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.

 

Contents

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

 

Last Update

9/18/2019
Updated end game impact builds

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)
Notes:
For progression, can be crafted at the start of MR3. Later, you can make it into Glavenus CB.


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


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


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


Luna Eostra (Gold Rathian tree)
Notes:
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)
Notes:
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)
Best Thunder elemental CB


Deep Schnegel II (Beotodus tree)
Best Ice elemental CB


Glavenus Bardred (Glavenus tree)
Best Fire elemental CB? Need to check silver rathalos


Deep Terroir II (Jyuratodus tree)
Best Water elemental CB


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

 

Armor to Consider

Because it’s impossible to list builds for every set of circumstances, especially now in Iceborne with level 4 decorations, this page will first show a list of slot-efficient armor you should consider in your build. In the next section, example builds using these armor pieces will be shown.

Head

Barroth B +
Guard 2
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 1 (1)

Rathalos B +
Attack Boost 2
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 1 (1)

Brachydios Helm a +
Agitator 2, Capacity Boost 1
Slots: Level 3 (1)
Notes: Use this if you don’t have a Magazine decoration

Zorah Headgear a +
Artillery 2, Flinch Free 1
Slots: Level 2 (2)

Garuga Helm B +
Critical Eye 1, Resentment 1
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 2 (1)

Fulgur Helm B +
Weakness Exploit 1
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 2 (1)

Kaiser Crown B +
Critical Eye 2, Latent Power 1
Slots: Level 4 (1)

Chest

Damascus Mail B +
Focus 2
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 2 (1), Level 1 (1)

Kirin Jacket a +
Critical Eye 3, Divine Blessing 1
Slots: Level 3 (1), Level 2 (1)
Notes: On the off chance you are using a Focusless build

Gloves

Damascus Vambraces B +
Handicraft 2
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 1 (1)

Guild Palace B + (Arena)
Offensive Guard 2
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 1 (1)

Teostra Vambraces B +
Weakness Expoit 1, Heat Guard 1
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 3 (1)

Shara Ishvalda Braces B +
Critical Boost 2
Slots: Level 4 (1)

Ruiner Nergigante B +
Agitator 2, Attack Boost 1
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 1 (1)

Rex Roar Braces B + (Brute Tigrex)
Attack Boost 2, Health Boost 2
Slots: Level 4 (1)
Notes: Compared to Ruiner Nergigante, this trades 2 Agitator for 2 Health Boost

Rex Roar Braces a + (Brute Tigrex)
Attack Boost 2, Health Boost 3
Slots: Level 3 (1)

Kirin Longarms B +
Thunder Attack 3
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 2 (2)

Waist

Damascus Coil B +
Focus 1
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 3 (1), Level 1 (1)

Damascus Coil a +
Focus 1, Guard 1
Slots: Level 3 (1), Level 2 (1)

Ruiner Nergigante B +
Attack Boost 2, Earplugs 1
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 1 (1)

Odogaron Coil B +
Critical Eye 2
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 2 (1)

Kushala Cocoon B +
Ice Attack 3
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 1 (1)

Shara Ishvalda Coil B +
Health Boost 2
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 3 (1)

Legs

Garuga Greaves B +
Critical Eye 2
Slots: Level 4 (1), Level 2 (2)

Brachydios Greaves a +
Agitator 2, Artillery 2
Slots: Level 2 (1)

Brachydios Greaves B +
Agitator 2, Artillery 1
Slots: Level 4 (1)

Rex Roar Greaves B + (Brute Tigrex)
Agitator 2, Weakness Exploit 1
Slots: Level 4 (1)

Rex Roar Greaves a + (Brute Tigrex)
Agitator 3, Weakness Exploit 1
Slots: Level 1 (1)

 

Poverty Builds

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

#Razor Sharp

#Handicraft

 

 

Early Endgame Builds

Early Endgame: from completion of story to MR70.

#Critical


#Zoga


#Zoda


 

Late Endgame Builds

Late Endgame: MR70 and above.

#Guard 3 Master’s Touch

#Guard 5 Master’s Touch


Flexible decorations: Expert+

#Guard 5 Master’s Touch #2


Flexible decorations: KO/Vitality, Vitality, Charger (if you have a level 4 Charger deco)

 

Elemental Builds

Coming soon!

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253 thoughts on “Iceborne Charge Blade Builds (Console)

  1. Riccardo says:

    Nergi y gear can be useful to make more offensive elemental builds.

    Here are 2 kjarr ice build I just created, can you tell me if they are any good?

