Monster Hunter World

LBG – Light Bowgun Progression, Weapons, and Sets Overview

Hi everyone! Inspired by the recent SnS post regarding weapon and sets overview, I decided to provide a one-stop textual summary looking at the "relevant" weapon choices, armour sets, and progression for LBG currently in Monster Hunter Rise, current as of patch 1.1.2 to HR 7. In this post, I will try to textually summarize analysis and content from gunners on YouTube (notably: Phemeto and AngBata11), and also provide some personal thoughts and anecdotes on some of the builds I have tried so far as well.

I have been having a lot of fun with LBG in Rise, and I've found a lot of success consulting and following some of the videos below for building my sets. I'm not much of a math guy; if anyone would like to chime in about the damage math and their thoughts, feel free in the comments below. This discussion is not meant to be exhaustive but rather an opening for more theory-crafting and discussion.


Information Sources are mainly from these videos: (please do visit these original content for more in-depth analysis 🙂



  • – Phemeto
    (please do note final boss Narwa game-play IS SHOWN in this video WITHOUT SPOILER warning, proceed if you are okay with being spoiled if you haven't beaten the final boss yet)


  • – Phemeto

Phemeto's video series goes over ammo characteristics, builds, relevant skills, and the switch skills + silk binds for both LBG and HBG in a fairly comprehensive manner.



  • – AngBata11


  • – AngBata11


  • – AngBata11
    (only fire and water element guns discussed)


  • – AngBata11

AngBata's videos I find are very easy and straightforward to understand and model off of, with more focus on set building (with consideration to budget builds as well.) The third video also goes over some skill prioritization for LBG gunning as well.



  • – HeyGemini


  • – HeyGemini

Gemini's videos I found to be no-nonsense, to-the-point set build videos offering slightly different perspectives and builds from above. I took into consideration some of the builds shown here as well.

Monster Hunter wikis, Kiranico, other recent posts on Reddit are also referenced in the preparation of this overview. Ammo type decriptions are taken straight out of MHW's Wiki pages for the ammo types. Motion values are straight out of Phemeto's videos.

From here on, S slots refer to level 1 slots, M slots refer to level 2 slots, L slots refer to level 3 slots.


Bowgun Skill Priority (Listed from top priority to less – sourced from Phemeto's video):

  1. Shot type Up – Normal/Pierce/Spread: Boosts damage on shot type by 5, 10, and 20% respectively. This should be first and foremost skill prioritized to max out.
  2. Weakness Exploit
  3. Recoil and Reload Skills – Absorber and Quickload Jewels are all level 1 / S slot jewels that can easily be added to armour sets. Make sure to slot only the sufficient amount you need for your primary ammo type – check the ammo table of the gun as you're slotting.
  4. Attack Boost – last priority due to diminished returns compared to shot type up skills and rapid fire up skills; Attack Boost 7 at max = +10% and 10 raw, which is still weaker than Shot type Up 3 or Rapid Fire Up 3.

Other relevant skills and considerations:

