Gunlance Guide by sephiroth1491

Version: 1.30 | Updated: 06/01/13 | Printable Version

           Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Gunlance Guide and FAQ

               By Sephiroth1491 (a.k.a. Kon-sama1491)

           Version 1.00 Copyright 2013 Pablo Diaz Samaniego



1.- Introduction

2.- Changes from previous games

3.- The Basics
    3.1.- Starting up
    3.2.- Shelling
    3.3.- Wyvern Fire
    3.4.- Full Burst
    3.5.- Charge Shells
4.- In depth info
    4.1.- Combo'ing basic rules
    4.2.- Combo with shelling
    4.3.- Other Info
5.- Skills

6.- Frequently Asked Questions

7.- Contact and Credits

30/05/13 Ver 1.30 - Added more questions to FAQ section
                    Added more info everywhere (Skills, armors, etc)

23/05/13 Ver 1.23 - Fixed some typos
                    Added more questions to the FAQ

17/05/13 Ver 1.20 - Fixed some errata to 3U
                    Added new FAQ section
                    More small info in many places

29/04/13 Ver 1.15 - Clarified some stuff
                    Added some points here and there
                    Fixed some typos

25/04/13 Ver 1.10 - Fixed typos
                    Minor fixes and clarified some missing info.

24/04/13 Ver 1.00 - First release
                    Added FAQ section
                    Fixed some errata
                    Added some more info here and there

23/04/13 Ver 0.75 - Fixed some errors
                    Fixed some typos

22/04/13 Ver 0.50 - Started Gunlance guide parting from P3rd guide
                    Removed obsolete information
                    Added new info

1.- Introduction

Welcome once again to the world of gunlancing, like i did previously
with MHP3rd, i intend to make a guide explaining every feature,skills
and other tidbits to help the new and old players who are willing to
pick up this awesome weapon or that don't know it at all from MH3.

Decided to  redo this guide for this game after seeing so much 
questions and doubts about this weapon in MH3U boards, so most of 
the info was already mentioned and debunked in my old P3rd GL guide 
so i thought "why the hell not do it again?"

So here i am, hope you find this useful, and now onto it.

2.- Changes from previous games

If some of you tried out Gunlance pre-MHP3rd, they got a big
change from there.

The most notorious one is that now instead of 3 simple stabs, 
the last attack will be a slam, stronger but slower and has a longer
recovery time, but that can chain to other new shell attacks, 
explained below.

The shells system got improved, Now each shelling type has its own
advantages, while the weapon is more responsive, and works faster.

Also at difference of Unite, and similarly to P3rd at end-game 
the weapon won't fall behind in tier, in fact is one of the strongest
weapons in the game, in this one especially is almost broken, 
especially if you put slime weapons into play. 

Of course this may vary player to player, but we're gonna change that.

In the end,it's the player that makes the weapon, not otherwise.
(Even if some weapons are easier to pick up >_>)

Since P3rd, the Gunlance lose less sharpness with shelling, and you 
can do long hops even without the need of an attack first.

And you can now hop from guard stance now. Very useful to go from 
defense to take the offensive.

3.- The Basics

This info is pretty basic, it's made to mostly help newcomers,
some of this info can be obvious for advanced players, but it won't
hurt to give it a check just in case.

3.1.- Starting up

So let's start by a picking any GL, you start with a weapon of
each type since the start of game, so you surely have one already.

it's best to try out the moves and get familiarized with them,
it has so many you would need to memorize them before going on
a serious quest.

Note that the weapons move the same underwater safe for certain 
tidbits i will adress below.

-Low Stab: Press X, it can be chained twice.

-Slam: Third attack after chaining 2 low stabs (X),
       or by pressing X right after a fast reload.

-Shell: Press A.

-Upstab: Press X+A.Underwater have a long reach below too.

-Forward stab: Press X while moving the analog.
               Is also the unsheath attack of the GL.
               Can also be used by doing an attack while moving the
               analog to a direction as first attack.
               This can also be used after firing a mid/high height
               Underwater has a long forward reach so it can be used
               to attack from away or to even move.

