The Insect Glaive is a new introduction to the Monster Hunter canon. Much like the Charge Blade, it was added in Monster Hunter 4 and quickly rose in popularity due to its unique play style and impressive mobility.

I was a big fan of the IG at its release, and swapped between it and the Dual Blades until I found my true calling as a Lance main. Something about the fancy flips and mounting opportunities appealed to me, and it’s nice to come back to when I’m looking for faster-paced play than what the Lance offers.

This week, we’re deep-diving into the weapons and skills that make up the best Insect Glaive builds and exploring a few example builds that utilize these aspects in line with the current meta. Let’s get started!

Best Insect Glaive in MHW: Baseline Build

As always, let’s first look at what makes the Insect Glaive stand out. Even without buffs applied, the IG offers reach, mobility, and lots of mounting opportunities. Airborne attacks allow you to swing through the air with the greatest of ease, slicing and dicing as fast as you please.

Making clever use of the Kinsect allows you to apply buffs to your weapon, increasing your damage, defense, and movement speed. Kinsects can also do targeted cutting or KO damage to a monster, making it a useful perk if you’re looking to farm specific pieces or keep the monster down during a hunt.

With all of this in mind, let’s look at the best weapons and skills for any Insect Glaive build. 

Weapons

Insect Glaive 1

Choosing the best Insect Glaive for your build is a two-step process. You’ll obviously want to look for good stats on the glaive itself, but you’ll also need to consider the stats of your Kinsect. A good pairing can make the difference between a decent IG build and a great one, so make sure you use the customizability to your advantage!

To start, let’s look at the best glaives and what they bring to the table:

WeaponRaw DamageElement/StatusAffinity
Kjárr Glaive520 – 620210 – 360 (Any)10 – 20%
Safi’s Spear83790 – 150 (Any)5%
Lightbreak Press930180 (Blast)0%

Kjárr weapons tend to reign supreme when it comes to elemental or status damage, and the Insect Glaive is no exception. Barring any modifications made to the Safi series, the Kjárr Glaives boast significantly higher element and status damage, along with higher innate affinity. They also come with pre-packaged Critical Element/Status, so you won’t have to worry about slotting that in later. If you’re going for an element build over raw damage, Kjárr is the way to go.

We already know from our previous build guides that Safi’jiiva weapons are valued for their customizability. These IGs offer high base stats that can be further modified using Awakened Abilities. An important thing to keep in mind here is that Safi’s Bindspear (the Paralysis option) differs slightly from the others, offering only 90 status damage in place of the 150 damage done by the rest of the series.

Since both of these weapon series rely heavily on siege grinding, I’d also like to recommend the Lightbreak Press. As is the case with other weapon types, Lighbreak serves as a functional sidegrade to the Safi series. What it lacks in customizability and affinity, it makes up for in raw and element/status damage without relying on RNG.

Once you’ve chosen your glaive, you can move on to choosing your Kinsect. Here are my recommendations:

KinsectAttackDust EffectElementPowerSpeedHeal
Foliacath III ForzSeverBlastNoneLvl. 15Lvl. 20Lvl. 5
Valorwing III MedisBluntBlastNoneLvl. 5Lvl. 20Lvl. 14
Vezirstag III ForzSeverBlastNoneLvl. 20Lvl. 7Lvl. 13

Ultimately, the Kinsect you choose will depend on the type of playstyle you’re going for. The options listed here can easily be applied to most builds, but feel free to shake things up if you’re looking for different dust effects or damage types.

Each Insect Glaive also comes equipped with a Kinsect Bonus — regardless of which bug you’re using, your glaive will apply an added feature that can improve one of many Kinsect stats. These improvements include increases to health, flight speed, and stamina recovery, as well as boosts to blunt/sever and element damage (where applicable).

Skills

With our weapons taken care of, let’s move on to the best skills for Insect Glaive MHW. Since the Insect Glaive relies mainly on its buffs, attack speed, and stamina consumption (on airborne attacks), there are a few skills to focus on.

