Monster Hunter World Hunting Horn Comprehensive Guide

Monster Hunter World Hunting Horn Comprehensive Guide by Kyron_The_Wise

So yeah, there’s guides out there to the Hunting Horn. Seems like it’s every 5 minutes that either someone asks a question about the Hunting Horn, or posts their stuff about it. Because I am a nerd that likes giant walls of text, I figured I would throw my hat into the ring.

The goal of this post is to not only go over the mechanics of the Hunting Horn, but also to help you select one for use. I’m slowly working my way through the end of tree HHs in game, getting a feel for how they play, and hopefully as I go along, I will return and update this post. Without further ado, let’s get into the glory of the Dootstick.

1.) MECHANICS FOR BEGINNERS

So you may have seen a Dootstick running around, smacking faces and playing tunes. You may not, as we seem to be rarer than the Bristly Crake. Regardless, you may be asking how exactly the weapon works. Well, let’s break it down into 3 stages.

STAGE 1: PREPARING SONGS

Each Hunting Horn has a list of “songs” that it can play, with this list varying between trees. Each song is comprised of anywhere from 2-4 “notes”, with each note corresponding to an attack. There are three notes:

  • Triangle/Y (Henceforth Tri)
  • Circle/B (Henceforth Circ)
  • Both Tri+Circ/Y+B (Henceforth TriCirc)

In essence, when you attack with one of these moves, you stock the corresponding note. You can have, currently, up to four notes stocked at one time. When you swing a fifth time (including when trying to mount), the oldest note will be pushed out.

Once you have stocked the correct sequence of notes, that song will be added to your song bank. You can have up to 3 songs banked. Like notes, if you create a valid song combination when you have 3 already stocked, it will push the oldest one out.

So when using Hunting Horn, like any other weapon, you want to hit the monster. However, with Hunting Horn, you need to combo in specific ways, to prepare the right songs. Which leads to…

STAGE 2: PLAYING SONGS

Once you have at least one song prepared, you can Perform with the Right Trigger. Performance is a adaptable move that acts differently depending on what direction you are holding the L stick when you trigger it (more on this in the Advanced Section). After a number of swings of your instrument (depending on the L-stick direction), you will play your song, which will apply that song’s buff. If you are interrupted before the buff is applied, the song will not leave your song bank.

The way the buff works is that it applies to anyone within range of you. It’s a pretty wide range, but there are limits. You can tell for sure if they are in range, because they’ll have a flashing Hunting Horn Icon near their name on the UI.

EDIT: This is embarassing. This is why you don’t put anything in until you’ve performed sufficient testing. That “aura” thing I was going on about? Yeah, not the case. It seems that it IS an application. The range is just so wide, and I was working off hearsay when first writing the guide, that I thought it was an aura effect. Sorry everyone.

If you have multiple songs stocked, you can influence which once plays first, to suit situational needs. Just Right Trigger will play the first song in your list. Right Trigger and Circ will play the second song first, and Right Trigger and Tri will play the last. If you are interrupted in the midst of a performance, some buffs will likely not apply (songs take effect in about 3-5 seconds intervals). I will point out that if you are just pressing R2, the first song in the list is going to be the most recentstocked song. Each time everyone flashes, that’s a buff landing. Also, the color of the songs in your song list will change color. What color it becomes is influenced by….

STAGE 3:THE ENCORE

After applying a song, your character will still be in the animation, even if there are no more songs in your list. If you press R2 again at this time, you will Encore, and immediately replay the prior song(s).

This is good, because every song has two stages. The first time you play it, you get its listed effect: Atk Up (s) would give you a small attack boost. HOWEVER, the second time, it will be magnified in some way. Atk Up (s) would become Atk Up (L), and increase attack even further. Other songs might gain an increased duration. It’s always nice to have a stage 2 song active if you can.

What Encore means is that you can play a song to get its stage 1 version, then immediately play it again for the Stage 2. Of course, Encoring also does swing the weapon (same mechanics as Performance, direction of L Stick) before playing the song. If you are interrupted while doing this, unlike Performance, not only will the buff not go out, but the song will leave your bank, and you’ll need to restock it.

If a song is already at stage two, any further performances will refresh the Stage 2 duration, whether from Performance or Encore.

The general flow of Hunting Horn is preparing songs, then Performing them, Encoring if you can. You may be thinking to yourself “If I can apply from range, can’t I just go off to a corner, and play my songs, and help the team that way?”

