TL;DR is essentially the choice between higher damage per shot, or having Ammo Up. Not sure which is more feasible in actual hunts, though.
So I’ve been wanting to make a Zinogre RF slice build, but I’ve seen many different recommendations varying between CB 3 and no attack or critical eye, all the way to no CB and pure attack. I decided to go ahead and do my own testing, so I’ve spent a while in the training room testing variations on the build, trying to see which is most optimal. I have never done any of the Monster Hunter maths before, so this is strictly me recording damage numbers I get per shot off the dummies head.
Talisman is the same for all of my builds. Spare Shot 2 2-0-0. I use the slot to make it Spare Shot 3.
Abbreviations are CB (Critical Boost), WEX (Weakness Exploit), SS (Spare Shot), RS (Reload Speed), RD (Recoil Down), RFU (Rapid Fire Up), AU (Ammo Up), ATK (Attack Boost Up), CE (Critical Eye)
Original Build: Vaik Helm, Vaik Mail, Jyura Vambraces, Chrome Coil, Arzuros Greaves. Gives CB 3, WEX 3, SS 3, RS 3, RD 3, RFU 3, AU 2. With this set, you get an extra Slicing Shot in your clip (from 2 to 3). The damage range goes 221, 234, 247, 260, 286. This is the lowest damage range out of the 4 sets I have tested, but the most balanced.
Anja Waist Build: I tried dropping a point of CB for ATK 2. Same build as above, but replaces the Chrome Coil with Anjanath Waist. Gives WEX 3, SS 3, RS 3, RD 3, RFU 3, ATK 2, CB 2, AU 2. You maintain the Ammo Up for 3 shots per clip. Damage range goes 220, 244, 256, 268, 280. So the damage range is skewed higher in the middle, but lower on the ends. Fairly comparable to the original build, giving more consistent damage but lower spikes.
Kaiser Crown Build: With this set, I opted to drop CB entirely and focus on ATK and CE. Build runs Kaiser Crown, Vaik Mail, Jyrua Vambraces, Anjanath Coil, Arzuros Greaves. Gives ATK 4, CE 3, WEX 3, SS 3, RS 3, RD 3, RFU 3, CB 1. The damage range is 242, 253, 264, 275, 286. The gives us a much higher skewed damage range when compared to the original build, because while the high spikes are the same, the rest of the curve is much higher. Unfortunately, we lose out on Ammo Up meaning we only get 2 shots in the clip instead of 3.
Skull Visage Build: Lastly, I tried out a pure attack build. Runs Skull Visage, Vaik Mail, Rathalos Braces, Anjanath Coil, Arzuros Greaves. Gives ATK 7, WEX 3, SS 3, RFU 3, RS 2, RD 2, Fortify 1. Damage range is 250, 259, 268, 286. This is not a viable build, IMO. Loses Ammo Up, RD/RS 3, in exchange for comparable damage to Kaiser build. Not worth.
So what are my takeaways from this? Original build is the most balanced all round. You have all of your QoL skills, and you have Ammo Up giving you 3 shots per clip instead of 2. But, this set also has the lowest damage range. I do not know if the Ammo Up will give you higher DPS in a hunt when matched up against the other sets, owing to the fact you need to reload less. Anja build is comparable to the original build, and you could run either with similar results. Kaiser build is where I think the real decision lies. You gain a much better damage range lineup. While your spike is the same (286), the rest of your shot damage ends up being superior. This comes at the cost of losing Ammo Up, though, making your slicing clip size 2 instead of 3. I won’t mention Skull build, as it’s just worse than Kaiser. I suppose Kaiser may also be a bit better when you aren’t landing shots on weak spots, due to the fact that you have ATK 4 when compared to the strict CB/WEX of the original build.
I’m sure there are variations that can be made if you have different talismans, probably allowing you to squeeze in further CE, CB, or ATK depending on your build. What I want to know, though, is whether Ammo Up or a higher damage range base is going to be better overall in a hunt. Ammo Up translates to less downtime reloading, and more SS procs in a clip, but Kaiser is giving you a better damage curve and less punishment for hitting non weak spots.
I apologize if any of the maths or sets are wrong; this has been my first experience doing something like this instead of just copying builds.
Addendum: I just tested a time run for both the original and Kaiser builds, and Vaik ended up out-dpsing Kaiser due to the extra clip capacity leading to less reloads. Of course, SS chain procs will skew your runs, so it’s up to RNG with that.
But, it’s worth noting, that those results really only apply specifically to hitting nothing but weak spots. Kaiser WILL outdamage Vaik in a dps time run when hitting non weak spots, because of the ATK 4 still applying there. So maybe Kaiser will be more practical in regular hunts where you can’t land every shot on the monsters weak spot.
- Zin LBG Slicing meta build
- A few interesting LBG builds post 2.0
- [MHR] Sticky lbg build for 2.0 update
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