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MHW: Iceborne Best Longsword Build Guide

Are you new to the Longsword in MHW? Perhaps you’re a seasoned veteran seeking an edge after the latest update? Whichever the case, the best Longsword build for MHW is vital if you want to be competitive.

With the best Longsword, every second of combat is beautiful, graceful, and filled to the brim with moves inspired by the best anime sword tropes. The combos are simple but intentional — everything serves a unique purpose, and the moves blend together for seamless and effective attacks. If you haven’t tried LS yet, I genuinely cannot recommend it enough.

This guide showcases the MHW: Iceborne best Longsword builds for the current meta. Keep reading to check them out!

Best Longsword in MHW: Baseline

The Longsword is a well-rounded weapon with impressive reach and fluid combos. Its moves require very little recovery time and are designed to be interchangeable, meaning you can easily evade out of attack chains and resume combat without interrupting your flow. Its added reach is great at cutting hard-to-reach parts, so it’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for a versatile melee weapon that offers decent raw damage and mobility.

That said, the Longsword’s real power lies in its Spirit Blade attacks, which help you deal considerably more damage without sacrificing mobility. To that end, the MHW best Longsword skills help you power up and retain your Spirit Gauge to boost overall damage.


MHW Longsword 3

Much like the Switch Axe, the Long Sword’s versatility means that the best weapons offer serious raw damage alongside a well-rounded stat block. Weapons with innate affinity will be useful for landing critical hits, and a high sharpness bar will ensure your attacks don’t bounce while you’re refilling your Spirit Gauge.

Here’s a quick list of the best Longswords in the game:

WeaponRaw DamageElement & StatusAffinity
Fatalis Zaggespanon1155150 (Dragon)– 30%
Safi’s Blade891180 (Any)5%
Lightbreak Edge990270 (Blast)0%

Now, I know what I said about wanting weapons with innate affinity, but the Fatalis Zaggespanon is just too good to exclude from this list. Its remarkably high damage is hard to pass up, and the two Level 4 decoration slots offer plenty of opportunity to make up for the negative affinity.

I’ve mentioned this in other guides, but it bears repeating that the Safi’jiiva weapons are an excellent investment if you don’t mind the grind. Each one of the Safi’s Blade series boasts relatively high base stats that can be improved with the use of Awakened Abilities. For the Long Sword, it’s a good idea to invest in useful set bonuses like Teostra Technique, as well as general increases to attack and sharpness.

Since both of these weapons can be pretty hard to get (Safi weapons because of the siege and the Zaggespanon because… Fatalis), I also recommend taking a look at the Lightbreak Edge. Although it lacks Safi’s customizability and Fatalis’s damage, it still offers incredibly high raw damage and better decoration slots without all the grind. If you’re looking for a quality pre-Fatalis LS build but aren’t keen on waiting for the Safi siege to roll back around, the Lightbreak Edge is a worthy sidegrade.


From here, let’s take a look at the best skills for a robust Longsword build. The LS really shines when allowed to do higher damage in its powered-up mode, so focusing on skills that boost your overall damage and critical chance is a must. There are also a few other helpful skills that take advantage of the weapon’s unique moveset.

To begin, Maximum Might is a great way to boost your affinity when using the Longsword. It’s an extremely stamina-light weapon, as its moves don’t penalize your stamina bar, and it’s primarily built around well-timed counters instead of evasion. Since your stamina bar will most frequently be maxed out, you’ll be able to activate Maximum Might more often and take advantage of that higher critical chance.

Investing in Evade Window helps you take advantage of the innate invulnerability built into moves like the Foresight Slash. A few additional I-frames on your powerful counter-move will ensure you land your attack more efficiently and smoothly transition into your next chain. If you’re curious about the exact math on how Evade Window stacks with your I-frames, check out this helpful chart.

Finally, Focus can help build up your Spirit Gauge, as you won’t have to land quite as many hits before switching to your Spirit Blade combo. And Power Prolonger can stop your sword from losing power once you’ve pulled off a few Spirit Roundslashes. Still, since stronger moves like the Spirit Helm Breaker and Iai Spirit Slash rely on using up a lot of your gauge at once, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend waiting around for your power to drain on its own.

There are a few other skills that can help round out your LS build, most of which revolve around boosting attack and critical chance:

  • Agitator (increases affinity when the monster is enraged)
  • Critical Boost (increases damage when landing a critical hit)
  • 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! With these weapons and skills in mind, we can now shift our focus to a few example builds that expand on this baseline. There are a few different ways to approach the Long Sword, which we’ll highlight in the builds below.

MHW Long Sword 2

Best Longsword Build: Raw DPS

To kick off our example builds, we’ll be focusing on a generic Longsword DPS build. It’s nothing flashy, but it’ll get you through most solo and multiplayer hunts without too much trouble.

Fatalis ZaggespanonDragonhead β
Challenger Charm VDragonhide β+
Temporal Mantle+Dragonclaws α+
Rocksteady Mantle+Dragonbarbs α+
Rimeguard Greaves γ+

These days, the MHW: Iceborne best Longsword armor (or any weapon type’s armor, really) is the Fatalis set. The set bonuses are hard to beat — equipping two pieces gives us Inheritance, and four pieces gives us Transcendence. The former unlocks the skill caps for all skill secrets, and the latter gives us Razor Sharp/Spare Shot, plus a boost to health and stamina when beginning a hunt or after fainting.

