I’m not exactly the best at remembering combos, which made the Charge Blade an intimidating obstacle. It haunted and vexed me — half sword and shield, half mighty axe, wholly difficult for my easily-overwhelmed mind. 

There’s a beauty to its complexity, though. The move set alone allows for various play styles, meaning that there are a ton of unique and diverse builds that all highlight specific advantages of the Charge Blade.

If you’re new to the CB or are just looking to put together some new builds after the latest updates, you’ve come to the right place! This build guide will cover the essentials of putting together one of the best Charge Blade builds, as well as explore a few specific builds that align with the new meta. Let’s get started!

Best Charge Blade in MHW: Baseline Build

To begin, let’s look at the advantages of the Charge Blade. Much like the Switch Axe, the CB is designed to swap between its Sword and Axe modes. Sword mode is the default — you’ll spend most of your time attacking with your sword and charging up your phials. This mode offers mobility and defense, as your heavy axe head becomes a shield that can deflect attacks and store your charged phials until you swap to Axe mode.

Axe mode is where you’ll go for power attacks. It offers high damage and reach, making it ideal for cutting horns and attacking while the monster is in the air. It’s also the mode where you’ll go for your Super Amped Element Discharge, which is the most powerful attack that the Charge Blade offers.

In general, a good CB build is one that ensures you’re dealing high damage even in the less-powerful Sword mode. It also builds your phials for quicker charging of your shield and axe, and takes advantage of the added defense and damage perks inherent in some of the weapon’s moves.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the MHW best Charge Blades.

Weapons

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne_20200826204028
Ashley Clark / High Ground Gaming

One of the advantages to the Charge Blade is that it’s an effective weapon for both raw and elemental damage, meaning that you can go for a variety of different builds. The best CBs tend to be the ones that utilize Blast damage, but it’s by no means a necessity.

I’ve outlined some of the best Charge Blades in the table below:

WeaponRaw DamageElement/StatusAffinityPhial Type
Lightbreak Charge Blade972120 (Any)5%Impact
Kjárr Strongarm648 – 720300 – 480 (Any)15 – 20%Impact/Power Elemental
Lightbreak Charge Blade1080210 (Blast)0%Impact

As with other Safi’jiiva weapons, the Safi’s Shield series can be customized to fit your specifications with the introduction of Awakened Abilities. The base stats are still relatively high, but you have a lot of room to improve them even further.

It is worth noting that Safi’s Hellshield (which does Fire damage) has slightly different base stats than the rest. It does 180 element damage instead of 120, and uses Power Elemental phials instead of Impact.

Next on the list are the Kjárr Strongarms, which are the Kulve Taroth CBs. These weapons stand out not only in their base stats, but in the fact that they come with Critical Element/Status. If you’re going for an elemental or status CB build, the innate skill means you don’t have to slot it in later.

Finally, we have the Lightbreak Charge Blade, a quality endgame CB that doesn’t require as much investment into sieges. As I’ve mentioned in previous guides, the high base stats allow it to be a reasonable sidegrade even for the more customizable weapons like the Safi series.

Skills

Now that we have our weapons, we can start thinking about the best Charge Blade skills. Although a lot of the general skills are useful for Charge Blade builds, there are a few specific skills you’ll want to prioritize to take advantage of the CB’s mechanics and move set.

First, you’ll want to invest in Capacity Boost, which increases the Charge Blade’s phial capacity. This increases your total damage on the Super Amped Elemental Discharge, gives you more phials for your Amped Elemental Discharge, and keeps your shield charged for 30 seconds longer.

Second, you’ll want Focus, which is useful for pretty much any weapon that involves powering up some sort of meter. As I’ve mentioned in previous build guides, this skill speeds up the rate at which those meters fill, helping you charge your phials faster and swing with the heavy hits sooner.

Last on the list is Guard (which can be paired with Offensive Guard for an extra boost). This is a helpful skill for Charge Blade builds, as certain CB moves have what are known as Guard Points. When timed correctly, these Guard Points can block incoming attacks without needing to use the actual block move, allowing you to block sooner, reduce knockback, and deal a bit of reciprocal damage. Guard Points stack with the Guard skill (even past the regular skill cap), meaning you can significantly reduce the knockback and stamina depletion of your blocks. When paired with Offensive Guard, you can also briefly boost your attack power after a well-timed block.

Beyond this, you can round out your CB build with a few other useful skills:

  • Agitator (increases affinity when the monster is enraged)
  • Artillery (strengthens explosive power of phial attacks)
  • Attack Boost (increases damage, increases affinity at later levels)
  • Critical Boost (increases damage dealt by critical hits)
  • Critical Eye (increases affinity)
  • Razor Sharp/Spare Shot (halves sharpness loss)

That’s it for our baseline build! With these weapons and skills in mind, let’s look at a few example builds that show off some of the many different ways you can play the Charge Blade.

Best Charge Blade: DPS Impact Build

Monster Hunter World_ Iceborne best charge blade elemental dragon build
Ashley Clark / High Ground Gaming

For this build, we’re focusing on doing as much damage as possible across our various moves. We’ll be using the Lightbreak Charge Blade for its non-Awakened raw damage, serious Blast damage, and Impact phials.

