Monster Hunter Rise Best Armor Sets – Beat the Toughest Monsters and Look Great while Doing it

Monster Hunter Rise is arguably the most forgiving game in the series but quickly ramps up the difficulty during the Sunbreak DLC. Formidable foes like Risen Elder Dragons and Anomaly Monsters can decimate your health bar in a single blow.

As you’re never explicitly told what skills are good, it can feel borderline unfair, especially when you’re jeopardizing online hunts.

Armor can influence your playstyle and become the deciding factor between a 30 min battle and a 10 min one. So what Armor is the best? The answer is complicated, but it’s a question I hope to answer in this guide.

Whether you revel in Risk/Reward mechanics or want a suit of Armor to protect you no matter how tough the battle gets, I’ve got you covered. Huff down your favorite Bunny Dango, and let’s get started.

Bottom Line Up Front

You can get away with unoptimized gear all the way through Rise and into the Sunbreak DLC. Your choices will only really matter from MR4 and above. If you’re not after something particular, Crimson Valstrax – Epoch is the best Armor set in the game. It also has the highest MR requirement at MR160.

Title Updates have brought many new Monsters into the game, including the Metal Raths and Lucent Nargacuga. These armor sets are fantastic but tend to fill a niche with their skill list.

What Armor should I Use before I Reach the Endgame?

monster hunter rise armor sets
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This question is tricky, as it depends on your weapon and play style. As a general rule of thumb, when monsters start to hit harder than you’re comfortable with, that’s a good sign that it’s time to replace your Armor.

I used the Great Sword for most of the Sunbreak Campaign and built the Anjanath X Set and the Rathalos X Set. Both give a great selection of offensive skills, including Agitator and Attack Boost, and are solid sets for their respective ranks.

I never felt I needed any defensive skills until the final boss, but that quickly changed for Risen Elder Dragons and high-level Anomaly Quests.

A Quick Word on Talismans

You’re at the mercy of the RNG Gods when farming for Talismans. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to get the one you want with the new Melding Aurora crafting option, but it could still take dozens of hunts to find something suitable.

One of the most sought-after Talismans is anything with Attack Boost 3. This frees up a lot of space in your Decoration Slots if you want the maximum Attack Boost 7.

You can use Armor skills to patch up weaknesses in your gameplay. If your positioning is poor or you play with friends, unusual Talismans can work wonders.

monster hunter rise armor sets equipment
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This is one of my favorites (pictured), and although it doesn’t offer any offensive skills, I’m immune to all Stuns, I have more defense than usual and share my item effects with nearby Hunters. Attack power is important, but you should always strike a balance.

The Value of Mixed Sets

Thanks to the Layered Armor system, which lets you pick your Armor appearance no matter what you’re wearing, you can use any Armor you like without being kicked out of Elgado for looking ridiculous.

Mixing Armor sets is a great way to get the Skills you want and fine-tune your build. Some sets actively encourage mixing and offer Skills that don’t gel together on their own.

monster hunter rise mixed armor sets
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The Flaming Espinas set, for example (pictured), has a great list of skills, but none of them complement each other. Lore-wise, this makes sense as Flaming Espinas can inflict multiple status effects, but mixing stops the Armor from being completely useless.

Selection Criteria

In the following section, I’ll showcase several Armor sets along with their Skills, Decoration Slots, and suggestions for filling them.

You’ll always want to use Decorations/Skills complimenting your weapon (Mighty Bow for Bow or Horn Maestro for Hunting Horn, for example), so these suggestions are broad. There are a few criteria every Armor Set on this list needs to fulfill.

  • All Armor must be Master Rank.
  • The entirety of the set must be Rank 10.
  • Armor sets must provide value for multiple weapons.

Master Rank Armor is objectively the best in the game, with superior stats and Decoration Slots. Rank 10 Armor has the highest defensive stats, and for the average player, these are essential for taking down high-level Anomaly Monsters and Risen Elder Dragons.

