Charge Blade Guide

Charge Blade Guide

Contents

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0.0 • Preface to top

0.1 • Input Explanation to top

This guide will show most inputs with default PS4, Xbox, and PC controls. Videos and some text inputs (to save space) will only be shown with PS4 controls. Below are the default controls for each platform (LM and RM are left click and right click on PC):

Action PS4 XBox PC
Primary attack Y LM
Secondary attack O B RM
Block R2 RT Ctrl
Dodge X A Space
Aim L2 LT C
Movement L. Stick L. Stick WASD

Inputs will be displayed like this:

PS4 controlsXbox controlsPC controls
△ ⇒ △ ⇒ △Y ⇒ Y ⇒ YLM ⇒ LM ⇒ LM
O⇵B⇵RM⇵means hold and release
↓+△↓+Y↓+LMmeans hold backwards (movement) while pressing

0.2 • Why this isn’t a video? to top

Most weapon guides are videos as many people find it easier to learn visually and see the weapon at work, but I specifically made this one a text guide for the following reasons:

  • Text guides can be updated or corrected easily
  • Compared to a video guide, it’s easier to jump between sections or revisit a particular section
  • I didn’t feel like recording my voice

While this is inspired by .txt gamefaqs guides of the past, I included video clips as I realize a text only guide would be too hard to follow.

1.0 • Basics to top

This part of the guide mostly covers the moveset and mechanics of Charge Blade. Countering from block reaction and guard points are included here as even though they are somewhat advanced techniques, they are essential to learn.

1.1 • Basic Gameplay Loop to top

1.2 • Sword Mode Basics to top

This is a small set of moves in sword mode that are useful to know before the following sections. Attacking in Sword mode will gradually build up phial energy in your Sword. As you build up more energy your phial gauge will change color from white, to yellow, to red.

Three Hit Combo
△ ⇒ △ ⇒ △Y ⇒ Y ⇒ YLM ⇒ LM ⇒ LM
(from Forward Slash)
△+O ⇒ △ ⇒ △Y+B ⇒ Y ⇒ YLM+RM ⇒ LM ⇒ LM

Charged Double Slash
O⇵B⇵RM⇵(hold and release after red flash)
Double Slash Loop
O⇵ ⇒ △+O ⇒ O⇵ ⇒ △+OB⇵ ⇒ Y+B ⇒ B⇵ ⇒ Y+BRM⇵ ⇒ LM+RM ⇒ RM⇵ ⇒ LM+RM
This attack generates the most phial buildup of all Sword attacks

If you attack too much in Sword mode without reloading, your sharpness gauge will glow red and all your Sword attacks will be deflected. Reloading with yellow or red phial outlines will refill some phials and reset your Sword phial energy buildup to zero.

Reload
R2+ORT+BCtrl+RM
Refills 3 phials if phial gauge is yellow
Fully refills phials if phial gauge is red

Remember that you can prep your next reload by getting yellow/red phial outline even when you are full on phials. If you have full phials and red phial outlines, you can spend all your phials and then immediately reload without having to first attack in Sword mode.

Amped Element Discharge
△ ⇒ △+O ⇒ △+OY ⇒ Y+B ⇒ Y+BLM ⇒ LM+RM ⇒ LM+RM
(from Forward Slash)
△+O ⇒ △+O ⇒ △+OY+B ⇒ Y+B ⇒ Y+BLM+RM ⇒ LM+RM ⇒ LM+RM
(from Reload)
R2+O ⇒ △+O ⇒ △+ORT+B ⇒ Y+B ⇒ Y+BCtrl+RM ⇒ LM+RM ⇒ LM+RM
Spends 1 phial to create 3 phial explosions after striking
This attack briefly morphs to Axe mode to attack then automatically morphs back to Sword mode

It’s helpful when starting out to memorize combos but take care not to get stuck only using them. For example, many people start to associate Amped Element Discharge with pressing △+O 3 times in a row because it’s easy to memorize, but eventually you should learn that Amped Element Discharge follows Shield Thrust, which follows ANY Sword mode action including Reload.

1.3 • Axe Mode Basics to top

This is a small set of moves in axe mode that are useful to know before the following sections.

Amped Element Discharge (from Axe mode)
△+OY+BLM+RM
Consumes 1 phial to create 3 phial explosions after striking

I purposely omit most of the Axe moveset here as a large portion of the Axe moveset is only worth using under the effects of Savage Axe Slash [1.11].

Axe attacks that consume phials (and some other attacks) deal phial explosion damage in addition to the physical hit. This type of damage is exclusive to Charge Blade. Phial explosion damage does not consume sharpness and cannot crit. Since it involves talking about Charge Blade phial type, phial explosion damage won’t be fully covered until [2.1].

1.4 • Charging your shield to top

Your shield will become charged when you use the attack Elemental Roundslash with phials loaded. From this section onward, Amped Element Discharge will be abbreviated as AED.

Elemental Roundslash
Interrupt AED withR2RTCtrl
Consumes all phials to temporarily charge your shield
Effects

  • Axe attacks are stronger
  • Phial explosion damage is increased
  • Shield Thrust now creates a weak phial explosion
  • AED is replaced by Super AED (next section)
  • Charging sword becomes possible [1.6]
  • Guard Points create a phial explosion [1.8]
  • Block strength is increased [1.7] [1.8] [2.2]
Other notes

  • The duration of charged shield is 30 seconds times number of phials consumed
  • Charging your shield again when it is already charged will add to its duration, up to its cap of 180 seconds

You should almost always prioritize keeping your shield charged.

1.5 • Super Amped Element Discharge to top

When your shield is charged, Super Amped Element Discharge will replaced Amped Element Discharge. Super Amped Element Discharge will be abbreviated to SAED from now on.

Super Amped Element Discharge
With Charged Shield,AED
Consumes all phials to create a phial explosion on the ground for every phial consumed
Other notes

  • Has 3 physical hits in additional to phial explosions: weak horizontal swing, strong vertical swing, and an AOE where the axe hits the ground
  • If you use it without any phials loaded, the 3rd physical hit will be absent
  • The range of this attack is very long so you need to stand back if you want to connect with the strong physical hits and phial explosions

Checkpoint

If you are new to CB, this is a good place to pause and try your first hunt or two with what you’ve been shown so far: basic Sword mode combos, reloading, charging your shield, and using SAED. Once you have the basic flow of the weapon down, everything after will be easy.

1.5.1 • Cancelling SAED into AED to top

When your shield is charged, sometimes you may want to still use AED instead of SAED.

Amped Element Discharge (with charged shield)
Interrupt SAED with↓+△↓+Y↓+LM
Some situations for cancelling SAED into AED include:

  • SAED would miss or be interrupted due to being slower
  • SAED would overshoot the target due to having much longer range than AED
  • SAED’s phial explosions would miss due to the target being too small
  • You have Power Axe buff and don’t want to lose it [1.11]

1.6 • Charging your sword to top

Your sword will become charged when you use the attack Condensed Element Slash while your shield is charged.

