Iceborne Charge Blade Builds (Console)

Iceborne Charge Blade Builds (Console)

Looking for Pre-Iceborne High Rank builds, including deco-less builds to tackle Master Rank story? Click here or use the menu above.
Also, it goes without saying that this page will not avoid spoilers for monsters or any content.



Charge Blades worth crafting
Early Endgame Builds
Late Endgame Builds
Elemental Builds


Last Update

Added impact sets:
Guard 5 Artillery 5
Added elemental sets:
Cookie Cutter (True Critical Element)

Full Update History



Help Wanted!

Build suggestions are greatly appreciated, especially in the early stages of the expansion. Feel free to share your Master rank optimized builds, starter builds, or any builds in between. Please include weapon, augments, armor, charm, all decorations used, and the total skills and set bonuses granted by the build. Screenshots are optional but appreciated. Thank you!

Use the comment section at the bottom of the page, or if you prefer, contact me via Twitter or Discord.


Charge Blades worth crafting

Saber’s Maw II (Great Jagras tree)
For progression, can be crafted at the start of MR3. Later, you can make it into Glavenus CB.

Chrome Fortress III (Metal tree)
Great all-purpose CB until it is replaced by Gold Rathian CB. Consider running Razor Sharp Charm.

The Melting Grasp (Acidic Glavenus tree)
High raw and neutral affinity, outclasses Diablos and Zorah. Bad sharpness. Consider running Handicraft 5 and Protective Polish.

Inescapable Karma (Shara Ishvalda tree)
Raw between Metal and Acid Glavenus, OK sharpness. Consider running Handicraft and/or Razor sharp Charm.

Luna Eostra (Gold Rathian tree)
This is probably the best impact charge blade. Tied for highest raw, positive affinity, great sharpness, great slots. Not elementless but has very high poison.

Ruinous Devastation (Ruiner Nergigante tree)
Likely worse than Gold Rathian CB but outclasses other impact charge blades. The low dragon element is basically useless and the extra sharpness is paid for by the lack of level 2 slots compared to Gold Rathian CB.

Despot’s Thundergale (Zinogre tree)

Kadachi Soul II (Zinogre tree)
Notes: Ends up with higher thunder than Zinogre due to custom upgrades and lower rarity. For the inevitable MR Kulve encounter.

Deep Schnegel II (Beotodus tree)
Best Ice elemental CB

Glavenus Bardred (Glavenus tree)

Hellsire Blade (Silver Rathalos tree)
Notes: unsure if worth over Glavenus. Higher raw and affinity but 60 lower fire, 90 if Glavenus is augmented 3 times for element.

Deep Terroir II (Jyuratodus tree)
Best Water elemental CB

Deathaxe Vaal Aspida (Vaal Hazak tree)
Best Dragon elemental CB


Poverty Builds

No decorations? Get ready to use these for a while!

#Razor Sharp




Early Endgame Builds

Early Endgame: from completion of story to MR70.





Late Endgame Builds

Late Endgame: MR70 and above.

#Guard 1 Master’s Touch, Flexible Slot & Charm

Recommended Augments: Health 1, Defense 1
Flexible level 4 decoration
Flexible charm: Attack, Agitator, Slugger, Health Boost, Miasma etc.

#Guard 3 Master’s Touch, Flexible Charm

Recommended Augments: Health 1, Defense 1
Flexible charm: Attack, Agitator, Slugger, Health Boost, Miasma etc.

#Guard 5 Master’s Touch

Recommended Augments: Health 1, Defense 1
Flexible decorations: Expert+

#Guard 5 Master’s Touch, Flexible Slot

Recommended Augments: Health 1, Defense 1
Flexible decorations: KO/Vitality, Vitality, Charger (if you have a level 4 Charger/X deco)

#Artillery 5, Flexible Charm

Recommended Augments: Health 1, Defense 1
Flexible charm: Attack, Agitator, Slugger, Health Boost, Miasma etc.

I include this grudgingly as many people ask about it. My opinion is that Artillery Secret is not worth the sacrifice of Master’s Touch and several skill points compared to the above builds.

#Guard 5 Artillery 5

Recommended Augments: Health 1, Defense 1


Elemental Builds

Optimal builds are still up in the air. Stay tuned!

#Cookie Cutter (2 Namielle)

Can be used with any elemental CB.
Gloves are interchangeable with Shara B+. Also consider Guild Palace B+.

#Cookie Cutter (4 Namielle)

Can be used with any elemental CB. Only recommended for high base element weapons such as Beotodus and Vaal Hazak, post augment and custom upgrade.

#Cookie Cutter (Master’s Touch)

Can be used with any elemental CB.

