[Top 5] Monster Hunter World Best Switch Axes (2020)

Monster Hunter World, Iceborne, Best Switch Axes
Monster Hunter World's Best Switch Axes

Swagaxes, roll out!

If Michael Bay got together with Capcom and said “dude, lemme make one weapon,” then the Switch Axe would be the result of that beautiful union. The Switch Axe is a two-handed cinematic spectacle. Sure, Longswords have the entire grace and elegance aesthetic going for it, but Switch Axes have all the explosions and sexy transformation sequences you’d expect out of a Transformer’s movie.

If you’re looking for builds, then please visit this link which will include all the weapons and the builds that go with them. 

Now then, let’s dive into the top 5 best Switch Axes.

5) Lohenbeil

[MHWI] MR5 Velkhana - Switch Axe (Freestyle) - 3'35"16

Honestly, any of the elemental Switch Axes can make it into this spot. The big point here is that an elemental Switch Axe wants to focus on putting out as many Zero Sum Discharges as humanly possible. As a result, most sets for this playstyle will use Silver Rathalos and focus getting into full amped state. 

Here’s an example of one with the Lohenbeil:

Lohenbeil Switch Axe Build

An important thing to note for these builds is the massive amounts of fire element, handicraft, Protective Polish, Power Prolonger, and True Critical Element. 

Handicraft is used to get into 20 hits of white sharpness to maximize damage, while Protective Polish is used to keep your sharpness until you’re in Amped state. Power Prolonger will keep you in Amped state even after you do a Zero Sum Discharge. 

The Lohenbeil is specifically great because of its massive amount of fire element. While it may have negative affinity, you can take an additional affinity augment to help ease that problem.

What's Great About the Lohenbeil

  • Made from Anjanath parts, which aren’t too hard to get.  
  • Protective Polish helps you keep your small amounts of white sharpness until you get into Amped state.
  • Tons of fire element for ZSD spam. 

Lohenbeil Stats

  • Rarity: 12
  • Sharpness:
    • Handicraft 2:

      • 20 hits of white sharpness
    • Without Handicraft:
      • 80 hits of blue sharpness
      • 50 hits of green sharpness
  • Raw Damage: 945(324.9 Effective Raw) (With Handicraft: 357.39 Effective Raw)
  • Affinity: -20%
  • Element: 600 Fire (63.75 Effective Element)(With Handicraft: 69)
  • Phial: Element.
  • Slots: 
    • None

4) Deep Lagoon II

[MHWI] MR6 Special Arena Silver Rathalos - Switch Axe (TA Rules) - 4'53"73

While the Lohenbeil is the best Switch Axe for a fire element, the Deep Lagoon II is the best for a water element.

The Deep Lagoon II is on this list because you can hit a massive 241.07 Effective Element. The next highest is the Lohenbeil at 210.95. On top of that, this weapon is able to get to 20 hits of purple sharpness which helps its elemental damage and makes for more comfy hunts as you build up to Amped state.

The build for this weapon looks like this:

Deep Lagoon II Build

In essence, this build works the exact same way as the Lohenbeil. It maximizes elemental damage and then raises its Affinity to take advantage of the Silver Sol set bonus. When you’re not in Amped, you want to use Protective Polish to keep your 20 hits of purple until you’re in Amped state. Once you’re in Amped state, you can just keep using Zero Sum Discharge for your damage.  


What's Great About the Deep Lagoon II

  • Tons of water element with the right build for ZSD spam.  
  • This is the build/weapon to go to when you need water, just cause it can hit purple sharpness, has custom upgrades, and comes with a level 2 slot.
  • Made from Coral Pukei-Pukei parts, which aren’t too hard to obtain. 

Deep Lagoon II Stats

  • Rarity: 12
  • Sharpness:
    • Handicraft 2:

      • 20 hits of purple sharpness
    • Without Handicraft:
      • 60 hits of white sharpness
      • 50 hits of blue sharpness
  • Raw Damage: 840(336.6 Effective Raw) (With Handicraft: 354.45 Effective Raw)
  • Affinity: 0%
  • Element: 540 Water (62.1 Effective Element)(With Handicraft: 67.5)
  • Phial: Elemental.
  • Slots: 
    • 1x Level 2

3) Ruinous Light

【MHW:I】Velkhana Switch Axe Solo 03'31''80 イヴェルカーナ スラッシュアックス 冰咒龙 斩击斧

The Ruinous Light gets our 3rd place spot since it can be built for both Zero Sum Discharge spam, and also just a swing Switch Axe playstyle. Thanks to its flexibility, the Ruinous Light is probably one of the best Switch Axes to build since it is a solid generalist weapon. If you’re looking to hunt in the Guiding Lands for long periods of time, then I suggest you build this weapon. 

What makes this weapon a wonderful generalist option is that it comes with a solid 1015 raw, and just a bit of dragon element. If you’re fighting anything with even a little bit of weakness to dragon, then you’re going to be out damaging many of the other raw options in the game. 

On top of this, the Ruinous Light has a base 110 hits of white sharpness and isn’t affected by Handicraft because it’s filled out the entire sharpness bar. This means you don’t have to run Handicraft, Master’s Touch, or Protective Polish in any of the builds using this weapon. Master’s Touch will be advised for the raw set because you’ll be swinging fairly often, but otherwise, you can get away with running almost anything you want as long as it hits 100% Affinity and a decent chunk of Attack. 

