Monster Hunter World – Gunlance Guide & Builds [Updated 2019 – Pre MHW Iceborne]

This is just updated as the current meta has changed. If you are looking for a best GunLance builds now, Check out the GunLance Meta Builds section below. GunLance has also got an update on the moveset in the upcoming MHW Iceborne release (26 – September for Consoles) Did you check it out? 

Looking for the best GunLance build in current MHW meta? Below are what the hunters are using!

  • Raw Damage GunLance Builds with Taroth Buster ‘Poison’
  • Raw Damage GunLance Build s with Insatiable GunLance (Devil Jho)
  • Normal Shell GunLance Builds with Royal Burst (Rathian) 
  • Wide Shell GunLance Build with Taroth Buster ‘Water’

Check out GunLance Meta Builds below for more detail!


MHW Gun Lance

At first glance, this weapon doesn’t have much different with the Lance. This also contains the same moveset with its brother at some part. Now come to the unique part.

GunLance attacks also capable of “shooting” out an explosion dealing more damage on each attack. You can either use these separately as “Shell Attacks” or give a full blow with the Burst Attacks.

Basic Attacks & Combo

Normal Attacks

  • Lateral Thrust Combo


This basic combo is similar to GunLance’s brother. Just three mid-range thrust. Simple, but powerful and can incorporate with the hop below to become an infinite combo

  • Upward Thrust 


  • Dodge

Just like Lance in previous Monster Hunter games, this allow the hunter to do a small hop backward or to the side, dodging incoming attacks. While it’s not cover a good range similar to roll in other weapons. This ability allow the player to perform infinite combos.

This is thanks to the fact that the jump will reset the current combos and you can start things off again.

  • Lunging Upthrust

L Analog -Any DirectionaddTriangle

  • Lunging Upthrust


  • Overhead Smash

TriangleaddCircle(Lunging Upthrust)TransitionTriangle

  • Wide Sweep

TriangleaddCircle(Lunging Upthrust)TransitionTriangle(Overhead Smash)TransitionTriangle(Wide Sweep)

Lunging Upthrust – Simple as it look, this attack is capable of reaching difficult parts of the monster and also a great opener

Overhead Smash – This powerful slam using the entire Lance is also your friend in the long run

Wide Sweep – This final attack of the combo cover a wide area and also has the highest damage output when it come to single attack

  • Guard

Being one of the biggest shield in the game. GunLance shield has the ability to block the most powerful attacks. With skills like Guards or Guards up. This will make you become the tanker in no time.

  • Quick Thrust


More like a poke 🙂 Lower damage than the normal attacks, but can help in some situations.

GunLance Guard is very powerful, if you prefer a tanker approach armor skills such as Guard or Guards up is a superb addition.

Shell Attacks 

This will explain why your classic lance become “GunLance” The most unique trait of the GunLance is the ability to initiate Shell Attacks (More like a shot using the Lance) This ability can be triggered any time by pressing Circle or simply press Circle at the end of any attacks

With the addition of Shell Types (More Below), These attacks allow GunLance user deliver devastating combos and attacks while impressing their fellow hunters.

  • Shell Attack

You can initiate the Shell Attacks by pressing Circle directly. The number of shots will varied depend on your Shell Level.

  • Charged Shell Attacks


You can also charged up your shell attack by pressing Circle This ability is affected by the Focus Armor Skill

  • Reload


  • Quick Reload

(During Attack)  addCircle

This is the bread n butter when using Shell attacks. This allow you to reload quicker than the normal one. And can be done why you perform any attacks

  • Full Burst 

TriangleaddCircle(Lunging Upthrust)TransitionTriangle(Overhead Smash)TransitionCircle

Notes: Another variant of this attack is the Aerial Burst. While airborne (Jumping attack, or after a slide) If you press Circle mid-air, a full burst can be triggered. This attack can also be chained to Wyrmstake Cannon upon landing by pressing Circle one more time.

Tired of single shot? Why not unleash all of those shells? This poweful attack will use up all of your shells in exchange for a full blown explosion to the monster face. This synergise pretty well with Normal Shell Type GunLance (Has the highest number of Shells)

  • Wyvern’s Fire


New move introduce in Monster Hunter World. This attack charge up the tip of the GunLance and deliver a devastating explosion to their face!

