If there is a weapon type that is truly complex in Monster Hunter Rise, that is the Gunlance. This weapon is capable of a lot of different things, but it requires a level of mastery that is hardly needed to wield some of the other weapons in the game.
But is the Gunlance any good, once it has been mastered? Let us find out.
The Gunlance can do everything the Lance can do, with some additional long-range options that make it truly devastating. While mobility is not as good as it is with the regular Lance, the Gunlance’s exceptional guarding abilities make it so that you can defend against pretty much every attack while dealing lots of damage. The downside is, as already mentioned, the complexity of the weapon: with so many options at your disposal, it will take lots of practice to be able to handle the Gunlance effectively.
Master The Shelling
The Gunlance has great long-range attack options. The regular lance attacks have great range already, but things become even better with Shelling, a technique that loads artillery shells into the lance for increased damage and range. The basic Shelling attack is unleashed by pressing A, and it can be followed up by two different attacks unleashed by either pressing A again or holding A. Charged Shelling, unleashed by holding and releasing A, is a more powerful attack that can be followed up by any other attack, setting up some devastating combos. All Shelling attacks ignore defense, so they are effective against any type of enemy.
Shelling attacks are incredibly powerful, but they require artillery shells and so you will have to reload every now and then. Reloading is performed by pressing ZR and A at any time and it restores not only all your shells but also re-enables Wyvern’s Fire, an incredibly useful new ability that plays extremely well with the Gunlance defensive options. Quick Reloading, performed by pressing ZR and A as a follow-up to any attack, only reloads shells, but it can be used to create some combo loops that can deal tons of damage to any enemy.
And Now Your Weapon Is Sharp Again
Shelling is very powerful, but it has a cost, and not just in terms of artillery shells. Every Shelling attack consumes sharpness even if it misses, requiring you to sharpen the weapon more frequently than with other weapon types. The Gunlance toolset, however, has one special move that can restore sharpness while continuing to battle monsters: Guard Edge. This new Silkbind attack, performed by pressing ZL, A lets you guard against enemy attacks and restore sharpness at the same time. And if you want to deal damage as well, you can unleash Wyvern Fire with ZL, X and A. This attack, however, has a cooldown meter, so you cannot go trigger happy with it.
And Now Your Ability Has Cooled Down Again
There is a way to shorten Wyvern’s Fire cooldown timer and make it a more reliable combat option. Hail Cutter, a new Silkbind attack unleashed by ZL and X attacks enemies with Rising Slash first and then with Overhead Smash. If this attack hits, it reduces the Wyvern’s Fire cooldown timer, making it an incredibly useful attack.