MHW: Iceborne Best Insect Glaive Build Guide

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 Build for MHW: Baseline

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.


Insect Glaive 1
Image Credit: Capcom

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
True Fatalis Dyaus1101120 (Dragon)-30%
Kjárr Glaive520 – 620210 – 360 (Any)10 – 20%
Lightbreak Press930180 (Blast)0%

When it comes to raw damage, the best Insect Glaive in MHW is the Fatalis IG. It surpasses every other glaive in the game, making it a great option for most hunts. It’s got that pesky negative affinity, but most meta builds give you room to make up the difference in decorations. 

If you want to go with an element or status build, Kjárr weapons tend to reign supreme. 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.

I’d also like to recommend the Lightbreak Press, the best blast Insect Glaive MHW. 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 personal recommendations:

Foliacath III ForzSeverLvl. 15Lvl. 20Lvl. 5
Valorwing III MedisBluntLvl. 5Lvl. 20Lvl. 14
Vezirstag III ForzSeverLvl. 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).


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)
  • Critical Boost (increases damage dealt by critical hits)
  • Critical Eye (increases affinity)
  • Health Boost (increases health and max health cap)
  • Weakness Exploit (increases affinity when hitting weak spots)

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.

Insect Glaive 3
Image Credit: Capcom

Best IG Build: DPS

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, but we’ll cover a few transitional sets later on if you’re not quite ready for a complete Fatalis build.

True Fatalis DyausRimeguard γ+
Challenger Charm VDragonhide β+
Temporal Mantle+Dragonclaws α+
Rocksteady Mantle+Dragonbarbs α+
Dragonfeet β+

As is the case with most meta builds, we’re combining four pieces of Fatalis armor (probably the best Insect Glaive armor MHW) with one piece of Velkhana. This gives us the Inheritance and Transcendence set bonuses. Inheritance is useful for any build, as it unlocks the skill caps of all skill secrets, but Transcendence is particularly good for the Insect Glaive. In addition to gaining a health and stamina boost, it gives us True Razor Sharp/Spare Shot, saving us from having to slot that in later.

We get some handy skills built into the individual armor pieces. There are a few points of Critical Eye baked into our waist piece, which helps make up for the Fatalis IG’s negative affinity (again without needing to fill decoration slots). Besides that, we get points into Weakness Exploit, Evade Window, and a few other helpful skills.

With the inclusion of the Challenger Charm V, our total skill list (before decorations) is as follows:

  • Agitator 5
  • Coalescence 3
  • Critical Eye 3
  • Evade Window 2
  • Handicraft 3
  • Resuscitate 1
  • Weakness Exploit 3

From here, we can use our slots to add in our baseline skills and boost our attack damage and affinity. I suggest focusing on Agitator and Critical Eye in particular, should you have the right jewels — since we’re going for DPS, it’s the best way to capitalize on the True Fatalis Dyaus’s intense raw damage. I recommend the following skills:

  • Agitator (max out)
  • Critical Boost
  • Critical Eye (max out)
  • Divine Blessing

Best IG Build: Transitional Set

This is another DPS build, but one that doesn’t incorporate quite so many Fatalis pieces. It’s designed to get you through hunts if you’re not quite ready to run the Fatalis grind enough to get a full set.

Lightbreak PressKaiser Crown β+
Challenger Charm VKaiser Mail β+
Temporal Mantle+Kaiser Vambraces β+
Rocksteady Mantle+Dragonbarbs α+
Dragonfeet β+

For this build, we’re going with a mixed set of Fatalis and Teostra armor. Since we’re still using two pieces of Fatalis, we get to benefit from the Inheritance set bonus and get free access to all the skill secrets. Three pieces of Teostra gives us Master’s Touch, which prevents sharpness loss on critical hits. The closer we get to hitting 100% affinity (which will be easier with the Lightbreak Press), the longer our sharpness bar will last.

The individual armor pieces give us points into Critical Eye, Weakness Exploit, and Latent Power. All of these boost our overall affinity, though the latter two are more situational. We’re aiming for 100% affinity at all times, so it’ll be helpful to slot in a few other skills that will activate at different times.

With the Challenger Charm V equipped, our total skill list (before decorations) will look like this:

  • Agitator 5
  • Critical Eye 5
  • Evade Window 1
  • Heat Guard 1
  • Latent Power 2
  • Weakness Exploit 2

With our decorations, we’ll want to max out our damage and affinity skills and slot in our baselines. I recommend slotting in the following skills as the jewels become available:

  • Agitator (max out)
  • Attack Boost
  • Critical Boost
  • Critical Eye (max out)
Insect Glaive 2
Image Credit: Capcom

Best IG Build: Airborne

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.

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 (although Fatalis is the best armor set for Insect Glaive MHW), 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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Wouldnt the Aerial Magus 3 be better for an Airborne build? It has higher base and potential paralysis damage plus spirit and strength boost for the kinsect bonus


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