_ _ ____ _ _ _____ ________ _______ ______ | \ / | / \ | \ | | / __ \ | _ _ | | ____ | | __ \ | \ / | / __ \ | \ | | \ \ \ \ |/ | | \| | | \| | | \ | | \_/ | | / \ | | \ | | \ \ \/ | | | |___ | |__/ | | | | | | | | |\ \ | | \ \ | | | ___| | __/ | |\_/| | | \__/ | | | \ \| | /\ \ \ | | | | | |\ \ | | | | \ / | | \ | \ \_/ / | | | |____/| | | \ \ |__| |__| \____/ |_| \__| \____/ |__| |_______| |__| \_\ __ __ _ _ _ _ ________ _______ ______ | | | | | | | | | \ | | | _ _ | | ____ | | __ \ | | | | | | | | | \ | | |/ | | \| | | \| | | \ | | |___| | | | | | | \ | | | | | |___ | |__/ | | ___ | | | | | | |\ \ | | | | | ___| | __/ | | | | | | | | | | \ \| | | | | | | |\ \ | | | | | \__/ | | | \ | | | | |____/| | | \ \ |__| |__| \______/ |_| \__| |__| |_______| |__| \_\ ________ ______ _______ _______ _____ ____ _ _ | | | __ \ | ____ | | ____ | | \ / \ | \ / | | _____| | | \ | | | \| | | \| | __ \ / __ \ | \ / | | |___ | |__/ | | |___ | |___ | | \ | | / \ | | \_/ | | ___| | __/ | ___| | ___| | | | | | | | | | | | | | |\ \ | | | | | |__/ | | \__/ | | |\_/| | | | | | \ \ | |____/| | |____/| | / \ / | | | | |__| |__| \_\ |_______| |_______| |_____/ \____/ |__| |__| _ _ _ _ _______ ________ _______ | | | | | \ | | |__ __| | _ _ | | ____ | TM | | | | | \ | | | | |/ | | \| | | \| | | | | | \ | | | | | | | |___ | | | | | |\ \ | | | | | | | ___| | | | | | | \ \| | | | | | | | | \__/ | | | \ | __| |__ | | | |____/| \______/ |_| \__| |_______| |__| |_______| ~Piggy Mog's Bow Guide~ Version 1.0 Last Updated: October 28, 2012. =============================================================================== Table of Contents =============================================================================== 1) Disclaimer/Legal crap [Section 1] 2) Monster Hunter Freedom Unite introduction [Section 2] 3) Why choose a bow? [Section 3] 4) Bow basics [Section 4] -Controls -Camera types -Charging the bow -Weapon range multiplier -Charge levels -Coatings -Bow-related skills -Stamina management -Regarding to Damage Calculation 5) Skills and equipment selection [Section 5] 6) FAQs [Section 6] 7) Final Thoughts [Section 7] 8) Credits [Section 8] =============================================================================== Section 1: ~Disclaimer/Legal Crap~ =============================================================================== Disclaimer: This is a weapon faq that analysis bow purely as a weapon class, and targets both beginners and advanced archers, yet does not emphasize individual skills as a player--which means everyone should be able to learn something by reading this guide. Please be aware that I only put information regarding things that I have done by myself, therefore, those who are interested to do time attacks should look else where, such as Youtube or Nico Nico. I started using bow since Monster Hunter Dos, pretty much by self learning, therefore there are original insights to the weapon. The exclusion would be general statistics (which are found everywhere, too board to even quote), and damage calculation (written by Boldrin). If there are any specific information regarding to specific quest that are not discovered myself, they would be specified and credits will be given, whether I remember who it is or not. Please note that when a bow name is mentioned, it refers to the whole upgrade path under the same name so it will be suitable to your progress no matter where you are (ex: "Hunter's Bow" = Hunter's Bow --> Hunter's Bow IV). If a specific bow is mentioned, usually the final form of the upgrade tree, the full name will be specified. Please note that "Courageous Hope" series only gets renamed in the English version. Originally, it is Courageous Hope I to III, therefore still just "Courageous Hope" but not "Dream" or "Wish" in the guide. This guide is written in the practical point of view, so if you are consulting for datebases--for weapon or for monster--please check other guides or websites for them. This guide is long enough even without them. If there are any mistakes in the guide or questions about bows, please e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. No questions are bad questions, but insults will not only be ignored, but will also be posted and to be seen by the public, and I will NOT conceal the sender's identity. So if you're ready to embarrass yourself, be my guest. Legal crap: This FAQ is writen by Piggy Mog and will be available online ONLY on GameFaqs. If any information only found on this guide is used, please contact me first. =============================================================================== Section 2: ~Introduction to Monster Hunter Freedom Unite~ =============================================================================== Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, or Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G in Japan, is the final PSP instalment of the second generation Monster Hunter, originated from MH Dos (pronunced "dots", means "2" in Spanish). It includes all the weapons used in Dos, threw a few more monsters along with Dos' collection--the violent glutton Tigrex and gigantic Akantor in Freedom 2 (P2nd), jumpy Hypnocatrice/ Hypnoc and huge yet agile Lavasioth/Volganos from Frontier Online, and last but not least, its own addition of fast, stealthy Nargacuga and Akantor's icy cousin Ukanlos. This particular instalment is probably the most completed 2nd generation MH, along with having the most solo-accessible content available, provided you can get that far. Although I have never played Freedom 2 (first MH even tried was P2ndG), bow damage has seemed toned down, namely the Akantor bow, from borderline G rank in power during F2 down to actually high rank stats in FU, with the real G rank version not much stronger than its previous high rank counterpart. Another lament to most western players would be the fact that FU had all Japanese sponsored related content sealed (Famitsu, Dengeki, etc.) and therefore making access to certain weapons impossible (fan-shaped dual swords with "Famitsu" written on it everyone?). Quests originally designed for ticket farming would have quest name changed to eliminate references relating to the sponsors (ex: "Dentegi Festival" -> "Two Shadows at the Swamp"). Fortunately the tickets are only dummied out, but not taken away from the game data entirely, therefore it is STILL possible to get them. However, the only non- cheating way to obtain the tickets is to play via online ad-hoc connection (Ad-Hoc Party, X-Link Kai, or MH Tunnel). Fortunately for archers, the only valuable equipment that is sealed is the Dia Soul Arrow, which is a fired-based pierce bow that uses the model for Diablos Horns Bow but red in colour. Your life won't end without it. However... this faq will introduce P2ndG-only equipment (but will also provide a back up equipment selection), so be warned. =============================================================================== Section 3: ~Why choose a bow?~ =============================================================================== Well, this question is just like any other people asking "why choose a hammer/ GS/LS/etc.?" for other popular weapon classes. One reason would be the fact that very little people appreciate bows (at least before Portable 3rd, but then it is more abusing than appreciating it) while they are probably one of the very few true hunting weapons in real life that is portrayed in Monster Hunter. Shame they only introduced it in Dos. Although many people say it's a very easy class due to its mobility and unlimited arrows, in fact it has some hidden traps leading people to hold it in disdain. The most obvious example would be "why does it takes forever to kill stuff with a bow?". This guide will explain the reasons thoroughly. =============================================================================== Section 4: ~Bow Basics~ =============================================================================== "I'd really love to use ranged weapons, but the number of Bowgun shells is just way too confusing to me...! There must be hunters thinking this right now. This report is aimed at those hunters, and in this edition, we will cover Bows. Many dismiss the Bow as underpowered compared to melee weapons and lacking the variety of the Bowguns, but in reality, the Bow is a deep and complex weapon. Of course, its attacks will not cause stunning damage, and there are only four coatings and thus four arrow types. However, a Bow's crafting, range and charge attacks surely make up for its shortcomings!" ~Hunting Life - A Monthly Magazine For Hunters-- Tool of the Trade - Range Weapons (Bow)~ No other description better for the bow is just found right there in the magazine stored in your own hunter's room! Yes, a bow will never punch as hard as a Hammer nor a Great Sword (GS), nor will be able to deal with different situation like a bowgun simply by switching between different ammo. However, the true beauty of the bow lies in planning ahead and carefully choosing the right bow and skills, along