If you’ve been reading this article series, you know I typically try to make the tone universal, so you can apply the lessons learned to any game where you can play a healer.
But what about games where there isn’t a dedicated healer class? How does one play support in a game like that?
If the game has a multiplayer mode, it probably has support options built into the game, like branches of skill trees for characters/heroes in it, even if it doesn’t really have a class labeled “healer.” Roland from Borderlands is a great example. You want him and his Scorpio Turret to rain bullet death on your opponents? Pick skills from the Infantry branch of Roland’s skill tree. If you want to do things other than bring the pain, there’s also a support branch and a medic branch. You can pick all the skills in one tree exclusively, or mix and match to build the sort of hero you want to play.
There are also games that just let you do anything you want and expect you to figure out how you want to play. No skill trees, and light on tutorials, just giant sandboxes of experimental and exploratory gaming glory.
As the PC release of the game came out at the beginning of the month and The Cartographers Guild has been waiting for it for years, we’re specifically going to talk about support builds in Monster Hunter: World. And no one was surprised, I’m sure.
I have really been enjoying the game these last few weeks. I’m very excited to get to endgame to do the crossover Final Fantasy XIV event and fight Behemoth to get all the sweet loot. To that end, I’ve been doing a little research, and therefore recently saw a hilarious and informative video about the Behemoth fight in MH: World.
Wow. They sure did a good job of making this fight seem like an FF XIV boss fight, didn’t they? There’s lots of needing to drop AoEs and objects in certain places around the field (objects you later hide behind), interrupting certain attacks . . . and apparently it is a very good idea to have a assigned tank and healer.
Well then! I have to admit, I am very excited about this. I’ve always played Monster Hunter to maximize my defense (including elemental defense, which of course should be tailored to the monster you’re fighting; I typically have multiple armor sets) and Sword and Shield elemental/status damage. As I’ve mentioned, I don’t think this is the sort of game I’m most naturally suited to, so I practice my skills, gear up as best I can, and spec for survivability to reduce my chances of dying and therefore letting my team down.
All that said, the Monster Hunter series has long offered all kinds of support options that I haven’t honestly made much use of yet. Well, no time like the present! In preparation for the Behemoth fight, I’ve scoured the internet for information on putting together a great support build for Monster Hunter: World, and this Healer’s Corner is going to be your crash course in doing so.
For all the skills I’m about to name, you can add levels of them to any armor or weapon with Jewels, which you have a chance of getting either through Melding or when you identify Decorations you earn after completing High Rank quests. You can also make a Charm to wear that can give you levels in the skills. In addition, there are many armor pieces that have at least one level of each of the following skill on them, mix and match to build the set you want to build. To see the armor that would be helpful for this, click on the link to each skill as it’s discussed. I’ve seen multiple examples online of builds that would work really well.
The Wide-Range skill is the most obvious and well-known support powerhouse of the Monster Hunter realm. It allows the effects of certain items to also affect nearby allies. How well the item works for others and how wide the range is depends on the level of the skill; it goes up to level 5. Friendship Jewels and Charms give you levels in Wide-Range.
The full list of items that work with Wide-Range is huge, far beyond just basic healing items. You can cleanse poison, bleeding, and blights (negative status effects), apply all kinds of buffs (improve attack and defense, raise max health and max stamina, reduce stamina depletion rate, and increase health recovery), even apply a cool drink to resist the heat in warm areas to the whole party! This is the backbone of a good support build in MH: World.
A Youtuber named Widgeon did great videos on Attack Boosters and Defense Boosters, but I’ll sum up the high points here: start with your team in the same camp. Pop a Demondrug for an attack boost and an Armorskin for a defense boost that lasts until the recipient faints. When you find your target, pop a Might Seed (single target attack up), an Adamant Seed (single target armor up), a Demon Powder (AoE attack up), and a Hardshell Powder (AoE defense up). This group of buffs lasts three minutes, and all these buffs stack. You’ll probably need to refresh it whenever the monster changes locations.
And guess what? With Wide-Range, all the single target buffing hits everybody and the tiny AoE buffs have a much bigger range. This frees up your team’s inventory for all kinds of helpful stuff, bombs and traps, for instance.
