Monster Hunter World Insect Glaive Beginner’s Guide

Monster Hunter World Insect Glaive Beginner’s Guide by RamenNoodles452

I’ve been playing since MH3U and by no means am I an Insect Glaive purist. I bounce around from a variety of weapons, but I feel like out of the weapons I’m most comfortable with, the IG is the one new players might be a little confused on. So let’s begin.

Kinsect Extracts

Before we begin to talk about the moves, we need to talk about the kinsect, and why it’s even more important than ever before to work alongside it. The primary function of the little guy is to get you extracts. There are 4 types of extracts in the game:

Extract TypeWhat it doesDurationWhere it comes from
RedMarginally increases attack and enhances your moves60sThe parts of the monster it uses to attack (Generally the head)
WhiteIncreases your movement speed90sThe parts of the monster that provide it with mobility (Generally the wings for flying wyverns, or legs, for grounded wyverns)
OrangeGives you super armor against lesser monster attacks attacks (This also prevents you from being tripped up by other hunters)120sThe parts of the monster that provide it with fortitude (Generally, the monster’s back or body)
GreenRecovers a small amount of healthN/AAcquired from miscellaneous parts of the monster (Generally the tail, but with many monsters, the tail often provides other types of buffs depending on the monster)

When you have multiple extracts active on you at once, you gain bonuses while they’re active on top of the individual buffs the extracts provide

  • Red + White : 8% Atk
  • Orange + White : 10% defense + Earplugs 1
  • Red + Orange + White: 12% Attack increase + 10% Defense increase + Earplugs 1

Notes: The Triple buff overrides the R+W and O+W buffs. The triple buff also as it’s own duration of 60 seconds. So regardless of where your buffs were at the time, the moment all 3 buffs become active, their timers are overwritten with a flat 60 second duration. This is useful for when you hold onto a R+W buff and the kinsect is just kinda floating around with an Orange buff and when you see the Red buff is about to expire, call back the kinsect to refresh how long you maintain Red for by another 60 seconds. On that note, you can tell when a buff is about to expire because it begins to pulse quickly when there’s 10 seconds left on the duration. Another thing to watch out for is while you can usually refresh the buff timers by grabbing another extract of the same color, but while the Triple buff is active you can not refresh it in any way, and it will expire after 60 seconds.

Thoughts: Out of these 3, Red Buff is by far the most important. That is due to the modified move set. Not only does it gives you a small attack boost, but the modified move set causes almost all of your attack to be faster and be multi-hit. The enhanced moveset is the real deal here and gives your damage output a serious spike. You pretty much always want to maintain this as much as possible.

**Inaccuracy Note: ** I’m pretty sure the W+O buff does give you earplugs 1, it’s just that Earplugs 1 doesn’t actually negate roars in MHW but instead reduce how long you’re incapacitated for slightly after hearing a roar.

Getting the extracts: There are two primary modes of doing this:

  • The Tracker: With your weapon drawn, R2 + L2 to shoot the tracking shot, or press R2 to strike with the blunt end of the glaive and apply the tracker where you connected. You’ll see the tracker on the part of the monster you’ve hit and the kinsect will fly about and try to hit that spot constantly until its stamina bar runs out. While this move is very useful other reasons, this an incredibly inefficient way to get extracts as the bug’s auto attacks are rather slow and inaccurate.
  • Manual Aim: With your weapon drawn Hold L2 to aim, and press Triangle to shoot out your kinsect in that direction, or command the kinsect to attack in at where you are aiming at. Holding L2 and pressing Circle will call it back. The speed and distance of how it travels and how long it can stay out for depends on the type of kinsect. This is the preferred method for gathering extracts and you can get the Red and White buffs within a few seconds, keeping you in the fight longer.

Kinsect Combat

In MHW, with improved camera controls, and dust clouds, fighting with your kinsect not only better than it’s ever been, but it now makes up a key component of your damage and utility. You’d be remiss to pass up on your buggy boi’s capabilities as a combat support instead of just a buff ferry.