Notes: However, this attack can only be used once in a while. After initiated, the tips of the GunLance will be red – indicating cool down period, you can use this attack again once it changed back to normal.

Shelling Types

Not stop at just the shot, GunLance allow hunters to pick between different Shelling Types. This will open up many different combinations and play-styles to this already bad-ass weapon. Below are the details of each type and when you should use it

Shelling Types Features Play Styles
  • Shell Attacks (Single) – Low
  • Shell Attacks (Charged) – Low
  • Wyvern’s Fire – Average
  • Shell Level – High
As this Shelling types have the most shells. Full burst naturally becomes the best choices for any GunLance that has this Shelling Type. Check out the Full Burst Combo and reload below.
  • Shell Attacks (Single) – High
  • Shell Attacks (Charged) – Average
  • Wyvern’s Fire – High
  • Shell Level – Low
Single shell attack are more powerful for this type. This is suitable for hunters prefer long combo and they can combine each attacks with a shot at the end. Check out some of the infinite combo below. 
  • Shell Attacks (Single) – Average
  • Shell Attacks (Charged) – High
  • Wyvern’s Fire – Average
  • Shell Level – Average
You can play this similar to Wide GunLance with a minor change – charge every shell attacks when possible. As this type provide highest charge shell. Focus armor skill is a great addition as it will reduce charge time of these attack.

Advance Attacks & Tactics

With all those basic moves and abilities aside. Below are the things you need to “Git gudgood” with the GunLance.


The best combos for GunLance will depend on the Shelling Types you are using. But mostly will involve the Wyvern’s Fire  and Wyrmstake Cannon – The iconic move of GunLance in this version of Monster Hunters. However, the full Burst combo is also pretty common between GunLance players.

Let’s try out all of this combo and pick one for your situation:

  • Thrust Combo >> Hop >> Repeat….


  • Rising Slash >> Overhead Smash >> Wide Sweep >> Hop >> Repeat..

TriangleaddCircle(Rising Slash)TransitionTriangle(Overhead Smash)TransitionTriangle(Wide Sweep) Transition… (Hop and repeat the combo)

As usual, As all of the normal attacks using Triangle can be end with Circle for another Shell Shot. You can incorporate Circle according to the Shell Types for the best result (Hold Circle when it’s Long Type, or press when it’s Wide GunLance)

Tips: As the dodge will reset your combo, this can be utilized as a canceling animation to continue your big damage combo.

Wyrmstake Cannon Combo

The most basic way to trigger Wyrmstake Cannon is to continue Press Circle after two shelling attacks. Below are some combos that finish with this powerful impaling attack:

  • Full Burst Combo >> Wide Sweep >>Wyrmstake Cannon

TriangleaddCircle(Rising Slash)TransitionTriangle(Overhead Smash) (TransitionCircle – for full Burst if needed)TransitionCircle or Triangle (Wyrmstake Cannon)

This is the longest combo of the GunLance, however this deliver the highest damage in one single flow. However, due to the execution time, this will leave you some openings. Use this whenever the monster is down or trapped.

Play Style & Builds

If you are switching weapon and was using Charge Blade before, pretty much all your armor sets can be re-used. The reasons? Three keys armor skills  of the GunLance are all there!

Skills For MHW GunLance

  • Artillery – Strengthens explosive attacks like gunlance shells, Wyvern’s Fire, charge blade phial attacks, and sticky ammo.

Similar to Charge Blade, this armor skill strengthen the shell attacks of GunLance. Combine with Capacity Boosts this is a quick and dirty way to ramp up your damage. 

  • Capacity Boost – Increases the Gunlance’s shell capacity and charge blade’s phial capacity

Increase one more shell to your existing shells == more damage.

  • Focus – Increases the fill rate for weapons with gauges and the charge rate for weapons with charge attacks.

This is especially needed for the charge shell play-style. This will reduce the time needed to fully charge a shell attack. 

  • Guard/ Guard Up – With that gigantic shield.

Situational Skill

  • Non-Elemental Boost – Powers up non-elemental weapons you have equipped.