Well, technically you can. However, it is inefficient and stupid. The buffs from Hunting Horn are indeed nice, and some, on certain bosses, can dramatically reduce clear time (looking at you Val Hazak/Kushala Daora). However, the Hunting Horn, like the Hammer it is cousin to, is meant for close range combat. Furthermore, if you’re too far away (you’d have to be on one side of a room, and your team on another), the buffs may not apply.

When using the HH, you should be preparing songs by hitting the monster, and then, and I can’t stress this enough, Performing, Encoring on the monster, preferably the head if you can get it. The Hunting Horn’s Perform/Encore does a great deal of DPS compared to the swings, and like the Hammer, can apply Exhaust damage (tires the monster out, can put them in a slow moving state) and KO damage (topples the monster for a period of time) when smacking the face. As the Performance ends with a decent size AOE, you want to be doing this on the monster whenever you can.

To sum up, the general flow for HH is:

  • Stock songs
  • Perform
  • Encore if possible
  • Stock songs again and repeat process.

By doing this, your buffs ought to be up for most of the fight, and you’ll be doing quite a bit of damage.

Also, want to know an easy way of tellilng when your buffs are wearing low? If you look above your life bar, you’ll see an icon for every buff you have (from every source, not just HH). Buffs will start to pulse yellow when they are about ten seconds out from expiration. Wish they started doing this early enough to let you react, and put the buff back up, but hey, it is what it is.

This ends the beginner’s portion of the Hunting Horn guide.

EDIT2: Disturbing lack of Guide flair.

2.) ADVANCED MECHANICS

This section will be slightly shorter, as I am by no means a master. I also need to reconfirm the specifics about how some of these things work, but I will confirm later tonight. Regardless, in it, I will include some things I have found that make playing the Horn more efficient or better.

Properly Bridging Songs

So, remember how playing the right notes will add a song to your song bank? Well, the notes you play aren’t removed when the song gets stocked. This means if you do it right, you can bridge the end of one song into another.
Let’s take one horn I’ve used, the Mansheena (because people seem to be allergic to the mere mention of the name of a boss that has never been in MH before). It has three songs I particularly like:

  • Defense Up L (XL): Tri -> Circ -> Circ -> Tri
  • Stamina Use Reduction L (Extended): -> Tri -> Circ -> TriCirc -> TriCirc
  • Atk+Def Up S (L): TriCirc -> Circ -> Tri -> Circ

Now, this isn’t the order they are in the song list, but I’ve put them in this order for a very specific reason. Notice how each song ends with the same note that the next starts with. This is because, as mentioned, your note history doesn’t vanish when a song gets stocked. If I play the notes for Defense Up, and then start playing more notes, the oldest notes get deleted first. So if I play the above mentioned Defense Up, then play Circ -> TriCirc -> TriCirc, then I will stock Stamina Use Reduce L. In effect, I can get three songs stock with 2 less swings than I would need if I played and performed them individually.

Flourishing

Think I saw that this was called Flourishing somewhere, so lets just go with it. You may notice that your Circ move is super dramatic, and does two wide reaching roundhouse swings. If you start pressing your next note during this move, you can auto stock it, without having to do that next move. Kinda fuzzy on when exactly during this move you press, so I just button mash a wee bit.

Jabbing

Jabbing is done by reversing the L stick after a move. Let’s say you do a Tri while holding forward on the Lstick. Immediately following, you hold back on the Lstick, and press Circ. Rather than doing the dramatic 360 swing of the Circ, you’ll reverse the horn, and jab with the handle end. You’ll still stock the note. Super useful for quick note stocking, though you can’t chain jab. If you chain a jab into a neutral performance, you’ll perform much quicker.

The Dodge Cancel

Can’t believe I forgot to include this. Let’s say you have all of your buffs up, and you really want to max your damage output. You are able to actually cancel a Performance/Encore after the swings+booms by using dodge. You may have run into this yourself when trying to escape after initiating a performance. Keep in mind that buffs are applied sequentially after the attack animations (during the ‘playing’ animation), and dodging out will prevent the later ones from playing.

Early Encoring

I figure I should probably also include this. Let’s say you have stocked three songs, and intend to play through all of them. You start your performance, and you notice that one has worn off before the reapplication went out. What you can do is early encore that song. You don’t actually have to wait for all of your songs to play in order to encore: you can iniate the encore at any time after the first song has applied. If you press the Encore button before all the songs go out, you will encore only the songs that have been applied so far during the performance. The non-applied songs will remain in your songbank.

Direction input during Performance affects the number of swings.

