In Monster Hunter Rise, you’ll find your first Malzeno in the urgent five star Master Rank quest, "Crimson Moonlight".
Malzeno is an Elder Dragon, and the headline monster for the Sunbreak expansion. As you'd expect, then, it's not easy to overcome. It's most similar to Velkhana from previous games, but with some unique blood-based attacks and properties layered on top. Malzeno was designed with the aristocracy, nobility, grandeur, and cunningness all in mind – inspired by the likes of Nosferatu and vampires in European folklore.
When Malzeno drains enough life, it enters a powered-up state; its strength is boosted immensely and it becomes extremely agile – this is lethal if not countered properly, and makes for a very tricky fight. Don't fret, though; we've put together the following guide to help you learn how you can beat this regal, vampiric dragon at its own game, and defeat Malzeno in Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak.
In this guide, you'll find:
- How to Beat Malzeno in Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak
- Malzeno Strategy in Monster Hunter Rise
- Malzeno Weaknesses
- How to farm Malzeno and get the Cortex, Shard, Hardfang, Bloody Parasite, Hardhorn, Fellwing, Bloodstone, and Tail
How to Beat Malzeno in Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak
To get the upper hand and defeat Malzeno – even in the middle of its blood-addled frenzy – there are a few specfic things you need to bear in mind. They are:
- Learn how to deal with Dragonblight and Bloodblight
- Make the most of Bloodblight when you get afflcited with it
- Rely on blocking and shields, more than dodging
- Identify and strike its weak points when they manifest
- Study its teleportation attacks, learn to dodge them
- Go hard and punish Malzeno when it uses its wing slam
- Pursue Malzeno as soon as it runs off and attack whilst it feeds
- Be intentional about Wyvern Riding and use it do deal a lot of damage
- Know how to respond when it takes on the Bloodening form
Malzeno Strategy in Monster Hunter Rise Sunbreak
This is a tough fight, no matter how you approach it. First up, you're going to want to make sure you have some key defenses before you rock up to this battle. Dragonblight resistence and Dango Defender are essential skills to get from your Dango kitchen. Use a Dango Ticket to make sure they activate. You can't do too much to mitigate Bloodblight, but that Dragon damage can sting if you're not recovering well. Bear that in mind.
Next, you may want to equip a weapon better suited to dealing with Malzeno's intense attacks. Gunlance, Lance, Sword and Shield and Charge Blade all have shield components you can employ to soften some of the blows Malzeno will lay down. A lot of Malzeno's attacks track you, hit a wide area, or are too rapid to respond to otherwise – blocking can help. Maybe switch to a Petalace with good stamina so you can eat more attacks withour depleting all your stamina bar. Bring Well-Done Steaks and stamina-refillng items. Maybe find a Speed Eating skill.
Right, with all that prep out the way, let's fight. As soon as you spawn into the arena, get your permabuffers like always, and immidiately go find another monster. There's a Stinkmink in the back of the cave at the 1 on the map if you don't bring your own bombs – grab that. Use it at the Malzeno's location to attract whatever other monster is there. Wait for Malzeno to attack, then Wyvern Ride.
Batter Malzeno as much as possible, but don't use your Mounted Punisher. Instead, just before time runs out, launch the monster at Malzeno. It'll go down, then you will be prompted to ride the vampire. Do so. If you're in a map with a vent, use this to smack a nice 1400 damage right on the Elder Dragon. If not, find a wall to repeatedly ride the monster into. Just do as much damage as possible, and give yourself the upper hand right away. Doing this will also drop more parts – and you'll want those for Malzeno's incredible armor set.
Now, for the battle proper. You'll be introduced to Bloodblight in this encounter. When afflicted with Bloodblight, you'll see a red droplet symbol above your health bar, and some of your attacks will go crimson. Simply put, Bloodblight will completely weaken all of your traditional healing methods; normal regeneration will reduced, and healing item effects will be halved. You can still rely on them, but this will definitely sting.
To get rid of (and make the most of) Bloodblight, you're going to want to hit Malzeno back. Hard. You can steal life back from Malzeno, and use its exsanguination techniques against it. Each attack that you land on Malzeno will give you health back, proportional to the damage you deal. Note that quick, frequent attacks are more reliable than heavy, slow ones.
The fight has three phases, effectively: 'silver', 'rage', and 'Bloodening'. The first phase is dedicated mostly to building up Bloodblight; simply attack cautiously, be smart about positioning, and try to learn the basics of its attack patterns here. Next, it'll get angry and its wings will go black and red. Here, it'll start laying down some nasty combos and teleporting more often.
A lot of teleports and dashes are telegraphed by Malzenos's wings folding up on themselves. When it does this, prepare for a combo. It will either follow up a teleport attack with a tail flip, or a wing slam. When empowered, these moves will occur more frequently, and will be modified with different angles of attack. If you can Wirebug dash behind Malzeno before this move connects, you have a great oppertunity to damage its wings and tail (both of which offer rewards once slain).
The empowered version of Malzeno is the most deadly. Its combos are hard to track, and it will even start using an ultimate that basically nukes the stage you're fighting in. The best way to deal with the blinking teleport and the combos? Shield up, soak up the brunt of the attack, and counter in recovery. This should heal any damage you've taken on, whilst also building up enough aggro on the Elder Dragon to knock it out of Bloodblight status.
You'll notice the tip of the tail, the 'armpits' (fur around the foreleg) and chest will glow red when Empowered. Aim for these weakspots; it's where the power is amassing, and if left in this state for too long, Malzeno will unleash its blood nuke on you. Concentrating on these spots and dealing damage quick enough will knock it out of Bloodening and leave it vulnerable to attack. Every single win I've got against Malzeno has been by interrupting its Bloodening state, landing a stun on its head, and working the leg/head area until it – finally – dies.
You aren't going to find any easy answers in the form of a weakness. But Blast weapons and Blast ammo should help in knocking the dragon out of the air when it's mid-attack, if you can get the damage to stick to its weaker parts. Note that its tail and tail tip are different parts that allow different attacks and take extra damage.
Slashing its legs is a good tactic, as is bonking it on the head with blunt weapons – though you don't get an awful lot of time to do that in this fight. Don't waste your time shooting its wings, or attacking its hind legs at all. If you are going to try and get Ice to work for you, focus on the head as much as possible – otherwise you're simply better off going in with a more damaging weapon overall. Maybe something with a Defense boost stat, to prevent it totally bodying you in one combo. Be persistent, be assertive, be prepared to block a lot.
How to farm Malzeno and get the Cortex, Shard, Hardfang, Bloody Parasite, Hardhorn, Fellwing, Bloodstone, and Tail
As with most part-farming techniques, you're going to want to use Blast weapons and techniques to break Malzeno's bits and gather the most items you can from the Elder Dragon. Most parts you can get from Malzeno will have to be Quest or carve rewards, since the majority of quests it appears in need you to slay it, not catch it.
Bloody Parasites are taken from the forelegs (30% chance on breaking) and Bloodstones – the most valuable reward – will be taken from the head, once broken. Keep in mind it's only a 3% drop chance, though. Aim for the head, anyway; it's how you'll most reliably win. Fellwings will be tricky to net unless you specifically focus on the wings. Luckily, its wing lurch attacks can be used to break wings reliably – wait until it stabs the ground, and lay some damage. You tend to get a good window.