General Overview Edit
Great Swords are a classic weapon in the monster hunter franchise. Appearing in the first game, the great sword has been a staple in every single monster game to date.
That is, until now.
The Great Sword is easily the most recognizable and popular weapon in the franchise, most of the time being the main weapon in promotional videos or in promotional/cover images.
A good great sword user is usually the backbone in a group, in both leadership and damage dealing, the former because everyone listens to the guy with the huge sword and the latter because you do technically have a giant piece of steel to do the hurting with. However due to the extremely slow and technical nature of the great sword many people tend to either not be as successful with it or just outright give it up for another, easier weapon.
So although everyone naturally picks the Great Sword as their first weapon most of the time, only the elite few actually keep using it throughout their hunting careers.
Using the Great Sword Edit
The Great Sword might sound like the easiest weapon to use, and for the first few monsters just swinging the sword until the monster dies is a viable and sometimes reccomended strategy, but effectively untapping the true potential of the Great Sword is a highly technical and strategic endeavor.
The Basics Edit
Unequipped, the Great Sword is placed behind the hunter, diagonally from the bottom left to the top right, with the front of the blade pointing down and the handle at the highest part.
While the sword is sheathed the hunter can run, jump, dash, and use items like every other hunter can.
While the sword is drawn and at the ready the hunter's speed is drastically reduced, almost to a walking pace, and no items can be used during this time. The hunter cannot gather or interact with the environment. By pressing the roll button the hunter can roll in any direction at the expense of a large chunk of stamina.
In Monster Hunter Frontier Online the Great sword has four basic moves, all performed while the sword is unsheathed and held at the ready:
- Vertical Slash
This is a common overhead vertical swing with the sword. The hunter raises the weapon above his head, takes a step forward, and brings it down with extreme force. This move has significantly more piercing power than the others, often times not bouncing on monster body parts that the same hunter using the same sword will bounce on using a different swing.
- Horizontal Slash
This wide, sweeping slash effectively destroys everything in a more than 180 degree arc in front of the hunter. The hunter repositions the sword slightly behind him and twists his body so the great sword crosses the entire front, and then some, as the hunter extends his hand on the backswing. The slash itself is weaker than the other two swings, which means it will bounce on armor heavier than the sharpness of the blade. This attack is known to knock large monsters from their feet.
- Upward Slash
Starting from the bottom, the hunter swings his sword upward with great effort, and then allows the sword to travel all the way above and behind him until its weight causes it to embed itself into the ground. It falls in the middle of strength and speed, not as damaging as the vertical slash and not as quick as the horizontal slash, but it has the most range of all the slashes and is known to send monsters AND fellow hunters tumbling through the air. This move, although incredibly effective, is extremely annoying to other hunters who get hit, even on the backswing, due to the fact that for the next few seconds the only thing they see is their character tumble through the air and slowly crawl back to their feet.
By pressing the block button, the hunter puts his large sword sideways in front of him, shielding him from any regular, blockable attack. For every attack blocked in this manner the stamina bar will drain and the sharpness of the sword will diminish. The stamina bar does not rise while blocking and no other moves can be performed at the same time.
- Instant Block
On the keyboard, pressing the block button while running makes the hunter instantly blocks as above. Depending on your controller configuration, you can just press block, or you will need to press the same button combination you use to perform an upward slash while running.
Along with these attacks the Great Sword has the ability to use a taunting kick with the sword at the ready or sheathed. This kick can wake up sleeping or stunned hunters or just kick a hunter being a big jerk. Due to its low damage output its almost impossible to be used offensively.
Advanced Techniques Edit
- Chain combos
All the attacks of a Great Sword can be chained together in a combo for as long as you desire. This infinite nature of the combo allows you to unleash the greatest amount of damage ever capable in the game. In order to chain an attack with another you have to make sure the two attacks are not the same. If you execute a vertical slash you can chain a horizontal or upward slash immediately after, but if you wish to execute a second vertical slash you would have to suffer through the repositioning animation of your hunter before being able to swing again. Each of these work as listed and vice versa.
