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Combat FAQ (Guns/Lances/Hammers) by Falchieyan

Version: 1.10 | Updated: 10/15/2005

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
++++     Monster Hunter Combat FAQ:    +++++++
++++++    Guns, Lances and Hammers    ++++++++
++++++++++++++     v1.10     +++++++++++++++++
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

--------   Written by: Falchieyan   ----------
--------   Last Updated: 10-15-05   ----------



   -:Contents:-

Introduction
Updates

pt.1 - The Basics
  1a - Supplies
    1a(1) - Recommended Supplies List
    1a(2) - Optional Supplies List
  1b - Unarmed Combat Survival
  1c - The Camera
  1d - Communication
  1e - Traps

pt.2 - Guns: Tactical Firepower
  2a - Overview
  2b - Weapon List
  2c - Ammunition
    2c(1) - Buying/Combining Chart
    2c(2) - Item Locations
    2c(3) - Ammunition Descriptions
  2d - Gun Strategy
    2d(1) - Supplies List
    2d(2) - Gun Upgrades
    2d(3) - Support
    2d(4) - Control
    2d(5) - Defense
    2d(6) - Aiming

pt.3 - Lances: Unwavering Defense
  3a - Overview: Why Lancer?
    3a(1) - Advantages
    3a(2) - Disadvantages
  3b - Attacks
  3c - Strategies and Tips
    3c(1) - Items and Traps
    3c(2) - Equipment
    3c(3) - Fighting Against Small Enemies
    3c(4) - Fighting Against Dragons
    3c(5) - Important Things to Remember

pt.4 - Hammers
  4a - Overview
  4b - Hammer Basics
  4c - Hammer Attacks
  4d - The R1 Button
  4e - Bounce Damage
  4f - Recommended Pre-HR13 Hammer Paths
    4f(1) - Bone Hammer Paths
    4f(2) - Iron Hammer Paths

Copyright/Permissions
Acknowledgments


=======================================

Introduction
------------
Monster Hunter has been a very enjoyable game thus far, though I noticed a
dearth of FAQs.  As the game lacks a story and much to think about outside of
hunting monsters, that's not too surprising.  I see a lot of questions in the
forums about fighting this or that monster, or about the ups and downs of a
certain weapon type.  While some of the weapons can be picked up in a
relatively small time frame, two in particular seemed to have a lot more
depth than many people allowed: guns and lances.  Seeing as nobody had
specifically addressed combat or those weapons, I decided to put together this
little FAQ.  Later on, I've come across information on weapons that have also
been looked over by some weapon users, and I've added it whenever possible.

The purpose of this guide isn't necessarily to instantly make a reader a
master fighter.  Rather, it's meant to lay out some basics and suggestions for
a first-time weapon user or someone that's considering a switch.  Also, I
believe that teamwork is very important, and that simply knowing everything
about your weapon isn't necessarily a formula for success.  Thus going
through some of the tactics and at least getting a general grasp on the
strengths and weaknesses of the weapons your allies are using will make for
a better hunter.

It probably should be pointed out that this is my first FAQ, and might
suffer a bit in regards to organization and language.  If anything that you
read is -factually- incorrect or lacking in necessary detail, please let me
know at paperninja@gmail.com.  If you ever run into me in game(Fenti), say hi!

Updates
-------
10/15 - Tweaked the ammunition descriptions again.  Added gun controls into the
gun Overview.  Added information on Recov S.  Also added the Gravios/Khezu
armor set to the armor combinations.

06/18 - Altered the ammunition descriptions and tactics in the gun section.
Added a list of helpful armor combinations to the Defense section.

01/13 - Added a handful of HR13+ guns currently available to me.  As I get more
parts, more will be added.

01/07 - Updated a handful of the ammo descriptions, and divided the gunner
supplies list into pre- and post-HR13.  Will add post-HR13 guns soon.

11/20 - Updated the Hammer section, adding a Recommended Weapon Path section.

11/05 - Added a Hammer section!  Special thanks to SilentKnight for allowing
me to use his posts for this guide.

11/03 - Finished up the Lancer section!  This brings the FAQ up to version
1.0.

11/01 - Gave Aiming its own section, and added a note to it about using the
L1 button for guiding shots.  Hope to have the Lance section ready soon!

10/29 - Corrected the Combination items for Crag S Lv3.

10/27 - Added gun descriptions, slightly modified a few ammo and checklist
descriptions.

10/25 - Added a weapon list to the gun section.  Added a Camera section to
The Basics.  Slightly altered a few of the ammo descriptions, as well as a
few smaller things throughout the FAQ.

10/22 - First version posted.  Still lacking Lance section, as I'm waiting to
get some info from a friend.

=======================================


pt.1 - The Basics
-----------------
There are some universals to combat, such as "don't die" and "hit the big
thing until it stops making noise."  There is also the great, though sometimes
neglected "be prepared."  All of the following should be second nature to
anyone with experience in taking down dragons, though I see some of these
points overlooked enough to mention them here.

1a - Supplies
-------------
Supplies are what keep you going.  They are essential to taking on anything
bigger than a squirrel, as there's always something to do in a mission that
your bare hands and big weapon can't cover.  Is the mission going to have a
cold cave?  Are you going to be trekking through the desert?  Can anything
poison you during the mission?  Is anyone else bringing paintballs?  Sometimes
you slip up and have to end up borrowing potions or steaks from an ally.  It's
probably a good idea to offer to pay back that ally after the mission ends,
especially if it was something like a MegaPotion or Cool Drink.  Listed below
are items that you should almost always carry into a mission, as well as items
that aren't always so useful.

1a(1) - Recommended Supplies List
---------------------------------
10x  Potion - Cures 20hp
10x  MegaPotion - Cures 50hp
5x   Pickaxe - Used for mining; often breaks
10x  Well-done Steak - Replenishes 50 stamina
10x  Paintball - Marks the wyvern
1x   Pit Trap - Immobilizes the wyvern; wyvern takes double damage
10x  Whetstone - Restores sharpness to dulled weapons

The Potions and MegaPotions are mainly insurance.  Not only for you, but in
a few worst-case scenarios for your allies.  That is, when someone takes a
lot of damage and runs out early, or simply forgets to pick up a few before
leaving town.  It's helfpul to stay at least above half life at all times, as
it's always possible that the wyvern will lag out and do something unexpected,
or a teammate will accidentally knock you into an attack that you would
normally be able to avoid.
Pickaxes are useful on every single map in the game.  While it might seem like
a pretty good idea in a hunting mission to run off to find that one last
Machalite that you need, that won't always make your buddies happy.  Know
when you can mine, and where to mine for the best results(see the miningFAQ
for some pointers on that subject).
Steaks need no explanation.  If you're hungry, you can't run, roll, charge the
hammer, or keep up the berserker stance with dual swords.  Also, after HR13
Rations tend to not show up in the supply box.
Paintballs are handy to keep around, as sometimes the group has to split up
to find where that cowardly Rathalos is going to land next.
A Pit Trap has never been useless to me.  You don't have to carry a full load
of explosives, or even enough equipment to make a new one, but I've never been
in a battle in which one extra trap ever hurt the team.  The exception, of
course, is against 'Colossal' dragons that can't be trapped. Refer to section
0d for more about traps.
Lastly, Whetstones keep your blade from bouncing or breaking.  Not always
necessary for someone with an Eager Cleaver, but crucial for someone with
bone weapons(or for really long fights).  There are far more blademasters than
gunners out there, and it's always safe to assume that you won't be getting
the Mini Whetstones at the beginning of a mission.  Post-HR13, Whetstones no
longer appear in the supply box.


1a(2) - Optional Supplies List
------------------------------
10x  Felvine
5x   Power/Mega Juice
3x   Hot/Cold Drink
5x   Bugnet
10x  Worm
10x  Herb
10x  Blue Mushroom
10x  Herbal Medicine
1x   BBQ Spit
1x   Demon Drug
1x   Health Flute

I hate cats almost more than I hate fighting the Rathalos, and Felvine is
extremely useful to make sure one of them doesn't run off with your Map,
BBQ Spit or Crag S Lv3.  I always make a point of going out of my way in a
map with cats to take them out before anything else.
Power Juice is something that I don't see used very often, though it's one of
the most useful items in the game.  Having infinite stamina can never be
unnecessary for anyone(except maybe gunners), as you can roll and run to your
heart's content without ever having to slow down.  This is Especially useful
for carry quests, as the default walk speed is never something that you want
to use when there's a load of raptors nipping at your heels.  To create 
Power Juice, first combine BitterBug and Honey to make Catalyst, then combine
the Catalyst with a Rare Steak.
Hot and Cold drinks are essential for keeping up your stamina and health.  You
start to really go through other supplies, like potions and steaks, when you
don't have the benefits of coffee or iced tea.
Bugnets, like Pickaxes, are mostly for 'off' time.  Unlike pickaxes, they
aren't required for any mission.  Worms are only useful for fishing missions,
and even then there are usually spots for finding an unlimited supply should
you ever run out.
Herbs and Blue Mushrooms of course make potions, and for especially long or
dangerous missions they might help you pull through.
Herbal Medicine clears up poison that you might receive from a Basarios,
Gypceros, or Rathian tail flip.  It also recovers about 10hp.
Demon Drug makes you hit harder until you die, which is always nice.  The Atk
bonus of DemonDrug and Mega DemonDrug is a set amount for each weapon.  Guns
receive the lowest boost, while hammer receives the highest.
A Health Flute can make you everyone's best friend for a while.  It heals
around the same amount of health as a regular Potion.  That, of course, is for
everyone in the same area as you.  Health flutes sometimes have the side effect
of taunting the dragon, so be sure the enemy is thoroughly distracted before
playing one.

1b - Unarmed Combat Survival
----------------------------
"Unarmed combat?" you might ask.  Unarmed combat, to me, is the time when you
don't have your weapon drawn.  You won't always have your weapon drawn, but
you typically will always be considered in battle when a dragon's nearby.

Rolling and running are your fastest means of getting out of harm's way. Never
forget that you can roll!  Some dragons are so large that simply rolling is no
way to make sure you're safe.  Running drains your stamina twice as fast
when a dragon has you spotted, so rolling effectively makes you cover the same
amount of distance with about the same bit of stamina.  
Also, when you sprint from a dragon and dive, you're effectively invincible.
This brief bit of invincibility lasts from the moment you begin the dive to the
point at which you hit the ground.  Useful for dodging a wide charging dragon.

Knowing when to use items is also very critical to survival.  I can't recall
the number of times someone was tagged by a Gravios' heat breath or a
Khezu lightning orb because they only trotted off ten feet to sharpen their
weapon or eat a steak.  Learn when a dragon has its guard down.  If it is
roaring, or turning around, it's a very bad idea to chug an item.  The best
times to use an item are the moment that a dragon begins its charge(of course
only if you're not in its path) or the moment that a dragon first flaps its
wings to go airborne.  Rathian and Rathalos tend to start making quick, 
90-degree turns before they're going to charge, so that's your que to get
that Whetstone ready.  Larger dragons charge almost constantly, though their
charges are slow and, once dodged, tend to provide ample time for a potion.
If you're unsure, or very low on health or stamina, leave the map!