#Cookie Cutter (True Critical Element)

Can be used with any elemental CB.


279 thoughts on “Iceborne Charge Blade Builds (Console)

  1. dada says:

    not sure if this is useful at all. using gala suit top hat



    • Rising_Phoenix690 says:

      There is a way to get an absolutely potent late endgame build that nets you a very high quality of life survivability build without sacrificing nearly any DPS:

      Luna Eostre CB
      Gold rath b+ helm
      Damascus b+ chest
      Fellshroud b+ arms
      Fellshroud b+ coil
      Garuga b+ pants
      Razersharp charm

      With a very modest bit of decos you can achieve the following:

      •Super Recovery (obviously this gets coupled with Recovery up and a health augment)
      •Crit Eye 6
      •Heath Boost 3
      •Recovery Up 3
      •Crit Boost 3
      •WEX 3
      •Focus 3
      •Artillery 3
      •Guard 2 (you can swap out the razor sharp charm for the guard charm if you want more)
      •Speed Eating 2
      •Capacity Boost
      •Razor Sharp
      •Offensive Guard (can also be increased by removing ironwall+4 jewel with guardian/X when using ironwall charm)

      I put two Devine blessings on the rocksteady mantle and two guardian/attack on the glider mantle.

      This build is the epitome of “comfy”. Once all the armor pieces are augmented and fully upgraded for defense it becomes a powerhouse of DPS that’s neigh impossible to kill. It is the perfect build for CB players who are not so good at NOT getting hit! Monster hit you? Cool. Just hit home back. Problem solved.

      Between health boost, recovery up, and a health augment, it’s VERY hard to kill the player. You, like I said, you still hit like a Mac truck!


    • Anonymous says:

      How do you think a Mind’s Eye/Blugeoner build would do? Do you think the raw attack increase with sharpness loss would out damage the multiplier fron the sharpness? Here’s kinda what I was thinking:

      The Melting Grasp // (Level 4 Flex)

      Rajang Headdress A // no slots

      Damascus Mail B // Guardian/Expert, Charger, Ironwall

      Damascus Vambraces B // Guardian/Expert, Expert

      Rajang Obi A // (Level 3 Flex), Expert

      Garuga Greaves B // Guardian/Expert, Magazine, (Level 2 Flex)

      Adamantine Charm

      Unless Handicraft isn’t that important, then B on the Rajang pieces? What do you think?


      • stripedypaper says:

        I think bludgeoner is too weak in mhw to be worth using. I gives a flat attack amount instead of percentage like in older games, plus for some reason the raw does not boost phial damage.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Iceborne impact build musings – it may be worth it to replace Zorah legs with the Garuga ones (and Damascus waist with Zorah, respectively), as it’s slightly more slot efficient – one additional small slot, assuming we use critical eye in the build.

    On that note, is critical eye always better than attack boost now? Seeing as AB doesn’t scale with MR (flat raw increase), while crit eye does (% based)?


    • Anonymous says:

      Adding to that, consider adding Shara Ishvalda CB to the list of CB’s to craft – it has 10 less raw compared to Acidic Glavenus, but requires 2 less handicraft for same sharpness – while arguably worse it allows for more flexibility.


      • stripedypaper says:

        thanks for your comments. As for shara CB, I had it there initially but I think more than acid glavenus it’s outclassed by the metal tree CB which has worse raw but incredible white sharpness. The metal CB is the all-purpose impact phial cb* and acid glavenus is there for artillery 5 builds.

        *until gold rathian


      • CHUNIA says:

        Can’t reply to your comment for some reason, so replying under my own instead.

        Great point about metel tree CB, since it also supports custom upgrades, which help mitigate the raw gap. Any idea how far custom upgrades go? I’ve got to lvl4 so far, wonder if it’s goes up to 5 or even higher.

        The wording in your last sentence implies artillery 5 is not the all-purpose build – if so, what is? An assortment of best-in-slot pieces?

        Finally, what are your thoughts on the optimal playstyle? Savage axe or SAED? Or maybe elemental CB’s?

        P.S. what is the most efficient way to discuss theorycrafting – comments here or some other medium? I’m the guy who suggested no-handicraft nergigante build originally, would love to keep up to date with the discussion.


      • stripedypaper says:

        I’m not certain about custom upgrades, I think the final stage is the brute tigrex, ruiner nergigante stage (haven’t custom upgraded anything myself, saw screenshots).

