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 1 Kaiser Gamma
– Focusless
Updated sets:
– Guard 1 Master’s Touch
– Guard 5 Master’s Touch
Removed sets:
– Guard 5 Master’s Touch Crit eye 7

Full Update History



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

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

#Guard 1 Master’s Touch (Kaiser Gamma)

Required Event Equipment: Kaiser Gamma
Recommended Augments: Health 1, Affinity 1
Loses about 80 defense and 1 Attack to gain 1 Agitator. For tryhard speedruns.

#Guard 3 Master’s Touch, Flexible Charm

Recommended Augments: Health 1, Affinity 1
Flexible charm: Attack, Agitator, Slugger, Health Boost, Miasma etc.
If running Affinity augment, swap 2 or 3 of the Guardian/Expert for Guardian/Attack.

#Guard 5 Master’s Touch

Recommended Augments: Health 1, Affinity 1
Flexible decorations: Challenger+


Recommended Augments: Health 1, Affinity 1
What a build! Used by Vanov in this video:

#Artillery 5, Flexible Charm

Recommended Augments: Health 1, Affinity 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, Affinity 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.

299 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


      • 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.


      • Riccardo says:

        Basically you added 7% affinity, nice!

        Glad you liked the idea though.

        Thanks for the work you put in!


    • Adam Sheriff says:

      These sets have been consistently amazing! They literally got me through Monster Hunter World and are helping me get through iceborne! But what’s going on with those elemental sets! It said coming soon awhile ago, still does. Lol


  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


  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:


      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!


      • 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 🙂


  4. Riccardo says:

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


  5. fraxal says:

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

    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


  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!


    • 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.


  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!


    • 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.


      • 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…


  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?


  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?


    • 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


      • 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


  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.


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  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… 😀


  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!


  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?


    • 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


    • 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.


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