1c - The Camera
---------------
Controlling the camera and knowing what's going on around you at all times is
another valuable skill to learn.  Being against a wall or near a corner is
very bad news, no matter what weapon you're using.  If you end up in such a
location, the camera tends to want to show you the inside of your head or a
nearby wall rather than the location of the nearby dragon.  It's difficult to
try to control the camera, as the digital pad is on the same side as the
movement analog stick, but it's entirely possible if you know the proper
timing.  There are moments for every weapon user to give the camera a quick
spin, as ever weapon has a delay in a combo or movement animation that allows
ample time to take a look around.  During a greatsword swing you can swing
it around with the thumb normally on the movement analog stick.  With some
weapons I'll cross my hands over and use my right thumb to move it around as
I run in a set direction away from things.

1d - Communication
------------------
Taking out big things takes teamwork.  There's no way around that fact.
Letting people know what you're going to do will make things run smoother.
If you're going to set a trap, tell people, so they know to rush over to it
and lure in the dragon.  If you're going to use barrels, let everyone know,
to avoid any premature explosions(and, usually, deaths).  If you're out of
healing items and you know where to get herbs, let everyone know that you're
leaving to find them.  Seeing an ally run off to some random point of the map
while a dragon hammers you doesn't always make for the best of moods.

1e - Traps
----------
Traps make things easier to handle.  Most people take traps for granted, and
inexperienced people don't tend to care much for using traps.  Lower-level
dragons can sometimes be finished fairly quickly without the use of a single
pit, though for larger dragons(Rathalos, Rathian) traps are essential to
finishing within the allotted time.  Here are some things to remember when
deciding to use traps:

Supplies - If you're carrying supplies to be a Great Trapper, you're going to
have to leave other things behind.  Being a Trapper is not really an option
for a Gunner, as they'll have enough to worry about simply because of the
amount of ammo typically taken into a fight.  Going into a mission as the
designated(or not) trapper, you should consider taking the following:
1x Pit Trap
2x Trap Tool
2x Net
1x Flute
*X Book of Combo
Lay down a trap, get a wyvern to fall into it, then have everyone hack at the
thing until it escapes.  The Flute tends to draw a dragon's attention, and
typically causes it to take notice and charge.  Or spit a fireball.
The Books of Combo are useful for raising your chances of successfully making
new traps.  With the first four levels of combo books, your chance of
successfully making a Pit Trap is 95%.  Making two pieces of garbage instead
of two new Pits is one of the more frustrating experiences to be had.  It
should probably also be noted that wearing the Steel armor on your arms, chest,
and waist will further improve your success rate by 10%.  The Steel+ armor set
gives a 20% increase to combination success rate.

Effects - A dragon caught in a trap takes more damage.  One thing to
remember, however, is that untrapped dragons typically take more damage when
attacked in certain areas, and react differently to different attacks.
Pegging a dragon in the face with a lance or greatsword tends to make it
stagger and shake its head, and a lot of blows to the face make it Very
Unhappy.  However, while a dragon is in a snare its entire body seems to be
tagged as a 'general damage' zone.  It doesn't react to area-specific blows,
it doesn't lose spikes or horns, and it obviously can't have its tail removed.

Location - Against a canyon wall is a horrible spot for a snare.  The middle
of a map tends to be the best area, though dragons don't always charge through
that exact spot.  A crafty and well-prepared player can rush to a new area
the moment a dragon lifts off, setting up a snare at the point that the
dragon's shadow appears before it lands.  That must be done before its wings
push you away, and it might not always be best to snare a dragon before the
rest of your team is around to add to the damage.

Bombs - Bombing really hurts a monster, but is only especially useful it your
team does not have a lot of damage output.  That's typically the case when
most or all of the team is below HR5 and doesn't yet have a high-level weapon.
You can only set two large barrels at a time, but your allies are still
allowed to set after you have reached your max for an area.  So, if you want
to go for a great bang, it is best to have you and another ally rush in as
soon as a monster is snared and each set two large barrels, followed by one of
you setting a small barrel to set them all off.  Timing is extremely important
in that case, as taking one or two lg barrels to the face is almost always
instant death.  Keeping your allies aware of the blast is important as well.
Dying because of bad bomb communication is irritating, but killing two or
three allies because of bad bomb communication is just plain destructive.

=======================================

pt.2 - Guns: Tactical Firepower
-------------------------------

2a - Overview
-------------
A dragon spreads its wings and lifts off, causing all of the blademasters
to fluster and sheathe their weapons.  After getting not twenty feet off the
ground an explosion rocks the dragon, causing it to crash back down to hard
ground and sharpened blades.
* * *
A lancer drives into a Khezu's side, nearly knocking it over.  The creature
shifts and kneels, blowing the lancer away with electrical current.  The
lancer, reduced to half of their life, gets up slowly, trying to decide
whether to risk another charge or flee for healing, only to see their life
bar suddenly filled.  Their feet stomp against the ground, and again they
charge in.
* * *

The path of a gunner is certainly one of the more complex in the art of
hunting.  Between choosing ammunition, keeping well-stocked, avoiding stray
fireballs and keeping track of reloading, a lot of pressure can add up.
Each different gunner can favor a particular gun, a particular type of shot,
or a particular approach to fighting.  Thus it is hard to give any sort of 
universal advice regarding which gun to pick or how to fight.  I'll try to
lay out some basics from what I've learned through using guns, though
experimentation is the only way to find your niche in the gunner circle.

It also should be noted that the bulk of what I say about ammo and tactics is
geared towards online play.  I guage the usefulness of ammunition and a
particular manner of preparing for battle in the context of having allies to
worry about and back you up.

Gun Controls:
R1 - Bring up Scope.
L1 - While holding, red crosshairs appear.  Use digital pad to aim.
R3 - Fire.
Right analog forward - Swing gun.
Right analog back - Reload.


2b - Weapon List
----------------
Here is a listing and chart for all of the weapons available prior to HR13.
Most aren't very hard to acquire, though they'll take a bit of work.  The
information provided includes a gun's name, some information about its
functions, its attack power, the reload speed, ammunition options and the
materials required to craft it.  The costs listed include the initial creation
cost, as well as Max, or, the amount to fully upgrade it to level 5.

When selecting a gun, the most important factors will be ammunition available
and attack power.


Bowguns
-------

Name: Crossbow Gun
Atk:    96
Speed:  Norm
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2          1            -           1           -            -

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
1 2          1 2          1 2         1 2         Y

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            Y            Y           -           -            -

Craft:
4x   Iron Ore
2x   Sm Monster Bone
900z

-----------------------------
Name: Crossbow Gun +
Atk:    102
Speed:  Norm
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2          1            1           1           1            Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
1 2          1 2          1 2         1 2         1

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            Y            Y           Y           Y            -

Craft:
4x   Machalite Ore
10x  Iron Ore
1200z

-----------------------------
Name: Shotgun (Azure)
Atk:    108
Speed:  Fast
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2          -            1 2         1           1            Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
-            -            1 2         1 2         Y

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            Y            Y           Y           Y            -

Craft:
6x   Iron Ore
3x   Sm Monster Bone
6x   Velociprey Scale
4x   Velociprey Hide
1100z

------------------------------
Name: Shotgun (Emerald)
Atk:    108
Speed:  Fast
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2          -            1 2 3       1           1            Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
-            1 2          1 2         1 2         Y

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            Y            Y           Y           Y            -

Craft:
8x   Iron Ore
4x   Sm Monster Bone
8x   Genprey Scale
6x   Genprey Hide
1800z

------------------------------
Name: Shotgun (Blood)
Atk:    114
Speed:  Fast
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2          -            1 2 3       1           1            Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
1 2          1 2          1 2         1 2         Y

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            Y            Y           Y           Y            -

Craft:
10x  Iron Ore
5x   Sm Monster Bone
10x  Ioprey Scale
8x   Ioprey Hide
2400z

------------------------------
Name: Sandstorm
Atk:    120
Speed:  Very Fast
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2 3        1            1           1           1            Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
1 2          1 2          1 2         1 2         Y

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            Y            Y           Y           Y            -

Craft:
5x   Cephalos Scale
4x   Cephalos Fin
5x   Machalite Ore
10x  Iron Ore
2200z

------------------------------
Name: Valkyrie Fire
Atk:    108
Speed:  Fast
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2 3        1 2          1           1 2         -            -

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
-            -            1 2         1 2         -

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            -            Y           -           Y            -

Craft:
5x   Rathian Scale
3x   Rathian Shell
5x   Machalite Ore
10x  Gunpowder
2500z

------------------------------
Name: Spartacus Fire
Atk:    120
Speed:  Norm
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2 3        1 2 3        -           1 2         -            -

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
1 2          1 2          -           1 2         -

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            -            Y           Y           -            -

Craft:
3x   Rathalos Shell
5x   Rathalos Scale
3x   Machalite Ore
10x  Gunpowder
2600z

-----------------------------
Name:   Grenade Launcher
Info:   Good power, and can use most attack ammunition.  Lacks the use of some
status-inflicting shot, as well as recovery ammo.
Atk:    132
Speed:  Very Fast
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2          1 2          1 2         1 2         1 2          Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
1 2          -            -           -           -

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            -            Y           -           -            -

Craft:
10x  Dragonite Ore(HR13+)
5x   Union Ore(HR13+)
20x  Machalite Ore
3200z

-----------------------------
Name:   Titan Launcher
Info:   Like the Grenade Launcher, a strong light bowgun.  It can use all lv3
shot except Norm, at the cost of not having lv1 shot available for most.
Atk:    132
Speed:  Very Fast
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2          2 3          2 3         2 3         2 3          Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
1 2          -            -           -           -

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            -            Y           -           -            -

Craft:
3x   Gravios Carapace(HR13+)
5x   Dragonite Ore
3x   Union Ore
10x  Machalite Ore
3400z

-----------------------------
Name:   Demonlock
Info:   Rare gun acquired from a ruststone.  Allows access to a variety of
ammo types.
Atk:    108
Speed:  Slow
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2 3        1            1           1 2 3       1 2 3        -

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
2            2            2           2           -

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            -            Y           Y           Y            -

Craft:
1x   Ruststone
1000z

------------------------------
Name:    Maelstorm
Info:    A very versatile gun that can use every ammo type except Dragon S
and Norm S Lv3.  Also has the lowest Atk of any gun.
Atk:     84
Speed:   Normal
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2          1 2 3        1 2 3       1 2 3       1 2 3        Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
1 2          1 2          1 2         1 2         Y