Damage Types:

  • Sever: This cutting type has the ability to sever tails, but given that most of your damage is of the cutting type, your glaive has that covered.
  • Impact: The impact type can KO a monster if the kinsect hits its face enough times. Given that your R2 attack is your only (and relatively slow) blunt damage option, Impact Kinsects provide a good complementary damage type.

When a kinsect lands a hit on a monster, it doesn’t bounce back very far, and can be given a new attack order pretty quickly. If your impact kinsect lands a solid hit on the monster’s head It’s not a bad idea to mash out a couple more hits to build up that KO.

Dust Effects: In the wake of all the fancy new air moves the IG gets, the dust clouds felt largely passed over, but I believe this is the far more meaningful gameplay change that IGs received.

When a kinsect is sent out via the Tracker, it’ll stay out until it runs out of stamina and continuously hit the monster. A bonus to this method, is that the kinsect will leave small “dust clouds” upon impact. When these clouds are struck by any weapon (you or your teammates) they’ll explode and build up an ailment type. All kinsects have a specific Dust Cloud effect:

  • Poison: Each explosion builds up the poison ailment on a monster. As well as dealing a little bit of damage
  • Heal: Each explosion will heal you and other teammates in the blast zone, does not heal monster.
  • Paralysis: Each explosion builds up paralysis ailment on a monster, as well as deal a little bit of damage.
  • Blast: Each explosion builds up blast blight on a monster. each dust cloud hit triggers an explosion that deals damage which culminates in a big explosion with enough application. Also fantastic for breaking parts.

Notes: You unlock the blast type kinsect evolution as you collect materials from High Rank. I don’t think the healing type dust explosion deals damage, but I’ve never actually used that kinsect type, so for those who do use it, let me know and I’ll append it. The blast explosion is not affected by the power level of the kinsect. It appears to be a flat damage every explosion as well as the big bang, so this favors high speed kinsects that can rack up many dust clouds very quickly.

Thoughts: Once you get into High Rank, you probably want to switch over to a Blast type kinsect. The poison is nice, and you’ll definitely get it off once or twice during a hunt, I found that I wasn’t able to get the paralysis to go off consistently enough for it to be worthwhile, and as for healing, just don’t get hit. The blast clouds deal fantastic supplementary damage as well as have the added ability to help you break parts. With this in mind, you don’t really need to care too much about the kinsect’s power level as most of the damage it’ll deal will come from the blast explosions you’ll be triggering. My personal favorite is the Whispervesp line cuz it is a blast type and boasts high speed, as well as a good healing level so that it recovers its stamina faster. Combine this with a glaive that provides a speed boost for your kinsect, and your little buddy is gonna be zipping around all over the place and will make collecting extracts a cinch.

I generally like to get the triple buff before going in, but it’s not 100% necessary. I’d suggest at least getting R+W tho. Once you got your buffs on, tag the monster with a tracker, and go to town. The kinsect will constantly be creating dust clouds until it runs out of stamina, and you’ll be able to trigger them explosions as you fight. The important thing is that you don’t neglect the kinsect dust abilities as you fight.

Grounded Combat

So for actual glaive attacks, I’ll primarily focus on moves with the red buff active, as this is what you’re going to be in 90% of the time. Openers: You have your Draw attack which is the Leaping Slash. a pretty good distance closing vertical chop. You can also perform this move with your weapon drawn by Direction + Circle. Mid combo the the Strong Thrust and the Strong Reaping Slash can flow into the Leaping Slash, you generally don’t want to do this because the Strong Wide Sweep is much better damage than the Leaping Slash (also the Leaping Slash moves you quite a bit forward, which might mess with your positioning.). Note that the Leaping Slash is one of the two moves in your repertoire that doesn’t get an enhanced version via red buff.

You can also press R2 with your weapon sheathes to draw it and immediately send your kinsect out in the direction you’re facing. This is helpful as a way to draw your weapon while running and not have to draw into the Leaping Slash.

