-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
////////////////////////////// Switch-Axe Guide\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\By Hexecho//////////////////////////////////
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Version: 1.3
Last Revised: 8/5/2010
Revision History:
Version 1.1 -4/26/2010- Updated charts to be more format friendly.
Version 1.2 -4/28/2010- Updated some information that came in through e-mail
and credited the senders of those e-mails, as well as updated the Table of
Contents.
Version 1.3 -8/10/2010- Spelling/grammar fixes, added General Strategies and
Armor sections, re-formatted combo guide, more special thanks and tips.

*******************************About this Guide******************************

	This is an In-Depth Guide about the Switch Axe (abbreviated as ‘SA’ in
this guide) weapon in Monster Hunter
3 (~Tri). It will contain damage information, controls, combos and a brief
summary of weapon mechanics. It will NOT contain a strategy for
killing every enemy; I encourage you to create your own tactics and
strategies as you learn and play. If you see anything wrong or wish to ask me
a question regarding Switch Axes, contact me at: Hexecho@gmail.com
If you are curious about Switch Axe damage, check out Lord Grahf and
Bvanwulfen's Damage Formula Guide, and for a good Switch Axe building guide,
look at VioletKIRA's Switch Axe Weapon Tree.

Another thing you will not find in this guide is a single "proper way" to use
Switch Axes. In order to fend off any questions such as "how much should I
use Axe mode compared to Sword mode, 70/30 or what?"  I will tell you right
now THERE IS NO ONE WAY TO USE THIS WEAPON. Monsters behave in different ways,
so you should use your weapon differently for whatever the situation calls,
even if that means not using a Switch Axe -- maybe you can kill a Jaggi
better with a hammer. So don't limit yourself, you'll just make things harder
for yourself.

Why do I like Switch Axes?
I find Switch Axes to be an incredibly unique and interesting weapon that
gives
the player a ton of different fighting options compared other weapons in
Monster Hunter.  Let's take the Long Sword for example. Though it’s an
awesome and powerful weapon I enjoy using, it has its limitations. Your
options are to use three-four hit combo with a sweep here and there until
your Spirit Gauge is up, and then start doing nothing other than your Spirit
Blade combo until you are knocked out of it or the monster runs away. In
comparison, with SAs you can switch between modes mid-combo and use a
completely different attack style. I find this useful considering how
monsters can act incredibly different between low stamina, normal and rage
modes.
P.S. Sorry LS users, the weapon was easy to make an example of because I used
to use them.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Table of Contents------------------(to search for a section include the *'s)
To search (using a PC) Ctrl + F
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 1: Intro

*1-1* - What is a Switch Axe?
*1-2* - Pros and Cons
*1-3* - Differences between Sword mode and Axe mode
*1-4* - Coatings
*1-5* - Controls & Attacks
-*1-5a* - Controls & Attacks
-*1-5b* - Hit Chain Chart
*1-6* - Underwater Combat

Chapter 2: Handy Info

*2-1* - Repeating Combos
*2-2* - Armor Selection
*2-3* - My Armor Recommendations
*2-4* - General Strategies

FAQS section (please read this before asking any questions, it could save us
both some time).

Credits

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
*********************************Chapter 1***********************************
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


*1-1*:  What is a Switch Axe?

The Switch Axe, or as it was originally titled the "Slash
Axe," was first introduced in Monster Hunter 3(~Tri). It is a unique weapon
in that it has "modes" you can switch between: Axe mode and Sword mode. We'll
get into the differences between the two modes later in section 1-3.


*1-2*:  Pros and cons to the Switch Axe

Pros:
-SAs boast a high attack power
-Two modes offer an easy way to adapt to new strategies or scenarios.
-Phials, explained in Section 1-3, can turn a battle around, giving you
attack or element boost or
	even giving your weapon an element/attribute.
-In Sword mode, attacks will not bounce off the enemy (also known as
	ESP). Keep in mind that if your SA’s sharpness is in red, it WILL
bounce.
-Only one SA series (Barroth Series) has negative Affinity percentage.
-Fun to use!