In most cases, you won’t be using all five pieces of Fatalis armor. It gives us a few points into Weakness Exploit and a handful of other skills (not to mention those excellent decoration slots), but rounding out your build with a separate armor piece can help you specialize without needing to rely on RNG for the right jewels. This time around, we’re using the AC Velkhana leg pieces for the points of Peak Performance and Quick Sheath. When combined with the Challenger Charm V for a few points of Agitator, our skill list (before decorations) is as follows:

  • Agitator 5
  • Critical Eye 3
  • Evade Window 1
  • Handicraft 3
  • Peak Performance 3
  • Quick Sheath 2
  • Stun Resistance 3
  • Weakness Exploit 3

From here, we’ll want to use our decorations to slot in our baseline skills and max out a few other options. The order in which you do this (and the numbers you’ll get) will depend largely on the decorations you have, but I recommend the following skills:

  • Agitator (max out)
  • Attack Boost (max out)
  • Critical Eye (max out)
  • Critical Boost (max out)

Best Longsword Build: Punishing Draw

Next up is a more solo-focused build. Stunning monsters is a helpful strategy when you’re going at it alone, and the Longsword’s draw attacks make it an excellent candidate for a build centered around Punishing Draw.

Fatalis ZaggerspanonFrostfang Helm β+
Challenger Charm VDragonhide β+
Temporal Mantle+Dragonclaws α+
Rocksteady Mantle+Dragonbarbs α+
Dragonfeet β+

Since we’re still using a mostly-Fatalis set (among the best armor for Longsword in MHW), we’re going to have the same set bonuses as before. The only thing that changes here is the Punishing Draw set bonus from the Frostfang Barioth headpiece. Unlocking this skill adds a stun effect and slight attack boost to draw attacks, making it much easier to KO a monster when flying solo.

The individual armor pieces will give us points into Critical Eye, Handicraft, Evade Window, and Weakness Exploit. With the addition of the Challenger Charm V, our skill list (before decorations) will look like this:

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

As before, we can use our many decoration slots to add in the crucial skills we’re missing from this build. The baseline skills will be important, but you might also consider Critical Draw for the extra affinity boost on those draw attacks. I recommend the following skills (as they become available):

  • Agitator (max out)
  • Critical Eye (max out)
  • Attack Boost
  • Critical Boost
  • Critical Draw
  • Divine Blessing
MHW Longsword 4

Best Longsword Build: Iai Slash w/ Frostcraft

Our last build is a little less practical, but a lot more fun for those who prefer themed builds. I want to make it clear that I don’t really recommend the Iai Slash as a reliable, powerful go-to move, especially if you’re not particularly familiar or comfortable with the Long Sword. If, however, you happen to be in the particular niche of LS mains who really like Yuri!!! on Ice, this is the build for you.

Safi’s FrostbladeRimeguard Helm β+
Challenger Charm VRimeguard Mail β+
Temporal Mantle+Rimeguard Vambraces β+
Rocksteady Mantle+Rimeguard Coil γ+
Rimeguard Greaves β+

The MHW best Longsword armor for this build is Velkhana. This queen of cold gives us Velkhana Divinity, a nifty little set bonus that includes Critical Element and Frostcraft. The latter is the key to this build, as it builds an aura of frost around your weapon while it’s sheathed for an extra damage boost. Since we’re using Safi’s Frostfang, the Critical Element is just a nice addition that lets us do more ice damage on critical hits.

Though we lose out on all those decoration slots and skill secrets from the Fatalis armor, the AC Velkhana pieces give us a nice variety of useful skills. Critical Draw is built into the chest piece alongside a few points of Ice Attack, and the waist and legs give us a few points of Quick Sheath to make it even easier to incorporate draw attacks into your combos.

With the addition of the Challenger Charm V, we have the following skill list (before decorations):

  • Agitator 5
  • Coalescence 3
  • Critical Draw 3
  • Focus 3
  • Ice Attack 6
  • Peak Performance 3
  • Quick Sheath 3
  • Recovery Up 3
  • Resuscitate 3

Since we have fewer decoration slots to work with, we’ll want to be more economical about our skill choices. I recommend the baseline stats in addition to a few helpful perks for this build:

  • Attack Boost
  • Critical Boost
  • Divine Blessing
  • Evade Window

The Hunt Begins

Thanks for checking out our list of MHW: Iceborne Longsword builds! I hope that this guide has given you some new ideas for your set. If you have any feedback or would like to share your own LS build, feel free to leave us a comment.

Happy hunting!


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Give feedback on the article, share additional tips & tricks, talk strategy with other members, and make your opinions known. High Ground Gaming is a place for all voices, and we'd love to hear yours!

Fatalis fan

No fatalis?

Thanks for writing in! We’re working on updating these guides with the latest info


I know other people have commented about adding fatalis, but I am of the opinion that adding it is useless because it’s the last monster in the game and ridiculously powerful. I want a build to fight against a raging brachydios because I haven’t gotten to the fatalis yet. Every single build online just tells me to go to the safi jiiva or fatalis and I need some fukin armor before that so I can get there without dying every 2 seconds. No fukin shit the fatalis and safi armor and weapons are going to be the best. Someone that didn’t play the game could tell you the final monsters give the best armor. Just a rant, not trying to be rude to you since you did deliver on what the article says it will deliver

Blazing BOar

Why is there no fatalis? this is a good overview for august last year but with fatalis out it’s outdated. the fatalis armor for example is just ridicules. and the longsword is amazing to, sure it’s not the absolute best but it’s still great and worth consideration.

Indeed Blazing BOar! We will be making a Fatalis update within the coming weeks


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