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            Y            Y           Y           Y            -

Craft:
5x    Machalite Ore
5x    Plesioth Scale
4x    Plesioth Fin
5x    Union Ore(HR13+)
Cost:    3000z
Max:       


=======================================

Heavy Bowguns
-------------

Name:   Arbalest
Atk:    156
Speed:  Slow
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2          1            1           1           1            Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
-            1 2          -           1 2         -

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            -            Y           -           -            -

Craft:
10x  Iron Ore
3x   Sm Monster Bone
1400z

--------------------------------
Name:   Arbalest +
Atk:    168
Speed:  Slow
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2          1 2          1 2         1 2         1 2          Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
1 2          -            1 2         -           -

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            -            Y           -           -            -

Craft:
1x   Machalite Ore
15x  Iron Ore
10x  Sm Monster Bone
7x   Sm Bone Husk
2000z

--------------------------------
Name:   Tankmage
Atk:    180
Speed:  Slow
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2          1            1 2 3       1           1 2          Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
1 2          1 2          1 2         -           -

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            -            Y           -           -            -

Craft:
10x  Rubbery Hide
10x  Machalite Ore
2800z

--------------------------------
Name:   Rapidcaster
Atk:    144
Speed:  Very Fast
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2 3        1            1           1           1            Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
1            1            1           1           Y

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            Y            Y           Y           Y            -

Craft:
5x   Machalite Ore
2x   Twisted Horn
15x  Kelbi Hide
2x   Kelbi Horn
2600z

--------------------------------
Name:   Quickcaster
Info:   Made using Kirin parts obtained during special event quests.
Atk:    192
Speed:  Fast
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2 3        1 2          2           2           2            Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
1            1            1           1           Y

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            Y            Y           Y           Y            -

Craft:
8x   Kirin Mane
2x   Kirin Hide
10x  Dragonite Ore(HR13)
2x   Majestic Horn
3500z

--------------------------------
Name:   Injector Canon
Info:   One of the 'bug guns,' available post-HR13.  Allows access to all ammo
except Pierce and Clust.
Atk:    192
Speed:  Fast
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2 3        -            1 2 3       1 2 3       -            Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
1 2          1 2          1 2         1 2         Y

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            Y            Y           Y           Y            Y
Craft:
10x  Dragonite Ore(HR13)
10x  Machalite Ore
10x  Vespoid Shell
20x  Hornetaur Shell
6400z

--------------------------------
Name:   Flechette Gun
Info:   The harder-to-acquire bug gun.  Requires a Vespoid Abdomen to create,
which shows up as a reward for a 4-star and up Attack of the Giant Bugs
mission.
Atk:    204
Speed:  Very Slow
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2          1 2          1 2         1 2         1 2          Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
1 2          1 2          -           -           -

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            -            Y           Y           -            Y

Craft:
1x   Vespoid Abdomen(HR13)
5x   Hornetaur Shell
3x   Dragonite Ore(HR13)
5x   Machalite Ore

--------------------------------
Name:   Yian Kut-Ku Cannon
Atk:    240
Speed:  Very Slow
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
1 2 3        2            2           2           2            Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
2            -            -           -           -

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            -            Y           -           -            -

Craft:
5x   Dragonite Ore(HR13)
2x   Kut-Ku Ear
5x   Flabby Hide
20x  Machalite Ore
8000z

--------------------------------
Name:   Lao-Shan Lung Cannon
Info:   Very powerful gun limited to only the most powerful ammo types.  Makes
a very cool 'clink' sound when assembled.
Atk:    300
Speed:  Very Slow
Ammo:

Norm S       Pierce S     Pellet S    Crag S      Clust S      Disc S
2 3          3            3           3           3            Y

Poison S     Stun S       Sleep S     Recov S     Antidote S
2            -            -           -           -

Paint S      Dung S       Tranq S     Demon S     Armor S      Dragon S
Y            -            Y           -           -            -

Craft:
4x   Lao-Shan's Shell
1x   Lao-Shan's Spine
3x   Rathalos Plate(HR13)
20x  Dragonite Ore(HR13)
12000z

2c - Ammunition & Upgrades
--------------------------
Your gun shoots stuff out to kills the monster or heals the friends.  Knowing
your ammunition is knowing how useful you are to a team.  Carrying as many
types of ammo as possible isn't always the best way to approach a situation.
Know what you're fighting, familiarize yourself with how a dragon behaves
and what smaller monsters will show up on a map, and choose your shot
appropriately.

2c(1) - Buying/Combining Chart
------------------------------
The following chart lists the various types of ammunition available to a
gunner. 

Name: The name of the ammunition.

Cost: The cost of the ammo from a shop.  A number in [brackets] means that the
ammo must be crafted, and the number is the cost to make one bullet by paying
for the craft items.

Combine Objects:  The items needed to craft the ammo.  An (H) denotes
Huskberry, (SmB) is Sm Bone Husk, and (LgB) is Lg Bone Husk.

Cost to Max: The cost to buy a full stack.  The number in parenthesis is the
max number in a full stack.  For example, for Pierce S 1386z(60) means that
it costs 1,368 zenny to buy the max 60 Pierce S.  If the number is in
[brackets], that means that a full set of ammunition cannot be store-bought,
and must be crafted.  The number in the brackets indicates the prices of
maxing the ammunition by buying the appropriate components.

Reserves: The amount of replacement ammo that you could make during a battle
if you took the Combine Items.  This is often much higher than a stack.  For
example, you can only carry 3 Clust S Lv2 into a battle, but you can take
99 Wyvern Claw and 99 Sm Bone Husk into battle.  As a result, 99 is listed as
the Reserves for that type of ammo.

Name            Cost    Combine Objects       Cost to Max   Reserves

Normal S Lv1    1z      n/a                   1z            Infinite
Normal S Lv2	3z      Needleberry(H)        297z(99)      99
Normal S Lv3    [62z]   Rumblefish(H)         [6138z](99)   30

Pierce S Lv1    14z     Velociprey Fang(H)    1386z(60)     99
Pierce S Lv2    32z     Pin Tuna(H)           3168z(50)     30
Pierce S Lv3    [130z]  Pin Tuna(SmB)         [5200z](40)   30

Pellet S Lv1    14z     Scatternut(H)         840z(60)      30
Pellet S Lv2    20z     Wyvern Fang(H)        1200z(60)     99
Pellet S Lv3    [129z]  Wyvern Fang(SmB)      [7740z](60)   99

Crag S Lv1      41z     Burst Arrowana(H)     396z(9)       30
Crag S Lv2      [140z]  Burst Arrowana(SmB)   [1260z](9)    30
Crag S Lv3      [360z]  Bomb Arrowana(LgB)    [3240z](9)    30

Clust S Lv1     38z     Bomberry(H)           114z(3)       10
Clust S Lv2     [210z]  Wyvern Claw(SmB)      [630z](3)     99
Clust S Lv3     [330z]  Scatterfish(LgB)      [990z](3)     10

Disk S          -       Disk Stone(H)         - (12)        20

Recov S Lv1     8z      Herb(H)               96z(12)       10
Recov S Lv2     [68z]   Potion(H)             [816z](12)    10

Poison S Lv1    17z     Toadstool(H)          204z(12)      10
Poison S Lv2    [80z]   Ioprey Fang(SmB)      [640z](8)     99

Stun S Lv1      26z     Stunshroom(H)         312z(12)      10
Stun S Lv2      [110z]  Genprey Fang(SmB)     [880z](8)     99

Sleep S Lv1     17z     Sleep Herb(H)         204z(12)      10
Sleep S Lv2     [120z]  Sleepyfish(SmB)       [960z](8)     10

Paint S         [62z]   Paintberry(H)         [6138z](99)   99
Antidote S      [22z]   Antidote Herb(H)      [264z](12)    10
Demon S         [282z]  Power Seed(H)         [1410z](5)    10
Armor S         [220z]  Armor Seed(H)         [1100z](5)    10
Dragon S        -       Dragon Seed(LgB)      -(20)         2
Dung S          -       Dung(H)               -(10)         10


2c(2) - Item Locations
----------------------
This section will cover the best way to acquire the various items needed for
the creation of non-buyable ammunition.

Overall, the easiest way to acquire the various ammunition parts is on the
special online market days.  During 'Claw Days' the material shop has things
such as Wyvern Claws and Fangs, Sm Bone Husk, and the Armor and Power Seeds.
They're expensive, but easier to acquire than digging.  On 'Fish Days' the big
lady in the red shirt sells the various fish needed for ammunition, such as
the Arrowana line.

Most of the items are Rare-3 or less, and can be traded between people.  Most
blademasters don't mind giving up things like Seeds or fish to needy Gunners,
as they're certainly a lot more useful to us than they are to them.
Begging for handouts is a bad idea, as everyone has to make money, and most
times blademasters also have their own set of Gunner equipment.  Talking
to your allies between missions is a great way to find reliable fighters and
figure out if any type of items are available.  Realize that having a group
of dedicated teammates willing to pool their berries and fish for you is
unarguably the most useful resource that a Gunner could ever hope for.

Items
-----

Paintberry - These are fairly common in plants around Forest&Hills, and are
easy to pick up while doing quick offline gather quests.

Power/Armor Seed - These can be acquired through a number of missions.  While
offline, the easiest ways to obtain them are through completing the 2-star
"Help for the Festival" BBQ mission.  Simply cook up 5 well-done steaks for
the mission and you'll earn 1-3 of each Power and Armor Seeds.  There are also
circles of stones in Volcano that contain Seeds.  They also have a very high
chance of showing Nothing while you search, so they're a bit irritating.

Dragon Seed - So far the most reliable place for Dragon Seed that I've found
is in area 10 of the Jungle zone.  As soon as you enter the area, to your
right will be a small bit of vegetation growing out of the cave wall.  Search
the ground near that vegetation in order to find the seeds.  On any mission
but Powderstone, the pile of black rocks at the far north wall of the Furnace
in Volcano has Dragon Seeds.

Fish - Simply put, all of the fish are easiest to get by, well, fishing.  The
Panning for Goldenfish quest can be finished quickly with a few seasoned
fishers, and often nets a lot of the better types of fish(like the Arrowana
species) as well as a tidy profit for any excess Goldfish caught.  Goldfish
bait, which only attracts Goldenfish, works best.  It is made by combining a
Firefly and Snakebee Larvae.

Genprey/Ioprey Fang - Though only found ever so rarely from actually poaching
a dead monster, these tend to show up in bulk at the end of the various "Kill
X Monsters" quests.  That is, the slay 20 Genprey or 20 Ioprey missions.

Wyvern Fang/Claw - These can be had after the end of most any large dragon
hunt, such as Desert Queen or Slay the Rathalos.  Most people just buy a stack
during Claw Days.

Sm Bone Husk - Sm Husks can be found in very small quantities in various spots
around the different maps.  They, like the Wyvern goods, are most often
picked up in bulk at the end of various Kill Dragon quests, especially Gravios
and Basarios.

