Welcome to the Hunting Lab of Professor Santi, where we’ll be talking about Monster Hunter: World’s weapons and the best way to gain more strategies and knowledge about this beautiful, yet complex game.
For starters, we’re going to talk about my main weapon, the lovely Insect Glaive.
As we all know (or not, as you are here), this club and the Kinsect bug companion made its first appearance in Monster Hunter 4 where, even if it was a bit overpowered, it wasn’t as fast and versatile as it is in World. Basically, now you can spend a good amount of time without touching the ground if your stamina can afford it, which not only adds greater flexibility whenever you need to set some distance between you and your prey, but also makes for an extremely fun weapon to use against bigger monsters. I won’t dwell on specific hit numbers for each combo, since there’s a wiki for that, but instead this guide will cover general concepts and a few tips based on my time as an Insect Glaive user.
[Triangle Button] Standard Attack: The first and most basic attack, it is slightly different if we’re moving, introducing the possibility of chaining up to three times. If you are just starting with this weapon, go for this combination, it never fails.
[Circle Button] Strong Attack: Also different if we’re moving, can be chained with the Standard attacks and do a little more damage.
[R2 + X: Vault] To infinity and beyond folks, this is the good stuff. The Glaive launches the hunter in the air, and depending on what happens after, the outcome can be wildly different. This costs stamina, so be careful with the timing.
Well, having listed the basic moves, now we’re entering into the juicy stuff: combos! You can mix any of the combinations below, resulting in a very variable combo sequence, with different outcomes depending on which ones do you mix or how well timed they are. Remember that the full range of movements will be unlocked after consuming the red essence of the Kinsect (more on that later).
[Midair, Triangle: Aerial Attack] If correctly done, connects multiple hits as you go vertically down on a rampage spiral with your glaive. A great combo finisher if you have to go to sharp your weapon or to get out of the zone quickly, personally it’s not my favorite but is potent and VERY useful if you are attempting to mount the monster
[Midair, Cross: Midair Evade] You can only do this twice in the combo, and it costs stamina. This is our most successful way to get out of a fight or evading different kinds of monster attacks if we’re already on the air, especially useful with imminent explosions, blasts, and lightning bolts, common attacks from creatures like Kirin or Teostra.
[Midair, Circle: Jumping Advancing Slash] If the first attack connects, it hits multiple times as we dash horizontally through the air like the fairy goodmothers we all are.
Okay, let’s get serious. This is the best movement on the entire weapon, and I will tell you why.
Not only the red essence adds a larger number of hits for this movement, but also resets the dash, making us bounce again into the air automatically if we connect the last two hits. This allows us to chain this entire combo with another one, or keep doing this movement almost endlessly until we run out of stamina.
And, for god sake, this is specially useful if we’re fighting against a very BIG monster, or if it has large wings, since not only is a great offensive combo but also allows us to get out quickly and far if we’re charging a Jumping Advancing Slash with a Midair Evade, for example. This saved my life SO MANY TIMES.
Something I personally love about the glaive is the versatility it brings to the game. This sweet assistant has its own tree of upgrades and it evolves independently, offering a good range of combinations between weapon and insect. ALWAYS pay attention to them, as they can be the difference between a successful mission or a living hell.
Now. we’re sweating in a desert, surrounded by three other bearded sweaty guys, screaming as a giant chicken/salamander/chameleon-like creature rampages at us, roaring as if we had stolen its wallet. What would you do?
Exactly, you extract a red essence. No, the red.
As I said before, the red essence unlocks the full potential of this weapon, and if you pay attention to the Kinsect combos, you MUST remember those if you want to expand the lifetime of the boosts. In a spicy moment or a heavy fight, having the three boosts is cool (if you can afford it), but the only thing you really need is the red essence, the other ones can wait until you see an opening or the party manages to knock or mount the monster.
Red: The attack essence, this one is vital for the well-functioning of this weapon, and not only does it boosts attack for 60 seconds, but it also unlocks the entirety of the weapon’s movements tree. Those are the ones we’re gonna need if we want to make good use of the Insect Glaive. Generally, this essence can be obtained by collecting the essence in the heads of monsters.
