Monster Hunter World

Attack Boost 7 is now always better than Crit Boost 3

For those who haven't noticed, the way the Attack Boost skill works has changed in MHRise compared to MHW. Instead of giving you 5% affinity starting from lv4, it now increases your raw by a set percentage + a flat bonus:

  • lv4: +5%, bonus: +7
  • lv5: +6%, bonus: +8
  • lv6: +8%, bonus +9
  • lv7: +10%, bonus +10

This turns out to be a pretty huge change. You need as little as 120 base raw for the new AB7 to give you more raw than the old one, and the skill now actually gets better the higher the base raw of your weapon is.

Now the question is: how does it stack against Critical Boost, the skill that singlehandedly made affinity builds so powerful in the past few games? You would think that when you start stacking affinity the skill that boosts critical hits would take the edge over the skill that only boosts the base raw, right?
Well, you would be wrong. Here's a table comparing the damage increase from CB3 and AB7 at 100% and 50% affinity respectively:

Raw AB7 (100%) CB3 (100%) AB7 (50%) CB3 (50%)
150 218.75 210 184.38 180
160 232.5 224 196.25 192
170 246.25 238 208.13 204
180 260 252 220 216
190 273.75 266 231.88 228
200 287.5 280 243.75 240
210 301.25 294 255.63 252
220 315 308 267.5 264
230 328.75 322 279.38 276
240 342.5 336 291.25 288
250 356.25 350 303.13 300
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I went as low as 110 raw and as high as 300 raw and the results are the same: AB7 with the normal crit multiplier (1.25x) beats CB3 in every situation. In other words, when you are facing the alternative between maxing out one or the other skill, it's always AB7 you should go for.

Now, there are a few caveats to this when trying to build these skills:

  • Attack Boost decos are craftable (now as lv2 decos), while Crit Boost decos aren't. However, AB decos cannot be crafted before beating the (temporary) final boss; meanwhile you can get CB 3 much earlier through two Rajang pieces or Rajang waist + Remobra chest.
  • Attack Boost requires 7 points to be maxed out. Since there is not a piece in the game yet that can have AB4 by itself (including the deco slots), you will have to use a lv2 slot in the charm or elsewhere to finish up the skill. Also one of the few pieces in the game that can carry AB3 is the Hunter's legs S, which as you might expect don't have great defense.

However the gist of it is that if you have the alternative between CB3 and AB7 in your build, the latter will always give you more damage than the former.

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Now, should you just go for AB7 and ignore CB3 when the alternative presents to you? Well, not really. A mix of AB and CB should be the norm as long as you have at least AB4. If we assume we can only have 7 points total in either CB or AB, we end up finding out that the best possible combination is AB4 + CB3 (I'm obviously not entirely sure how feasible it is build wise). And of course, if you can have even more than 7 points total in those skills it's even better as long as at least 4 of those points are in AB.

I hope this contributes to a better understanding of the skill distribution in MHRise. We're only at the beginning in terms of set optimization, and who knows what we'll get with further title updates, so the work will still continue for a while.

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