MHW Best Insect Glaive – Iceborne Guide (June 2020)

Find out the best element and Kinsect for your Insect Glaive of choice in MHW!

Whatever makes for the best MHW Insect Glaive gets quite a lot of wiggle room. That’s thanks to the weapon’s fast, consistent damage. There are very few bad options in the bunch — assuming you match the elemental or status weakness to whatever creature you want to fight. It’s more about whatever playstyle and and armor set you construct than the weapon itself. Although a few Insect Glaives stand out more than others! Here’s a look at some of our favorites, in our search for the best MHW Insect Glaive.

Note: This guide references two different kind of 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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Master Rank Kjarr Weapons (Kulve Taroth)

The newly improved Master Rank Kulve Taroth tore through the MHW meta — following in the footsteps of Safi’Jiva and Raging Brachydios almost immediately. This is good news, since there are so many Kulve Taroth weapons to choose from. And they basically join the gear from the aforementioned two monsters as side grades or “comfier” selections. Specifically, Kjarr weapons have seen a real resurgence with their built-in Critical Status and Critical Element. Plus the numbers on most of the elemental weapons really stack up! You can now consider them for (almost) all elemental weapon choices in the game.

In the case of the Insect Glaive, specifically, the Kjarr Glaive “Paralysis” and Kjarr Glaive “Water” are now top contenders.

Safi’s Shatterspear (Safi’Jiva)

This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but Safi’s Shatterspear is pretty damn good. This is an exceptional choice for most situations — and even has some unique benefits not seen on other Safi’Jiva weapons. Namely, its Blast damage and aerial attacks make it downright perfect for breaking the back of Safi’Jiva itself — all but guaranteeing you bonus points during a siege. Since the back is difficult to attack with any weapon besides an Insect Glaive, that’s not bad. Not to mention Awakened Weapons in general have the best customization options.

You really can’t go wrong with just about any Safi’Jiva Insect Glaive, though. Safi’s Venomspear will allow you to deal Poison damage while nurturing your Kinsect for Blast. That way you can deal bonus damage from Poison and get the occasional Blast proc. Since Blast is easier to proc, given its unique ability to build up in any monster without dropping, it’s well-suited for the less consistent buildup afforded by Kinsect powder. And using two different status effects means you’re less likely to make the monster too resilient to get any extra procs per hunt.

Besides boosting attack and Affinity, consider the Spirit and Strength Boost ability. This makes it so your Kinsect gains both extra damage and extra stamina whenever you feed it any Slinger ammo. Simply mark your target and set your little buddy to auto-pilot for free damage and extra powder procs.

Datura Storm II (Pukei-Pukei)

This venomous Insect Glaive is more powerful than it looks. Despite its low raw damage, it has a massive Poison effect built-in. It’s also a “generic” weapon. That means you can modify it to hell and back with Custom Augments. And since its Poison level is already so high, you can use that extra customization to focus on things like increasing Affinity. Insect Glaives tend to burn right through sharpness, making an armor loadout with Master’s Touch (which keeps you from losing sharpness any time you crit) into a godsend. Thankfully, the Datura Storm also has two Decoration slots, meaning you can add some extra Critical Eye or Weakness Exploit without dipping into your armor. Plus it’s Poison, meaning you can double up with Blast on your Kinsect for double the status effect damage.

Xeno Shmaena + (Xeno’Jiva & Safi’Jiva)

You have three perfectly fine options for Dragon damage Insect Glaives. Ruinous Catastrophe, the top-level Nergigante glaive, edges out the competition in terms of raw damage. But Stygian Oblivia, the Stygian Zinogre variant, beats it out for Dragon damage and slot levels. It also has roughly equivalent higher-than-blue sharpness with a good deal of purple sharpness, to boot.

If you have some Safi’Jiva parts laying around, though, you probably want to make the Xeno Shmaena +. It has two Level 4 Decoration slots (always hard to turn down) and decent natural Affinity. Combined with Master’s Touch and the right gear, that can easily make up for its poor sharpness (the lowest of the three). Plus it does nearly as much raw damage as Ruinous Catastrophe and has the same Dragon damage as Stygian Oblivia. The only downside is that it requires you to fight Safi’Jiva, an event-only monster.

