A simple to use “guide” to provide new players with some orientation about Monster Hunter Rise armor-skills
If you are a veteran, you do not need this.
This guide is directed towards new players who are experiencing a hard time to wrap their head around armor-skills-builds, or just want to skip that part of the game entirely.
Veteran’s will gain nothing from this “guide”, and I am seeing this more as a foundation to help new players and beginners with providing some orientation which goes beyond “slapping a random meta build you find on the internet on your character without actually understanding how it works“.
That written, I start this guide very biased with my own dislikes towards this – why you may ask? – because I am a player who thinks that no one is helped if you just copy & paste what is considered a “meta build” for various reasons.
Main reason for me is: you skip an essential part of the game.
While it is your right, you rob yourself of an experience which makes the feeling of the gameplay whole.
Second reason is: the way how it affects multiplayer is no good. About those mentioned reasons I go much more in-depth in my other guides which are reviewing several multiplayer related issues in the past.
Therefore, I will not give you “everything“, nor will I explain “everything from the very basics“. I give you pointers, directions, tips which are all based on my very personal experience which I personally consider good. That also means that maybe, from your point of view, nothing of this is good. Which is still good because it will give you at least a different point of view you can use at your own convenience.
If you are new to the game, please check out my guide for beginners
I welcome every new player to the beloved game franchise of Monster Hunter and I hope and wish for you the best experience you can have as a beginner!
How this Guide Works
In this “guide” I will provide for each weapon type two suggestions on how to approach making a comfortable to use armor set.
The armor sets suggestions are meant to be
comfortable and easy to use.
- that means they will not be something considered “min/maxing”
- that means they are not necessarily the “best in slot”
- that means they are most likely spited on “by a big chunk of the community”
- that means you will always have room to improve them to your personal liking
For the matter of visualisation I am going to use screenshots using the https://www.mhrbuilder.com/ – [mhrbuilder.com] tool. By all means, this guide has no intention to promote that specific tool beyond the fact that it is most convenient for this guide’s look and feel.
You still can use this guide without using the mentioned website.
I am just clarifying here that a lot of screenshots you might see are made using that tool.
About Sunbreak Expansion
This guide was written before the release of the Sunbreak expansion for Monster Hunter Rise.
With release of the expansion, it is only natural that the builds which were mentioned here as “endgame builds” might no longer be valid, taking the new content into consideration. However, the lessons you can take from this guide will remain valid, as with new equipment only the effects will change, but not the basic principles on how to use them. Keep that in mind when you are reading this and you are looking for guidance in regards of the expansion content.
Thank you for your understanding and happy hunting!
Recommended Video for Beginners
I know nowadays you have Paradise, Arrekz, Rurikhan, Team Dark Side and whatsonot. But no matter the time, gaijin hunter – [youtube.com] will always have a special place in my Monster Hunter heart. Is it the fact that he shares his passion with his daughter and the world without care for monetisation? That he was one of the earliest YouTuber to show the world the joy of Monster Hunter? The fact you can feel his genuine passion for games throughout the videos? Whatever it is: if you are a player who is not native to Japan, you should give gaijin hunter a try. You will be surprised by his videos. If it was not for him, I would not enjoy Monster Hunter the way I do.
So mayhaps I am a gaijin huntress…?
Recommended Talisman 3-2-1
My armor-sets builds sugesstions I am going to share here are all built without taking any talisman into consideration. That is simply because it is impossible to tell what good talisman you have or do not have.
However, I recommend one which has a 3-2-1 decoration slot setup, as in: it provides a slot for a level 3 decoration, a level 2 decoration and a level 1 decoration for maximum flexibility.
That does not mean a 2-2-1 or even a 1-1-1 talisman has to be bad. It is just the simple thought: the more different decorations you can slot in, the easier it is to build around that.
Please take also skills into consideration which can be used within many builds with great impact.
Just to name a few skills which are great and fit with many builds as supporting skills, regardless which direction the actual armor-set-skill-build is heading towards. If a build does not show any of those skills, it means that the other skills I consider more important at that point. But it is still worth bringing along talismans which support those so you can swap out skills at your convenience.
A few examples of talismans which I consider all great on their own, despite they do not follow the “mainstream meta scheme” which dictates a weakness-and-attack-orientated talisman usage.
Make sure not to forget the melding between hunts ~ among all the other things
How to use Your talismans with these Builds
Ideally you would have talismans which have the same skills as mentioned in the builds, in addition to a generous number of decoration slots you can use. E.g. if a build uses 3x Wirebug Whisperer decorations, and you happen to come across a talisman which has 2x Wirebug Whisperer, you can replace 2x decorations with something else supporting the build. That can be an attack power boost, or a Critical Boost e.g. That is how you can keep things easy, while learning over time how to make such builds all by yourself.