The skill I’m most excited about is Mushroomancer. It lets you digest mushrooms you normally couldn’t and receive beneficial effects from them. What mushrooms you can digest depends on the level of the skill; it goes up to 3. Fungiform Jewels (which are apparently quite rare) and Mushroom Charms give you levels in Mushroomancer.
Why is this so great? Well, all that buffing I just talked about is expensive, in terms of time and money. If you want to use Mega Demondrugs and Mega Armorskins at the start of your hunt, for example (An 8% increase in attack or defense as opposed to a 5% increase with the unaugmented ones according to Widgeon on YouTube, demonstrated here), you need Nourishing Extract. You can only get that a few ways: killing Odogaron, Dodogama, or Paolumu, potentially sending your Tailrider Safari to hunt those monsters, or the 7-star optional quest “Talons of Ire and Ice.” That’s a lot of work. Even making the normal Demondrug, for example, takes a Catalyst– which is Honey and a Bitterbug– and a Might Seed. The Armorskin is no simpler. You have to gather or grow all those things and then combine them.
Level 2 of Mushroomancer lets you eat Nitroshrooms and Parashrooms, which act like Demondrugs and Armorskins respectively. Are they as good as the Mega versions? No. But the mushrooms are way cheaper, grow quickly if you cultivate them, and you eat them super fast, way faster than the actual items.
Also, you can carry more. You can only carry five Demondrugs. You can carry twenty Nitroshrooms and ten of every other kind. Also, Wide-Range works with every mushroom except the Mandragora, which acts like a Max Potion (that would just be OP, honestly, I don’t blame them for that exception). So if someone in your party faints and needs a buff refresh? No problem. You can throw out buffs all day long.
I think the one I’m really going to enjoy playing with is the Devil’s Blight mushroom. Yes, it takes the longest of all the mushrooms to grow, but it’s the equivalent of a Dash Juice, which reduces Stamina depletion of dodging/jumping/evading by half for four minutes and raises your Stamina bar to max. As I did my research for this article, I learned that the jury’s out on this one. Some people don’t seem to think this buff is all that worthwhile. I think Dash Juice used to give you infinite Stamina for a little while instead of reducing consumption, so maybe people are cranky because of the nerf?
I’m willing to give it a chance. There are lots of weapons that take a lot of Stamina to use, Great Sword, Bow, Insect Glaive . . . heck, anything that blocks a lot or needs to dodge, which is everything. Also, it would be super useful for hunters that tend to mount the monster a lot. You’ve already buffed your team’s attack and defense like crazy, Dash Juice just makes your team able to bring the pain longer and better.
And even better, Dash Juice is super annoying to make, so the mushroom version is a great alternative. To make Dash Juice, you need a Catalyst and Dash Extract. To get the Dash Extract, you have to kill Tzitzi-Ya-Ku, Diablos, or Black Diablos, send your Tailriders for them, or do the 7-star optional quest “RRRRRumble in the Waste!”. That’s a lot of work, I imagine a lot of people don’t think this item is worth the trouble for a four minute buff. But with Mushroomancer and Wide-Range, you can do it comparatively trivially.
It’s important to note that the Mushroomancer item equivalents do not stack with their real counterparts. Armorskin and Parashroom, for example, do not stack. But if you wanted to change your buff formula to start with a Nitroshroom and Parashroom instead of the Demondrug and Armorskin, go through your Blue Mushrooms before you popped Potions to heal (which is faster than the Potion anyway), and easily add Toadstools (the equivalent of Immunizer, which increases Health Recovery rate for 5 minutes) and Devil’s Blight (Dash Juice) . . . well, that all feels like win to me, especially since you can carry a ton of mushrooms. Also, using the mushrooms lets you save building materials for the other buffs that can’t be simulated with the mushrooms, like the Demon Powder, and so on.
So as we’ve seen, Wide-Range and Mushroomancer combined seem like an amazing support build. What else can we add to the mix?
How about Speed Eating? It is what it sounds like, you eat and drink items faster. Just how much faster depends on the level of the skill; it goes up to 3. Gobbler Jewels and Glutton Charms give you levels in Speed Eating.
A YouTuber named Ruuin demonstrates that Speed Eating actually does make a difference for Mushroomancer, even though eating mushrooms is already super fast. And of course, it will make a big difference for anything else you take. If you’ve ever played Monster Hunter, you know that going into the eating animation at the wrong time can easily get you killed. If you’re playing support– and therefore using a lot of items– this is definitely a good idea. And after all, we have to leave you some time to do damage. Just standing in a corner and popping potions, however helpful it is, is a no-no.