Condensed Element Slash
Reload△⇵Y⇵LM⇵(hold and release after flash)
If your shield is charged, this attack charges your sword
With charged sword, all Sword attacks create phial explosions
Other info

  • Lasts 45 seconds
  • Also prevents all Sword attacks from bouncing
  • Does not use any phials and does not use any of your charged shield duration

Generally, you should not prioritize keeping your sword charged. Condensed Element Slash is not a fast attack and thus competes with AED/SAED (and Savage Axe Slash which will be covered later) in openings where you can use it, and AED/SAED will deal more damage.

1.7 • Blocking to top

After blocking an attack, you gain a (very) small amount of phial energy. Remember that you can not only block physical attacks, but also roars, wind pressure, and tremors.

Charge Blade has unique options after successfully blocking an attack, most notably being able to AED/SAED directly after blocking an attack. Thus blocking is an offensive option (like it is for Lance).

Block
R2RTCtrl
(Super) Amped Element Discharge
After blocking an attack,△+OY+BLM+RM
Morph to Axe
After blocking an attack,YLM
Side hop + Spinning Slash
After blocking an attack,↔+X ⇒ △↔+A ⇒ Y↔+Space ⇒ LM

You will be unable to counter after blocking if you receive large knockback from the attack. Increasing block strength can reduce knockback and allow you to counter those attacks [2.2].

Other info

  • Blocking an attack builds phial energy equal to a Weak Slash (3) for small or medium knockback, and triple that amount (9) for large knockback. For reference, a Charged Double Slash is 27 phial buildup across both hits.
  • Some attacks are unblockable, such as “laser” or “gas” type attacks and grabbing attacks. Using the armor skill Guard Up makes most of these attacks blockable but some attacks are never blockable even with Guard Up.
  • Guarding uses stamina and if your stamina would be reduced to 0 by blocking an attack, the attack will pierce your block. Some attacks are technically blockable but have such high stamina depletion that they are effectively unblockable (only example I can think of is Kulve Taroth’s super ground punch.
  • During block recoil, your character is still considered to be blocking, so you don’t have to do anything special to block multi-hit attacks.

1.8 • Guard Points to top

A Guard Point is a special type of block. Certain charge blade attacks have the shield in front of your character for a short time during the attack’s animation. If a monster attack hits you from the front during this period, you will block it as if you were holding the block button. Then you can combo into any of the options after blocking in the above section.

Morph to Axe Guard Point
R2+△RT+YCtrl+LM
Has guard point frames at the start of the attack
Due to the increased difficulty, blocking with guard points has several bonuses over blocking with holding R2:

  • Guard points create a phial explosion if your shield is charged
  • Block strength is increased, stacking with the increase from charged shield [2.2]
  • Holding the block button to block cannot interrupt the ending lag of attacks, but Morph to Axe can, meaning blocking using the Morph to Axe guard point is faster than blocking using the block button (see video below). In fighting game terms, Morph to Axe can take advantage of IASA frames but blocking with R2 cannot.

Morph to Axe is by far the most used guard point as the blocking frames begin on the first frame of the attack. A full list of guard points is in [A.2].

Other info

  • If blocking a multi-hit attack, only the first hit blocked benefits from the guard point. If the hits are spaced far apart (e.g Savage Deviljho stepping bites) you can morph again to guard point each hit.

1.9 • Clutch Claw to top

New action in Iceborne. Unlike Hammer and Lance, Charge Blade has no special combos involving the clutch claw. It’s only used for softening/tenderizing monster parts and flinch shots.

Clutch Claw Grapple
L2+OLT+BC+RM
Jump to another body part
While grappled,L. StickL. StickWASD
Dismount monster
While grappled,XASpace

While grappled, your stamina drains quickly. Also unlike mounting, you are not invulnerable to the monster’s attacks so it is risky to grapple to a monster that is active and attacking. The following sections will explain different ways to use the Clutch Claw (at the very least it is several free topples every hunt so don’t skip figuring it out).

1.9.1 • Clutch Claw Stagger to top

New to Iceborne, all monsters will occasionally flinch back and enter a distinctive drooling pose with their side exposed for about 5 seconds. This is called clutch claw stagger, clutch stagger, or “clagger” (slang). The reason it is called this is that grappling onto the monster while it is clutch staggered will extend the stagger (for about 5 more seconds) and guarantee you have enough time to flinch shot or tenderize the monster.

I want to stress that ALL monsters enter the same pose to indicate a clutch stagger so try to get good at recognizing it.

1.9.2 • Tenderize Attack to top

Charge Blade is classified as a heavy weapon so it will fully tenderize a monster part in one tenderize attack. Tenderized parts temporarily take additional physical damage from all hunters. Of note is that Charge Blade’s tenderize attack leaves you in Axe mode so you will be unable to block right away.

Other info

  • Multiple parts on the same monster can be tenderized at the same time
  • On some monsters, tenderizing their left limb also tenderizes the right limb
  • For the exact duration and effect on hitzones that tenderization has, see General Data Sheet in appendix [A.3]

1.9.3 • Flinch Shot to top

While grappled to a monster’s head, you can press R2 to launch the monster forward some distance. This is called a Flinch Shot. If the monster bumps into a wall during the Flinch Shot, they will topple and give you a long opening. Instead of using Flinch Shot right away, you can also press O to turn the monster 90 degrees so they are facing a wall, then Flinch Shot.

Claw Attack (turn monster)
While grappled to head,OBRM
Flinch Shot
While grappled to head,R2RTCtrl
Flinch Shot requirements

  • You must have non-craftable slinger ammo loaded to Flinch Shot (i.e stones, seeds, monster dropped pods, but no flash pod, dung pod, or screamer pod)
    • If you have craftable ammo loaded, Flinch Shot will simply shoot the ammo at the monster’s head without launching them forward
    • Flinch Shot consumes all of your slinger ammo, unless you are using Slinger Capacity skill
  • Flinch Shot will only launch the monster if it is NOT enraged (see below image)
  • Some monsters (usually siege/4p scaled monsters) are immune to Flinch Shot or have unique interactions with it

Yellow eye: not enraged*
Red eye: enraged

*Note that when a monster is not in combat with you (compass outline is not red), its map icon will always be yellow EVEN if it is actually enraged. So the yellow icon does not necessarily mean you can flinch shot unless the monster is aggro’d with a yellow icon.

Other info

  • Flinch Shot also topples if you run a monster into another large monster
  • What technically constitutes a “wall” is somewhat unreliable so don’t be surprised if a monster slides along a wall without toppling
  • The direction a monster turns when Claw Attacking depends on which side of its head you are grappled to (if you imagine your character punching the monster’s head it will turn away from your punch)
  • A non-enraged monster is guaranteed to enrage if it is Flinch shotted a total of 2 times while not enraged, even if these flinch shots did not result in topples
  • A non-enraged monster is guaranteed to enrage if its head is turned a total of 3 times using Claw Attack while not enraged
  • The above 2 conditions apply in addition to the normal conditions to enrage a monster which varies by monster. This means a monster may enrage after just 1 flinch shot if enough damage is dealt to it.
  • Claw Attack applies a small amount of “tenderize buildup” (Claw Attacking 6 times will tenderize a part)

1.10 • Slinger Burst to top

New to Iceborne, pressing L2 after certain actions will perform a Slinger Burst if you have slinger ammo loaded. This consumes 1 ammo and fires a small volley of the ammo you had loaded. With certain ammo types, this burst will always cause a monster to flinch.

