This is less of a dedicated guide to a specific build path and playstyle and more of a documentation of any builds that I've played around with and found, if not powerful in their own right, just interesting to play. I won't promise you that all of them are gonna be winners, but if you like off-meta stuff, then you definitely want to stick around!
Guide to Build Wacky Warehouse
These builds are made in mind that you've already completed Iceborne. If you're going through the game currently and haven't finished it, if you care about that sort of thing then this is your chance to click off now and go finish the game. Of course, if you don't, then feel free to keep going and seeing what kind of wack-♥♥♥ builds await you as you careen into endgame.
Or, if you're looking for something that can take you through Iceborne, and don't mind playing a support-style build, maybe take a look at other guide to the Mushroomancer skill and see how that works out for you:
[True Gaia's Veil] "Don't Look At Me Without My Mantles" Build
When I finished Iceborne, I immediately ran over to the Smithy to see what kind of fresh hell this rock monster/SoundCloud rapper would have in terms of gear. Boy, was I excited to see a 5-Piece Set Bonus with a monstrously powerful effect. The gears started turning and I decided I wanted to see if I could put together a build that built on all the skills that the set gave, but also worked in mantle usage to maintain True Gaia's Veil with nigh-100% uptime. The results are a very competitive, but still not entirely meta, build that gives you a myriad of defensive and offensive skills to ensure that you're living every hunt and not getting bodied by anyone that decides to get fresh with you. Except for maybe Lunastra and Teostra, you might want to still bring Cool Drinks and eat for Elemental Resist for those.
This build doesn't particularly marry itself to any specific weapon, but if I were to recommend one that can fully take advantage of what this build offers, then I picked the following criteria:
- A weapon with at least 20% Base Affinity.
- A weapon with a non-hidden Element/Status.
- A weapon that enjoys not getting their attacks interrupted by roars, tremors, wind, etc.
Naturally, Greatsword and Hammer immediately came to mind, but just as well the likes of Charge Blade and Switch Axe could definitely work with this. The weapon I chose specifically was Soulfire Heel "Blaze" from the Lunastra line of weapons because it fit my criteria, gives a nice bonus in the Guts skill which is another emergency defensive skill, and I just like playing Hammer, personally.
Of course, the main headline of the set is the 5-Piece Bonus, True Gaia's Veil, which grants any Mantle you wear Tremor Resistance 3, Earplugs 5, maximum Windproof, and Flinch Free. This basically turns any mantle into Rocksteady Mantle without the super armor. Because by nature this is a mantle-using build, we want Tool Specialist 3 to reduce the cooldowns of our mantles so we can maintain uptime of this skill. This is basically non-negotiable.
- Offense-wise, the set by itself gave Critical Boost 2, so that leaned to making a build that does in fact use critical attacks to the best of it's ability. To do this, I maxed out to Critical Boost 3, added Weakness Exploit 3, and spread a Critical Eye 4 on my weapon and Glider Mantle+. With one Affinity Augment on my Hammer, the base affinity goes up to 30%, and your total affinity when hitting a tenderized weakpoint adds up to 100%, which puts you on par with any meta Crit Build. You also have Coalescence 3 which gives +18 Attack Power, +90 Elemental Attack Power, and +15% Status Buildup when you recover from a Blight or otherwise any Abnormal Status which I paired with Blight Resistance 2 to proc faster in case you tunnel-vision too hard and forget to eat a Nulberry, but not immune because you cannot proc Coalescence if you're immune, you need to be able to cure the effect. You could swap it out for Stun Resistance 2, or Effluvia Resistance 2, or whatever you fancy.
- Defensively, this is where this set shines bright. Health Boost 3 and Recovery Up 3 means you can already take a beating and heal yourself back up more efficiently, and I even snuck in Free Meal so you have a chance to not consume your items to keep fighting. Defense Boost 7 raises your raw defense to ludicrous levels because you're already wearing Rarity 12 Armor and even sneaks in an immunity to Thunderblight from the extra Elemental Resistances. On my second Mantle I threw in Divine Blessing 2 just for ♥♥♥ and giggles, but you can swap it out for more Damage if you so choose.
