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  1. Introduction
  3. When it comes to Armor in Monster Hunter, defenses and resistances are nice, but what you really want are the armor skills.
  5. This guide series is going to focus on a progression path you can easily follow for a reasonable build to get you through low rank, and high rank. In Low Rank, progression is fairly linear, and there isn’t a lot of need to deviate. High Rank is much more open ended, and will have many more options for you to explore.
  7. High Rank builds will focus on decorationless and charmless setups as those require rare materials, and a lot of luck for decorations. You will have to make a choice between Alpha and Beta gear. Alpha gear has more skills, but sometimes has skills that aren’t particularly useful on them. The beta versions usually give up skills for decoration slots. If you don’t have decorations, the alpha sets are always better. If you have powerful decorations, the beta pieces are usually the superior option as it will allow for further customization.
  9. These builds are reasonably effective and will be sufficient for getting through the game. You may have skills that you favor on certain weapons that aren’t listed, and you should experiment to learn your playstyle.
  11. Basic Armor Setup - All Weapons.
  13. Your default armor is terrible, and you’ll want to upgrade it right away.
  15. The easiest thing you can do is just build the entire bone set. This will mostly be beneficial for the headpieces Health Boost, granting you +15 Maximum HP, and the Bone Chests Attack Up, granting you +3 attack power.
  17. The remaining bone pieces will benefit certain weapon types, and not others. The gloves will give Slugger, which is good for blunt weapons like Hammer, Hunting Horn, phial attacks from the Charge Blade and Switch Axe.
  19. Bone Coil is only for Hunting Horn, but it will extend the length of your songs. The Bone Greaves grant entomologist, which helps prevent you from destroying vespoids and hornetaurs so you can carve them.
  21. Regardless of skills, this set is extremely easy to build, and represents a good armor value spike that you should take starting out.
  23. Early on you’ll be given an Assignment to hunt Kestodons. After carving some, you’ll unlock the ability to build Kestodon gloves. Build these for Affinity Sliding, which gives you a temporary boost to your critical hit rate after sliding for a short period of time. They also have a strong defense boost over the Bone gauntlets, and should be picked up for most of the weapon types.
  25. This set will be enough to tide you over until you hunt Great Jagras. Afterwards, you’ll want to look into picking up the Jagras Coil. This provides Fortify, which gives you an attack and defense bonus if your HP reaches 0 and you’re carted back to camp.
  27. Fortify is a nice bonus for new players, and even veterans will cart occasionally. It’s a good pickup for all weapon types.
  29. Then you’ll have to hunt Kulu Ya Ku. You’ll want to build both it’s Kulu Mail Chest armor, and the Kulu Greaves leg armor. The chest grants Stamina Surge, which increases your stamina recovery rate. This is excellent as a skill for every weapon type, but certain weapons will benefit much more from it. The Kulu Greaves grant Critical Eye, which increases your affinity, or critical hit rate, by 3%. This isn’t huge, but going from 0 to 3% affinity will allow you to actually perform critical hits, and will be a significant damage increase.
  31. This will be an acceptable set of baseline armor for the next mandatory fights. From here on though, things will be handled on a weapon by weapon basis.
  33. Armor so far:
  34. Bone Helm
  35. Kulu Chest
  36. Kestodon Gloves
  37. Jagras Waist
  38. Kulu Greaves
  40. Lance - Low Rank
  42. There are a few styles of Lancing. There’s guard, and evade lancing. This guide will focus more on the Guard style, but will incorporate some evade lance equipment, since there isn’t much better for a long time.
  44. The base armor set will have to tide you over to take on Pukei-Pukei and Barroth.
  46. Barroths head grants Guard. This should be considered a mandatory pick up. Guard reduces the stamina consumed while guarding, as well as reduces the knock back suffered when hit. It’s going to be the bread and butter for this guide.
  48. Hunt Jyuratodus, followed by Tobi-Kadachi.
  50. The Kadachi Helm grants Constitution. It will reduce the amount of stamina dodging and guarding will consume. This is a very arguable upgrade, feel free to take it if you want, but you will lose Guard. You’ll also want to build the Kadachi Vambraces for Evade Extender. This will help you reposition faster and easier, and has good synergy with Constitution. If you’re using Tobi Kadachi’s lance, consider picking up it’s waist armor for extra thunder damage, this will be more consistent than Fortify, and will be a reasonable defense increase.
  52. Anjanath is next, but has no reasonable options for us.
  54. Recommended Set so far:
  55. Head: Barroth Helm OR Kadachi Helm
  56. Chest: Kulu Chest
  57. Arms: Kadachi Vambraces
  58. Waist: Kadachi Coil or Jagras Coil
  59. Legs: Kulu Greaves
  61. Once you’re in the Coral Highlands you’ll have to hunt Paolumu, but you should deviate and hunt Tzitzi-Ya Ku. Tzitzi Chest grants Constitution, reducing your stamina drain while guarding, and dodging, as well as giving a reasonable defense increase.