  • Rapid Fire Up: Boosts damage on Rapid Fire (RF) ammo of any shot-type by 5, 10, and 20% respectively. Its relationship with Shot type up is additive, and stacks with Shot Type Up. For example, Pierce Up 1 (5%) + RF Up 1 (5%) = 10% = Pierce Up 2 (10%). Unfortunately, its limitation to being armour and talisman skill only makes it difficult to add to builds unless you have a great talisman. Only Wroggi Helm S and Wroggi Mail S have Rapid Fire Up, limiting the ability to slot the skill via armour.
  • Aim Booster: Levels 1 and 2 of skill reduce minimum critical distance, essentially so you can shoot closer. Level 3 increases critical range so you can use the ammo at farther ranges. This is a useful skill to fit if possible for pierce and normal builds (pierce would benefit more.)
  • Spare Shot: Shots have a chance to not expend ammo. In Rise, this is a 3 level skill (5, 10, and 20% proc rate respectively) limited to armour or talisman skills that requires significant investment to slot. Utsushi/Channeler head piece is the most efficient armour piece for spare shot (spare shot 2), with Utsushi/Channeler chest piece , and Pukei Helm S/Braces S/Coil S all having 1 point of spare shot each. More efficient to slot with talisman if possible. With better clip sizes and reload speeds in Rise, spare shot is not as important especially for main ammo types (normal, pierce, spread); however spare shot is highly important / mandatory for ammo types with limited clips, capacity and crafting (slicing, sticky, cluster, elemental, status ammos.)
  • Ammo Up: Increases clip size by 1 for specific level of ammo depending on level of skill slotted – Ammo Up 1 has +1 clip size for Level 1 ammos, Ammo Up 2 is +1 to Level 1+2, Ammo Up 3 is +1 for all ammo. Except for limited ammo like sticky and cluster, not really worth slotting for. Wroggi Vambraces S / Coil S / Greaves S each have 1 point in ammo up. More efficiently, Vaik Helm S has 2 points in ammo up, Vaik Greaves S has 1 point + can slot Capacity Jewel in L slot for 2 points total in ammo up, and lastly Vaik Mail S has one L slot for slotting Capacity Jewel for 1 point of ammo up.
  • Unfortunately, a lot of good bowgun skills are stuck to earlier HR monster sets with subpar slottage and defense. Having a good talisman with good bowgun skills can go a long way to optimize sets by reducing the amount of inefficient pieces for other more flexible armour pieces with better slottage.

Pierce Ammo and Sets:

  • Pierce Ammo releases a single projectile which travels through a target, dealing ammo damage in a rapid chain of damage ticks for as long as it is in contact with the target. Pierce is the go-to, general raw ammo for Rise thus far – compared to World tick rates have changed, pierce hits way more and are still effective on smaller hit zones, out-damaging other ammo types.
  • Motion values (MV): Pierce 2 – 7 MV/tick , 0.05 tick rate ; Pierce 3 – 8 MV/tick , 0.05 tick rate.
  • Nargacuga LBG – is the best LBG for pierce ammo firing (Rapid Fire Pierce 2 with moving shot BUT no moving reload); arguably the best raw LBG in the game at this time. M-0-0 Slots
  • General Build: Rhenoplos Helm S, Shell-Studded Vest S, Rathalos Braces S, Spio/Skalda Elytra S, Golden HakamaView Build here – This set gives: 3/3 Pierce Up , 2/7 Attack Boost (4/7 if slotting Attack in all M slots including gun) , 2/3 Weakness Exploit , 2/3 Critical Boost , 1/3 Stun Resistance , 1/3 Normal/Rapid Up, 1/5 Latent Power, with five S slots and one M slot.
  • Many variations to above build depending on skill priorities and quality of talisman you have: above build is completed by having 1 point in WEX on your talisman. If talisman has 1 level Pierce Up, swap chest piece to Zinogre Mail S instead. If you have a godly Rapid Fire Up charm, swap chest piece to Wroggi Mail S, and swap legs to Rhenoplos Greaves S. If you are not prioritizing WEX and want to go full attack boost, can swap waist piece to Anjanath Coil S.

Spread Ammo and Sets:

  • Spread Ammo releases multiple projectiles in a wide spread, each of which deal Ammo Damage to a target.
  • Motion values (MV): Spread 2 – 7×4 MV; Spread 3 – 10×5 MV
  • Magnamalo LBG – is the best Spread 3 LBG (Spread 3 with moving shot BUT no moving reload) M-S-0 Slots
  • – Jyuratodus LBG – also gets honourable mention for Rapid Fire Spread 2; however a single RF spread 2 is roughly same damage as a single spread 3 but takes longer to shoot; can consider for progression if you enjoy spread playstyle. 0-0-0 Slots
  • General Build: Rakna Helm, Rakna Mail, Anjanath Vambraces S, Rakna Coil, Ingot Greaves SView Build here – This set gives: 4/7 Attack Boost (7/7 if you slot 3x Attack on the M slots) , 3/3 Spread Up, 2/3 Reload Speed, 2/3 Slugger, 2/7 Critical Eye, with five S slots and three M slots.
  • Unfortunately, Spread Up skill is limited to Rakna armour only, so getting spread up 2 on a talisman can go a long way to optimizing above set.
  • Talisman-Dependent Build (assuming 2 levels of Spread Up on talisman): Rakna Helm, Zinogre Mail S, Rathalos Braces S, Spio/Skalda Elytra S, Ingot Greaves SView Build here
  • This set gives: 4/7 Attack Boost (6/7 if you slot Attack in M slots including gun) , 3/3 Weakness Exploit, 3/3 Spread Up, 2/7 Critical Eye, 1/3 Reload Speed, 1/5 Latent Power, with four S slots and one M slot. You could alternatively keep the Anjanath Vambraces S for 2 points of Slugger and exchange an M slot for an S slot.