        Zorah 3 set to me felt pretty restrictive compared to the below build since you get less skills and need to add 2 artillery, but Rainy made a strong looking Zorah set (with good level 4 decorations)

        Right now I am using Garuga, Damascus, Shara, Damascus, Garuga, Razor Sharp charm with Metal CB as the all purpose build. For playstyle, most fights have situations where either savage or SAED are the best option so I wouldn’t restrict yourself to one playstyle. Though I think there may be fights where you don’t SAED (Kirin, maybe velkhana), but there may not be fights where you don’t use savage axe.

        Discord would be the best way to have a discussion with me: boardwalk hotel#0001


    • Anonymous says:

      Which garuga helm for your present all purpose uild? Alpha or beta? I suspect it’s alpha, but I like to double check… so far I’m running the zorah alpha/damascus beta/shara beta/damascus beta/Garuga beta set up with chrome fortress 3, but am looking to craft all the goodies! Thanks for your time!


  3. Anonymous says:

    So apparently the Rathalos Charge blade has:
    972 Raw
    20% affinity
    330 Fire
    A level 3 Slot
    A little bit of purple and a lot of white
    Power element phial


  4. Painted J says:

    Whats up. A masters touch set is possible and while you dont get artillery 5, it does have guard 5 and crit boost 3.

    We use the standar kaiser/garuga meta template and use the damascus chest.

    Gold rathian CB.

    Kaiser beta +
    Damascus beta +
    Kaiser beta +
    Kaiser beta +
    Garuga beta +

    Guard charm 5

    The skills you will end with are:

    Crit eye 5
    Guard 5
    AB 4
    Wex 3
    Crit boost 3
    Artillery 3
    Offensive guard 3
    Focus 3
    Latent power 1
    Capacity boost
    Heat guard

    I have been using this set since I unlocked yian garuga. It doesn’t get agitator or artillery 5 like I said before, but masters touch + guard 5 makes it a really comfy and decent mixed set


      • Painted J says:

        You are using wex 4. Kaiser vambraces have one built in level of wex.

        Swap the tenderizer jewel for an agitator or expert to get the extra 5%


      • Painted J says:

        You can also make a guard 3 set that reaches 110% affinity.

        Swap the ironwall charm for AB 4 charm. Get 3 offensive guard/expert decos and a challenger deco, as well as an ironwall+ deco.

        You will end up with guard 3, 110 aff to help with the non tenderized weakpoints since CB clutch claw attack is slow and all your offensive skills.


      • Painted J says:

        Fuck, got ahead of myself, sorry. The guard 3 masters touch set im talking about cannot fit agitator in it. But its still 105% aff. While the guard 5 set only reaches 90%, but gold rathian has a ton of white sharpness and guard 5 makes the knockbacks from attacks less sharpness demanding.

        So both of this sets are my contribution to the meta sets. Let me know what you think of them.


      • Anonymous says:

        Having no ironwall + deco YET, I’m quite enjoying the guard 5 charm. It is as advertised: Very comfy, particularly in the grinding lands where chaos reigns and sometimes you guard just because things are happening pretty fast in a four man squad. just because I want to play a bit with the nergigante cb, what’s the best set up we can get with that?

        I appreciate all the work you all do here.


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  6. velohack says:

    I’m seeing a lot of builds in comments and elsewhere with more than Guard 1. Why more than Guard 1?

    Wasn’t Guard 1 the standard or did that change?

    Guard 1
    + Charged Shield = Guard 2
    + Guard Point = Guard 2
    = Guard 5


    • Painted J says:

      Because alot of monsters in master rank have lots of attacks where the knockback from guard 1 is too high.

      Guard 3 and 5 make those heavy knocknback attcks into medium knockback making them guardpointable.

      I.g You need Guad 3 to GP glavenus spin to win charged sword attack.

      Guard 5 to GP Acidic Glavenus spin to win attack


      • says:

        What do you mean by win? Are you talking about zero knock back? I’ve guard pointed and saed Acidic Glav off of its spin attack with Guard 1, though there was a bit of knock back.

        How are you getting this information, is there a youtube video of someone who has tested all the guard levels in iceborne?


    • stripedypaper says:

      in MR, guard 1 is insufficient for many newcoming monsters (or new attacks of old monsters). I would recommend at least guard 3 for general purpose use.

      Also, it doesn’t work exactly like you say at the bottom. While Guard 1 and charged shield is the same as guard 3 and no shield, and guard 1 + shield + gp is the same as guard 5 with no shield/gp, it doesn’t cap at “guard 5”. Even with guard 5, you still can get lower knockback by having charged shield and guard pointing. You can think of it like this:

      Guard 1 = +1 block
      Guard 3 = +2 block
      Guard 5 = +3 block
      Charged shield = +1 block
      Guard point = +1 block
      (maximum 5 block strength)


      • velohack says:

        Thanks for the info. I’ve never seen blocks broken down like that before. Is there a reference on that?