with persistence and endless fire. * * * <Controls> Just before you starting shooting, we should go over the most basics--how to use it. Analog: Jogging (you can jog while charging the bow) -however, you will stand still when your puts the arrows to the bow R + Analog: Running (weapon sheathed) Triangle: Unshethe weapon / Fire arrows (hold down to charge, release to shoot) -if you push or hold the Triangle while jogging or running, you'll automatically start charging/shooting R Button: Aim when weapon is unsheathed -You will see a line changing colour (between red and yellow, presumably to add contrast against the background). It follows the path of the top arrow of rapid charge. X Button: Crawl (standing still, weapon sheathed) / Back step (weapon unsheathed, without using the analog) / Roll (while moving, weapon sheathed or not) Square: Use items (weapon sheathed) / Same as X (weapon unsheathed) O Button: Melee attack Analog + Triangle + O: Melee attack when weapon is sheathed D-Pad: Camera / Change direction of bow (when R is hold down with bow unsheathed, charging or not) L Button: Move camera to default (to the direction your character is facing) Triangle + O: Equip coatings when weapon is unsheathed and a coating is chosen (coating is selected, but is shown in white) L + D-Pad Up or Down: Coating selection / Unequip coating (if one is equipped) <Camera types> Unlike melee fighters, the camera may or may not switch when you aim with the weapon. So let's take a look at the cameras available. Type 1 (Default): The camera switchs from bird's eye view to viewing from behind your character when then R button is hold down. The character is still seen, andstands on the left side of the screen. Type 2 (Dos' default): The camera dow not move when you aim. So in other words, you're aiming just like the old school 3rd person game. Type 3: This one can be a little awkward. While it acts just like Type 1 when you aim, but the camera will move (not swift) back to default bird's eye view. So if you're the type who tend to tilt the camera at the beginning of the quest just like most people do, you should avoid this at all costs! <Charging the Bow> Charge! Charge!! Charge!!! The very first key of using a bow is to charge it! It is the first thing you should do if you plan to kill anything. An average bow will come with three charge levels, although exceptions exist. Here are the multipliers based on charge levels. Note that charge level multipliers apply to ALL shot types and shot levels, and would be the most basic guide of how much damage is done. Charge 1 (no charge time, just draw and release): -Raw: 0.4 -Element: 0.7 (Boldrin's guide says lower, and other guides say differently... However, I have no means to vertify this) -Poison: 0.5 -Other status: 0.5 Charge 2 (one charge flash): -Raw: 1.0 -Element: 0.85 (same suspicion as above) -Poison: 1.0 -Other status: 1.0 Charge 3 (2 flashes, the final charge level most bow innately have): -Raw: 1.5 -Element: 1.0 -Poison: 1.5 -Other status:1.3 Charge 4 (3 flashes, most bows require armor skill Capacity Up to unlock this): -Raw: 1.7 -Element: 1.125 -Poison: 1.5 -Other status: 1.3 As you can see, charge 3 is superior to level 2 in terms of raw damage by increasing 50% of damage simply by charging a fraction of a second more. Charge 3 is superior to charge 4 in terms of elemental output because of too little percentage of increase between the charges that does not justify the extra charge time. In the case if the charge 3 is pierce or scatter at level 3 or above and the charge 4 is rapid, the charge 3 will actually do more elemental damage! * * * <Weapon Range Multiplier> Able to manage it all the time is the key to maximize damage output in the raw damage department. Lucky for those who own FU, visual effects are only added in this instalment. There are 4 different range multipliers. Here's a picture to roughly represent it. I'll use pierce shot as the model as it's easier to follow (for other shot types, everything's just shorter). The following is just a rough visual representation, but only an estimate: H o o o o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 o o o o X X x x x x x (bow disappears) H = Hunter o = 1.0X Happens if you're way too close or a little too far from optimal range/spot. Razor coatings will make close range's multiplier to 1.3. You will see mid- sized blast and some good smashing sound. 0 = 1.5X You're at good range and optimal damage is done. You will see large blasts and impressive smashing sound. X = 0.8X You're just a little too far but the arrows still got on the monster somehow. Very small light spot seen when hit. x = 0.5X You're way, way too far. Arrows bounce off the monster. * * * < Shot Types > The other property of the bow you should pay attention to. Each bow has different combination of shot types at different charge levels so choose the bow depending on what shot types charges 2 and 3, or even 4 fire (the charge level you can ignore should only be charge 1). The basic (and therefore would be used most) shot type is rapid, which is a mid-ranged, multi-arrows that hit at the very same spot. The other very commonly used shot type is pierce, a single arrow that hit the monster a couple times. The very last shot type is scatter, with couple arrows spreading into a fan-shaped patten, that you may avoid using it in the entire life--unless you know its potential. Please beware that ranges are only estimates. Use your judgment to determine whether it is in optimal range or not. Now, let's look at the specifics of each shot type. 1. Rapid This is the most basic shot type, and therefore it is wise to get used to the bow with such bows. It is capable to kill most small to medium-sized monsters unless under certain circumstances. Type of arrows: Multiple arrows hitting the same spot, arrows may spread a little sideways as they travel. It elevates a little while released and will fly lower over range. Optimum range: Approximately 3 hops or 1.5 roll. Optimum spot: Approximately half a hop (or 1 step). Level 1: # of shots - 1 Damage output - 0.12 Status points - 13 Level 2: # of shots - 2 damage output - 0.12 + 0.4 (top to bottom, will be same for other levels) Status points - 7 X 2 arrows Level 3: # of shots - 3 damage output - 0.12 + 0.4 + 0.3 Status points - 5 X 3 arrows Level 4: # of shots - 4 damage output - 0.12 + 0.4 + 0.3 + 0.2 Status points - 4 X 4 arrows Level 5: # of shots - 4 damage output - 0.12 + 0.4 + 0.3 + 0.3 Status points - 4 X 4 arrows Other than having the extra 1% of damage, rapid 4 and 5's main difference israpid 5's arrows are less likely to weave than level 4's (thanks hunter nya for this info). Advanced archer's note: The top arrows would have better optimum range, while the bottom arrow suffers from out of optimum range a little earlier (also it has tendency of missing aim and land to a lower hitzone which ALWAYS further), therefore it's a little safe to shoot just a step closer and aim *slightly* higher). Or put it the other way, its optimum spot is at the peak of its track. 2. Pierce This is the other commonly used shot type... this one just mostly focuses on huge or long monsters, or monsters having concealed weakpoints (they tend to be very huge anyway). They are also excellent in terms of elemental damage output for monsters weak against an element all over their body because you get more hits focused on a single track. This is the only shot type with level being an indicator of range. Type of arrow: a single arrow that hits a monster a couple times. Its flies a little higher than rapid over range. Optimum range: Level 3 - between approximately 1.5 rolls to 2.5 rolls Level 4 - between approximately 1.75 rolls to 3.5 rolls Level 5 - between approximately 1.75 rolls to 5 rolls Optimum Spot: It's basically the entire optimum range. Level 1: # of hits: 3 Damage output - 0.6 X 3 Status points - 5 X 3 hits Level 2: # of hits: 4 Damage output - 0.6 X 4 Status points - 4 X 4 hits Level 3-5: # of hits: 5 Damage output - 0.6 X 5 Status points - 4 X 5 hits Right... The above DOES say pierce levels 3, 4, and 5 all have the very same damage output. So what is the difference? Range--with charge 3 with less overall and optimum range (optimum range barely goes over a king size Plesioth), with charge 5 with longest range (you can shoot full powered arrows at Lao's back from Area 1, with ease). Advanced archer's note: Charge 3 enters optimum range around half a hop closer than pierce 4 and a little more closer than pierce 5. In other words, pierce 3 is actually better for engaging a monster, while pierce 5 is the best if you need to snipe. 