If you are using a non elemental weapon, this skill is a superb addition. special armor skill you get when equipping 4 pieces of Diablo Armor Set (Both Negro and the normal set give out this bonus) However,

Of course, there are still other skills that can be put in to suit your playstyle and further empower the DPS of GunLance.

  • Attack Boosts – Pretty straightforward, increase your attack damage by an amount, however, try to aim for the “sweet spot”. Level 4 Attack Boosts will increase your affinity as well (Monster Hunter critical chance)
  • Critical Eye – Increase Affinity directly (3% each level until level 4, after that it will be 5%)
  • Agitator – Increase attack power when monsters become enraged – I never see any calm monsters when being poked in the ass. This will give you attack power (Start at 4 and increase by 4 per level) and affinity rate (starting from 3% and increase by 3% per level) This skill can be obtained from the infamous discs cover monsters – Nergigante or the Challenger Charm.

Sharpness boosts – This time, these skills are the best additions to a GunLance build. Because the sharpness will reduce very quickly when you initiate any Shell attacks. 

  • Handicraft – Increase sharpness by 10 each level (Max at 50 – Level 5) This boost your damage by 32% (At white level sharpness) The more sharpness you have, the better. But not all weapons can achieve white sharpness even with this skill.
  • Protective Polish – You get this from Odogaron set (4 pieces) or the Sharp Jewel (Level 2) The jewel is pretty hard to get thanks to RNG. This is a true end game skill.

ru3 bonus Armor Skill

  • Maximum Might – Increase Affinity while stamina is full (10%/lvl cap at 30%)
  • Peak Performance – Increase Damage when your health is full. This is recommended when you already augment weapon with health. Otherwise, it requires more skill to dodge and block.

“Azure Knight” – Build 

Another Azure build, it’s just because I can’t change the color of dat Dodogama pant!

Let’s take a look at the armor skills of this builds

Walking your way to High-Rank

n Monster Hunter World. The journey from HR 1 to HR 16 (23 in some case if you spend a lot of time hunting monsters instead of progress) can be done via the main story pretty easily.

If you want a quick run-down on Monster Hunter World basic – check out my post here: Monster Hunter: World – Hunting 101

In my two previous guides, we have checked the Jagras Tree and the Diablos family.

Monster Hunter World – Sword & Shield Guide & Build

Monster Hunter World – Charge Blade Guide & Builds

Today, we will encounter another classic monster – The Rathian. Surprisingly Rathian provides one of the best GunLance with normal types Shell. Giving you decent damage while providing the full Burst Damage bonus.

MHW Gun Lance Royal Burst

Rathian Weapon – One of the best Normal Type GunLance

When you first join the High Rank – your main goal should be getting the essentials items to make the hunter stronger. One of the first things the game won’t tell (or very ambiguous) is the Power/ Armor Charm items.

These little items can be purchased in the Tradeyard shop. You can also upgrade these two items with Bazelgeuse part – which mean this flying-dropping-bombs monster should be your first priority target for HR.

Monster Hunter World Charge Blade - Bazelguese

Bazelguese – the first HR monster you need to spend some time hunting

And again, you will also face the Nergigante. This monster provides some way of testing your skill during High Rank, and provide the materials/ parts needed for some highest DPS weapons in the game. Actually, it’s pretty sweet for Capcom to create a monster that can be used for any builds. The weapons and armor from this guy are pretty dope.

And now, let’s take a look at the build in a close

As usual,

With everything setup out of the way, let’s see what parts make up this build:

Armor Set

Here is how the armor skills look like

MHW Gun Lance Skills

Almost same as Charge Blade

Drachen Vambraces is picked up again for the hand. With that Attack Gem you got in the quest, this can give you 2 points in Attack Boosts

Drachen Vambraces – 2 points Critical Eyes & 2 point Attack Boosts

For my Waist, Nergigante was used again, for two points in Attack Boosts complete the full 4 level of Attack Boosts.

