All the monsters in the Monster Hunter series are unique and so they have very different attacks. However, there are some moves that are commonly shared among all monsters. Although they may vary with speed, effect, and damage, they are usually similar in appearance. Being able to recognize these moves can greatly lower your chances of getting hit in battle.
The monster will charge towards you. This attack is used by all monsters except the raptors. When a monster charges up close there is little time to jump out of the way, and when the monster charges from very far away it can have a slight homing effect. Most hunters will find diving the best strategy to evade the charge, as it puts considerable distance from you and the monster, and you are invulnerable while executing it. Note that the monster is not invulnerable while charging, and the attack can be halted if you cause the monster to stagger.
The monster will spit, breathe, or otherwise hurl some sort of projectile at you from afar. Wyverns usually shoot fireballs, while other monsters can spit poison like the Gypceros or the Iodrome. The Congalala will throw a pile of its dung at you with its tail, and the Tigrex or the Blangonga will shove giant snow/rocks at you. Like the charge, these attacks are more wisely handled by dodging rather than guarding, since multiple consecutive hits can drain your energy and most can simply be avoided. The Gravios' notorious "Hyper Beam" attack is one of the most damaging projectile shots.
This is a move exclusive to wyverns. The monster will turn in a half-circle, whipping you with their giant tail. This move is always executed 2 times, and occasionally 4 or 6 times consecutively, and a hit from this attack will send you rolling. It should be noted that this attack can hit you even if you are standing under the monster, but this depends on the monster's size. Blos wyverns and Lavasioth perform a two strike tail attack which consists of whipping their tails to their right side, then immediately whipping it to their left side. During the left-side portion of the swing, the tail reaches farther towards the front of the monster than on the right side. Rathian and Yian Garuga both perform a back flip, which whips their tails in a quick, circular motion, targeting hunters under and in front of her. The move inflicts poison and high damage, and sends hunters tumbling. The Rathian can perform two backflips in rapid succession. Basarios, Gravios, and Gypceros have tail attack consisting of four side to side strokes in a row. Narga has medium-damage sweeping tail attacks to its left and right side as well as a high-damage tail ground slam, for which Narga does a short leap into the air, turns 180 degrees, and slams its tail down.
The monster bites at you. This attack is generally weak and has short range, making it easy to evade.
Most monsters have this move. When a monster becomes aware of your presence, or when you deal enough damage to anger a monster, they'll roar loudly, and with the latter will go into their rage mode. A roar attack forces the hunter to cringe for a few seconds, and if very close to a monster will knock the hunter back. Cringing from a roar often leaves a hunter vulnerable to attack, but the hunter's cringe time can be shortened by continuously rotating the analog nub or increasing the. Roars come in 3 strengths (4 in Frontier). There are roars which do not obstruct the hunter, only acting as cue. There are basic roars, that only need 10 points of Hear Protection to block. And then there are strong roars, which require 15 points to block, and takes the hunter a longer time to recover from.
Since roars are effective for a reasonable amount of time, guarding is the most effective strategy, but it is also possible to evade the attack if you are far away. Some monsters, like Tigrex, have strong roars that knock hunters away and deal damage, if at a close proximity.
Some monsters do not only roar out of rage or sighting, like Yian Garuga, which uses roars like a regular attack, or Kushala Daora, which roars prior to reestablishing its wind aura.
Used by Pelagi, Carapaceons, and the Elder Dragons. A powerful swipe with the front legs or arms that usually knocks you down. This move is short range and does moderate damage.
Wyverns exclusively use this attack, and then only by the Blos and Piscine wyverns, Gravios, and Basarios. The monster turns to its side and sharply slams the hunter with its hip. This attack is a strong damage-dealer, and can be especialy hard to avoid when facing giants such as the Gravios or the Plesioth. Therefore, guarding would be a more effective option than diving.
Vulnerable Stance AKA TauntsEdit
While not technically an attack, it should be noted that the Tigrex and Akantor can damage you during their vulnerable stances. Most monsters will, at some point in battle, simply stand where they are, allowing the hunter to unleash free attacks on them, heal/enhance themselves, place a trap, etc. It is important to recognize these stances quickly, as they only yield seconds to the hunter. Raptors will appear to be completely motionless for a moment, while many wyverns will rake the ground with one foot and let out a growl. The Tigrex will roar and take two weak bites at the air, and Primatius such as the Congalala will make clicking/growling sounds. There are many variations to vulnerable stances, so it is worth learning every one.