- Utility-wise, you bring Partbreaker 3 to the table, which means you can break parts very fast for your group if you were, say, farming Monster Mantles, or maybe helping some friends get a certain monster's Tenderplates. (Break his head twice in phase 2, you get two guaranteed drops!) Finally, to combat sharpness, we slap on a Protective Polish so you aren't spending most of your hunts contending with it. Any other skills beyond this point are just for filler, like Resuscitate only being on because I needed an extra Critical Eye on my Glider Mantle+.
The only consumable items I would deem absolutely necessary are Antidotes, Nulberries, Energy Drinks and Astera Jerky because you need them to proc Coalescence. Ideally you were bringing them anyway, but just in case you needed the reminder, here you are.
Finally there's the subject of your Mantles:
- Temporal and Rocksteady Mantles don't particularly work for this build because you're relying on your mantles being up to maintain the True Gaia's Veil buff, and get the extra amount of Critical Eye you need to deal maximum damage.
- Glider Mantle+ and any Elementproof Mantle+ or Immunity Mantle+ are the mantles to bring because they last for full duration regardless of the situation you're in, and have the lowest cooldowns of all mantles, letting you maintain 100% Uptime on them.
- Glider Mantle+ specifically has 2 Level 4 Gem Slots, makes Mounting easier, and has the lowest cooldown of all mantles in the game, so make sure you're using it like an extra armor piece.
[Long Gunlance] "Indestructible, Until You Aren't" Build
The Gunlance was actually the first weapon I picked up in Monster Hunter: World when I started playing it. I had a friend at the time who was already playing Lance and I wanted to try something at least a little different from it. At first I didn't really get this slow, clunky, and unwieldy weapon, so I decided I'd come back to it later once I got a couple more hours under my belt. Needless to say, this is that time. And while looking up Meta Builds for Gunlance, it struck me that a Long Shelling Gunlance only needed a few skills to reach their maximum damage potential, which left me a whole lot of wiggle room to play around. It was then I decided to beef up my defenses to the point where chip damage doesn't even register because it gets healed automatically.
- Non-negotiable, this build is specifically designed to work with a Gunlance with Level 6 Long Shelling. Long Shelling Gunlances have the highest Charged Shelling damage of the three types, so they make up the most of your gameplay, along with the odd Wyrmstake Cannon and Wyvern's Fire when the monster you're fighting is immobile and/or asleep. You can also load Slinger Ammo into your Gunlance to use a Wyrmstake Blast instead which procs another large burst of damage whenever you hit the monster with a Shelling. The best one you can probably find is the Deathlance Vaal Spysa.
- Offensively speaking, this is pretty much the same song and dance you're probably used to by now. Artillery 5, Focus 3, and Capacity Boost. along with eating for Felyne Bombardier gives you the best damage boost to your Charged Shelling. The only other skill that would increase DPS at this point is Slinger Capacity Boost which only makes your Wyrmstake Blasts last longer so you have a bigger high-damage window.
- Defensive-wise was where I spent most of my time with this build. With 2 Pieces of Blackveil Vaal Hazak's set, you gain Super Recovery, which causes you to automatically regain health at all times as opposed to just the red portion of your health bar. With that, I grab all of the Health skills in Health Boost 3, Recovery Speed 3, and Recovery Up 3 to maximize not only the healing from Super Recovery, but increase your Natural Regeneration as well which deals with any chip damage that goes through your Shield. Speaking of, Guard 5 and Guard Up give your shield the best possible defenses letting you block basically anything your Stamina Bar allows.
- Finally, I was able to slot in Partbreaker 3 from the Level 4 Jewel Slots and Weapon Slots I had open, but if you have a different set-up of Decorations then you can swap it out for anything you desire. Flinch Free 1 comes free with the armor, and Sharpness doesn't affect your Shelling Damage so it's not imperative to worry about except for bouncing off the monster with an initial thrust to start your Charged Shellings.