Monster Hunter World Iceborne Armor - How to Unlock and Craft Master Rank Armor

Monster Hunter World Iceborne Armor - How to Unlock and Craft Master Rank Armor

Here's our full guide to the Monster Hunter World Iceborne armor, featuring all Master Rank armor sets.

The Iceborne expansion for Monster Hunter World has finally launched, and there's a ton of new armor sets to craft and create. In this Monster Hunter World Iceborne armor guide, we'll be walking you through all the Monster Hunter World Master Rank armor sets that we've uncovered so far in our time with the huge expansion.

Monster Hunter World Iceborne Armor Sets

Firstly in the table below, we'll be outlining all of the complete Iceborne armor sets. This is going to give you an overview of all the defensive bonuses that the full Master Rank armor sets can offer you.

Armor SetTotal DefenseElemental DefenseArmor Skills
Bone Alpha57010 Fire, 10 Thunder, 10 DragonPartbreaker 3, Health Boost 3, Attack Boost 3, Slugger 3, Horn Maestro 2
Bone Beta57110 Fire, 10 Thunder, 10 DragonPartbreaker 3, Slugger 2, Health Boost 1, Attack Boost 1, Horn Maestro 1
Alloy Alpha570-10 Fire, -10 Thunder, -10 IceWindproof 4, Defense Boost 4, Speed Sharpening 3, Water Resistance 2, Poison Resistance 2, Partbreaker 2
Alloy Beta576-10 Fire, -10 Thunder, -10 IceWindproof 3, Partbreaker 2, Water Resistance 1, Defense Boost 1, Poison Resistance 1, Speed Sharpening 1
Vespoid Alpha580-10 Fire, 5 Water, 5 Thunder, 5 Ice, 10 DragonQuick Sheath 3, Paralysis Attack 3, Paralysis Resistance 3, Windproof 2, Partbreaker 2, Critical Draw 1
Vespoid Beta580-10 Fire, 5 Water, 5 Thunder, 5 Ice, 10 DragonPartbreaker 2, Quick Sheath 1, Windproof 1, Paralysis Attack 1, Paralysis Resistance 1, Critical Draw 1
Hornetaur Alpha580-5 Fire, -5 Water, 10 DragonDragon Attack 3, Hunger Resistance, Weakness Exploit 2, Handicraft 2, Partbreaker 2, Effluvial Expert 1, Free Meal 1
Hornetaur Beta580-5 Fire, -5 Water, 10 DragonWeakness Exploit 2, Partbreaker 2, Dragon Attack 1, Effluvial Expert 1, Free Meal 1, Handicraft 1
Jagras Alpha580-10 Fire, 10 Water, -5 Thunder, -5 Ice, 5 DragonAttack Boost 4, Speed Eating 3, Evade Extender 3, Recovery Up 3, Partbreaker 2, Free Meal 1
Jagras Beta580-10 Fire, 10 Water, -5 Thunder, -5 Ice, 5 DragonAttack Boost 2, Evade Extender 2, Recovery Up 2, Partbreaker 2, Speed Eating 1, Free Meal 1
Tzitzi Alpha580-15 Thunder, -10 IceWide Range 5, Water Attack 4, Stun Resistance 3, Constitution 2, Sleep Resistance 2, Partbreaker 2, Free Elem/Ammo Up 1
Tzitzi Beta580-15 Thunder, -10 IceWide Range 4, Stun Resistance 2, Partbreaker 2, Free Elem/Ammo Up 1, Constitution 1, Water Attack 1, Sleep Resistance 1
