The Best Hunting Horns in Monster Hunter World Right Now (Doot Doot Doot)

DOOT!

Here we have a wonderfully unique, shockingly powerful, and often misunderstood weapon — and finding the best Hunting Horn in MHW is your ticket to mastering this unpopular option. It’s very much worth it, too. While the Hunting Horn is the least-used weapon in Monster Hunter World, it’s also one of the strongest. The right songs with the right composition can produce as much damage as an entire fifth player in group play. Find out why else it’s one of our favorite weapons in the game using our best Hunting Horn 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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Safi’Jiva Hunting Horns & Melodies

Let’s get the tricky stuff right out of the way. Safi’Jiva Hunting Horns rely on melody skills to determine which songs they bring into battle. Yes, this eats up an Awakened Skill slot. No, that doesn’t really matter. The right horn with the right songs will still completely shred anything you like in solo and group play. We won’t go over absolutely all of them here. But we will lay out which ones are typically considered the most “meta” melodies thanks to the inclusion of Attack Up (L). These include the Attack Melody I-IV skills.

That’s right! Every single Attack Melody includes Attack Up (L): generally considered to be a mathematically busted ability in multiplayer. It provides a 15 percent damage increase to you and your entire team. And once encored, that becomes a 20 percent damage boost. In addition you get all the other songs available to whatever melody you choose. And you really can’t go wrong with any of them! But we’ll lay them out with some thoughts below.

Because so much Hunting Horn utility comes from these songs, you’re basically free to focus on whatever you like for the rest of your Awakened Skills. Pure elemental damage (three Element V awakenings and one Element VI) has the best returns on damage. Though you’re going to be farming a lot of Dracolite to complete the set for all elemental types in MHW. Meanwhile Safi’s Shatterhorn Blast damage with four attack awakenings is a pretty good generalist option. It also pairs well with Teostra armor for the Master’s Touch ability. That saves you the effort of sharpening. Quality of life options are, of course, perfectly acceptable alternatives, too.

Attack Melody I – Safi’Jiva Hunting Horn

This is a very support focused set of songs with a couple of niche options. At the same time, it can output a surprisingly high amount of damage relatively quickly. That’s thanks to the often overlooked Scoutfly Power Up. This particular version of the seemingly useless song lets you play three double notes to pull off a full-length song. That makes it one of the most efficient ways to attack with the Hunting Horn. It also pairs well with Q.T.A.B.S. (quick turn around backstab).

This is an advanced Hunting Horn attack not listed in the MHW weapon controls, in which you walk forward, flick the left analog stick back, and let go. Then press the Circle+Triangle/B+Y attack. You will perform a backwards slam. This effectively skips the first hit of the forward swing-and-slam and lets you land the most powerful basic Hunting Horn hit in a single, smooth blow.

Back to the songs, the environmental defenses aren’t nearly as enticing. Earplugs (S), however, is awfully nice. Most high-level players don’t run it in their armor thanks to its immense skill commitment. Not to mention you can just learn to roll through it. Earplugs removes the need for such action and increases your team’s total damage by giving them free hits whenever a monster roars! Meanwhile, Impact Echo Wave is a great offensive song for big openings that uses the all-powerful spin attack added to Hunting Horns in Iceborne. And Speed Boost + Evade Window Up is never a bad thing — in fact, it’s extremely good.

  • Self-improvement
  • Attack Up (L)
  • Scoutfly Power Up (Double Note x3)
  • Muck/Water/Deep Snow Resistance
  • Environmental Damage Negated
  • Earplugs (S)
  • Impact Echo Wave
  • Speed Boost + Evade Window Up

Attack Melody II – Safi’Jiva Hunting Horn

Here we have a Hunting Horn that does two things: damage and healing. That’s a pretty nice combination — especially with Extended Health Recovery. This is another term for “regenerating health,” and any ally affected by it will recover health beyond the red portion of their gauge, as if they were wearing Vaal Hazak gear. Recovery Speed (L) then makes the red portion recharge super fast. This passive healing is fantastic. It allows players to sheathe less frequently and focus on dealing damage.

Health Recovery (S), meanwhile, is just okay. It’s difficult to time effectively. Any players with low health that can still move will probably just heal themselves. Any players that can’t (because they’re asleep, stunned, etc.) would probably be better served with a quick Dust of Life.

