The best early game builds in Monster Hunter Rise and Sunbreak

Get slaying, faster.

Image via Monster Hunter YouTube

The Monster Hunter franchise has a penchant for giving players a slew of options to chase down enemies with, and Monster Hunter Rise is no different in this aspect. The sheer number of options can be daunting for new players, and the expansion for Monster Hunter Rise, Sunbreak, nearly doubles the options for players to hunt down new monsters in the anticipated Master Rank. Whether you’re new to the series or finally breaking into the expansion, here are the best early-game builds for Monster Hunter Rise and Sunbreak.

Related: The strongest Monster in each Monster Hunter game

Early game builds in Monster Hunter Rise

In early game, almost every build, or weapon, is viable thanks to the ability to progress your equipment through upgrade trees. While many weapons have a plethora of combos and charges, switch-stances to help you eke out the maximum amount of damage, some may appreciate finding the simpler weapons and builds to get their footing.

Note that for all early-game builds, it’s best to use the Black Belt Armor Set for an easy (and sizeable) increase to your survivability. Capcom added this armor on February 24, 2022, to help make it easier for players to prepare for the Sunbreak expansion. The full set offers 150 Defense, and can be upgraded later to a total Defense stat of 180. For all of the following early-game builds, use this set until you understand the mechanics and pacing of hunts.

Screenshot by Gamepur

Also added were weapon sets called Defender Weapons. These are high-grade early-game weapons, so players won’t need to fret about chasing materials. We’ll list the DPS that each weapon can offer, but the rule of thumb is to use the Defender Weapon tree if you’re seeking a simpler path into Monster Hunter Rise.

You can claim both the Defender Weapons and Black Belt Armor Set from Senri the Mailman, across from the Item Box near Hinoa the Quest Maiden. All Defender Weapons offer 110 Attack power and a 30 Defense Bonus at the first tier.

Here are five early-game builds for Monster Hunter Rise, that can both dish out the damage and be pretty easy-to-use.

5. Dual Blades

Dual blades are one of the fastest weapon systems in the game, if not the fastest. With a ‘death by a thousand cuts’ style, Dual Blade players will find themselves bouncing all across beasts, racking up damage while avoiding the attacks with their mobile style. It can be difficult to learn the animations and positioning, but it’s more than worth the investment.

4. Bow

The Bow has a long history in the Monster Hunter franchise, and its inclusion in Monster Hunter Rise is not a surprise. The bow scales well into late-game (including Master Ranks) but is also blissfully simple to use effectively in all hunts. Some may find this easier to use on the PC version; however, thanks to mouse aiming, it also fares well with consoles.

3. Sword and Shield

It seems as though every fantasy-laden franchise has the classic sword & board combo, and Monster Hunter is no different in this aspect. Surprisingly mobile, great scaling through the game and the ability to raise your shield to mitigate massive charges from great beasts make the Sword and Shield a classic and reliable option.

2. Long Sword

With surprising range, and a speed and ferocity to catch many beasts off guard, the Long Sword of Monster Hunter Rise is another reliable option. Many veteran players prefer this weapon for the sheer coolness factor, as long swords tend to mimic katanas in appearance.

1. Great Sword

Find the biggest piece of metal possible, put a blade on it, and start swinging it around. What the Great Sword lacks in grace and delicacy, it more than makes up for with monstrous damage. The Great Sword is a fantastic early-game weapon as the attacks won’t move players too far, so there’s not much in terms of memorizing attack patterns and animations, meaning you won’t have to perfectly position yourself before swinging.

Early game builds for Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak

Sunbreak is a different beast thanks to the long-awaited Master Rank mode, but with a bit of planning, you’ll be able to bring these beasts to heel like all the others. Much like the Black Belt Armor Set available for new players, Capcom has also released a Black Belt S set available from the Courier. This set was released along with the Sunbreak expansion, and is an ideal gear set for pushing through late-game vanilla content, and Sunbreak Master Rank hunts.

Screenshot by Gamepur

This armor is strong enough that you won’t need to fret about matching elemental types until you reach mid-Sunbreak. With this gear equipped, your early-game build strategy really comes down to weapon preference, available upgrades, and beast elements. Finally, we recommend slotting Spiribird Jewel 1 for all weapon Rampage slots unless circumstances dictate otherwise. The new Spiribird mechanic simply offers too much DPS to leave on the table, and that rings true throughout Master Rank as much as it did in the base game.

Screenshot by Gamepur

Here are the five best early Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak builds for Master Rank.

5. Black Katana Mk. 1

This fierce Long Sword is an ideal starting point for Sunbreak, with a low build cost and a 95% weak point affinity without using any charms. The Black Katana Mk. 1 is available at Master Rank 1, scales very well throughout the entirety of Master Rank, and has a familiar move set that will help you exploit various weak spots on large beasts.

Crafting List:

4. Cyclone X

Featuring Dual Blades, this weapon can be crafted or upgraded pretty early into the expansion with a few pieces of ore. With 250 attack damage, this weapon can be later upgraded into the Supercell with 300 attack damage in exchange for Centuria, Eltalite, and Meldspar ores.

Crafting List:

  • 12,000 Zenny
  • Eltalite Ore (x5)
  • Heavy Izuchi Pelt (x3)
  • Awegite (x3)

3. Kamura Warrior Sword+

The classic sword & board combo is more than viable in Monster Hunter Rise’s late-game Master Rank, thanks to the Kamura Warrior Sword+. Surprisingly agile for a sword and shield build, the Kamura Warrior Sword+ boasts 290 attack power and decent affinity for weak spot critical hits should help users coast through the start of the Master Ranks.

Crafting List:

  • 24,000 Zenny
  • Centurai Ore (x2)
  • Basarios Cortex (x2)
  • Large Wyvern Gem
  • MR Bone (x15 Points)

2. Grand Glowing Oath

The frightening amount of damage that Master Rank beasts offer is immaterial if they can’t hit you, and ranged weapons such as the Grand Glowing Oath are ideal to mete out damage without taking any. The bad news of this weapon is that you’re going to need to grind out a few fights against Bishaten, the wyvern in Shrine Ruins, for the pieces — the good news is 300 attack damage.

Crafting List:

  • 16,000 Zenny
  • Bishaten Glidefeather (x5)
  • Bishaten Hardtail (x2)
  • Bishaten Finefur (x3)
  • Goldlite Ore (x4)

1. Kamura Warrior Cleaver+

Fulfilling the latter part of the old adage ‘walk softly and carry a big stick,’ the Kamura Warrior Cleaver+ sends out a heft of punishment to early Master Rank beasts. It can also be upgraded relatively quickly into the expansion. You’ll eventually want to shift over to the Azure Blaze Great Sword for end-game content, but that bridge is best crossed when you get there.

Crafting List:

  • 24,000 Zenny
  • Centuria Ore (x2)
  • Bishaten Hardclaw (x2)
  • Large Wyvern Gem
  • MR Bone (x15 Points)