Mhw iceborne gunlance guide

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How To Use Gunlance Guide - Recommended Combos & Tips

Check out this Monster Hunter World: Iceborne guide & walkthrough on how to use the weapon - Gunlance! Learn recommended combos, skills, play tips, and more!!

How To Use Gunlance Guide - Recommended Combos & Tips
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How To Use Gunlance

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Gunlance - Overview & Strengths

Explosive Firepower With Good Range & Excellent Guarding

Explosive Firepower With Good Range & Excellent Guarding

The Gunlance is a unique weapon that is quite different from its brother, the Lance. Instead of dash attacks, it shoots explosive shells that can deal massive damage to any part of the monster.

Unique Explosive Feature Called Shelling

Unique Explosive Feature Called Shelling

The Gunlance has an extraordinary feature that allows it to shoot shells towards a monster, causing it to explode & inflict heavy damage.

Can Guard Against Monster Attacks

Can Guard Against Monster Attacks

Like the Lance, the Gunlance is capable of protecting the Hunter from incoming monster attacks. It has high guarding power that is one of the most notable in Monster Hunter World.

Ignores Monster Tough Spots With Shelling

The unique feature of the Gunlance is its capability to shoot explosive shells onto monsters. These ignore monster tough spots, allowing it to damage monster parts that are normally impervious to damage.

3 Types Of Gunlance Shelling

Type Feature Shell
Normal Higher Burst Fire damage 5
Long Higher Charged Shelling damage 3
Wide Higher Wyvern's Fire & Wyrmstake Cannon damage 2

Choosing the type of Gunlance Shell can change how you play the weapon. Each Shell has a different capacity and affinity to certain attacks.

Cannot Launch Shell When Sharpness Is Red

When your Gunlance's weapon sharpness is in the red, be sure to sharpen immediately. This means you won't be able to shoot any shells, lowering your DPS greatly in the fight.

Has Special Moves When Launching Shells

Burst Fire Unleashes All Shells In Explosive Fire

Burst Fire Unleashes All Shells In Explosive Fire

The Gunlance's Burst Fire (Full Burst) attack unloads all of its shells in one explosive shot. This ignores the monster's tough spots, making it easy to break horns or damage monster parts.

Charged Shelling Does Bigger Damage With One Shell

Charged Shelling Does Bigger Damage With One Shell

For Gunlances that don't have a lot of shells in their arsenal, Charged Shelling provides higher damage with a single shot. After a thrust, press & hold the Shelling button to charge then release to shoot.

Wyrmstake Cannons Stick To Monsters Then Explodes

Shoots Wyrmstake Cannons That Stick To Monsters

The Wyrmstake Cannon is a projectile that Another unique feature the Gunlance has is that it can shoot a projectile onto a monster that will explode after a few seconds. This is called a Wyrmstake Cannon and is great in breaking or severing monster parts.

Wyvern's Fire Has Heavy Damage But Overheats Gunlance


Wyvern's Fire also shoots out all of the Gunlance's shells but takes longer to reload and essentially overheats your weapon. However, it has exponentially higher damage potential than Burst Fire and is great when monsters are toppled, trapped, or stationary.

Dodging Is Slow & Shelling Loses Sharpness Fast

The Gunlance is not known for mobility. Due to it guarding capability, dodging with this weapon can be slow and draggy. It also loses sharpness fast, with each shell shot, thus reloading and firing intervals are needed to maintain the weapon's attack integrity.

Gunlance - Recommended Combo List

Basic Gunlance Attack Combo

  • 1. Lunging Upthrust
  • 2. Overhead Smash
  • 3. Wide Sweep
  • 4. Wyrmstake Cannon

This is a basic attack combo with the Wyrmstake Cannon move at the end. It also closes in on the monster, doing both vertical and horizontal attacks to keep hitting the target.

Burst Fire + Wyrmstake Cannon Attack Combo

  • 1. Rising Slash
  • 2. Overhead Smash
  • 3. Burstfire
  • 4. Wide Sweep
  • 5. Wyrmstake Cannon

With this move, you can smoothly transition from Burst Fire to Wyrmstake Cannon, allowing you to deal heavy explosive damage on the target monster.

Continuous Shelling Attack Combo

  • 1. Lateral Thrust I
  • 2. Shelling
  • 3. Lateral Thrust I
  • 4. Shelling
  • 5. Lateral Thrust I
  • 6. Quick Reload
  • 7. Rising Slash
  • 8. Shelling

This combo is a basic loop of you shooting Shells and then reloading in between shots. This is great when the monster is not moving or if your target is fixed.

Gunlance - Recommended Skill List

Loadout For Higher Attack & Shelling Power + Reinforce Guarding

When you're keen on using the Gunlance, it's important to increase your weapon's attack power while countering its tendency to lose sharpness quickly over the course of the hunt.

Recommended Skills For More Explosive Firepower

Skill Effect
RECOMMENDED! Attack Boost Increases raw attack power plus affinity rate after a certain level
RECOMMENDED! Weakness Exploit Increases affinity rate of attacks that land on monster weak spots
RECOMMENDED! Handicraft Increases weapon's sharpness gauge
Artillery Strengthen's explosive attacks of gunlance shells
Capacity Boost Increases a weapon's loading capacity
Critical Boost Increases the damage of critical hits
Critical Eye Increases your affinity rate
Maximum Might Raises affinity when stamina bar is full

The recommended skill loadout above emphasizes boosting the Gunlance's attack power, especially with its shelling. It also gives you increased Crit and sharpness.