For full disclosure, I play a bit of everything, but my mains are Great Sword, Sword & Shield, and Bow.

The Best Armor Sets in Monster Hunter Rise

As specific armor skills shine with certain weapons, ranking these sets from best to worst is impossible. With this in mind, I’ve put pure sets at the top of the list and finished with a selection of mixed sets to squeeze every last bit of value from your hard-earned gear.

Rimeguard Set

monster hunter rise rimeguard set
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  • Rimeguard Helm – Grinder (S) 3, Protective Polish 1, Ammo Up 3
  • Rimeguard Mail – Frostcraft 1, Quick Sheathe 3
  • Rimeguard Gloves – Frostcraft 1, Critical Draw 3
  • Rimeguard Coil – Frostcraft 1, Focus 3
  • Rimeguard Greaves – Ice Attack 5, Critical Element 3, Element Exploit 1
  • Free Decoration Slots – Level 4 x2 , Level 3 x4, Level 2 x3, Level 1 x4

Mixed sets are a great way to cherry-pick the perfect skills for your build, but sometimes a pure set is so good there’s no need to look elsewhere. Velkhana, the infamous Icy Elder Dragon, was added to Sunbreak in Title Update 4 and offers an impressive skill list to any Hunter strong enough to tame it.

The stars of the show here are the Mail, Gloves, and Coil, which grant an incredible package of skills for Great Sword and Hammer. Quick Sheathe, Critical Draw, and Focus offer great buffs to slow charging attacks and incentivize a slower playstyle focusing on infrequent powerful hits.

Frostcraft is a unique returning skill from Monster Hunter World: Iceborne that increases your weapons attack for a few hits after it’s been sheathed. For weapons that rely on slow attacks, Frostcraft is incredible, and the Mail, Gloves, and Coil are commonly used in mixed sets because of it.

Suggested Decorations

Rimeguard Gear has a generous assortment of Decoration Slots. Attack Boost and Defense Boost are solid options to fill them with, and Slugger is a superb choice for KO damage weapons.

Protective Polish is a good skill for fast attacking weapons, but as the Rimegard Helm only provides a single point, adding an additional point with a Decoration is well worth it.

Chaotic Gore Set

monster hunter rise chaotic gore set
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  • Chaotic Helm – Strife 1, Critical Eye 2, Element Exploit 1
  • Chaotic Mail – Strife 1, Critical Eye 2, Critical Boost 2
  • Chaotic Vambraces – Berserk 1, Bloodlust 1, Resentment 3
  • Chaotic Faulds – Strife 1, Critical Eye 2, Resentment 2
  • Chaotic Greaves – Berserk 1, Bloodlust 1, Coalescence 3
  • Decoration Slots – Level 4 x1, Level 3 x2, Level 2 x1, Level 1 x3

Chaotic Gore Armor offers a perfect storm of skills that complement each other for incredible damage output. This is a fantastic set for the Bow and Dual Blades, as both can deal flurries of critical hits. Critical Eye and Critical Boost are excellent skills and require little investment to max out.

Berserk inflicts the Hunter with the Frenzy Virus, which may sound bad, but this ailment triggers the Coalescence skill, temporarily boosting attacks. The Frenzy Virus offers buffs of its own if a Hunter can overcome it (by dealing consistent damage), so this set offers fantastic stats for aggressive Hunters.

Chaotic Gore Armor is a little light on Decoration Slots, forcing the Hunter to choose between damage or defense. This decision is a little easier to make if you use ranged weapons.

Suggested Decorations

Decoration Slot real estate is at a premium, but as the Critical Eye and Critical Boost skills are one point short of being maxed out, It’s worth adding those. Weakness Exploit compliments these skills and is a great choice to crank up your damage numbers.

