Feast your eyes on the apex predator of the Ancient Forest!
Think you can handle this mighty monster?
Then go follow the Monster Hunter World board game campaign on Kickstarter, launching April 20, 2021!
From the journal of Jamie Perkins, Lead Developer
Are you ready for a showdown?
Rathalos is the biggest threat in the Ancient Forest. Defeat it at the 4-star difficulty level, and you’ll win your campaign!
Hang on. Four star difficulty?
Let’s look into that for a second.
Monster Difficulty Levels & Quest Types
We already know monster difficulty is measured in stars.
(Or should that be mon-star?)
The first time you hunt a monster, you’ll take on its assigned quest and hunt the lowest difficulty version of that monster (1-star difficulty).
Next up are investigation quests (2-star difficulty) and tempered investigation quests (3-star difficulty).
As the level goes up, so does monster toughness. In short, you’ll have three increasingly difficult versions of each monster to face.
Rathalos is the only Ancient Forest monster with a 4-star difficulty version. Fitting for an apex predator!
Whatever the level, defeating Rathalos won’t be easy. Territorial and hostile, Rathalos’s fiery breath and vicious claws make for a daunting challenge at any level. Choose when to hunt this beast at your peril!
And remember: that choice is yours. Once you complete the Great Jagras assigned quest, you can hunt any monster you like, at any time.
You just might want to consider defeating some other beasts so you can craft better equipment, first.
As the final monster of the Ancient Forest, defeating Rathalos at the hardest level is the way to win your campaign.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Today, we’ll start with the 1-star difficulty Rathalos, also known as the ‘assigned quest’ level:
At 80 health, with 3 armour on every body part, this Rathalos won’t go down easy.
Dragon elemental damage is rare but if you can deal thunder damage, or even stun the beast, you might have a chance.
Of course, being an apex predator, Rathalos has pride. If it senses defeat is near, Chaotic Rage will kick in and change its attack pattern to throw you off.
By shuffling any discarded behaviour cards back into its deck!
And there’s something else, too:
During the gathering phase, you’ll pick up track tokens as you hunt the monster. At the end of the phase, those tokens are flipped to tell you how many tracks you found.
The number of tracks then affects the beast’s behaviour in the next phase by determining which special behaviour card is shuffled into its deck.
As well as shuffling the behaviour deck, Chaotic Rage changes things up further by switching this special track token behaviour card for a different one instead.
Yes, facing Rathalos is a true test of all you’ve learned.
It has long-range fire elemental attacks, fast-moving melee attacks, brutal stunning attacks— and it can poison you with its claws, too.
All wrapped in a high dodge and damage package of doom.
And this is just the 1-star difficulty Rathalos.
When you face the 4-star version, expect to see Chaotic Rage plus a boost to the damage and dodge values of all its behaviours.
Being an airborne predator, Rathalos will most often attack using its wings and head.
Take Raging Charge. Not to concern you, but this attack can take a hunter from full health to fainted in one hit:
By the way — you only get to faint twice before you’ve failed the quest.
And by you, I mean your whole party. Not two each. Two faints, total. At any quest level. Regardless of how big your party is.
Ahem. Back to the card.
Ah, there’s a symbol we haven’t seen before. That bullseye-looking symbol will be a relief if you’re standing far away.
But if you’re the closest hunter, it’s time to check your dodge and armour, because Rathalos is about to swoop in and descend.
That symbol means Raging Charge only attacks hunters on the same node as its target, which happens to be the closest hunter. Hope you’re not standing in the same spot!
And with 5 nodes of movement, escaping through distance is impossible unless you’re lucky enough to have limited the beast’s movement with paralysis or sleep attacks.
Even if you somehow survive the bone-shattering 9 damage, your hunter will be stunned, forcing you to take a card from your hand and place it face down on your stamina board.
To top it off, Raging Charge is a swift attack that only allows for one hunter turn afterward.
You’d better think carefully about how you use it. The group member who’s just been attacked is probably low on health, stamina, or both, so protecting them could be a good idea.
Especially with what’s coming next:
A rare behaviour, Claw Drop doesn’t involve any movement. What it does do is hit all hunters within 1 node of the beast.
At 8 damage, it’s a considerable hit, but that’s not all. Notice the purple berries?
Yes, you’ll also be poisoned, which means you’ll lose 2 health at the end of your next turn. Better hope your party has a potion going spare!
You’ve suffered enough. Let’s add some salt to the wound with Flying Fire Ball:
Raging Charge was the first behaviour we’d come across with 5 nodes of movement. Flying Fire Ball is the first behaviour with 5 range.
See the bullseye symbol? Strafing around to the side of its target, Flying Fire Ball pinpoints like Raging Charge, only attacking hunters on the same node as its target—this time, the furthest hunter.
Fire is tough to take at the best of times, but at 8 damage this really is a staggering hit.
If you don’t have any fire resistance, and you don’t have enough stamina or agility to dodge, this attack will take you out in one blow.
(For a recap on dodging attacks, turn back to Tobi-Kadachi.)
The only saving grace of Flying Fire Ball is that three hunters can take a turn after it lands. Let’s hope there are enough of you left standing to make them count…
~ Journal Ends ~
Still Standing, Hunter?
What do you make of the mighty Rathalos?
We’ve reached the last of the Ancient Forest monsters, but it’s not over yet!
Still, before we encounter anything else, we should let our hunters hang out in the Gathering Hub and rest for a while.
Of course, that means we’ll need a new party...