Holding LStick in various directions affects how many times you swing before performing.

First, let’s just lay out what the Performance consists of: swings and booms.

The swing deals damage to a monster the first time it connects to that monster, and will also deal damage to any other things it hits (Let’s say you are fighting Great Girros and his minion Girros..es?Girroi? The swing will hit each of them that it passes through, only once. Extra fun if your horn has Blast and causes each of them to explode).

Then there is the boom. It’s a white explosion created at some point during the swing, can’t miss it. The damage on this is a small AOE, and seems to be the same damage no matter what kind of performance/encore you are doing. Hearsay is that this applies stun/exhaust, but after my fuckup with the aura thing, waiting for my tests before I say if it’s true or not.

Performance Variations

  • No direction will swing the weapon horizontally in front of you, creating a small burst of damaging sound right in the middle of the swing, before pointing the horn behind you and playing. The swing will deal damage wherever it connects, the boom will deal damage in a short AOE, and always is created at the swings midpoint.
  • Forward on the L Stick will make you bounce the horn on the ground in that direction, creating the boom as it rises. The weapon will deal damage as it rises, and the boom will act as normal. Something to note is that if you aren’t locked in place from another move, any input on the L-Stick will act like Forward.
  • Backwards will make you loop the horn behind you and then into an overhead smash+boom, before pulling it back to play. You retreat a bit backwards through this, but not much. Can only be done if comboed out of another move.
  • Left/Right will have you overhand smash/boom, before moving in the input direction while twirling the horn about, then playing. Also only performable comboed out of another move.

Encore Variations

  • No Direction: A horizontal swing, right to left boom at midpoint, followed by a reverse swing from left to right, another boom at midpoint. The horizontal swing is more powerful than the perform version, but the boom is same effectiveness. 4 Hits.
  • Forward: You’ll do a horizontal slash, with a boom at the midpoint, then hammer smash it onto the ground before bouncing it like before, creating a second boom. Damage will be dealt on connection of first swing, at the midpoint boom, once on the way down for the hammer smash, once on the way up from the bounce, and once from the last boom. 5 hits.
  • Left/Right: Two horizontal swings in the direction you are pushing, boom at midpoints. Damage on connections, and at Booms. 4 hits.
  • Backwards: Uppercut followed by two rising diagonal slashes. Boom on each, at highpoint ofthe swing-arc. Damage dealt at connection and booms. 6 hits if all connect. However, your character steadily retreats backwards, so try to start on the other side of the monster, so you retreat through it.

There is a caveat to the these moves. You see, if you encore, and the first song you started the Performance with was Self-Performance, you’ll do less swings. The Neutral loses the reverse swing, the Forward skips the first horizontal slash, the Left/Right will only do one swing and boom, the Backwards will only do 2 swings and booms.

So if you are trying to get all of your buffs up quickly, self-perform will actually reduce the length of the Encore attack. Of course, it will do less hits, and less damage.

If you chain a Perform off a jab, you’ll get the buffs out quickest. For maximum damage, the Backwards deals the most hits, with Forward slightly behind that.

Neutral Unsheathing

So this has been a right pain in the ass for me. If you use the Doot, you need to maintain a particular combo. UNFORTUNATELY, because you can’t unsheathe with Circ or TriCirc, it seemed that anytime I sheathed the weapon, whether to use an item or recovering from stun, if the next note in the combo wasn’t Tri, I was screwed.

Turns out there is a way to unsheathe that Horn without playing a note! If your L-Stick is neutral (that is, you are standing still), and press Tri, you will simply pull out your Horn without swinging! Happened upon this by complete accident while doing time tests.

3.) ON SONGS AND LENGTH

WARNING: EXPERIMENTAL DATA: EXPECT NUMBERS

So this is going to be a much more in depth section than I first thought. ASMadsen asked about how long the songs were. I guessed 20-30, and ho boy I was wrong on so many levels about how the song length works.

These are the preliminary results. I tested using three horns, the Valkyrie Chordmaker, the Mansheena, and the Gama I (to test for differences between horns and differences between levels).

First, I went for a baseline length test. The aim was to test two songs at their Stage 1 level, a song that Encored into magnitude (like an L effect song becoming XL) and a song that Encored into Extended. I thought their lengths would be the same.

Terribly wrong. First, no where near the right length. Stopwatching, Defense Up L lasted 1:30. Stamina Use Reduce L? 2:00.

