The Sword and Shield has forever felt like the estranged step child of the Monster Hunter arsenal. Such an opinion was historically shared by the developers, to the point where they even introduced special ‘coatings’ for the weapon in previous titles. No such things exist here in Rise, but it seems to have found its place alongside the remaining 13, no doubt fuelled by some excellent power afforded by both statuses and elements. Likewise, the arsenal on offer is fantastic, allowing the prospective Sword and Boarder to vary their play styles wildly and still achieve results. We’ll stop blabbering on shall we and get down to the business of the day: Picking out our three favourite early game models, thusly.
Thinking about it, this is probably the earliest model that we’ve recommended in our series so far. We usually prefer to wait until 3 or 4 star hunts become unlocked, and then try to pick out weapons that will push you through the difficult learning phase that tends to hit around the middle of Low Rank. Such things are a testament to the power of the Dirty Baron, otherwise known as the Great Wroggi Sword and Shield. There is actually quite a trend when it comes to early SnS models being worthwhile; MH3U had some fantastic early game options, and recently in World the frankly epic Girros model was always worth crafting.
To business then, and our early recommendation here is a status based model, namely Poison. It’s a pretty early choice, so don’t expect miracles like 3 digit raw damage quite yet, but it’s respectable enough and it peaks with a small amount of green sharpness. The good news is that it can be upgraded pretty quickly to increase both of these. The main event is of course the Poison status, which the Sword ‘n Board can apply very quickly, and it even comes with the Poison Boost I Rampage Skill, allowing you to double down on such things. Interestingly enough, it also comes with the Buddy Boost Rampage Skill, which increases the damage done by your animal friends. This, combined with the constant tick of damage from the status infliction, makes it feel like you have quite a few things working in your favour all at once.
- Reasonable raw damage for a very early point in Low Rank.
- Poison is an excellent status, given that the Sword and Shield can apply them very quickly, and the ‘attrition’ style of hunt suits the weapon.
- Sharpness is somewhat limited, though an early upgrade chance will improve this somewhat.
- The Buddy Rally Rampage Skill is actually quite fun to play with. Combined with the Poison status, it lends the Dirty Baron another attrition tool, making it feel like you’re truly defeating the opponent with a thousand small cuts.
- Great Wroggi Hide x 4
- Wroggi Scale x 4
- Malachite Ore x 2
So early is our recommendation that it actually includes materials from a small monster of all things, those being the Wroggi Scales, which can be carved from the smaller Wroggi monsters. As you might imagine, the Great Wroggi Hides aren’t exactly cryptic in nature, and you’re likely to get enough of these from one or two hunts. On balance, this is probably the easiest craft that we’ve recommended yet.
We return once again to our exploding violet beast, for yet another round of ‘make one of these because it’s good in almost all situations’. We’re going to assume you’re not mad like us, after all we had to craft 42 Low Rank weapons* just to get the screenshots for these articles, so you’re likely to choose just a few Magnamalo models before you get moving into bigger and better things. That said, if you’re a fan of the SnS in any way then you really must craft the Sinister Sword, even just the base model. The way that this particular weapon can stack up Blast is quite something, and once you get familiar with it’s foibles, you’re likely to see that explosion more than almost any other type.
*The secret to crafting so much whilst staying sane? We love the ‘Random’ button in the Hub. Nothing beats hopping on, helping out and making whatever you can with the rewards.
The usual fare applies here; it has a tremendous amount of green sharpness, great raw damage for it’s unlock period and it comes with a nice chunk of Blast attached to it. Similarly, it has access to Attack Boost II in it’s Rampage Skills, or you can choose to increase it’s Blast effectiveness if you wish, something that we’d genuinely consider on a weapon type such as this. As usual we’d stay away from Magnamalo Soul; it has little use outside of some niche speedruns or max damage builds.
- Good level of raw damage.
- Massive load of green sharpness.
- Comes with the Blast element, which the quick hitting Sword and Shield is excellent at applying.
- In quite a few cases the Magnamalo models don’t hold their value into the absolute end game, but the Sinister Sword bucks that trend.
- Magnamalo Blade x 3
- Magnamalo Scute x 2
- Magnamalo Scale x 5
- Magna Ghostprism x 3
Funny that such a diminutive model would require so many materials, isn’t it? Perhaps it is very delicately assembled. Regardless, you’ll likely be going back and forth with the purple exploding chap quite a few times before you get your hands on everything required here. The Blades come courtesy of breaking it’s arms, which is a weak point you’re likely to be targeting, but the Scute can be a little more awkward, since it requires a back break to get a good chance at it dropping. Scales can be found in great amounts by simply hunting the beast, so they shouldn’t be an issue, and the Ghosprisms will rain from the sky when you take part in some jolly Wyvern Riding.
By now, you likely have a burgeoning collection of status and element based Sword ‘n Boards. However, what if you just want to hit something really hard. Like, really very hard, right in it’s squishy bits. What you need then, is a high raw damage piece of equipment, and they don’t come much better than the Studded Club. This should come as no surprise really, given that it’s source is the spiked gore monster that is the downright dangerous Diablos. If we’re honest, in Rise the beast doesn’t quite approach the difficulty levels of those found in MHGU, let alone something as deadly as the Bloodbath version, but it’s certainly the kind of target that may become a difficulty wall for newer players.
Look, we’ll level with you here. We do love the attrition based combat that the SnS brings to the table, but sometimes you just want to see big numbers, and this is our option for achieving such things. It comes with very high raw damage, 160 in fact, and whilst this is a whole 10 points lower than some others on offer, it’s only offset by a tiny -5% affinity, where others have to deal with a massive -15% or -20%. In terms of skills required to correct this, you’re highly likely to completely swallow the 5% by accident, rendering it rather moot, whereas you’d need to actively gear up to cancel out 20%. Not only this, but it comes with a massive amount of green sharpness, meaning you’ll have to stop a lot less when you’re learning those tricky, early High Rank opponents. Sometimes, in the case of the Greatsword or such, it’s worth getting that little extra bit of raw damage because you can ignore it thanks to Crit Draw or such, but the measly -5% here makes it a much more attractive option for us.
- High raw damage.
- Only has a -5% affinity, which is much lower than the other high raw options.
- Very long period of green sharpness.
- Upgrades well, soon reaching a little chunk of Blue sharpness and it retains it’s high raw.
- Twisted Horn x 1
- Diablos Fang x 3
- Diablos Shell x 3
Well now, there is one material that just stands out there a bit, isn’t there? Yes, the Twisted Horn will require that you break both of a Diablos’ horns, which will require that you do significant damage to its face. This is a dangerous proposition, especially if you’re sticking to your SnS principles and not changing weapons, but stick with it and you’ll eventually get there. The Fangs and Shells can be a little awkward too, however we’d recommend capturing the beast as much as possible, since this balances out the reward rates between both, with the side benefit of not having to battle it to the death each time.