Vertical to horizontal: The hunter swings his sword downward, then immediately shifts his body to swing the sword sideways, extremely quick. Vertical slashes are stronger and can pierce stronger armor but take a long time to execute repeatedly. If you chain a horizontal swing you deal additional damage as well as considerably reduce the time it takes to make multiple vertical slashes. However, this combo pushes your hunter a few paces forward for each repetition. To swing vertically the hunter takes a step and to reposition for the horizontal swing the hunter takes another, meaning after once or twice you might already be completely out of position from the monster and swinging at pure air.
Horizontal to Upswing: The hunter swings his sword sideways, finding it in the perfect position after the swing to take a quick upward slash, which crashes behind the hunter, conveniently placed at the position to swing horizontally again. Throughout the whole combo the hunter's right foot is grounded and anchored, meaning you will never move from your original starting position, unless you change the angle manually. This combo is perfect to unleash the hurt on stunned or trapped monsters, since it uses the two quickest attacks and doesn't move you around. Unfortunately though, by using this combo you effectively make a complete sphere around you where fellow hunters cannot approach without getting knocked down or tossed up in the air. Executing this combo at the same time others are trying to attack is completely destructive to the team.
Upswing to Vertical: The hunter crashes his sword down on his enemies, repositions, and then sends his sword back up the same way it came down. Everything above and in front of the hunter is pretty much cut to ribbons. This combo also has a considerably large vertical range, meaning it is highly effective against overhead dangling monster tails. Much like the vertical to horizontal combo, this combo pushes the hunter forward a considerable distance. After a few instances of the combo the hunter might have to reposition to avoid missing.
- Charged Attack
Pressing the vertical attack button, and keeping it pressed, will initiate a vertical attack charge. The hunter holds the sword above his head as he gathers up his love, his anger, and all of his sorrow, in the stated order. Once he is ready he automatically unleashes a devastating Charged Attack, a swing so powerful it cannot be blocked or bounced and which deals an inconceivable amount of damage. Wyverns will stagger or fall with a successful hit most of the time. Surely a couple dozen of well placed charged shots can easily kill a wyvern or elder dragon alone. It is important to note that the actual charging of the attack takes a long time. During this time the hunter cannot move or block, he cant even roll away. A player can choose to attack during any of the 3 stages of the charge, each stage having a slight damage upgrade but the maximum damage multiplier will not come into effect unless the hunter charges for the full duration. A great way to take advantage of charge attacks would be to stand under a wyvern as it is landing and time your charge right so you pull it off just as it lands. That interrupted stumble will give you and your teammates a few more free hits, and could wind up being the difference between victory or defeat.
- Unsheathing Attacks
While the Great Sword is sheathed, the hunter moves at the normal pace, and can dash and use items. However, while sheathed the Great Sword is in its most dangerous state. By moving forward and pressing an attack button while the sword is sheathed the hunter is able to execute a vertical slash at the fastest speed possible. It has the same strength and piercing power as a regular vertical slash, only a sheathed attack usually takes half the time to execute. If you press the horizontal slash button or the upward slash attack button the hunter quickly executes the quick vertical slash, but if you press the regular vertical slash button to perform an unsheathing attack the hunter has a slight delay.
This is due to the fact that by performing an unsheathing attack with the vertical slash button you have the ability to hold the button down and actually perform an unsheathing charged attack. An unsheathing charged attack skips most of the setup animations of the hunter and goes straight to charging, making it the most effective way to charge.
- The Sweet Spot
*Note: the sweet spot isn't quite as clear as it was in MHF1 or 2. I want to say that if you hit a monster using the sword's center of mass, usually placed right in the middle of the sword, you get a small damage bonus, which you can kinda "feel" with a dramatic explosion of blood and a lag in your character's animation.
But in my experience i have seen the sweet spot shift from the center to the tip to the very hilt of the blade, depending on the weapon. Further research will be performed.