  63. Then hunt Paolumu as part of the story. You can switch the Kadachi Helm for Paolumu’s hat to trade Constitution for Stamina Surge. Both will have similar performance, but the Lumu Hat will have superior defenses.
  65. Head down to the Rotten Vale and hunt Hornetaurs. Build the greaves for Handicraft, which increases your weapons sharpness. You should pick these up as there just isn’t much better at this point.
  67. Then finish off Radobaan. It has some decent offerings for us. You can pick up the Baan Coil for Guard. This will give you a second stack of Guard if you’re combining it with the Barroth Helm, or let you maintain guard while using the Kadachi Helm, or Lumu Hat.
  69. Recommended Set so far:
  70. Head: Barroth Helm OR Kadachi Helm OR Lumu Hat
  71. Chest: Tzitzi Chest
  72. Arms: Kadachi Vambraces
  73. Waist: Baan Coil OR Lumu Coil
  74. Legs: Hornetaur Greaves
  76. Then hunt Legiana, and afterwards you’ll have access to Monster Bone+, and can build the Death Stench gear. You should pick up the Death Stench Heel for Handicraft, and they will be a good defense upgrade over the Hornetaur Greaves
  78. Next is Odogaron, pick up it’s Vambraces for Constitution, before moving on to hunt Rathalos and Diablos.
  80. You’re so close to High Rank here that you may want to avoid farming and just move on. Of course this is an idealized armor guide.
  82. Rathalos has good gear. Pick up Rathalos’ Head armor for attack up. Then build the Chest for Weakness Exploit giving you a massive affinity bonus while attacking weak points.  If you want, you can upgrade your Gloves or Boots to Rathalos Gear to pick up the 3 piece bonus of Critical Element, but you will lose some valuable skills to get marginal returns.
  84. Recommended Set so far:
  85. Rathalos Helm
  86. Rathalos Chest
  87. Odogaron Vambraces OR Rathalos Greaves (Grants Critical Element)
  88. Baan Coil OR Odogaron Coil
  89. Death Stench Heel OR Rathalos Greavest (Grants Critical Element, pick Greaves or Vambraces, but not both)
  91. Build these pieces if you want, but it’s time to move onto High Rank.
  93. High Rank
  95. High Rank finally introduces to us some options.
  97. There’s a lot of upgrades available now, and you can immediately go and hunt high rank versions of everything in Low Rank. The easy answer is that anything that worked for you in Low Rank will work here while providing additional skills and high rank defenses.
  99. This guide assumes you have no useful decorations, as such the Beta gear is simply worse than the Alpha Gear as it loses skills for decoration slots. If you have decorations, consider the beta versions of some pieces, otherwise, stick with Alpha. The same goes for Charms, and this armor guide is Charmless. Go ahead and pick up whatever charms you see fit, like Attack, Handicraft or even things like Guard and Evade Extender are all viable charm options.
  101. The Kulu Headpiece Alpha should be picked up immediately for a second stack of Weakness Exploit. You’ll lose potentially lose Critical Element, but gaining the extra affinity will be worth it over the Rathalos heads attack power. You can also optionally choose to pick up the Barroth Helm Alpha for Guard. Weakness Exploit will give you significantly more damage on monsters, but Guard could be a reasonable pick up if you’re struggling.
  103. Tobi Kadachi’s Gloves grant 2 stacks of Evade Extender which will help you a lot with repositioning. Pick these up to upgrade your Gloves. You can also pick up the Kadachi Greaves Alpha for Constitution and Thunder Resistance, or if you prefer, hunt Hornetaurs to maintain Handicraft.
  105. If you’re still using the Baan Coil, you can go hunt Radobaan to upgrade to the Baan Coil Alpha, which gives two stacks of Guard. You can pick up the Baan Vambraces Alpha for Guard, but you’ll lose the very valuable Evade Extender in favor of Sleep Attack, which chances are you won’t be utilizing at all.
  107. That should make you adequately prepared to take on the higher tier monsters of High Rank.
  109. Recommended Set so far:
  110. Kulu Headpiece Alpha OR Barroth Helm Alpha
  111. Low Rank Rathalos Chest
  112. Kadachi Gloves Alpha
  113. Baan Coil Alpha OR  Rath Heart Coil Alpha
  114. Hornetaur Greaves Beta OR Kadachi Greaves Alpha
  116. Odogaron’s set is a reasonable choice. It provides a lot of critical eye, speed sharpening, and the 4 piece bonus is Protective Polish. Protective Polish prevents your weapon from losing Sharpness for 60 seconds after sharpening. It’s a great skill, but you give up a lot to get it. You won’t really need the two piece set bonus of Punishing Draw, since ideally you’ll never sheathe your weapon. The Odogaron Vambraces Alpha give Constitution and Critical Eye, which is potentially worth losing the Kadachi Gloves level 2 evade extender for. That’s your judgement call, but I think Lance really wants Evade Extender.