Slinger Burst (Sword mode)
After blocking an attack,L2LTC
Slinger Burst (Axe mode)
Any attackL2LTC
Spinning Slash
Slinger Burst (Sword mode)YLM
Dash Slam
Slinger Burst (Axe mode)↑+△↑+Y↑+LM
Element Discharge II
Slinger Burst (either mode)OBRM
Other notes

  • Slinger burst can be aimed in ANY direction and can be used to change your character’s facing direction instantly
  • Using slinger burst instead of Axe Rising Slash in Axe mode (after Element Discharge II) can prevent launching teammates by accident

In general, I consider slinger burst to be situational and rarely worth using.

1.11 • Savage Axe Slash to top

New action in Iceborne. When using the attack with phials loaded, the Power Axe mode buff is applied to your character and lasts until you have 0 phials loaded. This means the buff will always be removed when using SAED or charging your shield as these consume all loaded phials.

Savage Axe Slash
Interrupt AED/SAED withL2LTC
If you have at least 1 phial, grants Power Axe buff
Power Axe Mode effects

  • All Axe attacks have a “chainsaw” effect, hitting multiple additional times as the axe travels through the target
    • Note that this is NOT phial explosion damage and these additional hits can crit and also consume sharpness
    • Additional hits have a 66% chance to consume 0 sharpness
  • AED and SAED physical damage is slightly increased (in addition to gaining chainsaw hits)
  • Loaded phials slowly drain over time if you do not use them
    • You can keep reloading more phials to prolong the buff

While under the effects of Power Axe mode, all Axe mode attacks become much stronger and most of the moveset is “unlocked” and worth using. In particular, AED and Morph to Axe after blocking/guard-pointing become strong counter options and looping Elemental Discharge II gives you the highest DPS Charge Blade can do (see next section).

However, you are disencentivized from using SAED because it will remove the buff immediately. Repeatedly re-applying Power Axe mode is undesirable because of the fact that the move requires a decent sized opening and Savage Axe Slash is not itself a strong attack (the second weakest Axe mode attack). In other words, you want to either use Savage Axe Slash once and keep it active as long as possible while not using SAED at all, or forego Savage Axe Slash entirely to focus on using SAED. More info about these two styles of play can be found here (also linked in [A.3]).

1.11.1 • Axe Mode combos to top

Why is this section all the way over here? Compared to Sword mode, Axe mode loses both mobility and the offensive and defensive options from blocking. It’s not worth staying in Axe mode for more than 1 or 2 attacks, unless of course your attacks are massively buffed by Power Axe mode. This section will list useful Axe Mode combos to use when you have Power Axe mode.

Your bread and butter for short openings will be Morph to Axe and AED (both can also be performed after blocking attacks). When you have a long opening, the main high damage combo you want to use is Rising Slash + Element Discharge II loop:

Rising Slash + Element Discharge II Loop
△ ⇒ O ⇒ △ ⇒ OY ⇒ B ⇒ Y ⇒ BLM ⇒ RM ⇒ LM ⇒ RM

There are several ways to enter this combo:

ED2 shortcuts
(Axe)O ⇒ OB ⇒ BRM ⇒ RM
(Axe)↑+△ ⇒ O↑+Y ⇒ B↑+LM ⇒ RM
(Sword)R2+△ ⇒ ORT+Y ⇒ BCtrl+LM ⇒ RM
(Sword)R2+O ⇒ O ⇒ ORT+B ⇒ B ⇒ BCtrl+RM ⇒ RM ⇒ RM

ED2 can combo into AED by repeating the same button input as ED2. If you are comboing a monster that is down, you also want to finish with AED as it is getting up but this requires planning out exactly how many ED2s you want to do before you begin comboing. Some sample combos for different length openings can be found in section 3 here.

Warning! Rising Slash will launch teammates into the air, even if they have Flinch Free. If you want to avoid this, you can use Axe: Smash or Slinger Burst instead of Rising Slash. These are both lower DPS than Rising Slash so they’re specifically only for avoiding launching teammates.

Alternate Element Discharge II Loops
(Delayed △/Y/LM)O ⇒ O ⇒ △ ⇒ OB ⇒ B ⇒ Y ⇒ BRM ⇒ RM ⇒ LM ⇒ RM
(Requires slinger ammo)O ⇒ O ⇒ L2 ⇒ OB ⇒ B ⇒ LT ⇒ BRM ⇒ RM ⇒ C ⇒ RM

1.12 • Repositioning to top

Charge blade has a few repositioning options apart from the standard roll.

1.12.1 • Side hop to top

In Sword mode, dodging left or right after performing an action will replace the roll with a side hop. Compared to a roll, it covers less distance and has slightly fewer invincibility frames but has much shorter ending lag. It also links directly into spinning slash.

Since you can side hop after blocking an attack, a fast countering option after blocking is to side hop, then spinning slash.

1.12.2 • Sliding Slash to top

In Sword mode, pressing O while holding a direction after performing an attack (not after reloading or blocking) will do a slide followed by a roundslash. You can also sliding slash directly after a side hop. This does not have any invincibility frames and is purely for repositioning.

The forward and back sliding slashes are always a fixed distance in a straight line, but the left and right sliding slashes can be influenced by holding left/right during the slide, allowing you to turn almost 180 degrees (if you hold right on a left sliding slash or vice versa).

In general the forward, left, and right Sliding Slashes are rarely used as they are quite slow and as mentioned you are vulnerable while sliding. Backwards Sliding Slash can be used to move backward before using AED/SAED when you are too close to the target.

Other notes

  • The roundslash at the end is functionally identical to the regular spinning slash with the same damage and guard point
  • It does NOT activate affinity sliding skill, not that you’d use affinity sliding even if it did!

1.12.3 • Shield Thrust to top

Shield Thrust moves you forward a short distance (around 1/4 the distance of a roll) and is much quicker than rolling forward. If you are just out of range for a Charged Double Slash, a quick Shield Thrust can get you in range.

1.12.4 • Slinger burst in Axe mode to top

Since Slinger Burst can be used to change your facing to any direction, it can be used with Dash Slam to reposition in Axe mode.

1.13 • Aerial attacks to top

In the air, both weapon forms can either perform a falling attack or an attack that morphs to the other form. Jumping off a ledge in Sword mode and morphing to Axe is often a decent option as it is quick and can be followed by ED2 or AED/SAED.

Jumping Attack
While midair,YLM
Jumping Morph Attack
While midair,R2RTCtrl

Aerial CB is NOT a thing in MHW.

1.14 • Sliding attacks to top

Not to be confused with Sliding Slash, this is the slope-related mechanic in MHW.

Sliding Attack
While walking down a slope sheathed,YLM
While walking down a slope in Sword mode,△+OY+BLM+RM
Jumping Rising Slash
While sliding in Sword mode,YLM
Jumping Rising Slash ends with your character airborne

Honestly, sliding is kind of a pain in the ass for CB since it triggers accidentally a lot and doesn’t lead into strong options. Your best bet if you do a sliding attack is to either stop by pressing back or jump and do an aerial attack (see above section).

