MHW Best Weapon Tier List (Most Powerful Weapons in MHW)

MHW Best Weapon Tier List, Best weapons in MHW
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And here you have it fellow monster hunting folks. The heavy bowgun is still putting other weapons in Monster Hunter World to shame and not just by a lil bit but by a whole lotta lotta bit. However, with respect to the other weapons in the game this extensive tier list will give you all the facts and nothing but the facts of the best weapons to use in game. So as you read just ignore the gigantic pink elephant armed with a Heavy Bowgun sitting in the room, on your coffee table, giggling every time you say melee. 

With the Iceborne Heavy Bowgun Safi Burst Cannon potentially dealing 3,710 damage in under 7 seconds I think it might be worthwhile to start counting your ammo, blow the dust off your heavy guns and learn how to use them. At this point I am wondering why Capcom hasn’t added shotguns, pistols and AK-47s through a Resident Evil patch with gigantic zombie dinos screaming please shoot me in the head. (Now say with me that would be dope.) That would be dope. 

This list is based mostly off of speedrunning successors which to me is a huge indicator of attack damage as well as defense capability, ease of use, maneuverability, armor and decoration build potential and solo efficiency. Also I will be mentioning some specific notable weapons from each tier to work on in your weapon tree.

Survey says!


Heavy Bowgun




Great Sword 

Light Bowgun    



Dual Blades

Sword and Shield 

Charge Blade



Switch Axe

Long Sword





Insect Glaive



Hunting Horn



S-Tier Heavy Bowgun  


That’s right boys and girls, count your ammo, oil up your finest heavy bowgun, kiss your palicot and get out there and start pumping these monsters full of lead or fire herbs or dragonstrike nuts or slashberries or whatever your ammo preference is. Ok, ok I know it’s in the low percentile of weapons ever used but it was my first and last choice when I made that hard decision of which weapon to use two years ago when the game came out. 

I will take this weapon with me to my grave and I hope my death would be as a result of an enraged Anjanoth I just awakened from a dirt nap with head placed mega barrel bombs as well as cluster bombs shredding and ripping me apart by her jaws then tossing me 100 feet into the air because she didn’t like the way I taste.

If you like variety and having multiple ammo types to choose from, staying immobile yet heavily defended by a shield and keeping a safe distance yet while still delivering appropriate and often the best in team damage than this weapon class is for you. Also the staggering and KO potential in flinch value is top notch keeping monsters on the ground more vulnerable to damage; Ammo spread 3 builds doing the most damage here.

I would definitely be going for the Picklejo or Deviljos Dark Devourer with Spare Shot and Ammo Up build outside of Iceborne and Safi’s Burstcannon with the Heroics and Maximum Might build if you do have Iceborne.

A-Tier Bow

As one of the three ranged weapons in the game and mimicking many aspects of the other two ranged weapons in Monster Hunter World, the bow is just darn sexy and godlike feeling when pulling together it’s evasive and high DPS build potential. It’s great mobility, wide array of ammo coatings and high-power as well as elemental and stasis damage combined with a free natural feeling when in your hands offers an overall fun experience.

Ammo coatings are critical to builds much like ammo types are to bowguns giving you the option to choose what damage type you would like to dish out be it elemental, raw attack or abnormal stasis such as sleep, paralysis or poison.

Also it offers diversity in close or ranged combat giving you the freedom to play whatever is more fitting to your style or mood.. Exploiting monster weak spots and survival is much easier with more mobilty and positioning options.

The rapid fire shot with elemental boosts are a great way to go for better DPS and increased proc percentage. And based on the monster's elemental weakness matching  a bow’s elemental damage with the monster’s elemental weakness is very beneficial with this weapon; Safis Aquabow for water weakness or Kjarr Bow King with Safi’s 5-piece element boosting armor set for fire weakness.

So  Safi’s Shatterbow  awakened with Element Up and skills Critical Eye and Thunder Attack is balanced for overall DPS performance for those who don’t like re-specking before every match. 

