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MHW: Iceborne Best Dual Blades Build Guide

Dual Blades were my weapon of choice from Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate up to Generations Ultimate. The frantic attack speed was hugely appealing, and their potent elemental damage sealed the deal. Although I’m better suited for the Lance these days, it’s still fun to go back and pick up the Dual Blades for some fast-paced, elemental action.

For this week’s guide, we’ll be looking at the top weapons and skills for creating the best Dual Blade build possible. After that, we’ll use this baseline to create three additional builds — each designed for different playstyles.

Sound like a plan? Let’s get started!

Best Dual Blades in MHW: Baseline

First, we need to consider what makes the Dual Blades stand out against other weapon types. The Dual Blades are all about speed, and they balance lower damage and lack of reach with quick, successive attacks. 

Moreover, Dual Blades are built around Demon and Archdemon modes. These modes add a few moves and combos to the default controls (providing more damage potential) but rely heavily on stamina to swap between the two styles.

Based on these features, a good DB build capitalizes on quick combos and elemental damage while incorporating skills that take a rapidly-depleting sharpness and stamina bar into account. With that in mind, let’s look at the best weapons and best skills for Dual Blade MHW.


MHW Dual Blades 3

The wide variety of elements and abnormal statuses in Monster Hunter means there’s also a wide variety of Dual Blades, each serving a distinct purpose. On average, the best overall and best elemental Dual Blades for MHW will have a healthy balance of raw and elemental damage, combined with high sharpness. Innate affinity doesn’t hurt, but since critical hits don’t increase element/status damage by default, it’s not the highest priority.

I’ve put together a list of some of the best Dual Blades for you to choose from:

WeaponRaw DamageElement/StatusAffinity
Fatalis Dual Skies518120 (Dragon)-30%
Alatreon Madness392480 (Dragon)0%
Kjárr Daggers252210 (Any)5 – 20%

The Fatalis Dual Blades make this list pretty much exclusively as a raw damage option. When it comes to Dual Blades, you’re generally better off going for an element/status build, and the Fatalis simply doesn’t do enough Dragon damage to outpace the Alatreon DBs.

On that note, Alatreon Madness is your best bet if you’re looking for a build based around Dragon damage. A lot of DB options offer substantial elemental damage, but the significant difference in Dragon damage combined with both high raw damage and high sharpness makes Alatreon Madness the superior option for a Dragon-based build.

For any other damage type, invest in the Kjárr Daggers. You’ll have to deal with the MR Kulve Taroth siege to get what you’re looking for, but Capcom will be cycling it out with the Safi’jiiva siege every couple of weeks, so you’ll have ample opportunity to get what you need.


From here, let’s turn to the skills you’ll need for a strong Dual Blades build. Since Dual Blades are stamina-based weapons that rely heavily on attack speed and elemental damage, there are a few critical skills you’ll want to keep in mind when putting your build together.

First off, you’ll want to invest in Critical Element. This skill increases the elemental damage done when landing critical hits, which is essential for the element-focused Dual Blades. Since critical hits generally only boost raw damage, having a few points in Critical Element ensures that you’re still taking advantage of critical chances without sacrificing any damage.

Next up is Marathon Runner, which reduces your stamina depletion rate when doing activities that continuously drain stamina. This is especially important for the Dual Blades, as Demon mode is powered by stamina and will automatically deactivate once your stamina bar is empty. By slowing your stamina depletion, you’ll be able to stay in Demon mode longer and capitalize on the improved combos and attack speed. Stamina Surge pairs well with this skill, as it increases your stamina recovery and can keep you out of tight scrapes when your bar runs low.

Focus and Power Prolonger are both useful for maintaining that careful balance between Demon and Archdemon mode. Focus will fill your demon gauge faster, helping you activate Archdemon mode sooner. Power Prolonger reduces the depletion rate of the gauge, helping you stay in Archdemon mode longer.

Finally, we have Protective Polish, which maintains your weapon’s sharpness for a set time after sharpening. Since Dual Blades attack so quickly, they lose sharpness fast. Having a skill that helps keep your sharpness up reduces the chance that your attacks will be deflected mid-fight and ensures that you deal as much damage as possible. Handicraft is a nifty skill that can extend the sharpness bar of certain weapons, so consider investing in this skill if your build can benefit from it. 

There are a few other skills that can be useful when putting together a DB build, though they’re not as much of a priority as those listed above. Here are a few options that can help round out your set:

  • Agitator (increases affinity when the monster is enraged)
  • Critical Eye (increases affinity)
  • Health Boost (increases health and max health cap)
  • Weakness Exploit (increases affinity when hitting weak spots)

I’d also like to quickly mention Mushroomancer, which can be useful for DB builds. Although you could invest in Constitution (which reduces stamina depletion on certain moves), putting three levels into Mushroomancer allows you to consume Devil’s Blight mushrooms, which function as a slightly less-effective Dash Juice.

This is important, since Marathon Runner doesn’t reduce stamina depletion in all cases — actions that use a set amount of stamina, like evading, will deplete your bar at the same rate.