Normal Ammo and Sets:

  • Your most "normal" ammo lol – Normal Ammo releases a single projectile which deals ammo damage to a target. Jack-of-all-trades ammo that is never best for anything, but solid backup option.
  • Motion values (MV): Normal 2 – 20 MV/shot ; Normal 3 – 34 MV/shot
  • Zinogre LBG – is the best LBG for pure normal ammo firing (Rapid Fire Normal 2 with moving shot BUT no moving reload + normal firing Normal 3 with moving shot and reload) M-0-0 Slots
  • Talisman-Free Build: Zinogre Helm S, Shell-Studded Vest S, Vaik Braces S, Spio/Skalda Elytra S, Ingot Greaves SView Build here – This set gives: 3/3 Weakness Exploit , 3/3 Normal/Rapid Up , 2/7 Attack Boost (3/7 if you slot Attack on gun) , 2/7 Critical Eye , 1/5 Latent Power , 1/3 Pierce Up , with six S slots.
  • For talisman, aim for getting 2 levels of Weakness Exploit, or Normal Up skills to optimize pieces on set.
  • Talisman-Dependent Build (assuming 2 levels of WEX on talisman): S. Studded Hat S, Zinogre Mail S, Vaik Braces S, Vaik Coil S, Ingot Greaves SView Build Here – This set gives: 3/3 Weakness Exploit (including charm) , 3/3 Normal/Rapid Up , 2/3 Aim Booster (to help adjust minimum distance), 2/7 Attack Boost (5/7 if slotting Attack in all M slots including gun), 2/7 Critical Eye, 1/5 Latent Power , with five S slots and two M slots.
  • If using rapid fire normal 2, try to aim for a talisman with rapid fire up skill.

Sticky Ammo and Sets:

  • Sticky Ammo releases releases a single projectile which sticks to a target, exploding after a short delay and dealing True Damage.
  • Motion values (MV) and KO: Sticky 2 – 17 MV / 50 KO ; Sticky 3 – 24 MV / 100 KO
  • Magnamalo LBG – is the best Sticky 3 LBG (Sticky 3 with moving shot BUT no moving reload) M-S-0 Slots
  • – Basarios LBG – gets honourable mention for Sticky 2 fire with good selection of status ammos (Sticky 2 with moving shot AND moving reload, Paralysis 1 with moving shot, Sleep Ammo 1 with moving reload, Poison Ammo 1 with moving fire and reload); A build is discussed below. S-0-0 Slots
  • Artillery is required to scale sticky damage – the 3 levels of artillery scale by 10, 20, and 30% respectively. Mandatory skill!
  • Spare Shot is mandatory on sticky builds for ammo economy and maintain DPS.
  • For preparation with any sticky build, definitely have a dedicated radial menu setup to craft intended Sticky Ammo 2/3 AND to craft Sticky Ammo 1. Bring Blastnuts and your required gunpowder. Spend ample resources to farm Blastnuts at Argosy and stock up on your Sticky ammo.