Really though just remember if you hit a monster and your hunter lags, kinda pausing mid swing and there is a dramatic impact noise and a bright flash of blood, which is different than the critical hit spark, you have just hit the monster with the sweet spot of your blade.
Hitting a monster with your sweet spot gives a small damage boost and sometimes does dramatic things, such as send a smaller monster flying or chop a mid air raptor in half.
Great Sword as an Art Form Edit
In order to accurately and effectively use the Great Sword there is much more to learn than just the basic attacks and abilities. To become a Great Sword user you must be able to quickly identify the four basic concepts of a good Great Sword hunter and quickly use each one with deadly speed. The four concepts are:
By following these simple concepts you will be able to destroy the toughest of monsters with grace and beauty, and break body parts with such skill you'll resemble a master artisan in his shop. A true Great Sword hunter uses these four concepts to distinguish himself from the casual hunter who thinks its just cool swinging a giant piece of steel around.
The Great Sword is a large and long piece of bone or steel, crafted from the very monsters you hunt or the ore you mine. That one master guy and the three dudes and cat in the forge work their hardest to grab the materials you give them and mold them into a beautiful and dangerous tool, oftentimes containing abilities and magic powers beyond our comprehension. The swords might look like a thick slab of stabby parts or they could look like the jaw or limb of a monster, but one thing always stays the same, the length of these swords.
Get to know how far your sword reaches, and learn to imagine a sphere around your hunter with a radius of the length of your sword. This is your range. Remember that in order to actually hurt a monster, that monster has to be inside that sphere of range. All the charging or elemental damage in the world wont kill a monster if your sword hits nothing but air. Half of the battle is the range. Learn to charge or start your attacks so they actually hit the monster.
CRITICAL WIKI EDIT:
Thanks to updates in the game and special events and cash shop items the range of a GS is no longer uniform for all GSes.
Thats right, several Great Swords have unique ranges and hitboxes now. So it is now the good hunter's responsibility to memorize his sword's range and adjust his position accordingly. Thanks to the Red vs. Blue festivals we now have half sized Great Swords and DOUBLE SIZED great swords. With recent updates the master smith can make slightly longer greatswords at hunter ranks over 100, and the new Silver Hypnoc GS is clearly longer than its regular colored counterpart.
It is important to note that things like the double sized festival GS dont have a hitbox on the whole length of the blade, but rather a normal sized GS hitbox at the tip.
You'll hear many players suggest you try different weapons against different monsters, they'll tell you how some monsters react differently to different weapons, and how some monsters are impossible to kill without a certain something or other.
Well, you're a Great Sword User. None of that applies to you. At all.
The Great Sword, much unlike every other weapon in the game, is capable of doing everything that all the other weapons do, sometimes even better. Lets say you need a rathian's face caved in. A hammer could do it, sure, but a Great Sword does it too. Suddenly theres an annoying tail in your way, the Long Sword user offers to chop it for you, but while he was busy dancing around with his fancy wuss slashes you were busy actually chopping the tail off. The lance user blocks a charging Gravios, totally assuming you've just had a wyvern smash you against the wall, but you're as comfortable behind your giant shield as he is.
The trick to using a great sword is knowing how to adapt to the monster you hunt. Is your monster slow and lumbering? A couple charged swings do the trick. Is he quick and nimble? Poke at him with your fastest attacks. Is he violent and aggressive? Block his onslaught until you find the chance to retaliate. Despite your hunter's reduced speed while the sword is drawn, he still moves quite fast, compared to other weapons, making the Great Sword a nimbler and more active weapon.
Sure you can triple charge your Great Sword and hit the monster when he turns to face you, but if the hit lands on his wing or toenail then what was the point? In the time it took you to do that charge attack on an ineffective area, you could have hammered a breakable spot senseless. Always calculate what possible ways your hits will land and which is most likely. Ever felt like during your infinite combo, your health seemed to be draining for some unknown reason? Maybe if you got out from under the monsters feet and didn't let it step all over you your health might be a bit more stable.
