Alright, alright. The idea for a fourth guide dawned on me so consider this a bonus “4th installment” to my Gunlance Guide “series”. Today we’re going to be talking about a playstyle that totally defeats the purpose of that massive shotgun cannon you have taped to your lance.
SLAP Sticking!!! (Or just… Melee Gunlance)
This is gonna be a doozy so strap yourselves in!
Before we go any further, I must address some elephants in the room.
1. You all saw this one coming. “This is by no means an in-depth guide to Gunlance” blah, blah, blah, “You can find that stuff on Youtube and the Internet” yada, yada, okay moving on.
2. “I thought you said on your previous guide that that one was going to be your last!”
And to that I say “Well yes… but actually no.”
3. I am very cheesy with jokes. I’m talking like, “Anime Protagonist Misunderstanding Compilations” level comedy. Don’t expect too much from me.
What is Slapsticking?
SLAP Sticking is exactly what it sounds like.
Take everything you know about Gunlance’s unique quirk, “Shelling” and throw it into a bonfire. Now use every last braincell you have to memorize three key combos (that you can of course interweave at your leisure).
Combo 1 (You’re a Lance main):
Thrust -> Thrust -> Thrust -> Normal/Back Hop or Quick Reload -> Repeat
Combo 2 (You’re still a Lance main but you like your big shield):
Guard Thrust -> Guard Thrust -> Guard Thrust -> Just wait and block an attack -> Repeat
Combo 3 (You’re Slapsticking!):
Rising Slash -> Overhead Slam -> Wide Sweep -> Quick Reload -> Repeat from Overhead Slam
Yep. That’s really it. Slapsticking is just using the melee combos that the Gunlance provides. Whether we all like it or not, Gunlance is still at heart, a melee weapon and has physical attacks we can take advantage of whenever we need them. This playstyle just takes that and injects it with steroids and rejects the “Gun” part like the popular girl in high school towards all the nice guys…
That got oddly personal- Okay moving on.
I’m assuming that if you’re reading this, you already know the basics of how to attack, where to attack, and how damage works. All that juicy stuff. With that said…
I will be going over the skills you should be using for both PURE Slappers and HYBRID Slappers
-Clutch Claw Boost (If you have Iceborne)
-Agitator (Mainly for the Iceborne Meta)
Basically, everything that all other melee weapons use to increase their performance overall. Gunlance will be no different. However, with how Clutch Claw attacks work, prioritize Critical Boost and Weakness Exploit over Critical Eye. Tender monster parts pretty much give you critical hits like it’s Black Friday deals so there’s no need to increase your critical strike chance. Just the damage you’ll be doing during those critical hits.
These are definitely optional, but if you’re struggling to push your advantage in a hunt, consider running these to help ease you into your combos or bail you out if you’re about to get punished.
-Artillery (for your Full Burst attack)
-Capacity Boost (If you can fit it in. This really is just for that extra stretch of damage)
Pretty much everything I said for the Pure List.
Alright, now hold up.
I don’t usually recommend specific types of Gunlances to players as each Gunlance offers something different to the table in terms of playstyle. However, in this special case, I will recommend a few (For both the Base Game and Iceborne) since we’re purely going for damage here. I won’t separate these for Pure and Hybrid as you can of course decide which is best for you on your own. Come on now, you’re independent.
This is the fully upgraded Rathian Gunlance. It has Normal Shelling lvl 4 which is the best level of shelling for base game hunters. It’s really good if you’re wanting to tap into Gunlance’s Normal Shelling playstyle in general which can help you in Slapsticking indirectly.
This is the fully upgraded Devil Jho Gunlance. It has the highest base damage of all Gunlances but it has negative 20% affinity. Assuming you’re good at eating- I mean hunting pickles, this one should be a solid choice for you!
Any of the Taroth weapons
These Gunlances are just good all around. Although you’ll have to get lucky with some of the Busters, hunting Kulve Taroth is how you obtain these.
Mammoth Gunlance II
This is arguably the best starting Gunlance once you start progressing through the DLC. It’s easy to obtain as well and comes with a level 4 decoration slot!
I expect any Iceborne hunter to have hunted the Flagship Elder Dragon more than just once so you should be able to craft this later on in the game. It has over 600 base damage and a level 4 decoration slot. It’s a direct upgrade to the Mammoth Gunlance previously mentioned.
(The rest of these are for more “Late Game” players)
Lightbreak Gunlance (Oh come on, you had to have seen this one coming)
Second highest base damage outright at 690. Wide level 7. Blast Status. It’s literally the best Gunlance that can carry you through the game! AND IT’S EASY TO OBTAIN (Assuming you like being carried)!!! But seriously, this Gunlance is GOOD. Definitely worth the grind!
Any Safi’Jiva Gunlance
This is an augmentation playground and a well built Safi’Jiva Gunlance can easily outclass any other Gunlance around it. Just give it a ton of Attack Boost augments and you can essentially Slapstick all of your troubles away!
True Fatalis Gunlance
Highest base damage of ANY Gunlance in the game at 897. Even the base Fatalis Gunlance before it has a higher base damage than everything at 782 (but we don’t count this… Lightbreak still Second Highest) You want Slapstick? This is clearly your best choice for RAW. UNADULTERATED. DAMAGE! (As far as this goes for Gunlance at least)
Tips for going Melee Gunlance
These are just some things that could fly under the radar of someone using the Gunlance for the first time that decided to just use Melee and not worry about learning the Shelling mechanics.
1. Small ledges are your friend. If a monster is on the elevated level and right on the edge, you can follow these steps for easy DPS:
S1: Stand on the edge of the ledge
S2: Face the monster
S3: Back Hop
S4: Use Jumping Smash
S5: Repeat from Back Hop
The momentum of the Jumping Smash will put you back on the ground above the ledge, allowing you to essentially spam Jumping Smashes which are hard hitting moves for the Gunlance. Be mindful though as this can result in you mounting the monsters as these smashes do mounting damage.
2. Full Burst and Wyrmstake Cannon are still moves at your disposal. Using them can still result in good damage if you are willing to use them.
3. Your normal pokes are quick. If it isn’t safe to use your Heavy Combo, feel free to just thrust your lance into them a few times (hehehe…).
4. Try to avoid hitting team mates. You have a wide melee range with the Gunlance’s Heavy Combo so flinching your fellow hunters can and will happen. Go for areas like the Back of a monster, the Head (if it’s free), or even just the Legs.
Well, there you have it. The simple things you need to know if you wanna
Melee Gunlance is actually really fun and it’s a viable option for Gunlancers. Believe it or not, this was the way to go before Shelling got the massive buff it did in Iceborne.
But with all of that said, I didn’t really put as much effort into this guide as my other ones (if I put any effort into those at all, haha) so I’m sorry if this was a little underwhelming, but hey! A 4th guide for y’all to enjoy for the hell of it!
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