A while ago I was searching for info on the mechanism of the charge blade when I stumbled upon a reddit post from another subreddit that was asking for specific details of the functionality of the mechanism with some speculation attached to it. After some thought, I think I managed to find a reasonable explanation for it, but since that post was archived, I decided to make my own.

Disclaimer: This theory will address the fluctuation of the phial energy of the weapon between its various parts and not how the energy itself is gathered. This theory isn't 100% consistent, so I will mark the points that aren't fully covered with an asterisk and I will try to address them as good as possible at the end of the theory

So, as we know, there are 3 parts of the charge blade in which the energy can be retained, the blade, the phials, and the axe head/shield (which are respectively represented by the phial charge/blade charge system, the phial storage system, and the shield charge system). The way the energy is able to travel from a part of the weapon to another has an order, being the blade the first point of energy storage, the phials the second, and the axe head/shield the third, each part has no way of gathering energy if it doesn't come directly from its previous part (except for one exception that I will cover later on.

With these concepts in mind we can start explaining how the energy travels from one point of another.

-shield charge: We know that we are able to store the energy gathered from the blade inside the inner phials of the weapon, but how does the shield get charged at all, and why doesn't it get charged in the first place while loading phials? As we know, the shield is charged via canceling an amped elemental discharge into a morph slash, so my thoughts on how this process happens are as follow: The blade of the weapon itself acts as a switch that allows the energy to flow through the weapon, so when the energy stored in the phials is about to get released, you are able to partially stop this process via removing the blade, maintaining the energy of the phials in the shield itself(its worth remarking that this process only happens when canceling out of an amped elemental discharge, which is arguably the move in which most energy is released, which is why you can store all phials in one go) . What I mean by partially is that this process is not fully perfect, which is why the energy eventually runs out as time passes as opposed of how it remains indefinitely when stored in a phial(when it's not being used, that is) ✳Red/yellow charge.

-energy release via phial attacks: How are we able to release energy from the phials while in axe mode and why doesn't it charge the shield while doing so? As I mentioned, the blade acts as a switch that allows the energy flow trough the weapon, so when you perform a phial attack, what is actually happening is that you are releasing the energy stored in the phials (which is why you must charge the phials first and why you can't perform phial attacks from the energy stored in the blade), which gets released during the impact or during the motion of the attack itself, however, when the energy is released via impact, its released in a more aggressive way, causing a phial blast (or multiple phial blasts depending on the move you are using. So, if that's the case, why doesn't the shield get charged while doing a phial attack? In both instances, the energy is being released from the phials right? Yes that is correct, but there is a key difference between those processes. When you are performing a phial attack, the energy is only released during that attack, which gets back to its retained state on the phials after the attack ends, but when you morph slash from an amped elemental discharge, the energy from the phials is not retained because you removed the blade from the shield before retaining the energy from the blade (think of it as the electricity remaining on a TV when you plug it off instead of turning it off with the remote control), allowing it to flow freely trough the shield.

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And that's basically it! Now I will proceed to address the possible issues that might come from this theory: ✳Why are there two grades of shield charge if the process is for both is supposedly the same? This is a problem exclusive to the mhgu iteration of the weapon, in which you would get a less powefull shield charge if you charged the shield in sword mode than if you were to charge it in axe mode(with the exception of the adept guard move). The process in both instances is the same, as it is shown in both the iterations of mhw and mh4u in which you can go from a saed in both axe and sword mode, so I'm going to put this mechanic as just an ingame mechanic with no lore explanation whatsoever.