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Great Sword Combat FAQ by Yedokai

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 12/01/2004

Great Sword Combat FAQ
FAQ written by Yedokai, Copyright 2004
Originally created on December 1, 2004

Version: 1.0

1) Introduction
2) The Basics
3) Combos
4) More Strategies
5) Upswing Etiquette
6) Additional Etiquette
7) Credit
8) Contact & Copyright


It is not uncommon to hear players refer to Great Swords as a "newb
weapon".  While it's true that the Great Sword is attractive(everyone
wants to pretend they're Cloud and Sephiroth) and easy to pick-up for
beginners, it is just as good and effective as an other type of weapon.

However, there are many people who don't know how to use a Great Sword,
both politely and properly.  While a Great Sword can be a Hunter's best
friend, it can also be a team's worst enemy if used poorly.  Since this
tends to be the case, the Great Sword has been labeled as a "newb"
alongside the poor players that brandish it.

No more.

Hopefully with your own wits and a few pointers from this guide,
your friends(because you would NEVER use a weapon improperly) can
become model Great Sword users, thus restoring the reputation of this
Great weapon - pun(poor as it may be) intended.

This guide will NOT contain information about specific swords or
how to make them.  This guide is only intended to teach players
how to USE Great Swords.

2) The Basics

Attacking with a Great Sword is fairly easy.  The Great Sword has 3
real attacks and can block:

Attack #1 - The Vertical Slice
- Performed by pressing up on the right analog stick
- Strongest Great Sword Attack
- Has the best forwards reach
- Has the best upwards reach
- Only attacks straight in front of you
- Moves you forwards slightly in a combo
- Can stagger allies
- Can also be performed by moving right analog stick while running with
	your weapon on your back
- Can also be performed by moving right analog stick after Great Sword
	has clanked off of an enemy

Attack #2 - The Upswing
- Performed by pressing right on the right analog stick
- Moderate Damage
- Attack starts at the characters lower right, moving in an upwards
	diagonal arc ending behind the character and to the left on the
- Can hit enemies behind you
- Has moderate forwards reach
- Has moderate upwards reach
- Maintains position in a combo
- Lets you turn to the right in a combo
- Sends allies flying in the air when hit

Attack #3 - Horizontal Slash
- Performed by pressing left on the right analog stick
- Weakest Great Sword Attack
- Covers a wide area in front of and around you
- Fairly fast
- Moves you fowards slightly in combos with Vertical Slice
- Maintains position in combos with Upswing
- Lets you turn to the left in a combo
- Can stagger allies

Attack #4 - Kick
- Performed by pressing in the right analog stick
- Impressively weak; should never be used to damage enemies
- Is very fast
- Can be used with or without Great Sword in hand
- Good for waking up sleeping or dizzied allies
- Can very momentarily stun an ally
- Since this attack is no good for dealing damage, it will not be
	considered an attack for the rest of this guide

- Performed by pressing R1
- Can be used with or without Great Sword in hand
- Puts the Great Sword in your hands
- Can stop small breath attacks
- Can protect you from Wyvern body-based attacks
- Can pull out Great Sword faster than using the left analog stick
- Cannot move or turn while blocking
- Successfully blocked attacks deplete stamina
- Stamina does not charge while blocking
- Lack of required stamina will cause block to fail, resulting in damage

- Performed by pressing the Circle button
- Can roll forwards, right, or left
- Requires stamina to use
- Is fast and moves a good distance
- Can be used to end any combo with a fast escape
- Should always be used to end any string of attacks, regardless of size

3) Combos
Combos are really the best thing that the Great Sword has going for it.
While all weapons have combos of some sort, the Great Sword is the only
weapon that can combo for as long as it wants and never stop.

To do a combo, do any attack.  When the sword swing is finished, tap the
right analog stick in a different direction to do a different attack.
Note that you cannot use the same attack twice in a row.  For example,
you can do...

Upswing >> Vertical Slice >> Upswing

...but you can't do...

Upswing >> Upswing

You can do this as long as you want, as long as you remember you can't do
the same attack twice in a row.

While doing a combo, you are also able to turn.  You can turn left if you
do a Horizontal Slash and hold left on the left analog stick.  You can turn
right if you do an Upswing and hold right on the left analog stick.

When you want to end a combo, you should always roll by pressing Circle.
The normal animation to get your sword back in a ready stance is fairly
long, but you can avoid it if you roll, so it's a good idea to always do

4) Specific Combos
While you can make any crazy combo you want, there are a few that you'll
probably be using a lot because they are very effective.

