A new predator lurks in the New World, ready to interrupt 6* and 7* quests, but it can also be found during expeditions. Don’t be the hunted when you can be the hunter! Exit Astera via any of its gates and search each High Rank locale, paying attention to the monsters listed on the right of the screen. Look for an unknown (???) monster and - assuming you’ve discovered every mosnter already - this should be Deviljho. If you don’t see such a monster, travel to any of these areas, then exit back to the map and search the other locales again. Repeat until you find this monster lurking around, enter the area, then search for its tracks, which should lead you to the monster.
After discovering Deviljho, fight or flee, then return to Astera and find a blue exclaimation point, indicating a trio of scholars. Talk to the Jovial Researcher, who will thank you - belatedly - for your help in the Wildspire Waste before leading you to the Commander for an impromptu meeting. At this meeting, the Jovial Scholar will long-windedly babble about the circle of life before getting to the point and telling you about a possible disruption to the food chain - the Deviljho. A monster so fearsome, the Commander sells it as more powerful than an Elder Dragon. Enough hyperbole there, big guy. To fight this new threat, he’ll place the three scholars in charge of the investigation and assign the Fifth Fleet (that’s you) to do all the actual work. To make this point crystal clear (unless it’s one of those lame, cloudy crystals that nobody likes) they’ll immediately tell you to start looking for clues… and promise yet another new tool for you, should you be successful.
After this, you’ll get an explanation of how your hunt for Deviljho will proceed and the new category of quests - Special Assignments - will be introduced to you. As for the Deviljho investigation, it works similarly to the Elder Dragon investigations - go out on expeditions where Deviljho is present, collect Research Points by investigating tracks, and when you get enough (in this case, around as many Research Points as it takes to hit research rank one) return to Astera and talk to the Jovial Researcher to start the Special Assignments The Food Chain Dominator. Speaking of which, Special Assignments are just a new category for quests added via DLC after the release of the game. Aside from being segregated in their own category, they’re very similar to normal Assignments and tend to have story components, meaning there’s usually some pesky cutscene you’ll have to get out of your way before you can send an SOS or join another hunter’s online game.
However you manage it, when you collect enough Research Points to appease the Jovial Scholar, talk to him to get the quest The Food Chain Dominator, then head off on the aforementioned quest.
|Objective: Hunt a Deviljho|
|Reward Money: 14400z|
|Time Limit: 50 min.|
|Conditions: HR 13 or higher|
|Failure Conditions: Time Expires / Faint 3 Times|
|Other Monsters: Aptonoth / Jagras / Mernos / Gajalaka|
When you reach the Ancient Forest, eat a meal. There’s not much to worry about in terms of elements or ailments. Its breath attacks deal Dragon element damage and can inflict Dragonblight (which you can cure with Nulberries), but unless you make heavy use of an elemental weapon, Dragonblight won’t hinder you much. It’s primarily a physical combatant, so straight Attack/Defense are advised, but you can also benefit from brining along a weapon that deals Dragon or Thunder element damage. Once you’re ready, venture to AREA 8, picking up Deviljho tracks along the way, where you’ll be treated to a scene.
Hunt - Deviljho
The battle with Deviljho starts out… unusually, thanks to The Handler being involved. While she won’t contribute directly to damaging Deviljho, she will remain on its back a long while, forcing it to respond as it normally would to a grappling hunter. Expect it to flail about and attempt to dislodge her, occasionally trying to ram itself into the scenery, the effort of which will tire it from time to time, leaving it vulnerable to attacks of your own. Simply put, the beginning of this fight is easy mode, with the Deviljho usually only dealing incidental damage to you and frequently open to punishment. Only after The Handler is dislodged will the fight begin in earnest… and at which point you’ll be able to send out an SOS.
|Thunder||* * *|
|Dragon||* * *|
The Deviljho lives up to its terrible reputation as an aggressive, ravenous, insatiable beast, as it will attack relentlessly. Fortunately, it also tires easily, but you’ll have to endure its onslaughts long enough to take advantage of these windows to punish the monster. Its range is surprisingly large, especially since it has so little recovery time after many of its attacks and will often commit to lengthy sequences of attacks which will collectively carry it a great distance. Deviljho is a large target, but it can be surprisingly difficult to strike due to the laughable range of the so-called ranged weapons you have available, and because - despite its girth - only its legs are within easy reach. These legs are quite small, and Deviljho is a very active opponent, so unless you’re using a weapon with great vertical reach, you may find it hard to land strikes.