I then tested another song, Atk+Def Up S. 2:00

At this point, a cold sweat breaks out. I’m going to have to test every goddamn song. Sweat becomes ice. What if the song lengths are different between instruments?!

Go and quickly grab the Gama Horn I, test out Defense Up L. Thank fucking RNGesus, the song length is the same as the Mansheena. So horn differences and rarity differences don’t seem to affect length.

Try out Wind Pressure Negate on Gama, then All Wind Pressure Negate on Mansheena. Both clock at 3:00.

Then, lightbulb flashs in head. Go and grab Valkyrie Chordmaker, and try Defense (S). 2:00.

My current working theory is the following: When it comes to songs that are (S) and (L) at baseline, the S lasts for 2:00, while an (L) lasts for 1:30. Haven’t tested for various non-magnitude songs, like the aforementioned Stamina Use/ Wind Pressure difference of a full minute.

EXPERIMENTAL DATA 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO

You may be surprised to know that I hate numbers. I am putting myself through this for all of you.

So horns get even more stupidly complicated when it comes to Stage 2 songs. You see, after testing, I have determined that Stage 2 songs take however much time is left on the Stage 1 buff, then add an amount of time to that.

I tested this with Def Up L and All Wind Pressure Negated.

*Def Up XL, stocking song twice and playing through: 2:27
*Def Up XL, playing stage 1, waiting 60 seconds, then playing stage 2: 1:30
*Wind Pressure stock song twice, play: 4:27
*Wind Pressure Stage 1, wait 60 for Stage 2: 3:30

You see, I was driven mad by the 2:27 times. I tried multiple times, and got the same result. Then it hit me. Stage 2, even playing through, takes a few seconds to kick in. So the time here is additive. Def L adds a minute to whatever time you have left already. Wind Pressure extend adds 1:30.

So for those stat songs that increase in magnitude, you want to get the Stage 2 out sooner rather than later, as the quicker it gets out, the more time it will have.

I also ran prelimenary tests on Horn Maestro. These were very small sample size tests, because sitting still and waiting for purple text to become gray is boring AF. As far as I can tell, it increases Stage 1 songs by 33%. Def Up L became 2 minutes long, Wind Pressure became 4 minutes. Encore time additions seemed to gain 30 seconds in magnitude. Def Up XL gained 1:30 on top of the 2 minutes for 3:30, while All Wind gained 2:00 to go on for six goddamn minutes*. That is a long goddamn buff. Gonna have to say, for level 1 gem, and only needing one, Horn Maestro is worth it for Dooters.

Testing continues, but I thought I’d give you guys something.

Test Info

  • Attack Up (L): 1:30
  • Defense Up (L): 1:30
  • Defense Up (S): 2:00
  • Atk+Def Up (S): 2:00
  • Wind Pressure Negate (Either All or not): 3:00
  • Stamina Use Reduce (L): 2:00

Your Horn and You: What Horn Should I Pick?

So, you’ve decided after all my rambling, that you too wish to Doot. An understandable desire really. However, you are likely bewildered at the sheer variety of sticks available. Here, we shall discuss what makes a good instrument.

The Hunting Horn actually shares a similar complexity with the Ranged weapons. You see, unlike most melee weapons, where most of the weapons play the same, different ranged weapons require different playstyles because they can use different ammo/coatings. The Hunting Horn is similar because different Dootsticks not only have different damage, elements, and affinity, but also have different songs. The songs that are available can range from simply buffing resistance and stats like Attack or Defense, but can even range to negating environmental effects (Nergigante’s horn can apply Earplugs L, and negate being stunned by Roars), or buffing things like Stamina Use or Health Recovery.

Of course, some of these songs are more situational than others. Thunder Resistance (L) is useless against monsters that don’t do Thunder Damage. Sonic Waves, though it sounds cool, only forces underground monsters above ground (and GL getting that off before they emerge anyways). Meanwhile, songs like Attack Up (L) are useful no matter what, as doing more damage is (so far at least) never a bad thing.

Before you get it in your head that you want to go for horns with those super general songs, keep in mind that in the right situation, those situational songs can make or break games. All Wind Pressure Negate may not be useful all the time, but it lets you absolutely destroy Kushala Daora (Who you’ll be fighting a lot on the grind to HR 100).

However, if you are here, you likely want something useful to a beginner with the Horn, and not too situational heavy. I’ll try to list several horns that are suitable in most fights. Afterwards, I’ll list some Horns that absolutely destroy against Elder Dragons.

Also, while certain values may differ between them, horns of the same form generally have the same songlist.

