The best Switch Axe in Monster Hunter Rise might depend on personal preference. But there’s quite a lot to consider with a weapon like this. Phial types, Rampage skills, and decoration slots all play a role. The Switch Axe remains a great weapon for beginners, but there’s always a way to get the most out of any gear at high levels of play. So let’s take a look at how with this guide to the best Switch Axes in Monster Hunter Rise!
More Monster Hunter Rise:
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- Monster Hunter Rise Tips Guide – 35 Things the Game Doesn’t Tell You
1. Axe Semper Tyrannis II
It’s hard to deny the straightforward power of a Diablos weapon. What these lack in Affinity, they usually make up for in raw damage, which remains true for this Switch Axe. At 230 raw it’s tied for the highest number in Monster Hunter Rise at launch. Negative Affinity is also a bigger issue this time around, since Critical Eye and Attack Boost require Level 2 decoration slots. These damage skills aren’t quite as ubiquitous as they were in Monster Hunter World.
But the Switch Axe has a silver lining. Phial attacks — those explosive blasts of energy you infuse into your attacks — don’t crit anyway. Normal hits come with a small chance of dealing 25 percent less damage (a “reverse crit”), but the phial won’t. Once charged, your weapon will still constantly deal extra, fixed damage. Meanwhile the Zero Sum Discharge maneuver is completely unaffected. Combine this with solid green sharpness and the Dulling Strike Rampage skill for good measure. You’ll have quite a powerhouse on your hands. One that can exhaust monsters for you and your teammates to land big, big combos to boot.
2. Sinister Shadowslice
The Magnamalo Switch Axe lacks some of the damage available from Diablos. Though it still sports a respectable 200 raw damage with a bit of Blast. The explosive status ailment isn’t the be-all, end-all it was for a while in MHW, but it is pretty nice. Not to mention you get a Level 2 and a Level 1 decoration slot on this weapon. That’s great, since the new Rapid Morph ability is tremendously strong for Switch Axes. It just requires up to three Level 2 slots to fully include.
As with every Magnamalo weapon, you also get the Magnamalo Soul Rampage skill. This requires a certain level of skill and preparation to fully appreciate. But the gist is that, whenever you’re inflicted with Hellfireblight, you do significantly more damage than usual. And you gain this ability pretty consistently with the Hellfire Cloak skill found on Magnamalo armor. Said armor is also currently the best source of Handicraft, which Magnamalo weapons put to fantastic use for extra sharpness.
The biggest downside? This weapon and the Magnamalo gauntlets each require a Magna Purple Orb. The drop rates on this rare monster part are laughably low (just three percent under ideal conditions). So crafting and optimizing the entire set is a bit of an undertaking.
3. Petal Cloud
Here we have the least raw damage of any Switch Axe on this list. Though that number is somewhat deceiving. Switch Axe damage relies heavily on charging up the sword part of the weapon. Said charge depletes over time, and must be managed carefully. But the Rampage skill Coating Switch Boost basically takes that management out of the equation.
The ability triggers any time you switch between axe mode and sword mode. Flipping back from sword to axe in particular provides a huge bump in charge time — allowing you to stay in the powerful sword mode much, much longer. You can combine this with Rapid Morph to make the weapon extra fast, damaging, and totally consistent. Petal Cloud even comes with decent white sharpness that can be extended further using Handicraft. And not using a Magnamalo weapon means you only need one Magna Purple Orb.
The real downside is the phial type. Dragon damage isn’t terrible, but like all elements it’s useless on certain enemies. Rajang and Goss Harag stand out as high-level foes that are completely immune to the attack type.
The Ore Tree 2 Switch Axe fills a unique niche for its class. It’s essentially a support weapon. Though it does more than respectable damage in the process. At 210 raw, it has the third highest base attack in the game at launch, as well as a whopping 30 Exhaust Phial damage. That’s an awfully high number. One that slows most monsters to a crawl. Plus you can raise it even higher with the Rampage skill “Boost Equipped Coating.”
Like the Dragon phial, though, it’s useless against Goss Harag and Rajang. Not to mention Exhaust damage has never affected Elder Dragons — which includes Ibushi and Narwa in this case. If you’re worried about the limited uses for Exhaust, though, you can grab Silkbind Boost instead. That raises the power of Silkbind Attacks. These, in turn, put monsters in a ridable state. Which gives you another way to knock down monsters for your teammates.
On top of it all, you get three Level 1 decoration slots. These aren’t quite as useful as they were in the previous game. As we previously mentioned, Critical Eye and Attack Boost are now Level 2 skills. But you can still fit plenty of “comfort” with the likes of Defense Boost and other useful passives.
5. Night’s Crescent
If you just want a Switch Axe that you don’t need to think about, check out the Nargacuga option. Sure, the high Affinity won’t affect your phial damage. But you do still hit things with the actual axe part of the weapon often enough. And 40 percent critical chance by default is nothing to sneeze at. A touch of Poison (on the phial attacks at least) and a Level 2 decoration slot help round this weapon out nicely. You can’t improve it with Handicraft, but Razor Sharp and Protective Polish are decent alternatives for a weapon such strong, natural sharpness. As a tried and true fallback option, Nargacuga weapons are hard to deny.