    Kjarr strongarm ice (expert)
    Xeno y helm (2 frost, tenderizer)
    Xeno y arms (frost, 2 tenderizer)
    damascus b chest (2 frost, guard)
    Xeno y waist (attack, charger)
    Nergi y legs (magazine, critical)
    Handicraft charm 3

    ice attack 5
    Attack boost 3
    Handicraft 3 (white sharpness)
    Weakness exploit 3
    Critical boost 2
    Blight resistance 2
    Power prolonger 2
    Special ammo boost 1
    Guard 1
    Capacity boost
    Critical eye 1
    Critical element
    Razor sharp/spare shot

    78% affinity

    Build n°2

    Kjarr strongarm ice (expert)
    Kushala helm b (3x frost)
    Kushala arms y (2 expert, guard)
    Nergi chest y (2 tenderizer, attack)
    Taroth waist y (charger)
    Nergi legs y (magazine, critical)
    Handicraft charm 3

    Ice attack 5
    Attack boost 4
    Handicraft 3 (white sharpness)
    Critical eye 3
    Weakness exploit 3
    Focus 3
    Critical boost 2
    Maximum might 1
    Guard 1
    Capacity boost
    Critial element

    95% affinity, no armor set bonus

    Like

      • Anonymous says:

        So I really wanted a very early endgame set for the melting grasp, because it looks awesome, with usable purple sharpness via the razor sharp charm for no reason other than because I dont like using protective polish. I don’t actually have any experience putting together my own builds so I have no idea if/how viable this is since I havent gotten around to testing it, so any feedback is appreciated. That said, this is what I came up with:

        Head: fulgur b
        weakness exploit 1
        4. ??/atk
        2. Atk

        Chest: damascus b
        focus 2
        4. Expert+
        2. Non-elem boost
        1. Atk

        Arm: damascus b
        handi 2
        4. ??/atk
        1. Guard

        Waist damascus b
        focus 1
        4. Handi
        3. Handi
        1. Artillery

        Boots brachy a
        agitator 2 artillery 2
        2. Magazine

        Weapon: melting grasp
        4. Handi

        Razor charm

        The four slots that have some kind of attack jewel will probably end up being guardian/attack jewels but you could probably fit anything on them.
        In my case I don’t have three handicraft jewels so I ended up switching the boots for glavenus b and throwing in artillery jewels as needed resulting in basically the same build minus agitator (which after having written all this I realized is basically the same as the poverty handicraft build). The entire set can be made as soon as the first master rank elder dragon is killed and as far as I can tell covers all the essentials with attack boost 4 and a tiny bit of affinity while getting the sharpness I want out of it, so it looks like it could be usable through at least a decent chunk of endgame. Like I said before, any feedback on this set is very much appreciated.

        Like

      • Riccardo says:

        Basically you added 7% affinity, nice!

        Glad you liked the idea though.

        Thanks for the work you put in!

        Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yo bro I love your builds but in the “# ALL-PURPOSE (NERGI GAMMA)” build
    you should use the Kaiser Gamma helmet instead of the Dragonking- Eyepatch,
    you basically trade the socket slot for 2x Crit Eye

    Like

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi! Thanks for the amazing work on documenting the builds!

    I have a question/suggestion on the All Purpose Nergi Gamma: is Handicraft 3 (charm) really optimal?

    Here’s some napkin math: Handicraft 3 is at most a 5% damage increase, at optimal fight duration – it brings blue sharpness from 30 to 60 hits. Thus, for the first 30 hits of combat, damage is the same as no handicraft; for next 30 hits damage it is 10% higher (for a 5% increase total – 30/60*10%), and after that, both builds are at green and do the same damage.

    With the available gear we can replace Handi 3 with an additional crit boost and 2 attack boosts. Calculating the upside we get roughly 3.25% from crit boost (at 65% affinity) and 2% from attack boosts (6 raw at ~300 base raw), which sums up to 5.25%, which is higher than 5% from Handicraft.

    Furthermore, Handicraft reaches the 5% peak at exactly 60 hits of combat, and is below that before and after the 60 hits sweet spot.

    Therefore, back to the question – is handicraft 3 really optimal? Am I missing something in my arguement?

    Looking forward to hearing tour thought!

    Liked by 1 person

    • stripedypaper says:

      Hello,

      What you said makes sense and on paper, the new build is at all times stronger than the handi 3 build (I made a chart to confirm this..). However one thing that makes the comparison less straightforward is that in real runs, charge blade does not deal the same damage per point of sharpness. In particular, the first ~10-15 sharpness of a run is used to charge the shield and subsequently cannot be used to SAED. So if we characterize a build by how much “prepared blue sharpness” (blue sharpness that can be used for SAED), it might be 45 for handi 3 vs 15 for handi 0. This doesn’t mean the handi 0 build isn’t still stronger, but it’s less obvious that it is. Also, the calculation is now difficult to make since you need to know how much stronger to consider charge blade once it’s “prepared”.