Skills To Reinforce Guarding & Improve Gameplay

Skill Effect
RECOMMENDED! Guard While guarding, knockback and stamina consumption is decreased
RECOMMENDED! Guard Up Can block normally unguardable monster attacks
RECOMMENDED! Protective Polish Weapon does not dull for a time after sharpening
Speed Sharpening Lessens time needed to sharpen weapon
Evade Window Increases time of invulnerabilty when you dodge
Mind's Eye/Ballistics Prevents your attacks from being deflected
Flinch Free Prevents knockbacks and trippings, depending on skill level

The Gunlance excels in guarding against monster attacks and these skills will further reinforce its guarding capabilities. It also provides a solution to the weapon's quick loss of sharpness due to shelling and reloading.

Gunlance - Gameplay Tips & Tricks

Use & Abuse Gunlance's Guard Ability

Use & Abuse Gunlance

Since the Gunlance has the 2nd highest guarding ability in Monster Hunter World, it's always best to use and abuse it. This ability will protect you from monster attacks, allowing you to get close and deal shotgun damage to the monster.

Target Breakable Parts With Wyrmstake Cannon

The Wyrmstake Cannon deals high explosive damage to the monster part that it hits. If you're looking to break a monster horn or tail, sic the Wyrmstake Cannon onto that part and watch it break in the explosion.

Sharpen Often To Maintain Weapon Attack Power

Using your shells will cause your weapon to lose sharpness fast. Sharpen every so often to maintain the Gunlance's weapon power so you can inflict as heavy damage as you can.

Dragon Gunlances Can Send Teammates Flying

Most of the Gunlances shelling or explosive firepower don't send teammates reeling back or flying. But take note of dragon-based Gunlances as these have the ability to knock your fellow Hunters off their feet when caught in your shell's explosions.

Gunlance - Damage Per Move

Motion values are still being confirmed in-game and damage per move written below is based on the Training Area.

Weapon Move Damage
Wyvern's Fire 168
Wyrmstake Cannon 130
Wide Sweep 57
Overhead Smash 42
Jumping Smash 38
Jumping Reload Smash 37
Charged Shelling 28
Lunging Upthrust 26
Rising Slash 26
Lateral Thrust III: 21
II: 21
I: 20
Jumping Thrust 21
Burst Fire 20 x No. of Shells
Aerial Burst 20 x No. of Shells
Shelling 18
Guard Thrust III: 16
II: 15
I: 15

Gunlance - Basic Move List

Basic Move List

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This is a guide on how to use the high-explosive melee gun hybrid of Monster Hunter World (MHW), the Gunlance. Read on more to learn about their controls and how to effectively use them.

L2.png+ O button.png
Fire Clutch Claw

Shelling is the firing of the gunlance like an actual gun. The bullet does not travel, but it causes an explosion at the tip of the lance. What's unique about this is that it ignores monster armor, although each shot takes double the sharpness of a normal hit. These rounds also need to be reloaded if they run out, though at the cost of no items.

Wyvern Fire is a massive explosion that causes overheating of the gunlance. Once doing this, you'll notice your weapon physically open up and expose a hot-red portion. As long as this shows up on your weapon, your Wyvern Fire is on cooldown.

The Wyrmstake Cannon is a sharp blade that can get stuck in monsters, causing damage over time for a few seconds and culminating after. It's usually the last strike of a combo and it cannot reload via quick reloads, only full reloads when blocking. Take note however that these are easy to miss as there's a few second delay between the thrust and ejection of the Wyrmstake.

Second to the Lance, the Gunlance's blocking is best in-game. As long as you have stamina, you can block most of the attacks monsters can throw at you. Be aware, however, that some attacks can break through your block, and these attacks often deal massive damage.

Triangle button.png> Triangle button.png> Triangle button.png> O button.png

This basic combo is a good way to close distance against enemies, ending up with a strong shot. This combo attacks mostly frontwards.

Triangle button.png+ O button.png> Triangle button.png> Triangle button.png> Triangle button.png

This is one of the stronger combos. The first two attacks hit overhead, followed by a third wide slash, then a final hit that's a Wyrmstake Cannon hit.

O button.png> O button.png> O button.png

This is a simple combo that shoots two shots and ends with a Wyrmstake Cannon strike. Very useful and should often be followed by a full reload.

Triangle button.png+ O button.png> O button.png> O button.png> O button.png> O button.png

To shoot upwards, which is especially useful if you're underneath a monster, start with an upward strike, then proceed to shoot while the lance is up. The shots and the Wyrmstake will go upwards instead of forwards, allowing you to deal damage directly above you.

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Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Guide Combos Controls and Moveset

This is a guide to the Gunlance, a weapon in Monster Hunter Rise (MH Rise). Read on to learn about new Gunlance controls and combos, how to use Gunlance shelling, Gunlance's Blast Dash as well as details on Gunlance Switch Skills.