Lg Bone Husk - A bit harder to find early on, but only necessary to make high-
level ammunition that probably can't even be used until much later.  I tend
to pick them up at the end of missions involving the slaying of the larger
dragons, such as Gravios and Diablos.


2c(3) - Ammunition Descriptions
-------------------------------

Here are some general descriptions of how the different types of shot can
be helpful, and which is the best/worse case for their use.
All ammunition loses effectiveness the farther that you fire from the target.
Point-blank range, offering the highest attack potential, is at about the
tail-sweep range of a dragon.  Farther than that and most non-explosive ammo
loses power.
The easiest way to see how distance reduces damage is by loading up Norm S and
firing at a dragon from very far away.  Rather than giving your controller a
rumble and showing a small blood splash, there will be no vibration and the
shot will show the same sparks that appear when a dull weapon strikes a dragon
hide.

Normal S - Your basic shot.  I think of Normal S as darts, as it can be seen
sticking into the hide of a dragon immediately after a hit.
Lvl 1 Is the weakest, though you can hold an unlimited amount.  6-shots.
Lvl 2 Is a bit stronger, and hold onto its power at a longer distance than
      the Lvl 1 shot.  6-shots.
Lvl 3 Strongest Normal S.  Holds onto damage farther than Lvl 2, and has a
      larger clip size.  9-shots.
Up until about HR13, it's a good idea to always carry the Lv1 shot, as you can
never run out and it will allow you to always add something to a fight.  It's
also useful for clearing out raptors.  While Normal S won't ever be the best
shot available, the fact that it is cheap and that you can carry a stack of 99
of each of the higher-level Normal S is very useful.


Pierce S - Most dragons have thick, scaly hides that make damaging them a
difficult affair.  Pierce S goes right through that, making your shots more
effective.
Lvl 1 Is similar to Norm Lv 1, though it hits multiple times.
Lvl 2 Hits multiple times, stronger than Lvl 1.
Lvl 3 Strongest Pierce S.  Hits several times, but each shot has a short
      "recoil" that makes it, overall, fire more slowly that the lower levels.
Upon being fired, Pierce S sends out a thick shot that penetrates any hide,
continuing through to the other side.  A successful hit will always ensure at
least two hits: one from the shot entering the monster, and a second when the
shot passes out the other side.  Pierce S is most effective when a good line
can be made across its parts.  Consider the dragon shaped as follows:

                      H
                      N
                   WWWWWWW
                      T
                      T

H is the head, N is neck, the W's are the wings, and T is the Tail.
If the head to tail is considered one line, and wingtip to wingtip considered
another, shooting completely through a line will net the most hits.  The most
dangerous, but most powerful, shot would be made while facing a dragon face-on.
A shot made that way will hit the head twice, the torso twice, and then the
tail twice, effectively doing 6x the Atk of your gun or more.  Landing such a
shot also has a reasonable chance of staggering the dragon momentarily.
Smaller monsters don't tend to take more damage from this than from Normal S
(though it sometimes goes through them and hits things behind them, useful
when a Vespoid gets in your face while firing upon a larger target).

Pellet S - This makes any gun into a shotgun.  Pellet S spreads upon being
fired, and the higher-level shot dispenses more and more pellet into a much
wider max area.  The shot fires in a cone shape, though it's hard to initially
find the limits of the cone.  Anything inside of the cone will be hit by a
full barrage of shot(which goes up as you get to lv2 and lv3).  It's possible
to aim very high and catch a dragon with the very bottom of the cone, allowing
you to land the shot while not affecting allies.  It takes practice, though,
and usually very close proximity to the wyvern.
Because of its weakness at a distance, using this kind of shot on dragons at
long range isn't very useful.  While it will hit a dragon a number of times
because of the monster's sheer size, it also tends to hit your allies as well.
That is at times enough to break one of their combos or stun them just long
enough for a dragon to begin a charge or other strong attack.  The only upside
to shooting allies that I've figured out is against a dragon that has a sleep
or knockout attack: hitting allies with pellet will awaken them or instantly
get rid of the stars. It does not end the paralyzed('shocked') state.

******
NOTE: The damage done by explosive ammunition is a set value not affected by
the Atk power of your gun!  The only difference between a Grenade Launcher
using Clust Lv2 and a Flechette Gun using Clust Lv2 is the reload speed; faster
loading weapons have an advantage in the use of explosive ammunition.
******

Crag S - Now comes the more powerful ammunition.  Crag shot, upon hitting a
creature, initially produces the same visual as Normal S, though a couple of
seconds later it will explode.  This damage increases with the level 2 and 3
shot. The explosion does knock away allies, so be careful about using this shot
when your hitters are hittin'.  A good place to aim with Crag S is the top of
a dragon's back, as a high explosion doesn't risk knocking away allies.  Crag S
is strong enough to knock pieces off of a dragon as well.  A few well-placed
shots can remove a Diablos' horns, spikes from a Rathian's wings, or damage a
Rath's face plates.  Or a tail, if you can hit the thick part enough.

Clust S - Clust S turns your gun into a grenade launcher.  It's some of the
most powerful shot, but also the trickiest to use properly.  Upon hitting the
target, the shot splits into smaller bombs, each exploding upon impact
Lvl 1 splits into 3 bomblets.
Lvl 2 splits into 4 bomblets.
Lvl 3 splits into 5 bomblets.
Each of these bomblets does a generic value unaffected by your weapon's Atk.
Like the Crag S, this can knock away allies, though the explosions won't
damage them.  Clust S is a good opportunist ammunition, in that certain
monster attacks tend to give you good windows where other weapons have none.
A Khezu's electric area attack, the Basarios' poison cloud, and the Gravios'
sleep cloud are all opportune times to land Clust S, as the monster is
stationary and all allies should be out of the way.  For maximum effect, try
aiming for a large part of the dragon, such as the back/spine area.  This will
allow more of the smaller bombs to impact the dragon.  Also, Clust S has the
added bonus of bringing most fleeing dragons back down to the ground.  Most
shot has some chance of knocking down a dragon, but Clust S is more consistent
with its results.  Fleeing Rathalos can be taken down, and Khezu can be
knocked from a cave ceiling.  Aim for the exposed stomach for flyers, or the
back of a Khezu for best results.

Disk S - I don't really know what to say about Disk S.  Upon hitting a target,
it is reflected in a seemingly random direction.  This can theoretically hit
surrounding targets, though outside of a dense crowd of monsters that ability
is never really useful.  The damage doesn't seem to be greater than any other
shot as well.

*******
NOTE: The status ailments--Poison, Stun, and Sleep--'build up' when you're
using them against a dragon.  Once you add enough of an ailment value to a
dragon, it becomes inflicted with the status effect.  Ailment values diminish
over time.  From experience, I believe that they recover at about half the rate
that you recover from injuries(that is, restore green to a red portion of your
life bar).  So, maybe a point every three seconds.
*******

Poison S - Poisons a monster.  A Lv1 shot instantly kills a pre HR13 Vespoid
without exploding it, which is handy for carves.  The Lv2 shot of Poison and
most other status shot has a heavy recoil, so care must be taking when
deciding when to fire the shot.  Poison Lv2 is useful for bug runs in that you
can carry 99 additional shots into the mission.  Poison is a good way to get
through to a dragon with high defense.

Stun S - A stunned dragon is as helpless as a trapped dragon, or even moreso.
Stunning lasts for different amounts of time, depending on the dragon/enemy,
and it doesn't hide half of the dragon's body.  So, a stunned dragon can have
its tail removed. I carry Stun S into every battle I attend, and between Lv1
and Lv2 I tend to get at least two stuns, usually more.
As an interesting note, a dragon can be stunned while in a pitfall trap.  A
dragon stunned this way simply falls over, as though put to sleep with Tranq S.
After the stun duration ends, to continues to thrash about.  I haven't seen it
done very often, though I have done it most while a Diablos thrases after a
Sonic Bomb.

Sleep S - Putting monsters to sleep is fine and all, though only as a delay
tactic.  Dragons typically wake up after one blow from any weapon, so putting
one to sleep while it's surrounded by blademasters isn't very useful.  However,
knocking out a patrolling dragon while allies are carrying eggs/powderstone or
when explosives are on hand gives this ammo some use.  Sleep inflicted from a
weapon does not heal a dragon the same way as its retreating sleep.

Dragon S - Inflicts heavy damage on dragons, especially after a direct head
shot.  The graphic for a successful hit is a rather useless-looking puff of
smoke, though it hits a crazy number of times(I've never gotten an accurate
count.  It's around Pierce 3 at least).  It also has the Dragon element infused
in the shot, though I'm not sure how it compares to a dragon weapon.  As a
result of Dragon element and lots of hits, it has a pretty good chance shot
staggering a dragon.  It's especially difficult to make and stock, as only 2
Dragon Seed can be carried at a time.  That makes it hard to gather many during
gathering missions, as well as prohibiting you from making more than 2 extra
shots during a battle.  Only Flechette and Injector Cannon can use this
ammunition.

Dung S - Similar effect to the Dung Bomb.  If an unaware dragon(indicated
by a blue icon on the map if it's painted) is hit with this, it will
sometimes get up and quickly move to a new area.  If someone shot ME with
poop, I'd want to do more than run away, but I'm not a dragon.
Paint S - Just like a Paintball, though much easier to use for tagging.

Recov S - Healing shot.  Lv1 heals roughly about 25hp, while Lv2 heals around
50.  Lv2 has a 3-shot clip, but each shot gives the same recoil of any Lv2
status shot.  Great for keeping your heavy hitter allies in a dragon's face.
When fired it appears to spread in much the same way that Pellet S does, and as
a result you can hit a number of targets with one shot.  Healing shot does work
on dragons, though its effect on them is somewhat negligible.
My testing isn't Extensive on this(i.e. I only did two missions entirely
devoted to figuring it out, and only tried it on non-dragons).  However, I
found that Recov Lvl 1 heals about 500hp to an enemy, while Recov Lvl 2 heals
around 800hp.  I don't know why it's such a dramatic shift from the amount
healed to an ally, though I'm sure that's intentional.  Also, from experience
it seemed as though a Paralyzed dragon hit with Recov S almost instantly broke
the ailment.  Considering that most attacks are doing at least 600-800 per
strike(with elements added), a Recov shot every now and then shouldn't really
bog down the fight.
Sometimes lag makes it look as though you hit an ally with the shot, showing
the green swirl around them, though they will not be healed.  If an ally is
moving around a lot, it's a bad idea to try to hit them with this.  Try to
wait until they are somewhat stationary.

Antidote S - Same as an Antidote, though it has a small spread and keeps
your allies from having to put away their weapon or use one of their items.

