The only way you can increase you damage is from upgrading gear, enhancement parts and Burst. There is no hidden damage stat or anything.
Used to use Curse Pick in GE until they evened out all the elements in GEB, then abusing elements all the way. Still use here and there, when missions have monsters with different weaknesses and they dont take glaringly less from pure neutral.
The most abusable weapon now is the short sword - Beast Blade Lau Yang.
The Hold effect comes out pretty often, and even more effective when you equip Anomaro (Control Unit) and Medusa/Clarion Cannons, which amplifies status attacks. You can repeatedly Hold/Down/Hold/Down most aragamis. Forget about Hold Traps with this.