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  1. Introduction
  2.  
  3. When it comes to Armor in Monster Hunter, defenses and resistances are nice, but what you really want are the armor skills.
  4.  
  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.
  6.  
  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.
  8.  
  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.
  10.  
  11. Basic Armor Setup - All Weapons.
  12.  
  13. Your default armor is terrible, and you’ll want to upgrade it right away.
  14.  
  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.
  16.  
  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.
  18.  
  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.
  20.  
  21. Regardless of skills, this set is extremely easy to build, and represents a good armor value spike that you should take starting out.
  22.  
  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.
  24.  
  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.
  26.  
  27. Fortify is a nice bonus for new players, and even veterans will cart occasionally. It’s a good pickup for all weapon types.
  28.  
  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.
  30.  
  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.
  32.  
  33. Armor so far:
  34. Bone Helm
  35. Kulu Chest
  36. Kestodon Gloves
  37. Jagras Waist
  38. Kulu Greaves
  39.  
  40. Hunting Horn - Low Rank
  41.  
  42. There isn’t a lot of Hunting Horn specific gear. Since Hunting Horn is best used in a supporting role, a lot of the equipment options here will facilitate that. Horn Maestro extends the length of your songs, and it’s a one off skill which makes it easy to incorporate. Then skills like Wide Range, and Free Meal will help you support your team.
  43.  
  44. You’ll probably want to use the Bone Gloves and Bone Waist over the Kestodon Guards and Jagras waist. You’ll get Slugger which will help you knock out monsters, and Horn Maestro to keep your songs up longer.
  45.  
  46. Otherwise, the base armor set will have to tide you over to take on Pukei-Pukei and Barroth.
  47.  
  48. There isn’t a lot of good weapon specific equipment for Hunting Horn, but you should pick up Barroths Armor grants Stamina Thief. Stamina Thief is actually best used on Hunting Horn. It makes it take less hits to make a monster tired, and need to eat to recover stamina. While a monster is tired, it will stand in place and drool allowing you to get some free hits. It’s not a great pickup, but it’s going to be better over all than your alternatives. Unfortunately, online, Monsters die so fast you won’t be able to get much benefit out of it, but it can be used effectively solo.
  49.  
  50. Then you’ll have to hunt Jyuratodus, and Tobi-Kadachi.
  51.  
  52. There are a few upgrades you can pick up from Tobi-Kadachi. The Kadachi Gloves grant Evade Extender. It’s a decent pick up for repositioning while your Hunting Horn is drawn. Also upgrade your Bone Helmet to a Kadachi Helmet for Constitution, which will reduce your stamina usage while dodging.
  53.  
  54. Anjanath is next and it’s offerings aren’t anything special, so move onwards into the Coral Highlands.
  55.  
  56. Armor so far:
  57. Kadachi Helm
  58. Barroth Mail
  59. Kadachi Vambraces OR Bone Vambraces
  60. Jagras Coil
  61. Kulu Greaves
  62.  
  63. You’ll hunt Paolumu as part of the story. Paolumu’s Coil will be a good replacement for the Bone Coil if you feel you need more defenses. You’ll have an opportunity to get Horn Maestro again shortly.
  64.  
  65. You’ll also have the option to hunt Tzitzi Ya Ku, and you can upgrade your chest armor if you want to trade Stamina Thief for Constitution. The Tzitzi Waist also provides Wide-Range. This makes any items you use apply to allies in an area around you. This means you can heal other people by consuming items or buff them by using things like Might Seeds. It’s a nice pickup that will help with the support role Hunting Horn plays.
  66.  
  67. Once you’re in the Rotten Vale, you have upgrade options, but specifically two options for head gear.
  68.  
  69. You can hunt Great Girros to make it’s helmet. This provides Horn Maestro, which makes your songs last longer.
  70.  
  71. The alternative is you can hunt Radobaan, and make it’s helmet to give you Slugger, which will up your Knock Out power. Then you’ll want to hunt Hornetaurs to build the Hornetaur greaves for Handicraft. Hunting Horn suffers from low Sharpness, and the +10 this provides will be a massive benefit, on top of granting much more defense than the Kulu Greaves.
  72.  