Finally, Deathstaff Vaal Entoma does a great deal of Dragon damage, but sacrifices an awful lot of raw in the process. Given how few monsters in Iceborne are weakest to Dragon damage, the other options probably edge it out. Although the Vaal Hazak variant does get a very solid two Level 2 Decoration slots.

Blossomajesty (Silver Rathalos)

This is just an all around good fire Insect Glaive. It sports solid raw and fire damage, as well as a Level 2 Decoration slot. But what really sets it apart is the 20 percent natural Affinity on top of all that. It’s the third highest Affinity on any Insect Glaive in the game. That can pair well with either Master’s Touch or a set with Critical Element.

Only Cruelty, another Fire Insect Glaive with hidden element, has the absolutely absurd 35 percent — plus a Level 2 slot just like Blossomajesty. But you have to sacrifice a lot of utility to draw that hidden element out in the first place. Not to mention Cruelty has absurdly low raw damage if you don’t draw it out with Namielle armor or the Free Elem / Ammo Up skill. That being said, Namielle armor can pair well with an aerial Insect Glaive style, given the weapon’s consistent damage and the armor’s stamina bonuses.

Despot’s Twinbolt (Zinogre)

Our personal favorite Thunder Insect Glaive comes from your standard Zinogre. It doesn’t deal as much pure Thunder damage as Celestial Spire, the Kirin variant. Nor does it have quite as much sharpness. However, it makes up for it with much higher raw and a Level 2 Decoration slot (the Kirin Insect Glaive has none). Plus Despot’s Twinbolt comes with the very fun Spirit and Strength Boost for your Kinsect. This turns your Kinsect into a none-too-terrible damage dealer all on its own for a considerable time. The only cost is a single unit of Slinger ammo every time you want to reapply the buff.

Hydros Arcana (Namielle)

Water Insect Glaives don’t have quite the spread as some other elements in this weapon class. But the Coral Pukei-Pukei version is your best bet for pure, unmitigated Water damage. It trades 93 raw damage for 120 Water damage compared to the Hydros Arcana (the Namielle Insect Glaive). And while it doesn’t come with any natural Affinity, its extra Level 2 Decoration slot can more than make up for it. That might be the difference between Weakness Exploit 2 and Weakness Exploit 3, after all, which gives you an additional 15 percent Affinity against monsters’ soft spots. Plus you get the extra water damage to boot.

On the other hand, the Hydros Arcana has a much better Kinsect boost. Element Boost is pretty weak compared to Spirit and Strength Boost. Not to mention both glaives can fit Custom Augments — allowing you to easily goose the Hydros Arcana for more Water damage. Because of that, we give a slight nod to the Namielle option.

Wise Fylos (Velkhana)

Much like every other element on this list, it’s hard to go wrong with any Ice Insect Glaive. The Beo Glaive II likely edges out Fenrir Storm, with its higher elemental damage and better Decoration slots. While the Fenrir Storm does have the second highest Affinity in its class, you’re going to need every bit of it for Master’s Touch — to make up for its abysmal sharpness.

The Elder Dragon options are a bit harder to choose between. But we give the category, just barely, to Wise Fylos. It has pretty poor Ice damage (especially when you factor in its lack of Custom Augments). However, its sharpness, Level 4 slot, and comparatively good Kinsect Boost give it the edge. The Blunt Boost from Beo Glaive II is fun in theory, but inconsistent. Meanwhile, the Speed Boost on Wise Fylos allows you to more quickly and dependably gather extracts from monsters — powering up the true source of your damage, which is the glaive itself.

Best Kinsect for Iceborne Insect Glaives

Speaking of Kinsect speed, you probably want the Foliacath III Forz. In fact, it doesn’t hurt to make one of each elemental damage type in the game. That way you can get a little extra oomph against every monster with whatever weaknesses.

The Forz has the maximum possible movement speed of any Kinsect in the game. Plus it has respectable damage and deals Blast damage through its powder. Poison and Paralysis are far less dependable status effects for the Kinsect alone, since their buildup inside a monster drains over time. Blast is the only status effect without this problem! Healing dust, meanwhile, can be nice. But it’s almost never something you want to rely on. Life-stealing augments, armor bonuses, a Health Booster, or good old fashioned items are much better ways to keep yourself healthy.

And with that, we’ve reached the end of our MHW best Insect Glaive 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!