For Head Armor, I go with Dragonking Eyepatch Alpha –  a safe choice when it’s come to High-Rank armor. I also added a gem here to maximum the Weakness Exploit

  • Weakness Exploit Level 3 – 50% Affinity when you hit weak spots. (+1 with Gem

Damacus Mail Beta is my Chest Armor. This provides with another core skill:

  • Focus Level 2 – For those Charge GunLance Attacks

This time, the Beta version give me 3 level 1 slots, in which I put in 2 Health Boosts gems and one Recovery Gem, just for the sake of being healthier.

  • Health Boosts Level 2
  • Recovery Level 1

Some variations:

  1. You can switch the Waist Armor for Damascus Coil Beta (add one more level of Focus and three Lvl 1 Gem slots) as well.
  2. Damacus Mail Alpha also provide you with 2 level of Focus and 2 points in Defense Boosts.

Charms and Jewels

Follow other builds this is basically your side kick for the main set. I personally use Charms as an add-in for the build. However, most of the “good” armor skills Charms are pretty late game. It will take you quite some time to get all the needed components.

In this case, depending on your choices, any decoration that helps enhance the above skill is possible. I personally use the Artillery Charm Level 3 for three points in Artillery. This will give a big bonus to each of the Shell attacks.

You can also equip Exploiter Charm to maximize the Weakness Exploit but it’s entirely your call.

For Jewels, you can supplement armor skills that help increase Guard or Guard up. Evade Extender is also a great skill to get for those “Hop”. As best jewels only happen in late game, it may take some of your time to find these shiny decorations. Basically the end game content is just to get this sweet loot!


After my last 4 switches over. Luckily I had a good grasp at the materials in Monster Hunter World. So I started my experience with GunLance from the infamous Nergigante – Eradication Flame (Shelling Level 2 & Under the Wide Shelling Type) However, this weapon has very low Shell Level (2) Allow you to only have 3 Shells at max (with Capacity Boosts)

Depend on your liking, you can either choose between Long, Wide, or Normal Shelling Types. Each one of them has its own benefits. Below are some of the choices you can pick.

This beast has the highest damage in the entire tree, but got a minus affinity stat. However, it’s still a great choice for those charge Shell Attacks

That’s B52 monster weapon is not bad either, having Blast element, this help you wreak havoc on the Monster Body parts.

What’s a list if it’s not contain Diablos weapon? This weapon can also benefit from the Non Elemental Boosts skill. With Three augmentation slots, you can also improve the damage further, or simply negate the Minus Affinity point.

GunLance Meta Build (Pre- Iceborne)

The above build was my starter build when you first starting on High Rank with GunLance as main. For a proper end-game build, you will need to grab several jewels and farming Arc-Tempered monsters to get the Gamma Set.

The below list will list out the full set and jewels for a GunLance build, include Normal, Wide & Long Shelling type, as well as some raw GunLance build (without shell attacks) The reason we also have some GunLance builds that doesn’t utilize shell attack is because some maynot like to just keep sharpening after those shell attacks.

GunLance Raw Damage Builds (Non-shell)

Taroth Buster ‘Poison’ GunLance Build

Weapon –  Taroth Buster ‘Poison’

Armor – Full Drachen Set (Critical Boosts + Affinity) Nergigante Waist (For Maximum Might)

Charm – Handicraft Charm


  • Tenderizer (Weakness Exploit) x 3.
  • Elementless (Non-elemental Boosts) x 1.
  • Critical (Critical Boosts) x 1.
  • Attack (Attack Boosts) x 2.
  • Challenger (Agitator)  x 3.

The Taroth Buster ‘Poison’ GunLance provides a decent attack damage with a good affinity rate starting at 15%, it is a breeze to get this to 100% with just the Drachen Set. You will need to augment the weapon with damage.

Next up is three points in Tenderizer. This is essentially 50% boosts to your Affinity.

You will need both four pieces of Drachen to utilize the halve sharpness loss with Critical hit (as well as Critical Eye, Critical Boosts) With Nergigante Gamma, you can add in Agitator and Maximum Might.

The last things to do is to find jewels that powerup this build. This includes Challenger, Elementless, and Tenderizer (If you don’t have these yet, try the Dragon King Eye patch)

Insatiable GunLance Build

Weapon – Insatiable GunLance

Armor – Full Drachen Set (Critical Boosts + Affinity)

Charm – Handicraft Charm


  • Tenderizer (Weakness Exploit) x 3.
  • Expert (Critical Eye) x 1.
  • Critical (Critical Boosts) x 1.
  • Mighty (Maximum Might)  x 3.

