[Top 7] MHW Best Bows That Wreck Hard!

If you want a mix of speed and power while keeping just out of reach of the monsters, look no further than the Bow!

Today on MHW: Iceborne, we will be discussing the very best Bows available in-game!

These are in no particular order and are instead the best Bows of each specific niche - raw, elemental, and status - of play. Disclaimer: this list will ignore the Kjarr and Safi weapons on two grounds: one, they so utterly outclass every weapon on the list, and seven repeats of Kjarr and Safi would be boring; and two, they are so completely based on RNG that it becomes a toss-up to even got them, much less build for them. Instead, this list focuses on the weapons you can directly craft from materials.


So, up first, we have:


Raw: Bow of Vice and Violence

As terrifying as the monster it was made from.

It is understandable that the mighty Fatalis, indisputably the most powerful of monsters, will yield the mighty Bow of Vice and Violence, indisputably the most powerful of Bows. It boasts a titanic base raw of 444, with a hefty 120 Dragon element and High Elderseal to help you in your hunts against Elder dragons, along with access to every coating except Blast and boosted effects from Paralysis and Poison. Add to that two 4th level Decoration slots, and you can reach some truly stellar damage numbers.

The Vice and Violence’s only downfall is its -30% affinity, which can put a major damper on your ability to do consistent damage, but this can be easily mitigated by stacking on affinity augments. In fact, with a properly constructed build, you can pretty easily achieve 100% affinity and guarantee critical hits every single time you hit: combining Affinity augments, Critical Eye, Weakness Exploits for hitting wounded weak spots, Agitator for when the monster’s enraged - which it almost always is.

This will require a considerable investment, and will need plenty of decoration slots to completely fill out, but the Bow of Vice and Violence starts you out with two slots, and the rest of the Fatalis armour set has plenty more, on top of giving you the Transcendence 4 piece bonus: with the True Spare Shot it gives you, you have a 30% chance of not expending coatings, giving your Power and boosted Paralysis coatings even more shelf life during a hunt.

Weapon Highlights:

  • A blisteringly high damage will ensure you’re destroying everything in your path.
  • Dragon element and High Elderseal will make short work of elder dragons, the most common endgame monster.
  • Boosted Paralysis coatings will allow you to proc those all-important paralyses to make a hunt go that much faster.

Weapon Details: https://monsterhunterworld.wiki.fextralife.com/Bow+of+Vice+&+Violence


Fire: Glavenus Arrow II

Burn away your foes with Glavenus' fiery might!

Arguably the most potent fire Bow available, the Glavenus Arrow II comes stocked with a serviceable 300 raw attack, a flat 0% base affinity, a monstrous 390 Fire element, and two 1st level Decoration slots. Access to the Power, Poison and Blast coatings gives it some measure of versatility, but lacking Paralysis and Sleep coatings do hurt it. With the Element Effect Up III augment and a maxed Fire Attack skill brings that up to 710, head and shoulders above almost every other normally craftable fire Bow available.

The one Bow that threatens the Glavenus Arrow’s spot at the top is the Anjanath Flamebow II - with a base raw of 312 and a Fire element of 450, a case could be made for it, but it suffers from three major issues: it lacks any slots, which hamstrings its ability to be slotted into builds; it lacks the Poison coating that the Glavenus Arrow II has, which hurts its versatility in combat; and it comes with a painful -20% base affinity.

Unlike the Bow of Vice and Violence, elemental Bows have much less space to devote to affinity skills and augments, since much of the builds for elemental Bows revolve around stacking Element Up skills and augments. In addition, the Silver Rathalos 4-piece is arguably the most powerful set for elemental Bows, with its all important True Critical Element set piece bonus boosting the Bow’s elemental damage on critical hits by 55% - the meta for Silver Rathalos elemental builds is 100% affinity to guarantee that massive damage boost.

Weapon Highlights:

  • A solid raw makes it powerful enough to deal with any threat, and its massive Fire element allows it to dominate in Iceborne, where a good chunk of the newest monsters are weak to Fire.
  • Its neutral affinity and access to two Decoration slots makes it easy to slot into elemental builds.

