I finally did it! Yes, I fought the Nergigante between last week’s post and this one, and how did I do? We’ll get to that in a minute. I also took on the Black Diablos, and I want to talk about her first. Diablos was my hardest fight in Low Rank. He was the first one to make me cart three times, which isn’t too bad considering that it’s at the very end of Low Rank. He’s tanky and cranky, and even though he’s considering a Flying Wyvern, his favorite move is to tunnel underground and pop up suddenly to crash into you and do massive amounts of damage. I actually had a harder time with LR Derblers than with HR Derblers, which really shouldn’t be the case. I knew Black Derblers was going to be even harder because she’s a female Diablos in heat (her description) which means she’s almost always pissed off.
I encountered her for the first time on another quest or expedition, and I followed her around a bit, but was having none of that. I’ve said that I admire people who can just jump into a fight. I was watching Pat of the Super Best Friends playing MHW, and he ran into the Deviljho in the wild. He just decided to fight the Angry Pickle and beat him. He was scoffing at how easy it was, but when he had the actual quest, it was harder. I just couldn’t believe he decided to go after the Deviljho without prepping–and won. Then again, he was playing on the PS4, and Deviljho didn’t come out until well after the original content was released. In other words, people had already beaten the game by the time they encountered the Deviljho.
Anyhoo, I was on another expedition and ran into the Black Derblers. She has no interest in me as she wanders around, probably because I’m just a speck to her. A gnat, really. I decided to attack her just to see what she was like. I did not plan on killing her, and *spoiler* I didn’t. She stunned me and then made me cart before I could get away. I don’t consider it a real cart because I wasn’t really trying to fight her, nor was I kitted out properly. I went back to HQ and got ready for the fight. I’m a rabid convert to saved load-outs now, and for Derbers, it includes a lot of Legiana armor and her Switch Axe. I update as I get further in the game, but I’m pretty sure I had the Legiana helm and vambraces. Actually, I probably had the Ingot Vambraces Beta on because it gives two levels of Health Boost, which is an extra 30 health total. Actually again, I might have been using the Axe Semper Tyrannis, which is made from Derblers parts. If that’s the case, then I had a different load-out because you need to shore up the -30% Affinity and use Free Element to ‘wake up’ the Ice element. I think I used Leggy’s Switch Axe for this fight, though. Back to Health Boost. I really should get the third level because three levels is +50 (as opposed to +15, then +30). I know it might not sound like a lot, but my base health is 100, so right now, I have nearly a third more.
Ian was asking me the other day how I increased my health and stamina, and I rattled off a bunch of things I do. I realized I was ‘that gal’ now, and he even commented that I was really locked into the meta. I said it was because I watched a ton of Casey at IGN and because I knew what was important to me. Related note: I still don’t know the most optimal way to use the Switch Axe, but I get the job done. My point being, I get way into the weeds about certain things and not others. So. As to my build and buffs, from watching Woolie of the Super Best Friends play, I realized that I should buy the Powercharm and the Armorcharm from the Provisions Stockpile guy. They give an attack boost and a defense boost respectively. Then, you can combine a Powercharm with two Bageljuice talons and an Armorcharm with two Bageljuice talons to make the Powertalon and the Armortalon respectively. These give even bigger attack and defense buffs, and they stack with the Powercharm and the Armorcharm. So, at the cost of four slots in my item pouch, I can have +15 attack and +30 defense. Which, again, doesn’t sound like a lot, but due to the obscure logarithms that I don’t completely understand, they’re really good.