The first is Power Prolonger, which we’ve discussed in previous build guides. This skill lengthens the duration of your Kinsect buffs, meaning you can maintain increased attack power, defense, and movement speed throughout the hunt. You won’t have to send your bug out for extracts as often, letting you use it to deal additional damage.

The second is Constitution, which reduces the cost of stamina-based activities (like evading). This will apply to your jumping and mid-air attacks, meaning that you can stay airborne longer for attacks on flying monsters, hard-to-reach parts, or accumulating mounting damage.

Last up is Protective Polish, which keeps your weapon’s sharpness from decreasing for a set time after sharpening. Since the IG attacks quickly, its sharpness depletes quickly, and you can end up losing precious damage. Razor Sharp/Spare Shot is another helpful way of reducing sharpness loss!

On this note, I’d also like to mention Handicraft. This skill can increase the sharpness gauge of certain weapons (though not beyond a set maximum). It can be particularly useful for maximizing your sharpness and damage output, and it pairs well with Master’s Touch (which we’ll talk about in our example builds) and lots of affinity skills. In general, it provides more benefits than the more niche Protective Polish and Razor Sharp. It’s the best option if you have the space for it, but it will not work for all builds. Make sure your weapon actually has a use for Handicraft before investing!

Beyond these skills, there are a few generic options worth investing in once you’ve got your priorities sorted. I recommend the following:

  • Agitator (increases affinity when the monster is enraged)
  • Attack Boost (increases damage, increases affinity at later levels)
  • Critical Boost (increases damage dealt by critical hits)
  • Critical Eye (increases affinity)

That’s it for our baseline build! Now that we’re equipped with these weapons and skills, let’s look into some example builds that take this baseline to new heights.

Best Insect Glaive: DPS Build

Insect Glaive 3

Our first example build is going to center around dealing as much damage as possible. This build (like the other DPS-specific builds in our guides) will focus on the meta, so keep that in mind as we go into what’s looking to be our final update.

EquipmentArmor
Lightbreak PressKaiser Crown β+
Master’s Charm IVBrachydium Mail α+
Temporal Mantle+Escadora Arm Guards α+
Rocksteady Mantle+Kaiser Coil β+
Kaiser Greaves β+

This set looks slightly different from the traditional meta set because we’re substituting a piece of Alatreon armor where we’d usually default to Raging Brachydios (which is part of the best armor set for Insect Glaive MHW). This decision gives us a few points in Attack Boost and Power Prolonger so that we don’t have to slot them in later, but will force us to miss out on Agitator Secret (for now).

I’ve recommended the Lightbreak Press here, but if you need the increased Agitator Cap, you can always replace your weapon with one of the Safi Spears (I suggest the Shatterspear) and use Brachydios Essence to get the set bonus back.

Regardless of what you do here, we still have the three pieces of Teostra that we need for Master’s Touch. Using the Master’s Charm IV will give us Critical Eye in place of the Agitator affinity we’re missing out on, bringing our skill list (before decorations) to the following:

  • Agitator 2
  • Attack Boost 3
  • Blast Attack 6
  • Critical Eye 6
  • Latent Power 3
  • Master’s Touch
  • Power Prolonger 3

From here, we can use our decoration slots to add baseline skills as they become available. I recommend slotting in the following skills:

  • Attack Boost
  • Constitution
  • Critical Boost
  • Critical Eye (max out)
  • Protective Polish/Razor Sharp

This might be the last time I detail why you should choose the Temporal Mantle+ and Rocksteady Mantle+. Any time you can avoid attacks and ignore roars that would otherwise break your combos, you should do it!

Best Insect Glaive: Elemental Build (Water)

Our elemental build will continue on the same track as our DPS build, but will shift from raw damage to elemental (this time, we’ll do water). Since we’re still using the meta as a template, this build will look pretty similar to the one listed above, but with a few tweaks to allow for increased element damage.