Buttons X.pngLeft ClickLateral Thrust
Buttons A.pngRight ClickShelling
(Hold)Buttons A.png(Hold)Right ClickCharged Shelling
Buttons X.png+ Buttons A.png
Left Click + Right ClickRising Slash
After Rising Slash, Buttons X.png

After Rising Slash, Left Click

Overhead Smash
After Overhead Smash, Buttons X.png

After Overhead Smash, Left Click

Wide Sweep
Button zR.pngMB4Guard
Button zR.png+ Buttons X.png
MB4 + Left ClickGuard Thrust
Button zR.png+ Buttons A.png
MB4 + Right ClickReload
After an attack,
Button zR.png+ Buttons A.png
After an attack,

MB4 + Right Click

Quick Reload
Button B.pngSpaceBackstep
After Overhead Smash, Buttons A.png

After Hail Cutter, Buttons A.png

After Overhead Smash, Right Click

After Hail Cutter, Right Click

Full Burst
After Wide Sweep, Buttons X.pngor Buttons A.png

After 2 Shelling, Buttons A.png

After Full Burst, Buttons A.png

After Guard Edge, Buttons A.png

Buttons X.png+ Buttons A.pngthen Buttons X.png+ Buttons A.png

After Wide Sweep, Left Click or Right Click

After 2 Shelling, Right Click

After Full Burst, Right Click

After Guard Edge, Right Click

Left Click + Right Click then Left Click + Right Click

Wyrmstake Cannon
Button zR.png+ Buttons X.png+ Buttons A.png
MB4 + Left Click + Right ClickWyvern's Fire
Buttons zL.png+ Buttons X.png
Middle Click + Left ClickHail Cutter
Buttons zL.png+ Buttons A.png
Middle Click + Right ClickGuard Edge
Basic Combo
Lunging Upthrust
Left Analog.png+ Buttons X.png

WASD + Left Click

Mid Thrust I
Buttons X.png
Left Click
Mid Thrust II
Buttons X.png
Left Click
Buttons A.png
Right Click
Burst Fire Combo
Rising Slash
Buttons X.png+ Buttons A.png

Left Click + Right Click

Overhead Smash
Buttons X.png

Left Click

Burst Fire
Buttons A.png

Right Click

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Hail Cutter Silkbind Attack.jpg

Switch Controls
Buttons zL.png+ Buttons X.png
PC Controls

Middle Click + Left Click

Hail Cutter is a Silkbind Attack that launches the hunter airborne while reloading the Gunlance. The move finishes with a downward slam where you may opt to use 'full burst' or Wyvern Fire with a shortened charge time!

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Guard Edge Silkbind Attack.jpg

Switch Controls
Buttons zL.png+ Buttons A.png
PC Controis

Middle Click + Right Click

Guard Edge is a Silkbind Attack that acts like a counter-guard but restores sharpness. Considering how Gunlance shelling eats up sharpness at a rapid rate, this is a great addition to Gunlance's arsenal!

MH Rise - GL Ground Splitter

Ground Splitter is a Switch Skill switchable with Hail Cutter. The hunter will drag the Gunlance on the ground while moving foward and strike with an upward slash. It also temporarily boosts the damage for shells, Wyrmstake Shots, and Wyvern's Fire.

Switch Skills are unlocked as you progress in the game. The very first one is obtained after finishing the ★3 Village Urgent Quest, Feathered Frenzy.

The best Switch Skills we recommend for each slot are marked in red.

ControlsOriginal SkillSwitch Skill
Right Click
Charged ShellingBlast Dash
zL + X
Middle Click + Left Click
Hail CutterGround Splitter
zR + A
MB4 + Right Click
Quick ReloadGuard Reload

Switch Skills Guide: How to Unlock Switch Skills

MH Rise - GL Blast Dash

Switched WithControls
Charged Shelling
Hold Buttons A.png, and release when charged

Can be performed mid-air using
Button zR.png+ Buttons A.png

Hold Right Click, and release when charged

Can be performed mid-air using

MB4 + Right Click

Uses recoil to travel far. Aims the Gunlance backwards then launches forward to close in the target. It is possible to use Blast Dash again while hurtling!

Blast Dash propels your hunter using the force of the Gunlance artillery. It does not have any damaging potential but is useful for closing out the distance between you and the monster. Blast Dash can be used up to three (3) times.

MH Rise - GL Ground Splitter

Switched WithControls
Hail Cutter
Buttons zL.png+ Buttons X.png

Middle Click + Left Click
Scrapes the ground while slashing upwards. Increases shell, Wyrmstake Shot, and Wyvern Fire damage temporarily.
Wirebug Gauge Recovery Speed: Slow
Wirebug Cost: 1

Ground Splitter drags your Gunlance on the ground, heating the tip while increasing the damage of shelling and Wyvern's Fire for a short time. Change into this Switch Skill as soon as you unlock it!

MH Rise - GL Guard Reload.gif

Switched WithControls
Quick Reload
Button zR.png+ Buttons A.png

MB4 + Right Click
Has a Guard at the start of the reload. Reloads both the shells and the Wyrmstake Cannon but only reloads less shells than normal Reload.

In Guard Reload, your artillery rounds are reduced to 3 but reloading is now guarded. This will also reload your Wyrmstake Cannon.

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Charged Shelling.png

Switch Controls
(Hold) Buttons A.png
PC Controls

(Hold) Right Click

You charge your gunlance and unload a single burst of fire onto a monster. Unlike the Unload Burst, charged shelling only consumes 1 ammo at the cost of dealing less damage.

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Wyrmstake Cannon.png

PC and Switch Controls
After 2 Shelling, Buttons A.pngor Right Click

After a Shelling, ↓ + Buttons A.pngor S+ Right Click

After a Full Burst, Buttons A.pngor Right Click

After a Guard Edge, Buttons A.pngor Right Click

After a Wide Sweep, Buttons A.pngor Right Click

Buttons X.png+ Buttons A.pngButtons X.png+ Buttons A.pngor
Left Click+ Right Clickx 2

The Wyrmstake Cannon uses a large metallic stake or harpoon-like ammo which deals a massive amount of damage when fired. Accompanied by this cannon are two attacks which in turn makes the combo a devastating blow to any enemy monster. There are multiple ways to achieve this combo so practice what feels comfortable the most to you.