I usually have Diving Blessing Level Three which randomly reduces the damage I take by 50%, and it seems to go off a lot of the time. I try to have Defense Level Three as well because I’m all about the defense. As I’ve said before, I will sacrifice some offense for defense, but I’ve found a way to have both. I’ll get to that in a minute. I also use Mega Demondrug and Mega Armorskin before each fight because they give you a big boost in attack and defense respectively. Better yet, they last until the quest is over or you get carted. Fucking OP, man, especially since I can make them at the Elder Melder, albeit at a ridiculously low cost. I stack that with Demon Powder and Hardshell Powder. I try to make sure I have teammates around before I use all this if I’m doing multi so they get the benefits as well. I only have one Friendship Jewel, and I currently don’t feel like I can sacrifice more slots/skills to being a healer, but I could add a few more Wide Range skills if I wanted. Sometimes, I eat a Might Pill and an Adamant Pill as well, but I’ve not done that as much lately. Why? Because it seems like overkill, and I’m using up my resources at a rapid pace.
I eat a meal before every hunt, usually the Chef’s Choice, but sometimes the Fish for Defense Up (L). It depends how much health I get with it and what monster I’m hunting. The Chef’s Choice always gives you the max boost health-wise, which for me right now is +50. For those doing the math at home, that means I have almost twice the normal health with all my buffs and such. Plus, with my defense levels so high, I’m feel much better going into a fight. I mentioned before I’m usually a turtle in Dark Souls, relying heavily on my shield. It’s been so weird to play without any defense in this game besides rolling and evading. Oh! I try to have a level or two of Evade Window if I can, but it’s definitely not top tier for me right now.
Back to Black Derblers. I buffed out beforehand and girded my loins. I knew she was going to be a fight, and I wanted to be as prepared as possible. Another thing I do before each solo fight is to get the Grimalkyne/Gajalaka for the area as a helper. The further I go in the game, the less help they are, but they can at least take the focus off me for a few minutes. Along with shadow, of course. I have all the Palico gadgets maxed out, and shadow is max level as well. He does a lot of good work.
Black Derblers is tough, but more in the slog sort of way. I got carted once because of getting stunned then charged at again, but it was more tedium than anything else. Why? Because wherever Black Derblers is, regular Diablos is not far behind. Seriously. He interrupted the hunt so many goddamn times, but I wasn’t that mad. I watched them fight quite a bit because it did damage to her and neither of them were interested in me. Plus, it’s fun to watch them go at each other.
The most frustrating thing about Black Diablos is that she kept charging all over the damn map. It’s one of the problems with having other people (in this case my Palico and a Grimalkyne) in the fight–you can’t predict where the monster is going to go. It’s even worse when there are actual other people because then I have NO clue what the monster is going to do. Especially Derblers. Even when I captured Black Derblers, the regular Diablos couldn’t stay away. He came charging at me, and I just laughed at him because I can’t take damage after the quest is over. In the end, Black Diablos was intense, but more tedious than difficult.
A few days ago, I finally took a deep breath, sucked it up, and went to fight the Nergigante. I had done almost everything else I could do up to that point, and I was letting it get to me too much. I knew it was going to be a struggle (I foolishly fought him during one of the Zorah Magdaros scenes), but I reached the point where I just wanted to get it over with. So, I girded up in mostly Angry Pickle gear (plus the Ingot Vambraces) with the Angry Pickle Switch Axe because it has High Elderseal and white sharpness with the judicious use of the Handicraft skill. I got a Gajalaka to help out, got us all buffed out, and jumped into the fray.
How did it go? Pretty well, actually! He felt very much like a Dark Souls boss in that the best thing to do is smack dat ass. One thing I’ve learned is that if a monster is coming towards me, the best thing to do is roll towards them. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s also true in Dark Souls. Huh. Come to think of it. It’s also true in taiji. It’s because stepping closer to an enemy cuts down on the space in which they have to operate, whereas moving away from them gives them more places to attack. At least that’s the grossly simplified version in taiji.
