Top 20 Hunting Horns in Monster Hunter World

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Since Monster Hunter World came out back in 2018 it has allowed players to carve their own path in its monster slaying, part collecting, weapon forging world.

Players have found the strongest weapons, developed the best strategies, and uncovered almost all there is to know about taking down monsters for their materials. And yet, a weapon as quintessential in a solid battle formation as the Hunting Horn is oftentimes overlooked in favor of more traditional items like Long Swords, Bow Guns and the Hunting Horn’s cousin: the Hammer.

To help you find the best horn for your inventory I’ve put together a list of the 20 best hunting horns you can craft in MHW.

This is a list that new players, as well as veterans, can get a feel of what hunting horns they should be aiming for and what they’re capable of.

Keep in mind that there are different builds for different playstyles, but this list should give you a general idea of what you can do.

20. Metal Bagpipe

Metal Bagpipe MHW

Well, OK this is a tongue-in-cheek addition to the list.

You’re not taking down any giant scaly beast with this thing. It’s the first Hunting Horn you get access to in the game!

But that’s precisely why I thought it appropriate to give it an honorary spot on this list.

The Metal Bagpipe is what you want to get so that you can get a feel of how Hunting Horns play.

The Metal Bagpipe is, like all other Hunting Horns, a big heavy club that plays music.

You swing it around, queue up notes, and once you’ve got the right notes you can play a melody to buff yourself and all teammates in range.

All Hunting Horns have a list of melodies they can play with varying effects.

The Self-Improvement buff is the only one that every Horn across the board can play. It allows you to move fast while carrying these heavy contraptions, and also lets you hit harder with them.

Go get a Metal Bagpipe and try it out for yourself!


19. Legia Sectored

Legia Sectored in MHW

We quickly turn our attention to more serious contestants for the seat of Best Hunting Horn in MHW.

The Legia Sectored is easily one of the most aesthetically pleasing Hunting Horns with its winged lyre look.

It also sounds like a lyre when played, which is pretty unique among the Horns.

In terms of combat, the Legia Sectored pales in comparison to most other entries in the list.

It’s able to achieve white sharpness, but that doesn’t make up for its low ATK (672).

Not only that, but its melodies are made for healing and sustaining your team, which isn’t bad in and of itself. But unless your team is comprised mostly of newbies it’ll generally benefit more from maximizing damage output.


18. Dancing Duval III

Dancing Duval III

The Dancing Duval is somewhat better than the Legia Sectored thanks to its 25% affinity bonus, which will help with landing critical strikes.

It can also put enemies to sleep if your build has the Free Element skill.

Like the Legia Sectored, the melodies the Dancing Duval can play are geared more towards sustaining your team than empowering them.


17. Thunderbolt Horn II

Thunderbolt Horn II MHW

Deciding where to place this horn was complicated.

At first glance, sporting the highest Thunder damage (540) among the horns by a large margin, this weapon looks like it should rank higher.

However due to the way Hunting Horns work and how slowly they hit, this high elemental damage doesn’t make up for the fact that it has the lowest base ATK (672) among all the horns in here.

The list of melodies it can play does help a bit.

Divine Protection gives you a set chance to avoid 50% damage when hit, and Elemental Attack Boost will really empower a team built around dealing elemental damage.

Yet Thunder Res. Boost (L) makes no sense on a horn that deals Thunder damage. At least, it’s not as helpful as you’d think.


16. Queen Vespoid Horn

Queen Vespoid Horn MHW

The Queen Vespoid horn is one of the most beautiful and unique in this entire list.

It looks like it was made of hand-blown glass in the shape of a flower, with petals like butterfly wings.

The sounds it makes are, accordingly, produced by some sort of glass instrument.

Although it has low base ATK (672) and it has quite high Paralysis damage (300).

Among its melodies, All Wind Pressure Negated stands out since it allows you to withstand gusts of wind that would otherwise push you back, making it really useful against Kushala Daora.

It also has two Rank 1 decoration slots which make it more customizable than previous entries.


15. Lightning Drum III

Lightning Drum III

This regular looking drum has decent ATK (756) and some nice Thunder damage (240).

It’s also relatively cheap to build once you have access to Elder Dragon Blood, and it has a Rank 3 decoration slot allowing for strong perks to be added to it.

Among its melodies, the ability to cast Earplugs (L) is what really stands out.

