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  1.  
  2. Switch Axe
  3. Low Rank
  4.  
  5. Switch Axe has a special property known as Phials. We want Power Phials, they’re just better than the other alternatives like Exhaust, Poison, Paralysis, and Power-Element. This means we’re looking for high damage and sharpness, elemental damage if we can get it, and a power phial.
  6.  
  7. The upgrade path is pretty clean for switch axe, but it is actually kind of boring.
  8.  
  9. The short answer for this guide is: Make the Bone Path through Low Rank, then pickup the Tobi-Kadachi path, and follow it, or optionally upgrade to the Uragaan path, before picking up Nergigante’s Switch Axe, and that should take you through to end game.
  10.  
  11. Now for the long answer:
  12.  
  13. The Proto Iron Axe 1 you start with is good for the first missions.
  14.  
  15. The Bone Path will be our preference, but in these early stages they’re very similar. Proto Iron Axe 2 gets green sharpness, but the Bone Axe 2 has 35 more raw damage, both have Power Phial. Green Sharpness isn’t important just yet, so the focus should be on the Bone Path. However, you can build the Ore path if you prefer having more green sharpness at this early stage of the game, as it will be used for an upgrade later on.
  16.  
  17. The best part about the bone and ore paths, is you won’t need specific monster parts, and you’ll instead need to gather bones or ores, which are found around the map, and appear as fairly consistent rewards from every monster.
  18.  
  19. Make a Bone Axe 1, and upgrade it to a Bone Axe 2 by using 3 Monster Bone S. Unfortunately, this will have to tide you over until after you’ve hunted the Pukei-Pukei.
  20.  
  21. You should get Monster Bone M from the Hunt. Use 2 Monster Bone M, and 1 Ancient Bone to upgrade your Bone Axe 2, into a Bone Axe 3.
  22.  
  23. Now do your mandatory hunts of a Barroth, and a Jyuratodus in Wildspire Wastes.
  24.  
  25. You can optionally make a Madness Axe 1 from Jyuratodus, or a Carapace Axe 1 from Barroth materials but we lose the very desirable Power Phial for less desirable power element or paralysis.
  26.  
  27. The Carapace Axe would be the preference here, as it has 35 higher raw damage, but loses power phial, and it’s -20% affinity which enables feeble hits. This does bridge into the Diablos Switch Axe later, which is one of the strongest in the game, but starts off actually quite weak.
  28.  
  29. Stick to the Bone Axe 3 for now.
  30.  
  31. Keep progressing, and hunt Tobi-Kadachi, hang onto the materials, and then Anjanath.
  32.  
  33. Once you beat Anjanath, you’ll be able to upgrade from the Bone Axe 3 to the Bone Smasher 1, by using 1  c c  Monster Bone L, 5 Monster Bone M, and 2 Boulder Bone. Monster Bone L are rewards from monsters like Anjanath, Rathian, and Tzitzi-Ya Ku. The Boulder Bones can be scavenged from bone piles in Wild Spire wastes.
  34.  
  35. After Anjanath, it’s the Zorah Magdaros’ setpeice. Clear it, and you’ll progress into the Coral Highlands.
  36.  
  37. In the Coral Highlands, you’re forced into an expedition to explore. Here you can mine to get Dragonite Ore. Mine 5 as soon as possible. Also try and get 3 Coral Crystal, they’ll be used later.
  38.  
  39. Upgrade your original Proto Iron Axe 1 into a Proto Iron Axe 2 by using 2 Iron Ore. Then Upgrade that into a Proto Iron Axe 3 by using 2 Earth Crystals, 2 Machalite Ore, and 5 Iron Ore. Then, upgrade it to a Thunder Axe 1 by using 5 Dragonite Ore, 1 Tobi-Kadachi Electrode, 2 Tobi-Kadachi Claw, and 1 Electro Sac.
  40.  
  41. This upgrade is not immediately better than the Bone Smasher 1, but will be useful once we hit late low, and high rank. You can use it if you want, but the Bone Smasher has higher damage.
  42.  
  43. Continue progressing through the main story, Take out Paolumu, then you’ll descend into the Rotten Vale, and take out Radobaan.
  44.  
  45. Then you’ll have to take on Legania.
  46.  
  47. Hopefully you’ll get 2 Monster Bone+ from the hunt.
  48.  
  49. You have to make a choice here.
  50.  
  51. You can use your 2 Monster Bone+, to upgrade your Bone Smasher 1 into a Bone Smasher 2, OR you can use them to ugprade your Thunder Axe 1 into a Thunder Axe 2.
  52.  
  53. The Bone Smasher 2 has higher raw damage, but this is the last useful upgrade of the bone path, as once we hit High Rank the damage equalizes, and the Phial Type changes from the awesome Power Phial, to Dragon Phial.
  54.  
  55. By going down the Thunder Axe path, you’ll lose 35 raw damage, and gain 90 thunder. I’m goiing to suggest this, even if it’s slightly weaker, because it will continue to be useful in High Rank.
  56.  
  57. Here are your upgrade options:
  58. Upgrade the Bone Smasher 1, into a Bone Smasher 2 by using 2 Monster Bone+, 1 Monster Bone L, and 4 Sturdy Bone. Sturdy bones can be found in Bone Piles in the Rotten Vale, and Coral Highlands as well as appearing as Quest rewards.