As you probably saw at the start of the quest The Food Chain Dominator, one of Deviljho’s more spectacular attacks is something of a… collaborative effort, as Deviljho will seize other, smaller monsters in its mouth, and fling them violently about. Not only does this harm its bitten prey, but Deviljho will intentionally use the body of its chew-toy to bludgeon nearby hunters. While you may be able to deter Deviljho from playing with its food with an exceptionally powerful strike or a Flash Pod, but you might as well let the two go at it, stay at a distance, and pick up whatever materials Deviljho shakes loose - it’s not your job to protect the victim monstere, after all.
Most of Deviljho’s offense comes from its maw, which it will use to perform a variety of sweeping attacks, along with the odd lunging bite. Sometimes these bites will rake the ground, spewing up debris, and other times Deviljho will perform combinations of these attacks in sequence, most noteably a three-bite combo which covers a good bit of ground, but a five-bite variant can also be seen from time to time. Simply put, these attacks have a great deal of variety, some have a long attack range, others having a wide attack range. While it might seem like obvious advice to say you should watch out for Deviljho’s maw and try not to tarry in front of it, Deviljho’s relentless aggression and great range make this obvious, practical advice far less effective than it may otherwise seem.
A solution - especially for melee characters - is to try and stay under Deviljho, near its legs. Not only will this allow you to strike its legs (or better yet, its vulnerable belly, if you can manage it), but it’ll provide some safety against its bite attacks. Not that you’re completely safe, however - not only does Deviljho’s constant movement and quick attacks allow it to flush you out (not to mention Monster Hunter World’s constantly sketchy hit detection that seems to allow monsters to hit you with frontal attacks when you’re under or even behind a monster), but it has several attacks that can confounded hunters who mistakenly believe themselves to be positioned safely. The most common of these attacks is a simple, one-legged stomp, which has a thankfully small area-of-effect, but will cause a tremor-effect that’ll stagger nearby hunters.
Other attacks include the common tail sweep (thankfully only one swish with its meaty tail, instead of the standard two sweeps many other monsters performs) and a hip-rush attack that covers a good bit of ground. Another unique attack is its leaping attack (capable of covering a surprisingly distance), which not only may deal damage itself, but if it hits, Deviljho will follow up by biting a stricken hunter, tossing them up in the air, then flinging them aside, dealing even more damage.
As the fight wears on, Deviljho may become enraged, during which time the muscles around its head and neck will become engorged, splitting the skin. The red coloration is unmistakeable. While enraged, Deviljho is even more aggressive, and is capable of making use of a new attack - its breath weapon. Although not devastatingly powerful, it does affect a wide area and utilizes the otherwise rare Dragon element - something you’re more often on the delivery end of. On the plus side, it can be blocked should you come to battle with a shield.
Deviljho’s head and belly are both receptive to damage, and both are breakable, while the tail is also severable. It is weak to Thunder and Dragon elements, and while it’s not resistant to any of them, it takes the least damage from Ice. It’s moderately susceptible to all ailments. When broken, all of its parts have a chance to reward you with an otherwise very rare Deviljho Gem, which can otherwise be gained by carving.
|Deviljho Hide||* * * *|
|Deviljho Scale||* * * *|
|Deviljho Talon||* * *|
|Deviljho Tailfang||* * *|
|Deviljho Scalpe||* *|
|Deviljho Hide||* * * *|
|Deviljho Scale||* * * *|
|Deviljho Talon||* * *|
|Deviljho Tailfang||* * *|
|Deviljho Saliva||* * *|
|Deviljho Tail||* *|
|Monster Hardbone||* * *|
After vanquishing Deviljho, return to Astera and talk to the Jovial Scholar, where the little scholars (after leading you to a convenient table) will confront The Handler about her actions during the quest, leading to the least surprising revelation of the entire game. Seems Deviljho isn’t the only gluttonous threat to the food chain in the New World. After yucking it up you’ll be properly rewarded with the new hunter tool you were promised, the Dragonproof Mantle… you know, in case you find another monster that rarely performs a low-damage Dragon element attack you need to protect yourself from.
This should also unlock the optional quest Today’s Special: Hunter Flambe at your nearby quest board, in case you want to hunt Deviljho again.