      Anyway, this is enough to warrant adding the build as a variant to the meta build. Thanks for your comment!

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for the reply!

        The “prepared” blue sharpness is a great insight, it is indeed not as straightforward as I initially thought. For the longer fights (AT’s) the 0 handicraft is probably better, since a significant portion of the fight will be in green sharpness in any case, and Handicraft build should on average result in only 2-3 additional SAED’s in blue (seeing as gaurd points decrease sharpness as well).

        Speaking of variants, there’s also a possible build trading 1 Agitator and 1 Attack boost for the 3rd critical boost (still at 0 handicraft). While it does less “theoretical” peak damage, according to my calculations it is only outperformed by agitator build at over 90% Agitator uptime. Might be better than my initial suggestion, but there’s also an arguement that Agitator councides with the SAED part of the rotation, thus decreasing the effective uptime required to overperform the first variant. Funnily enough, the second variant is still a Nergigante Hunger set (given how worthless the set bonus is).

        The difference between your original set and the 2 variant is negligible, so the arguement is mostly theoretical 🙂

        Like

  4. Riccardo says:

    All purpouse without handicraft looks really good if you can hit weak zones..how about replacing one critical with protective polish, in order to delay green sharpness?

    Like

  5. fraxal says:

    Comfy build for Luna Ruin
    Requirements:
    Health boost 3
    100% affinity
    Master’s Touch
    Focus 2 or 3
    Capacity boost
    Guard 1

    Build:
    Empress Ruin: Hasten recovery / Mighty jewel x2
    Kaiser helm Y: Critical eye 2 / Critical jewel x2
    Damascus B: Focus 2 / Vitality jewel x3
    Kaiser arms Y: Critical eye 3 / Tenderizer jewel x1
    Kulve waist Y: Critical boost 1, Weakness exploit 1 / Tenderizer jewel x1
    Kaiser legs Y: Critical eye 2 / Magazine jewel x1; Ironwall jewel x1
    Artillery charm 3

    Like

  6. Ben Lynch says:

    So are there any nuts and bolts explanation as to why the nergi gamma armor pieces are good for cb in words or do we just need to look at the builds to see that the damage is higher with the relevant skills all kitted out and leave it at that? I was watching the math guy’s review and they panned the armor but I saw they added – except for charge blade, but they didn’t explain why. I enjoy such explanations, as it helps me become a better player. If someone points me to comments on the matter, I would appreciate it!

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Short explanation – CB’s are distinguished from other blademaster weapons in that they don’t benefit as much from meta set bonuses – Master’s Touch and, to a lesser degree, Razor Sharp. Therefore strongest sets for CB are the ones with highest slot efficiency per piece (Nergi Gamma, currently).

      Reasons are:
      1) CB’s have a lot of required skills to maximize base functionality – Artillery, Capacity Boost, Focus, which leaves fewer slots for additional damage skills, compared to other Blademaster weapons.
      2) Meta raw CB (Diablos Tyrannis) has strong negative affinity (-30%), which compounded with point 1) makes running Master’s Touch (Behemoth or Teostra Gamma sets) suboptimal. It’s made worse as guarding (key for SAED windows) decreases sharpness.
      3) Razor Sharp (pre-Nergi CB meta) is basically the same as Handicraft 3 (going from 30 to 60 hits of blue, in base scenario). While not worthless, it’s not gamebreaking either, and the per-slot efficiency of Nergi gamma is higher than Xeno gamma even with set bonus.
      4) Several pieces of Nergi Gamma (chest, legs, waist) are good simply due to their skill allocation. CB basically aims for assorted best in slot pieces, It just so happens that 3 such pieces belong to Nergigante.

      Like

  7. Anonymous says:

    Thank you…. I try to preach the church of cb to other folks so I like to be able to articulate it. I’ve already got four of those nergi gamma pieces, but he’s been a brute to take down solo for me with the dt2…. that ankantorex video made me feel better, since if he’s not having fun, there’s no surprise that I found it a real pain in the rear!

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      I think the joy of playing CB kicks in when you land the first proper SAED on a monster’s head, and see what it does to them, it has a truly visceral feeling. From then on there was no going back for me 🙂

      Regarding AT’s in general and Nergi in particular – try the off-meta defensive builds: I ran 4 piece Luna + Damascus chest and Earplug charm (think only gloves were Luna Y, rest either A or B).
      The set has:
      – Base CB skills – Artillery, Focus, Capacity, Non-elemental boost, Guard 1
      – Excessive defense and utility – full earplugs, evade extender, health boost, tool specialist, mind’s eye (luna set bonus). Can also slot fortify if playing solo.

