Bow Builds (Armor Piercing Arrows, Dragon Piercer Bowman & Fearless Bomber Bowman): MHW

Bow Builds mhw

Often overlooked between the different ranged weapon options, the Bow is quite easy to use but sometimes tricky to master to make use of its full strength.

With the many attacks and different coatings provided along with the Bow, several opportunities reveal themselves depending on the different type of builds.

These builds offer flexibility and focus on certain playstyles which may aid you in your quests which pit you against some of the toughest monsters around.

Also Read Below The Other Bow Guides

Note: If you are on Mobile device swipe table to the left to see the below full table information completely.

1) Armor Piercing Arrows Bow Build

This Build Focuses on piercing tough armor and carapaces of high tier monsters and breaking them off then taking advantage of the weakened areas to maximize damage and effectiveness in combat while staying at a relative distance from your target.

Armor Set





Nergigante Helm γNergigante Mail βEmpress Vambraces γKulve Taroth’s Malice γKulve Taroth’s Wrath γ
Jewel Slot2-2-02-1-00-0-03-0-0


Vs. Fire

Vs. Water111-2


Vs. Thunder

Vs. Ice11-3-4


Vs. Dragon

Base Defense72647072



Stamina Surge x1, Agitator x1Satamina Surge x2Evade Extender x1, Agitator x2Critical Boost x1, Weakness Exploit 1x

Agitator x2, Heat Guard  x1


Defensive Charms

  • Thunder Charm – III
  • Blessing Charm – III
  • Ice Charm – III

Attack Charms

  • Breaker Charm II – Primary
  • Piercing Charm I


  • 1x Mighty Bow Jewel 2
  • 2x Critical Jewel 2
  • 1x Destroyer Jewel 2
  • 2x Tenderizer Jewel 2
  • 3x Slots Lv 1 Empty – Dragon Res Jewel – Optional


  • Agitator 5/5 – Armor

                       Skill Effect:Level 5: While active, grants Attack +20 and increases Affinity by 10%

One of the most reliable damage increasing skills is the Agitator since more often than not Monsters are angry at you anyway.

  • Critical Boost 3/3 – Armor/Decoration

                      Skill Effect:Level 3: Increases damage dealt by critical hits to 140%

An essential skill for most bow builds to improve the damage output of your weapon. 

  • Weakness Exploit 3/3 – Armor/Decoration

                      Skill Effect:Level 3: Attacks that hit weak spots have 30% increased Affinity, with an extra 20% on wounded parts

Synergizes with this build since the focus is breaking and opening up weak spots

  • Bow Charge Plus 1/1 – Decoration

                      Skill Effect:Level 1: Increase max bow charge level by one

Improves directly your damage output by increasing your charge from 3 to 4 charges.

  • Part Breaker 3/3 – Charm/Decoration

                      Skill Effect:Level 3: Part damage +30%

The main part of this build makes monsters more vulnerable to attacks by breaking tougher armored spots exposing weaker areas to your arrows.

  • Dragon Res 3/3 – Decoration – Optional Skill

                      Skill Effect:Level 3: +20 Dragon Resistance and +10 Defense

Directly counteracts the build’s weakness to the Dragon Element.

Stat Stick Skills

Effective although cannot be improved or removed from the armor set itself this can be tweaked to your personal preference with the build if you wish to modify and incorporate them in it.

  • Evade Extender 1/3 – Armor.

                         Skill Effect:Level 1: Slightly extends evasion distance.

A minute improvement to your sliding but still welcome regardless for helping you dodge a wider attack by monsters.

  • Heat Guard 1/1 – Armor.

                        Skill Effect:Level 1: Nullifies Heat damage.

This is Monster and Location specific when it comes to being useful this can negate Lunastra’s area flames as long as they are ignited and Xeno Jiiva’s flames and the lava locations in the Elder’s Recess.

Suggested Weapon Options

Villainous Brace – Deviljho

Simple and effective this weapon is perfect for this build due to its very high damage, dragon element and it’s high Elderseal making it a great tool in synergy with this build against even Arch-tempered Monsters.

