The best Sword and Shield builds in Monster Hunter Rise

Shield bashing and sword slashing.

Image via Capcom

Finding the right balance between offense and defense is key to surviving in Monster Hunter Rise, and no weapon does that as well as the Sword and Shield set. These weapons can be very balanced, allowing for solid solo play, but some of the most fun builds with the Sword and Shield can be geared toward impressively high damage. Some of them will even rival the Twin Blades builds for Critical Hit-focused players.

If you’re looking for the best Sword and Shield builds in Monster Hunter Rise, look no further. We have some great options for you detailed below.

The best Sword and Shield builds in Monster Hunter Rise

Raw Damage Build

Like with other build breakdowns, we’re going to include a build that maximizes damage output over time. It won’t do some of the clever things that later builds will do, but it will be a good all-around build to take out on hunts.

  • Weapon – Flash in the Night ­– This weapon has a decently high Attack score of 180, giving us a good starting point to start pumping up the damage output with the armor.
  • Armor – Valstrax Armor Set – We’re going to stick with the Valstrax Armor set primarily because it comes with plenty of Dragonheart skills. These skills boost your damage when your health drops below a certain point, making you more dangerous as the fight goes on.
  • Talisman – Attack Boost Level 3 – Again, we’re looking to maximize damage output, so boosting our attack a bit is a no-brainer.
  • Decorations – Three Attack Jewel 2, Three Critical Jewel 2, Two Grinder Jewel 1, One Brace Jewel 1
  • Skills – Attack Boost Level 6, Dragonheart Level 5, Resentment Level 3, Resuscitate Level 3, Critical Boost Level 3, Weakness Exploit Level 3, Speed Sharpening Level 2, Flinch Free Level 1

Dragon Slaying Build

There are always dragons and wyverns out there to slay, so it makes sense to get kitted out with some weapons and armor that can take them down quickly. This is a more specialist build that shines best when facing these massive enemies, but it can still hold its own against other monsters as well.

  • Weapon – Vermilion Orgul – No surprise why we’re going with this weapon; its high bonus damage against Dragons and Wyverns will make up for the 0% natural Affinity score. We’re going to boost that bonus damage with a whopping five Dragon Jewel decorations.
  • Armor – Valstrax Armor Set – Once again, we’re going with the Valstrax Armor for the same reasons we did with the raw damage build above. Our goal is maximum damage output and the multiple Dragonheart skills this set offers allow us to do just that.
  • Talisman – Attack Boost Level 1 – We are still boosting our attack here, so this is the most obvious Talisman to equip.
  • Decorations – Three Attack Jewel 2, Three Critical Jewel 2, Five Dragon Jewel 1
  • Skills – Dragon Attack Level 5, Dragonheart Level 5, Attack Boost Level 4, Resentment Level 3, Resuscitate Level 3, Critical Boost Level 3, Weakness Exploit Level 3

Critical Hit Build

This is probably the most fun build for the Sword and Shield, offering a staggeringly high Critical Hit rate and offering the chance to inflict Knock Out conditions and Stamina Drain on monsters along the way.

  • Weapon – Hi Ninja Sword – Not only does this weapon have a 200 base Attack value, but it also has a 100% Affinity value. This means we will almost always be landing Critical Hits, something that will make this a real beast of a build.
  • Armor – Death Stench Brain, Damascus Mail, Rathalos Braces, Anjanath Coil, Golden Hakama – We’re going to mix and match our armor here. Since we don’t need to worry about boosting our Critical Hit chance, we can just get our Attack score as high as possible.
  • Talisman – Slugger Level 3 – This will boost our Stun power by around 40%, giving us a better chance to knock out monsters.
  • Decorations – Two Sharp Jewel 2, One Critical Jewel 2, Three Steadfast Jewel 1, Three Grinder Jewel 1, Two Hungerless Jewel 1, One Brace Jewel 1
  • Skills – Attack Boost Level 4, Critical Boost Level 3, Protective Polish Level 3, Slugger Level 3, Stun Resistance Level 2, Speed Sharpening Level 3, Hunger Resistance Level 2, Latent Power Level 1, Handicraft Level 1, Tremor Resistance Level 1, Flinch Free Level 1