White: Speed Essence, this one boosts the speed of our movement with the sheathed weapon for 90 seconds. Usually extracted from the wings and the hind legs of monsters.
Orange: Defense Essence, this raises our hunter’s defense and its tolerance to weak damage for 45 secs so we won’t get knocked as baby hunters.
Green: Healing Essence, it heals an HP percentage according to Heal level of the Kinsect. It’s the only essence we can’t include in an essence combo.
Side Note: Red, White, and Orange essences can be drawn from different places in a very few exceptions, like Diablos, that has the orange essence in its wings and white in its legs. The green one, however, can only be extracted from the monsters’ tails.
[L2 + Triangle] Kinsect Harvest Extract: The third basic move, sends the Kinsect flying to collect essence of the monster we aim at unless they’re marked (more on that later)
[L2 + Circle] Kinsect Recall: The Kinsect returns to us to consume that collected essence.
For these last two moves, pay attention to which part of the monster’s body you aim at, as the essences are different for each one, granting different bonuses to the hunter.
[L2 + R2] Fire Marker: We shoot a marker that sticks onto the monster, wherever we hit. That marker makes our Kinsect go automatically to beat the monster, and there’s where we have to look for the Kinsect Dust Type, because between hits, it leaves a colored cloud of flashbugs (a maximum of three) that, when we hit them with the glaive explodes causing elemental/blight damage that varies between kinsects. This can be extremely useful in some cases like Blast, because it does a significant amount of damage.
[R2 during Glaive combo] Melee Mark: Same as Fire Marker, but instead we mark the monster with a hit of the glaive.
Now, they are a few essence combinations and useful combos that, depending on how comfy we’re with the fight or in the heat of the moment, it could be convenient to prioritize these.
Red + White = 20% Attack increase + Individual bonuses of both essences for 60 seconds.
White + Orange = 6% Defense increase + Earplugs (resistance to some monster roars) + individual bonuses of both essences for 60 seconds.
Red + White + Orange = 25% Attack increase + 8% Defense increase + Earplugs + Individual bonuses of all essences for 60 seconds.
Let’s talk a little about the nerdy part of this: the damage. Even with the air combos that I listed before, the truth is that the most strong attacks sadly are the basic ones, the ones without air vaulting and all that. Of course, one of the attractive points of this weapon is the speed of the basic moves, making you a very good DPS, and the air combos being an alternative for more heated situations, like a big monster that likes to move fast, like Nergigante or Xenojiiva. Are the basic moves stronger? Yes, of course. Do you need to use them all the time and forget the air ones? No, not at all.
This is a weapon that allows you to be very flexible in terms of movement and fight speed as well on hit zones since you can hit on a zone that not everyone can access (the back), leaving other body parts to your teammates. You have to learn to see what’s happening and how should you move later, and changing from basic attacks to air combos depending on the monster’s behavior as well as your own playstyle. Don’t pay too much attention to the numbers and focus on how to improve your play and strategies.
Whenever you hit a monster with an airborne attack, a hidden gauge in every monster fills, and once it’s full the monster gets mounted, limiting its movement A LOT and opening it to the party attacks which, if timed correctly, can result on the monster being knocked down for a good amount of time. This can be done by every weapon, but not all of them allow you to freely attack from the air. This is where the Insect Glaive comes very useful and you can aim to mount the monster as fast as you can in order to create positive situations for your mates. Lastly, this can also be enhanced with skills.
Okay, having talked about the weapon itself, we’ll talk about the skills. I won’t talk about the obvious ones like Critical Eye or Attack Boost, but some of the less-used, that would bring a little fun in online hunts.
Power Prolonger: On level 3, it boosts our Kinsect duration to a sexy 40% more, leaving us more comfy to keep hitting that monster.
Mounting Master: As the name implies, this skill adds a percentage of effectiveness to Mounting Damage, making us mount monsters faster, which is always awesome.
Airborne: Every airborne hit we land gets a 10% more damage. Some players prefer attack boost skills but they can perfectly coexist since it has only one level, making it very easy to put in a set.