So you may not be able to make the Legia Sectored, but the Sectored can do the same things.

YOUR FIRST STICK

To start, I’ll go with LR horns, for those new players who want to slide right into using Horns from the get-go. Don’t worry HR players, I get to you further down.

If we’re talking very start, you’re going to have the choice between Bone and Metal.

These epitomize the difference between situationality and general utility. The Metal Bagpipe has songs that are generally applicable, such as Attack Up S, Defense Up S, and Health Boost. The Bone Horn on the other hand, has things like Enviromental Damage Negate, Muck Resistance (prevent slipping in Barroth/Jyurratodus Mud), Scoutfly Power (Still useful to you at this point in the game, boosts your track meter on a monster by a level), and Earplugs S, which will prevent stun by some monster roars.

When I find the time, I’ll also include suggestions for where to go from each of these. However, I’ll point out that the Bone Horn, while its buffs are situational, those situations are ones that you will run into in the first part of the game.

YOUR FIRST UPGRADES: LOW RANK HORNS

Alright, so you’ve played around with the Bone Horn or Bagpipes, and want to move on up. Of course, to upgrade, you have to build any horns that come before the one you want. Lucky for you, you’re still in the early game. You don’t have to build upwards of eight to nine horns to get the one you want.

BLOOMING HORN

(Pukei-Pukei Tree)

  • 504 Attack
  • 240 Poison Element
  • Green Sharpness

Song List:

  • Health Recovery S
  • Health Recovery M
  • Scoutfly Powerup
  • Earplugs S

The Blooming Horn is one of the earliest Element-inflicting Horns you can get. This horn has, as I’ve noted, Poison Element on it. Way it works, with any such Element, is that each time you hit the monster, you have a chance of increasing its invisible gauge for that element. Once this gauge maxes, the status is inflicted, in this case, it becomes poisoned. Of course, each time it is inflicted, its gauge empties, and then gets bigger, meaning it takes more hits to re-inflict.

Moving onto the song list, the Blooming Horn is a respectable support horn for early game. You have some relatively strong healing songs, Earplugs S, which will keep you from getting stunlocked by the roars of some of the earlier monsters you fight, and Scoutfly Powerup, which for newcomers, who haven’t leveled their research log, is kinda useful, because it lets you track monsters down quicker.

Both of the Health songs stack with themselves (They begin and end with the same note). This means that you can fill your stock of them extra quickly by using Bridging (refer to Advanced Tips). This makes comboing with this Horn particularly easy, as you just have to repeat the same notes.

KULU DUDA

  • Kulu-Ya-Ku Tree
  • 420 Attack
    *15% Affinity

Song List:

  • Stamina Use Reduced S
  • Wind Pressure Negate
  • Defense Up S
  • Tool Use Drain Reduce S
  • Scoutfly Power

So you’ve killed the rock using bastard, and want to torn him into a fashion statement. Well, we’ve got this horn.

With this horn, you can reduce your Stamina usage, so you can dodge more, sprint more, and any of your teammates who use stamina with their weapon can do more. You have Scoutfly, which will help you track monsters and get more information on them easier. Defense Up has a use that is pretty apparent. Tool Use Drain makes it so that Mantles last longer, like the Ghillie. Wind Pressure Negate is only applicable to things that have wings, and can keep you from staggering when they take off.

Also, in case you’re wondering, the Affinity is effectively the weapon’s crit chance. 15% of the time, this weapon will do an extra 25% damage. YOUR HR STICK

This section is for those who have entered HR, and can make a wider variety of Horns. Something to note is that partway through each Horn Tree, there is a “transformation” of sorts. Usually at the point where HR ingredients start to be required, the Horn not only looks different, but has different songs. I’ll be discussing the later versions here, focusing on some of the more popular horns/Ones that I’ve used myself for now, then expand onto others as I personally test them out.

A note, because this may catch the eye of some of you. You may notice that my suggested combos and the list of the songs they play seems backwards. This is because the horn, just using R2, plays the most recently stocked song first.

Ye be warned, spoilers abound past this point, of all sorts. You take it at your own risk to continue reading.

SECTORED/LEGIA SECTORED

This is the Legiana Tree, halfway through.