3. Scatter Okay... Unlike bowgun's pellet shot that would home to monsters' weakpoints, your arrows actually do spread, and therefore it is very difficult to hit a monster's weakpoint if it is too small (or getting all hits on a small monster). Also, its distinctive pathway and advanced range arrangement makes it only suggested for advanced archers. However, once you master it, it is very deadly if you have Scatter Up skill. Type of arrows: 3 or 5 arrows spread horizontally in a fan shape. Ascends sooner and much higher than other shot types. However, the peak of the track might not be optimal spot. Optimal range: Around 1 roll. Optimal spot: Just half a hop. Level 1: # of hits: 3 Damage output: 0.4 + 0.5 + 0.4 (from left to right, with the middle arrow the most powerful) Status points: 5X3 arrows Level 2: # of hits: 3 Damage output: 0.5 + 0.5 + 0.5 Status points: 6 X 3 arrows Level 3: # of hits: 5 Damage putput: 0.4 + 0.5 + 0.5 + 0.5 + 0.4 Status points: 4 X 5 arrows Level 4: # of hits: 5 Damage output: 0.4 + 0.5 + 0.6 + 0.5 + 0.4 Status points: 4 X 5 arrows Level 5: # of hits: 5 Damage output: 0.5 + 0.5 + 0.6 + 0.5 + 0.5 Status points: 4 X 5 arrows Beginner archer's note: Unlike the other 2 shot types, the key of success of using it is to AVOID aiming just at the weakpoint, but instead go for landing as many arrows as possible. So... basically using the scatter proficiently already is really really hard... So unless you need the element of the bow for destruction (namely Blangonga's fangs before you get your hands on Courageous Hope, which is from high rank Teo), you can stick to your old rapid and pierce and kill everything unless you're ambitious for TA. * * * < Melee Attack > Alright, alright... Everyone knows you shoot with the bow, but the melee attack is still there for a reason... Both hits of the combo are slash attacks by the way. First slash: Raw: 0.1 Status points: 2 Second slash: Raw: 0.24 Status points: 2 That's it. Basically a simple X-shaped 2-hit combo. They are considered "green sharpness" in terms of determining bouncing. They will promote to "blue sharpness" if you have equipped with razor coatings. Uses of the melee attack: -OBVIOUSLY its capabilities of cutting a tail. However, it is completely useless if the monster is holding the tail high up in the air. However, if you are stuck with a bunch of blade-wielding hunters that never reach for the tail, perhaps you can take care of the dirty job... -I have done it before (in that particular incident, I was teamed with 3 hunters, the first one was a bowgunner, the second one used a para SnS and the third hunter used a LS doing the same quest a couple times, with me being the main tail cutter all along. In the "worst" run, the very first hit done by the LS hunter snapped the tail, along with only 1 power coating consumed in the entire quest... the best part was the melee team was oblivious to how to cut Elder Dragons' tails...). -Killing small monsters if you're not using a rapid bow, or the small monster is too strong against shot damage. The best example of both situations present is killing small crabs (resistant to shot damage) while your main target is Gravios (normally you would bring a pierce bow). If you know you'll encounter this, it's best to keep a single power coating left over just to deal with them. -Application of paint coatings. The fact that melee attacks will not consume coatings can make your only paint coating unlimited paintballs. Of course, you will have to get personal with the monster. However, this fact can also allow you to put more damage to a tail if you just save that one coating. Just read the above case. How NOT to use the melee attack: -Applying status coatings. Yes, you won't consume coatings that is, but you only get 2 points per hit along with accumulated status point drop rate of 5 points/10 seconds to 10 points/5 sec while a melee attack takes just a little than 2 seconds to execute (plus you will need to jog to a monter)... It is literally impossible to poison/sleep/para anything just by yourself that has decent resistance or moving all over the place... -Of course, if other team members are also pumping the very same status toward the monster, that would be another story. * * * < Coatings > In order to use a bow efficiently, you'll have to get your hands on them... especially you're killing monsters in a long quest. So there are the different coatings available. 1. Power Coatings -Usage: increase raw damage of the bow by 50% (will NOT work for elemental damage if said bow has element) -Cost: 32z each (1600z for 50) -Maximum amount you can carry: 50 -Mix receipe: empty bottle + nitroshroom for 1~2 power coatings (Note: you can carry 20 nitroshroom in your pocket) These will be the basic coatings you should be bringing if you're against hard monsters, especially if you're using a raw bow. Basic for high and G rank quests, so at least buy 50 each time! Beginner archer's note: Okay, while power coatings are good for everything, they are in fact way too expensive if you have just begun your hunter's life... So save your zennies to make better equipment first and it will serve you in the long run, just like melee hunters. 2. Poison Coatings -Usage: poison monster and decrease their HP gradually (please refer to other faqs or sources for poison damage), or negate monster's special effects (Kushala's wind barrior, Teoster/Lunaster's fire aura, and Chameleos'sinvisibility) -Cost: 17z each (340z for 20) -Maximum amount you can carry: 20 -Mix recipe: empty bottle + toadstool for 1~2 coatings (you can carry 10 toadstool max) These can help you damage monster if you run out of power coatings. Some monsters can suffer significant HP loss while some monsters receive negligible damage. Please refer monster guides for poison damage. However, gigantic monsters (really huge and no size difference) will not suffer from any status aliments, so watch out. Last but not least, monster's tolerance of status ailments builds up over time (check monster info as well). Also, the bow's element will be replaced by status coatings' effect if equipped. 3. Paralyze Coatings -Usage: immobilize monster for a certain period of time -Cost: 26z each (520z for 20) -Maximum amount you can carry: 20 -Mix recipe: empty bottle + parashroom for 1~2 coatings (you can carry 10 parashroom max) These sound great, but they are quite useless if you're soloing... It might give you a chance to plant a bomb, lay a trap, maybe slash the tail for a few times... but that's it. These should really be used if you accompanying a heavy damage team, then para coatings will shine (but then you'll out competed if there's a para SnS user or bowgunner who can use para shots in your team, so...) Application caution is just the same as any other status coatings. 4. Sleep Coatings -Usage: put monsters to sleep -Cost: 17z (340z for 20) -Maximum amount you can carry: 20 -Mix recipe: empty + sleep herbs for 1~2 coatings (you can carry 10 sleep herbs max) Okay, so both paralysis and sleep make monster vulnerable, so what's the difference? Monsters take 3 times the damage for the "wake up call attack". It is particularly useful if you're using sleep bombing tactic (solo or not), or if you have a heavy hitting member (best be GS user). Abuse the 3X attack, and the monster will be bought down much quicker. A very famous arching-bomber has developed his own set of sleep bombing set and can clear literally all quests featuring monsters that can be put to sleep. So who's the hunter and what's his equipment? You go figure out yourself~ 5. Razor Coatings -Usage: increase melee attack's power (and upgrades "green sharpness" to "blue sharpness" for bouncing), and changes the close range shooting's range multiplier from 1.0X to 1.3X (you see big blasts when shooting close up). However, useless once you're at the bow's actual optimum range or further. -Cost: 27z (540z for 20) -Maximum amount you can carry: 20 -Mix recipe: Empty Bottles + Knife Mackrel for 1~2 coatings (you can carry 20 of them) A new coating introduced in P2ndG/FU. Unfortunately it does not serve an actual purpose other than just being around, probably exist just for the sake for new players who can't handle range multipliers (I only use them while attacking the cracks on Jhen Mohren's back close up in P3rd...). As for melee attack? How about sticking to the old good power coatings? Yes, in other words, this is something you will never need to touch in your entire life. 6. Paint Coatings -Usage: painting monsters, obviously -Cost: you can't buy them -Maximum amount you can carry: 99 (just like paintballs) -Mix recipe: empty bottles + paintberry for 1~2 coatings (once again much like paintballs) Another useless coating. Okay, you can shoot it really far to paint a monster, but don't forget about the time you use to equip it (although Auto-reload cease the motion for coating application, but you shouldn't even have Auto-reload for bows in the very first place). Well, you can melee the coating on and cost you nothing, but still... Honestly, just stick to your plain old paintballs. If you worry about running out, just plant paintberries in Pokke Farm. * * * < Bow-Related Skills > So with the right equipment you will kill things faster. Now pair them up with complementary skills, and things will move even much smoother! For the purpose of the guide, it will only cover skills appliable to gunners. [Category I: Attack Skills] a) Rapid Shot Up Increase rapid arrow attack by 10%. Will activate on rapid charges regardless of charge level. This will be your major damage boost especially on G rank bows. b) Pierce Shot Up Increase pierce arrow attack by 10%. Same as above. c) Scatter Shot Up Increase scatter arrow attack by 30%. Works for all scatter charges. Armors and accessories counters focus (minus fastcharge points), so you won't pair this up with focus until very late at the game. d) Capacity Up Opens hidden charge level. Works on every single bow except for those having innate 4th charge. e) Straight and True Basically Rapid Up + Pierce Up + Scatter Up. Sounds great, but consider you need full White Fatalis Z (or abuse Torso Inc armors) and you won't have enough slots to fill a 10-slot skill (so no focus), it is rather useless. If you want to make the armor for whatever reason, make the Blademaster version instead. [Support Skills] a) Focus Decreases charge time by 1/3. However, there are other uses, the major one is stamina management, and increase productivity of elemental bows (10% of elemental damage boost won't outdo more hits over time). While it is a great skill, but you should determine whether you qualify to this skill yet or not. Overcharging will render this skill useless. Before you using focus, practice shooting arrows as soon as you reach your desired charge level (starting from 3, then 2 if you need said charge). If you can do it consistantly, it's time to include this skill. b) Runner Decreases stamina drainage by 1/3. c) Power/Poison/Paralysis/Sleep/Razor Coating Add Enables a bow to use a specific coating otherwise cannot equip without the skill. But honestly, stick to the bows that can use the said coatings unless you really need it (like adding poison to Wing Bow or adding sleep to Wolf Bow, as both bows already have increased effect of the original status coating they use, then it would make sense). d) Reload Speed+/- (3 levels each) Speeds up or slows down the action of coating application. Higher level makes it faster/slower. Quite useless for archers. I have posted a comment in the past regarding this about bowgunners vs. archers in terms of the usefulness of reload skills... -My point was bowgunners need to reload all the time, while archers only need to apply coatings a few times in the entire quest. Yes, so why bother if you are sticking to the bow? e) Auto-Reload Coating is automatically equipped just by selecting it. Totally useless for archers for the same reasons above. Pick other skills instead f) Ammo Deviation Up/Down Affects how well arrows stay on track over range. Mostly affects rapid bows. This is another useless skill as arrows begin to really lose track after the optimal spot. So just keep your distance and you should be fine, or stick to a bow that shoots rapid 5 instead. g) Bullet Limit Ensures maximum numbers of coatings turn up in each mix. Applies to all coatings you use, very useful if you're doing a long quest if you do not have the best setups yet. * * * < Stamina Management > Since you need to charge the bow, and charging the bow requires stamina, so you must learn how to use your stamina efficiently in order to success using a bow. Basically, the stamina bar drains a lot when you use a bow--as you run, charge, roll or back hop... You just gotta watch yourself! Since it is impossible to tell hunters what to do exactly and sometimes situation calls, these are just tips and guidelines to help you reserving your stamina, not exactly a Bible. Things you can do to reserve your stamina: -Keep your eyes on the stamina bar at ALL times. Forget about how TA videos try to hide the health and stamina bars (not to mention they ALWAYS use mega juices, so stamina management is not their concern), it is YOU that see the bars for yourself, so who cares? -Bring stamina recovery items. It does not mean you need to bring Power/Mega Juices at all times. What it means is it is a good idea to keep your stamina at 150 most of the time. -Avoid overcharging the bow. It will only drain your stamina until you have no more strength to hold it longer. Practice so you can shoot your arrows and hit somewhere once you reach charge 3 consistently. -Try not to run away from large monster for too long. The only purpose of panic running is so that you can perform superdive. You can save the running (R button) for the last second until you need to dive. -Use Focus armor skill. Less charge time = less stamina used in the process, it's that simple. Just make sure you are don't overcharge without it before moving on using focus. -Release arrows or roll away ASAP if you find you are still charging the bow but not going to shoot anything. Normally you can just release the arrows, but rolling can save whatever coatings you have equipped. Things to avoid: -Bring power/mega juices at ALL quests. While it is totally understandable for specific quests (such as soloing Gaoren urgent at the Town), but all quests? You need them for dromes and Yian Kut-Ku? That's a really long way to go... -Using runner skill, enough said. Using it means you will never learn it. -Moving your character around with rolling. Since you got all the mobility you need, so why bother? * * * "Powerful charge attacks and tons of variation in flight types, not to mention a distinctive attack style and crafting process. It is no wonder Bows are such a mysterically revered weapon. Don't you want to rise to the challenge yourself?" ~Tools of the Trade - Ranged Weapons (Bow)~ Hopefully you get the hang on the different charge types and understand what to choose depends on what you need. * * * <Regarding to Damage Calculation > Although damage calculation is a critical skill in order to find out whether particular weapon and armor skills works with a monster or not, but since this guide is about learning to use a bow in the practical sense, please refer to Boldrin's Bow Damage Guide for details, as he has covered the topic extensively. =============================================================================== Section 5: ~Skills and Equipment Selection~ =============================================================================== There are two facts that will disappoint fans: the best bow sets will almost always involve Rajang parts, especially if you want focus, therefore impossible to obtain unless you're at HR9 (unless you got helpers or cheat), and all the best bow sets are mixed sets. The only two good full sets are Puppet Master Shin for raw rapid bows and Silver Sol Z for pierce bows. Sorry to fashion divas! Fortunately, bow is Rajang's bane, so it should not be too bad. < Part I: Armor Sets> While some of the armor sets have each armor posted, however, some of them will only have skills posted because too many combinations are available. Please download program "Athena's A.S.S. (Armor Set Search)" to find out what's suitable for you. [Low Rank] Okay, not impressive at this level... Your main focus would be getting either one of these: -Rapid/Scatter/Pierce up -Attack Up (mostly small to medium, for low rank, they are major damage boost) -Elemental Attack Up So basic, any combination of the 2 of them will last you the entire rank. No special setup necessary. Good early armor sets (copied and pasted from my previous post on Gamefaqs, easy-to-farm versions are posted): Rapid - Battle Cap, Hunter, Battle, Hunter, Battle will give you rapid up and AUS -for low rank, it's probably the best supplement attack skill you can get, and stick to Tiger Bow as soon as you get it - the upgraded low rank version is good enough for high rank. This armor set is the earliest decent bow set you can get in very early of the game, and you won't even need to farm. Get this as soon as you can (but the bow comes in some time later). Pierce - full ceanataur, or Cean cap, Rathalos, Rathalos, Rathalos and Cean legs to add AUS Scatter - Ioprey Cap, Genprey, any 2-slot armor, Rathalos, Rathalos would give you pellet up and AUS Element - Kut-Ku Helm D, Kut-Ku D, Rathalos, Kut-Ku D, Kut-Ku D gives EAU and AUM Anything focus - you won't really need it until G rank unless you're bow only, strictly for Lao and Gaoren (especially latter in Town, and you'll STILL need adrenaline+2 or heroics). Instead of wasting time to farm Kushalas at low rank, just move on to high rank. [High Rank] Not much of a difference than in low rank, however, containing 2 of the above suggested skills is now a must for this rank. Top it up with Reckless Abandon to spice things up. Good high rank skills combinations (no weapon slots needed): 1. Rapid Up + AUL or Rapid Up + Focus 2. Focus + Pierces Up + AUS (requires Kushala Snarl S) or upgrade to AUM with a 2-slot bow -note: focus will benefit elemental bow's output because the attributes aren't that high yet 3. Scatter Up + AUL 4. Rapid Up + EAU + RA+1 (upgrades to RA+2 with a 2-slot bow) [G rank] Alrighty... Now you're up there at G rank... It is when you should get serious about getting something decent. You won't get anything impressive at this