Combo #1 - The Infinite

This combo is performed by alternating between Upswings and Horizontal
Slashes.  You will move forwards EXTREMELY slightly after every
repetition, but for the most part it is safe to consider yourself

This combo is effective because it is very fast and does not require
you to reposition yourself very often.  Using this combo, you can attack
all day in the same spot - provided you don't get attacked.

This combo has the potential to "juggle" a Rathalos or Rathian if used
properly with a strong weapon.  It may be necessary to knock some parts
off of the wyvern to ensure that you do enough damage with each swing.

To juggle a Rath, you need to be able to hit its head with every swing.
If the blade connects with a wing or some other part of the wyvern before
it hits the head, it won't count.  If you do this right, every second hit
should cause the wyvern to stagger, keeping it from moving or attacking.

If you are the only player in the wyvern's zone, this combo can last
until your weapon loses its green sharpness.

If there are other players in the zone, the wyvern can turn to look at
them.  This turn is fast enough to allow the wyvern to escape the Infinite.
To prevent this, teammates should either stand behind the Great Sword-user
or stay out of the zone altogether until the Infinite ends.  After all,
you would be a fool to pass up free damage with no consequences.

That being said, it is generally a bad idea to specifically try to set up
an Infinite Juggle.  If the opportunity presents itself, it is nice to be
able to take advantage of it, but telling your teammates to "Get ready so
I can Infinite Juggle!" would be quite unclassy of you.

This combo should only be used when it is okay to Upswing.  More on this

Combo #2 - The Tail Chopper

This combo alternates between the Upswing and Vertical Slice and is
intended to attack a wyvern's tail to slice it off.  This will not be
used very often, and when used it will most-likely end after a few
repetitions due to the fact that it will move you forward, away from the
tail.  Still, you can use the Upswings turning ability to try to stay in
range for a bit longer.

For the most part it is okay to use this combo to cut off a wyvern's tail.
Everyone wants to get the tail off of a wyvern as soon as possible to
weaken it and limit its attack range, so if you send a single teammate
flying with the Upswing it shouldn't be a big deal; you're all after
the same thing.  Sending 3 allies flying wouldn't be very classy of you,

Combo #3 - The Walk

This combo alternates between the Vertical Slice and the Horizontal Slash.
It is called the Walk because it will cause you to "walk" forwards while
you attack.  The greatest advantage to this combo is that it does not
contain the Upswing, so it has the lowest probability of hindering your

When doing this combo, you will progressively move fowards with every
swing, causing you to eventually move past whatever wyvern you are
attacking.  This works well on Gravios because you can attack while
passing through his legs with relative safety.

When you are done with one pass, if it's safe, you can start a new Walk.

Combo #4 - The Circle

This combo alternates between the Vertical Slice and the Horizontal Slash.
However, unlike the Walk, this combo uses the Horizontal Slash's
ability to turn to the left to move in a circular fashion around the
wyvern.  This is a good strategy if you don't really care what part
of the wyvern you hit so long as you keep hitting it.  Another benefit of
this combo is that you don't have to stop and start again because you stay
close to the wyvern.

An excellent example of when to use this combo is against Yian Kut-Ku.

Combo #5 - The Clanker

This combo is very simple, yet potentially damaging.  As most people know,
when a weapon "clanks" off of an enemy due to either lack of sharpness
or hard scales, you can continue to try to do Vertical Slices until you are
knocked back so far that you can no longer connect your attacks.  Remember
that when a weapon clanks off, it will do only 1/4 of its normal damage.

This combo is overall useless, but it can be used well in one specific
situation.  When fighting Lao Shan-Lung in Zone 5, he will sometimes
stand and walk forwards.  Because he is moving forwards, you can keep doing
this over and over again very quickly, making it an excellent way to
damage him.  Other than that, there's not much of a use for this.

4) More Strategies

Obviously you won't really be able to do all of these combos forever.  At
some point the wyvern will attack, and you'll have to be ready to deal with
it.  Always be aware of what's going on around you, and be ready to roll
away at any time.

The best way to start an attack is right after a wyvern starts to do
something.  For example, if you recognize that a Rathalos is about to
spit a fireball, that's a good time to attack specific parts of his body
because he won't be moving much for a few seconds.  Similarly, if the
Rathalos does a tail swing, you know he'll follow it up with another
tail swing, so you can try to attack him at a place where the second
swing won't hit you.

When standing near a wyvern, remember that its feet can do tiny amounts of
damage to you when they hit you.  It's not uncommon for players to die
because they didn't notice that they were taking damage from the feet.
The damage may be small, but over time it adds up, so pay attention to
your life bar.