  • Sounds like a harp
  • 672 Damage
  • 360 Ice Element
  • White Sharpness
  • No Slots

Song List

  • Stamina Use Reduced L(Extended)
  • Wind Pressure Negated (Extended)
  • Defense Up L (XL)
  • Health Recovery S (Repeat effect)
  • Health Recovery M +Antidote (Repeat Effect)

This Horn was the first Horn tree I finished. It worked out pretty well in most combat situations, ESPECIALLY Pink Rathian, because of the Healing+Antidote Song. It does lower damage than some other horns of similar Rarity, so use if you’re wanting a more support focused role than sheer DPS (Still hit the monster of course, but your biggest contribution will be the Defense Up and Heals, increasing everyone’s survivability).

Suggested Combo Bridge: Tri -> Circ -> Circ -> Tri -> TriCirc -> Circ -> TriCirc-> Circ ->Tri -> Circ

This equals Healing (M) +Antidote, Stamina Use Reduced L, and Defense Up L. If you wanted to focus on Healing, Health Recovery S bridges with itself, so if you kept alternating Tri and TriCirc, you’d stock a bunch of Heal tunes.

GAMA HORN

This is the Dodogama tree. No transformation.

  • 2 Level 2 Deco Slots
  • 798 Damage
  • 150 Blast Element
  • Blue Sharpness
    *Sounds like…well, a horn.

Song List

  • Attack Up L (XL)
  • Health Boost L (Extended)
  • Wind Pressure Negated (Extended)
  • Defense Boost L (XL)

So this is a horn I’ve seen a lot of people suggesting all throughout the subeddit. It’s prolly because of it having both Attack Up L and Defense Up L. Thankfully, Attack Up can Bridge into Defense Up.

However, unlike the Sectored, the Gama Horn is of minimal use for support. Yes, it increases attack and defense to XL, which is useful in it’s own right. However, its other two songs are borderline worthless. At that point, Wind Pressure Negate is not as useful as All Wind Pressure Negate, and Health Boost is pretty bad. While you may, at first glance, be excused for thinking that HB lets you heal with the Gama Horn, it really doesn’t…okay, well, it KINDA does. You see, if you have an already maxed out health bar, Health Boost will in fact actually HEAL for the same amount it would give you if you hadn’t maxed your bar, that is, 50 (half the size of the normal bar). Sounds useful, right?

Well, that heal ONLY goes out with the stage 1 song. You can’t use it to heal again until the buff wears off. So it’s still kinda useless aside from being an emergency large heal.

However, while testing this, I unintentionally bugtested the game. Fun fact: Let’s say you are testing a horn with enivornmental damage, which leaves all of its damage as a recoverable red bar. Let’s say you are testing Health Boost and what happens when it wears off. Turns out, the green bar will cap at its normal place when Health Boost wears off, but the game will not remove the red bar from the buffed state, leaving it hanging there. Was kinda surprised when peak performance activated while I still had red bar.

And at the point in the game where you can get the Gama Horn, everyone should have access to the maxed Canteen (Chef’s Choice usually maxes out your health bar, as it tries to use fresh ingredient, each of which increase health), or be able to craft Ancient Potions, which max your health and stamina bar (useful for after you cart and you don’t want to be a liability to the team). This horn is more useful for those who aren’t opposed to buffing, but want to spend more time hitting their enemies and watching them explode (Because Blast Element Buildup does that to enemies). No combo included because it would just be Attack Up and Defense Up repeated.

TEOSTRA’S ORPH`EE

  • No Slots
  • 798 Damage
  • 390 Blast
  • Blue Sharpness
  • Sounds like Chinese Strings

Song List

  • Scoutfly Power Up (Extended)
  • Abnormal Status Atk. Increased S (L)
  • All Ailments Negated (Extended)
  • Divine Protection (Extended)

First of all, this is not a Dootstick. This is a BOOMSTICK. Seriously, using this, the enemy will explode…a lot. Add in the song to increase Status Atk, and they will explode more. Add in Apothecary Mantle…you get the idea. Blast Element build up for days. Second, Divine Protection is glorious. This applies a temporary skill that, if it procs, will negate a percentage of the damage, like the Divine Blessing Armor skill. They may even stack, though I haven’t tested this. However, where this horn TRULY shines is against Vaal Hazak. As an Elder Dragon, after HR 50, you’ll be fighting him a lot. The most annoying thing about him, of course, is that damn gas cloud he emits that causes Effluvial Build Up, which halves your health bar when it maxes. Ailment Negate prevents effluvial build. If this song is active, Hazak can’t halve your health. He also can’t stun you, because the song prevents any ailment from taking effect (if you already have the ailment before the song applies, it won’t remove it though, learned that with Rathian’s poison). Allows for some truly glorious going Ham on Hazak, even Tempered. And that Divine Protection can and will save your ass repeatedly from his miasma laser.

