[Top 5] Monster Hunter World Best Sword and Shields (2020)

Monster Hunter World, Iceborne, Top 5, Best Sword and Shields
Monster Hunter World's Best Sword and Shields


JoCat’s pride and joy, the Sword and Shield, is the undisputed generalist King.

At first glance, the Sword and Shield appears to be outclassed on every front. It lacks any sort of damage-increasing mechanic and doesn’t exactly have a defining trait that can set it apart from the other weapons. Dual Blades have more mobility, Lances can tank better, and Long Swords can deal more damage. 

But the beauty of the Sword and Shield lies in its ability to do all of the above. It can’t tank as well as the Lance can, but if you need it, the shield is there, which is more than the Dual Blades or Light Bowgunners can ask for. The Sword and Shield also may not be as mobile as the Dual Blades, but it’s still one of the most mobile weapons in the game compared to Great Sword, Heavy Bowgun, Gunlance, and even the Lance. 

Thanks to its mobility, the speed of its attacks, and some buffs from Iceborne, the Sword and Shield can be used as either a raw or elemental weapon. 

With that in mind, knowing which swords you should be using can be a difficult task. As a result, I’m going to do this top 5 list a little differently. This list will show you the top 5 best Sword and Shields for each element and then the best raw Sword and Shield. 
An album for these builds can be found here.

5) Manifested Lotus (Dragon)

【MHWIB】死を纏うヴァルハザク 片手剣 5′36″86 猫有 / Blackveil Vaal Hazak SnS 5★ It's the Afterlife for Me

The Manifested Lotus takes the spot for our best dragon elemented Sword and Shield. It earns this spot because, in the current patch with free element, it’s a pretty solid dragon element weapon.  

While this weapon is great for the time being, when the Safi’Jiiva patch is released, Perfect Rush is going to receive a buff to its motion values. This will change the Sword and Shield’s best damage options from being element heavy to raw heavy. Once that change happens, the best weapons to run will be weapons like Manifested Lotus which have high raw and some element. Alternatively, you could also run Manifested Lotus without its Dragon element, and just use it as a raw weapon until you get the Safi weapons you want. 

However, if you’re looking for the best possible dragon damage right now, then the Dragonseal Aldsword II with Silver Rathalos’ set is going to be your best bet.

What's Great About the Manifested Lotus

  • With Free Element, it's a pretty great elemental Sword and Shield. It’s only out-damaged by the Dragonseal Aldsword II + True Critical Element. 
  • It can hit purple sharpness with Handicraft Level 3. Handicraft Level 4 is advised for comfort. 
  • Most builds with this weapon will use Master’s Touch and high affinity. Since Shara and Teostra aren’t too hard to farm compared to Silver Rathalos, it’s a bit easier to get access to a full build for this weapon than the Dragonseal Aldsword II.

Manifested Lotus Stats

  • Rarity: 12
  • Sharpness:
    • Handicraft 4:

      • 20 hits of purple sharpness
      • 40 hits of white sharpness
    • Without Handicraft:
      • 20 hits of white sharpness
      • 50 hits of blue sharpness
  • Raw Damage: 392(389.4 Effective Raw) (With Handicraft: 410.05 Effective Raw)
  • Affinity: 0%
  • Element: (450 Dragon)(51.75 Effective Element)(With Handicraft: 56.25)
  • Slots: 
    • 2x Level 1

*BEST* ELEMENTAL SWORD & SHIELD SETS! | Highest DPS Builds for Every Element | MHW: Iceborne (Start at 4:00)

The Legendary Bang takes the spot for our best Thunder weapon. Just like the Shara Sword and Shield, the Legendary Bang starts to do exceptionally well once you have the Free Element skill on it. 

Unlike the Shara weapon though, for the Legendary Bang, you want to run True Critical Element to capitalize on your elemental damage and high affinity. 

Luckily with this weapon, you can also get to purple sharpness with just 1 level of Handicraft. Each level afterward adds 10 more hits of purple sharpness, which can add a little bit more comfort to your hunts. However, I would recommend building in Protective Polish so you can get the most out of your purple sharpness. 

