Explaining just what the Insect Glaive is to a new Monster Hunter player can be quite the task. When comparing it to weapons available in other games, it’s closest comparisons end up being things like a Bo Staff, albeit that the MH version is sharp, features its own insect and can be used to vault around the place. This isn’t helped by it’s chequered history; introduced in MH4U alongside the mounting mechanic it immediately felt powerful, meaning we’d have no issue in recommending it for newcomers. Yet in the very next title in the series – Generations & Ultimate – it completely lost its identity thanks to Aerial Style, which essentially gave every weapon the ability to vault. Happily, Monster Hunter World saw it return to form in a massive way; it’s huge encounters and lack of styles meant that it felt truly individual again, and it quickly became a favourite of ours to recommend to friends new to the series. After all, what’s safer than the empty air above the opponent? Alas, such a time in the limelight was short lived thanks to Rise and the advent of Wyvern Riding, which effectively replaced mounting. Still, reducing its effectiveness to the mounting mechanic alone would be wrong, after all it’s still a very powerful option regardless of this, so we’re here to provide a little guidance to those looking to pick up this most storied of weapons for the first time.
Remarkably this is the very first model that we’ve chosen to recommend that comes from the Aknosom monster, newly added in Rise. Despite only being a 2-Star difficulty challenge, this twisting, flapping Bird Wyvern can give the budding hunter a bit of trouble, thanks to some remarkably long range sweeps that often catch them off guard. We tend to enjoy giving new beasts a little context and comparison, and in this regard the encounter tends to feel something like a cross between Yian Kut-Ku and Malfestio, albeit without the letters tremendously annoying sleep mechanic. Either way you’re likely to push your way through at least a few encounters with it, so we might as well make some use of it’s loot, right?
We’ve chosen the Aknosom Pike because it has everything the budding hunter might need in the early game of Rise; the raw damage crests triple digits at only 2-star, which is a great start, and it features a good amount of green sharpness that will ensure minimal whetstone downtime. That’s not all either, because this particular model comes with a Level 2 Kinsect, which equates to an all-round performance boost for your little companion over the initial Level 1. All of this combines to make it an excellent early choice, however it’s worth tempering expectations slightly, because the upgraded versions of this really don’t scale all that well. So whilst you’re sure to get a good deal of use out of this, and the fire element will see some use as you push through Low Rank, it’s perhaps not the kind that’ll see much use in the late game.
- It’s a well balanced Glaive that can be forged very early, ideal as a ‘starter’ Glaive.
- Good amount of green sharpness.
- Respectable early raw damage.
- Comes with the Level 2 Kinsect.
- Upgrades aren’t great, so consider using this whilst you fight through tougher enemies and manage to craft one of the others on this list.
- Iron Blade II
- Aknosom Crest x 1
- Aknosom Feather x 3
- Malachite Ore x 3
- Flame Sac x 1
In keeping with this being a true early game option, it’s crafting recipe really isn’t too difficult to complete. You’re certain to get plenty of the Feathers simply by hunting the beast and you’ll pick up plenty of Malachite Ore if you’re paying attention to gathering points. Even the Flame Sac drops quite regularly, meaning the only real issue is the Crest. Happily you’re guaranteed to get one of these if you successfully manage to break said Crest – given its size and relative ease this shouldn’t be too much trouble, and it’s a great introduction to part breaking and why it’s so key!
Speaking of firsts, this is the first time that we’re recommending something truly unusual in these lists, and it might be a little controversial. This is because the Deathport staff in particular requires loot that cannot be found by normal hunting means. The loot in question is the Sinister Cloth, which will require that you send out a team of Meowcenaries to locate, accomplished specifically by sending them to sparkling bone pile locations. Such things require a character trait often found in the Monster Hunter playerbase, but perhaps not in those new to the series: Patience. In the grand scheme of things you’re unlikely to wait that long to get a piece, and if you’re taking advantage of all the MH systems available then regularly sending the Meowcenaries out isn’t going to be much of an ask, but why would we recommend that you do so over simply picking a model that comes from another hunt? What is it about this particular model that makes it worthwhile?
