Hello, I am dunkeddonuts and this is my opinion of the best skills in the game from A tier to D tier. This does not include food skills or armor skills, just every skill you could possibly think of, right here. The way I do this is by ranking every skill on how much you would use them in combat or in general. All these skills were taken from the MHW wiki.
Please let me know if some skills should be re-ranked or some I missed should be added.
Artillery: Some may be confused by this, but I said what the skill does for the weapon or hunter. Anyways, artillery is a must have in any gunlance or sticky build because it’s a 30% damage buff for that weapon. It’s very noticeable when you put it into any build that deals boom boom damage.
Critical boost: This skill is a part of what i call :The affinity trio” as it works incredibly well with critical eye and weakness exploit. one you have any amount of affinity higher than 25%, a 40% damage increase in any build is stupidly powerful (except sticky) and should be used 99% of the time. There may be a time where you don’t need it, probably cause you’re doing something that doesn’t require crits, which I have not encountered a build that involves this.
Critcal Element: Any build based around elemental attack should have this. It’s incredibly powerful and should not be overlooked. Same deal with critical status.
Critical Eye: Arguably the best skill in the game, as affinity is incredibly important in most builds and it does so well with crit boost for a 40% chance for 40% more damage is the most notable power increase you could ever have. Hunts gone in a flash just with this. Many pro builds have maxed out crit eye and I think you should have it too.
Divine Blessing: Not a necessity in any build but a large chunk of lvl 4 skills have divine blessing with them like challenger/protection and there are countless times where this will save your ass from carting.
Evade window: Again, not required in any build but certainly noticeable and useful if your timing is correct, which builds with skill.
Free elem./ Ammo up: A need in any bowgun build just for shooting more rounds without having to reload and not having to reload as often is good because less time reloading more time shooting.
Recovery Up: A nice skill to have in any build but not required, it works well with mega potions, not max potions, but if you take 70 damage or something, using a max potion would be a waste when you could use a mega potion for efficiency.
Weakness Exploit: A 50% affinity boost on tenderized parts is amazing and should be in any crit build.
Elem./Status Skills: Fire attack, blast attack anything like that. These I am putting at A tier because it’s good for some circumstances. Think of it this way: the faster the weapon attacks, the better the skill effect will be. Not recommended on fatalis weapons however. It’s a great skill to have for dual blades, insect glaive, sword and shield, maybe long sword, all those faster weapons.
Capacity Boost: CB and GL, this is a great addition to any build for those weapons, and only takes up one slot. However, many builds can float above the water without it.
Clutch Claw Boost: Oh my it’s so nice on every weapon, it just takes a lot to make the deco.
Coalescence: After being affected with a blight and curing yourself from it, extra attack and element makes having this skill with blight res 2 worth it.
Constitution: As a dual blades main, (and i played bow a few times) this is a good skill to have. However it takes up a lot of slots to be a level 5 skill, but it’s what the skill does for the hunter and almost a need on bow and very nice to have on dual blades.
Free Meal: It’s not required, only for support builds, but it’s just a great skill to have and almost like it’s a QoL thing to get a max potion refunded.
Handicraft: It’s a great skill, especially if you find yourself burning through sharpness levels, just that it takes 5 or 3 slots to max out.
Health Boost: This skill is like an absolute neeeeeeeed for any build. However with the endgame meta being fatty 4 piece this skill becomes near useless to endgame hunters. Don’t get me wrong, it’s S tier for anything that isn’t fatalis armor.
Horn Maestro: Any horn player would enjoy having this skill in their build, just not necessary.
Marathon Runner: Especially for dual blades, but having any weapon with this and tracking a monster while being able to run 50% longer is a great addition to a build, but check if you can afford to have it in your build for better S tier skills. Also any charge weapons like hammer or bow work well with this.
Partbreaker: This is definitely good for grinding a few extra monster parts out as well as making fatalis easier.
Peak Performance: 20+ damage for just having your health bar is great and works with a health regen augment, just that taking damage nerfs you.
Power Prolonger: I could put this in the multi-weapon section, but it’s A tier for every weapon it affects except dual blades. It’s almost required for switch axe.
Slugger: This is on the line of S and A tier because how well it works with blunt weapons. Nailing a monster in the head with a beefy hit and knocking them down is satisfying and powerful strategy.
Speed Sharpening: If you’re having sharpness problems and can’t afford to have handicraft with you, this could help with the cost of only 3 slots taken for it and reducing the sharpness ticks to 2. However there’s also using great whetfish fins to sharpen your weapon quickly.
Spread/Power Shots: With fatalis hbg shotgun being overpowered, this is required for any spread build.
Stamina Surge: For what it does with dualies and bow or any stamina intensive weapons, it’s great to include in your build.
Offensive Guard: Great Sword works well with this, having the highest attack in the game, then having it increased by 15% for great timing and gunlance becoming even more powerful than it was before. oh yeah and lance
Bow charge plus: Extra charge extra damage oh yeah
Airborne: It’s great on hammer and IG, but IG doesn’t do that much damage and hammer doesn’t fly much.
Resistance Skills: Only should use this if your elemental resistances are in the negatives and are fighting a monster that deals that type of elem. damage.
Botanist: It’s only in the gathering/small monster category and to save time, I’m putting all them in here (think geologist, carving pro, entomologist, etc.)
Critical Draw: Guaranteed crit for one attack. Not the greatest.
Defense Boost: If you’re really struggling with defense, just upgrade or get new armor. This skill isn’t the best.