-Back/Side hop: Press B, if you pull the analog to a side after
               an attack, the hunter will hop to that side, and if
               you pull it backwards, the hunter will do a long hop,
               roughly the equivalent of 2 small ones.
               Sadly unlike lance, GL can only do one hop.

-Underwater Up/Down evade: Right after an attack, press up or down
                           and B to go up or down.

-Charge shell: Hold R button as you press A to fire a shell.
               Can only be done after the first attack, so firing
               one just like that can't be charged, but unlike
               regular shells, you can do a hop after firing
               one of these.

-Forward stab cancel->shell: As you do a forward stab, press A
                             before it does the actual attack, 
                             the hunter will cancel the thrust and
                             fire a shell instead.
                             This shell can also be charged making
                             it the only "first" shell attack that
                             can be charged.

                             There's a JUST version, if you press A
                             just when the char screams as it would
                             start the stab, it will still fire the
                             shell, but the stab will also hit if 
                             you're right next to target.

-Guard: Press R button.

-Guard Stab: While guarding press X.

-Unsheath Guard: Press R+X+A at same time with the
                 weapon sheathed.

-Reload Shells: Guard and press A, or after any hop press A.

-Fast Reload: After firing a shell, press A again,
              and it will instantly reload 1 shell.

-Wyvern Fire: While guarding, if the third stab of a combo is a
              guard stab or after a slam attack,
              press X+A.

-Full burst: After a slam attack, press A and you will unload
             all shells currently loaded at the same time.

3.2.- Shelling

Now, Shelling, at difference of normal attacks, have fixed damage
and ignore the hitzone defense, so no matter where it hits, 
it will always do the same amount of damage. 

Though, if the monster has fire weakness, it will do a bit more 
damage varying on the hitzone fire weakness.

You can shoot them at any time as long you're not in red sharpness.
Keep in mind that shells deplete your weapon sharpness 
at the rough equivalent of 1 shell=2 stabs, so keep this in mind if
you need to watch your sharpness level.

You can chain a shell after any type of stab attack, and if 
you do this, the attacks count will reset, so doing a stab after
a shell will be counted again as "stab 1", making easy to chain 
attacks, like doing 2 consecutives low stabs and then firing 
a shell, the count will reset and then next attack will be a 
low stab instead of a slam.

Another thing to note is the bombardment level, displayed next to
the attack value. The higher level, the stronger shells will be.
It ranges from 1 to 5. 

Shells are separated in 3 types:

|  Normal (NT)  |

It carries 5 shells per load, the most of the 3 types, so
it can be easier to chain combos with them but they deal the
lowest damage.

Wyvern Fire is normal.

Charged shells deal normal damage, 20% damage bonus.

-SPECIAL EFFECT.- Its full burst (FB) is stronger than the other 2
 shell types. But can also burn your sharpness faster.

|  Long (LT)   |

It carries 3 shells, the shells do higher damage than the NT,
and the shells have a longer reach. A balanced style.

Full burst deals normal damage, but a bit lower than NT thanks to
lower shell quantity per load.

Charged shells do normal damage, 20% damage bonus.

-SPECIAL EFFECT.- Its Wyvern fire is stronger among all types.
Using Gunnery king with this type might be very useful for this
for the cool down decrease.

|  Spread/Wide (ST)   |

Only carries 2 shells, though they do superb damage.

Wyvern fire is normal, no extra bonus.

Full burst is weaker, not just because less shells per load,
but the attack gets a damage penalty.

-SPECIAL EFFECT.- Charged shells get a 45% boost.

You can spot which type is your GL by checking the upper right corner
of the weapon details.

3.3.- Wyvern Fire (WF)

This is one of the best features of the gunlance, to use it, you
need to be in guard stance, or right after a slam attack, or if the
3rd attack of a chain you did was a guard stab. The attack takes a 
bit to fire, but it deals heavy neutral damage that is separated
in 4 hits. Though, the 4 hits will hit the closest part to the tip
of the gunlance, so say you wanna use it on a rathalos wing, then
you have to get a bit farther from him, if you use it right next to
it, the WF will surely end up hitting the body instead.