point yet, but you should be able to get something that would last you until the highest Hunter Rank. [HR7] The good old high rank sets are good enough for here... Just don't die. [HR8] Not much going on either... You may swipe your fragile armor into G rank armor, or upgrade one skill or two of what you already have... However, there is one strategy to overcome bad armor skills selection, and that's... ~Sleep Bombing~ This is it! If your bow lacks power? Just use the good old bombs. The trick is to abuse the 3X attack multiplier for the attack that wakes up the monster. Basically, you use sleep coating to put the monster the sleep, place LBB+ beside them, then detonate the bombs by shooting the bombs (or whatever method you like, but the arrows are the most economic). Then rinse and repeat. Please keep in mind that even if you place 2 bombs at the same spot, only one of them will counted for the 3X multiplier. As for the armor sets, please refer to specialized armor sets below. [HR9] Yup. As mentioned above, you NEED to be HR9 to get the best armor sets... sometimes it's only because of the gems!! Anyway, this is when mixing armors get the most fun~ ~Rapid~ Even at the highest rank, you'll still need to select your shot type. You can't escape this fate if you choose to be an archer. As usual, rapid is your basic shot type and will be covered first. 1. Full Pupper Master Shin Skills: Focus, Rapid Up, Stealth, Dragon Defense+5, any 10-point skills (and the negative skill that comes with the gems, if you have a slot in the bow, you can neutralize it by putting the counter gem in the bow) This is probably the first rapid set you should be getting. You might thought "just Rajang huh? It's not that hard!" as bow is Rajang's bane. But unfortunately, all the dark looking pieces require G rank Kushala scales. So if you're doing solo, you'll have to kill the HR8 Lao Shan Lung first (meaning you'll also need to clear all G*1 and G*2 epic quests). 2. Barrage Piercings + Puppet Master Shin + Malkuva Z Skills: Capacity Up, Focus, Rapid Up, Item Usage Increase Setup (no weapon slot needed): Barrage Piercing Puppet Master Shin (StrongShot jewelX2) Makluva Z (RapidCharge jewel) Puppet Master Shin (StrongShot jewelX2) Makluva Z (StrongShot+) Okay guy, so look at this one... You get capacity up with it!! The only catch? You'll need to do some fishing along with getting Barrage Piercing, which is done by completing all 50 battle trainings (5 weapons per 10 monsters). But don't worry, these trainings are all about basic tactics. Just observe how others kill monsters with these other weapons, practice, and you should be able to get it. Best paired with bows with rapid in both charges 3 and 4 (Exterminator Bow and Courageous Hope series), a MUST for Akantor Bow! 3. Pre-Exterminator Bow II Rapid Armor Set Skills: Focus, Rapid Up, Attack Up Medium (no slot needed) Ideal Bow: Wolf Bow This is designed for those who have reached far enough, yet doesn't have enough luck for the Big Elder Dragon Jewel for the Exterminator Bow II (the first BEDJ should be spent on Akantor Chaos Bow so you can kill Elder Dragons more effectively). Its Poison Coating Add will make poisoning monsters easier. ~Pierce~ Pierce bows are really useful for those monsters that are very large or long, or have concealed weakpoints. But for pierce bows, you only need *one* skills combination, elemental bow or not. Skills: Focus, Pierce Up, Attack Up Large That's it. This is your almighty pierce bow set as long as your bow is reasonably strong enough. Elemental bows with pierce at charge 3 will be benefited more by these skills. The downside? You'll need to farm Rathalos Heavenlies for at least 3 Silver Sol Z armors for this to work. The best versions go like this (so you can use some of these armors for other armor sets). Just look at how the armors are shared together... 0-slot version: 1-slot version (can't be searached with Athena's A.S.S.): No weapon slot needed 1-slot bow (Pierce jewel) Kushala Snarl S (ShortChargeX2) Golden Hair Tie Shin (ShortChargeX2) Silver Sol Vest Z (Pierce jewelX2) Silver Sol Guards Z (Pierce jewelX2) Silver Sol Coat Z (RapidCharge jewel) Diablo Leggings X (1 Attack, 1 Pierce) Diablo Leggings X (Fierce jewel) Difference between them would be defense. The combination with Golden Shin plus Armorcharm+Talon will push the defense to 400! Nothing will get in your way with this armor! ~Scatter~ For scatter, you will probably need more hunting skills than armor skills. Regardless, there are 2 very useful setups for scatter bows. 1. Heavy Attack Scatter Set Skills: Focus, Scatter Up, Atack Up Small or Reckless Abandon+1 The only scatter bow set that contains speed and power. Choose between AUS or RA+1 depending on your affinity luck. 2. High Grade Earplugs Scatter Set Skills: HGE, Scatter Up, Evade+1 This is mazereon's anti-Diablos pellet LBG set, also exclusively used against Diablos. [Specialized Armor Sets] These armor sets are specially tailored for specific monster, but they are also very effective against them. Some of them have only one combination. Let's look at them. 1. Anti-Fatalis Bow Set Setup: Barrage Piercings Lava X (RapidCharge Jewel) Hermitaur Z (fill slots Bombardier Jewels) Lava X (fill slots with Bombardier Jewels) Torso Inc Skills: Capacity Up, Focus, Guts, Bomber This is the only setup that requires no weapon slot. It is designed to pair with Akantor Bow and Dragon Bow Earth series. Especially tailored for Crimson and White Fatalis' Armor Mode and prevent random one shots. Beware Crimson is far more dangerous because the heat will kill you if cool drink's effect is gone right after Guts skill's activation. Available only at HR9. 2. Dragonhead Harp Set i) Guts version (3-slot elemental bow needed... wait, that's DHH!!) Skills: Capacity Up, Focus, EAU, Guts (as mentioned above, 3-slot bow needed, making this set exclusively designed for this bow. ii) Evade version Skills: Capacity Up, Focus, EAU, Evade+1 (possible with a 2-slot bow) This set is targeted toward weter-weak monsters, especially Black Gravios. It is capable to kill the full HP version in rough 16 minutes with only 50 power coatings and felyne meal. Choosing between Guts and Evade+1 depends on how well you can roll roars with Evade. You'll need Barrage Piercings though. Both available only at HR9 (and so does Gravios). 3. Sleep Bombing Sets Choice of bow: Wing Bow IV, as the armor sets are only available at HR8, and this bow's final upgrade is at the same rank, making them the perfect match. They will help you to clear all G rank Epic Quests. i) Offense-oriented Skills: Bomber, Rapid Up, Bullet Limit, AUM It's what it's said on the tin... An armor set built based on Rathalos X armor that contains Bomber for the big punch, Rapid Up and Attack Up for raw damage output, plus more coatings to push more sleeps and power coatings. You can upgrade Attack Up Medium to Large, but you'll need a Rathalos Heavenly Scale for the Cap (you'd better save it for Silver Sol Z armor). ii) HGE version Skills: Bomber, AUM, HGE Still paired with Wing Bow. However you lose most of your offensive skills for trading into HGE. You get the most benefited only against Diablos. 3. Anti-Elder Dragon Survival Set Bow: Akantor Chaos Bow (as this is the only dragon bow that has both rapid charge and a weapon slot; if you really don't get luck on the jewels, the high rank version still does okay job) Skills: Capacity, Focus, Evade+1, Guts Given the nature of general Elder Dragon battle (they flee after certain amountof damage is done on them), that means you do not need to maximize damage output, but instead to survive the battle. Specifically designed for HR9 Elder Dragons, you will still be able to kill one in 2 quests (only those who are very skilled can kill one in a single quest, regardless of weapon type). 