  118. The next big set are the Rathalos Set and Uragaan Sets. The two piece set on Rathalos is Critical Element which will represent a reasonable damage upgrade for elemental lances of all types.
  120. This set is not easy to build, and the ideal setup requires multiple gems, but it will be a great set for the remainder of the game.
  122. The two piece set is extremely easy to get. Pick up the Helm Beta for Attack level 2. You will be trading Guard level 2 or Weakness Exploit for Attack, but it’s your call. Definitely upgrade your low Rank Rathalos Chest to the Rathalos Mail Beta to get high rank defenses, as well as beefed up Weakness Exploit. The chest and head are the main ones, because we’re going to tie the rest of this set together with Uragaan pieces.
  124. Recommended Set so far:
  125. Rathalos Head Beta
  126. Rathalos Mail Beta (unlocks Critical Element)
  127. Odogaron Vambraces Alpha OR Kadachi Vambraces Alpha
  128. Baan Coil Alpha
  129. Hornetaur Greaves Beta OR Kadachi Gtreaves Alpha
  131. Once you have access to the Elder’s Recess, you can upgrade further by hunting Uragaan.
  133. The 3 piece set bonus is Guard Up, which will let you guard previously unblockable attacks, such as the Teostra’s Super Nova, but make sure you’re a good distance, if you don’t block the attack head on, you’re going to have a bad time.
  135. You can maintain your Rathalos set bonuses, and pick up the Uragaan Vambraces Alpha for Guard and Defense boost, the Coil Beta for Partbreaker, and a level 1 and 2 decoration slot, and finally the Uragaan Greaves Alpha for another 2 stacks of Guard, with a level 1 decoration slot.
  137. Recommended Set at this point and for the rest of the game:
  138. Rathalos Helm Beta
  139. Rathalos Mail Beta (unlocks Critical Element)
  140. Uragaan Vambraces Alpha
  141. Uragaan Coil Beta
  142. Uragaan Greaves Alpha (unlocks Guard Up)
  144. This set will be adequate for everything else in the game. Everything after this is just a matter of customization and preference once you get access to better charms and decorations.
  146. Unfortunately, if you desire Guard and Guard Up you’ll be stuck for a long time with the Uragaan Set. Level 3 Guard is usually a fair compromise, and the Charm is easy to make, only requiring Radobaan Materials which are easy to farm. The Final upgrade does require a Vaal Hazak Gem, but that can be obtained with a bit of effort. This will free up a lot of your armor for different skills. You can get a Guard Up decoration, but that could take a very long time. Once you do however, it frees up your armor set for a lot of quality of life and damage skills.
  148. The Elder Dragon sets are usually safe bets, but won’t necessarily be better or worse than this, just different.
  150. Nergigante’s set is a great general purpose set. It has Maximum Might which gives you a 30% affinity increase while at maximum stamina. This is a reasonable pickup on Lance, but you won’t be able to use it for a short time after guarding or dodging. It’s a very consistent affinity increase on all monster parts, not just their weak points.
  152. It also has Agitator, which has a very high up time of increased attack and affinity. Then it has attack and stamina surge to round it out. It’s a good general purpose set that’s easy to build.
  154. Nergigante’s Dragonking Eyepatch has Weakness Exploit 2 and a tier-3 decoration slot, making it a good pickup. If you get a Tenderizer Decoration you can get Weakness Exploit 3 on one armor slot which is great.
  156. Kushala’s gear has a lot of Handicraft and some good evasion skills. The Kushala Crus Alpha grants evade extender and Handicraft. Then the Kushala Grips grant Evade Window and Handicraft. These are nice pickups, especially in conjunction with Guarding decorations or Charms to give you a great general purpose set.
  158. Vaal Hazak’s gear isn’t the best, but the materials can be used for the Death Stench set. You can use the Death Stench Heels Alpha for Handicraft and Dragon Attack if you’re using the Deviljho or Xeno’jiiva Lance. Keep in mind you won’t benefit from Handicraft at all if you’re using the Nergigante Lance
  160. Assuming you can find a Guard Up decoration, your end game set may look something like this. Just incorporate as much Handicraft, Attack, Weakness Exploit and Critical Boost as possible, while maxing out Evade Extender, and getting Guard as high as possible.
  162. End Game Ideal Maybe:
  163. Dragonking Eyepatch
  164. Kushala Cista Beta
  165. Kushala Grips Alpha
  166. Nergigante Coil Beta
  167. Kushala Crus Alpha
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