If you made it here, congratulations! You now know the (important parts of the) Charge Blade moveset. Make sure to check the full moveset in the Appendix if you want to learn exactly which moves combo into which other ones.

2.0 • Intermediate Topics to top

Now we will zoom out of the moveset of Charge Blade and talk about factors will alter your gameplay even before starting a hunt, which Charge Blade has many of compared to other weapons.

2.1 • Phial Type to top

For the first time we are stepping back from moveset and talking about properties of the weapon. In this case, it’s the phial type which is tied to each different Charge Blade. To start, I will recap phial explosion damage:

  • Certain Charge Blade actions (mostly Axe attacks) trigger one or more phial explosions
  • Phial explosions do not consume sharpess and never crit
  • Phial explosion strength varies depending on the attack used to trigger them
  • Phial explosions contribute to breaking monster parts but not severing tails
  • Phial explosion damage is increased by having your shield charged

The remaining properties of phial explosions depend on the phial type of the equipped weapon. There are two types: Impact Phial and Power Element Phial, which you can think of as non-elemental and elemental.

Impact Phial effects:

  • Deals damage that is independent of monster part toughness
  • Can KO monsters if impact phial explosions damage the monsters’ head
  • SAED creates phial explosions in a straight line
  • Damage is boosted by Artillery, Felyne Bombardier (canteen skill), and increasing your Attack value
  •  

    Power Element Phial effects:

    • Deals elemental damage which depends on how weak the monster’s part is to that element
    • Cannot KO monsters
    • SAED creates phial explosions in a wide V shape
    • Damage is boosted by increasing your element attack value, and hitting monster parts weak to that element

    Impact Phial CBs can be used against any monster, but Power Element Phial CBs should only be used against monsters weak to the element on the CB. When matching weaknesses, elemental CBs generally outdamage impact phial CBs, but this comes at the cost of not being able to KO monsters and having to make multiple elemental CB sets for different monsters.

    There is no easy answer to the question of which phial type is better against a particular monster as it depends on exactly how weak it is to an element on each part of its body and how easy those parts are to hit. For example, Nergigante is listed as 3 star weak to Thunder ingame, but in reality it is only weak on glossy black spikes which are temporary so Thunder elemental phials aren’t worth using. When in doubt, use Impact Phials or look up a speedrun of the monster with CB and see what the speedrunner used.

    Now to list the CB actions that trigger phial explosions:

    • Shield Thrust (with shield charged): 1 very weak explosion
    • All other Sword mode attacks (with sword charged): 1 very weak explosion
    • Guard Point (with shield charged): 1 weak explosion
    • Axe Element Discharge 1: 1 weak explosion, consumes 1 phial
    • Axe Element Discharge 2: 2 weak explosions, consumes 1 phial
    • Axe Amped Element Discharge: 3 strong* explosions, consumes 1 phial
    • Axe Super Amped Element Discharge: N very strong explosions, consumes all N phials

    *AED phial explosions are much stronger with elemental phials compared to impact phials

    For detailed information including exact motion values for each phial explosion and phial damage calculation, see [A.3].

    2.2 • Block Strength to top

    TL;DR Equip 1 level of Guard skill, always keep your shield charged, and always block using guard points. If you find that you still receive large knockback, upgrade to Guard 3, then Guard 5 if necessary.

    This is a complicated topic to explain (which is why I have provided a TLDR), but it is also one that is important to understand. This is because of the fact that if you take too much knockback after blocking/GPing, you can’t counter or take any action afterward.

    There are three levels of “block recoil” you can receive after blocking an attack: small, medium, and large:

    • Small knockback: consumes 1 sharpness, can counter
    • Medium knockback: consumes 2 sharpness (1 if GP), can counter
    • Large knockback: consumes 10 sharpness (5 if GP), cannot counter

    Due to the sharpness cost of large knockback and not being able to counter, you want to prevent taking large knockback. But sometimes the attacks that deal large knockback are the ones with openings that you want to block and counter. To make this possible, you can increase your block strength to turn that large knockback into medium or small knockback.

    The following increase your block strength:

    • Having charged shield
    • Blocking with a guard point instead of holding block
    • Equipping Guard skill (level 1 to 5)

    It’s a common misconception that you only ever need level 1 Guard because “adding charged shield and guard point gives you Guard 5 which is the cap”. This is false. Even at Guard 5, charged shield and guard points still increase your block strength and there are monster attacks which are large knockback at Guard 5 but medium knockback at Guard 5 + guard point.

    It’s easy to explain how the 3 block strength factors add up by pretending that charged shield and guard points are equal to 2 levels of Guard, and that Guard can be “overcapped” by shield charge and guard point. See below examples:

    Guard 1 + charged shield = Total Guard 3
    Guard 1 + charged shield + GP = Total Guard 5
    Guard 3 + charged shield + GP = Total Guard 7
    Guard 5 + charged shield + GP = Total Guard 9

    Also, only odd numbers of Guard matter. Or to put it another way, the breakpoints of “total guard” are 0, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9. So you should only ever use Guard skill 0, 1, 3, or 5.

    Guard 0 + charged shield = Guard 2 = Total Guard 1
    Guard 0 + charged shield + GP = Guard 4 = Total Guard 3

    In practice I recommend always using at least 1 level of Guard. Some monsters need Guard 3 and some need Guard 5. I don’t have a complete list of these but Guard 1 is enough for ~80% of monsters assuming you are guard pointing. There are only a handful of monsters with attacks that require Guard 5 even when you are guard pointing:

    Monsters that need Guard 5 (non-exhaustive):

    • Raging Brachydios
    • Zinogre (back slam)
    • Stygian Zinogre (back slam)
    • Namielle
    • Ruiner Nergigante
    • Rajang (laser, also needs Guard Up)
    • Furious Rajang (laser, also needs Guard Up)
    Show technical explanation for nerds
    Read this for how the game actually calculates knockback received. Every monster attack has an associated damage value and knockback value. The knockback value is a whole number, with most knockback values falling between 10 and 100. This knockback value interacts with the “guard thresholds” of the weapon used to block the attack. The Guard Thresholds for Charge Blade are 14 and 39. This means any attack with knockback value of 14 or less is small knockback when blocked using Charge Blade, anything from 15 to 39 is medium knockback, and anything 40 or higher is large knockback.

    Guard Threshold modifiers for Charge Blade

    • Charged shield: +10
    • Guard point: +10
    • Guard skill: +10/10/20/20/30 for level 1/2/3/4/5

    So if I had charged shield, was guard pointing, and had Guard 3, the thresholds would be 54 and 79 (14+40 and 39+40). So anything up to 54 would be small knockback, 55 to 79 would be medium knockback, and 80+ would be large knockback. So it mostly true that charged shield and guard point are equal to 2 levels of Guard, the only difference is Guard has a secondary effect of also reducing stamina cost of blocking.

    The above information is in the General Data Sheet in the appendix. Kiranico has information for monsters’ attack knockback values ([A.3]).

    2.3 • Focus to top

    Focus is a skill that doesn’t directly increase any offensive or defense properties, but can significantly alter CB gameplay.

