Monster Hunter Rise Gunlance guide: Best builds, tips and tricks

Monster Hunter Rise Gunlance Guide
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Among the many weapons of the Monster Hunter series, the Gunlance is one of the most destructive of them all. It is essentially a giant cannon attached to a lance you poke monsters with before firing an explosive shell in their face. The Gunlance has had many adjustments over the years, but Monster Hunter Rise's iteration may be the most bombastic yet.

So, let's get a rundown on how this weapon works, what has been changed, and what builds you can make to optimize your playstyle. These are our tips and tricks for the Gunlance in Monster Hunter Rise for Nintendo Switch.


Monster Hunter Rise

The time has come to defend your home, Kamura Village, from the Rampage in Monster Hunter Rise. Craft yourself a powerful set of armor and weapons to fight hordes of monsters looking to crush your home to dust. Take on the Rampage alone or call your friends to help you out in a 4-player co-op.

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Monster Hunter Rise: Gunlance Overview

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There are a large number of weapons and the look of weapons within each category are vast, which adds to the complexity of Monster Hunter Rise. It's a big game, so don't forget to grab one of the best microSD cards for your Switch, so you have enough space for this epic game. 

The Gunlance stands out from other Monster Hunter Rise weapons since it uses a lance with a cannon attached and a shield. You deal physical damage with the lance while doing explosive damage with the Gunlance's shells. What's great about Gunlance shells is that they deal fixed amounts of damage which ignore a monster's natural defenses. So, if you are dealing with a monster with little to no weak spots, this weapon is perfect for dealing with them.

The Gunlance's shield is one of the strongest shields in the game, capable of blocking nearly every attack with minor knockback. However, the shield does have its limits of what it can block.

In addition to regular shells, the Gunlance also features the Wyrmstake Cannon and the Wyvern's Fire. The Wyrmstake cannon is a rocket-propelled stake that drills into a monster's body before exploding from the inside.

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The Wyvern's Fire charges the Gunlance to fire off a massive blast which deals a lot of fixed damage that will send monsters packing. However, the Wyvern's Fire needs to cool down before it can be used again, unlike the Wyrmstake Cannon, which you can reload anytime alongside the shells. Do note that you can block enemy attacks while charging up Wyvern's Fire since you have your shield up (which was impossible in previous games).

The destructive power of the Gunlance has a catch. You move incredibly slow while you have the Gunlance unsheathed, and your shelling attacks rip through your weapon's sharpness like no other. If your sharpness level drops to red, your Gunlance will become jammed, and you can't fire any more shells until you repair it. However, you can mitigate these drawbacks with proper armor skills, which we will discuss later.

Monster Hunter Rise: Gunlance Controls

Swipe to scroll horizontally
XLateral Thrust
Holding ACharged Shot
X+ARising Slash
Moving Forward+XLunging Upthrust
ZR (in midair)Aerial Shelling
X (while guarding)Guard Thrust
ZR+A (after any attack)Quick Reload
ZR+X+AWyvern's Fire
ZL+X or ZL+ASilkbind Attacks
RSheathes your weapon

Monster Hunter Rise: Gunlance Combos

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Poke shell comboYou can chain three Lateral Thrusts (X) and fire a shell (A) between each poke. Alternatively, you can poke once then fire one or two shells before poking again. Gunlance shells have a bit of recoil that pushes your character back, but with Lateral Thrust, you can move slightly forward to stay close and continue the combo.
Burst fire comboAfter doing a Rising Slash (X+A), press X to do an Overhead Smash, and finally press A to unleash the Burst Fire. This combo will unleash all your shells at once for massive burst damage.
Wide Sweep comboDo a Rising Slash (X+A), then an Overhead Smash (X), and press X again to do a Wide Sweep. You can loop this combo by doing a Quick Reload after the Wide Sweep, then X+A to do the Overhead Smash (the input is different after a Quick Reload), then the Wide Sweep. Rinse and repeat.

Wyrmstake cannon combos

There are multiple ways to fire off a Wyrmstake cannon:

  • Fire off two shells, then press A again to fire the Wyrmstake Cannon.
  • Press X after a Wide Sweep during the Wide Sweep to fire the Wyrmstake Cannon.
  • After a Rising Slash (X+A), press X+A again to fire the Wyrmstake Cannon at a high angle.
  • Fire a Charged Shell (Hold A until your Gunlance starts glowing), then press back on the left analog stick and A to fire the Wyrmstake Cannon. This combo fires the Wyrmstake Cannon much faster than normal.
  • Pressing A after a Full Burst will fire the Wyrmstake Cannon.