What's Great About the Legendary Bang

  • Needs Free Element to get access to its Thunder Element. But it has a solid chunk of both raw and Thunder to back up the skill investment.
  • Purple sharpness with just 1 level of Handicraft is pretty great for building. You can either build more handicraft for more sharpness and comfort, or use the spare slots for something else. 
  • A built-in Level 3 decoration slot can help make builds more comfortable. In the least, that’s a slot to put in a Flinch Free decoration for multiplayer. 

Legendary Bang Stats

  • Rarity: 11
  • Sharpness:
    • Handicraft 1:

      • 10 hits of purple sharpness
    • Without Handicraft:
      • 50 hits of white sharpness
      • 50 hits of blue sharpness
  • Raw Damage: 364(363 Effective Raw) (With Handicraft: 382.25 Effective Raw)
  • Affinity: 0%
  • Element: (450 Thunder)(51.75 Effective Element)(With Handicraft: 56.25 Effective Element)
  • Slots: 
    • 1x Level 3

3) Laguna Blossom II (Water)

【MHWI】リオレウス希少種の捕獲 片手剣 3'32"30 Silver Rathalos SnS

The Laguna Blossom II is the best water Sword and Shield since it has a decent chunk of water element to it and solid raw. 

This weapon will be running a similar set to the Legendary Bang since it can also hit purple sharpness with just 1 level of Handicraft, but you’ll want to run at least Handicraft 2 for a more comfortable hunt. Just like with the Legendary Bang, Protective Polish is also recommended for you to make the most out of your purple sharpness.

Since this is a rarity 10 weapon, you have access to custom upgrades which can bring you up to 470 water element. 

What's Great About the Laguna Blossom II

  • Custom upgrades and a high amount of base water element gives you a lot of elemental damage to play with
  • Just like with the Legendary Bang, Purple sharpness with just 1 level of Handicraft is pretty great for building. 
  • This weapon has a level 2 and a Level 1 gem slot which is extremely convenient for building. 

Laguna Blossom II Stats

  • Rarity: 10
  • Sharpness:
    • Handicraft 1:

      • 10 hits of purple sharpness
    • Without Handicraft:
      • 70 hits of white sharpness
      • 50 hits of blue sharpness
  • Raw Damage: 336(363 Effective Raw) (With Handicraft: 354.45 Effective Raw)
  • Affinity: 0%
  • Element: 420 Water (48.3 Effective Element)(With Handicraft: 52.5 Effective Element)
  • Slots: 
    • 1x Level 2
    • 1x Level 1

2) Nephilim Glacia (Ice)

MHW Iceborne - 5'50 MR Diablos Solo | Sword and Shield | Freestyle

Nephilim Glacia is made from Velkhana and Legiana parts. It’s the best Ice element sword thanks to its chunky 480 base Ice.

Just like with the previous two weapons, this weapon can hit purple sharpness with Handicraft. However, the Nephilim Glacia requires 2 levels in order to reach 10 hits of purple sharpness.

Builds for this weapon will use True Critical Element to capitalize on the Ice element and high affinity. Protective Polish is slotted in to keep purple sharpness around for as long as possible.

What's Great About the Nephilim Glacia

  • Amazing amounts of Ice Element
  • Purple sharpness can further increase elemental damage. 
  • Since it’s made from Velkhana and Legiana parts, you can make this weapon fairly early. 

Nephilim Glacia Stats

  • Rarity: 11
  • Sharpness:
    • Handicraft 2:

      • 10 hits of purple sharpness
    • Without Handicraft:
      • 70 hits of white sharpness
      • 90 hits of blue sharpness
  • Raw Damage: 336(336.6 Effective Raw) (With Handicraft: 354.45 Effective Raw)
  • Affinity: 0%
  • Element: 480 Ice (55.2 Effective Element)(With Handicraft: 60 Effective Element)
  • Slots: 
    • 1x Level 1

1) Platinum Dawn (Fire)

[MHW:I]さまよえる綿津見の記憶 ネロミェール 片手剣ソロ 06'15''36/Namielle Sword and shield Solo

If you’re farming Silver Rathalos for his armor, then you’re probably going to have the materials for the best fire sword and shield while you’re at it. 

