It’s got power, it’s got agility, it’s got big attacks, small attacks, two modes of play. It’s got four wonderful styles in MHX. There is pretty much nothing bad I could say about the switch-axe. It was my choice for going through the village in MHX, and a fine choice for anybody else looking to be aggressive, because for this weapon the best defence is a great offence. Welcome to my tutorial on the switch-axe. Let’s jump right in! <hunter grunts in the background throughout the tutorial> <intro jingle plays> Because all the other hunting styles are based off the guild style, we’re going to be looking at that as we go through each of the different moves it can do.

OK, when you start out just press X and you will draw your weapon, but that’s not really fun. So if you’re moving – by pressing forward – and you hit X, you’ll do your draw attack. The draw attack is just a standard horizontal sideways swipe. Nothing to write home about, but it’s not too long and not too short. If you press X while idle, you’ll do the powerful but kind of sluggish downward chop. This is kind of a bread-and-butter move for the axe mode, because motion value of 48 is pretty darn strong. Also has really good reach. You can chain it together with another X, and you’ll get both those moves together in a combo. Do ’em one more time and you get a triple combo. So go X, X and X again, and we get this wonderful upward chop. The upward chop reaches really, really high. I tried to show it off here in the camera, but I don’t know if it comes through. But you can knock away monsters that are flying in the air with this thing.

But do watch out – you will knock up teammates into the air if they’re near you. You can loop this combo infinitely as many times as you like. OK, there *is* one more X attack. Hold forward and press X and you’ll do this really nifty forward-moving thrust. With the motion value 19 it’s not that powerful, but it’s also really quick and allows you to close distances on monsters. You’ll be using this move a lot if you’re in axe mode. And you can combo this thing right into the wonderful downward chop and then all the way through the other X combo if you like. K, here’s a lesser known combo that you can do with the switch-axe. But if you hit X, and you do it a second time, you can do the forward axe thrust right after that side swipe. You can chain that together to make a brand new combo. One thing worth noting is that after every attack, you can press B to do a side step.

Side steps are really great for repositioning, making sure that you’re always next to a monster and attacking them, but never unsafe. Now, that upward chop can be gotten to three other ways: You can do an evade and X, or you can just press X + A to do it as well. The reason why this move is so important is: start pressing A after that, and you’ll start doing the chop combo. The chop combo, as long as you press A, lasts as long as you have stamina. So if you have stamina juice, you can do this thing indefinitely. This has 24 motion per hit, so it is one of the highest DPS combos in the entire game. Press R during it, and you will do a very powerful finisher attack. This finisher does three different hits for 25, 30 and 40 – so it is nothing to laugh at. You can do the finisher immediately after starting the combo as well, so you don’t have to be at the end or in the middle of it. If you really want to, you can chain into the X combo right after the finisher as well, if you please. OK, let’s go downstairs and check out the jump attacks! So standard jump and X will do a downward chop which is pretty, pretty powerful at 40 motion.

You can also do it … If you’re clinging onto a wall, you can jump off and hit X as well. They don’t call it switch-axe for nothing. Press R and you’ll switch into sword mode. Now, as long as you have over half that gauge that is right above my name on the upper left there, … …you’ll be able to switch from axe into sword mode simply by pressing R – and back and forth. It’s a pretty easy morph attack, but – we’ll go into it later, but there are certain ways you can morph mid-combo. Now, in sword-mode press X to do a standard downward swipe, it’s worth 32. Now it’s really worth mentioning here – look at how much you move forward when you do the move here. It’s just a little bit, but it does help. Now, hold forward and hit X, and you do the same move, but you do double the move forward. It doesn’t look like a lot, but – I’m trying to show it off here… . This actually makes a huge difference if you’re using the sword mode. Make sure if the monster’s a little bit farther away from you, that you’re always holding forward and pressing X – if you’re using this move.

OK, press X one more time to do an upward swipe. It’s not quite as powerful as the first attack, … …but it’s not shabby either, and you can loop these two together for a combo that keeps you totally in place. Now please note that with each attack in the sword mode, your gauge starts to go down… And if it hits zero, which you don’t want it to do, you’ll do a very long animation and it’ll send you back into axe mode. What you wanna do is make sure you go back into axe mode before that happens. But when you do, it will say “Reload” at the top. If you just wait or battle in axe mode, it will naturally go back up, and then you can start using sword.