    Focus effects:

    • Increase phial charge gain for all sword attacks by 5/10/20%
    • Decrease button hold time necessary to use Double Slash and Condensed Element Slash (sword charge) by 5/10/20%

    The first effect is the main reason to take Focus, as you can spend significantly less time charging phials and more time slinging SAEDs or comboing with Power Axe mode.

    Focus 3 and Focus 0 are both viable as Focus 3 is a significant investment for this indirect damage uptime increase and you might want to opt for direct damage increases instead of Focus. I would generally recommmend to always use Focus 3 unless you are very experienced with CB. Focus 1 and 2 are not used because (by coincidence) the Sword mode combos for getting yellow/red phials don’t change unless you have Focus 3.

    2.3.1 • Sword mode combos for charging phials to top

    This section had to wait for the the explanation of Focus, which is why it’s all the way here. These combos are the fastest ways to get to yellow/red phial outlines starting from 0 phial buildup.

    Yellow Phial Outlines (Focus 3)
    O⇵B⇵RM⇵
    Red Phial Outlines (Focus 3)
    Any Sword mode attackO⇵ ⇒ △B⇵ ⇒ YRM⇵ ⇒ LM
    Block an attack↔X ⇒ △ ⇒ O⇵↔A ⇒ Y ⇒ B⇵↔Space ⇒ LM ⇒ RM⇵

    Yellow Phial Outlines (Focus 0)
    △ ⇒ O⇵Y ⇒ B⇵LM ⇒ RM⇵
    O⇵ ⇒ △B⇵ ⇒ YRM⇵ ⇒ LM
    Red Phial Outlines (Focus 0)
    O⇵ ⇒ △+O ⇒ O⇵B⇵ ⇒ Y+B ⇒ B⇵RM⇵ ⇒ LM+RM ⇒ RM⇵
    O⇵ ⇒ ↔X ⇒ O⇵B⇵ ⇒ ↔A ⇒ B⇵RM⇵ ⇒ ↔Space ⇒ RM⇵

    As you can see, Focus 3 is significant in that it saves one attack for yellow phials and only needs one charged slash instead of two for red phials. Focus 3 also allows for smooth combos that charge both shield and full phials. The below combo simply performs the standard red phials combo for Focus 3 twice, first with Weak Slash + Charged Double Slash + Spinning Slash, reloading, then doing Return Stroke + Charged Double Slash + Elemental Roundslash. You can even charge the sword too since the last action is a reload.

    Charged Shield + Full Phials (Focus 3)
    △ ⇒ O⇵ ⇒ △ ⇒ R2+O ⇒ △ ⇒ O⇵ ⇒ △+O ⇒ △+O ⇒ R2 ⇒ R2+O
    Y ⇒ B⇵ ⇒ Y ⇒ RT+B ⇒ Y ⇒ B⇵ ⇒ Y+B ⇒ Y+B ⇒ R2 ⇒ RT+B
    LM ⇒ RM⇵ ⇒ LM ⇒ Ctrl+RM ⇒ LM ⇒ RM⇵ ⇒ LM+RM ⇒ LM+RM ⇒ R2 ⇒ Ctrl+RM

    2.4 • Other armor skills to top

    With Guard and Focus being discussed above, these are other armor skills relevant to CB which don’t need their own section to explain.

    Skills for Charge Blade

    • Capacity Boost: increases phial cap from 5 to 6
    • Artillery: increases damage of Impact Phials
    • Water/Fire/Thunder/Dragon/Ice Attack: increases damage of Power Element Phials
    • Offensive Guard: gives you a temporary large attack boost when you perform a perfect block (start blocking immediately before monster’s attack hits you)
    • Guard Up: allows you to block certain unblockable attacks
    • Slugger: increases KO status buildup of Impact Phials when striking a monster’s head
    Skills for every weapon

    • Weakness Exploit, Critical Eye, Agitator: increase affinity (critical chance)
    • Critical Boost: increase physical damage of criticals
    • Attack Boost: increase Attack value
    • Health Boost: increase survivability
    • Fortify: increase Attack and defense significantly each time you faint

    If you are curious about which skills to prioritize, check out the builds section of this website.

    2.5 • Canteen skills to top

    Using custom meal, you can eat for specific skills that benefit Charge Blade.


    Courage food: Meat/Fish/Vegetable 1st row
    Resilience food: Meat/Fish/Vegetable 2nd row
    Artillery food: Meat/Fish/Vegetable last row
    Preparation food: Drinks 3rd row
    Skills for Impact Phial CBs:

    • Felyne Bombardier (4 artillery food): increase damage of impact phials by 15%
    • Felyne Slugger (6 courage food): increase KO status buildup of impact phials
    Generally useful skills:

    • Felyne Polisher (2 courage food): speeds up sharpening time
    • Felyne Moxie (6 resilience food): prevents fainting once when your HP is above a certain level
    • Felyne Safeguard (6 preparation food): prevents quest faint counter from increasing once

    Remember that these food skills are not guaranteed to activate unless you use a voucher or gourmet voucher. If you don’t have vouchers to spare, it’s fine to just eat the chef special meal for guaranteed +50 HP.

    3.0 • Advanced Topics to top

    If you are very dedicated to Charge Blade and want to reach the realm of clearing quests in 5 minutes or less, this section may help you by explaining some techniques that strong players and speedrunners naturally use but may escape the eye of newer players even when watching speedruns. Many of these seem obvious when you read them (especially the first 3) but it takes a lot of time to incorporate them into your gameplay. Most of these techniques are applicable to all weapons.

    3.1 • Focusing weak points to top

    Now this one may seem really obvious but it does take a while (as a new player) to adjust to the mindset that it’s not enough to hit the monster, you have to be hitting it in the right place. SAED may deal 1000 damage with phials, but the physical hits can easily deal another 1000 damage if you are landing them on a weak point. Striking Velkhana’s head deals anywhere from 30-100% more damage than hitting its other parts, and this discrepancy grows more if its head is tenderized. Hopefully I got the point across here.

    As for the question of which part of each monster is weakest, usually you can’t go too wrong going for the head (especially with Impact Phials which can KO). Most monsters can also be toppled or “tripped” just by dealing enough damage to a specific part. This is usually the head for elder dragons and the legs for other monsters, but there are several exceptions. When in doubt, look up a speedrun of the monster and see what the runner focuses on.

    Last piece of advice is focusing tail is usually a waste of time when a monster is not immobilized. Monsters generally turn to face you so you end up chasing a target that is always moving away from you. Also, tails are thin and usually constantly moving hitboxes.. don’t be so tempted by the tail carve that you deal no damage during the hunt.

    3.2 • Angling attacks to top

    In Monster Hunter, you can slightly change the facing direction of your character before every attack to adjust the direction you are attacking. This is done by having left/right held (relative to your current facing direction) during the beginning moments of the attack.

    For Charge Blade, this is most relevant for AED and SAED because of their long, thin hitboxes. It is often necessary to angle left or right during the windup of these attacks to hit the target you want to hit (monster’s head, tail etc).

    There is one peculiarity to mention which is that AED and SAED both have 2 periods where angle can be changed instead of 1 like most attacks. The first is during the initial input of SAED after Shield Thrust, and the second is either after cancelling into AED or after the player can no longer cancel into AED. This is confusing but the angling periods will be highlighted in the videos below.