Triangle Attacks:

  1. You have your opener which is the Strong Rising Slash while stationary. This is a fantastic move that hits 3 times and swings in front and above you. The verticality is especially good for hitting monster body parts that are higher up above the ground, and it also keeps you stationary. You can also hold Direction + Triangle to do the Strong Thrust attack instead. This hits twice, you take a step forward, and is faster. However, this is also a very small thrust directly in front of you. The Strong Thrust lets you dodge cancel out of it faster than the Strong Rising Slash, but if you have the opening, I always go for the Strong Rising Slash.
  2. Strong Reaping Slash is what follows the first Triangle attack, you take a step forward, and it hits twice in an arc around you. Combo Filler.
  3. Strong Double Slash is a double spin attack that hits 3 times. (It’s called the Double Slash cuz the unbuffed version of it hits twice.) Once you initiate this attack, it’s signals the end of your combo. As there is only one move you can flow this into and that is the Circle button, Tornado Slash. As you’re doing your infinite, and you feel like the monster is about to get up, you can flow into this move and then the Tornado Slash for a decent finisher. Generally I don’t use this move too terribly much.

Circle Attacks:

  • I’ve already covered the Leaping Slash which is Direction + Circle and where you can fit that in
  1. Strong Wide Sweep is what you get when you press Circle while stationary. It’s got a wiiiiiide swing, so be wary of accidentally tripping your fellow hunters with this one. This move serves as your combo extender for the Triangle Attacks and leads into the Insect Glaive’s infinite combo. Also at any point you can perform a Wide Slash mid combo, you can hold Direction + Circle to do the Leaping Slash instead.
  2. Tornado Slash is the 2nd and last hit of the pure Circle combo and is a great finishing move. It doesn’t flow into anything besides the Strong Thrust, and even that’s after a considerable delay. Dodge cancel at the end to avoid most of the ending lag. The Tornado Slash can be flowed into from a few moves. The aforementioned Wide Sweep, and Double Slash, but also the Rising Slash as well.
  • Dodge Slash is performed any time during a combo string, pull back on the Stick + Circle (The precise direction depends on your Directional Control Type in your control settings.) This is a vertical high reaching spinning slash that also sends you backwards. This is the 2nd of the two moves that doesn’t get enhanced by the Red buff. A fantastic repositioning tool that can let you do a fade slash away from a monster as it’s about to do an attack (a great example is using this mid combo to avoid the Rathian’s backflip attack) This move can be used to realign yourself during the infinite combo if you’re taken a step too far and can be used to set up for the combo finisher as it can flow into the Tornado Attack. It can also flow into the Rising Slash, to positionally reset the infinite combo should you choose to do so as well.

*The Infinite Combo **

This is USED your big deeps when the opportunity presents itself to you on a silver platter. Mostly when the monster is afflicted by paralysis, toppled, trapped, etc. Pretty much never try to do this raw otherwise you’re gonna get slapped around.

To perform this, it’s simply, Triangle (Rising Slash/Thrust) -> Triangle(Reaping Slash) -> Circle (Wide Sweep) -> repeat(Rising Slash) Once the loop begins, you can’t do the Thrust anymore, and pressing Triangle after the Wide Sweep will always flow into the Rising Slash. You can enter into this loop from a variety of attacks. Rising Slash and Thrust being the main examples, but a Wide Sweep can always flow into a Rising Slash, so you can use this move as the combo opener as well. The Leaping Slash flows into the Rising Slash and that is a good distance closing method of beginning the combo. Take aware tho that the infinite combo does make you step forward as you attack, so if you’re initiating the infinite combo, make sure you’re doing it against a downed monster and you’re gonna be stepping “into” the monster so that you’re not actually moving anywhere.

When you want to end it, you can always exit out of the combo with a Tornado Slash whenever it’s various routes come up in the combo. I personally like to let the Strong Double Slash (3rd Triangle attack) play out instead of going into the Wide Sweep) which naturally sets up for the Tornado Slash. Just gotta be careful because the Double Slash does move your character quite far. Sometimes it’s better to use the Dodge Slash to line up a better shot if it means the Tornado Slash is gonna smash into the monster’s face, or other notable target part.

*In the transition to MH:W Insect Glaives have had their damage values adjusted so that Triangle Attacks are much weaker than they used to be. So if you’re about min-maxing your damage, you’re better doing the Circle(Wide Sweep) -> Circle (Tornado Slash) However, this combo is good for applying statuses and triggering elemental damage due to how fast it applies hits, as well as targeting specific body parts since the combo primarily attacks directly in front of you and doesn’t move you around too much compared to your other options.