Cons:
-Sharpness typically sucks.
-Not the fastest weapon and can feel clumsy at times.
-Can't block.
-Easy-to-spam attacks can distract less-experienced players from more
	useful attacks.
-Switching between modes may be confusing, annoying or inconvenient to
	some.
-Cannot be obtained at the beginning of off-line mode).

*1-3*: Differences between Axe and Sword mode

Simply for the fact that you might not know already - and to make the guide
more complete - I will briefly cover the differences between Axe mode and
Sword mode.

1.	Movement style

-Axe mode- (changes spacing for consistency) Movement style is most closely
related to a Lance or Long Sword.
You may be asking "How is it related to a Lance, Hex?" Really I
only said that because with the SA (Sword or Axe mode), after you
attack, you can do a side-hop dodge unique to only two melee
weapons, the SA and Lance, but I digress. In Axe mode you will move
at a decent walking speed and use rolls to dodge, just as a Long Sword would.
-Sword mode- Movement style is practically identical to the Great Sword (GS)
movement style (aside from the side-hop dodge). You walk very
slowly and will probably be rolling 70% of the time you're
not swinging.

2.	Attack style and power

-Axe mode- This has what I consider a good move-set: It can attack
vertically using both an upswing or overhead blow, it has the
somewhat sweeping side hit, and also has a continuous slash combo --
though this drains 20 stamina with each swing after the initial swing.
Axe mode has a decent attack percentage typically dealing 23-35%
of its base attack power, though the overhead swing deals an
impressive 54%.
-Sword mode- This has a surprisingly effective move-set. I expected it to be
very slow and difficult to hit things, but I was surprised to discover
otherwise. Sword mode delivers a decent
hit range thanks to its dash slash (down while moving using
classic control 2). You also get a good vertical slashing combo
by using an upswing and an overhead hit, but wait there's more.
You will also receive a side slash, which can be chained with the
overhead swing. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE!!!  You get the incredibly
powerful burst thrust attack!  Did I forget to mention you gain
ESP while in sword mode? Well I just did -- whilst in Sword mode
your attacks will NOT bounce.

3.	Phials

-Axe mode- Phials only apply to sword mode, sorry.
-Sword mode- Phial enabled. Phials vary from SA to SA, though
most have a Power (red) or an Element (blue) enhancement. What
does this mean? Your attack power, or element/attribute power
will increase, (details on that later in Section 1-5). There are
also unique Phials on some SAs, such as the Barroth (Assault Axe)
series of SAs which, when in Sword mode, gains the paralysis/stun
attribute. The variety of SA Phials make these a unique, and in
my opinion, interesting weapon-type.


*1-4*: Phials

Most SAs have one of two Phials -- Power or Element -- but there are some SA
series that have a unique Phial. Below is a list of all the SA series and
their respective Phials.
SA series with Power Phials: Bone Axe, Hi-Volt Axe, Fire/Flame Tempest, Naval
Tusk, Sinister Saints

SA series with Element Phials: Thunder/Bolt Axe, Amber Slash, Demon Chain,
Alatreon series.

SA series that have unique Phials:
Barroth Series - Paralysis Phial
Crystal Series - Dragon Phial

So what does it mean if your SA has a certain type of Phial? Well I was
getting to that.
Note: Keep in mind; that PHIALS ONLY WORK IN SWORD MODE!!

Power Phials: Adds a x1.25 boost to raw damage based on your attack power.
Simply put, take 25% of your attack power (elements not included) and add it
to your damage.  This explanation doesn't quite do the damage calculation
justice, so if you want all the inner workings go to Lord Grahf's and
Bvanwulfen's guide.

Element Phial (also known as Elemental Enhance): Adds a x1.25 boost to raw
damage based on your element power. Simply put, take 25% of your elemental
power (attack not included) and add it to your damage.  Again, this
explanation
doesn't do the damage calculation justice, so check out Lord Grahf's and
Bvanwulfen's guide for more details.

Paralysis Phial: Gives your weapon the paralysis attribute.

Dragon Phial: Gives your weapon the dragon attribute.