Golden Lune Set

monster hunter rise golden lune set
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  • Golden Lunehelm – Status Trigger 2, Foray 1, Burst 2
  • Golden Lunemail – Defiance 2, Counterstrike 2, Divine Blessing 3
  • Golden Lunebraces – Critical Boost 1, Peak Performance 1, Burst 1
  • Golden Lunecoil – Status Trigger 1, Foray 1, Evade Window 2
  • Golden Lunegreaves – Defiance 3, Peak Performance 2, Recovery Up 2
  • Decoration Slots – Level 4 x2, Level 3 x2, Level 2 x6, Level 1 x1

Many popular sets are focused on enabling mighty damage numbers, but hardly any focus on the most important thing of all, keeping you alive.

The Golden Lune set is locked behind the Golden Rathian fight, and she’s one tough cookie. The Armor grants a slew of fantastic defense and QoL skills, including Divine Blessing, which can reduce damage taken by 50%.

Evade Window slightly increases your I-frames when dodging, and Recovery Up grants more health from items like Potions and Life powder.

Defiance is another superb skill that grants several buffs when large monsters become enraged. The lack of damage skills is a downside that can’t be ignored, so you’ll want to add some yourself with your Decoration Slots or Talisman.

Another nice feature of the Golden Lune gear is how the skills aren’t too spread out. If you just want the Divine Blessing and Defiance Skills, you only need the Golden Lunemail and Golden Lunegreaves.

Suggested Decorations

As Golden Lune Armor does such a great job at buffing your defenses, investing in Attack Boost will give your build some much-needed bite. An Attack Boost Talisman will make this easier.

As Defiance already increases your defense against enraged monsters, you can add Agitator (Challenger Jewel) to get an Attack boost at the same time.

Archfiend Armor (Standard Dereliction Set)

monster hunter rise archfiend armor (standard dereliction set)
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  • Archfiend Armor Cerato – Weakness Exploit 1, Resentment 2
  • Archfiend Armor Baulo – Weakness Exploit 1, Resentment 2, Burst 1
  • Archfiend Armor Epine – Dereliction 2, Resentment 1
  • Archfiend Armor Ura – Weakness Exploit 1, Burst 2
  • Archfiend Armor Sceros – Dereliction 1, Resentment 1
  • Decoration Slots – Level 4 x3, Level 3 x2, Level 2 x4, Level 1 x0

I’ll put my hands up and admit I’m not a fan of Dereliction builds and actively avoid them as they don’t work with my playstyle. Still, they are popular online for the damage increase they provide and are among the best sets in the game if you don’t mind the extra health management.

Archfiend Armor is made from Gaismagorm parts and is the first Rank 10 Armor Hunters will have access to. Max rank Dereliction is tough to work around, but I can’t downplay the potential damage output, and it works perfectly with max rank Resentment. Dereliction drains Hunter’s health in exchange for offensive buffs.

Weakness Exploit is a solid offensive skill, and Burst is the same if you consistently land your hits. Archfiend Armor only grants four skills, but as they are all max rank, they are very powerful.

This set can kick your damage output into the stratosphere, but for the sake of your hunting party, keep a close eye on your health bar!

Suggested Decorations

Recovery Up is a decent skill to combat your health drain, as healing items will work significantly better. Anything to increase your defenses is a good choice here. Defiance pairs well with an aggressive playstyle, and Defense Boost or Divine Blessing can save your hide in a tricky spot.

Crimson Valstrax – Epoch

monster hunter rise crimson valstrax – epoch
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  • Valstrax Helm – Dragon Conversion 1, Latent Power 2, Attack Boost 1
  • Valstrax Mail – Dragon Conversion 1, Dragon Resistance 3, Attack Boost 1
  • Valstrax Braces – Critical Boost 2, Latent Power 2, Attack Boost 1
  • Valstrax Coil – Dragon Conversion 1, Stamina Surge 3, Attack Boost 1
  • Valstrax Greaves – Critical Boost 1, Stun Resistance 3, Attack Boost 2
  • Decoration Slots – Level 4 x6, Level 3 x1, Level 2 x1, Level 1 x4

The Epoch variant of Valstrax Armor can only be made with Risen Crimson Glow Valstrax parts. This Quest boasts the highest rank restriction in the game at MR160. The grind is worth it as Valstrax Armor can be used pure, and its solid skill spread can spice up any mixed set.