4. Extreme Defensive Set Skills: Focus, Evade+2, Evade Dist Up The ultimate evade set. But since it is heavily based on evasion, you may want to avoid using it for quests full of durable monsters. <Part 2: Bow Selection> Just like armor, you do not need to make every single bow in the game to get to the end. In fact, it is *wise* to avoid crafting some of them to save you zennies, materials, and the frustration (and probably regret) after you created it... [Low Rank] <Bows you should get> a) Hunter's Bow More like "bow you already have". You start off with this. There is no denying you will stick to it for a little while before you make better bows. b) Kut-Ku Bow Your fire bow of the rank. If you're not comfortable bow for using scatter at this point, use it only against Blangonga for breaking his fangs. c) Blango Bow and Sonic Bow Your ice and thunder (respectively) rapid bows for the rank. Their raw powers are as good as Hunter's Bow, and you can just skip your crappy bow as soon as you get sufficient upgrades. d) Daimyo Warbow Unlike the other elemental bow, this one is pierce. It is your major anti- Gravios family bow. e) Dragon Bow Halo This is the pierce bow of the rank (especially if you get it early). Your firstElder Dragon bow (although you won't be fighting the said Elder Dragon until MUCH later and this bow is just made of scrapes of materials grown on it). It is the ealiest useful one you can craft at low rank, and will turn Plessy into sashimi. The catch is you'll need to send Trenya for Dragonwood by giving him Pokke points... f) Dragon Bow Earth Probably the second Elder Dragon bow you'll get. Maybe or maybe not your first dragon bow. Scatter is a little weird for new archers, but it's here. Its true beauty will shine after both it and you grow to the fullest. e) Prominence Bow Finally a even more decent pierce bow. g) Tiger Bow Don't let the -30% affinity deceived you. It is in fact he best raw rapid bow you can get for the rank. Keep upgrade it and it can guide you through high rank. Enough said. <Bows that are okay to craft> a) Blue Blade Bow A raw pierce bow. It actually has higher raw than the others bows (including future upgrades). You just don't really need it and it requires farmingShogun Ceanateurs (the task is a pain in the ass for archers because it is essentally bullet resistent). b) Black Bow I Dragon pierce bow. Useful element, but bow of its raw and elemental attribute are scale lower than than any other bows of the same rank. Not exactly costly to craft whatsoever (you only need some Elder Dragon Bones for its materials). However, upgrading it to BB II is costly (needs an Elder Dragon Blood). One of its final upgrade is one of the best raw rapid bow in the world. However, the cost of crafting the said bow in high rank form is actually less expensive than upgrading it form there, so YMMV... <Bows to avoid> a) Wild Bow (made from Conga materials because the lack of power coatings and low potential in future upgrades). b) Tuna Bow (scatter bow with paralyze add, avoid this purely because of poor upgrade path. Better save your tunas for the G version) * * * [High Rank] <Bow you should get> a) Just upgrade almost everything you already have in low rank. That refers to Kut-Ku Bow, Blango Fur Bow (later Abominable Bow), Sonic Bow, Daimyo Warbow, Dragon Bow Halo (later DB Solar), Prominence Bow (your anti-Lao and Gaoren bow). b) Tigrex Whisker (yes, I NEED to specify this) It is in fact the upgrade of Tigrex Bow at high rank. It is specifically mentioned because of the other upgrade path into Hidden Bow is the one you need to avoid. Scroll down and see why. This bow is enough to guide you for early G rank until you get much better bows (sadly, this is the last upgrade you'll needly for this bow). c) Courageous Hope Probably your third Elder Dragon Bow you can get. In fact, it is very easy to craft and there is no reason why you shouldn't include it in your collection. Although its elemental department is so crappy, but from the point of you getting our hands on it, it will become your MAJOR anti-Blangonga bow. Use it against him and amusement ensures. Sidenote: you guys are lucky. This bow is always scatter across the MH universe except the portable series. Yes, Kut-Ku Stave is also scatter all over the place. Sure Capcom hates fire bows *that* much. d) Wing Bow That's it!! Your ultimate sleep bow. Although its raw is a bit low, but its true beauty is its capability of letting you doing more sleep bombings than any other bow. e) Akantor Bow Another bow you should really get. Okay, it's been toned down seriously from Freedom 2, but doesn't mean it has lots its purpose. In fact it is still your most useful dragon rapid bow. You'll just need armor skill Capacity Up to unlock its full potential. <Bows that are okay to craft> a) Exterminator Bow I Yup, it is just one upgrade before THE rapid bow. Believe or not, you won't need its high rank version. It would just sit there until that final upgrade.So if you don't want to make it at high rank, you don't need to. <Bow you should avoid> Hidden Bow Just the exact opposite of Tigrex Whisker, you get 50% affinity with this, and you can use all types of coatings. However, its damage output is so low and because actual damage done by this bow is laughable comparing to them once you do your math, don't waste time for this and just make the high rank update for Tigrex Bow II into Tigrex Whisker instead. AVOID IT AT ALL COSTS!! * * * [G rank] a) Exterminator Bow II This is it! This is your ultimate raw rapid bow. Who cares if you can't use status coatings? Get Capacity Up to unlock its full potential. b) Wolf Bow The unlucky hunter's ultimate raw rapid bow. Has poison add. c) Gale Horn Bow/Diablos Kings Bow The ultimate raw pierce bow for the final upgrade. Yes, it can't use anything other than power coatings, but once again, who cares? d) Akantor Chaos Bow Another one that needs to be specified. Has rapid at charge 3, it makes the best standard anti-Elder Dragon bow. Make sure you spend your VERY FIRST Ukanlos Stone on it!! e) Purple Emperor Your one and only water rapid bow. In fact, it is just the final (and awesome) upgrade of Daimyo Warbow. Gravios family, Red Khezu and Rathalos will cry in front of it. f) Dia Sorute Arrow (if anyone can translate it accurately, please let me know) THE fire pierce bow is right there! ...except you'll need 4 Dengeki 2G Tickets. So what do you do? Play via Ad-Hoc Party or Xlink Kai with people who have P2ndG to get this ticket. You won't even need to deal with the Devil Diablos for the tickets, just the Khezu + Kirin event epic quest. <Bows that are okay to craft> a) Sonic Bow IV Yup. The final upgrade is simply subpar to those of other elements. Too bad it is also true for its G weapon counterpart... b) Khezu Bow I first thought this bow is quite powerful, but turns out I was wrong. Yes, it has high elemental attribute and I can kill a G rank Gold Rathian in under 20 minutes, but so what? The unfortuate fact that its charge 3 is at scatter means it's going to be overshadowed by Dragon Bow Chaos. Also, final upgrade can be annoying for some people (requires Garuga Silver Pelts). c) Rajang Bow Okay, so you think a bow made out of the infamous Saiyan is great? Turns out it's not. Its poor raw and no-so-great elemental attribute (only better than Couragous Hope) means its performance is going to be subpar. Although its 3rd and 4th charge are rapid and pierce respectively, but that can be replaced by Ancient Dragonwood Bow (the shot types of those charge levels are just the opposite). If you have spare Rajang materials, by all means craft it. But if you're dedicated in armor set creation, you'll find yourself making more Rajang armors than you think. d) Ukanlos Bow This bow is... let's say overshadowed by awesome (Exterminator Bow II). This is when negative affinity burdens a weapon (384 with 30% affinity vs. 432 with-40% affinity). It can only beat Exterminator Bow II's charge 4 only if is accompanied with AUM and the monster it's dealing is weak to ice... Of course, you don't need the Barrage Piercing for its charge 4... It's just that only its charge 4 (borderline charge 2 because it's also rapid) is useful... And yet you need to use an Ukanlos stone... <Bow you should avoid> Glorious Victory II 2 reasons why you should avoid this even it is rapid at charge 3 andhas high dragon attribute. -It can't use power coatings. -The levels of its rapid charges are too low (level 2 for charge 3 = 2 arrows; level 3 for charge 4 = 3 arrows), therefore its actual elemental output isn't that high. Use 50 power coatings with the other 2 dragon bows, and both of them will outdo this one. Do you want to spend 3 BEDJs on a crappy bow, or 2 on TWO much useful bows? You decide. -The third one can be spent for Daora's Sagittarii. It's still going to be more productive than Glorious Victort II. [Post Uka] a) Black Bow G Finally, the dragon pierce bow comes back just as strong as any other elemental bows of the same rank. In fact, its low cost (Commendation S + Big Wyvern Stones + Black Pieces + Pokke Tickets??) already justifies its production. b) Diablos Horn Bow G If you don't have any luck to farm Stout Black Diablos Horns (but you get the other), this is your luck day! With only 10% less affinity and 10 less points of defense increase than the regular G rank version you can craft one of the most powerful pierce bow (at charge 3). The game is generous by giving you the weapon slot just like the same coloured weaker version, making skills mixing a bit easier (check out the 1-slot version G rank pierce set to maximize its potential). c) Daimyo Warbow G Your answer for an ideal anti-Black Gravios if you're afraid to get personal and can't stand 4th charge or can't get Barrage or White Fatalis armor. This one has weaker element than Dragonhead Harp III, but you can shoot pierce at charge 3 to balance things out. Just like its lower rank counterpart, it can use all status coatings for your advantage (poison and sleep bombing). d) Tuna Bow G Finally this is the version that's worth it. Its raw power is actually still low, but the fact of it containing 3 slots would make armor mixing easier if not more interesting. Personally