Firstly I want to start this off by saying this WILL BE A BIG POST. This is unavoidable for the message I want to convey. If you need to save this post to read later that's fine (I know I'd have to).
Furthermore I would also like to stipulate that this will involve a lot.. of my own opinion. If that is something that bothers you then may I suggest you no longer frequent reddit.
Anyway without further ado let's get into the lance and why I believe most people have been playing it wrong.
I am making this post mostly because I rarely see people use lance and that's something I'd like to change. Also I am making this as sort of a couple tips and tricks here and there against specific monsters which I will be using as examples, most notably, arch tempered teostra.
Make no mistake however, not only can you apply this method of play to any monster, I encourage you to do so as you will see marked improvement in your gameplay (not a 100% guarantee though).
Lance vs other weapons:
I feel like this is a necessary point to make as lance is such a different weapon to all the others, even gunlance. With other weapons, when fighting higher level monsters, avoiding damage becomes much more important so as not to cart immediately, and as such you will often find yourself repeatedly rolling out of the way of attacks just to stay alive, all while doing no damage to the monster.
Lance differs to this in a way that not even the gunlance can replicate. The ability to stay completely glued to the monster while maintaining a consistent damage output is one which sounds simple, but can only be achieved through the moves and tools given to you as a lance user.
This is why I believe lance is a
superior valued weapon and why it saddens me to not see more people using it.
Lance vs monsters:
As I said before, I am talking in context to fighting high level monsters such as arch tempered teostra and other such beasts and will be keeping this in mind when advising how to play.
The first thing I want to make clear is that you should do everything you can to avoid using power guard in anything other than two situations which I shall go over. For some unbeknown reason, you actually take more chip damage using power guard over regular guard and as such should not be used to substitute how you protect yourself.
The damage of the charged thrust off of a power guard is negligible considering it leaves you open for longer and drains more stamina and as such, should not be used to reset combos.
The first of the two, and the more common of, situations in which you should power guard is when you have grossly miss-timed a counter guard and need to extend it. Think of this as a punishment for miss-timing by taking more damage and you'll do it less.
The second situation is when the monster has gone to sleep and for whatever reason you have no bombs while running solo. This is the only case in which the charged thrust is useful.
As far as I see it, this is the most useful move in the lances' repertoire for a couple of reasons.
The first reason is that it can cover the same distance as two hops which makes the need to hop more than once completely obsolete.
The second reason is that the entire animation has guard properties. Combine that with the fact you can use it to end off combos and you have what I predominantly use when fighting monsters. Three pokes (if I can fit them in) to guard dash.
This is the fundamental way I stick to a monster and maintain my damage, while also protecting myself. It should be noted however that you should refrain from using the leaping thrust which comes after the guard dash as this has a very long animation which leaves you open. Instead you should use one hop to reset if it is safe to do so. If not, just keep guarding.
This along with guard dash is what you should mostly use to reset your combos. It's safe, it's quick (especially with five levels in the guard skill) and keeps you in place which can be an issue sometimes with guard dash. There's not too much else to say other than it's a far better option to use over power guard.
When not to guard:
I've spoken a lot about ways to make sure you can always guard an attack when you need to. There are situations, however, where it's better to just avoid an attack altogether.
A very good example of this was the greatest jagras when it did it's ground pound when it hasn't eaten. Trust me when I say you do not want be in the way of that attack. I always run five levels in guard, and if I happened to be missing some stamina, that attack would go right through and cart me.
In such cases it's better to either guard dash and back hop away, or leap of faith out of it.
I said I would use arch tempered teostra as an example, and that's because lance happens to be quite effective against him once you eliminate the fire and blast.
One thing I've learned which I've never seen anyone talk about is to do with his sweeping fire breath. Once you take a hit or guard the attack, it won't hit you again despite the fire quite clearly moving over you.
This makes quite a good opening to hit teostra with a decent chunk of damage. You can also use counter thrust when he amplifies his aura (I don't know what you call it) to get some good damage in as well.
This comes down to knowing the monster and knowing which attack does what. The same can be said for any monster though really so it more comes down to taking time to learn your prey.
To summarise what I have said. The lances' tools give you the unique opportunity to stay glued to a monster and turn its' attacks into your openings where other weapons would scramble to safety. As I said before, all what I've said is my opinion based on my own experiences with lance. Additionally all of what I've listed could well be common knowledge. If so then I've at least put it writing. Do feel free to let me know what you think in the comments and share any tips you've found useful that I might have missed.
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© Post "Lance work: How I believe lance should be played" for game Monster Hunter World.
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