Girros Alpha580-15 Water, 10 Thunder, 5 DragonParalysis Attack 4, Paralysis Resistance 3, Free Elem/Ammo Up 3, Horn Maestro 2, Effluvia Resistance 2, Partbreaker 2, Effluvial Expert 1
Girros Beta580-15 Water, 10 Thunder, 5 DragonHorn Maestro 2, Paralysis Resistance 2, Paralysis Attack 2, Partbreaker 2, Free Elem/Ammo Up 1, Effluvia Resistance 1, Effluvial Expert 1
Dodogama Alpha60010 Fire, -15 Thunder, 10 DragonBlast Attack 4, Blast Resistance 3, Bombardier 3, Artillery 3, Partbreaker 2, Capacity Boost 1
Dodogama Beta60010 Fire, -15 Thunder, 10 DragonBlast Attack 3, Blast Resistance 2, Artillery 2, Partbreaker 2, Bombardier 1, Capacity Boost 1
Kula Alpha580-15 Water, 5 IceCritical Eye 5, Item Prolonger 3, Slinger Capacity 2, Critical Boost 2, Partbreaker 2, Stamina Surge 1, Pro Transporter 1
Kula Beta580-15 Water, 5 IceCritical Eye 5, Item Prolonger 3, Slinger Capacity 2, Critical Eye 2, Partbreaker 2, Stamina Surge 1, Critical Boost 1
Pukei Alpha59115 Water, -15 ThunderPoison Attack 4, Survival Expert 3, Poison Resistance 3, Item Prolonger 3, Peak Performance 3, Partbreaker 2
Coral Pukei Alpha66015 Water, -10 Thunder, -15 IceWater Attack 4, Partbreaker 3, Critical Draw 3, Item Prolonger 3, Power Prolonger 2
Coral Pukei Beta66015 Water, -10 Thunder, -15 IcePartbreaker 3, Item Prolonger 3, Critical Draw 1, Power Prolonger 1, Water Attack 1
Pukei Beta59015 Water, -15 ThunderSurvival Expert 3, Item Prolonger 2, Peak Performance 2, Partbreaker 2, Poison Resistance 2, Poison Attack 1
Barroth Alpha590-15 Fire, -5 Water, 15 Thunder, -5 IceGuard 4, Marathon Runner 3, Agitator 3, Stamina Thief 2, Stun Resistance 2, Partbreaker 2
Barroth Beta590-15 Fire, -5 Water, 15 Thunder, -5 IceGuard 2, Stamina Thief 2, Agitator 2, Stun Resistance 2, Partbreaker 2, Marathon Runner 1
Jyura Alpha600-5 Fire, 10 Water, -15 Thunder, 20 IceWater Attack 5, Latent Power 4, Focus 3, Ice Resistance 3, Partbreaker 2
Jyura Beta600-5 Fire, 10 Water, -15 Thunder, 20 IceWater Attack 4, Latent Power 2, Focus 2, Ice Resistance 2, Partbreaker 2
Beo Alpha590-15 Water, -10 Thunder, 15 Ice, 10 DragonEarplugs 5, Ice Attack 5, Health Boost 3, Aquatic/Polar Mobility 2, Partbreaker 2, Stamina Surge 1
Beo Beta590-15 Water, -10 Thunder, 15 Ice, 10 DragonEarplugs 3, Ice Attack 2, Health Boost 2, Aquatic/Polar Mobility 2, Partbreaker 2, Stamina Surge 1
Kadachi Alpha600-15 Water, 15 ThunderConstitution 4, Thunder Attack 4, Evade Extender 3, Thunder Resistance 3, Partbreaker 2, Jump Master 1
Kadachi Beta600-15 Water, 15 ThunderThunder Attack 4, Evade Extender 2, Thunder Resistance 2, Partbreaker 2, Constitution 1, Jump Master 1