Most weapons benefit from the Critical Boost, Attack Boost, and Stun Resistance. I love this pure set with the Bow, as Dragon Conversion works great with Elemental builds. The Decoration Slots alone are a huge selling point and make the Armor’s lofty crafting requirements a worthwhile endeavor.

The Crimson Valstrax – Epoch set doesn’t force any play style changes like many unique sets do and offers a simple powerhouse build. This Armor feels like a true endgame ensemble, and unless something drastic changes in Title Update 5, it is one of the best armor sets in the game.

Suggested Decorations

This Armor offers unrivaled build freedom thanks to the ridiculous amount of Level 4 Decoration Slots. If you’ve already beaten Risen Crimson Glow Valstrax, you don’t need me to tell you how to build your Armor but Critical Eye, Critical Boost, Agitator, and Weakness Exploit are all easy routes to mind-blowing damage.

Frostcraft Mixed Set

monster hunter rise frostcraft mixed set
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  • Flaming Espinas Brain – Attack Boost 2, Razor Sharp 1, Spare Shot 1
  • Rimeguard Mail – Frostcraft 1, Quick Sheathe 3
  • Rimeguard Gloves – Frostcraft 1, Critical Draw 3
  • Rimeguard Coil – Frostcraft 1, Focus 3
  • Onmyo Sashiko – Flinch Free 3, Weakness Exploit 2, Offensive Guard 2
  • Decoration Slots – Level 4 x2, Level 3 x4, Level 2 x 4, Level 1 x2

I see many variations of this build online, and it makes sense as it retains the superb Frostcraft Skill from the three Velkhana pieces while getting added value from a different Armor for the head and legs.

The Flaming Espinas Brain grants Attack Boost 2 and is the only Rank 10 head Armor to do so. The Onmyo Sashiko (from Violet Mizutsune) gives Flinch Free 3, which is a necessity in online hunts. This leg Armor also gives Weakness Exploit 2 and Offensive Guard 2. The latter only works if you have a weapon you can block with.

If you have an Ice weapon, swapping out the Onmyo Sashiko for the Rimeguard Greaves gives an enormous buff to elemental damage with Ice Attack 5 and Critical Element 3. Several weapons benefit from Frostcraft and the trio of Rimeguard parts. This is one of many ways you can put them to good use.

Suggested Decorations

As you already have Weakness Exploit 2 and Attack Boost 2, It’s worth using your Decorations to add to those. Earplugs is a nice quality-of-life skill to ensure roars won’t stop you from landing those perfect hits.

Risen Teostra/Chameleos Mixed Set for Poison Status

monster hunter rise - risen teostra - chameleos mixed set for poison status
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  • Risen Kaiser Horns – Powder Mantle 1, Weakness Exploit 1, Critical Eye 2
  • Risen Kaiser Mail – Powder Mantle 1, Weakness Exploit 1, Critical Eye 3
  • Risen Mizuha Sleeves – Buildup Boost 1, Chameleos Blessing 1, Foray 1
  • Risen Kaiser Coil – Powder Mantle 1, Master’s Touch 1, Ballistics 2
  • Risen Mizuha Gaiters – Buildup Boost 1, Chameleos Blessing 1, Evade Window 2
  • Decoration Slots – Level 4 x3, Level 3 x2, Level 2 x4, Level 1 x3

If you’re using a Poison weapon and skills like Frostcraft don’t benefit you, try this set for size. This set gets a lot of mileage from the Teostra head and chest giving Weakness Exploit 2 and Critical Eye 5.