A-Tier Great Sword

The great sword is best known for its ease of use as it’s probably the easiest sword in the game to use. With long range, single powerful attacks, heavy hitting aerial options to mount while still potentially dishing out high DPS with its slow but efficient combos, a touch and release or hit and run system is better to use as its lack of mobility will leave you vulnerable after closing in the distance with a succession of forward gaining attacks.

Also positioning in regard to what part of the blade hits the monster is important when attacking. So more damage is rewarded when the meat of the blade hits rather than the tips or the base of the blade. 

There is a charging mechanic with True Charge Slash which offers three levels of charge. olding the charge button givesi higher damage if released on the third charge which is time sensitive so you will want to be careful not to overcharge.

True Charge Slash is also available through a ledge hopping mechanic into an aerial attack that looks like a goofy Olympic diver that doesn’t want to jump and keeps returning to the diving board mid-air. The more returns to the ledge after your jump the more charge your TCS will get.

Attack Boost and Peak Performance for attack, Divine Blessing and Earplugs for defense and Sharpness to keep your blade sharp are all good skills to have with the Great Sword; Pairs nicely with Safi’s Shattersplitter dishing high DPS and for a more defensive Safi’s Venomspitter I would use Health Boost and Divine Blessing skills with Golden Loomhelm head piece which has built in poison damage adding to Venomspitter’s already lethal poison damage.

A-Tier Light Bowguns

The Light Bowgun is very similar to the Heavy Bowgun but with more mobile evasive maneuverability and a better chance to incur abnormal status and elemental damage when using elemental and stasis ammo with its Rapid Fire capability. And a recent update now gives Rapid Fire to Normal Ammo 3 which to me sounds amazing as I am a Heavy Bowgun hunter only using my Normal Amma 3 as back up ammo. 

Oh the sound of fully-automatic weapon fire is like sweet sweet music to my ears.

When using elemental and status ammo types such as fire and thunder ammo,  sleep and poison ammo and also KO potential with precision sticky ammo head shots the Light Bowgun is more of a support weapon in multiplayer and a darn good one at that. But with the Rapid Fire normal 3 build and the common Spread Ammo 3 build this weapon is in the top tier for speedrunning and DPS,  capable of carrying you through solo hunts.

The more accessible Empress Shell Styx with included Spare Shot will give you the freedom to work on other skills such as Defense, Partbreaker and ammo builds such as Thunder and even Slice Attacks. More endgame is the Master Rank Lightbreak Gun which offers Rapid Fire for Normal Ammo 3 with mostly recoil and some reload augments with Ammo Up, Normal Shots, Maximum Might and the always Spare Shot skills.

B-Tier Dual Blades

Why have one sword when you can have two? Whelp looks like you can with the stylish and speedy dual blades. With these lil mad dashing puppies you will be able to crawl over monsters like a prison guard searching for contraband while also dishing out incredible damage and looking very cool for your teammates. Now that’s what I call player consideration.

Like any other weapon that relies on fast successive attacks for damage, taking advantage of elemental weakness is important for Dual Blades because the more hits landed means a higher possibility for procking elemental damage and abnormal status. So there are more than enough attacks, combos and rapid stabbing to work with here and you will definitely be able to keep your prison shanking hankerings satiated with the dual blades. I SAID DON’T LOOK ME IN THE EYE RATHALOS!

I said don’t look me in the aaaah boyaa!    

The Dual Blades have a somewhat extensive power charging system using 3 modes of charge; Default, Demon and Archdemon. Demon and Archdemon being the modes of most concernt as Demon  dishes out charged power from Default.  Archdemon mode reserves power catching Demon aftermath subtly charging back power and reverting it back into Demon mode power. 

Oh I want to be a demon, wait no I don’t. Do I? Ahhh yesss I dooo. NO WAIT! STOP IT YOU FILTHY DEMON YOU’RE AFTER MY SOUL AGAIN AREN’T YOUu! AHHHH!! 