  59.  
  60. Upgrade your Thunder Axe 1, into a Thudner Axe 2 by using 2 Monster Bone+, 2 Tobi-Kadachi Electrode, 2 Tobi-Kadachi Membrane, and 3 Coral Crystal.
  61.  
  62. This is your last upgrade for low rank, use whichever weapon you made to take out Odogaron, Rathalos, and Diablos.
  63.  
  64. After beating the Zora Magdaros setpeice, and killing a deceptively strong Pukei-Pukei, you’ll gain access to High Rank quests. Congratulations, the baby gloves are coming off.
  65.  
  66. High Rank
  67.  
  68. Our immediate goal in High Rank is a weapon upgrade to compensate for the increased health of monsters, with a long term goal of bringing our sharpness to the next level.
  69.  
  70. You’ll want to immediately hunt a Tobi-Kadachi, mine Carbalite Ore, and take out some Vespoids, which are the insect enemies around to get the materials required to upgrade your Thunder Axe 2.
  71.  
  72. Upgrade your Thunder Axe 2, into a Lightning Chopper 1 by using 5 Carbalite Ore, 4 Tobi-Kadachi Scale+, 3 Tobi-Kadachi Pelt+, and 3 Vespoid inner wing.
  73.  
  74. You can Build a Lightning Chopper 1 outright by using 4 Thunder Sac, 7 Carbalite Ore, 3 Tobi-Kadachi Scale+, and 1 Light Crystal. This will be more convenient than going through the entire path again.
  75.  
  76.  
  77. Now, use the Lightning Chopper 1 to progress through the main story until you take out Pink Rathian, and gain access to the Elder’s Recess.
  78.  
  79. Now, you have another choice to make.
  80.  
  81. You can mine in the Elder’s Recess for Fucium Ore, and upgrade your Lightning Chopper 1, into a Lightning Chopper 2 by using 5 Fucium Ore, 2 Tobi-Kadachi Electrode+, 4 Tobi-Kadachi Membrane, and 3 Thunder Sac.
  82.  
  83. Or, you can hunt a new Monster, Uragaan, to build a Motor Chopper 1.
  84.  
  85. Use 1 Uragaan Jaw, 6 Uragaan Scale+, 4 Uragaan Carapace, and 1 Uragaan Marrow to upgrade your Lightning Chopper 1, into a Motor Chopper 1.
  86.  
  87. These weapons will both be comparable. They both have the extremely desirable power phial. The Motor Chopper 1 has 35 more raw damage, a good chunk more blue sharpness, with 120 fire damage vs the thunder damage on the Lightning Chopper 2 and +30 defense as a nice little bonus. Fire damage is less desirable than Thunder, but will be alright vs. Nergigante, and later Vaal Hazak.
  88.  
  89. It is significantly harder to build, as you’ll need to hunt at least 1 Uragaan, vs. simply mining in the Elder’s Recess and hunting more Tobi-Kadachi. It does have a better final upgrade tier, but requires an Uragaan Ruby, and Teostra materials.
  90.  
  91. Your next hunt is going to be Nergigante, and he’s weakest to Thunder elemental, but again, the damage will be comparable.
  92.  
  93. If after your hunt, you got 3 Elder Dragon Blood, you can upgrade your Lightning Chopper 2, into a Lightning Chopper 3. By using 3 Elder Dragon Blood, 4 Tobi-Kadachi Electrode+, 6 Tobi-Kadachi Claw+, and 1 Wyvern Gem. You can get Wyvern gems from hunting monsters like Barroth, Jyuratodus, or Radobaan.
  94.  
  95. Of course, Nergigante’s Switch Axe is amazing. You can build the Nergal Gash by going through the Ore Tree.
  96.  
  97. Build a Proto Iron Axe 1, into Proto Iron Axe 2, into Proto Iron Axe 3, into Improved Steel Axe 1, into Improved Steel Axe 2, into improved Steel Axe 3, into Perfected Ally Axe 1, and finally the Nergal Gash.
  98.  
  99. Congratulations, you now have a weapon that’s completely capable of getting you through the rest of the game, and one of the best Switch Axes.
  100.  
  101. This will be adequate for taking out the remaining Elder Dragons.
  102.  
  103. After taking out Xeno’jiva, you can upgrade the Nergal Gash one more time into Dying Light by using 2 Xeno’Jiva horns, 5 Nergigante Horn+, 5 Nergigante Talons, and 1 Nergigante Gem. The gem will take a lot of time, unless you’re lucky, but will be well worth the investment.
  104.  
  105. For additional end game weapons, you can upgrade the Motor Chopper 1 into a Motor Chopper 2 by using 4 Teostra Carapace, 2 Uragaan Jaw, 4 Uragaan Scute, and 1 Uragaan Ruby. This will be most useful against Vaal Hazak, and Kirin as they are extremely weak against fire.
  106.  
  107. You can also go through the Diablos Path, to build an Axe of Demons which has the highest Raw Damage output available in the game, and will be an excellent option once you can offset the Negative Affinity, and gain Non-Elemental Bonus through gear or decorations.
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