As you attack, take notice of the manner in which your opponent attacks. Does it use tail whips often? Don't stand on its side trying to do the world's longest combo. You can roll in 3 different directions after an attack, and at any time at least 1 of them will be more advantageous than trying to get as many hits in before you get sent across the area. Find yourself running low on potions often? You won't have to use potions if you don't get hit. Take for instance the Rathian. Rathians can at any point do one of three things: Charge your ass, tailwhip your face, or backflip your entire body. With this in mind, constantly doing sideswipe to upswing to sideswipe to upswing would just be begging for it to get a hit in on you. Instead,
a good logically the best idea would be to run up, hit it with a quick unsheathe attack, tumble away, sheathe, repeat.
A tip from a G.Sword Master: Remember, dont put all your power and skill into wielding the Greatsword. You must identify the monster, learn it's movements and strike when the time seems fit. Even a Greatsword master such as myself has trouble with certain monsters, and some monsters, even I couldnt slay with just a Greatsword. But if you study the monsters movements and learn what movements lead up to what moves, than you will be capable of slaying almost every monster online alone. But that goes without saying that it will be challenging.
Recommended Swords Edit
Ultra Beginner Please Hold my Hands I'm New Tier Edit
So you just got your game installed and you've made a new character, and right off the bat you decide its a good idea to use a GS. Because this game is completely in Korean, whenever a GS is referenced by name and not "made out of x monster parts" it is merely for show because you cant be expected to know what the hell an "EVISCERATOR" even looks like or what materials it requires.
So if i say "BLUSHING DAME" it is the same thing as "pink rathian GS" but made to sound MORE AWESOME and you dont really need to know what it is at that particular moment.
Iron vs Bone
In your box you are given a free bone GS, among other things. This bone GS is just about as useful as any fully upgraded maxed out elemental Long Sword, meaning its worthless as crap.
Use some of the money the elder gave you to buy your very own IRON GREAT SWORD and get to hunting. Buy some pickaxes and gather iron and malachite ores to upgrade your IRON GREAT SWORD (it gets awesome spiky things coming out of it at some point) to kill more and more monsters. From the IRON line you can make several other weapons, namely the CATS SOUL GS, ICE BREAKER GS, and CHROME RAZOR GS, but NOT YET.
In all honesty the bone line of GS is horrible and you are better off using those materials to make furniture for your house.
Remember, Bone weapons have power instead of sharpness, and Iron has BOTH.
Monster Parts GS
So, when you start out you'll be fighting Giant Crabs, Pink Monkeys, Kut Kus, and Gypceroses, along with Bullodromes and all sorts of otherdromes, but NONE OF THEM HAVE A GS MADE OUT OF THEIR PARTS
oh wait, the Damiyo Hermitaur does, its the CRAB GS and you can make it as soon as you kill one and break its claws. Early incarnations feature an increase in defense, but as you upgrade it gets better. You'll only get it up to the second or third upgrade with the materials you can get at ultra low rank, but hey its something other than your trusty iron GS. Oh and the gray scale needed is a Black Pearl, which you can gather by asking people where the black pearls are in Jungle map.
Got out of Training Quests and Thrown Naked Into the Real World Tier Edit
At this point you have a larger monster pool to pick from. But still the IRON GS is pretty much your best bet, at least until it starts wanting fire wyvern claws.
Iron vs Bone
So at this point you can fight RATHIANS, so the bone GS tree doesnt blow complete ass. you can make a SPARTACUS BLADE by upgrading your bone GS over and over until you get a choice between a sword with a face that is green or a sword with a face that is pink. The pink way is better, but hey its your money, whatever man. Bone tree sucks anyway.
To compound the suck, the Iron GS tree is running out of steam. Sure your GS with the retractable claw thingies is red now, but other than that you didnt get anything new. Its time to restart and buy a new iron GS and focus on the pathways you missed before.
Ice Breaker GS: this GS is completely made out of ice and you can see it as a choice in the iron tree early on. Even though this sword is great in future upgrades, as is it sucks and you wont be able to use it until you are well into level 50 and beyond. You cant even MAKE it until level 31 so just forget about it completely.
