MHW Best Greatsword – Iceborne Guide (June 2020)

These Greatswords sure are great swords.

The best MHW Greatsword is also one of the most damaging weapons in the game, period. The heavy hitting weapon type can blast away the competition — if you get your timing right. And in fact, the Greatsword lives up to its name by being a great way to practice positioning and attack windows in Monster Hunter. That makes it a great tool for beginners that pays extremely high dividends for experts, as well. So what are you waiting for? Let’s take a look at the best Greatsword in MHW with our handy guide!

Note: This guide references weapons only attainable by fighting the limited-time monster known as Safi’Jiva. Awakened Weapons are the randomized drops that you get at the end of any Safi’Jiva siege. Whereas Xeno+ weapons are built normally along the Xeno’Jiva tree, using parts from both Xeno’Jiva and Safi’Jiva to reach the highest level of upgrade.

To determine when Safi’Jiva is available on your system, please head to the official MHW event calendar for consoles right here. Steam players can find their own event calendar at this link instead.

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Of course, whatever weapon you select, we recommend three levels of Focus for any Greatsword. It’s incredibly useful. In a sense, the skill functions as both utility and damage, allowing you to charge up your swings more quickly. This gives you more chances between swings to dodge and even block. It also increases the total number of charged swings you can get off in a given span of time. That makes you harder to kill and hit harder.

Master Rank Kulve Taroth…?

Master Rank Kulve Taroth shook up the MHW meta pretty handily when it introduced upgraded versions of Kjarr weapons — which bring their own, innate Critical Element/Status skills. Many weapon types benefited greatly from this. While elemental damage was looked down upon in the base game, Iceborne (and its Master Rank gameplay) beefed up elements significantly. So even Kulve Taroth weapons that weren’t at the top in the original game have suddenly become best-in-class contenders!

Unfortunately, Greatswords weren’t really affected this time around. Kjarr Greatswords still work very well. They also work with the new Custom Augment system introduced in Iceborne to let you really build your preferred blade. But there’s a non-event option that provides better total damage and extreme utility. And the second siege monster in the game also provides extremely customizable weapons with better potential damage. While total damage is not the same thing as the “best,” or most usable weapon in MHW, the competition for other factors in this case is fierce. Let’s take a look!

Safi’Jiva Elemental Greatswords

Remember how elemental damage got a buff in Iceborne? That worked out great for the best Greatswords in MHW. Matching a Greatsword to a monster’s three-star weakness will provide the highest dividends in the game, in terms of raw damage. You just need to spec for Attack Awakenings and a level of Velkhana Essence for easier access to Frostcraft (Velkhana’s second armor skill). Velkhana armor isn’t the best right now. So reducing the total number of pieces you require helps a lot. This also makes up for the lack of Critical Element that Kjarr weapons bring to the table.

The downside is that farming Safi’Jiva elemental options — and juicing them with Dracolite — is a pain in the ass. Kulve Taroth is much easier to farm (and a more enjoyable fight, if we’re being honest). So consider that as a backup if you want to shake things up from time to time. If you don’t want to shake things up, however, there’s another option…

Lightbreak Blade (Raging Brachydios)

Blast damage may be a jack of all trades status, but it’s honestly the king of MHW. And most of the best blast weapons come from Raging Brachydios. The Lightbreak Blade provides purple sharpness, extremely high raw damage, and a good chunk of the most damaging status ailment in the game. Plus you get those very juicy Raging Brachydios decoration slots. The Level 4 slot is nice, of course, and the Level 3 gives you a place to fit in Coalescence — an powerful and increasingly popular skill for MHW players.

Finally, Raging Brachydios isn’t tied to an event. Nor do its weapons require Low and High Rank predecessors. You can farm for and unlock the Lightbreak Blade pretty much as soon as you beat the monster itself, after the main campaign of Iceborne. And you can do it at your leisure.

Safi’s Shattersplitter (Safi’Jiva)

If you need another blast Greatsword, and for any reason don’t want to use the Lightbreak Blade, Safi’s Shattersplitter is still an excellent choice! Combined with five attack Awakened Abilities, it does tremendous damage… with none of the utility. If you go this route, you can pair it with the Safi’Jiva armor set for an even more dangerous, even more damaging glass cannon set.

And with that, we’ve reached the end of our MHW best Greatsword list. Even if you don’t agree with our picks, we hope they help you determine what works best for your individual playstyle, no matter which creature you’re up against. Have fun and take care out there, hunters!


Steven Strom

An obsessive writer broadcasting to you live from the middle of nowhere. Thinks cute things are good, actually.

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