High Metal Alpha640-5 Water, -10 Thunder, 15 IceEarplugs 4, Defense Boost 4, Ice Resistance 3, Ice Attack 3, Heavy Artillery 2, Partbreaker 2, Critical Boost 1
High Metal Beta640-5 Water, -10 Thunder, 15 IceIce Resistance 3, Defense Boost 3, Earplugs 2, Ice Attack 2, Partbreaker 2, Capacity Boost 1, Heavy Artillery 1
Banbaro Alpha650-10 Fire, 10 Water, -5 Thunder, 15 Ice, -15 DragonMushroomancer 3, Offensive Guard 3, Resentment 2, Speed Eating 2, Health Boost 2, Partbreaker 2
Banbaro Beta650-10 Fire, 10 Water, -5 Thunder, 15 Ice, -15 DragonResentment 2, Mushroomancer 2, Partbreaker 2, Speed Eating 1, Offensive Guard 1, Health Boost 1
Anja Alpha66015 Fire, -15 Water, -5 Thunder, -5 IceAnjanath Dominance 2, Fire Attack 4, Fire Resistance 3, Marathon Runner 3, Artillery 3, Special Ammo Boost 2, Partbreaker 2
Anja Beta66015 Fire, -15 Water, -5 Thunder, -5 IceAnjanath Dominance 2, Fire Attack 3, Special Ammo Boost 2, Fire Resistance 2, Artillery 2, Partbreaker 2, Marathon Runner 1
Rathian Alpha65010 Fire, -10 Thunder, -15 DragonRathian Essence 2, Health Boost 3, Poison Attack 3, Botanist 3, Recovery Up 3, Poison Resistance 3, Partbreaker 2
Rathian Beta65010 Fire, -10 Water, -15 DragonRathian Essence 2, Poison Attack 3, Recovery Up 3, Health Boost 2, Partbreaker 2, Botanist 1, Poison Resistance 1
Rath Heart Alpha66010 Fire, -15 Water, -20 DragonRathian Essence 2, Tool Specialist 3, Handicraft 2, Windproof 3, Evade Extender 2, Poison Resistance 2, Partbreaker 2, Cliffhanger 1
Rath Heart Beta66010 Fire, -15 Water, -20 DragonRathian Essence 2, Tool Specialist 3, Evade Extender 2, Windproof 2, Partbreaker 2, Handicraft 1, Poison Resistance 1
Luma Alpha650-15 Fire, 10 Water, 5 IceWindproof 5, Stamina Surge 3, Artillery 3, Divine Blessing 2, Partbreaker 2, Master Mounter 1
Luma Beta650-15 Fire, 10 Water, 5 IceWindproof 4, Stamina Surge 2, Partbreaker 2, Master Mounter 1, Artillery 1, Divine Blessing 1
Luma Phantasm Alpha660-15 Fire, -15 Water, 10 Thunder, 5 Ice, 5 DragonWide Range 5, Sleep Attack 3, Maximum Might 2, Sleep Resistance 2, Partbreaker 2, Weakness Exploit 1
Luma Phantasm Beta660-15 Fire, -15 Water, 10 Thunder, 5 Ice, 5 DragonWide Range 2, Sleep Attack 2, Sleep Resistance 2, Partbreaker 2, Weakness Exploit 1, Maximum Might 1
Baan Alpha67010 Water, -5 Ice, -10 DragonGuard 4, Sleep Attack 3, Bleeding Resistance 3, Tremon Resistance 2, Sleep Resistance 2, Partbreaker 2, Slugger 1
Baan Beta67010 Water, -5 Ice, -10 DragonGuard 3, Tremor Resistance 2, Sleep Attack 2, Bleeding Resistance 2, Partbreaker 2
Artian Alpha7105 Fire, -10 Water, -10 Thunder, 10 Ice, 15 DragonAncient Divinity 2, Critical Eye 4, Slinger Capacity 3, Free Elem/Ammo Up 3, Peak Performance 3, Tool Specialist 3, Partbreaker 2
