You know those gags where somebody gets beat up the head by a cello? Well, now you can do that in this game! The Hunting Horn is essentially a giant oversized musical instrument, ranging from horns to bells to pianos to cellos, and not only can you play songs that will buff you and your allies, but you can give your enemies a good whack upside the head to KO them!
Different attacks will play different notes, which show up in the top left. When a full song of maximum four notes long has been played, the notes will have a gold background pop up behind them, indicating that you can play the song. Each Hunting Horn has its own unique spread of songs, however every Hunting Horn has access to the "self-improvement" song, a self-buff that when played the first time will increase your movement speed, and played again will guarantee that your attacks do not bounce!
Why have a hammer when you can have a Hunting Horn?
|Impact weapon can knockout monsters and compared to Hammer you have much more frontal and vertical reach||Slow attack speed and short combos|
|The ultimate support weapon when playing with others that can still dish out damage||Don't just sit there and play a song while everyone else is fighting you are basically leeching at that point|
|Self-improvement songs increase your movement speed so you don't have to sheathe, and will give you Mind's Eye effect||As an impact weapon, you can't cut tails except for with a very weak shaft poke|
|Controls||Attack (Guild Style)|
|X||Forward lunge attack if unsheathing or moving forward, otherwise it's a basic swing (note 1)|
|A||Right swing (note 2), press A while moving to flourish|
|X+A||Backwards swing (note 3)|
|R||Perform a melody, press again to Encore, also does a giant swing attack at the same time|
|Kick icon||Tap the kick icon on the touchscreen to do the shaft poke|
As you can see, the Hunting Horn is elegantly simple to use. Common combos include A-X-A and other permutations. Or, if you want to get more sophisticated, try A, follow up with a spin smash (move while pressing X+A), and then do the backwards swing, and end with a forward lunge attack. Keep in mind that in order to play notes you must do specific attacks, and so not all songs are going to be condusive to performing a song. But when playing with others, don't abandon the fight entirely. Not only will this disrupt everyone's rhythm is the monster's aggro switches to you and thus it must go to the otherside of the area, but you aren't contributing any damage and you're essentially leeching.
If you successfully land a hit on the monster as you perform a note, and are able to string together a coherent song, you will see "double notes" appear (not the proper musical term). This will give you additional buffs that "single notes" alone wouldn't give.
A word on the kick icon: You can choose to have it not visible on the touch screen interface, in which case you are essentially banned from using the attack. So if you want to be able to do the shaft poke (it's a good way to lead into other combos, I guess?) make sure you have the kick icon available. Note that it is extremely weak, and while you can cut tails, it is inefficient and you're better off going online to let others help you, or switching to a cutting weapon yourself.
Your forward lunge attack and backwards swing have been removed, and you can also no longer flourish. Combos are very simplified. Press A three times for a combo, press X twice for another combo. The X combo is infinite and so can look. Pressing X+A will lead to you doing a slam instead, and it cannot combo into anything else, so just roll out of it. X still does note 1, A does note 2, and X+A does note 3 so you don't lose any songs.
In exchange you can equip three Hunting Arts.
You also lose the flourish here, and several of your X and A combos are now executable in the air. On the ground, your A combo will always be a leftward swing followed up by a shaft poke (unlike other styles where it is icon-only). In the air, you can use your left circle pad to add directional input to your attacks, and as you land you can also press R to perform quickly (you will not attack though!). Note that in the air, pressing X, A, or X+A lets you do two swings for the price of one button press (although if the monster you are fighting is very small or very fast, it's unlikely that you'll land both).
You can equip one Hunting Art.
The combos follow the exact same as Aerial Style so if you're switching between the two you're lucky! Not much of a learning curve to master between them. However, if you successfully perform the perfect evade and during the sprint press X, A, or X+A, you will perform an automatic three-hit combo with the finisher being a giant ground slam. You can roll-cancel this combo anytime and you can even perform different notes during this combo. After you finish the combo you can continue your standard attacks, you can roll out of it, or you can perform a song.
You can equip one Hunting Art.
You could technically play the Hunting Horn like a modified Hammer without a charge attack and never think about the songs once. But then you might as well as play Hammer so use those songs and use them often! Maestro is the perfect armor skill for you as it will increase the lifespan of buffs accrued via Hunting Horn melodies. In addition, Knockout King will help you get in more KOs. Since you have no shield, consider investing in Evasion+1/+2 or Evade Distance Up to help evasion.
Since you can self-improve yourself to prevent your attacks from bouncing, you don't need to worry as much about Mind's Eye. So try to grab Sharpness +1/+2 or Razor Sharp if you can.