        Guard 3 seems like a big investment, especially Guard 5. Is it that often that a monster’s attacks require Guard 5 plus Charged shield plus Guard Point?

        I’ve only had Guard 1 in most Guiding Lands so far and haven’t had any trouble guard pointing and countering off any attacks. The other reply said Acidic Glav, but I’ve blocked and countered on almost all its attacks and don’t remember any I couldn’t. Guess I’ll have to do some ,more testing.


      • stripedypaper says:

        I performed my own tests based on knockback values in the japanese guidebook for mhw. See here

        examples of monsters that higher block helps for:
        acid glav (only his super moves which he taunts after, i.e the vertical 360 slice and the quick double slice after holding his tail in his mouth)
        zinogre (backflip and double paw slam after doing the electric arc on the ground)
        brute tigrex (large wind up roar, before head break)
        namielle (electric shock puddle)
        ruiner nerg (all of his super moves)
        blackveil vaal I think (expanding smoke cloud which needs guard up, becomes a huge opening when you can sit and block it)

        not an exhaustive list but some examples


      • Anonymous says:

        I’ve got a ton of grief from some cb folks for running the MT build with guard 5 charm, so I’m glad to see the list of moves it does help with. It really does make everything much more comfortable…


  7. Welby Blanco says:

    Chrome Fortress III – Expert1/Artillery1
    Custom Upgrade – Nergigante Mod
    Augments – Affinity 1/Health 1

    Fulgar Helm Beta – Artillery4/CritBoost2
    Damascus Mail Beta – IronWallCritEye4/Wex2/IronWall1
    Shara Ishvalda Braces Beta – GuardianCritEye4
    Damascus Coil Beta – GuardianCritEye4/Wex2/IronWall1
    Garuga Greaves Beta – GuardianCritEye4/CapacityBoost/Elementless

    Razor Sharp Charm

    Rocksteady+ – IronWall1/IronWall1
    Temporal Mantle

    Critical Eye – 7
    Critical Boost – 3
    Weakness Exploit – 3
    Focus – 3
    Artillery – 3
    Guard – 3 (+2)
    Offensive Guard – 3
    Capacity Boost – 1
    Non-Elemental Boost – 1
    Razor Sharp/Spar Shot – 1


  8. velohack says:

    I think this Artillery 5 Luna Eostre build following is better than any Master’s Touch build, IF you have the rare decorations it requires and ideally with Whetfish Fin+ for 1 cycle sharpening.

    Artillery 5, Weakness Exploit 3, Critical Boost 3, Critical Eye 4, Offensive Guard 3, Guard 5, and Flinch Free 3 (amazing for multiplayer, but still good against monsters from tripping you)

    80% affinity, or 90-100% with affinity/slot augments.


    • says:

      I messed up the affinity in the Artillery 5 build, it’s 70% not 80%.

      Here’s the best Master’s Touch build I could find with Guard 5 and Fortify:

      Differences against the Artillery 5 build:

      95% Affinity (100%+ w/augments), +8 Attack, Heat Guard, Latent Power, Superior Sharpness


      70% Affinity (80%+ w/augments) / +20% Phials Attack, Flinch Free 3, Tremor Resistance 1, More Sharpening Required

      So it’s a really a question of sharpening and if that extra 15-30% affinity (depending on augments) and 8 attack is better than +20% phial attack and nice bonus of flinch free 3 for multiplayer.


  9. Anonymous says:

    Hey, love your page, have used it since regular MHW. Couple things: your pictures for the early endgame builds don’t work/are broken on Firefox. Your ZoDa build uses Zorah Spurs A+ in the fist pic but B+ in the 2nd pic. Also could you maybe make a ZoDa build but with Luna Eostre? I myself just slotted in 4 levels of crit eye, not sure if that’s optimal, since you don’ need handicraft or protective polish, and you get an extra slot on the weapon. Keep up the good work.


  10. Riccardo says:

    PC player here, therefore unable to test stuff on my own.

    Is it possible or worth to run glavenus head, arms and legs and damascus chest and waist? A luna eostra build with critical eye 7 and maximum might 5 would have 90% affinity without wex


    • stripedypaper says:

      I don’t think it’s worth dropping master’s touch, plus glavenus armor is not skill efficient so you lose some skill points in addition to the 2 extra you’re using on 5 max might instead of 3 wex


  11. Riccardo says:

    Any big monster or monsters with bad hitzones like uragaan, lavasioth, nergigante, lavasioth, lunastra, zinogre, brachy, radobaan, jho and glavenus are, in my opinion, all good choices for artillery 5


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