Monster Hunter Rise: Gunlance Shelling Types

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There are three different types of Gunlances — Normal, Long, and Wide. Each type affects the Gunlances shelling, Wyrmstake Cannon, and Wyvern's Fire in different ways. Every Gunlance has a Shelling Level that dictates how much damage the Shelling, Wyrmstake Cannon, and Wyvern's Fire does. The higher the level, the more damage your explosions do. Currently, the max Shelling Level a Gunlance can reach is Lv.5.

Normal Type Gunlances

  • They come with six shells to fire.
  • The Wyvern's Fire has three ticks of damage, and Wyrmstake Cannon has 13 ticks of damage. Regular Shelling and Charged Shell shots are fairly weak.

Normal Type Gunlances are best suited for Full-Burst combos since they have the most shells to fire off at once.

Long Type Gunlances

  • Long Types come with four shells.
  • Wyvern's Fire has four ticks of damage, and the Wyrmstake Cannon has 15 ticks of damage.
  • As the name suggests, Long Type Gunlances have an increased range on their shelling attacks compared to the other types.

These Gunlances specialize in Shelling at a safe distance and using the Wyvern's Fire and Wyrmstake Cannon for dealing damage. They are also good at Full Burst combos despite having two shells less than Normal Type Gunlances.

Wide Type Gunlances

  • Wide Gunlances only have two shells. Full Burst combos are not recommended when using Wide Type Gunlances.
  • The Wyvern's Fire has three ticks of damage. The Wyrmstake Cannon changes with Wide Types. Instead of a drill that deals lots of damage, it's a bomb that sticks onto a monster and explodes, dealing a single burst of damage. It can also stun monsters if you plant it on their head.
  • Wide Type Gunlances have the strongest regular Shelling and Charged Shells shots but at the cost of having the shortest range.

Wide Gunlances are best used for Poke Shelling combos and knocking out monsters with the Wyrmstake Cannon.

Monster Hunter Rise: Gunlance Silkbind Attacks

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In Monster Hunter Rise, you can use your trusty Wirebug to perform Silkbind Attacks with your weapon.

Hail Cutter

Pressing XL+X will perform a Rising Slash that sends you into the sky before coming back down to do an Overhead Smash. This attack will reduce the cooldown of your Wyvern's Fire even if you miss your target.

You can do a couple of things during this attack — you can fire regulars shells or Charged Shells during the jump to perform airborne attacks. Also, you can do the Full Burst attack or Wide Sweep after the Overhead Smash.

The cooldown on the Wirebugs is fast, but this move costs two Wirebug charges to use. It's pretty a steep price to pay for a situational technique.

Guard Edge

Pressing XL+A will put you in a guard stance that will parry an attack. If blocked successfully, it will restore your weapon's sharpness level, and you can follow up with an attack. Pressing X after a parry will do the Overhead Smash, or pressing A will quickly fire a Wyrmstake Cannon.

It takes one Wirebug Charge, and the cooldown rate is fast. It is an incredible skill though you must use it wisely. The parry's timing is small, and if you don't block an attack, you will be left vulnerable. Also, as mentioned earlier, it only blocks one attack. So don't use it at the beginning of a monster's combo attack. It is best saved for a huge hit.

Monster Hunter Rise: Gunlance Switch Skills

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If some of the default moves aren't meeting your standards, you can swap them out with Switch Skills that completely change how the weapon plays.

Blast Dash

You use the Gunlance's shelling recoil to launch yourself at the monster. You can do an Overhead Smash at the end of the dash and follow it up with the Wide Sweep or Full Burst attack. You can chain up to three Blast Dashes and use the left analog stick to control the dash's direction. You can fire a shell off by pressing by B to cancel the dash so you don't overshoot your target.

To use this skill, you must switch out Charged Shelling. To unlock this move, you must forge or upgrade Gunlances 8 times to unlock it.

Ground Splitter

This is a Silkbind Attack where you use the Wirebug to charge towards an enemy and deliver a massive upwards swing with the Gunlance. During the attack, you scrap the barrel of the Gunlance on the ground to heat it up. This increases your Gunlance shells' damage, Wyrmstake Cannon, and Wyvern's Fire by 20% for half a minute.