Any Other Element Bows

We can’t go on specifics with the other bows that are effective with this build since the design itself works for any Bow like the Flying Kadachi Strike Bow (Thunder) or the Rathslinger III (Fire) and Legia Snow Fletcher (Ice) just to name a few bows that are effective with this build.

Pros and Cons


  • Open build for any Bow to be used.
  • Flexible and modifiable build.
  • Maximizing the effectiveness of arrows.


  • Non direct skill for improving damage and affinity.

How to Use The Armor Piercing Arrows Build

Going in aggressive is actually the best thing about this build getting in close making quick shots at close range and charged shots at longer ranges.

Remember to dodge and slide when after attacking if they get too close it can sometimes save you from getting trampled by attacks.

This build is good for solo fighters or team hunts, it can rain arrows at monsters breaking away their tougher parts exposing more vulnerable weak spots to make quick work of monsters regardless how many you are hunting in the area.

2) Dragon Piercer Bowman Bow Build

This build focuses on the Dragon Piercer attack that deals massive damage as it passes through monsters accompanied with Dragon Element damage and multiple skills that improve the attack and element damage of the build.

Armor Set





Rath Soul Helm βRathalos Mail βVaal Hazak Braces γXeno’jiiva Spine γXeno’jiiva Spurs γ
Jewel Slot1-1-01-0-02-3-01-3-0


Vs. Fire

Vs. Water2142


Vs. Thunder

Vs. Ice-31-12


Vs. Dragon

Base Defense56546472



Critical Boost x1, Rathalos Power 1/2Weakness Exploit x1, Rathalos Power 1/2Dragon Attack x3Critical Boost x1

Critical Boost x1


Attack Charms

  • Special Shot Charm II


  • 1x Mighty Bow Jewel 2
  • 3x Dragon Jewel 1
  • 3x Fire Res Jewel 1
  • 2x Pierce Jewel 3
  • 1x Tenderizer Jewel 2


  • Critical Boost 3/3

                       Skill Effect:Level 3: Increases damage dealt by critical hits to 140%

This is statistically better at improving damage overall rather than direct damage modifiers. 

  • Weakness Exploit 3/3

                      Skill Effect:Level 3: Attacks that hit weak spots have 30% increased Affinity, with an extra 20% on wounded parts

Improves general affinity ratings on attacks with the Bow increasing critical chances. 

  • Critical Element 1/1

                    Skill Effect:Level 1: Increases Elemental Damage (Fire, Water, Thunder, Ice, Dragon) when landing critical hits by 1.35x for Bows

This is to maximize the damage output of your very high elemental attacks.

  • Dragon Attack 6/6

                    Skill Effect:Level 6: +20% Dragon Attack and +100 Dragon Attack

Main damage booster of the build to maximize the Dragon element attack. 

  • Bow Charge Plus 1/1

                    Skill Effect:Level 1: Increase max bow charge level by one

Adds another level of charge to maximize damage a bit of overkill but is useful due to the build. 

  • Fire Resistance 3/3

                   Skill Effect:Level 3: +20 Fire Resistance and +10 Defense

This is a general improvement especially most of the monsters you will be facing uses fire damage.

  • Piercing Shot 2/2

                  Skill Effect:Level 2: Greatly increases the power of piercing ammo and Dragon Piercer

  • Special Ammo Boost 2/2

Skill Effect:Level 2: Increases the power of bowgun special ammo and Dragon Piercer by 20%

These 2 skills improver the damage potential of your Dragon Piercer attack

Suggested Weapon Options

Dragonbone Bow (Dragonbone Tree)

Basically the best recomendable weapon due to its very high Dragon Element damage that can be pushed upwards to 600 Dragon Element with the skills in this build.

Pros and Cons


  • Very High Dragon Element Damage
  • Good for most monsters
  • Great for Solo or Team Hunts


  • Few customizable parts.
  • The user is weak against receiving Dragon Element attacks.
  • Less effective against smaller monsters.

How to Use The Dragon Piercer Bowman Build

Focus your attacks with quick shots and arc shots to stagger and exhaust your target while making sure to use Dragon Piercer on openings.

Aim for the head running down to the tail to maximize penetration damage of the Dragon Piercer, forcing the shots to go through the whole monster.