  73. Armor so far:
  74. Girros or Baan Helm
  75. Barroth Chest or Tzitzi Chest
  76. Odogaron Gloves
  77. Tzitzi Waist or Odogaron Waist
  78. Death Stench Heel.
  79.  
  80.  
  81. Then take on Legiana, afterwards you’ll gain access to Monster Bone+ and can build the Death Stench Heel. This will let you maintain handicraft, and be a significant defense improvement over the Hornetaur Greaves.
  82.  
  83. Next is Odogaron. Pick up the Odogaron Gloves for Constitution, and optionally the Odogaron Waist for Critical Eye if you’re playing solo.
  84.  
  85. Afterwards you’ll want to hunt Rathalos and Diablos. Both of these monsters have good upgrades, but you are so close to high rank you may want to skip them as High Rank armor is universally better. Of course, this is an idealized armor guide.
  86.  
  87. Rathalos Chest is the most desired for Weakness Exploit. It does require a plate, but will be used for a huge chunk of High Rank because Weakness exploit is that good.
  88.  
  89. Diablos’ Chest also has Slugger. Weakness Exploit will be preferred to Slugger, and twisted horns are usually better spent elsewhere, but it is an option.
  90.  
  91. Build this set if you want, then move onto High Rank.
  92.  
  93. Ideal Set:
  94. Girros or Baan Helmet
  95. Rathalos Chest OR Diablos Chest
  96. Odogaron Gloves
  97. Tzitzi or Odogaron Waist
  98. Death Stench Heel
  99.  
  100. High Rank
  101.  
  102. High Rank finally introduces to us some options.
  103.  
  104. 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.
  105.  
  106. 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, or Handicraft, or Wide Range if you want to support your team.
  107.  
  108. The Kulu Headpiece Alpha is a great pickup if you want to improve your damage output.  You will want to incorporate Horn Maestro and the easiest ways to do that are the Girros Mask Alpha or Beta, or the Bone Coil Beta. For full support, my suggestion would be to go Girros Mask Alpha for Horn Maestro, and Tzitzi Coil Alpha for Wide Range.
  109.  
  110. The Bone Vambraces Alpha can be picked up freely. You’ll be able to benefit from both Attack, and Slugger, this will improve your damage output and assist you in KOing mosters.
  111.  
  112. For Boots, you can pick up the Jagras Greaves Alpha for Free Meal. This makes it so sometimes you won’t consume an item, and this has great synergy with Wide Range. The other options are to build the Kulu Greaves Alpha for Item Prolonger and Critical Eye, or the Hornetaur Greaves for Handicraft.
  113.  
  114. There isn’t a lot of good options for chest armor for hunting horn at this point. You can stay with the Low Rank Rathalos Chest, or pick up the Barroth Mail alpha for stamina thief. The other option is to pick up the King Beetle Thorax for Quick Sheathe, which has reasonable synergy with Wide Range from the Tzitzi Coil.
  115.  
  116. Recommended Sets so far:
  117. All out attack
  118. Kulu Headpiece Alpha
  119. Low Rank Rathalos Chest OR Bone Mail Alpha
  120. Bone Vambraces Alpha
  121. Bone Coil Beta OR Rath Heart Coil Alpha/Beta
  122. Hornetaur Greaves Alpha
  123.  
  124. Support:
  125. Girros Mask Alpha
  126. King Beetle Thorax Beta OR Barroth Mail Alpha (Quick Sheathe vs. Stamina Thief)
  127. Bone Vambraces Alpha
  128. Tzitzi Coil Alpha
  129. Jagras Greaves Alpha OR Kulu Greaves Alpha OR Hornetaur Greaves
  130.  
  131. That should make you adequately prepared to take on the higher tier monsters of High Rank. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of support options from here on out. This set will have to tide you over until you get Decorations and Charms to facilitate the support style.
  132.  
  133. Hunting Horn like all weapons wants to stack as much damage as possible, so you can continue to upgrade down the offensive path,
  134.  
  135. If you’re using Dodogama’s Gama Horn, you can pick up the Dodogama Mail Alpha for Blast Attack. The Zorah Headpiece Alpha is also a nice choice for handicraft, and more blast attack.
  136.  
  137. The next big set is the Rathalos Set.  The two piece bonus is Critical Element which doesn’t have Great Synergy with Hunting Horn since you’re probably going to be using Raw or Blast-status, until the Elder Dragon weapons come around.
