Just a regular bow guide to help anyone understand the bow a bit better. This is aimed for early to the start of the end game players. By no means is this a speedrun guide or a proper endgame guide.
Other MHW Guides:
- Achievements and Trophies.
- All Camp Locations.
- All Palico Gadget Locations.
- Elder Dragon Investigations.
- Where to Find Kirin (Elder Dragon).
- How to Get the Sinister Cloth (Death Stench Armor Set).
- Extreme Behemoth Guide.
- Armor Skills (Guide).
- Bow Guide.
This bow guide is more focused on the DPS of the Bow but you can play the game any way you want to I'm not here to limit you.
If you picked bow as your starting weapon you're gonna have a hard time because bow truly benefits from endgame builds and skill unlike some other certain weapons
The more experienced players might already know it but bow is an elemental weapon due to how math and numbers work in this game. That means you're going to need a set for each element if you want to be efficient or atleast a different bow for each monster you fight.
Bow in Co-op and the Moves
So alright you picked a bow .. what now?
A favorite newbie mistake is to just spam Dragon piercer which is considered a meme in the endgame .. yes it has few uses and it isn't that bad but it makes you charge it up in place and the other bow rotations can deal way more damage.
A few uses to dragon piercer can be for starting of the fight (I never do that but certain people like to start their fights off like that) or blowing the bombs with it whenever the monster is asleep.
Arc shot is another "special" move that bow has. I recommend never using it in multiplayer whenever you start out ... sadly this move will interrupt your teammates and can seriously screw them over (RIP all aerial IG users). Otherwise really good move to KO the monster in solo hunts and once you master hitting the monster's head for the whole duration it's a move worth using.
Quick shot/Power shot is a commonly used move which you use in every single rotation.
Rapid shot your normal shot.
Bow eats your stamina a lot I recommend eating rations and having your stamina cap at 150 stamina in all the hunts even when you just started. Whenever you progress enough your food will give you +50 stamina so you dont have to worry about that anymore.
There are only few exceptions when you want to hold down and charge your shots. You can always charge your shot with another shot or dashing which is way better and preffered over charging shots up. Even if you want to charge your Dragon piercer or you want to proc ailments(Paralysis/Sleep...) you can still do that by dashing.
Let's start with the best DPS combo the bow has to offer:
The Dash Dancing - This is a combo that just sucks up your stamina so you have to learn how and when to use it.
Dash -> Rapid shot -> Power shot -> Repeat the whole cycle.
Now there are multiple combos which are pretty much situational and bow truly benefits from having the Bow Charge Plus skill which you can get from Mighty Bow Jewel or Legiana armor set (not recommended). It adds a bonus charge to your bow = extending and changing your combos.
Skills for Bow Builds
Disclaimer: this list isnt sorted in any way.
- Bow Charge plus (Mighty bow jewel) - As mentioned absolute must for every bow build.
- Critical element (Kjárr weapons or Rathalos 2 set bonus) - Mandatory for each elemental build.
- Weakness Exploit (Tenderizer jewel) - Crit is a really good skill for all bows and WEX is still broken.
- Critical eye/Attack boost- As names suggest they are straight up increase to Crit/Attack (No need to go for more than Attack boost 4 as that is the point where you get 5% crit).
- Elemental damage skills - The same elemental damage jewels as your bow is.
- Spread shots (Spread jewel) - Increases dmg on Power Shots.
- Normal shots (Forceshot jewel) Increases dmg on Rapid Shots.
Stamina skills (Always nice to have)
- Constitution (Physique jewel) - reduces stamina cost of dashing and shooting.
- Stamina surge (Refresh jewel) - Increases stamina recovery.
- Health boost (Vitality jewel) - If you are getting one shotted or struggling with HP a lot you can exchange some crit for vitality and get bonus +50HP with just 3 skills in Health Boost.
- Also getting elemental resistances or deff boost can also help.
Bows You Should Get
In the endgame most of the bows you use are from the Kulve Tarroth monster but I wont be mentioning those because if you already have them you probably know your way around with builds.
I'm gonna be mentioning the best craftable bows which you should get:
- Anja arch III - Fire element bow (Still the best fire bow in the game so 100% get this one).
- Legia Snowfletcher - Ice element bow (Worth getting).
- Dragonbone bow - Dragon element bow (Fairly easy to get and a good crafted bow).
- Flying Kadachi Strikebow - Thunder element bow (This one isnt the greatest but still the best choice to craft, also good with paralysis ailment).
- Hunter's Proudbow II - Water element bow (You need release element 3 for it to be good).
- Water shot III - Water element bow (Not ideal but a decent replacement for Hunter's Proudbow).
I'm just gonna post some links and send you the right way in here.There are already enough bow build videos and guides...
In most of these builds for crafted bows you are going to need 2 piece Rathalos set bonus.Your priority in bow builds is all the usefull skills I mentioned before.Get Critical element into the build -> Try to get as close to 100% affinity as you can -> Add some stamina skills (those are super important).
For more advanced guides/builds and other nice stuff check out the MHW Math guys over here.
Also be sure you join their discord it's full of nice and skilled people which can help you in any way possible.
Tools and Gameplay
For early game I recommend using Vitality mantle or Health booster (If you're gonna stand on place or come back to it to get healed).
Once you get the option to the go to mantles are gonna be:
Evasion Mantle - You can use this mantle 100% of the time .. helps you dodge and increases damage whenever you do. Also helps a lot with dodging monster roars which is something you must learn to do all the time if you want to master killing the monsters and staying alive D:
Here's a short video about dodging roars which might be able to help you a bit :
Temporal Mantle/Impact Mantle - Use temporal mantle in co-op or if you're bad at dodging or dealing with some nasty monsters / Use impact mantle if you're playing solo or a CC role in a team and spam Power/Arc shots on it's head. If you want to see how this looks you can check out Lunastra speedruns (In most of them they abuse the Impact mantle so Lunastra doesnt even get up).
There are all sorts of food skills which you can check the MHW wiki for but there are 2 certain skillswhich you might want to get for your bow hunts:
- Felyne Black Belt: Constitution the food skill (reduces stamina consumption)
- Felyne Sharpshooter: Increases damage of Rapid shots (Normal shots = works for LBG/HBG too)
There are all sorts of items you can bring with you on the hunt like Might seeds/Demondrugs/Powders.
But there is one that you must have for a good Bow hunt : Dash Juice (240 sec duration).
On the other hand dont waste your resources on Pills: Might pill for example (Lasts only 20 secs).
Ailments and Coatings
This is very situational and changes with your builds and how far you're in game.Anyway using Para coating isnt that bad but in the best case scenario you want to be using Power coating/Close-range coating all the time because with these you deal the most dmg.Sleep coating is usefull for bombing the monster or preparing to cut some part for example.Other than really early game dont even bother using poison coating.Blast coating has certain uses but they are pretty limited.
Quick note: Xeno'jiva's Spare shot isn't used for Bow builds like for LBG/HBG for example.