Weapon Details: https://monsterhunterworld.wiki.fextralife.com/Glavenus+Arrow+II


Water: Azure Era “Soaring Dragon” +

Universal Studios Japan has gifted us with a powerful tool: the Azure Era "Soaring Dragon" +.

The Azure Era “Soaring Dragon” + is not only the strongest craftable Water Bow in Iceborne, but arguably also the strongest Water Bow overall, with a much higher Water element and base raw than even the Kjarr Bow “Water”. Its 324 base raw and a hefty 330 Water element makes it the best pick for fighting the fiery monsters of Iceborne, like Teostra, Uragaan, and Glavenus. It also comes with two 4th level Decoration slots for maximum customisability and a massive 30% affinity right off the shelf.

The Soaring Dragon + also comes with Power, Poison, Sleep, and Blast coatings, missing out on Paralysis but still bringing a significant amount of versatility to your hunts. In addition, being the USJ event Bow makes it considerably easier to farm for one of its crafting materials, the Azure Era Seal. This is because the USJ: Shine On Forever quest (the only quest where you can get an Azure Era Seal) is guaranteed to give you at least one Azure Era Seal upon completion - and you only need one.

The Azure Era’s main competition is the Laguna Shot II, which, with its 450 base Water and more space for Element Up augments, can reach a fully augmented total of 640 Water element compared to the Azure Era’s 600, but the Soaring Dragon + wins out considerably on raw and affinity, as well as having much more customisability with its superior slots. The Royal North Wing also bears some mentioning, but its powerful 420 Water element is hidden, and requires even more slot investment to make the most of.

Weapon Highlights:

  • Better than average raw and very high affinity make this weapon a solid choice for many hunts.
  • Powerful Water damage will greatly help against the subspecies and variants that dominate the Guiding Lands - Scarred Yian Garuga, Brute Tigrex, Silver Rathalos - and even the mighty Teostra.
  • Access to almost every coating and two 4th level slots makes this weapon supremely versatile.

Weapon Details: https://monsterhunterworld.wiki.fextralife.com/Azure+Era+Soaring+Dragon++


Thunder: Archbeast Paragon

Beware the thunderous power of the Furious Rajang.

If you can successfully bring down a Furious Rajang and acquire a Rajang Heart, you can craft yourself the Archbeast Paragon, a Thunder Bow as powerful as the monster it takes its strength from. It has a superb 360 raw and a serviceable 240 Thunder element, along with 10% affinity and access to the Power, Paralysis, Poison, and Blast coatings. It has no slots, but its skyhigh raw and positive affinity allow you to save on Decorations in your build.

A solid alternative to this beast of a weapon is the Tobi-Kadachi’s Thundering Strikebow; it has a vastly superior Thunder element, at 330, and, being a Rarity 10 weapon, can access many more elemental augments, bringing it to a total of 600 against the Archbeast’s 460. However, the Archbeast still takes the crown, primarily because of two major factors: first, its raw completely outclasses the Strikebow’s dismal 264; and second, almost every monster in Iceborne that is weak to Thunder has pitiful hitzone values for the element and much better hitzone values for raw damage, making a pure Thunder build less valuable in the endgame.

Weapon Highlights:

  • A beast not only by name, this weapon can dish out a lot of raw damage on its own.
  • The low hitzone values for Thunder damage hurt it relative to the other elemental Bows on this list, but it still puts out good Thunder damage against monsters weak to it.

Weapon Details: https://monsterhunterworld.wiki.fextralife.com/Archbeast+Paragon


Ice: Edelescha

From the coldest depths of the Hoarfrost Reach comes the Frostfang Barioth, and from its rimy fangs comes the Edelescha.

Crafted from the materials of the Frostfang Barioth, the Edelescha is the new premier Ice element weapon, having dethroned the Shrieking Legiana’s Mist Glacia in a more recent release. It has a high base raw (324) and incredible Ice element (420), and comes with 15% affinity. Its access to the Power, Paralysis and Blast coatings, arguably the three best coatings, pushes it into the top tier.

It powers past the Mist Glacia because its slightly higher Ice element (450) doesn’t make up for its neutral affinity and really low base raw (276). The Glacia also lacks the Paralysis and Blast coatings, instead running Poison and Sleep, which aren’t as effective in the endgame. The single 1st level Decoration slot it comes with doesn’t make up for its other shortcomings.

