The best Gunlance players in Monster Hunter Rise know to start with the best Gunlance for their build. That’s a tricky proposition with this weapon type. The reason being that so much Gunlance damage comes not from the weapon itself, but from the shell type and level. Normal, Long, and Wide Shells all play particularly differently. And just having a higher raw damage number doesn’t guarantee you a better shell. Not to mention your armor skills will play a big role. So which Gunlances are best in Monster Hunter Rise right now? Let’s try to figure it out!
Monster Hunter Rise has just five shell levels at launch. The higher the level, the higher the damage. And that damage is fixed — meaning it won’t be reduced by monster armor or affected by Affinity and Attack Boost. You can increase your shell damage with the Artillery skill, however. I highly recommend doing so on the Gunlance as well. Artillery doesn’t just increase your explosive hits by 30 percent when maxed out. It also cuts the cooldown of your Wyvern’s Fire attack in half.
If you want a weapon that makes the most of the Artillery skill, however, your options are somewhat limited. There aren’t a ton of Level 5 Shell Gunlances in the game at launch. That will certainly change as the game adds more monsters (and I’ll update this guide when it does). But for now, these are the best.
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1. Howlitzer – The Best Gunlance in Monster Hunter Rise
What first seems like a joke weapon actually has solid stats. It’s a Long Shell Gunlance. In Monster Hunter Rise, this makes it great pretty great for shell damage and physical hits. You can further add to the powerful, passive playstyle with the Buddy Rally Ramp-Up skill. This grants your Palico and/or Palamute higher attack and defense. Throw in a single decoration slot and halfway decent sharpness. It’s basically good with any skills (Switch Skills and your normal Gunlance abilities, like Artillery and Offensive Guard).
2. Araknalance – MH Rise Best Gunlance Tier List
The big spider really shines here. Her Araknalance sports everything you want from the Normal Shell style: Level 5 shells, white sharpness (more with Handicraft), Affinity, and a gaggle of decoration slots. It lacks a bit of raw damage, as all Rakna-Kadaki weapons do, but makes up for it with fixed damage explosions.
Normal Shell Gunlances are often overlooked by Monster Hunter players. They’re just not very flashy. At least not by comparison. You mostly use them for the “Full Burst” — in which you unleash a whole melee combo before firing all shells at once, after the download slam attack. The openings for this sort of thing are somewhat slim. But it’s not like charging or poking with a Normal Shell is bad. You still get extra, guaranteed damage that can affect tough monster parts. In a way, you can see them as a reliable fallback option. And the most reliable Normal Gunlance right now is, you guessed it, Araknalance.
3. Admiral’s Arbalance – MH Rise Best Gunlance Tier List
This Ore Tree 2 Gunlance has 210 raw damage, making it a real contender for melee hits, which a Wide Shell Gunlance uses pretty consistently. Admiral’s Arbalance is also simple to make and has better sharpness, Affinity, as well as decoration slots than you can find nearly anywhere else. What’s the catch? Well, it uses Level 4 Wide Shells. But since you’re also using normal hits anyway, and this sucker gets white sharpness with Handicraft, is that really such a big deal? I don’t think so! It’s really tough to overlook all the other benefits this Gunlance brings.
4. Doombringer Gunlance – MH Rise Best Gunlance Tier List
The new Almudron Gunlance adds another Level 5 Wide Shell to the mix. Plus it has outstanding Water damage, two decoration slots, and some halfway decent Ramp-Up skills. Element Exploit in particular is incredibly strong against foes that have elemental weak points that reach 25 or higher. The downsides here are a lack of raw damage and Affinity. Plus you lose out on white sharpness, which is an absolute powerhouse for boosting damage. It brings an invisible buff that increases nearly all damage you deal without any zone-based drawbacks. Still, you can get a lot of blue sharpness with Handicraft, and that combines well with the strong shells.
5. Tigrex Gunlance – MH Rise Best Gunlance Tier List
We round out our look at new Wide Gunlances with a Tigrex option. This lizard got an upgrade in the Monster Hunter Rise 2.0 update, as well, just like Almudron. The Tigrex Gunlance has higher raw damage than Admiral’s Arbalance. Plus it hits white sharpness without any extra skills. What it loses is a chunk of Affinity and decoration slots. Which Wide GL you choose comes down to personal preference somewhat. But the inflexibility of this weapon makes it a tough sell to most players. Especially when there are several other viable options.
Hopefully this helped you on your way to the best Gunlance in Monster Hunter Rise for you! We’ll be sure to update this guide as new monsters and weapons appear. Until then, happy hunting!