The Great Sword has always been one of our favourite Monster Hunter weapons. It’s a weapon as old as the series itself, but for us our love affair really began in MH4U, where we used it as an unsheathing, crit drawing machine. In every iteration the weapon evolves and changes of course, but the essence remains the same: Hit things with your huge slow sword, preferably charged, then collect loot. There are wrinkles of course; a tackle here, a hunting style there, but the intent remains the same.
As a weapon the Great Sword may be simple, but the Monster Hunter crafting choices are, as per usual, obfuscated as all hell. Do you want elemental damage on your weapon, or perhaps status? Maybe you don’t want any at all, just relying on the highest pure damage possible? Speaking of which, is the raw damage calculated as true, or inflated for no good reason, and how does Sharpness factor in? There are so many questions that Monster Hunter leaves you to figure out for yourself, and whilst that is surely part of the appeal, it’s also something that beginners can struggle with. That being the case, we’re going to lay out three of our favourite Low Rank Great Swords, if for nothing other than to help our fellow slab swingers out a bit.
Great Sword #3: Blooming Blade
So you’re a budding Great Sword user that’s fed up with slinging the basic models over your shoulders, and you’re looking for something a little bit better, right? For us, the Blooming Blade is the ideal stop off point on your journey. It’s easy to craft, accessible very early on and it comes with respectable statistics. The raw damage is nice and high, especially if you’re getting it directly after taking out your first few Pukei-Pukei, and it can be upgraded with a very small amount of effort, even holding it’s own in early High Rank.
The elephant in the room is the Poison damage. No, we’re not about to claim that having a status effect on a Great Sword is a fantastic idea – we’re all too aware that the weapon doesn’t hit quick or often enough to build it up. That doesn’t mean it can’t be a great weapon however, and all of the other stats are good enough to make it a nice step up from the base weapons. It’s unlikely to last you all the way to Master Rank, and it’s last two upgrade options are niche to say the least, but for Low Rank and the early portion of High Rank it’s a great choice. Even the design is quite nice, when it comes to World models at least.
- Great starting point with an easy early monster target.
- Poison isn’t ideal on a Great Sword, but the remaining stats are balanced.
- Good sharpness for the level.
Great Sword #2: Jagras Blade
Another Ore Tree Great Sword is the Jagras Blade. This model and it’s upgraded forms are some of the hardest hitting examples of the weapon, certainly through Low and High Rank. Unlike the others in this list it doesn’t come with an element out of the box, unless you choose to unlock it once upgrading to the Jagras Hacker. We’d surely recommend you do upgrade it, as much as possible in fact, but unlocking the element isn’t strictly necessary. As it stands the weapon comes with a great deal of raw damage, good sharpness break points and eventually adds two slots into the mix once you reach High Rank.
Whilst this Great Sword will do a great job throughout Low and High Rank, it really comes into it’s own in the early portions of Master Rank in Iceborne. By continuing to upgrade this sword on the way to the Iceborne content, you’ll be able to quickly upgrade it into it’s Rare 10 form, the Mammoth Greataxe. This is the highest raw damage, rare 10 Great Sword available in the game. You’re going to want to get your hands on some Rare 11 & 12 options of course, but keeping your humble slab of Jagras by your side will make sure you’re never short of firepower.
- Great Sharpness for Low Rank.
- Higher raw damage due to a lack of element or status.
- Great upgrades in High Rank.
- Fantastic early Iceborne upgrades.
- Highest raw damage, Rare 10 Great Sword available.
Great Sword #1: Flame Blade
Our second Great Sword is a natural progression from first choice. The Flame Blade upgrades directly from the Blooming Blade, so it’s worth bearing this in mind before you choose to upgrade the first iteration. This new, Rathalos based weapon, is a tremendously strong choice of Great Sword that performs well throughout your journey up the difficulty ranks. Directly comparing it to it’s predecessor, and indeed almost every other choice at this level, the raw damage and additional affinity are hard to beat, not to mention the bonus chunk of fire damage.
We’ll be the first to admit that Rathalos can be a bit of a pain, especially for newcomers to the series, but having a weapon such as this waiting for you at the other end is reward enough. It only ever gets a single slot, so you may have to look elsewhere if you’re looking for tight skilling options, but the way it scales into the late game is fantastic. Yes, you will eventually get to the absolute end game and find some epic Great Swords that eclipse this, but through Low, High and most of Master rank this thing will just keep on giving. Even then the final model, with it’s 25% affiinity, respectable raw damage and a bit chunk of fire element will manage to hold up in a lot of situations.
- Good raw damage throughout Low and High Rank.
- Scales very well into the late game.
- 10% affinity is a great bonus in the early game, eventually scales to 25%
- Fire element is a bonus, albeit limited in use.