You like the shown visual armour modifications on the screenshots and videos?
Check out the popular mod website for more:
(registration required to unlock viewing access for all files)
You can skip this part of the guide
as this is for readers who consider it helpful when they have numbers to visualise things
I am creating my builds by intuition with experience and extensive knowledge which piece of armour has which skills and what slots. In addition to that I am also using a pseudo-scoring system in my mind. It is not perfect and not easy to explain, especially since the scoring would change depending on your personal preferences. But I still like to share this idea of mine so you can relate – looking at the armor pieces with such sort of scoring in mind. It might help you coming up with your own great armor-sets-ideas!
As basis I am taking the maxed out defense value of an armor piece. Like this
Valstrax Mail = 100 points
Vaik Mail S = 72 points
Skills I am scoring based on their usefulness and the cost of decoration slots.
Stun Resistance Level 1 => B+ tier level 1 decoration; worth circa 20 points
Stun Resistance Level 2 => A+ tier 2x level 1 decoration; worth circa 60 points
Stun Resistance Level 3 => S tier 3x level 1 decoration; worth circa 80 points
(based on 60%, 90%, 100% stun resistance, which explains the jump in points from level 1 to level 2)
Handicraft Level 1 = A tier level 3 decoration worth circa 40 points
Hellfire Cloak Level 1 = B tier Level 3 decoration worth circa 15 points
And so on.
You can already see here, it might be not easy and is highly personally biased depending on your likings. But it can work out.
For slots I am trying with something like
Level 3 = 60 points
Level 2 = 40 points
Level 1 = 15 points
Taking that framework into consideration it can look like this
Valstrax Mail = 255 points
100 points for defense
60 points for 1x Level 3 decoration slot
15 points for 1x Level 1 decoration slot
20 points for 1x Dragonheart
80 points for 2x Resuscitate
Vaik Mail S = 187 points
72 points for defense
60 points for 1x Level 3 decoration slot
40 points for 1x Level 2 decoration slot
15 points for 1x Level 1 decoration slot
Consider this as a suggestion how you could visualise armor pieces to make it easier to determine which piece might be valuable more and why. Again: it is not perfect and might not work all the time – but it can help. I have taken Valstrax and Vaik as sample pieces since both are incredible great armor pieces on their own. Valstrax comes with a natural high defense and great skills, while the Vaik gives plenty of room for individual skill sets. But as you can see, it comes on a high cost as well when putting both of them into comparison.
Anjanath Vambraces S, a popular “mainstream meta arm piece” would be rated like this by me
Anjanath Vambraces S = 175 points
80 points for defense
15 points for 1x Level 1 decoration slot
80 points for 2x Attack Boost, B+ tier skill 2x level 2 decorations; worth circa 40 points each
0 points for 2x Slugger, because the skill can be substituted via Dango – or: reduced 15 points if you plan to use some other Dango
At that example you can see how personal preference and extensive knowledge can influence the scoring. Hence it is just a “Pseudo Scoring”.
I am heavily against what is currently considered “mainstream meta”, especially after seeing players claiming they do the best “meta” while the same players ignore Upgrade Items. If you are aware of the numbers you can easily see a hypocritical facade within the “current meta”.
For more about Upgrade Items check out my guide:
And remember: you can use Dango to substitute armour skills!
In almost all my suggestions I am using the Valstrax set. Why?
Because it comes with the highest defense and allrounder good skills – giving it such a high scoring that it is really hard to ignore it, regardless whether you like Valstrax or not. It is not perfect, but the Valstrax set sure spoiled the whole lineup you can have by Monster Hunter Rise’s base game’s endgame.
Dragonheart e.g. is simply too good. Not just for the increased attack power, but especially for the elemental resistance up once your HP pool goes down below a certain treshold. Imagine you wearing an automatic fire extinguisher which kicks off once you start burning. The armour’s superior defense is unmatched.
1. Great Sword
A classic “affinity is might” build, where Master’s Touch makes it easy to keep your weapon at white sharpness and therefore at maximum damage while utilising the weapon’s native affinity and the Weakness Exploit.
Stun Resistance I recommend per default, especially for beginners. Advanced players might be satisfied with Stun Resistance at Level 2, which reduces the time you are stunned by 90% in addition to shaking it off. Evade Extender give the Great Sword more mobility which enhances a defensive and mobile fighting style.
This one represents my personal “signature”, in where I rely on comfort skills like Earplugs. Level 4 normally suffices, but with this build I go “all in”, while maintaining an easy to use damage output with the Chameleos blade. You can exchange the extra Venomany time for some situational elemental resistance.
