Oh trusty Monster Hunter Long Sword, how good it feels to be back. For those unaware, it’s been a little while since we last wrote about a title in the series, and our opening article of Rise marks the third that we have written about. Some of you will note the delay, after all the game has been out for quite a while and countless websites have written about it, so we should probably explain a little. We love the series and wholeheartedly enjoy the end game grind for the perfect set, yet despite this we continue to see the exact same gap in community information with every new release: Nobody talks about the early game.
Seasoned veterans will all tell you that the game doesn’t really begin until the max rank, and that you’re better off just ‘making whatever until you get to the good stuff’. Well it’s our third go around now, at least in terms of writing, and we’re going to continue servicing those in need; players struggling to make decisions when faced with the myriad of options, equipment and customizations that make up the modern Monster Hunter. To that end, how about we start with the most popular Weapon in the series, the Long Sword?
Our first choice here comes from a relatively new monster to the series: Kulu-Ya-Ku. This egg toting Bird Wyvern made its debut in Monster Hunter World, in which it garnered quite a warm reception from series fans. It’s main quirk is the fact that it likes to carry eggs or rocks with its front claws and use them as either a weapon or shield. Traditionally it is encountered quite early in the game, a fact that remains true in Rise, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a complete pushover for old and new hunters alike. We’ve often been caught unawares by just how much damage his leap attacks can do, especially when a certain Event quest in World made it hilariously oversized.
To the Long Sword then, and it’s the Kulu Katana that we’re recommending first. As you might imagine this thing is rather simple in it’s execution, mainly because it follows the trend of Kulu weaponry; expect reasonable raw damage, good sharpness and a little affinity. Such things are true here, with the sword having a good starting damage, a big chunk of green in its sharpness and 10% critical chance. This makes it the ideal starting point for new players, the sharpness level especially since you’ll spend less time stopping to use a whetstone, something that often catches new players out, leaving them open for attacks.
- Good starting raw damage.
- 10% critical chance is a nice damage bonus.
- Big chunk of green sharpness means you’ll spend less time sharpening.
- The third upgrade eventually comes with 3 slots, and whilst it’s not exactly an end game world beater, it’s a great way to transition into High Rank.
- Upgrades from the Iron Katana.
- Kulu-Ya-Ku Hide x 2
- Kulu-Ya-Ku Beak x 1
- Kulu-Ya-Ku Plume x 2
There’s nothing all too concerning here if we’re honest. You’ll get plenty of Hides as a result of hunting the beast a few times, but the Plume and Beak will require you to break its front legs and head for a good chance at them dropping. This shouldn’t be too difficult, and you might just get lucky with RNG even without breaking them, but try to direct your attacks here to increase your chance. Plus, it does look hilarious when Kulu drops the item it’s carrying, so it’s always worth going for those front legs!
So you’ve successfully traversed the trial by fire that is the introduction to a Monster Hunter title, and you’re really starting to push your way through into the harder hunts. The chances are that you’re starting to feel your current Long Sword choice, Kulu Katana or otherwise, is a little underwhelming. Moreover, it would just be nice to get a different reward for all of your hard work, right? Enter the Hidden Sabre, otherwise known as the Nargacuga Long Sword. Yes that’s right, you’ll have to take on the black jumpy lad to get your hands on this bad boy, probably multiple times. We didn’t say it was going to be easy now, did we?
This particular choice again follows the trend of the monster from which it originates. Narga weapons in particular tend to come with a slightly lower raw damage figure than usual, but with a nice big chunk of Affinity, and the Hidden Sabre Long Sword is no different. Out of the box it comes with 30%, which will rise through 35% to 40% as it’s upgraded, and it also features an absolutely huge amount of green sharpness. For a rarity 3 item the raw damage isn’t fantastic and other Long Swords, our third choice included, will easily eclipse this, but the damage increase from that Affinity will go a long way towards bridging the gap. The only real pain with this weapon is being able to craft it; you’ll need an Iron Gospel to begin with and the Nargacuga pieces aren’t that easy to come by.
- Excellent 30% critical rate.
- Huge amount of green sharpness means less whetstone downtime.
- Reasonable raw damage.
- Upgrades into versions with even more critical and eventually the excellent Deepest Night Long Sword.
- Upgrades from the Iron Gospel.
- Nargacuga Cutwing x 4
- Nargacuga Blackfur x 2
- Nargacuga Tailspike x 2
- Malachite Ore x 5
As noted above, you may need to do a little more work to get this thing crafted. The Cutwings are a bit awkward, since you’ll need to actually break Narga’s wing, which can be a pain with lower sharpness weapons. The Blackfur and Tailspike are slightly more rare too, and despite it’s name the Tailspike doesn’t really have that much more of a chance to drop if you break the tail. Capturing it seems to be your best bet over all, but we’ll admit that we had to take it on quite a few times to gather everything required here.
We may have started with one of the newest monsters in the series, but we’re ending with one of the oldest: Tigrex. In many ways this ol’ chap is the type of monster that we like to call ‘The Wall’. Everybody has them – those monsters that you just can’t quite get right, requiring you to truly elevate your skills to get through. For many this might be our previous choice, Nargacuga, or even the flying terror that is Rathalos, but for many old timers their biggest wall was the Tigrex. There is just something about that huge wingspan – yes it has wings – that pairs with its speed to make just standing your ground next to impossible. Still, if you want to get your hands on some of the best equipment around, then you’ll eventually have to push your way through this absolute brute.
It’s first worth noting that Tigrex equipment sits in a rather strange position; whilst they do come with negative affinity, rather than balancing this out with pure raw damage, like a Diablos weapon or such, they temper it slightly with more sharpness. The end result of this is that Tigrex weapons always hit hard, stay sharp for longer and don’t have any element attached to them, meaning you can power them up even further. That being said, when you finally manage to push through the roaring beast, we wholeheartedly recommend that you take some time out to craft the Tigrine Edge. As you might imagine it comes with a fantastic raw damage stat, is one of the first Long Swords to attain a little Blue sharpness and yes, it does come with a little negative affinity. At this point you’re probably not sold on the negative affinity, but rest assured you’re going to have plenty of ways to offset this, through either crit chance boosting equipment or talismans.
- High raw damage.
- Dips into Blue sharpness, increasing the damage further.
- Sight negative affinity (20%), but this can be offset with gear.
- Excellent final upgrade, Tigrine Need.
- Perfect for the Razor Sharp skill, keeping that Blue sharpness for longer.
- Upgrades from the Keen Edge, or Forged.
- (Upgrade) Tigrex Fang x 5
- (Upgrade) Tigrex Scale x 3
- (Upgrade) Tigrex Claw x 1
- (Forge) Tigrex Fang x 5
- (Forge) Tigrex Claw x 1
- (Forge) Tigrex Shell x 4
- (Forge) Tigrex Scalp x 1
You’re going to want to upgrade this from the Keen Edge. No really, trust us, you want to upgrade it rather than attempting to Forge it. It’s not the Fangs – you’ll likely be breaking the head whilst fighting Tigrex so you’ll get plenty of these, and you’ll get plenty of Claws simply by accidentally breaking one during a hunt. The Shell and Scale too are simple to get, since they’ll drop by far the most no matter the hunt. It’s that damned Scalp that will give you trouble – the thing only has a 12% chance to appear in the rewards when you break it’s head, and an even lower chance (5%) to be in the rewards in general. Upgrading skips this requirement, and whilst you’ll still likely need a few hunts to gather everything, it’s much easier and more efficient than the Forge.