Carry the charge to max and use Dragon Piercer for maximum Damage but don’t be greedy with attacks and try to use a second Dragon Piercer since the attack stance leaves you vulnerable.

3) Fearless Bomber Bowman Bow Build FBB

This build will let users do most Bow attacks uninterrupted or using the roars and slams of monsters as openings for attacks that build up Blast Blight on targets, dealing extra damage.

Armor Set




Baan Helm βZorah Hide γZorah Claws γKaiser Coil βZorah Spurs γ
Jewel Slot2-0-01-1-13-1-02-0-0


Vs. Fire

Vs. Water2-3-3-3


Vs. Thunder

Vs. Ice1-2-2-3


Vs. Dragon

Base Defense46727264



Tremor Resistance x1Tremor Resistance x2, Zorah Magdaros Mastery 1/3Earplugs x2, Zorah Magdaros Mastery 1/3Blast Attack 2x

Blast Attack x2, Critical Eye x1, Zorah Magdaros Mastery 1/3


Defensive Charms

  • Earplugs Charm – Primary
  • (Element) Res Charm III
  • Blessing Charm III

Attack Charms

  • Breaker Charm II
  • Exploit Charm II


  • 3x Critical Jewel 2
  • 6x Expert Jewel 1


  • Tremor Resistance 3/3

                      Skill Effect:Level 3: Nullifies minor and major ground tremors

Most slam attacks offer an opening for attacks since after they slam they stay still for a couple of sec.

  • Earplugs 5/5

                     Skill Effect:Level 5: Nullifies weak and strong monster roars

Much like the tremors Roars are a good opening for attacks.

  • Blast Attack 4/4

                     Skill Effect:Level 4: Blast buildup +30% Bonus: +10

A very favorable status attack when the blast blight takes effect it deals a chunk of damage.

  • Critical Eye 7/7

                    Skill Effect:Level 7: +40% Affinity

Affinity and critical hits that deal damage is higher by a certain percent instead of solid damage.

  • Critical Status 1/1

               Skill Effect: Level 1: Increases abnormal status effect damage (Paralysis, Poison, Sleep, Blast) when landing critical hits Grants an additional status buildup of 40% on critical hits

Building up Blast Blight faster means dealing huge chunks of blast damage on monsters.

  • Mind’s Eye/Ballistics 1/1

                  Skill Effect:Level 1: Prevents attacks from being deflected. Also shortens the distance before ammo and arrows reach maximum power

Making sure all of your hits builds up the damage is very ideal when fighting monsters.

  • Bow Charge Plus

                         Skill Effect:Level 1: Increase max bow charge level by one.

Improving the charge of your weapons also increases the proc of Blast Blight.

Suggested Weapon Options

Empress Arrow “Blaze” (Lunastra)

With its high Affinity rating and base damage this bow is a great weapon for this build, that also provides a free skill, extra decoration slots and an augment which provides options and customizability to the build.

Defender V (Defender)

A great alternative choice for the build due to its low material cost when crafting and its ok damage and blast element that works with the build even though lacking on affinity and customizability.

Pros and Cons


  • Prevents interruption from most of the monsters disabling attacks.
  • Quick and fast attacks
  • Improves Weapon Coatings.


  • Low Element Defense
  • Ineffective Vs Wind Pressure

How to Use The Fearless Bomber Bowman Build

You can be aggressive with this build to make monsters angry, causing them to roar at you and afterwards you may fire your arrows during the time of vulnerability.

Be careful when getting close to winged monsters since they can still apply wind pressure that can make you flinch.

Use the Bow’s slide moves to keep moving even though you are not flinching to compensate for incoming attacks.

Your main source of damage is the blast status effect so make sure you are continuously attacking and building up blast for massive bursts of damage.


Overall, the builds make use of all aspects of the Bow from its combos and skills to their carried elemental attacks and status effects.

Each build can improve the effectiveness of a bow and even alter its overall traits to best suit your playstyle and bend fights towards your advantage.

These builds are great for both new and experienced hunters as they can be used on different quests and modified to suit one’s goals during a fight.

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