The Wf shot hits 4 times whichever it can hit on reach, so if a jaggi
and a great jaggi get hit by it, both will get 4 hits instead of them
spreading on them.

After shooting it, it takes 2 minutes to cool down before it is 
available again. So be sure to use it when its guaranteed you will
hit the target. Also remember if you use a long type GL, the WF will
get stronger damage.

Wyvern Fire and shells can also break any part of a monster that 
don't require cut-only (like tails) or impact-only (Barroth head).

Also an important thing is that WF power is based directly off the
bombardment level, meaning a LVL3 NT and ST wyvern fire will do the
same damage even if shells vary.

3.4.- Full Burst

This is a new feature of GL. After doing a slam attack,
you press circle while the hunter still has the GL in the ground,
then all the shells loaded at the time will be fired together.
So this attack takes a serious advantage of the number of shells
it has loaded, a NT gunlance gets the best advantage of this,
since it already unloads the most shells and they get an extra 
class damage boost.

But like stated above, it's not recommended to use this at all with
spread type Gunlances, you'll only burn sharpness without doing
any substantial damage.

This attack is especially useful in multiplayer, since other players
are also dealing damage, you can literally stagger lock monsters with
a lvl4-5 NT Full burst, can even be done with LT GL's.

3.5.- Charge Shells

Charge shells are one of the best improvements of GL, the shell takes
a bit longer to fire, but the damage is 20% boosted, and all shells
get benefitted from it.

It's also the only way you can hop right after a shell, quite useful
for hit and run tactics where the monster has high defense or very 
hard to hit weak points, like nibelsnarf or duramboros.

But spread type shells get the best advantage by far, getting a wider
reach and the shells get a 45% boost compared to the 20% the other 
two types get.

4.- In depth info

This will mostly contain info that might be similar to the one above,
but with the advantage it contains a better in-depth explaining and 
that unexperienced players might not understand at first.

4.1.- Combo'ing basic rules

One of the best advantages of GL is that you can pretty much follow 
any attack after any other (some restrictions applies obviously).
For example, every 2 hits you can shell and start the combo over,
so it won't do a slam as 3rd attack and lose much time with the 
recovery of it. 

Gunlance is so diverse in combos that i would never finish if i was
to list all of them, it's up to you to improvise according to 
the situation and take advantage of it. The gunlance has no limits 
in terms of making attack combos and thanks to the shield you can 
keep at close range most of the time without losing your position.

And underwater this weapon is beastly, the side step can be very 
useful since it's short and quick, giving very fast response to go
to guard or continue attacking. And all combos done out of water
can be done under it.

These are some basic rules to keep in mind when combo'ing:

-The Forward stab doesn't count in the combo count, so you 
can do a forward stab, then follow with two low stabs and finish 
with a slam, that would be 4 attacks without a shelling in combo.

-If the 3rd attack of a random combo is an Upstab, a slam will be 
always available at end, again chaining 4 attacks without a shell 
in between.

-With these 2 notes above, you can do a 5 stab combo without a shell
in between, with a forward stab, 2 low stab, upstab and end with a 

-Dending on the monster behavior, some combos would be good to end
in guard stab then go to guard stance. 

-Some monsters weak point position can be hit easier or only with
the guard stab, it's better to do this than go attack somewhere else
with a stronger attack most of the times. Or you know, just shell the
hell of it anywhere. 

-Underwater forward stab has very long forward reach and has good 
reach below too. So you can use it to move toward monster but also
from an angle it will be below you and still hit it.

- Underwater upstab also have a lot of reach below your hunter, 
allowing you to do the same, which can be very useful to attack from
above the monster in certain situations. Or to not attack directly
from the front.

4.2.- Combos with shelling

With the info above, the shells can play a big role in terms
of combo'ing.

