Monster Hunter World: Iceborne - Recommended Armor Sets for Sword and Shield

Recommended armor sets for when using the sword and shield in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne. Included are the best armor pieces to use as you progress from early to late game.

Monster Hunter: World Iceborne - Sword and Shield Armor Sets

Sword and Shield Armor Sets

The short reach of the sword and shield requires you to engage monsters at close range. While quite risky, the ability to guard against incoming attacks with the shield adds a bit of survivability to battles.

Since guarding depletes your weapon’s sharpness, skills like handicraft and speed sharpening will be very useful early on. As you progress further, you will be less reliant on guarding. This allows you to focus on offensive skills like weakness exploit, attack boost, and maximum might for taking on tougher monsters.

Recommended Skills

Skill Effect
Airborne Increases the attack power of jumping attacks, including falling bash.
Weakness Exploit Increases affinity when attacking monster weak points.
Maximum Might Increases affinity when attacking at full stamina.
Agitator Increases affinity when monster is enraged. Allows you to deal more damage when monster is angered.
Handicraft Increases the sharpness of your weapon for more damage.
Critical Boost Increases critical hit damage. Synergizes well with weakness, exploit, maximum might, and critical eye skills.
Various Elemental Attack Boosting Skills (optional) Increases damage of elemental and status-inflicting attacks.

Rarity 3

Equipment Skill Decorations
Head Bone Helm Health Boost (Level 1)
Chest Bone Mail Attack Boost (Level 1)
Arms Kadachi Vambraces Evade Extender (Level 1)
Waist Jagras Coil Fortify (Level 1)
Legs Alloy Greaves Speed Sharpening (Level 1)

Activated Skills

Attack Boost (Level 1) Health Boost (Level 1) Fortify (Level 1)
Evade Extender (Level 1) Speed Sharpening (Level 1)

Basic equipment set that offers good survivability for the early game. Fortify is a good skill to have as it increases attack power and defense each time you faint.

Rarity 5

Equipment Skill Decorations
Head Rathian Helm Health Boost (Level 1)
Chest Rathalos Mail Weakness Exploit (Level 1)
Arms Legiana Vambraces Airborne
Waist Odogaron Coil Critical Eye (Level 1)
Legs Rathian Greaves Recovery Up (Level 1)

Activated Skills

Health Boost (Level 1) Weakness Exploit (Level 1) Critical Eye (Level 1)
Recovery Up (Level 1) Airborne

Armor set progression with further focus on survivability using health boost and recovery up. Also gives decent enhancements to offense with weakness exploit and critical eye. Fall bash damage is increased with airborne.

Rarity 7

Equipment Skill Decorations
Head Rathalos Helm β Attack Boost (Level 2) Health Jewel (1)
Chest Rathalos Mail β Weakness Exploit (Level 2) Health Jewel (1)
Arms Legiana Vambraces α Airborne, Evade Window (Level 1)
Waist Odogaron Coil β Critical Eye (Level 2) Health Jewel (1)
Legs Rathalos Greaves α Jump Master, Weakness Exploit (Level 1)
Charm Attack Charm II Attack Boost (Level 2)

Activated Skills

Attack Boost (Level 4) Weakness Exploit (Level 3) Health Boost (Level 3)
Critical Eye (Level 2) Evade Window (Level 1) Jump Master

A well-balanced set that can be used to clear the main story. Boasts good offensive skills for dishing out large amounts of damage, especially on monster weak points.

Rarity 8

Equipment Skill Decorations
Head Nergigante Helm α Maximum Might (Level 2), Attack Boost (Level 1) Attack Jewel (1)
Chest Kushala Cista β Handicraft (Level 2) Health Jewel (1)
Arms Kaiser Vambraces α Weakness Exploit (Level 2) Health Jewel (1)
Waist Nergigante Coil β Attack Boost (Level 2) Health Jewel (1)
Legs Nergigante Greaves α Maximum Might (Level 1) Exploiter Jewel (2)
Charm Attack Charm III Attack Boost (Level 3)

Activated Skills

Attack Boost (Level 7) Weakness Exploit (Level 3) Maximum Might (Level 3)
Health Boost (Level 3) Handicraft (Level 2) Nergigante Hunter (Set Bonus)

Armor set consisting of pieces made from materials from three different elder dragons. This is an offense-focused set that allows you to stack as much damage as possible when hitting weak points at full stamina. The Nergigante set bonus allows you to absorb health when landing attacks, adding a bit of survivability as well.

End Game

Equipment Skill Decorations
Weapon Fatal Bite
Head Drachen Armet α Critical Boost (Level 1), Airborne Exploiter Jewel Jewel (2), Attack Jewel (1)
Chest Drachen Mail α Critical Eye (Level 2), Critical Boost (Level 1) Agitator Jewel (2)
Arms Drachen Vambraces α Critical Eye (Level 2), Attack Boost (Level 2) Exploiter Jewel (2), Exploiter Jewel (2)
Waist Nergigante Coil γ Maximum Might (Level 1), Agitator (Level 1) Maximum Might Jewel (2), Critical Eye Jewel (1)
Legs Drachen Greaves α Attack Boost (Level 2), Critical Boost (Level 1) Maximum Might Jewel (2)
Charm Handicraft Charm III Handicraft (Level 3)

Activated Skills

Critical Eye (Level 5) Attack Boost (Level 4) Critical Boost (Level 3)
Weakness Exploit (Level 3) Handicraft (Level 3) Maximum Might (Level 3)
Agitator (Level 2) Airborne Soul of the Dragoon (Set Bonus)

Most of the pieces are crafted from Behemoth materials, which may require a good amount of farming. This is an end game set optimized for dealing maximum damage. The handicraft charm allows you to push weapon sharpness to white. The Drachen armor set bonus, meanwhile, helps reduce the loss of sharpness when four pieces are equipped.

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