Anyway, if you like aerial attacks and ledge jumping then you will love the Sliding Slash to Mid Air Spinning Blade Dance which has the coolest mount animation I have seen where you follow up the monster’s spine with a succession of spinning barreling attacks. Is best yes.

Basic attack build skills such Attack Boost, Weakness Exploit, Critical Eye, Critical Boost, Agitator and Peak Performance and Marathon Runner for stamina is useful for this mobile yet high attack weapon. Armor set masteries from Ratholos and Zorah for increased elemental/status effect damage and Razor Sharp skill to keep your blade sharp is also good.

With the duel swords being heavily dependent on elemental damage it is better to have one weapon of each element to get the most bang for your buck; Kjarr weapons in the Kulve Tarroth Tree being the best in game. However, Death Row from the Ebony Odogaron is a great end game weapon that will decimate the sun, moon as well as the eclipse with 20% affinity and 300 dragon damage for overall sustainability, especially against elderdragons.

B-Tier Sword and Shield

The Sword and Shield is great for speed, mobility and is the only weapon that lets you use the slinger and items without sheathing your weapon. With recent buffs in updates this weapon has jumped up considerably in the tier list. It is also versatile and great in the hands of both beginners and veterans and has fast seemingly never-ending combo delivery potential. These combos are fluent without the pause between attacks most other weapon combos have.

Most of these combos are easy just hitting the same attack button and then adding successive hits of other buttons. All attacks can be cancelled mid-combo keeping you more mobile and less vulnerable from attacks if in a bad position. Evasion is effortless and gives the option to charge while evading, making your next charge attack easier to plan.  Blocking with the shield does cost stamina and yes there is a charge feature with this weapon as well.

There are several great ledge-jumping and aerial attacks opportunities with perhaps the highest damage dealer is the Helm Splitter.

Basic attack boost skills again are great with this weapon combined with elemental boost.  With Wide Range and Mushroomancer you will be able to support heals exploiting the convenience of using items without having to sheathe your weapon. Don’t forget Evade Window with all the 007 evasive maneuvers you will be doing.

Nergigante’s Eradication Vanguard offers raw attack damage and dragon elemental damage for endgame elders and built-in Masters Touch keeps your weapon sharp so you can worry about other skills besides Speed Sharpening. The Master Rank Lunatic Rose from Gold Rathian with Masters Touch and the critical Peak Performance to maintain high attack is a most excellent start to a Sword and Shield build.

B-Tier Charge Blade

The Charge Blade is the most complicated weapon in the game to say the least. Learning it is sure to involve many monster thrashings  and cancerous hair removing sessions. So if that’s your kinda thing go for it. A very intricate weapon and to use effectivelytakes knowledge of all its subtle moves and how they interact with the extensive phial meter charge system. 

A wise plan would be to use a high defense build while learning the basics and charge attack system and once this is learned switch to a higher attack build.

There are two modes; Sword and Shield and the Axe. The sword and shield mode with its various attacks and commands charges phials that act like a special attack meter that can only be dispensed by using special elemental discharge attacks and combos in the axe mode. So there is much more mobility with the sword and shield and less mobility with the axe as the axe takes much longer to sheathe therefore leaving you vulnerable..

The axe gives way more damage than sword and shield and has better range but relies on charged phials to effectively use its high damage potential. The phial type varies for each weapon and range in elemental and status damage so if your weapon says fire damage for its phial type you will be administering fire damage only when expending phial charge with specific elemental discharge attacks in axe mode,the Super Amped Elemental Discharge move is the pinnacle of this kind of attack.

This elemental discharging from selected phial elements is great for impact builds or KO and power hitting and also matching up whatever element you need in your attacks with the element weakness of the monster. Diablos Tyrannis II with Protective Polish for blade sharpness and high attack builds at the cost of low affinity is a good weapon build and the Nergigante Master Rank Ruinous Devastation with Health Regen Augment and Tenderizer has a high elderseal for extra damage to elder dragons.