EquipmentArmor
Kjárr Glaive “Water”Kaiser Crown β+
Challenger Charm VBrachydium Mail β+
Temporal Mantle+Kaiser Vambraces β+
Rocksteady Mantle+Kaiser Coil β+
Brachydium Greaves β+

Since we’re back to a purely Teostra/Raging Brachy set, we get to take advantage of both Master’s Touch and Agitator’s Secret. The armor pieces in question are among the best Insect Glaive armor MHW, and they carry a few useful skills (though they’re designed more for general comfort than elemental damage).

Now that we have Agitator Secret back, we can use the Challenger Charm V to bring us to our new max. With this adjustment and the Kjárr weapon’s innate skill in mind, our skill list (before decorations) is as follows:

  • Agitator 7
  • Blast Attack 2
  • Critical Element
  • Critical Eye 2
  • Heat Guard
  • Latent Power
  • Master’s Touch
  • Weakness Exploit 3

For decorations, we’ll again want to slot in our missing baseline skills and a few other options to help boost our element damage. I recommend the following:

  • Attack Boost
  • Constitution
  • Critical Boost
  • Critical Eye (max out)
  • Power Prolonger
  • Protective Polish/Razor Sharp
  • Water Attack

As a quick note, this build doesn’t rely on sharpness skills as much as our DPS build. With Agitator’s Secret, it’s a lot easier to achieve 100% affinity if you have the right decos. Affinity skills will benefit you more generally than a sharpness-specific skill will, and if every attack you’re landing is a critical hit, Master’s Touch will stop you from losing sharpness altogether!

Best Insect Glaive: Utility Build (Airborne)

Insect Glaive 2

For our utility build, we’re going to focus on the Insect Glaive’s vaulting and mid-air attacks. It’s one of my favorite aspects of the IG, but not exactly the best option when it comes to DPS. Airborne attacks take a notable dip in damage, so many players don’t like to see this build in a multiplayer setting.

I definitely don’t subscribe to the “meta only” approach, but I also don’t want to get you kicked out of a group by seriously recommending a meme build. This build does some work to make up for the damage loss, but it might be a good idea to keep this to solo play or friends-only multiplayer unless you’re remarkably good at the Insect Glaive.

EquipmentArmor
Kjárr Glaive “Paralysis”Safi Crested Crown β+
Fury Charm VSafi Crested Chest β+
Glider Mantle +Safi Crested Vambraces β+
Rocksteady Mantle+Safi Crested Belt β+
Safi Crested Boots β+

We’re using full Safi armor to take advantage of the True Dragonvein Awakening set bonus. This will increase your affinity and element/status damage as long as your weapon’s drawn, and increases the health regeneration you get while continuously attacking.

The skills that come with this set aren’t crucial for this build — we’re mostly here for the set bonus. It’s still quality armor regardless of the built-in skills, so don’t worry about swapping any pieces. Anything we really need can be slotted in later.

We’re using the Resentment Charm V, as the damage boost pairs well with Safi’s steady health drain. With this in place, our skill list before decorations is as follows:

  • Blight Resistance 2
  • Critical Boost 3
  • Critical Status
  • Evade Window 3
  • Resentment 5

For decorations, there are a few skills we’ll want to keep in mind as they become available. I suggest the following:

  • Attack Boost
  • Airborne (or Elemental Airborne if you choose element over status damage!)
  • Constitution
  • Power Prolonger
  • Protective Polish
  • Stamina Surge

We’re still using the Rocksteady Mantle+, but we’re replacing our usual Temporal Mantle+ with the Glider Mantle+. This allows you to stay in the air longer when doing jumping attacks — paired with the stamina skills listed above, the build becomes more viable!

The Hunt Begins

That’s it for our Insect Glaive build guide — thanks for reading! We realize that the builds listed here rely a bit more on the meta than some of our other guides, so we’d love to hear about your unique IG builds! If you have your own way of playing this weapon type, please feel free to show off your build in the comments.

Happy hunting!

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