Best Skills for Swords and Shields | Monster Hunter World (MHW)

Sword & Shield Skill Recommendations
This is a guide about the best skills for Swords and Shields. Read on to know which skills to look out for when making a Sword and Shield build and why.

Offensive Skills

Recommendations
Affinity Skills Agitator Elemental Attack Skills
Partbreaker

Critical Eye, Critical Boost, Weakness Exploit

Affinity Trinity.png
Sword and Shields benefit from having high affinity - which is why it is recommended to invest in Affinity Skills such as Critical Eye, Critical Boost, and Weakness Exploit to bring the Sword and Shield's overall damage to the next level.

Agitator

Agitator.png
The introduction of the Clutch Claw made the Agitator Skill a community staple when making builds. When active, Agitator grants hunters +20 attack and affinity by 10% at level five. (Levels six and seven are unlocked via the Agitator Secret Skill.)

The Clutch Claw, specifically its Flinch Shot Attack, gave hunters the ability to enrage the monster whenever the opportunity presents itself. This gave hunters a way to maintain their Agitator's up-time.

Elemental Attack Skills

Elemental Attack Skills.png
Swords and Shields have generally low base damage compared to other weapon types. Most Swords and Shields make up for this by having very high elemental damage.

Hunters can increase their swords and shields' elemental damage even higher by adding these Elemental Attack Skills to their builds.

Partbreaker

Partbreaker.png
Swords and Shields excel at targetting a monster's weak spots.

Partbreaker increases Part Damage by 30% at level three and compliments the Sword and Shield very well.

Partbreaker's damage increase does NOT reflect in floating damage numbers.

Defensive Skills

Recommendations
Guard Guard Up Evade Extender
Health Boost

Guard

Guard.png
Those who prefer to block with a Sword and Shield might want to consider adding Guard to their builds.

The Guard Skill bolsters a Sword and Shield's blocking efficiency. Hunters will receive a massive improvement in impact absorption and a 50% reduction in stamina depletion when blocking attacks at level five.

It is recommended to invest in at least three levels of Guard when adding it to builds.

Guard Up

Guard Up.png
Another favorite for blocking hunters. The Guard Up Skill allows hunters to block otherwise unblockable attacks from monsters.

Evade Extender

Evade Extender.png
Swords and Shields are more mobile compared to other shielded weapons. Evade Extender greatly increases the distance covered when evading and is definitely worth considering when making Sword and Shield builds.

Health Boost

Health Boost.png
It never hurts to pump up one's HP! Health Boost increases a hunter's Health by 50 at level three, making it a solid addition to any build - especially early on in the game.

Utility Skills

General Recommendations
Mind's Eye/Ballistics Protective Polish Speed Sharpening
Support Recommendations
Wide-Range Speed Eating Free Meal

General Utility

Mind's Eye/Ballistics

Mind
Sword and Shield attacks can be deflected by monster hides if thick enough. Mind's Eye/Ballistics ensures that attacks can cut through regardless of how thick a hide is!

Protective Polish

Protective Polish.png
Swords and Shields have very quick attacks. This also makes them lose sharpness rapidly.

Protective Polish applies a protective coating to weapons after sharpening, preventing sharpness loss for a certain amount of time.

Speed Sharpening

Speed Sharpening.png
Speed Sharpening removes three cycles of the sharpening animation at level three and is also another solution to sharpness issues.

Supportive Utility

Wide-Range

Wide Range.png
Swords and Shields have the unique ability of being able to use items while unsheathed.

Hunters who prefer to apply this towards a more supportive role in groups may invest in Wide-Range.

Wide-Range allows the effect of specific items and potions to also affect nearby allies when consumed. The radius and efficacy of the items and potions consumed are maximized at level five.

It is important to note that Palicoes are also affected by Wide-Range's effects.

Speed Eating

Speed Eating.png
Speed Eating greatly improves the use speed of consummables. This synergizes well with Wide-Range and is definitely recommended alongside it.