Some wyverns are notorious for doing certain attacks that prevent you
from sticking to them like glue.  A good example is Khezu's electric
body attack.  Because he uses this attack often, you'll need to alter
your strategies to fight him.  A good idea for any player is to run
towards him, do a Vertical Slice, roll to the side, put away your weapon,
run away, and attack again once the coast is clear.  This way you
make sure you never get caught in his attack.  After you get used to
this, you can make it into a larger combo; however, remember that
when wyverns get damaged enough they speed up!

If your Great Sword is being held and you have to cover a great distance,
it is best to put it away.  However, for a shorter distance, rolling
may work better and allow you to keep your weapon out.  Use your judgement.

If you see a teammate that is low on life and about to be killed by an
attack, do what you can to help them.  A Great Sword can block fireballs,
so if that saves them, good job.  However, if a wyvern is going to charge,
you can't prevent them from attacking your ally, so do the next best thing:
send your opponent flying using your Upswing.  This will make them
temporarily invincible and hopefully get them out of harm's way.

If your attacks are clanking off of a wyvern, you might want to try
stepping back a bit.  If you let your attack follow through more before
it connects with the wyvern, it is more likely to pierce.

When using Whetstones to sharpen your Great Sword, always make sure you're
well out of harms way.  I find that the best time to sharpen my blade is
right when I'm behind a wyvern and it starts to charge.

While doing a combo, Great Sword-users are wind-resistant.  This means that
the wind from a wyvern's wings won't push you back.  This allows you to
prepare to attack landing wyverns; try standing near a landing wyvern's
shadow doing the Infinite combo!

5) Upswing Etiquette

If there is one thing that the Great Sword is notorious for, it is
using the Upswing to accidentally send allies flying left and right.
This is a bad idea, and it makes people think you are not so classy.
Remember, you're a team.

Does this mean you should never Upswing?  Heck no!  It means that
before you Upswing, you should think about how that Upswing will affect
the team.  Sometimes it may be worth it to Upswing, and sometimes it
won't be.  Here are a few basic guidelines:

- It's okay to use an Upswing to get that last attack before a wyvern
	flies away.  If you can use it to knock the wyvern down, the
	whole team benefits.  If you happen to send an ally flying, it
	doesn't matter; the wyvern's flying away anyway.

- It's okay to use the Upswing to cut tails.  As mentioned before,
	it is in the team's best interest to remove the tail as soon as

- It's always okay to keep using the Upswing if you have a wyvern
	trapped in an Infinite Juggle.

- It's okay to use an Upswing to save an ally from getting damaged.

- It's obviously okay to use Upswings as long as they won't hit anyone
	around you.

- It's not okay to use an Upswing if it will hit more than one ally.

- It's not okay to use an Upswing if it will hit any number of allies
	without making a strong contribution to the team's goals.

If you can't tell whether it's a good time to Upswing or not, it probably
isn't.  Be a team player.

6) Additional Etiquette

The Great Sword is a wonderful weapon that can do significant damage to a
wyvern no matter where you attack it.  This allows you to be very
courteous to other weapon-users.

A Hammer will most-likely be running in and out of battle, charging and
attacking.  Don't get in its way.  Attacking a charging Hammer user can
cause them to stagger and lose their charge, which is quite unclassy.

Lance-users tend to station themselves at specific points on a wyvern,
like near the head.  Even though your Great Sword attacks would do more
damage on the head, it's the polite thing to do to allow the Lancer to
have that area and attack from a different position.

A lot of it is common sense.  Just try to be considerate of your team
members.  Let them do what they do, and they'll offer you the same

7) Credit

Thanks to all of the friends I've made playing Monster Hunter.  Without
good people like you, Monster Hunter would be no fun at all.

Thanks to all the players who bad-mouth Great Swords for convincing me
to write this FAQ.

Thanks to Capcom for making such an innovative and great game, which will
undoubtedly bloom into a barrage of sequels.

Thanks to GameFAQs for always being there for gamers and giving me a place
to house this FAQ.

An extra special thanks to everyone who says "np" when they get caught in
an Upswing. :)

8) Contact & Copyright

Copyright - 2004 Yedokai 

If you find any problems with this guide or have comments, please contact me.
My email address is onewingedsamurai@msn.com, or you can find me on Monster
Hunter as 0neWing(that's a zero, not an Oh).

This FAQ may not be reproduced under any circumstance except for personal, 
private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed 
publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other 
web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a 
violation of copyright.

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