It keeps you and your teammates from being stalled by a high threat level monster’s roar, allowing you to get some free hits in.

It’s a great pick to take against Bazelgeuse and Legiana, among others.


14. Datura Horn III

Datura Horn III

While the Datura Horn III has a marginally lower ATK (714) as the Lightning Drum, it makes up for it in spades with its insane Poison damage (540).

It also has both a Rank 1 and a Rank 2 decoration slots making it far more customizable.

It shares the same melody set as the Lightning Horn, but its ability to poison enemies allows for more creative play.

You can, for example, focus on poisoning the enemy, then stand back and queue up your healing melodies(which won’t be interrupted thanks to Earplugs) for when your teammates need them.

And then repeat the process.

This will save your team time they would have otherwise spent healing and maximize damage output even though the horn lacks any ATK buffs.


13. Taroth Pipe Paralysis

Taroth Pipe Paralysis MHW

This Hunting Horn is basically an improved version of the Queen Vespoid Horn, with which it shares both element and melody set.

Not only does it have a much higher base ATK (840), it also deals more Paralysis damage (420) and has much better sharpness.

On the downside, this weapon is only obtainable during the Banquet in the Earthen Hall event so if you don’t already have it, well it might be tough to go back and get it.

Like the Queen Vespoid Horn, this one would be perfect against enemies like Kushala Daora thanks to All Wind Pressure Negated.

Its golden color also makes it a great choice if you simply like to flaunt your bling around.


12. Baan Horn III

Baan Horn III

Do you enjoy taking breaks mid-battle?

Do you like waking dragons up with explosives?

Then this horn is the one for you. The Baan Horn III has a high ATK (798) and can put enemies to sleep a couple times per battle, allowing you to heal, improve the sharpness of your weapon, and do whatever else you need to.

It also offers a small DEF bonus which is always appreciated.

The fact that it can also cast a small ATK buff and protect your team against fire damage really makes this weapon into a well-rounded option.

If you know how to take advantage of the sleep ailment you should try this one out.


11. Anja Barone III

Anja Barone III

This tribal-looking horn’s ATK(882) is on the higher end of the spectrum, right next to some of the top-ranking entries on this list.

However its 20% negative affinity and the fact that its absurdly high Fire damage(450) is only useful against a small handful of enemies in the game keep it from achieving a higher rank here.

Its melody set is also geared towards sustainability rather than buffing damage output, which is what you’re looking for on higher levels where everyone has good enough builds to keep them alive.

Overall a solid choice with a lot of wasted potential, but still very useful.


10. Fortissimo II

Fortissimo II

Entering the top half of the list we have the Fortissimo II, one of the most popular choices among players since it’s relatively easy to build and has arguably the most desirable melody set in the game.

This melody allows you to greatly boost ATK, DEF and max health. A slick trio.

The Fortissimo has good ATK(756) and some unlockable Paralysis damage (240), but you’re probably better off building Elementless to improve its ATK.

Make good use of its two Rank 1 decoration slots and you’ll have an all-around great Hunting Horn for most fights.


9. Royal Chordmaker

Royal Chordmaker MHW

This has to be one of the coolest-looking Hunting Horns in the game.

It sounds like soothing bells when played, which makes sense given it’s basically a flute with a giant bell attached to one end.

This weapon has a pretty nice ATK(798) and some Fire damage(240) to go with it.

It comes with a Rank 2 decoration slot and a 25% affinity bonus that’ll have you landing critical hits left and right.

Although it has no way to increase the damage output of your teammates, its fire damage and Ice Resistance buff make it a solid option against Vaal Hazak or Kirin.


8. Empress Roar “Blaze”

Empress Roar Blaze MHW

One of the three versions of the Empress Roar and definitely the most desirable in most team compositions thanks to its Attack Up (L) buff.

This also deals Blast elemental damage (180) which is among the best for slow-hitting weapons since it doesn’t decay over time.

As if that wasn’t enough, this horn has both a 20% affinity boost and white sharpness right out of the box, letting you focus on building for other things.

This powerful, straightforward horn is a good choice for almost any situation.


7. Gama Horn II

Gama Horn II

Essentially an improved version of the Fortissimo II but with some stronger stats.

Not only does it have a higher base ATK(798), but its two decoration slots are both Rank 2 and it deals a nice amount of Blast damage(150).