Free Meal

Free Meal.png
Supportive builds tend to put a heavy strain on a hunter's supplies. Free meal gives you a predetermined chance of using food and drink items without actually consuming them. The activation chances are 25% at level one, 50% at level two, and 75% at level three.

Levels two and three are unlocked via the Free Meal Secret Skill.

Related Monster Hunter World (MHW)

All Skills

List of All Skills

Best Skills for Each Weapon

Recommendations for Other Weapons
Charge Blade IconCharge Blade Dual Blades IconDual Blades Long Sword IconLong Sword Sword and Shield IconSword & Shield
Switch Axe IconSwitch Axe Insect Glaive IconInsect Glaive Hunting Horn IconHunting Horn Great Sword IconGreat Sword
Lance IconLance Gunlance IconGunlance Hammer IconHammer Bow IconBow
Heavy Bowgun IconHeavy Bowgun Light Bowgun IconLight Bowgun

Weapon Related Guides

Melee Weapons
Great Sword Icon.jpegGreat Swords Trees & Full List How to Use
Overall Best List Best Skills
Layered Weapon Augments
Best Great Sword for Each Element
Long Sword Icon.jpegLong Swords Trees & Full List How to Use
Overall Best List Best Skills
Layered Weapon Augments
Best Long Sword for Each Element
Sword & Shield Icon.jpegSwords and Shields Trees & Full List How to Use
Overall Best List Best Skills
Layered Weapon Augments
Best Sword and Shield for Each Element
Dual Blades Icon.jpegDual Blades Trees & Full List How to Use
Overall Best List Best Skills
Layered Weapon Augments
Best Dual Blades for Each Element
Hammer Icon.jpegHammers Trees & Full List How to Use
Overall Best List Best Skills
Layered Weapon Augments
Best Hammer for Each Element
Hunting Horn Icon.jpegHunting Horns Trees & Full List How to Use
Overall Best List Best Skills
Layered Weapon Augments
Best Hunting Horn for Each Element
Lance Icon.jpegLances Trees & Full List How to Use
Overall Best List Best Skills
Layered Weapon Augments
Best Lance for Each Element
Gunlance Icon.jpegGunlances Trees & Full List How to Use
Overall Best List Best Skills
Layered Weapon Augments
Best Gunlance for Each Element
Switch Axe Icon.jpegSwitch Axe Trees & Full List How to Use
Overall Best List Best Skills
Layered Weapon Augments
Best Switch Axe for Each Element
Charge Blade Icon.jpegCharge Blade Trees & Full List How to Use
Overall Best List Best Skills
Layered Weapon Augments
Best Charge Blade for Each Element
Insect Glaive Icon.jpegInsect Glaive Trees & Full List How to Use
Overall Best List Best Skills
Layered Weapon Augments
Best Insect Glaive for Each Element
Kinsects
Kinsect Icon.pngKinsects Kinsect Tree and Complete Kinsect List Best and Recommended Kinsects
Ranged Weapons
Bow Icon.jpegBows Trees & Full List How to Use
Overall Best List Best Skills
Layered Weapon Augments
Best Bow for Each Element
Light Bowgun Icon.jpegLight Bowguns Trees & Full List How to Use
Overall Best List Best Skills
Layered Weapon Augments
Best Light Bowgun for Each Element
Heavy Bowgun Icon.jpegHeavy Bowguns Trees & Full List How to Use
Overall Best List Best Skills
Layered Weapon Augments

    The Like Feature

    You can save a comment for later by giving it a Like.
    As a member:Get access to several features!

    Opinions about an article or post go here.
    Opinions about an article or post
    We at Game8 thank you for your support.
    In order for us to make the best articles possible, share your corrections, opinions, and thoughts about "Best Skills for Swords and Shields" with us!
    When reporting a problem, please be as specific as possible in providing details such as what conditions the problem occurred under and what kind of effects it had.

    All rights reserved

    Back to the Top
    Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more