******
NOTE: Buff shots override the effects of food!  If someone gets a King Room
Atk buff and you proceed to shoot them with Demon S, their Atk boost will be
lowered.  Take care not to hit someone with a buff shot if they have already
have a boost active.
******

Demon S - This bestows the effect of Demon Drug.  That is, an increase in
attack power until the affected warrior dies or the mission ends.  This shot
has a small spread, so getting your hitters to clump up and firing one onto
them before leaving camp is a great way to buff the team.

Armor S - This bestows the effect of Armor Skin.  Basically, an increase in the
defense of the affected warrior.  Like all of the recovery shots, Armor S has
a small spread, and can be used in the same way as Demon S for a full-team
buff party.

2d - Gun Strategy
--------------------
The light bowgun is the 'weaker' of the guns.  That is, its attack output is
most often far less than that of a heavy gun.
However, it makes up for that in what is most often a greater variety of shot
available, as well as the ability to use the various healing/support shot.
While heavies are typically damage-dealing, monster-controlling weapons,
the light guns tend to make for a lot more strategy.  Knowing when to heal an
ally and when to keep that Stun S on the monster is very important.  If
you're going to decide on a gunner strategy, whether it be keep the swordies
healed up, inflict status ailments, or try to dish out what damage you can,
be sure to stick with it.  Trying to be everything at once is more harm than
good to a team, and never allows your position to truly shine(just ask any
Red Mage).

2d(1) - Supplies List: Pre-HR13
--------------------------------
The supplies that a Gunner takes into a battle are considerably different from
those that a blade user will pack.  Here is a basic checklist that I use
before going into a mission:

Basic Support List:
10x     Potion
1x-2x   Well-Done Steak
-       Normal S Lv1
99x     Normal S Lv2
60x     Pierce S Lv1
60x     Pellet S Lv1
9x      Crag S Lv1
3x      Clust S Lv1
12x     Stun S Lv1
8x      Stun S Lv2
12x     Recov S Lv1
8x      Recov S Lv2

Optional:
3       Cool/Hot Drink
1x      Demon S
1x      Armor S
12x/8x  Poison S Lv1/2
12x     Antidote S

As you can see, carrying a wide variety of ammunition is enough to weigh down
an inventory.  A good Gunner shouldn't take much damage, which is why 10
potions on top of the supply meds should be enough to cover you for a battle.
Steaks are useful, though not necessary.  Most light bowguns will allow access
to most of the ammo listed.  The Demon S and Armor S should be consumed within
the first minute or so of a mission, opening up slots for the end-of-level
spoils.


Basic Offense List:
10x     Potion
5x      Well-Done Steak
-       Norm S Lv1
99x     Norm S Lv2
60x     Pierce S Lv1
50x     Pierce S Lv2
60x     Pellet S Lv1
9x      Crag S Lv1
3x      Clust S Lv1

Optional:
3       Hot/Cool Drink
9x      Crag S Lv2
3x      Clust S Lv2
5x      Flash Bombs

Offensive gunners will have different priorities than bowgun users.  In the
case of an offensive checklist, support ammo is replaced with higher-level
attack ammo(such as Pierce and Crag).  Also, consider bringing along items
to make replacements for higher-level ammo, especially Clust S.  In those
cases, bringing along a few combo books is also helpful in order to avoid
wasting materials.

Also, these checklists are a basic guideline for preparation.  Change the list
accordingly if more or less ammunition is available for your gun.

2d(2) - Upgrades
----------------
Upgrades can make the gun.  While the default status of a gun can be good
enough for some battles, investing in a weapon increases its output and
capabilities.  Here is a breakdown of the upgrades available:

Level Up - Leveling up your gun adds a bit of attack power, accuracy, range,
and changes its appearance slightly.  Leveling up your gun is the most
expensive thing that you can do, but considering that a gun can not be
otherwise re-forged into something like the other weapons, the costs sort of
balance out.

Attach Long Barrel/Silencer - Only one of these two can be equipped on your
gun at any given time, so a choice must be made.  It's easy to notice that
shots from an un-modded gun curve and diverge from their target the farther
they get from the gun.  The long barrel cures this, adding more accuracy as
well as a slight increase in damage.  A silencer, however, does not improve
accuracy, but rather helps to keep a dragon from noticing your presence.
Firing upon a dragon and doing significant damage increases the likelihood of
its turning to face you and charge.  As mentioned in the ammunition
description, dragons do not like explosions.  Adding a silencer, however,
works against a dragon's natural inclination to rush a gunner, moderately
decreasing the odds of it charging after you during battle.
Overall, a long barrel is much more useful.

Zoom Scope - A zoom scope functions as a cross between your regular scope and
the Binoculars item.  After raising the scope with R1, the right analog stick
can be used to zoom in and out of an area.  Somewhat useful, but not really
necessary, as a dragon tends to be a big enough target to hit without the need
of a better zoom range.  Also, without a mod such as the Long Barrel, your
chances of even getting a bullet to reach the area you've zoomed to are
fairly low.

2d(3) - Support
---------------
Support is somewhat limited in overall scope, as it breaks down into three
categories: buffing, healing, and cleansing.  Buffing tends to come before
everyone even leaves base camp, so the buff shots are useful mainly in the
first few moments of a mission.  A well-placed Demon S and Armor S can set
up your allies for an entire fight, barring any deaths.  Because of as much,
taking only one of each type of shot is most useful, as you will both be able
to buff the team and have two slots opened in an inventory otherwise loaded
with various types of shot.  

Healing, on the other hand, is useful throughout the battle.  Decide when to
heal, and let your allies know when you plan on doing as much.  Trying to hit
someone that's sprinting around the map looking for a safe place to drink a
potion just doesn't work.  Letting someone know that you have their back and
they don't have to put away their weapon with each blow they receive also
saves both of your time and effort.  Lancers are especially dangerous with
a good healer backing them up, as their lack of rolling and fast legwork
means they are especially vulnerable to quick, rapid attacks by a dragon.
Hammers and dual-swords, without the ability to block and the need to get in
very close for attacks, can have a rough time as well.  Greatswords can
inflict heavy damage, block most any attack, have a long weapon range, and
can roll, so they should be low healing priority if given a choice between
multiple attackers.

Cleansing is just a term for removing poison and status ailments.  Antidote S
can be used to rid an ally of poison, which saves them a potion or antidote,
as well as the need to sheathe their weapon.  Antidote S isn't always the best
thing to take up an inventory slot, as poison is somewhat rare, and there tend
to be better things to do with your gun during a battle than remove a bit of
poison.  Pellet S can be used to rouse members of the party that have fallen
asleep or been staggered by heavy attacks or a Gypceros' blinding crest.  The
value of waking a sleeping member is immense against something like a Gravios,
as it likes to put nearby warriors to sleep and blow them away with its heat
breath.  If you see a Gravios rear up and begin to emit smoke, load up that
Pellet S!

2d(4) - Control
---------------
Keeping a monster in your sights and vulnerable to the heavy attackers is the
game in control.  Status ailments also factor in, as utilizing a debilitating
status effect on a dragon can really slow its efforts.  The more damaging ammo
can have effects on a dragon, depending on the location of a blow.  Pierce S
or Normal S is good shot to use while blademasters are nearby, as they have a
very narrow hit range and don't tend to interfere with attacks.  A dragon
that's gone airborne is fair game for Pellet S, Clust S or Crag S.
Clust S, because of its high damage output, has a tendency to bring down a
flying dragon, which is extremely helpful against something like a Rathalos.
When you see a dragon begin to limp, load up some Clust S to prepare for its
lift-off.  Dung S can move a dragon from one area to another, and Sleep S can
put it out of commission just long enough for an egg-carrying ally to waddle
by or heavy explosives to be set up.

2d(5) - Defense
---------------
Staying alive is never a bad thing.  A gunner doesn't tend to take a lot of
damage, depending on how cautious they can stand to be.  Gunner armor always
has a much lower Def rating than that of Blademaster gear, though the balance
in that case comes through higher elemental resistance.  Rather than being the
target of a tail swing or bite attack, a gunner is much more likely to take
a fireball or ball lightning.

Here are some armor ideas for gunners:

       ==Anti-Fire==
Female Set:
Rathian Cap
Rathian Guards
Rathalos Vest
Rathalos Coat
Rathian Leggings

Male Set:
Same as female set, except substitute Rathalos Cap for the Rathian Cap.

Total Fire Resistance:  50
Very useful against most dragons, especially the Rathian(due to her spread
fire attack), Gravios, Rathalos and, much later, Fatalis.  Your defense will
be a bit low, so make sure to stay out of the way of charges.

      ==Healer==
Khezu Vest+
Khezu Guards+
Khezu Coat+
Khezu Leggings+
Effects: Wide-Area Recover, Heat Immunity, Stun Duration Doubled(stars)
Drinking a regular potion with this equipment on heals the entire party.  The
effect only works for regular potions.

      ==Fast Reload==
(male)                  (female)
Genesis Headpiece       Glyph Crown
Genesis Torso           Glyph Chest
Genesis Gauntlets       Glyph Gauntlets
Genesis Tasset          Glyph Tasset
Genesis Pants           Glyph Pants
Effects: High-speed damage recovery, Automap, Loading Speed + 2
This set, though a bit difficult to obtain, improves the loading speed of your
weapon by two levels.  So a Very Slow becomes Normal, and a Normal becomes
Very Fast.  The set also imparts a 25 Fire Def.

     ==Anti-Environment==
(male)                  (female)
Khezu Vest+             Gravios Vest+
Gravios Guard+          Gravios Guard+
Gravios Coat+           Khezu Coat+
Khezu Leggings+         Khezu Leggings+
Effects: Immune to Heat, Immune to Cold, KO Duration Doubled
Very useful for a variety of missions.  With this armor there's no need to
worry about Hot or Cold Drinks, and the defense from a combination of Gravios
and Khezu isn't that bad.

Tactics
-------
Keeping a dragon's head in focus should be the primary concern of a gunner, as
that's the part that dispenses the worst of what you'll have to deal with.
Also, it's easier to realize that a dragon sees you and is about to charge if
you can tell where it's facing.

Mobility varies between bowguns types.  Whereas light gun users can move
around at a reasonable speed, heavy bowgun users have to lug their weapon
around at the rate of about a greatsword user.  Rolls fast become a gunner's
best friend.  Dropping your scope and pulling off a roll or two can be the
difference between a live gunner and a fried gunner.  If you roll with your
scope up, you will roll forward.  That usually means rolling towards a fireball
or charge, which is bad.

As with the proper time to use an item during battle, there is a proper time
to reload.  Heavies have a long reload time, leaving you very, very
vulnerable to just about anything.  It's probably a bit extreme to leave a map
when you need to reload, but if you've found yourself dying from projectile
attacks very often, it is better to be slow and only somewhat helpful to a
group than risk making everyone lose the mission.  It takes a lot of pride-
swallowing to know when to sit out a battle, but it's better than losing all
chances of making back the money that you spent on ammo.