EquipmentArmor
Lightbreak Charge BladeKaiser Crown β+
Challenger Charm VBrachydium Mail β+
Temporal Mantle+Kaiser Vambraces β+
Rocksteady Mantle+Kaiser Coil β+
Brachydium Greaves β+

Those of you who follow these build guides will recognize this armor set — I come back to it a lot, but there’s a reason it’s the current meta. The Teostra Technique is among the best armor for Charge Blade MHW, and the set bonus is a must if your weapon relies on sharpness. Also, unlocking Agitator Secret from the Raging Brachydios armor is an excellent way to keep your affinity up and those critical hits coming.

The skills included with these specific armor pieces are useful, even if they’re not a significant part of our baseline build. We’re mostly looking for decoration slots — we have many skills that we want to add, so leaving room for jewels is essential.

With the addition of the Challenger Charm V to take advantage of our increased Agitator cap, we now have the following skills (before decorations):

  • Agitator 7
  • Blast Attack 2
  • Critical Eye 2
  • Heat Guard
  • Latent Power
  • Weakness Exploit 3

Since this build currently doesn’t have any of our top-priority baseline skills included, we’ll want to slot them in as they become available. Keeping in mind that decorations are awarded randomly, I recommend trying to prioritize the following skills:

  • Artillery
  • Blast Attack (max out)
  • Capacity Boost
  • Critical Eye (max out)
  • Focus
  • Guard
  • Razor Sharp/Spare Shot
  • Offensive Guard

As for the last few pieces of equipment, I recommend taking the Temporal Mantle+ and Rocksteady Mantle+. The Temporal Mantle+ will be especially useful if you’re still getting used to timing your Guard Points— if you miss the block and the attack hits you, you can automatically evade and negate the damage.

Best Charge Blade: Elemental Dragon Build

This build is more about elemental damage, specifically focusing on Dragon. I’ll be using the Kjárr Strongarm as our Charge Blade of choice to take advantage of the innate Critical Element.

EquipmentArmor
Kjárr Strongarm “Decay”Safi Crested Crown β+
Master’s Charm IVSafi Crested Chest β+
Temporal Mantle+Safi Crested Vambraces β+
Rocksteady Mantle+Escadora Might α+
Escadora Sheath α+

Equipping three pieces of Safi’jiiva armor unlocks the Dragonvein Awakening set bonus, which boosts elemental damage and affinity while your weapon’s drawn. This will be useful for dealing high damage even while you’re in Sword mode and unable to take advantage of the weapon’s harder-hitting attacks. 

Safi armor mixes well with Alatreon, allowing us to equip two Escadora armor pieces and unlock the Alatreon Divinity set bonus. With two pieces, we gain the Element Conversion skill, which increases your weapon’s elemental power as your elemental resistance increases. The Escadora Might waist piece includes three levels of Dragon resistance, giving us an immediate damage boost.

The Master’s Charm IV gives us a few levels into Critical Eye, so our skills for this build (before decorations) are as follows:

  • Attack Boost 4
  • Blight Resistance 2
  • Critical Boost 2
  • Critical Element
  • Critical Eye 4
  • Defense Boost 3
  • Dragon Attack 4
  • Dragon Resistance 3
  • Evade Window

From here, we can slot in some of the skills from our baseline build and expand on new and useful skills introduced with this armor set. I recommend the following:

  • Artillery
  • Capacity Boost
  • Critical Eye (max out)
  • Dragon Attack (max out)
  • Focus
  • Guard
  • Razor Sharp/Spare Shot
  • Offensive Guard

As usual, I recommend taking the Temporal Mantle+ and the Rocksteady Mantle+. These are both useful with the Safi’jiiva armor, as the automatic evasion and tremor resistance can help you maintain consistent attacks to take advantage of Dragonvein Awakening’s health recovery.

Best Charge Blade: Power Axe Utility Build

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne_20200826203258
Ashley Clark / High Ground Gaming

For this build, we’re centering our armor and skills around the Charge Blade’s Power Axe mode. This mode is new to Iceborne, and is entered by canceling out of the Super Amped Element Discharge into the Savage Axe Slash (assuming you currently have phials loaded into your shield).

EquipmentArmor
Safi’s ShattershieldKaiser Crown β+
Challenger Charm VBrachydium Mail β+
Temporal Mantle+Kaiser Vambraces β+
Rocksteady Mantle+Kaiser Coil β+
Brachydium Greaves β+

The main point behind this build is to deal as much raw damage as possible, using your phials only to power up your axe head and not to deal any additional impact or element damage. As such, we’re going to use the same basic set as our DPS Impact build and slot in a few different skills.

Since we’re using the same armor set and charm, we’re still taking advantage of Teostra Technique and Agitator Secret, AKA the best Charge Blade MHW set bonuses, which deliver added sharpness and affinity boosts. With this setup, our pre-decoration skill list is unchanged:

  • Agitator 7
  • Blast Attack 2
  • Critical Eye 2
  • Heat Guard
  • Latent Power
  • Weakness Exploit 3

As we slot in decorations, we move away from our baseline build to prioritize physical damage over phials. We’ll still want Capacity Boost for the sake of powering up the axe head, but we don’t necessarily need as many of the accessory skills. I recommend slotting in the following:

  • Attack Boost
  • Blast Attack (max out)
  • Capacity Boost
  • Critical Eye (max out)
  • Power Prolonger
  • Razor Sharp/Spare Shot

Once again, the Temporal Mantle+ and Rocksteady Mantle+ are simply useful pieces of equipment to have on your person in a pinch.

The Hunt Begins

Thanks for reading our Charge Blade build guide! With this being such a varied weapon, we’d love to hear about your preferred playstyle and the builds that accompany it. Please feel free to leave a comment with your own build, or offer your feedback on the ones listed here.

Happy hunting!

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