C-Tier Switch Axe

And onto the Switch Axe which offers great mobility with high ranging attacks and is a powerful weapon that uses yet again a charging system but implements a momentum mechanic to switch  from sword to axe and to apply it’s stored charge. It is relatively easy to use given the high damage sword mode charge attacks come into play more naturally once they have been stored up by attacks and combos from the axe.    

Much like the Charge Blade, the charges are stored in phials and when spent they tic down in a meter.The phial attack damage type can be changed to power, elemental, dragon or abnormal status. So again, specific elemental discharge attacks  are used to release the charged phial; The Morph Sweep being one of the most powerful moves.    

Basic Attack boosts are a good way to go for this powerhouse weapon; Focus and Power Prolonger for charge extending and buffs. The raw attack Axe of Demons with the Elementless Jewel for more damage is great and the Master Rank Golden Crescent offers even more raw attack power, natural sharpness and with the Free Element skill and natural high weapon affinity you will whack monsters with raw attack as well as great elemental damage.

C-Tier Longsword

Next we have the eloquent, flashy and popular Longsword. Offering power with mobility, speed and good reach. However position is very important in multiplayer because this great weapon reach can easily trip other players interrupting their combos and putting yourself at risk of being whined at and possibly cussed out by an 8-12 year old. Nobody wants that to happen

The underlying power that will determine the Longswords effectiveness in each hunt is a spirit meter that is filled up by general core attacks. That's right boys and girls pull out your nursing teat and make sure that meter is sucking up enough power by your core attacks and when the babe is full unleash that son of a beast with special spirit attacks you’ve been desperately waiting to use. 

(What is it with these melees needing to charge phials or fill a spirit meter? Is it that bad? Heavy Bowgun Pink Elephant shakes his head.)

The Spirit Helm Breaker is a great spirit spending move for high damage, great also for ground and air technique, and the more filled the spirit meter is the higher damage the attack will give.. Also the Foresight and Slash move does not cost spirit but is a powerfulevasive counter attack that surprisingly generates spirit.

Like many other weapons from the Gold Rathian Tree the Wyvern Blade is a great endgame Longsword and running the Kaiser Armor Set with built in Master’s Touch and also the Handicraft skill to keep your blade extra sharp is the good good. And the Longsword Defender Katana V with Health Regen augment and Defense with basic attack skills already mentioned while running Drachen Armor Set for it’s Soul of the Dragoon’s bonus  Master’s Touch and Elemental Airborne skills is also doing big things. 

D-Tier Hammer

BANG BANG! I LIKE SMASH MAKE BOOM BOOM! ARRRGGGHHH! Right some things just shouldn’t be skimmed over. 

And now let’s turn our attention to the primitive yet glamorous hammer. OK it’s a hammer everybody or a gigantic club really, I mean it's almost as bad as Fallout’s meat hook but by golly we’re gonna ride this one out. This heavy hitting powerhouse weapon offers decent mobility while dishing out heavy damage.

The KO king has very high raw damage and impact powerexcellent for breaking parts and knocking beasts off something proper, keeping them on the ground ready to be buttered up with vulnerable KO ground attacks. Little Mac from punch-out would be proud.

The theory of headshots and more, headshots and the study of headshotting will be vital with this weapon as headshots are always the best area to aim to knock monsters down to the ground putting them into a staggering animation where it looks like they are throwing a temper tantrum. 

And with the KO being buffed for the Hammer from Iceborne you’re sure to get many staggering monster meltdowns. The moves are easy, often just alternating spams from one button to another just keep in mind that all attacks need to land consecutively in order to accumulate damage.

The new clutch claw also improves one of the Hammers previous weaknesses with flying monsters by allowing hunters to grapple  flying monsters closing the distance giving perfect opportunity for face wrecking and who’s your daddy now humiliating pain. Also, playing with a Hammer teammate you will want to give them plenty of room and not interrupt their combos as their attacks are wild, unpredictable but well worth the lands.

A rule of thumb for hammer weapons is the higher the raw damage the better the hammer. And paralysis is very helpful for stunlocking and setting up vulnerability attacks to KO’s for more overall damage.