You are also immune to knockbacks and monster roars during the attack. However, you still take damage during the attack, so don't go too crazy with it.

When the attack ends, you can follow it up with a fast Wyrmstake Cannon by pressing X, fire a shell off by pressing A, or with an Overhead Smash with X+A. This attack costs one Wirebug Charge, and it has a slow cooldown.

To use Ground Splitter, you must switch it with Hail Cutter, and it is unlocked by reaching 2-Star Village Quests or HR2 Hub Quests.

Guard Reload

You can swap Quick Reload with the Guard Reload Switch Skill. This allows you to block enemy attacks while reloading your Gunlance's ammo, albeit a bit slower. While it only reloads 3 shells instead of all of them, it can also reload your Wyrmstake Cannon.

You can't do an Overhead Smash after the Guard Reload though you can do a Rising Slash (X+A), leading to the Overhead Smash. Making it a bit harder to loop the Full Burst and WIde Sweep Combo. This skill is best used for playstyles that revolve around using the Wyrmstake Cannon.

To unlock this Switch Skill, you must complete the HR6 Quest, Grasp the Gunlance, where you must capture a Barioth alive.

Monster Hunter Rise: Gunlance Recommended builds

These armor skills can help lessen the Gunlance's flaws and enhance your damage output. 

Swipe to scroll horizontally
ArtilleryThis increases the damage of your Gunlances shells, Wyrmstake Cannon, and Wyvern's Fire. It also cuts down the cooldown for the Wyvern's Fire. This is a must-have skill for Gunlance.
Evade ExtenderThis increases the distance of your dodge rolls and hops. This is also an essential skill for Gunlance because it gives the Gunlance a ton of mobility.
GuardThis strengthens your shield's blocking capabilities and reduces the amount of stamina lost while blocking.
Razor SharpThis armor skill decreases the amount of Sharpness your weapon loses.
Guard UpThis allows you to block unblockable attacks. This skill is pretty niche since most of the monster roster don't have unblockable attacks, but it is very welcome against monsters that do.
SluggerThis armor skill makes it easier to stun monsters. Normally this skill is useless for Gunlance but not for Wide Gunlances since their Wyrmstake Cannons can stun monsters.
Evade WindowEvade Window grants you invincibility frames while dodging. Invincibility frames are frames of an animation where your character is temporally invincible. If you pair this up with Evade Extender, you can dodge and weave through nearly every attack.

These armor pieces come from monsters early on in Low Rank and High Rank and are cheap to make. What's cool about Gunlance builds is that they don't rely on expensive offensive skills like Attack Boost, Weakness Exploit, and Critical Boost for damage. Artillery is the only essential offensive armor skill for Gunlance builds, leaving you plenty of room for defensive armor skills to help keep you alive.

Example of a High Rank Build

For one of my High Rank Builds, I use a Behemoth Gunlance, Jyuratodus Helm, Rhenoplos Mail S, Rhenoplos Braces S, Barroth Coil S, Volvidon Greaves S, Strength Petalace III, and Gale Talisman. Of course, the armor you want to use will be different depending on which Monster(s) you are hunting. Make sure to strengthen armor that will make you powerful against the most difficult foes and you'll be able to take on anything. 

Are you ready to cause some explosive mayhem?

Gunlance has always been one of my favorite weapons, and Monster Hunter Rise has made it better than ever. With all the new Switch Skills and Silkbind Attacks, you can play Gunlance in all sorts of ways now. We hope this guide helped you understand this weapon and why you should give it a go.

Each weapon will take practice before you feel comfortable wielding it, especially since they all have their own buttons, combos, and abilities to remember. Take time practicing in the training area and really get a good feel for how your weapon works. If Gunlance just isn't working out for you, then there are plenty of other choices to go with. Happy Hunting!


Monster Hunter Rise

Craft yourself a powerful set of armor and weapons to fight hordes of monsters looking to crush your home to dust in Monster Hunter Rise. You can even jump in with friends in a 4-player co-op to really wreak havoc.

Buy from: Amazon | Walmart | Best Buy

Alexander Cope

Alexander Cope is a writer for Windows Central and iMore that has been gaming since the 16-bit era.