As usual, the hungry cucumber provide the highest damage weapon in the weapon tree. This come with a minus 30% of Affinty, and require a huge boosts in the Affinity section to make this build viable

And… yes, you need those four pieces of Drachen set again. This time, you will need to boosts the damage even further while increasing the Affinity. With Arch-Tempered Nergigante meta, you now have the Gamma set of Nergigante armor that provide lot of slot and attack boosts. The leg alone give you three points in Attack Boosts, talking about overkill.

GunLance Normal Shell Builds

Prefer to blast away instead of just poking? Here you go.

As shelling attacks will eat away your sharpness in matter of second, you will need some tweak to make a Shell builds viable and sustainable. There are some mechanic that does not explain very well in the game, like Protective Polish + Power Prolonger. Check out the below to see why we will need both.

Royal Burst Build

MHW Gun Lance Royal Burst

One of the best Normal Shell Gunlance after all those Arch-Tempered!

Weapon – Royal Burst

Armor – Gala Alpha for Helm and Hand. Nergigante Gamma for the rest

Charm – Handicraft Charm


  • Artillery (Artillery) x 3.
  • Critical (Critical Boosts) x 2.
  • Magazine Jewel (Capacity Boosts) x 1
  • Sharp Jewel (Protective Polish) x 1
  • Enduring (Item Prolonger) x 3

Well, this is one of the jewel hungry build out there. This is also why Gala Alpha is added to the mix as both will give you several slots for jewels. Nergigante Gamma Armor will then give you a quick boost to Attack and Affinity.

With the Royal Burst being on the low side of the damage, you will need two Damage Augments to powerup this Rathian Spike.  As shell attack does not benefit from Critical hit, you are safe with the current Affinity.

Protective Polish is critical here as Normal Shell GunLance tends to have the most shell attacks usage out there. This is when the Item Prolonger come in, turn out it also increases the effect of Protective Polish by 30 seconds. This means every time you sharpen your GunLance, you will then have 90 seconds of spamming that Explosion without worrying on the sharpness bar.

Next off is Artillery and Capacity boost to powerup the shell attack. Although Artillery is a level 1 jewel, it took me ~ 200 hours for my first one…

Almost every jewel on this list is hard to come and will require a lot of grinding to get all the things you need just to spam that Full Shell Burst. If you are just starting out, sticking to the raw damage builds above is good enough.

GunLance Wide Shell Builds

Prefer to shoot with every attack?

Taroth Buster ‘Water’

Weapon – Taroth Buster ‘Water’

Armor – Xeno’jiiva Gamma x 3 For Razor Sharp. Empress Gamma Hand for Agitator & Nergigante Chest for utility.

Charm – Challenger Charm


  • Artillery (Artillery) x 3.
  • Critical (Critical Boosts) x 2
  • Attack (Attack Boosts) x 4
  • Elementless (Non-element Boosts) x 1
  • Magazine Jewel (Capacity Boosts) x 1
  • Challenger Jewel (Agitator) x 1

As your shot will be in-between attack, this make GunLance behave similarly to Bow and those of the Bowgun family. The Xeno’jiiva set come in naturally with Razor Sharp. As usual, you will then need to boosts that low attack in some way, and this opt to maxed out Agitator with Empress Gamma hand, you will still need those Artillery and Capacity boosts to keep up the Shelling damage.

Another approach that hunter often used is to utilize Peak Performance for damage boosts, but I personally suck at maintenaning that HP bar full at all time, so this is good enough for me.

The awesome builder above is made available by honeyhunterworld You can check out his patron site here

The mhw meta builds is contributed and maitenance by EchoesPartOnes and the Reddit community. Check out the full gallery of GunLance builds here


Hope this show you the fun parts of this powerful weapon in Monster Hunter World. If you decide to have some fresh change, this is the time! Monster Hunter World GunLance is a good pick for hunters who are already familiar with Charge Blade or Lance. Providing high damage while keeping a decent defense power.

My Ranged weapon guide so far:

Or Check out my guides on other melee weapons

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