      Then alternate between temporal and rocksteady mantles, and Nergi will be easy. The build’s a bit cheesy, but AT’s are cheesy themselves, so whatever works. CB doesn’t sacrifice too much damage for it, since phial damage from SAEDs remains roughly the same.

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        I will have to try that next time since I’m missing some pieces….! It does have weight, the full SAED… landing them is a damn delight. The only thing I can think that feels similar is a parry and riposte in a Souls game…

        Cycling mantles was a must and I always run fortify when running solo.

        I will have to do some work…. As for decos… I’ve got to get two more arty gems and a focus gem and I will be set…

        Like

  8. Anonymous says:

    Anyone have a strong focus build using event equipment without a charger gem? I seem to be unable to get one but would like to play about with the goodies I’ve got until that happy day! Thanks! Maybe a focus charm?

    Like

  9. Anonymous says:

    Anyone have a strong focus build using event equipment without a charger gem? I seem to be unable to get one but would like to play about with the goodies I’ve got until that happy day! Thanks! Maybe a focus charm?

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      Teo y helm (2x tenderizer)
      Damascus b chest (3x artillery)
      Teo y arms (tenderizer)
      Damascus b waist (attack, guard, expert)
      Nergi y legs (elementless, magazine)
      Handicraft charm / maximum might charm

      Critical eye 6
      Attack 4
      Artillery 3
      Weakness exploit 3
      Focus 3
      Guard 1
      Non elemental boost
      Capacity boost
      Handicraft 3 or maximum might 2, depending on your charm of choice.

      This build looks good to me

      Like

      • Anonymous says:

        You could also swap damascus b chest and teo y arms with nergi y chest and daora y arms and see which option is better

        Like

  10. Patch says:

    Good evening. In the Fire (Kjarr) Master’s Touch build, you can optimize by replacing the Kaiser Vambrace A by the Drachen Vambrace, you lose nothing and get one critical eye and one attack boost.

    Like

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    Like

  12. Ben Lynch says:

    So what’s the best idea for a guy blessed with all the decos (charger, ironwall, attack, whatever) EXCEPT three artillery decos – I’ve got two though I’ve been worshipping hard at the church of Greatest Chungas…. I’m looking at the no handicraft build but with the artillery charm… OTOH, I wouldn’t have my WEX up, so maybe I would want to just go with the first and deal with having no handicraft…?

    I can and will go to honey hunter to plug and play but maybe someone else already knows… 😀

    Like

  13. Riccardo says:

    You should consider to add a taroth odo cb build.

    1 affinity augment, critical eye 7 and maximum might 3 are enough to reach 100% affinity, without WE.

    It also reach white sharpness with handicraft 1.

    Overall, it does a damage comparable to diablos cb…and it looks way better!

    Like

  14. Anonymous says:

    Newbie here and I got a question. In the absolute poverty set, the total defense shows 478 and total attack is 893. How are those numbers calculated? I have the full set shown, maxed out the defense levels for the armor as well, but it’s not close to those numbers. Am I missing something here? Is the attack and defense calculated using the sword and shield max phial power up as well?

    Like

    • Anonymous says:

      You should have always in your items armorchan and armortalon AND fully augment your gear. It will be possible as soon as you’ll find some streamstones as a reward for killing tempered elders

      Like

    • stripedypaper says:

      for attack, all weapons have a multiplier to calculate the shown attack value in-game. For example, the 893 in that set is as follows:
      230 attack from diablos tyrannis 2
      9 attack from powertalon
      6 attack from powercharm
      3 attack from attack boost 1
      total 248, then multiplied by 3.6 which is the multiplier for charge blade = 892.8

      for defense, just make sure to augment all your armor and carry armor talon + armor charm.

      Like

  15. dada says:

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

    /mhwb/?195,130,120,109,118,120,74,aff,health,0,0,0,0,90,4,4,57,14,4,96,96,96,75,49,0,52,26,0,2

    Like

  16. 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)?

    Like

    • 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.

      Like

      • 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

        Like

      • 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.

        Like

      • 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) https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/442496951825596427/620407751616626708/rainy-mr70-goldian-set.png

        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

        Like

    • 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!

      Like

  17. 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

    Like

  18. 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

    Like

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  20. 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

    Like

    • 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

      Like

      • velohack@gmail.com 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?

        Like

    • 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)

      Like

      • 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.

        Like

      • stripedypaper says:

        I performed my own tests based on knockback values in the japanese guidebook for mhw. See here https://i.imgur.com/GEzuDae.png

        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

        Like

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