Monster Hunter: World – Iceborne isn’t out yet. We know precious little about the “massive” expansion, which will supposedly rival previous entries’ ultimate editions, or what it will add to the game. But we can make some seriously educated guesses! That’s why we’ve put together this preemptive guide to the new DLC and what are sure to be its most important features.
All of this is subject to change, of course. In fact we plan on changing it as we find out more about Iceborne. The idea behind this guide is to give players a best guess at what to expect from — and how to prepare for — the new content, based on previous games and hints Capcom has revealed thus far.
Prepping for the Cold – Monster Hunter: World
Most Monster Hunter: World players should be familiar with the Cool Drink. This useful item doesn’t come up often, but it’s absolutely vital in certain areas of the Elder’s Recess and when fighting Lunastra. It keeps you from taking passive damage in overheated areas.
Longtime hunters know there’s also a spicy counterpart to the Cool Drink: the Hot Drink. This item serves the same function as the one in World, but in reverse. It keeps you from freezing to death in the snow. More specifically, it keeps your stamina from draining too quickly (which is also a death sentence once you reach any serious monster). And we now know that the Hot Drink will reappear in Monster Hunter: World – Iceborne.
Luckily, Hot Drinks will be easier to craft than ever. Cool ones only take a single Chillshroom to craft, even in the field, in Monster Hunter: World. Hot Drinks function in a similar fashion in Iceborne, just with a different kind of item found in the world. You need to grab a Hot Pepper to instantly craft a Hot Drink. And the new region of Iceborne, the Hoarfrost Reach, is chock full of these red plants. You should also be able to cultivate the proper crafting materials at the Botanical Research Center between missions.
The Best Armor for Iceborne – Monster Hunter: World
Monster Hunter: World – Iceborne is said to be endgame content. That tracks, given that the expansion will fill a similar role as “G” versions of past games in the series. Except now Capcom is calling the upper echelons of Monster Hunter hunts “Master Rank.”
G Rank (and now Master Rank) is typically a special level of difficulty above both Low Rank and High Rank quests. Monster Hunter: World currently only has those two easier varieties of missions available to hunters. Although “tempered” and especially “arch-tempered” versions of existing creatures add a level of granularity to that description.
The point is: you probably need extremely high-level gear to play Iceborne. You can prep for the expansion by first farming High Rank monsters for armor. Given the icy theme behind this DLC, let’s assume Kushala Gamma armor, obtained by killing Arch-Tempered Kushala Daora, is the best set to start with. AT Kushala is only available for limited periods, but Capcom has brought back all Monster Hunter: World Arch-Tempered Elder Dragons for the run-up to Iceborne! Give them a shot while you can.
Barring Kushala Gamma, Legiana armor also provides high ice resistance.
Once you have the set you want, use a mix of Armor Spheres (from bounties) and Streamstones (from besting regular tempered monsters) to upgrade your armor even further. It won’t increase your ice resistance, but it will raise your physical defense. That’s just as — if not more — important as matching elemental resistances.
Hunting Nargacuga – Monster Hunter: World
Nargacuga is a nasty, bat-like creature introduced to the franchise in Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (known as Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G in Japan). Its distinctive, glowing red eyes are a dead giveaway. They were the number one reason we suspected he was coming to Monster Hunter: World – Iceborne. The expansion’s first trailer ended with the beast’s crimson peepers flashing across the screen. Now we’ve seen Nargacuga in action in Iceborne promotional material.
Of course, there’s no guarantee Iceborne will just include your standard Nargacuga. There are about half a dozen variants of the creature across the Monster Hunter franchise. Iceborne is bringing those new species back, too, with creatures like the Acidic Glavenus. But, assuming Nargacuga is at least similar to his past variants, we have an idea of how the creature will function.
Nargacuga is typically weak to both thunder and fire elemental damage. So weapons made in the Laviasoth, Azure Rathalos, and Kirin trees should be particularly effective.
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The beast doesn’t usually deal elemental damage itself, but can cause poison. Nargacuga also loves to leap around the battlefield and try to get a better angle on your hunter. From there, it slaps players around with a spiky tail that can be hard to predict. Oh, the tail shoots the spikes out as projectiles, too.
Besides certain elements, Nargacuga also hates loud noises. Monster Hunter: World doesn’t have Sonic Bombs — a traditionally useful tool against Nargacuga — but we might assume Screamer Pods will fill a similar function. Just be careful! The short stun afforded by sonic damage is always followed by the creature becoming enraged.
Nargacuga isn’t classified as an elder dragon, though. That means you can capture it for a better chance at more rewards. Enraging the monster is actually very useful in this regard. You can only capture Nargacuga with Pitfall Traps while he’s enraged. Shock Traps work fine all the time, however.
And that’s all we have for now about Monster Hunter: World – Iceborne! We’ll try to update this guide with more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, get out there and get hunting.