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 Long Sword 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 Long Sword’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 Long Sword skills help you power up and retain your Spirit Gauge to boost overall damage.

Weapons

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 Long Swords in the game:

WeaponRaw DamageElement & StatusAffinity
Safi’s Blade891180 (Any)5%
Kjárr Sword528 – 693270 – 420 (Any)10 – 20%
Lightbreak Edge990270 (Blast)0%

As with other weapon types, the Safi’jiiva weapons are an excellent investment if you don’t mind the grind. Each of the Safi’s Blade series boasts relatively high base stats that can be improved using Awakened Abilities. For the Long Sword, it’s wise to invest in useful set bonuses like Teostra Technique, as well as general increases to attack and sharpness.

The Kjárr Sword series may not stack up in terms of raw damage, but it has a few indispensable benefits. Each Kjárr Sword comes with Critical Element/Status built-in, allowing you to capitalize on their high elemental and status damage on your critical hits. Their high innate affinity ensures you’re landing those critical hits more often, giving you a much-needed boost as you start to slot in affinity-based skills.

Since both of these weapons are pretty siege-heavy, I also recommend taking a look at the Lightbreak Edge. Although it lacks Safi’s customizability and Kjárr’s killer elemental damage, it offers incredibly raw damage and better decoration slots without the grind. If you’re looking for a quality endgame LS build but aren’t keen on waiting for the sieges to roll back around, the Lightbreak Edge is a worthy sidegrade.

Skills

From here, let’s take a look at the best skills for a robust Long Sword 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 Long Sword. 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:

  • Critical Eye (increases overall affinity)
  • Agitator (increases affinity when the monster is enraged)
  • Critical Boost (increases damage when landing a critical hit)
  • Attack Boost (increases damage, increases affinity at later levels)

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.

Best Longsword: Raw DPS Build

For our first example build, we’re going to take a look at a DPS build that prioritizes raw damage. These builds tend to be the strongest, though they lack the flair of other elemental or utility builds. For this setup, we’re going to focus on the Lightbreak Edge for a more easily craftable option.

EquipmentArmor
Lightbreak EdgeKaiser Crown γ
Challenger Charm IVBrachydium Mail α+
Temporal Mantle+Kaiser Vambraces β+
Rocksteady Mantle+Kaiser Coil β+
Brachydium Greaves β+

Those of you who read our Dual Blades build guide may recognize this set, as it’s essentially the same as what we used for our Blast build. Focusing on Blast is a great way to boost raw damage for the Long Sword, as it can deal a ton of damage on top of the heavy hits we’re already landing with the Lightbreak Edge and our powered-up moves.

Equipping three Teostra armor pieces unlocks the set bonus “Teostra Technique,” which keeps your weapon from losing sharpness on critical hits. Since LS loses sharpness quickly on any non-Spirit Blade attacks, this is a pretty useful skill that pairs well with high affinity builds. This is where the Raging Brachydios armor comes in handy, as two pieces will unlock “Agitator Secret” to boost your affinity further when the monster’s enraged.

By equipping the Challenger Charm IV, we max out Agitator and are left with the following skills (before decorations):

  • Agitator 7
  • Blast Attack 5
  • Critical Eye 2
  • Heat Guard 1
  • Weakness Exploit 3

From here, we can use our decoration slots to add in the other useful skills from our baseline build. I recommend adding the following abilities as they become available:

  • Attack Boost
  • Critical Boost
  • Critical Eye (max out)
  • Evade Window
  • Health Boost
  • Maximum Might

For our other equipment pieces, I recommend taking the Temporal Mantle+ and the Rocksteady Mantle+. These are among the specialized tools for Longsword in MHW, as the Temporal Mantle+ lets you automatically dodge incoming attacks without penalizing your stamina (great for Maximum Might) and the Rocksteady Mantle+ can help you avoid flinching out of your powerful attacks.

Best Longsword: Elemental DPS Build

MHW Long Sword 2

Although the Long Sword’s hard-hitting attacks are more suited to raw damage, elemental builds can be a fun way to add some variety to your playstyle. For this build, we’ll be focusing on Fire damage to create the best fire Longsword MHW build.

EquipmentArmor
Safi’s HellbladeSilver Solhelm α+
Master’s Charm IVSilver Solmail α+
Temporal Mantle+Escadora Armguards β+
Rocksteady Mantle+Silver Solcoil β+
Silver Solgreaves α+

Since we’re focusing on Fire damage, we’ll be using four pieces of Silver Rathalos armor, aka some of the best armor for Long Sword in MHW. This will unlock the set bonus “True Critical Element,” which will give us a considerable boost to elemental damage when we land critical hits. Taking the Alpha head, chest, and legs will max out the Fire Attack skill, so we can use the other two armor pieces to slot in a few other useful skills. 

With the addition of the Master’s Charm IV, we have the following skills before decorations:

  • Attack Boost 3
  • Critical Boost 3
  • Critical Eye 4
  • Fire Attack 6
  • Slinger Capacity 2
  • Windproof 3

With this in mind, we can use our decorations to slot our baseline skills and build off the skill list we’ve already established. I recommend the following:

  • Attack Boost
  • Critical Eye (max out)
  • Evade Window
  • Health Boost
  • Maximum Might

Once again, we’re using the Temporal Mantle+ and Rocksteady Mantle+ to round out the build.

Best Longsword: Utility Build

For our utility build, we’ll be focusing around a less practical (but just as fun) build that revolves around the Iai Slash. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this build for the average player, but it can be a nice change of pace if you’re experienced with the LS and looking to have fun with it.

EquipmentArmor
Safi’s FrostbladeRimeguard Helm β+
Challenger Charm IIRimeguard Mail β+
Temporal Mantle+Rimeguard Vambraces β+
Rocksteady Mantle+Brachydium Faulds β+
Rimeguard Greaves β+

The MHW best Longsword armor for this build is Velkhana. By using four pieces of Velkhana armor, we unlock the set bonus “Velkhana Divinity.” In addition to Critical Element, this gives us a point into Frostcraft, which builds an aura of frost around your weapon while it’s sheathed, briefly raising its attack when drawn. 

Using the Challenger Charm II maxes out Agitator, which puts our skill list as follows:

  • Agitator 5
  • Critical Draw 2
  • Divine Blessing 2
  • Flinch Free 1
  • Quick Sheath 3

From here, you’ll want to slot in a few additional skills and features with your decorations and the Awakened Abilities in Safi’s Frostblade. I recommend boosting your attack (and possibly sharpness) as much as possible with the Awakened Abilities, and using your decoration slots for the following:

  • Critical Boost
  • Critical Draw
  • Divine Blessing
  • Evade Window
  • Maximum Might
  • Peak Performance

As with the other builds, we’re using the Temporal Mantle+ and the Rocksteady Mantle+.

The Hunt Begins

MHW Longsword 4

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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