With ATKT and the Witcher quest hitting PC, as well as AT Nergigante coming soon™, all platforms where Monster Hunter World have been released have now the same content and therefore the same meta. There is no better time than this to make a recap of the best meta sets every MHW player can have access to until the release of Iceborne.
This thread includes meta sets for all weapons in the game updated to ATKT & Witcher gear. The thread WILL be updated for AT Nergigante in case his gamma set changes anything in the meta builds.
The vast majority of the albums in this thread are taken from the
Mathalos Nest, the official discord server of the streamers and content creators Jinjinx & Tuna. Thanks to them and their wonderful community for the hard work they put in researching and optimizing the sets.
A shoutout finally to Honey for her amazing set builder on HoneyHunterWorld. I can't stress enough how helpful this site is when it comes to making new builds and comparing them with others. If you want to understand how to make the most use out of this powerful tool, I recommend to check this guide by Ultima1010.
Before going forward, let's clarify what a meta compilation means and what you will and will not find in this list.
The meta in MHW is, for several reasons, a damage-oriented meta. As such, the builds listed here will show the highest damage options available for every weapon type. Builds based on a different criteria (support, "tanking", evasion etc) are NOT included in this list.
These builds are mainly fit for solo play, but can be used for multiplayer as well as long as you understand the difference between solo and MP.
These are not necessarily speedrunning builds (although many of the authors are speedrunners). Speedrunners often use specific setups for different monsters to abuse some of the game mechanics. On a suggestion by OliviaBlack, I included with every meta album a list of notable speedrunners for that weapon you may watch if you're just curious or if you want to learn more about how you can use that weapon.
The builds are meant for general use unless specified otherwise. Some counter-builds for specific monsters are included in some of these albums, but otherwise I would recommend checking other sources for that.
These builds are endgame builds and assume you have access to the entire content of the game. If you haven't reached endgame yet you can report to the Early Game Transitional Sets section or to the "poverty" builds that are present in some albums.
These builds assume you mastered the basics of your weapon and you have a general knowledge of how to fight monsters. By no means you are forced to use these exact same builds in your gameplay; if you're not feeling confident in your skills yet, if you want less stressful runs or if you simply try something different you can adapt the builds by adding the skills you want in them and sacrifice something else. In fact, I highly encourage everyone to try making their own builds once they understand how set building works. The meta builds should mostly be intended as an example of what you could aim for to improve your gameplay and grow as a player.
History of Meta Compilations
Use this for reference if you want to know how you can build good sets without the latest gear in the game.
Early Game Transitional Sets
Low Rank to mid High Rank: Honestly, the sets you'll be using here won't matter much. Early game armor in MHW is pretty poor skill wise and it will be long until you start getting decorations to improve it. Just stick to a set and upgrade it with armor spheres until you can fight HR Odogaron and Rathalos.
Mid High Rank to Early Endgame: As soon as you unlock Rathalos alpha/beta sets you can start having a taste of what an endgame damage set can look like. Here's a series of transitional sets that can guide you up to endgame content and can be used for almost every weapon. None of these are actually required to beat the story and are simply meant as an introduction to set optimization.
Rathalos Mix (by kerodon), HR 13 and above – gives you WEX 3 and AB 7 as well as two interesting bonus sets: Critical Element to increase the damage of your elemental weapons and Mind's Eye to be able to hit through armored parts without higher levels of sharpness.
Nergigante w/Max Might (by kerodon), HR 14 and above – higher affinity than the previous set thanks to Maximum Might, you lose the Rath set bonuses but you gain Nerg set bonus which restores a small amount of health every couple hits, basically working as a budget health regen augment.
Nergigante w/Agitator (by kerodon), HR 14 and above – alternative set, mainly for dual blades since the weapon cannot benefit from Maximum Might.
Early Master's Touch Mix, HR 14 and above – melee set that allows you to make your first experience of infinite sharpness. You can replace the charm with Handicraft if this allows your weapon to reach white sharpness.
Teo/Rath Mix, HR 14 and above – you can use this for fast-hitting melee weapons like dual blades or sword & shield. Replace the elemental attack decos with the ones for the element used by your weapon.
Bow Starter Set, HR 14 and above – a basic framework for bow sets that don't require Free Element. Running an elemental bow with Critical Element is really what will make the weapon stand apart from the others. Replace the elemental decos with the ones corresponding to the element of your bow and you're good to go. You can add other important bow decos like Mighty Bow or Forceshot as soon as you get them (if you get a Spread deco first, replace the legs with Diablos Nero beta).
Bowgun Starter Set, HR 15 and above – unfortunately bowguns won't have access to their most useful set bonus until you beat the final boss. This set only aims to give you the two main bowgun skills, Spare Shot and Ammo Up, as well as more power for your special ammo. Building is pretty much free as long as you have any 3 Xeno pieces and Free Elem/Ammo Up in your set.
Geralt Set, HR 16 and above – as soon as you finish the story you're able to do the Witcher questline that rewards you with two different full sets. Geralt set is a pretty balanced as it gives you both defensive skills (Health Boost/Super Recovery/Recovery Speed), one of the best offensive skills in the game (Weakness Exploit) as well as some points in Attack Boost and Critical Eye. It's overall pretty good to start your endgame grind with a boost.
Ciri Set, HR 16 and above – Like the previous bowgun set, it provides you with Ammo Up and Spare Shot as well as some evasion skills that can be very helpful for both light and heavy bowgun. It does however lack offensive skills that without decorations you will only be able to add through charm. It's still a decent alternative to the Xeno mix in case you don't want to farm multiple monsters and you just want to use the general form of a bowgun set.
Endgame Meta Sets
Sword and Shield (SnS)
Kjarr SnS sets
- Non-Kjarr SnS sets
Witcher SnS set – close to Fatal Bite in terms of performance, trades some damage during falling bashes in return for more damage during slash/waltz combos.
- Notable SnS speedrunners:
Dual Blades (DB)
Charge Blade (CB)
Switch Axe (SA)
Meta SA sets
- Notable SA speedrunners:
Hunting Horn (HH)
Note: Long shelling GL sets are not included because Focus 3, Artillery 3 and Capacity Boost are the only skills required to max out the damage output of the weapon, after which you can add whatever you like to your build. The best long lv4 GL in the game is King Gold Exploder due to the 3 augment slots for health regen.
Insect Glaive (IG)
Meta bow sets
- Notable bow speedrunners: Alessia, Cloudflare, Extros, Fay, HCZS, Iroha, Mugime/Malt Coffee,
Light Bowgun (LBG)
- Meta LBG sets
- Notable LBG speedrunners: Couri, ID,
Randel, Tatsuffy, Theguywithnoaccount,
Heavy Bowgun (HBG)
Meta HBG sets
- Notable HBG speedrunners:
Cybele/Vlad Tepes, HBG, JinFurai,
- Discord: Mathalos Nest | Gathering Hall | r/MHW
- Jinjinx & Tuna (Monster Hunter Math)
- Solo TA speedrun wiki (JP)
- Behemoth speedrunners: Del-Pi, Haruken, Kagerou, Natume, Po Chi, Sazerou
Happy (meta) hunting to everybody until Iceborne!
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