D-Tier Gunlance

The Gunlance is a long piercing weapon capable of firing out explosive rounds and is paired with one of the strongest shields in the game. Instead of worrying about constantly evading attacks the shield allows for standing your ground defense absorbing attacks and then following up with your own keeping the pressure where it should be. High damaging combos and great defensive options gives the weapon tanky capabilities allowing for face to face combat with any monster in the game

Movement is different than most other melee weapons only allowing for side steps and front and back hops rather than an evasive roll. These small hops are mostly designed to maintain defensive position while still keeping pressure on the monster. This may feel clunky at first especially if you’re used to the long deep evasive rolls most other weapons have, but with time it will feel more natural and appropriate mobility will be something to be grasped. When mastered the Gunlance does offer aggressive assault but it takes position consideration and downtime preparation.

The ranged mode offers three types of ammo shelling; Normal which is fullburst, Long which is charge and Wide which is regular. The ammo used is preset, unlimited and does not share the same ammo pool as the bowguns.

The Taroth Buster Water with sharpness and attack is a good way to go  pre-Iceborne and the more endgame Master Rank Lightbreak Gunlance with Affinity Increase, Health Regen and Element/Status Effect Up augments and also Shield, Jumping and Evasion skills is worthy. Youwill be dealing most damage with the weapons wide shelling lv 7 ammo.

D-Tier Insect Glaive

The Insect Glaive comes with two parts; The Glave which is a fast, fluid weapon with unique aerial maneuverability even on flat land and the Kinsect which is a large insect that sits on the hunter’s arm that you control with the Glave. You’re able to  command what kind of buffs the Kinsect will hit and collect from the monster.

Even though the aerial animations with the Insect Glaive look very cool it is still recommended to stay on the ground for higher DPS because except for Descending Thrust most aerial attacks do little damage. However its extreme mobility does offer great mounting opportunities and its great vertical and horizontal reach will give most positions the advantage to attack.

The kinsest can deal constant low damage once it is tagged and also steals essences from the monster upon attacking which are organized by color in a cool buff system. Red being attack, white for movement speed etc…

A good endgame build and weapon is the Affinity Increase, Health Regen and Element Up augmented Ruinous Catastrophe Insect Glaive with full Shara Ishvalda beta armor Set. The Glider for aerial support and Elemental mantles are important too.

F-Tier Hunting Horn

 Also known as the hunting flute the hunting horn is a blunt weapon that has great support buff features to yours and your ally’s status. Performing melodies with the hunting horn can boost attack power, restore health and provide other beneficial effects.

Every attack with the Hunting Horn adds a note to a music sheet composing a melody and when that melody is complete buffs are distributed to you and other players fortunate enough to be in range to hear this mystical lullaby. The buffs range anywhere from boosting attack and defense, curing poison to ignoring monster roars. 

So this rare weapon and I mean rare because it's not popular at all takes a good seat in the support section of a full team but for me going solo with this weapon, and no offense melody makers, would just leave me with furious monster bashing envy. Nobody wants that.

Since the Hunting Horn is a blunt weapon it does have impact damage giving it some KO potential. So yea, there’s that.

F-Tier Lance

Matched only by its cousin the Gunlance in the strongest blocking ability in the game it also has high attack power with excellent range. Why is the Lance at such a low rank on the tier list? Most likely because it is very slow and its mobility is very limited. Also the weapon is known not to  have attainable builds and weapons early in game so perhaps players aren’t really taking the time they would since there are other more beneficial weapons available right away.

The unstoppable juggernaut is capable of good blocks and retaliating damage. Its basic attacks are accurate and long reaching giving it the capability to hit targets with ease. Like the Gunlance standing firm and absorbing damage and returning the favor with immediate attacks, taking advantage of gained position is a good tactic. Using dash attacks and defensive guard dashing is a good way to close the gap and safely acquire good position for brutal powerhouse attacks.

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Since the beginnings of Mario, Zelda and Metroid, Jordan has embraced the escape and fantasy of video games despite the social norm and expectations of friends and family. Viva la gaming
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