The monster digs into the ground and resurfaces below you. This move deals strong damage, but in most cases the hunter can dodge it so long as he reacts to it in time. It is used by the Daimyo Hermitaur and Shogun Ceanataur, the Blangonga, the Cephalos, Blos wyverns, Akantor, Barroth, Uragaan, and Ukanlos. It should be noted that the Blos wyverns do not appear under the hunter immediately like all other diggers, but rather shoot towards where he was standing when the wyvern submerged. You can recognize this by the cloud of sand that moves with the wyvern, and if you throw a sonic bomb at them before they resurface the result will be identical to that of a pitfall trap. It can sometimes be difficult to anticipate this attack because the monster will occasionally resurface immediately, giving you the smallest amount of time to react. Therefore, running as far as possible from where the monster submerged would be a safe strategy.
( TIP: Try having an ability called "Autotracker". This will help you locate the monster easily, especially when its underground)
A few monsters have an attack that can hit any hunter around it within a radius. For example, the Khezu can charge its body with electricity, sending all hunters within close proximity flying backwards. The Fire Dragons fan explosive dust into the air around them, then ignite it with their fire breath; they can even extend the radius of this attack to hit ranged hunters. Fire dragons also have a heat barrier around their bodies that quickly reduces the health of hunters who are standing to close. Basarios and Gravios have a variant called Gas Attacks. Gravios exhales fumes from its belly, which can poison, explode, or put the hunter to sleep. The Gypceros can blind all nearby creatures with a flash from its Lightcrystal. Many radius attacks can be guarded, but a few of them have to be avoided, so the safest option when anticipating a radius attack is to back off from the monster. The Lagiacrus has two Radius attacks; It will charge its body with electricity and shock any hunters near it, or charge its body with electrical "balls" and shock hunters that are too close or that are hit by a ball.
This type of attack is only used by a select few monsters, and may fall under one of the other categories. These attacks are unstoppable without Guard skills: if they hit you you WILL get hurt, usually taking massive damage. Examples include the Gravios' hyperbeam, the Khezu's triple shock attack, the White Fatalis' lightning, and the Akantor's Erupt Attack. Your only reaction upon recognizing this attack should be to get out of the way, and fast. You should be able to evade an unguardable attack fairly easily by diving, but if you have your weapon out, you will have a higher chance of getting hit.
While not attacks per se, most large monsters perform actions which cause incidental damage, usually very light, but sometimes heavy. The most common are footsteps. Sometimes monsters will walk towards hunters rather than charge. Gravios, Basarios, and Piscines do this often. If too close to the legs, hunters will suffer a small knock-down and loose a miniscule amount of health. Monsters who periodically walk in place can also inflict damgae to hunters who are too close to the legs. While a single footstep does superficial damage, a succession of footsteps can greatly reduce a hunter's health. Monsters who are limping can also inflict footstep damage. The footstep damage will be more significant if the monster is enraged. Fatalis' footstep damage is considerably higher than that of wyverns'. Plesioth performs a unique, running charge only when fleeing to the water. It inflicts heavy damage and a small knock-down.
Gypceros and the Yian wyverns jump quickly up and down several times when entering rage. It causes a small knock-down and light damage when hit once. When hit several times, the damage can be significant.
Rath and blos wyverns will stand still and scratch the ground while growling, especially when flashed. The right leg does damage when scratching and causes a small knock-down. The tail waving about can also inflict damage and a small knock-down to hunters. Rathalos' tail in particular deals massive damage if he's in rage. Blos wyverns deal significant damage while digging into the ground, especially when in rage.
Wyverns who are put to sleep or sedated fall and can deal light damage and a small knock-down.
Congalala, Blangonga, their variants, and Rajang cause damage when dying. This is usually unoticeable because at the end of the quest, hunters do not take any damage. However, this attack is visible in certain sitautions. An example is when the mentioned monsters are not the quest objective.
Lao Shan Lung's tail causes heavy damage to hunters. The side to side sweeping is not a direct attack, but hunters should be extremely careful when near the tail. Lao also inflicts damage when he flinches to hunters who may be underneath attacking the belly. The dagae is heavy and sends hunter tumbling. When Lao falls down onto the ground, hunters under any part of his body will suffer heavy damage and will be sent tumbling. When Lao returns to all fours from a standing position, it's possible to be hit by the lowering head. Damage is high and hunters will tumble.
Monsters do turn-around damage which consists of footstep damage for wyverns, and forelimb damage from creatures such as Pelagus monsters and psuedo-wyverns. Damage is light accompanied by a small knock-down. The danger of turn-arounds is the potential for follow-up attacks.
Tigrex and Fatails both inflict damage with their tails without having tail attacks. Tigrex's tail can whip hunters during a direction change while trampling, after a spin attack, and during its projectile attack. Damage is heavy and sends hunters tumbling. Fatalis' tail can strike hunters while Fatalis is turning to face another direction while on the ground and when hovering low above the ground. Both do light to medium damage and both send hunters tumbling.