I don't use it at all, but I've seen its potential against G rank Diablos on YT videos. =============================================================================== Section 6: ~Frequently Asked Questions~ =============================================================================== Q: The monster guide section is way too long... So in general, shat shot type should I use? ............................................................................... Depends on the monster. Basically pay attention to its weakpoint's size and location. If it's small such as a head or the feet? Use rapid. If it's very huge or long, choose pierce. If its weakpoint is huge, or you're engaging the monster at all times? Scatter. Of course more than one shot type can be used on each monster. Get familiar with different shot types first, then use whatever you feel the most comfortable with. ******************************************************************************* Q: Is capacity up necessary? ............................................................................... Depends, unless you're using the Dragonhead Harp. This bow DEPENDS on it (who wants to use the level 1 rapid on charge 3 of a bow that has high elementalattribute but crappy raw?) and is one of the major Black Graviosslayer. Theother one would be Akantor Bow because it unlocks its charge 3rapid (which isthe charge level that should be used the most frequently in the very firstplace), along with its decent raw + element + shot level (rapid 5 in finalform!) + affinity (+40% everyone), it makes the perfect dragon rapid bow. As for the other bows, it's the best idea to use something that has the very same shot type between charge 3 and charge 4 for flexibility's sake (ex:Exterminator Bow or Courageous Hope lines for rapid and any Shogun bows for pierce). Of course, if the charge 4 of any bow would do far more damage than any other bow choice (better than charge 3 by DoT and charge 4 by DoS), by all means to do that. ******************************************************************************* Q: If charge 4 already depends on the situation, how about charge 2? ............................................................................... Charge 2's best application is for elemental damage. Ideally for pierce (youget 5 hits start from charge 3, easily getting 5 hits per charge). However,its application is rather limited so it's best to experiment with it. Of course, if a monster is fleeing, then just release the arrows and just let them hit it. Hitting something is better than nothing is done. Essentially, the usage of every charge level is situational-based. It's just that using charge 3 would be consider under normal condition. ******************************************************************************* Q: Is pierce just good for huge monsters? How about if I have minions but my main target is something huge? ............................................................................... Yes, you can kill small mosnters with pierce with clean shot. The only catch is the first hit or second (if its prey-sized) staggers the monster and sends it flying, the all the hits will land on the poor monster. Unfortunately, it is not possible in P3rd. You can always use the melee attack, by the way. ******************************************************************************* Q: What does it take forever to kill a monster? ............................................................................... Many reasons. The general ones would be poor skills selection, wrong shot types, wrong element, and bad stamina management (then you can't shootanymore), and spamming the wrong charge level (aka charge 1). Other critical reasons would be charging for too long (therefore decreases attack frequency) and range management. Although range multiplier is introduced in every single bow guide, but this factor is overlooked by many, many people, especially ignorant noobs! Another main reason is monster manipulation. Both GS and hammer can stagger monsters easily and really skilled hunters can control when to stagger the monster (hammer can even knock them out!) while archers are shooting monsters while they are still acting like nothing hit them until that stagger comes. Not to mention staying mid-ranged instead of close-ranged to monsters would alsoaffect how they act (prime suspect being Tigrex). I have already did an Excel file comparing all monster weakpoints (exclusion exist as some "weakpoints" are not reachable for melee hunters, such as Lao'sback, or Kut-Ku's torso as attacks would get registered in other parts instead... in such cases, the most reached body part is chosen instead), and both the mean and median are similar. Some numbers used for slash hitzones are mostly appliable for GS users, and some are more favourable to SnS and SSbecause it's impossible to balance between them. The same apply for P3rd. There is some minor decrease in terms of melee output, but those are relatively negligible. Except Akantor and Ukanlos. While Akantor and Ukanlos take 25% less impact damage on the head in P3rd, Akantor takes 62.5% more shot damage before chest opened and 75% after the chest's destroyed than FU. Ukanlo's case is even more exaggerating... It's 62.5% extra damage taken before chest opened and 133.33% after the chest is opened!! Also, having the shot weakpoint moved to the head makes the whole battle much easier (who wants to shoot huge monster's tail and hind legs??) Guess the best explanation of much faster time between FU and P3rd (excluding Akantor and Ukanlos for obvious reason) would be bow sets are now on par to melee sets in terms of getting power boost. In the past, it's either focus or attack up, but in 3rd, you get both of them with capacity up, along with Exploiter (but for melee users, they already get sharpness+1, AUL, RA+2/3 in the same package in FU, while bows don't have the same equivalent), and the introduction of High-Angled Shot, negating monster's distance and direction (also, in AT, it's ALWAYS Gocused). Also monsters don't get KO'd as easily in P3rd as in FU, so less monster manipulation possible for hammer users. Of course, people getting more experienced between the instalments also helps. ******************************************************************************* Q: I plan to use the bow, should I prepare to farm for power/mega juices every couple quests? ............................................................................... The answer is no (the only exception is if you're trying to KILL the Lao Shan Lung in high rank Gathering Hall in a solo bow only run without adrenaline, or Gaoren of the same rank even with adrenaline), or if you're doing a TA (obviously, as waiting stamina to recover = wasting time). Don't bother to put runner in your skill list, as you really won't need it. If you don't have the ambition of killing things fast, try the following: a) Try not to overcharge the bow for too long and too often. Holding it much longer isn't going to make it much stronger, but instead drain your stamina bar and make you immobile. b) Use focus not just for the faster charging, but also take advantage of its capability of making the stamina bar drain less. Yes, you'll need to avoid overcharging for this to work. ******************************************************************************* Q: Should I use attack up or Rapid Up/Pierce Up/Scatter Up? ............................................................................... Depends on your bow's raw power. Attack up's boost goes like this... Small - 10 X 1.2 (bow's weapon multiplier) = 12 points Medium - 15 X 1.2 = 18 points Large - 20 X 1.2 = 24 points And rapid up would be 10% of increase of whatever bow's raw would be. So in order for the bow to increase the best benefit... If the bow's raw is... -under 120 - AUS -120 to 179 - AUM -180 to 239 - AUL > 240 - rapid up Of course, if you attack up skill is not up to scale, it's better to get Rapid Up, or even better, both sepecially if you're at lower ranks. Scatter up is different. Instead of getting just 10%, it's 30%. Why would you choose "mediocre" damage boost instead of 30%? Of course, if you can't get your hands on focus along with it (impossible until HR9), just add attack up along with it. ******************************************************************************* Q: What is quick release? Is it the same as focus? ............................................................................... They are not the same thing. It was discovered by Great Sword users that releasing the 3rd charge before the charge flash appeared so they can attack faster. It can be done because the the weapon has reached the charge level before the emitting the flash. Quick release is to release the charge between that gap. Just the same thing can be done by bows, and it can easily tested by using a bow with different shot types between charge levels. ******************************************************************************* Q: Why do you insist Hidden/Midnight Bow is useless? ............................................................................... That is where math kicks in... It's better explain things this way without words... So here are the actual power each G rank raw pierce bow does (from weakest to strongest): Wild Bow G - 336 Power Wild Bow G - 360 Heart Shot Bow III - 336 X (1.125*0.3 + 0.7) = 361.2 Midnight Bow - 324 X (1.125*0.5 + 0.5) = 364.5 Showroom Model - 372 (0% of affinity, however, this one has innate charge 4) Diablos Horn Bow G - 372 X (1.125*0.1 + 0.9) = 381.3 Diablos King Bow - 372 X (1.124*0.2 + 0.8) = 390.6 If you insist that Showroom Model doesn't use so many types of coatings, but honestly, if you insist to use status coatings, there are other bows that would do better job than this. As for its level 4 charge of rapid 5? How about sticking to Exterminator Bow II? =============================================================================== *Bonus* ~Beating Monster Hunter Quest at HR1!