Initially it’s unlikely to seem like much of an upgrade from our first choice; the raw damage is exactly the same and if anything it features a smaller chunk of green sharpness, but if we dig a little deeper things will become apparent. Firstly it comes with a nice bit of Dragon Type damage, which particularly in Rise has flown under the radar as quite a powerful option. Further to this, it comes with a Level 4 Kinsect as standard, so you’re immediately going to have a more powerful ally in tow. Lastly and far and away the most important point is that the upgrades are absolutely fantastic and happen very quickly. This last part is very key, because you can upgrade this before you even leave Low Rank, and it’s secondary form gains a massive 60 additional raw damage and comes with two slots, making it the ideal choice to take on your journey into High Rank. It even comes with a small bonus to defence, and has the criminally underrated Wyvern Exploit rampage skill!
- Good raw damage.
- Reasonable chunk of green sharpness, though the upgrade is where this really gets going.
- Comes with a Level 4 Kinsect, which is probably the earliest possible point in which this is available, if you keep on top of your Meowcenaries.
- Access to the Wyvern Exploit skill, which gives a flat increase of 5% damage to almost the entire monster population.
- Incredible upgrades that boost it with a big chunk of raw damage, kinsect level and more slots.
- Only possible negative is that it’s eventual maximum upgrade does not leave Green sharpness.
- Sinister Cloth x 1
- Dragonhusk Shard x 2
- Bishaten Horn x 2
As noted, you’re going to have to use the Meowcenaries to get your hands on the Sinister Cloth portion of this recipe. Remember to send your little troop at the shiny bone pile locations for a chance at these, and try not to pin your hopes on the next trip getting a piece – it’ll come, be patient. The Dragonhusk Shards will also be found over time, since they tend to have a small chance of appearing in all of the early quest rewards, and to get your hands on the Bishaten Horn is simply a case of breaking said monster’s head, something easier said than done!
One more for the ‘Exploding Purple Lad, Magnamalo’ column. It probably comes as no surprise that a quick weapon such as the Glaive enjoys a model that comes with Blast attached to it, especially when such things seem to have been given a buff in Rise. If you’ve been following our series of early recommendations then you’re likely to have faced this particular monster plenty of times now, and whilst we feel a little guilty continuously picking these types, it’s really no different to World’s Nergigante or such, because the models made from it’s loot are just a very solid choice for this particular portion of the game. This is especially true for the Insect Glaive, because a fully self-buffed hunter will be doling out a tremendous amount of hits at any given time, all of which will build the Blast meter up in super quick time.
In terms of its actual features, the Sinister Staff is similar to the other Magnamalo options; you get a good amount of raw damage, a nice long period of green sharpness and that ever-useful Blast addition. There are limited bells and whistles outside of this, and the secondary upgrade in Low Rank is nowhere near as effective as the eventual third, which is likely because the devs were very aware of the power a Blast Glaive can bestow. Regardless, this is a model that you’ll come back to time and time again as you make your way through the end of Low Rank and the Beginning-to-middle of High Rank. It’s even pretty damn powerful in the end game too, though we’d advocate that you stay away from it’s Magnamalo Soul Rampage Skill…
- Excellent early raw damage.
- Good amount of green sharpness.
- Comes with the Blast element, ideal for pons that hit frequently to build it up quickly.
- Great final upgrade, albeit with no slots or affinity etc.
- Magnamalo Blade x 2
- Magnamalo Shell x 3
- Magnamalo Scute x 2
- Magnamalo Ghostprism x 2
Once again we have an example of the developers realising the power of a particular model and making it quite difficult to craft. We love a challenge though and if you’re here then you probably do too. Anyhow, getting the Blades to drop is a matter of breaking the beast’s arms, which are quite weak anyway so you’ll likely be doing such things, and the Shells are it’s basic drop so there’s no real problem there. The Scutes can be a bit more awkward, since you’ll need to break it’s back for a real high drop rate, but this is balanced out slightly by the beast positively leaking Ghostprisms all over the place whenever you engage in Wyvern Riding!