*1-5a*: Controls

	Controls for SAs are pretty straight forward, and make it easy to
chain combos. I personally prefer the classic control 2, so for the sake of
not
reproducing the same charts you can find at the Monster Hunter Wikia,
I will use classic control 2 commands for this. Afterwards I will provide a
few combos and little tricks I find useful. ( )'s indicate buttons being
pressed at the same time.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Command				Attack			Additional Description
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
X				Kick			Kicks low forward with
							right leg, not that
							complicated. Note:Cannot
							do a kick with weapon
						       drawn in classic control2.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Any direction while 	  Unsheathe weapon 		Draws weapon in Axe mode
standing still
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Y or A with 		weapon Sheathe weapon 			Puts weapon away.
drawn
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
R with weapon drawn 		Change mode 		  Changes modes from Axe
				OR Reload 	       to Sword, or Sword to Axe
			(if Sword meter is red).       OR increases Sword meter
						                   if it is red.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Up/down/left/right 	  Draw side slash [Axe] 	 Draws weapon and does a
while moving 						 sweeping slash from the
							       right in Axe mode.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
R + (X + A) 	      Draw overhead slash [Sword]        Note: This is not the
				OR 			  dashing overhead slash,
			Reload - If Sword energy 	   you have to have your
				     bar is red.  	  weapon drawn to do the
							  dashing overhead slash.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
up [Axe mode]		    Overhead slash [Axe]	 Swings Axe overhead and
						       slashes down and slightly
								     to the left.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Up [Axe mode]+ holding     Running Thrust [Axe]       Runs 3 steps and thrust
a movement direction 				       forward with the Axe head.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
R after Running Stab    Axe-Sword Overhead Slash	    switches from Axe to
[Axe] 							  Sword while performing
							   Overhead Slash [Sword]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Left OR right [Axe mode]    Side slash [Axe]         Swings Axe from right to
									    left.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
down [Axe mode]			Upswing [Axe]          Does a rising slash with
									     Axe.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Up OR down 	     Alternating Slashes [Axe]      Slashes from side-to-side,
immediately after 			  	     the more you hit up OR down						the more
Upswing [axe] 					   the more hits you do, minimum
*See notes at bottom of Chart*	                of two will be done if the move
		                             is performed. Every hit drains 20
stamina per swing.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Up stalled after 	  Overhead Slash [Axe]    Swings Axe overhead, slashes
Upswing [Axe]  					   down and slightly to the left.
*See notes at bottom of chart*
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Up [Sword mode]		Side Slash [Sword]          Slashes from left to right
								      with Sword.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
R after Side Slash 	Sword-Axe Side Slash         switches to Axe mode while
[Sword]							  doing Side slash [Axe].
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Left OR right 		    Upswing [Sword]           Slashes upward from lower
[Sword mode] 						     left to upper right.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Down [Sword mode]	Overhead Slash [Sword]       Swings Sword over head and
							    downward to the left.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Down [Sword mode]   Dashing Overhead Slash [Sword]   Jumps forward and swings
while holding a                                  Sword over head and downward
movement direction 						     to the left.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
X				Thrust [Sword]        Thrust Sword forward, and
	                                           draws back to the left.

Any attack multiple         Burst Motion [Sword]    Raises Sword after Thrust
times after Thrust[Sword]                        while bursting getting up to
{Most people just keep tapping X}	        6 hits. Can be cancelled almost
						 any time if you stop hitting an
							          attack command.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you don't cancel 	   Finisher Burst [Sword]          Fires burst from tip
during Burst Motion 			      	           of Sword and switches
[Sword]								     to Axe mode.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
**Notation: After the Upswing [Axe] you can do two moves, either Alternating
Slashes [Axe] OR Overhead Slash [Axe]. The difference between doing one or
the other is timing OR holding a direction on the left analog stick.

If you start tapping Up or Down immediately after you do the Upswing [Axe],
you will do the Alternating Slashes [Axe]. If you wait approximately one FULL
second after doing the Upswing [Axe] you will do the Overhead Slash [Axe]. A
good way to visualize/practice the timing is to stand in a location that will
create a dust cloud from your character's LEFT foot when you do the Upswing
[Axe]. If you chain before that dust cloud disappears you will do the
Alternating Slashes [Axe], but you hit Right after that dust cloud
disappears, you will do the Overhead Swing [Axe].