The Platinum Dawn (renamed from the Shining Wyvern Blade) is an amazing weapon because it has great affinity, serviceable sharpness, and a workable amount of fire element. Its element seems a bit low, but this weapon makes up for it through higher raw. 

Just like with the other weapons, you want to use True Critical Element, Handicraft 4 for purple sharpness, and protective polish. Handicraft 4 in this scenario will get you 20 hits of purple sharpness, which is a little bit more comfortable than the previous weapons who usually run only 10 hits of purple sharpness with the bare minimum of handicraft.

What's Great About the Platinum Dawn

  • Great raw. It’s enough to put it ahead of the other fire sword and shields. 
  • Handicraft 4 can be a bit expensive, but being able to hit 20 hits of purple sharpness is still a huge plus.
  • Base affinity opens up more slots for building this weapon. 
  • A level 2 slot is pretty convenient for builds too.

Platinum Dawn Stats

  • Rarity: 12
  • Sharpness:
    • Handicraft 3:

      • 10 hits of purple sharpness
      • 80 hits of white
    • Without Handicraft:
      • 60 hits of white sharpness
      • 50 hits of blue sharpness
  • Raw Damage: 378(395.01 Effective Raw) (With Handicraft: 415.96 Effective Raw)
  • Affinity: 20%
  • Element: 390 Ice (44.85 Effective Element)(With Handicraft: 48.75 Effective Element)
  • Slots: 
    • 1x Level 2

Best Raw: Lunatic Rose

MHW Iceborne : 3★ Special Arena: MR Nargacuga : 特殊闘技場:迅竜マスター編 TA Wiki Rules + Claw (SnS) / 05'18"71

No surprises here, but the Gold Rathian Sword and shield takes the award for the best raw damage. 

Not only does it have great raw numbers, it also has fantastic sharpness, 10% base affinity, a level 1 jewel slot, and poison for even more damage. 

The only downside is that this weapon can never hit purple sharpness, but with 70 hits of white sharpness, I personally don’t believe you will need purple sharpness unless you find yourself bouncing off the monster a lot (if you do, just weaken that spot more often). 

Just like most raw builds (and almost every build you’ll find after the Safi’Jiiva patch), this weapon is usually used with Master’s Touch and high affinity so you can keep swinging into a monster’s weak point and never lose sharpness. 

You can also build in Agitator, Peak Performance, and a health augment in order to further boost your damage. If you’re constantly slamming the monster into walls, or claw attacking the monster 3x and then dismounting for the weak spot, then Agitator practically never leaves you. 

 What's Great About the Lunatic Rose

  • Amazing raw. That’s kinda the point of running this weapon, but the Lunatic Rose also comes with poison which is virtually a raw damage increase.
  • Doesn’t need handicraft cause you have 70 hits of white sharpness.
  • Base affinity opens up more slots for building this weapon. 
  • You get a level 1 slot on top of all this, so you can build this weapon in a bunch of different ways.

Lunatic Rose Stats

  • Rarity: 12
  • Sharpness:
    • 70 hits of white sharpness
    • 80 hits of blue sharpness
  • Raw Damage: 406(412.67 Effective Raw)
  • Affinity: 10%
  • Element: 360 Poison (12 Effective Element)
  • Slots: 
    • 1x Level 1

 

That’s all for today’s article. I hope you learned about which weapons you should be using on the Sword and Shield (or in the least, which weapons to try out). 

What about Safi'Jiiva?

At the time of this article's writing, Safi'Jiiva hasn't been launched yet.

Once it does, the Sword and Shield is going to switch from being an elemental heavy weapon to being a raw focused weapon thanks to the Perfect Rush motion value buffs.

With that in mind, the best Safi Jiiva weapons to run will be any of the abnormal status effect Sword and Shields so you can maximize raw and gain a secondary benefit to help your damage. Blast is considered the best out of those options since it's easier to activate than poison is. 

You can still run elemental Safi'Jiiva weapons, but be aware that raw will outdamage it. If you want to read more about these builds and see some of the math behind the changes, then please visit this album

Thank you 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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