Like with stabs, there's some basic rules you should know about 
shelling while you combo to maximize your reactions:

-You can shell after every stab without exception, meaning you can
even use the stab attacks to "aim" where you want to shell,
like say, aim with an upstab to hit really high things,
like hit a rathalos head while he's flying or sometimes even hit
duramboros humps from below, you can also take advantage of this 
underwater, since you can hit monsters from way below.

-If you fire a shell after an upstab or guard stab, you can follow
up with a forward stab, handy to go from defensive to offensive.

-You can use a charge shell at any time you can fire a shell, except
when you just fire a shell as first attack.

-You can follow a charge shell just after a regular shell without 
having to do a regular attack or fast reload in between.

-Also with the above rule you can fire a charged shells after another
one, use them consecutively without the need of a fast reload 
between each of them (obviously unless it's the last shell and needs
to reload it forcefully).

-You can do a hop to any direction after a charge shell without
the need of an attack in between.

-You can chain a Fast reload, to a slam and finish with WF/FB.

-Another advice is that the mid/high shells have a faster recovery
than a stab attack so you can guard faster after firing one in
case you can't guard stab to guard.

-Also if you have the GL WF used, when you do a slam you can press
the WF input so it does the "unloaded" animation, that will cancel
almost half of the recovery after a slam and works faster than
a hop after slam, a pretty useful thing to know, it also works with
using FB without shells, but it's not as fast.

-Like the above if you have the shells unloaded you can fast cancel
the upstab animation to faster recovery.

4.3.- Other Info

A golden rule for gunlancing:

NEVER let your sharpness level go below yellow, if it gets to 
orange you'll hit 75% of damage, so you're not only doing
weaker hits with it and bouncing more, but the shells also suffer
this penalty, and if it gets to red you won't be able to use them 
at all.

-Take note that GL DPS isn't very good, so for an effective use of
gunlance we have to take advantage of elements, in this game every
monster is decently weak to an element, in certain monsters even 2 
and luckily there's at least a good element GL for each one. So it's 
a better option to take advantage of this. Raw only gunlances are not 
really recommended, though they would still do the job well.

-Slime and poison gunlances are really good in this game, if you can
get your hands on these, you can trade out with any element GL for 
most of the monsters.

-Another good thing to know would be the skills "Artillery novice"
and "Artillery expert" can increase the damage of shells, by 10%
and 20% respectively.

-With those 2 skills, WF also gets higher damage, getting the same 
multipliers as above, but remember it's separated in 4 hits. 
And AM also decreases the cool down time of it from 2 min. to 
1:30 min. So if your thing is using WF all the time, and especially
when you're using a LT GL, it would be a very good option.

-Shells get a X3 damage multiplier when shot to a sleeping monster.

-A wyvern fire shot to a sleeping monster would only get the first
hit with triple damage, the other three will hit normally. So it's
not a good idea to do this.

-Similarly, use Full burst on a sleeping monster will only result in
one shell getting triple damage, the rest will hurt normally.

5.- Skills

The GL has many armor skills that can be helpful, but most of them
are the usual that could work with any other weapon.

I won't list element skills, because even if GL's benefit more
from elemental attack, it's always better to buff the raw damage.

This is a list of recommended skills, i will post the description
just in case some of you may not know them (or for the lulz):


Increase the sharpness level (duh), only recommended if the weapon
can reach a higher level of sharpness, like from white to pink or if
it gets more sharpness than it could get "doubled" with sharp sword.
Otherwise pass it up. It's a shame that it's only available in Grank.

Attack up S/M/L:

Increase the attack by 10, 15 and 20 NONMULTIPLIED power respectively.
A basic offensive skill.

The GL multiplier is 2.3, so multiply that for 10,15 and 20 to get
the numbers the weapon wil show as bonus.

I.E: 10*2.3= 23

with Aus, the weapon will "seem" to get 23 atk power, despite the real
adding is 10 points.

Not as good as S+1 if your weapon gets pink sharpness, but a great
skill nonetheless.