  138.  
  139. You’ll want to build the Rathalos Mail Beta for level 2 Weakness Exploit. Optionally, you can pick up the Greaves Alpha for Jump Master and Weakness Exploit, and the Helmet for Attack level 2.
  140.  
  141. Recommended Set at this point:
  142. Rathalos Helm Beta OR Zorah Headpiece Alpha (if using Dodogama Horn)
  143. Rathalos Mail Beta
  144. Bone Vambraces Alpha
  145. Bone Coil Beta OR Rath Heart Coil Beta (Horn Maestro vs. Handicraft)
  146. Rathalos Greaves Alpha
  147.  
  148. Support Set:
  149. Girros Mask Alpha
  150. King Beetle Thorax Beta OR Barroth Mail Alpha (Quick Sheathe vs. Stamina Thief)
  151. Bone Vambraces Alpha
  152. Tzitzi Coil Alpha
  153. Jagras Greaves Alpha OR Kulu Greaves Alpha OR Hornetaur Greaves
  154.  
  155. This set will be adequate for everything else in the game. Everything after this is just a matter of customization and preference. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of Hunting Horn specific gear.
  156.  
  157. The Elder Dragon sets are usually safe bets, but won’t necessarily be better or worse than this, just different.
  158.  
  159. 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 works well on Hunting Horn since you won’t use Stamina for attacking. It’s a very consistent affinity increase on all monster parts, not just their weakpoints. 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.
  160.  
  161. The Dragonking Eyepatch has Weakness Exploit 2 and a tier-3 decoration slot, making it a good pickup.
  162.  
  163. Kushala Daora’s set has a lot of Handicraft, if you want to upgrade your weapons sharpness.
  164.  
  165. Teostra’s set has some good pieces. The Kaiser Vambraces and Kaiser Coil both have weaknesss exploit. If you’re using the Dodogama Horn, the Kaiser Coil Alpha also has Blast Attack as a nice bonus.
  166.  
  167.  
  168. Deviljho has some good pieces that provide Partbreaker and Speed eating which has good synergy with the support style set, but it’s really your only option for dedicated support gear.
  169.  
  170. Once you get a Horn Maestro Decoration, and Wide-Range decorations or charms, you’ll free up your equipment for more quality of life and damage skills. You’ll want to incorporate as much damage skills as possible, while being able to support the rest of the team as best you can with buffs from items and your hunting horn. Good skills to look for are Speed Eating, Free Meal, Quick Sheathe and as much Wide Range as possible. You can also incorporate Mushroomancer to give yourself the ability to eat mushrooms to buff yourself and team mates with Wide Range.
  171.  
  172. Support
  173. Dragon King Eyepatch OR Mosswine Mask Alpha
  174. Dober Mail Alpha
  175. Bone Vambraces Alpha
  176. Tzitzi Coil Alpha
  177. Vangis Greaves Beta
  178.  
  179. End Game:
  180. Damage builds will be extremely similar to other weapons. You’ll want to incorporate as much attack, handicraft, and affinity as possible.
  181.  
  182. Nergigante Helm Alpha
  183. Dober Mail Beta
  184. Kaiser Vambraces Alpha
  185. Tzitzi Coil Alpha
  186. Vangis Greaves Beta
  187.  
  188. Friendship Charm 3
  189.  
  190. Tenderizer Jewel 2 - Gama Horn
  191. Sheath Jewel 1 -  Gama Horn
  192. Sheath Jewel 1  - Nergigante Helm Alpha
  193. KO Jewel 2 - Dober Mail Beta
  194. Gobbler Jewel 1 - Kaiser Vambraces Alpha
  195. Satiated Jewel 1 - Vangis Greaves Beta
  196. Sonorous Jewel 1 - Vangis Greaves Beta
  197.  
  198. Skills:
  199. Wide-Range - 5
  200. Attack Boost - 3
  201. Weakness Exploit - 3
  202. Speed Eating - 3
  203. Quick Sheathe - 2
  204. Maximum Might - 2
  205. Water Attack - 1 (useless)
  206. Slugger - 1
  207. Horn Maestro - 1
  208. Free Meal - 1
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