The Monster Hunter Great Sword is the absolute king of what we like to call ‘Impact’ weapons. Alongside the Hammer, Hunting Horn and in some cases the Charge Blade, the Great Sword requires a great deal of patience; it’s a slow and lumbering beast, even more immobile than the Lance duo in most cases, but with the right timing it’ll deal more damage than any other, and by a fair distance too. Despite its relative simplicity however, it’s not the easiest of weapons to learn, requiring a great deal of practice before you’re able to pull off those impressive, massive charge attacks. By the same token, it would do little good to be swinging a dud around when you do learn to land one, so why not pursue the following three that we found work best in the early game?
No doubt our first choice is going to seem a little bland, after all this is a game about hunting monsters and we’ve seemingly chosen a model that requires little of their loot. It’s a fair comment of course, but before we list it’s benefits as a form of defence, it is worth noting that the formula for a good Great Sword is rather simple; have high damage numbers, ignore anything that doesn’t contribute to these. This really doesn’t change as you progress through a Monster Hunter title, though we’d potentially add that you’ll want to look good whilst doing it, but we’re perhaps getting ahead of ourselves there. Late game fashion hunting is probably the last thing on your mind right now.
All that being said, the Buster Blade is actually a fantastic early option. Not only does it have one of the highest raw damages available for a Rarity 3 item, but it also comes with a great deal of green sharpness. The Great Sword doesn’t exactly use a great deal of sharpness of course, however with the limited skills available during the early game, it’s nice to have a buffer there to minimise your whetstone requirements. The third and most obvious benefit has to be it’s crafting requirements; you don’t need any strange monster parts to get your hands on it, just a few Bones and Ore!
- High raw damage once unlocked in Rarity 3.
- Good amount of sharpness, ensuring minimal downtime.
- Very easy to craft.
- Attack Boost II in the Rampage Skills is a nice boon.
- Buster Sword
- Monster Bone+ x 2
- Dragonite Ore x 3
The main item you’ll be hunting for here is the Dragonite Ore, which can only be mined in the Lava Caverns in Low Rank. You’ll likely get plenty of the Monster Bone+ as you make your way through the quests, however it’s worth noting that these do not unlock as rewards until the 5 Star Village quests – if you want to get one earlier, they can be found as rewards for 3 Star Hub quests, so head there to get some for a swift upgrade!
Whilst the general rule for the Great Sword is to avoid elemental or status damage in favor of raw damage, occasionally a model will come along that features so much power that you can effectively ignore it’s additions. Such is the case with the Gossblade, which comes with 15 additional Ice damage, but pairs it with a whopping 170 raw damage, which is the highest available in the Low Rank portion of the game, at least in terms of plain numbers. There are two problems of course, one of which is likely to be that you’ll need to defeat a certain Goss Harag a few times, but the second of these – the -15% Affinity – isn’t actually as bad as it first seems.
If you’ve spent any degree of time with Monster Hunter Rise, you’ll no doubt have faced off against that most polarising of subjects: Rampages. By no means are we fans of this new mode, after all it plays more like some kind of strange tower defence game than the actual hunting of monsters, but it’s worthy of your time if only to unlock the Rampage upgrades for each weapon. These tend to be small buffs to damage or Affinity, each of which are quite useful in their own right, but the Gossblade itself comes with a rather different choice: Brutal Strike. This ability has a chance to take your negative affinity hit, which would normally do 0.75x the damage, and make it do 1.5x the damage instead! This occurs approximately 25% of the time, so whilst it’s likely that your equipment will start to nullify this negative affinity through either positive affinity or weakness exploit, it’s nice to have this little buff in the background whilst you gear up.
- High raw damage (170) for Low Rank.
- Good level of green sharpness.
- Negative Affinity can be offset with the Brutal Strike Rampage Skill.
- Will eventually upgrade to a very high 230 raw damage at max level, and the model has a level 2 decoration slot available.
- Kamura Cleaver III (Upgrade)
- Goss Harag Brace x 3 (Upgrade)
- Block of Ice x 1 (Upgrade)
- Massive Bone x 3 (Upgrade)
- Goss Harag Brace x 3 (Forge)
- Goss Harag Fur x 2 (Forge)
- Block of Ice x 1 (Forge)
- Massive Bone x 3 (Forge)
Rather unusually, there isn’t a great deal of difference between forging or upgrading this beast of a sword. Both the Brace and the Fur will likely drop in plentiful amounts, especially if you’re taking advantage of the Wyvern Riding in each hunt. Similarly, you’ll likely get a few Block of Ice, though this is much more likely to result from the Wyvern Riding than the other pieces. The Massive Bone may cause a little trouble, because it’s only actually found as a reward for the quest to hunt Goss Harag itself in the Village quests. You’ll likely get a few during the process of hunting the beast, but that requirement of 3 might see you return a little more than you initially planned to.
From one brand new monster we return to one of the oldest, and finally we arrive at our ultimate choice for an early Great Sword, the Tiger Jawblade. Upon initial inspection some readers may question this choice, especially when you directly compare it to our previous entry. This particular GS seemingly has less raw damage,150 compared to 170, and 5% more negative Affinity, for a total of -20%. All of this is true of course, and taken at face value you’d likely pick up the 170 damage version, right? Well first consider that the Gossblade only has green sharpness available, whereas the Tiger Jawblade is the first available with blue sharpness. Green will multiply your raw damage by an additional 5%, whereas Blue gives an addition 20%, so our formula for each weapon looks like this:
- Gossblade – (170 x 1.05) = 178.5 Damage.
- Tiger Jawblade – (150 x 1.20) = 180 Damage.
Further to this, the Tiger Jawblade is capable of adding the Attack Boost II Rampage Skill which adds an additional +6 damage to the weapon. This means the formula is actually like this:
- Tiger Jawblade – (156 x 1.20) = 187.2 Damage.
As you can see, our current choice is capable of dealing more damage thanks to it’s small amount of Blue sharpness. There are two caveats of course; there is only a small amount of Blue on this model, so you’ll need to keep it this way with skills or extra sharpening, and there is a slightly higher negative affinity, but we’d argue that you’re either going to cancel this out with the rest of your equipment, or you can even throw the Brutal Strike Rampage Skill on here too if you want!
- Huge raw damage, highest in Low Rank overall when factoring sharpness.
- No element, which will eventually allow a further boost in damage.
- Reaches a sliver of Blue sharpness.
- Excellent upgrades in High Rank.
- Carapace Sword I
- Tigrex Fang x 4
- Tigrex Scale x 3
- Tigrex Claw x 2
Grabbing everything on the list here can be a little awkward. The Tigrex Fangs aren’t too bad, since breaking the head of a Tigrex is very likely to reward you with one, and given that this is the main weak point you’re likely to break it whilst you’re taking it down. The Tigrex Scales shouldn’t be an issue at all, though if you’re struggling then make sure you’re getting plenty of shiny drops during a session of Wyvern Riding. The Tigrex Claws can be a little more awkward, since it’s high drop rate relies on you breaking it’s actual claws, but they can often be found as a regular body carve too, so it shouldn’t be too bad. We predict between 2 and 3 takedowns and you should have everything you need.