Finally, there’s Free Meal. There’s only one level, and it makes it so that 25% of the time, you get to consume a food or drink item for free. Satiated Jewels and the Light Eater’s Charm will give you your level of Free Meal.
Free Meal, sadly, does not work for Mushroomancer, but as it’s the equivalent of carrying 25% more of everything else, it’s not a bad idea if you can fit it in. Honestly, how useful this is depends on how much you decide to use Mushroomancer; if you use it a lot, Free Meal obviously isn’t as useful.
There are other skills you can have that might help if you’re planning to receive a lot of buffs, like Recovery Up, which increases the amount of health healing items restore, and Item Prolonger, which makes the items with a duration last longer, but those are for the buff-ee (apparently there was some controversy about Recovery Up, but YouTuber Widgeon proved that the benefits of the support player having Recovery Up do not carry over to the buff-ee). If the buff-er has those skills, those effects will apply to them, but Wide-Range doesn’t make them apply to other players; they would have to have those skills to get those benefits.
Finally, Sword and Shield is an excellent weapon choice for someone who’s putting together a support build. You can use items without sheathing your weapon, a huge advantage, and you can even use items while blocking, if you have to. Also, being able to fire your Slinger without putting your weapon away is very useful, especially if you need to interrupt Behemoth casting Charybdis with a Flash Pod (which apparently you can do, but it’s a last resort, you might need those Flash Pods for other purposes, and him building up a resistance too early is bad news).
I’ve played Monster Hunter since the beginning, fourteen years ago. We may not have had as many support options then as we do now, but we definitely had some, and other than using Wide-Range to heal people, I never really delved into support in this series before. And this coming from a career healer! I can’t believe it took this crossover event with Final Fantasy XIV for me to really explore the possibility of doing things in this game other than improving my ability to whack a monster with a sword. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to beat this game so I can start putting together my support armor set. I’ve got a team to support and a Behemoth to defeat.
Hot Tip: The “Wiggle Me This” event is on from now until September 6th at 5pm PST (at least on PC, not sure about console). It is super easy if you bring your Ghillie Mantle, and with the Wiggler Tickets you get from it you can build the Wiggler Head Alpha, a helmet that gives you two levels of Wide-Range! The events are on a rotating schedule, so this isn’t your only chance, but you should definitely take advantage of this now if you can!
Best Party Support Build! Mushroomancer + Wide Range + Sword And Shield Monster Hunter World, TagBackTV, YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTMrDeznWzU
Monster Hunter World | Mushroomancer Explained in Depth, Arekkz Gaming, YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpS9RqI9-nI
Monster Hunter World: How to be Healer/Support! (Wide Range), Widgeon TV, YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwXpQ6Gd8OU
Monster Hunter World: Attack Boosters In-Depth, Widgeon TV, YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=broPxLj_dks
Monster Hunter World: Defense Boosters In-Depth, Widgeon TV, YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drNmriVqeZ4
MHWorld // support build – Wide range, mushroomancer, and speed eating, ruuin, YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fb2AdbNS2g
Roland Skill Tree, Borderlands Wiki: http://borderlands.wikia.com/wiki/Roland/Skill_tree
Skills, Monster Hunter: World Wiki: https://monsterhunterworld.wiki.fextralife.com/Skills
Wide-Range, Monster Hunter: World Wiki: https://monsterhunterworld.wiki.fextralife.com/Wide-Range
PSA: Full list of what works with the Wide-Range skill, Of Fangs and Claws, Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/MonsterHunterWorld/comments/7zgrea/psa_full_list_of_what_works_with_the_widerange/
Mushroomancer, Monster Hunter: World Wiki: https://monsterhunterworld.wiki.fextralife.com/Mushroomancer
Speed Eating, Monster Hunter: World Wiki: https://monsterhunterworld.wiki.fextralife.com/Speed+Eating
Free Meal, Monster Hunter: World Wiki: https://monsterhunterworld.wiki.fextralife.com/Free+Meal
MHWorld Shots(Special): Behemoth Do’s and Don’ts, MCHProductions, YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6wtqX7Rn0w
Picture credit: MCHProductions Behemoth Do’s and Don’ts