Or, if you want, you can just hit the R button and it will do a little recharge motion – here. Doesn’t charge the gauge completely, but enough that you can go back to punishing the monster. Ok, let’s go back to sword mode and check out the rest of the moves at our disposal. Now when you’re walking around, you can do an evade with B and then press X and you’ll do the upward swipe again. You do this to go right into your swipe combos, which is the way to do it. With switch-axe, you’re generally gonna be chasing down the monster and swiping at it,… …so this is definitely a move you’re gonna be using quite a bit. OK, on to A button. Press A button to do this back swipe. Back swipe is worth 28, and it’s special, because if you press A one more time after it, …

…you’ll do this really cool and powerful double attack. The double attack not only has fabulous power, but it only counts as one unit on your slash gauge up top. So you can use this thing quite a bit to do a lot of damage, and also still maintain the amount of charge in your gauge. If you’re not using this thing, you really should. It doesn’t keep you in spot, so it may not be as good at breaking parts, but it is nice. You do have a standard jump attack here with the X. It’s not quite as powerful as the axe, but it is useful nonetheless. And of course, you can do this thing from a ledge as well. OK, on to some faster ways to get into sword mode. If your weapon is sheathed, press R + X + A at the same time and you’ll go right into a draw attack.

This is probably the most popular way that people do it. OK, there are two morph attacks you can do into combos. If you hit Forward + X with the axe to do the forward lunge, you can hit R to switch right into sword mode… …as we’re gonna do right here. And then, from the back swipe with the sword, you can hit R and go right back into axe mode. You definitely wanna do this if you’re almost out of gauge and you don’t wanna do that forced reload motion because it’s really long.

OK, now there’s one final explosive last move for the sword mode we have to cover. When you’re in sword mode, press X + A and you’ll do what they call the elemental discharge. Keep jamming on X, and you’ll do seven hits followed by a massive explosion that will morph you right back into axe mode. It does take quite a bit out of your sword gauge on top, but it is fun and does a lot of damage. Please note that it does knock away teammates, if you’re online, so be careful if you’re using it. Now, if you start using this move and you notice that the monster is either getting out of position or you’re not gonna be able to finish the whole thing,… …you can stop it midway by just simply stopping the input or pressing B to side step out of it.

Similarly, you can do an early discharge by pulling back and pressing X,… …which will force an early explosion. It’ll downgrade it from 80 motion value to 50 … …but it’s definitely worth not making a mistake if you know you’re not gonna to hit it. You can also do this thing from the air, simply by pressing X and A while in the air. And that wraps up Guild Style! Now a power phial type Switch Axe will get times damage on all sword attacks, meaning the axe mode really you don’t use…

…and the elemental phials are not that popular in this game – but they do give I believe 25% up when it comes to elemental damage. Now let’s go look at the other styles and see what they gain, and what they lose. The first one up: Striker style. Now, Striker Style does get one extra Hunting Art, which we’ll cover a little bit later, … …uhm, but let’s check out the moves.

So you still have your standard X combo, so that’s all great. But now we’ll notice one thing that will be missing. When you do the upward chop and use your A to do the chop combo here, … … if you press R, you don’t get any finisher. You can evade out of it if you have stamina left. Now for the sword mode, if you hit X you do downward, if you hit X again you do upwards, so that hasn’t changed at all. However, if you press the A button to get to that wonderful double swipe – you’ll notice: it’s gone.

So if you hit A, no matter how many times you hit it or how you try, you can not get the double slice. So basically, you’re never gonna use that A move unless it’s to get back to axe mode. R and then, just start spamming on X to do up and down. Believe it or not, that’s the only difference between those two. Next up is my favorite style, which is aerial style for the switch-axe. This is what I used almost all the way through the story mode. Now, the big difference here is – hold forward and press X, and if you notice – you don’t do the forward thrust.

You’re stuck in place with that sluggish downward move. Oh, but don’t worry – they’ve come up with a new way for you to morph. After you do the upward chop, hit R and you now have one new way to morph into sword mode. This is exclusive to just Aerial and Bushido, so you will not be able to do this in Guild or Striker. I like it, it’s cool. However, it does force you to commit to doing a jump attack so be careful if you’re doing this online.