The Wyrmstake Cannon needs to be reloaded every time it is used using guard reload and normal reload. It cannot be reloaded using Quick Reload.

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Wyrmstake Cannon With Ammo.jpgEnlarge
With Ammo
Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Wyrmstake Cannon Without Ammo.jpgEnlarge
Without Ammo
Switch Controls
Buttons zR.pngButtons A.png
PC Controls

MB4Right Click

Reloading your Wrymstake Cannon is different from reloading the ammo in your Gunlance. Always keep in mind that you cannot successfully perform a Wyrmstake Cannon combo if your gunlance is empty. Reload them using Normal Reload or Guard Reload, Quick Reload will not reload the Wyrmstake Cannon.

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Guarding While During Wyvern Fire

Switch Controls
Button zR.png+ Buttons X.png+ Buttons A.png
PC Controls

MB4Left Click + Right Click

While the Wyvern Fire isn't a new move to the Gunlance, it was observed that when using Wyvern Fire, the hunter is capable of guarding against attacks! A new and handy feature!

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Burst Fire

Switch Controls
After Using Overhead Smash, Buttons A.png
PC Controls

After Using Overhead Smash, Right Click

The Burst Fire is a returning move in Monster Hunter Rise! Burst Fire is a move that quickly fires all the current shell you have and is a great move to use for Gunlances with normal ammo types due to its massive amount of ammunition.

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Charged Shelling

Switch Controls
Hold Buttons A.png
PC Controls

Hold Right Click

The Charged Shelling is an old gunlance feature that allows you to increase a shell's damage by charging your shots. It's extremely effective for long-type gunlance ammo due to its inherently high damage output.

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Full Firepower Combo.gif

Switch Controls
Buttons X.png+ Button A.pngButtons X.pngButton A.pngButtons X.pngButton A.png
PC Controls

Left Click + Right ClickLeft ClickRight ClickLeft ClickRight Click

This combo utilizes all of the high damage moves of the Gunlance but leaves you open to counterattacks. Only use this combo when the monster is down.

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Wyrmstake Cannon + Guard Edge Combo.gif

Switch Controls
Button zR.png+ Button A.pngButton A.png
PC Controls

MB4 + Right ClickRigh Click

With this combo, you can start prepping the Wyrmstake Cannon when the monster roars as that is your opening. Quickly transferring into guard edge can help block against the attack after the roar which then leaves the monster open for you to blast them with your readied Wyrmstake Cannon.

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Full Blast End in Guard Edge Combo.gif

Switch Controls
Button zR.png+ Button A.pngButtons X.pngButton A.png
PC Controls

Middle Click + Rght ClickLeft ClickRight Click

This combo allows you to enter into a Guard Edge then transfer into a full burst. You can also integrate movements for re-positioning yourself while slamming down attacks.

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Infinite Full Burst Combo.gif

Switch Controls
Buttons X.png+ Button A.pngButtons X.pngButton A.pngButtons X.pngButton zR.png+ Button A.png→ ....
PC Controls

Left Click + Right ClickLeft ClickRight ClickLeft ClickMiddle Click + Rght Click → ....

A full combo that bombards the target with infinite full bursts using Ammo Up and Reload Speed and goes well with Normal Shelling Gunlances.

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Fastest Wyrmstake Cannon Combo.gif

Switch Controls
Hold Buttons A.png→ ↓ + Buttons A.png
PC Controls

Hold Right ClickS + Right Click

This combo enables your Wyrmstake Cannon to execute faster if shot from Charged Shelling. Combine this with the Switch Skill Guard Reload and you will have an infinite combo.

Check IconUse the Wyvern Fire

Check IconShelling bypasses Monster Armor

Check IconUse Guard Edge to recover sharpness

Check IconUse Wyrmstake Cannon

Check IconUse traps to lock a monster in place for your high artillery combos

Check IconKnow the different shelling types' individual pros and cons

Check IconMaster the three types of reload

Check IconWyvern Fire can flinch allies

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Wyvern Fire Big Damage

Wyvern Fire is the most powerful attack the Gunlance can deliver. Make sure it hits the monster so it would not be wasted!

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Shelling Bypass Armor

Shelling bypasses monster armor so you may bombard any part of the body regardless of the toughness!

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Guard Edge Silkbind Attack Restores Sharpness

Guard Edge is a great addition to Gunlance's arsenal. This is very useful considering that shelling rapidly decreases Gunlance sharpness! You may also use armor skills like Handicraft or Speed Sharpening to mitigate the rapid sharpness decrease.

The Wyrmstake Cannon is Gunlance's main DPS improving skill. It almost doubles your damage so always make sure that the monster has a Wyrmstake cannon in it and keep firing on it with shells!

The Wyvern's Fire used to be Gunlance's strongest move but is replaced by the less flashy Wyrmstake Cannon. The Wyvern's Fire is a burst attack and using it on a monster that has a Wyrmstake Cannon will make the Cannon proc extra explosions from the Wyvern's Fire. The deadliest artillery combo.

Traps are a valuable item in Monster Hunter games. It allows you to ensnare a monster and potentially capture it when their HP is low. With Gunlance's bursty nature, a single opening can prove fatal to monsters, and using traps is a surefire way to get that opening.