    AED is difficult to angle when your shield is charged because your left/right input must immediately follow the backwards input to cancel SAED into AED. This is a skill worth mastering as being able to angle ~30 degrees to either side can greatly increase your ability to land AEDs.

    3.3 • Delaying attacks to top

    After attacking, you have a window of time to input a linked attack/action before your character resets to neutral standing position. Usually, you want to link attacks in a combo as quickly as possible, but it can sometimes be useful to delay combo inputs. For example, the input for AED/SAED after Shield Thrust can be delayed substantially. The same can be done after a medium knockback after blocking an attack. You can watch a monster’s behavior during this delay before committing to AED/SAED or decide not to commit.

    3.4 • Pivot attacks to top

    I’m not sure if there is a more widely accepted name for this technique. When your character returns to a neutral standing position after performing an action, holding a direction will cause you to turn sharply (“pivot”) before beginning to walk in that direction. If you input an attack during this pivot, your character will start to attack but at the same time the pivot will not be interrupted and you will continue to (while attacking) turn to the direction you would have begun walking. This technique is useful for minimizing the time needed to turn 180 and block/attack.

    This is difficult to master as you cannot input the pivot attack too early. For example, in the above example of side hop + pivot charged slash, inputting the turn + charged slash too early (before your character returns to neutral) would result in a sliding slash. You basically have to memorize the timing for when your character returns to neutral after an action.

    3.5 • Sword only playstyle to top

    Also called “overcharge” or “overheat” sword playstyle.

    In many action and fighting games, attacks have what is called “hitlag”: your character freezes for a moment when landing a hit to emphasize the impact of the strike. Unlike fighting games where both the attacker and target freeze during hitlag, in Monster Hunter only the player freezes, meaning in some sense it is purely detrimental to experience hitlag as it slows your attack down and increases the time you are vulnerable. However, several properties of the game coincide to allow Charge Blade to ignore hitlag on Sword attacks.

    • attacks that bounce off the target have no hitlag (this is normally reserved for extremely tough monster parts)
    • attack bouncing can be prevented using Mind’s Eye skill
    • Charge Blade can force Sword attacks to bounce by building too much phial energy without reloading
    • Charge Blade can give itself Mind’s Eye by charging the sword

    By overcharging the sword and giving yourself Mind’s Eye (either through the armor skill or by charging sword), all Sword attacks will have no hitlag, greatly increasing your attack speed. This is most effective with Power Element Phial CBs as elemental damage for attacks is calculated as a flat amount added to each attack, which benefits spamming fast and weak attacks. For the same reason, charged sword will add a ton of damage from the phial explosions with every sword hit, but it only lasts a short time and you must reload (losing overcharge state) to charge the sword again.

    To be clear, this is not an optimal playstyle (to my knowledge) but it is fun to build for and play.

    3.6 • Miscellaneous Techniques to top

    3.6.1 • Dodging roars to top

    Dodging through roars is one of the most difficult skills to learn, but the knowledge is useful and transferable to every weapon. While Charge Blade often should block roars instead of evading (since you can counter after blocking them), occasionally you will want to evade them instead. For example, when you are unable to block such as when you are in Axe mode or after reloading (which is one of the few Sword actions that does not link into Morph to Axe GP).

    Unfortunately, there aren’t any shortcuts to learning to dodge roars except by trying and failing until you get the timing, and every monster has a different roar (though monsters sharing the same skeleton often have the same timing). Evade Window will make it easier but it’s not worth using decoration slots for.

    3.6.2 • Optimal item usage to top

    This is just a quick PSA that you can walk quickly while using items using the sprint button (consumes stamina). Also, the ending lag of consumable items (i.e when your character wipes their mouth after drinking a potion) can be cancelled by evading or attacking.

    Also, don’t forget you can bring 7 (seven) Max Potions to each quest. This is done by bringing the max of 2 Max Potions, plus ingredients to craft 5 more (5 Mandragora and 5 Mega Nutrient). Setting Max Potion to your radial menu will autocraft Max Pots once you have run out of the initial 2. I recommend setting up your botany farm for Mandragora, Blue Mushroom, Bitterbug, and Honey which is all the ingredients required for Max Potions.

    3.6.3 • Side hop from neutral to top

    This is a situational technique that allows you to side hop quickly from a standing position in Sword mode without attacking first. If you specifically want to move to the side and stay facing the same direction, this is faster than walking or rolling and turning.

    Side hop from neutral
    (Sword)R2 ⇒ R2+L2 ⇒ ↔XRT ⇒ RT+LT ⇒ ↔ACtrl ⇒ Ctrl+C ⇒ ↔Space

    The timing is somewhat tight so it will take some time to learn.

    3.6.4 • Sheath cancelling to top

    The walking sheath animation can be interrupted by walking off a small ledge (doesn’t work with tall ledges). This will immediately sheath your weapon as you go midair. Works with all weapons.

    4.0 • Conclusion to top

    Congratulations if you have made it here! You’ve finished reading this guide, but reading can only get you so far. Here are the next steps for you to continue improving at CB:

    1. Get into the game and hunt monsters with CB until you have memorized the controls
    2. Condition yourself to use guard points instead of blocking, then hunt more monsters until you are comfortable guard pointing at all times
    3. Optimize your armor and decorations! You’re already at the right website for that
    4. If you reach a wall at a certain monster, look up quest speedruns on Youtube for Charge Blade vs. that monster

    A.0 • Appendix to top

    A.1 • Full Moveset to top

    For motion values (strength of each attack used for damage calculation), see additional resources [A.3].

    Expand PS4 moveset
    Sheathed
    △ to enter Neutral (Sword)
    ↑+△ to use Sword: Forward Slash
    R2 to use Axe: Draw Attack

    Sword: Weak Slash
    △ from Neutral (Sword)
    △ after Sword: Shield Thrust

    Sword: Forward Slash
    ↑+△ from Sheathed
    △+O from Neutral (Sword)
    △ or O after Sword attack is deflected

    Sword: Return Stroke
    △ after:
    – Sword: Weak Slash
    – Sword: Charge Phials
    – Roll (in Sword mode)
    – Climbing a ledge (in Sword mode)

    Sword: Spinning Slash
    △ after:
    – Sword: Return Stroke
    – Sword: Charged Double Slash
    – Sword: Condensed Element Slash
    – Sword: Jumping Slash
    – Side hop
    – Slinger Burst (Sword)

    Sword: Charged Double Slash
    O(hold) from Neutral (Sword)
    O(hold) after any Sword attack except Charged Double Slash

    Sword: Charge Phials (Reload)
    R2+O from Neutral (Sword)
    R2+O after any Sword action except Charge Phials

    Sword: Shield Thrust
    △+O after:
    – any Sword attack except Shield Thrust
    – Sword: Charge Phials

    Sword: Condensed Element Slash (Sword charge)
    △(hold) after Sword: Charge Phials

    Sword: Sliding Slash
    ↔↕+O after:
    – any Sword attack except Sliding Slash
    – Side hop