Of course the much easier alternative is to hold a direction while chaining.
I would recommend left or right so that you don't accidentally do the thrust
attack if you hold up for too long.**


\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
SPECIAL TIP:
You can shorten the time of Burst Motion [sword] and quick fire the Finishing
Burst [sword] by holding the movement stick downward.
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


*1-5b*: Hit Chain Chart
I've put together a list of what hits will chain into and from others. Feel
free to develop your own combos from it. I added a few simple combos to help
get you started. Check section 2-1 for more details.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Attack 				Chained From			Followed by
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Draw Side Slash        	Walking or Running while    Overhead Slash [Axe]
[Axe] 					 Sheathed                  Upswing [Axe]
							     Running Thrust [Axe]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Side Slash [Axe] 	     Overhead Slash [Axe]  		    Upswing [Axe]
		             Running Thrust [Axe]          Running Thrust [Axe]
			    Sword-Axe Side Slash
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Overhead Slash [Axe]		Draw Side Slash [Axe]           Side Slash [Axe]
				Side Slash [Axe]
				Upswing [Axe]
				Running Thrust [Axe]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Upswing [Axe]		     Draw Side Slash [Axe]          Overhead Slash [Axe]
				Side Slash [Axe]        Alternating Slashes[Axe]
			    Sword-Axe Side Slash
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alternating 			Upswing [Axe]          Nothing, not even a roll
Slashes [Axe]                                      properly chains from this.
	                                             Additionally, this is the
	                                            only Axe attack you CANNOT
	                                                        side-hop after.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Running Thrust [Axe]		Side Slash [Axe]            Overhead Slash [Axe]
			     Sword-Axe Side Slash 		 Side Slash [Axe]
							Axe-Sword Overhead Slash
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Axe-Sword Overhead 	    Running Thrust [Axe] 		  Upswing [Sword]
Slash 							       Side Slash [Sword]
						                   Thrust [Sword]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Side Slash [Sword]	   Axe-SwordOverheadSlash         Overhead Slash [Sword]
			          Upswing [Sword]   DashingOverheadSlash[Sword]
				   Thrust [Sword]                 Thrust [Sword]
	    		     Burst Motion [Sword]          Sword-Axe Side Slash
			   Overhead Slash [Sword]
		      DashingOverheadSlash[Sword]
		      Draw overhead slash [Sword]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sword-Axe Side Slash		Side Slash [Sword]		    Upswing [Axe]
								 Side Slash [Axe]
							     Running Thrust [Axe]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Upswing [Sword]		    Overhead Slash [Sword] 	   Overhead Slash [Sword]
			Draw overhead slash [Sword] DashingOverheadSlash[Sword]
			DashingOverheadSlash[Sword] 		   Thrust [Sword]
				     Thrust [Sword] 	       Side Slash [Sword]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Overhead Slash [Sword] 	 Side Slash [Sword] 		  Upswing [Sword]
				    Upswing [Sword] 	       Side Slash [Sword]
								   Thrust [Sword]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
DashingOverheadSlash 		   Upswing [Sword] 		  Upswing [Sword]
[Sword] 			 Side Slash [Sword] 	       Side Slash [Sword]
								   Thrust [Sword]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thrust [Sword]		    Axe-Sword Overhead Slash 	       Side Slash [Sword]
				    Upswing [Sword] 	     Burst Motion [Sword]
			         Side Slash [Sword]
			      Overhead Slash [Sword]
			   DashingOverheadSlash[Sword]
		          Draw overhead slash [Sword]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Burst Motion [Sword]		Thrust [Sword] 		       Side Slash [Sword]
							   Finisher Burst [Sword]
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Finisher Burst		     Burst Motion [Sword]       Nothing...(,) not even
a                 [Sword]
roll properly chains from
this. Additionally, this
is the only Sword attack
you CANNOT side-hop after.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\
SPECIAL TIP:
You can perform the Upswing[Sword] chained to a rolling dodge, increasing the
speed of the attack. You can chain the same attacks as a normal Upswing[Sword]
to this as well.
Special Thanks to Zaloth for catching this.
\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\


*1-6* Underwater Combat
Aside from the normal movement changes, all commands and hits stay the same,
and yes, Sword mode still moves slower than Axe mode underwater.