With this setup, you’ll be able to reduce your overall stamina depletion without sacrificing too many decoration slots or having to rely on the Dash Juice grind. You’ll also gain the various other benefits that Mushroomancer offers in terms of healing and other buffs.

That’s it for our Dual Blades baseline build! From here, let’s look at a few example builds that can be made with these guidelines in mind.

Best Dual Blades Blade: Raw Damage

A Dual Blades build centered around raw damage isn’t exactly the most efficient way to play the weapon, it’s still a viable option if you’re not looking to combat any specific elemental weakness. For this build, we’re going to focus on taking advantage of the Fatalis DB’s raw damage.

Fatalis Dual SkiesSafi Crested Crown β+
Master’s Charm VSafi Crested Chest β+
Temporal Mantle+Dragonclaws β+
Rocksteady Mantle+Dragonbarbs α+
Safi Crested Boots β+

We’re going for a mixed set of Safi’jiiva and Fatalis armor for comfort’s sake, which will give us high defense and some of the best Dual Blades set bonuses in MHW. Two pieces of Fatalis armor gives us Inheritance, which unlocks the skill caps for all skill secrets. Dragonvein Awakening (the Safi set bonus) boosts damage and affinity at the cost of a slow and steady health drain. Don’t worry, though — you can recover the lost health as long as you’re constantly attacking, which won’t be a problem with the Dual Blades’ attack speed.

The armor itself has a handful of useful skills built in, including a few points into Weakness Exploit, Critical Boost, and Critical Eye. The Challenger Charm V will give us points in Agitator, bringing our skill list (before decorations) to the following:

  • Agitator 5
  • Blight Resistance 1
  • Critical Boost 3
  • Critical Eye 3
  • Evade Window 1
  • Weakness Exploit 2

From here, there are a few different skills you’ll want to slot in as you get the chance. Fatalis weapons have terrible affinity, so using some of your slots to make up the difference in skills like Agitator, Critical Eye, and Weakness Exploit will be a good idea. 

Depending on whether you want to go for more comfort or max DPS, you can use your remaining slots to fit in the baseline skills or go for more damage-based skills. Should you go with the latter, I recommend the following:

  • Attack Boost
  • Protective Polish
  • Resentment (pairs especially well with Dragonvein Awakening)

Best Dual Blades Build: Ice Damage

MHW Dual Blades

We’re technically calling this the best Ice Dual Blades build MHW: Iceborne, but it’s a little more than that. Most of this build’s element-specific power lies in the weapon choice and slotted decorations, meaning that you can swap in your preferred element/status with very little change to the overall build.

Kjárr Daggers “Ice”Dragonhead β+
Challenger Charm VDragonhide α+
Temporal Mantle+Dragonclaws β+
Rocksteady Mantle+Dragonbarbs β+
Rimeguard Greaves γ+

The Fatalis armor (among the best armor for Dual Blades) gives us both Inheritance and Transcendence. Inheritance (as mentioned before) unlocks all the skill secrets, and Transcendence gives us True Razor Sharp/Spare Shot and a boost to health and stamina. Since we’re using Kulve Taroth weapons, we also get Critical Element built in.

As always, the armor itself gives us pretty useful skills in the form of Critical Eye, Evade Window, and Weakness Exploit. A few other handy skills are also tacked on, so with the addition of the Challenger Charm V, our skill list (before decorations) is as follows:

  • Agitator 5
  • Critical Eye 2
  • Evade Window 2
  • Peak Performance 3
  • Quick Sheath 2
  • Stun Resistance 3
  • Weakness Exploit 2

From here, we’ll want to slot in our baseline skills and a few boosts to attack power in our element of choice. In this case, I recommend leaning into both Attack Boost and Ice Attack, but you can mix and match with your preferences.

Best Dual Blades Build: Dragon Damage

The main exception to the all-purpose best element build is Dragon damage, which can be built into your set far more effectively with some Alatreon materials.

Alatreon MadnessDragonhead β+
Challenger Charm VDragonhide β+
Temporal Mantle+Dragonclaws β+
Vitality Mantle+Dragonbarbs α+
Escadora Sheath α+

To create one of the the best Dragon builds for Dual Blades, we’ll need to choose our setup wisely. To that end, we’ll start with Fatalis armor, which gives us the Inheritance and Transcendence set bonuses. The major difference here is that we don’t get Kulve Taroth’s innate Critical Element, so we’ll want to be sure to slot that in later.

Since we’re replacing the Velkhana legs with Alatreon, we get a few points of Defense Boost and a whopping four points of Dragon Attack. With the Challenger Charm V, our total skill list (before decorations) comes to the following:

  • Agitator 5
  • Critical Eye 3
  • Defense Boost 3
  • Dragon Attack 4
  • Evade Window 1
  • Stun Resistance 3
  • Weakness Exploit 3

From here, we can slot in our baseline skills as the jewels become available. I also recommend maxing out Dragon Attack if you get the chance.

The Hunt Begins

MHW Dual Blades 2

One of the things I like best about the Dual Blades is how its focus on element and status damage allows for so much variability — any of these sets will function differently based on the damage type you choose. Feel free to drop your own build in the comments, and don’t forget to subscribe to High Ground for more MHW build guides.

Happy hunting!


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