The Gunlance's playstyle, while fixed into the DPS tank role, will vary greatly depending on their weapon's shelling type.

AmmoBest Movesets and Playstyles
NormalMost Ammo capacity, gets high damage from Burst Fire due to ammo quantity.
SpreadLeast ammo capacity, benefits greatly from a poke, fire, quick reload style of play.
LongMedium ammo capacity, has the highest shelling damage and can benefit the most from Wyrmstake Cannon and Shelling only playstlyle.
ReloadSlow Reload Speed
Bullets and Wyrmstake are both reloaded
Quick ReloadFast Reload Speed
Only the bullets are reloaded
Guard Reload
Switch Skill
Can Guard while reloading
Fast Reload Speed that includes the Wyrmstake but reloads only 3 bullets

It is important to know when to use these types of reloading. Wyrmstake Cannon is very powerful but it is cumbersome to reload. A great Gunlance player knows if the situation calls for Reload or Quick Reload.

The Switch Skill Guard Reload is the middle ground but you don't unlock it until the Hub ★6 so it's a long way to go. By that time, you should have mastered both Reload and Quick Reload.

Switch Skills Guide: How to Unlock Switch Skills

Be careful on using the Wyvern Fire when there are allies nearby. The explosion can flinch them and will disrupt their combo. Maintain proper decorum and use Wyvern Fire only when there isn't an ally nearby or let them know if you will use it so they can back off.

RankB Rank Icon

The Gunlance is a weapon that can easily deal damage. However, since there's a big windup time for its attacks, it needs knowledge of a monster's moves so it doesn't get interrupted. The Gunlance is also slow, making it difficult to move around the battlefield.

Weapon Tier List

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Strengths

Check IconShelling neglects monster armor

Check IconPhysical attacks are strong too

Check IconLong reach and can aim high places

Check IconOne of the best with guarding

Shelling attacks ignore monster armor so Gunlance players revolve their playstyle around it. This is mostly where the Gunlance shows its full potential!

Though shelling is where the power lies, Gunlance's physical attacks are not too shabby either! Depending on the situation, you can build your Gunlance for poking only!

Like the Lance, the Gunlance also has a long reach and can aim high. This enables the hunter to reach the high heads of Anjanath or hit flying enemies like Rathalos!

The Gunlance is also top tier when it comes to guarding! It is possible to bombard enemies with shelling while guarding to keep this in mind!

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Weaknesses

Check IconShelling consumes sharpness

Check IconVery poor mobility

Check IconWyvern's Fire and Shelling Ammo needs proper management

Unfortunately, shelling rapidly consumes sharpness. Remember to use Guard Edge or sharpen during the fight! We suggest putting in the armor skill Master's Touch to slow down sharpness degradation. If not, just opt with Speed Sharpening so you can sharpen in less time.

When unsheathed, the Gunlance reduces the hunter to a crawl. Sheath your weapon or build your Gunlance for Evade Extend to reposition effectively! Blast Dash can be used to mitigate this but you will not have access to Charged Shelling anymore.

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Wyvern

In addition to managing sharpness, Gunlance users must also manage the Gunlance's Wyvern's Fire and Shelling ammo. This requires optimal presence of mind whenever you play!

Check IconWyvern Fire can be shot while guarding

Check IconWyvern Fire cooldown is shown (below the Wyrmstake Cannon icon)

Check IconBurst Fire now possible from the start of a combo

Check IconSpread Shelling has the stun values

Monster Hunter Rise - Gunlance Wyvern Fire Meter Appears Now.png

The cooldown for the Wyvern Fire is now displayed with an orange meter below the Wyrmstake Cannon icon. You can now see (at a glance) if Wyvern Fire is ready!

Weapons Partial Banner.png

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Monster Hunter World Iceborne - Gunlance New Moves Guide

At its best, the MHW Gunlance is a tremendously versatile weapon. It offers high damage, the ability to break monster parts, and incredible defense. The Monster Hunter World: Iceborne expansion made that truer than ever. Now the three different styles of MHW Gunlance offer different advantages and disadvantages — depending on your shell type. That makes choosing the best Gunlance in MHW pretty difficult. There isn’t so much one shell type or weapon that stands above the rest. Instead, you need to look carefully at each category and consider which one is best for you. Our guide to the best MHW Gunlance is here to help! Let’s take a look at what goes into all these ultra-flashy boomsticks, and which one might be best for you.

Note: This guide references weapons only attainable by fighting the limited-time monster known as Safi’Jiva. Awakened Weapons are the randomized drops that you get at the end of any Safi’Jiva siege. Whereas Xeno + weapons are built normally, along the Xeno’Jiva tree, using parts from both Xeno’Jiva and Safi’Jiva to reach the highest level of upgrade.

To determine when Safi’Jiva is available on your system, please head to the official MHW event calendar for consoles right here. Steam players can find their own event calendar at this link instead.

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Normal Shell – Full Burst Style

Gunlances with the normal shell modifier are typically played using the “full burst” playstyle. This is where you initiate a melee combo (usually by stabbing forward), slam your Gunlance down with Triangle+Circle/Y+B (depending on your controller), and detonate all your shells at once with Circle/B. Then you can slash again and do a quick reload to create an infinite combo of powerful strikes and explosive finishers. This takes advantage of the normal shell Gunlance’s high ammo capacity, but low individual damage.