2d(6) - Aiming
--------------
Aiming is how you make shots land where you want then to land.  Pressing the
R1 button brings up the scope, allowing you to decide where to try to land a
shot.  Also, holding down the L1 button brings up a red crosshair without
sending you into scope mode.  With the red crosshair out you can use the
digital paid to aim, preventing you from losing sight of things around you
from the tunnel vision that the scope presents.(thanks to chutzpah for pointing
out the L1 trick).

Once you have aimed with your R1 scope, dropping the scope without moving the
left analog stick leaves your aim in the same area.  So, you can line up
shots at a dragon's back with your scope, then drop it and rotate the camera
to make sure you know what all is going on around you.  For best results, face
the dragon, raise the scope, quickly set it on a large target, then drop the
scope and start firing/reloading.  With practice it should only take a moment
to line up shots and regain sight of everything around you.

Most shot is most effective when fired directly at a dragon's head.
Considering how much some dragons move, it's not always the easiest place to
hit.  Aiming for the upper back of a dragon with explosive ammunition, such as
Crag S and Clust S, is necessary to avoid blowing away your blademaster allies.
Also, aiming for the high ridge of a dragon's back with Clust S helps assure
that most or all of the cluster bombs connect.  Getting all three+ cluster
bombs to connect after the initial impact of Clust S tends to stagger, ground,
or even knock over quite a few dragons.

==========================================


pt.3 - Lances: Unwavering Defense
---------------------------------
(note: This section was submitted by Pollyanna, and was only edited and
formated by me for use in this FAQ. Please direct questions/comments regarding
lance issues to Pollyanna at sewer_princess@yahoo.com.)

3a - Overview: Why Lancer?
--------------------------
Lancers have a wide variety of techniques that allow them to both move and
attack while blocking and attack while running. While their raw attack
strength may be less than other weapons, well-aimed attacks and quick chains
of blows can make them the strongest hitters on any team.

3a(1) - Advantages
------------------
Big Damage on Dragons: Lancers have some of the greatest (if not THE greatest)
damage potential on dragons. The upward stab not only allows them to hit a
dragon's most critical spot, it also links with other stabs very quickly and
has a high probability of staggering the dragon. With the right items and with
good aim, lancers can decimate a dragon's health with only one opening.

Ultimate Defense: Lancers can both walk and attack while blocking. Even if
they are surrounded by enemies, they can quickly turn their defense or offense
in any direction. If they are cornered against small enemies, they can still
attack and remain safe, or charge through a line of opponents to make an
escape.

Unstoppable Charge: If a lancer's weapon is in the green level of sharpness,
then their running charge will tear through anything in their path and combo
enemies. If there is a line of monsters, then they can barrel through all of
them. If there is only one, then they can continually charge it until it dies.
On dragons, if they are in a tough situation, they can charge out of it and
damage the dragon at the same time.

3a(2) - Disadvantages
---------------------
Inability to Roll With weapon drawn: When the lance is out, lancers can only
perform the relatively useless backwards hop. As a result, they are forced to
block almost every attack thrown at them. The inability to dodge not only
causes them to suffer stun damage, but also makes running away very difficult.
While lancers can still roll when they put their lance away, the process takes
too long for it to be very practical.

Reliance on Careful Aim: Unlike sword and hammer attacks, which have wide
arcs, the lance attacks on a single point. As a result, it is difficult to
mount an attack on multiple enemies at once and sometimes difficult to hit
quickly moving enemies. Lancers can only attack directly in front of them, so
careful positioning and aim is key. If their aim is poor, then a lancer cannot
inflict effective damage on dragons. This can also give lancers hell on quick
and small enemies like insects.

3b - Attacks
------------
Forward Stab: (up on the right analog stick)
This is a basic, forward stab that comes out quickly, has minimal recovery
time and can be performed in sets of three with a short (under 2 seconds)
amount of lag in between sets. Each stab moves you one small step closer to
your target. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this attack, it
should only be used when there is an obvious opening. It is useful on smaller
enemies, but much less useful on dragons.

Upward Stab: (Down on the right analog stick)
A stab that is aimed at an upwards angle and can be performed in a series of
three. The only thing that differentiates this from the forward stab is its
target. While it can blow back small enemies and knock flying or jumping
enemies out of the air, its main purpose is stabbing dragon's weak necks,
bellies and heads. This is perhaps a lancer's greatest asset.

Charge: (R3/pressing the right analog stick)
A running charge that hits anything in its path. After a brief startup time,
it causes you to move at running speed and drains stamina at the same rate as
running. If your weapon is in the "green," then you will keep running or
hitting an enemy when you make contact with them. If it is not, then you will
bounce off of them, but continue running forward after your recoil.

Pressing up on the right analog stick while charging will make you end the
charge with a forward thrust, while pressing back on the right analog stick
will make you end the charge with a sudden stop. While somewhat difficult to
control, the direction of the charge can be altered by pressing (and holding)
right or left on the left analog stick.

If you are in the green, then the hits from the charge can result in a lengthy
combo that can wipe out smaller enemies or downed dragons. It is an excellent
offensive tactic on smaller enemies, but is more useful as a means of escape
on larger ones.

Block/Moving Block/Block Attack: (R1, then left analog stick in any direction
(for movement) or right analog stick in any direction (for attack))
Unlike other weapons, the lance allows you to move while blocking. While your
movement is very slow, your stamina regenerates with every step. Normally with
weapons your stamina remains locked while you are blocking, so being able to
replenish stamina while in a defensive position is very useful. If you are
moving towards an enemy when you block, it will have the same effect as if you
were standing still.

The blocking attack is much weaker than a normal forward stab, but also much
safer. It cannot be chained into other stabs, but has a short recovery time.
While it is not a reliable source of damage, it is a highly safe method to use
against small enemies.

Backward hop: (Circle button)
A small hop backwards with slight lag at the beginning and end of the motion.
This, unlike rolling, cannot move you in different directions, and does not
give you invincibility. It is possible to use it as a method of avoiding
lunges or repositioning yourself without turning around, but it is not an
effective dodge for most attacks.

3c - Stategies and tips
-----------------------

3c(1) - Items and Traps
-----------------------
One of the most effective methods for fighting low and medium level dragons,
like the Kut-ku and Rathalos, is the use of flash bombs. When you are in
position to use one, it is very likely that the dragon will charge at you,
protecting it from the bomb and hitting you in the process. As a result, you
must be patient in waiting for the right opportunity. When a dragon charges
at you and either misses, or you block, immediately turn around so that you
are facing the dragon's back. Then, put your weapon up, prepare a flash bomb
and AS SOON AS you see the dragon begin to turn around, throw it. That way,
it will be hit by the flash bomb the instant it faces you. When it is stunned,
stab it in the face repeatedly, as usual, and repeat the process as many times
as necessary. It is possible to catch the dragon in a loop of stabbing and
flashing that would allow you to kill it in one encounter. However, it is
probably safer to wait for a definite opening so that you don't waste precious
flash bombs. It is also important to note that flash bombs don't work on many
dragons, and that this tactic is most effective on the Rathian and Rathalos.

Net traps can also be an effective way of dealing damage, though less so for
lancers than other weapon users. When you trap a dragon in a ground trap, you
inflict double damage on each hit, but that damage is generic. That is to say,
you cannot achieve critical damage by stabbing the dragon's head. Furthermore,
trying to hit the head with the upward stab while the dragon is thrashing is
highly ineffective, so it's better just to use the triple forward stab on its
side. Of course, bombs are also an option, though for the price and trouble,
they are not as effective as they could be. While other classes with big
damage weapons get free shots at a helpless enemy, lancers lose their highest
potential for damage in a trap situation. For lancers, net traps are a matter
of preference, rather than a matter of survival and can be used at your
discretion.

Whether they are knocked down from damage or stuck in a net trap, the best
method for hitting a downed dragon is the charge attack. If a dragon is simply
knocked over, charging at its side will result in 8 or more continuous hits.
If a dragon is trapped, however, it is highly likely that you'll simply run
through them. If your aim is especially good, then running straight into its
tail will result in continuous hits. Otherwise, it may be safer (though less
reliable) to charge its side.

3c(2) - Equipment
-----------------
When starting out, it may be easiest to take the Iron Lance path to the Babel
Spear.(416 Attack and +3 defense) It's quite possible to get the Babel Spear
somewhat early in the game and it will last you for a long time. The greatest
advantage to taking this path is that the weapons have very long green ratings
in their sharpness. With the Babel Spear, it's very likely that you will never
need to sharpen it at all. The items required for these spears are also very
easy to acquire, with the exception of a "Commendation" needed to create the
Rampart. The best way to get a commendation is to do the 4 star offline quest
"Bring Me Eggs". It may take a few tries, but it is well worth the effort.

Another pitfall of this path is the relatively low sharpness rating of the
Paladin Lance. Fortunately, this is fixed with the Paladin Lance+, so if you
have 8 extra machalite when you create the Paladin Lance, then you won't ever
have to deal with the problem and can upgrade immediately.

3c(3) - Fighting Against Small Enemies
--------------------------------------
Against monsters that have obvious openings like raptors or bullfangos, the
triple forward stab can be used for quick, heavy damage. Throwing in an upward
stab as the third attack may also knock the enemy far away from you.  The
downside to using this attack is that you can only focus on one enemy at once
and have no mobility. In a crowd of enemies,it's more effective to stay in
defensive mode and walk slowly toward enemies, waiting for an opening. If one
does not present itself, then it's always safe to do the blocking stab. The
damage isn't great, but it's better than nothing.

When it's safe (or even if it isn't), you can immediately pull out of the
block with the charging attack. There is a very short startup lag, but enemies
very rarely are able to take advantage of that. If your weapon is green
(and it should be at all times), then you will either tear through the enemy
or, if your aim is good, charge it repeatedly. If you knock the enemy down,
then you have sucessfully worked it into a loop of being charged, knocked over
and charged again. This is especially effective on Velocidromes/Gendromes/
Iodromes who may suffer 10 or more hits from this strategy. Weaker enemies
will mostly likely die before the combo gets very high.

When charging small enemies, it's very possible that you will not knock them
over (or kill them), but keep running through them. If you are planning an
escape, this is fine, but to inflict maximum damage, it's best to end the
charge with the forward stab, performed by pressing up on the right analog
stick. This not only inflicts good damage, but also has a good chance of
knocking over enemies.

3c(4) - Fighting Against Dragons
--------------------------------
Offense and Defense:
Unlike other weapon users, lancers usually want to keep the dragon
face-to-face with them. This is because they do the most damage from the front
and cannot dodge at the last minute (so it's good to see what's coming). Your
objective, at any given time, is to stab the dragon in the head (starting at
the nose, not the base of the neck) with the upward stab as many times as
possible. This does amazing damage and often stuns the dragon, setting it up
for even more attacks. While lances don't have the raw attack power of other
weapons, their repeated, quick strikes to critical regions give them the
greatest potential for total damage.   Don't be intimidated by the size of
powerful dragons, as most of the dragons in the game fall for some variation
of this tactic.