Artian Beta7105 Fire, -10 Water, -10 Thunder, 10 Ice, 15 DragonAncient Divinity 2, Free Elem/Ammo Up 3, Critical Eye 3, Peak Performance 3, Partbreaker 2, Slinger Capacity 1, Tool Specialist 1
Clockwork Alpha71010 Fire, 10 Water, 10 Thunder, -5 Ice, -5 DragonCommission Alchemy 3, Partbreaker 3, Bombardier 3, Agitator 4, Special Ammo Boost 1, Tremor Resistance 1, Sleep Functionality 1, Critical Boost 1
Clockwork Beta71010 Fire, 10 Water, 10 Thunder, -5 Ice, -5 DragonCommission Alchemy 3, Partbreaker 3, Bombardier 3, Agitator 3, Critical Boost 1
Ingot Alpha680-10 Fire, 15 Thunder, -5 IceThunder Attack 4, Windproof 3, Free Elem/Ammo Up 3, Thunder Resistance 2, Health Boost 2, Defense Boost 2, Partbreaker 2
Ingot Beta680-10 Fire, 15 Thunder, -5 IceThunder Attack 3, Free Elem/Ammo Up 3, Health Boost 2, Partbreaker 2, Thunder Resistance 1, Windproof 1, Defense Boost 1
Barioth Alpha690-15 Fire, 10 Water, -10 Thunder, 15 IceBarioth Hidden Art 2, Constitution 5, Recovery Up 3, Evade Extender 2, Power Prolonger 2, Quick Sheath 2, Partbreaker 2
Barioth Beta690-15 Fire, 10 Water, -10 Thunder, 15 IceBarioth Hidden Art 2, Power Prolonger 2, Recovery Up 2, Constitution 2, Quick Sheath 2, Partbreaker 2, Evade Extender 1
Diablos Alpha70015 Fire, -10 Water, -15 Ice, 10 DragonDiablos Ambition 3, Slugger 3, Heroics 5, Critical Draw 3, Tremor Resistance 3, Marathon Runner 2, Partbreaker 2
Diablos Beta70015 Fire, -10 Water, -15 Ice, 10 DragonDiablos Ambition 3, Slugger 3, Heroics 3, Tremor Resistance 2, Critical Draw 2, Marathon Runner 2, Partbreaker 2
Odogaron Alpha70010 Fire, 10 Water, -10 Thunder, -15 IceOdogaron Essence 3, Critical Eye 7, Bleeding Resistance 3, Speed Sharpening 3, Constitution 2, Quick Sheath 2, Partbreaker 2
Odogaron Beta70010 Fire, 10 Water, -10 Thunder, -15 IceOdogaron Essence 3, Critical Eye 5, Bleeding Resistance 2, Speed Sharpening 2, Partbreaker 2, Constitution 1, Quick Sheath 1
Uragaan Alpha72020 Fire, -15 Water, 5 Thunder, -10 Ice, -10 DragonUragaan Ambition 2, Partbreaker 3, Guard 5, Blast Resistance 3, Iron Skin 2, Flinch Free 1, Offensive Guard 1
Uragaan Beta72020 Fire, -15 Water, 5 Thunder, -10 Ice, -10 DragonUragaan Ambition 2, Partbreaker 3, Guard 4, Blast Resistance 2, Iron Skin 1
Glavenus Alpha71015 Fire, -15 Water, 5 Thunder, -5 Ice, -5 DragonGlavenus Essence 3, Maximum Might 3, Focus 3, Handicraft 3, Power Prolonger 2, Partbreaker 2, Normal Shots 1, Heat Guard 1
Glavenus Beta71015 Fire, -15 Water, 5 Thunder, -5 Ice, -5 DragonGlavenus Essence 3, Maximum Might 3, Handicraft 3, Focus 2, Partbreaker 2, Power Prolonger 1