 

For Magnamalo LBG:

  • Budget Build (requires 1x Artillery Jewel, 1x Capacity Jewel, and a talisman with at least one L slot): Utsushi/Channeler's Head piece, Utsushi/Channeler's Chest piece, Rhenoplos Braces S, Wroggi Coil S, Wroggi Greaves SView Build here – This set gives: 3/3 Razor Sharp , 3/3 Spare Shot , 2/3 Artillery (3/3 MUST SLOT Artillery Jewel on either gun M slot or in armour set), 2/3 Ammo Up (3/3 MUST SLOT Capacity Jewel on L slot, this increases clip size of sticky 3 to 2 shots), 2/3 Poison Attack, 1/3 Wirebug Whisperer, 1/5 Evade Window, 1/5 Agitator, 1/3 Evade Extender, with six S slots and one M slot. This set is budget due to being hampered by inefficient slots and defense on the Wroggi armour; also no Slugger if you prioritize the KOs.
  • Expensive Build (requires 1x Artillery Jewel, 2x Capacity Jewel, and ideally a talisman with 2 points in Attack and/or Slugger): Utsushi/Channeler's Head piece, Vaik Mail S, Rhenoplos Braces S, Pukei-Pukei Coil S, Vaik Greaves SView Build here – This set gives: 3/3 Spare Shot, 2/3 Razor Sharp, 2/3 Artillery (3/3 MUST SLOT Artillery Jewel on either gun M slot or in armour set), 2/3 Poison Attack, 1/3 Wirebug Whisperer, 1/3 Ammo Up (3/3 MUST SLOT Capacity Jewel on both L slots) , with five S slots, three M slots, and 2 L slots. The M slots can be used to fit in Attack Boost or Slugger.
  • An alternative to above expensive build if you have a talisman for 1 level of spare shot is swap braces for Anjanath Vambraces S and waist to Anjanath Coil S – this gives built-in 4 points of Attack boost and 2 points of Slugger. You will however need to slot in 3x Artillery Jewels in the M slots, including the gun M slot.
  • Fall back to Spread 3 ammo when monster is down to deal damage and conserve Sticky 3 ammo – otherwise can run out of Sticky in a quest, especially in multiplayer and go back to camp to restock.

 

For Basarios LBG:

  • Although noticeably lower damage from Sticky 2 ammo, this build is centered around CC support in multiplayer – using sticky ammo to contribute to KOs, and paralysis and sleep to coordinate CC (especially valuable if you are playing with voice with others hunters to coordinate.) This build also does not require ammo up due to native 2 clip size for sticky 2 ammo. Moving fire and reload is also extra comfy.
  • Budget Build: (requires 1x Artillery Jewel, 2x KO Jewels, and a talisman with two M slots): Utsushi/Channeler's Head piece, Utsushi/Channeler's Chest piece, Rhenoplos Braces S, Anjanath Coil S, Ingot Greaves SView Build here – This set gives: 4/7 Attack Boost, 3/3 Razor Sharp, 3/3 Spare Shot, 2/3 Artillery (3/3 MUST SLOT Artillery Jewel in armour set), 2/7 Critical Eye, 1/3 Wirebug Whisperer, 1/5 Evade Window, 1/5 Agitator, with six S slots and two M slots. One M slot in the armour can be used to slow either Attack Boost for 6/7 or Slugger to complete 3/3 Slugger (2x KO Jewels on the 2 M slot Talisman.)
  • Expensive Build: (requires 3x Artillery Jewels, talisman with 2x slugger and at least one M slot): Utsushi/Channeler's Head piece, Utsushi/Channeler's Chest piece, Rathalos Braces S, Anjanath Coil S, Ingot Greaves SView Build here – This set gives: 6/7 Attack Boost, 3/3 Razor Sharp, 3/3 Spare Shot, 2/7 Critical Eye, 1/3 Wirebug Whisperer , 1/5 Evade Window, 1/5 Agitator , with five S slots and two M slots. All M slots (including one on talisman) must be used to fit 3/3 Artillery.