Now, it still has the downward X > X > X combo, and – believe it or not – they didn’t take away the double hit from the A button. I’m really surprised! Because this is pretty much the most powerful attack you have on the ground, so I thought they would have tooken it out. Anyways, I’m not complaining. Now, if you try X + A, you’re just gonna do a downward slash. That’s right, they’ve taken out Elemental Discharge, and you can only do it from the air.

Now for Aerial jumps, if you jump on a monster you’ll vault off them. Now, vaulting off you can then do a morph attack, an axe attack, or a sword attack,… But the cool thing about the switch axe is … This is how most weapons work: You vault off, and then you do an attack. That’s how it works for axe mode. But sword mode is totally special. The vault move that you do is an actual attack – and it’s very powerful. So let’s go see how it works: here. If you jump up – if you notice, that jump itself is an attack and then you can follow it up with a downward strike as well.

So that’s 35 for the vault, and 30 for the downward. That is a lot of damage. Now, it definitely helps to go see this thing in action, so let’s go find a monster to abuse. So here is Yian Kut-Ku. A lot of people like to draw into sword so they can go immediately into doing sword damage. If you notice here you can mount monsters pretty much as easily as you could with the insect glaive in MH4U. Because, again, you’re doing two hits instead of one, and they’re doing a lot of damage, so… … I would say that the ultimate mounting machine in MHX is the aerial switch axe. Now, the way aerial attacks work is if you don’t have any input on your circle pad, you’ll just do a straight up jump and straight down. If you’re holding forward, you’ll move forward, and so on.

If you move over to the left or the right, you can change your aim, which you definitely wanna get used to. And here, if you hit X + A in the air, you’ll do the aerial elemental discharge. Instead of having a motion value of 28 for the initial thrust, you get 40. So it’s actually a little bit more powerful than the normal Guild and Striker version. Because when you jump on a monster they might flinch because it’s an attack, … …it does lead to a lot of opportunities where you can then use the Elemental Discharge.

So, I really like this style. A lot. You can tell I like it because I’m showing so much of it off. <laughs> Now, just because you can do lots of aerial attacks and they’re very powerful, doesn’t mean you’re relegated to only doing the aerial attacks. Again, this thing has the axe finish combo for the chop attack. It also has the double slash for the sword mode. So there’s a lot of stuff you can do here on the ground. OK, last but not least, let’s go over Bushido Style. Bushido style is also really good for this weapon. So going out here, we’re gonna check out our basic moves. We still have our axe combo attacks here, nothing has changed. However, when you go into the chop combo you’ll notice that you don’t have the finisher. So this is just like Striker Style. If you hit R, you’re not gonna do the finisher. So that kinda sucks. Ok, in sword mode you lose the upward slice – so if you do X > X, you do the downward and the back, and downward and back. However, if you do the A combo, that is still intact.

So you can still do the wonderful double slice. Which is nice. All it means is that it… you lose your ability to stand totally in place and just slash at a monster. But that’s fine, because Bushido it’s–is all about moving around, and evading and doing stuff like that. You still have your elemental discharge, so nothing to worry about there. Ok, let’s go check out the bushido evades! Ok, there are two types. There is one with the axe drawn …

…if you do this, this is where… Your finisher that you were missing from your chop combo has been given to this. Now that’s great because you move forward quite a bit when you’re doing this attack, and the range is really wide. So this is a fabulous way to use bushido evade. The upward slice we were missing from the sword is back with the Bushido evade, but this time it’s back as a brand new combo for the weapon, the double upward slice.

It’s 25 motion for each, so that’s nothing to laugh at. And it’s really easy to combo off of as well. So no matter which form you’re using, it’s definitely awesome to be using bushido for this weapon. Now, before you compare and decide which style you might wanna use, it’s really important to understand the three switch-axe hunter arts in this game. Now, they all but killed the reason to ever go into axe mode, because sword mode is not only super powerful … …but even if you start to run out of your gauge, this Energy Charge skill will almost always be totally charged up before you’re ever out. All you do is tap it. It does 80% recovery of your gauge, and throws you right back into sword mode.

