Expansions like Iceborne are rare. The upcoming DLC to Capcom’s Monster Hunter World will not only feature a ton of new content but some of the hardest monster encounters in the game. It’s comprised of Master Rank quests, which are ultra-challenging endgame quests typically seen in the “Ultimate” versions of Monster Hunter games. As such, you need to be ready for the trying new adventure at Hoarfrost Reach, the chilly new locale where Iceborne‘s storyline is centered. For those wanting to dive in before it launches, we’ve put together a list to help you be as ready as possible for Master Rank.
Make sure to check out our Monster Hunter World: Iceborne beginner’s guide.
Reach Hunter Rank 16
This is a mandatory requirement. In order to play Iceborne, you need to reach Hunter Rank 16 in Monster Hunter World. If you reached the credits, you’re already there. This means slaying Zorah Magdaros, working through High Rank quests, and toppling the Elder Dragons. If you’re not at Hunter Rank 16 come launch, you’ll be able to use the new Hunter moves such as Clutch Claw in World’s story, but you won’t be able to head over to Hoarfrost Reach to start the Iceborne story.
Complete High Rank optional quests and Investigations
One of the best ways to prepare for Iceborne is to revisit some of the toughest monsters in World. Not only will you sharpen your skills, you’ll earn helpful items and rewards. While you cannot replay main quests, you can do optional quests as many times as you’d like. Run through the Elder Dragons — Vaal Hazak, Nergigante, Teostra, and Kushala Daora — in eight-star quests. You can also grab Investigations from the Resource Center. A good place to start is any High Rank investigation that requires you to hunt two monsters.
Since Master Rank monsters have significantly more health, trying to slay two or three High Rank monsters in one quest will be great practice.
Hunt Tempered and Arch-Tempered monsters
Depending on how far you progressed past HR 16, you might not have time to unlock Tempered and Arch-Tempered monster hunts. Undoubtedly the toughest High Rank challenges in World, these are the best challenges to prepare yourself for Iceborne. You’ll also get some useful rewards.
Once you collect enough Elder Dragon tracks, an investigation for a Tempered monster can be registered at the resource center. A formidable test comes at Hunter Rank 29 when you have to hunt a pair of Tempered Bazelgeuse. And at Hunter Rank 49, you can hunt Tempered Kirin. From there, you can accept quests against Tempered Elder Dragons.
If you’re already here or manage to get this far, you can accept Arch-Tempered Event quests at Hunter Rank 50 until August 29. All of these Tempered monsters will test your might. If you can make it out alive against a Tempered monster, you should be in good shape when starting Iceborne.
Mantles are wearable cloaks that provide buffs. You’ll want to have as many of them unlocked when starting Iceborne. They truly help, and some of the Mantles will have a second, more powerful form in Iceborne that can presumably only be unlocked by having the Mantle already.
The three most useful Mantles for starting Iceborne are the Iceproof Mantle, Temporal Mantle, and Rocksteady Mantle.
The Iceproof Mantle nullifies Iceblight and reduces ice damage, which will certainly come in handy in Hoarfrost Reach. You can unlock it by completing the delivery quest “Armory R&D: Weatherizing.”
The Temporal Mantle automatically dodges powerful powerful attacks. It goes without saying how useful it could be against Master Rank monsters. To unlock it, you have to complete the special assignment “No Remorse, No Surrender” (slay Lunastra and Teostra). But first, you have to beat “The Blazing Sun” and “Pandora’s Arena.”
The Rocksteady Mantle increases defense, nullifies reactions to damage, gives you perfect balance when windy, and gives you tremor resistance. As it’s pretty awesome, you have to slay three Tempered Elder Dragons (HR 50) and then complete “A Summons from Below,” which tasks you with hunting Tempered Vaal Hazak and Tempered Odogaron.
If you have time, you should try to unlock all Mantles prior to Iceborne. Here’s the full list.
Stock up on healing items
Just as G-Rank monsters have in the past, Master Rank monsters will deliver a beating. Start stocking up on healing items: Max Potions, Mega Potions (harvest tons of honey!), Lifepowder, Ancient Potions, etc. Also make sure you have a ton of Nulberries to remove the many blights you’ll get afflicted with against monsters such as Banbaro, Velkhana, Coral Pukei-Pukei, and more.
Save as many crafting materials as possible
While you’ll earn new monster parts, bones, and ore to craft Master Rank weapons and armor, it doesn’t hurt to save up parts. Don’t spend all of your materials on armor you don’t need for High Rank, since you can later use some of those materials in Master Rank when you will actually need them. This includes Armor Spheres. Conserve those useful armor upgrade materials. It also helps to save materials to take to Elder Melder to make new Decorations and the aforementioned healing items.
Fully upgrade your weapon
First thing’s first. Pick the weapon you’re most comfortable with to bring with you to Iceborne. Practice with it, of course. But is there still room to improve it on the upgrade tree? If yes, focus on maxing out that weapon. A fully upgraded weapon will help you in the early quests in Iceborne.
Don’t neglect your Palico
If you regularly hunt solo or as a duo, you already know Palicos can be quite helpful. While the Vigorwasp Spray Gadget is great for healing, other Palico Gadgets are also useful. To unlock more, you have to make friends with the local tribes in each locale and complete short quests for them. For example, in the Ancient Forest, you have to find Grimalkyne Doodles. In the Wildspire Waste, you have to capture a few Grimalkynes for the local tribe. In the Coral Highlands, you have to fight the Tailriders and then slay a couple of Tzitzi-Ya-Ku.
If you’re playing solo, the Shieldspire Palico Gadget can be incredibly helpful, as it can both protect you from large monsters and attack/stun them at high levels.
Iceborne‘s storyline is centered around Hoarfrost Reach, but you’ll still go on quests in the existing locales. Ahead of the launch, make sure you have all of the camps unlocked for quick and painless fast travel to the Canteen and Item Box.
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