Slicing Ammo and Sets:

  • Slicing Ammo releases a single projectile which sticks to a target, causing a rapid chain of damage ticks after a short delay.
  • Motion values (MV): Slice – 3 x 10
  • Advantages of slicing ammo: Utilizes cutting hitzones vs. gunner hitzones, leading to more damage per bullet. Slice can also ignore critical distance and just requires to be anywhere in range to use. Limited by amount you can carry and amount you can craft (30 slicing ammo + 30 more via Slashberries).
  • Slice ammo damage scales to raw attack boost, crit, and rapid fire up if using rapid fire slicing. Use Ammo Up level 2 to increase clip size by +1.
  • Spare Shot is mandatory on slice builds for ammo economy and maintain DPS.
  • Zinogre LBG – is the LBG of choice for rapid fire slice ammo. M-0-0 Slots
  • Magnamalo LBG – is the LBG of choice for single fire slice ammo. Larger clip size (can raise to clip size of 5). M-S-0 Slots
  • General Build (requires talisman with three S slots): Utsushi/Channeler's Head piece, Zinogre Mail S, Pukei-Pukei Braces S, Spio/Skalda Elytra S, Ingot Greaves SView Build here – This set gives: 3/3 Spare Shot, 3/3 Weakness Exploit, 2/3 Razor Sharp, 2/7 Attack Boost, 2/7 Critical Eye, 1/3 Wirebug Whisperer, 1/5 Latent Power, 1/3 Aim Booster , with three S slots and one M slot. The 3 additional S slots on the talisman are necessary to bring recoil and reload down to low recoil and fastest reload.

Elemental Ammo and Sets: – Most points here are straight out of Phemeto's video

  • Motion values (MV, Raw/Ele) Standard Ele – 16/40 , Elemental Pierce – 10/22 (up to 7 ticks, 0.12/s)
  • From testing, after two good ticks, elemental pierce shoudl out damage normal elemental ammo.
  • Elemental gunning will require a lot of S slots to not only fit manadatory elemental attack skills, but also manage recoil and reload.
  • Critical element being only +15% on crit translates into 3 more true element, which is not worth the investment for the skill.
  • As a ramp up skill, Elemental Exploit is worth pursuing due to +30% element on elemental hitzones of 25+; however this skill is only available on two LBGs in game at this time (Ratholos' and Almudron's)
  • Spare Shot is mandatory on elemental builds for ammo economy and maintain DPS. Spare shot procs can also help to manage reload downtime due to limited clip sizes on elemental LBGs.
  • Rapid Fire Elemental Pierce can deal basically same damage as Single Shot Elemental Pierce + Elemental Exploit, but due to smaller clip sizes and worse recoil/reload are harder to manage. Can use with rapid fire up talisman if you have one of those.

  • Basic Elemental Build Template – with no talisman: Utsushi/Channeler's Head piece, Nargacuga Mail S, Pukei-Pukei Braces S, Anjanath Coil S, Ingot Greaves SView Build Here – This set gives: 4/7 Critical Eye , 4/7 Attack Boost, 3/3 Spare Shot , 2/3 Razor Sharp, 1/3 Wirebug Whisperer, 1/5 Evade Window, 1/3 Aim Booster, with six S slots and 2 M slots. Again, utilize S slots in gun and armour to slow for relevant elemental attack and recoil/reload stats.

  • Other sets: Check out Angbata's Elemental Lightbowgun video for some budget sets for the fire and water LBGs. Check out Gemini's second video linked above for a generalist crit element + WEX elemental LBG set.

"Meta" Elemental LBG Choices:

  • FIRE: – Rathalos LBGS-0-0 Slots
  • WATER: – Almudron LBGM-S-0 Slots

Still theorycrafting and up-to-debate options on the other elements

  • ICE: – Goss Harag LBG – M-0-0 Slots; see AngBata's


    – basically uses Rapid Fire Up from Wroggi pieces to boost raw damage. Huge 230 raw on the LBG is pretty bonkers honestly. Negative affinity at =15% obviously hurts crit build on this gun.
  • THUNDER: – Rajang LBG – L-0-0 Slots; see AngBata's


    – basicaly same idea as with the Goss Harag gun. Boost rapid fire up.
  • Both guns above use a template set of Wroggi Helm S, Wroggi Mail S, Barroth Vambraces S, Anjanath Coil S, and Vaik Greaves S with decorations used listed in the videos. Both guns use Brutal Strike as Ramp-up skill (Brutal strike has a chance to increase damage with a negative affinity attack – analysis discussed here of skill to gives an average 1.01x multiplier or a 1% damage increase.)

