MHW The Place Where Winter Sleeps Guide – Arch-Tempered Velkhana

An ice cold killer, that AT Velkhana.

The MHW Arch-Tempered Velkhana quest, “The Place Where Winter Sleeps,” is upon us. Just don’t expect a fair fight. AT Velkhana is a spongy death pony with wings and all-new moves to kill you dead. It pulls no punches, and you’ll need to prepare accordingly. That means bringing the right gear, using the right kinds of attacks, and knowing what to expect throughout The Place Where Winter Sleeps. MHW might have seen its last totally new monster, but Arch-Tempered variants like Velkhana show this Monster Hunter is far from over. Let’s take a look at what that means in this AT Velkhana guide!

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Arch-Tempered Velkhana Basics – MHW Guide

The Place Where Winter Sleeps is an event quest. It functions much like every other Arch-Tempered fight before it, setting you against just one supercharged version of an Elder Dragon. Your rewards include one guaranteed Velkhana Ticket and possibly a Research Commission Ticket+ or two. Expect rare Feystones and King Armor Spheres as consolation prizes.

The battle takes place in the Elder’s Recess — beginning in the north where you fight Nergigante, Silver Rathalos, and Gold Rathian. Start at Northwest Camp (16). You want as much time as you can get, since the AT Velkhana fight has a 30 minute timer!

Once you win, put that Velkhana Ticket to good use. It’s a crafting material meant for Velkhana Gamma armor. You also need it to upgrade the Master’s Charm (which grants Critical Eye) to Master’s Charm 5. The same goes for Earplugs Charm 5 and various layered armor sets. All in all: you need quite a number of Velkhana Tickets to create everything that requires it. And you’ve only got a limited time to do it!

Besides the 30 minute time limit per mission, The Place Where Winter Sleeps is an event quest. It’s available for the first time on Oct. 15, 2020 until Nov. 05, 2020. After which you should consult the event quest calendar for future details.

Arch-Tempered Velkhana Tips – MHW Guide

Forget what YouTube tells you. Maximum damage is only meta if you survive. It’s also not just about numbers on paper, but what you can get away with in practice. Dual Blades and Bows can’t hit hard if you don’t have stamina. Holding your ground with a Charge Blade guard point lets you counterattack more quickly than rolling around. Defense Up (XL) from a Hunting Horn keeps partners playing.

Nowhere is this philosophy more obvious than in Arch-Tempered fights. AT Velkhana hits hard, with at least a couple new moves, and doesn’t topple easily. It also features unique, new passive abilities that reduce the damage it takes — forcing you to compensate by changing how you play. This seems to be a pattern with Capcom lately. When Blast weapons dominated the game, the studio introduced Alatreon, who required elemental attacks and encouraged adding defense using the creature’s armor. When people ignored Slinger attacks outside of the Clutch Claw, Fatalis made Dragon Pods worth their weight in Zenny.

According to dataminers, the underused mechanic under fire this time is Elderseal. Our Arch-Tempered unicorn friend features three levels of Elder Dragon aura — like the wind shield on Kushala Daora. Elderseal is a status effect that counteracts Elder Dragon powers like this. That means reducing defenses and often delaying “ultimate” moves, such as the Teostra supernova that only triggers when its flame aura is active.

AT Velkhana incorporates a similar style of aura. It takes less damage and deals more from its beam attack by charging up. Once it uses its ice nova ability, which now freezes players feet to the ground like Frostfang Barioth and some weaker Velkhana attacks, that aura drops one level. This is reminiscent of how Nergigante functions. The thorny Elder Dragon uses its signature dive bomb after covering itself with black spikes. Using Elderseal breaks those spikes, as does the dive bomb itself. Typically, breaking the ice armor off Velkhana stops its nova in the same way. Whereas dropping it to a “level zero” aura will now weaken its defenses and ice breath.

Basically? Elderseal is pretty useful!

You can apply Elderseal using Dragon element weapons. Each one has a level of Low, Medium, or High. You can also use the Elderseal Boost skill to raise this one pip. Wearing a Dragonproof Mantle maxes Elderseal for its duration (and adds another 100 Dragon damage to your weapon). Though you can’t plug Elderseal into a weapon without any, and there is no level above High.

Despite what the Hunter’s Notes say, there isn’t actually much difference between Fire and Dragon damage as far as Velkhana weakness goes. The Elder Dragon is most vulnerable to raw damage. So I’d recommend Dragon weapons just for the Elderseal. Aim for the head, too. Its neck, wings, and tail are also decent spots.