~ =============================================================================== Okay... everyone have probably seen those impressive videos of some hunters clearing the Monster Hunter quest at HR1 (along with HR1 gear, duh) on Youtube with Hammer. But consider how everyone complains about bows lacking the punch, and with poor skills for the rank being, how can you even not risk running out of time? The answer is... It's POSSIBLE!!! Not without careful equipment and skills selection, of course. But before arguing, it is *HR1* equipment AND defence, meaning you can do it with your actual rank being 1. * * * ~ Preparation ~ They key of success of this quest is to overcome bow's weak attack... You'll find the following strategy a little "cheap" because not everything is done with the bow... But please forgive me given the situation, as I did it without power or mega juices. <Weapon of choice> Dragon Bow Mountain!! (if anyone finds out another HR1 bow that can do this, please let me know) <Skills combinations> Although all the skill sets have many armor combinations, it is really important to use a Blademaster helm to prevent random one shots: 1. Scatter Up (a MUST for this bow, your first punch), Earplug, Bomber (It is a defensive set IMO. I cleared the quest with this one.) 2. Scatter Up, Attack Up Medium, Bomber (the more offensive setup) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ < Potentally Possible Setups > Okay, okay... I was a little ambitious when I attempted the quest... I just dig my head into the hell hole without thinking much... Now think about it, Tiger Whisker might work as well because of its higher raw (however, after including its affinity and getting both bow's respective shot up skills, Dragon Bow Mountain indeed does more damage, but with more difficult range management). At least a rapid bow is much easier to manage. Bow of Choice: Tigrex Whisker This is the strongest rapid bow for the time being... just stick to it... Skills Combinations: Nothing impressive can be done here because the lack of skill points fromarmors. 1. Focus + Rapid Up (not quite sure if it works, but if the archer can perfect range multiplier...) 2. Rapid UP + AUS + Bomber (essentially the same setup as the scatter counterpart) If I have time, I might test them out myself... ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ <Items> -Powercharm + Poweralon -These are the only things that are remotely from Gathering Hall, but you only buy them right there, and never need to touch any GH quests. Forget about Armorcharms or Talons. You will need all the attack boost you can get and defence's only purpose is to prevent one shot from full HP (between 140 to 150). -BOMBS (your second punch) and mixes -Means 2 LBB+, 3 LBB, 10 barrels, 10 gunpowders, 10 scatterfishs -50 Power coatings, 20 sleep coatings, 20 poison coatings -30 Empty bottles, 20 nitroshrooms, 10 sleep herbs -Combo books 1-4 -Power seeds -Fill the rest with potions -or 2 max potions and a forecaster for the extra 20 power coatings from the item box) -or mixes for Ancient Potions (you won't get 100% mix rate, but what the hack?) < Felyne Kitchen Receipe > -Vegetable + meat (duh) <Ideal Felyne Whim Skills> -Felyne Temper (more shot damage is always good) -Felyne Gunpowder (so you can save even more spots and simplifies bomb mixing process = safer) -Felyne Status Attack (you won't need this, but if you after you might miss, or can't get enough arrows just in time, you'll need this) < Strategy > 1. Overall Use your resources carefully. Aim to sleep bomb each of them with 2 LBB+ once, and poison all monsters that come after Rathalos once (kind of pointless to poison Rathalos as it takes decent dragon damage, therefore no poison coating mixing necessary and saves you a spot). In terms of the order of coating used... Poison the monster first then put it to sleep later. It's because the monsters are very likely to stand around doing nothing for the first few shots, and you have very limited poison coatings (20 coatings for 3 monsters) compared to sleep coatings (30+ coatings for 4 monsters). After all, around 6 shots are needed to activate a status. 2. Rathalos This annoying guy flies all the time and is potentially your time killer (you might even need to abord the attempt if he's World Touring too much...). Shoot all the way, sleep bomb him with LBB+ once and use ALL the bombs (other than any materials for the other 6 LBB+) when he lands. Another note for this monster is that he is the only monster that can land you a guaranteed one shot (rage > roar > charge). Even a raged Tigrex charging at a hunter wearing an armor set with Rathalos Soul U pieces will NOT result in one shot if your HP is full at 140 or above. Try to kill him in less than 8 minutes. 3. Tigrex It might be Dead Train Express, but in fact it is a fair game. Although it has higher HP than the other monsters, it can be done by being careful and persistent. Just move close enough for scatter to do maximum damage while not getting rolled over. Use the first 50 power coatings on it. Try kill it with more than 25 minutes left. 4. Narga Another fair game if you can MOI the majority of its attacks. Otherwise, nothing special about it. Use the rest of the power coatings (after mixes) on it. If you have Forecaster, grab the extra from the item box first then mix the rest. Try killing it with more than 13-15 minutes left. 5. Rajang He might be the nightmare for melee hunters, but for archers, he's a joke (yeah, he can one shot you with some attacks when enraged, but will you even get hit by him when it happens?). You shoot him the very same way you'd do with a rapid bow, but stick a little closer, and aim at his torso instead of the head (so more hits get to him). Once again, persistence and care are your friends. It is possible to get more than 2 minutes left if you do not screw up much (my time was 1:57 left with 2 faints and less than satisfactory performance on Narga because of my poor dodging skills... so you can see, it's not always about raw skills). And that's it! You have done a "Mission Impossible"--Now bow has ensured its place in the world of Monster Hunter! PS: This quest wasindeed a "Mission Impossible" to myself. My very first Monster Hunter quest clear time had time left of 0:00. Yes, ZERO SECOND LEFT! Now see how mcuh I can do now? Practice indeed makes things improve significantly, even if not reached to perfection! =============================================================================== Section 7: ~Final Thoughts~ =============================================================================== "You've got the world within your sights with the Bow! Now show the world what you've made of: swift justice, straight and true. Aim for the prize with your exquisite stance and let loose an arrow untethered. This is the true path of a hunter, meow!" ~Felyne Comrade From a clueless archer who used pierce bow on a small Conga close up to writing this whole guide in just 3 years... That's how much I have learned for bows... Now you have read the whole guide and should have learned more than just the basics to be successful with the bow. Hope you enjoyed the reading. Now shoot all the way! =============================================================================== Section 8: ~Credits~ =============================================================================== MHP2G@Wiki (Japanese) for all of my general information http://www41.atwiki.jp/mhp2g Boldrin's Bow Damage Guide (so I won't need to explain how damage works) http://www.gamefaqs.com/psp/943356-monster-hunter-freedom-unite/faqs/57883 AthenaADP from Minegarde for developing the fine A.S.S. MHP2ndG Damage Calculator (Jp) lets me know how well weapons do just in seconds http://wizeweb.net/mhp2gcalc/ And thank you very much for all other archers I have met online and videos I have seen but forgotten the source!! Of course, last but not least, CAPCOM for creating this wonderful game! GameFaqs, for giving me the opportunity of posting this guide!!