemental 5 depending on the elder. Tho for Vaal Hazak I made something that is all about health regen:

-Catastrophe's light ( IG)

-wyrmsbane charm II

-Full Vaal Hazak beta set, alpha helmet.

-A kinsect that does dragon element and creates health dust.

With decorations it ends up as: Dragon Attack 5, Defence boost 4, Health boost 3, peak performance 3, effluvia resistance 3, recovery speed 2, recovery up 1, attack 1.

Don't have but one attack gem, but getting more would have me replace the defence and recovery up ones for them. Leaving them on 6 or 7 if i also take out a health gem. The feet can then be replaced for "death stench beta" for handicraft and an extra slot. Peak performance 3 is maintained thanks to the Vaal regen skill and the health clouds( worth an attack 7 boost without the affinity). It's a lot of potential raw and elemental damage without affinity, but you are trying to do a lot of mounting damage with the IG, so you can't make much use of weakness exploit.

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#19 Posted by ichthy (1369 posts) -

I've been tooling around with a charged shelling GL build. Magda GL (the only lvl 4 Long) with Focus and Artillery. The nice thing about that build is that you're already at max DPS with those two skills, since nothing else boosts shelling damage aside from Felyne Bombadier, so with that you can play around with a bunch of defensive skills. I've gemmed in stuff like Stun Resistence, Divine Protection, and can swap elemental resists as needed.

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#20 Posted by Strangestories (424 posts) -

Friend I was playing with got a tenderizer gem (weakness exploit) on a non-tempered bagel goose today. One of those gems would allow me to switch out a piece of gear for something more appealing. Needless to say I was slightly salty.

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#21 Edited by Hestilllives19 (1253 posts) -

@strangestories: That's the crazy thing about Gems, they can completely alter builds if you have good ones and make some builds insane, so it might be awhile (that's if most don't give up before then) before we can have most Decorations available and then it will be about stacking Beta Armors with decent perks and LV2 Gem slots and going after a good cosmetic look at the same time. I'm already starting to get that way with a Crit, 2 Tenderizers, and Elementless on the Bow. Though I'm really looking for things like Mighty Bow, Piercing Shots, Normal Shots, and Spread Shots so that I can start to vary my Bow Build and start going for the cosmetic look while being functional.

At least my current build is rather final at the moment now that I have all my Armor Augmented and my Bow game is in a rather great place.

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#22 Posted by TheHT (15860 posts) -

It's not a full build, but holy crapoli Evade Extender lvl 3 + Constitution (currently lvl. 4) is insanely fun. Using a longsword, I'm just zipping around fights without any concern for stamina. Evading is faster than sprinting, I can catch up to and attack limping away monsters like it's nothing, and fights like odagaron are even more of a blast when you're as (if not more) fast and zippy.

I didn't build the rest of gear for damage or anything (just fashion), but I've specialized sets for my characters when I really need that kinda thing. This is just for fun, and good lord is it a blast. Feels almost like I broke this character's movement, it's awesome.

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#23 Edited by Zurv (1012 posts) -

Here are my main 2 builds i normal use - One for Greatsword and one for sword and shield:

first, that is a sexy cat :)

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#24 Edited by Vortextk (944 posts) -


All end game sets as of kulve tarroth/dante equipment. I haven't played since then. 430 hours really does you in when you look at stacks of games and mountains of steam games that you want to play. Some of the builds were just fun, designing elemental SnS builds. I'm sure you can do raw builds that are just as good or better. A lot of them you can add in or get rid of earplugs too. I have like 80 builds in the game, most are just slight variations of made for val haazak(miasma gems) or with or without earplugs or stuff like that though.

I didn't even want to get the game until PC, now I don't know how much I want to play on pc. So much time invested. Console or pc though I'll probably get back to it at some point.

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#25 Posted by Zurv (1012 posts) -

@vortextk said:


I didn't even want to get the game until PC, now I don't know how much I want to play on pc. So much time invested. Console or pc though I'll probably get back to it at some point.

haha... the same here. I never played monster hunter before but i was going to give it a try when it comes to the PC. Somehow i put like 500 hours in. That said, it gave me some reason to play something on the xbox one X (and a 77" oled.) I have a bad feeling i'm going to play it again on the PC. The game is totally pointless (and i'm a big story focused gamer) but hunting monsters is fun and the grind gives me things to do. (*for me* this has been a stunningly crappy year for games... almost nothing....)

You might want to come back for the lunstra gear. The set itself is "ok" but BILLIONS of gem slots. If you played so many hours you most likely have the gems you need. :)

There is also a few more days for arch temptered val. If is different from the old set. (same set bonus tho) It would be worth getting it for atleast the hands as they have 2-3 dragon attack on them. You can also get a transmog for the death set from him/her/it. :)

i still have yet to see an attack gem or a maximum might!

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