Alatreon gear will work wonders here. Slap on two or three pieces of the armor if you can. Not only will that boost your elemental damage and Ice resistance for free, but the armor naturally comes with 15 points of Ice defense. You can then boost that to 20 or above. One easy method is using Elemental Res Up (L), by eating your veggies at the Canteen. Remember: once elemental defense reaches 20, you become immune to blights associated with that damage type. Ice resistance means you can’t receive Iceblight (increasing the speed at which you lose stamina). That makes it harder to trigger Coalescence for extra damage, but if you have a spare Level 3 Decoration slot, perhaps include Elderseal Boost instead.

Alatreon also makes for very potent Dragon weapons and benefits from Elderseal Boost.

Arch-Tempered Velkhana Attacks – MHW Guide

The Arch-Tempered Velkhana sends out columns of ice in a fan-shaped pattern, similar to Alatreon and Furious Rajang with Fire and Thunder, respectively. The same tactics apply here: Don’t dodge roll. Just stay calm and walk between the columns. Otherwise you risk overshooting your evade and jumping right into another line of the attack.

As previously mentioned, this endgame beast also adds the “frozen foot” mechanic to its super move. You might recognize it from Frostfang Barioth or other Velkhana attacks. It basically forces you to stumble around until you walk out of the afflicting area. Sadly, no amount of resistance or the Iceproof Mantle makes you immune to this effect. You need to watch out for the frozen air and ground instead — keeping yourself free from the attack to start.

Naturally, AT Velkhana has all the other moves you’ve seen before, but uses them more aggressively. Watch out for its tail stabs and falling icicles. And absolutely do not get hit by the ice breath beam this time around. The already deadly attack does more and more damage as Velkhana charges up its aura. You can mitigate this with Elderseal, but the best tactic is to avoid the move at all costs. Include some Evade Window to roll through the attack, get up close to the head and punish with extra damage, or Superman Dive to avoid it altogether.

Remember you can also attack the ice walls Velkhana leaves behind. This creates platforms for free mounting attacks. Though the barriers won’t block the ice beam — or any other damage. Leaving them unbroken is only a hindrance to your movement.

velkhana gamma

Arch-Tempered Velkhana Armor – MHW Guide

Another Arch-Tempered monster means more gamma armor. This time, we’ve got the Arch-Tempered Velkhana armor to play with, and it’s quite an improvement over AT Namielle. The Rimeguard Gamma set comes with the same armor skills as your typical Velkhana: Critical Element at two pieces and Frostcraft at four. Yet it also comes with vastly improved skills and Decoration slots that seem perfect for Great Sword and Long Sword players. Take a look!

  • Rimeguard Helm Gamma – 2x Level 4 slots | 1x Level 1 slot | 3x Coalescence | 1x Resuscitate
  • Rimeguard Mail Gamma – 1x Level 4 slot | 1x Level 2 slot | 1x Level 1 slot | 3x Critical Draw | 3x Ice Attack
  • Rimeguard Vambraces Gamma – 1x Level 4 slot | 1x Level 3 slot | 3x Recovery Up | 3x Ice Attack
  • Rimeguard Coil Gamma – 1x Level 4 slot | 1x Level 1 slot | 3x Focus | 1x Quick Sheathe
  • Rimeguard Greaves Gamma – 1x Level 4 slot | 1x Level 2 slot | 3x Peak Performance | 2x Quick Sheathe

AT Velkhana continues the tradition set by Namielle by being highly situational. You won’t get much use out of the gloves or chest piece if you don’t use the Ice element. Focus is incredibly useful on a handful of weapon types, but useless on others. Whereas the big electric eel had Dual Blades and Bows in mind, Arch-Tempered Velkhana seems to target Great Swords and Long Swords, as well as possibly Charge Blades.

If you use those weapons — especially with Ice — this is a laughably powerful new set. Combine the Peak Performance and Recovery Up with a Health Augment. This combination provides a more comfortable alternative to the popular Safi’Jiva armor and Resentment combo, topping off your health rather than reducing it. Whereas Focus and Quick Sheathe make you deal more damage faster.

The helm alone is quite interesting, too. It offers great Decoration slots and all three levels of the extremely potent Coalescence skill. Combined with Resuscitate, you can still “play dangerous safely” by blighting yourself to proc the incredible damage bonus from the armor’s sister skill.

And that’s the thrust of this guide to The Place Where Winter Sleeps in MHW! Arch-Tempered Velkhana is no joke. Play it safe and wear it down, protecting yourself with Elderseal. Be patient and you’ll make it. Happy hunting!

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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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2 Comments

  1. Impressive! I came into this article expecting the normal “this monster is arch tempered and coming on the 16th, it’s a more powerful velkhana” and that’s it, but this article was surprisingly well informed about its mechanics and counter builds. Fatalis and Alatreon weapons should both do well here, with Alatreon weapons having High Dragon but Low Dragonseal, and Fatalis weapons having disgustingly high RAW, High Dragonseal, but Low Dragon.

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