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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. Insect Glaive - Low Rank
  41.  
  42. There isn’t a lot of Insect Glaive specific gear. Even then, things like Jump Master and Airborne aren’t as good as they appear. You’ll want to pick up some things like Master Mounter when possible, but stacking damage and sharpness will be the go-to. Sharpness is especially helpful.
  43.  
  44. The base armor set will have to tide you over to take on Pukei-Pukei and Barroth.
  45.  
  46. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to upgrade until you reach Tobi Kadachi, at which point, you get to upgrade basically everything.
  47.  
  48. The Kadachi Helm grants Constitution. It will reduce the amount of stamina dodging will consume. This also has good synergy with mounting monsters as Insect Glaive is the only weapon capable of dealing any real damage while mounted, but you’ll consume stamina while doing so.
  49.  
  50. You’ll also want to build the Kadachi Vambraces for Evade Extender, which will help you reposition.
  51.  
  52. The Kadachi Mail can be a reasonable upgrade, but doesn’t work nearly as well as it appears. Your vaulting attacks unfortunately do not count as Jump Attacks. Jump attacks are considered only things capable of mounting monsters. Pick it up because it will help, it’s just unfortunate it’s not as good as it sounds.
  53.  
  54. Finally, if you’re using Tobi-Kadachi’s weapon, pick up the Kadachi Coil for a bonus to thunder attack, which will be a more consistent damage boost compared to Fortify.
  55.  
  56. Anjanath is next, but has no reasonable options for us.
  57.  
  58. Recommended Set so far:
  59. Head: Kadachi Helm
  60. Chest: Kadachi Mail
  61. Arms: Kadachi Vambraces
  62. Waist: Kadachi Coil or Jagras Coil
  63. Legs: Kulu Greaves
  64.  
  65. Once you’re in the Coral Highlands you’ll 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.
  66.  
  67. You can also upgrade to the Lumu Coil if you find yourself taking a lot of damage.
  68.  
  69. Finally, you can also pick up the Lumu Mail for Master Mounter, which makes it easier to take down mounted monsters. This is a preference thing, but since mounting is Insect Glaive’s specialty, you may as well play to it’s strengths.
  70.  
  71. Recommended Set so far:
  72. Head: Kadachi Helm or Lumu Hat
  73. Chest: Lumu Mail OR Tzitzi Mail OR Kadachi Mail
  74. Arms: Kadachi Vambraces
  75. Waist: Kadachi or Lumu Coil
  76. Legs: Kulu Greaves
  77.  
  78. Head down to the Rotten Vale and hunt Hornetaurs. Build the greaves for Handicraft, which increases your weapons sharpness. Insect Glaive shreds sharpness, so this is definitely worth picking up.
  79.  
  80. Then finish off Radobaan, and Legiana.
  81.  
  82. Legiana Vambraces have the Airborne skill.
  83. Edit: Airborne does work on Insect Glaive vaulting attacks. This makes it a good pickup, even though you have much higher damage output on the ground in most cases.
  84.  
  85. With Monster Bone+ from Legiana, you can also build the Death Stench Heel. This will be a good defense increase over the Hornetaur Greaves, and will let you maintain Handicraft.
  86.  
  87. Next is Odogaron, pick up it’s coil for Critical Eye before moving on to hunt Rathalos and Diablos. You can also optionally build it’s Vambraces for Constitution over Kadachi’s Evade Extender or the not so great Airborne from Legiana Vambraces.
  88.  
  89. 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.
  90.  
  91. 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.
  92.  
  93. Optionally here, you can build the Rathalos Greaves  for Jump master, and with the Chest and Head it will unlock the 3 piece bonus of Critical Element. This will be a reasonable pick up for Insect Glaive.  You may want to keep the Death Stench Heel instead, and build the Rathalos Vambraces instead to pick up Critical Element.
  94.  
  95. Recommended Set so far:
  96. Rathalos Helm
  97. Rathalos Chest
  98. Odogaron Vambraces OR Legiana Vambraces OR Rathalos Vambraces (Grants Critical Element)
  99. Odogaron Waist
  100. Death Stench Heel OR Rathalos Greaves (Grants Critical Element)
  101.  
  102. Build these pieces if you want, but it’s time to move onto High Rank.
  103.  
  104. High Rank
  105.  
  106. High Rank finally introduces to us some options.
  107.  
  108. 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.
  109.  
  110. 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 pie ces, 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.
  111.  
  112. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to lose all your set bonuses, and kind of start back from square one.
  113.  
  114. The Kulu Headpiece Alpha should be picked up immediately for a second stack of Weakness Exploit. You’ll lose Critical Element if you have 3 piece Rathalos, but gaining the extra affinity will be worth it.
  115.  
  116. You don’t have many upgrades available for gloves, so pick up the Bone Vambraces Alpha for Attack and Slugger. You won’t benefit from Slugger, but the attack bonus is better than anything else at this point, and they’re an easy build.
  117.  
  118. Also head to the Rotten Vale to hunt Hornetaurs to get some much needed handicraft of the Greaves Beta.
  119.  
  120. Now hunt Pink Rathian, and pick up it’s Rath Heart Coil Alpha for Handicraft and Poison Resistance.
  121.  
  122. That should make you adequately prepared to take on the higher tier monsters of High Rank.
  123.  