Keep in mind you can dodge vertically while underwater as well as
horizontally.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
********************************Chapter 2************************************
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


*2-1* Combos

This is a list of combos you can do that can be repeated indefinitely,
provided you don't get hit, mess up or you're interrupted for some other
reason.

1.) Two-hit Repeaters: Two-hit combos that can be repeated.

1a.) Running Thrust [Axe] - Side Slash [Axe]

Repeat combo any number of times. You can start this combo from any of its
hits.

1st hit = Running Thrust [Axe] Up while moving
2nd hit = Side Slash [Axe] Left/Right
		OR
	DrawSideSlash[Axe] Up /Down /Left /Right while moving+sheathed

1b.) Side Slash [Sword] - Overhead Slash [Sword]

Repeat combo any number of times. You can start this combo from any of its
hits.

1st hit = Side Slash [Sword] Up
2nd hit = Overhead Slash [Sword] Up  (if after Side Slash [Sword])/Down
		OR
	Dashing Overhead Slash [Sword] Up (if after Side Slash [Sword])/down
while moving
		OR
	Draw overhead slash [Sword] R + (X + A)


1c.) Overhead Slash [Sword] - Upswing [Sword]

Repeat combo any number of times. You can start this combo from any of its
hits. This is a great combo for cutting tails.

1st hit = Overhead Slash [Sword] Down (If after Upswing [Sword] Left/Right)
		OR
	Dashing Overhead Slash [Sword] Down(If after Upswing [Sword]
Left/Right) While holding a direction
		OR
	Draw overhead slash [Sword] R + (X + A)

2nd hit = Upswing [Sword] Left/Right

1d.) Side Slash [Sword] - Thrust [Sword]

Repeat combo any number of times. You can start this combo from any of its
hits.

1st hit = Side Slash [Sword] up
2nd hit = Thrust [Sword] X


2.) Three-hit repeaters: Three-hit combos that can be repeated.

2a.) Overhead Slash [Axe] - Side Slash [Axe] - Upswing [Axe].

Repeat combo any number of times. You can start this combo from any of its
hits; you can also transition into Alternating Slashes [Axe] from the Upswing
of this combo.

1st hit = Overhead Slash [Axe] Up
2nd hit = Side Slash [Axe] Left /Right (if after Overhead Slash [Axe] Up)
		OR
	DrawSideSlash[Axe] Up /Down /Left /Right while moving+sheathed

3rd hit = Upswing [Axe] Up /Down


2b.) Running Thrust [Axe] - Overhead Slash [Axe] - Side Slash [Axe].

Repeat combo any number of times. You can start this combo from any of its
hits.

1st hit = Running Thrust [Axe] Up while moving
2nd hit = Overhead Slash [Axe] Up
3rd hit = Side Slash [Axe] Up /Left /Right
		OR
DrawSideSlash[Axe] Up /Down /Left/Right while moving+sheathed



2c.) Overhead Slash [Sword] - Upswing [Sword] - Side slash [Axe]

Repeat combo any number of times. You can start this combo from any of its
hits.
1st hit = Overhead Slash [Sword] Up  (if after Side Slash [Sword])/Down
		OR
	Dashing Overhead Slash [Sword] Up (if after Side Slash [Sword])/down
while moving
		OR
	Draw overhead slash [Sword] R + (X + A)

2nd hit = Upswing [Sword] Left/Right

3rd hit = Side Slash [Sword] Up


2d.) Thrust [Sword] - Burst Motion [Sword] - Side Slash [Sword]
Repeat combo any number of times. You can start this combo from either Thrust
[Sword] or Side Slash [Sword]

1st hit = Thrust [Sword] X
2nd hit = Burst Motion [Sword] X/Up /Down /Left /Right after Thrust
	[Sword]
 -PAUSE AND LET SWORD DROP-
3rd hit = Side Slash [Sword] Up


3.) Four-hit Repeaters: Four-hit combos that can be repeated.

