Much like with AT Kirin, what really makes this ramped-up version of Vaal Hazak difficult is not its actual attacks – these are essentially the same – but its increased damage, both from its attacks and its effluvial clouds. VH's attacks are really easy to spot and he has a ton of openings (I would say more than any other elder dragon), but get caught once and you are highly likely to cart, especially with the fart clouds and acid pools you have to contend with.
My approach to the fight uses the Lance with the Health Regen augment to stick close to VH while consistently striking to mitigate any chip damage from blocking or VH's fart clouds. The key skills to bring are Effluvia Resistance and Health Boost, along with Guard Up (3 pieces from the Uragaan set), and some points in Guard. Recovery Up is also a nice skill to bring. Here is what the safest version of my build looks like.
When you have 5 points in Guard AND the Guard Up bonus, you can literally just block through anything, forever. I definitely recommend at least getting Guard Up, as this will allow you to block VH's breath if you need to, but you might find that 5 points in Guard is overkill since all it does is reduce chip damage and stamina reduction when blocking. If you want to build more offensively you can shuffle out the extra points of Guard and you will still probably be unstoppable.
Note that this approach also works for Gunlance, the trade-off being slower attacks, less health regen, more chip damage (if you don't have Guard 5), but more damage dealt and faster hunt (if you play smart).
For mantles I like to take Temporal Mantle and Vitality Mantle. Use the Temporal Mantle to be extra aggressive against openings, and use the Vitality Mantle as just an extra layer of protection, especially when there are fart clouds around.
For your Palico either the Coral Choirmaster or the Vigorwasp will work, although the Vigorwasp is the safer bet of the two.
Throughout the hunt your goal should be to stay to on top of VH and poke him constantly. This means using your poke-poke-poke-hop combo on longer openings, and using your one-hit guard-poke for every smaller opening. Most of these openings are pretty obvious, the only challenge is not getting greedy by over-committing to an attack.
If you are getting gassed and you aren't getting enough hits to keep your health up, disengage, chug a potion if you need to, and try to re-position away from the clouds. You can also fire Torch slingers to evaporate some of the gas.
Be careful about VH's breath-beam, especially if you are sheathed and using an item or re-positioning. The moment you see that animation start, try to either maneuver out of range or bust your shield out. At full health you should be able to survive a hit, but with so many other sources of small damage you don't want to take that risk if you can help it.
When VH rears up to use its big smoke cloud attack, be sure to hold your guard through all of its hits – when you are right underneath him, the cloud will strike your shield three times.
When VH is running back and forth, you can keep up using the Lance's mobile attacks. While under guard, hold forward and press triangle to hop forward, and then follow up with circle for a second lunge attack, which can then be comboed into more circle/triangle pokes if you have an opening. You can also pursue using your jousting charge by holding guard and pressing circle + triangle.
Try not to fight with your back to an acid pool. Even with your guard up, VH can shove you around a bit with its attacks.
Keep in mind that attacks against small monsters and Odogaron will also restore your health. Definitely keep an eye on the small monsters, especially the Girros; those little fu*kers can sneak up behind you and stagger your guard at the wrong moment.
That's all I got, hopefully this helps, let me know what you think. Thanks!
© Post "Arch Tempered Vaal Hazak Safe-and-Easy Lance Build & Tips" for game Monster Hunter World.
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