The Switch Skills selection for both are based on my personal preferences with a little variation. I highly recommend to keep True Charged Slash over Rage Slash, especially when you are new to the game.
Waking up sleeping monsters with a weapon as powerful as the Great Sword can be quite satisfying!
Give both a try!
Veteran hunters can tell right away what a skill can do and what not, just by looking at the builds.
If you try out a suggested build, make sure to try the other variant too. That way you get a feeling of how different the builds works. And maybe you learn and see over time why just damage output is never everything this is all about.
2. Long Sword
Wirebug Whisperer so you have an easy time to unleash silkbind attacks and counter – while Quick Sheath for obvious reasons. Again you can see that the drawbacks of using the Valstrax armour can be easily ignored when using a non-elemental weapon.
And yet even with an elemental weapon, the stats of the Valstrax armour is superior. You might need to keep up a good heal, but in endgame it is still viable to use the armour at the same time with an elemental weapon. If one damage source decreases, the other increases while keeping all other benefits. Punishing Draw can be fun, especially with Long Sword!
This damage output you can have when waking up a monster using Long Sword.
3. Sword & Shield
No builds collection without a Hi Ninja Sword build for Sword & Shield.
You do not know the Hi Ninja Sword yet? It might not look like much, but it comes with an incredible special feature which guarantees 100% affinity. In other words: in addition to the sharpness damage modifier it has a default +25% extra damage, no matter what.
While the Valstrax set might look redundant in combination, it is nonetheless probably the strongest set you could currently go for in regards of Sword & Shield which is also quite easy to handle. Master’s Touch guarantees you that the extra blue sharpness will last long enough before a monster usually tries to escape from a battle.
This build on the other hand is a more classic one, utilising the Sword & Shield‘s good usage of elemental attacks – adding with Blast some extra punch to the already magnificent shield basher weapon.
Do not forget – the reason these builds of mine do not have skills like Sluggere.g. is due to the fact that you can get the effects of those skills via Dango. Make sure to check out the menu to learn more about Dango Power!
4. Dual Blades
No builds collection without a Hellion Blades build. Never heard of it? You sure missed something there. Similar to the Hi Ninja Sword you have here a setup which gives you 100% critical hits. And if that was not enough, the Paralyse effect is the perfect cherry on top!
Check out this video by gaijin hunter – [youtube.com] which is full of enthusiasm for the setup!
After the Hellion Blades, here a more classic orientated build which utilises the fact that Dual Blades are especially great to dish out elemental damage.
A build which focus on power.
A build which focus on defense.
Do I need to write more about how awesome Lance gameplay can be?
Despite the weapon might look slow, it comes with a great feel and great damage output, as you can stand anytime your ground and counter hard. Lance is incredible strong and incredible fun to play. If you have not discovered it for you yet, you need to give it definitely a try.
You might be surprised.
One of my favourite builds. Similar to the Lance the Gunlance is often overlooked due to its “sluggish” playstyle. But once you realise the benefits of a very easy gameplay, and the fact that the shelling damage bypass any defenses, you might see why the Gunlance can be a viable partner.
Make it a sturdy Basarios or a thick-skinned Rajang – discharging your shells are at once will surely deal plenty of damage no matter the defense. That way the Gunlance is also less to be affected by affinity nor elemental damage.
This variant was suggested by fellow hunters at the forums.
Probably because it is easier to acquire a rampage weapon.
Whatever works – I recommend the first suggestion for the higher flexibility due to extra decoration slots and overall higher defense.
Wirebug Whisperer is more or less a must-have to make good use of the defensive stancy which can block all kind of attacks, while Evade Extender is essential for a quick mobility.
If you have never played Gunlance before – give it a proper try!
Black Leather Legs
As you surely can tell by now, for many of my builds I utilise Wirebug Whisperer, as the skill reduces the Wirebug cooldown significantly, enabling for many weapons the essential offensive and defensive skills.
There is one piece of armour which did not make its way to this guide, despite being really good and easy to acquire: the Black Leather Legs. A piece of equipment you can craft as an event quest reward.
Unfortunately the https://www.mhrbuilder.com/ – [mhrbuilder.com] website was missing the object. So, to keep things simple for this guide I just skipped that piece for equipment. Make sure to check it out as it can fit sometimes as good alternatives.
Check the official list of Event Quests and Challenge Quests – [monsterhunter.com] to find out more about special reward items like the legwear: https://www.monsterhunter.com/rise-steam/uk/topics/event-quest/ – [monsterhunter.com]
How much Wirebug Whisperer affects your gameplay can be seen in this documentary
Dealing K.O. damage and paralysis: you and your hunting party are going to love this!
When it has to be all about power, you take this build.