Air Combat

Insect Glaives don’t need ledges or jump-able walls to initiate air attacks. Just hit R2 + X to launch yourself into the air. Be careful about doing this tho as you have very little options while in the air and stray hits or roars or wind pressure can cause you to go into a vulnerable fall state. (Unless you have the appropriate skills to negate them of course.)

  1. Jumping Slash, your drop attack. Hit Triangle in mid air and you stop most of your momentum and just plunge to the ground in a spinning attack. This deals multiple hits so long as the slashes connect so definitely want to drop on a monster top to bottom to get the most of this attack (generally 3-4 hits) A good way to end the air combo.
  2. Jumping Advancing Slash, the new hotness. Hit Circle in midair, and your character will do a flurry of slashes all around them while moving in the direction of the stick. This hits a lot of times for small damage, except for the final hit at the end which is where about 50% of the move’s damage is. Landing this final hit launches you back up into the air where it resets your airborne options. This move consumes stamina, but your stamina bar starts to regenerate again as you land the launching final hit. Which gives you a little bit of time to recover that lost stamina and doing this lets you stay in the air for a very long time. (However, it seems that no matter what you do, after about 5 or so hits, the game determines you’ve had enough fun and you don’t bounce off the monster anymore.) This move in particular is excellent with the Kinsect tracker as a big radius around you is a hitbox as you careen through the air, allowing you to trigger multiple dust clouds as you go. When I go into the air with the IG, I like to at least shoot out the tracker before hand so that I’m passively triggering fireworks as I’m performing my aerial gymnastics.
  • Mid Air Evade. Hit X while airborne to dodge in the direction of your stick. I don’t know if this actually has any iFrames or if it’s purely a repositioning tool, but from my experience, I think it’s just repositioning. This does cost stamina to use as well, and helps you line up the Triangle or Circle attacks while airborne.

About Air Combat:

Here’s the thing. Air combat looks cool, it’s flashy, and against certain monsters, it’s your best choice for damage. But unless you’re specifically trying to trigger a whole slew of dust explosions, or building up for a mount, your damage is FAR better grounded than in the air. Monsters gain more resistant to status effects each time they’re afflicted by one, and mounting counts as a status effect for them, regardless of whether or not the mount ended up in a successful topple. The first one will happen pretty quickly, the 2nd one will happen consistently as well, but after that, especially if you’re hunting solo, it’s gonna be a lot of effort to get that 3rd mount. The Insect Glaive has a TON of options and being airborne is just one of them.

Environmental Options

IGs have a sliding attack, but it’s just the Jumping Advancing Slash but initiated from a slide. Nothing too crazy.

I didn’t think IG’s would have any interactions with the jumpable walls, but they do. If you R2 +X launch yourself into one of these walls, your character will cling to the wall and stay there spiderman style. From there you can Press X to drop down or Direction + X to jump off the wall in a direction. If you press Direction + X towards the wall, your character will leap upwards. Regardless of which direction you jump in, jumping off the wall allows you to access to your usual Airborne options from that point onwards. You can also wall cling to climbable surfaces, and not just jumpable ones too. Not sure HOW useful this is, but it’s certainly cool.

Closing Thoughts

The IG has taken a bit of a nerf in the transition to MHW. But I think the new dust cloud effects is the something the Insect Glaive really needed. I find this to be a better implementation of the weapon from previous iterations as before, the kinsect was kinda just there to get you your buffs, but beyond that was left mostly unused. Now it truly feels like the Kinsect and Glaive are two halves of the same weapon. (The irony is that they’ve now been split into their own upgrade trees and can be mix and matched, which is also for the better i believe.)

As many of you have noted, there is a late game armor skill “Power Prolonger” which increases the Kinsect Buff duration by 10%, 20%, 30% per level. But by the time you get that skill, you won’t be needing this anymore. :`)

As other people who are deep in the IG pit have pointed out there have been some inaccuracies with the numbers. I’ll be coming back routinely to update with your input whenever something is pointed out. I guess this about what to expect when a fashion hunter decides to make a guide for new players lmao

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