Here’s what these two builds would look like. For raw attack heavy:

Ruinous Light Raw Heavy Build

Looks like your regular damage heavy build - it has Critical Eye 7, Crit Boost 3, Agitator and Attack Boost. Let's take a look at a build focusing on ZSD spam:

Ruinous Light Build ZSD

Power Prolonger allows us to keep rocking ZSD without losing the bar. While the previous build didn't need mantles, since we are going to be attaching ourselves to the monster and staying on for a long period of time, Rocksteady and Temporal are advised so the monster can't throw you off. Attack jewels are attached just to further increase your raw damage. 

What's Great About the Ruinous Light

  • Super flexible for both builds and match-ups against monsters.  
  • Great generalist weapon cause of its miles of white sharpness and solid raw + dragon element. 
  • A level 1 slot and its base sharpness opens builds up because you really only need Master’s Touch if you are really worried about your sharpness, but even that can be excessive for some playstyles.

Ruinous Light Stats

  • Rarity: 12
  • Sharpness:
    • 110 hits of white sharpness
    • 40 hits of blue sharpness
  • Raw Damage: 1015(402.6 Effective Raw)
  • Affinity: 0%
  • Element: 210 Dragon (24.15 Effective Element)
  • Phial: Power.
  • Slots: 
    • 1x Level 1

2) Undying Axe

MHW: Iceborne - The Rajang Discharger Switch Axe Build! (Undying Light)

The Undying Axe takes our second spot because it has MASSIVE raw attack. In some situations, it can even out damage our first place Switch Axe (if they’re immune to poison or have a 1-star weakness to poison).

However, this comes at the cost of comfort and decorations. With two levels of Handicraft, this weapon only has 20 hits of white sharpness. You’re going to be heavily reliant on Master’s Touch to keep your sharpness, which means homing-in on the monster’s weak spot, tenderizing it, and then never leaving. 

On the decoration front, it’s going to be difficult to find room for all of your damage skills and two levels of Handicraft. If you don’t have the Handicraft 4 jewel or the Critical Boost/X decorations, you may find yourself having to give up damage skills in order to fit in skills just to reach 100% affinity. 

What's Great About the Undying Axe

  • Huge raw stat.  
  • While it can be taxing on Decorations and comfort, this weapon is still worth it thanks to its crazy damage output. 
  • While it doesn’t have too much lightning element, in matchups where the monster is weak to lightning, it can help add to its damage enough to stay well ahead of other Switch Axes. 

Undying Axe Stats

  • Rarity: 12
  • Sharpness:
    • Handicraft 2:

      • 20 hits of white sharpness
    • Without Handicraft:
      • 50 hits of blue sharpness
      • 50 hits of green sharpness.
  • Raw Damage: 1058 (375.38 Effective Raw) (With Handicraft: 412.91 Effective Raw)
  • Affinity: -15%
  • Element: 120 Thunder (12.75 Effective Element)(With Handicraft: 13.8)
  • Phial: Power
  • Slots: 
    • 1x Level 4.

1. Golden Crescent

[MHW:I] 4'48 TA Rules + Claw Brute Tigrex Switch Axe Solo ティガレックス亜種 スラッシュアクス ソロ

Probably to little surprise for most people out there, the Golden Crescent is our #1 Switch Axe. Its poison damage is able to push it above the rest of the raw damage competition for most monster matchups, and its base stats are strong enough to require very minimal support from the rest of your build. As a result, this is also one of the more comfortable and damaging Switch Axes you can build. 

The weapon itself sports a base 15% affinity and 60 hits of white sharpness. While it may not be as high as the Nergigante Switch Axe, this is still more than enough white sharpness for you to ditch Handicraft and Protective Polish for other skills.

What's Great About the Golden Crescent

  • One of, if not, the highest raw damage output for Switch Axes in the game.   
  • Plenty of white sharpness so you don’t need other sharpness preserving skills. 
  • Base 15% affinity and 1x level 1 slot makes builds much easier to create for this weapon.

Golden Crescent Stats

  • Rarity: 12
  • Sharpness:
    • 60 hits of white sharpness
    • 80 hits of blue sharpness
  • Raw Damage: 1015(417.7 Effective Raw)
  • Affinity: 15%
  • Element: 390 Poison(13 Effective Element)
  • Phial: Power.
  • Slots: 
    • 1x Level 1.

What about Safi Weapons?

When this article was written, Safi weapons hadn't been released on PC yet. However, if you want to build Switch Axe with Safi weapons there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, if you're going for a Switch Axe build that focuses on swinging more than ZSD spam, then I recommend going with any of the abnormal element Switch Axes (Blast and Poison if you want damage, Paralysis if you want CC).

Alternatively, if you want to focus on ZSD, I recommend getting all of the elemented Switch Axes from Safi'Jiiva and then element matching. 

The builds in this article will still be useful once Safi'Jiiva is released on March 13th. In the least, the builds listed above should give you an idea of how to build the Switch Axe for optimal damage. If you have any doubts, just build the Golden Crescent and start hunting Safi. 

If you're just looking for builds, I recommend going to this album.  

Thanks for reading!

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As a coffee-powered typist, Chris is an expert at playing through caffeine-powered binges and writing about what happens during those binges.
Gamer Since: 1995
Favorite Genre: FPS
Currently Playing: Monster Hunter World: Iceborne
Top 3 Favorite Games:Titanfall, Mass Effect 3, Megaman Legacy Collection

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