    Sword: Morph Slash
    (Ends in Axe mode)
    R2+△ from Neutral (Sword)
    R2+△ after:
    – any Sword attack
    – Sword: Block reaction (small or medium knockback)

    Axe: Draw Attack
    R2 from Sheathed

    Axe: (Super) Amped Element Discharge
    (Ends in Sword mode)
    △+O from Neutral (Axe)
    △+O after:
    – Sword: Shield Thrust
    – Sword: Morph Slash
    – Sword: Block reaction (small or medium knockback)
    – Axe: Draw Attack
    – Axe: Overhead Slash
    – Axe: Dash Slam
    – Axe: Jumping Slash
    O after Axe: Element Discharge II

    Axe: Amped Element Discharge
    (Ends in Sword mode)
    ↓+△ during Axe: Super Amped Element Discharge

    Elemental Roundslash (Shield charge)
    (Ends in Sword mode)
    R2 during Axe: (Super) Amped Element Discharge

    Axe: Savage Axe Slash
    L2 during Axe: (Super) Amped Element Discharge

    Axe: Rising Slash
    △ from Neutral (Axe)
    △ after:
    – Sword: Morph Slash
    – Axe: Draw Attack
    – Axe: Overhead Slash
    – Axe: Dash Slam
    – Axe: (Rushing) Element Discharge I
    – Axe: Element Discharge II*
    – Axe: Savage Axe Slash
    – Axe: Jumping Slash
    *same input as Smash, if delayed will be Smash

    Axe: Overhead Slash
    △ after Axe: Rising Slash
    △ or O after Axe attack is deflected

    Axe: Smash
    △ after:
    – Axe: Element Discharge II*
    *same input as Rising Slash, if delayed will be Smash

    Axe: Dash Slam
    ↑+△ from Neutral (Axe)
    ↑+△ after:
    – Sword: Morph Slash
    – Axe: Draw Attack
    – Axe: Overhead Slash
    – Axe: Savage Axe Slash
    – Slinger Burst (Axe)

    Axe: Element Discharge I
    O from Neutral (Axe)
    O after:
    – Sword: Charge Phials
    – Axe: Overhead Slash
    – Axe: Savage Axe Slash

    Axe: Rushing Element Discharge I
    Same as Axe: Element Discharge I except ↑+O

    Axe: Element Discharge II
    O after:
    – Sword: Morph Slash
    – Axe: (Rushing) Element Discharge I
    – Axe: Draw Attack
    – Axe: Dash Slam
    – Axe: Smash
    – Axe: Jumping Slash
    – Slinger Burst (Sword)
    – Slinger Burst (Axe)

    Axe: Morph Slash
    (Ends in Sword mode)
    R2 after any Axe attack except Savage Axe Slash

    Sword: Jumping Slash
    △ from Midair (Sword) or Midair (Sheathed)
    R2 from Midair (Axe)
    Automatically after using Sword: Forward Slash off a ledge

    Axe: Jumping Slash
    △ from Midair (Axe)
    R2 from Midair (Sword) or Midair (Sheathed)

    Sword: Sliding Attack
    (Ends in sliding)
    △ when walking down a slope

    Sword: Jumping Rising Slash
    (Ends in midair)
    △ when sliding

    Clutch Claw
    L2+O

    Tenderize Attack
    (Ends in Axe mode)
    △ when grappled using Clutch Claw

    Turn monster
    O when grappled to monster’s head using Clutch Claw

    Flinch Shot
    R2 when grappled to monster’s head using Clutch Claw

    Expand Xbox moveset
    Sheathed
    Y to enter Neutral (Sword)
    ↑+Y to use Sword: Forward Slash
    RT to use Axe: Draw Attack

    Sword: Weak Slash
    Y from Neutral (Sword)
    Y after Sword: Shield Thrust

    Sword: Forward Slash
    ↑+Y from Sheathed
    Y+B from Neutral (Sword)
    Y or B after Sword attack is deflected

    Sword: Return Stroke
    Y after:
    – Sword: Weak Slash
    – Sword: Charge Phials
    – Roll (in Sword mode)
    – Climbing a ledge (in Sword mode)

    Sword: Spinning Slash
    Y after:
    – Sword: Return Stroke
    – Sword: Charged Double Slash
    – Sword: Condensed Element Slash
    – Sword: Jumping Slash
    – Side hop
    – Slinger Burst (Sword)

    Sword: Charged Double Slash
    B(hold) from Neutral (Sword)
    B(hold) after any Sword attack except Charged Double Slash

    Sword: Charge Phials (Reload)
    RT+B from Neutral (Sword)
    RT+B after any Sword action except Charge Phials

    Sword: Shield Thrust
    Y+B after:
    – any Sword attack except Shield Thrust
    – Sword: Charge Phials

    Sword: Condensed Element Slash (Sword charge)
    Y(hold) after Sword: Charge Phials

    Sword: Sliding Slash
    ↔↕+B after:
    – any Sword attack except Sliding Slash
    – Side hop

    Sword: Morph Slash
    (Ends in Axe mode)
    RT+Y from Neutral (Sword)
    RT+Y after:
    – any Sword attack
    – Sword: Block reaction (small or medium knockback)

    Axe: Draw Attack
    RT from Sheathed

    Axe: (Super) Amped Element Discharge
    (Ends in Sword mode)
    Y+B from Neutral (Axe)
    Y+B after:
    – Sword: Shield Thrust
    – Sword: Morph Slash
    – Sword: Block reaction (small or medium knockback)
    – Axe: Draw Attack
    – Axe: Overhead Slash
    – Axe: Dash Slam
    – Axe: Jumping Slash
    B after Axe: Element Discharge II

    Axe: Amped Element Discharge
    (Ends in Sword mode)
    ↓+Y during Axe: Super Amped Element Discharge

    Elemental Roundslash (Shield charge)
    (Ends in Sword mode)
    RT during Axe: (Super) Amped Element Discharge

    Axe: Savage Axe Slash
    LT during Axe: (Super) Amped Element Discharge

    Axe: Rising Slash
    Y from Neutral (Axe)
    Y after:
    – Sword: Morph Slash
    – Axe: Draw Attack
    – Axe: Overhead Slash
    – Axe: Dash Slam
    – Axe: (Rushing) Element Discharge I
    – Axe: Element Discharge II*
    – Axe: Savage Axe Slash
    – Axe: Jumping Slash
    *same input as Smash, if delayed will be Smash

    Axe: Overhead Slash
    Y after Axe: Rising Slash
    Y or B after Axe attack is deflected

    Axe: Smash
    Y after:
    – Axe: Element Discharge II*
    *same input as Rising Slash, if delayed will be Smash

    Axe: Dash Slam
    ↑+Y from Neutral (Axe)
    ↑+Y after:
    – Sword: Morph Slash
    – Axe: Draw Attack
    – Axe: Overhead Slash
    – Axe: Savage Axe Slash
    – Slinger Burst (Axe)

    Axe: Element Discharge I
    B from Neutral (Axe)
    B after:
    – Sword: Charge Phials
    – Axe: Overhead Slash
    – Axe: Savage Axe Slash

