[Top 10] Monster Hunter Rise Best Armor for Early, Middle, and Late Game (And How To Get Them)

The best defense is a good offense

Armor is a critical part of the Monster Hunter experience - not only does it protect you from the fury of the Rampage, how else are you supposed to show off your sense of fashion to your friends? Are you a serious set collector or do you like the mix and match opportunities? Which of these outlandish armor pieces do their job the best and why? Keep in mind that you can always use armor spheres to increase your defense if you really like an armor piece!

10. Channeler’s Hair-Tie Head Armor (Best for early-game bowgunners)

Mixed Sets: 15 Essential Armor Pieces for Mixed Builds in Monster Hunter Rise

Start at - 8:58 (note this is the high-rank version of the same armor piece)

Is there anything better than gunning down monsters and not using ammo in the process? I think not. This all-rounded armor piece for female hunters comes from the set that makes your hunter look like Minoto, the hub quest maiden, and comes with the skill Spare Shot which gives you a chance to not consume ammo when shooting. The equivalent piece for male hunters is the Utsushi Mask (Hidden) armor piece.

  • Neutral element resistances across most of the board means you’re not weak to anything
  • Easy to craft relatively early on
  • Great skill included and can be used in fashion hunting
  • Early game Channeler head armor piece
  • 24 initial defense, Spare Shot skill, no decoration slots (because it’s a low-rank armor)
  • Fire resistance grants extra defense against probably the most common element type

9. Arzuros Helm S Head Armor (Best for mid-game adjusting)

Monster Hunter Rise | All Armor Sets & Layered Armor - Male & Female

Start at - 1:34

It’s exciting when you finally make the leap from low-rank to high-rank in Monster Hunter, but sometimes your armor is just not ready for the spike in damage that monsters deal to you. Thankfully, this armor piece is available right at the start of high rank from just a few Arzuros pieces. It comes with the Fortify and Defense Boost skills to help you tough out those first few hunts in high rank until you can beef yourself up.

  • Solid armor piece with a fair amount of customizability
  • A great stepping stone into high rank
  • Useful to get a barbarian hunter appearance
  • Mid game Arzuros head armor piece
  • 36 initial defense, only -2 in fire and thunder resistance, two level 1 decoration slots
  • Fortify not only boosts defense but also attack should you cart during a hunt

8. Khezu Coil Waist Armor (Best for early-game bonks)

Monster Hunter Rise | All Armor Sets & Layered Armor - Male & Female

Start at - 1:51 (note this is the high-rank version of the same armor piece)

Khezu is an interestingly suggestive monster, to say the least. The sleek leather aesthetic, however, can be hard to pass up for fashion hunters. And it's not a bad choice for a lot of the weapon classes either since it has both the Focus and Slugger skills!

  • Has an excellent spread of resistances to elemental damage except for fire
  • Any weapon class that has charge attacks will benefit from the Focus skill
  • Very cheap to craft in the early game
  • Early game Khezu waist armor piece
  • 16 initial defense, overall positive resistance values, no decoration slots (low-rank armor)
  • Focus and Slugger skills make this armor piece best for hammer mains

7. Kulu-Ya-Ku Greaves Leg Armor (Best for early-game comfort)

Monster Hunter Rise | All Armor Sets & Layered Armor - Male & Female

Start at - 1:23 (note this is the high-rank version of the same armor piece)

These greaves are an excellent selection among the beginning armor sets. Its defense will already be higher than the starting Kamura armor set for one. If you’re looking to increase your damage by raising your affinity, other greaves also have Critical Eye on them, but rarely do they have another skill attached - if they do it usually isn’t as useful as something like Stun Resistance.

  • Easy to farm parts for crafting
  • Provides a mix of comfort and additional damage
  • The negative water resistance isn’t so high that it should be concerning
  • Early game Kulu-Ya-Ku leg armor piece
  • 16 initial defense, mostly neutral resistances, no decoration slots (low-rank armor)
  • Stun Resistance for comfort and Critical Eye for damage

6. Basarios Vambraces Arms Armor (Best for early-game defenders)

Monster Hunter Rise | All Armor Sets & Layered Armor - Male & Female

Start at - 3:10 (note this is the highrank version of the same armor piece)

Despite being a frustrating fight early in the game, the Basarios armor can be quite rewarding! Not only is it vaguely reminiscent of Havel the Rock’s armor from the Dark Souls franchise, but it also provides some of the highest defense in the early game along with great utility skills.