This Hunting Horn is also useful in many other scenarios. Fighting Flashy Boi (Tzitzi-Ya-Ku)? Negate Ailments lets you stand in his flash and laugh at him. Fighting Odogaron? No more bleeds! Any Rath because for some reason Los can poison now? All fine!

Suggested Combo: Circ ->TriCirc->TriCirc-> Tri -> TriCirc -> Tri -> Circ -> Tri -> TriCirc -> TriCirc

Plays: All Ailments Negate, Divine Protection, Abnormal Status Atk Up S.

BAZELREID ROOKSLAYER

  • Sounds like bongos
  • Bazelgeuse Tree
  • 840 Attack
  • 210 Blasting Element
  • -10% Affinity
  • 2 level 2 slots
  • Blue Sharpness

Song List

  • Attack Up L(XL)
  • Health Rec. S (Repeat)
  • Recovery Speed L (Extended)

So, the Bazelgeuse. The bane of the early HR player’s experience. Here’s the Horn made from that winged asshole.

It, like the Nergigante Horn, sacrifices depth of songlist for power. It also causes enemies to explode once you hit them enough, because Bazel Horn.

When it comes to songs, this horn can provide the coveted (it seems by how people on this reddit treat the song) Attack XL. It also has Recovery Speed L, which increases the rate at which the damaged portion of your health bar heals (it turns the bar yellow). This effect DOES stack with the armor skill for Recovery Speed, and makes the damaged portion of the bar heal at ludicrous rates. It also has a small heal tune.

Suggested first combo for buffs:
TriCirc->TriCirc-> Circ-> Tri ->TriCirc -> Tri ->Circ->TriCirc->Tri.

Plays: Attack Up L, Healing Rec S, Recovery Speed L.

For this horn, I would actually then suggest rotating through combos using Health Recovery and spamming healing a bit, then rebuffing after 2-3 cycles of that. that way, you keep pumping out a benefit of being a mobile heal station.

XENO MANSHEENA

  • Sounds like Drums
  • 2 Level 3 deco slots
  • 714 Attack
  • 15% Affinity
  • 180 Dragon Element
  • Low Elderseal
  • White Sharpness

Song List

  • Defense Up L (XL)
  • Atk+Def Up S (L)
  • Atk+Def Up S (L)
  • All Wind Pressure Negate (Extended)
  • Stamina Use Reduced L (Extended)

Oh Mansheena, how I love thee. First of all, I love the sound of it. Second, this is the most generally useful horn. It can Elderseal. It has Defense Up XL and Atk+Def Up L (I believe the two defense effects stack). It has Stamina Use Reduce L. These are all songs that are applicable just about anywhere. It absolutely screws over Kushala Daora the Elder Dragon. With All Wind Pressure Negate, Kushala isn’t stunning anyone with wind spam. Kushala also does not like Dragon Element. You may notice that it has two Atk+Def Up song versions. These do not stack, and act as the same song, just played with different notes. This lets you bridge in the song if you do the wrongs notes or have to play outside the combo I suggest below for whatever reason (let’s you start with either a Tri or a Circ).

Suggested Combo: Tri -> Circ -> Circ -> Tri -> TriCirc -> Circ -> TriCirc -> Circ -> Tri ->Circ Plays: Atk+Def Up S, Stamina Use Reduced L, Defense Up L

DESOLATION’S OVERTURE

  • Nergigante Tree
  • 882 Attack
  • 150 Dragon Element
  • High Elderseal
  • 1 Level 1 slot
  • Blue Sharpness
  • REALLY sounds like Jumanji Drums
    Song List:
  • Health Recovery S
  • Affinity Up and Health Recovery S
  • Earplugs L

So this thing is much like Nergigante himself: Edgy as fuck, and hits like a truck. It has absurdly high damage compared to other hunting horns, having the highest overall. However, this comes at the cost of its songlist. Of the songs, Earplugs is the main useful one, with Affinity acting like a sporadic ATK up song. Let’s be real here: if you are using this horn, it’s because you want to “support” by caving in the enemy’s face. Admittedly, the most useful song you have is extremely useful, as keeping Earplugs L up for a whole fight is going to help everyone out. Good if you don’t want to have to worry about several different buffs, and just want to use the Performance/Encore for the damage output.

Suggested Song Combo:
Circ->TriCirc->Tri->TriCirc->TriCirc->Circ->Tri->Circ->Tri

Songs Played: Health S, Earplugs, Affinity and Health S.

