Can't decide between the mobility of a sword and shield-like weapon and the brutal force of a heavier axe-like weapon? Then the Charge Blade is for you! Attack while in sword mode to charge up phials, and have access to a very durable shield. Then, switch to axe mode and unleash powerful phial explosions such as an Ultra Burst! Different Charge Blades even have different phial types, ranging from elements to statuses to even impact, letting you achieve spectacular knockouts.
|Shield is very durable, and elemental boost mode increases its durability further||Changing between sword and axe mode and sheathing takes a long time|
|A Charge Blade with an impact phial can KO monsters||Axe mode is slow with limited mobility|
|Sword mode has quick movement and combos, axe mode has impressive reach and power||It is possible to overcharge your phials in sword mode, and if that happens your attacks will all bounce|
|Phial attacks in axe mode will not bounce||Using your shield consumes weapon sharpness if not in elemental boost mode|
|Controls||Attack (Guild Style: Sword Mode)|
|X||Forward slash, combos three times|
|A||Charged double slash|
|X+A||While idle, use this to dash forward and slash. If within a combo, will perform a shield bash|
|R||Guard with shield|
|R+X||Switch to axe mode|
|R+A||Load phials. Right after this you can change into axe mode with A, press X for a powerful, quick attack, or perform a shield bash|
|B||Evasive roll or sidehop|
|Controls||Attack (Guild Style: Axe Mode)|
|X||Slam attack, can be comboed twice|
|A||Element discharge, consumes one phial|
|X+A||Use after elemental discharge for phial discharge attack|
|R||Change to sword mode. Or use during phial discharge animation to cancel the discharge and instead enter elemental boost mode|
|B||Evasive roll or sidehop|
With two different weapon modes and different perks of each, the Charge Blade can seem very intimidating and technical at first, but that's just not true. The general gist of playing this weapon, no matter what your style is, is this: Sword mode is good for fast hits and is a good all-arounder. It is also the place where you charge up and store phials. When the monster is down, or when your phials are ready, change seamlessly to axe mode and use up those phials for a punishing assault.
The Charge Blade also has something special called Guard Points , or GPs. During some attacks in sword mode, your shield is, by virtue of the animation, being held in front of you. If the monster attacks at the right spot in your attack animation, your hunter will automatically guard . GPs, when activated successfully, give you an opening by which to easily flow into other combos. You don't need to use GPs, especially if you are an evasive player, but it is a nice bonus to have.
Another new mode in Charge Blade is elemental boost mode . This is a very powerful buffed state that you can enter. Your shield will glow red when this happens and for 30 seconds you get increased guarding capabilities close to what a Lance's shield can achieve, a 20% boost to axe mode attacks, and you can perform an extra-powerful phial discharge attack, the ultra burst! For each phial you use to charge your shield you have 30 seconds in elemental boost mode. You can also keep charging it while it is still in elemental boost mode to extend its lifetime.
In Guild Style, with two Hunting Arts at your disposal, it's recommended you choose one that is good for utility and one that will help you deal maximum damage. Generally avoid using healing phials, as it's much more effective for you to bring Lifepowders instead.
You lose out on the Shield Bash attack and gain a Guard Point opportunity at the start of your X+A dash attack. Sweet! This encourages you to be ever more aggressive with your parries and thrusts because as you close in on the monster, you can guard at the same time and then continue uninterrupted to unleash the pain. In addition you can now equip three Hunting Arts, so go wild and watch your enemies grovel before your feet!
Your evasive roll is, naturally, replaced with your aerial somersault, although your sidehops are preserved. Many of your attacks have been shifted into the air; for example, pressing R after a vault lets you morph from sword into axe mode and attack at the same time! You can also do a phial-charging attack in sword mode in the air now. If you are in axe mode, you can do a phial discharge attack in the air by pressing X+A so be sure you have your aim locked carefully or else the potential to miss is much higher. The aerial phial discharge attack behaves the exact same way a groundbased phial discharge would, so no surprises there.
You lose the ability to combo attacks after your Shield Bash, namely a more powerful Shield Bash follow up and the roundhouse slash. In exchange, you gain the Adept Style's classic perfect evade, and you even gain the perfect guard that Lance gains. Perfect guard is at your disposal in sword mode, and perfect evade is for you in axe mode. Keep in mind you must not be moving to do a perfect guard. Successful perfect guards let you chain directly into charged hits, or even go straight into elemental boost mode without having to enter axe mode!
If in axe mode, press R after a perfect evade to do a short sprint, which you can immediately follow up with A to do an elemental discharge hit.
If you are using your shield and GPs a lot, Guard +1/+2 will help you take more powerful attacks. Or if you like to take advantage of your sidehops, get Evasion +1/+2 . If using impact phials to KO monsters, Knockout King will help you greatly. If running elemental phials, the respective element up skill will help you deal more damage, especially on the phial discharges.
General skills such as Airborne for Aerial players, Sharpness+1/+2, Mind's Eye, and Razor Sharp are also great choices for better extending the life of your weapon.