  • Half the materials needed to craft this armor piece can be easily gathered at mining nodes
  • Dragon damage is virtually non-existent in the early game
  • Speed Sharpening is an additional benefit so you can spend more time fighting the monster
  • Early game Basarios arm armor piece
  • 22 initial defense, negative resistances aren’t concerning, no decoration slots (low-rank armor)
  • The Guard skill lends itself to offensive lance, gunlance, charge blade, or sword and shield mains

5. Barioth Coil S Waist Armor (Best for mid to late game weapon draws)

Monster Hunter Rise | All Armor Sets & Layered Armor - Male & Female

Start at - 4:20

This armor piece is a great way to jump into the great sword Critical Draw meta. By using only weapon draw attacks, you’ll quickly cut the monster down to size. And who doesn’t want to sport the hide of the fiercest monster in the icy tundra?

  • The parts needed to craft it are varied so you don’t get bored or frustrated hunting one monster
  • Provides great opportunities to increase damage if used properly
  • The weakness to fire is a shame since it is so common in many hunts
  • Mid to late game Barioth waist armor piece
  • 58 initial defense, almost neutral resistances, one level 1 decoration slot
  • The pairing of Critical Draw and Critical Eye quickly boosts your affinity

4. Tigrex Mail Chest Armor (Best for blocking out the haters)

Monster Hunter Rise | All Armor Sets & Layered Armor - Male & Female

Start at - 5:24 (note this is the high-rank version of the same armor piece)

Tigrex is an awesome monster that’s among the most popular fan-favorites, and the armor is no different. The jagged shoulder pauldrons of this chest piece are particularly sick-looking and it doesn’t disappoint in the skills it provides either. For hunters who don’t like sharpening and want to be on the offensive all the time, the combination of Earplugs and Bludeoner couldn’t get much better.

  • As your sharpness decreases, you can retain some of your damage thanks to Bludgeoner
  • Being weak to thunder element isn’t bad since it isn’t as common in monsters
  • Great for proving your mettle as a hunter
  • Mid game Tigrex chest armor piece
  • 30 initial defense, mostly neutral resistances, no decoration slots (low-rank armor)
  • The utility in Earplugs makes it great for most builds

3. Valstrax Braces Arms Armor (Best for late-game immunity)

Monster Hunter Rise | Valstrax Armor is AMAZING! Armor Skills, Weapons & Ramp Up Skills Overview

Start at - 3:52

Valstrax was added as free post-game content for hunters and is a welcome addition to the monster roster. The armor has a unique skill called Dragonheart which rewards hunters for playing offensively by massively increasing elemental resistances and boosting damage at lower health levels. The tradeoff is that you cannot deal elemental damage yourself since you will be inflicted with dragonblight.

  • Weakness Exploit boosts hunters’ affinity assuming you’re hitting weak spots
  • Some of the highest defense in the game to date
  • Requires multiple pieces of Valstrax armor aside from the arms to really shine
  • Late game Valstrax arm armor piece
  • 80 initial defense, negative resistances across the board (save for dragon element), one level 2 decoration slot
  • Unique Dragonheart skill turns its weakness into a strength

2. Bazelgeuse Greaves Leg Armor (Best for late-game explosions)

Bazelgeuse Armor, Weapons, Buddy Gear and Layered Armors | Monster Hunter Rise

Start at - 3:17

While this armor isn’t particularly flashy for the fashion hunters out there, these greaves are no joke. Increasing the damage of each explosive type attack by 20% out of the gate is an insane boost to your damage that you would have to be crazy not to jump on. With some added comfort in the form of one level of Guard, you can easily keep your health and stamina high when defending against even the strongest of monster attacks.

  • These greaves provide the basis for any explosion based build
  • Difficult to acquire makes it that much more rewarding when you do craft it
  • High negative resistances to three of the five elements is not great
  • Late game Bazelgeuse leg armor piece
  • 72 initial defense, wildly diverse elemental resistances, one level 3 decoration slot
  • Two levels of Artillery and one of Guard makes this armor piece essential for any gunlance user

1. Kaiser Mail Chest Armor (Best for late-game rushdowns)

Monster Hunter Rise | This Set Is AWESOME! New Teostra 'Kaiser' Armor & Weapon Set

Start at - 2:48

If you’ve played a Monster Hunter game before, it comes as no surprise that the Teostra armor is on this list. Elder dragon armor has long outclassed other late-game armors, and in Monster Hunter Rise it’s no different. While the negative resistances are substantial on this armor piece, the skills it provides are just too good to pass up.

  • Teostra’s Blessing skill grants extra fire damage and blast buildup as well as other benefits at higher levels
  • Critical Eye is always a nice damage boosting skill to have on armor
  • Maxing out the Master’s Touch skill means you can keep your sharpness for much longer for higher damage and less sharpening
  • Late game Teostra chest armor piece
  • 74 initial defense, high negative element resistances, one level 1 decoration slot
  • The Master’s Touch skill makes this a standard on most builds that aren’t a bowgun or bow

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As a Brit at heart, Peter has a passion for conquering new territory in the form of games but will always fondly remember the glory days of gaming.
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Inscryption
Top 3 Favorite Games:Dark Souls 3 , Borderlands 2, Sea of Thieves

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