Remember to Ramp-up your weapon early as described in my “main guide” for beginners, so your final Diablos Hammer is going to have the Attack Boost IV!
Make sure to look out for the super cute Teddy which can be seen at the end of the clip!
8. Hunting Horn
The Hunting Horn build differs strongly with the weapon of choice and which songs can be played on them. I mainly use three Hunting Horns: one to improve offense (Stamina+Attack Up), one to shield (Sonic Barrier), one to support (Health Regen). Unlike most players I am very happy with Echo, which allows me a more comfortable combo usage, rather than being forced to spam the same attack twice to play a song.
For both suggestions Earthshakerin combination with Wirebug Whisperer is essential.
While the default numbers of Hunting Horn might look not that special, keep in mind that their true power are revealed once you apply the buffing songs.
For details about buffs check
But there is more:
Bead of Resonance which is worthless most of the time, acts as a multiplicator with pure healer builds. Give this build a try, should you feel funny enough to keep your hunting party at maximum health with little to no efforts.
9. Switch Axe
Not much thoughts were needed for this build. Probably the best Valstrex set you can have. Incredible defense meets incredible power output. A perfect set to hunt Elder Dragons.
More classic with this one, where once more Blast is going to support a strong melee combat.
10. Charge Blade
Similar to the previous first suggestion for Switch Axe – this one takes the best of Valstrax.
My personal favourite Charge Blade set, where comforts meet a strong defense.
It is really easy to get used to Earplugsand Tremor Resistance.
11. Insect Glaive
I tell it to you plain and straight: I am not very fond of the Insect Glaive as a weapon. It used to be a “mounting stick” to me. Do not take me wrong: it is still a strong and viable weapon – very flexible and very cool. It is just not my cup of tea with my personal preference being on the shield.
At least the assist Kinsects with dual colours make it very easy to use. And whenever you fight flying wyverns it is a great weapon of choice with its high air mobility.
And Insect Glaive masters surely can make good use of the powders to deal extra Blast/Paralyse damage and healing fellow hunters.
The Magia Crescent build utilise the Blast effect for extra knockouts, while the Evening Calm is simple and straightforward a cutting edge. The biggest gameplay differences you will find naturally due to the Kinsects of choice. If you like to learn more about Kinsects, check out this video:
Started to wonder why I put ever so often Handicraft onto my builds?
Well, sharpness matters ~
12. Light Bowgun
Not much to say about this one. Easy to use good allrounder Light Bowgun.
This one on the other hand is very comfortable. Many hunters like the Fanning Vault for placing the Wyrmstakes directly on the monsters. I like the Fanning Maneuver more for the extra overall damage.
13. Heavy Bowgun
With bowguns it is actually quite similar to Hunting Horns, where the choice of weapon will have a heavy impact on your gameplay/weapon handling. I highly recommend the Sinister Dreadvolley for how easy to use it is.
If you feel lucky and safe – why not trying to go all out with offensive capabilities?
Whenever you see slotted in elemental resistance decorations like here, consider switching them out to whatever you need for your current hunt (e.g. taking Thunder Resistance for Zinogre)
If you like a more “serious” approach to the bow, check out this guide which I can recommend
The author is a proud Bow user – as in: they do not use anything else than the Bow and it is reflected in their gameplay and guide. You can hardly find any better guidance to improve your own Bow gameplay.
One build for semi-long range with piercing…
…and the other for close combat with spread arrows. I personally prefer a close combat style with Bow. You might be surprised how strong it is if you have never seen it in action.
Last but not least: do not forget about the Fortifyskill, should you ever find yourself in a pickle. The trick about that one is: you do not have to equip it right away. Unlike the Good Luck skill e.g. it even activates when you wear a different armour-set before carting. So, should you find yourself troubled with a challenge – just exchange a decoration with the Fortifyskill and enjoy the ridiculous strong buff!
Before and after carting twice – the increase in offense and defense value is incredible!
Mega-super-duper-thanks to all those who supported me by upvoting and awarding my guides!
Day by day I am feeling overwhelmed by kind words and the often surprising reception of what I consider mere “Hunter Notes” of mine. Especially considering the fact that all of my guides are sorta born due to the Steam forums community where I am having a good entertaining time since release of Monster Hunter Rise!
I am utmost happy being able to share with you my thoughts on Monster Hunter Rise.
And I am even more happy to know that this or that guide of mine might have helped one or two of you to enjoy Monster Hunter Rise even more!
The game is great – but it would not be as great as it is without you!
Here we come to an end for MONSTER HUNTER RISE Armor Sets & Skills Builds hope you enjoy it. If you think we forget something to include or we should make an update to the post let us know via comment, and we will fix it asap! Thanks and have a great day!
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