Monster Hunter World Master Rank Armor

To begin unlocking Master Rank armor in Monster Hunter World, you need only access the Iceborne expansion. Once you've made it through the introductory mission with the Handler, and established the new hub area of Seliana, you'll have access to craft all future Master Rank armor items you want at the new Smithy.

Monster Hunter World Armor

Monster Hunter World armor sets are comprised of five items: headgear, mail, gloves, belt, and trousers. At the start of MHW, you’re limited to the option of two sets: Leather, or Chainmail.

Monster Hunter World Armor Strengths

Every Monster Hunter World armor set has their strengths and weaknesses, and just below, we’ve outlined every armor set we’ve uncovered so far, including their strengths in certain areas:

  • MHW Leather armor - Strong against Fire.
  • MHW Chainmail armor - Strong against Water.
  • MHW Hunter’s armor - Strong against Fire and Water.
  • MHW Bone armor - Strong against Fire, Thunder, and Dragon.
  • MHW Kestadon armor - Strong against Fire.
  • MHW Jagras armor - Strong against Fire and Dragon.
  • MHW Kulu armor - Strong against Fire and Ice.
  • MHW Alloy armor - Strong against Water and Dragon.
  • MHW Pukei armor - Strong against Water and Dragon.
  • MHW Barroth armor - Strong against Thunder.
  • MHW Jyura armor - Strong against Water and Ice.
  • MHW Kadachi armor - Strong against Thunder.
  • MHW High Metal armor - Strong against Ice.
  • MHW Anja armor - Strong against Fire.
  • MHW Rathian armor - Strong against Fire.
  • MHW Lumu armor - Strong against Water and Ice.
  • MHW Girros armor - Strong against Thunder and Dragon.
  • MHW Baan armor - Strong against Water.
  • MHW Ingot armor - Strong against Thunder.
  • MHW Legiana armor - Strong against Ice and Water.
  • MHW Odogaron armor - Strong against Fire and Water.
  • MHW Rathalos armor - Strong against Fire, Water, and Ice.
  • MHW Diablos armor - Strong against Fire and Dragon.
  • MHW Kirin armor - Strong against Thunder and Dragon.
  • MHW Dodogama armor - Strong against Fire and Dragon.
  • MHW Zorah armor - Strong against Fire.
  • MHW High Metal armor - Strong against Ice.
  • MHW Ingot armor - Strong against Thunder.
  • MHW Uragaan armor - Strong against Fire and Thunder.
  • MHW Damascus armor - Strong against Fire.
  • MHW Dober armor - Strong against Dragon.
  • MHW Death Stench armor - Strong against Fire, Water, and Ice.
  • MHW Nergigante armor - Strong against Water and Ice.
  • MHW Teostra armor - Strong against Fire, Thunder, and Dragon.
  • MHW Kushala armor - Strong against Water and Ice.
  • MHW Vaal Hazak armor - Strong against Water and Thunder.
  • MHW Xeno'jiiva armor - Strong against Water, Thunder, and Ice.

How to Unlock New Armor in Monster Hunter World

You unlock the ability to forge each of the above Monster Hunter World armor sets at the Smithy by defeating the respective monsters. For example, to forge the Anja gear you’ll need to kill an Anjanath, and to unlock the Jagras gear you’ll need to hunt down and defeat a Great Jagras. You can mix and match different items from different gear sets, so you could have a Anja Helm, with Jyura Mail, Barroth Vambraces, Chainmail Belt, and Alloy Greaves.

It’s best to properly assess your target monster before deciding on which gear set to go with. If you’re taking on a Tobi-Kadachi, you’ll want a gear set that specialises in Thunder defence, but if you’re taking on an Anjanath, you’ll want armor items that protect you against fire. The best hunters in Monster Hunter World will mix and match their gear to create a fairly balanced defense, or change their gear based on which monster they happen to be hunting at the time.

Monster Hunter World Armor Upgrades

You upgrade your existing Monster Hunter World armor at the Smithy in the Workshop, the exact same place at which you forge new armor. Upgrading your armor is a slightly more complex process than forging new armor, as you’ll have to put Armor Sphere items towards upgrading your existing gear.

Unfortunately, Armor Spheres don’t come around that often, and you’re rewarded with a single Armor Sphere item for every quest you complete. Therefore, you’ll have to potentially save up your Armor Spheres, as one Armor Sphere doesn’t necessarily equate to one level increase for a piece of armor.