Like the Fortissimo II, this Hunting Horn has large ATK, DEF and Health buffs that will make you an asset in any team composition.

Although it’s a valid option against most enemies, it is specifically recommendable against Kushala Daora and Paolumu thanks to the Wind Pressure Negated buff.


6. Desolation’s Overture

Desolations Overture MHW

This dangerous-looking Hunting Horn is made from Nergigante’s parts and looks just as imposing as the Eater of Elders.

It has the second highest ATK(882) among all horns, and some extra Dragon damage(150) in addition to that.

It can’t get to white sharpness but it has a Rank 1 decoration slot and high level Elderseal to make up for it.

Definitely a go-to weapon when hunting Elder Dragons.

A good match-up for the Desolation’s Overture are team members with Deviljho weapons, as the horn’s Affinity Up (S) buff can help counter the negative affinity of these weapons, effectively maximizing damage output.

It can also cast Earplugs which is always useful.


5. Xeno Manasheena

Xeno Manasheena MHW

Although its base ATK(714) is nothing impressive, this horn made of Xeno’jiiva parts has a lot going for it other than raw damage output.

It’s the only Hunting Horn with two Rank 3 decoration slots allowing for powerful customization.

It also has white sharpness without any skills and a 15% affinity bonus to guarantee critical hits.

In the Elder Dragon hunting department, this winged horn offers both a low level Elderseal and high Dragon damage(180).

The Xeno Manasheena is a good choice in most fights thanks to its Attack and Defense Up and other sustainability buffs, but it really shines against Kushala Daora thanks to the All Wind Pressure Negated buff.


4. Heavy Bone Horn

Heavy Bone Horn MHW

This Hunting Horn may look somewhat plain in comparison with the rest of the top 5, but don’t let this fool you.

This horn has a high enough base ATK(798) to stand among the greats, as well as a Rank 3 decoration slot so you can pair it with Elementless to make it even stronger.

What really takes it to the fourth place on the list is its Attack Up buff, which is simply the best you can have on any Hunting Horn.

It also has Enviromental Damage Negated which can be a lifesaver in certain situations. This giant bone is a very versatile weapon and much easier to build than some other top choices.


3. Bazelreid Rookslayer

Bazelreid Rookslayer MHW

In stark contrast to the unassuming Heavy Bone Horn we have the amazing-looking Bazelreid Rookslayer.

This is an expensive endgame weapon that plays upbeat, tribal drumming when casting buffs.

It has a very high base ATK(840) accompanied by the second highest Blast damage (210) on the list.

It can carry two Rank 2 decorations and can achieve white sharpness with the right build.

On the downside, it has a 10% negative affinity effect but its low enough that it can be compensated for without much effort.

Like the Heavy Bone Horn the Bazelreid Rookslayer can also cast Attack Up on you and your teammates, but its healing melodies are considerably more versatile than the former’s other buffs.


2. Teostra’s Orphee

Teostras Orph MHW

This beautiful battle-ready lyre is unique among the Hunting Horns because, while in most cases the elemental damage is negligible in favor of other stats, in Teostra’s Orphée its one of the better features.

With the highest Blast damage(390) among all of the Hunting Horns, as well as an Abnormal Status ATK buff, the Blast buildup on this thing is insane.

However, that alone wouldn’t make Teostra’s Orphée the second-best Hunting Horn in MHW.

What really sets it apart is its “All Ailments Negated” buff.

Add that to Divine Protection and most fights will become a walk in the park for you and your team.


1. Deep Vero

Deep Vero MHW

The jury is still out on whether the Deep Vero looks menacing or ridiculous, but this Deviljho head strapped to a pole is the single strongest Hunting Horn in the game.

Not only does it have the highest base ATK(924) among the horns, which it can boost along with the rest of the team’s ATK through the Attack Up melody.

But it also has the highest dragon damage(240) and a high Elderseal to turn Elder Dragons to mush.

You’ll have to take into account its 30% negative affinity when planning your build, but with the right skills and augmentations you can get it to 0% and even give this thing a large white sharpness bar to help landing critical hits.

At times you’ll wonder whether you’re wielding a Hunting Horn or a Hammer. That is, until your large ATK, DEF and health buffs land and your teammates start chanting your name to the rhythm of your horn.

What a time to be a Hunting Horn main.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.