Monster Hunter World Guide - The Best Sword And Shield Builds For Beginners

Here's two very different yet useful builds for one of the most versatile weapons in the game.
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Check out this great starting build for Sword and Shield users on the PC version of Monster Hunter World.
Check out this great starting build for Sword and Shield users on the PC version of Monster Hunter World. Capcom

It’s time for another Monster Hunter World beginner build guide, where we take your weapons of choice and turn them into absolute monster-killing machines at the beginning of endgame, where the best equipment and weapons lie. For this iteration, we’ll be taking a look at one of the most versatile and fastest weapons available in Monster Hunter World, and the series as a whole – it’s the Sword and Shield combo, which offers a very decent damage output on top of defensive options through either the shield or the ease of movement.

Unlike other builds we’ve showcased, the Sword and Shield is special as there are two very good starting paths to take depending on how you want to play. For starters, you can easily opt into a set that revolves around status effects, which are invaluable if you’re in a team-based comp. Of course, you can also take the elemental route, as the Sword and Shield can dish out some serious elemental damage when built correctly. Check them both out below, with an in-depth after the jump.

Best Beginner Sword and Shield Build – Status-Based

  • Weapon – Teostra’s Emblem (Blast), Royal Rose (Poison), Baan Claw III (Sleep), Malady’s Tabar III (Paralysis) or Master Bang (Thunder-Free Elem Required)
  • Headgear – Dragonking Eyepatch alpha
  • Mail – Kushala Cista bta
  • Vambraces – Kaiser Vambraces beta
  • Coil – Nergigante Coil beta
  • Boots – Death Stench Heel beta
  • Charm – Attack Charm III

This build is very flexible and easy to get into, as you only need the usual starter endgame equipment like the Dragonking Eyepatch and Kaiser Vambraces for the Weakness Exploit, then build towards Attack Boost and Handicraft for the rest. The only thing that’s not constant is the weapon itself, as there are a lot of status-based Sword and Shield combos to choose from. If you’re playing solo, it’s better to use damage statuses like Blast and Poison, while Sleep and Paralysis statuses can be useful when you’re in a group, especially for repositioning purposes.

For Jewels to slot in, you can opt for a Release Jewel 3 if you’re going for the Master Bang weapon. Otherwise, just build towards another Handicraft and Attack Jewel, and slot in other useful ones like Sharp or Mind’s Eye.

Best Beginner Sword and Shield Build – Elemental-Based

  • Weapon – Corona (Fire), Legia Rimespire (Ice), Jagras Garotte III (Water-Free Elem Required), Lightning Nemesis III (Thunder) OR Any Elemental Weapon
  • Helm – Rath Soul Helm beta
  • Mail – Rathalos Mail beta
  • Vambraces – Kaiser Vambraces beta
  • Coil – Nergigante Coil beta
  • Boots – Death Stench Heel beta
  • Charm – Handicraft Charm III

This build is a bit harder, but if you’re aware of all the situational sub-builds it needs, then you’re basically set until late game. The two Rathalos pieces are essential for the Critical Element skill, which sees your elemental damage increase with critical hits. You will need to trade the charm in for Handicraft III, as most of the weapons you’ll use only have Blue sharpness. The weapon, of course, depends on whatever monster you’re fighting – remember to check out their weaknesses in order to get the best results. Most of these elemental weapons are pretty easy to build, and I would be surprised if you don’t already own one or two of them by now.

It’s important to remember that stronger elemental weapons sometimes need to have their respective elemental damage ‘freed’ before you can utilize them. For this you’ll need a Release Jewel 3, which has the Free Element skill. Other than that, the Jewels you use are completely up to you. You can slot in two more Critical Jewels to reach Critical Boost +3, or add more Attack Jewels for additional Attack Boost. Just remember to always look at the weapons other than just their elements – sometimes they carry negative affinities, which can really hinder your overall damage output.

Which set is better?

As much as I prefer one over the other, there really is no correct answer as to which starting set is better. Both can be very useful, as status effects are always welcome in teams while building towards elemental damage is what you’ll find yourself doing up to the endgame. Overall, it all comes down to personal preference, and the materials and equipment available to you.

If you want to test out other weapons, check out my starter builds for the Bow, Charge Blade, Long Sword, Switch Axe and Lance.

Monster Hunter World is now available to play on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

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