Every standard armor item begins at level one, with a predetermined defense rating, which gauges how well protected you are against all monster attacks. Every time you successfully upgrade an armor item, it’ll increase the defense rating of the item by two points. Therefore, you need to choose to either spend your Armor Spheres on lower level items to give them a boost, or save them for when you obtain higher level armor like the Barroth armor, which requires multiple Armor Spheres in order to level up once.

Best Monster Hunter World Armor

The truth is that there likely isn’t one ‘best’ Monster Hunter World armor set, as every single type of armor in the game has deficiencies in some areas. For example, as powerful as the Barroth armor is, you’ll get roasted (literally) if you go up against the fire-breathing Anjanath wearing it, as it’s an incredibly weak armor set to wear against fire-type monsters.

However, with all that being said, we'd recommend one armor set above all: the Monster Hunter World Commission armor set. This armor set simply protects you against every elemental type of attack in the game. There's nothing flashy, fancy, or hidden to this armor set, but it's one of the more solid, reliable armor sets for simple protection in the entire game.

Monster Hunter World High Rank Armor

If it looks like you’ve already obtained the very best Monster Hunter World armor, than don’t worry, because there’s a whole lot more to uncover once you’ve sent the Zorah Magdaros back out to sea. After you’ve successfully completed the Colossal Task mission, which sees the Fifth Fleet band together to stop the Zorah Magdaros, you’ll unlock the mission to track a mysterious monster across the Ancient Forest, Wildspire Waste, Coral Highlands, and Rotten Vale.

When you get sent out to these locations with the goal of finding track of the ‘??? Rathian’, you’ll unlock the ability to craft High Rank armor in MHW. Head to the Smithy in the Workshop level of the Astera hub area, and select the ‘Armor’ option within the ‘Forge Equipment’ menu. You’ll now have a new tab at the top of the page, dividing the creatable armor into two categories: Low Rank and High Rank. It turns out the armor you’ve been crafting up to taking down the Zorah Magdaros has all been Low Rank, and concludes with the Diablos armor set.

The High Rank armor basically makes you begin again from scratch, starting with Leather A and B, and Chainmail A and B sets, and working your way up from there, unlocking the ability to craft new High Rank armor sets with each new monster that you defeat. So, if you want to craft the High Rank Barroth armor sets, you’re going to have to venture out and defeat a Barroth in the Wildspire Waste.

If you attempt to head out on an Expedition, you’ll now see a new option, similar to that of crafting armor at the Smithy. You’ll now see that you have the option to undertake either Low Rank or High Rank Expeditions to each region of MHW, and whenever you toggle between the two options, you’ll see that different monsters are present in the same region. For example in the Ancient Forest, you’ll come up against the Pukei-Pukei, Anjanath, and Rathalos on the Low Rank, and Great Jagras, Rathian, and Bazelgeuse on the High Rank version of the region.

We’d recommend venturing out into each MHW region in a High Rank Expedition, to see what monsters you encounter. Try challenging yourself against powerful monsters like the Rathian and Bazelgeuse, and you’ll be rewarded with the ability to craft the corresponding High Rank armor at the Smithy.

This might bring an end to our Monster Hunter World armor guide, but head over to our complete weapons guide page, or our guide on taking down the Odogaron.

If you're only just getting started with the new Iceborne expansion, then we'd suggest checking out our complete Monster Hunter World Iceborne beginner's guide. Alternatively, you can head over to our MHW Iceborne clutch claw guide, our MHW Iceborne Barioth guide or MHW Iceborne Tigrex guide for complex beasts, our MHW Iceborne Master Rank guide, or our MHW Iceborne Hoarfrost Reach camps guide for more.

Hirun Cryer

Guides Writer

Hirun Cryer is by far the most juvenile member of USgamer. He's so juvenile, that this is his first full-time job in the industry, unlike literally every other person featured on this page. He's written for The Guardian, Paste Magazine, and Kotaku, and he likes waking up when the sun rises and roaming the nearby woods with the bears and the wolves.

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