Really good stuff. At level 2, it does charge your gauge 100% and also gives you a 10% affinity boost. And at level 3, it’s almost broken. They give you not only 100% more slash gauge, but they also give you 30% affinity boost. OK, let’s move on to the next art called Demon Sword. Now, what Demon Sword does is it takes the rest of what you have on your Slash Gauge and makes it start to deplete over time,… …not by attacks. So if you do nothing, it will go all the way down eventually. But it also means that you can attack – pretty much do whatever the heck you want – without worrying about really depleting this gauge. At level 1, it also gives you a 5% attack boost for all of your sword attacks. It’s not a big difference, but it’s a small lil’ one. For level 2, they give you 10% attack up for all of your sword attacks…

… and you know what? Even though it depletes a little bit faster than level 1, … you’re always going to be able to charge up Energy Charge before you ever run out. And guess what: These things -stack-. You can sit there and do Energy Charge, and boom. You’ve got a fully number 2 demon gauge all over again. Which is insane. It means that you will never, ever run out unless you die. <chuckles in disbelief> Now, this stuff becomes seriously broken at number 3. Because for this, you’re gonna get an additional 20% attack power for all of your sword attacks. And you can combine this with energy charge III as well for 30% affinity up. And no matter how you try to do it, you’re going to be able to charge up your Energy Charge before you run out of demon gauge 3.

So, these two used together are extremely powerful. This is Trans-slash I. Honestly, it’s probably the most useless attack in the game, because it’s far too long – and it moves you around way too much. However, you do get a new finisher – I’m not showing the regular one – if you’re in Demon Sword. Demon Sword definitely makes it a lot more flashy at the end, and adds a lot more attack power. This is Trans-Slash II,… …and Trans-Slash III. I’ve used Trans-Slash III a few times. It’s very powerful. Noone has been able to really measure how powerful, because you move around way too much. But if you’re going up against, like, the last boss of the game, who’s really big and just stands there, this might be an art you might want to take with you. Ok, now that we’ve looked at the styles, and we’ve looked at the arts, we have to discuss the differences between them. Ok, as we just covered, with 2 or more artes, you’re able to put on both Energy Charge and Demon Blade. Those things stack, and they’re stupidly powerful. So, both guild style and striker style are both very, very good styles.

The only difference between them, really, is if you don’t use the chop finisher, … …or you don’t use the wonderful double sword slash on guild style,… … then you’re almost always going to want to go with striker style. Because that’s the only difference between them. And striker style does get one more art. Ok now, aerial style and Bushido style both go down to one art, which pretty much means you’re locked into using Energy Charge. There’s no freedom. That being said: Aerial style is wonderful. We’ve already shown off how the aerial attacks are super powerful, … …and it really doesn’t lose any of its key attacks as well.

So Aerial style I think is a definitely good trade-off for losing that ability to double those two arts together. Aerial style – tons of fun. And finally, bushido style pretty much means that you don’t have to worry about your armor at all. , if you’ve ever used switch-axe, you’ll realise that the most powerful skill and most useful skill is Evasion +2. The reason for that is after every attack, you can do a side step. So with Evasion+, what that allows you to do is to really stick on a monster like flies on poop. And just attack it, attack it, attack it. Now, with Bushido Evade, I know they call it the perfect evade, … but it’s essentially giving you a free Evasion+ 3 almost …

Straight out of the box. So, the ability to have that is pretty huge. And it also covers what I think is a downfall of some other bushido styles where … You might do the Bushido Evade, but you have to run back to the monster, and then attack it. And if your attack doesn’t have a lot of distance, you end up whiffing it. Uh, but that doesn’t happen with the axe attack because you move forward so much and you do that nice spinning finisher. And if you’re really close anyways and you’re in sword mode, it keeps you doing really high DPS attacks. So, Bushido I think is really great if you’re up against a monster that you know how to read the attacks. It’s really fun. So, that’s really it. I mean, there really is no choice between the four. They’re all really good. I personally used Aerial style for almost all of the game. Uhm, I’m now switching obviously and I’m using all the other weapons, but … My main bread & butter for this game was Aerial Switch-Axe – which I was not foreseeing. It’s just a lot more fun than I thought it would be.

When it comes to Guild vs Striker for Switch-Axe, it all comes down to your personal play. I don’t know! I mean, it depends. I mean, I like that double attack with the guild style, but having one extra art for the Striker’s also fun as well. I’d probably just end up switching between the two. And Bushido – again. If I’m up against someone like Nargacuga or Tigrex,… I’d probably almost always go Bushido because it’s easy and fun. Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed this guide on switch-axe, and I hope you guys try it out. If you have the Japanese version, or if they do hopefully bring this game over to the West. Until next time, happy hunting!.

As found on Youtube