3a.) Running Thrust [Axe] - Axe-Sword Overhead Slash - Side Slash [Sword] -
Sword-Axe Side Slash.

Repeat Combo any number of times. You can start this combo from any from any
of its hits.

1st hit = Running Thrust [Axe] Up  while moving
2nd hit = Axe-Sword Overhead Slash R after Running Thrust [Axe]
3rd hit = Side Slash [Sword] Up
4th hit = Sword-Axe Side Slash R after Side Slash [Sword]


3b.) Overhead Slash [Sword] - Upswing [Sword] - Thrust [Sword] - Side Slash
[Sword]

Repeat combo any number of times. You can start this combo from any of its
hits.
1st hit = Overhead Slash [Sword] Up  (if after Side Slash [Sword])/Down
		OR
	Dashing Overhead Slash [Sword] Up (if after Side Slash [Sword])/down
while moving
		OR
	Draw overhead slash [Sword] R + (X + A)

2nd hit = Upswing [Sword] Left/Right
3rd hit = Thrust [Sword] X
4th hit = Side Slash [Sword] Up


4.) Five-hit Repeater: There is only one, but you can do a five-hit combo
that will chain back into itself.

1.) Overhead Slash [Sword] - Upswing [Sword] - Thrust [Sword] - Burst Motion
[Sword] - Side Slash [Sword]

Repeat combo any number of times. You can start this combo from any hit,
except Burst Motion [Sword]

1st hit = Overhead Slash [Sword] Up  (if after Side Slash [Sword])/Down
		OR
	Dashing Overhead Slash [Sword] Up (if after Side Slash [Sword])/down
while moving
		OR
	Draw overhead slash [Sword] R + (X + A)

2nd hit = Upswing [Sword] Left/Right
3rd hit = Thrust [Sword] X
4th hit = Burst Motion [Sword] X/Up /Down /Left /Right after Thrust
	[Sword]
- PAUSE AND LET SWORD DROP-
5th hit = Side Slash [Sword] Up



*2-2* Armor Selection

This section will briefly cover some of the things your armor can help with
while using an SA, aside from protecting you. Essentially, we're trying to
compensate for all the cons of using an SA by using armor skills.

The easiest problem to tackle is sharpness. Obtaining abilities such as
"Sharpness + 1," "Razor Sharp" and "Speed Sharpener" all help with this.
"Sharpness + 1" is, in my opinion, the most useful of these skills.

ESP, while useful, doesn't actually affect sharpness, it affects
bouncing. It is also a bit redundant since you already have ESP when you are
in Sword mode. On the flipside, any abilities that count against your
sharpness are going to be even worse with a SA equipped.

The “Focus” (FastCharge) skill DOES affect the rate at which your Sword meter
refills, which is very handy if you tend to use Sword mode over Axe Mode.

Another thing to consider while selecting an armor set is your SA's Phial.
Let's say you're using a SA with a Power Phial, it will likely be more
beneficial to use armor with an Attack boost over an Elemental boost.

For help with armor specifics visit:
http://monsterhunter.wikia.com/wiki/MH3:_Armors



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
*2-3* My armor recommendations
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
I figured I’d throw in some armor sets I find particularly helpful for S.A.
users. These will all be complete armor sets, not combinations.  I strongly
recommend that you find an armor set that fits your play style, as the
following armors might not suit you . . . no pun intended.

This site has great armor combinations and skills (I even posted a few):
http://www.monsterhunter-armory.com/combinations.php


Armor Name

Armor Pieces			Decorations			Skills
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Full Alloy Armor

Alloy Helm	 00		Optional			Critical Eye +1
Alloy Mail	 0						Trap Master
Alloy Vambraces	 0						Speed Sharpener
Alloy Coil	 0
Alloy Greaves	 -

This is a surprisingly good set. You get an affinity boost, speed set up for
traps and bombs, and you sharpen quickly too. I left Decorations completely
up to your style and situation.