Safi’s Shatterbuster or Venombuster(Safi’Jiva): Since normal shell Gunlances use melee combos more than their peers, you’re free to use whatever element or status effect you prefer. However, you might as well get the highest level of shell possible. Any Awakened Gunlance from Safi’Jiva will give you just that, with the right ability. And while you can get Safi’Jiva variants in all elemental types, Blast and Poison damage are the “easy” options. Blast in particular does tremendous raw damage (while breaking monster parts and building up consistently). No normal monster in the game is immune to either effect. Whereas Safi’Jiva and Xeno’Jiva actually take increased damage from both.

Stygian Avaritia (Stygian Zinogre): Your other option for Level 7 normal shells, for the time being, is the Stygian Avaritia. This sucker takes some serious farming in the Guiding Lands. However, it will earn you a decent Gunlance with the highest level of shells in the game, plus some incredible purple sharpness. And it’s not tied to an event monster like Safi’Jiva!

Queen’s Panoply (Gold Rathian): Before its first wave of free updates, the best weapons in Iceborne were typically Gold Rathian variants. These are all-rounders with high damage, Affinity, sharpness, and Poison. The downside is that they only have Level 6 normal shells — meaning the burst will do less damage compared to the newly introduced Level 7 version. The upside is that this golden Gunlance is significantly easier to farm than its siege or Guiding Lands cousins.

Long Shell – Charged Shelling Style

Long shell Gunlances are typically all about charging. After any melee attack, you can hold down the fire button — Circle on PlayStation or B on Xbox — to fire a juiced-up single shot from your weapon. Long variants do the most damage with this attack type, and hit from a greater distance thanks to their higher range.

Xeno Hemta + (Xeno’Jiva/Safi’Jiva): Not all Safi’Jiva weapons rely on random drops. You can also construct upgraded versions of the Xeno’Jiva tree from base MHW using Safi’Jiva body parts — forgoing the need to farm Dracolite. They’re pretty good, too! The Xeno Hemta + comes with 15 percent Affinity, some of the highest raw damage in this weapon class, and a whopping two Level 4 decoration slots. You won’t get much use out of Affinity with a charged shelling build. However, those extra slots are tremendously hard to pass up.

Deathlance Vaal Spysa (Blackveil Vaal Hazak): On paper, the Deathlance Vaal Spysa is weaker than the Xeno Hemta + in nearly every way. It sports weaker raw damage, less sharpness, zero Affinity, and only two Level 2 decoration slots (compared to two Level 4 slots). However, damage and Affinity barely come into play with charge shelling builds — since shell damage is fixed according to level, and isn’t affected by sharpness unless you get extremely low. That means the Spysa (which also sports Level 6 shells) only really loses out to the Hemta + on slots.

The Spysa isn’t tied to an event, either. That means any player can farm for this weapon at any time — without needing to wait for a siege. That makes it a perfect early step if you’re just starting out with long shell Gunlances.

Wide Shell – Poke Style

Wide shell Gunlances saw some pretty major changes with the release of Iceborne. Once the go-to shell type for their class, the shotgun spears are now just one option among many. Specifically, wide shell Gunlances are good for the “poke” playstyle — wherein you mostly stay behind your shield, poke the enemy with a melee attack, fire a shell, and repeat, stringing together the shots, stabs, and quick reloads.

There are several benefits to this style of play. Poking means you never have to commit to long combos (as with the full burst playstyle). Nor do you push yourself back with recoil (as with the charged shelling playstyle). That means your damage stays incredibly consistent, as if you were using a standard Lance, while allowing you to shift to a block on the fly. Plus you can break monster parts and build up status effects at a good clip.

Raging Brachydios Gunlance

Lightbreak Gunlance (Raging Brachydios): Blast damage, purple sharpness, and two potent decoration slots: you can’t expect much more than what the Lightbreak Gunlance provides. Sure, the sharpness isn’t as high as the Furious Rajang version, but that’s not a major factor on this weapon type anyway — just a nice bonus. It also doesn’t have any innate Affinity. But this exploding pike has the highest base raw of any Gunlance currently in MHW, without the negative Affinity that usually entails. Not to mention Blast damage is just good all around. Plus a Level 4 and a Level 3 decoration slot makes this one powerful addition to any build you want to play around with. Finally, a good Brachydios weapon in MHW!

Furious Rajang Gunlance

Demonlord Gunlance (Furious Rajang): Surprisingly shortly after the release of Safi’Jiva, two new normal weapons gave the Gunlance category a run for its money. The Demonlord Gunlance comes from the Furious Rajang variant of the famously angry monkey. Like its counterpart, it’s one of just two Gunlances in the game to sport Level 7 wide shells! Not even the standard Safi’Jiva sports that. Though who knows what might happen with a potential new monsters down the line… Even so, this surprisingly hardy stick sports a whole mess of purple sharpness, 15 percent Affinity, and a somewhat respectable 300 Thunder damage. However, we probably give the nod to the previous Gunlance.

Safi’s Shatterbuster (Safi’Jiva): Safi’Jiva weapons are typically some of the best in the game (if you can get them). And the Blast damage from Safi’s Shatterbuster pairs well with the mix of melee strikes and quick shells you fire with this style. Just make sure you roll for Level 6 wide shells. You’re probably better off just farming for Raging Brachydios, though, if you’re truly married to the Wide life. That’s especially true since the Raging Brachydios armor set is the best in the game for Gunlance users.