Cat's Soul GS: Right before you get the retractable claw thingies in the iron sword, you see that you can make something that looks like the cat in CHU CHU ROCKET, jagged edges everywhere and a big smile on the GS. MAKE THIS SWORD. You can take quests with black cats in them, and they sometimes drop cat tickets, which you use to make that sword, along with a Large Sharpening Fish. More cats means more tickets, more tickets means upgraded sword. This sword, along with being an overall good weapon, is truly a team player due to its ability to paralyze a monster.
Monster Parts GS
So now that you dont have (an unbearably huge) limit of monsters to hunt you'll find that many monsters have real cool GS swords made out of their parts. In reality this will be the bulk of your GS crafting, as the iron and bone line dont get any stronger.
Khezu GS: At some point in either the iron or bone line you can make the khezu GS, but its much better to just craft one directly from the shop list. The high raw damage makes it a good GS, but the thunder elemental damage is merely for show. Keep this sword as upgrading it to the max in the future will give you a reliable end game weapon.
Hypnock GS: the annoying bird you have to fight to get anti wind armor also makes real spiffy swords. The GS is actually really good, and can be upgraded until it needs different colored monster parts using the same low tier materials. Although it's sleep element isnt something to get excited over, it is nice to have. Remember, the hit that wakes up a sleeping monster deals three times as much damage as normal. So hit a monster till he starts to faint, charge up a triple charge on his face and hand out hurt like soup to the homeless.
Hunting like a real pro Edit
Now you've done a few urgents and you can hunt all manner of elder dragons and whatnot. Well its time to put those materials you carve to good use. No, not on min/max armors and status effect potions and gems that take away real bad armor skills. You spend that stuff on the only thing that matters in the game: A BETTER GS!
Monster Parts GS
Im totally skipping the iron and bone line because by now you can tell that both those lines have hit a dead end.
WIKI EDIT: IRON TREE STILL KINDA GOOD: Ok so you can spam your upper fire dragons and kushalas and whatever you need to finally get your boring red iron GS into something that looks like it came straight out of a rathalos's mouth, if his mouth was full of talons from his feet. This sword does eventually get to +1000 raw damage levels so i guess its ok to work on.
Ancient GS: This GS is only obtainable in the rarest occasion where a rust stone that you mine actually becomes something of value. The chances of this happening is slim to none, because not only will a rust stone just refine into some dumb iron sword, but you also have a low chance of actually mining the GS rust stone, oftentimes being given garbage like a rust stone for every other weapon in the game. However if you manage to get one you can upgrade it (using Kushala Daora parts) into a pretty spiffy ICE elemental GS which has no equivalent.
Espinas GS: At HR31 you get to meet the Espinas, spanish for "cheating mexican angry poison." At first he stands around like an Espinata while you try to break him to get to the candies inside, but then he gets angry and runs around so fast you dont even know what before your entire party is dead. Well anyway hunt him enough and you get a GS made out of his parts, which has poison element and decent raw, but goes crazy high in damage on the first upgrade.
That old ice GS I told you was crap earlier: Guess what, it still is. Ok fine, its not. By now you can hunt and kill all the blangongas you want to get the materials, and eventually you'll find the proper FRONTIER ONLY quest that gives out the necessary Kushala Claws to upgrade it ONCE. From there its pure hard work gathering more materials and more claws to get that sword into a real nice and decent ICE GS. Hell they even throw some paralyze element in there as well. Mark your creation of this thing a milestone in your never ending quest to kill monsters and waste time.
The Festival TINY AXE GS: Every so often the game decides to put a little competition into it and host a festival. In this festival guilds all join one side, Red or Blue, and they all try to accumulate as many points as possible, the points being obtained by killing monsters from a specific list set before the festival begins. If you happen to be on the winning side at the end of the week the game rewards you with enough "winner's tickets" to make one festival only weapon. Since you're a GS master the other weapons dont even cross your mind, you want that tiny HALF RANGED GS that gets a whopping amount of damage. The DOUBLE RANGED GS is crap.