The most difficult part of stabbing dragons in the face is mastering aim and
being aware of your range limitations. Since you will most likely be
approaching the dragon head-on, it's important to know how far away you can be
and still hit it. Each stab moves you just slightly closer to the dragon, so
you need to start stabbing as early as possible to ensure than you score a
large number of attacks before you're too far under the dragon to hit its
critical region. There's no formula for this, but like aim, it will become
second nature with practice. Another method to stay in position is to use the
backwards hop. If you are in a situation where you are able to land a large
number of blows, you will eventually advance too far under the dragon to be
where you want to. To remedy this, perform the backwards hope immediately
after the third stab in your combo and repeat. This is much faster than moving
around to reposition and helps keep your combo going with minimal interruption.

Since you will be lumbering towards dragons in defensive mode, trampling
becomes your worst enemy and fireballs become your best friend. Trampling
charges are dangerous, because lancers can't easily dodge them. Rather, they
are forced to take them head on, causing them to become momentarily stunned
and sometimes take a small amount of damage. When a dragon charges through you,
the solution you will most often have to turn to, is simply turning around,
lumbering toward the dragon and hoping it doesn't do it again. However, if you
have enough stamina, it is possible to perform the charge attack directly from
your defensive position and get to the dragon faster than you would by putting
your weapon away and running. The downside is that if the dragon charges again,
you'll have to be prepared to stop your charge and block. If you don't have
enough stamina to take another trampling, then you may suffer a full hit. The
best tactic to use when a dragon runs through you is to hit it with a flash
bomb.

Fireballs, however, give you an excellent opportunity to move closer to
dragons. Since you should already be moving toward a dragon when it is
preparing for its next attack, you should be close to it by the time it
releases a fireball. Once you learn the timing, you can block at the last
second, then continue moving forward. When the dragon is still recovering from
the fireball, it's completely open to repeated stabs to the face. (However,
it's still important to remember the patterns of dragons, so you don't get
nailed by a Rathian when it shoots three fireballs instead of one) Stabs to
the face also work in preparation for fireballs. Instead of blocking a
fireball in front of a dragon, it's possible to move right under its head
(if you're close enough) and stab it in the neck while it blows fire. It is
also possible to position yourself to the right or left side of its head and
stab it from that angle while it is attacking forward. If you are especially
brave, you can completely stop it from shooting fireballs by stabbing its head
right before (or during) its fire attack. It's possible that you will cause it
to falter (and not shoot fire) or to falter and shoot its fire in a harmless
direction.

When fighting the Khezu, the situation changes slightly, as you can't block
its lightning attacks. In this case, while you can attack it from the front,
it's a bit risky. It's better to attack its head and neck from the side, so
that its lightning attacks miss you completely. As with any dragon, learning
its startup animation for attacks will give you an extra few seconds to get an
attack in, perhaps stopping its offense altogether.

Every dragon has different rules and patterns. The ones mentioned above work
on most of them, but there are variations in each case. One worth mentioning
is the positioning change necessary for hitting the Gravios/Basarios in its
weak spot. Rather than aiming at the tip of the head and moving in, it's
better to hit the Gravios/Basarios at the base of the neck or chest where it
doesn't have hard scales.

Retreating:
When things do not go as you planned them to, it may be necessary to make a
speedy retreat to heal. Healing with a dragon around is like playing Russian
Roulette, and while you can get away with it when you're with a party, it's
usually best to retreat to nearby map. The best method for escape is the
charging attack, because it saves you a few seconds by not forcing you to put
your weapon away. Since you can perform it immediately after a block, it's
best to block an attack, then perform the charge to get away. In many cases,
it's perfectly fine to charge your way through the dragon, possibly hitting
its head and tail on the way out. As long as your weapon is in the green and
unless you get hit, you will always keep charging through the dragon in
whatever direction you're running in. If you have an especially long way to
run, then it may be better to wait for an opening to put up your lance, so
that you can roll in a pinch. The problem with the charge is that while you
can get through the dragon, your back is completely vulnerable on your way
out. Try to position yourself close to an exit or plan ahead to avoid escape
accidents.

If things get really tough and the camera doesn't blind you, then it's
possible to hold out for a very long time simply by blocking attacks. If you
are close to a dragon, then there is nothing you can't block, as long as you
don't go in between its legs. However, one of the first tricks you need to
learn is how to block a tail whip attack. When starting out, you might find
yourself suffering a lot of painful hits from the tail of a turning dragon.
Blocking forward doesn't do the trick, so it's important to anticipate the
attack, then turn just slightly in the direction that it is coming from. It's
possible to block the tail swing from an angle, rather than completely
turning to the side, keeping you faced toward the dragon and prepared for an
attack from a different angle.

With a party:
When you are playing with another party, very little changes in terms of what
strategies you use. It may be effective to tell sword users to attack the feet
and tail so that they do not get in the way of your face attacks. If a great
sword user decides to attack from the front, then it may mess up your strategy
and render you useless, or at the very least, force you to do lesser damage
to a different area. It is best for the entire party if the lancer remains
in the front, providing as many face blows as possible.

The hardest part about working with a party may be controlling your charging
attack. It is extremely irritating if you hit a party member with a charge and
send them flying across the screen. While it may be funny at first, you won't
be a popular party member if you keep it up, and it'll drastically hurt the
effectiveness of the team. This comes up most frequently when a dragon runs
through you (or in some other direction, away from you) and you have to chase
after it. Normally, in this circumstance, it would be best to charge, so that
you don't have to put up your weapon and can move closer to the dragon.
However, when a party is around, you can only use this tactic if they aren't
in the way. If a group gets used to you, they can learn when to watch for your
charge, but in many cases, you may have to simply walk toward the dragon, or
put your weapon away and run. Unfortunately, this often leads to the dragon
charging you again and the process repeating, making you look rather useless
to your party members.

It is also important to watch when and where you charge when a dragon is
knocked down. Only use the charging attack if no one is in your way. While it
may be less effective in terms of damage, it may be better simply to stab the
dragon, rather than charge it. Knocking over party members at a critical time
is bad for everyone.

3c(5) - Important things to remember
------------------------------------
- Always keep your weapon in the green if you plan on doing long chains of
charging hits or escaping from a dragon. Buy weapons with excellent sharpness
to make this easier.
- You can pull out of blocking with a charge with very little recovery time.
This is an excellent tactic for escaping a tough situation.
- Don't run over your teammates.
- Stabbing a dragon in the head is the best source of damage. Start at the
nose and work your way in (position yourself further in on the
Gravios/Basarios) . If you have gone to the base of the neck, then hop
backwards.


==========================================

pt.4 - Hammers
--------------
(This portion of the guide was pulled directly(with permission) from
SilentKnight's lengthy set of posts in the forums regarding Hammer tactics.
I simply edited them a bit and added the organizational numbering. -Falchieyan)

4a - Overview
-------------
Okay, I'm tired of seeing GS users who decided to get out of their usual choice
of weapon and try a hammer, only to bash it without any knowledge or reason as
a "slow weapon and weak damage". You know who you are....

1st of all, this will pretty much summarize WHAT IS ALREADY IN THE MANUAL!
PLEASE READ THE SPIN GUIDE AT THE END!! IT'S THE MOST IMPORTANT PART!

4b - Hammer Basics
------------------
1) The hammer is used mainly as a hit-and-run weapon. But don't confuse it as
running in, hitting a wyvern, and running out to let the GS users do all the
work. It just means that our style is basically "constant attacks while
moving".

2) Roll is your friend. The people who complain about staying like a deer in
headlights for 3 seconds after a hammer attack must have never heard of the
roll button.

3) THE R1 BUTTON IS YOUR BREAD AND BUTTER. Stop complaining the hammer is
slow when all you use is the Right analog stick. This isn't a GS. The Right
analog stick is only used when the wyvern is knocked down.

4) Do not be afraid to get in an attack. Just because we can't block, doesn't
mean we have to play defensively. Go in there and cause havoc. We have the
ability to strike and roll out of harm's way before a GS user can even do one
attack.

5) Hammers are just as strong (if not stronger) atk wise as a GS, and combine
that fact with our ability to get in 2-3 hits while a GS does one.

6) You CAN Roll out of a charge. If you start charging by mistake, and want to
end it, you can roll to cancel the charge.

7) MOST IMPORTANT!! The Spin attack is not meant for damage, but to set up
FOR ITS 2 FINISHER ATTACKS! STOP COMPLAINING THE SPIN ATTACK SUCKS CAUSE YOU DO
NOT KNOW HOW TO END IT!

4c - Hammer Attacks
-------------------
Small Jab:
Pressing down on the right analog stick gives a weak, fast jab. It can be used
to kill Vespoid since it's rather fast, and can even be used to interrupt
Velociprey or fat enemies' attacks. Velociprey tend to back away after this
attack. This can be used to disrupt the enemy and combo into the next attack...

Pound, Pound, Golf Swing:
Pressing up 3x on the right analog stick will give you 2 decent damage hits
and end with the 2nd most powerful attack in the game, the Golf Swing. DO NOT
USE THIS AS YOUR MAIN ATTACK! This is slow to start, easy to interrupt, and if
you never heard of a roll button in this game before, leaves you open for
attack for about 2-3 seconds. USE IT ONLY ON IMMOBILE ENEMIES! (paralyzed,
trapped, knocked down) Or...if you can time the golf swing to hit at the right
time. The golf swing will tend to knock down weak wyverns 90% of the time.

And with that, here is the Hammer's main squeeze...


4d - THE R1 BUTTON, THE HAMMER'S MISTRESS (USE IT!!)
----------------------------------------------------
R1 tactics: The R1 button is the Hammer's main attack. It allows you to run
with the hammer wielded, and better yet, IMMUNITY TO WYVERN WIND!! So while
every other class (except berserk dual wielder) is knocked back by the wind
or has to guard, we can go in and get in up to 4 hits while the wyvern is
landing. The R1 is stronger if you get closer to the monster and slightly to
the monster's right side. The hammer comes from the right side, so you can the
full brunt of the attack from this method. Being forced to fight in close is
not that big a disadvantage since you have little lag from the using the R1
button so you can hit and quickly run if needed.

Charged R1 Button: This is where the Hammer users shine (literally). If you
hold the R1 button long enough, you will start to "glow" and be able to
execute different attacks based on how long you hold the R1 button.

1) Lv 1 Charge - This happens as soon as you hold the R1 button. It's a basic
hit (once). It's fast, reliable, and usable in any situation. This is one of
two most used attacks.