Full Lagiacrus Armor

Lagiacrus Helm      00 	x2 Grinder Jewel(s)		Olympic Swimmer
Lagiacrus Mail      0 		x1 Grinder Jewel(s)		Elem. Atk Up
Lagiacrus Vambraces 00		x2 Grinder Jewel(s)		Razor Sharp
Lagiacrus Flauds    00						Speed Sharpener
Lagiacrus Greaves   00						Status atk Down

This set gives you two bonuses to your sharpness. One is Razor Sharp so your
sharpness decreases half as much with each hit, the other being Speed
Sharpener which dramatically increases sharpening speed. Element Atk Up can
be very potent as well, especially when combined with an SA that has an
Element Phial. Depending on your weapon or Talisman you can add/use different
Decorations to further personalize this set. Olympic Swimmer never hurts too.

Helios and Yamato armor are great too. I won’t get into decoration details
for the sake of saving space. If you really want full armor specs go to
http://monsterhunter.wikia.com/wiki/MH3:_Armors .

Why Helios?  It gives you Sharpness +1 and HG Earplugs, very ideal for a S.A.
considering the inability to block screams/roars

Why Yamato?  Focus and Razor Sharp make it great for Sword Mode lovers.

I won’t go into High Rank Armor sets, by then you should have it all figured
out. If not, feel free to e-mail me and I’ll send you a recommendation. If
you’re lucky I might send a custom armor set. : P


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*2-4* General Strategies
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Despite the fact that I want you to build your own unique fighting style, I
will give you some general strategies and techniques I find useful/fun for a
few monsters. Hopefully you can take these ideas and build upon them to
create your own strategies for other monsters. Feel free to disregard
anything you don’t want use in your hunting.

-Great Jaggi-
You don’t need too much of a plan to fight a Great Jaggi. His attacks are
pretty easy to predict, and for the most part linear. The side-hop dodge is
your friend, it’s an easy way to dodge and still keep the Jaggi inside your
attack zone.

Axe Mode - Stay away from long chains of attacks; stick with simple 2-3 hit-
then-dodge patterns. I find doing a Running Thrust followed by an Overhead
Slash then a dodge keeps you on the offensive and safe. Doing the Running
Thrust also gives you a good chance to go into Sword mode, keeping your
options open.

Sword Mode – Again, don’t be greedy with your hits, 2-3 hits then a dodge is
more than enough damage. When you decide to do a Thrust-Burst, remember you
can hold down on the movement stick to shoot early -- this can give you a
quick knock down or stagger.  Keep in mind you can do an Overhead Slash with
a dash if you hold a movement direction. This is very helpful for closing the
gap between you and the monster.

Things you can break:

The Jaggi’s Frill.  A.K.A  that thing on its head.

Things to avoid:

-Attack the Great Jaggi head on-
This is pretty simple, don’t run into the Jaggi’s primary attack zone. It is
more than possible to hit the Jaggi’s head from the side, not to mention its
body is a much larger target.

-Getting KO’d/stunned- 3 or 4 hits will have you seeing stars, and you don’t
want that. So heal after 2 or 3 hits even if it is just using an herb.

-Death- Don’t die . . .

These pretty much apply to every monster so REMEMBER THESE!  (Especially the
don’t die (faint) part.



-Qurupeco-
The Qurupeco can be a pest, but with a good plan and decent move execution
you shouldn’t have trouble.

The Qurupeco has two tricks that make it annoying: 1.)  The songs. If you
don’t stop this jerk from singing he’ll boost himself and other monsters, or
call another monster to come help him. 2.) Wind. During some movements it’ll
create a gust which that can temporarily stop you. Avoiding this is sometimes
the difference between being nailed with a follow up attack.

Ways to stop problem 1:
-Hit it. If you make it stagger or fall you cancel the song, this is also a
good time to hit its now inflated weak spot. Additionally if you stagger it,
it will run away dropping a shiny and giving you the boost it wanted.

-Throw a sonic bomb near/at it. This will not give you the boost, but it will
temporarily stun the Peco.

Ways to stop problem 2:
-Dodge the wind, after finding the range of its wind attacks, predict and
dodge.

-Use your weapon. While hitting or chaining attacks with a S.A. you are wind-
proof, remember this for other situations.

-Use the “Wind Resistant” armor skill. You really shouldn’t have to resort to
this, but it is an option.

Things you can break: Flintstones off the wings, Beak.

