MHW Weapon Ranks after Balance Update: Sword&Shield-Hammer rank up and Switch Axe-Heavy Bowgun go down


With the addition of a new monster Deviljho, the first major balance patch came to Monster Hunter: World on March 22nd. A few days after the update, released a new weapon ranking for solo and multi play, based on the weapon’s mechanics and what players think about the weapons.

Related: How to encounter Deviljho and the Deviljho Wepon & Armors

For solo play, the ranks of the Hammer, Great Sword and Sword&Shield, which used to be pretty low, went straight up. Also, the ranks of the Heavy Bowgun and Switch Axe went down.


▲ Solo play weapon ranks on March 23rd (Source:


Since the balance update, Sword&Shield has recorded high scores in time attack ranks thanks to its Falling Bash combo, and the Stun Value for the Hammer has increased. The Great Sword can deal more damage with a simple Tackle + True Charge Slash combo, making solo play much more smooth.


However, the ranks of the Switch Axe and Heavy Bowgun dropped sharply. Switch Axe used to be the base weapon for beginners, but now players got used to more variety of weapons and started to leave Switch Axe behind as they noticed that Switch Axe requires more macromanagement skills than they thought it would.

Heavy Bowgun has some disadvantages in the mechanics such as low mobility and a long reload time. However, Cluster Bomb Heavy Bowgun is still a powerful weapon so the rank might go up again in the future.


▲ Multi play weapon ranks on March 23rd (Source:


Weapon ranks in multi play were a bit different. The Great Sword, which claimed a high spot in solo play ranks, was in tier B. Heavy Bowgun was also in the B tier, because in multi play Cluster Bomb would interrupt the actions of teammates. The Switch Axe also dropped to A tier.

Unlike the Great Sword, the Hammer made it to SS rank. The Hammer can help teammates with its high stun value to deal more damage. The Great Sword is relatively weaker than the Hammer, as True Charged Slash cannot hit the target very well during multi play.

Sword&Shield was in the highest rank in multi play. The weapon can deal decent damage by itself, and using items with your weapon drawn will help your teammates a lot. Hunting Horn, which was designed for multi play, went up from low ranks to the S rank.

Charge Blade, Dual Blades, and Bow are still in the high tiers, and Light Bowgun and Long Sword are also in higher ranks due to their easy macromanagement. Lance and Gunlance, which are known for their reliable defense, are both in rank A in multi play.


■ Weapon ranks in Solo play

SS - Hammer / Great Sword / Charge Blade / Bow
S - Long Sword / Dual Blades / Sword&Shield / Light Bowgun
A - Heavy Bowgun / Lance / Gunlance
B - Switch Axe / Hunting Horn / Insect Glaive


■ Weapon ranks in Multi play

SS - Sword&Shield / Dual Blades / Hammer / Charge Blade
S - Light Bowgun / Hunting Horn / Bow / Long Sword
A - Switch Axe / Insect Glaive / Lance / Gunlance
B - Great Sword / Heavy Bowgun

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