Gunlance mhw guide iceborne


Lunging UpthrustDraw Attack >
Forward+Combos into: Will initiate a short slide on a slope. Can combo into:
  • Jumping Rising Slash
  • Sliding Guard (R2)
  • Jump
Lateral Thrust I, II, IIIStanding >
Lunging Upthrust > I combos into II and II combos into III.
Combos into: Rising SlashStanding > +
Lateral Thrust > +Combos into: Overhead SmashRising Slash >
Quick Reload Alt > +Combos into: Wide SweepOverhead Smash >
Burst Fire >
Jumping (Reload) Smash > Combos into:
  • WyrmStake /
  • Quick Reload Alt   R2+
ShellResets Lateral Thrust, Guard Thrust, and Rising Thrust combos.Charged ShellHold Same properties as Shell.Burst FireOverhead Smash >
Jumping (Reload) Smash > Combos into:
  • Wide Sweep
  • WyrmStake
Wyrmstake2 consecutive Shell >
Burst Fire >
Wide Sweep > /
Aerial Burst > /Wyrmstake can fire at a higher angle if the Shells are performed after a Rising Slash. WyrmstakeGuardHold R2Combos into: Guard Thrust I, II, IIIGuard > Can be comboed up to 3 times (short window). Cannot combo into II or III if R2 is held down.
Combos into: Wyvern FireGuard > +After firing, the Gunlance will expose its cooling components (a red glow). Wyvern Fire cannot be used again until the Gunlance fully cools down.Any-stepBranch into a Backstep, a Backstep (long), a Forward Step, or a Side Step. All of these can be chained up to 3 times, except for Backstep (long), which cannot be chained to another step. Consumes stamina.BackstepStanding >
Mid-combo > Default from Any-Step. Hop backward.Backstep (long)Mid Combo > Back+Hop backward for a longer distance. Cannot be chained into another Any-Step.Forward StepStanding > Forward+
Mid Combo > Forward+Dash forward for a short distance.Side StepMid-combo > left/right+Slide to the left or right.ReloadStanding/Walking > R2+Reload shells and Wyrmstake.Quick ReloadMid-combo > R2+Reload shells, but NOT wyrmstake. Only when the combo is part of the Lateral Thrust combo.
Combos into: Quick Reload AMid-combo > R2+Reload shells, but NOT wyrmstake. Only when the combo is part of the Rising Slash combo.
Combos into: Quick Reload BMid-combo > R2+Reload shells, but NOT wyrmstake. Only when the combo is part of the Guard Thrust combo.
Combos into: Jumping ThrustMid-air >
Mid-air Draw Attack > Combos into: Jumping Reload SmashLunging Upthrust toward a wall or a ledge
Mid-air > R2
Mid-air Draw Attack > R2
Jumping Rising Slash > R2Changes into a Jumping Smash if the shells are fully loaded. When this move is initiated by a Lunging Upthrust while the shells are not fully loaded, then a Wyrmstake is also loaded.
Combos into: Jumping SmashLunging Upthrust toward a wall or a ledge
Mid-air > R2
Mid-air Draw Attack > R2
Jumping Rising Slash > R2Changes into a Jumping Reload Smash when the shell are not fully loaded. Does not change into a Jumping Reload Smash when shells are loaded but the Wyrmstake is not.
Combos into: Sliding GuardSliding > R2Guard related actions cannot be performed during a Sliding GuardJumping Rising SlashSliding > Combo into:
  • Jumping Thrust
  • Aerial Burst
  • Jumping (Reload) Smash (R2)
Aerial BurstJumping Rising Slash > Combos into Wyrmstake /
Beginner Gunlance Builds - Iceborne Amazing Builds - Season 3

So, I’ve been playing Monster Hunter World again thanks to the Iceborne expansion as well as free time finally being a thing again. And ever since I picked it up I’ve been a huge fan of the gunlance, there’s a few changes with Iceborne so here I am to share my knowledge about how it works and What I would recommend on how to use this oversized bayonet.


The Gunlance, Weaknesses and Strengths

One of the most attractive things about the gunlance is that it can be both a good tank and a source of good, reliable damage. The base form pretty much looks like Squall’s gunblade but much, much larger. It comes in tandem with a shield which lets you get by most situations with simply blocking, which is a much easier learning curve than mastering dodge timings. While it doesn’t pull out wild numbers like the long sword or great sword, it’s less risky or complex, where what you mostly need is good positioning rather than anything else.

On the other hand, it’s rather unwieldy in terms of mobility. Your default move speed is terrible, so chasing a monster down is the last thing you want to do. This makes it difficult to use against the types of Rathalos, Kirin and Rajang. 

The unique feature of the gunlance is its capacity to do shelling, which is firing shots while in the face of your target. While it doesn’t benefit from elemental effects, the damage it deals ignores defenses and does pretty much the same damage regardless if you hit a weak spot or not.


How the Gunlance Works

The basic attack moveset of boomstick with shield consists of thrusts and swings. Thrusts are pretty straightforward, you can do it three times before having to stop, but you can cancel your combo with a shell shot and repeat the combo. It can also be pointed upwards for anti air, but my experience tells me it’s a bit difficult to hit an enemy with since the range is hard to tell. Swings are generally slower, but stronger and have a much wider hit box. Generally, you want to use thrusts when you need your guard back up quickly and swings when you know you’re safe.

