Originally from Zen's Hunter's guide
I decided to make a guide focusing on Hunters as it is a hard class to play efficiently, with a lot of counter-intuitive mechanics.
(Note that this guide isn't forcing you to play in a certain way. It is meant for players looking to improve their gameplay, who are interested in learning end-game, or willing to know better how to complement Hunters with other classes.)
This guide will not go through damage or accuracy calculations as I want it to be fairly accessible: it will focus on important rules to follow in order to fulfill the Hunter's role. If you're lost with some of the acronyms and terms used, read this thread.
Essential knowledge[edit | edit source]
Spawn knowledge[edit | edit source]
The best way of being effective in this game is to know the spawns by heart along with the monsters' behaviors, and it goes for any class, really. It seems tedious and difficult at first, but it is a Hunter's keystone as their AOE is very limited and their effectiveness relies on knowing what is happening next. The easiest way to learn a quest is to run it several times, remembering the most important waves first (e.g. iconic enemies positioning, dangerous enemies, large amounts of enemies), then filling the gaps with the minor ones. It allows you to read what your partners' are intending to do once you are comfortable with the quest. You can assume that an experienced player going towards X direction means that he will deal with X enemies and leave the others to you. That is why following someone and attacking "his" monsters likely doesn't help and can be dangerous if nobody takes care of the remaining ones.
Highest damage output[edit | edit source]
Hunters have the highest potential of damage in the game, so you will be expected to take down the bigger HP/most annoying foes first. It is important not to focus on grunts if there are stronger monsters in the same wave as other party members will likely leave them to you. During lower levels, it is worth equipping a high power Mag/eating all the Power Materials from your plan to do your part in party.
Restricted area of effect[edit | edit source]
Hunters suffer from a very poor AOE, that is why you're expected to deal with single target big HP monsters. Your best option for a spread out crowd is a Slicer-type weapon. It ignores manual evasion which is very convenient against fast moving foes and its wide angle can be abused with snap targeting. On the other hand, packed monsters can be dealt with Sword/Partisan-type weapons. These can go up to 10 targets, meaning that you can actually deal with larger amounts than Rangers with Shot/Needle type weapons, although this is only (useless) theory because such big waves are rare.
Precise positioning[edit | edit source]
Dealing with separate enemies can quickly become overwhelming if they circle you. Positioning yourself correctly allows you to immediately take care of the annoying/dangerous things, while standing on the correct spot will make grunts group and offer you an easy combo kill. You want to avoid close combat from front, so it's best standing behind a monster as it spawns to be safe in case of early walk. Some situations require strict standing position/angle and using the floor's texture as a landmark can help.
Combos and delays[edit | edit source]
While doing close combat, delaying the 2nd/3rd attack is essential to avoid hit/knockdown during a combo. It is important to rely on delay to keep control of the situation. Some animations will leave you unsafe after your 3rd attack: you will want to use a 2 attacks-combo unless you are certain that your 3rd attack will kill. You can feint an enemy to swing in the air, leaving his side/back safe for you. It is extremely useful against fast moving monsters such as Melqueek and Del-D, or a Delsaber that you want to hit in close combat. Know your safe combos and which weapons are efficient against what. You will want to combo kill as much as possible since (fleshies) Hunters have a really poor crowd control. Challenge mode is a very good place to practice this theory.
HP management[edit | edit source]
Hunters tends to attack from a much closer distance than other classes. This means you are the main foes' lure. You can rely on your Mag's invincibility trigger to reduce the risk: either know in advance Fixed Attack Damage and exploit them, or use packed monsters and sacrifice your HP to drop under 10% in one Sword/Partisan swing. The later requires a solid accuracy and at least 4 targets in order to work (read: 10% HP Mag Trigger Exploit). You can use Monomate and Dimate (200HP/500HP respectively) to set up invincibility in Ultimate, it is far from being a useless tool.
Hunter's meta requires you to stand really close/against monsters at very low HP. That's why getting used to the previous points and making use of them is important. No risk, little reward; high risk, high reward. You will often be the leading person as you will be ahead of other players, meaning that you have to remember the spawns not to get any bad surprise. Use Gifoie/Twin Blaze to stop rushing enemies and Rabarta/Freeze trap/Arrest to control the crowd. With the correct gear and knowledge, you are the most efficient class in the game as you have the ability to spawn-kill almost any monster. When you start practicing, it feels like a die and retry game. Worry not, dying is learning. Analyze what went wrong, how you could do better with another positioning/combo and try something else next time. That's pretty much how you improve at this game: questioning and practicing.
Equipment[edit | edit source]
Weapons[edit | edit source]
Berserk/Charge Raygun: Necessary for for trapshooting and any situation where you need to quickly deal damage at a distance. Faster and better range than mechguns, more accurate than L&K38.
Flowen's Sword 3084/Zanba/Yunchang: With enough hit, effective CK weapons on weaker monsters. Flowen's is a safe sacrificial Sword for HUmar/newearl, while Zanba and Yunchang are used to lower HP quickly and attempt at invincibility trigger. The last two are best used with Freeze traps.
Vjaya: Highest multi-target damage weapon in the game, special attack has hard attack accuracy. While being a costly weapon to use, it is the best to safely CK multiple high HP enemies. To give you an idea of its potential: the right support allows you to one combo most Episode 2 mini-bosses. With the right sphereing, it can kill weaker grunts in one swing.
Excalibur: Can increase ATA if paired with POSS. Fast, high DPS dealing weapon up to 3 targets. Best used on frozen packed foes (e.g. jumping Sinows, rushing Delbiters, etc), with a high potential of CK.