Weapon Highlights:

  • The Edelescha’s 750 maximum Ice element will blast through many of Iceborne’s more challenging fights, like Brachydios, Rajang, and Seething Bazelgeuse.
  • It has access to the three most important coatings for endgame speed hunting.

Weapon Details: https://monsterhunterworld.wiki.fextralife.com/Edelescha


Dragon: Alatreon Commandment

Alatreon may be one of the most powerful monsters in the New World, but you can make short work of it with its own weapons!

Unlike the other elemental Bows, there is no contest for the best Dragon element Bow - it is this one, the Alatreon Commandment. A fantastic 336 raw, two 2nd level Decoration slots, neutral affinity, access to all of the best coatings (Power, Paralysis, Sleep, and Blast), and an absolutely stupendous 600 Dragon element: this Bow has no elemental equal. With full augments, you can have 361 raw and 930 Dragon.

Since this weapon has no Dragon element competitor, here instead is an armour set alternative: instead of running 4-piece Silver Rathalos, it may be worth running 2-piece Velkhana and 3-piece Alatreon instead. This is a major shift in skill use, as Velkhana Divinity grants Critical Element (weaker than the Silver Sol’s True Critical Element, but still useful) and the Alatreon Divinity grants considerable increases to elemental damage as your elemental resistance increases.

This build then consists of stacking up as many Hard Elemental Res and Defence Decorations to become a walking tank, which then, in turn, boosts your elemental damage. With an optimal set, this delivers between 28 (Thunder) and 50 (Ice) elemental resistances, an earth-shattering 1040 Dragon element, and a still very respectable 361 raw and 60% affinity on top of the 1.35x boost from Critical Element.

Weapon Highlights:

  • When hunting elder dragons and other monsters weak to Dragon element, like the Rath pairs and Savage Deviljho, this Bow has no equal.
  • It still has fantastic versatility besides when hunting Fatalis, with its very high raw, wide array of coatings and Decoration slots.

Weapon Details: https://monsterhunterworld.wiki.fextralife.com/Alatreon+Commandment


Blast: Lightbreak Bow

Wield the full explosive potential of Raging Brachydios with this bow.

There are no Bows with innate Poison, Paralysis, or Sleep status, but there are Bows with innate Blast status - and the best of those has to be the Lightbreak Bow. With a fantastic 360 raw and access to Power coatings, this Bow can tear through most hunts, and it has considerable versatility with one 4th and one 2nd level Decoration slot, but Blast is where the real fun is.

Forged with the explosive slime of a Raging Brachydios, this Bow makes Teostra’s blast clouds look like a chilli powder. It has 210 Blast, which can be boosted to a meaty 470 with maximum arguments and Blast Attack investment, and it comes with Blast+ coatings, allowing you to get blast proc after blast proc in your hunts. In addition, Iceborne’s Master Rank hunts have a buffed blast status, doing 300 damage per proc and allowing the Lightbreak Bow to tear through many of Iceborne’s monsters.

Mechanically, unlike the elemental builds presented earlier, the Blast status of the Lightbreak Bow is less of a focal point and more of a garnish on top of an already powerful build: as such, building a Golden Lune set for its 4-piece True Critical Status set bonus is inferior to building for attack if you want to finish hunts as fast as possible. However, it is arguably more fun to build for Affinity and True Critical Status, allowing you to proc more and more Blasts every hunt.

Weapon Highlights:

  • Velkhana, Namielle, Ruiner Nergigante, and Scarred Yian Garuga all have high weaknesses to Blast, allowing you to build up the status even more quickly and proc explosions in the dozens every hunt.
  • Its considerable raw damage makes it strong even against monsters weak to Blast damage.

Weapon Details: https://monsterhunterworld.wiki.fextralife.com/Lightbreak+Bow


And that concludes this list of craftable Bows in MHW: Iceborne that wreck hard! Hopefully, you learned something new, and maybe this has inspired you to farm for one of these weapons!

Also be sure to check out these articles:

More on this topic:

Having written more for my Dungeons and Dragons campaign than Tolkien did for Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit combined, I feel pretty confident in qualifying myself as a gamer.
Gamer Since: 2010
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Apex Legends
Top 3 Favorite Games:Stellaris, ,

More Top Stories