2) Lv 2 Charge - if you hold the R1 button for 2-3 seconds, you will glow a
tad more, and when you release the R1 button you will do a 2-hit combo. This 2
combo is the main attack used against mainly any monster. Usually, this is
the attack that will come out if you are fighting a wyvern and trying to get
to its legs. The lv2 charge can be done holding the R1 button to shine, but
not long enough to "burst light". One thing to note is that after the 2nd hit
of this attacks connects, you can quickly press R1 again for a 3rd hit. So in
reality, this can be turned into a 3 strike combo instead of two, all in the
time it takes a GS to do 1.5 attacks.

3) Lv 3 Charge - When you hold the R1 button long enough, you will "Burst" in
light. Depending on the hammer you have, a variety of animations will occur.
If you hold a Kut-Ku Chin, it will howl. If you hold a Spiked Hammer, Spikes
will come out etc etc...

The Lv 3 charge is Very important because it follows into the 2 most powerful
attacks into the game. One done quickly after the charge, and another comboed
into spin attack.

Lv 3 charge -> Super Pound
--------------------------
If you release the R1 button after charging to lvl 3, and stay still while
releasing it, you will do the most powerful attack in the game, the super
pound. The player will do a small upward hit (rather weak) to bring the hammer
up, then come down for a most devastating attack. QUICKLY ROLL AFTER USING
THIS ATTACK SO AS NOT TO BE SMACKED BY AN INCOMING TAIL OR SOMETHING! This
attack will either:
a) Knock down a weak wyvern or
b) Interrupt a wyvern's movement

I like to use this attack as a wyvern is coming down while the wind is blowing
my teammates away since it does double the damage of a regular attack,
sometimes will knock down the wyvern if its still flying and is struck by it,
and just plain hurts! Use it only when your teammates are away or you will
knock them away(they wont fly, but knocked to the side).

This attack is usually a 1-hit kill with a decently strong hammer and can even
penetrate tough armors.

Lvl 3 charge -> SPIN ATTACK
---------------------------
Perhaps the most important aspect of the hammer is the spin attack. Newbies to
the hammer will do the spin attack and believe it sucks (oh it does I won't
argue with that), and instantly label the Hammer as the Worst weapon type in
the game because of it. The Spin attack is not meant for damage by itself, it's
meant to set up the monster for its 2 attacks.

The spin attack is done by pressing the left analog stick as you release the
R1 button. In other words, you have to be moving to do the Spin attack. Do not
be confused however. You do not have to be running like a maniac to do the
spin attack. If you press the left analog stick as you let go of the R1
button, you can the spin attack from a stationary position. Keep in mind the
spin attack will move slightly forward as you spin. And PLEASE ROLL if you do
the spin attack without doing a finisher attack.

But many fail to realize (AND A LOT MORE FAIL TO READ THE MANUAL THAT CAME
WITH THE GAME) that the Hammer has 2 finisher attacks, both of which are very
useful and deadly to wyverns. The attacks all depend on The NUMBER OF SPINS
that you do with the spin attack.

While spinning, you have to use the right analog stick and press up after a
certain number of spins. I find it much easier to HOLD the right analog stick
at first to get a feeling for the spin attack.

The spin attack can be used under a wyvern and let off a finisher attack for
more pain.

Spin Attack -> Golf Swing: I am still debating whether this attack or the
Super pound is the most powerful attack in the game. After 3-4 spins with the
spin attack, press up on the right control stick and you will the EXTREMELY
PAINFUL LOOKING Golf Swing. This Move is actually more likely to knock down a
wyvern than the super pound. If timed correctly, you can knock a wyvern that
is low to the ground and knock them down to the ground for free hits. You can
quickly roll out of this attack as soon as it hits the monster.

And with that I finish. I made this (a second time) cause I am getting tired
of having to explain that the spin attack is not supposed to be used by
itself, and that Hammers are WAY FASTER than GS for the same power.

The advantage to hammers is that we are constantly on the attack, while being
able to run with our weapons drawn and stay close to a wyvern. We can do fast
attacks, which amount to a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Not being
able to block is almost an advantage to hammers, since blocking would only
slow down our rate of attack.

4e - Question: "How much damage does a Hammer do when it bounces?"
------------------------------------------------------------------
Like any other weapon in the game, the hammer will do 1/4 the atk if it
bounces. However, being a pounding type weapon, the hammer has the advantage
of being able to penetrate some parts of wyverns while other weapon types
bounce.

The R1 button attack tends to connect a lot more than regular attacks. And even
Lv 3 Charged attacks (Super Pound, Golf Swing) can connect sometimes even
with low sharpness. Sometimes I wonder if doing the Super Pound institutes
its own sharpness since I was able to connect even while other attacks
bounced.

The Super Pound is not likely to bounce...

Keep in mind this is all relative however, to logic. Don't go thinking a hammer
user won't bounce with a charged attack when it's in red sharpness.


4f - Recommended Pre-HR13 Hammer paths
--------------------------------------
So you have decided to try out a hammer based on boredom with the same GS
attack combos, curiosity, or just plain were mesmerized by my hammer guide.
But one thing that will scare most new hammer users is the fact that HAMMERS
GET THE SHAFT WHEN IT COME TO SHARPNESS EARLY IN THE GAME. Not only that,
hammers require some pretty hefty rare items to make. Especially if you are
starting the game as a hammer user.

A new hammer user will notice that hammers don't get decent sharpness early on,
sometimes even all the way to the final upgrade. One advantage we hammer users
have is that the R1 attack, while it "bounces", does not have the bounced back
animation of every other weapon. So when you bounce with the R1 attack, you
are not left open for attacks.

As such I will post what I believe to be the more convenient weapon paths for
the hammer.


4f(1) - Bone Hammer Path
------------------------
I would choose bone hammer path as a preliminary hammer build because the
items required for them are fairly easy to find (small bones, med bones, large
bones).

To Begin with:

1) Bone Hammer-> Bone Hammer+ ->Diablo Hammer -> Diablo Hammer+ ->Diablo Maul
-> Finishing Hammer

atk 883
RRRRRROYYYGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

Comment: EXTREMELY good hammer. If you have friends online that can help you
get the diablo tail required for it (fairly easy to find), you have access to
what is perhaps the best pre-hr13 hammer there is. Ungodly amount of sharpness
to atk ratio. You can get some green sharpness as soon as you reach the first
diablo upgrade. Requires 13 diablos tail over all, however, only 3 are needed
for its 3 preliminary upgrades. Thus with only 3 tails you can get a hammer
with 676 atk and about 1/2 of the sharpness bar green. Very nice indeed.


2) Bone Hammer+ -> Cyclo-Hammer -> Cyclo Hammer+ -> Atlas Hammer
-> Skullcrusher -> SkullCrusher+ -> Kut ku Jaw -> Kut ku chin

atk 779
RRROOOYYYYYYYYYYYYGGGGG

Comment: Decent hammer. Nothing special. Fairly easy to make and decent
sharpness. More for aesthetics since it resembles a kut kut's head and howls
when fully charged with R1.


3) Atlas-hammer -> Jail Hammer -> Jail Hammer+ -> Prison Hammer -> Binder Mace

atk 779
Paralysis
RRRRRRRRRRRRRROOYYYGGGG

Comment: Nice hammer to have Online. Fairly decent amount of times it
paralyzes. Same atk as kut ku chin, with added paralysis and slightly less
sharpness. However, the amount of thunderbugs required might scare people off.
(45 thunderbugs overall)

Bugnet points:
Forest and Hills 1,9,12
Jungle 1,5
Desert 5
Swamp 1,2,3,3,11


The bone path is fairly easy to make. The only thing is you might have to
spend some time collecting the items required for them, since its more
quantity than quality of items required. Beware of Kut ku chin, since while
only 1 beak is required, there have been cases of ppl (myself included) having
to kill 50+ kut kus to get even 1. On the upside, I am 120k richer from all
those kut ku runs :D

4f(2) - Iron Hammer Path
------------------------
Ahhh the Iron Hammers. Better pack those pickaxes if you want to tackle these
babies on. They look pretty and hit hard. The Spiked hammer path has a nice
animation when fully charged R1. You will need lots of iron ores and machalite
ores for these babies. Trade med bones to old man in swamp for machalite ores.

1) Iron Hammer -> Iron Hammer+ -> War Hammer -> Bone Axe -> Bone Axe+
-> Bone Broadaxe

atk 831
RRRRRRRRRRROOOYYYYYGBBBBBB

Comment: Fairly easy to make. Requires minimal iron and bone parts that can be
easily found. This hammer has practically no sharpness. Its final upgrade is
the only upgrade that has green sharpness. And minimal at that. NOT
RECOMMENDED. Stay away from it. If you like the looks of it, go for it. May be
good for the first couple of missions, but will only be a hinderance on
anything other than kut ku.


2) War Hammer -> Spiked Hammer -> Spiked Hammer+ -> Shell Hammer
-> Graviton Hammer

atk 727
Poison
RRRRRRRRRRROOOOYYYYYGGGGG

Comment: Decent Hammer. The poison element is a nice addition. Decent
sharpness and attack for a status-inducing weapon. However, it requires 21
Rathian spikes to make. So if this is your starting weapon (as was mine) it
will be a while before you can upgrade it. Not reccomended for beginners. You
can trade lightcrystals for rathian spikes to the old man in the forest and
hills stage. Gypceros drops lightcrystals, and you can carve it off of him if
you break his bulb on his head.


3) War Hammer -> war Hammer+ -> War Mace -> Iron Striker -> Iron Striker+
-> Iron Impact -> Iron Impact+

atk 831
RRRRROOYYYYYYYYYYYYYYGGGGG

Comment: Good hammer to have. I swear the Super Pound radius of this hammer
appears greater than most pre-hr 13 hammers. Decent atk power to sharpness
ratio. The amount of machalite ores required (10,20,30 = 60) is very taxing if
you're a beginner. I recommend trading Medium Bones (gotten as rewards for
beating low level wyverns like kut ku) to the old man in the swamp for them.

So overall, the Iron path is a decent path. Certainly better looking than the
bone path, it requires some mined materials that might not be so easy to come
by. Also, iron hammers don't get sharpness till later in the stages of their
upgrades. If you're a beginner, I recommend the Iron Impact path. If you're
intermediate to expert, then the graviton hammer might be the more convenient
choice. STAY AWAY FROM BONE BROADAXE.


===================================================

Copyright/Permissions
---------------------
All of the opinions, as well as the format of this FAQ, are Copyright 2004
Falchieyan.  Feel free to use this information for personal use, but please
do not use or reproduce any of it elsewhere without permission.  Also, please
refrain from using it elsewhere and claiming it as your own.

This guide is for use only at:

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Any questions or comments regarding permissions should be forwarded to:
paperninja@gmail.com

Acknowledgments
---------------
I would like to thank the members of the GameFAQs Monster Hunter forums for
their advice/answers on various topics.

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