Tsumikiri J-Sword: PB draining, 100% accuracy, infinite vertical height special attack that hits all nearby targets around you; arguably the best AOE for Hunters. Set DT before using special for extra damage or FT for instant freeze effect. Best if sphered, good clean-up usage.
Diska of Braveman: Pair it with Thirteen for a 50%ATP/30ATA boost. Takes down grunts in one combo, easy to glitch at near-max distance.
Jizai: Strong Twin Swords are effective against high DFP/EVP monsters where sacrificial Mechguns would struggle. Stack POSS for higher ATA. Given the correct %s, you will be able to CK things such as Ill Gills without any arrest/freeze/zalure status.
Last Swan: (For HUnewearl/caseal.) Powerful handgun which builds PB, unlike sacrificial ones. Best used when you are the only one dealing with the enemy, but has a DMC issue in Multi mode.
L&K38 Combat: Basically a ranged DF. Either requires high hit or freeze status to be effective. Can very well kill some big monsters with one Hard attack (e.g. Hildebear, Nano Dragon, Baranz, Belra, Zu, etc).
Dark Flow: Strongest single target, spawn-killing weapon. Special attack has hard attack accuracy, but high hit is required for safe usage. Have to stand against an enemy in order to stack all 5 waves of the special attack. Hard attack can be used to one hit kill Ob Lilies (A% required most of the time). DF's special also has infinite vertical height, making if useful against flying monsters/bosses. It also has the unique property of killing foes before target even appears, on the very first frame of their spawn (video example).
Twin Blaze: Casts low level gifoie. The lingering attack can be useful for detonating traps instantly and stopping enemy charges (eg dorpons, delbiters, zus).
ES Weapons[edit | edit source]
Hell (Sword)/Partisan/Scythe: Best against enemies too close for you to glitch slicer's projectile. You can pre-attack one or two times before being able to target your foes in order to get a higher ATA roll when your swing lands. Sword has 5 less ATA than both Partisan and Scythe, but they have slightly different AOE. Scythe can be equipped by all classes but FOnewearl, while the other two are Hunter's locked. Low priority ES weapon.
Zalure Gun: (For HUmar/cast/caseal.) Useful against bosses and some very strong monsters when lacking support or while playing solo (e.g. Epsilon). Medium priority ES weapon.
Demon's Mechgun: (For HUmar/newearl.) Most powerful single target HP-cutting weapon. Lots of cool combo variations to either severely damage your foes or even CK high HP stuff with SNH at max distance. High priority ES weapon.
Replacements[edit | edit source]
Berdysh: (For HUcast/caseal.) A much weaker TJS which still works fine for waves clean-up.
Musashi: Berserk special can cause it to situationally outperform Jizai, but generally not in the situations you would want to use twin swords (high dfp and evp enemies).
Sange and Yasha/Yamato/Asuka: Decent damage dealing Twin Swords. Yamato's special has a high change of freezing a monster while Asuka's special can be used to pierce through Falz 3's/Dark and Death Gunners' physical damage immunity.
Sphereing priorities[edit | edit source]
A frequently asked question is: "Which areas should I sphere in order to make an efficient weapon set?" While it's only really up to the person's tastes, there is a "better", "more effective" solution. Biggest HP monsters in the game are Machine and Dark attributes, making these 2 the highest priority when it comes to sphereing. It makes your sets NA/MD, which is a pretty nice all-around for the three episodes. It is especially convenient in E1 where you would only sort your inventory once between Caves and Mines during MA4, E2 Seabed/Tower where high HP things are mixed MD attributes, and E4 Crater where you'll only meet NA attributes. It allows you to only carry one weapon with MD attributes during random runs as NA is not needed to CK most of the time, making your inventory clearer and leaving room for other situational weapons.
It is preferable to sphere items in this order: Dark Flow>Tsumikiri J-Sword>Diska of Braveman=Vjaya=Excalibur>Twin Swords>Twin Sabers.
The idea behind this order is that a TJS for example, will be fine without any hit. If you sphere it before DOB/Vjaya, it will give you time to hunt for higher hit versions of these. Dark Flow is your main priority as you really want it to one shot every possible things. Weapons that are not mentioned should only be sphered if hit is high enough. To make my point clearer, unless you find a really high hit L&K38 Combat, it is not worth sphereing at all. On the other hand, weaker versions of the Special Weapons listed could be sphered if they dropped with already high attribute %s (especially Twin Sabers/Twin Swords).
Armor[edit | edit source]
Thirteen: Mediocre defensive stats but pairs with Diska of Braveman to make the weapon your best multi-target option when enemies are outside of melee range. Almost always worth running if DoB is used.
D-Parts ver1.01: Androids only. This armor gives +35 ATP, making it a strong choice when DoB is not necessary or a small boost in damage can make a difference between killing and not killing. Often run in Tower due to the lack of good DoB targets.
Sweetheart: Female only. This armor can provide a substantial ATP boost but its very small effective range makes it unreliable outside of planned runs.
Barriers[edit | edit source]
Red Ring: +20 ATP, +20 ATA, and great defensive stats. Red Ring is easily best-in-slot the majority of the time.
Anti-Dark Ring: Provides the 60 of the 92 EDK necessary to resist all Megid sources in the game.
Black Ring: +50 ATP per nearby player with Black Ring equipped. Still requires coordination but the effective range is much larger than Sweetheart.
Replacements[edit | edit source]
S-Parts ver2.01: +15 ATA, Androids only. The best pre-180 source of ATA available to hunters.
God's Shield "Kouryu": High defensive stats. Makes it possible to survive most elemental attacks at early levels.