Earplugs: If you have evade window and good timing, you can roll through a monster’s roar. It seems really good, but it’s not and you need it to be level 5 for it actually do something.
Elderseal boost: Elderseal isn’t that good, it only works against elder dragons doing their things like teo’s nova or nami’s discharge.
Evade extender: Fun to mess around with, doesn’t really matter if you roll right into brachydios clocking you in the face. Still a nice skill.
Flinch free: It’s not too good as it just takes up space for better skills.
Fortify: Boosts attack and defense when you cart. Think about how that wouldn’t be practical.
Heat Guard: Only applies to certain monsters and areas. If you are not in those areas this is a waste of slots or bad armor.
Heavy Artillery: Only for fatalis, that’s it.
Heroics: An insane way of boosting your attack and defense, just many, many people can’t utilize it well for fear of carting, and you’ll scare your horn main who’s playing support 🙁
Item prolonger: a nice skill, just kinda useless because there’s better skills.
Latent Power: You have to take damage for this to activate then wait a long time just to activate it again. Good while it’s active, bad while it’s not. (most of the time it’s not)
Master mounter: No decorations to activate it and bad armor to activate it too.
Maximum Might: Gotta keep that stamina bar full, if it’s not your crit build is gone. Most of the time you’re running from a monster or superman diving to save your ass. That does in fact take stamina.
Normal Shots: When will you ever use normal ammo.
Piercing Shots: requires very specific positioning to deal max damage and the monster has to be very long to do noticeable damage.
Quick sheath: Only for frostcraft builds really and you can sheath fast enough.
Recovery Speed: Only works for the red part of your health which is healable with anything else like a mega potion and recovery up.
Resentment: It isn’t as good as it sounds, trust me.
Resuscitate: You have to be inflicted with something for it to work. While you’re inflicted with something, you’re focused on not having the blight you are inflicted with, which procs coalescence.
Speed Eating: I used this for a while, it’s like cigarettes, if you don’t have it, you heal so slowly.
Stamina Thief: I would not use this in a build, for what stealing stamina from a monster does. (it does not do that much to be worth it)
Stun resistance: it’s alright
Tool Specialist: Recharges mantles faster, just takes a lot to max it out in a build.
Tremor Resistance: Only for very specific situations against very specific monsters.
Wide Range: Your teammates can heal themselves just fine.
Windproof: Literally only for kushala, when will you ever want to hunt him by your own will?
D tier (trash)
BBQ Master: I have used the BBQ spit for about 5 minutes out of 720 hours of this game. Listen to the song and it takes 2 and 1/4 turns anyways.
Blindsider: I don’t even know what this does or how much it does it but it uses flash pods and there’s no deco for it.
Bleeding Resistance: Astera Jerky doesn’t cost that much and the 2 monsters that inflict it will slap your ♥♥♥♥ if you crouch down for 5 seconds.
Cliffhanger: You can’t possibly be climbing that high or far for this to be useful.
Dungmaster: Dung pods in general are carried much by any hunter and at least one monster will go away by 30 seconds if there are 2 in 1 area.
Effluvia Res/Expert: Effluvia may be annoying, but it’s minor damage.
Forager’s luck: With geologist and botanist and other skills like that, forager’s luck becomes almost irrelevant.
Honey Hunter: You can get plenty of honey by the Botanic Research than sacrifice your build by using this.
Iron Skin: ooh scary pickle gonna reduce my defence oh no
Intimidator: You can very well teach any small monster a lesson without this.
Jump Master: Getting hit while jumping is the least of your worries.
Leap of Faith: What reason would you ever need to use this?
Master Fisher: oh yeah i’m so good at fishing because i equipped a funky bone skirt
Pro Transporter: You’re never ever gonna use this.
Scoutfly Range Up: What does this even do?
Speed Crawler: Because crouching and walking is worth it in your build and everyone should be doing it instead of sprinting.
Survival Expert: Hmm yummy bug worth wasting my deco slots and armor pieces
Stealth: Hiding from a monster does not stop them from kicking your ass.
Provoker: Why would you want a monster to attack you?
Safe Landing: I can get up quicker so that monster can slap me faster
Coldproof: Drink some hot juice, you’ll be fine.
Focus: Switch Axe: It is an A tier skill for switch axe, as it’s almost like it’s needed in any switch axe build. It isn’t, just strongly recommended.
Great Sword: It’s a B tier skills for great sword, just because it’s not required or strongly recommended, but nice to have in your build.
Charge Blade: A tier for cb, faster phail charge, the better and more damage you can deal. Very recommended.
Long Sword: definitely B tier, the same reasoning for great sword.
Dual Blades: Having this skill in a dualie build is considered D tier for me. Archdemon mode is really easy to get to on top of being useless to dual blades. I main dual blades and I never have noticed what archdemon mode does for me except give me a few extra funky attacks.
Gunlance: charging shellings doesn’t take too long, a 15% faster charge rate would just be taking up space on your build, C tier.
SnS: I don’t play sns but I heard it increases back hop time or whatever so b tier
Hammer: I would not put this on hammer, as if you’ve played it 50 times or so, you can time things perfectly to connect with the monster’s face. When you add focus, your timing get’s thrown off, or if you’re new to hammer, you get used to it and when it’s gone, your timing will be off. C tier
Bow: definitely a 2 way split, but I asked a bow main and he said charging is the way he does it so it’s a great skill to use on bow to shoot just a bit faster. B tier