Nergy carted me once, but I never felt completely out of control in the fight. Don’t get me wrong. He’s terrifying, especially when he leaps across the map at you, but his tells are very obvious, and with all my buffs, he can’t one-shot kill me. The time he carted me, it was because he stunned me with a roar before hitting me again. I really have been thinking about adding anti-stun/roar to my build, but I’m not sure I can make it work because of all the other skills I consider important. It’s really frustrating to be stunned, though, so I’ll see what I can do. One reason I took in a weapon with High Elderseal is because then Nergy doesn’t go full black spikes as often (thus, lessening the number of times he does his ultimate), and you never want him to go full black spikes. Basically, Elderseal stops the Elder Dragons from doing their special thing as often, or at least that’s my laywoman’s explanation.
Once I beat Nergigante, I started doing him multi several times because I wanted to make his full set, plus make his Switch Axe, and make the full Palico set. I was able to do all of that fairly easily, except the helm. Why? Because you need a Nergigante Gem for that, and the drop rate is exceedingly rare. You have to break the tail/horns and then hope you get the carve/reward. I killed Nergigante twenty times without getting the gem. By the way, I’ve been on more failed quests for Nergigante by far than any other monster. It’s funny to see people who are HR 30 and higher getting one-shot by him, and by funny, I mean frustrating. Anyway, after twenty or so kills and still no gem, I used a lucky voucher the next time I jumped into a Nergigante investigation. Lo and behold, I got my damn gem. Yay! Now, I never have to fight Nergi–checks wiki for the final upgrade to the Nergi Switch Axe–aw, fuck. Oh well. I can’t do that upgrade yet, anyway, so I’ll at least get a break.
A few minor irritations from multi. One, people who have ‘edgy’ (read, gross) texts for their auto-statements (such as when mounting a monster). It’s not cool, bro. Not cool. Two, keeping the team healed and safe, then not getting the same courtesy in return. Look, I like being a healer. I don’t even mind using the resources. Much. But! When I’m stunned and can’t move, or when Nergy comes after me five times in a row (which he did one time), IT WOULD BE NICE IF YOU COULD TAKE SOME AGGRO OR KNOCK ME OUT OF MY STUPOR! Three, all offense and no defense. Getting carted is part of the game. Rushing in without topping off your health is a bad choice. Four, observe your teammates. If you notice me putting down bombs, do NOT rush in to attack the sleeping monster. Sheesh.
On the other hand, the fun part of multi. Working together as a team. When there’s another healer. Hunting Horn bros and sisters who don’t get the love they deserve. When we are all of one mind, such as everyone putting down bombs before exploding a monster’s face. Emojis and gestures. Guild Cards exchange! Mock-fighting at the end of the quest. Everyone attacking one part of the monster at the same time. Taking down Nergy in the first area after not letting him flee, thus taking him down in less than ten minutes.
Oh! I forgot to mention my newest build now that I have all of Nergy’s armor. Using three of Nergy’s set gives me a boost called Nergigante Hunter that gives me health recovery while attacking under certain conditions. In researching, it procs every 5 hits, and there can’t be more than 5 seconds between hits. There are some combos that count as more than one hit, which is nice as well. I couldn’t figure out for a few fights why I was getting the green flash for health as I was attacking until I remembered that. It’s not much, but it’s a nice little cushion, especially with my defense-geared armor. The rest of the skills for the set, including Maximum Might, Stamina Surge, and Agitator, and they all add boosts to attacks/stamina. I wear three pieces of the Nergy armor, plus the Ingot Vambraces and whatever else–actually, I probably wear four pieces of the Nergy set plus the Ingot Vambraces.
So, what’s next? Right now, I’m doing the Autumn Harvest stuff because I’m still under the weather. I have four more Elder Dragons (including HR Kirin, which, to be honest, I’m considering crafting a new Insect Glaive, either High Elderseal or Fire), and that touches on another of my minor complaints about MHW. Every hunt is a boss fight, and I am not always up for it. Part of me says, “I’ll just do these multi”, but I can’t. I do not want to bring my team down, which is exactly what would happen if I jumped into a multi of an Elder Dragon I never fought before. As for HR Kirin, well, yeah, it’s a matter of pride. It’s the Dark Souls in me, and I’m not sure I’ll ever get over it.