Honed Blade - Only unlocked from Nether armor (Abyssal Lagia):

This especial skill gives instantly the both skills mentioned above,
Sharpness+1 and Attack up Large, VERY useful for armor combos, except
you need really rare charms with Edgemaster for it, or wear the full
Nether set, which imo isn't that good that way.


This skill is tricy to use, since it gives a +5 boost to the MONSTER
HITZONE, so using this skill to increase the weakpoint value of monsters
whose have "not that weak" weakpoints will be very useful, good examples
of this would be gigginox and zinogre, since their weakpoints won't take
that much damage anyway.

But using it on a monster like rathian, or duram humps which already got
very weak hitzones wouldn't apport a decent boost of damage compared to 
any other offensive skill.

Critical Eye 1/2/3:

This skill is tricky to use, since it triggers randomly and is only
recommended to use in G rank especially CE+3, when weapons have strong 
enough power to make the damage bonus substantial over time.

Namely, GL's with 614 MINIMUM attack power can take advantage of this
skill better than gemmin up AuL.

Any buff item counts into this, so remember as long you have higher
than 617 atk shown in status CE+3 should be better than AuL.


Obviously only use this if you're using a slime weapon, Zvolta Destroyer
is IMO the strongest Gunlance in the game, and using this skill to boost
its already high slime can be beastly in virtually every quest.
Recommended to couple with Felyne Pyro too.

Speed sharpen:

Gunlance lose sharpness really quick thanks to shells and the usual 
attacking, so this skill helps maintain a good sharpness.

Especially useful if you're relying on your pink sharpness from 
S+1 to do a lot higher damage.

Razor Sharp: 

Same as speed sharpening, though this one also might help you save
whetstones, and keep very small sharpness levels for more time.
But it's not as easy to gem in as SSi.


Gunlance and lance have the advantage of having a bigger shield,
and with this skill, you can pretty much protect from every attack 
with small to none pushback and stamina loss, also helps you to gain
a faster recovery time to use to attack on certain monsters.A barroth
is a good example of it, you can recover faster than him after his 
head ram gving you time to attack the arms from below it.

Evade +1/2:

This skill lets you evade through monster attacks easier,
in some monsters, this can help you take advantage of openings
after some attacks that can't be evaded normally without it,
like zinogre body slam or just to help you evade stuff if it's still
too hard for you.

Artillery Novice/Master:

Increase neutral damage by 10% and 20% of shells and wyvern fire,
it also decreases Wyvern fire cool down time in 30 sec.
Not GL related but it also increases damage of cannons, ballista,
and some bowgun ammo, just in case you feel like using them on jhen
or such.

Guard Inc.:

This IMO, isn't very useful,except for very specific cases since it 
let's you guard the otherwise unblockable attacks, like gigginox 
poison fart or plesioth water beam, etc.


This skill isn't that great, espexially considering you got a shield to
guard any roar without trouble. But if you're usually playing with 
helios Z pieces for armor sets, you may notice youy can trigger or it 
or already did from a couple pieces.

It's decent to use in monsters like rathian or such, since the earplug
work for you not deffensively, but giving you more openings as they do 
roar animation.

High grade earplug isn't recommended, since you can guard those anyways,
and IMO is more of a waste of skill points/slots than what is worth,
at least for Gunlance and Lance.

6.- Frequently Asked Questions

Q.- Is artillery expert a must use skill?

A.- In this game not anymore, the weapons are very strong and unless
    you're going for certain monsters, you're better off using other
    offensive skills.
    If you're using spread type or long type GL's depending on 
    situation it might be a good idea. But far from a must skill.

Q.- Which armors are good for GL?

A.- I will NOT get into custom armor sets here, especially due to the
    randomizing of the charm tables, so say i post an armor set only 
    possible to make with charm table 10, lots of people would get 
    locked from it cuz that charm don't exist in their table save.

    Full sets:
    LR: Jaggi, Barroth, Agnaktor, Rathalos.

    HR: Jaggi S, Barroth S, Uragaan U, Agnaktor U, Rathalos S.