Shelling is the where ‘gun’ part of the gunlance comes in. It deals pretty much the same damage wherever it hits, weakpoint or not, this is where most of its reliable damage comes from. You typically use it to extend or power up combo attacks. Wrymsteak Cannon as well as Wyvern Fire kinda works in a similar way, where they are used to pack in extra damage at the end of an attack, but Wyvern Fire also doubles up as a great ‘wake-up call’ for sleeping monsters.


New function – Wyrmsteak Blast

In the Iceborne expansion you get a new way to use your slinger ammo, which is turning into an attachable proximity bomb. The idea is you use the new clutch attack to reliably get new slinger ammo, then load that into the gunlance.

How it works, after you get to stick it onto a monster, is that it makes additional explosions when you hit it closely enough with gunlance shells. It’s not as strong, but it makes good bonus damage since the explosions also deal fixed damage. So effectively, you’re adding a sweet spot for your gunlance to blast off on.

The strength of the blast this sticky mine makes seems relative to what sort of explosion hits it. So stronger hits makes it respond with stronger damage. Other weapons can also trigger it, blasts from somebody else’s gunlance, or special types of shots from the Light or Heavy Bowgun. The type of slinger ammo appears to affect it too, but only in terms of duration. A full load of Dragon Pod ammo lasts much, much longer than a full load of Stones or Redpit.

It’s possible for more than one of these exploding stakes to be on one monster, so long as different players put them on. So it can be quite the game of pin the tail on the donkey when you have two or more gunlance users in your team.


Gunlance Builds

I generally think there’s three ways to play gunlance, and these are the following:

Frontline – You stay in the target’s face, block, and poke as much as you can. You can make use of the shelling just to quickly extend your simple combo. This kind of strategy works well for elemental/status type gunlances. I’d recommend this for wide type gunlances. You don’t make impressive damage numbers but you’re particularly difficult to kill, on top of being able to deal damage easily.

Recommended Skills


Reason why

Guard UpIf you’re going to block, might as well block everythingNice to have
IronwallAt least Lv 3, reduces guard damage to a negligible amountVery Useful
Offensive GuardDamage boost after a flash-guardNice to have
Flinch FreeYou get to stay in front and counter immediatelyRequired
ResistancesMatching elemental resistance is a must, status depends on the monsterRequired
Mind’s EyeSo they can’t deflect youNice to have
Elemental / Status BoostsPretty useful for this strategyVery Useful

Full Burst – Normal type gunlances are pretty much made for this. While they can also do what the other shell types can, they excel the most when using them in full burst, where all of the remaining shells are detonated at once. Depending on how you setup your skills, the damage can be good to great. You’ll also want to invest in using the Wyrmsteak Blast when the opportunity presents itself. Generally you want to find a good safe spot to pull off the combo, note that the bulk of the combo damage is dealt on the full-burst attack and the side-swipe, so you’ll want to either loop with a quick-reload or a side-step as often as possible. This is probably one of the more complex types to learn, as you have to learn how to use all sorts of gunlance swings and know when to use them.

Recommended Skills


Reason why

Protective PolishFull burst basically ruins gunlance sharpness like it’s nothingRequired
ArtillerySubstantial boost in damageVery Useful
Affinity UpThings that passively raise affinityNice to have
Speed SharpeningYou’ll probably have to sharpen mid-fightNice to have
Weakness ExploitIf you know how to position yourself, see the damage numbers flyRequired
Critical BoostYes, more damageNice to have
Evade ExtenderSurprisingly useful at Lv 2, making step-dodging pretty viableRequired

Charged Shooter – My favorite build, which favors the long-type gunlance the most thanks to the range it makes on charged shells. Probably the toughest part about using this build is getting the Wyrmsteak Blast attached, this is pretty much a must for this style as it boosts the damage you make by about 60%. Otherwise it’s all about knowing how to aim the gunlance while charging and knowing the rhythm of charging the shells. Yes, you can aim with the gunlance, in fact, it can shoot straight up which is pretty bad-ass because not only does it serve as a great anti-air tool for high-flyers, but it also looks like an iconic gundam pose. I took out Lunastra once with that pose, it was damn satisfying.

Recommended Skills


Reason why

ArtilleryAt least Lv 3 as shelling is the main source of damageRequired
EarplugsMaxed out, you’ll hate getting your charge interrupted so often by monster roars.Required
Focus15% faster charging at Lv 3 doesn’t sound like much, but believe me, it really helps.Required
IronwallPretty hard to dodge after a charged shot, block insteadNice to have
Flinch FreeGetting blown away means getting out of range.Nice to have


Alternative Weapons
Sometimes no matter what you do the old reliable hand cannon just isn’t a good fit for the quest you’re taking on, so you may be better off using alternatives to get the job done. Of course, you can switch to any other weapon you find appealing, but these felt like very natural go-to types for me.


Dual Blades

Aside from the fact that you’re going full anime, with this weapon you’ve completely changed your approach to fighting monsters as it’s pretty much the polar opposite of the heavy, bulky gunlance. Dodging and maneuvering is very easy, it also doesn’t have too difficult of a learning curve. Your experience with being up close will help you read tells that the monster gives.


Heavy Bowgun

If you prefer the ‘gun’ part of the gunlance, this is going all-in. Typically I this used for monsters I really couldn’t get close to without face-planting. Using specialized ammo against the mark makes up for the lack of direct firepower. Also, you can make builds that either specialize in healing allies or use two shield attachments to become an even burlier tank.

That’s about it, if you haven’t tried wielding the gunlance, all that you’re left to learn is what experience, or several carts will. Good luck and good hunting.

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