The Bow is such an interesting Monster Hunter weapon. With it in your hands you feel like a modern day Robin Hood, slipping and sliding around the battlefield, thunking arrows into the nearest shambling beast until it falls. In the hands of a team mate however, you’ll barely notice them, suffice for the occasional gesture at the end of another successful hunt. It’s the ranged weapon equivalent of the Lance; Workmanlike, efficient and effective. No mess, no fuss. So what do Hunting Styles add to the equation in MHGU? Well, not a great deal if we’re honest – there’s only so many ways you can charge and shoot an arrow after all. Quite a few seem to be focused on the Arc shot, which again has limited use outside of a few niche builds, so we’re resigned to choosing those that just make the Bow feel right. Let’s get to it!
Regular readers may have noticed that we tend to recommend Guild Style for weapons that we feel need a ‘baseline’ experience, before then advising that you move onto something a little more unusual. With the Bow however, we’d argue that Guild might be the absolute best style available. To start with, the abilities are exactly as you might imagine. You can fire off your shots – charged and arc – in the usual fashion, with no restrictions at all. This means it immediately feels like the Bow should, and it’ll certainly feel entirely familiar for players coming to MHGU from any other title, including World. Crucial too is the inclusion of the backhop, an oft underestimated ability of the Bow, used to create space where necessary.
It’s the last detail there that really holds the key. Any other style, including the second one we’ve chosen, either holds too little benefits or causes you to lose the backhop, which is a huge change to your game play. Some of the styles do offset this with benefits, but we’d certainly pitch in with an argument promoting Guild Style as the best overall choice. Valor Style is the only one that comes close to retaining the ‘feel’ of Guild whilst retaining the evasiveness, but for us it just doesn’t quite feel as smooth as Guild itself.
- Has that great, evasive-yet-powerful Bow feeling.
- The backhop, sadly missing from some other Style options, is key.
- Opportunity to bring 2 Hunter Arts.
- Nothing ‘New’ to play with.
- Other styles can technically output higher amounts of damage.
Whilst it may sound like we’re hung up on the backhop, and don’t get us wrong we kind of are, we’ve chosen Adept Style as our second style option because it really doesn’t need it. The Adept dodge – the ability on which all Adept styles are based – requires that you be close enough to the enemy for it to activate, negating the need for a backhop. We’d argue it’d still be nice to have, but it’s a good trade of nonetheless. Once completing said Adept dodge, you’re able to instantly fully charge one of your shots, or launch into a very strange lunging attack. It’s the insta-charge you’re after here of course, and once you’re used to the attacks of your opponent you’ll be able to output some huge damage in very short order.
Arc shots just plain cannot be done in this style, which is no great loss in our opinion, and of course you do lose the backhop, but it feels fair given the instant charging that you gain. We’d have to say that our time tends to be split between this and Guild when bringing the Bow out to play, and whilst Valor does come close, none of the other style options feel quite right.
- Instant Charges following an Adept dodge.
- Very safe, given the innate evasion of Adept.
- Different ‘flow’ of battles, but equally satisfying.
- Lacks backhop.
- Valor can probably do more damage, if you like the feel.
- Limited Hunter Art slots.
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