Progression:

  • Start with Ore Tree – Hunter's Rifle I has a good balance of attack, recoil and reload stats, and access to cheap Rapid Fire Normal 2 ammo (with native low recoil and fastest reload)
  • General recommended guns to use in LR are the Izuchi tree – Wind Thief L. Bowgun I and II are both solid choices with access to Rapid Fire Pierce 1 ammo and Rapid Fire Slicing ammo. You can directly upgrade your Ore tree LBG to the Izuchi tree.
  • Magnamalo tree LBGs are worth considering for progression, and definitely making for later on due to the LBGs having access to good raw ammo types (Normal, Spread) and explosive ammos (Sticky, Cluster.) If you plan on using any serious normal or spread ammo gunning during LR and HR progression, get and upgrade Sinister Bowgun I and II (eventually upgrading to Sinister Shadow Bolt). The guns naturally have high to average recoil, so you may need to invest in some recoil down armor pieces, decorations, or talismans.

 

For Pierce centered progression:

  1. In the bulk of LR, you will be using the Izuchi tree LBGs mentioned above.
  2. LR armour pieces: Consider making Rhenoplos Helm for 1 point in Pierce Up skill to boost pierce ammo damage, and Wroggi Vambraces for 1 point in Ammo Up (expanding your Pierce 1 clip size would help decrease reload downtime and indirectly lead to higher DPS; this is more of an issue with the Izuchi LBGs with small clip sizes.) Fill the rest of your armor pieces with whatever pieces, prioritizing attack boost if possible.
  3. After beating LR Nargacuga, proceed down upgrades to Kamura Tree LBGs to reach Nargacuga's first LBG – Hidden Eye I – which is an upgrade in both attack and affinity compared to the Izuchi LBGs. You will remain using this LBG throughout a lot of HR until you beat HR Nargacuga for the second upgrade. For the final upgrade, you need to have beaten HR Tigrex + get rare Narga Medulla drop from HR Narg – the final upgrade will be your meta pierce LBG as discussed above.
  4. HR armour pieces: Similar to LR, make Rhenoplos Helm S and also Rhenoplos Greaves S (head and leg pieces) for 3 points in Pierce Up skill. Assuming you are using Narga LBG at this point, which has a decent clip size (and less benefit from Ammo Up), fill the rest of your armour pieces with pieces prioritizing attack boost. Wroggi Mail S can be considered for chest piece due to 1 point in Rapid Fire Up to boost your rapid fire ammo damage.
  5. Pierce 1 ammo has poor economy and you will find yourself having to craft ammo a lot during fights, especially multiplayer fights; please remember to have Argosy setup for Latchberry farming or spend a lot of time gathering Latchberries to replenish / sustain your pierce ammo. You could also consider spare shot on your armour pieces as a stopgap measure as well, but this would sacrifice other important offensive skills.

 

For budget-conscious and oriented progression: (i.e. you're cheap and don't want to drop a lot of zenny or resources for ammo and sets)

  1. Consider progressing down Ore Tree LBGs for a Rapid Fire Normal 2 ammo playstyle. Ore Tree LBGs maintain growing clips of Rapid Fire Normal 2 ammo with natural low recoil, fastest reload. Normal 2 ammo is also free to grab in the supply boxes per quest, and costs relatively little resources to craft (only Gunpowder Level 2 needed.) Most of the Ore tree guns are also very cheap / require mostly ores to upgrade.
  2. This progression method, although not outstanding nor best for damage, is very cheap and easy to sustain.
  3. LR armour pieces: Consider Tetranadon Mail for 1 point up in Normal/Rapid Up to boost normal ammo damage. Rest of armour pieces fill in whatever to boost attack and affinity if possible.
  4. HR armour pieces: Consider at start of HR Tetranadon Helm S + Mail S + Greaves S for 3 points in Normal/Rapid Up. This will eventually be replaced with more efficient Vaik Braces S + Vaik Coil S /or Shell-Studded Vest S combo later on. Rest of the pieces focus on attack and affinity boosting.

Source

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