DEVILJHO HORN

Honestly, this horn is the same as the Gama in Songset. Literally the same. The only difference is that it hits a hell of a lot harder. It does have a -30% affinity attached, but there are ways of dealing with negative affinity weapons. If you can mitigate the affinity, I would definitely use this instead of Gama…if you don’t mind how shit it sounds.

ARMOR BUILDS

KYRON’S ALL-PURPOSE FABULOUS ENSEMBLE

So, I rock:

  • Bazel Helm Beta. Earplugs Deco+ Sonorous (Horn Maestro) Deco
  • Kirin Jacket Beta. Resistor (Blight Resistance) Deco
  • Xeno Claws Beta. Brace Jewel 3.
  • Xeno Spine Alpha. Critical Jewel 2.
  • Xeno Spurs Beta. Defense Jewel 1, Protection (Divine Protection) Jewel 1.
  • Earplugs Charm

This gives me:

  • Level 5 (Max) Earplugs
  • Level 3 (Max) Blight Resistance
  • Level 3 (Max) Divine Protection
  • Level 3 (Max) Flinch Free
  • Level 1 Defense Boost
  • Level 1 Critical Boost
  • Level 1 (Max) Horn Maestro
  • Level 1 Special Ammo Boost
  • Xeno Set Bonus: Razor Sharp

This set actually evolved out of my HBG set. One of the greatest irritations, bar none, for Hunting Horn is getting interrupted out of a song. The buff doesn’t go out, you probably loss DPS since Perform/Encore is your main source, and if you were encoring, you lose that song. It breaks your whole groove.

That’s why one of the main things with this set is to prevent the worse causes of this. Earplugs lets me take advantage of a monster’s roar animation to get a perform or encore off. Flinch Free keeps me from getting screwed over by my “teammates”, who sometimes seem to want to hit me more than the monster.

I also personally like not getting OHKOd. I also like not having to manage status conditions.
That’s why we have Divine Protection and Blight Resistance. These two skills help a whole lot. Divine Protection has a chance to just negate a percentage of incoming damage. Level 3, when the skill activates, will negate half the damage. There are a lot of moves that should one shot me, but don’t because of this.

Blight Resistance 3 makes me immune to any Blight. This includes any elemental status condition, like Fireblight (burning). If I’m using Teostra’s Orpee, and Ailment Negate, then I am flat out immune to any status condition. For me, that means more time Performing, and less time STOP DROP AND ROLLing.

(One exception. On ocassion, Teostra can still Blastblight you through Level 3 Blight Resist. Either a bug, or Teostra is just special that way)

I use Horn Maestro because I’m the kinda guy who likes the safety net of songs lasting a bit longer. Easily swapped out if you have your combo groove down.

Finally, the Xeno Set Bonus is just generally useful. While the main reason I have it is because this is the foundation of the set I use on my HBG (few parts get swapped around), the Xeno Set Bonus for Melee is to halve sharpness loss. With some Horns, like the Mansheena, the highest level of sharpness is small, and quickly degrades. The Mansheena itself has a sliver of white sharpness. Keeping this up as long as possible just makes it more effective.

RABOLEY’S “HIT LIKE A TRUCK” BUILD

Horn: Bazelreid RookSlayer Helmet: Rathalos Beta (Attack Boost 2) Chest: Uragaan Chest alpha (Part Breaker 2) Gloves: Teostra Gloves alpha (Weakness Exploit 2) Belt: Teostra Belt alpha (Blast Attack 2, Weakness Exploit 1) Boots: Death Stench beta (Handicraft 2) Charm:Handicraft Gems: Part breaker, Attack Boost

So I decided to get off my ass and start putting some of the suggested builds in. First up we have Raboley’s here, and while they didn’t name it specifically, I figured it was an appropriate name.

This build is all about the deeps. The Horn itself, the Bazel, as described above, has Blast Element on it, Attack XL, and pretty high raw, along with Recovery Speed to minimize time potioning. Add in the attack boosts, and Weakness Exploit (remember, you’re a cousin to the Hammer user: you should be slamming that head, which is a weakpoint, anyways), you’re going to be outputting a bunch of damage. Blast Attack will improve the explosions that this horn will periodically create when it builds up enough Blastblight on the target, which is also lovely. Finally, Handicraft will increase the Sharpness gauge, which is also useful to them deeps.

Also worth noting is that there are several gem slots unused here, allowing for further tweaking. There would also be a single augmentation slot on the Bazel.

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