Axe Mode- Same strategy as Jaggi, only this time you can roll under the Peco
which makes for an easy “tail spin” dodge. An Upswing followed by an Overhead
Slash are pretty good for getting it down when it decides to hover, as well
as beak breaking.

Sword Mode- Same as Jaggi, with one exception: Qurupeco spends more time when
you knock him down. Now I know your first reaction is to Thrust-Burst it
while it’s down. Although this is acceptable you can get in at least 2-3
Sword hits before pulling it off, and if you time it right you can Burst once
it gets up and knock it down for more free hits.

Otherwise, stay away from head on attacks, and when it does the multi-jump
fireball (I thought it was slime) attack, you can: 1. Roll under it, putting
you out of range for the next one or two fireballs. 2. Walk around it. You
don’t need to roll away from every hit, just turn tightly toward its tail.

-Barroth-
Barroths are pretty annoying, what with the mud and the constant back and
forth running. They can easily catch you in a nasty, unavoidable chain of
attacks. I’ll see what I can do to simplify bringing these down. The Barroth
is also the first monster you encounter with a scream that will stop you from
moving, so you can practice using the dive/jump dodge to avoid it.

The Barroth runs at you A LOT, and it can slightly turn while running. The
Barroth will also shake when its muddy, and if you get hit by one of the big
blobs of mud you will not only get caught in mud and unable to use items or
your weapon, it also does water type damage, potentially inflicting water-
blight.

Things you can break/cut: Mud, claws/hands, tail. (Using a Switch Axe)
Hammers can break its head piece.

Avoid being in front of the Barroth, that’s where it tends to hit the most.
Hitting the Barroth’s head will just be a waste of your sharpness, so stick
to hitting the legs, body and claws. As an SA user I find it’s my duty to
break and cut everything I can to help increase rewards and/or improve my
team’s hunting experience. Although you don’t get the nice damage you would
for attacking the claws, cutting off the Barroth’s tail will reduce his
attack range. This potentially saves you and your teammates from later damage.

Axe mode- Using your range is key, especially during the mud-slinging attack.
When the Barroth is throwing mud, stand a few steps away from the tail and
start chopping. Hitting the Barroth’s legs is a pretty stable method of
attack. Look for the tail spins and roll between its legs to dodge. When the
Barroth rolls around in the mud you can still hit it, just use your long
range.

Sword Mode- Despite not having the same range as Axe mode, you have the tail
cutting combo of Upswing-Overhead Slash. Use this 2-hit repeater to chop off
the tail. Aside from this your strategy is very similar to Axe mode, remember
not to immediately use the Finisher Burst when it falls down, just like
Qurupeco.

Keep clear of the Barroth’s charging attacks, and keep the basics from Jaggi
in mind.


More to come . . . Probably

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**********************************FAQ's**************************************
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Q: Why can't I make a Switch Axe off-line?
A: The offline blacksmith can't make Switch Axes until you have reached the
three-star quest. However, if you go on-line you can get one made right away
once you get gather the materials and money.

Q: Where can I get Monster Fluid?
A: From any bug or bug-centric quest. If you wait for Altaroth to eat
something and
they swell up, then kill them, you should have no problem getting some.
Otherwise you could get a bowgun and use poison Altaroth or Bnahabra. You can
get Monster Fluid from Gigi as well, which can be found in nearly any cave.
Special Thanks to Sieg for the Gigi tip.

Q: Where can I get Killer Beetles?
A: Flooded Forest, areas 4 and 7 are usually pretty good for Killer Beetles.


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*********************************Credits*************************************
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Guide written by Hexecho. I don't really care if you quote me or claim this
as your own... but I would definitely appreciate if you consulted me before
doing so.
I do not own Monster Hunter, as you could probably guess from the large
Capcom logo you see when you start the game, nor did I have a hand in making
the game.
If you have any questions about Switch Axes or want some tips or have
anything else
Monster Hunter related, e-mail me at:  Hexecho@gmail.com
Special Thanks to:
Neo- Proof reading/suggestions
Monsteer Hunteer - Correction on Sword mode’s bouncing in when sharpness is
red.
Tsuuna – Hunting friend/data collector/advisor