HR100 GS CHECKLIST (please read disclaimer you (hunters? more like NO FUNters))Edit
ok so you've played the game for two years straight and seen everything the game has to offer. Or do you? Here is a list of the GS a true hunter should have before he goes on to the "fun" part of the game: (bullets used in order to represent no particular order) (also names arent exactly 100% accurate)(also this isnt a comprehensive list its just the crap i have on me at the moment)("fun" used loosely, seeing as SP monster are harder and everyone doesnt want to help you hunt them and you'll end up just replaying the crap from HR1-100 again)
DISCLAIMER: SEVERAL HUNTERS HAVE COMPLAINED THAT I DONT POST THE ACTUAL STATISTICAL VALUE OF EACH WEAPON OR THAT SOME WEAPONS FEATURED IN THIS LIST ARE NOT AS STRONG AS THEIR SUPER OVERPOWERED HAMMER/LANCE/BOWGUN COUNTERPARTS
The truth of the matter is that I dont really care for how much raw something has. Due to percentage graphs and damage values and defense armor points and all that crazy stuff even the game doesnt really care if you hit a monster with a 960 raw sword or a 980 raw sword sometimes. Just note that these swords at their fully upgraded level are worth enough to keep all the way to hr 100 (unless otherwise specified) without you going "MAN THIS THING SUCKS." This is a collector's guide. You can play the whole game with just the Festival Axe for all the game cares you dont need all this crap, unless you know, you actually like to hunt with a GS.
Not to mention that this list, nay this whole GUIDE is for hunters who plan on hunting with the GS exclusively, therefore wouldnt give two kut ears about some better alternative weapon which might be slightly stronger.
IN OTHER WORDS: IF YOU ARE A GOOD HUNTER YOU CAN PLAY WITH ANY SWORD, AND THESE SWORDS DO COOL THINGS/LOOK TOTALLY AWESOME SO KEEP ON BALLIN GOOD HUNTERS, BALLIN EVERY DAY.
- Tactical Blade: aka the final part of the straight iron line. (coincidentially, it stops being made out of iron)
- Blushing Dame: aka the Pink Rathian GS
- Training GS: aka the Black Belt Blade (pictured unupgraded leave me alone its hard to do it)
- Pleisoth Shiny Finsword: aka the GS with enough elemental damage to actually MATTER
- Executioner's Blade: funfact: this blade is pretty dumb but hey make it anyway its got a cool name. Wiki edit: actually now that i upgraded it all the way its really good.
- Dragon Buster: Other than it needing redardedly difficult to get parts this GS is pretty cool with dragon damage. Everyone will respect you if you get this one made and upgraded, no doubt about this.
- Rathalos Wing: you needed this for all those khezus and gypceroses you will fight in your spare time. Wield it proudly, despite its obsolescence.
- Shiny Rathalos Wing: seriously whats up with the japanese and calling alternate color schemes "shiny" its the same thing with pokemon.
- Khezu Shock THE FULL: fully upgraded this is a real good sword who's electric power is only rivaled by the Kirin GS, which will not be listed cause i dont have it yet.
- Stupid Ice GS: oh man this i still havent upgraded it even once whats up with that where do i even get those claws man come on im so behind. Wiki Edit: i found the claws they drop from kushes sometimes so yeah this is now shelved cause man im not gonna do it.
- Good Ol Trusty Chicken Blade: its purple now!
- Espinas Spikes: with 1008 raw this is your "element? We dont need no element" weapon. also poison.
- CRAB CLAW: all those dual diablos arena quests made you a great GS that looks like you ripped out something's arm and are currently clubbing them with it.
- THE CATS ROYAL HIGHNESS: rusty, spiky, mean, and half umbrella, this thing will help you reach the height of your hunting career. Use it with newbies to stun monsters and make them wonder why the hunts are much easier with you around.
Honorable Mention GSes (list deleted by moderator)