  • Self-improvement
  • Attack Up (L)
  • Health Recovery (S)
  • Recovery Speed (L)
  • Impact Echo Wave
  • Extended Health Recovery

MHW Best Hunting Horn Echo Wave

Attack Melody III – Safi’Jiva Hunting Horn

Offense and defense are two great tastes that taste great together. A whopping 15-20 percent extra defense will keep your allies alive proactively, without having to wait for regenerating health! Wind Pressure Negated doesn’t hurt, provided the monster actually produces wind pressure (this is a godsend against Master Rank Lunastra).

Health Boost (L) is largely useless. It basically functions like a free Max Potion for you and your entire team. But most experienced players will max themselves out with food or potions anyway. Max Stamina Up + Recovery is much more useful, since it does allow you and your teammates’ stamina to exceed the usual maximum. This is a godsend for Bow users. Though basically everyone can benefit from it.

Of all the attack songs on this list, this is probably our personal favorite.

  • Self-improvement
  • Attack Up (L)
  • Health Boost (L)
  • Wind Pressure Negated
  • Defense Up (L)
  • Impact Echo Wave
  • Max Stamina Up + Recovery

Attack Melody IV – Safi’Jiva Hunting Horn

This is a great option if you just want to fire and forget. All Melody Effects Extended does exactly what it says — and reduces the amount of general upkeep you need to worry about when playing. Knockbacks Negated is great on teams with Long Sword users (or anyone that flinches allies a lot). It saves your allies from equipping Flinch Free, too, which opens up their build options somewhat before the battle even begins. Finally we have both Echo Wave types for stuns and Elderseal. Just keep in mind that Elderseal… isn’t that great.

  • Self-improvement
  • All Melody Effects Extended
  • Knockbacks Negated
  • Attack Up (L)
  • Impact Echo Wave
  • Echo Wave “Dragon”

Demonlord Wardrum – Furious Rajang Hunting Horn

If you want a good Hunting Horn with Attack Up (L), and are sick of fighting Safi’Jiva, this is a very solid choice. It comes with the same songs as Attack Melody II (for damage and healing) and the better Echo Wave. Plus you get 15 percent Affinity (i.e. critical hit chance) none-too-shabby raw damage right out of the game. It also comes with purple sharpness, which can be extended with Handicraft, but it might be hard to do so given that this horn has zero Decoration slots… Still, its decent Thunder damage pairs well with a weapon archetype that benefits most from elemental builds.

  • Self-improvement
  • Attack Up (L)
  • Health Recovery (S)
  • Recovery Speed (L)
  • Impact Echo Wave
  • Extended Health Recovery

MHW Best Hunting Horn

Lightbreak Timbre – Raging Brachydios Hunting Horn

Here we have an interesting Hunting Horn, in that it doesn’t rely on the ungodly power of Attack Up (L). It does, however, come with the absurd Decoration slots of all Raging Brachy weapons. Not to mention you get that good, good raw damage, the highly effective Blast status, and some songs to support it. Purple sharpness doesn’t hurt, either.

The songs are where things get tricky — particularly if you play with random strangers. Abnormal Status Negated is a really useful skill for… unless you or an ally are making use of Coalescence. This underrepresented ability pays huge dividends any time its bearer cleanses a blight. That’s not possible if blights never activate in the first place, though. If players aren’t running Coalescence, which is entirely likely, then this is a fantastic song that blocks everything from Rathian poison to even stuns.

Divine Protection is tremendously handy and often overlooked by damage-focused players. And Status Attack Boost pairs well with the explosion of Blast weapons out there since Safi’Jiva and Raging Brachydios arrived. And again, in a team of friends with known builds, you can mix up status effects for a huge variety of utility. Lastly, Echo Wave “Dragon” is the inferior spin-to-win move, but Speed Boost + Evade Window makes a massive difference.

  • Self-improvement
  • Divine Protection
  • Abnormal Status Negated
  • Scoutfly Power Up (Circle/B attack x3)
  • Status Attack Boost
  • Echo Wave “Dragon”
  • Speed Boost + Evade Window Up

The Rasping Ballad – Acidic Glavenus Hunting Horn

This is your “get it early” option. Its sharpness leaves much to be desired, but it comes with the same songs as Attack Melody IV. Plus its raw damage is nothing to sneeze at — considering how quickly you can get it. Then there’s a tasty Level 4 Decoration slot to play with and hidden Paralysis status. This means you can equip a Non-Elementless Jewel for five percent extra raw damage and minimal fuss.

  • Self-Improvement
  • All Melody Effects Extended
  • Knockbacks Negated
  • Attack Up (L)
  • Impact Echo Wave
  • Echo Wave “Dragon”
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Steven Strom

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

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