MHW Best Longsword – Iceborne Guide (June 2020)

Dice nicely with the most popular weapon in MHW.

The MHW best Longsword isn’t a difficult choice to make. The weapon is simple to use and difficult to master (just like a lot of stuff in Monster Hunter). And that’s reflected in what have become the highest damage-dealing options for the Longsword. Since the weapon doesn’t worry about things like songs, blocking, or ammo, you’re fairly free to focus on damage. And so we’ve picked out the best Longswords in MHW according to that category! Read on to learn which ones they are and why in our latest guide.

Note: This guide references a kind of weapon 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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At this time, blast damage is the name of the game when it comes to the most popular weapon type in MHW. That’s the Longsword, by the way. And the days of using Non-elemental Boost and Taroth Sword “Fire” are behind us… at least for now. Long live blast damage!

This is a very potent status effect that’s easier to build up than most, since it doesn’t slowly drain out of a monster over time. Any blast damage you do stays until it “procs.” Whereas poison, paralysis, and sleep need to be constantly reapplied to take effect. When blast does reach its boiling point, it bursts for 300 damage (600 on Safi’Jiva and Xeno’Jiva, and 120 in anything lower than Master Rank). This also damages monster parts. It’s the best status ailment for pure damage dealing. Not to mention basically zero creatures in the game are immune to it.

The downside is that there isn’t much variety in the highest damage Longsword choices right now to plan your set around. The upside to this is that, unlike more elementally oriented weapons, you don’t have to farm a ton of different versions to optimize your Longsword setup.

Of course this is just a suggestion. Most weapons in MHW are pretty damn viable — with most of the “best” weapons in the game just edging each other out only by a few percentage points in damage. Other blades and blunt objects also provide things like better decoration slots or multiplayer utility (like paralysis). So consider these options as more of a jumping off point for inspiration than a hard and fast rule! That being said, Longswords aren’t really about utility or defense; they really are mostly about damage.

Safi’s Shatterblade (Safi’Jiva)

It’s not exactly shocking, but Safi’Jiva Longswords more-or-less reign supreme in MHW. If anything, it’s slightly more surprising that we didn’t see much of a shakeup with the introduction of Master Rank Kjarr weapons in Title Update 13.5. Lots of other weapons saw valuable side-grades and even got edged out completely. But not the katanas. These puppies are pretty much what you’d expect at this point.

The “shatter” prefix in a Safi’Jiva weapon means it does blast damage. This adds damage and even a bit of utility in the form of breaking monster parts. But it shouldn’t be your focus when choosing Awakened Abilities. Instead, Safi’s Shatterblade benefits from either maxed out attack skills (four Level 5 Awakenings and one Level 6), or slipping in two for sharpness (two Level 5 sharpness Awakenings, two for Level 5 attack, and one Level 6 attack).

Purple sharpness has been a divisive addition to MHW, but it does add some extra damage. And as long as you can keep your blade in the purple, likely by using Master’s Touch, you get some of the best damage possible. It’s a very straightforward setup for a very straightforward weapon. How you make use of the Longsword, as always, will depend more on positioning and timing than the skills you use around it.

Lightbreak Edge (Raging Brachydios)

The Lightbreak Edge, a.k.a. the Raging Brachydios Longsword, an actually edge out Safi’s Shatterblade under one circumstance. You just need a single level of Coalescence! The ultra-powerful skill introduced in Iceborne gives you a boost in power for one minute every time you heal a status effect (burning, stun, paralysis, etc.). It’s also quickly become a favorite among high-level players. That’s partially because damn near every monster in the game regularly hits you with blights now — and there are plenty of Cleanser Boosters, Nullberries, and the like to remove those ailments.

Coalescence typically requires a Phoenix Jewel 3 to equip, but that’s not a problem for the Lightbreak Edge. The Longsword comes with a Level 4 and a Level 3 slot to put the gem in. Or you can use an upgraded Assassin’s Hood to get the job done. It’s a bit more work, but gives you even more slots to play with on your build. Meanwhile you still have that Level 4 to use however you see fit.

Finally, the Lightbreak Edge isn’t tied to an event quest or random rolls for Awakened Abilities. You just have to beat Raging Brachydios once the monster unlocks and farm it like anything else. The time you save alone makes this blade worth getting.

And that’s it four our guide to the best Longsword in MHW right now! Circle back when we update it our list next time and we’ll have even more info for you to plan your playstyle around.


Steven Strom

Senior Managing Editor of Fanbyte. Everyone else at the site should listen to their recommendations sooner, honestly.

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