  124. Recommended Set so far:
  125. Kulu Headpiece Alpha
  126. Low Rank Rathalos Chest
  127. Bone Vambraces Alpha
  128. Rath Heart Coil Alpha
  129. Hornetaur Greaves Alpha/Beta
  130.  
  131. Odogaron’s set is a great choice for Insect Glaive. 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. Insect Glaive really, really shreds it’s sharpness so going for Protective Polish is probably one of the best options you have at this point in the game.
  132.  
  133. Build the head gear alpha for critical eye, the gloves for constitution and critical eye, the coil for critical eye and speed sharpening, and the boots for quick sheathe and critical eye. You’ll want to pair this with the low rank Rathalos chest to maintain Weakness Exploit.
  134.  
  135. Of course, Rathalos will be the next target to upgrade the chest to the high rank version.
  136.  
  137. Protective Polish Set so far:
  138. Odogaron Head Alpha
  139. Low Rank Rathalos Chest (Upgrade to Rathalos Mail Beta as soon as possible)
  140. Odogaron Vambraces Alpha
  141. Odogaron Coil Alpha
  142. Odogaron Greaves Alpha
  143.  
  144. The next big set is the Rathalos Set. The two piece set is Critical Element which will represent a reasonable damage upgrade for elemental Insect Glaives.
  145.  
  146. The two piece set is extremely easy to get, and has amazing synergy with the chest and boots, which give 3 points of weakness exploit. Grab the Rathalos Greaves Alpha for jumpmaster, and weakness exploit. Then pick up the Mail Beta for weakness exploit 2 and a slot.
  147.  
  148. You’ll need a plate and a gem, but these are great pickups. You’ll regain Critical Element, and Weakness Exploit 3. This also frees up your head piece to upgrade to something else. The Rathalos Helm Beta is a great option, as is the Zorah Headgear Beta for Handicraft.
  149.  
  150. You can also hunt Legiana to build the Vambraces Alpha to get Evade Window and Airborne. This is probably the better pickup over Odogaron Vambraces Alpha.
  151.  
  152. With this you will be extremely well prepared to take on the remaining bosses in the game.
  153.  
  154. Recommended Set so far:
  155. Rathalos Head Beta OR Zorah Headgear Beta (attack 2 vs. Handicraft)
  156. Rathalos Mail Beta
  157. Legiana Vambraces Alpha OR Odogaron Vambraces Alpha
  158. Odogaron Coil Alpha (unlocks Punishing Draw with Odogaron Vambraces) OR Pink Rathian Coil OR if you’re a boss build a Vangis Coil from Deviljho
  159. Rathalos Greaves Alpha (unlocks Critical Element)
  160.  
  161. Protective Polish Set Mark 2
  162. (Strongly recommend this for Insect Glaive since Sharpness is a huge issue. Worse than any other weapon I’ve found, including Dual Blades)
  163. Odogaron Helm Alpha
  164. Rathalos Mail Beta
  165. Odogaron Vambraces Alpha (unlocks Punishing Draw)
  166. Odogaron Coil Alpha
  167. Odogaron Greaves Alpha (unlocks Protective Polish)
  168.  
  169. These sets 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.
  170.  
  171. The Elder Dragon sets are usually safe bets, but won’t necessarily be better or worse than this, just different.
  172.  
  173. 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 pretty well on Insect Glaive 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.
  174.  
  175. Nergigante’s Dragonking Eyepatch has Weakness Exploit 2 and a tier-3 decoration slot, making it a good pickup. You can tie this with the chest, hands, waist and legs of the Odogaron Set to have a better set than the previous Protective Polish set.
  176.  
  177. Kushala’s gear has a lot of Handicraft. You’ll want to look at the Kushala Cista Beta for Handicraft, and the Grips Alpha and Crus Alpha for more handicraft options.
  178.  
  179. Xeno’jiva has some interesting gear for Insect Glaive. The Xeno’jiva Hide Beta has Power Prolonger, which increases the uptime of your Kinsect Essence Buffs. The Claws Alpha have Critical Boost and Flinch Free, and finally the Spurs Alpha have flinch free and power prolonger. With these pieces you’ll unlock the 3 Piece Bonus of Razor Sharp. This doubles your weapons sharpness gauge and will make it so you don’t need to sharpen nearly as often.
  180.  
  181. Of course, farming Xeno’jiiva is a terrible experience, and Razor Sharp has very similar performance to Protective Polish. Obviously your main targets for end game are to get a Protective Polish Decoration which will completely eliminate your sharpness problems, and free up the rest of your gear for different skills like Handicraft, Attack and Critical Boost.
  182.  
  183. Razor Sharp Set:
  184. Dragonking Eyepatch
  185. Xeno’jiiva Hide Beta
  186. Xeno’jiiva Claws Alpha
  187. Nergigante Coil Alpha OR Kaiser Coil Beta (good if using Blast element IG) OR Vangis Coil Alpha (for handicraft)
  188. Xeno’jiva Spurs Alpha (unlocks Razor Sharp)
  189.  
  190. Protective Polish Set Mark-2
  191. Dragon King Eyepatch
  192. Odogaron Mail Beta
  193. Odogaron Vambraces Alpha
  194. Odogaron Coil Alpha
  195. Odogaron Greaves Alpha
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