    GR: Jaggi X, Barroth X, Helios Z, rathsoul Z, Damascus X
        Nether, Uragaan Z, Agnaktor Z, Grand jhen (still researching)

Q.- Which are the best gunlances?

A.- While this may be arguable, from many tests, the best 3 GL's are 
    rathian's for poison and brachydios' for slime, and lucent for a
    good mix between raw and poison. 
    The three have high raw damage, good bombardment, ridiculously 
    high status damage and can take on almost every monster in the 
    game without having to keep swapping weapons. 

    While also having decent amounts of sharpness and good pink 
    sharpness chunk with S+1.Obviously lucent GL don't even need S+1.

    The only GL that can surpass these in their element, is the miralis
    GL and to a lesser extent the last Nether GL.

Q.- GL shield sucks, it's too slow.

A.- This depends on the player, the weapon can be very sluggish at
    start, for some people even more than lance, but it requires 
    good knowledge of the game to start using decently and once you
    get used to it can be very fast and also a powerhouse.

Q.- Is it good to only use shells?

A.- While shells provide good damage, you should only use these as
    support to your stabs, using shells only to attack is not 
    recommended since you will only burn your sharpness and end up 
    losing DPS.

Q.- Lance is faster, why would i bother with GL?

A.- While Lnace have a seamingly faster move and attacks, they also
    have the con of them having a very short gap of delay between attacks,
    while GL can continue a combo even after a bit of an attack done.

    Lances also have lower DPS than GL, making them more reliable on 
    element than GL.

    And lances can also infinite combo, but can be seriously stamina
    expending if you don't know how well, while GL instead, consumes
    sharpness faster through shells.

Q.- Is Load Up worth having with GL's?

A.- For a short answer No.

    Why? Becuase what it does is only add one extra shell per load, which
    won't help boost your damage at all, other than avoid realoading more
    which is useless if you know when to reload.
    The extra NT shell is useless to cause a great boost in a Full burst.
    And an extra charged Wide shell isn't that great, in the long run.

Q.- Is it worth using shells all the time?

A.- Shells are a BIG increase of damage for GL, but only at low rank,
    considering the weapons deal super low damage and monsters have 
    super low HP. 

    As rank goes up, monsters get lots more HP, while the shells only get
    a slight higher boost per bombardment level.

    So by G rank, shells are not that good to use, other than to connect
    combos, or to aisle decent damage on a monster part you plan to 
    stagger/break eventaully. But is far from being actually good as 
    main damage output.

    Note by this i don't mean you shouldn't use them, they are perfect 
    for chaining combos, what i mean is get sure your shell usage won't
    overruns your stabs one. At long term it might be more harmful and 
    you'll lose damage over time, but again ONLY at G rank.

Q.- You said GL gets more benefitted from element, why should i care with
    poison or slime?

A.- At difference of older games, and even in this one compared to other
    weapons. The brachy GL, Rathian, and Lucent naruga Gunlances don't
    just have the status, but also good raw, sharpness, and even decent
    Thanks to their nature and status, can destroy every monsters without
    smallest trouble, and both status are non hitzone dependent either,
    which means you can get explosions through only hitting the legs of a 
    rathian, or poison it the same way. 

    That along shells, and obviously attacking the weakpoints with their
    good raw makes them very deadly, and using many of these together
    online can be totally beastly. (1 Zvolta is crazy good, imagine two
    fighting one monster)

(More to come)

7.- Contact and Credits

If you want to contact me , notify any errors, if you find some-
thing is missing and such or incomplete, you can find
me in, username Sephiroth1491 or through

Most of the info was researched by myself since i started the game,
used info i already learned from older MH's, namely P3rd, which is
the most similar to this one.

And Of course another big thanks to Capcom for making another kickass
MH game which already got me for hours despite having so few out.
(At least in the occident)

If you want to use parts of this guide feel free to, but give the
correct credits for it.

This guide is only permitted to be used at this point in:


Copyright 2013 Pablo Diaz Samaniego