    Axe: Rushing Element Discharge I
    Same as Axe: Element Discharge I except ↑+B

    Axe: Element Discharge II
    B after:
    – Sword: Morph Slash
    – Axe: (Rushing) Element Discharge I
    – Axe: Draw Attack
    – Axe: Dash Slam
    – Axe: Smash
    – Axe: Jumping Slash
    – Slinger Burst (Sword)
    – Slinger Burst (Axe)

    Axe: Morph Slash
    (Ends in Sword mode)
    RT after any Axe attack except Savage Axe Slash

    Sword: Jumping Slash
    Y from Midair (Sword) or Midair (Sheathed)
    RT from Midair (Axe)
    Automatically after using Sword: Forward Slash off a ledge

    Axe: Jumping Slash
    Y from Midair (Axe)
    RT from Midair (Sword) or Midair (Sheathed)

    Sword: Sliding Attack
    (Ends in sliding)
    Y when walking down a slope

    Sword: Jumping Rising Slash
    (Ends in midair)
    Y when sliding

    Clutch Claw
    LT+B

    Tenderize Attack
    (Ends in Axe mode)
    Y when grappled using Clutch Claw

    Turn monster
    B when grappled to monster’s head using Clutch Claw

    Flinch Shot
    RT when grappled to monster’s head using Clutch Claw

    Expand PC moveset
    Sheathed
    LM to enter Neutral (Sword)
    ↑+LM to use Sword: Forward Slash
    Ctrl to use Axe: Draw Attack

    Sword: Weak Slash
    LM from Neutral (Sword)
    LM after Sword: Shield Thrust

    Sword: Forward Slash
    ↑+LM from Sheathed
    LM+RM from Neutral (Sword)
    LM or RM after Sword attack is deflected

    Sword: Return Stroke
    LM after:
    – Sword: Weak Slash
    – Sword: Charge Phials
    – Roll (in Sword mode)
    – Climbing a ledge (in Sword mode)

    Sword: Spinning Slash
    LM after:
    – Sword: Return Stroke
    – Sword: Charged Double Slash
    – Sword: Condensed Element Slash
    – Sword: Jumping Slash
    – Side hop
    – Slinger Burst (Sword)

    Sword: Charged Double Slash
    RM(hold) from Neutral (Sword)
    RM(hold) after any Sword attack except Charged Double Slash

    Sword: Charge Phials (Reload)
    Ctrl+RM from Neutral (Sword)
    Ctrl+RM after any Sword action except Charge Phials

    Sword: Shield Thrust
    LM+RM after:
    – any Sword attack except Shield Thrust
    – Sword: Charge Phials

    Sword: Condensed Element Slash (Sword charge)
    LM(hold) after Sword: Charge Phials

    Sword: Sliding Slash
    ↔↕+RM after:
    – any Sword attack except Sliding Slash
    – Side hop

    Sword: Morph Slash
    (Ends in Axe mode)
    Ctrl+LM from Neutral (Sword)
    Ctrl+LM after:
    – any Sword attack
    – Sword: Block reaction (small or medium knockback)

    Axe: Draw Attack
    Ctrl from Sheathed

    Axe: (Super) Amped Element Discharge
    (Ends in Sword mode)
    LM+RM from Neutral (Axe)
    LM+RM after:
    – Sword: Shield Thrust
    – Sword: Morph Slash
    – Sword: Block reaction (small or medium knockback)
    – Axe: Draw Attack
    – Axe: Overhead Slash
    – Axe: Dash Slam
    – Axe: Jumping Slash
    RM after Axe: Element Discharge II

    Axe: Amped Element Discharge
    (Ends in Sword mode)
    ↓+LM during Axe: Super Amped Element Discharge

    Elemental Roundslash (Shield charge)
    (Ends in Sword mode)
    Ctrl during Axe: (Super) Amped Element Discharge

    Axe: Savage Axe Slash
    C during Axe: (Super) Amped Element Discharge

    Axe: Rising Slash
    LM from Neutral (Axe)
    LM after:
    – Sword: Morph Slash
    – Axe: Draw Attack
    – Axe: Overhead Slash
    – Axe: Dash Slam
    – Axe: (Rushing) Element Discharge I
    – Axe: Element Discharge II*
    – Axe: Savage Axe Slash
    – Axe: Jumping Slash
    *same input as Smash, if delayed will be Smash

    Axe: Overhead Slash
    LM after Axe: Rising Slash
    LM or RM after Axe attack is deflected

    Axe: Smash
    LM after:
    – Axe: Element Discharge II*
    *same input as Rising Slash, if delayed will be Smash

    Axe: Dash Slam
    ↑+LM from Neutral (Axe)
    ↑+LM after:
    – Sword: Morph Slash
    – Axe: Draw Attack
    – Axe: Overhead Slash
    – Axe: Savage Axe Slash
    – Slinger Burst (Axe)

    Axe: Element Discharge I
    RM from Neutral (Axe)
    RM after:
    – Sword: Charge Phials
    – Axe: Overhead Slash
    – Axe: Savage Axe Slash

    Axe: Rushing Element Discharge I
    Same as Axe: Element Discharge I except ↑+RM

    Axe: Element Discharge II
    RM after:
    – Sword: Morph Slash
    – Axe: (Rushing) Element Discharge I
    – Axe: Draw Attack
    – Axe: Dash Slam
    – Axe: Smash
    – Axe: Jumping Slash
    – Slinger Burst (Sword)
    – Slinger Burst (Axe)

    Axe: Morph Slash
    (Ends in Sword mode)
    Ctrl after any Axe attack except Savage Axe Slash

    Sword: Jumping Slash
    LM from Midair (Sword) or Midair (Sheathed)
    Ctrl from Midair (Axe)
    Automatically after using Sword: Forward Slash off a ledge

    Axe: Jumping Slash
    LM from Midair (Axe)
    Ctrl from Midair (Sword) or Midair (Sheathed)

    Sword: Sliding Attack
    (Ends in sliding)
    LM when walking down a slope

    Sword: Jumping Rising Slash
    (Ends in midair)
    LM when sliding

    Clutch Claw
    C+RM

    Tenderize Attack
    (Ends in Axe mode)
    LM when grappled using Clutch Claw

    Turn monster
    RM when grappled to monster’s head using Clutch Claw

    Flinch Shot
    Ctrl when grappled to monster’s head using Clutch Claw

    A.2 • List of Guard Points to top

    See above section for the inputs to use these attacks.

    Sword: Morph Slash

    Length of guard point: long
    Timing: at the start of the attack

    Roundslash
    Sword: Spinning Slash, Sword: Sliding Slash, Axe: Morph Slash, and Elemental Roundslash all count as this attack.

    Length of guard point: long
    Timing: at the end of the attack

    Axe: Draw Attack

    Length of guard point: short
    Timing: at the start of the attack

    Savage Axe Slash

    Length of guard point: short
    Timing: at the start of input for Savage Axe Slash

    A.3 • Additional Resources to top

    Motion values and phial energy gain for all attacks
    General data sheet (includes numerical thresholds of knockback strength for small/medium/large strength)
    Kiranico (lots of useful info including monster hitzones and attack knockback strength)
    Another source for hitzone info, plus status thresholds and trip durations for all monsters
    Savage Axe style vs SAED style
    Some other technical info not in this guide
    Charge Blade builds

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