You can use Decorations to max both of these skills out. Buildup Boost grants a damage increase when a Monster has a status ailment, and as Poison lasts the longest, it works perfectly with a Poison weapon.

The legs are a flex slot in this build. I like the Mizuha Gaiters for the extra Buildup Boost, and Evade Window is a decent defensive skill, but you can definitely swap this one out.

I infrequently see players using Ingot Greaves X for Attack Boost 2 and Critical Eye 2, but as it’s Rank 8 Armor, its defense stat pales compared to the Risen Mizuha Gaiters. The Gaiters also benefit from an extra Level 4 Decoration Slot.

Suggested Decorations

You only need a single point of Weakness Exploit and Critical Eye to max out the Skills, so that should be a priority. Attack Boost is a solid addition, especially if you opt for Ingot Greaves X over the Gaiters. See how you perform, and don’t be afraid to use Defense Boost if you lack survivability.

Risen Teostra Blast Mixed Set

monster hunter rise - risen teostra blast mixed set
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  • Risen Kaiser Horns – Power Mantle 1, Weakness Exploit 1, Critical Eye 2
  • Risen Kaiser Mail – Powder Mantle 1, Weakness Exploit 1, Critical Eye 3
  • Risen Mizuha Sleeves – Buildup Boost 1, Chameleos Blessing 1, Foray 1
  • Risen Kaiser Coil – Powder Mantle 1, Master’s Touch 1, Ballistics 2
  • Archfiend Armor Sceros – Dereliction 1, Resentment 1
  • Decoration Slots – Level 4 x2, Level 3 x3, Level 2 x6, Level 1 x2

This set shares many similarities with the Poison status build above but for different reasons. The three Risen Teostra parts give Powder Mantle 3, which works perfectly with a Blast weapon once you’ve mastered the awkward timing.

You can use a Teostra Soul Jewel 2 as your Rampage Decoration to increase Blast procs by 10%, and the same Buildup Boost we wanted for the Poison set also works for Blast. Finally, Dereliction and Resentment from the legs work together if you’re confident in managing your health.

Dereliction saps your health in exchange for a power boost when you Switch Skill Swap. Resentment grants a slight damage increase when you have recoverable health, and Dereliction will keep you in that state. The legs are a flex slot if you’re uncomfortable with the health drain.

Suggested Decorations

This set has an abundance of Level 2 Decoration Slots which are perfect for Attack Boost. One additional point in Weakness Exploit is essential, and you can invest in Critical Eye or Critical Boost for a decent damage increase.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Why don’t You Like Dereliction Builds?

Answer: Dereliction is a great Skill for pure DPS, but as I primarily play online, I notice that many players can’t handle the Risk/Reward it offers. Dereliction is constantly sapping your health, and unless you’re a skilled player, this will get you killed.
Many builds on YouTube boast phenomenal damage numbers with Dereliction and are crafted by pro players. The average Hunter doesn’t have the game sense to make these glass cannon builds work, and the entire hunting party suffers.

Question: Is there a Way to Increase My MR Rank Quickly?

Answer: Yes, there is. There’s an MR5 Event Quest called Roar of the Black Eclipse. It’s a fight in the arena against a Gore Magala. This Quest rewards Hunters with a lot of EXP and is a well-known farming mission.
If you allow other players into your hunts, you’ll almost always have an entire squad within the first few minutes.

Question: How much Defense Do I Need?

Answer: This is a tricky question, as only you know how often you get hit. A complete Rank 10 set will make you sufficiently tanky, but against endgame threats, you may need something more. For perspective, Risen Crimson Glow Valstrax can kill you in a single hit if you have anything less than 1000 Defense.
If you’re good enough to avoid the attack 100% of the time, you don’t need to invest so much in defensive skills. I’m more comfortable spending a few Decoration Slots on survivability skills like Divine Blessing and Defense Boost.

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